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class="style5" Examples Around A Table

>Published : 28th June 2005

>I'm soon to be shooting a movie that has LOTS of dialog from five people sitting around a table. My plans to shoot multiple camera have been dashed, and we must now handle all of our coverage single camera.

>I'm looking for scene suggestions from the archives of your collective memories -- films that have creative, efficient, dialog-heavy scenes set at a table. Can be round, square, L-shaped tables, doesn't matter. I'm looking for ways to minimize setups, while still delivering the coverage that the director wishes. The scenes I will be shooting are long, and time, of course, short.

>Happy Holidays,

>Chris Mosio
Cinematographer - Seattle/L.A.


>Chris Mosio writes:

class="style7">>I'm looking for scene suggestions from the archives of your collective >memories -- films that have creative, efficient, dialog-heavy scenes set >at a table.

>For economy of moves and set-ups -- one -- it's hard to beat the tableaux dialog scene in the opening of "Lawrence of Arabia". Of course, it helps to have Peter O'Toole and a script by Robert Bolt.

>There is also an extremely well done table scene in "The Train" by John
Frankenheimer.

>Brian Heller
IA 600 DP


>Dear CML’ers / Chris,

>In Soderbegh's "Ocean's Eleven" there is a scene around a table where people play cards.

>In Hitchcock's "The man who knew too much", there a scene with a great trick when James Stewart and Doris Day dinner with a other couple in a Marrocos restaurant. Hitchcock change the players positions between shots and the cut match perfectly.

>For a while and quickly is what I remember.

>My 2 cents,

>Adriano S. Barbuto DP
Sao Paulo / Brazil


>Chris Mosio wrote :

class="Paragraph">>I'm looking for scene suggestions from the archives of your collective >memories -- films that have creative, efficient, dialog-heavy scenes set >at a table."

>See "Conspiracy" http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0266425/

>Directed by Frank Pierson, Now the President of the Motion Picture Academy and the DP was Stephen Goldblatt.

>Don't believe some of what is posted on the IMDB site. Photographed on Super16 with AATON cameras. And was done Digital Intermediate at Cinesite, Hollywood.

>I believe there is an American Cinematography article on it also.

>Excellent example of what you are asking about and this title is available on DVD and should be watched for the content also.

>Regards, Bill Hogan


>Chris,

>"FANNY & ALEXANDER", a must see for what you're looking for. Also check the opening scene of "BROADWAY DANNY ROSE"

>Santi Trullenque
Director
Barcelona


>I second the vote for "Conspiracy". I would also offer "A Civil Action", photographed by Conrad Hall [features a great table scene with John Travolta] and "12 Angry Men"

Wendell Greene
DP/Director- Los Angeles


class="style7">> I'm looking for scene suggestions from the archives of your collective >memories -- films that have creative, efficient, dialog-heavy scenes set >at a table.

>I like to refer to the dinner scene in "Terms of Endearment" as an example of how one can break the rules concerning eye lines and screen direction - which is often a concern when setting up these kinds of shots. Sometimes, script supervisors, especially with inexperienced directors, become the law and tell you what you can and can not shoot. Truly though, the only rule is... is that there are no rules. "Art has no boundaries"

Edwin Myers,

Atlanta Dp


class="style7">> I'm looking for scene suggestions from the archives of your collective >memories -- films that have creative, efficient, dialog-heavy scenes set >at a table.

>Two films come to mind, "The Big Chill" and the French plantation scene that was originally cut from "Apocalypse Now" but added back in Redux.

>Kevin Roy
MFA Candidate
University of Georgia


class="style7">>Sometimes script supervisors, especially with inexperienced directors, >become the law and tell you what you can and can not shoot.

>I have seen continuity overstep the mark and sow fear in the hearts of directors and I then find myself continually defending shots or shot structure. Some continuity people just understand the classic "film 101" approach and the moment you step out of the square they are whispering in the directors ear. I realize its a fine line and it is their job to make the director aware of potential issues but with inexperienced directors I believe it can be become a control issue with the script supervisor.

>Many Thanks
Tom Gleeson
Sydney DP


>"Titanic"

>I recall a comment from Leo d.C. about spending a significant part of his life shooting that scene and considering stabbing himself with one of the forks... fish fork? escargot fork? salad fork? dessert fork? It would be so hard to decide... but remember the simple guideline to work from the outside in.

>JP "Miss Manners" Owens
Colourist
Studio Post
Edmonton


>"Alien" has a couple of them.
There is also a cramped and restless one in "Das boot".
An also very restless but slow - accelerating, though - tracking one in "The draughtsman's contract".

>At least one in "Desert of the Tartars".

>A happy and singing one in "My best friend's wedding". A very violently ending one in "Party girl". Or was it in "The Untouchables"? Perhaps in both? Classic medieval "with people just in one side" ones in films like "The adventures of Robin Hood" and "The Vikings".

>A big round meeting room table style one in "Dr. Strangelove" and quite probably in most films about King Arthur. "Reservoir dogs" has its first scene. "Titanic" has one too.

>...The list would be just too long.

>Arturo Briones-Carcaré
Filmmaker
Madrid (Spain)


>Reservoir Dogs.... opening sequence.

>Richard W. Gretzinger
Director of Photography
www.richgretz.com


>12 Angry Men

>Erik Messerschmidt
CLT. LA