Thursday, June 4, 2015

Video: Mad Max: Center Framed

Mad Max: Fury Road is a film that's going to be studied by filmmakers for years. George Miller’s action masterpiece just confirms his genius.  Everything from the editing to the framing of the camera was planned meticulously.  This video by editor Vashi Nedomansky offers an overview of Miller's cinematography.  It has a commentary track by cinematographer John Seale, explaining how Miller tried to make sure that the center point of every frame was focused on the action so the audience could always see the essential information they needed to see. Obviously, it worked. No ShakyCam garbage here. Pay attention future (and current) filmmakers. George Miller has a lot to teach you.
"Film Editor Margaret Sixel was given over 480 hours of footage to create MAD MAX: FURY ROAD. The final edit ran 120 minutes and consisted of 2700 individual shots. That's 2700 consecutive decisions that must flow smoothly and immerse the viewer. 2700 decisions that must guide and reveal the story in a clear and concise manner. One bad cut can ruin a moment, a scene or the whole film.

One of the many reasons MAD MAX: FURY ROAD is so successful as an action film is the editing style. By using "Eye Trace" and "Crosshair Framing" techniques during the shooting, the editor could keep the important visual information vital in one spot...the Center of the Frame. Because almost every shot was center framed, comprehending the action requires no hunting of each new shot for the point of interest. The viewer doesn't need 3 or 4 frames to figure out where to look. It's like watching an old hand-drawn flip book whiz by. It's always in the same spot!"

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