All of us writing for DIYP are into photography and/or filmmaking, and since you follow our blog, I believe you are, too. But are you also a Star Wars fan? If you are, then you’ll love this video recently posted by CookeOpticsTV. In this video, cinematographer Peter Suschitzky talks about his experience as the director of photography for Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back. He reveals what it was like to build sets on a budget, how he lit the scenes, and even how he created the light for lightsabers!
If you are into filmmaking, there are plenty of ways to improve your work and to make the shooting more successful and efficient. In this video from StudioBinder, Brent Barbano of ShareGrid gives you seven quick, but very valuable lessons that will help you raise your filmmaking on a higher level.
When on set, you need to stay focused and professional in all situations if you want to get the job done right. A cameraman named Greg Harriott raised this to a whole new level. While he was filming an interview with a horse breeder, one of the horses got a little too affectionate and started nibbling on him. However, Greg kept it together and filmed the whole interview. And there’s a video showing was going on behind the scenes, which is sure to put a smile on your face.
Making mistakes is an inevitable part of our learning process. Still, it’s good to learn how to avoid them, so we can grow and make our work better. Nerris Nassiri from Aputure shares five biggest mistakes all beginner cinematographers make. But to be honest, photographers will recognize themselves in some of these, too. Did you make them when you were still new to cinematography/photography as well?
When Mehrdad Oskouei, a well known Iranian filmmaker, was planning to produce his last film Starless Dreams he asked one of his former students, Sadegh Souri, a photographer and a cinematographer to join his crew as a camera operator.
Starless Dreams is a compelling social documentary about the lives of teenage girls in a juvenile correctional facility on the outskirts of Tehran, Iran. Some of the girls come from a broken layer of society with families struggling with drugs, crimes, and even murder. Distributed internationally, the film has received exceptional reviews.
German student director Eugen Merher has produced a commercial which really shows the pros how it’s done. Without the fancy CG and special effects of most modern sports commercials, Eugen tells a beautiful story.
A former marathon runner, stuck in a retirement home. After finding a pair of old running shoes, he starts to run once again. He attempts to “break free” (the title of the short film) a number of times, but each time his indoor run is cut short. There’s a twist in the ending, though.
Out of the top ten highest-grossing films of 2014, nine were either sequels or reboots for franchises already long-established – the remaining film was Christopher Nolan’s Interstellar. With the current film industry an unarguable golden age for comic book adaptations, it’s become customary for most studios to play it safe and rely on audience familiarity to sell their productions. And it’s unfortunate – original stories like Edge of Tomorrow end up suffering in sales as a result while at the same time gaining critical acclaim (Edge of Tomorrow was even retitled Live Die Repeat around the time of its home video release in an attempt to re-market the film).
Given the criticisms warranted towards Interstellar (Oh man, that dialogue…), it was still refreshing to see a new, original, and all-around good science fiction film become a box-office blockbuster in the middle of Oscar season. For directors not as well-known as Nolan, making a film like that is a particular risk when taking sales into account; back in 2013, Director Joseph Kosinski took that exact risk with the release of his second film. After his debut with Tron: Legacy, Kosinski brought the cinematographer Claudio Miranda on board once more for a story he’d been working on since 2005. The result was a film released eight years later, titled Oblivion.
Last year, actor Ken Watanbe starred in the Japanese remake of a film called Unforgiven. Though it may have had a limited release, its reception wasn’t diminished in the slightest. Acclaimed by critics worldwide, Yurusarezaru mono continued the cinematic relationship between samurai epics and spaghetti westerns at full ignition; the tradition’s beginnings are rooted in Sergio Leone’s A Fistful of Dollars, which was a scene-by-scene remake of Akira Kurosawa’s Yojimbo.
Out of everything the film achieved, Yurusarezaru mono reminded us that Unforgiven still remains an ageless masterpiece. After its release, the film became known as a eulogy to classic spaghetti western cinema; in other words, it signified the end of a generation. If that statement holds any truth to it all, then it’s fitting that Unforgiven was helmed by Clint Eastwood, who starred in the Sergio Leone trilogy that pioneered the genre in the first place.
The reason I bring up the fact that it eulogized a generation for this post is because of the fact that Unforgiven was entirely rooted in it; every element that made it what it was borrowed from the old classics, and that included direction, music, writing, and cinematography.