Topic: Stand-out camerawork/photography/"shots" compilation.

So I figured I'd finally contribute with a topic (hopefully not an existing one).

Basically, whenever you come across it, give examples of camerawork, or general cinematography, that you like. Recently my brain has started being tickled by this sort of thing, mainly because I've had a camera for a while and really gotten into the nitty gritty of photography in general, not being able to appreciate composition, exposure, focus-pulling etc.

Examples can be of composition, intricacy, timing, etc. Those types of things. Also "shots" in general, where camera and sound work together.

I'll start to give some examples:


I saw "Contact" again after 10 or so years, probably more. Wow, what a great movie I've been neglecting for all this time. In terms of camerawork and cinematography, there are just tons of little flourishes and details here and there that I just adored.



Youtube examples with timecode (will work as long as the full movie is on youtube, I hope this is acceptable, I am not posting torrent links or anything, this is as available as it can get and it's up still after 6 months). Examples generally end at the edit immediately after them. There are quite alot of them in this case.


1. Intro shot - http://youtu.be/NOZPYQWRPyU?t=26s
Be aware of sudden sound.
This shot is beautiful, as the camera moves back the radiowaves from earth become older and older.


2. http://youtu.be/NOZPYQWRPyU?t=4m53s
One seamless shot.


3. http://youtu.be/NOZPYQWRPyU?t=16m31s
One long take/move (2 edits in).


4. http://youtu.be/NOZPYQWRPyU?t=22m
I even missed this one initially it is so flawless. Slow-motion tracking shot with a twist.


5. http://youtu.be/NOZPYQWRPyU?t=24m31s
Basically no.2 reversed.


6. http://youtu.be/NOZPYQWRPyU?t=25m49s
Inside to outside car.


7. http://youtu.be/NOZPYQWRPyU?t=33m8s
Steadicam or crane by canyon. This is probably the most beautiful shot in the film.



8. http://youtu.be/NOZPYQWRPyU?t=36m5s
The smoothness of this extreme close push-in is just pure gold.


9. http://youtu.be/NOZPYQWRPyU?t=38m43s
Long steadicam move, but the finesse in how it starts and ends is just wonderful.


10. http://youtu.be/NOZPYQWRPyU?t=1h35m58s
The move at detonation from monitors to outside view is great. Bonus for the projectile slung at the control tower and the smoke hitting the window, also perfect.


Overall this film is porn for steadicam-lovers. Lots of sensitive scenes have long slow push-ins and the visual language overall is just teriffic.

Get posting, I'd love to find some new stuff to swoon over.

Last edited by TechNoir (2013-02-03 23:27:38)

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Re: Stand-out camerawork/photography/"shots" compilation.

Coincidentally, I watched Contact for the first time yesterday.

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Re: Stand-out camerawork/photography/"shots" compilation.

Don Burgess, who did Contact, has a pretty distinguished career (both with Zemeckis [Forrest Gump, Polar Express, and without [Spider-man, Terminator 3, Source Code]).

Pretty much anything by Roger Deakins (Assassination of Jesse James), Conrad Hall (Road to Perdition), and Christopher Doyle (Ashes of Time, Hero) is exceptional cinematography. These 3 are among my favourites. Roger Deakins has his own forum where he answers questions about shots and lighting set ups from his movies (and general tips too) - http://www.rogerdeakins.com/forum2/. Very cool person.

Imagination will often carry us to worlds that never were. But without it we go nowhere. - Carl Sagan

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Re: Stand-out camerawork/photography/"shots" compilation.

I am going to make sweet sweet love to this thread soon, I just have to figure out where to start.

As a warm-up, you'll probably dig this blog a lot: http://film-grab.com/

Last edited by Squiggly_P (2013-02-04 02:09:54)

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Re: Stand-out camerawork/photography/"shots" compilation.

Some of the most legendary cinematography/lighting set-ups of all time are in Barry Lyndon, particularly the candle-lit scenes. Kubrick and DP John Alcott famously used an f.0.7 Carl Zeiss NASA lens (originally supposed to be used for satellite photography). The low depth of field is gorgeous...

There was the best part of a year in pre-production planning to get these effects. Even today, period films need artificial lighting to boost the candle light. But Lyndon used ONLY candles with a wide-open shutter.

It went on to sweep every single cinematography award that year, and would easily contest the Best Cinematography of the Century awards.

Also, I thought the lighting in Meet Joe Black (e.g. library scene, one of many) was like a perfume commercial... all golden.

