Skip to main content


Showing posts from November, 2016

My Favourite Long/Tracking Shots

I’ve always been fascinated by extended shots, and why and how they're done. Tracking shots are where the camera rolls alongside the action it’s filming, keeping up with the characters without cutting. It’s a technique that can be used for extended shots that seem to go on forever. If you can look past the organisation and precision involved behind the scenes in putting such a sequence together, you’re often left with a scene so immersive it feels like you have stepped straight in to the story’s world yourself.
Some films have pushed it further and use trickery to make it appear that the entire movie has been done in one single shot. There are some hilarious stories of the cast and crew of Alfred Hitchcock’s Rope (1948) going through extensive rehearsals of juggling lines, positioning, and moving of furniture when out of shot to allow the camera to follow it’s cast round a single room for the entire run time. Hitchcock was always keen to push boundaries and but even he admitte…

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them (2016)

J.K. Rowling makes her debut as a film screenwriter in this year’s Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them.Directed by David Yates (who also worked on the final four of the original Harry Potter franchise), Eddie Redmayne plays magizoologist Newt Scamander as he and a bag full of magical creatures touch down in New York City in 1926.Newt comes across a muggle, Jacob (Dan Fogler), and former Auror, Tina (Katherine Waterson) as his bag of tricks spills loose and reigns havoc on the people of the city.
Like many, I remember buying JK Rowling’s two short one of books for comic relief in 2001.  A Harry Potter nut, I really enjoyed the extra insight in to that world.  As much of a fan as I am of the books, I never really fell in love with the films.  The series found its way a bit come the much darker Prisoner of Azkaban (2004), but I always struggled to accept even the smallest changes from the books I had grown up with, and Daniel Radcliffe always seemed to irritate.  My heart sank a bit w…

My Fave Feel-Good Films

You may have watched it hundreds of times before.  You may know every line by heart.  But that’s pretty much the point.  It’s a familiar hug when you need it most, and a lift when you’re feeling low.  Following some sad news recently, my family’s first thoughts were to spend time together, go out for a meal and a catch up, and then to put on a film.  Although I’m not sure Premium Rush (2012) quite fit the bill in the end, below are my 8 favourites that do every time.
Crazy Stupid Love (2011) The film we should have put on that evening, and the one that I have on now, is Crazy Stupid Love.Having really enjoyed Blue Valentine (2010) and Drive (2011), I was really looking forward to the release of Ryan Gosling’s latest at the time.Emma Stone was great in Easy A (2010), I had loved Steve Carell in 2005’s The 40-Year-Old Virgin (I was yet to discover the superb US version of The Office), and Julianne Moore is Julianne Moore.The four stars in question are four of the most likeable and charism…

The Secret History of Hollywood Podcast

A while back for my previous job I had to drive from the office near Manchester, down to London, and then back again after a couple of days.  Rather than sitting through the same songs on my iPod during the journey, I thought I would search for a decent podcast to listen to.  The previous time I had made a similar journey I had listened to an audiobook of Oscar Wilde's 'The Picture of Dorian Gray' and although it was a great listen I was up for something for cinema themed this time round.  Having searched through iTunes, I came across 'The Secret History of Hollywood.'  The 'Universe of Horrors' episode in particular caught my eye, and although the 7 hour run time would put many off, it was exactly what I was after.

@philpotts89 Thank you! — Hollywood Histories (@moviehistories) September 4, 2016
As I mentioned in an earlier blog post, the podcast's examination of the role of the monster movie in the rise of Universal studios really caught my imagination a…