June 15, 2003 at 5:58 am #5311
This is from the very first dialogue sequence I shot for GC:R. It was done in another state while I was on holiday at the coast. Lighting isn’t exactly how I would have liked it, but I needed a level of brightness so as to wash out any gaps between the bricks in the white of the rear wall.
I specifically built the set so that the grey line of bricks in the wall of the set would split the wall horizontally. It was tricky to use minimal elements to make this look like an office (I did have a laptop on the table, but it was too tricky to get the angle correct so that it didn’t look stupid, so I removed it).
The desk partially obscures the company executive on the left so that it looks like it his his desk, thus his office. Back right corner harps back to the literary roots of the story, thus the pith helmet and native mask. Also, both characters do not sit equidistant from the edges of the frame, it is close, but not exact. Visually I did not want them to have the same screen presence. Who is more important than whom?
I really wanted to capture both characters and the office, without having too much dead space. I think I managed to do that ok.
(As for the focus, it is out a little, PLUS, the jpg compression of this shot does not help one bit… )
Still, I don’t like this shot as much as the close-ups that follow in the rest of the conversation.June 15, 2003 at 8:04 pm #5377
Things I like:
– I always liked these head-to-head conversations, and in this shot, it seems that the person on the left is very relaxed, and that the right person feels nervous (also watch chair positions).
-The Technic-chairs are great chairs for normal legominifigs if we’re talking about large deskchairs :).
Thins I like less:
– The lighting. There’s just too much of it: the ‘room color’ isn’t there, and it seems like they are sitting in a surgeryroom with those big white lights…June 15, 2003 at 9:42 pm #5382
Great shot because:
It’s shot in widescreen, which really immerses you in these 1on1 conversation scenes. You can clearly see each of the characters and their entire bodies. A nice addition is being able to see various pieces of art and whatnot around the room, pegging up the scene realism. You can clearly see the man is sitting at the desk and is quite comfortable ( ). The man on the right, however, is here to get what he came for – information. He’s not relaxed and sitting back in the chair, and the position of his arms makes him look calm but tense at the same time.
Not a whole lot going on in this picture, but there’s always something to talk about.
ZachJune 16, 2003 at 5:43 am #5428
No offence to hali, but the director of the selected shot should probably hold back from posting for a while. Having the brains behind the film explain what he intended could make people less inclined to offer their own ideas for fear of being seen as “wrong”.
Anyway, on to the pic…
As well as being a nod to the story’s roots, the tribal mask over Marlowe’s shoulder could be seen as a hint at what’s to come as the story unfolds – a grinning red face with horns is rarely a good sign.
Also, the plant on the desk forms a vertical line, effectively blocking Marlowe to the right, away from the desk – another sign that this isn’t his office, and that he doesn’t belong in this more ordered environment.
The shot could maybe have benefitted from a little more depth of field. It seems quite flat with the wall so close to the characters. Although, if you wanted to analyse it, you could probably say it represents Marlowe’s skewed view of the place – flat, plain, unengaging – he wants to be out in the mines again, albeit subconsciously.June 16, 2003 at 12:51 pm #5440
I just want to comment how things are placed. The dark grey line, divides the room horizontally. The plant divides the room vertically, with leaves to each side (nice symmetry). Behind Marlowe there is a mask and something else while there are another thing behind that other man (sorry for talking so confusing ) To put something on each side makes it a more balanced picture.
They are place in different “sections” in a way. They are a bit separate. How the chairs are placed in the room is also reasoned because of balance (I think). Marlow is much further away from the desk but that makes them equally apart from the edge.
It’s a really nice picture. I think.June 16, 2003 at 3:43 pm #5453
The big thing that hasn’t been mentioned about this shot is the chairs-
at first I thought they were just cool, but upon looking at the pic closer, the argument could be made that they play a role in setting the scene.
Most offices are set up this way and deliberately so- it gives the ‘boss’ a position of power. The ‘boss’ has a big chair, and yet he seems at home in it because it is pulled in close to the desk- he is like a fighter pilot in the cockpit of a mighty jet. Marlowe has a big chair, yet he is isolated- there is no other furniture in his immediate vicinity. He is like a castaway in a big raft, adrift at sea. It may seem odd to get such impressions from minifigs, but the boss actually seems smug and confident, while Marlowe seems helpless and alone. I wonder how different the scene might be if Marlowe had been given a normal minifig-sized chair. While it might have gone further to enhance the “I’m the boss, you are my small and nearly insignificant subject” ambience, you would have lost the impression that Marlowe is ‘dwarfed’, not just by his chair, but perhaps by circumstances as well.June 16, 2003 at 6:12 pm #5462
The light’s look very cool, but as there seems to be no fog, dust or anything I don’t understand how a beam like that can actually exist! (Just me being picky!)
Filmmaker’s dramatic license. Movies don’t have to be 100% accurate. Ever.June 17, 2003 at 3:20 am #5564
Ah, we’re really starting to get some great replies! Really good analyses everyone.
Hali, I agree with Buxton, the director should try to hold off on responding for a while, at least a day after the pic is posted (as the next one will usually come up by then). But thanks for your insight, as it’s always nice to know what the director wanted with that specific shot.
What I was hoping we would get at is the camera position and the characters’ relationship. All though, in context, it doesn’t really work here, but I’ll still use it as an example. The camera is at table-top height, showing that the two are at the same level. They’re equals. Having a camera positioned as such usually means that the two characters are friends. It’s just like having a camera below, looking up at a person shows that s/he superior, and having a camera above, looking down on a person shows that s/he is small. A camera looking straight ahead, therefore, shows that the two are equals.
But anyway, I must agree with most of what has been said. The boss is a bit more comfortable and is in charge. He’s looking in the general direction of Marlow, while Marlow is looking right at his superior, showing that he wants to know what it is he must do. I like the contrast of colors. The room is white, yet the furniture is pretty much all black. The mask is on Marlow’s side, so that obviously says something.
Shot for June 16, 2003:
Well, I still can’t get pictures from RealPlayer, but I noticed on Buxton’s site that he did, indeed, put up an avi version of OoT. And so, I’ve gotten some of my favorite shots from this instant classic. Let’s start the Out of Time Cinematography Marathon! :wink
Cometgreen, apologizing to Buxton, as he will have to hold off on his commentsJune 17, 2003 at 4:01 am #5567
I must say that I really like this shot. There is not much to complain about. The first thing I notice is the depth of field. There isn’t just a wall behind Mike. There is a hallway extending back to a door. It doesn’t end there. Through the door one can see a building across the street as well as some cars driving by every once in awhile. This brings me to my next point. While the set seems basic, there is great attention to detail. There are some things sitting at the end of the hall. I do not know what they are, but it definately keeps the hall from looking boring. They also draw the viewers attention from the speaker to Mike’s right. This keeps the viewer’s eye focused on Mike. It is kind of a tug of war between elements that results in focusing more on Mike than the speaker. One could not just take away the speaker. It is something the viewer would expect to be in Mike and Geoff’s place. That side of the shot would appear sparsely decorated as well. I also notice that Mike is not in the exact center of the shot. I guess that was to bring the hand that rapps across the arm of the chair closer to the center than the other hand. All I can say is that the shot worked.
-AlexJune 17, 2003 at 5:26 am #5572
Aarg! Me and my big mouth. OK, I’ll hold off for now.