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(JoBlo)   Excellent: Keanu Reeves directing a kung fu movie. Most Excellent: He's built a new camera to revolutionize the fight scene (w/ video evidence)   (joblo.com) divider line 88
    More: Cool, Keanu Reeves, Martial arts film, fight scenes, shtick, cameras  
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10766 clicks; posted to Entertainment » on 24 Jun 2012 at 1:57 PM (1 year ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2012-06-24 12:11:13 PM
Is that our Lord Jesus H. Christ? Oh, it's Keanu.
 
2012-06-24 01:26:52 PM
grahamkozak.files.wordpress.com
 
2012-06-24 01:30:04 PM
I can dig it. I wonder if anti-CGI will be the new anti-Autotune.
 
2012-06-24 02:01:56 PM

GreenAdder: I can dig it. I wonder if anti-CGI will be the new anti-Autotune.


I would be very happy with that.
 
2012-06-24 02:03:18 PM
That is awesome if you only want to see a third of what is going on. "He's punching, zoom in on the knees dolly-bot!"
 
2012-06-24 02:06:52 PM

titwrench: That is awesome if you only want to see a third of what is going on. "He's punching, zoom in on the knees dolly-bot!"


For a proof of concept video, it's pretty awesome. And still far better than the current shaky-cam method.
 
2012-06-24 02:09:24 PM
The camera makes it appear that Keanu Reeves could actually kick someones arse.
 
2012-06-24 02:10:38 PM
Keanu Reeves: The next Yuen Woo Ping?

Mind. Potentially. Blown.
 
2012-06-24 02:12:19 PM

titwrench: That is awesome if you only want to see a third of what is going on. "He's punching, zoom in on the knees dolly-bot!"


Looks to me like you can see everything that is going on as opposed to the cut-away-every-half-second to mimic speed and bad coordination that you find in every other flick.
 
2012-06-24 02:14:49 PM
Was surprised with how effective that was. Imagine the usefulness for continuous shots of action scenes without the tracked feel while getting the environment. Could see the fight well, and I am sure a few of the twists and turns were simply for the proof of concept video, but this still worked well.
 
2012-06-24 02:16:36 PM

Apos: Keanu Reeves: The next Yuen Woo Ping?

Mind. Potentially. Blown.


www.taichienuruguay.com

To blow the minds of others, one's own mind must first be blown, or not exist at all.

/sounds pretty gay
 
2012-06-24 02:17:33 PM

Vangor: Was surprised with how effective that was. Imagine the usefulness for continuous shots of action scenes without the tracked feel while getting the environment. Could see the fight well, and I am sure a few of the twists and turns were simply for the proof of concept video, but this still worked well.


I, for one, hope we get an awesome extended fight sequence with multiple angles from a single camera instead of the rapid cut bullshiat they use today.
 
2012-06-24 02:19:09 PM

Erix: For a proof of concept video, it's pretty awesome. And still far better than the current shaky-cam method.


As a wannabe filmmaker, the shaky cam offends me to no end. I understand the reasoning, they want to convey the confusion and frenetic pacing of a real fight but that doesn't make it any less annoying.
 
2012-06-24 02:24:21 PM
I'm not getting what's so revolutionary about a camera hooked to a machine that can move it in all directions?

Heck, I assumed that already existed? It looks just like a robotic arm that puts together cars... something that's existed for decades.

Someone want to tell me what's so new and exciting about this?

And the film of the fight scene looked no different than any other I've seen? Then again, I don't watch a lot of action movies unless they're campy.
 
2012-06-24 02:26:35 PM

DeathByGeekSquad: I, for one, hope we get an awesome extended fight sequence with multiple angles from a single camera instead of the rapid cut bullshiat they use today.


Exactly what I am hoping for. The more continuity in a fight sequence, the better received for me. Different cameras simply cannot be edited together well enough to maintain the same level of continuity as one camera, and it is hard to get a good martial arts fight without the environment being used and therefore shown.
 
2012-06-24 02:28:40 PM
Excellent: Keanu Reeves directing a kung fu movie.

I just threw up a little.


Mugato: As a wannabe filmmaker, the shaky cam offends me to no end. I understand the reasoning, they want to convey the confusion and frenetic pacing of a real fight but that doesn't make it any less annoying.

Making a good action scene is very difficult, and good fight scenes are very complex and often protracted action scenes. It's just much easier to shake the camera, make a bunch of quick edits, and pretend something good has happened.

Alas, way too many people in the audience don't know the difference, or care. So there's money in shaky crap.

But if you go watch a good kung fu movie, often you'll see long sequences filmed in master shot, where you can see that, yeah, that took a lot of practice and probably twenty takes to get right. Sometimes much more -- in his younger days, Jackie Chan was famous for shooting hundreds of takes to get certain sequences just right.