And just like that...

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Re: Stand-out camerawork/photography/"shots" compilation.

redxavier wrote:

Pretty much anything by Roger Deakins (Assassination of Jesse James), Roger Deakins has his own forum where he answers questions about shots and lighting set ups from his movies (and general tips too) - http://www.rogerdeakins.com/forum2/. Very cool person.

Ditto that. Take a look at his black & white cinematography in The Man Who Wasn't There. Just gorgeous.

Here's the entire movie...

SkyFall looked like a commercial in sections - which it was, with all that product placement. The lighting was often too perfect. Nice end sequence after the house goes up.

And just like that...

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Re: Stand-out camerawork/photography/"shots" compilation.

We're not linking to unofficially uploaded videos here, are we? I know Youtube has a section of full movies for free... Just making sure.

I can't find several of the movies on youtube via the legit options. I might look up some clips or something.

Alternatively, I could just post timecodes for the Netflix versions or something...

Or I could rip the movies, edit the specific shots I'm talking about together and upload that to youtube. Probably to a dummy account, in case FOX or Universal or whoever decide to get a stick up their ass and yank 'em... I doubt they'd do that, tho, as there are dudes who get millions of hits for their 'end of year' movie clip videos...

Last edited by Squiggly_P (2013-02-04 03:09:19)

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Re: Stand-out camerawork/photography/"shots" compilation.

Well, my clips from the OP are all timecodes to the full movie on youtube, which I presume is not uploaded by the movie company. In other cases it will probably just be short clips on youtube.

I don't know. Most movies on youtube that are still there are in lower quality, generally 480p. The fact that they often have been up for months or years seem to indicate there is no panic to bring them down from the studio side.

To me, linking to movies existing on Youtube is a good way to "show off" good aspects of the movie, and the low quality will probably not make anyone download it from youtube as their "storage" copy atleast. The point is to highlight good filmmaking, and not using visual examples, when available, sort of defeats the purpose.


To be also a constructive post, here is another example from me, one of the best chase sequences I've ever seen, hands down.

The movie is "Death Machine", lowbudget 1995 sci-fi action, by Blade director Stephen Norrington. Brad Dourif plays a mad scientist who has built something, well, god damn terrifying.

The lighting, camerawork and audio work so well in this sequence. If this doesn't induce a bit of panic in you then you are made of stone.

http://youtu.be/nNRwoRiHxDU?t=33m21s

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Re: Stand-out camerawork/photography/"shots" compilation.

Another example of, in my opinion, exceptional camerawork, aswell as oscarworthy sounddesign.

Fast Five:

Part 1. http://youtu.be/MlD5NBnzFhE?t=6s

Part 2. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xw918tbFCO8

These low-quality clips does not do it justice, this is about 50% of a 10-minute sequence with 2 cars towing a vault through a city. For my money this is the best pure-action sequence ever put to film. Before I would probably have put T2 in that spot, but this is just orgasmic on every level. If you like action you OWE it to yourself to watch this on a good display with the volume HIGH (again, the sound design and editing is immaculate and contains so much energy and detail).

EDIT: changed link 2 to a higher quality version.

Last edited by TechNoir (2013-02-04 12:02:06)

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Re: Stand-out camerawork/photography/"shots" compilation.

European DPs make the best cinematographers. Don't know why. They always have been.

Few people have heard of it, but check out Mr Nobody (2009)... exquisite camera work, using every technique in the book. You could teach a cinematography class from this film...

Other favourites:  Matthew Libatique's last man storyline in The Fountain, Darius Khondji's work for Fincher's Seven, and the unforgettable opening to Woody Allen's Manhattan, regrettably much deteriorated..

And just like that...

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Re: Stand-out camerawork/photography/"shots" compilation.

Okay, what follows is a love letter to Akira Kurosawa, quite possibly the finest master of composition.

