Podcast Update (12 replies and 11 comments)
It looks like we'll be recording at the end of the week. So now is the time to give me questions that you want answered.
Someone has suggested composition and it's importance. Do you have specific shots that have struck you and you'd like us to talk about? Do you have specific questions on composition?
Here are some other suggested topics that I would love to hear what you'd like discussed.
Low budget filmmaking
We will talk about our workflow and general process when taking on a film
Camera stabilization and the tools. When needed
Post in general
Please give me some feedback so I know we are addressing the questions that interest you. You can either email to pod at rogerdeakins.com or answer below. This is your opportunity to get your questions answered!!
(I don’t mean for this to be a film vs digital question)
You have stated many times that when using a digital camera you still approach the scene the same way as you would with a film camera. But for young cinematographers who only grew up with digital cameras, do you feel that gaining at least some experience with shooting on film is beneficial?
The huge changes that digital technology has made to the film industry. DCPs, RAW files, digital audio, cameras, LUTs, CGI, vactors, the list just goes on and on. As someone revisiting this field after being away from working on-set for over 20 years, I have had to relearn everything that I thought I knew!
I wondered if you could briefly discuss the relationship between the DP, the Director and the Art /Costume depts. When should the DP over-ride the Director knowing a scene is historically wrong or just inaccurate. Should he advise the Director or just let it go due to work flow pressures or just to maintain harmony on the set. I refer to 1917 where there are some military inaccuracies which I thought would have been discussed with the various depts including military advisors during prepping. I was very impressed with the film so this not a criticism but purely an observation. Rogers films have always been historically accurate after all they have a shelf life of 100-150 years so it’s important they look authentic.
Have a look at the photo. Any military person will know what’s wrong.
Well, I can't see what it is - and I'm ex-military. But then I was in the Airborne and had little contact with other regiments and every regiment is different. I couldn't even recognise some of the junior ranks in some regiments, so they could have gone into battle in their underpants and I wouldn't be any the wiser!
I've got it! The man in the foreground is far too ugly to be a sergeant! The British army only has captivatingly beautiful sergeants. When I was a recruit, we were told by our section commander (Cpl. Amos, who was destined in later years to become Regimental Sergeant Amos) that promotion was based mostly on looks.
Yes, you are nearly right. This Sargent is wearing ladies under wear! But ofcourse, there’s no change there.
Assume you mean Paras, when you say Airborne, if you saw this film in Aldershot they will tear the cinema apart. Right, here will go, Sargent is a Sargent, what’s he doing holding a Wembley pistol and wearing Officers binoculars, probably Ross or Tailer Hobson army issue. These toys are not meant for low life squadies. Secondly, going into battle without a chin strap, naughty, naughty, Civilians and Civil defence could wear chin straps at the back of the head. This was to reduce choking if the helmet slid to the back of the head. The “Brodie” mark 1 helmet came out in 1915 before then they wore peaked caps to go into battle, yes I know, these mark 1’s were withdrawn 1916 and the mark 2’s issued, 7 million were made, the US bought 450,000. The mark 2 Brodie could stop a bullit but they never put that in writing!
In the film some soldiers were wearing a corrugated helmet, these made for the South African army, not for the “Tommy”. You could only take your chin strap off if you were on stand down. The Brodie helmet was designed to use with a chin strap, otherwise it will fall off. The American helmet can be worn without the chin strap as it has a resin and cloth liner. It is a much deeper helmet and will stay on better than the Brodie. The German army adopted them because they stayed on even without the chin strap. The British issued an anti- reflective helmet cover for their troops. The Brodie made a lovely target for German snipers when wet, you could see it for miles.
The two lead characters should have been wearing them, especially going through No-mans land. In the photo there is a solder holding his helmet on, perhaps these helmets were ex-Dunkirk (Fibre glass) soldiers don’t hold their helmets on with their hand, any sign of falling shrapnel the chin straps are fastened. You can get away with that in Band of Brothers or SPR as the American helmet had a deeper fitting. Also it looks more slick but it looks silly in a British war film. Also look at the size of the chalk trench, this was dug by a mechanical digger not by Sappers. Badges on the helmets is causing an issue too. I was very impressed with the film are not really worry about these issues but my interest lies with the costume dept and how they researched the period. I know the film is not historically correct, it was not meant to be and most people in the audience wouldn’t even notice it but when a film has a shelf life of over 100 years or more then surely it is important to get it write. It does take much to make the visuals right for the period. If the costumes are not correct, then that will distract the audience, looking through Peter Jackson’s recent film for guidance will only provide some information, the rest has to be researched.
