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Awake In The Dark
What you're watching these days on the Big Screen and the Small Screen.


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Old December 12th, 2001, 10:58 PM   #1
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Traffic

I saw this on video last night and was wondering if anyone knows anything about it. I know it won a few awards, what for?

Was it shot on video, 16mm or 35mm or a combination?

Was it a big budget movie or another El Maraichi?

Did the camera movement bug anyone else or was it just me?
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Old December 13th, 2001, 02:12 AM   #2
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Another Soderburgh film. He just made Oceans 11. His first film was Sex, Lies, and Video Tape cut it on a Sony RM44 tape to tape machine (a machine that I have had not wonderful experience of using here at school a couple years ago). He is actually using a Canon Xl-1 on his next feature. I'm pretty sure Traffic had a decent budget but not huge and was made run and gun style. Oceans 11 was more thought out and not many decisions had to be made when post time came around. I dont think many films have the budget El Mariachi had since the budget for it was only around 7000 dollars.
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Old January 9th, 2002, 07:59 PM   #3
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I thought the camera movement was too hokey for words! It is a contrivance that does nothing to make the story move along. If I want to watch Jittercam footage I'll tune into America's "Funniest" Home Videos...but not anytime soon!
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Old January 16th, 2002, 08:04 PM   #4
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If you wanna watch jittercam watch blair witch, talk about making you sick.
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Old January 17th, 2002, 11:51 AM   #5
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True! I can't believe people actually paid money to see that piece of $**t Blair Wich Project...
BTW, "Scary Movie" did a real funny send-up of it (and of an armload of other movies) with the "I'm so scared" tent scene. Low-brow humor admittedly, but that river of snot made me roar.

Soderburgh really has been all over the place in terms of cinematic style, production, etc. Can't say he is stuck in a rut.
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Old January 19th, 2002, 06:00 PM   #6
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Agreed I cant wait to see what his next project looks like since its going to be done with the XL-1.
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Old January 20th, 2002, 09:40 AM   #7
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You guys sound completely against "jittercam" footage. I think it definitely has its place.

I recently watched "Behind Enemy Lines" and really liked the mixture of fixed or smooth steadicam shooting vs. unsteady handheld. The jittery movement as the camera follows the lead character while he's on the run and dodging bullets helps to add to the tension.

Like all things in life...it's a question of balance. Don't overdo it.

P.S. Have you considered the fact that Blair Witch was so low budget that they couldn't afford expensive dollies, tracks, steadicams, crew, etc. so they went with what they had and worked it in as "style." That's using your noggin, if you ask me. As Teddy Roosevelt said, "Do what you can with what you have where you are." They did...and it paid off.
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Old January 21st, 2002, 10:27 AM   #8
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Actually, I was more put off by the fact that the movie (Blair) said nothing, and tried to pass off the schlock as part of the style.
I would agree with zchildress: "It's a question of balance" to whicih I would add it's also a question of motivation. Why do we use a certain effect? (if indeed it is an effect and not a defect) We can certainly accept camera motion associated with someone running for his life, and we have all seen war footage and news coverage of emergency events (like 9/11/01) where the shake is perfectly credible. Then we cut back to lockdown shots or slow pans for the stationary scenes.

As for steadicams, dollies, etc. I would submit that the vast majority of live news coverage is shot off the shoulder without use of such devices and exhibits negligible shake, even in some pretty severe "run & gun" situations. I guess that's a credit to the "handy-looky" operators. I never use a steadicam, although I guess you could say I use a dolly cuz I strap the wheels on my tripod whenever it is practical, but my total investment in that gear is less than a day's pay.

I wonder if some movie makers are less influenced by Teddy Roosevelt than PT Barnum (one born every minute?)

That's my opinion and you're entitled to it. :-)
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Old January 21st, 2002, 11:26 AM   #9
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When it comes to movies, I'm definitely a "glass is half full" person. I'm unable to unequivocally slam any movie. That's because even those movies that the critics tear apart mercilessly have elements that I like and can learn from. Don't like the story? What about the actors? What about ONE of the actors? What about the lighting? Or the sound? Or the location?

I'm one of those people who actually sits through the credits AND actually reads them. I've always thought that someday I might get a chance to contribute some little part to a major release (Caterer? Second Asst. to the guy who gets the coffee)...and wouldn't it be nice if someone, somewhere noted my name in the credits? Figure they deserve someone sitting for a couple of minutes and reading their names for their efforts.

I can also respect a well thought out plan...and you have to admit that the Blair Witch people had one. Their "teaser-style" web site, along with creating the illusion that the soon-to-be released movie was based on actual happenings absolutely contributed to their success. It turned a movie release into a highly anticipated sensation.

