one aspect is composition, which applies to photography in general. the other is how such composition helps to tell a better story or create an overall aesthetic. most people focus on the latter when thinking about cinematography, which they then attribute to the director. that's why you hear so many people hailing wes anderson, kubrick, etc. instead of sven nykvist, roger deakins, etc.
4/10 made me reply.
Many people wrongly think good cinematography is beautiful cinematography, but this is not in fact the case.
Good cinematography is cinematography that conveys the story or the emotion of a scene/film properly. That means it may be beautiful (Days of Heaven) or not (Dancer in the Dark is the first thing that came to mind). It can be smooth (Goodfellas) or gritty (Irreversible) and still work because it is in tune with the rest of the film and the script in particular.
Examples of beautiful cinematography that has little bearing on the movie include: The Fall, Northfork, arguably The Master and others.
I disagree with The Master, the use of wide lenses with large aperture is similar to the style of photography of that time (or at least how we see it from today) which adds to the overall look of the film.
However I do agree on how people wrongly assimilate "beautiful" with "good". I think another reason is the use of locations. A film like Badlands is considered to have beautiful cinematography, but I think it's just a convenient use of location and setting (lots of shots at sunrise/sunset) which inherently make the film "beautiful".
So taking advantage of a good landscape is bad now? Even capturing a nice scene can be good cinematography because plenty of directors aren't even capable of that. Ask 10 directors to film a sunset and you'll get 10 different scenes
>which adds to the overall look of the film.
This is the problematic part. The cinematography adds to the look, but what does the look add besides itself?
If you think it's enought that it makes that world more believable, i'll give you that. but to me it's not neough
Badlands is a bad example, as the landscape is a character as much as the characters themselves, so depicting it the way Malick does serves as a kind of counterpoint to the action (he does this in The Thin Red Line as well).
I see nothing wrong in using locations to enhance cinematography as long as there's a reason behind it other than 'it's pretty'.
RULE OF THIRDS BUDDY
WATCH A MASTER IN ACTION, THIS WOULD LITERALLY BE A THROWAWAY SHOT FROM ANYONE ELSE
BUT NOT THE DEAKSTER
>FBI IN THE LIGHT CROWN VIC, CIA IN THE DARK SUBURBANS
THIS WAS THE LAST TIME THEY SPOKE AS FRIENDS
ITS SO DENSE, LIKE POETRY
composition, the way things are set up
proper use of long, medium and close up shots
proper use of color that fits the mood that movie is trying to convey
good staging and spacial awareness, do have no problem understanding where things are? are the characters moving from one place to another confusing?
knowing how to convey emotions, moods, settings, themes, etc.. trough camera work. For example in Birdman there's a lot of long shots, the camera often follows the character's backs, and the sets are very small. This creates an immersive feeling and it feels like you're following the characters around in a claustrophobic spaces.
For some very very basic but good cinematography watch Pocahontas and see the use of color, the way the shots are set up and the use of backgrounds.
If it reveals something about the characters or themes. For instance in Mr Robot during conversations characters are shot like this, with lots of space behind them. You almost never see two characters faces at the same time when they're talking together. Does it represent that people are in their own world? Does it show that there's something going on behind their face, ie their mind? Up to interpretation. Either way Mr. Robot was pretty innovative cinematography, I'd say its good.
>STILL THIS MAD YOUR SHIT FLICK ISN'T MOVIE OF THE YEAR
LMAO STAY BUTTHURT
No one said it's bad (>>64549995) it just doesn't directly count as cinematography.
Cinematography is the visual means of telling a story. In it's purest sense it means how and where the characters are placed, framed, and filmed in relation to each other and its surroundings. In an ideal example, the camera moves as the characters relate to each other and as the story progresses.
What I mean is that a landscape may help to amplify the mood of the film, but it doesn't necessarily tell a story by itself. Most landscape shots come inbetween pivotal scenes, and in that case the one doing a great job is the editor, not the cinematographer.
Well it also adds to the immersion. The word "look" is too generic, so my fault there. You can have a perfectly framed scene with poor set design, and once that snaps you out of the movie, you've done a bad job.
