7 Reasons Why “Skyfall” is The Best James Bond Movie Ever

By Chad Durham

silva-skyfall

There are many well-made, cleverly plotted James Bond films in the 26-film, 55-year history of the British spy. Though the series relies heavily on specific tropes and some contrived elements, that has not stopped filmmakers from creating entertaining and interesting cinema through the years. Within the Bond oeuvre, there are many personal favorites that film buffs and Bond aficionados argue are the “best” Bond film.

For some with more traditional leanings, the choice may be Goldfinger or From Russia With Love. For others with a little more independent sensibility, it may be On Her Majesty’s Secret Service or Live and Let Die. Still others prefer the modern takes on 007 and might take the side of Goldeneye or Casino Royale or Skyfall. Even though Skyfall came out within the last five years, it is the movie that received the most Oscar nominations of any Bond film, and it deserves to be in the “best Bond film ever” discussion.

Those who place Skyfall lower on their personal lists sometimes knock it because it doesn’t have quite as much mindless action as the majority of the other movies featuring the seemingly immortal spy. It features slightly less sex and romance and a darker tone, which also turned some viewers off.

However, these opponents are willfully ignoring the tried-and-true Bond characteristics that Skyfall does skillfully employ, such as exciting set pieces, exotic locales, beautiful and enigmatic women, gunplay, and iconic villains. (Not to mention a deadly lizard.)

Skyfall does not succeed by ignoring the classic James Bond attributes; it succeeds by imbuing them with more relevance and realism. To penalize the most artistic and well-made Bond film for slightly underselling the patented Bond escapism is silly.

The moviemaking on display is Skyfall is assured and stunning. No other Bond movie can match it for sheer → continue…

From:: Taste Of Cinema

Watch: How to Set up Moody Interior Car Shots at Night

By V Renée

Nighttime car interiors are some of the most challenging shots for a cinematographer to light, but here are a few setups that you can try on your next project.

Some of the best cinematic moments have happened inside cars at night: Scorsese’s monologue in Travis Bickle’s cab in Taxi Driver, Wayne, Garth, and their buddies singing “Bohemian Rhapsody” in Wayne’s World, and Drive—like, the whole movie. When combined, the darkness of night and the isolation of the inside of a car creates interesting moods that you can use to increase tension, anticipation, and atmosphere in your films, but unfortunately, the lighting for these types of shots are notoriously challenging to design.

However, in this video, Ted Sim from Aputure does you a solid by explaining four different lighting setups that are commonly used for nighttime car interiors. Check it out below.

Here are the four different looks Ted mentions in the video:

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From:: No Film School

You really do still need a light meter

By noreply@redsharknews.com (Phil Rhodes)

A light meter is still one of the most important tools in your bag

The apparent convenience of shooting digital has meant that the humble light meter has taken a bit of a popularity hit of late. But as Phil Rhodes writes, they are in fact still one of the most valuable tools in the bag.

  • light meter
  • Sekonic
  • Sekonic C700R

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    From:: RedShark News

    Meike announced a new 85mm f/2.8 E-mount macro lens

    By SonyAlpha Admin

    Meike announced the new 85mm f/2.8 E-mount macro lens “85mm F2.8 Meke optical lens is a manual focusing mirrorless lens designed for full frame and APS frame. This lens, with simple and compact size and sound portability, can represent diversiform images during fast or near photography.” All Meike lenses are listed at Amazon US, Amazon […]

    The post Meike announced a new 85mm f/2.8 E-mount macro lens appeared first on sonyalpharumors.

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    From:: Sony Alpha Rumors

    Tutorial: How to shoot a martini splash photo using only speedlights

    Photographer Dustin Dolby of workphlo is back with another of his straightforward, easy-to-follow lighting tutorials. This time, he’s showing us how to shoot (and post-process) a professional-looking splash photography shot—a very popular ad style—using just the affordable speedlights in his home studio.