Sorry for spelling mistakes- Naughty computer
Seen another one, Wembley pistol, shud read Webley
Mike, I hate to break this to you and you may need to sit down and have a beer to hand when reading this, but in a war, the nice and tidy rules that civies imagine the military plays by with religious exactitude fly out of the window.
That sergeant could have been wearing a German helmet and a tutu and nothing else and it still would have been historically accurate. Well, er, maybe not quite - but in that direction!
You wear what you can get. If you are told to wear X, you wear X.
In the Great War, if you had to take over from an officer and you have been given a field promotion, then that's what you were. No time for sewing on pips and removing stripes, you were now a lieutenant and you had to explain what and who you were to every man-Jack until you get the chance to alter your uniform.
My father was born in 1900. In 1915 he joined up. He was already six foot tall, so he passed as 18. By 1918 he managed to survive and be the last-man-standing, so he got one field promotion after another and by the end of all the fun and the fat lady had done her bit, he was a full lieutenant.
When WW2 kicked off, he was made up to Captain and left that whole gig as a Colonel. He always kept total silence about those times. The rest of my family history is waaay more interesting - but thems wos chaotic times!
How many jumps did you do in the Paras, I mean the ones with a parachute!
War is brutal and chaotic but when you spend $100 million on a film you expect the art/ costume dept to do their research.
The First World War was not a ‘free for all’ punch up, it was well financed and well managed, discipline was maintained at all levels especially in the trenches but the film did convey that. My issue was the relationship between the Director/ DP and Art dept only. That’s all.
But if that Sgt had received a field promotion to Lt., then that uniform is about right - though he might have done his belt up.
Footage from the war shows just how chaotic things were -
The number of jumps? Good heavens, I can't remember! I was but a callow youth of some 19 summers, so I didn't keep a record! Basic training requires eight jumps and one was supposed to get one flight without a jump beforehand - but we never got ours, so I never ever landed in a plane until we flew out to the Far East (on the flight, one of the plane's engines caught fire, which was interesting!)
We did get the option to do free-fall and HALO jumps during R&R, so I spent several days just jumping out of C130s at various altitudes instead of going on leave. I didn't count them though!
Aircraft engines caught fire, that must have been British Eagle!. Can’t think of what skirmish was happening in the Far East in the early 70’s. I was filming Vietnamese pilots converting to DC4s from DC3. Lovely time of my life.
That's such a great idea!
I would love to hear you and Roger discuss his process of translating and conveying the story on the page (with its tone, pace and feelings) into a sequence of shots (with their angles, lens choices and lighting strategies) that tells the story. Each time I watch Roger's work, again and again I am amazed by how he places his camera where it needs to be for the story to be told naturally and powerfully. How he reads, feels and sees the material at hand and the story to be told before going into how to do it.
It probably boils down to instinct as Roger often answered on the forum but I thought I'd ask again 🙂 Thank you!
I would love to hear How to choose the lensing and how to light for big set.
Roger's time in Bath Academy of art, how art and graphic design studies influence his work in general, dose he look for inspiration outside cinema and photography like literature, performing arts, science...etc
- How do you know you're working with the right people? How do you know you're taking the right job? Let's leave the issue of money out of it for this particular question. Suppose if money was not a factor. How do you decide on a script. How do you decide on the people you're working with. Do you think about the implications or repercussion in society of a film you've helped create? Do we as filmmakers have some kind of responsibility?
- Could there be something missing in contemporary cinema? If so, how do you deal with it? Is there a way to express your own take on things, or are you forced to adhere to the larger forces at work so you don't lose your job? Is there some leeway? How do you avoid delving your own grave while at the same time not selling your soul?
- How do Roger and James keep their integrity? Why is it that you remain nice people? Why is it that you sacrifice a lot of your personal time to help educate the next generations? And more importantly, how does this make you feel? Can it sometimes be a struggle? And if so, is it worth it to you?
Or give some experience to young people who have not yet entered the industry.
Mr. and Mrs. Roger, you have both worked in the film industry for many years, and you must have a lot of ideas about the industry.
For young graduates, how to enter the industry as a good start?
(I heard that director Sam once wanted to work as a TV photographer to enter the film industry.) for young people, how to develop their photography skills in today's increasingly complex industry?
In order to get into an excellent film production team.
Was this podcast released?
I don’t think it has been released yet. There should be a notification when it is going to be released.
It has not been yet James will announce it when they start!