It's not the size of the screen...

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Warren
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Re: It's not the size of the screen...

Post by Warren »

JasonL wrote:
10 May 2020, 10:31
Warren wrote:
10 May 2020, 10:09
JasonL wrote:
10 May 2020, 10:05
The shake cam to convey action is bad, but NYPD Blue did the drift cam in dramatic scenes which made me want to murder the director. That was terrible.
I don't know what that is, and unless it has to do with cars skidding around, neither does Google.
Compare a Bourne movie to NYPD Blue. In Bourne, the fight scene starts and the camera uses jump cuts and shaking camera to convey the sense that the viewer is in the middle of a chaotic environment (and also to take pressure off of physical performances that may have to last very long if you get to watch the whole thing).

In NYPD Blue, a cop is drinking coffee talking about a case and the camera just kind of lazily drifts around. It's maddening.
So by "drift" you mean "pan", got it.
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Re: It's not the size of the screen...

Post by Painboy »

Warren wrote:
10 May 2020, 10:38
JasonL wrote:
10 May 2020, 10:31
Warren wrote:
10 May 2020, 10:09
JasonL wrote:
10 May 2020, 10:05
The shake cam to convey action is bad, but NYPD Blue did the drift cam in dramatic scenes which made me want to murder the director. That was terrible.
I don't know what that is, and unless it has to do with cars skidding around, neither does Google.
Compare a Bourne movie to NYPD Blue. In Bourne, the fight scene starts and the camera uses jump cuts and shaking camera to convey the sense that the viewer is in the middle of a chaotic environment (and also to take pressure off of physical performances that may have to last very long if you get to watch the whole thing).

In NYPD Blue, a cop is drinking coffee talking about a case and the camera just kind of lazily drifts around. It's maddening.
So by "drift" you mean "pan", got it.
Panning is a precise controlled movement. It uses some method of holding the camera steady. If it's done right you almost don't notice it.

Drifting is more like someone is just holding a camera and moving between targets with little attempt to remain steady or precise. It can give a sense of spontaneity and can add spice to a scene if done right. But also like spice if you over do it it can become distracting and for some nausea inducing.

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Re: It's not the size of the screen...

Post by D.A. Ridgely »

Painboy wrote:
10 May 2020, 13:13
Warren wrote:
10 May 2020, 10:38
JasonL wrote:
10 May 2020, 10:31
Warren wrote:
10 May 2020, 10:09
JasonL wrote:
10 May 2020, 10:05
The shake cam to convey action is bad, but NYPD Blue did the drift cam in dramatic scenes which made me want to murder the director. That was terrible.
I don't know what that is, and unless it has to do with cars skidding around, neither does Google.
Compare a Bourne movie to NYPD Blue. In Bourne, the fight scene starts and the camera uses jump cuts and shaking camera to convey the sense that the viewer is in the middle of a chaotic environment (and also to take pressure off of physical performances that may have to last very long if you get to watch the whole thing).

In NYPD Blue, a cop is drinking coffee talking about a case and the camera just kind of lazily drifts around. It's maddening.
So by "drift" you mean "pan", got it.
Panning is a precise controlled movement. It uses some method of holding the camera steady. If it's done right you almost don't notice it.

Drifting is more like someone is just holding a camera and moving between targets with little attempt to remain steady or precise. It can give a sense of spontaneity and can add spice to a scene if done right. But also like spice if you over do it it can become distracting and for some nausea inducing.
Having not seen an episode of NYPD Blue in decades, I'm not quite sure what we're talking about here except, yeah, not every moving camera shot is a pan. Are you talking about some sort of POV wandering camera? Because *that's* a technique used by dozens of directors, albeit sparingly.

My favorite least-favorite shot these days is the arc shot. I'm sure it was hard to figure out how to do it the first time without use of CGI, but it now seems as obligatory as the rutting scene in any R rated movie.

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Re: It's not the size of the screen...

Post by Warren »

D.A. Ridgely wrote:
10 May 2020, 13:51
My favorite least-favorite shot these days is the arc shot.
Is that like a tracking shot?
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Re: It's not the size of the screen...

