The cinematography in any film is essentially what helps to set the tone through use of the background. The films that have won the award for the best cinematography are those that have blown the audience away with their use of shadows and light within the landscape and have mastered the inclusion of certain elements within the shot that capture the imagination and the mythos of their film. It’s not an easy task to take so many different elements and weave them into something that must be cohesive and fluid all at once but when it does happen it’s something wonderful to behold.
Some of these films from the earlier years tend to get disregarded as being too outdated and not comparable to the newer films that show the sweeping landscapes and cunningly laid CGI backgrounds that are simply magnificent. But if you really look at them, the old films are still every bit as impressive for not having the new methods and for having to use what they had in order to bring the picture together. Just because the technology wasn’t there yet doesn’t mean that it was any less masterful, they worked with what they had in order to create the best effect possible. In today’s films a lot of the more grandiose locations are often added in during editing, meaning that there is not as much on-location filming.
This isn’t truly a detriment since the programs that exist now are able to mimic and recreate just about anything that exists in nature since the footage exists in the computers and is able to be pulled up and worked with continually. The movements of the camera have changed obviously, but this is also a sign of the times as back in the 20’s the capabilities of cinematography were still being played with and perfected. As time went on new method were discovered, new technology was invented, and the film industry as a whole began to change in big ways. Like anything else the industry had to change, and will always have to change, to meet the demands of the audience. While the people that watch the films don’t have a lot of say in what gets filmed, they still speak louder than anyone when they refuse to go watch the movies that are produced.
Public opinion is still one of the biggest deciding factors of any film and will likely remain that way for a long time to come. The fact that filmmakers have continued to work closely with their cinematographers indicates that they have felt the beating pulse that is the interest of the audience and have at least made inroads when it comes to pleasing the people they’re making the films for. The only real tragedy is that they can’t hope to please everyone all at once. One thing I can say about the cinematography of a film however is that no matter if you like it or don’t, you should be able to admit to being impressed by the sweeping landscapes that are the setting of some films.
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