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Rogue One Cinematography/Film Techniques of Rogue One: A Star Wars Story

Discussion in 'Star Wars: Anthology (Released Films)' started by PymParticles , Apr 10, 2016.

  1. SateleNovelist11

    SateleNovelist11 Jedi Master star 5

    Registered:
    Jan 10, 2015
    Someone said that Gareth Edwards' style in Rogue One is more similar to Spielberg's than Lucas's. I'd have to agree. But Rogue One is like an Expanded Universe story brought to the big screen. It may not have Kyle Katarn or Bastila Shan in it, but RO is one fabulous, dark, beautiful story. It's the Star Wars film I've wanted to see since 1995, and I absolutely love it. Jyn Erso, Cassian, and all the characters are unique.

    The only flaw in the film that bothers me is how Saw and his gang are written. We need to know more about them, and I think it's an editing/cutting room floor thing. But he has a great performance, even if I don't understand his character as much as the others.

    I'm not gonna lie. I walked into this film with the belief that Vader would kill Jyn and her band. But I feel that Vader was handled properly. I also was glad to see Tarkin in the film. This is definitely the Tarkin who lost his son and has no idea how Vader and Palpatine manipulated him. He's terrifying, and it's appropriate. But the best part of the film was the moral ambiguity featured by Jyn and Cassian. Jyn changes and wants to honor her father's legacy by destroying the Death Star, and she is one amazing woman. Cassian wants to do something to help the galaxy, as he feels guilty about doing so many bad things on behalf of the Rebels. That's why Jyn and Cassian love each other in the end. They've been through hell, but they understand each other. Also, K and the two brothers, Baze and Chirrut, are just classic. K could be said to be the character who goes from being sardonic to having a willingness to sacrifice himself. He loves Jyn and Cassian as friends, and that is why he is sentient, I believe. Baze and Chirrut are heroes. They are more than bad-posteriors. Chirrut is the monk and Baze is the skeptic. I have no idea if they're just friends or something more, but I found their story as poignant as the others' stories are. As for Krennic, he's a sociopath. No doubt. We learn that early in the film when he's willing to take a laser from Jyn's mom and kill her. But his rivalry with Tarkin humanizes him in his own way. Plus, I love how he smiles at Vader after Vader chokes him. Kinda funny.
     
  2. Gigoran Monk

    Gigoran Monk Jedi Grand Master star 5

    Registered:
    Dec 2, 2016
    Edwards' style is nothing like Spielberg's. If I were to compare him to a contemporary, I'd say he's a mix of Alfonso Cuaron and Denis Villeneuve, with a little Coppola for good measure. Honestly, I can't think of many directors that are less like Spielberg than Edwards. There's not an ounce of schmaltz in Edwards' approach. He understates things, while Spielberg seriously overstates/ signposts things.
     
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  3. Ricardo Funes

    Ricardo Funes Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Dec 18, 2015
    Scale was very well managed in this movie.

    From the comparison of the size of a Star Destroyer to the Death Star, from the wide shots on Jedha and Scarif, the space battle and BAAAM here you have the Devastator IN YOUR FACE, to the Vader Corridor of Carnage, it was very well executed.
     
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  4. zoidar

    zoidar Jedi Youngling

    Registered:
    Dec 20, 2015

    Would you say his directing style is kind of like Clint Eastwood's? Similar to Spielberg (technicalities, cinematography, blocking, etc.) but without the schmaltz.
     
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  5. Gigoran Monk

    Gigoran Monk Jedi Grand Master star 5

    Registered:
    Dec 2, 2016
    Not a bad comparison at all. Edwards does share a lot of his qualities, particularly as it relates to subtle characterization and emotion, which leaves viewers who prefer more melodrama to sometimes feel detached from the characters (I have the opposite reaction).
     
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  6. redxavier

    redxavier Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Registered:
    Jan 23, 2003
    The schmaltz in Spielberg seems exaggerated to me and I'd argue it isn't consistent across all his work. I've always felt that Spielberg's most distinctive filmmaking characteristic is his blocking and how he will weave several types of shots into a single take. There are fantastic examples of this in Empire of the Sun in particular. I don't think Edwards employs the same kind of approach to the blocking; he has a more run and gun documentary style.

    And Eastwood has quite a few movies that are shock full of schmaltz, from A Perfect World and to Million Dollar Baby. Eastwood and Spielberg are probably more similar than you'd first think. The comparison of Edwards to Cuaron is a pretty good one; Rogue One and Children of Men seem similar in some ways.
     
  7. Gigoran Monk

    Gigoran Monk Jedi Grand Master star 5

    Registered:
    Dec 2, 2016
    Yup. I think Edwards and Cuaron share a lot in common. With a pinch of Melville.
     
  8. zoidar

    zoidar Jedi Youngling

    Registered:
    Dec 20, 2015

    The thing about Edwards is that he and Spielberg (you can put Clint in the picture too) are actually very similar in terms of blocking shots. A lot of people say that Edwards just has a "run and gun documentary style". That simply isn't true. His directing in Godzilla is an example of how carefully blocked his scenes are, similar to Spielberg's and most old school directors. In Rogue One, he chose a mix of this classical, restrained style, and the run and gun style he also employed in Monsters. The result is a nice balance of classical and modern filmmaking, basically a Spielberg-Drake Doremus hybrid.
    When Edwards goes for run and gun, he goes all out with the coverage, and when he goes for Spielberg/Eastwood style classical,he does it even better than a lot of guys directing today.
     
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  9. zoidar

    zoidar Jedi Youngling

    Registered:
    Dec 20, 2015
    don't know why it says "Frozen" instead of RogueOne. I can't even edit it. April Fools Joke?
     
