» Posts Tagged ‘composition’

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Composition & DepthThere are many aspects to the art and craft of cinematography. There is a technological component to it, of course, and that’s something that we talk about frequently. However, most people agree that it’s not the equipment that is used, but instead, how it is used that determines the efficacy of a given cinematographic piece. Of the many artistic facets of the craft, perhaps the least understood is composition. Many of our most coveted compositional techniques and theories come from history’s greatest visual artists, and they are entirely fascinating and useful once understood. Unfortunately, learning about them can be about as interesting as watching paint dry. Luckily, the following video on composition is not only informative, but it’s also, dare I say, entertaining. More »

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Shot depthSince we shoot on a 2D plane, creating the illusion of depth is an important aspect of cinematography. Sometimes a few blocking choices, like filming your subjects against walls, can (not always) make a scene look flat and uninteresting. So, let’s take a look at what gives a scene depth, and if there’s a lack thereof, what options you have to bring your subjects from the dark and boring abyss of the background.  More »

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Ed Lachman on Craft TruckCinematographer Ed Lachman has had a storied career working with some of cinema’s finest directors, the likes of which include Robert Altman, Steven Soderbergh, Sofia Coppola, and Todd Haynes. Craft Truck sits down with Ed to discuss his background in German expressionism, his approach to storytelling and his philosophy behind his use of color in his films. Hit the jump for the excellent two-part interview: More »

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Tom Richmond Craft Truck InterviewHere’s another awesome Craft Truck interview to munch on. Cinematographer Tom Richmond, who has shot some insane movies with the likes of Todd Solondz, Roger Avary, and James Gray, puts emphasis on composition and understanding that photography in a film is its own language. They discuss the grammar of the language and why working with directors is more akin to being a “Detective of Photography.” Hit the jump for the full interview: More »

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Ever wondered what was going through the director’s head as they set up on a shot? Antonio Campos, a filmmaker on the forefront of American independent film, sits down with Filmmaker Magazine to discuss his process and aesthetic method. Here they look at some scenes from Campos’s latest film Simon Killer, and break down the filmmaking in terms of composition, intent, and performance. Hit the jump to watch the full interview: More »

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As modern filmmakers, we have the benefit of hindsight in understanding what has been established in cinema, like the basics of scene coverage and shot composition. One of these shooting essentials is the 180 degree rule, which guides our coverage of a conversation between two subjects. Think of how commonly two people hold a conversation in films you’ve seen, and you’ll have a good idea of how often the rule can apply! Read on to see how scenes can be boiled down to the most powerful imaginary measuring stick at a filmmaker’s disposal, plus some more on basic shot composition and framing. More »