Post by Highway »

Warren wrote:
10 May 2020, 17:11
D.A. Ridgely wrote:
10 May 2020, 13:51
My favorite least-favorite shot these days is the arc shot.
Is that like a tracking shot?
I'm guessing it's The Matrix-style freeze / slow frame point of view rotation shot.
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Re: It's not the size of the screen...

Post by D.A. Ridgely »

Highway wrote:
10 May 2020, 17:50
Warren wrote:
10 May 2020, 17:11
D.A. Ridgely wrote:
10 May 2020, 13:51
My favorite least-favorite shot these days is the arc shot.
Is that like a tracking shot?
I'm guessing it's The Matrix-style freeze / slow frame point of view rotation shot.
Yes, it's the merry-go-round shot, usually a 2 shot, where the camera whirls around the couple kissing or the antagonists fighting, whether in stop-motion or not. It's not a tracking shot because typically the actors are comparatively stationary and it's the camera that's moving. Typically, a tracking shot follows one or more actor or moving thing (e.g, a train or car) as they move and involves moving the camera on a dolly, a crane, etc. The opening shots of both "Touch of Evil" and "The Player" are maybe the best known examples of extremely long tracking shots without any cuts.
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Re: It's not the size of the screen...

Post by Warren »

Oh yeah that's annoying, and needs to go back in the box.
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Re: It's not the size of the screen...

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Yeah, it's a bit overplayed nowadays, but I can actually remember seeing The Matrix in a theater and being boggled at 'bullet time'. Holy shit that was cool. Love or hate the movies, there's no denying the Wachowskis set the new standard for action flicks.
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Re: It's not the size of the screen...

Post by Ellie »

Jasper wrote:
11 May 2020, 10:44
Yeah, it's a bit overplayed nowadays, but I can actually remember seeing The Matrix in a theater and being boggled at 'bullet time'. Holy shit that was cool. Love or hate the movies, there's no denying the Wachowskis set the new standard for action flicks.
Agreed! I will never be able to convey to my kids how mindblowing it was to see "bullet time" for the first time.
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Re: It's not the size of the screen...

Post by Warren »

Ellie wrote:
11 May 2020, 10:55
Jasper wrote:
11 May 2020, 10:44
Yeah, it's a bit overplayed nowadays, but I can actually remember seeing The Matrix in a theater and being boggled at 'bullet time'. Holy shit that was cool. Love or hate the movies, there's no denying the Wachowskis set the new standard for action flicks.
Agreed! I will never be able to convey to my kids how mindblowing it was to see "bullet time" for the first time.
Right. Now try to understand what I'm telling you when I say the SFX in Star Wars were an order of magnitude beyond that in 1977.
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Re: It's not the size of the screen...

Post by lunchstealer »

Jasper wrote:
11 May 2020, 10:44
Yeah, it's a bit overplayed nowadays, but I can actually remember seeing The Matrix in a theater and being boggled at 'bullet time'. Holy shit that was cool. Love or hate the movies, there's no denying the Wachowskis set the new standard for action flicks.
My take on The Matrix was that the story and the holy-shit-what-if-reality-isn't-real was an indicator that someone hadn't thought much about what perception really meant about reality and that the red-pill-blue-pill bit was anything but mindblowing but god DAMN did they look and sound cool. If they'd been able to hold the quality through the second and third movies they'd have been the new Star Wars. But they couldn't.
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Re: It's not the size of the screen...

Post by Andrew »

lunchstealer wrote:
11 May 2020, 14:04
Jasper wrote:
11 May 2020, 10:44
Yeah, it's a bit overplayed nowadays, but I can actually remember seeing The Matrix in a theater and being boggled at 'bullet time'. Holy shit that was cool. Love or hate the movies, there's no denying the Wachowskis set the new standard for action flicks.
My take on The Matrix was that the story and the holy-shit-what-if-reality-isn't-real was an indicator that someone hadn't thought much about what perception really meant about reality and that the red-pill-blue-pill bit was anything but mindblowing but god DAMN did they look and sound cool. If they'd been able to hold the quality through the second and third movies they'd have been the new Star Wars. But they couldn't.
There was a second and third movie?
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Re: It's not the size of the screen...

