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  1. #4371  
    That was the scene in "Tucker" where twice in the movie, Coppola does a lateral dolly move on Martin Landau's character to create a new screen direction -- to suggest I think his moral duality. And then Coppola & Storaro shot a new matching reverse angle shot of the person talking to Landau. Other than the night exterior scene, the other time was more subtle but it was during Tucker's trial, when Landau is asked by the prosecutor if there is anyone who would trust what he says as an ex-convict... and the camera dollies over the other side of the prosecutor's shoulder as Landau now looks over at Tucker as he says "Yes, one man..." or something like that (I writing from memory, it's been awhile since I've watched that scene.)

    You can create a new 180 degree line at anytime during a scene, and you can have multiple "lines" in group scenes (i.e. individual lines between sets of two people in a group) -- Scorsese sometimes does it to create an emotional shift within a long scene (and a visual change) there is a park bench scene in "Age of Innocence" that starts out on one side of the bench as two people talk then jumps to the other side when there is an emotional change in the scene, with new coverage from that new screen direction. I think the second park had the camera on the back side of the bench shooting what are sometimes called "French overs" for some odd reason, when you rake across backs to get the over-the-shoulder close-ups as two people sit at a counter or on a bench or a car seat (i.e. two people sitting facing the same direction but their heads turn now and then to look at each other.)
    David Mullen, ASC
    Los Angeles
    http://www.davidmullenasc.com
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  2. #4372  
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    A lot of very classical directors don't mind crossing the line, even when it should be disorienting. Clint Eastwood seems to cross it from time to time and he's pretty classical. Lots of action directors go nuts. In the last scene in Casablanca there's a famous blatant line cross to get a better reaction shot. Lots of directors have no problem crossing the line. Does it bug you because you read it's bad to do or are you actually spatially confused? If you are confused, how bad a tradeoff is that relative to the other options: omitting the angle entirely, using a convoluted dolly move or eyeline shift to motivate the change of eyeline, etc?

    There are plenty of times when crossing the line is no problem: any time it's done with a dolly move through the line it's fine; if there's a strong match on action it's okay; if a new line is established by a change in eyeline it's always fine; if you cut to an angle that is exactly on the line or a really wide new master with opposite screen direction, you can take coverage from another side cleanly.

    The 180 line is almost ALWAYS on an eyeline, usually between two people. It can also be a line of implicit motion, like the path of someone who is running or a vehicle. But among a group of people, eyelines can intersect so you get some cuts that are clean between two specific shots, but then a third shot might intercut with one but not the other, like hinge shot between a group of three people or something. I think logistically dinner table scenes are the worst since you need to get more interesting than shooting from just one side, but you have so many different eyelines. The scenes in Drag Me to Hell and The Haunting are very elegant, but I haven't had a change to think about how they were shot. But in these instances you can break the 180 rule over and over and no one notices if you cut cleanly, because even if you follow continuity editing to the letter it's about eyelines, not about a single line you can't cross.

    There's a pretty cool book I'm hoping to read, Grammar of the Film Language, that deals with keeping camera placement spatially coherent, but I'm just too lazy to read a 700 page book on this right now. But if you really want to avoid crossing the line, this book has some good advice and maybe after I read it I'll retract my thoughts on it. But if you adhere blindly to the 180 rule you'll get some boring old coverage; if you ignore it entirely and just cut super fast you'll get equally boring spatially incoherent action.
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  3. #4373  
    thanks for the responses, very informative.

    David one of the things you mentioned made me think of another good question:
    many dp's/directors use very subtle (not always I guess) and subconscious effects to convey shifts of some sort, i.e. a shift in regards to the character's emotions or story line, etc. This is basically using cinematography in a very advanced way to subtley and subliminally convey certain things.
    An example would be for instance in King's Speech all those wide angle closeup shots that make you feel uneasy in a sort of claustrophobic way or the previously discussed (in this thread I believe) coverage shots in the same movie where Colin Firth's character is positioned in a very awkward part of the frame, i.e. facing left but also sitting at the very left of the frame thus not giving his eyeline any room to breath - a deliberate trick to convey unease and other subtle and complex cues.
    These things interest me greatly, the MOST interesting one I've personally heard of or read about came from an american cinematographer issue on Biutiful (at least I'm almost certain that was the movie) with Rodrigo Prieto. It discussed how they went from spherical to anamorphic lenses in the middle of the movie, a technique I've never heard used before. They did this to convey a dramatic change in the character and his scope/outlook on life etc.
    These sort of very complex cinematography tricks interest me greatly and so I was wondering if you could name some of your favorite devices such as these, whether ones you've used yourself or your favorite from other masters of cinematography?
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  4. #4374  
    There are examples that run the whole gamut of choices, the most extreme being a switch from color to b&w for example -- "Nixon" for example has two layers of flashbacks going through, one is the immediate past leading up to the resignation and the other covers Nixon's life from childhood, and there are different stocks, etc. for all of this -- but sometimes there is a change within the same scene to create some feeling of the fractured mental state of Nixon on the night he decides to resign.

