Cinematic Space has long been a pre-occupation of mine and the flotsam and jetsom of 5 years on an in-complete PhD thesis tells the story of this saturation.
By Cinematic Space I don’t mean science fiction depictions of the stars, but rather the construction of spatial environments on screen - the process by which they are articulated, assembled and perceived. Matte-painting, forced perspective, deep-focus, widescreen, stereo and surround sound all had profound impact on how we compose space for the screen. And further, in the digital age, virtual cameras and multi-layer compositing took such perceptions, and conceptions, of space to a whole new level.
I’ve written and presented on these ideas all around the world - in Italy, Germany, the Uk and US - several long articles are here on mikejones.tv (Montage, Collage and Decoupage and Vanishing Point) as well as podcast recordings of these lectures and produced video essays exploring the idea of how space is manipulated and built by filmmakers. Yet, nothing I have written or said is near so profound an illustration of cinematic spatial manipulation and construction as this video from Jeff Desom. www.jeffdesom.com
In Jeff’s own words…
“I dissected all of Hitchcock’s Rear Window and stitched it back together in After Effects. I stabilized all the shots with camera movement in them. Since everything was filmed from pretty much the same angle I was able to match them into a single panoramic view of the entire backyard without any greater distortions. The order of events stays true to the movie’s plot.”
You can read an interview with Jeff Descom on One Small Window.