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Oscars 2016 - Predictions

Oscars 2016

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#1 Igor Trajkovski

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Posted 27 February 2016 - 07:29 PM

I won't be surprised if we see the last year

cinematography, director and best film (the director)

winners be the same people. :)








 


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#2 Bill DiPietra

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Posted 29 February 2016 - 12:42 AM

I won't be surprised if we see the last year

cinematography, director and best film (the director)

winners be the same people. :)

 

Well, there you have it.

 

Personally, I really would have liked to see Roger Deakins take it home for Sicario.  I felt the cinematography truly served the story without any fanfare.


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#3 Tyler Purcell

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Posted 29 February 2016 - 01:43 AM

Chivo for the win! I wanted Ed to win of course, but you've gotta admit Chivo did a great job.

I was over-all happy with the oscar nods, though predictable to the end, even with Spotlight winning best picture.
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#4 Ari Michael Leeds

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Posted 29 February 2016 - 01:11 PM

Didn't see all the Cinematography noms., so I can't be 100% objective on this, but I feel like it's a continued insult from giving "Avatar" best cinematography.

The cameras have gotten better, and this wasn't a movie that was shot in front of a green screen, but I still feel the look should detract from the chances of a digital movie winning, and I feel like the same morons who gave it to "Avatar" are calling the shots.


I've seen some very impassioned argument that CG, pixel animation is "still cinematography."  To advocates of that nonsense, do you think "Best hair and makeup" should go to a Pixar fiml, next?  After all they're painting on the pixels just like they're putting on makeup, by that line of "logic."


I don't want to trivialize race relations, and the disparity in nominations these past several years (though I don't agree with the solutions they've taken either entirely, having quotas) but overall, I feel it is shocking that people who don't know what Cinematography is get to pick Best Cinematography!  Qualified individuals should be in charge of the selection, and they should try to remove themselves from considerations for subject and content, like a court of law.


There's abject ignorance and then there's subject bias, although I'd probably succumb to that myself and vote AGAINST a film about Amy Winehouse winning over a film about Ukranian independence, unless that latter was really poorly done.


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#5 David Hessel

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Posted 29 February 2016 - 03:56 PM

I've seen some very impassioned argument that CG, pixel animation is "still cinematography."  To advocates of that nonsense, do you think "Best hair and makeup" should go to a Pixar fiml, next?  After all they're painting on the pixels just like they're putting on makeup, by that line of "logic."

 

The art of cinematography is no different in a CG movie the same principles still apply from lighting to composition. The big difference is total freedom you have in CG to move your camera so a shot that would be very difficult to achieve practically could be achieved easily in CG. Conversly the challenge in CG is to make a move feel less mechanical and perfect. If someone is saying cinematography in CG is not really cinematography then they are saying cinematography is about the equipment and not the art behind it. 


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#6 Robin R Probyn

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Posted 01 March 2016 - 03:52 AM

Ari.. I agree re  the Avatar winning DP gong.. 

 

The voting process as I know it.. is why the actual nomination, voted by ones peers .. is more important that the gong itself.. which is voted by the whole academy .. who yes want to see pretty pictures and don't always have much idea how they were achieved .. 

 

Is Roger Deakins now 13 times nominated ..??? something like that.. 


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#7 Ari Michael Leeds

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Posted 01 March 2016 - 09:42 AM

So David:  You're saying a digital model of a skyscraper is the same as actually building a skyscraper?


You definitely think digital painting is the same as hair and makeup then by your "definition."  I'd like to know, in the interest of full disclosure, if you have any involvement in digital animation, please.



@Robin, yeah something like that.  Crazy.

I don't want to elevate it to the same level as racial bias in the nominating process, as it's a technical thing for those of us in the lighting and camera departments, but an absurd slight that hasn't been corrected, not even mentioned.  To a lesser extent, Gravity.

Green screens and wireframes and motion capture, oh my!


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#8 David Hessel

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Posted 01 March 2016 - 12:32 PM

So David:  You're saying a digital model of a skyscraper is the same as actually building a skyscraper?

 

The process of building a skyscraper digitally compared to the real world is not the same but the principles of design and form, the mood the or style of the achitecture whether modern or classical, or how the building is designed to fit in with the enviroment is the same. Clearly a cg building may only need to look pretty where a real building needs to remain standing and deal with existence in the real world. CG is a visual media, just like film, so it can only be compared to the visual aspects of architecture.

