Wednesday, September 15, 2010

In the Press

Some interesting articles that have appeared recently:

Salon: How to write a TV show, sort of
With two seasons of HBO's "Bored to Death" under his belt, Jonathan Ames offers an explanation of how they go about writing and producing the show in a list of ten steps. They include:
4. Once the general stories have been determined, a new discussion is begun -- breaking the stories down into specific outlines, scene by scene (our episodes will generally have about 15 to 18 scenes). This probably takes two to three weeks.

American Society of Cinematographers: The Cinematographer Today: Evolution or Devolution? — Part One
John Bailey runs through the history of cinematography, and then considers the impact of digital on the film making process. Some interesting quotes:
It was also common, even mandatory, in silent days for the cinematographer to own his own camera.
Over a famous liquor-fueled weekend, Gregg Toland is said to have instructed the tyro film director Orson Welles in the principles and techniques of the motion picture camera.
The abandonment of 35mm film dailies starting a decade ago followed the rise of digital editing on the Avid.

This article caused Garrett O'Brien to pen his own criticism of digital, and the idea that anyone can be a cinematographer:
Democratization is a great way to run a country. But that doesn’t mean it works on a film set. But the neutering of a cinematographer doesn’t end there. This idea of shots being “DATA” is taken into post.
...a lesson I learned from one of my most influential teachers, Dave Insley, one of the DPs for “The Wire”. We were doing a very slight dolly move, maybe only moving a foot in distance. I jokingly said we could have done that movie in post. He then told me to never give that sort of freedom up on your images. Otherwise editors will take it and f*%^ it up. (something along those lines anyways).
Garrett O'Brien VisualsThe Future of Filmmaking: Neutering Cinematographers?

LA Times Blogs: Is Werner Herzog's new 3-D documentary a huge forward leap or total folly?
Werner Herzog's only experience with 3D before beginning his latest project was watching the film Avatar, and that wasn't a great success: "I felt uncomfortable seeing 3-D images nonstop. It was very difficult for my mind to follow." And yet he decided to use it to film Cave of Forgotten Dreams which shows the Chauvet-Pont-d'Arc cave art in the South of France. Will this be Herzog's own Fitzcarraldo? We'll have to wait and see, though from the article, it sounds promising.

Still, Herzog sees 3D as a tool suitable only for certain projects:
I've never used the process in the 58 films I made before and I have no plans to do it ever again, but it was important to capture the intentions of the painters. Once you saw the crazy niches and bulges and rock pendants in the walls, it was obvious it had to be in 3-D."
He concludes: We shouldn't ever have a romantic comedy in 3-D

Over at, Andrew O'Hehir also talks about the movie: Toronto: Werner Herzog's 3-D cave movie

Variety: Producers adjust to changing landscape
Deals are up a bit, but things are still tight for movie Producers:
While the tally of deals has seen an uptick over the past six months, that number remains less than half of what it was a decade ago, when 292 deals were listed in Variety's 2000 report.

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