Cinematic Wisdom

Movies are one of my passions. I watch them to study the lighting and cinematography of masters. To be inspired and entertained. Movies are a great experience. How many movies have I watched? You really don’t want to know!

For a long time, I’ve tried to find the best way to describe my work. There are so many terms being bantered about and I know it’s confusing to clients. What I strive for in my work, is a sense of cinema. I was having a conversation with a colleague about this very topic. He’s been inspired in much the same sense as I have with the imagery in movies. The way they are lit, the way they are framed—you can take a still from a movie and there is something about it that still screams movie.

For portraits and engagement sessions, I love using my telephoto lens. I tell people it’s my cinematic lens. A long lens will compress elements in the background, giving a surreal sense of place to an image. I can control my depth of field; how much is in focus and how much is selectively out of focus. Large, out of focus blobs of light are indicative of a long lens and very movie-esque.

Another aspect of movies that I enjoy is that no matter how horrible a movie is, there always seems to be at least one line of dialogue that’s worth repeating. Something that causes you to pause and reflect. Quotable quotes or cinematic wisdom. My friends know this about me and inevitably, as we sit together and watch a movie, there comes a moment when we all agree…”that was the quote”. I wish I could remember them all, I really should write them down. Here are a couple from movies I’ve seen this past week.

From one of the Star Wars trilogy comes this piece of advice from Yoda. Attachment leads to jealousy. The shadow of greed that is. Train yourself to let go of everything you fear to lose.”

From the movie Undiscovered. My wife made me watch this one and while the plot is a bit thin, the music is great…if you like Ashlee Simpson. There came a quote towards the end of the movie. It came at a crucial time when the main character was struggling with fame and just wanting to follow his passion of music. It was attributed to Hemingway. I spent a few hours on the net trying to find this quote and never found a reference to Hemingway. Perhaps it was artistic license, the advice is good nonetheless. “Fame is a bitch goddess, fame is froth, it’s nothing. Fame will break your heart. But creativity is passion and it’s endless. You look for fame, you lose your soul. You look for creation, you find it.”

And the last quote of the week…from Grey’s Anatomy. A guilty pleasure, Sunday night television drama. The whole show was about lying. At the end of the show, the narrator asks, “Why do people lie? Because the truth is so painful.”

So next time you watch a movie, no matter how awful it is, listen for that one line of wisdom and insight. Appreciate the craft of the artisans and escape, if only for a couple of hours.

This Post Has 3 Comments

  1. “You look for creation, you find it…”
    Ah, Creation you seek – then God you will find! Elipses for you dude!
    Nice quotes. Maybe you can find some ‘personal work’ that can be good PR too, justify wasting all that time (-;

  2. Austin

    This quote:
    “Fame is a bitch goddess, fame is froth, it’s nothing. Fame will break your heart. But creativity is passion and it’s endless. You look for fame, you lose your soul. You look for creation, you find it.”

    After searching hopelessly over the net I have found your site also with the same quote that they say comes from hemingway. I looked all over and would really like to know where this quote came from. I actually stopped the movie and replayed the scene because I thought it was the best part.

    Thanks for putting it out there!

  3. tinyelvis

    Apparently, there’s scores of men out there that for one reason or another, we’ve sat through “Undiscovered” only to really find the last 3 minutes of the movie to be the most interesting part.
    I too have come up empty-handed in my search, but I wonder if rather than attributing the quote directly to Hemingway, Wick was instead referring to Hemingway’s general attitude towards his own fame and his pariah like behavior. Then again, Hemingway ultimately went nuts and blew his brains out, so you really can only carry the comparison so far…
    oh well.
    Still good words. Look for them somewhere on Ashlee’s new album!

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