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What happened to look of movies


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#1 fatih yıkar

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Posted 20 May 2017 - 07:23 PM

Hi firstly sorry my english is not my main languages. Im not expert about cinematography, but I have been searching for the last 3 years and couldn't find the satisfied answer for my question...

İ watch movies from 40s 50s 60s 70s 80s especially 90s. I start to notice that  films are starting to look worse every year(personal opinion)..I first started to notice it in early 2000s and then began to pay more attention in 2005 and then in 2010

 

I watched 70 movies from 2016 and they all look alike, even movies shot on film. Of course they are not exactly the same but only difference look color grading and correction

I thought the first problem was a digital revolution, but it start 2000s  and  nowadays even the movies shot on film still looks digital and bad to me..

 

Okay Technology develops and look of movies are changing but don’t you think it goes bad?

Digital is one problem but what about the film?

So whats the main problem?  Cant be camera, lighting, lenses because all texture so much different.

Film stock, telecine i guess but  What are your ideas?

 

Maybe compressed pictures not shown exactly what i meant

in 70s we got this ( i chooce movies randomly) 70s-min.jpg

80s 80s-min.jpg

90s My favourite 90s-min-min.jpg

2000s here's things going bad but not too much  2000s-min-min.jpg


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#2 George Ebersole

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Posted 20 May 2017 - 07:29 PM

What specifically do you think is bad?  The framing?  The lighting?  The composition?


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#3 fatih yıkar

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Posted 20 May 2017 - 07:31 PM

There's some kind of conversation (http://www.cinematog...showtopic=45742)

 

Movies shot on film but look bad and digital for me  when i compare 80s 90s and early 00s 2017-min-min.jpg

 

and oscar nominees they all look same digital looking  oscar 17-16-min.jpg

 

another example dazed and confused 1992 and everbody wants some 2016 (how can i  like this movie when looking like that)Dazed and Confused 92-min.jpg


Edited by fatih yıkar, 20 May 2017 - 07:39 PM.

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#4 fatih yıkar

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Posted 20 May 2017 - 07:57 PM

What specifically do you think is bad?  The framing?  The lighting?  The composition?

 

No no nothing about frame light or composition, I mean its just about feeling whole image texture,emotion,natural colors, cinematic looking like when you look motion you feel you over there inside the picture, you feel close the movie, its nothing about  nostalgic feeling believe me 

Nowadays movies look like so artificial, Unpleasant,uncomfortable problem is not just digital 

 

Another example 90s teen movies just look color,motion,relaxing,sense of reality, hard to describe with words  90s teen-min-min.jpg


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#5 Macks Fiiod

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Posted 20 May 2017 - 07:58 PM

I'm having trouble grasping what you're looking for. Yeah the "film" look on newer home releases may come off a tad more digital from post correction to remove grain etc, but I wouldn't say looking like film has absolute good or bad properties (unless we're getting into highlight clipping or something).

 

When making these assessments, it's always important to stop and check yourself of being overly retroactive. There were good and bad DPs in the 70s, and there are good and bad DPs now.


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#6 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 20 May 2017 - 09:05 PM

Not sure I understand -- "The Hateful Eight" for example was shot on 65mm film and finished on film, no digital intermediate. "The Force Awakens" was shot on 35mm using classic Panavision anamorphic lenses as was "La La Land", I didn't see anything "digital" about their appearance.  They looked quite good while also having a traditional film look.

 

Tastes have changed over time, the color schemes are different, older movies mixed colors in set design and costume that would be done differently today just as most of us don't dress like we did in the 1980's.

 

Due to slower stocks and working within the contrast of print stock without the benefits of digital color-correction, older movies tend to be more "lit" even if to recreate a natural soft-lit situation.  But that's also true for "The Hateful Eight".  I look at a lot of 80's and 90's movies and I am very aware that rooms are being lit artificially, even on a crime drama -- if anything it seems you can find more 70's movies that feel less artificially lit despite the slower film stocks of the time.

 

There are always changes over time because nothing stays the same, from taste to technology.  But to describe all modern movies as being unpleasant to look at, whether shot on film or digital, or finished to film with no digital post, seems like hyperbole.


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#7 George Ebersole

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Posted 20 May 2017 - 10:02 PM

Shot in the dark here; action films today (including scifi, superhero, fantasy) today appear to be shot with an emphasis on visual detail.  If you look at the latest Fast and the Furious film you'll note that you can pick out every detail in the image.  Rom-coms tend to have a softer or more traditional look, ditto with drama.  If you look at those same genres in previous decades they were all shot with an emphasis on artistic detail, and not so much tailoring the image to the target demographic.

