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The Willis Frame


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#1 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 16 May 2015 - 10:29 AM

Nice montage:


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#2 Stuart Brereton

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Posted 16 May 2015 - 11:11 AM

Such beautiful work. It's just reminded me that I picked up a copy of Pennies from Heaven at a yard sale a while back, and I still haven't watched it. Time to remedy that.


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#3 Leon Liang

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Posted 17 May 2015 - 05:12 AM

What great work - always good to be reminded of the genius known as Gordon Willis.

I noticed that in his anamorphic films he often used somewhat medium-long lenses. Do you know if he was fond of the 75mm/100mm anamorphic lenses? Everybody talks about how he liked to use the 40mm in spherical, but I never see people talking about the anamorphics.
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#4 Phil Rhodes

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Posted 17 May 2015 - 05:20 AM

I notice that a lot of that stuff plays in silhouette, which I suspect many of us would not be allowed to get away with.

 

P


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#5 Mark Kenfield

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Posted 17 May 2015 - 09:12 AM

Lovely montage, thanks for sharing it David.

Manhattan is just achingly, achingly beautiful. That film alone taught me so much about the interplay of sound, image and performance - and why you don't have to have a shot of a clearly lit actor just to get some dialogue across. The sound will carry the performance, the performance will carry itself, and the camera is free to reveal more to us than just actors talking to each other (which in the end, I feel, makes for a more compelling final product).

 

And I disagree Phil, I think we're so much freer now to play around with things like silhouette precisely because guys like Willis blazed that trail for us. 


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#6 Phil Rhodes

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Posted 17 May 2015 - 09:23 AM

Well, I agree that we should be...


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#7 Bill DiPietra

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Posted 17 May 2015 - 10:01 AM

Great montage, appropriately titled.  Willis always set a meaningful frame and let the action unfold in front of it - something I've been inspired by.  His genius lay in the simplicity of his methods.


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#8 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 17 May 2015 - 11:16 AM

Yes, much of "Manhattan" was shot with a 100mm anamorphic if the examples from the AC article on the lighting of "Manhattan" are any indication.


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#9 cole t parzenn

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Posted 17 May 2015 - 12:15 PM

Interesting. It's been a while since I last saw one of his films but the long lens never jumped out at me, until now. Nice to see "Stardust Memories" included.


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#10 Gregory Irwin

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Posted 17 May 2015 - 01:01 PM

A wonderful montage from a wonderful cinematographer.  I've always noticed three specific motifs in his compositions:

 

1. Using a frame within a frame

2. Filming through windows

3. Silhouette

 

Thank you David for sharing.

 

G


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