Making a Scene: 11 (Very) Short RED EPIC-Shot Films from Legendary Cinematographer Janusz Kaminski
Janusz Kaminski is an industry legend. Since 1990, he has DP'd over 30 feature films, and been nominated for 6 cinematography Oscars (two of which he's won). His most notable work has been with Steven Spielberg, for whom he's shot just about every film in recent memory. This past month, Kaminski partnered up with The New York Times to direct 11 original short films for the NYT Magazine's "Movies Issue." Each film was shot on the RED EPIC MX (which is unusual for Kaminski since he normally shoots film) and features one of Hollywood's most prominent actors, ranging from Bradley Cooper to Robert Redford, and a single line of dialogue written by one of today's top screenwriters. Check out a few of the films below, as well as an excellent behind the scenes video showing Kaminski's filmmaking process:
Here are a few of my favorites from this wonderful little experiment in cinema. First, here's Cate Blanchett's film, featuring a line written by Andrew Bujalski:
Here's Robert Redford, with a line from comedic writers Evan Goldberg and Seth Rogen (this one made me laugh out loud):
Here's Forest Whitaker, with a line from Greta Gerwig:
Here's Chiwetel Ejiofor, with a line from Jeff Nichols:
And here's my favorite. Greta Gerwig, featuring a line by Julie Delpy, Ethan Hawke, and Richard Linklater:
Of course, these aren't really short films in the traditional sense of the term. They're more like experimental vignettes that tell a story in the most abstract way imaginable. They're tone poems of cinema that feature cryptic and beautiful lines from some of today's most prolific screenwriters.
Here's a fun behind the scenes look at "Making a Scene":
What I find striking about these films is that they are "cinema for cinema's sake." They don't have an agenda or a message. They're pure cinematic expression, which is something that is rarely found outside of experimental film these days. As Kaminski expresses in the making-of video, this type of experiment allows filmmakers the ability to create with an unfettered sense of expression.
What do you guys think about these fun little films? Let us know in the comments!