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The TOTEM Poll: Totally Off Topic, Everything Media
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Old September 26th, 2001, 10:20 AM   #1
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Various TOTEM posts 2001 - 2003

Is anyone else out there tired of seeing absolutely perfectly lit scenes in today's movies? It's hard to suspend disbelief when a scene in a drama shows an average housewife strolling through a grocery story while wearing perfect makeup, designer clothers, and being perfectly lit.

I agree that there's a place for that kind of lighting. Ridley Scott's lighting techniques in Bladerunner and Alien are classic...and they suit the genre. What irritates me are the dramas focusing on gritty day-to-day existence that still use slick lighting techniques. It just doesn't match.

I recently saw "The Gift" which reminded me of the gritty, raw lighting techniques used in the 70s. It adds a lot to the atmosphere, I think. Imagine that movie being lit like "Rushmore"...which uses slick lighting, but that's perfect for its genre. If you switched the lighting styles of the two movies, the results would be completely different. Unfortunately, it seems that about 90% of the movies being cranked out today automatically opt for the perfect "slick" lighting regardless of whether it fits the look or not.

Any thoughts on this? What movies stand out in your memory for excellent lighting? Has anyone tried a full range of lighting techniques with the XL-1? Any success? I'd like to know so I can check them out.

Here's a few of the movies that really stand out in my memory for their "look":

-Casablanca (selective lighting, creative shadow effects on walls)
-Dr. Strangelove (harsh, contrasty to fit mood)
-The Parralax View (gritty, raw, realistic)
-Barry Lyndon (natural lighting and candles only!)
-Bladerunner (futuristic, moody)
-Legend (soft, fantasy-like, chiaroscuro)
-Alien (dark, moody, eerie)
-Pleasantville ("slick" looking, made to resemble an early TV show)
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Old September 30th, 2001, 10:06 PM   #2
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I know exactly what you mean, John...

A lot of today's blockbusters have this hyper-real sheen on them that makes them look completely fake to me. Hollywood lighting tries hard... too hard, in my opinion... to make movies look *better* than real. It's gone to such an extreme now, that I think it works against their best intentions.

I have not seen "The Gift" -- I'll look out for it -- but agree with you about "Rushmore" (shot in Houston, by the way).

Glad to see you mention "Barry Lyndon." This is one of my all-time favorite Kubrick films, and one that's often overlooked.

Talk about gritty, raw lighting to match the mood... I'm reminded of the Carol Reed's 1949 masterpiece, "The Third Man" with Joseph Cotten and Orson Welles.

I recently saw an advance copy of Greg Salman's "Fury," a retelling of MacBeth shot in South Central L.A. with an XL1. Most all the prinicipals are African-American, which calls for expert lighting to get the skin tones to expose properly. I was very impressed with Salman's use of light in this regard. "Fury" has been picked up for direct-to-video distribution, so hopefully you'll be able to see it too, if you're interested. I highly recommend it!
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Old October 23rd, 2001, 10:38 AM   #3
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Hey quick question for anybody:
got any info on how "The Tao of Steve" was shot?

thanks!
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Old October 24th, 2001, 10:00 AM   #4
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I did a quick search on Google (www.google.com, the ultimate search engine) on Tao of Steve, to include Digital Video. Came up with a bunch of hits, but looking through two pages worth, I could not find Tao of Steve with Digital Video in the same sentance.

Conclusion: inconclusive. If you have the time, try the same search I did and have fun going through the results!
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Old November 3rd, 2001, 12:23 AM   #5
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episode I

just got episode one on dvd. cant wait do listen to the audio commentary!!! also, special edition holy grail is on sale. gettin my christmas wishlist together soon!!!
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Old January 28th, 2002, 07:19 PM   #6
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Herbie Hancock - The New Standard

Jazzed up cover tunes. All-Star band!
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Old February 20th, 2002, 12:20 AM   #7
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Spiderman

This is movie I really want to see even more than star wars I look forwarded in being a kid again?
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Old March 28th, 2002, 09:29 AM   #8
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Recommendation-Web Related

(All things media...right?)

Every so often,...not very often, actually...you receive customer service so far above and beyond the call of duty that it just leaves you speechless. That happened today with PerlServices.net.

I know some of you out there are web developers like me and so I wanted to pass on that Jim Melanson at Perl Services took control of a particularly problematic CGI program I was installing, corresponded with me numerous times trying to help me fix the problem, and then finally wound up going in and fixing the problem on our server himself...and all at no charge above the price of the program! (which, by the way, is very reasonably priced)

What's more...it was service with a smile.

If you ever need any Perl/CGI scripts...pay them a visit.
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Old May 2nd, 2002, 09:12 AM   #9
 
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Democratization of the Media

Talk about making/producing/directing video....and the democratization of the same, check this story:

http://news.excite.com/article/id/54716|oddlyenough|05-02-2002::09:03|reuters.html

After I left a theater that had shown "Grand Prix" with James Garner, I drove like a LeMans champion. I wonder what I'll feel like after seeing the movie in this story...;-)
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Old May 2nd, 2002, 11:16 AM   #10
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Better shine your dancing shoes, Bill. It's a musical.
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Old May 6th, 2002, 08:17 PM   #11
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Digital Video Collaboration Workshop

Hope you don't mind me posting this here.
I want to let anyone who will be in Boston/Cape Cod area this summer know about this workshop.
It will be 3 days, july 27th thru aug 3rd and taught by Leighton Pierce. Should be a wonderful experience with digital video, capturing images, editing and working with an artist in the field. For those interested, more information at www.woodsholefilmfestival.org (limited to 20 people)
Thanks.
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Old May 6th, 2002, 08:44 PM   #12
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This is worthy of the Announcements area so I'm copying it to that forum. Thanks,
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Old May 11th, 2002, 12:50 PM   #13
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Steve Morse

Hi,

just been listening to the Steve Morse Band (Stressfest) while reading interviews on his site. It has been a while since I have seen a muso so modest.

"It is said that modest men have a lot to be modest about"

He is really one of the classiest acts i've heard for a while.

Cheers
Andrew
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Old May 11th, 2002, 08:52 PM   #14
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Sounds interesting, Andrew. Where is his site?
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Old May 12th, 2002, 03:08 AM   #15
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Hi Ken,

www.stevemorse.com

Cheers
Andrew
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