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Old January 20 2013, 05:52 PM   #20
CorporalClegg's Avatar
Location: Land of Enchantment
Re: Camera movement and other driecting bits

I may be off the mark since it's been a while, but it seems to me that I remember Livingston and Frakes really being the only ones who consistently pushed Berman's envelope. Guys like Carson, Bole, Kolbe, Landau, etc. seemed much more willing to toe the line. That could totally be my imagination, however.

jayrath wrote: View Post
I'm not looking to argue. I just want to point out that there were a lot of pioneers who did it all before. Our "modern" styles are just old techniques that for the moment have once again come into fashion.
Totally agree.

People forget, or at least never realize, the brilliance of some of the camera work of the silent era. It's know fault of their own because most of it has been tucked away out of sight and only accessible to film students and cinaphiles who know where to look for it. It's a real shame too. Because it's really left a lot of the masters of the craft lost to time.

It may seem obvious, but it was because the visuals were all the directors had to tell their story. Most of the popular techniques you listed were created out of necessity.

Take Life of an American Fireman for example. It was the progenitor of what is probably the basis of modern film editing: cross-cutting a seamless narrative. But Porter didn't do this in the original cut. However, without any dialog, audiences were confused about what was going on, so he re-cut it. This is a more obvious example. I could list many others, but it best makes the point, I think.

Heck, Scorsese's catalog alone is a master class in film techniques honed in the silent era. Pick any one of his films and it's most famous shot, and I can guarantee it was lifted strait out of a silent film.

The really sad thing is most of the great influential directors have been completely lost to time. People know Chaplin, Griffith, and Keaton, but that's mostly due to their popularity and prolificacy. Guys like Eisenstein and Murnau have been totally forgotten.

Heck, I bet if you were to go to a cineplex and randomly ask people coming out about the Lumières, you'd get a lot of blank stares.
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