 

 

You definitely think digital painting is the same as hair and makeup then by your "definition." 

 

I didn't comment in anyway about digital painting v hair and makeup. It is a good example on your part. In some aspects I think they are the same and in some ways not, being able to make someone look sick or old and perhaps visually display a characters history or cultural inheritance has the same artestry involved just with different techniques. Again I think this is another case were them having different final media is what separates them. Makup is a tangeable substance, powder and prosthetics that a person wears. Digital makeup's final media is a 2D image. Put another way it is like comparing theatrical stage lighting to lightiing for film, there are some simularities and some differences, mainly because one will been see live by an audience while the other is captured as an image. The same could probably be said for hair and makeup but that is not an area I am very familiar with.

 

 

  I'd like to know, in the interest of full disclosure, if you have any involvement in digital animation, please.

 

Yes I do have involvement in digital animation. I have done both cg and live action shorts. My career path has taken me down a more technical path so I don't consider myself a cinematographer in either field. I have a fine arts background as well as digtial. Do you have any experience with digital animation? Refering to it as pixel animation makes me think not, considering in over a decade I have never animated a pixel. Perhaps having experience with both would be useful for comparing and contrasting.

 

So let me ask, what is cinematography? What are the principles of cinematrography and what makes good cinematography? 


Edited by David Hessel, 01 March 2016 - 12:35 PM.

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#9 Ari Michael Leeds

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Posted 01 March 2016 - 12:41 PM

Cinematography is taking pictures in a sequence.

What you describe has no camera, has no lens.  It's digital animation.


The people who code the programs, the software computer programmers, coders came up with a camera interface to make it more familiar and easier for the user to interact with it.

Similarly, "The Oregon Trail" isn't the same thing as loading up a covered wagon under a team of Oxen and trekking out to California or Oregon in the 19th Century.



If anything makeup is far closer to digital painting, as both of those at least involve brush strokes and application.

Digital animation is not photography.  It is not cinematography.  It already has its own awards.  It is not filmmaking.  That's not a slight, it's just reality and fact.  I don't make any claims that photography is like a painted portrait.  That's no slight to portraiture, it just is.  An indisputable, concrete fact.


I give you credit, at least, for not claiming to be a cinematographer.


Edited by Ari Michael Leeds, 01 March 2016 - 12:41 PM.

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#10 Tyler Purcell

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Posted 01 March 2016 - 01:07 PM

I've done quite a bit of animation using Maya for modeling and compositing in Nuke, Shake or even AE.

In the digital world, there are no barriers/boundaries. Sure, you have to still setup lighting, sure you have to make a camera path and select focal length lenses. However, it's an infinite world to work in, very much unlike our own. It's also a world which is manipulated by gangs of people, not just the cinematographer who may set the look of a particular scene, but the artists themselves are constantly manipulating the environment.

If you look at award winning movies like Avatar or Life of PI, which mixes green screen stage work with CG environments, the "cinematographer" is given the keys to the castle and can do anything they want. Sitting in a chair manipulating objects on a computer monitor, is an entirely different way to work then on a sound stage or on location.

To me, what makes the profession of cinematography so great, is finding great ways to get around the limitations we all face. It's about knocking down those challenges and coming up with great solutions using the physical world. The computer world is infinite, so you no longer are facing limitations. If you want a light as bright as the sun 3 miles away from the camera, you can drag the light source over and make it happen. If you want the moon to be a little bit brighter, you drag a lever across and raise it's luminance. Anyone can take their wildest dreams and make them a reality on a computer monitor with a bit of training and experience. As much as I love well-made 3D animated movies, I can't stand how every filmmaker must manipulate their content digitally and add fake/CG characters to real scenes and visa versa. It's ruined SO many potentially good movies because people over do it. Ex Machina is the best example of CG done right and it should go without saying, their award for best visual effects against Mad Max and Star Wars... really shows people are waking up to this problem.
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#11 David Hessel

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Posted 01 March 2016 - 01:10 PM

Cinematography is taking pictures in a sequence.

 

Apparently I am a cinematographer then and just about everyone I know if that is all it takes to be a cinematographer. 

 

Similarly, "The Oregon Trail" isn't the same thing as loading up a covered wagon under a team of Oxen and trekking out to California or Oregon in the 19th Century.

 

And Revenant is not the same as Hugh Glass's experience.

 

 It is not filmmaking. 

 

For me that depends on how you define it, for me the power of a film far more than the process of creating it and in that sense I disagree.


