September 5, 2014 at 10:35AM

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What are the contemporary trends in cinematography?

Is there a fashion or trends in cinematography? What are the new trends, popular looks, cliches etc?

10 Comments

MoVI, and all the interesting pass-through, dolly, jibby kinda movements you can get with gimbal units are becoming quite the trend. It's a little over the top sometimes, but as to be expected with a new toy.

The outrageous shallow depth of field look seems to be going away finally, but in indie stuff it's still very much a thing.

color wise, I'm seeing a lot of desaturated, muted tone looks- not quite log or anything, but maybe take a look at Her to see the idea.

September 5, 2014 at 11:09AM

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Alex Enman
Filmist/Colormaker
276

Organic handheld seems to be very, very trendy. From what I've seen a tried, most often accomplished with an Easyrig or something like that. Also, soft, sparse, moody lighting are very common. And, maybe as a response to DSLR and digital, softening up images seems to be a common thing too—taking the perfectly crisp edge off of images.

https://vimeo.com/62751624
https://vimeo.com/81349067
https://vimeo.com/102876218

September 5, 2014 at 11:59AM

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David S.
3135

Contemporary trends are subjective. A lot has already been said above. I would say that the most contemporary trends I've seen lately are:

1) softer lighting, as opposed to hard lighting
2) more contrast in lighting ratios, with less backlight
3) shallower depth of field
4) complicated camera movies via Steadicam, MOVI, dolly, jibs/cranes, etc.
5) slow-motion - I've seen a huge increase since the Sony EX series hit the market and people can do it with digital. Sometimes it's overkill.
6) film grain added to digitally shot movies

If I think of any others I'll share. However, those are what I see most frequently.

September 5, 2014 at 1:58PM

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Tim Buttner
Multi-Media Expert (writer, director, producer, D.O.P., etc)
329

Nice lists! Maybe also the use of multirotors, because of the increasing availability and lower prices, as well as improvements in quality.

September 5, 2014 at 2:22PM

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Samuel Zerbato
Aspiring Filmmaker / DP
162

Excellent point. I've never seen so much aerial videography!

September 5, 2014 at 4:22PM

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David S.
3135

I know that they are being used for quite a while now, but I see more and more long takes in films and TV (1+ minutes)

September 5, 2014 at 3:14PM

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Dominik Belancic
Cinematographer/Director
261

A trend I hate-and that perhaps I notice a lot because I'm by TVs that don't have sound on, so I notice visual patterns more-is commercials that are obviously being shot as cheaply as possible (from big companies) that have lots and lots of sun in the background, meaning the sun and light streaks are coming through behind the actors and foreground. It's the cheapest (in a creative sense) way of evoking something in your commercial, and whenever I see it I almost feel embarrassed for everyone involved in making them. It's very assembly line approach filmmaking, in a way.

September 5, 2014 at 3:26PM

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Angelo Mike
Director
160

You mean back light and lens flares? Terrence Malick knows how to use this.

September 5, 2014 at 4:00PM

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One of the contemporary trends are all sorts of vintage looks. Some people think that Magic Bullet filters will make them better cinemtographers.

September 5, 2014 at 4:24PM

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As far as current colour trends, I definitely think that over the past two years with the popularisation of logarithmic gamut, colour in film has shifted away from "crushed" to more "milky". Instead of going for the high-con look of many film stocks, I believe people have tried to emulate the "Arri Alexa" or "RED" look by flattening out the image later.

September 7, 2014 at 9:35PM

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Aidan Gray
Director of Photography Assistant Camera | Gaffer
1614

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