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April 28, 2003 at 7:03 am #1691
Avatar of Cometgreen

Well, on a Star Wars board I sometimes check, a person had a really great idea for a thread. He posted a shot from one of the two prequel movies every day, and then had others post their insights into the cinematography of that shot. I figured that that would be perfect here, as it could really help some of us to focus a bit more on cinematography and shot composition, which is very important in film. Ever since that thread, I personally have been paying much more attention to composition (we watched Jesus Christ: Superstar in our religion class; all I could do was focus on the cinematography).

So, here are the rules: I (and only I, for those trolls out there) will post a new image every day. You may look at the image and comment on its shot composition, lighting, color, and anything else related to cinematography. You’re also allowed to comment on your feelings of the scene, such as any problems you had with the dialogue, if you thought it was an unnecessary scene, if you thought it was a brilliant scene, etc. But please try to comment on the cinematography; I don’t want this to turn into one massive review thread.

So, since this is dealing with the best cinematography of current brickfilms, I think we can all agree that there’s no better film to start off with than Rise of the Empire. As long as Jay has no problems with me using this beautiful image from his making of page, let’s start with this one:

“The Jedi have become reclusive.”

Have fun!


April 28, 2003 at 11:55 am #1694
Avatar of unfoldingmetal

:) I like that picture. Someone must have a lot of lego!

April 28, 2003 at 1:05 pm #1697
Avatar of minifigstudios

The angel is nice. You get both the background and the building at the same time, and the persons are placed nicely in the middle. The shadows and the lightning really makes a nice depth to it. The colours and how it’s buildt fits nice together.

My englishteacher says I use the word nice to often. Hmmmm. I wonder why. :P

April 28, 2003 at 4:14 pm #1703
Avatar of majordirector

i like the slightly monochrome look of the whole set and then just the colour in the middle with the characters.

April 28, 2003 at 4:31 pm #1706
Avatar of steve

i like that movie too bad it did not win in the starwars contest.

April 28, 2003 at 5:01 pm #1713
Avatar of Yolegoman

Well, let’s see… the minifigs, as minifig studio said, are nicely placed in the middle, but what really cathces my eye is that lantern light thing hanging on the pillar… really adds to the nighttime feel of the shot.

And if you look very closely, you see that Palpatine is inclining his head slightyl towart Anakin, as if he wants to see anakins reaction…

The pillar to the right of the screen, almost touching the cam it looks like, adds to the depth also.

A great shot!

April 28, 2003 at 5:35 pm #1716
Avatar of RevMen

The construction of this set is awesome (except for the little piece of stairs missing on the right, which Jay mentions on his making of page). The bricks are all nice and straight and the pillars are almost entirely, but not completely utilitarian. The lighting is adequate, but not too bright, and also delivered by utilitarian means. The precision build, coloring, and sense of immensity help convey that Coruscant, and by extension, The Republic, are powerful, old, and not aligned toward good or evil. The viewer experiences senses of awe at the sheer size of the architecture and subtle frustration knowing that this place can support the dark side just as easily as it can the light.

This particular place is simultaneously public and private. It’s obvious that they are outside in a great city, but at the same time you can see that they’ve found a little corner to have their talk. It looks like the edge of the building is on the left, preventing anyone from seeing them from that direction. On the right is a tall set of stairs, putting them out of the line of site from anyone in that direction. From the camera’s point of view, there’s the pole in the foreground, suggesting that the viewer is forced to look through some sort of obstruction to see the characters.

Overall, the scene portrays goings-on of a secret and strategerous ;) manner. It also portrays the location of the goings-on as a huge, old, powerful city that is unattached from or even unaffected by the activities of its inhabitants, whether naughty or nice.

And where’d he get all those grey bricks?

April 29, 2003 at 12:07 am #1751
Avatar of Bump500

“RevMen” wrote:

And where’d he get all those grey bricks?

I think they’re plates. (look at the missing part of the staircase. It ‘s kinda hollow.) For the columns no clue.

April 29, 2003 at 6:56 am #1775
Avatar of Cometgreen

Ah, quite a good turnout. I’m especially pleased with Revmen’s post. That’s the kind of insight I’m really hoping to get. Even if you think the director did not mean to do something, or that symbolism just kind of showed up, it doesn’t matter. Just say whatever you see. Even if it is kind of off the wall.

Of course, Yolego’s and minifigstudio’s kind of posts are productive and good.

My impressions:

A great shot, even if he did break a major rule of cinematography in the next shot. :P Very grey, giving an ominous feel to it. And, it also shows the color scheme we are seeing throughout the Star Wars prequels. The Phantom Menace was bright, Attack of the Clones got a bit darker and very red, and Episode III is supposed to bring in the industrial sense of the original trilogy to the forefront. Overall, a very beautiful set. It also got the Renaissance style architecture.

I think this is one of the major shots that really need camera movement. A slow, almost unnoticable camera move or pan would have made this shot a true beauty. It still is, but that could have made it even better. All though, since it is just a trailer, and this would most likely be shown in the middle of a certain scene, I guess it works. I was mainly thinking of a pan from directly behind the pillar, moving to the left.