You're looking too much into it. I'm not analysing Badlands, i'm talking about films that persistently use landscapes as a backdrop. Even for the sake of argument, judging the landscape as a character means you'd criticise it by different standards, i.e. not photographic standards.
For me there does always need to be a reason. If it's a director's style is to do that, I would classify it as 'style over substance', that's what it is for me.
Let me give you an example of a scene: a man and a woman are sitting at the table and the woman is about to tell the man she is pregnant with his child.
Good cinematography for me in this scene is capturing the relationship between the two of them, her emotion when sharing this information, his reaction on hearing about it and perhaps how their relationship has changed after this exchange.
You can shoot this is a very standard way - master shot, close-up, close-up, master shot but slightly different. This would be workmanlike cinematography. But you can shoot it in other ways while expressing those same feelings though, and any good director will find a way to make it both dramatically effecting and visually intriguing.
Now imagine if the camera just spins around the couple as they talk because that's 'the director's style'. I'm only seeing the director's style, not the scene. Tarantino is often guilty of this, but many others are too, including PTA and Refn at times in my opinion.
A director's style should not take over the script is what I'm saying.
To me it's just about being aesthetically pleasing while also maintaining a consistent tone of what the film world is supposed to look like.
Once you commit to a certain visual tone it has to be sustained through each and every frame of the film.
They overused that framing to the point it called attention to itself too much
I don't know if i agree with you 100% on that satan. Some of the same rules apply but its got more heaped onto it because its the gross collection of images that cinematography represents.
> i'm talking about films that persistently use landscapes as a backdrop
Do you mean that this is a problem? That they fall back on beautiful landscape too much and for no reason?
If that's the case, on a critical level I agree that films shouldn't need to do that and some of the best films that I know look very 'bland', but on a...i don't know how to put it, on a human interest level I understand why a viewer will equate an exotic setting or a never-before-seen vista with quality. There's 'natural interest' in that, which is why I find it difficult to watch movies shot in my home town and take them seriously, they look like 'home movies' to some extent.
Anything to do with lenses id say falls into the category of cinematography or photography. Unlike what this anon believes >>64550680
Because it directly affects the image you're seeing. I'd say it's the same as Christopher Doyle or somebody putting thin layers of colored plastic over the lenses to give a certain sheen to the film like what he did with Fallen Angels
A lot of both of those comes down to decisions made by the cinematographer though.
Especially 'consistent tone' as that is influenced so so much by lighting choices (for example, any film noir: production design could be whatever, the tone is maintained through lighting to a large degree).
Right, two of many facets of production that a director and cinematographer have to closely collaborate with to the point where it all becomes the same thing. It's all for the sake of what kind of images you want to produce.
>pretty innovative cinematography
Maybe for a TV show
Im blaming the director because he is responsible for what happens in the scene while cinematography is mainly concerned with capturing that.
It could be the DPs call but ive never seen a cameraman get his lense dirty on purpose.
It's unfair to blame either the dp or the director. At the end of the day there are many discussions between the two during preproduction as to what the look of the film will be, and this might include water on the lens or using lens flares and so on.
If anything I would 'blame' it on the director finally, as he will always have the last say in such a matter, since the camera is essentially breaking the 4th wall at that point.
The rules of composition still apply, and that comes from photography. Again, the rest comes to how you use the framing to further tell the story. That is, to go from le rule of thirds photography to actual visual storytelling.
>ive never seen a cameraman get his lense dirty on purpose.
Not to get into an argument, but this is patently untrue. Since the invention of cinema dp's have put stuff on the lens to get various effects, for example:
- the classic vaseline, to soften the image a lot (see Dreyer's 'Vampyr')
- fishnet stockings (changes the look of highlights; also achieved with fishing wire)
- filters of all kinds (neutral density, colored, polarized, fog filters, contrast, softening and so on)
- bits of plastic or semi-transparent bags (see the guy mentioning Chris Doyle above).
It's common practice because many dp's find lenses to be way too sharp, especially these days.