First up is Sanjuro. In this picture you'll see how well he sets up this group shot, and how easily it conveys a sense of tension in the room as the young samurai are divided about what to do with Sanjuro. It looks so deceptively simple but there are nine people in this shot, and yet it doesn't feel anything like a line-up or crammed. All the eyes are lined up on the upper third, it's got surprising depth with at least 3 layers and your eye is drawn to the centre with the triangle of the 2 leaders of the disagreeing subgroups facing each other with the host and trying arbitrator between them.
http://www.dvdbeaver.com/film2/DVDReviews49/sanjuro_blu-ray/960_sanjuro_blu-ray6.jpg

Sanjuro has lots of superb group compositions.
http://media.cinemasquid.com/blu-ray/titles/sanjuro/12248/screenshot-med-02.jpg
http://media.cinemasquid.com/blu-ray/titles/sanjuro/12248/screenshot-med-06.jpg
http://media.cinemasquid.com/blu-ray/titles/sanjuro/12248/screenshot-med-24.jpg
http://media.cinemasquid.com/blu-ray/titles/sanjuro/12248/screenshot-med-35.jpg

Still Sanjuro, and this shot demonstrates how well and subtely Kurosawa is able to frame subjects in the shot. One is framed sitting on a raised platform against the wall, the other against the doorway, with Sanjuro himself against a split pattern on the wall (body in white, head against grey). Also, due to the subject placement and the telephoto lens, Sanjuro looms large and powerful over the other two despite being seated, unarmed (his sword is in frame as well) and captured.
http://media.cinemasquid.com/blu-ray/titles/sanjuro/12248/screenshot-med-30.jpg

Further, Kurosawa wasn't a frequent use of the extreme close-up but when he did use it, it became extremely powerful.
http://www.dvdbeaver.com/film2/DVDReviews49/sanjuro_blu-ray/960_sanjuro_blu-ray3.jpg

I'll do more from his other movies (if people like this sort of thing).

Imagination will often carry us to worlds that never were. But without it we go nowhere. - Carl Sagan

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Re: Stand-out camerawork/photography/"shots" compilation.

Cinematography can be many things - we've been concentrating on the 'photography' aspects. But then there's fancy camerawork in showy 'oners'...

For example, Atonement:

The mother of all 'oners' belongs to Tilman Büttner (German cameraman) for his superhuman feat of endurance on 23rd December 2001 for Russian Ark...  87 minutes one-take, no tricks, hitting every mark and almost collapsing at the end to due to weight of the steadycam rig.

By contrast, Silent House, starring Elizabeth Olsen, appeared to be one-take, except it wasn't.

Other famous one-takes include the opening to Touch of Evil, Hitchcock's Rope, the entrance into the nightclub in Goodfellas, three extraordinary sequences in Children of Men, and the insane overhead tracking shot in I am Cuba (1964)...

Sometimes the old films display the greatest DP virtuosity because they had to do it for real, without motion-control, wire-removal, hidden cuts, CG doctoring, grading, blending, etc.

Last edited by avatar (2013-02-04 15:04:21)

And just like that...

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Re: Stand-out camerawork/photography/"shots" compilation.

Great examples so far, I'm loving it. Keep in mind, no need to write alot. Just something, and with specific video examples if readily available.

I am completely ignorant of Kurosawa and many other older directors and DPs. This is a great way to find specific examples. I've held up watching Mr Nobody for a loong time, but now I'm gonna watch it ASAP.

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Re: Stand-out camerawork/photography/"shots" compilation.

Hmm, an awesome camerawork thread and NO ONE has posted the 3:30 minute long ONE'ER from I AM CUBA?  Don't worry, I'll save you.

ENTIRELY hand held and hand cranked.

Eddie Doty

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Re: Stand-out camerawork/photography/"shots" compilation.

And here's the famous funeral shot which has been copied by everyone. 

Eddie Doty

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Re: Stand-out camerawork/photography/"shots" compilation.

avatar wrote:

European DPs make the best cinematographers. Don't know why. They always have been.

Few people have heard of it, but check out Mr Nobody (2009)... exquisite camera work, using every technique in the book. You could teach a cinematography class from this film...


I'm probably the biggest fan of Jared Leto there is. I even fanboy'ed out and cut a Mohawk on myself when he had one.

Yeah.

So, I've seen Mr Nobody. Twice. Loved it even more the second time around.


But in terms of cinematography: The Matrix.

Tomahawk Ellingsen

www.extendededition.net

Re: Stand-out camerawork/photography/"shots" compilation.

I love beautiful cinematography, but I don't give shit number 1 about "one-ers". Cut, don't cut, I don't care. Shut up and tell the story.

Warning: I'm probably rewriting this post as you read it.

Zarban's House of Commentaries

Re: Stand-out camerawork/photography/"shots" compilation.

Praise be to Zarban. Oh and,

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Re: Stand-out camerawork/photography/"shots" compilation.

