Thread: Does Hollywood have it backwards?

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  1. #1 Does Hollywood have it backwards? 
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    Let me get this straight, the movie that is shot almost entirely on Steadicam with a wide angle gets a nod for cinematography while the editing which is so seamless it is essentially invisible is completely forgotten.

    Similarly the movie that features hundreds of precise well timed and beautiful camera moves and shots gets the nod for editing because there are lots of cuts to the aforementioned beautiful and well timed shots.

    crazy town
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  2. #2  
    Maybe explain what movies you are talking about instead of being all cryptic.
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  3. #3  
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    My guess is that the first movie is BIRDMAN. Not as sure on the 2nd, maybe THE IMITATION GAME?

    I think the cinematography nod for BIRDMAN is owing to the crazy choreography involving not just camera and actors, but lights and grip that went into each of those 400 footreel shots in that film.

    If I'm wrong then Howie can call me out.
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  4. #4  
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    Birdman was the easy one, but I was referencing the editing in Whiplash, hence backwards, they seem juxtaposed to me. The beauty of the editing in Birdman is how seamless it is from storyboard to final cut. It's because of the editing that they were able to tell the lie that it was a continuous take. The editing of Whiplash is if anything on the nose and it's the camera's movement and interaction with the music and characters that is amazing.

    While I agree there's a lot of blocking in Birdman it's the illusion of a continuous take that makes the feat seem more impressive. That the rehearsals were more like play rehearsals where everything had to be rehearsed and timed before shooting is another self referential aspect of the movie, as the backdrop is a play. I'm still convinced that a huge chunk of Birdman is a big in-joke that nobody's got yet.

    Both were great but in my opinion Hollywood switched their lunch bags.
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  5. #5  
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    I think they got it exactly right actually. With Whiplash, the editor was very much a part of creating the film, what parts we saw and what parts we didn't, in order to effectively tell a story.

    In Birdman, the cinematography / shot list itself was a real life in-camera edit, in the sense they shot EXACTLY what needed to be shot in order to transition to the next scene, sometimes 10-15 minute takes... can you imagine? There was no forgiveness, no way to work in other little pieces to patch things up. It was either get the shot perfect, and blend it to the next shot with VFX or nothing at all.

    Birdman's editing was actually the cinematography combined with VFX to come up with a result that was completely seamless. The fact is, they couldn't rely on the power of editing for that film even if they wanted to.
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  6. #6  
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    Here's why.

    1. Birdman was not done in long takes. It was done in many many takes with seamless transitions done at perpendicular lines on the frame. Door jams, sides of buildings and such. This was not a job for the editors but of the VFX team and the director. I too was fooled at first till I read up on how it was made. Cinematography great, editing ok with heavy VFX help to create story.

    2. Whiplash was edited right on cue and when it needed to be. With the music and without HEAVY VFX help.

    Seems right on cue to me.
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  7. #7  
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    Emotive movies featuring people suffering from debilitating problems tend to do very well at the Oscar.
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  8. #8  
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    The editing improved and complemented the cinematography in Birdman, while I feel the cinematography significantly complimented the editing in Whiplash. Miles is not a born/trained jazz drummer, and shooting him in a particular way, with certain editing in mind to help with this fact is a significant part in the suspension of disbelief for that film.

    Though personally, I felt that the cinematography alone in Unbroken warranted Deakins' first win, but I suppose the film itself wasn't strong enough to warrant the Win. Just my .02
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