So people are really hating on Deakins now? Who do you think you're impressing? What the fuck is with the contrarian attitude here, it's not like he's some new hotshot getting unwarranted praise, the man has been around for decades and is responsible for most of the recent movies that get praised here (NCFOM, TAOJJ, Jarhead, etc.)
I bet you faggots only know him from Villeneuve's work alone.
>mfw someone posts a motionless image and claims it is good cinemapgraphy
Uh... what? A good still photo is good photography. Cinematography is more about the motion of the camera than what it is recording
We were talking about wall-breaking effects, though. Like in the new movie Creed, blood gets on the camera after a punch. That's different from filming the whole thing with a substance on the lens
I once read somewhere that, since symmetry is sort of unnatural, it can help in adding a layer of unreality to a scene.
Two opposite, yet equally effective examples are Stanley Kubrick and his gay reincarnation Wes Anderson.
Kubrick used symmetry in The Shining to make the hotel seem unnatural, while Anderson used it to make the Grand Budapest Hotel seem playful and colorful.
yea it was p.cool I'd never seen framing like that on a tv show, however it was a bit overused but maybe it was just part of the aesthetic at first and they had to keep doing it to be visually consistent.
I'm not a hater as such, but here's what I personally don't like about him: he doesn't seem to push himself to try new things recently, his own style seems to take over every film he works on.
Some people praise this in a kind of auteur-theory for dp's way. But the cinematographer's job is to mold himself to the project, not mold the project to himself.
Deakins is able to create amazing images (most recently the neon sign fight scene in Skyfall - haven't seen Sicario yet), but I feel like he often chooses projects that fit his style, that he can do fairly easily.
Here's a counter example to make my point clearer, I'll list a number of films:
- Let the Right One In
- Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy
These are all DP'd by one guy, Hoyte van Hoytema. The reason I appreciate him so much is that they are all in different genres, have different moods, different pacing and a very different look, yet they all look very good, even though I don't like all of them as films.
Deakins doesn't seem to challenge himself that way, he applies a similar style to most of the films he works on and, to me at least, it can get tiring.
No, I don't think it's a problem at all. I just think it counts more as good photography, not good cinematography. Cinematography happens when that beautiful backdrop helps to visualise something about the characters in a particular scene — visual storytelling.
I agree with what you say though, a beautiful setting may not say much about a character, or even be in the same scene, but it adds to the credibility. That exotic world suddenly becomes more real, making the story more real. Where do you live anon?
Cinematography is lighting and composition as well as movement, and I would say movement is the lesser of the three, cameras don't really move around that much.
Go wash an Akira Kurasowa (so) film like the seven samurai. It is like, film 101 for telling a story through movement and cinematography.
...and when they do, it's usually between purposefully composed camera angles, from point A to point B, to point C, so to speak
The most designed the movement of the camera in a scene comes when you have films like Saving Private Ryan where Spielberg didn't really tell them what to do, just shoot what felt right. In that way it became like reportage
>posts a picture of Six String Samurai
Fuck are you doing nigger
That being said I'm gonna try and watch Seven Samurai today. One of my resolutions was to watch more/better films, so there I go.
This is bad judgement anon. What you're seeing in the image is not only what's technically good photography, it's also the location, set design, production design, etc. But as the other anon said, if there is someone to blame for the sum of its parts it would be the director.
I think what people are drawn to when they think of 'good cinematography' is something ordinary filmed/shot/framed in an unconventional way.
'good' cinematography doesn't really matter, it can be stark, it can be pretty whatever - but there's certainly no criteria to meet that would make something 'good cinematography'.
No, both of those come from the director. Although "aesthetically pleasing" could very well be a well framed shot, which is a DPs job. Film noir is an exception because the lighting IS the look and tone. Consistent tone also comes down to sound design and editing.
>cameras don't really move around that much.
What? They do move if they need to move, and it doesn't always need to be 'composed'. See: John Cassavettes movies, and the usual cinematography of Haskell Wexler.
I didn't say it was good photography.
I'm saying that anything involving the camera or lenses is literally the sole responsibility of the DP. He may be under direction but it's still his field of expertise and it's his job to craft scenes and images that the director will eventually approve of. The director only has a vague image in his head of what he wants something to look like. It's the job of the photographer to bring this vision to life in any way he knows how.
