Select from one of the readings from week 5, 6 or 7 and describe two points that you have taken from it. Points that excite you, something that was completely new to you.
As the cinematographer, I thought the excerpt from Oumano’s book Film Forum: Thirty-Five Top Filmmakers Discuss Their Craft particularly fascinating and useful. In it, Scorsese highlights the importance of deliberate framing, that we must pay close attention to what is included and what is excluded. A cinematographer has to be meticulous, on godly levels. Every minute detail matters, even if it’s just a “normal” shot. Everything from “where you place the camera, the lighting, the look of the film” has to be purposeful; what’s on the table, in the foreground and in the background. Each shot and angle must enthral; framing is essentially a grandiose work of art.
While shooting our Lenny, we had passerbys lurking in the corner of one of our beginning frames. I hadn’t realise how disruptive that was until we were piecing the bits together in post-production. But now I know these unwanted details can be unsightly and distracting, drawing the audience’s focus away.
Scorsese also mentions he prefers to “use longer takes, to let things play out” so he can cut them up (even though he doesn’t like the practice at times) and string the best of shots together. That’s a possibility I had never considered. I’ll probably experiment with a variety of shots and angles and edit to my liking thereafter. There’s a bit more legwork involved in Scorsese’s approach, but it’s obvious he strives for utmost perfection and is far from lackadaisical about his art. His passion for filmmaking is simply inspiring.