April 2, 2016 at 9:28AM, Edited April 2, 10:07AM

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On Filmic Glass, Cinematic Look, Video Like Sharpness and more of those terms

Filmic glass, cinematic look, video like sharpness and more of those terms you find everywhere. Together with applying Mickey Mouse LUT colors, washed out colors, muddy imagery due to excessively flat capturing, artificial grain or even blurring because 'it's too sharp'.

What do you folks think?

Am I just not artistic enough to appreciate those 'new' clothes?

6 Comments

Personally, I hate people talking everyday about these terms you mentioned instead of filming things. Everybody is so worried about technical quality, but so little about content quality.

April 4, 2016 at 7:50AM

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Preach!

April 6, 2016 at 7:44AM

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Christopher Evans
Video Artist
435

Ask a biology professor and law student to describe what blood is and you'll get very different answers; They will both refer to the same matter, but one will most likely be a whole lot more in-depth.
In the same sense, someone who works as a colorist might have a lot more to say about the difference between luts, color science and color trends, and someone who works as a camera assistant, DP, stills photographer or just dealing with lenses daily at a rental house might have a lot more to say about the difference between them.

I think it would be unfair to disregard the discussions as made up, just because we don't see it ourselves. At the same time, if you can't shoot something cinematic on a Canon T2i, you're not going to be able to shoot anything cinematic on any camera, regardless of it's color science or motion cadescence.

April 4, 2016 at 9:08AM, Edited April 4, 9:09AM

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Tobias N
Director of Photography
1427

So then how can a lens or a camera be cinematic? Or even a look?

I think that would be like calling a certain type of paintbrush or canvas artistic.

I think that things like lenses, cameras, colors etc are simply tools of the art. The art is what the human mind decides to do with it.

April 4, 2016 at 10:36AM, Edited April 4, 10:36AM

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Cary Knoop
Member
1988

""So then how can a lens or a camera be cinematic? Or even a look?""

You're mixing different things though. "Cinematic" is to many, the golden standard - that's what certain lenses, artificial grain, luts, log capturing, 'blurring' aim to help you meet. "Cinematic" is the standard set by the leading film industry throughout the century; the blockbusters, world renowned features and tv shows. Looking up Cinematic you find it defined as "having qualities characteristic of films". And modern films are the result of many decades of artistry, experimentation and innovation. The way we tell stories through film has been perfected to the techniques, tools and workflows we use today. No wonder people strive towards cinematic, since cinematic is a great way to tell your story, engage your audience and evoke feelings.

""I think that would be like calling a certain type of paintbrush or canvas artistic.""
No. Artistic and cinematic do not fall under the same category and are not mutually exclusive.

""I think that things like lenses, cameras, colors etc are simply tools of the art. The art is what the human mind decides to do with it.""
Again; Artistic and cinematic do not fall under the same category and are not mutually exclusive. But for the record I think plenty of lenses are work of art on their own.

April 4, 2016 at 11:16AM

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Tobias N
Director of Photography
1427

I think people need to learn an appreciation of how the "look" of a film is married to it's other aspects - story, tone, atmosphere, sound and music. Having everything look like a hollywood-lit, super 35mm, cinemascope project is not an end in itself. On it's own that's not what will convince your audience this is a "real" film.

Swedish director Ruben Östlund made one of the best films of this decade so far, called Play. It's about boys terrorising other boys for one afternoon on the streets of Gothenburg. It has a hard, sharp video look that accents the everyday realism, as does the dull color. It's consciously NOT a "cinematic" film

Then Östlund made Force Majeure (called Tourist where I live), another film verging on masterpiece status, about a nuclear family imploding on a ski vacation. Also not a "cinematic" looking film, but much more stylized than Play, with a high-fidelity digital image, accenting the antiseptic surroundings and the brittle facade of a "perfect family".

I don't think Östlund will ever make a "cinematic" looking movie, but not because he doesn't care about the image, or believe that it's secondary to the acting or story etc. He's an extremely camera-oriented director, but he uses the texture of the image to further his themes, to harmonize with the rest of the film.

Zack Snyder is an example of a director who does the opposite - he goes for maximum, standardized, "cinematic" beauty on every shot, no matter the subject. He values the image on it's own (and not-so-arguably that's where most of his talent lies). There are some great looking shots and sequences in Watchmen, but on the whole, the look of the film is grinding against the story being told - the look should have represented the gray, insular world of aging superheros in existential despair. The comic book has washed out colors, no "motion-lines" with the violence swift and brutal and messy - whereas Snyder turns every fist-fight into a slow-motion ballet. So even though he shot the comic book almost frame-by-frame, he completely botched the tone.

Anyhoo, my point is that people should stop obsessing about "cinematic" and start obsessing about "looking right".

April 6, 2016 at 12:25AM, Edited April 6, 12:28AM

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