A look into my research

So, to start with, to succeed at my role it was absolutely necessary to look at the work of the cinematographers who are ruling the industry today. I did a lot of watching and a lot of reading into how they portrayed the voice of the story through cinematography. For this blog, I have written down a bit of the research I did that was necessary to the project I am making. In the following paragraphs I look into some of my favourite works that I used to inform my style.

  1. Emmanuel Lubezki – Children of Men and The Tree of Life top my list as my favourite cinematic films. After watching The Tree of Life, I really wanted to try using natural light, because let’s be real – how beautiful was that. Especially when he did through sunlight coming in through the tree canopies. I was reading of the various rules he makes for himseelf to shoot within and found them very interesting and useful for when I was shooting as well. “In all the movies I’ve done, I always worked with a set of rules — they help me to find the tone and the style of the film,” he says. “Art is made of constraints. When you don’t have any, you go crazy, because everything is possible.”     •    Shoot in available natural light
    •    Do not underexpose the negative Keep true blacks
    •    Preserve the latitude in the image
    •    Seek maximum resolution and fine grain
    •    Seek depth with deep focus and stop: “Compose in depth”
    •    Shoot in backlight for continuity and depth
    •    Use negative fill to avoid “light sandwiches” (even sources on both sides)
    •    Shoot in crosslight only after dawn or before dusk; never front light
    •    Avoid lens flares
    •    Avoid white and primary colors in frame
    •    Shoot with short-focal-length, hard lenses
    •    No filters except Polarizer
    •    Shoot with steady handheld or Steadicam “in the eye of the hurricane”
    •    Z-axis moves instead of pans or tilts
    •    No zooming
    •    Do some static tripod shots “in midst of our haste”
    •    Accept the exception to the dogma (“Article E”)
  2. Roger Deakins – I love Roger Deakins’ Skyfall because of his play with the colours blue and red. Having done a lot of research into it though, I realized he was one for creating artificial light and uses a lot of very heavy duty equipment and builds very expensive sets which is a little hard for a film student to do. Just not enough budget. Having said that, he really is the master of setting the mood using different colour tones.
  3. Matthew Libatique – Black Swan is another favourite and very relevant here because of the mood and arc it sets. The play of light and shadow is beautiful and so powerful. The fact that the only colour in a space came from the protagonists bedroom, making it a warm space was beautiful. I took inspiration from this as well.
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