Shooting, Editing, and Crossing the Line on HBO’s “Succession”

Succession has all the hallmarks of HBO Prestige Television: big names, stunning production design, Shakespeare out the wazoo. It crosses the line as much in its shooting as its characters cross it morally, and just as often for kicks; see Episode 1.04 “Sad Sack Wasp Trap” (video for educational purposes): I did a more detailed … 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.

Music Video: Pitch Perfect’s “Since You Been Gone”

Start with the fact this is generally an average-to-well edited movie. During the big dance numbers, we get plenty of closeups and glimpses of each character, especially when a character is starting to sing. Still, the overall action is always well-established enough so when it pulls back to a wide/master shot, the viewer is not … Continue reading

Movie Review: The Bling Ring

If you’ve seen the previews or seen a cast list, you may be expecting a movie mostly centered on ‘Nicki,’ the movie pseudonym given for Alexis Neiers. Alexis is the most notorious member of the real-life theft ring which stole from celebrities, having had articles, reality shows, and news interviews galore. You may also be expecting … Continue reading

Lost Girl: How ‘Vexed’ Works As The Perfect Pilot

Possible spoilers through 03.13. All reviews here. This is a review of 01.08 as a pilot. For the review of the episode as it works in canon, click here. If you gather a bunch of above-the-liners in a room and ask what would compose a dream sci-fan pilot, you’d hear: overview of interesting main characters, rambunctious sex, … Continue reading

Theme Songs and Title Sequences: True Blood

True Blood has devolved from a delicious, mystery-driven, Southern Gothic evisceration of societal mores to a lukewarm pool of bloody literalism. When you ditch the metaphorical drugs, religious persecution, and prejudice (obvious though they may have been) for literal manifestations of a vampire goddess, fairy godmothers, and televised vampire-a-thons, you have jumped the alligator. Relatedly, … Continue reading

A Tale of Two Trailers

Checking Focus -credit David Stluka www.davidstluka.com

Though movies and TV are almost all widescreen nowdays, movies were often more ‘box’ sized in the 30s. When deciding on the look and feel of The Lilith Necklace, I chose to shoot for 4:3, as this would closely approximate the size of 35mm film prints and – theoretically – give the audience an immediate sense … Continue reading

Luther: Series 1, Episode 1

The episode, untitled, starts off the way most Rogue Cop movies start, and continues as most TV Procedurals do. But while of course he was going to [do what he did in the first 5 minutes], and office politics of siding with or against the bad boy is overdone, and  whodunnits that wrap up in an hour can be … Continue reading

The Dark Knight’s Problem

(Before you get started, feel free to read Jim Emerson’s recent detailed analysis – not only of the movie, but of his initial nalysis of the movie. Yay, meta-analysis!) One day, I will make a film that is not as good as I think it is. And on that day, a smug 20-something will take to the internet … Continue reading