I appreciate your comments about my action scenes being clear, clean and snappy. Preparation may be the reason why they work. As a cinephile, I have seen more than three thousand movies. I'd like to think I have learned something from them. Action scenes can be chaotic, but, for me, it is important to establish and re-establish the geography of the scene during its progression. Too many close-ups become claustrophobic. They become wallpaper.
Action can be beautiful, like ballet. Often, it is best appreciated from a distance. You don't watch ballet from the stage; you watch it from a distance. Naturally, the camera lens allows the action to be magnified. It brings it closer to us. But I am a believer in carefully deciding what needs to be close and what needs to be seen at a distance.
In Sensitive New Age Killer, I shot video storyboards of the two major action sequences. This showed me what would work and what would require serious re-consideration. I shot with three cameras, so the third camera acted as a backup. It gave me choices I had not consciously factored into the planning.
You shot Marauders on Beta SP video all the way back in 1987, when video was a fairly young medium. Can you talk about that format versus the new digital video - in terms of cost, ease of use, editing, quality, etc.?
Personally, I don't like using the small cameras. As an operator, I like the weight of larger format cameras such as the Viper (HD) or the F900 (HD). Back in '87, I shot Marauders on an Ikegami E camera. It was a tube camera, but a very good one. It was analog, of course. Whether you are shooting analog or digital, the video, that is, non-film medium has its own issues. When shooting video, your exposure/contrast latitude is less than that of film. It is best to underexpose video. If you allow the camera to auto-set the exposure, the result is very unattractive. You also need to be more mindful of elements such as white skies with video.
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