The siege (5 replies and 3 comments)
Master deakins, saw your film "the siege" (1998) yesterday, powerful film.
Could you please remember your most used focal length on this film, cause the image feels to me as carrying some weight through the compositions. Attaching here some images. Not only just the close ups but the wide shots and tracking shots all seems to be done with a longer lens than most wide shots seen in your recent films, correct me if I'm wrong.
Yes, the images you post certainly were shot on longer lenses than I might more often use but that was the kind of film we were shooting; slightly documentary in style and observational. There were also a number of multi camera situations where it became a practical necessity to shoot on longer lenses.
master deakins, could you remember your most used focal length on this film.And do you feel that mid or long lenses have more of an emotional impact than wide lenses when it comes to emotional scenes ,cause i have this notion that long lenses makes the audience feel like seeing the character and feeling there emotions without the character's guard,or may be say the characters are caught off guard in an emotional scene.
I think that always depends on the particular story and its visual style rather than simply the choice of a long or short lens. I don't think the lenses we used on 'The Siege' were that much different to any other film I have shot other than we were shooting many scenes with multiple cameras and a little 'observational'. I wouldn't say regular dialogue scenes were shot that much longer, perhaps I used a 35mm a little more than a 32mm but that would have been about the scale of the difference. But you choose a lens depending on the content of a scene as well as on the practical issues of shooting it. A set might not be large enough or it might be too small. You might not have enough extras so you shoot a shot with a longer lens. Simple practical considerations.
Master deakins, this makes me understand why i shouldn't agonize over lens focal length, rather to be with the story and go with instincts.
Yes, I think that is right. Lens choice is important but I wouldn't want to be a slave to some external doctrine.
Always learning from you Master Deakins.