  10. zoidar

    zoidar Jedi Youngling

    Registered:
    Dec 20, 2015


    This is why I mentioned Eastwood in the first place. Gareth Edwards is always compared to Spielberg so I mentioned Clint Eastwood 'cause he's pretty much Spielberg's clone but more subtle in some aspects of filmmaking.
     
  11. ewoksimon

    ewoksimon Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Oct 26, 2009
    I try not to get militant about my opinions, but Edwards isn't even in the same league as Cuaron.
     
  12. Gigoran Monk

    Gigoran Monk Jedi Grand Master star 5

    Registered:
    Dec 2, 2016

    I agree that Cuaron is generally a better filmmaker, but Edwards does share some of his naturalistic aesthetic with him. I also think Edwards hit his stride with Rogue One, and may have simply become a better filmmaker through the process.
     
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  13. PymParticles

    PymParticles Cruel but Fair Tyrant of New Films star 5 Staff Member Moderator

    Registered:
    Oct 1, 2014
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  14. Gigoran Monk

    Gigoran Monk Jedi Grand Master star 5

    Registered:
    Dec 2, 2016

    A beautiful format to work in. I used to be a film purist, but not anymore. These cameras are phenomenal.
     
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  15. PymParticles

    PymParticles Cruel but Fair Tyrant of New Films star 5 Staff Member Moderator

    Registered:
    Oct 1, 2014
    Rogue One was a beautifully shot film, and digital cinematography has made leaps and bounds over the years, but I still prefer film. I think comparatively The Force Awakens is an overall better looking film (although Edwards' intuitive grasp of scale is probably unparalleled in modern blockbuster filmmaking), and I expect The Last Jedi to be as well.
     
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  16. Gigoran Monk

    Gigoran Monk Jedi Grand Master star 5

    Registered:
    Dec 2, 2016
    Oh, I can't agree with TFA being better-looking. Edwards' DP is a league above JJ's, IMO. And Edwards' sense of composition is far superior, in my mind. That said, TFA was undoubtedly JJ's best-looking film. Some shots on Jakku and in the SKB forest are marvels.
     
  17. PymParticles

    PymParticles Cruel but Fair Tyrant of New Films star 5 Staff Member Moderator

    Registered:
    Oct 1, 2014
    Oh, I totally get why you feel that way, and I don't necessarily disagree with your points, it's just that the sum total of TFA's strengths relative to RO's is greater in my eyes. But it's just a matter of personal taste. I'm also the kind of insufferable tool that listens to vinyl, so it might very well be an issue of "It's not them, it's me."
     
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  18. Gigoran Monk

    Gigoran Monk Jedi Grand Master star 5

    Registered:
    Dec 2, 2016
    I used to be that insufferable fool myself, so I feel you. :)
     
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  19. zoidar

    zoidar Jedi Youngling

    Registered:
    Dec 20, 2015

    Rogue One looks light years better than TFA. It just goes to show that just 'cause your movie is shot on film, doesn't mean it automatically looks good. Film is still better but with the right DP, an Arri Alexa shot film can look more cinematic than a movie shot on film.
    Greig Fraser did great with the Alexa 65. Beautiful format. Gareth Edwards also deserves credit for the innovative and creative shots he came up with, for example: the shot where Jedha is blown up and the camera pans up to show the Death Star. Rogue One is filled with these daring types of shots.
    JJ was too "vanilla" with TFA, in my opinion

    "TFA was undoubtedly JJ's best-looking film. "
    I think Super 8 is JJ Abram's best looking film, mainly because Larry Fong is a superior DP to Dan Mindel. Mindel totally messed it up with TFA. The Jakku scenes looked beautiful but anything other than that looks like an overlit and oversaturated magazine shoot, in my opinion. Larry Fong should've done TFA.
     
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  20. zoidar

    zoidar Jedi Youngling

    Registered:
    Dec 20, 2015

    That's not the point. The point was he was pointing out similar qualities between both filmmakers. It's basically if we were back in 1975 and comparing young Steven Spielberg to John Ford
     
  21. redxavier

    redxavier Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Registered:
    Jan 23, 2003
    I don't think there's a clear superiority between TFA and RO either way; amazing work in both but both have some shots that I don't think work very well. There's something I find really off in that shot of the stormtrooper calling in Cassian's killing of the stormtroopers on Kafrene, similarly I really dislike the overhead shot of Rey running out of Maz's castle. There's a murky fuzziness to some shots in RO, particularly in the prologue versus the rest of the film, such that I wonder who shot this (principal or reshoots). I was genuinely worried by the first 15 minutes or so when I was first watching RO. But then, I was also worried for TFA after that overcranked/sped up shot of Poe coming out of the tent with his binoculars.

    Sure, the tilt up from Jedha city to the Death Star is awesome, but so too is the shot of the ships flying towards us as SKB turns into a star behind them.
     
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  22. Gigoran Monk

    Gigoran Monk Jedi Grand Master star 5

    Registered:
    Dec 2, 2016

    I think the murky fuzziness in the RO prologue was the Icelandic fog. :)

    I loved the look.
     
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  23. Ricardo Funes

    Ricardo Funes Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Dec 18, 2015
    Both movies had top notch cinematography.
     
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  24. Artoo-Dion

    Artoo-Dion New Films Jedi star 6 Staff Member Manager

    Registered:
    Jun 9, 2009
    zoidar Please use the edit function to combine replies rather than posting back-to-back.
     
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  25. zoidar

    zoidar Jedi Youngling

    Registered:
    Dec 20, 2015

    Greig Fraser shot both the principals and the reshoots, though of course naturally there would be second unit shots in the action department.

    "There's a murky fuzziness to some shots in RO, particularly in the prologue versus the rest of the film"

    To each his own, I thought the prologue looked great and as the previous guy said, it's a product of Iceland's scenery.
     
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