1917’s In-Camera Editing Techniques

1917 is one of the most incredible films I have ever seen, and sits high on my list of favorite films of all-time. It is directed by Sam Mendes, with the Cinematography helmed by the God of Light Roger Deakins. 1917 is such an amazingly crafted film that I do not have enough words to describe it.

For the uninitiated, 1917 is set in the war-torn era of 1917 and follows two English soldiers trying to deliver a message in an attempt to stop 1600 fellow men from walking into a trap. What makes 1917 a beautifully crafted cinematic experience is the way it is presented — one, single, two-hour-long continuous shot that follows these two protagonists.

Of course, it’s impossible to actually shoot a two-hour long film at this scale and polish, so the are going to be cuts. But Sam Mendes, together with Editor Lee-Smith and VFX studio ‘MPC’ have done a remarkable job of stitching together and hiding these cuts.

However, 1917 is still impressive for the fact that in many scenes, Sam Mendes manages to utilize blocking to move the camera where you’d traditionally require a cut in other films. This brilliant video essay by Thomas Flight explains why 1917 is so good:

I’ve been mesmerized by the art of Cinematography for a long time, and am a sucker for one-shot long takes. It’s fascinating to sit back and study how films like these were made.

If you can still find a way to watch 1917, please do watch it. You probably won’t enjoy it as much as watching it on the big screen, but you can surely enjoy and praise Sam Mendes’ impressive direction, Roger Deakins’ surreal cinematography and Lee Smith’s crafty editing.

Sidenote: While not the same thing, there’s also a really-impressive 12-minute long scene in Netflix’s new film ‘Extraction‘ starring Chris Hemsworth. It’s definitely worth checking out for the action-alone.

INOX Launches India’s First ‘ScreenX’ with a 270-Degree Immersive Screen at Inorbit Mall in Malad

INOX ScreenX Review

INOX Cinemas, one of the largest multiplex chains in India, officially launched India’s first ‘ScreenX‘ theatre in Malad yesterday. Part of the “INOX Malad” multiplex at the Inorbit Mall in Malad, ‘ScreenX’ is a proprietary technology from Korea that offers a 270-degree immersive viewing experience by using the side-walls of the auditorium in combination with the main screen.

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‘Tumbbad’ is an Incredible Experience

Tumbbad Still Image from Film

I usually don’t post movie reviews here on Nuclear Bits, but ‘Tumbbad‘ calls for an exception. It is an incredibly crafted genre-defining flick and if you love watching movies, do make sure that you watch it before the theaters end its run.

I happened to watch Tumbbad last night and I must say, it is an incredible experience, very unlike anything coming from Bollywood. It’s so refreshing to see a flick that cares about creative vision, intricate set designs, cinematography, and sound design. There’s no big-budget star cast, no larger-than-life glittering sets, and no over the top music and dance sequences. Yet, Tumbbad manages to present a really skillful and perfect artwork on the screen that offers an absolutely fascinating visual and audible experience. It’s a “must-watch in the theaters only” kind of film.

I loved the way the cinematographer has crafted most of the frames in the movie. The lighting, the movement of the camera, and the way each shot is precisely made possible, backed by Rahi Anil Barve’s fabulous direction, is nothing short of commendable.

I know a lot of people who’re skeptical about it, thinking it’s a horror film. But there’s a stark difference between the typical horror stuff with jump scares that we’re used to seeing, and what Tumbbad delivers. It’s a ‘Fantasy Horror’ film, but one that’s based on a powerful storyline with a primary theme of ‘greed’. It won’t leave you looking over your shoulder once you step out of the theatre and around the corners at home, it just isn’t your exorcism and “bhoot-preyt” kind of horror. What it is, is thrilling, gripping, and surreal.

Lastly, one of my favorite parts of the film is its background score by Jesper Kyd. Tumbbad is scored by Jesper Kyd — the same man behind the popular games like the Hitman series, Assassin’s Creed series, Borderlands series, Darksiders II and State of Decay. His music is what brings the film to life in the theater.

A tribute to cinematographer Roger Deakins, ASC, BSC, CBE.

Screened at the Karl Struss Legacy Award presentation at the Maine International Film Festival, July 17th, 2017.

I was delighted to hear his name the Academy Awards Ceremony. I think it was a long time coming.