Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Who Inspires Me? Elliott Sellers!...Again!

     Elliott Sellers has the style that I want to work toward having. He has everything that I want: muted colors, playing with focus, swinging and whimsy camera movement. There is one short that he has that has really inspired me. I want to learn how to do this, although I suspect it is not hard once you know how to do it.

     Here is a video that he directed, edited, and did the cinematography. There are so many elements in this film that are Elliott Sellers, starting with the music. But we'll ignore that and discuss my absolute favorite thing. It looks like it was shot on old film.
     This is something that I absolutely love as an artist. I want things to look old and weathered, because it has been through something, some kind of an experience. This is what Sellers tends to go for. He uses the old world things to share the idea that they've been through some kind of experience, whether that's sitting in a box for years or being watched over and over again.
     I also truly enjoy the muted colors that match the old film vibe. It's almost like you're watching something from the seventies. It's incredibly retro. I don't necessarily want all my work to look retro, but I like for it to look older.
    Although he does use this older look approach, you still know that it is digital. It's so clear and beautiful. This is not something a film camera could do.
     I like his use of multiple filmings of different subjects in the same area. They are coming back over and over in the same spot. It's like watching an artistic home movie. I suppose that's what I really like: finding the simplicity in complexity. It causes the viewer to really appreciate what you have done as an artist. You take a twist of something familiar and making it unfamiliar, something to experience over and over.
     Elliott Sellers definitely does this with his use of making mundane things incredibly interesting. You can't help but notice his complexity in the small details.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Elliott Sellers

     I recently have become obsessed with a certain Director of Photography, thanks to Jason Mraz's I Won't Give Up lyric video. Elliott Sellers is a master with experience in editing, sound mixing, directing, and of course DPing. His work takes my breath away when I watch it. It all starts with his colors.

     He uses muted colors in almost everything he does. I think muted colors brings more attention than something that is vibrant or even overly vibrant. Sellers does this in almost all of his work.

     Another element he always incorporates is a typewriter and an older male character with glasses. He seems to enjoy old world things, which match his love for muted colors.

    Sellers also enjoys to play with one of my favorite things: focus. He likes extreme close ups with extremely shallow depth of field. He makes things dramatic. Drama is what he goes for. He makes mundane items such as close pins, lightbulbs, typewriters into art. Manipulating the viewer to believe these items are more important than they actually are is what he tends to go for.

     He also likes smooth handheld. It seems he tries to go for a whimsy look. Another thing he does is use swinging motions to show things, which is something I enjoy. He takes a long  lens and uses his focus to pull items in and out. He also wracks manually.

    The way he films resembles that of old film, when it was actually on film. This is something that truly attracts my attention and seconds his love for old world items.

     I feel like he is a true treasure that I have found, and I love to watch his reel.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Incredibly Epic

      I'll be the first to admit it. I'm not a huge fan of money shots. I think that simplicity is best for the most part. However, there are times when they are needed. I think, possibly, the most epic shot I have ever seen, or actually thoroughly enjoyed seeing artistically is the high angle shot in Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind with Jim Carrey and Kate Winslet lying on the cracked ice.

     There are so many elements in this shot that make it a money shot. They are attempting to erase Jim Carrey's character's mind of all memories of his ex-girlfriend. The two of them attempt to hide from the people doing this, hence why the end up on a cracked ice surface. It portrays what is happening to his brain with the cracked ice. It is blue around the edges to draw your attention to Kate Winslet's hair. She is your main focus, because her focus is on Jim Carrey, the main character. The high angle is used to show someone is looking down on them, attempting to break them apart and end the memories he has of her.
     Although it is a money shot, I think that keeping things simple is still the key to success with any film. This has many elements in the actual shot, yet you would not sit there and analyze it but admire its beauty and understand what is happening with just a glance.