 

 That is to say the Donner's 78 Superman film had an artistic bent to it.  It looks like much of the film was shot with a very light filter over the lens.  Compare that with today's superhero films, and it's all about exposition of the characters and environment, and not much trying to artistically tweak the image to make it look "award winning".  I think the idea being that that the target demographic for today's action films are aimed at an audience that isn't interested in aesthetic presentation but more the action and story.  Donner's film was shot like a traditional American drama that had elements of comedy and action.  Not so with something like the Spiderman films, or Thor or what have you.

 

"What's your Number" or "One for the Money", both female rom-coms with elements of action, don't look too different from something like "Foul Play" or "What's Up Doc", both shot in the 70s, also both female demographic rom-coms.

 

I'm not sure if that helps or not.  


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#8 Kyryll Sobolev

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Posted 20 May 2017 - 10:05 PM

i think 'rosy retrospection' may play a part in this, where you would judge older films less harshly than current films

when i watch some of the older movies, i notice things that would not be accepted on set today - odd camera shake, sloppy dolly moves, flares, etc.

 

but another part may be that earlier movies continually established the visual language which we use today.

and with today's audiences becoming more visually savvy, due to the staggering amount of content we watch, you could argue that the language is becoming 'stale' in a way.

but then again, something like 'gravity' or 'no country for old men' comes out, and they look astounding. or 'diving bell and butterfly' looks genius in the way it tells the story.


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#9 George Ebersole

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Posted 20 May 2017 - 11:15 PM

We do tend to cherry pick stuff we like from the past.  Pacing was also slower in previous decades for action films, so that might be a factor for the OP.


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#10 aapo lettinen

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Posted 20 May 2017 - 11:57 PM

the change you don't like maybe being the subjects being darker than before compared to background, sometimes flatter contrast, keys more top/frontal instead of side lighting and sometimes more neutral key? also digital color timing leading to artificial adjustments and sometimes more color contrast within frame. some people are distracted by the over use of power windows and gradients made possible by digital grading.

 

I personally dislike the around 2000 over-boosted DI color timing (hey we can correct every colour separately, let's boost them all to the clipping point to make a cartoon-vomit-like color explosion) with totally artificial  colours like green grass being neon green etc. 

The other one being around 2011 "let's leave the contrast all the way down to the log level so that the image is so dull you can hardly see the actors" style used in every movie and tv commercial then (some companies still use it for commercials, mostly the same ones still thinking that having dubstep as background music is a cool thing :P )


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#11 fatih yıkar

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Posted 21 May 2017 - 05:15 AM

Not sure I understand -- "The Hateful Eight" for example was shot on 65mm film and finished on film, no digital intermediate. "The Force Awakens" was shot on 35mm using classic Panavision anamorphic lenses as was "La La Land", I didn't see anything "digital" about their appearance.  They looked quite good while also having a traditional film look.

 

Tastes have changed over time, the color schemes are different, older movies mixed colors in set design and costume that would be done differently today just as most of us don't dress like we did in the 1980's.

 

Due to slower stocks and working within the contrast of print stock without the benefits of digital color-correction, older movies tend to be more "lit" even if to recreate a natural soft-lit situation.  But that's also true for "The Hateful Eight".  I look at a lot of 80's and 90's movies and I am very aware that rooms are being lit artificially, even on a crime drama -- if anything it seems you can find more 70's movies that feel less artificially lit despite the slower film stocks of the time.

 

There are always changes over time because nothing stays the same, from taste to technology.  But to describe all modern movies as being unpleasant to look at, whether shot on film or digital, or finished to film with no digital post, seems like hyperbole.

 

Thaks for answers David 

As i said before problem is not set design and costume thats why i put dazed and confused-everybody wants some comparison,both movies have same set design and costume (80s) but doesnt feel same, something doesnt right.(I got same feeling for new twin peaks and blade runner 2049 look)

 

(Completely personal thoughts) I think i love Exr film stock but some late 90s movies shot on first vision stock and they doesnt look so different 

And then i think problem Telecine-D.I  but lord of the rings trilogy doesnt look disturbing or numb..

Is there any comparasion video or pictures how much different film stock effects of movies look?

Or how much telecine-D.I has difference ?
 
If the problem film stock why kodak make film stocks much more look digital?
Why they doesnt produce old stock like Exr?   (Because vision3-vision2  look so digital,disturbing if you compare old movies..)
 