    Sometimes the shifts in other movies deal with choices of focal lengths -- "Prince of the City", for example, either goes from wide-angles to long lenses or the reverse as the story goes. Lumet often does this in his movie, restrict the focal lengths to certain sections -- for example, in "Murder on the Orient Express" you see the same scenes repeated as flashbacks as Poirot recounts his interviews with the suspects in the train, but the repeated scenes are shot with very wide-angle lenses.

    But other subtle effects... well, there are handheld close-ups in Deckard's apartment in "Blade Runner" which don't move much, the subtle movement creates a feeling of tension between the actors, as if something is about to happen.

    Of course, color design and lighting often are used symbolically or emotionally, a lens flare at a key moment may suggest unease or enlightenment.

    Speaking of eyelines, you'll note that in "Silence of the Lambs" many of the key dialogue scenes between Hannibal Lector and Clariss Starling in the prison have the actors in single close-ups almost staring right into the lens rather than off to one side, creating a disturbing feeling that you are looking into their souls (or that Lector is looking into Starling's soul at least...)

    Another example is "Kiss of the Spider Woman" where the director tried to shoot the two main characters in separate shots all the time, saving shots where the two are in the same frame together for later as their connection to each other develops. So shooting someone "clean", unconnected visually to the person that they are talking to, can have the effect of symbolizing their lack of connection, their distance.
    David Mullen, ASC
    Los Angeles
    http://www.davidmullenasc.com
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  5. #4375  
    thank you David.
    Quick random question, how much light do CTB/CTO take off of a light? I can't find the info anywhere, let's say a full CTB/CTO?
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  6. #4376  
    Quote Originally Posted by Peter Dmitriyev View Post
    thank you David.
    Quick random question, how much light do CTB/CTO take off of a light? I can't find the info anywhere, let's say a full CTB/CTO?
    Basically the same as 80A (blue) and 85B (orange) camera filters, nearly 2-stops for Full Blue and 2/3-stop for Full Orange... But the gel manufacturers can supply you with actual transmission figures.
    David Mullen, ASC
    Los Angeles
    http://www.davidmullenasc.com
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  7. #4377  
    Have you ever tried the Tiffen 80C, 80D Hot Mirror's? They don't go all the way to 3400, but Tiffen claims only 1 stop loss for the 80C (3800), and 1/3 for the D.

    Cheers.
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  8. #4378  
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    David, on the topic of screen direction and crossing the line. Have you found doing this creates problems with the lighting setup. Not just that the lights may have to be moved because they now may be in shot but because it may look flat or bad from the reverse angle. Assuming you have time to re-light for it, do you find it's a compromise between what looks good and matching the original screen direction lighting? These have been of observations.
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  9. #4379  
    Quote Originally Posted by Noel Sterrett View Post
    Have you ever tried the Tiffen 80C, 80D Hot Mirror's? They don't go all the way to 3400, but Tiffen claims only 1 stop loss for the 80C (3800), and 1/3 for the D.

    Cheers.
    No, I haven't tried them.
    David Mullen, ASC
    Los Angeles
    http://www.davidmullenasc.com
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  10. #4380  
    Quote Originally Posted by Noel Sterrett View Post
    Have you ever tried the Tiffen 80C, 80D Hot Mirror's? They don't go all the way to 3400, but Tiffen claims only 1 stop loss for the 80C (3800), and 1/3 for the D.

    Cheers.
    I've used the 80C and the loss is 1 stop, but never the 80C hot mirror. Would the hot mirror component really not lose any light, making the 80C HM equal in stop loss to the 80C?
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