CGI, similarly, is easier. Often it's not really cheaper, and typically it looks terrible if you know the difference. But, again, a hell of a lot of people who buy tickets don't know the difference.

A new camera is not necessary to film kung fu. The right director and choreographer are needed, though, not to mention actors (or at least stunt players) who can do the moves.
 
2012-06-24 02:31:14 PM

downstairs: Someone want to tell me what's so new and exciting about this?


The camera arm is being panned around while the camera itself continues to track the motion of the actors, thereby keeping the shot focused. Allows for continuous scenes, a variety of angles, focus on the action, and a smooth video. His comparison to CGI is the big note, because in CGI you do not have a camera while creating the scene and can always find the exact shot you want.
 
2012-06-24 02:31:28 PM
This is a neat concept and a great idea for more than just kung fu movies. This is a very cool concept.
 
2012-06-24 02:36:02 PM

Vangor: The camera arm is being panned around while the camera itself continues to track the motion of the actors, thereby keeping the shot focused. Allows for continuous scenes, a variety of angles, focus on the action, and a smooth video. His comparison to CGI is the big note, because in CGI you do not have a camera while creating the scene and can always find the exact shot you want.


Ahhhh... bolded part is something I missed. Now I get it.
 
2012-06-24 02:38:24 PM

RandomAxe: A new camera is not necessary to film kung fu. The right director and choreographer are needed, though, not to mention actors (or at least stunt players) who can do the moves.


I was going to say this too. Fight scenes are choreographed, I assume. So its not hard to get expert fighter/actors to repeat the exact same motions tens or hundreds of times.
 
2012-06-24 02:43:49 PM
Fight scenes are choreographed, I assume. So its not hard to get expert fighter/actors to repeat the exact same motions tens or hundreds of times.

It depends on how ambitious the sequence is. Some things that look nearly impossible really are nearly impossible, even for experts. And some filmmakers, rather than fake that stuff, will film dozens of tries until everything goes just right.

Watch the DVD extras for Tom Yung Goong. There's a stunt-laden four-minute one-shot sequence where Jaa fights his way up a long staircase. The extras show several takes where they almost got the shot but had to scrap it and try again. Jaa is the new Jackie Chan in several ways, and this is one of them, although of course a lot of that comes down to the director.

Same director made Chocolate, which has a lot of the Many Takes To Get This Shot flavor but also uses special effects for some. Oddly enough, the directors who can do good genuine action scenes are often also the ones who can use FX to good effect, no pun intended.
 
2012-06-24 02:44:36 PM

RandomAxe: A new camera is not necessary to film kung fu. The right director and choreographer are needed, though, not to mention actors (or at least stunt players) who can do the moves.


Yeah, it's called a steady cam, the most popular use for it was in the kitchen scene in Goodfellas. It didn't go all aerial but it's the same concept. I think what they're saying about CGI is with CGI, you have a "virtual camera" that can go wherever you want. For some bad ass "The Rope"-style action scenes in one continuous shot see Hard Boiled or The Raid: Redemption.
 
2012-06-24 02:45:47 PM
The fact that this is even getting attention makes me wonder how awful the writing will be on whatever-this-is.
 
2012-06-24 02:55:07 PM

RandomAxe: Watch the DVD extras for Tom Yung Goong. There's a stunt-laden four-minute one-shot sequence where Jaa fights his way up a long staircase. The extras show several takes where they almost got the shot but had to scrap it and try again. Jaa is the new Jackie Chan in several ways, and this is one of them, although of course a lot of that comes down to the director.


The scene was perfect for the limitations of the camera. There were no overhead shots, and the camera person never saw each individual section of the fight from more than one angle. I think this allows both of those, but would not be in the same way as the restaurant fight.
 
2012-06-24 03:18:08 PM
Man. I hate Chai Tea.
 
2012-06-24 03:18:46 PM

GreenAdder: I can dig it. I wonder if anti-CGI will be the new anti-Autotune.


I'm starting to think that will be the case. Lord knows Lucas showed everyone (in GRAND style) how bad the results can be when you vastly over-use CGI. It also seems like more and more movies are going back to miniatures for their realism, and only using CGI as a supplement.

If you want proof of which technique is better, go re-watch the LOTR series and then watch the Star Wars prequels. They were both produced & released at about the same times, but SW used CGI almost exclusively, while LOTR used a wider variety of special effects methods. LOTR still looks good today, despite being almost 10 years old, while the SW prequels look fake, despite using the best CGI available for their day.

My point is, CGI only looks good until CGI tech advances and improves. Miniatures and camera tricks can maintain their feeling of authenticity for a lot longer.
 
