Monday January 22, 2018

Movie Cameras. From Reel to IMAX, From IMAX to Smart phones.

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By Atul Mishra

Muybridge sequence of a horse galloping
Muybridge sequence of a horse galloping

Cinematography has progressed profoundly and has seen diverse permutations and combinations in its echelon with the regular advancements in technology. Every year cinematographer gets stirred and sparked with the advent and inception of new sophisticated movie cameras. Let us trail the timeline to see how have movie cameras changed the face of silver screen and what is the motion movie milieu these days.

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Capturing moving images were done on revolving drums and disk way back in 1830s. Gelatin-emulsioned film strips came into being in second half of 1800s and combined with paper film, gave us the earliest surviving motion picture till date: Louis Le Prince’s Roundhay Garden Scene, filmed on October 14, 1888.

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Kinetoscope, in 1893, which was a large box that only one person at a time could see the film on through a peephole, was a major advancement in the 35mm celluloid film strips. All these films were monochromes, two-toned. The color cinematography began in early 1900s. In 1908, kinemacolor was introduced. In the same year, the short film A Visit to the Seaside became the first natural color movie to be publicly presented. In 1929, Fox introduced Fox Grandeur, the first 70 mm film format.

 

Still from A Visit to the Seaside
Still from A Visit to the Seaside

Since then cinematography, and not just its post-shooting-additions, but the shooting itself has seen multitude of changes. Who would have thought in 1910s, that a century later, The Dark Knight, would feature six sequences (a total of 28 minutes) shot on IMAX camera? And who would have thought six years after The Dark Knight, Tangerine would be shot on three i-phones and have its world premiere at Sundance Film Festival?

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These days with the advent of so many cameras, from DSLRs to smart phones, amazing short films are being made by aspiring film makers. May be only Nolan can afford an IMAX, but if a film shot on an i-phone can be screened at Sundance then surely enough anyone possessing a decent smart phone can nail the magic of silver screens. Do these short films being shot on normal DSLRs and smart phones these days lose the aesthetic qualities of a film? Well, to shake your shaft here is what The Hollywood Reporter described the look of Tangerine as- “crisp and vigorously cinematic”, with “an aesthetic purity that stands out in a field where so much indie filmmaking has gotten glossier and less technically adventurous.”

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Another giant shot on a DSLR is the 2013 indie film Ship of Theseus. This film that swooped two National Awards and various other accolades at many international film festivals, is visually enriched and starkly eye-catching, though being shot on a DSLR.

The Oscar contender for the next biggie Academy Olive has been completely shot on a smart phone and is considered the first feature film to do so.

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This is soon becoming a culture and cult. Good movies are being made and thanks to YouTube channels that these films reach out to many audience. And this is where the film makers stand today. Giants like Syncopy and 20th Century Fox may try their hands at IMAX, but the indie film enthusiasts these days are making their movies with their own IMAXs which not only justify the silver screen but garner various accolades across the globe.

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The Best Hollywood Action Movies Of 2017

The old fashion of action genre movies strictly meant to dominate the summer box office has melted down the lane and thus the action movies are released throughout the year.

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The new Hollywood action movies are getting smarter, are more sophisticated. Wikimedia Commons
The new Hollywood action movies are getting smarter, are more sophisticated. Wikimedia Commons
  • Action movies are always a delight to watch
  • The new-age Hollywood action flicks are getting better day by day

The new age action genres are no longer made up of movies strictly meant to dominate the summer box office.

The old fashion of action genre movies strictly meant to dominate the summer box office has melted down the lane. Now action flicks are released year-round, and they still dominate the box office. Not only there is a surge in the action movie making but they’re also getting smarter, are more sophisticated, and are attracting Oscar-caliber actors who want to flex their talents and get big payouts.

Also Read: Top 10 Kamal Haasan Movies To Watch Out

The year 2017 saw new instalments in beloved action franchises, some timely and gritty reboots, and the requisite superhero movies.

Take a look at the biggest action movies of the Hollywood in the year 2017.

  1. Star Wars: The Last Jedi

Episode VIII of the Star Wars is a 2017 American epic space film directed and written by Rian Johnson. It is the second continuation of the Star Wars sequel trilogy and the eighth main instalment of the Star Wars franchise, following Star Wars: The Force Awakens. The Last Jedi was produced by Lucasfilm and distributed by Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures.

Star Wars: The Last Jedi is the second continuation of the Star Wars sequel trilogy and the eighth main instalment of the Star Wars franchise. Wikimedia Commons
Star Wars: The Last Jedi is the second continuation of the Star Wars sequel trilogy and the eighth main instalment of the Star Wars franchise. Wikimedia Commons

The plot revolves around Rey as she receives Jedi training from Luke Skywalker, in hopes of turning the tide for the Resistance in the fight against Kylo Ren and the First Order.

  1. Logan

Logan is an American superhero film which has garnered a lot of fans over the years. The movie is produced by Marvel Entertainment, TSG Entertainment and The Donners’ Company. The movie is distributed by 20th Century Fox. It is the tenth episode in the X-Men film series, as well as the third and final Wolverine solo film following X-Men Origins: Wolverine and The Wolverine.