Post by Warren »

Andrew wrote:
11 May 2020, 14:07
lunchstealer wrote:
11 May 2020, 14:04
Jasper wrote:
11 May 2020, 10:44
Yeah, it's a bit overplayed nowadays, but I can actually remember seeing The Matrix in a theater and being boggled at 'bullet time'. Holy shit that was cool. Love or hate the movies, there's no denying the Wachowskis set the new standard for action flicks.
My take on The Matrix was that the story and the holy-shit-what-if-reality-isn't-real was an indicator that someone hadn't thought much about what perception really meant about reality and that the red-pill-blue-pill bit was anything but mindblowing but god DAMN did they look and sound cool. If they'd been able to hold the quality through the second and third movies they'd have been the new Star Wars. But they couldn't.
There was a second and third movie?
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Re: It's not the size of the screen...

Post by lunchstealer »

Warren wrote:
11 May 2020, 11:36
Ellie wrote:
11 May 2020, 10:55
Jasper wrote:
11 May 2020, 10:44
Yeah, it's a bit overplayed nowadays, but I can actually remember seeing The Matrix in a theater and being boggled at 'bullet time'. Holy shit that was cool. Love or hate the movies, there's no denying the Wachowskis set the new standard for action flicks.
Agreed! I will never be able to convey to my kids how mindblowing it was to see "bullet time" for the first time.
Right. Now try to understand what I'm telling you when I say the SFX in Star Wars were an order of magnitude beyond that in 1977.
I think the only thing to even approach it previously was 2001. If you were used to Star Trek and The Day the Earth Stood Still and similar very-slow-saucers and everyone having to stop and carefully stand still so that their laser/phaser/ray gun beam could carefully be animated into place.
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Re: It's not the size of the screen...

Post by lunchstealer »

Andrew wrote:
11 May 2020, 14:07
lunchstealer wrote:
11 May 2020, 14:04
Jasper wrote:
11 May 2020, 10:44
Yeah, it's a bit overplayed nowadays, but I can actually remember seeing The Matrix in a theater and being boggled at 'bullet time'. Holy shit that was cool. Love or hate the movies, there's no denying the Wachowskis set the new standard for action flicks.
My take on The Matrix was that the story and the holy-shit-what-if-reality-isn't-real was an indicator that someone hadn't thought much about what perception really meant about reality and that the red-pill-blue-pill bit was anything but mindblowing but god DAMN did they look and sound cool. If they'd been able to hold the quality through the second and third movies they'd have been the new Star Wars. But they couldn't.
There was a second and third movie?
Probably not. There was talk of something, but like Highlander they may've only made the first one and never ever come back to the franchise again.

I actually didn't see the second two except in bits and pieces but it was clear that they were terrible. Not Mission to Mars terrible, but terrible.
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Re: It's not the size of the screen...

Post by D.A. Ridgely »

On close inspection, I'd say 2001 holds up better than Star Wars as a film that was far ahead of its time technologically and that still looks good today. As exciting as the final battle was in Star Wars on first viewing, other 'classic' scenes like the saloon scene look gimmicky now. Unlike Lucas, who never saw a special effect he could resist using, Kubrick was careful not to let special effects get in his way, yet the attention to detail when, e,g,, the shuttle approaches the space station and you can see people in the tiny windows is just right.

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Re: It's not the size of the screen...