2012-06-24 03:26:47 PM
I'm probably in the minority on this one, but I've actually long thought Keanu could be good behind the camera (as opposed to the block of wood he is in front of it). He's a bad actor, but the dude KNOWS how to pick his roles. And interviews and stuff show that he's not an idiot.

This new camera trick does seem gimmicky, but the guy deserves credit from trying to bring a little innovation to the table.
 
2012-06-24 03:33:20 PM
The Man Of Tai Chi?

So it'll be one loooooong slooooooooooow fight scene?
 
2012-06-24 03:41:26 PM

HMS_Blinkin: GreenAdder: I can dig it. I wonder if anti-CGI will be the new anti-Autotune.

I'm starting to think that will be the case. Lord knows Lucas showed everyone (in GRAND style) how bad the results can be when you vastly over-use CGI. It also seems like more and more movies are going back to miniatures for their realism, and only using CGI as a supplement.

If you want proof of which technique is better, go re-watch the LOTR series and then watch the Star Wars prequels. They were both produced & released at about the same times, but SW used CGI almost exclusively, while LOTR used a wider variety of special effects methods. LOTR still looks good today, despite being almost 10 years old, while the SW prequels look fake, despite using the best CGI available for their day.

My point is, CGI only looks good until CGI tech advances and improves. Miniatures and camera tricks can maintain their feeling of authenticity for a lot longer.


And in some instances it doesn't look good at all. I think the brain is much less forgiving of CGI when used for common things. The CGI snake in True Grit totally destroyed my immersion in the film. Monsters, aliens, and starships? Ok. Real animals, normal landscapes, household items? Not so much.
 
2012-06-24 03:43:31 PM

Snatch Bandergrip: I'm probably in the minority on this one, but I've actually long thought Keanu could be good behind the camera (as opposed to the block of wood he is in front of it). He's a bad actor, but the dude KNOWS how to pick his roles. And interviews and stuff show that he's not an idiot.

This new camera trick does seem gimmicky, but the guy deserves credit from trying to bring a little innovation to the table.


It is close in and more mobile version of the very thing that Dykestra pioneered. It is still a fairly heavy set piece, but much more mobile for close in work, and rather than creating the illusion of movement on a stationary object, it is camera that can get in, while actors are moving. Depending on how long the arms are set, I can see Tarantino and others REALLY going to town with the sucker. Not just for action shots, but for a variety of shots.
 
2012-06-24 03:55:08 PM

Erix: GreenAdder: I can dig it. I wonder if anti-CGI will be the new anti-Autotune.

I would be very happy with that.


For scenes like this, I wholeheartedly agree.

I like CGI, and think it can be very effective, but this is just wicked.
 
2012-06-24 04:02:04 PM
Mugato: Yeah, it's called a steady cam, the most popular use for it was in the kitchen scene in Goodfellas.

I guess that's one iconic scene, but the Steadicam is often mentioned along with the scene where Rocky goes up the stairs, or for the harness's use for the splinter rifles in Aliens. Oddly enough, for many years the longest tracking Steadicam shot in film was in a Jackie Chan movie, Miracles. It was widely imitated in Hollywood films, too. But that's neither here nor there.

This new camera is more similar to the motion-control camera. But my point was that you can shoot a great kung fu sequence using a single stationary camera that's simply far enough back to capture all of the motion. A really good kung fu scene (or any action scene) can make use of multiple angles, etc, but doesn't need to -- and fancy camerawork and editing will not turn a bad action scene into a good one. Ever.


I think what they're saying about CGI is with CGI, you have a "virtual camera" that can go wherever you want.

Yes, but this often makes things worse, due to poor decisions. In the animation process, the director often gets jaded by simple views, upon repetitive viewing, and wants to show off for the benefit of people who work with animation. The result is trying to do too much -- CGI sequences where the 'camera' zooms in and out and spins around needlessly.

Often the results are crap, and what should have looked good looks terrible. Still, in modern film, the overuse of close-up is the film equivalent of herpes. It's everywhere, it's unpleasant, and it's hard to stamp out.
 
2012-06-24 04:02:28 PM

HMS_Blinkin: If you want proof of which technique is better, go re-watch the LOTR series and then watch the Star Wars prequels. They were both produced & released at about the same times, but SW used CGI almost exclusively, while LOTR used a wider variety of special effects methods. LOTR still looks good today, despite being almost 10 years old, while the SW prequels look fake, despite using the best CGI available for their day.


Actually you'd probably be surprised how much of the FX in the prequels used miniatures.
 
2012-06-24 04:04:49 PM
Vangor: The scene was perfect for the limitations of the camera. There were no overhead shots, and the camera person never saw each individual section of the fight from more than one angle. I think this allows both of those, but would not be in the same way as the restaurant fight.