Zarban wrote:

I love beautiful cinematography, but I don't give shit number 1 about "one-ers". Cut...

Did you say cut?

Talking out of my arse here, but I think Requiem for a Dream has more cuts than just about any other movie.

And just like that...

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Re: Stand-out camerawork/photography/"shots" compilation.

Ok, I'll admit that is is not the best by any means but it is still impressive. It's from the Protector and it's a near 4 minute one-er of a fight scene. Not that impressive you may say, but 'ah' I respond 'it takes place on more than one floor of a building'. I'm not explaining it well, just watch. This is the full film but dubbed in Italian and it starts at 40:20. Parts of the fight choreography could be better but I still like the overall scene -

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Re: Stand-out camerawork/photography/"shots" compilation.

paulou wrote:

Praise be to Zarban. Oh and,


I think we found Russias Sam Neill!

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Re: Stand-out camerawork/photography/"shots" compilation.

...

That is Sam Neill.

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Re: Stand-out camerawork/photography/"shots" compilation.

I had to take a quick double read of the OP to make sure I posted the right thing.
Personally, one of my favorite pieces of camera work is in "Pride and Prejudice" with Keira Knightly. There is a scene in there where Knightly and Matthew MacFayden are dancing in a crowded hall. During the shot there is a part of it where the two of them are all alone. The shot continues on with the two then back to the crowd. It always stood out to me as a very interesting and beautiful piece of work.

God loves you!

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Re: Stand-out camerawork/photography/"shots" compilation.

Zarban wrote:

I love beautiful cinematography, but I don't give shit number 1 about "one-ers". Cut, don't cut, I don't care. Shut up and tell the story.

I'm rarely impressed with these as well, except in Rope (which is essentially a filmed play) or a scene which is deliberately building tension by not cutting away, or is a chase scene (like in Children of Men). I was a bit bored by both of the Cuban examples posted. The problem I have with the long steadycam shots is that after a while I become aware that we've not cut away, thus I become aware of the camera. Atonement is a great example, it's a long expansive shot with huge scope and complexity, with all sorts of subjects and backgrounds in the frame over its duration; however, since I'm wondering in amazement 'they've still not cut yet' and am waiting for it, I'm not really into the story at that point. Sometimes, the more technical and outstanding feats of camerawork just give the game away.

The best cinematography, I'd argue, is that which doesn't draw attention to itself but still successfully evokes all the emotions and feelings you'd want with that story.

On another note, I cannot wait until this teal grading shit goes away. [Old Man Voice]It's ruining my movies![/Old Man Voice]

Imagination will often carry us to worlds that never were. But without it we go nowhere. - Carl Sagan

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Re: Stand-out camerawork/photography/"shots" compilation.

fireproof78 wrote:

I had to take a quick double read of the OP to make sure I posted the right thing.
Personally, one of my favorite pieces of camera work is in "Pride and Prejudice" with Keira Knightly. There is a scene in there where Knightly and Matthew MacFayden are dancing in a crowded hall. During the shot there is a part of it where the two of them are all alone. The shot continues on with the two then back to the crowd. It always stood out to me as a very interesting and beautiful piece of work.


Excellent example. smile


redxavier wrote:
Zarban wrote:

I love beautiful cinematography, but I don't give shit number 1 about "one-ers". Cut, don't cut, I don't care. Shut up and tell the story.

I'm rarely impressed with these as well, except in Rope (which is essentially a filmed play) or a scene which is deliberately building tension by not cutting away, or is a chase scene (like in Children of Men). I was a bit bored by both of the Cuban examples posted. The problem I have with the long steadycam shots is that after a while I become aware that we've not cut away, thus I become aware of the camera. Atonement is a great example, it's a long expansive shot with huge scope and complexity, with all sorts of subjects and backgrounds in the frame over its duration; however, since I'm wondering in amazement 'they've still not cut yet' and am waiting for it, I'm not really into the story at that point. Sometimes, the more technical and outstanding feats of camerawork just give the game away.

The best cinematography, I'd argue, is that which doesn't draw attention to itself but still successfully evokes all the emotions and feelings you'd want with that story.

On another note, I cannot wait until this teal grading shit goes away. [Old Man Voice]It's ruining my movies![/Old Man Voice]


I can enjoy teal and orange if it is largely practical lighting to create that look. The worst atrocities are the ones where they've gone so overboard that the sky is almost puke-green. It literally makes me slightly nauseous, I don't know what it is but it repulses me.

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