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Birdman


Charles Papert
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Haarhoff did one of the most mind blowing performances ever in the rig in Fight Club. Together with James Muro and Jörg Widmer he is one of the magicians of the art for me!

 

But there was one thing I noticed in the Birdman BTS videos, does he actually limp?? I'm asking because I have a slight limp, too and was surprised to see that (or maybe it's just a wrong impression from my side).

Edited by Mariano Costa
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The latest American Cinematographer issue has a good article on Birdman as well, just got it a day or two ago.

 

It seems to insinuate that some of the tighter hallway shots were handheld, which seems impossible unless post-stabilization is incredibly good.

 

And I mean this in no disrespect for Mr. Haarhoff. I've been a fan of his work since Killing Zoe :)

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Hey guys and girls, I just want to say a heartfelt thank you for all the kind things that have been said about me. Coming from a great community such as this means everything to me. As Birdman gained traction with the public, I chose to stay out of the conversation, letting others tell the story. Almost two years since we started shooting, the film takes on a life of itself which I've found fascinating to watch. In all, being involved with Birdman was an absolute gift, one that many of you out there would have relished and more than likely improved on what we see on the screen. Thanks again......

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I worked with Keaton on a movie that wrapped in Dec. After seeing Birdman I asked him about it and he went on to tell me that they constructed hallways on the stage that were smaller than the original ones from the actual playhouse. Amazing as I'm sure a scout of the practical location would give most ops the heebeegeebeez.

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Lesli and I watched an Academy screener at home. Chris' work- as always- is sublime in its framing choices and skill set. Humbling, more than humbling but in no way depressing.

 

It is worth noting that there are some articles out there, including a superb interview that Chris gave. Here's the link to his interview. The intense depths of physical rehearsal and camera choreography are a wonder to me- who gets this level of prep? I am in NO WAY taking away from what we see on the screen. The interview- which I read prior to the screening- reminds me of stories Garrett tells of shooting The Shining. 20.....30...45 takes. Between the rehearsal period and time in NYC on set, Chris had the remarkable gift of intense repetition and insightful rehearsal. What a great position to be in ! What a gift from Production- that the Director and DP understood the demans and creative possibilities of doing this on Steadicam and wanted to commit such a level of time and energy and money.

 

I want to watch it again, and then again in about 6 months. Because this level of artistry is to be revisted like a treasured novel.

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Insane is the best word I have for the movie. Like nothing I've seen before.

However its impact on my wife and I was an unexpected one.

We saw it Saturday night and it captivated our attention the entire time (so much I found it hard to contemplate or break down the movie and what was going on while I watched it- it was just that fast).

Just like Peter said, for that reason like so many other great movies of its kind, you want to see it again to see what you missed.

But then Sunday night we went and saw "The Imitation Game", great movie in its own right. But I found myself and my wife yawning. Of course two entirely different styles of movie making, but if I had to do it over again I think I would have waited at least a few more days if not a week to see another movie!

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Congratulations to Chivo for winning his second-in-a-row Oscar for Birdman, and mostly to Chris Haarhoff who took Chivo’s camera on his back (literally) and brought the jaw-dropping shots to life in an astonishingly magnificent way. I sat back in my chair trying to imagine what went into achieving what I was watching and felt my lower back tighten – all before the first hidden cut. A marvelous job to all – especially Chris and Gregor Tavenner, both of who’s technical and aesthetic prowess is awe inspiring. Great job to all who were involved.

 

Brooks Robinson

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