Logan is distributed by 20th Century Fox. Wikimedia Commons
Logan is distributed by 20th Century Fox. Wikimedia Commons

Logan has taken inspiration from “Old Man Logan” by Mark Millar and Steve McNiven, follows an aged Wolverine and an extremely ill Professor X defending a young mutant Laura from the villainous Reavers and Alkali-Transigen.

  1. John Wick: Chapter 2

The chapter 2 of John Wick is an action thriller film directed by Chad Stahelski and written by Derek Kolstad. The second sequel to the John Wick film series, the plot follows hitman John Wick, who goes on the run after a bounty is placed on his head. The movie featured Ruby Rose, Keanu Reeves, Laurence Fishburne, Riccardo Scamarcio and Ian McShane.

John Wick: Chapter 2 is the second sequel to the John Wick film series. Wikimedia Commons
John Wick: Chapter 2 is the second sequel to the John Wick film series. Wikimedia Commons

The second part of John Wick also marks the first collaboration between Reeves and Fishburne since appearing together in The Matrix trilogy.

Also Read: 7 Best Movies Of Bollywood Star Sidharth Malhotra

  1. Wonder Woman

The movie, Wonder Woman is based on the DC Comics character and is distributed by Warner Bros. Pictures. It is the fourth sequel to the DC Extended Universe (DCEU) and is directed by Patty Jenkins. The movie featured Gal Gadot as Diana Prince / Wonder Woman in the lead role. Other supporting actors include Chris Pine, Robin Wright, Danny Huston, David Thewlis, Connie Nielsen, and Elena Anaya.

Wonder Woman featured Gal Gadot as Diana Prince / Wonder Woman in the lead role.Wikimedia Commons
Wonder Woman featured Gal Gadot as Diana Prince / Wonder Woman in the lead role.Wikimedia Commons

Following Gal Gadot’s debut in 2016’s Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, Wonder Woman is the second live-action theatrical film featuring the titular character. The movie is about the story of Diana Prince, who grows up on the Amazon island of Themyscira.  Then Diana leaves her home to end the conflict.

  1. Justice League

Justice League is a superhero based film on the DC Comics superhero team. It is distributed by Warner Bros. Pictures and is directed by Zack Snyder and is the fifth instalment of the DC Extended Universe (DCEU).  Justice league starred Ben Affleck in the lead role and other as, Henry Cavill, Amy Adams, Gal Gadot, Ezra Miller, Jason Momoa, Ray Fisher, Jeremy Irons, Diane Lane, Connie Nielsen, and J. K. Simmons.

Justice League is directed by Zack Snyder and is the fifth instalment of the DC Extended Universe (DCEU). Wikimedia Commons
Justice League is directed by Zack Snyder and is the fifth instalment of the DC Extended Universe (DCEU). Wikimedia Commons

In Justice League, the Batman, Wonder Woman, Flash, Aquaman, and Cyborg form a team to honour the memory of Superman. Later they save earth from the catastrophic threat of Steppenwolf and his army of Parademons.

  1. Thor: Ragnarok

Thor: Ragnarok is the continuation of 2011’s Thor and 2013’s Thor: The Dark World. The movie is a superhero film based on the Marvel Comics character Thor. Thor: Ragnarok is produced by Marvel Studios and distributed by Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures.

Thor: Ragnarok is directed by Taika Waititi. Wikimedia Commons
Thor: Ragnarok is directed by Taika Waititi. Wikimedia Commons

The movie is the seventeenth film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU). The film is directed by Taika Waititi. Thor: Ragnarok features Chris Hemsworth as Thor and others as Tessa Thompson, Tom Hiddleston, Cate Blanchett, Idris Elba, Jeff Goldblum and Anthony Hopkins. In the movie, Thor tries to escape the alien planet Sakaar in time to save Asgard from Hela and the impending Ragnarök.

  1. Spider-Man: Homecoming

Spider-Man: Homecoming follows the Marvel Comics character Spider-Man. The movie is co-produced by Columbia Pictures and Marvel Studios. The Homecoming is the second Spider-Man film and the sixteenth film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU). It is directed by Jon Watts. Spider-Man: Homecoming features Tom Holland in the lead role and others as Donald Glover and Michael Keaton, Jon Favreau, Zendaya Robert Downey Jr. Spider-Man: Homecoming is distributed by Sony Pictures Releasing.

Spider-Man: Homecoming features Tom Holland in the lead role. Wikimedia Commons
Spider-Man: Homecoming features Tom Holland in the lead role. Wikimedia Commons

The movie plot is about Peter Parker, who tries to balance high school life with being Spider-Man while facing the Vulture.

  1. Dunkirk

Dunkirk is a British, American, French, and Dutch co-production movie depicting the Dunkirk evacuation of World War II. It is written, directed, and produced by Christopher Nolan and was distributed by Warner Bros.

Dunkirk is written, directed, and produced by Christopher Nolan. Wikimedia Commons
Dunkirk is written, directed, and produced by Christopher Nolan. Wikimedia Commons

Dunkirk cast includes Fionn Whitehead, Harry Styles, Tom Glynn-Carney, Jack Lowden, Aneurin Barnard, James D’Arcy, Barry Keoghan and Tom Hardy.