So, I got up at 4 AM to peep this “game-changing” gear. Was hoping it was focusing gear. There’s still plenty advancement room in that area. However, it’s just a dope stabilizer called the MōVI. It’s light, small, and easy to use. I’m not sure how something $7,500 could be “game-changer” but I agree it is a nice step forward in the stabilization area. Not every DP has a need for a steadicam but when they do and have the budget I can see how this would make things a lot easier. Is $7,500 worth upping your production value slightly for stabilized shots?
Quite often when a movie comes along that’s difficult to follow it may be considered good, bad, or self-indulgent. Most times it’s a combination of these. The Tree of Life is a film that’s good but way too self-indulgent to be a great. Beyond The Black Rainbow is just bad. Upstream Color is a masterpiece that isn’t self-indulgent nor hard to follow. It’s just as simple as following Inception but it doesn’t use dialog to instruct you. Director Shane Carruth uses simple visual cues to poetically guide you through.
This is only Carruth’s second film and he already has a catalog that directors dream of. I went to see his first film, Primer, on opening night solely off the premise and was blown away. I saw Upstream Color at MoMa’s New Directors/New Films festival last week. Upstream Color drew every emotion and provoked every thought out of me that I didn’t know I needed. I try not to focus too much on the director of a film when talking about a film but when you write, direct, score, edit, shoot, AND star in a film, it’s hard not to. So when I hear comparison’s to Lynch and Cameron, I cringe. They never have and could never do what Shane has done with his two films. I’m not sure why this film has been labeled a puzzle or too confusing or too abstract. The respect he gives the audience to tell this narrative poetically is a respect I haven’t received in a long time.
Off the screen, Carruth is further into the future than any filmmaker. With Upstream Color he proved that big Hollywood money or big tech isn’t needed to make a masterpiece and release it to your audience. As a filmmaker myself and camera junkie, to see that Upstream Color was shot on the Panasonic GH2 is truly inspiring. The GH2 is known in the filmmaking community as the hacker’s budget camera that can use custom firmware. With awesome glass Carruth creates great visuals. Carruth also being the director of photographer on this is a true note to his genius. So much of the film’s emotional provocation is from the cinematography and editing. The visual parallels along with the narrative parallels were just the right combination to tell the story without giving the audience too much or too little. This is true respect for your audience. Go see it Friday.
Pixel Film Studios told AppleInsider that an update with new features is in the works, including “Siri-like voice command capabilities and support for multiple iPad integration, allowing users to separate tasks such as color grading, audio controls and effect controls”.