Sunday, June 9, 2013

Il Mostro Dell'isola (Island Monster)

I've noticed that even movies like the ones by Woody Allen, filmed very simply in medium shot with everything filmed from one angle, the camera tends to start drifting, dollying or tracking, even if the movement is rather slight. I always wonder why they bother. Is it really worth the time  and trouble? Couldn't you just use a fluid head tripod and have it look almost the same?

It was sort of refreshing to see a movie where they did this. Watched an Italian movie, Island Monster (Il Mostro dell'Isola, Italy, 1954) filmed mostly in medium shot apparently with nothing but a tripod. It worked fine.

I noted here before that, during the '80s, they started this business of making every shot a tracking shot. The camera would move constantly, usually for no reason. Sometimes it would slowly drift, other times it would zip around.

If you read anything about low budget filmmaking back then, you'd usually find a lot about how to do cheap tracking shots often using wheelchairs as dollies.

I think that nonsense has finally died down.

Island Monster was black and white. It also seemed to have eschewed Hollywood lighting. In black and white movies everything is the same color. The only way to make the subject stand out from the background is to have the subject correctly exposed and the background either over- or under-exposed. In this movie, the backgrounds were properly exposed, and it seemed to work fine, too.

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