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June 22, 2003 at 11:16 am #6160
Avatar of minifigstudios

As the Janitor already have pointed out, the use of depth is really nice. I also like how Mike and Geoff are placed in the picture. Another thing is that you can see that it’s quite sunny outside. There are a comfortable and warm light coming through the window and the door. I don’t really know if the reflection of the window on the wall was supposed to be there, but it livens the otherwise boring wall a bit up.

June 23, 2003 at 8:50 am #6256
Avatar of Cometgreen

Yep, the depth is the best part of that shot.

One other thing you notice, too, is that Mike and Geoff frame the door, which is in the center of the frame. It really draws your attention to the door, so they’re obviously about to go out.

And nice observation on the window, minifigstudios. Never noticed that before. :)

Shot for June 22, 2003:

The last OoT shot. I’m getting some new shots ready for this next week.

Not much special about this one, as you really need to see it in context, but it further demonstrates framing the subject of your shot. Here we go.

This is my team!


July 9, 2003 at 2:15 am #7820
Avatar of chanhuangfilms

The shot with the spacemen in it:

I think it could have been composed better. A cheesy way to do this would be to follow the rule of thirds ( for it). I think the camera should go in a bit and have the spacemens’ heads along the upper third.

If I had shot this movie :P (heh), I would have tried to put the background out of focus. You can do this by pulling your camera out and zooming in. Opening up the iris also helps, but your camera may not allow this. Getting a camera with larger CCDs also helps :)

July 9, 2003 at 11:15 am #7849
Avatar of jay

This is a really great shot.

Framing: I’d agree that there’s a little too much headroom but I think it’s the lesser of a few evils – chopping them all off right at the ankles would be too distracting and zooming out to show their feet and all would have been too unconnected. This way there’s a sense of real character.

Composition: This is where this one really shines. Shooting on a diagonal to the building behind them gives a great feeling of depth to the shot (especially where using Lego bricks lends itself much more easily to right angles and dead-on setups). Leaving just a hint of the time-travel machine keeps the atmosphere alive during a fairly talky scene.

The way the three figs are setup gives a sense of crowding around in friendly curiousity and the slightly arched backs a heroic quality. Shooting from this height and so close to a Mike/Geoff POV angle really makes the introduction here connect with the audience. It works really well with the somewhat bombastic voice of the leader. The only thing that would have done more here (and it would be hard for the red guy in particular, being a minifig) would be having all three pairs of eyes looking at the same place, slightly to the right. (And is it just me or does the white guy seem shorter than the others?)

Lastly, the background. It’s not distracting and in fact helps the foreground stand out more using light and shadow. The ship keeps the white guy from disappearing into the wall behind him and the leader’s head pops out because of the shadow that runs past. Great stuff! The only guy who loses a bit is the red one – he’s lost a bit in the clutter of the windows.

What a great movie.


July 29, 2003 at 5:59 am #10039
Avatar of Cometgreen


Uhh…hi. I’m ready again. :wink

First of all, great analyses chanhuang and zirk. I think Jay said everything I wanted to say, and since I’m busy right now, I’m not gonna enlighten you with my redundant, dumbed-down analysis. :)

Anyway, I have eight pictures stored, and I’m planning on getting a few more this weekend. So, let’s…cinematographize! :?

Shot for July 28, 2003:

First of all, special thanks to both eventide and Hali. I’ve finally been able to take snapshots of RM files, and I owe it to these two guys. Thanks again!

And to repay Hali, here’s another GC shot. One of the best framed shots in the movie, and an all around wonderful establishing shot.

Ehh…it’s gonna be a few more days.


July 30, 2003 at 2:57 pm #10124
Avatar of Stefan

The engine immediately captures the attention of the viewer. There’s quite a strong “this will never get done” feeling written all over it. Focus could have been a bit better, though. Another excellent shot!


July 30, 2003 at 3:58 pm #10126
Avatar of

I love the way that the scene is cluttered the way a real garage is, and to make it look cluttered using legos is an achievement all in itself! Makes the place seem ‘lived in’ and adds depth to the story.

July 31, 2003 at 8:44 am #10182
Avatar of hali

just to respond to wandrer:

I was a bit shocked by the focus of this still too! I’ve just been back and watched that bit of the realmedia version and it isn’t AS noticeable, due to the movement and compression, but it isn’t as good as I’d like. (I’m about to decompress the uncompressed source .avi files to check the qual of the source now!)

back to the discussion,


July 31, 2003 at 9:16 am #10184
Avatar of Blunty

this is one of me personal fave shots in the movie, for a few reasons…

I love the workshop, it’s exactly like a workshop/garage should be, it’s organized in a dissarayed kind of way… it looks like a mess, but I’ll bet the mechanic knows where every last gasget is. the set desgin is magnifficent.
I also have a deep affection for that mechanic character (and not just because I gave him a voice) but all that’s a bit off topic for this thread…

onto the actual cinematography… thr angle is wisely chosen, it gives us a feel for the envireonment, it’s atmosphere and the attitude of the mechanic. We see the car, gutted of it’s heart (engine), lying dead, just waiting to have it’s power reinstalled and to be brought back to life (much like marlow)… ooh.