I'm afraid this isn't true, I'll explain why.
Most directors don't actually know much about lights or lighting styles, this is why the DP and the Gaffer exist. The director might say 'i want this mood', but usually he won't come in and actually say 'I want a 5k bounced off a silver poly here, I want 2 small lights hitting that wall, I want...'. It's absolutely the DP's job to understand every scene in the script and light accordingly.
Then you say:
>"aesthetically pleasing" could very well be a well framed shot, which is a DPs job
If anything I would say most directors are more away of composition than lighting, so a well framed shot could come from either. It's a collaborative process and often it might be the camera operator's job to frame (especially in the film days, less so now).
> the camera or lenses is literally the sole responsibility of the DP
Nothing is the SOLE responsibility of anyone when making a film, it's a collaborative process. This is especially true of camera stuff, as many directors specifically have a hand in what lenses they want to use. For example, Luc Besson and Roman Polanski were specifically the ones who asked for wide angle lenses for most of their shoots. Kubrick too had very clear knowledge of the technical side of film making.
All directors and thus all dp's work differently and influence the production in different degrees from project to project. It's a constant back and forth.
Yes but still the case of someone with a different creative process, it's still not really his job to create the images themselves. He decides what they are, but his team of experts are the ones that bring it to life
>They do move if they need to move
And many times they don't, so bringing up the motion of the camera is irrelevant. The "kinema" (movement) in the word cinematography refers to the moving pictures within the frame, not the actual movement of the camera itself.
I agree, but not all the things you mention are things the DP is in charge of. "I want this mood" is something a DP could accomplish visually, however the end-result comes with the help of a set designer, a good location, a fitting soundtrack, etc. And yes, it's a collaborative job in general. No one works by themselves.
Same goes to >>64551477
>it's his job to craft scenes and images that the director will eventually approve of
The DP doesn't leave his post to tell the makeup artist he thinks the eye-liner should be red instead of black, see what i'm saying?
Being the director means keeping the production in line, maintaining a vision through all aspects of the creation process and overall just being a dictator for what happens on set each and every day. Like this anon said >>64551628 some directors are much more hands on with the technical stuff but most of the time he comes to his team with the ideas and he leaves it to the experts to build it in his image.
It was the only samurai picture I had handy.
But yeah there are a lot of great shots in those films that use movement to frame the scene that tell a story, you can capture a lot of different emotion in a scene with the way the camera moves or the elements of a shot that are still studied today.
I think it has a lot to do with Kurosawa being heavily involved in the editing process too.
Old Hitchcock and Kubrick films have some good cinematography elements that do a lot to set the mood for suspense as well.
Do you ever watch random older films and fall in love with a kind of aesthetics and then realize the same DP is often involved?
I always felt Year of the Dragon's most striking shots had a Mann vibe, with that lovely blue & black silouhette, then realized Alex Thomson shot The Keep. Then Mann reused a very similar shot in Manhunter.
Then I looked up what else he had done. Worked again with Cimino, worked with Scott on Legend, one of his most visual films, then Fincher on his debut.
Mann and Fincher's first DP, unknown name but helped defining two of the most visual filmmakers' aesthetics, and also very iconic of the 80's blue/gold aesthetics.
some anon posted a link to some good youtube videos the other day explaining this shit, but i was drunk and lost it.
if someone would be cool and post it, i'd much appreciate it. still drunk tho
involmenet in the camera movement... such as the camera *"Shake*2ing effect for fight scene, a shot on face for reaction charactere etc... ismple stuff if you break it down to stuff likes now quentin tarantino... avengers... its all
This was a good story, very nice. I want to watch Manhunter now.
It was probably Tony Zhou, search for Every Frame A Painting.
Pretty good introduction to how this stuff works.
Manhunter, shot by Dante Spinotti (who then shot Heat, further iconizing Mann's "blue" style)
Also made a mistake, Thief was Mann's first but still.
When I see this, I wonder to what extent that iconic Keep shot is a Mann shot or a Thomson shot?
They both reused a similar aesthetics, while working with others. It's interesting to think about.