Angus enters the debate………. Thankyou

From: Angus Young

Great article, Alex. In my experience as a photographer on set the creativity flows through keeping a really diverse approach to the job. Replicating the frame of the motion camera can definitely perceived as being lazy, but also an important tool in capturing the marketing images you need.

Its also important to find our own angle on the scenes in the film and in some cases create images that won’t be reflected in the motion picture but that will sell the film to the audience.

I’m looking forward to reading your book, so thanks for sharing your expertise.

Answer From: Alex Bailey

Actually I agree……..   Sometimes there is only one angle that  is perfect for animated impact…. the movie camera position and probably the same or similar lens. Take for example the comedy look to the lens on a production with a humorous slant to it like: The Borrowers …. John Goodman peering into a wide or fish eye lens with hair singed and a bloody face … is a brilliant and  engaging image with a trick to the emotion created by the exaggerated (fisheye lens) perspective of a large person looking in a small person… A giant onto a Borrower… if you know the plot???……. One angle the movie angle ….. lighting composition and emotion of the shot fall only in the one place…… As a photographer on a film set I would organise that to be shoot for my benefit……. Alex

4 thoughts on “Angus enters the debate………. Thankyou

  1. Great thread here people!!! I personally loath asking for a stills setup or “recreation” of the film set. I do and have because sometimes as Alex says the only angle worthwhile or that truly speaks to the power of the shot/scene is down the barrel of the “A” camera or at least very tight to.. There are of course many reasons why we can’t get position on a any particular shot: Eye-line, work space, safety (i.e. space on an insert trailer or quad bike), an actor request for us to stand down…the list goes on…so there are times when to fulfill the brief we are contract for we need to step into fray and ask for a few seconds for us. I think more and more these days those on set (actors,Director,crew) are sympathetic and knowledgable to our predicament and indeed to what we are there for…but of course this isn’t always the case…in the those moments of resistance sometimes we have to find a way to win people over to do something someone might really not want to do but will be thankful for later…its a tough and uncomfortable position to be in. Having been a 1stAD for over 15 years I know very well those moments from both sides. I don’t think I’ve ever shot a film yet which I didn’t at least once or twice ask for stills. all this being said however, the films and the days I enjoy the most are when nobody really is aware of my (photographic) presence and I just go about my business of discovering imagery as it unfolds and looking for imagery which stands on its own but which speaks to the feel, emotion and dynamics of the film…truly one-offs. Clearly part of our brief is to represent the film as the Director,DP,Producers visualize it…but just as clear is that in order to be truly valued for what we are being paid to do…we need to bring more to the table: our own creativity…our own personal way of seeing…its what sets us apart and indeed what validates our presence on the film set…it is also what makes what we do interesting and fulfilling. More often these days, photo editors at studios, image Savvy publicity depts…even producers and directors are looking for something different…yes they need the standard coverage…but the “standard coverage is not why get repeat work and are requested for the next job that those whom hired us might be doing…and the “standard coverage is not why (most us of at least) we are there…in theory if we are doing our jobs with passion and curiosity then “specials” photographer really should be a redundant concept. One of the biggest concepts one can get is when a DP is interested in what you are shooting and even quietly suggests a camera position or setup from where you shot something…a place nobody else had considered…but hmmm… just don’t let the 1tsAD know.

    My Tip for those new to this: get away from A camera once in while…have a wander over to see what B and C cam are up to…they often have an interesting shot…a different angle on things so to speak..often more interesting than where A cam is set…sometimes B and C cam live a lonely existence they will appreciate you coming over and taking interested in what they have going on….bring them some chocolate, a tray of short espressos, a letter from home…they might even let you use the darkroom on the B-Cam truck as a workspace all for yourself…BTW thanks for that Simon (Surtees).

    Good shooting everyone…and remember we are all “Specials” photographers…

  2. Once again a really interesting thread. It’s so nice when people actually want to make a point about something they are passionate about. Alex has mentioned this before but I think we can be too precious about the term “Photographer”. After-all Matisse and the bloke that comes around in a white van to paint next door’s are both “Painters” is just that once we seem them the difference is obvious. To me the key is to be able to bring something to the proceedings. To capture the very essence of the project. It’s fascinating that making a film is such a collaborative thing but “Photography” in it’s pure form at least is essentially a very personal thing. It’s that personal view that is the “Special” bit

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