Even with the massive black car, the scene remains balanced, and your eye is drawn right to the red overalls of the mechanic, in a shot where it would be easy to overpower the actors, Hali saved it from that fate by careful respect to the rule of thirds, putting the mechanic in (what is arguably) the most powerful position in the frame, the lower right third… where our brains (trained to read left to right, top to bottom) are drawn, after passing by the sleeping beheamouth of the car.

even in this still, it’s easy to see that we’re in a garrage, where the car has not yet been fixed, and the mechanic is adressing a person (owner of the car?) on that issue… the mechanic with his face to us, is clearly in the position of power and control over the other person, who, in a lower position, with his back to us, is obviously just being told “how it is”, and there’s nothing he can do about it, he has no control of the situation, and no power in the conversation.

…. and I do so have a soft spot for that mechanic… what a charmer ;)

August 1, 2003 at 7:53 am #10253
Avatar of Cometgreen

Ah, so we got a few more replies. And good ones too.

I am a big fan of wide, establishing shots, and I think that this is one of the best in brickfilms. As Bluntman said, Hali used the rule of thirds to its full potential. The entire set pretty much frames the two characters. I love the way the engine is situated as it is. It is a huge component of the shot, yet is very subtle and can be considered a detail, as I think most brickfilmers (and convential filmmakers as well) would never think of actually showing the car being worked on. Most people would have the character say “I’m fixing the engine” but never actually show it. That’s a sin in my book, as I firmly stand by that film is a visual medium. Stories should be shown, not said. That’s what we have books for.

Sorry for going off on a rather disjointed rant. Back on topic.

Like Wandrer, I noticed the pic was slightly out of focus. I originally thought that Hali was forced to have the entire shot be a little out of focus, to get both the foreground and background as sharp as possible. But it may very well be the compression. Hopefully Hali can tell us what he found out…

Shot for July 31, 2003:

I was going to post another GC shot (and then another), but I figured it’s boring to just go through shots movie by movie. Let’s vary it up a bit. So, here’s one that I almost forgot about, but was lucky enough to spot on my hard drive: Jay’s premiere masterpiece, the Gauntlet!

But before I do, I’d just like to remind my fellow brickfilmers to feel free to speak your thoughts on the scene at large. If there’s anything that moved you, made you laugh, anything at all, within that shot, don’t be ashamed to share it…as long as it’s appropriate. :wink


…Expecting any other? :P


August 1, 2003 at 11:49 am #10256
Avatar of unfoldingmetal

Thats a bit dark but thats the effect. If you fluffed a pillow right on your set then turn all the lights off besides the one in the window, you would be able to see the light land on the (coffin?). I like this picture though, it’s like a haunted church or a castle in Lord of the Rings.

August 1, 2003 at 12:43 pm #10258
Avatar of Logan

As unfoldingmetal said, that pic is a bit dark. It’s very good at portraying what it was supposed to. The room looks abandoned, however, there’s a certain feeling that it, in some way has or will have occupant(s). The lighting is very well done, besides being to dark in some areas. The window in the top right hand corner, added a nice little touch, but I would have liked it to be more illminated, and casting shadows over the room.

August 1, 2003 at 1:35 pm #10260
Avatar of Stefan

This room is huge! There’s two elements of interest in there, the window and the tomb/entrance thingy in the heavy chains.

The window is the only visible light-source, and the way it lights the entrance immediately shows where things are going to happen. When you see the film, the light is not completely constant, which even more suggests the ancient, dusty feeling of the place.

We’re drawn right into the story right away. Great opening!


P.S. I took the opportunity to re-watch the film, and now for the first time I noticed the castle built on the mountain on the left!

August 3, 2003 at 9:00 am #10434
Avatar of minifigstudios

That shot is really nice. I really like the effect of depth shown in the far away window and the graduating darkening room. The set is really nice. It’s very effectful for it’s purpose.

The effect of darkness is very well used in this shot. Darkness is very powerful and dangerous. That certainly under build what happens in this movie.

My non-cinematic thought about this shot concerns the music. I feel that it’s one of the coolest pieces of classical music. Other pieces of classical music are nice or comfortable to listen to, but that piece is cool. Really cool.

August 8, 2003 at 7:57 am #10932
Avatar of Cometgreen

Woah, talk about neglection. Sorry, things have been really hectic lately. I’m back, though, and ready to post some more pics up.

As all ready said about the last shot, it’s rather dark, but I really like the lighting. You can see that the light from the window is shining directly on the tomb, as it gradually gets darker all around it. The set is huge and is actually pretty detailed. Most people (myself included) probably wouldn’t even bother putting in the pillars and all that he has in here. Great attention to detail.

And minifig-yeah, I always love that music. It’s great how it slowly builds up, and then suddenly explodes at the end. Jay did a fantastic job building the story around the song.

Shot for August 7, 2003:

Another GC pic, to coincide with the new work from Hali (which I can’t wait to see). This is perhaps the most famous and visually strongest shots from GC, though I’ve never really thought it all that special. I think it could have been cleaned up just a wee bit.

But I’m getting ahead of myself. Here’s the shot…

…chi chi chi…ka ka ka


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