Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Treasure Trove

Sorry to have gone M.I.A. for a bit again. Anyone in any corner of academia knows what time of year this is. Plus, I've got a big event planned for tomorrow morning that I'll post about after it happens.

In the meantime, since there's nothing new to read here, check this out: the Internet Encyclopedia of Cinematographers is a phenomenal resource that I just stumbled upon while doing some research about Alwin Küchler, and maybe I'm the last of all y'all film geeks to find about it, but it is truly a mind-blowing website. Every kind of moviegoer will enjoy reading about what cinematography is, especially if you watch the Oscars every year and silently puzzle to yourself what it all means beyond the prettiness of the pictures. (No shame in that, though, especially since Oscar voters rarely respond to anything besides the prettiness of the pictures, either.) There's a helpful breakdown of all the different jobs within a given film's lighting crew, from the head-honcho Director of Photography to the Focus Puller to the Camera Operator to the Key Grip. If you're the kind who learns best through concrete examples, there's even a behind-the-scenes case study about Michael Mann's Collateral: an inspired choice, not just because the film was shot so impressively, but because it blended 35mm and high-definition digital formats so rigorously, with no compromise in visual quality. Tech heads can also use the site to learn about the pro's and con's of those formats, or a primer in cameras over time, or a tour of the digital processes which are all but inevitable for modern Hollywood films, even those that don't look "digitally enhanced" in any obvious way.

But, starf***er that I am, even though Remi Adefarasin and Emmanuel Lubezki and Amy Vincent would probably chuckle at being called "stars," my favorite part of the website is certainly the massive biographical index of cinematographers, including credits, biographical and schooling information, a wide swath of awards listings, and praisesongs from peers and historians about literally hundreds if not thousands of cinematographers. Go find out why all of us should be laying flowers at the graves of Lee Garmes and Joseph Ruttenberg and Sacha Vierny. Feel glad that you're alive at the same time as Yorgos Arvanitis and Javier Aguirresarobe and Maryse Alberti and Lance Acord, and that's only the A's, honey! Site rating: ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ (x) ∞.



Blogger Dr. S said...

I looooove that image from Days of Heaven. Loooove Days of Heaven itself.

11:33 AM, April 05, 2006  
Blogger John T said...

I am so in love with this Cinematography Database. I love the pictures on Freddie Young's page (he's my fave cinematographer): Doctor Zhivago AND Lawrence of Arabia-how can he not be lauded?

12:05 AM, April 06, 2006  

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