When did it become acceptable even among high-budget productions...
Jun 24, 2008 at 3:06 AM Thread Starter Post #1 of 27

trains are bad

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When did it become acceptable even among high-budget productions in holleywood, to film with a handheld camera? Since when is a cameraman nonchalantly propping up the camera in his arms and sloppily framing some scene while walking around the set considered reasonable and competent cinematography? Why do directors do it? They must do it as a matter of choice; perhaps the rise of 'reality' TV has made horrid cinematography acceptable?
 
Jun 24, 2008 at 3:23 AM Post #3 of 27

craiglester

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It's just a style.. it's really not as prevalent as you think. It just stands out, and catches your attention. Which is exactly what it's meant to do.

It's meant to provide a sense of immediacy, rawness, make you feel like it's less processed, more "real".

And it's NOT just a case of propping a camera in you arms and wandering about willy nilly.. handheld camera work is easily as hard, if not harder than tripod / boom mounted work. Try running down a street looking where you're going with one eye whilst framing a shot with the other.. not as easy as it looks, believe me.

It's not to everyones taste though, I'll grant you that.
 
Jun 24, 2008 at 3:29 AM Post #4 of 27

TheMarchingMule

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Quote:

Originally Posted by aaron313 /img/forum/go_quote.gif
Just to clarify, you are exempting the opening sequence of Saving Private Ryan, correct?


lol I think he's talking about Cloverfield?
 
Jun 24, 2008 at 3:30 AM Post #5 of 27

aaron313

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There's little doubt it's extremely difficult. I really enjoy the style, provide it isn't done for sheer gimmickry. In Arrested Development (not a movie, not reality either), the camera work adds to the irreverent, ad hoc vibe of the show. However, the show is actually highly scripted, so the camera work serves to further dissociate the viewer from reality.
 
Jun 24, 2008 at 3:35 AM Post #6 of 27

aaron313

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Quote:

Originally Posted by TheMarchingMule /img/forum/go_quote.gif
lol I think he's talking about Cloverfield?


That doesn't qualify, either. The movie is supposed to be from the POV of the character, so it works.

If I remember correctly, was Spy Game shot in that style? The whole point is to draw the viewers into the situation. When the camera is placed street-level, it is as if you are directly involved in the scene as an observer. However, when too much liberty is taken, such as when the cameraman runs with the camera, and everything is shaken up, and it's impossible to follow the action, that really pisses me off. Also, it makes no sense, because why would the POV of the camera (basically the viewer) be involved in a rundown? In that situation, I think it's reckless cinematography, because there is really no point in involving the viewer unnecessarily. That's what the OP was referring to, and so in that sense I agree with him.
 
Jun 24, 2008 at 3:47 AM Post #7 of 27

trains are bad

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I'm not talking about cloverfield or blair witch hunt. What prompted me this time was actually the Boston Massacre 'fire' scene in John Adams, which features a long take of a skinny-armed cameraman following the lead character through alleys while attempting to achieve something that could be called 'composition'...or maybe he wasn't trying.

It's this kind of 'camera work' that irritates me. Once upon a time, movie crews used to build trolleys to move the camera along, and in the 70s this guy invented something called the 'steadycam'. For crying out loud, Firefly has HAND-HELD CG!!

Quote:

It's meant to provide a sense of immediacy, rawness, make you feel like it's less processed, more "real".


Well, what it does is provide a sense of abstraction rather than immediacy, serving perfectly to remind me that I'm looking through a camera held in the hands of an offscreen cinematographer and filtered through the asinine production values of the director, and it makes me feel irritated, and possibly nauseated.

Not to mention it is a complete copout regarding action scenes *cough*bourne*cough*. It's like the director and producer are standing around like "Gee, maybe we should hire an action cinematographer and start training the actors....or maybe we'll just strap the camera to this beach ball and roll it through the scene".

It's like dynamic range compression in music. It doesn't make it sound louder...it makes it sound like it was poorly mastered!
 
Jun 24, 2008 at 4:21 AM Post #8 of 27

Jahn

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You mean he wasn't talking about the floating trashbag scene in American Beauty? My cinematic hopes are crushed.
 
Jun 24, 2008 at 4:23 AM Post #9 of 27

Suntory_Times

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I disagree, when done correctly and in suitable circumstances it can be very good. Such example are the bourne movies and Battlestar Galactica. Likewise some people take it to far like cloverfield and blairwitch project (though I disagree with cloverfield, as I found it easy to watch, but then again, I didn't see it in cinema).
 
Jun 24, 2008 at 4:40 AM Post #10 of 27

Punnisher

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Suntory_Times /img/forum/go_quote.gif
I disagree, when done correctly and in suitable circumstances it can be very good. Such example are the bourne movies and Battlestar Galactica. Likewise some people take it to far like cloverfield and blairwitch project (though I disagree with cloverfield, as I found it easy to watch, but then again, I didn't see it in cinema).


I agree to a certain extent, but I think in the Bourne movies it fits but was a tad overdone. In blair witch, it's suited. Also in Arrested Development, I couldn't stand the camera style so I immediately disregarded the show. I absolutely couldn't stand it. It's like watching an action movie with nothing but dull moments throughout. It just doesn't match. It's now an overused and misplaced tactic that just needs to stop.

Then again I hardly ever watch TV, so it doesn't much matter.
 
Jun 24, 2008 at 4:43 AM Post #11 of 27

Nihility

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i think the bourne movies were about 10% overdone, it could have been perfect but they overdid it a tiny bit too much.
 
Jun 24, 2008 at 4:47 AM Post #12 of 27

Arainach

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Quote:

It's like dynamic range compression in music. It doesn't make it sound louder...it makes it sound like it was poorly mastered!


Wrong analogy entirely. What you're proposing is more like "why is recording and selling live albums considered acceptable? We've had music studios for 60 years!".

It's a totally different artistic sense. Technical quality isn't what makes great art.
 
Jun 24, 2008 at 4:49 AM Post #13 of 27

aaron313

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Nihility /img/forum/go_quote.gif
i think the bourne movies were about 10% overdone, it could have been perfect but they overdid it a tiny bit too much.


90% of statistics on Head-Fi are useless, the other half are useful.

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Jun 24, 2008 at 3:16 PM Post #15 of 27

MD1032

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The point of putting a camera on a stand is that it prevents distraction from the scene due to camera shake.
 

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