Friday, August 2, 2013

TORONTO STAR STORY ON 'SHAKY CAM'

When I saw the headline "Why filmmakers use 'shaky cam' to keep the action vague" on the Toronto Star website I went to the article immediately.

'Special to the Star' writer Jake Howell does an okay job at addressing the issue of too much 'shaky cam' in movies today. Unfortunately, there are a few factual errors in the piece; for example...

Howell states that because of an "economy" of "expensive celluloid", films in an earlier era utilized longer takes. This is absolutely incorrect: On a feature film, "film is the cheapest thing" (unless it's a really low budget affair, of course). Also, Cloverfield was hardly a "big-budget" film. In fact it was of a relatively low budget, especially for a studio picture. J.J. Abrams and company kept the budget down to a reasonable level, which only helped to increase "profitability".

Otherwise, Jake Howell's piece is of honest intentions...

Why filmmakers use 'shaky cam' to keep the action vague
http://www.thestar.com/entertainment/movies/2013/08/01/why_filmmakers_use_shaky_cam_to_keep_the_action_vague.html

7 comments:

Greg Woods said...

Stupid article. It's pointless.

Barry Smight said...

I do not disagree.

Something hit me while writing this blog posting: It could be that Jake Howell is Toronto Star Entertainment columnist Peter Howell's kid. If so, and I like Peter very much, this looks like it could have been an easy arrangement. The article is poorly researched and written.

DonaldAR said...

I HATE hand-held camera. For me, it almost instantly breaks, nay, destroys, the fourth wall; immediately calling attention to the medium, and interrupting suspension of disbelief. When the technique started showing up in Law & Order; I stopped watching. I get that "Cloverfield" was supposed to be shot on cell phone, but it took less than a minute for that to become freaking annoying! And a film professor worth their salt would have failed "The Blair Witch Project" (a bunch of idiots running around in the dark, screaming and vlogging about how scared they are? *Garbage* from the first frame!). I've made better films on an actual cell phone; of my 2-year-old grandson running around a splash pad, shrieking in delight (2 'likes' on FB!). And they weren't shaky, although there may be an occasional slam pan (Whip pan?).

Barry Smight said...

Good points all; well, except your detail on The Blair Witch Project, since that one worked big-time for me.

Thanks for your comment!

DonaldAR said...

Oh sure! Next you'll be praising "Sharknado!" I did, however, enjoy "Beasts of the Southern Wild"

Barry Smight said...

Yes, Sharknado sounds so ridiculous it just might work.

Thanks for your take on Beasts of the Southern Wild. (The picture attached to the posting comes from the poster to that film.)

Shaky-Cam was 'old' in 1991.

Barry Smight said...

I made the mistake of re-reading the article in question. It's really bad. However, I will not alter my posting in any way; but, perhaps I should read an article twice before writing anything in comment.