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#1 Brad Grimmett

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Posted 02 November 2005 - 05:32 PM

I saw this film last week at a special Local 600 screening with a Q&A at the end with Robert Elswit, George Clooney, and Grant Heslov. I liked the film and really liked the look. It was shot on 5218 and had a D.I. applied, where they pulled the color out. Elswit talked about his reasoning for shooting color negative instead of B&W and he said that the B&W stocks that are available were too slow.
I was very surprised by the amount of zooming in this film as there is quite a lot. I wanted to ask Clooney and Elswit about the reasoning behind this during the Q&A, but didn't get my question in quick enough.
Some of the shots in this film reminded me a lot of Harris Savides' recent work in Gerry and Elephant. Of course in GNAGL the shots don't last as long as they did in Gerry or Elephant, but there were some instances such as over the shouler steadicam shots and shots that start out of focus and a character comes into focus that really made me think Elswit may have been inspired somewhat by some of Savides' work. Although I may be speaking too soon about that as Elswit did some similar types of shots in Punch Drunk Love and Magnolia.
I'm interested to hear what others think of this film.
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#2 Patrick Neary

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Posted 03 November 2005 - 11:37 AM

Hey-

Did Mr. Elswit talk at all about his visual references for the film? I thought they did a brilliant job (in production design also) of just saturating the movie with that 50's "cold-war" look, right from frame one.

It was great B&W shooting, I did kind of miss seeing those donut ring-hilights around light sources, though...
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#3 Brad Grimmett

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Posted 03 November 2005 - 07:05 PM

Hey-

Did Mr. Elswit talk at all about his visual references for the film? I thought they did a brilliant job (in production design also) of just saturating the movie with that 50's "cold-war" look, right from frame one.

It was great B&W shooting, I did kind of miss seeing those donut ring-hilights around light sources, though...

He didn't talk about visual references. If he did I think he would have talked about the use of zooms, which I wish he had.
I didn't miss those highlights. I thought it was a very original look for B&W. It was very clean. I think they said that none of the male actors in the film wore any makeup, which I found very interesting. No filtration in camera either. I think they used a bit sparingly in the D.I. suite to clean up a few things.
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#4 Mike Lary

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Posted 04 November 2005 - 03:02 AM

I caught a screening at the Savannah Film Festival and I thought it was excellent. The cinematography was really good, and the acting was top notch. Frequent use of close-ups allowed for subtle facial expressions to provide the audience with unspoken information, often to comedic affect. The camera felt alive, which was essential because most of the film was shot inside the tv studio. The out of focus affect you describe worked remarkably well to keep us from feeling claustrophobic within those familiar walls.

A funny side note - I heard that some audiences were complaining that McCarthy was overacting (the shots were actual footage of the man).

All in all, I think they did a bang up job with this film. I'm looking forward to seeing it again.
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#5 Brad Grimmett

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Posted 05 November 2005 - 09:10 PM

A funny side note - I heard that some audiences were complaining that McCarthy was overacting (the shots were actual footage of the man).

Clooney and Heslov talked about this a bit. They said that was a note they got from quite a few people at test screenings. Needless to say that made them very happy because they never could have gotten an actor to play McCarthy and be that over the top while still being believable. Better to just use the actual footage when you can't possibly top it!
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