Post by Warren »

D.A. Ridgely wrote:
11 May 2020, 16:21
On close inspection, I'd say 2001 holds up better than Star Wars as a film that was far ahead of its time technologically and that still looks good today. As exciting as the final battle was in Star Wars on first viewing, other 'classic' scenes like the saloon scene look gimmicky now. Unlike Lucas, who never saw a special effect he could resist using, Kubrick was careful not to let special effects get in his way, yet the attention to detail when, e,g,, the shuttle approaches the space station and you can see people in the tiny windows is just right.
A lot of the problem is that Star Wars was made to look good on the big screen in 77, and when it was transferred to VHS, DVD, and then Blu-Ray, it didn't hold up and the remastering and CGI of later editions was just terrible.
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Re: It's not the size of the screen...

Post by dead_elvis »

lunchstealer wrote:
11 May 2020, 15:38
Andrew wrote:
11 May 2020, 14:07
lunchstealer wrote:
11 May 2020, 14:04
Jasper wrote:
11 May 2020, 10:44
Yeah, it's a bit overplayed nowadays, but I can actually remember seeing The Matrix in a theater and being boggled at 'bullet time'. Holy shit that was cool. Love or hate the movies, there's no denying the Wachowskis set the new standard for action flicks.
My take on The Matrix was that the story and the holy-shit-what-if-reality-isn't-real was an indicator that someone hadn't thought much about what perception really meant about reality and that the red-pill-blue-pill bit was anything but mindblowing but god DAMN did they look and sound cool. If they'd been able to hold the quality through the second and third movies they'd have been the new Star Wars. But they couldn't.
There was a second and third movie?
Probably not. There was talk of something, but like Highlander they may've only made the first one and never ever come back to the franchise again.

I actually didn't see the second two except in bits and pieces but it was clear that they were terrible. Not Mission to Mars terrible, but terrible.
This discussion is a good reminder to be vigilantly on guard against being tempted to watch #3, no matter how often the wife says she is in the mood for "something like The Matrix". I have an unfortunate tendency to come back and give a chance to movies that I originally wrote off due to bad reviews, which I almost always immediately regret; most recently I fell victim to Prometheus and Disney's execrable John Carter because of this.
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Re: It's not the size of the screen...

Post by Hugh Akston »

dead_elvis wrote:
11 May 2020, 18:29
lunchstealer wrote:
11 May 2020, 15:38
Andrew wrote:
11 May 2020, 14:07
lunchstealer wrote:
11 May 2020, 14:04
Jasper wrote:
11 May 2020, 10:44
Yeah, it's a bit overplayed nowadays, but I can actually remember seeing The Matrix in a theater and being boggled at 'bullet time'. Holy shit that was cool. Love or hate the movies, there's no denying the Wachowskis set the new standard for action flicks.
My take on The Matrix was that the story and the holy-shit-what-if-reality-isn't-real was an indicator that someone hadn't thought much about what perception really meant about reality and that the red-pill-blue-pill bit was anything but mindblowing but god DAMN did they look and sound cool. If they'd been able to hold the quality through the second and third movies they'd have been the new Star Wars. But they couldn't.
There was a second and third movie?
Probably not. There was talk of something, but like Highlander they may've only made the first one and never ever come back to the franchise again.

I actually didn't see the second two except in bits and pieces but it was clear that they were terrible. Not Mission to Mars terrible, but terrible.
This discussion is a good reminder to be vigilantly on guard against being tempted to watch #3, no matter how often the wife says she is in the mood for "something like The Matrix". I have an unfortunate tendency to come back and give a chance to movies that I originally wrote off due to bad reviews, which I almost always immediately regret; most recently I fell victim to Prometheus and Disney's execrable John Carter because of this.
Sometimes the second chance pays off though. I didn't care for the Coens' True Grit remake the first time, but I watched it again last week and it's actually really good once you get past the language barrier.
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Re: It's not the size of the screen...

Post by Andrew »

Hugh Akston wrote:
11 May 2020, 19:00

Sometimes the second chance pays off though. I didn't care for the Coens' True Grit remake the first time, but I watched it again last week and it's actually really good once you get past the language barrier.
I don't know what to say to that, jadahugh.
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Re: It's not the size of the screen...

