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General Trek Discussion Trek TV and cinema subjects not related to any specific series or movie.

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Old February 3 2013, 01:14 AM   #31
Christopher
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Re: Camera movement and other driecting bits

^Right. There's no universal rule. Sometimes a still camera works well -- either because it's appropriate to the scene or because the director and DP use it well -- and sometimes it doesn't.
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Old February 4 2013, 01:49 AM   #32
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Re: Camera movement and other driecting bits

The term I always use re camera movement is "motivated". Is the camera movement motivated by something or not? I've had the pleasure and pain of working with DPs (Directors of Photography) who understood this or didn't. The best ones I've worked with understood what the shot was trying to communicate and figured out if a camera move would hinder or help that. The worst ones I've worked with moved the camera because they thought it added energy or interest to a shot but then ended up with framings that totally undercut the scene. In short, his camera moves weren't motivated by the scene and its emotions.

And, re "jump cuts" above, just to clarify, standard cutting isn't jump cutting. A jump cut refers to when a character or object appears to "jump" or move in the frame on a cut because the framing and or/shot angle aren't sufficiently different to hide any mismatches. Discussed here a while back.
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Old February 5 2013, 07:47 AM   #33
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Re: Camera movement and other driecting bits

scotpens wrote: View Post
Trek TOS had some very good, old-school cinematography that served the needs of the story and didn't call attention to itself. Note these classically composed shots from "Mudd's Women."<SNIP>
And yet the image I've included at the end is one I would never expect to see in Berman-era Star Trek. It's striking and visually dynamic, with all three characters in sharp focus, Kirk up close and seen from below, looking larger than life. Compare that to, say, a typical conference room shot from VOY -- boring, lifeless compositions designed to convey or induce no real emotions, to merely convey plot information.
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Old February 5 2013, 08:04 AM   #34
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Re: Camera movement and other driecting bits

I agree that the original series tended to have more dynamic camera and lighting set-ups than the 1987-2005 follow-ups, but showcasing stills from "Mudd's Women" doesn't make for the fairest of comparisons. According to Solow and Justman's book Inside Star Trek: The Real Story, director Harvey Hart's camera set-ups were so intricate that it pushed the episode an entire day over schedule, and as a result he wasn't asked to direct the series a second time.
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Old February 5 2013, 08:18 AM   #35
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Re: Camera movement and other driecting bits

CorporalClegg wrote: View Post
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.
This is a bit tangential, but I haven't read any research which suggests that Porter himself re-edited the film to cross-cut the sequences. Rather, it was re-cut in 1910 (or perhaps even later), at least a year after Porter left Edison's company (and, I presume, had anything to do with that earlier silent).
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Old February 20 2013, 03:48 AM   #36
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Re: Camera movement and other driecting bits

I think some shots in the Berman era are pretty excellent. I generally like his professionalism, which presides over any tendencies over excess style. I am going to find more examples, but one shot I just watch, though it may be from a film, is really really awesome. In First Contact, after the girl in engineering is taken by the Borg, we cut to Picard in the silo, reading through some specs, but he knows something is wrong. Same shot, Troi asks him what's wrong. Same shot, he starts walking down the hall and we realize that, even as Troi follows him, so are Data and Riker in the background. That the camera follows him makes the scene seems very urgent, and when the viewer realizes that Riker is in the shot as well, suddenly we know the story itself will soon change.
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Old February 21 2013, 07:38 AM   #37
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Re: Camera movement and other driecting bits

All I know is that I was watching some old DS9 episodes today, and I was struck by how uncreative a lot of the scene compositions were. Not all, but a lot. To say nothing of how -- well, cheap -- a lot of the lighting looks by today's standards. I'd love to see DS9 done in the style of today's more cinematic-looking television series.
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Old February 21 2013, 01:22 PM   #38
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Re: Camera movement and other driecting bits

I don't agree about DS9, I thinknitnwasngenerally more creative than other Treks, especially in the lighting. Like the dramatic underlit shot when one Ferengi says to another; "still living in your father's shadow?" and the response; "my father casts a very long shadow. Careful you don't disappear in it."
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Old February 27 2013, 12:32 AM   #39
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Re: Camera movement and other driecting bits

I was really fond of the camera circling the opposite side of the table as Odo(following him around basically) as he was talking to the baby Changeling in "The Begotten."

I love camera movements when moments are dramatic and the motion ties in with the music. Sometimes a static image would just lose its impact.
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