cutting on the action

photography and film – facts, ideas, values

FILM DIRECTOR Spike Lee’s dolly shot video

Fun – it solved the background recedes problem I had. Right, on to the next trick.

November 24, 2013 Posted by | dolly shot | | Leave a comment

FILM DIRECTOR Ridley Scott on film

SNIP FILM Ridley Sott

Ridley Scott on filmmaking – part I

Ridley Scott on filmmaking – part II

These are audio only. 14 & 12 mins respectively. That’s the visual↑
There are a lot more of all sorts in the YouTube listing. And they have him moving.

November 13, 2013 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , | Leave a comment

FILM CINEMATOGRAPHY Beauty Will Save the World, Will It Save Cinematography?

GRAPHIC FILM beauty-cinematography

If Beauty Will Save the World, Will It Save Cinematography?

….the history of cinematography and its roots in painting for clues about how to continue to develop the art and craft.


Yuri Neyman, ASC

November 13, 2013 Posted by | cinematographer, cinematography | , | Leave a comment

FILM CINEMATOGRAPHY Cinematographer Style

SNIP VIDEO Cinematographer style

For those of you wondering what gives with the funny way of setting out the titles of COTA’s posts: genus, species, variety. Nerdy, but then I name my files in the same way for a good reason – when you search on genus, voila a list of files and graphics you don’t remember you had.

And so once more to cinematography. What gives with all the posts on cinematography or cinematographers? Screenwriting is my primary interest. But writing scripts can never be some sort of isolated activity which has no connection with the work of director, cinematographer and editor.

Photography has always been a hobby since early teens. My father was a serious hobbyist who had his own darkroom. So it’s natural to look at the aesthetics of film in a practical sense. The theory, well, I’ve said it before: it’s a long way down the list. The odd academic article speaks to me but most seem either pretty pointless, too removed from films themselves or too opaque.

Remember that thing about art being a triangle between artist, his agent and the rich buyer? Maybe it was Picasso’s friend and biographer, John Richardson who said it. That’s academic film.

Let’s do film film. Cinematographers talking film. Cinematographer Style.

And then Cinematography: The art of painting with light

November 13, 2013 Posted by | cinematographer, cinematography | , | Leave a comment

FILM CINEMATOGARPHY The Cinematographer’s Process


The Cinematographer’s Process (Part 1): Breaking Down the Script

The Cinematographer’s Process (Part 2): Defining Your Camera Strategy

Robert Hardy, nofilmschool

November 12, 2013 Posted by | cinematographer, cinematography | | Leave a comment

FILM CINEMATOGRAPHY The Importance of Cinematography

FILM Citizen Kane contract signing

Citizen Kane: adapted from David Bordwell: Foreground, background, playground

The Importance of Cinematography

A 5.50 min video by Saun McDougall [Sean McDougall, McDougallFilm. What no website?]

There are terazillions of videos on cinematography. But this is a catchy title. The importance of anything surely gets your attention over A Guide to Basic Cinematography – yet the latter is a good video for someone who has read books, seen stills and diagrams but yearns to see film explained in film. Barring the neat postage stamp famous film examples popping up top right, it is a text book. But let’s have it called I Love Cinematography with the narrator appearing left, cartwheeling into medium shot, then running to camera for his close-up, puffing, hair awry: “I love cinematography and this is why….”

101 Film anything doesn’t quite do it title-wise. Earnest, but not sounding important. Lots of good videos, but look fella-me-guys we need titles, Gone with the Cinematographer, Lost in Cinematography, The Silence of the Cinematographer, The Pursuit of Cinematography, There Will Be Cinematography, Synecdoche, Cinematography. That Obscure Object of Cinematography. Now you’re watching.

Richard Michalak’s {1} (there must be a series somewhere..) is the best Idiot’s Short Information-Packed Guide to Cinematography I’ve seen so far. Mark Fenton who put it up (with permission he says..) calls it, Cinematography Learn from a Master. O.k, let’s loop back to the previous paragraph for the names bit.

Next it’ll be the nexus of writer, director, cinematographer and editor. Descriptions of people working together, not theory. Best/worst. Someone said in something I just read that the screenwriter and the editor are considered the more creative of this group. But before that a few links in a separate post on what the cinematographer aka the director of photography does when he gets hold of the screenplay. But before that a couple of who wins cinematography awards.

November 9, 2013 Posted by | cinematography, film, Richard Michalak | , | Leave a comment

FILM John Sayles’ Golden Rules of MovieMaking

moviemaking Lick Pier 1926

Lick Pier, Venice, California, 1926

Wisdom Wednesday: John Sayles’ Golden Rules of MovieMaking

MovieMaker 6 November 2013

November 8, 2013 Posted by | film, film directors | | Leave a comment