Neil is a UK-based director of photography who has worked in the USA, Europe and Japan. Upcoming features he shot include The Little Mermaid with Academy Award winner Shirley MacLaine, and supernatural thriller Heretiks with Michael Ironside. He has photographed another half-dozen independent features, innumerable shorts, several music promos and two multi-award-winning short-form action/adventure series. In the last couple of years Neil has been nominated for nine Best Cinematography awards and took home the gong at Festigious International Film Festival 2016 for his work on the short drama Night Owls. Second only to his love of cinematography is his passion for sharing his knowledge of it on his blog neiloseman.com and his Instagram feed.
The recent release of First Man, a film depicting the life of Neil Armstrong during the time of the Apollo missions, has further highlighted the creative use of traditional film as well as filmmaking techniques. Neil Oseman breaks the film down and takes a closer look at how Damien Chazelle realised his vision using some of the most traditional methods in filmmaking, with no CGI in sight.
Since almost the dawn of cinema, scenes in moving vehicles have challenged the ingenuity of filmmakers. The difficulties of fitting equipment into cramped cars or cabins, the problem of capturing clean sound – and, of course, safety issues – have all led to various techniques being developed over the decades. Most of these techniques are now achievable, in some form at least, by even low-budget filmmakers.
The first step in lighting a daytime interior scene is almost always to blast a light through the window. Sometimes soft light is the right choice for this, but unless you’re on a big production, you simply may not have the huge units and generators necessary to bounce light and still have a reasonable amount of it coming through the window. So in low-budget land, hard light is usually the way we have to go.
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