Archive for the 'thefilmbook' Category

LUTs 1: Searching for Turner’s Palette

thefilmbook by Benjamin BGreetings from Sweden, where I am attending the Gokinema event at Gothenburg Film Studios.

This post supplements my article in the January issue of American Cinematographer about the beautiful film Mr. Turner. The movie’s dazzling images have earned cinematographer Dick Pope, BSC, nominations from the ASC, BAFTA and the Academy.

Obviously the sophisticated look of Mr. Turner is the result of many choices by Dick and his team. In this post, I describe an aesthetic approach to researching and defining a palette that acted as one of the references for the look of the film, and also its on-set LUTs (Look-Up Tables).

My next post will offer a more technical analysis of LUTs, with the hope of helping to demystify this cinematography technology.

Turner Palette-

Turner’s Chelsea palette at the Tate

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Douglas Trumbull – Future Filmmaking

Je-suis-charlie-thefilmbook-
I have temporarily changed my logo to express my solidarity with my fellow citizens during this important moment in French history.

This post concludes the account of my discussion with the legendary Douglas Trumbull during IBC.

In the first post, Douglas presented his belief in the importance of temporal continuity between the camera and the projector. In the second post he shared his vision of the future of theatrical movies. Here he shares his insights about future filmmaking approaches and techniques.

My next post will feature additional coverage of Mr. Turner, to complement my article in this month’s American Cinematographer magazine about the wonderful film by Mike Leigh, with cinematography by Dick Pope, BSC.


Douglas Trumbull Interview 3-1 -Benjamin B -thefilmbook

Cinema technology pioneer Douglas Trumbull during our interview

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Douglas Trumbull – Future Movie Theaters

thefilmbook by Benjamin BThis post continues an account of my discussion with the legendary Douglas Trumbull in Amsterdam during IBC.

In the first post, Douglas presented his belief in the importance of temporal continuity between the camera and the projector. In this post he shares his vision of the future of theatrical movies.

Let me take this opportunity to wish all my readers the best that the spirit of the season has to offer.

Douglas Trumbull interview by Benjamin B -thefilmbook1

Cinema technology pioneer Douglas Trumbull during our interview

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Douglas Trumbull – Temporal Continuity

thefilmbook by Benjamin BI had the great privilege of spending a couple of hours speaking with the legendary Douglas Trumbull in Amsterdam during IBC. This is the first of several posts about our discussion.

Douglas Trumbull -thefilmbook- photo by Benjamin B

Cinema technology pioneer Douglas Trumbull -photo Benjamin B

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Camerimage 2014 Wrap

thefilmbook by Benjamin BCamerimage, the best and biggest cinematography festival in the world, wrapped 6 days ago.

It’s impossible to see everything at Camerimage. This post gives an account of the Main Competition winners, and details some of the events that I took part in.

You should also check out the upcoming ASC podcast by Iain Marcks and ASC Parallax View blog post by David Heuring to get more details about this complex event.

3 Frogs at Camerimage 2014

André Turpin, Mikhail Krichman, Ehab Assal & their frogs – photo: Camerimage

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Camerimage 2014 Preview

thefilmbook by Benjamin BGreetings from Bydgoszcz, Poland, home of Camerimage, the best and biggest cinematography festival in the world, which begins tomorrow.

Camerimage is a wonderful combination of screenings, seminars, workshops, and parties. This post gives you a preview of some the coming attractions in the next 9 days, and may also help to orient people who don’t know the Festival well.

Camerimage 2014 Preview -thefilmbook-

The Camerimage app

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Strangers on a Train 4 – darkness, leitmotifs, symphony

thefilmbook by Benjamin BThis is my fourth and final commentary on the classic thriller Strangers on a Train by Alfred Hitchcock.

My first post discussed the opening sequence, comparing the shooting script to the film, and Truffaut’s vision of Hitchcock as auteur. My second post discussed the Bruno character as a great bad guy, the director’s penchant for cinematic trains, and his seamless blend of locations and rear screens. My third post discussed guilt, and an erotic and suspenseful murder.

As before, this post assumes that you’ve seen the movie, and what follows may make more sense if you’ve read the previous posts.

Strangers on a Train - behind bars -thefilmbook-

Bruno (Robert Walker) and Guy (Farley Granger) hiding behind a gate in Strangers on a Train (1951) by Alfred Hitchcock with cinematography by Robert Burks, ASC

Every visual element advances and serves the story


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‘Strangers on a Train’ 3 – Murder

thefilmbook by Benjamin BThis is my third commentary on the classic thriller Strangers on a Train by Alfred Hitchcock.

My first post discussed the opening sequence, comparing the shooting script to the film, and Truffaut’s vision of Hitchcock as auteur. My second post discussed the Bruno character as a great bad guy, the director’s penchant for cinematic trains, and his seamless blend of locations and rear screens.

I now turn to the event that happens in every Hitchcock film: murder.

This post assumes that you’ve seen the movie, in other words: spoiler alert! Also, what follows may make more sense if you’ve read the previous posts.

Strangers on a Train - 26-38-Myriam lit by lighter -thefilmbook-

Myriam (Laura Elliott) illuminated by the MacGuffin in Strangers on a Train (1951) by Alfred Hitchcock with cinematography by Robert Burks, ASC

Truffaut said that Hitchcock filmed lovemaking as if it was murder, and filmed murder as if it was lovemaking


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IBC People: A Photo Album

thefilmbook by Benjamin BI recently returned from IBC, the best and biggest European trade show for cinema and television tools, held in the wonderful city of Amsterdam.

There were many interesting technical topics and products showcased there, and I will return to those in future posts.

As always, IBC was also the occasion to meet and speak with many people from the production and post-production industry, both in the technical conferences and on the show floor. And I thought it would be good to offer a post that, for once, highlights the people rather than the products.

IBC 3D screening -thefilmbook-


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It is in this spirit that I post a photo album featuring some of the portraits I’ve taken at IBC over the past five years. They include friends and colleagues, movers and shakers, industry captains and foot soldiers, cinematographers and post-producers, filmmakers and manufacturers, and some of the people who took time to explain movie technology to me.

The images are intentionally jumbled chronologically, to render a blended view of the recent past. Of course, there are many important people who I don’t have photos of — you know who you are. My apologies, I will try to make up for this shortcoming next year :)

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Interview – Luc Besson 2

thefilmbook by Benjamin BI wrote an article about Lucy that appears in the September issue of American Cinematographer, highlighting the beautiful lighting of cinematographer Thierry Arbogast, AFC. This post presents the second part of an expanded version of my interview with director/operator Luc Besson, going into more detail than we could in print.

If you haven’t read part 1 of my interview, I recommend going there first.


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Luc Besson framing Scarlett Johansson for Lucy-

Luc Besson framing a shot on Lucy with Scarlett Johansson

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