Articles Tagged with: Film
Leica Sighting | Her, Behind the Scenes

In the behind the scenes video of Her, Spike Jonze can be seen wearing and using his Leica M, keeping it high and tight. And in one shot, he meters off of his hand.

He has been seen with an M6 before. Unsure if this is the same.

Spike Jonze on the set of Her with what is likely an M6

Spike Jonze on the set of Her with what is likely an M6

Spike Jonze on the set of Her with what is likely an M6

Spike Jonze on the set of Her with what is likely an M6

Spike Jonze on the set of Her with what is likely an M6

Spike Jonze on the set of Her with what is likely an M6


Werner Herzog | On Celluloid
Werner Herzog, Thailand @ James Nachtweh / VII

Werner Herzog, Thailand @ James Nachtweh / VII

From Marc Maron’s WTF podcast.

Marc Maron: Do you miss film?

Werner Herzog: Celluloid? No, I am not nostalgic. I still love it. Of course I love it. But digital film making has helped me to work faster and to work less expensively. So that’s why all of a sudden I’m coming out with four films, all of them ready for distribution. The system of distribution is too slow for my output.

MM: What did you lose with celluloid?

WH: Well, the kind of magic of the flicker of 24 frames in a theater. And celluloid, you alway have to understand it as a layer, a three dimensional thin layer of emulsion that stores the information. Whereas digital film is only a file of zeroes and ones. It’s strange that we sense there’s a different life to it.

MM: Also I imagine the editing process is a bit more decisive.

WH: When you work in celluloid, you better come to some conclusions quickly and what I see today in digital editing, there are directors who do not know what they are doing and they create twenty-two parallel versions and they never can decide. I’m editing almost as fast as I am thinking. Because I do not have to search for that small reel of film and look for…making some pen marks on it and glue it, splice it and feed it into a system and roll it to the right moment.

I’m editing much much fast now. Closer to writing in a way, yes.


Ridley Scott | Kubrick Footage in Blade Runner

I’ve got a very nice story about Stanley. I’d finished Blade Runner and it was a disaster. And my investors who were giving me a really hard time, said…’You can’t end the film with this picking up this piece of origami, looking at the girl, walking in the elevator, and nodding, that’s called a film noir.’

I said, ‘What’s a film noir.’…

‘We have to test this with an uplifting ending where they will go off into the wilderness together.’

I said, ‘Well if they can go off into the beautiful wilderness, why are they living in this dystopian environment?’
‘Allright, I’ll do it.’

So by then, I had talked to Stanley a few times. I called him up and said listen, ‘I know you shot the hell out of wherever it was in The Shining, and I know you’ve got four and a half months of helicopter stuff…[inaudible]. Can I have some of the stuff because it will suit me fine.’

The next day I had seventeen hours of helicopter footage, it was stunning. So the end of the film in Blade Runner, that’s Stanley Kubrick’s footage…

But he said,’You got a vehicle, what is it?’

‘It’s long.’

‘Oh shit, every shot I have has a Volkswagen in it.’ Then he went, ‘Oh, what did you shoot?’

I said, ‘Anamorphic’

“Ah jolly good, when you project mine, it’ll look oblong. You’ll be fine.’

Then a day later he called me.

‘It’s Stanley. One other thing. I know you’re going through my footage right now. If there’s anything I used, you can’t have it. Got it?’

I went, ‘Okay cool.’

That was it. That was Kubrick.

– Ridley Scott

Footage from Stanley Kubrick's Shining in the theatrical release of Blade Runner

Footage from Stanley Kubrick’s Shining in the theatrical release of Blade Runner

Footage from Stanley Kubrick's Shining in the theatrical release of Blade Runner

Footage from Stanley Kubrick’s Shining in the theatrical release of Blade Runner

Footage from Stanley Kubrick's Shining in the theatrical release of Blade Runner

Footage from Stanley Kubrick’s Shining in the theatrical release of Blade Runner

Footage from Stanley Kubrick's Shining in the theatrical release of Blade Runner

Footage from Stanley Kubrick’s Shining in the theatrical release of Blade Runner


Louis CK | Leica Shooting, USO Tour
Shot by Louis CK on his Leica MP

Shot by Louis CK on his Leica MP

The gunners reached out into the open air and leveled their guns with a great slot and click sound. They trained them on the ground. I felt my hands tense up. I realized, for the first time, that both my hands were wrapped tightly around my Leica. Oh my god, my Leica! I have the greatest camera in the world in my fucking hands and I’m in the middle of this shit right here.

In that moment, ALL FEAR was gone. I was right where I wanted to be in the whole world. I reached into my pocket, which was difficult with the armor, and took out my light meter. I got readings out the window, inside, the floor under my feet. I did quick averages of the readings in my head. Now all my thoughts were of film. “Okay I’m at about 5.6 outside if I’m at 250 which is a good speed from a moving helicopter. If I want to get stuff outside, I’ll squeeze the fstop down to about 8. If I want inside the bird I’ll open to 2.8, 4 if I want a bit of both.” I set all these functions on the camera and started firing away. The helicopter leaned forward and we tore off across Baghdad.

