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Old January 26th, 2005, 11:02 PM   #1
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Film Analysis

Hi, I didn't know where else to post this, so I guess here is as good as anywhere. Anyway, does anyone know of a really good website that provides detailed analysis on movies? I'm not talking about critics that provide generalized commentary based on their personal thoughts. I'm looking for a site that analyzes particular lighting styles, directing techniques, etc of recent movies. Thanks in advance.

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Old January 26th, 2005, 11:31 PM   #2
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You mean in terms of community discussions? Shoot, we could do that right here, if there's enough interest.
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Old January 26th, 2005, 11:57 PM   #3
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Has anyone seen Wilbur Wants to Kill Himself? Ignoring other aspects of this film--writing, directing, etc. I'm wondering what they did with the lighting in that movie. In my honest opinion, it looked terrible. It appears that they used all natural lighting (although, certain scenes suggested otherwise). Anyway, I found out that they shot on a Sony 24p HD camera. The thing I'm wondering is, what exactly separates the image quality in this movie from say--Star Wars Episode 2. I can think of plenty of reasons on my own, but I'm just curious as to what other people think.

Matthew Overstreet

P.S. Off topic, but does anyone know what they use to shoot some of the HBO shows--Sex and the City, The Sopranos, etc. I'm just curious, I wasn't sure if it was film or HD, or neither.
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Old January 28th, 2005, 03:05 PM   #4
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Hi Matthew

I don't really think I am qualified to answer your question but on a similar theme I would guess it is the same reason why British productions never have the look or feel as American productions, especially the TV shows. I guess it is down to the film stock? I would guess that British TV shows are shot on a digital video camera and American shows are shot on film? but like I say I could be wrong. I think this is the main reason I am not really that keen on anything British, just doesn't seem glossy enough for me.

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Old January 28th, 2005, 03:14 PM   #5
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Hmm, interesting answer--but I think it is something more than just film stock. Afterall, Star Wars Episode 2 was not shot on film, yet, it still had a desirable look to it. They used a very similar camera to Wilbur Wants to Kill Himself, 24p HD Cam. I guess it really comes down to the lighting.

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Old January 28th, 2005, 03:15 PM   #6
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Hi
Not anything British? lol
My feelings are really hurt now.


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Old January 28th, 2005, 03:43 PM   #7
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Speaking of British films. They definetly seem different, I'm not sure how. When watching anything British--films, comedy, tv shows, etc; I tend to like a lot of the ideas conveyed. But on the other hand, I find myself fidgeting in my seat at the same time, waiting for it to end. I really don't know why. There were countless scenes in Wilbur Wants to Die that I thought to be pretty clever, but only after the fact. The execution of the scenes--I don't know, they seemed rather dry. But after the movie was over, thinking back on them, I really enjoy explaining the movie to people. Seems to go with most things of British origin I've seen. I don't know, maybe it is my American upbringing creeping up on me. Now that I think of it though, I think it is the pacing. Maybe it says something about the differences in lifestyle?

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Old January 28th, 2005, 03:46 PM   #8
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Matthew, there's thousands of ways to manipulate the look of a project, whether in-camera, on-set, or in post, in addition to directing techniques, camera movements, etc.

I believe you can find what you're looking for by subscribing to the magazine American Cinematographer. They may not necessarily analyze every decision, but they provide detailed behind-the-scenes information along with the look they were going for. For example, the latest issue is about teleproduction and how the television series Lost was shot (shot on film with Panavision cameras).

Very insightful overall. Each magazine is dedicated to current movies and shorts. The previous issue covered The Aviator for example, and how Scorsese wanted some of the footage to resemble older Hollywood films like The Wizard of Oz, specifically three-strip Technicolor, a now extinct process. They had to do this in post.

Anyway, check it out, should be on everyone's reading list.

I'd like to see this info online as well. Not sure how we'd accomplish this on DVInfo, but that would be great!
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Old January 28th, 2005, 03:48 PM   #9
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I have to second the AC recommendation. Great magazine, and you'll learn a lot by osmosis just reading the articles. As you can imagine, lots of beautiful pictures.
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Old January 28th, 2005, 04:41 PM   #10
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Of course Matthew, Sttar wars was indeed shot on digital, my mistake.

Just to clarify, I am actually British so wasn't having a go at British film as an outsider. Just my opinion, the quality sucks compared to the US

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Old January 28th, 2005, 05:00 PM   #11
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Why is that? If they are using the same cameras . . . maybe they realize that aesthetics aren't everything--that it is ultimately the message the film delivers that counts. It is funny though, it definetly seems that people are more focused on having the latest technology to shoot their movie with, than on the movie itself. They get all this technology and think "Hey, I have all this awesome professional equipment, so now I can make the best movie ever made." They then proceed to shoot a poorly planned film because they think the equipment is what makes the movie. I'm guessing that is why some people never find an outlet in the industry.

Matthew Overstreet
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Old January 28th, 2005, 05:03 PM   #12
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Sex and the City and The Sapranos were both shot on 35mm film.

For future reference, you can find this out about pretty much any movie or TV show at:

www.IMDB.com

Search for the movie, then click "Technical Specs" on the left.
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Old January 28th, 2005, 05:07 PM   #13
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Oh yeah, I forgot to mention that I did in fact find that out--forgot I asked the question in the first post. That is where I found out that Wilbur was shot with 24p HD as well. It's funny, before I found out Wilbur was HD, I could have sworn they used a cheaper video format. It looked comparable to some movies I've seen shot with the VX2000. Oh well.

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