Edited by David Hessel, 01 March 2016 - 01:11 PM.

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#12 David Hessel

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Posted 01 March 2016 - 02:55 PM

Seeing as I would never consider opening a 3d file and rendering out an image as photography, I can't then go around as say that cinematography for which the person responsible for it is called directory of photography applies to computer animation. So will accept defeat on that argument alone. Cinematography must be taken with a camera just as photography must.

 

I also see Tyler's point about working within limits, that was one of the things that bothered me about the hair and make up question. With digital make up you could do things that are just not possible in the real world. So including it would be an unfair advantage for digital, same would hold true for cinematography in digital you can break the laws of physics to get the shot you want. With photography you are capturing the world the way it is or the way it can be made to be rather than creating the world you want.

 

When I think of cinematography I think of it as creating mood with lighting, the shots chosen for coverage, the visual storytelling taking place. I guess all the above doesn't qualify unless it is filmed with a camera.


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#13 Ari Michael Leeds

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Posted 02 March 2016 - 10:32 AM

I have a lot of respect for what you do.  In fact, it's a skill I am absolutely terrible at myself, any sort of drawing.  But it is not what I do.


I honestly do not know why anyone would try to complicate it any more than that.


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#14 Satsuki Murashige

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Posted 02 March 2016 - 10:59 AM

Animation, digital or otherwise is clearly filmmaking. I don't see how you can argue with that. Animated films pre-date the invention of 24fps, sound, and color. And a physical camera is not a prerequisite to the creation of a film, as Stan Brakhage demonstrated in 'Mothlight.' I do agree that 'photography' necessitates a lens and a camera. Photo-manipulation is not photography.

Don't know if I necessarily agree that 'cinematography' falls under the same definition, but I need to think about it some more. My principle objection is that a large part of cinematography is the creation of story through a sequence of images. Simple photography is not necessarily cinematography. For example, I'm not sure that the film 'Empire' by Andy Warhol (which consists of an 8hr loop of a static shot of the Empire State Building) counts as cinematography, despite being photographed with a motion picture camera. I think you could make a stronger case that animated films like 'Up' or 'The Lion King' have more cinematography in them by comparison. Someone clearly designed the color, light and shadow, framing, and sequencing of shots to create story and emotion in those films. And what about 'La Jetée' which is composed entirely of still images in a sequence with voice-over?
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#15 Ari Michael Leeds

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Posted 02 March 2016 - 11:09 AM

I'm not being an analog purist here:  I don't consider cel animation or physically drawing on scratching into film to be cinematography either.

A lens and a 3-dimensional subject are key components.  Director of Photography, you're photographing (usually) 24 exposures every second. 



I honestly cannot believe there's any disagreement here.  Why does animation have its own award if it's "the same thing as filmmaking?"

And again, I am not knocking this field, not in the least.  It's different than what I do.  I couldn't get a job on a Pixar film, or on a cel-animated film.  I can't draw.

We are going round and round in circles, so this concludes my participation in this ridiculous avenue of "reasoning."  You can argue anything, but it is totally absurd to say that drawing something on film, or in a computer is somehow the same as capturing a real-world object onto a two dimensional medium, either a chip of film or a sensor.

Then again, some people believe we live in a universe that's like the holodeck in Star Trek, too, some sort of holographic projection.  I, for one, don't accept we live in the Matrix, and I work in the real world with other people who want to work in the real world.  Until the time that "Surrogates" becomes reality, you have your line of work, and I have mine.


Edited by Ari Michael Leeds, 02 March 2016 - 11:10 AM.

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#16 Freya Black

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Posted 02 March 2016 - 11:36 AM

If you look at award winning movies like Avatar or Life of PI, which mixes green screen stage work with CG environments, the "cinematographer" is given the keys to the castle and can do anything they want. Sitting in a chair manipulating objects on a computer monitor, is an entirely different way to work then on a sound stage or on location.

 

Do they really get the keys to the kingdom or do they spend a lot of time lighting a nice flat green screen without shadows while someone else gets the keys to the kingdom in post. Of course once the movie wins an award it's the DP that collects it and not the people siting behind the computer.


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#17 Ari Michael Leeds

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Posted 02 March 2016 - 11:41 AM

That's the thing, Freya.  The award already exists, but, for some reason, the wrong award for the wrong thing is being given to the wrong person.

