A shot from "Caddyshack" (1980), filmed with a long lens, with a dramatic focus change. The same shot at 8x speed.
Friday, September 21, 2018
For "Terminator 2: Judgment Day" (1991), Robert Patrick learned how to fire a gun without blinking, to prepare for his role as the T-1000, a killer robot.
🎥 4 shots
🤖 16 rounds
👁 1 blink
The GIF at the top of this post is real-time, as it was seen in the film. If It Were Made Today™: would still have Patrick train to fire the weapon without blinking; the one blink in this sequence could be digitally painted out by a talented paint artist.
I failed I was going for no blinks! https://t.co/EftqN93Okc— Robert Patrick 🇺🇸 (@robertpatrickT2) September 21, 2018
In the theater, the audience blinked at the exact moment you did, so they never saw it. 🤣— Todd Vaziri (@tvaziri) September 21, 2018
Thursday, September 20, 2018
The cold open montage from “Better Call Saul” S4E07 is one for the ages. A narrative and technical masterpiece.
✂️ Edited by Skip Macdonald
⌨️ Written by Alison Tatlock
🎥 Directed by Deborah Chow
While the music was from “Fallout”, the inspiration for Apple’s terrific opening film for the iPhone event was clearly “Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol”.
Monday, September 17, 2018
Seems to me that Twitter should allow users to easily be able to view all "Quote Tweets", just like users can easily list a Tweet's Likes and Retweets.
My quick and dirty mockup of how Twitter could implement Quote Tweet tracking. Clicking on the "Quote Tweets" gives you all the instances, which is just a Twitter search for the URL of the original Tweet. This seems like low-hanging fruit.
Sunday, September 16, 2018
Thursday, September 13, 2018
Me: Hey Apple, three movies I bought disappeared from my iTunes library.— Anders G da Silva (@drandersgs) September 10, 2018
Apple: Oh yes, those are not available anymore. Thank you for buying them. Here are two movie rentals on us!
Me: Wait... WHAT?? @tim_cook when did this become acceptable? pic.twitter.com/dHJ0wMSQH9
There's been a lot of chatter about what exactly does it mean to "buy" a movie from iTunes, Amazon Prime Video, or any of the other online movie services.
Movies appearing and disappearing in iTunes (or any service) as the studio agreements dictate has been happening for years. Totally customer hostile and studio agreements should prevent it but it’s not new.— Rene Ritchie (@reneritchie) September 13, 2018
The lack of social media memory is good for repeated attention, though! https://t.co/f1wgIP9rkm
If Apple (and Amazon Prime Video, Comcast, etc.) were a little more honest about what it meant to "Buy" a movie on their service, I think the user interface buttons would look a little different.
Wednesday, September 12, 2018
To add impact to a shocking moment of extreme violence, director Jim Cameron and the editors of "Terminator 2" used a very old-fashioned, low-tech editing trick.
A single frame of solid white was added into the edit precisely at the moment of impact. Nestled within a predominantly dark sequence, the quick 1/24th-of-a-second flash of bright light shocks the audience and makes the moment that much more striking.
"Mad Max 2: The Road Warrior" (1982): another example of adding a single bright frame in the middle of the edit to intensify a moment of personal violence.
Unlike the "T2" example, the frame is a single frame of overexposure (rather than a white solid color).
There's also jump cut to a different take a just before the head butt, which is hardly noticeable in real-time, especially with the added subsequent flash frame.
Tuesday, September 11, 2018
The GIFs below were part of a Tweetstorm where I attempted to debunk the whole "the Jaws shooting stars were real and actually happened on camera" mythology. These read better as tweets than as a blog post, so see the thread here, if you want.
All these "Jaws" tweets reminds me to dig up my half-finished project files debunking the whole "those shooting stars were real" myth.
A'ight , I'm just going to post these in their current state, w/no context. I planned to talk day-for-night, fast lenses, film stock, exposure of stars, depth of field, motion blur, tracking, hand-drawn animation composited into live-action... but nobody's got time for that.
I planned to talk day-for-night, fast lenses, film stock, exposure of stars, depth of field, motion blur, tracking, hand-drawn animation composited into live-action... but nobody's got time for that.
For more reactions, visit the original Twitter thread.
Just about every single TV sold in the U.S. has ‘motion smoothing’ switched on by default.
The TV attempts to create additional temporal frames, to make the motion feel “smoother” and less jerky. This makes movies (shot and projected at 24fps) appear smeary and wrong.
Films seen on a TV with motion smoothing on are not being presented properly. The “new” look changes the emotional impact of every single scene. This is not how the film was intended to be seen; this is similar to the appalling process of colorizing black & white films.
