Best Cinematography

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anonymous1980
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Re: Best Cinematography

Postby anonymous1980 » Sat Mar 16, 2013 9:54 pm

A couple of points:

1. Christopher Doyle has had a major falling out with both Wong Kar-Wai AND Zhang Yimou. That's pretty much says a lot there.

2. Though I would have voted for The Tree of Life in that category, at least according to actor interviews, Robert Richardson did a LOT of work to make the 3D work in Hugo. He lit the sets differently, the painstakingly measured different angles and dimensions, all to make the VFX people's work easier. Hugo's sets are also not too heavily CGI'd unlike Avatar.

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Re: Best Cinematography

Postby Sabin » Thu Mar 14, 2013 6:50 pm

Big Magilla wrote
My first thought in reading the article was that this sounds like sour grapes. Then I looked him up on IMDb. and found that not only has he never been nominated for an Oscar for some very impressive work, but that the Australian born cinematographer is also Taiwan based and may have turned down the assignment or miffed because he wasn't offered it.

Christopher Doyle does not give a rat's ass about winning an Academy Award. He is a notorious industry alcoholic, womanizer, and all around jerk-face. But going through film school and still out here, the name Christopher Doyle is mentioned in an almost hushed way. The guy has shot some of the most unbelievably beautiful films of the past couple of decades. The quality of his work has tapered off in the past few years, but (and I'm not saying this lightly) throughout film school and out here he is revered as one of the true geniuses of cinematography. It's not sour grapes. This is just him.

I have two problems with 3D/heavy CGI features winning cinematography like the ones that have been in the past four years: 1) although Hugo, Avatar, and Life of Pi are terrific looking films, they're not as good as their competition, and 2) by all means, give them Best Cinematography but for fuck's sake Mario Fiore and Claudio Miranda cannot, cannot, CANNOT be the only people up there. New titles need to be invented for the individuals who oversee the way in which the "cinematography" is created in post. In as loose a definition, the act of Cinematography is one of lenses and lighting. And so much of what Mario Fiore and Claudio Miranda did (less so Robert Richardson) was light a green-screen. That's it. Also something to take into account is that these people are not doing the lighting either. That's the gaffer. And I sincerely doubt that a perfectionist like James Cameron lets Mario Fiore choose his lenses.

I'm torn on this issue because Visual Effects and Cinematography are married in films like Avatar, Life of Pi, and Hugo. The Oscar is given to Best Cinematography not Best Director of Photography. So while I have no problem with Avatar, Life of Pi, or Hugo winning Cinematography (not really), for Mario Fiore, Claudio Miranda, and Robert Richardson to be the only ones up there is a genuine injustice.
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Re: Best Cinematography

Postby OscarGuy » Thu Mar 14, 2013 5:30 pm

Honestly, films that rely heavily on Visual Effects should bid lower with a % on the back-end. That way they could work for a lower rate, but ultimately make back the money they paid on it.

The Rhythm & Hues thing was going strong before the Oscars. I read about it regularly on Hollywood Reporter.
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Re: Best Cinematography

Postby Big Magilla » Thu Mar 14, 2013 4:42 pm

My first thought in reading the article was that this sounds like sour grapes. Then I looked him up on IMDb. and found that not only has he never been nominated for an Oscar for some very impressive work, but that the Australian born cinematographer is also Taiwan based and may have turned down the assignment or miffed because he wasn't offered it.

Cinematography awards tend to go to the production with the nicest look, not necessarily the most innovative or toughest to do. It seems to me that the film's greatest achievement was in the editing which blended the live action with the computer generated imagery (CGI) unless that was done in camera in which case the cinematographer most certainly deserved that Oscar.

In a related matter, while researching material for my Ang Lee profile (http://www.cinemasight.com/oscar-profile-126-ang-lee/) I came across information on IMDb. of which I had not been aware, that the film's Oscar winning visual effects company was being sued by the hundreds of artists who worked on the film because the company declared bankruptcy the week after winning the BAFTA, the week before winning the Oscar, without paying them. They were protesting outside the Dolby Theater on Oscar night. One of the winners had just made a reference to them when their mic was cut off and they were unceremoniously ushered off stage by the Jaws theme. It raises an issue of fairness I had never thought about.

Visual effects companies have to bid for work. The producers, like any other business, awards the job to the highest bidder. In many cases, the effects wizards underbid and end up losing money. This is not the first such company to go bankrupt and may not be the first to go bankrupt without paying its workers, but in this case it seems extremely unfair. It was the visual effects that made that movie. In three very enlightening special features on the DVD, much is made of the fact that the film was grennlgihted (greenlit?) based on an hour long animated CGI presentation, that though not as meticulously precise as the finished product, nevertheless presented possibilities that provided the impetus for Ang Lee and others to come on board.

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Re: Best Cinematography

Postby Mister Tee » Thu Mar 14, 2013 2:11 pm

This is of course a worthy argument, but Doyle seems too full of rage/contempt to bother making it fluently. I could just about feel the spittle coming out of his mouth.

And, by the way, I looked it up: he (like me) was born in 1952. So where does he get off citing the average Academy age (62) as some disqualifier?


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Re: Best Cinematography

Postby rolotomasi99 » Sun Feb 24, 2013 11:34 pm

The past four winners of this award have matched up with the F/X winner. Just a coincidence or the new normal? Three of the four have also utilized 3D. I certainly hope that trend ends soon.
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Best Cinematography

Postby OscarGuy » Sun Feb 24, 2013 9:07 pm

Life of Pi
Wesley Lovell

"Any society that would give up a little liberty to gain a little security will deserve neither and lose both." - Benjamin Franklin


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