A Filmmaking Blog | VashiVisuals Blog
Sometimes the composition of a static frame can overwhelm you. The power of a carefully crafted image can be staggering.The Polish film IDA was just nominated for the Best Cinematography Oscar by The Academy.
90% of the film is shot on a locked off tripod. With so many tools (dollies, sliders, cranes, drones, steadicams, Movis…) available to filmmakers, it is refreshing to experience a movie that chose so many exquisite and deliberate static frames to best tell the story.
Each new shot reveals something about the lead character. Emotions, state of mind and the story’s drama are expressed by the use of camera placement and lighting…not by spoken words. Do yourself a favor and track down this stunning film to experience the power of the static camera.
Here are 52 of my favorite shots from IDA (click image to enlarge)
Shot on Arri ALEXA in 1.33:1 aspect ratio with Zeiss Ultra Primes. In post production, the color footage was converted to black and white with Nucoda.
IDA recalls for me, the classic cinema of the 1940′s, evoking visual elements of both film noir and Italian Neo-realism.
3 minutes of IDA
Lighting diagram of kitchen scene
Learn more about the cinematography of IDA from the DPs
Until next time…
Cinematic insanity and Verdi’s Requiem (Dies irae) make MAD MAX: Fury Road one of the most viscerally assaulting and effective trailers I’ve ever seen.
Kudos to the editor and creative team that crafted this masterpiece.
Clear and understandable action with classically framed shots pushed to the limit using saturated colors…mixed with a sonic barrage of classical music elevates this trailer to bombastic heights. The pacing is also epic with a slow start and long dramatic shots which lead into a frantic second half that cascades shot after shot upon the viewer. It is controlled chaos…kinetic yet beautiful.
The trailer is 140 seconds long. (1.57 seconds per shot)
23 shots in the first 80 seconds. (3.48 seconds per shot)
66 in the final 54 seconds. (.82 seconds per shot)
This trailer achieves the rare feat of showing what looks like most of the major action scenes yet leaves the narrative untouched so the viewer still has the desire to go see the film. Tough to pull off but in my opinion they totally nailed it.
Coming to theaters Summer of 2015.
Until next time…
Sam O’Steen has edited some of the most memorable films in Cinema history. CHINATOWN, ROSEMARY’S BABY, THE GRADUATE and COOL HAND LUKE are just some of the classic films he crafted shot by shot. Both Sam and I follow the practice that there is a hierarchy of importance that should be followed when editing a film. A single, great edit that calls attention to itself, does not help tell the story. It calls attention to the film editor in a masturbatory way…LOOK AT ME! LOOK WHAT I DID! The invisible art of film editing must carry the audience on a journey for the length of the film like a leaf on the wind. It should feel effortless and not reveal the manipulations and decisions made shot by shot to achieve the final film.
The first week of November, director Laura Merians asked me to edit and color grade a music video. I had a week available in-between projects so I jumped in with both feet. 6 days later I finished post production and we put it on YouTube.
It had 26 million views in the first month. It struck a nerve with people all over the planet and went viral. Here is PENTATONIX’s ‘Mary Did You Know?’
THAT WHICH I LOVE DESTROYS ME is a documentary film focusing on PTSD that I edited for director Ric Roman Waugh. On October 25th 2014, The Austin Film Festival hosted the first public screening of the film. Read more…
With the release of GONE GIRL this weekend, many filmmakers and film fans want to learn more about David Fincher and his filmmaking style. His precision, artistry and impeccable style of storytelling is the result of decades of fine-tuning the filmmaking craft. He started his career at Industrial LIght and Magic (ILM) in 1983 and worked on Return of the Jedi and Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom. Enjoy my 1-Page Film School on PANIC ROOM.
Raiders of the Lost Ark is a glorious obsession of mine. I have watched it close to 100 times and always glean a new detail or filmmaking tidbit on each viewing. As a child I looked up to Indy, now as a filmmaker I look up to Spielberg. Raiders of the Lost Ark is a masterpiece that fires on all cylinders with equal parts: adventure, comedy, action, thriller, love story and the supernatural. I’ve scoured the internet for rare content and also created my own video essays in order to assemble this ’1-Page Film School’.
The included resources are: 17 embedded Videos and 9 downloadable PDFs. They are all compiled below to create a detailed and informative database showcasing Raiders of the Lost Ark’s intricate components. It covers: Directing, Film Editing, Cinematography, Screenwritiing, Sound Design and Music. It’s not something that can be consumed in one sitting…so take your time and chunk away when you can. Please enjoy my first ’1-Page Film School’ with its amazing insights into the Craft of Filmmaking!
Film Editing is much more than “cutting out all the bad parts” whilst sitting in a dark room pushing buttons. Here’s 4 thoughts on what it means to me…
The Film Editor
Until next time…
Adobe just revealed some of the newest features in the upcoming Premiere Pro CC 2014.1 (8.1 Update). They include many improvements to both the GUI and organizational options plus severe boosting of power under the hood. I’ve been lucky enough to have used this release on a couple professional jobs already and wanted to share some project screen grabs showing these updates in action!
In late 2013, David Rimawi (co-founder of The Asylum) told me that they were making Sharknado 2. I responded by telling him I was going to edit it. A very cocky answer indeed…but I really wanted to cut Sharknado 2…so I rolled the dice. I never brought it up again and 3 months later he called me and offered me the job. I accepted.
JAWS was the first film I ever saw. It was at a drive-in theater with my parents in the back of our convertible VW bug. The last 30 minutes, I hid in the backseat under a blanket…scared shitless. Since then I have been obsessed and petrified with sharks. Since beginning to edit film at the age of 13, I’ve always wanted to edit a shark movie. Well…I got my wish and would love to share the process of how I edited Sharknado 2 with you. Read more…