Sunday, February 15, 2009

Encounters at the end of the world -- What camera?

I've been trying to find out what camera Werner Herzog and his cinematographer Peter Zeitlinger used to shoot the stunning images in the new documentary Encounters at the End Of The World.

The cinematography in this movie is wonderful.

According to IMDB the format was HDV. On the commentary track Zeitlinger says only that the camera was one of the first Sony Blu Ray camcorders. Will keep checking...

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

What's Your Story

The odds-on favorite for Best Feature Documentary at the 81st Oscars awards is the wonderful film, "Man On Wire."

All five of the Oscar nominees for this category are great films, but Man On Wire's story makes the film unique.

In the film, 24 year old Philippe Petit and a youthful band of conspirators sneak into the World Trade Center in 1974. They then string a wire between the towers, and Petit then walks the wire between the towers. Not once but 8 times.

The director chose to tell the story as a caper film. The story of Petit overcoming obstacles, and ultimately succeeding, is absolutely riveting.

The lesson for filmmakers and writers is clear: if you want to capture an audience, tell a compelling story with a fascinating hero.

(Cross posted at my Amazon Connect blog for Digital Video Secrets.)

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Errol Morris gets great interviews

On the commentary track of his recent documentary 'Standard Operating Procedure,' filmmaker Errol Morris talks about how he gets great interviews--interviews no one else is able to get.

He says that there's no 'secret sauce' (to getting great interviews) you just go talk to people. You listen to them, and let them know you are interested in what they say.

Cinematographer Robert Richardson and Errol Morris (right) on the set of Standard Operating Procedure.

There's also a great interview with Morris at Eye For Film.

(Cross posted at Amazon Connect blog for Digital Video Secrets.)