One thing I really love is the lamp. It really adds some realism to the scene, but it also is quite symbolic. It is the only bright light in the entire scene, and the two figures are walking away from the light. Anakin is slowing being lead into the darker side by Palpatine. And, like Revmen said, they have found a private place in this huge city. If you imagine the entire scene, you’d deduce that they have come from around that corner, which is where you see the lights of Coruscant. They have moved away from the city, and are now isolated, as evident by the pillar on the right and the platform on the left.

OK, well, I don’t think I’ll bore you anymore.

Shot for April 28, 2003:

Now, I’m going to try to vary the films nightly, but it turned out that I had quite a bit of homework tonight, so I just got another shot from RotE. I will get another film’s shot tomorrow, though (and no, they’re not all going to be Star Wars films ;) ). Still, this is another beauty, and I think insight similar to Revmen’s will see what I see in it.

He looks pissed…


April 29, 2003 at 1:04 pm #1788
Avatar of minifigstudios

This time I’ll try to vary my language.

You see Anakin clearly. You can really see his expressions. This is helped forth by really good lightning, a clear face and a kind of unclear background. It looks like he is waiting. Waiting while the things outside the window moves (I’m not into Star Wars, at all). You know that time goes, but he just waits. I dunno wich context this picture is from, so that’s what I think of.

April 29, 2003 at 1:50 pm #1790
Avatar of LowweeK

Superb work on the focus : the back is blurred although the front is really sharp.
There is a parallel between the lighting of the foreground and background (face) with dark and light zones.
This totally underlines the expression of the minifig : seems anxious, between dark and light.
Another great thing is the cam angle : by putting it under the face (in France we call this angle counter-diving, I don’t know the english translation), it underlines the feelings of the character and adds a dramatic effects. Without knowing the story, without words, just with the picture, you can tell that something terrific is about to happen.
Great work !

April 29, 2003 at 2:15 pm #1791
Avatar of Yolegoman

Next time, see if you can get a shot from Good Company. ;)

My review on the pic will come later, I have stuff to do, and want to think about the pic some. :)


One of the first things I notice is that the screen is divided; that is, half of the screen is bright, clear blue sky; and the other half is a dark, menacing hallway… as if showing the hard desicion of which path to take that anakin is struggling over. ;)

The other thing I notice is that Anikin isn’t in the center of the frame, that is, he is slightly to the right, as if to place emphasis on the dark hallway, more so then the blue sky.

One last thing that really adds to this shot is how the cam is lower then Anikin, it makes him look dark and menacing, almost as if he was Vader himself…

That’s all I have to say. A great shot!

April 29, 2003 at 4:42 pm #1798
Avatar of Cometgreen

Next time, see if you can get a shot from Good Company.

That’s what I’m trying to do. ;)

Good replies so far. And minifigstudios, you can say nice all you want, I don’t mind. Though it’s lighting, not lightning. :)


April 30, 2003 at 7:42 am #1866
Avatar of Cometgreen

My impressions:

Another great shot. I love the lighting, even though I would have thought a dark red or even night shot would be more dramatic, I think the blue sky looks good. Really great picture. Barely any animation in this scene, yet it is probably my favorite of all of them. I also LOVE the focus. The background is blurred so much that it doesn’t look like LEGO; it looks like the actual set from the actual movie.

As Yolegoman said, there is less blue than there is grey. And Anakin is in the middle. If he steps to the right, towards the blue sky, he will accept the Jedi and follow the good path. If he steps to the left, towards the darker hallway, he will abandon the Jedi and follow the dark path. Anakin is right in the middle, so is in the position to make a huge decision. The only problem is that there is more dark than there is light, so he feels more compelled to head for the door.

And another cool thing I just noticed: There is the dark bricks surrounding the bright window. The dark side is enveloping everything. This is big stretch to think that was intentional, and is deeply rooted towards Star Wars, but again, it doesn’t matter. You notice something like that, most likely a coincidence, go ahead and say it.

That’s all I have to say about that.

Shot for April 29, 2003:

I REALLY wanted to get a shot of GC. I found the perfect shot to discuss camera angle and its impact on characters and relationships. The only problem is that I’m an idiot and don’t know how to properly take a shot from a movie file such as RM. If someone (most likely Hali, since he does it for the updates) knows how to get a screenshot, then I’ll be very thankful. Explain it in this thread or PM me.

So, we’ll have to go with just a purty shot. It’s not very symbolic or anything, but it shows off very good symmetry. Fans of Bluntman should all ready guess what film I’m thinking of. And yes, it just happens to be a SW related film. Sorry.

Shut it, Newb!


April 30, 2003 at 8:21 am #1868
Avatar of WhiteDragon

As Cometgreen said, this shot has good symetry. The symetry shows the empire’s orderliness and strictness. I also like the way that the veiwers attention is drawn to the gaurds by their red clothing, which stands out from the background. The open, stationary sections of the sets further cause the viewer’s attention to be pulled to the gaurds.

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