There are already awards for special effects and animation.  Why the highest honor for cinematography would be doled out for these two, unrelated fields is beyond me completely.


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#18 David Hessel

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Posted 02 March 2016 - 11:43 AM

cinematography: the art or technique of motion-picture photography.

 

While the technique of motion-picture photography cannot be applied to animated movies, what about the art of motion picture photography? While operating a camera and setting up lights is obviously cinematography I have always felt it is the art behind the captured image is what really makes someone a cinematographer - it is the main thing that separates them from a person capturing video on a cell phone. 

 

Sure animated films have there own award, best animated fim, but at the same time there is often a lack of recognition for them other than the film as a whole. For lack of better terminology there is no best actor, best directing, or best cinematography awards for them reguardless of how well done it is. Potentially an animated film could have outstanding cinematography(for lack of a better word), better than any film that year and be completely uacknowledged for it. Not passing judgement just making an observation, I am not saying animated films should be considered in these categories either or have these categories of their own. 

 

I think what I am trying to say is that there are many aspects of film making that transcend the technical aspects of making a movie. They can be applied universally from live action to stop motion and animation tradional or cg and they are what make movies an art form beyond just entertainment. Many of them however are only ever acknowledged for live action movies.


Edited by David Hessel, 02 March 2016 - 11:56 AM.

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#19 Ari Michael Leeds

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Posted 02 March 2016 - 11:51 AM

"I am not saying animated films should be considered in these categories either or have these categories of their own."

"Potentially an animated film could have outstanding cinematography, better than any film that year and be completely uacknowledged[sic] for it."

You say you aren't doing one thing when, two sentences prior, you do that very thing that you say you are not doing.

You bring up a hypothetical situation, when an actual situation, Avatar, a 70% CG-animated (with no live action components) film won best cinematography in an actual situation.  I would be just as angry if "Tron" had won cinematography's highest nod.


This is not about computers.  This is about statements and whether or not those statements are supported by fact.  You repeatedly make statements that are not, in fact, backed up by fact.


You've baited me out of silence again.  Bravo.  I have nothing more to say.  You are talking out both sides of your mouth, within the same paragraph, and it's clear specific instances, films, and analogies that I have provided for you in depth are going in the one ear, out the other.



Animation and live-action cinematography are not the same thing. 

Write 100,000 words of refutation, and it still will not change this very simple, very concrete statement's truth.


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#20 David Hessel

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Posted 02 March 2016 - 12:52 PM

"I am not saying animated films should be considered in these categories either or have these categories of their own."

"Potentially an animated film could have outstanding cinematography, better than any film that year and be completely uacknowledged[sic] for it."

You say you aren't doing one thing when, two sentences prior, you do that very thing that you say you are not doing.
 

 

I am not saying they should be considered in these categories just pointing out this potential situation. I am not saying it is right or wrong just putting it out there as food for thought.

 

 

You bring up a hypothetical situation, when an actual situation, Avatar, a 70% CG-animated (with no live action components) film won best cinematography in an actual situation.  I would be just as angry if "Tron" had won cinematography's highest nod.

 

Sorry I am not sure if I consider Avatar to be an animated movie or not. Since they went through so much effort to capture as much as they could from actors performances to camera motion. I can see the argument that it is but could also see an argument that it is not. For me it is a hybrid movie that I am not sure how I would classify it.

 

 

This is not about computers.  This is about statements and whether or not those statements are supported by fact.  You repeatedly make statements that are not, in fact, backed up by fact.

 

I am not sure what statements you are refering to, I feel I have been pretty clear that these are my opinions.  I conceeded when you said that "Cinematography is taking pictures in a sequence." that animation cannot have cinematography. Upon reading the actual definition of cinematography that it can be just the art of motion picture photography and posed the question can that art be applied to animated movies. Again not a statement or declaration that it can be.

 

 

You've baited me out of silence again.  Bravo.  I have nothing more to say.  You are talking out both sides of your mouth, within the same paragraph, and it's clear specific instances, films, and analogies that I have provided for you in depth are going in the one ear, out the other.



Animation and live-action cinematography are not the same thing. 

Write 100,000 words of refutation, and it still will not change this very simple, very concrete statement's truth.

 

 

Seems like you are getting pretty hostile about this, I feel I have been pretty respectful in the way I have been continuing the discussion. Maybe it offends you in some way, if so I am sorry that is not my intention by any means. You have made up your mind and your stance quite clear so by all means refrain from posting on the subject anymore. 


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