Category Archives: Craft
By Dene Kernohan
The Digital Intermediate process, known as DI, has been around in cinema for over a decade now. Basically, it is the transfer of filmed material to the digital realm, allowing for total control of the image in post production, especially with regards the colour palette. Traditionally it is an expensive process (10 years ago, around $200,000 for a feature film) and involved scanning the film in its entirety. But as film itself has become all but obsolete, this part of the process is unnecessary and digital grading has become more widespread. Continue reading this article ›
Continue reading this article ›
by Sarah Slade
One of the interviewees in this thoughtful account of the rise of digital moviemaking called the film production process “sculpting with light”, and they have a point. Film-making captures light and shade, and creates something solid, permanent: a thing that can be carried between places, handled, edited and projected. Whether digital or celluloid, the end result is the same, isn’t it?
By Josephine Grahl
Fashion and the movies have a mutually rewarding relationship. Historical movies, however authentically costumed, almost always have a little something of the period in which they are made – think of the poofy, quintessentially sixties hair in Doctor Zhivago, or the 1935 version of Anna Karenina, starring Greta Garbo as Anna, in which the female characters attend balls in sequinned strapless vamp dresses more suited to 1930s Hollywood than to late nineteenth century Petersburg. But it goes the other way too – Dr Zhivago sparked a brief craze for fur hats and long Russian coats, and Gone with the Wind inspired a short-lived fashion for romantic full-skirted evening dresses before the fabric restrictions of the Second World War put an end to such frivolous wastefulness.
Evidence for this symbiosis is sprinkled throughout the V&A’s new exhibition of Hollywood costume, five years in preparation, which assembles some of the most memorable and iconic costumes from the last century of Hollywood film. Witness the costume in which Claudette Colbert played Cleopatra in 1934, which to modern eyes looks like nothing so much as a particularly elegant 1930s evening gown. Next to it, one of Elizabeth Taylor’s outfits for her portrayal of the Egyptian queen is a reminder of the fashion for gilded embellishment and weighty jewellery which followed the success of the 1963 film. Since the exhibition is at the V&A, it’s an interesting exercise to visit the fashion galleries down the corridor and compare the authentic period clothing with the versions produced for film – how far do cinema versions stray from the authentic? How are the shapes and silhouettes exaggerated or minimised? When a costume is made to be filmed, what effect does that have on the detailing or on the colours used?
I saw a woman on the train with an iPod cover imitating a cassette. This is, I think, poor form. Like the chief of some ancient tribe wearing the head of a defeated tribe’s chief as a hat, it seems unnecessarily boastful of one’s victory. The mp3 player is, of course, smaller, more convenient, with better sound quality than the traditional Walkman. The boxy, (literally) clunky beast was limited to one album at a time, too, and if you wanted variety you needed to carry round a small satchel full of tapes. Or listen to a mixtape.
by Susan Patterson
Mostly Links is back and this week it goes colour. Mostly Links has been pondering why so many films are so blue. And orange. If you’re wondering what we mean think CSI Miami. And then some. Mostly Links first pondered this after seeing Carancho (dir: Pablo Trapero, Argentina, 2010), and wondering why everyone was wearing a blue shirt, and why all the streets were bathed in orange light, until finally everything shot from inside a car was steely grey, with not a a single other colour in sight.