Colour in DRIVE and IL CONFORMISTA

Drive and Il Conformista ‘s use of colours make for great comparison and contrast symbolically, emotionally, and technically. First: Refn is colourblind, which impacts his work in a preference for heavy colour saturation. Second: because of its time, Il Conformista required everything from on-set lighting to colour timing to be planned far more thoroughly in … Continue reading

The X-Files: Preserving One of TV’s Biggest Procedurals

Recently The X-Files has been remastered in HD and with the potential of 4k, which involved ingesting and preserving hundreds of hours of footage, changing aspect ratios, and more. A fascinating peek into the technical aspects is here, but I want to focus on why The X-Files of all the network procedurals. Sure, genre classification … Continue reading

Doctor Who “Resolution” Shot Study – Crossing the Line

A month ago I was on a feature film shoot, ready to go into a take. The 1AD had called turnover, everything was slated, and the DOP jumped up, startling everyone, waving his arms. “Wait! Is this a line cross!?” They don’t always wait until quite so last-second, but a line cross is a DOP … Continue reading

Shot Study – Doctor Who “The Woman Who Fell To Earth”

The first episode of the 11th season of NuWho has Very Big Expectations. It has to stand up to many recent introductions of The Doctor and/or companions, some of which arguably rank among the best episodes the show has done. It has to act as a pilot of sorts, because even though we know this … Continue reading

A Tale of Two Films with Gutsy Endings

I’ve recently seen both Call My By Your Name and A Quiet Place, which I loved for very different reasons. The real clincher, though, one of the things which sticks out in both films and which I submit is unusual today, is in the final moments. Final moments in films can be clever and quotable … Continue reading

Glitch: Pilot

This is the first in a series of pilot analysis, where I review how the pilot works as such. Eventually if there’s enough interest I may pick up a whole series. First up is Glitch. A good pilot establishes; that’s almost its only job. It establishes the main story, the setting, characters, the look and … Continue reading

Title Sequence: Elementary

Elementary‘s title sequence presents us with a Rube Goldberg machine, something both straightforward and convoluted. Like the show itself, the sequence is not all chronological with clear cause-and-effect, but it includes pieces we’re familiar with: mouse wheel, rising bell, pulleys; procedural tropes, situational lying, criminal types, a figure trapped in a cage, etc. The machine includes potential elements of … Continue reading

The Wrong Mans: Structure, Storytelling, and Trope Usage in Episode 1

Dale and I wrote a long thing about The Wrong Mans and how it does all sorts of things really well. You can read the whole thing at TVquila by clicking here, but here’s an excerpt to whet your appetite.  Warning: The first episode of The Wrong Mans doesn’t deliver anything particularly new. It doesn’t even do anything … Continue reading

Shot Details and Framing in Wentworth

Wentworth is an Australian prison drama, actually a remake of the show Prisoner. It’s dark and tense and manages some nice plot turns, it’s got a very teal and gray palette but breaks it up with reds and greens, it’s well acted, it uses slo-mo and occasional fantasy sequences to great effect. But you should discover that for yourself. I’m here to just talk about some details in the framing of shots.

Movie Review: The Art of the Steal

my initial thoughts, which form the basis for this review, originally appeared here. As an exposition of theft and corruption, a civics lesson, and a demonstration of  how non-profits and governments and individuals and institutions conspire to take and govern art, The Art of the Steal is necessary and intriguing. It’s obviously angry over injustice, and thus … Continue reading