    As usual, his setup is extremely affordable. To start, he places the empty glass-and-lime combo onto a sheet of plexiglass, with two diffusers behind it and a cheap Yongnuo speedlight behind that. Then he uses a second speedlight off to the side to light the garnish, and that same speedlight is what he’ll use to light the splashes once he adds water and begins throwing in his fake ice cube.

    From start to finish, here are all of the exposures he captured and combined in post to create his final image:

    Along the way Dolby offers a bunch of little tips and tricks that help really round out the final image, and produce something beautiful. Here’s the final shot, after a bit of post-production magic:

    To see the full tutorial, click play above. And if you love product photography his YouTube channel is definitely worth a look.


    All photographs by Dustin Dolby/workphlo and used with permission.

    → continue…

    From:: DPreview

    Tutorial: How to shoot a martini splash photo using only speedlights

    Photographer Dustin Dolby of workphlo is back with another of his straightforward, easy-to-follow lighting tutorials. This time, he’s showing us how to shoot (and post-process) a professional-looking splash photography shot—a very popular ad style—using just the affordable speedlights in his home studio.

    As usual, his setup is extremely affordable. To start, he places the empty glass-and-lime combo onto a sheet of plexiglass, with two diffusers behind it and a cheap Yongnuo speedlight behind that. Then he uses a second speedlight off to the side to light the garnish, and that same speedlight is what he’ll use to light the splashes once he adds water and begins throwing in his fake ice cube.

    From start to finish, here are all of the exposures he captured and combined in post to create his final image:

    Along the way Dolby offers a bunch of little tips and tricks that help really round out the final image, and produce something beautiful. Here’s the final shot, after a bit of post-production magic:

    To see the full tutorial, click play above. And if you love product photography his YouTube channel is definitely worth a look.


    All photographs by Dustin Dolby/workphlo and used with permission.

    → continue…

    From:: DPreview

    Behind the scenes: Mountain bike self-portrait under the Milky Way

    Here in Marlborough, New Zealand, I’ve been able to indulge two of my passions: night sky photography and mountain biking. But my time in this part of the world is almost up, and lately I’ve been wondering how I can combine these. So a couple of weeks ago I did a bit of location scoping around the outlying hills. I jogged to the top of the mountain bike park, and ended up at a spot that I might be able to make something of.

    Back in front of the PC I consulted the planetarium software, Stellarium, and checked the moon phases. Conditions looked OK in just a couple of days, but would the forecast cloud cover hold off?

    On the day I set my internal alarm and had a glance outside, almost hoping there would be cloud so I could retreat under the covers. Not to be, so I leapt on the bike and put the hammer down to get up the hills in time. I really had to shift it as the galactic arc was dropping rapidly—anything too long after 3:30am would be too late. After a brutal hill climb in subzero conditions (and the odd wrong turn in the dark) I made it to the spot. Time: 3:31am.

    I allowed myself a minute to catch my breath and then set up the equipment for the panorama. The idea was to radio trigger the flashgun and position it on the fence line, but with frozen fingers and a lack of time I decided to keep the strobe in the hotshoe instead. To get myself into the frame I simply used the self-timer.

    A number of attempts were needed to position myself and then get the flash output on point. Because I had decided to shed my → continue…

    From:: DPreview

    Venus Optics Laowa 15mm F2 FE Zero-D gallery and user impressions

    Venus Optics, a Chinese lens manufacturer established in 2013, has released several interesting manual focus lenses, but perhaps none as intriguing as the Laowa 15mm F2 FE Zero-D. This lens, for Sony Full Frame E-mount cameras, strikes a unique balance with its small size, wide field of view (110 degrees) and fast aperture. Even more impressive is its promise of almost zero distortion. Venus Optics claims that it is ‘the world’s fastest 15mm rectilinear lens for full-frame.’

    See our Laowa 15mm F2 FE Zero-D gallery

    At $850 MSRP, it’s also priced competitively. So how does it hold up in the field? Read on.

    Handling

    The build quality of this lens is very good. At 500 g (17.6 oz) it’s not too heavy but has some heft to balance out the weight of the camera (I shot mostly with a Sony a7R II). The body and lens mount are all made of metal, as is the accessory lens hood. In hand, it has a reassuringly dense and sturdy feel to it.