Things changes with kill bill and then after kill bill every movie start to looking much more digital (compressed pictures doesn't shows exaclty, if you look blu-rays you will see more obvious)
qt movies-min.jpg

Edited by fatih yıkar, 21 May 2017 - 05:23 AM.

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#12 fatih yıkar

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Posted 21 May 2017 - 06:00 AM

Another example from american pie all movies shot on 35mm 

1999-2001(a little more orange not big difference-2003(just after 2 years look so different so digital not the problem aspect ratio and year is only 2003 -2012 (Similar to the third)        

 

Please dont say they growing up  :) Movies looking so much different 

Attached Images

  • american pie -min.jpg
  • fef-min.jpg

Edited by fatih yıkar, 21 May 2017 - 06:06 AM.

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#13 Macks Fiiod

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Posted 21 May 2017 - 08:38 AM

The huge difference I'm picking up on between the two is the rim lights in the newer shots are far more pronounced. However this could purely be coincidental on the shots you happen to be picking to upload.

 

Both have their appeal for a given situation. All depends on what era you're in to.


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#14 Michael LaVoie

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Posted 21 May 2017 - 09:03 AM

I agree that 5293 was a great stock that helped to create some excellent looking films in the late 90's.   I think Leon used 5293.  Along with Braveheart.   You can try to mimic that look with digital but many newer filmmakers probably don't see the point.

 

To me what defines that look are the deep rich blacks and the true to life skin tones.  It's probably the most difficult hurtle for digital as well as for colorists at this point is to make skin tones look natural.    I see many digital features today that look as though they simply gave up during the grading and exported the log version of the film.  Everything is muted or given a monochromatic tint to compensate for whatever.  

 

It's hard to make this point without also making sweeping generalizations.  If there's a takeaway, I suppose it's that the "baseline" look of any movie before digital had at least a standard of skin tones looking natural, and true black in the image.  Colorists today feel a lot less inhibited to abandon that approach and go with whatever.


Edited by Michael LaVoie, 21 May 2017 - 09:06 AM.

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#15 Macks Fiiod

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Posted 21 May 2017 - 09:16 AM

  I see many digital features today that look as though they simply gave up during the grading and exported the log version of the film.  Everything is muted or given a monochromatic tint to compensate for whatever. 

 

Same for indie festival shorts. Very annoying when they don't try with all the digital tools available to them.


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#16 Michael Rodin

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Posted 21 May 2017 - 09:27 AM

There has been a prominent style change in cinematography, for sure. Yes it's inevitable as Mr Mullen said, styles always change; this time it's a less sophisticated, less artistic, lazier stylistic that we're shifting towards. You can see it more in cheap comedy or lo-fi drama movies, but it affected A-list pictures too - maybe because producers/directors have accepted it as a 'modern look'

 

I'm talking about how film lighting has changed, for example. It seems they forgot about fill light today. If it looks harsh to them, they diffuse their key 'till it's fixed -forgetting about the No1 most important thing - contrast. I just couldn't help noticing the sloppy attitude to contrast that comes with the "digital" mentality of "it's OK if it fits the dynamic range". You couldn't be so careless when limited with a very high gamma of print stock and no contrast/gamma control in color timing. And greatest DPs of the past were masters of contrast, they used their G&E arsenal to very subtly control tonal distribution in frame. You had to thing how dense everything's going to be on a print and carefully place every lit detail on your chosen stock's H&D curve. Quite similar to the zone system of still photographers. Actually, this approach is heritage of B&W era, connected to the established system of B&W "precision lighting" (Russian term, not sure about the English equivalent).

How many DPs can freely use precision lighting on B&W these days? It's close to a lost art. Not that I'm good at this art, and I don't suggest looking down on colleagues shooting the "modern" way - more like looking up at Yusov, Hall, Toland, Rerberg instead.

And sadly there isn't much to replace the "old school". The hyper-realist lighting style is temporary, as it plain sucks. You can't just imitate sunlight, at least because an eye doesn't have a H&D curve of film or a gamma curve of a video camera.

Then, production design generally tended to more harmonized color palettes with coarser, I'd say,  textures in the classic days. Combined with softer optics (more lens diffsion and less microcontrast in old lenses), it resulted in a detailed but not overloaded background.

Films used to be shot at generally higher light levels too, which gave more contrast control.


Edited by Michael Rodin, 21 May 2017 - 09:30 AM.

