Blog

Phenomenal “One Shot” on S1 E4 “True Detective” Ending

I’m sure we could debate what the best "one shot wonder" is in cinema history… Whether it’s  the Copa Cabana shot by Martin Scorsese in Goodfellas,  the historical shot in Atonement,   Boogie Nights,  Pulp Fiction,  Road To Perdition and/or of course several in Cuàron’s  Children of Men,  or Gravity…

But the following shot from HBO’s True Detective series by Director Cary Fukunaha  and Australian cinematographer Adam Arkapaw may just be the most amazing I’ve ever seen in a television series…   As the slogan goes: "It’s not TV, it’s HBO."

The astounding part about this shot revolves around the fact that no compromise, or very little,  is ever made in terms of framing let alone pacing.  Heck it doesn’t ever feel like a "one shot" which is perhaps the ultimate compliment one can pay such a shot… The high level of action and intense acting carries the  shot throughout.    The fact that the team decided to keep pushing their luck the longer the shot went helps bring this to the very top of my list of one-shot wonders in all of cinema history.  And this amidst a deep study of my favorite 50 films as I prepare for the Directing Motion Tour that begins in a little over two months from now…

To read more check the following articles out:  http://www.mtv.com/news/articles/1722001/true-detective-long-take.jhtml

http://motion.kodak.com/motion/Publications/InCamera/HBO_s_True_Detective_Elevates_the_Television_Drama.htm

You can also see a behind-the-scenes  look at what is one of the most impressive series on television right now and definitely of the past several years.    Congratulations goes t to the Steadicam operators Chris McGuire & Ramon Engle, ADs,  1st ACs  not to mention the incredible acting by Matthew McConaughey  and the  actors, extras, and just about everybody on that team during one half days  it took them to pull off this shot!  And on film no less!

 If you haven’t kept up with True Detective,  you can always catch it on demand on HBO Go!

 

Directing Motion Tour in 2014 & Work Opportunity in NYC

As a few of you may know, I’m currently New York City recovering from a broken arm.  The recovery is going well, I’m happy to say! 

I’ve been thinking of a good way to spend the next 6 to 8 weeks while somewhat immobilized,  and a few weeks after that taking it somewhat easy as I get back to work.   As a result I’ve accepted an opportunity to do a cross-country tour in late April thru early June that will focus on “Directing Motion.”   This is with the same group, MZed, that did an incredible job with Alex Buono’a tour  in 2013,  to rave reviews,  including my own review.

DM

The purpose of the tour, is to focus on the most important aspects on how, when, and why we move the camera and to what effect.    One of the most important decisions that a director or DP can make,  is not only the speed, direction, and duration of a camera move, let alone the apparatus that they use to move the camera in a certain fashion, but also how to block out a scene with actors  in conjunction with the camera(s) .    While the role of director involves so many aspects and decisions, be it music, an actor’s wardrobe,  the color palette, location, lighting references,  lens choice,  camera  selection, and so much more, the way they direct motion within their pieces is one of the most critical aspects of their craft  and style.    The last commercial that I shot  for example (a big thank you to the readers of this blog who helped  it reach  2 million views in a little over a week on YouTube!)  involving a very heavy use of camera movement,  and a huge collection of camera platforms/support to make those moves possible…

Many of you may know that I began my career as a photographer, and that I naturally focused very heavily on the visual aspect of any commercial or film that I have produced to date.  One of the steepest learning curves,  along with learning how to work with actors and a very keen focus on the critical  Importance of story, has been to study, practice, and understand when and how to move the camera and the action that takes place in front of it,  and notably how that motion can help convey an idea or emotion to the audience.  I have been frankly fascinated by the movement ever since I can remember,  and have come to understand how universal  of a language  it can be  in taking an audience  on a visceral journey  in almost any piece of motion,  be it a commercial,  short,  or feature  film.

There will be a lot more detail on this coming within the next few weeks.   For now, if you are interested in  being kept up to date, you can check the following site out.

Alex1

To that end, I’m looking for someone to help me prepare a lot of the materials for this workshop.   Given the cast that I’m wearing  on my arm, and the fact that I can only work with two fingers  at a time,  I am looking for someone, or perhaps a combination of two people who have experience with the following, and  who would be available to help over the next several weeks in New York City:

1.  Experience with Video Graphics/VFX – mostly graphic overlays etc (After Effects  for example.)  I’m looking to overlay graphics, geometry, and text  over video clips to better visually explain many of my favorite scenes, camera  moves etc. in  commercials  and cinema.    It doesn’t have to be that complex, as I prefer simple and elegant,  some would say  a more minimalist approach  especially for education, regardless.

2.  Experience with Apple’s Keynote,  putting together presentations.  I have a bit of experience in this area myself, but can only do so much of my injury.  Note:   you need not have experience in both the VFX and/or Apple’s Keynote, I may choose to work with people who have  individual expertise  and either of these very different disciplines naturally.

3.   Any design experience is an obvious plus what should be obvious reasons (good-looking presentations, and/or VFX never  hurt anyone…)

4.   Being a film buff  definitely  would not hurt either,  as this gig will involve watching and analyzing dozens and dozens of hours of the best films out there.   The good news is you will actually getting paid to do it…    

If you are interested please send email to:  production (at) directingmotion.com   with the following information:

Please include  your resume, or a short paragraph or two about your experience in this area. More importantly,  please include examples  and links of your work in this area.   Lastly,  this job can be full-time, or part-time depending on the applicant’s schedule.   We could potentially start as early as next week.

 

 

 

New Nike Spot w Kobe Bryant, Richard Sherman, Ashton Eaton & more

I’m nursing a badly broken arm back to health so this post will be short and sweet (I’m fine – no worries!)…  I just wanted to share a spot for Nike that I directed with Paul Shearer who was the creative director as well.   It’s pretty safe to say that we’re pretty proud of what the team pulled off on this one!

This is the first spot I worked on with my new production company Great Guns so I’m super excited to announce that relationship as well!  The spot has nearly reached 1 million views in under 24 hours on YouTube alone.  (You can also see the spot on Vimeo here  –  always looks a bit better to me on Vimeo  for some reason.)

A few of you may have seen the spot during both the NFL AFC & NFC Championship games this past weekend which was awesome given that one of the spot’s stars Richard Sherman clinched the divisional championship during the final drive of the game!   Richard was incredible to work with as were all of the athletes, crew, coaches on the gig!   Could’t ask for a more positive and talented group of people to work with!

More to come on this as soon as I can type more…

For more info check this Nike link out.  And here’s a special shout out to our talented DP Pete Konczal for doing a beautiful job lensing the spot.