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Birdman Winning Cinematography Osacr

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#1 Dicky Ho

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Posted 23 February 2015 - 11:29 AM

I want to know what do you guys think of Birdman winning an oscar for it's cinematography?

Worth it or not worth it? Comparing to the fellow nominees 


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#2 cole t parzenn

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Posted 23 February 2015 - 12:02 PM

Birdman's that film I keep not getting around to seeing; I just popped in to note that Lubezki is now the first person to win the Academy Award for Best Cinematography in two consecutive years. The honor of winning Color (Special Achievement) in two consecutive years, however, still goes to just William Howard Greene.


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#3 Dicky Ho

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Posted 23 February 2015 - 12:27 PM

I have watched Birdman and I am very impressed with it's story, the performance of the actors and music and so on. However, we've always been told that the best cinematography is the one that doesn't draw attention to itself. I know Birdman is shot to look like one continuous for a reason. But it is not settle at all. Make no mistake, I do think Lubezki is a amazing cinematographer. Gravity is full of long takes as well but they don't seem forced to me. However, you can see they deliberately pan to hide cuts in Birdman.

My point being, Long takes are great, but it shouldn't be the only reason to win an oscar.

Just my two cents


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#4 Michael LaVoie

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Posted 23 February 2015 - 06:51 PM

I am probably alone in thinking this but since you asked, the entire point of the "single take" look of Birdman is lost on me personally.  I am hardpressed to see the reason behind the choice.  And this is after reading the article in American Cinematographer on the shooting of it.

 

I am also extremely aware of the technique and so for me, it got in the way of the story a lot but I can sort of see how the average person who doesn't pay attention to the craft might find it innovative and edgy that it all seemed to happen with no editing.

 

The material and themes in Birdman would have been better suited to a more traditional grounded Herbert Ross sort of approach.  As with Boyhood though, it seems that there has to be some gimmick to get those more human, less popcorn type films any kind of attention.


Edited by Michael LaVoie, 23 February 2015 - 06:52 PM.

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#5 Justin Hayward

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Posted 23 February 2015 - 07:12 PM

the entire point of the "single take" look of Birdman is lost on me personally.  

 

My interpretation is the single take was to help the audience empathize with the emotional intensity an actor feels when actually performing on stage where there are no edits.


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#6 Michael LaVoie

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Posted 23 February 2015 - 07:41 PM

 

My interpretation is the single take was to help the audience empathize with the emotional intensity an actor feels when actually performing on stage where there are no edits.

 

I like your interpretation.  For me there didn't seem to be that great of a difference in their performances between whether they were off stage or on.  So unless that was part of the point, that really didn't work on me.  

 

That's the fun part of film though, everyone has their own insight into the material.  Sometimes I feel like I lose a little something being behind the camera. You get too aware of the craft.  Hard to get into the story.  Lubezki's a genius for sure though.  Check out A Little Princess if you haven't seen it.  Lighting so good it hurts to look at it.


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#7 Dicky Ho

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Posted 23 February 2015 - 10:49 PM

 

My interpretation is the single take was to help the audience empathize with the emotional intensity an actor feels when actually performing on stage where there are no edits.

I don't recall where I read this, but the review I read says the single continuous take and the drum only soundtrack give it a improvise look. The audience doesn't know what will happen next. I do feel that way when I saw the movie.

if you think of Children of Men, there are many "single shot" too but I never figure out where is the cut. However, in Birdman the transition between shots is quite obvious sometime.

Lubezki definitely deserves an oscar, in Tree of Life or Gravity not Birdman in my opinion.


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#8 Paul Maibaum ASC

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Posted 24 February 2015 - 09:15 AM

John Toll, ASC winner of the Academy Award for Best Cinematography two consecutive years in 1995 "Legends of the Fall" and 1996 "Braveheart".


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#9 Bill DiPietra

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Posted 24 February 2015 - 09:19 AM

Haven't seen Birdman yet, but I feel Lubezki's best work in recent years has been The Tree of Life.  I would have loved to have seen him win for that.


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#10 Tyler Purcell

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Posted 24 February 2015 - 12:48 PM

The oscar's haven't really picked the best cinematography in a long, long, long time.

Roger Deakins has yet to win an Oscar.

Period.

So Birdman winning? Lubezki did a great job, but no way was Birdman better then Unbroken or The Grand Budapest.
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#11 Carl Looper

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Posted 24 February 2015 - 11:54 PM

Haven't seen Birdman yet, but I feel Lubezki's best work in recent years has been The Tree of Life.  I would have loved to have seen him win for that.

 

Yeah The Tree of Life is brilliant. Although one could start to tire a bit of dusk light (is that possible?) But we can blame/credit Mallick for that. His first film is similarly obsessed with that twilight hour. It is beautiful but. Can one really tire of such?

 

But yeah - I'd have given a cinematography award to that work.

 

The award for Birdman I think is quite fine. It's very hard to pull apart a film in terms of the various categories. In fact I'd say it's almost impossible. The way in which films are made - particularly the better ones - is that everything is made to interlock in a way that escapes simple deconstruction.

 

The awards, the way they are (and how else could they be), entertain a fiction of sorts - as if cinematography (or any other category) could be separated out from the work. And so to the extent that one entertains awards as worthwhile, one endeavours to deconstruct a film in the way that awards do so.

 

The long take style of Birdman can be treated as both a solution to a problem, and a problem requiring a solution. In other words the cinematography need not be viewed as necessarily for the idea of a long take (for the idea is as old as the hills) but for resolving that idea. To the extent that Birdman does solve it one can treat this as that which Birdman's cinematography does very well. Really well.

 

C


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#12 Dicky Ho

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Posted 25 February 2015 - 10:01 AM

Off topic for a second, when I watch Birdman there was something seem weird to me.

 

The scene of Ed Norton and Emma Stone on the rooftop, the picture seem shaky and wobbly. It is not like poor steadicam handling but rather like an after effect warp stabilize fail. I thought It was some poor green screening going on at first, but I realize it was a location when watching BTS on youtube. Does anyone notice this and what do you think what could cause this?


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#13 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 25 February 2015 - 10:14 AM

Could you fix the spelling of Oscar in the thread title?

I think it's just the combination of shooting with a longer shutter time for more exposure (240 or 270 degrees) combined with post stabilization. Does this scene end with a tilt up to the buildings and a lap-dissolve to the next day? I can't remember.
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#14 Dicky Ho

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Posted 25 February 2015 - 10:17 AM

Could you fix the spelling of Oscar in the thread title?

I think it's just the combination of shooting with a longer shutter time for more exposure (240 or 270 degrees) combined with post stabilization. Does this scene end with a tilt up to the buildings and a lap-dissolve to the next day? I can't remember.

Oh! sorry, I didn't even notice the spelling there. Can I change the title?


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#15 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 25 February 2015 - 10:20 AM

I don't know how, maybe you can send a PM to Tim Tyler asking him to fix it.
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#16 Tyler Purcell

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Posted 25 February 2015 - 01:59 PM

The scene of Ed Norton and Emma Stone on the rooftop, the picture seem shaky and wobbly. It is not like poor steadicam handling but rather like an after effect warp stabilize fail. I thought It was some poor green screening going on at first, but I realize it was a location when watching BTS on youtube. Does anyone notice this and what do you think what could cause this?

 

 

David is right, it's absolutely the higher shutter angle. However, after looking through a 1080p copy I have, it appears the signs maybe added. So the effect artist probably tried to mimic the higher shutter angle and camera shake. 

 

Just a guess… but if you watch carefully, there is absolutely something else wrong besides the shutter angle. 


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