“More cinematic” is not “better”. But it is difficult.

I should say that there’s nothing inherently superior about “more cinematic”. It is one of the standard styles in which moving pictures are presented, and it suits some stories very well.

Other styles suit other stories.

Hand-held crash zooms looks like a newsreel live broadcast: ideal for disaster movies and alien invasions.

I love music videos and the the “MTV” style – lots of jump cuts, extensive slowmo. It works for a story that can be crammed into a three minute music track. That’s not “better” than the “Hollywood blockbuster” style, it is just different.

There is a recognisable “website video” style that has come about through practical considerations of how we shoot. As did all the other styles, incidentally.

For example, smooth camera movies came about because movie cameras used to weigh a ton, and you couldn’t shoot shaky-cam with them if you tried. The mass of the camera would have defeated you. And you couldn’t shoot your home movies on them, because they wouldn’t fit in your house. When light cameras came along, they were also cheap- people used them for home movies and newsreels. Which is why we associate shaky-cam with home movies or news footage, and large crane and dolly movies with big budget films.

The website video style is usually two cameras, one wide angle, one getting detail shots, cutting between the cameras like a live mixer on a live TV broadcast. Long rolling takes, exposition largely done through dialogue, fairly brightly lit, continuity edit.

It conveys some stories very well: as people have commented on my previous post, it has a feeling of reality and that the action is all happening in real time as we watch. So if you are capturing a BDSM scene bring played out “as live”, it’s just the ticket. Scenes shot this way aren’t actually any more “real” than scene shot in a different style. There’s a real girl, tied up with real rope, whatever style we happen to be shooting.

Sorry to disillusion anyone, but the actress’ “model character” is almost always a role, just as much as if she’s playing a captured spy. Most models use a stage name, and that stage name is also the character they play by default on screen.

She might be more practiced at the role, and the style has associations which we take to mean “this is really happening to someone”, so it might be easier to suspend disbelief. But I assure you that nipple clamps hurt whether you shoot with two cameras one rolling take, or one camera and cinematic angles and camera moves and storyline development. So in the same way that the cinematic style isn’t “better”, the website style isn’t “more real”.

They just have different connotations and suit different stories.

The website style isn’t an especially glamorous style, for the same reason that super-8 handheld film footage isn’t an especially glamorous style.

If you want your captured spy to look like a Bond girl, rather than a girl in a house in suburbia, you might want to pinch style elements from the Bond films. If you want your maidens carried off by Vikings, you’d do well to look at historical epics.

We have particular associations of grandeur, drama and style associated with the Hollywood big-movie style. Many reasons for that, not least of which is that it is a damned expensive way to make films!

Since that’s a look and feel that appeals to me, I want to pinch elements of the cinematic style for SOME of our website videos- the ones whose story suits the style. In doing so, I don’t think the films are inherent better. One can make boring stories in a cinematic style and they’ll still be terrible. But if one do want to borrow some of Hollywood’s glamour (which with a website calling itself Restrained Elegance, I’d like to), the cinematic style might be a very good match.

Unfortunately, it is difficult to achieve. That’s because the way it is done usually involves big budgets, big sets, big crews, lots of equipment, and even bigger budgets. And did I mention big budgets? Not just big in a “ten times what we spend on a film” sort of way. Big in a MILLION times what we spend on a film sort of way.

It isn’t better.

But objectively, it IS more difficult to achieve.

That gives it a glamour and a cachet and is why it has a mystic fascination for many low budget film-makers.


About Hywel

Particle physicist turned fetish photographer, producer and director. I run http://www.restrainedelegance.com and http://www.elegancestudios.com together with my wife, who is variously known as Ariel Anderssen or Amelia Jane Rutherford, depending on whether she's getting tied up or spanked at the time.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *