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Oscar nominations 2016

Oscar Academy Award

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#1 Alexandros Angelopoulos Apostolos

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Posted 14 January 2016 - 09:38 AM

Here are the nominated films in the Best Cinematography category:

 

The Hateful Eight – Robert Richardson

Carol – Edward Lachman

The Revenant – Emmanuel Lubezki

Sicario – Roger Deakins

Mad Max: Fury Road – John Seale


Edited by Alexandros Angelopoulos Apostolos, 14 January 2016 - 09:40 AM.

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#2 Satsuki Murashige

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Posted 14 January 2016 - 12:55 PM

That sounds about right. 'Carol' would get my vote.
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#3 Miguel Angel

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Posted 14 January 2016 - 04:13 PM

"Far From The Madding Crowd" or "Hamlet" would get my vote! 

 

Oh wait, they are not in the list! 


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#4 Alexandros Angelopoulos Apostolos

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Posted 14 January 2016 - 04:20 PM

I was afraid you were going to say The Revenant, which, I suspect, will win.

 

I kept watching the trailers and inserts for it today, and it's one endless flood of dreary, dark, blue, grey, whatever you like, depressing visuals one after the other. I understand that it's about survival in wintry wilderness, but is it unwatchable or what. In the sense of all that blue imagery of it. I'm just sad I'm not cinematographically literate to appreciate the magnificent work of Emmanuel Lubezki, but it looks so unappealing.

 

I'd vote for The Hateful Eight. I'm not sure why. Robert Richardson doesn't seem to be adored around here. And that's not a euphemism for "hated".


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#5 Jan Tore Soerensen

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Posted 14 January 2016 - 05:19 PM

Here are the nominated films in the Best Cinematography category:

 

The Hateful Eight – Robert Richardson

Carol – Edward Lachman

The Revenant – Emmanuel Lubezki

Sicario – Roger Deakins

Mad Max: Fury Road – John Seale

Looks like I have three films to watch. I did like The Hateful Eight. Fury Road, not so much.


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#6 Mark Kenfield

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Posted 14 January 2016 - 06:05 PM

Just saw Hateful Eight in Glorious Ultra Panavision 70 last night, and it was Richardson's usual, beautiful work.

However for me the clear frontrunner is John Seale. Fury Road's cinemagraphy was note perfect, it gave the film precisely the roller coaster experience it needed, and it's the only one of the nominees that I'd argue broke new ground cinematographically.
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#7 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 14 January 2016 - 06:30 PM

I think they are all strong, this has been a good year for cinematography.  From a personal standpoint, in terms of what is most inspiring for the type of projects I shoot, "Carol" and "Bridge of Spies" (ASC Award nominee) are at the top of my list.  

 

As an overall movie and visual experience, "The Revenant" is amazing -- probably the best-looking movie of the year -- but it is hard to apply its lessons into my own work unless I get a shot at a long schedule working with available light in a spectacular location doing a period western.  It reminds me of when I saw a screening of "Far and Away" and got to ask Mikael Solomon how he shot this extended fight scene just as the sun was setting in every shot.  He said since they were on location for a month shooting the big land rush scene, they could go out every day and shoot a couple of shots from that fight just at sunset.  Which is great to hear, and it looks great, but I generally don't have that luxury.


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#8 Satsuki Murashige

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Posted 14 January 2016 - 08:50 PM

Robert Richardson doesn't seem to be adored around here.


Well, you haven't been here very long. There were lots of threads about Bob Richardson's work in the mid to late 2000's. The thing is, his style is very consistent so once you break it down there's not too much left to discuss.

His glossy expressionistic style was extremely influential in that time period, but now cinematography has generally trended back toward the extreme naturalism of the late 70's/early 80's New York street style to the point of not lighting anything, using smaller and smaller sources, relying on the dynamic range and sensitivity of the camera system to create the image. So I think for a lot of younger people his work has become very noticeable because it's so different from what they are used to seeing, whereas for older people that style became almost passé when everyone rushed to copy it ten years ago.
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#9 Tyler Purcell

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Posted 14 January 2016 - 10:40 PM

However for me the clear frontrunner is John Seale. Fury Road's cinemagraphy was note perfect, it gave the film precisely the roller coaster experience it needed, and it's the only one of the nominees that I'd argue broke new ground cinematographically.


John Seale had very little to do with the cinematography of that film according to himself. The DIT took over principal A camera photography and Seale ran C camera with a long lens for most of the production. Plus... it's a HEAVY VFX film and slow-mo film, relying on "gimmicks" and substantial post work to make it pretty. In my eyes, it shouldn't even be nominated... there is really nothing "special" about it.
 

I think they are all strong, this has been a good year for cinematography.  From a personal standpoint, in terms of what is most inspiring for the type of projects I shoot, "Carol" and "Bridge of Spies" (ASC Award nominee) are at the top of my list.


100%. I thought Carol was the most outstanding achievement in Cinematography with Bridge of Spies right on it's heal. Even though I didn't like a few things in Bridge of Spies cinematography wise, I thought the good stuff was flat-out perfect. The open of the film for instance in old New York, those scenes were so well done.

 

As an overall movie and visual experience, "The Revenant" is amazing -- probably the best-looking movie of the year -- but it is hard to apply its lessons into my own work unless I get a shot at a long schedule working with available light in a spectacular location doing a period western.  It reminds me of when I saw a screening of "Far and Away" and got to ask Mikael Solomon how he shot this extended fight scene just as the sun was setting in every shot.  He said since they were on location for a month shooting the big land rush scene, they could go out every day and shoot a couple of shots from that fight just at sunset.  Which is great to hear, and it looks great, but I generally don't have that luxury.


It's so true and it was my biggest beef with that film AND Hateful Eight. It was like, meh... anyone can go outside and shoot nature. I mean for gosh sakes with Hateful Eight, they had one room to light... "best cinematography" don't think so. Carol blew my mind away, the simplicity of each setup, the color pallet, framing and staging, it was so well made. I REALLY hope he win's, but we all know the most pretty films win. In my opinion, cinematography should be based on what comes through the lens, not what one highly trained specialist does sitting in a chair for a week or two AFTER the film is done.
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#10 Robin R Probyn

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Posted 15 January 2016 - 01:09 AM

"John Seale had very little to do with the cinematography of that film according to himself. The DIT took over principal A camera photography and Seale ran C camera with a long lens for most of the production."

 

​eh?  where did this gem come from.. Im sure he might have been operating C cam.. but there is more to the  job of DOP than operating.. Revenge of the DITs.. I hope he/she put their rates up..    :)


Edited by Robin R Probyn, 15 January 2016 - 01:12 AM.

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#11 Tyler Purcell

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Posted 15 January 2016 - 01:39 AM

​eh?  where did this gem come from.. Im sure he might have been operating C cam.. but there is more to the  job of DOP than operating.. Revenge of the DITs.. I hope he/she put their rates up..    :)


Yea like lighting? They didn't really use lights. The director selected the lenses, he selected the cameras, he selected the compositions of each shot. According to John Seale, he literally was pushed out of the normal cinematography job and into that of a camera operator.

So to say Mad Max Fury Road's "cinematography" is good... that award doesn't belong to Seale, it really belongs to Miller. I mean Seale was there, he was just incapacitated and a "requirement" from the studio. I'm sure Miller would have rather not had a DP on location at all.

Now it's hard for me to work with DP's because I went to school for it and ALWAYS run the camera. However, there is no way I'd push the EXTREMELY TALENTED John Seale away from adding his creative input during production. However, Miller did just that and it pisses the ever living shit out of me. If I were Seale I would have said fuck you all, I'm going home.

By the way, this is all well documented.
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#12 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 15 January 2016 - 01:51 AM

If it is well-documented, then I'd like to see the source of that story.  

 

Seale has done some lectures on the making of "Mad Max" so it would seem odd for him to be motivated to do that if he felt disconnected from the project.  Plus Dean Semler was going to shoot it originally before it moved from Australia to Namibia, so it seems that it was always George Miller's intent to have a cinematographer.  If he was only doing it for the studio as a stand-by, he would have hired someone cheaper, not an Oscar-winner.  Seale says he spent a lot of time testing equipment and lighting for this show (and there is rather a lot of it for an outdoors movie, but mostly of the fill-light kind.)

 

Sure, once shooting began, with all of those stunt camera rigs and whatnot, there was less for Seale to do in terms of traditional DP work, but that doesn't mean he was shoved aside.  If I were in his position, I would be manning the occasional C-camera myself -- there is often so much planning, supervising, and rigging, to do in these sorts of big action scenes that being tied to A-camera as the operator while also being the DP isn't always the most efficient way to work, unless you are more of the Christopher Nolan single-camera style of shooting action.

 

And certainly with all of these cameras rolling, the DIT has a lot of work to do, but that's not the same thing as taking over as cinematographer.

 

I may be wrong, but in the several articles I've read about the movie, this the first time I've heard that Miller pushed Seale out of the cinematography and promoted the DIT to take over from him.  Some sort of evidence of this would be nice for you to link to.

 

This is the lecture that Seale and 2nd Unit DP Burr gave on the making of the movie -- he sounds like he did a lot of work:


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#13 Tyler Purcell

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Posted 15 January 2016 - 02:24 AM

Yep, I saw that and it clearly shows you how frustrated Seale was. Re-watch it and you can see for yourself. I did a bit of digging and pulled up some other interviews in magazines and such, which re-count his frustrations even further. The bits about the DIT were hilarious and scary. The cinematographer, the one who's job it is to do things like make sure the exposure is correct, make sure there is proper lighting on the actors face, make sure the lens selection is right for the shot, make camera decisions and work with the director on delivering his vision, was overruled by some punk ass computer nerd sitting in a black van. So Seale got bored, grabbed a unit and shot C camera. Otherwise, per his own words, he'd be sitting around watching a monitor.

Besides, the WHOLE MOVIE was made in post. I've seen raw camera material and it looked like ass even with a decent LUT applied. Not to mention every shot had effects.

Also... I have no idea why ANYONE in their right mind would even give that movie the time of day. It was exactly what is wrong with cinema today; just throw a bunch of shit at people's faces, where decent films like Beasts of No Nation doesn't even get a nod? For ANY category? Swap all the nods (outside of VFX) for Fury Road with Beasts of No Nation and that would be the best thing the Academy would have done. But yet again, let the stupidity reign!
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#14 Alexandros Angelopoulos Apostolos

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Posted 15 January 2016 - 02:53 AM

Just saw Hateful Eight in Glorious Ultra Panavision 70 last night, and it was Richardson's usual, beautiful work.

However for me the clear frontrunner is John Seale. Fury Road's cinemagraphy was note perfect, it gave the film precisely the roller coaster experience it needed, and it's the only one of the nominees that I'd argue broke new ground cinematographically.

 

What is this award for, you would say? Is it awarded for breaking new ground, for the most stunning film visually, or something else?

 

 

I think they are all strong, this has been a good year for cinematography.  From a personal standpoint, in terms of what is most inspiring for the type of projects I shoot, "Carol" and "Bridge of Spies" (ASC Award nominee) are at the top of my list.  

 

 

 

100%. I thought Carol was the most outstanding achievement in Cinematography with Bridge of Spies right on it's heal. Even though I didn't like a few things in Bridge of Spies cinematography wise, I thought the good stuff was flat-out perfect. The open of the film for instance in old New York, those scenes were so well done.

 

 

Is there a film, let's say a spy thriller or a gangster movie or a heist film, in which two people talk in an office, and the late afternoon sun's rays fall on them through the office's windows? Perhaps it might not work, given the overall gritty atmosphere of such a movie, but still be beautiful? But then again, so to say, it's unmotivated story-wise (dark conversation in glorious light) but it works?


Edited by Alexandros Angelopoulos Apostolos, 15 January 2016 - 02:59 AM.

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#15 Robin R Probyn

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Posted 15 January 2016 - 03:08 AM

Yep, I saw that and it clearly shows you how frustrated Seale was. Re-watch it and you can see for yourself. I did a bit of digging and pulled up some other interviews in magazines and such, which re-count his frustrations even further. The bits about the DIT were hilarious and scary. The cinematographer, the one who's job it is to do things like make sure the exposure is correct, make sure there is proper lighting on the actors face, make sure the lens selection is right for the shot, make camera decisions and work with the director on delivering his vision, was overruled by some punk ass computer nerd sitting in a black van. So Seale got bored, grabbed a unit and shot C camera. Otherwise, per his own words, he'd be sitting around watching a monitor.

Besides, the WHOLE MOVIE was made in post. I've seen raw camera material and it looked like ass even with a decent LUT applied. Not to mention every shot had effects.

Also... I have no idea why ANYONE in their right mind would even give that movie the time of day. It was exactly what is wrong with cinema today; just throw a bunch of poop at people's faces, where decent films like Beasts of No Nation doesn't even get a nod? For ANY category? Swap all the nods (outside of VFX) for Fury Road with Beasts of No Nation and that would be the best thing the Academy would have done. But yet again, let the stupidity reign!

Do you have direct links for quotes on this.. sorry but it sounds like a crock of shite to me.. there is absolutely no way an Oscar winning DP is being over ruled by the DIT.. DIT is not making lens decisions over the DP!! ..  this just doesn't happen in the real world.. even if he and director had had a massive falling out.. he would be replaced.. or walk..and hardly be giving tutorial video,s about the shoot .. its bollocks... or self effacing modesty on the part of Seale that some hack has totally misunderstood..  


