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Old October 28th, 2011, 02:51 PM   #31
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Re: Do we really need this stuff?

I think there are two different (linked) arguments going on here - on the one hand the democratisation that new, cheaper, better quality equipment brings which has been going on, well, for ever (think of printing and the availability of books, or the invention of the tape machine and the huge effect it had on small time music producers leading to rock and roll as we know it, or readily portable cameras and sound equipment that lead to the whole direct cinema movement) and on the other the terrible fear that seems to exist in Hollywood of producing anything that requires intelligence to enjoy.

The latter is the real problem for me - they've lost their nerve and also seem to think people are stupid. The mantra seems to be that mainstream films are now simply vehicles for generating income and anything that might risk that is out, which basically seems to mean anything where the audience has to make any kind of effort, thus assuming people either can't or won't.

The sad thing is, is that it is a total fallacy as every now and again a film comes out that is hugely successful and also demanding and intelligent. But they are the rare exceptions.

What we should be railing against is the total cynicism of the mainstream that has essentially decided that films that make money need to be formulaic, stupid, full of continual visual and aural stimulation so people don't lose attention and featuring some useless 'star'. I hate them mostly because I find them insulting to my and most people's intelligence. Sadly most people go along with it as it has become accepted that that is what Hollywood (and similar) films now are.

And I do think that in its current extreme form, this is a new thing.
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Old October 28th, 2011, 03:12 PM   #32
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Re: Do we really need this stuff?

In the future may be the film industry will become more regional. What do rural people have in common with urban people? Or the people in California have with the people in Texas? It's a cultural thing. In Alaska we believe everyone in the lower 48 is nuts. Hollywood plays it safe and tries to please everyone, and then looses something in the process. Same goes for television. Cheap sitcoms and distorted, nonsensical Alaska reality shows. I hope the producers of tomorrow will create material for regional markets, based upon regional tastes. Smaller, lighter, and less expensive productions. Let's see what the little guys can do with all this new gear.

My first trip in the woods was in the mid 60's with a Trapper Nelson and a Argus 35 m camera.
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Old October 28th, 2011, 03:39 PM   #33
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Re: Do we really need this stuff?

David, I've never had the chance to speak to an Alaskan before - do you know the 1980s film 'The Runaway Train', set in Alaska about two escaped convicts? It's one of my all time favourites and very much an example of an intelligent, thought provoking and yet gripping thriller. The action is excellently done, very convincing, the script and acting is the centre of it (John Voigt and screenplay by Kurosawa), the minimal but eerie score by Trevor Jones and the end scenario and final shots are just something else.
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Old October 28th, 2011, 04:15 PM   #34
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Re: Do we really need this stuff?

Yes, I know the movie. The Alaska Railroad is still there. Hasn't changed at all. Too bad Hollywood never gave Jon more chances. Great actor.

Best TV shows filmed in Alaska are Larry Csonka's Alaska. Over eleven years running. Larry has been a Alaska resident for years. Excellent filmed and produced television show. Last I heard, he was still personally feeding the show.

The other is Flying Wild Alaska which we will watch. It portrays Alaska life very well. I'll give Deadliest Catch a pass. The others? Too much Hollywood influence and they all portray a very distorted, and unreal picture of Alaska. I don't know anyone in Alaska that watches those shows. They just make us angry when we see them.
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Old October 28th, 2011, 05:50 PM   #35
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Re: Do we really need this stuff?

I guess we need the "stuff" in most cases to give the client what "they" want. ;) - It is definitely a changing world, and to stay relevant, you sometimes need to go with the flow.

But all that aside - "my" favorite tool in the arsenal is for stills, and it's a Mamiya C220 Professional Twin Lens. I love it! I shoot Ilford... 12 exposures at a time.

Contact sheets... grease pencils... loupes, and light tables - it brings a certain romance back to the business...

And guess what? I generally surpass the client's expectations in they "want".

Hopefully one day I'll be saying that about the new T3i/600D I recently acquired.
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Old October 29th, 2011, 08:02 AM   #36
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Re: Do we really need this stuff?

Geoffrey,

Actor Jon Voight is making a new movie in Anchorage Alaska next summer.

Dave
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Old October 29th, 2011, 11:06 AM   #37
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Re: Do we really need this stuff?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Brian Drysdale View Post
Splicing celluloid is no big deal, it's non linear editing, dubbing VHS is the painful part. Downside to film editing can be the physical scale of the stuff and the winding backwards and forwards. Although, I suspect pointing bricks is worse.

It's nothing to do with the gear, you can be totally cinematic with a video camera or completely un-cinematic with a 35mm motion picture camera. It's how you use the material and like any language it evolves a new vocabulary, or the meanings begin to change with time.

At one time it would be extremely trendy to use a zoom or have loads of flares down your zoom lens. The films which used these devices thoughtfully and in a manner appropriate to the story tend to survive better than those when they're being used because they're the current fashion. Of course, the fashion can come full circle and they become hip retro.
Best comment I've read here for a long time.

Thank you Brian.

:)
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Old November 6th, 2011, 10:12 PM   #38
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Re: Do we really need this stuff?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Robert Turchick View Post
Real creativity takes time and effort.
Robert, this quote is just plain inspirational. I'm gonna hold on to it :)
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Old November 26th, 2011, 07:59 PM   #39
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Re: Do we really need this stuff?

Regarding Hollywood movies, IMO, some are better now than they ever were in the past. A lot of folks making them now have character actors in subplots that add a lot more to the movie than just minutes. The great supporting actor Walter Brennan never got as much film time as he deserved, once again, IMO. Blues Brothers, with all the cameos by famous entertainers who are given really great scenes is, I think, one of the top movies ever because there is so much to discuss afterward. The Fugitive gives the same story from both sides and, yes, I know the Japanese did that first on film (though not necessarily in the history of the performing arts).
It is the nature of the game to try to push the limits and find the next big thing but I wish I still had my 4x5 Calumet with 135 Carl Zeiss Jena lens. I bet the boys who discovered tilt and shift thought they were real hotshots.
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