– Louis CK


Louis CK | Leica MP

Do not know why he took down the rundown of his gear on his old blog, but I only recently found out that the tremendous Louis CK is a Leica shooter. Hope he doesn’t mind me repurposing his post and an article excerpt, but it is fantastic. He’s not just a Leica fetishist like some well-known celebs, but a real film nerd.

Seriously. His stock just rises and rises.

I take a lot of pictures. I am very, very into photography and I was certainly going to take this opportunity to take some. I’m going to show you all the equipment I brought with me. I’m not showing off here. I’m not rich. I just spend all my money on cameras. It’s important to me. I am sharing it with you because to me it’s part of the story.

Louis CK's Leica MP 35mm, 50mm Summilux

Louis CK’s Leica MP 35mm, 50mm Summilux

This is the main dude. A film camera. A range-finder. I only really shoot film, though I do use a digital camera just to record moments, to take snapshots. This Leica is handmade in Germany. It is encased in painted brass and has all mechanical parts. It has no automatic settings. There is a light meter but the battery was dead when I brought it on this trip so I shot the entire trip manually with a hand light meter. The Leica MP is made exactly the same way Leica made Rangefinders in the 60s. It’s not even an SLR. you have to line up images in the rangefinder and hope for the best.

The main reason to use a Leica is the lenses. Leica lenses are hand ground and they just do amazing things with images applied to film. I really love shooting film because there are an infinite ammount of combinations aof types of film (black and white, color, fast, slow, grainy, fine, high contrast, low), ways of exposing the film (pushing, pulling, over-exposing) and lenses to use. Small adjustments to the exposure, like changing the apeture, make dramatic differences from one picture to the next. Shooting without an in-camera light meter forces you to really look at the light you are shooting with, to notice when it changes and to think about what each apeture means and how it will effect your picture. Having prime lenses means you work with one focal length at a time and think and learn about the different characteristics and strengths of each lens and instead of zooming in and out you use your legs and body to frame the photo, which makes you do it more carefully. Comparing this to most digital photography, where you just sort of pump the lens back and forth till you get the framing you want, and snap, letting the camera decide how to expose it. Even with manual and more proffesional digital cameras, the sensors of these cameras are what they are. Theyr’e very limited and you can use photoshop later but it just ain’t the same. Not in my opinion. It’s just my opinion so save your long comments in defense of digital photography. Or don’t. I don’t care.

As I just mentioned, I only use prime lenses, meaning the lens has one size, fixed. It doesn’t zoom. If you want another focal length, you have to change the lens. I brought three lenses with me. The one on the camera is a 50mm Sumilux. It opens to f1.4 which makes it very good for low light and takes incredible daylight pictures when wide open, because of the extremely low depth of field, meaning only the object you focus on is in focus,the enviroment around it is not and the way a Leica Lens treats that area is part of what makes them great.

The other two lenses were an old 90mm lens and a new 35mm aspherical lens. Aspherical means it’s not roundish and so you can take a wide angle picture without getting a distorted rounded image.

Louis CK's Leica 90mm and 35mm lenses

Louis CK’s Leica 90mm and 35mm lenses

This is the light meter I brought, very basic..

Seconic light meter

Louis CK's light meter

Louis CK’s light meter

The last thing I want to say is that Leica cameras are stupid expensive. even really old ones. But you don’t need one to take film pictures. You can get an amazingly good Nikon SLR, (I reccomend the FM2) and good Nikon lenses for very cheap.

– Louis CK


John Ford | The Searchers
John Wayne in John Ford's The Searchers, 1956

John Wayne in John Ford’s The Searchers, 1956

This no happy ending though. There is no home, no family, waiting for Ethan. He is cursed, just as he cursed the dead Comanchee. He is a drifter, doomed to wander between the winds.

– Martin Scorsese


Bob Carlos Clarke | Faithful
Faithful © Bob Carlos Clarke

Faithful © Bob Carlos Clarke

I want my photographs to bear the highest amount of sexual charge as possible, those touching the most animal instincts.

– Bob Carlos Clarke

I remember seeing this image years ago in some book I had been flipping through, looking for stock photography for a project at work. I was just struck by the dress and the context of the graveyard. I was not even taking photographs back then so I never knew about Bob Carlos Clarke nor his work.

Have just read that he threw himself under a train a few years ago.

Here is his site.


Helmut Newton | Tomb of Talma, 1977
Tomb of Talma, 1977 © Helmut Newton

Tomb of Talma, 1977 © Helmut Newton

I had found out that I did not function well in the studio, that my imagination needed the reality of the outdoors. I also realized that only as a fashion photographer could I create my kind of universe and take up my camera in the chic place and in what the locals called la zone, which were working-class districts, constrution sites, and so on. To work for French Vogue at that time was wonderful: Who else would have published these nudes or the crazy and sexually charged fashion photographs which I would submit to the editor in chief?

– Helmut Newton


David Baiely | Michael Caine, 1965
Michael Caine, 1965 © David Baiely

Michael Caine, 1965 © David Baiely

It takes a lot of imagination to be a good photographer. You need less imagination to be a painter because you can invent things. But in photography everything is so ordinary; it takes a lot of looking before you learn to see the extraordinary.

– David Bailey