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Comments on "Broken Trail"

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Mark Suszko
Comments on "Broken Trail"
on Jun 27, 2006 at 3:05:58 pm

So I watched Robert DuVall's 4-hour Western this week on cable.
I will stipulate up front I am not a big fan of the genre, but this director is well known for good work, and a good story is a good story, so I sat down with the wife (who is a HUGE DuVall and western fan) and watched it.

I found myself really distracted by the lighting. It looked like the D.P. was trying to make every frame look like a Thomas Kincaid painting, overly saturated, strong gold tints on everything all the time, which perhaps are supposed to make it seem old-timey or more romantic. Kind of flat lighting, without as much dynamic range as I would have expected. Where are the shadows? I wonder if it was shot in high def and converted? The night shots also grated on me; they seemed WAY over-lit and too steady considering the practical source is supposed to be a campfire or moonlight.

Am I the only one who felt like this? If so, maybe it's time to get a new TV, but I was hoping some others with a critical eye could comment.


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todd mcmullen
Re: Comments on "Broken Trail"
on Jun 28, 2006 at 12:34:11 pm

Mark,
I have not seen "Broken Trail" but I can tell you that the DP, Lloyd Ahern ASC, is a very good cameraman. He has many years of experience and has shot many westerns. I started working with Lloyd as a camera assistant on a film called "Wild Bill". Also Directed by Walter Hill. It is a beautiful movie. You should check it out.I have done many projects with Lloyd and I can tell you he does not make a practice out of flat lighting. I would say that he probably shot "Broken Trail" the way he normally does and the network pumped up the image for broadcast. This happens quite a bit. Not sure if it was shot on HD or film. I will check.

Todd McMullen
Flip Flop Films
Austin
Cinematography Forum Leader


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Bob Cole
Re: Comments on "Broken Trail"
on Jun 29, 2006 at 3:54:50 am

[Mark Suszko] "The night shots also grated on me; they seemed WAY over-lit and too steady considering the practical source is supposed to be a campfire or moonlight."


Noticed the same thing. Can't say too much else about it because I changed the channel. It gave me that feeling of "this is probably great, and I wish I had the time and patience to sit down and just get into this, and maybe I will... some day."


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