Edited by Robin R Probyn, 15 January 2016 - 03:17 AM.

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#16 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 15 January 2016 - 03:20 AM

We're talking mainly about a day exterior shoot - I'm sure that Seale was OK with the DIT having a lot of input over the exposure, watching for clipping is part of the job.  I don't think it was a case where Seale felt that the DIT was in creative control.  This was Seale's first digital show after all, and with putting digital cameras like Canon DSLR's into the mix, with their limited dynamic range compared to the Alexa, you'd expect the DIT to be heavily involved in matching the cameras and watching exposures.

 

As for Seale getting bored by this massive stunt operation with all of the rigging, I'm not surprised he found some pleasure in taking over a C-camera and grabbing extra shots on a big zoom.  Most of the main angles had already been decided in pre-viz and storyboards months and years before. But that's part of the nature of this kind of shoot and I'm sure Seale went into it knowing this, I doubt he felt that Miller had mislead him and secretly didn't want him there -- he and Seale had worked together on "Lorenzo's Oil" before so they had a relationship.


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#17 Satsuki Murashige

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Posted 15 January 2016 - 03:56 AM

Tyler, I think you are reading way too much into Seale's comments based on your own anti-digital biases. I've seen all the same interviews, seminars, and discussions that he's given online and you've made some massive assumptions about the entire production based on a few anecdotes.

It was a very long rough shoot, I doubt that Seale and 2nd Unit DP David Burr would have stuck it out to the end if things were going as badly as you say. Seale basically came out of retirement to shoot this project for Miller, and he clearly still has the utmost respect for him. Seems like a lot of the comments he made were out of a grumpy sense of humor about the future of filmmaking and how much it has changed. I have never met him, but having watched many interviews with him over the years, I think he has always had a self-deprecating sense of humor which you seem to be mistaking for bitterness.

So yes, it sounds like the DIT was offering a lot of unsolicited advice about exposure, at least in the beginning. But I also recall hearing Seale say that he went back to using his meter during those War Rig chase scenes. He would stick his meter out the window, get a reading, and call it out over the walkie to all the different units in real time. And yes, Seale made it sound like the VFX supe basically came up with the 'day for night' sequence look on a DSLR and suggested that they over-expose 2 stops. But he also bought off on it, saying 'yeah, looks pretty good' and made it happen. And yes, Miller had the film all storyboarded out and was very specific about the compositions. But I also recall Miller saying Seale would always fight to get fill light into the dark War Rig interior.

So I don't buy this whole revisionist story you've concocted of Seale basically getting demoted under his DIT and not being responsible for the photography. He probably didn't have as much control over the look of this film as he did on 'Dead Poet's Society' or 'Rain Man' or 'Witness' or 'The Talented Mr. Ripley.' But if you think the DP who shot all those movies is a push-over, well then I think you're just wrong.
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#18 Manu Delpech

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Posted 15 January 2016 - 05:11 AM

I've watched that interview David linked to and yeah, I'm not seeing what Tye is talking about, he talks about the DIT guy checking the exposure and telling him so he could make sure he was exposing the Alexa correctly but that's about it. About Mad Max, it's getting all the acclaim it's getting for good reasons, it's astonishing work. Beasts Of No Nation is great but it just had zero momentum in the awards conversation aside from Idris Elba and Abraham Attah, it's just not a film for Oscar voters either, but that's another problem having to do with diversity. 

 

And like Satsuki says, Seale was clearly joking a lot of the time, just watch when he talks about the "DIT guy". 


Edited by Manu Delpech, 15 January 2016 - 05:12 AM.

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#19 Mark Dunn

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Posted 15 January 2016 - 05:44 AM

Yep, I saw that and it clearly shows you how frustrated Seale was. Re-watch it and you can see for yourself.

I think there's a language barrier here. I'm not getting that. Perhaps it's down to understanding the Australian sense of humour. It's very dry.


Edited by Mark Dunn, 15 January 2016 - 05:52 AM.

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#20 Phil Rhodes

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Posted 15 January 2016 - 05:51 AM

Having spoken to a few quite prominent DPs in the last year, I've heard, entirely off the record, some staggeringly anti-digital bias, some real foul-mouthed rants, and no, they weren't kidding around. So, I wouldn't write it off as joking, no matter who it's coming from. The level of bad-tempered curmudgeonliness was huge, and that's me saying that.

 

P


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