Anyway, doesn't it seem a bit catty to sit here, without millions of dollars and recognition for something we've made, and poo-poo people who are sitting there, WITH millions of dollars and recognition for something they've made?

I'll never begrudge anyone having the balls to just get out there and give it their best shot...and then succeeding beyond their wildest dreams. More power to them. Regardless of whether they dot all the "i's" and cross all the "t's" according to the purists.

Thank God for those types that P.T. Barnum say are born every minute since their lack of cynicism, their openness to new things (since they haven't learned NOT to do something, or that something isn't cool), and their point blank sincerity offset the negativity that is so prevalent.
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Old January 21st, 2002, 12:51 PM   #10
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Well, amen to the part about having the ba11s to go out and give it their best shot...that's what got me where I am and I'm sure lots of us too. As long as we don't expect everyone to like what we do...such as curmudgeons like me and drewid making remarks. I'm sure some people slam some of my work...out of earshot, of course.

BTW, a corporate videomaker like myself hardly would consider himself a "purist" especially when working with zero budget, zero crew, untrained talent, etc.

You are right that that created the illusion...it was a marketing triumph and they sure sold the sizzle over the steak.

Anyway, 'nuff talk about Blair from me...actually I paid less attention to that than something like "The Tao of Steve," another independent, low budget flick which I actually both learned something from and enjoyed (might have something to do with the fact that it had a script....meeoww!)

I too thank the lord for the "suckers" which are born every minute, who have allowed me the opportunity to run my cockamamie ideas--some of which have come up with some sweet results.

Actually, with a name as common as Butler, I do often see it in the credits, which just like you I read from stem to stern. Quick, who was the Armorer in Ocean's Eleven?
:-)
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Old January 21st, 2002, 01:03 PM   #11
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Your the second person I've heard talk about "The Tao of Steve" recently. Wish I could get my hands on it.

I miss out on so many movies over here...someday when I return to the States I'll have to just take a room in the back of a Blockbuster my first year and try to catch up.

Ocean's 11? Heck...that won't get over here for another six months!

Anyway...here's to balls and cockamamie ideas (Geez...with the enthusiasm and chutzpa I see here... we oughta just get everyone on this community board to meet at a central location for a couple of weeks and gang-film/edit a movie)
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Old January 21st, 2002, 01:39 PM   #12
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Z,
just a suggestion, I purchased my DVD of "Tao" on Half.com....and then sold it there after viewing many times. I couldn't tell you if the seller will ship to Korea, but if you have the chutzpah to ask'em... :-)
Or even try eBay. I see it around from time to time, at least in VHS.

It's a funky, cute movie, a lot of fun for sure...of course, tell me if at the end of the day the character holds true to the "Steveness" he so effectively preaches or becomes an AFC. But maybe that's a topic not for here but for the Speed Seduction forum! (smile)
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Old January 21st, 2002, 02:07 PM   #13
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Man! Don't remind me of my DVD woes! Whoever the genius was that thought up the regional coding system for DVDs should be strung from the highest tree. Does it stop pirating? Are you kidding? "Harry Potter" was being sold here a couple of weeks BEFORE its premiere showing (I refuse to indulge).

So what does it accomplish? It prevents people who move to different countries from buying DVDs since they'll be useless when we return home (unless, that is, we want to own a DVD player for every region).

But I might just try to round up a copy on VHS.

Hate to show I'm behind the times...but..."AFC"?
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Old January 21st, 2002, 02:41 PM   #14
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Sorry 'bout the jargon:

AFC=Average Frustrated Chump. The kind of guy who kisses @$$ on chycks and puts up with their games. The "nice guy" who never gets any. The one who always hears "LJBF" (let's just be friends) The kind of guy society brainwashes us to be, the kind of guy our mama taught to "respect" women by disrespecting (denying) their sexual persona. The kind of guy who winds up being the girl's girlfriend and not her boyfriend. The guy who grovels in self-pity and begs her to take him back when she no longer wants to date him (if he ever does get to that stage). Harsh? Life is harsh.

Yes I know, kind of off-topic.

But since we are talking about movies, this goes to the myth perpetuated by the chyck-flicks about the guy who hands out flowers on the first date, etc. I'm not saying to be mean to a woman, but to recognize that they will never respect a man who behaves like that, let alone be attracted or aroused by him. Now watch, some feminazi is going to go and flame the heck out of me! That's OK, I have heard it all before (save your time, "Rules" girls)

I know what you mean bout these stupid "regions"--have you tried any of these multi-region players I sometimes see for sale on eBay? (Hey look at me! I got back on topic!)
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Old January 21st, 2002, 04:08 PM   #15
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Yea the region thing def sucks. But what about the portable DVD players. There you go, your region 1 player you can carry all over the world =D ...that is to say if you can even stand looking at an image that is just a little larger than what you see in your viewfinder.
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