True, very true. But fancying it up wouldn't necessarily improve it, and there's the rub. To go back to Jackie Chan, it can be worth using multiple angles just to show you how cool something looked from multiple angles. But when the camerawork becomes the star, it usually means you're not going to get a good result.

With sufficiently expert camerawork, yes, OK, but mostly it's the equivalent of non-fighters doing a fight scene in an incredibly awkward fashion. You understand what's being suggested, but it's like eating a photo of ice cream. Disappointing.
 
2012-06-24 04:07:03 PM
Imagine the porn potential!!!
 
2012-06-24 04:08:40 PM
Snatch Bandergrip: He's a bad actor, but the dude KNOWS how to pick his roles. And interviews and stuff show that he's not an idiot.

Man, I do not know which movies and interviews you have seen, but they MUST not be the same ones I've seen.

I don't hate Keanu, and I don't blame him for a lot of the bad films he's been in. But he's been hopelessly out of place in a lot of the roles he's played, from Buddha to Constantine to Shakespeare. And I've seen multiple interviews where he seemed to be recovering from honest to God brain damage, although I've assumed that he might have been experiencing interview fatigue.

If I had control over his career, I'm sure I could put him in roles where he'd be much more universally loved. On the other hand, they're apparently roles he'd rather not play. I'm sympathetic to that. But it doesn't make his films any better.
 
2012-06-24 04:11:58 PM

RandomAxe: I don't hate Keanu, and I don't blame him for a lot of the bad films he's been in. But he's been hopelessly out of place in a lot of the roles he's played, from Buddha to Constantine to Shakespeare


Don't forget Dracula. But I blame Coppola for telling him that he could pull off an English accent.
 
2012-06-24 04:17:11 PM
Don't forget Dracula. But I blame Coppola for telling him that he could pull off an English accent.

Oof, good point. But Keanu's mother's British, you know, so maybe Coppola thought . . . oh, hell.
 
2012-06-24 04:19:53 PM

RandomAxe: Don't forget Dracula. But I blame Coppola for telling him that he could pull off an English accent.

Oof, good point. But Keanu's mother's British, you know, so maybe Coppola thought . . . oh, hell.


It's too bad too because otherwise it was a most, most excellent flick. Gary Oldman nailed that shiat.
 
2012-06-24 04:19:55 PM
That short clip of him speaking made him seem less wooden than most of his movie roles.
 
2012-06-24 04:21:07 PM
Is this a new camera, or just a new rig?

/Haven't read the thread.
 
2012-06-24 04:24:08 PM

Mugato: RandomAxe: I don't hate Keanu, and I don't blame him for a lot of the bad films he's been in. But he's been hopelessly out of place in a lot of the roles he's played, from Buddha to Constantine to Shakespeare

Don't forget Dracula. But I blame Coppola for telling him that he could pull off an English accent.


That's one of my favorite movies.
 
2012-06-24 04:27:55 PM

Mugato: The Raid: Redemption


Minor threadjack: do you have any idea where an American can see this?

For sheer irony, I was actually visiting Indonesia when it was debuting in the States. When I got back, it had been pulled from all my local theaters already for low attendance. But I really want to see it.
 
2012-06-24 04:29:20 PM

JasonOfOrillia: That short clip of him speaking made him seem less wooden than most of his movie roles.


Quite true. I've mentioned this in previous KR threads,but The Gift is the ONLY flick where he actually acted-and did so very well....As if his life depended on it(which just might have been the case,for all I know).


As you can tell,the shock STILL hasn't worn off.
 
2012-06-24 04:36:17 PM
I was ready to snark when I read that Keanu Reeves was directing, but I have to admit that looks pretty awesome. Digi-fighting is lame.
 
2012-06-24 04:43:39 PM
well, if there's one thing we can be sure of about keanu reeves...

he knows kung fu.
 
2012-06-24 04:53:27 PM

burndtdan: well, if there's one thing we can be sure of about keanu reeves...

he knows kung fu.


Actually, the guy went through a lot of training for those movies. Sure it's "movie kung fu" but a lot of other big name actors turned the role down because they didn't want to be bothered. I think he got injured a few times too. If only the writers spent as much effort into the sequels.
 
2012-06-24 04:54:15 PM
That's pretty f*cking rad. Thanks Keanu for the analog approach. I'm getting pretty tired of the CGI fights in "live-action" movies.
 
2012-06-24 04:54:26 PM

burndtdan: well, if there's one thing we can be sure of about keanu reeves...

he knows kung fu.


I'm willing to give him the benefit of the doubt. Maybe he'll pull a Ben Affleck and turn out to be a decent director.
 
2012-06-24 05:20:19 PM
Keanu Reeves directing a kung fu movie.

Whoa.
 
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