Sunday, January 17, 2010

Reflections on early cinematography...

As you know, Adventures in Science is going to be a silent film. Originally, the Steampunk flavor would be that someone, earlier than the Lumiaire brothers would have invented the moving picture camera, and that I would be using that camera to make a film from that time period.

Well, having watched a bunch of movies from the early 1900s (1903, 1904, 1906) I've decided to go another way. Those early movies, while innovative for their time, really suck. It feels like the movies don't really know what story to tell, and the actors don't have a clue what they're doing. Some randomly dance, others look baffled, it's chaos. Even later pictures, like Metropolis, have the sensibility of static photographs that just happen to move. The timing of Buster Keaton films came much later, and while my film isn't a comedy, I like the beats.

What I really want to do is tell my story from a modern film making perspective, that just happens to be silent, and just happens to have cameras that are mostly locked.

With few exceptions, what those early pictures are missing is a sense of depth and... purpose? Mood, maybe? Clear storytelling- the stuff I went to school for twenty years ago is something I really hope to bring to the table. Will I succeed?

I sure hope so.


  1. If your upgrading the story, acting and general 'look' by encompassing modern effects I'm confused by the mostly 'locked off' camera. You seem to be stylizing your film. So why stop at the camera dynamics?

  2. Because it's the only way I will be able to get the film done. If I have a dynamic camera, that means I will have to motion track the camera, track the actors, and render out backgrounds that encompass the length of the shot. Since this is just me, I can't do that if I want to get the film done in a reasonable time. (Or at all)

    So... Locked off cameras. There will be some pans and tilts, but those will all be done in post.

  3. Ah-I see- your heading more and more the way I seem to remember "Dantes Inferno" film. Damn you know I cant find anything on that movie anymore...

  4. Remember- Low budget! If I had a team of visual effects guys it would be totally different. I probably wouldn't even go silent. But, it's just me and I know what I'm capable of!

  5. Hey --its going to be AAAWWWWEEEEESSSOOOMMMEEEEE!