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#17 James Compton

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Posted 21 May 2017 - 11:59 AM

 There are several things that contribute to the answer that you seek. Visuals styles/aesthetic, technology and trends. Watch the movie 'BOYHOOD' (2014). It was shot by 2 cinematographers on 35mm film over the course of 12 years. The only noticeable visual change, was the change from Zeiss Super Speed lenses to Panavision Primo lenses and Kodak Vision3 5219 in the final segment of the story.


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#18 Alex Birrell

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Posted 21 May 2017 - 12:39 PM

Lack of contrast, digital grading leading to predominance of orange and blue, lack of red and pink skin tones and almost universal orange skin tones and lack of contrast between colours created by different colour temperature lighting are things that I really notice about contemporary cinematography since the digital revolution.

 

My favourite decade for films is the 80s - on a lot of films from this period, you see tungsten, daylight and fluorescent all existing as very separate, artful elements within a frame - so often now it seems like the foreground, background, backlight and fill are all the same colour (often orange - this colour seems to be so fashionable for exterior nights but it just makes me think of available light footage from TV news reports).

 

I think the higher ISOs in films now also lead to so much "overall" lighting - kind of like seeing vintage EPK interviews showing film sets with everything looking flatly lit vs seeing it nice and contrasty in the finished film. 


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#19 Satsuki Murashige

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Posted 21 May 2017 - 03:35 PM

I think there are many factors at work, several of which are brought up by the esteemed cinematographers interviewed here: http://cookeoptics.t...vs-digital.html

I think the main factor is the change in working process - Movie budget have gotten larger or smaller, fewer mid-level budget projects than before. Large budget projects tend to be more cinematography by committee. Studio execs, directors, colorists, and VFX supervisors have a very large say in how shots are put together, how sequences are reconstructed or reshot, and how the film is graded. Unless the DP has the star power of a Roger Deakins, Chivo Lubezki, or Bob Richardson, they are probably the lowest person on the totem pole in this arrangement. So it's probably hard to create and maintain a photographic authorial stamp on these productions. And the final product will only be as good as the weakest link.

At the low budget end, while you may have more creative freedom, you may not have enough money to do things they way in which you would like to do them. And also, with so many less-experienced people shooting these days, the quality overall may not be as good as it used to be.

Mid-budget productions used to be where the majority of experienced DPs would do their work and have enough budget and artistic control to finish the project the way they intended it to be seen. Not so much anymore.
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#20 George Ebersole

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Posted 21 May 2017 - 08:11 PM

I think there are many factors at work, several of which are brought up by the esteemed cinematographers interviewed here: http://cookeoptics.t...vs-digital.html

I think the main factor is the change in working process - Movie budget have gotten larger or smaller, fewer mid-level budget projects than before. Large budget projects tend to be more cinematography by committee. Studio execs, directors, colorists, and VFX supervisors have a very large say in how shots are put together, how are sequences reconstructed or reshot, and how he film is graded. Unless the DP has the star power of a Roger Deakins, Chivo Lubezki, or Bob Richardson, they are probably the lowest person on the totem pole in this arrangement. So it's probably hard to create and maintain a photographic authorial stamp on these productions. And the final product will only be as good as the weakest link.

At the low budget end, while you may have more creative freedom, you may not have enough money to do things they way in which you would like to do them. And also, with so many less-experienced people shooting these days, the quality overall may not be as good as it used to be.

Mid-budget productions used to be where the majority of experienced DPs would do their work and have enough budget and artistic control to finish the project the way they intended it to be seen. Not so much anymore.

 

Yeah, that's what I was trying to say with my Richard Donner "Superman" example.  A lot of visual artistry went into making that film, and it was not cranked through marketing team or a board of directors.  The creative forces were given a task, and so we get a superhero film that has a lot of classic shots in it mixed in with some action sequences.

 

Back to my Donner example, shot by Geoffrey Unsworth, we get some pretty dramatic shots.  A long shot followed by a close shot of Pa Kent suffering a heart attack; young Clark Kent standing in a cornfield, or even the shots of New York (Metropolis) have an artistic flare.  You don't see that kind of thing in today's superhero films because the target demographic is primarily kids, even though the film is marketed at dads, they wind up bringing the family to enjoy something they liked, ergo the idea is to make sure the film is visually easy to understand.  

 

At least that's for the big budget stuff.  When I was growing up you saw a lot of mid range budgeted features that looked pretty good in spite of not having soaring budgets.  You just don't see much of those anymore.  HD/digital TV has done to movies what TV in the 50s did to movies; sap a lot of talent, and put an emphasis on weekly marketable product that's fast to shoot.

 

I hope that helps.


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