Continuing from Part 2: Epic Cinematography and Philosophy of 2001 Space Odyssey by Stanley Kubrick:
Also see Part 1 on 2001 Space Odyssey
Download/Access all the files/composition/PSD/jpeg images
You can download all the images used in this series here on Google Drive (274 MB):
Lesson: Confuse the viewer by changing perspective
The part which also blew my mind: the confusion of perspective:
The next transition scene: note the epic tilted (dutch angle) dynamic angle composition of the camera.
And not only that, but note the curved perspective (outlined in pink):
Then the nice mundane scene of “DAVE” (main character) heating up his food, while his co-pilot is watching a live ‘BBC’ stream of themselves on planet Earth:
Lesson: To make a movie feel more ‘real’ put more ‘everyday/mundane’ scenes into it.
Switch-up of angles and perspectives
Then we have a nice switch-up in the scene.
First, you get a head-on shot of HAL (the computer) // (I also like the grid design layout of the shot):
Second, you see ‘Dave’ shot on the right side:
Here are the angles:
Third, you see Dave’s co-pilot mirrored on the left side:
Also angles here:
Lesson: Switch up the camera angles, and play with symmetry to make more effective visual-storytelling.
Also a fun note: I guess Kubrick nailed the concept of the ‘iPad’ watching-while-eating cultural norm!
Then you see a nice shot of the crew in their ‘hibernation pods’:
Note the orientation of the astronaut in the hibernation pod (quite horizontal).
This is important because in the next scene, the orientation of the astronaut in the pod changes:
Then a wider shot of the two astronauts on board, in their life pods:
Then a close-up of the UI of their life support (very important to pay attention to, when later on in the film something…bad…happens to them):
And who is the benevolent individual looking over them? Oh, our trusty HAL computer:
Then this angle/perspective switch is great– you can “see” from HAL’s perspective, via his fisheye lens — looking (kind of creepily) at the crew:
This is great as a technique, because it ‘puts you in the shoes’ (or in the eyes) of HAL. You can see what HAL sees– which makes you (the viewer) more engaged in the movie.
Then a nice fun scene: you get Dave sun-tanning (I guess this is how you need UV/sun radiation while in space), while he is calling his family back home (his parents wish him a happy birthday), and mention about his “earth credits/salary being increased” — which is hilarious, because what is the point of earning money, when you’re alone in a spaceship?
Visually, I love the colors of the hyper-orange sun glasses, and the shifting movement of Dave in the seat (he also asks HAL to constantly adjust the height/seat of the chair):
Color composition of the video call
This closeup of the video call terminal almost looks like a painting.
First of all, note the proportions of the squares (outlined in cyan and pink):
Even note the beautiful compositional proportions in the close-up of the family in the terminal:
Even see the negative space between the mom and father’s head from the background:
Now see it abstracted, in terms of the color combinations and the composition:
Color palette of Dave sideways
Love the aqua greens on the left of the frame, orange of his glasses, and the purple on the right of the frame:
Up, down, up, down, shift in perspective
Another masterful Stanley Kubrick shot.
First, you start with a high angle, birds-eye-view (looking down) at Dave, of him sketching something. Then as you pan out, you get confused with the perspective of his co-pilot (that is shot head-on). Then Dave changes his position, and sits down. Absolutely epic:
Epic leading lines, centered, orange-red suit:
Then one of the most iconic scenes, the first time Dave walks through the epic tunnel of lights, and the leading lines, with his red suit:
More to come in Part 4…
2001 Space Odyssey Series:
Cinematography and life lessons:
- Stanley Kubrick: Master Photographer and Film-Maker
- Lessons Ridley Scott Has Taught Me about Life, Art, and Cinema
- Cinematography and Composition Lessons from All the Money in the World (2017) film by Ridley Scott
- Cinematography Composition Techniques for Photographers
- Rashomon (1950)
- Ran (Chaos) by Akira Kurosawa
- FIGHT CLUB
- FURY (2014)
- THE MATRIX
- AKIRA PART I / AKIRA PART II
- Batman: The Dark Knight
- Dr. Strange
- Suicide Squad
- Kendrick Lamar: HUMBLE.