Check out the Twitter hashtag #tvninja - a TV ninja is someone who stealthily turns off motion smoothing on a TV owned by friends, relatives, or Airbnb.
Directors who have publicly fought motion smoothing include Reed Morano and Rian Johnson, who, as far as I know, came up with the hashtag #tvninja.
Christopher Nolan and Paul Thomas Anderson Battling TV Motion Smoothing
Motion smoothing goes by many different names (Auto Motion Plus, TruMotion, etc.). Turn it off. Here's a great blog post by Stu Maschwitz from 2011 properly titled, "Your New TV Ruins Movies".
I made a Special Edition High Definition restoration of Doomblake's video, "Darth Vader being a Jerk."
I used an HD source of "The Empire Strikes Back" and did a frame-by-frame restoration of Doomblake's edit. Later, I realized I messed up one of the edits (a second cut to Piett), but I liked my cutaway to Veers more, so I kept it. Making arbitrary changes to source material is a Star Wars Special Edition trademark, so why not continue that tradition. I also added titles, and an actual introduction and conclusion. The audio of the new sequences is mine, but the audio from Doomblake's amazing editing is pure Doomblake.
Update: Doomblake deleted her/his YouTube account, but the good news is that I kept an archive copy of the clip.
This is one of director J.J. Abrams' favorite visual effects shots from his film, "Mission: Impossible III". Rather than have actor Eddie Marsan forcibly shove the prop into Tom Cruise's nose, J.J. came up with a different idea on how to accomplish the shot.
Watch his full TED talk from March 2007 here.
Hal Hickel, promoting "Rogue One" on home video, with Alan Tudyk (voice of K-2SO)
If you want to hear a fun interview with ILM animation supervisor Hal Hickel, check out his appearance on the podcast Talking Bay 94, episode 15. Hal talks about his career, how we made Tarkin and Leia for "Rogue One", and about those amazing Yoda “Empire” tests that I’ve seen with my own eyes.
Overcast link: https://overcast.fm/+NSZm6kEaA
iTunes link: https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/talking-bay-94/id1388494261?mt=2
Monday, September 10, 2018
In an attempt to answer the question "What is great cinematography?", a solid answer is "if you can jump to any random frame of the movie and it looks *good*, THAT'S great cinematography."
So I tried that with "Jaws" (1975):
"Jaws" cinematographer Bill Butler was nominated for an Oscar for his work on "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest" that same year (1975). He shared the Oscar nomination with Haskell Wexler.
Tuesday, September 04, 2018
Whenever there’s a chance to do an apples-to-apples comparison of something related to the art and science of filmmaking, I’ll jump on it.
“Halloween” (1978) has seen approximately 70,000 different home video releases, including multiple iterations on DVD and Blu-ray. I personally own two versions of the movie on Blu-ray: a 2007 release, and a 2013 release, which touts a new HD transfer supervised and approved by the film’s original cinematographer, Dean Cundey.
Rarely do studios use the name of a crewmember to help sell a new pressing of a library film. Intrigued, I wondered exactly how different could the color grading would look, with an apples-to-apples comparison to the 2007 Blu-ray release of the film. I randomly chose frames from the film to compare; I didn’t specifically seek out dramatically different color grades.
Usually when a film-to-digital transfer is completed without the involvement of the original filmmakers, educated guesses (based on the cinematic memory of whoever is behind the controls, the best film prints available, old transfers, etc.) must dictate the exposure and color choices that are required to be made. Color grading (and film-to-digital transfers) are completely subjective; in the end, “what should the film look like?” dictates how saturated, bright or contrasty the movie appears. These are creative decisions.
Even though the discrepancies between the transfers are, at times, inconsistent, the general look and feel of of the 2007 release is much brighter, warmer and saturated. If this 2013 release is truly Cundey’s original vision for the film, he always intended the print to be much darker, cooler and more muted than the 2007 release.
There is no single “correct” way to process and grade a film. Just as a filmmaker chooses the colors and textures of the film’s costumes, the filmmaker chooses the look and feel of the color grade. There are an infinite number of possibilities, and, in a perfect world, new film-to-digital transfers should be supervised by the original filmmakers. As you can see in this comparison, the 2007 “unsupervised” transfer is bright and colorful, which was not the intent of the cinematographer. For some context, take a look at this blog post from Stu Maschwitz, which shows some feature film comparisons of "before creative color grading" and "after creative color grading".
I tried to do more research and hear directly from Cundey himself, but I couldn’t find any interviews with Cundey about his involvement with the 2013 Blu-ray release. At one point, HalloweenMovies.com apparently hosted this photo of Cundey working on the transfer (the link is now dead, and I was unable to find an Internet Archive version).