    ‘It has a reassuringly dense and sturdy feel to it.’

    The focus ring is slightly stiffer than I’d expected, but still rotates smoothly. Perhaps with a little use, it will loosen up. A focus scale is helpful for hyperfocal focusing, but for absolute accuracy you’ll want to use the camera’s focus magnifier. I programed a button on our a7R II to this function. The focus rings turns slightly past infinity but on our copy, infinity lined up pretty closely with the center of the infinity symbol on the lens.

    The Venus 15mm F2 is a nice complimentary size and weight to the a7r II.

    The Venus 15mm F2 has a 72mm filter thread, which is a nice feature, especially for videographers who → continue…

    From:: DPreview

    Audio: Filmmaking’s Necessary Evil? – with Sound Designer Cheryl Ottenritter – ON THE GO – Episode 67

    By Fabian Chaundy

    In this episode of cinema5D ON THE GO we talk to sound designer & re-recording mixer Cheryl Ottenritter about all things audio!

    Ah, audio… Although many would think that good filmmaking is primarily down to the images, the truth is that this is in fact an audiovisual medium – and note that the “audio” comes before the “visual”. You are a lot more likely to forgive footage that’s a little shaky or a little noisy and chalk it up to style. Dodgy audio, though? That’s bound to sitck out like a sore thumb.

    For this reason, every shooter needs at least a basic understanding of audio, especially those of you multitasking in small or one-person productions. But what about post? While many out there are capable of adequately placing a lav, booming a shotgun or even decent gain staging, it is when sitting down after the edit is picture-locked that a multi-tasker’s sound skills are often exhausted. This is when you want to get your film over to someone like Cheryl.

    Cheryl Ottenritter is a sound engineer and re-recording mixer with over 20 years of experience in the industry. She runs Ott Haus Audio, a sound post studio in Silver Spring, Maryland, where her day-to-day work includes anything from mixing indie films, scripted television, radio spots or sound work for museums. We caught up with her at NAB 2017, where she was giving a number of talks and panels on topics such as audio for editing in Premiere, 360 VR audio, and narration.

    She also tells us about the latest groundbreaking tools and techniques that have revolutionised the audio work in recent times, such as the latest version of the noise–reduction software Isotope RX.

    While you may be familiar with the capabilities of the latest → continue…

    From:: Cinema 5d

    Why is exposing log brightly beneficial?

    By alisterchapman

    Slide01 Why is exposing log brightly beneficial?

    I have been asked whether you should still expose log a bit brighter than the recommended base levels on the Sony PXW-FS5 now that Sony have released new firmware that gives it a slightly lower base ISO. In this article I take a look at why it might be a good idea to expose log (with any camera) a bit brighter than perhaps the manufacturer recommends.

    There are a couple of reasons to expose log nice and bright, not just noise. Exposing log brighter makes no difference to the dynamic range. That’s determined by the sensor and the gain point at which the sensor is working. You want the camera to be at it’s native sensitivity or 0dB gain to get that maximum dynamic range.

    Exposing brighter or darker doesn’t change the dynamic range but it does move the mid point of the exposure range up and down. Exposing brighter increases the under exposure range but decreases the over exposure range. Exposing darker decreases the under exposure range but increases the over exposure range.

    Something that’s important when thinking about dynamic range and big dynamic ranges in particular is that dynamic range isn’t just about the highlights it’s also about the shadows, it isn’t just over exposure, it’s under exposure too, it’s RANGE.

    So why is a little bit of extra light often beneficial? You might call it “over exposure” but that’s not a term I like to use as it implies “too much exposure”. I prefer to use “brighter exposure”.

    It’s actually quite simple, it’s about putting a bit more light on to the sensor. Most sensors perform better when you put a little extra light on them. One thing you can be absolutely sure of – if you don’t put enough light on the sensor you won’t get the best pictures.

    Put more → continue…

    From:: XDCAM-USER