Monday, February 05, 2007

Another Heroes Post (UPDATED)

I'm a big fan of directors. I spent the first part of my time in Hollywood working for a seven-figure earner, chatting up the A-list DPs he wrangled into working for him, and in general, geeking out over every aspect of the craft. So, a little shoptalk from Mr. Beeman's excellent HEROES blog. *****SPOILERS******* below. Nothing major, but if you are a diehard maybe read this one after the show.

****UPDATE**** and these guys would be: Greg Beeman, and Jeannot Scwarcz, director.

GB: How does your personal visual style mesh with the HEROES style?

JS: Well, I’d like to think it does very much so. I prefer bold angles. Not boring, tepid over-the-shoulders. I hate to be at eye level.. Nate (the director of photography) said I fit in perfectly..

GB: Let’s talk about the Japanese sequence, with Hiro and his father. It fits into the HEROES “look” very well, yet it is also different.

JS: Nate, the D.P. is a real film buff, as am I. We had a lot of conversations about taking that sequence into a Kurasowa style. Meaning that we played with depth and composition. Besides being spoken in Japanese, the scenes had a very Japanese content and conflict. They were formal in nature with lots of changes in the power dynamics between characters. So, beyond the dialogue, Nate and I said, “let’s do a Kurasowa style.” A very full frame. Not much camera movement. Instead the characters walk into their close ups. People move within the frame as the power dynamics change. Whoever has the power in the scene in any moment is also the largest in the frame. As the dynamic switches the composition switches. Also we used a lot of negative space, meaning the space between the characters and to the left and right of the characters. Nate and I were both very versed in this film language. We discussed it in prep, and we had shorthand about it on the set. At the end of the day, I think the sequences work well because they are supported by the very Japanese theme.

GB: Very much so.
I'm still busting my tail on these scripts, but I will eventually start posting on the regular again. I promise.

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