Post by Jasper »

Warren wrote:
11 May 2020, 11:36
Ellie wrote:
11 May 2020, 10:55
Jasper wrote:
11 May 2020, 10:44
Yeah, it's a bit overplayed nowadays, but I can actually remember seeing The Matrix in a theater and being boggled at 'bullet time'. Holy shit that was cool. Love or hate the movies, there's no denying the Wachowskis set the new standard for action flicks.
Agreed! I will never be able to convey to my kids how mindblowing it was to see "bullet time" for the first time.
Right. Now try to understand what I'm telling you when I say the SFX in Star Wars were an order of magnitude beyond that in 1977.
I wouldn't necessarily dispute that? I mean, it's completely possible for a film maker to redefine a genre every few decades?
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Re: It's not the size of the screen...

Post by lunchstealer »

D.A. Ridgely wrote:
11 May 2020, 16:21
other 'classic' scenes ... look gimmicky now.
Shakespeare is good but damn if he isn't full of cliches :mrgreen:

More seriously though, I agree regarding 2001 holding up well, because it was less ambitious in certain important ways, which helped it hold up.

I'm curious about your thoughts as a real-time witness regarding Star Trek's SFX compared to its contemporaries. Obviously the Gorn were pretty awful (and yeah the cantina scene had some of these problems although it was much more believable to my 6-year-old eyes than the aforementioned Gorn) and other stuff was unambitious, but I feel like the Enterprise and many of the other Federation and some alien ships were, if not light years ahead of the likes of Lost In Space, at least several AU ahead, and probably as good or better than most SF filmmaking at the time. 2001 withstanding but also released 2 years after the Trek pilot.

Babylon 5 and to a lesser extent DS9 redefined CG in television SF but obvs now look super hokey compared to the current state of the art, or even just Firefly from two or three years after their runs finished.
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Re: It's not the size of the screen...

Post by D.A. Ridgely »

There is some validity to the Shakespeare cliche retort. Science fiction used to be low-budget and schlocky and, what the hell, even if they had a big budget there was only so much you could do because of the state of the art in the 50s through the 80s, but you can pretty much tell in the first ten or twenty minutes whether you're looking at something that was a labor of love or just another churned-out fan-service product. I never really watched Babylon 5, so can't comment. As long as Lucas was in charge, Star Wars sequels were going to be very high tech and, because he's not a very creative or imaginative director once he stops playing with the gadgets, mostly crappy stories with cardboard characters. Star Trek movies always had the Roddenberry family influence, which I think most people would say was a mixed blessing, but between the two I'd also say the Star Trek franchise had higher standards and was 'truer' to their original source.

Anyway, remember that CGI got better and cheaper between every Star Trek or Star Wars movie plus, yeah, we've become jaded about special effects. I've seen screenwriting contests and production companies stating that the writer should never feel held back by the question whether his vision could be brought to the screen because, in their mostly correct opinion, any visual effect, at least in two dimensions, is now possible in the movies and increasingly on television. That said, having tried three times to reboot The Twilight Zone, each time with larger budgets and better tech, I'd say they've all mostly failed while, by contrast, a fair amount of the rebooted The Outer Limits was way better than the original. *shrug*

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Re: It's not the size of the screen...

Post by Warren »

Star Trek was ground breaking. The Enterprise is absolutely iconic. You know it just from it's silhouette. But the real look of the show was sets and costumes. The lights and displays on the bridge consoles do not hold up, But the uniforms do (if you can accept the low cut tops and miniskirts.) And so does the mid century modern captains chair. Throw in automatic sliding pocket doors with their own sound effect and it really sells.
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Re: It's not the size of the screen...

Post by lunchstealer »

Warren wrote:
12 May 2020, 14:16
Star Trek was ground breaking. The Enterprise is absolutely iconic. You know it just from it's silhouette. But the real look of the show was sets and costumes. The lights and displays on the bridge consoles do not hold up, But the uniforms do (if you can accept the low cut tops and miniskirts.) And so does the mid century modern captains chair. Throw in automatic sliding pocket doors with their own sound effect and it really sells.
It's surprising how well TNG's displays hold up. The early costumes less so.
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