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: Leone Filming Style  ( 1685 )
Road Apple
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« : April 27, 2005, 07:00:04 PM »

Can someone tell me what speed film Leone used in his films(I think it was 16mm but not sure).  And also, any information on how he lit his scenes(or any other info on cinematography) to get that unique look that only Leone films have.  Thanks in advance for any help you can offer.
Mike B.

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« #1 : April 28, 2005, 02:59:34 AM »

I have read a bit about this - all the Leone films were shot on 35mm film, and all of them except 'America' were shot in the 2:35:1 anamorphic aspect ratio, 'America' being in the less wide 1:85:1 aspect ratio.

As far as I can remember (from an American Cinematographer magazine article) the 2:35:1 anamorphic format they used was an Italian designed format, using two perf pulldown cameras. Normal 35mm film has 4 perfs (or sprockets) per frame - the 2 perf per frame format meant, in effect, two frames fitted into the space of one, right on top of each other, and I'm pretty sure the lenses would have been anamorphic, although it's a while since I read the article!

In terms of lighting, I suspect a great deal of the 'look' of the films comes from the production design, costumes, choice of colours and the inimitable, 'Leone' style compositions and camera movement. Certainly, in that era, they would have used a lot more hard, or directional lighting, than they use in films today - the giveaway is the hard-edged black shadows on walls and so on. A lot of films now are shot with much softer, more diffused lighting. Hard light was mostly used in those days because the speed of the film was very slow, and needed quite a bit of lighting power to expose an image.

I would suggest that you do a search on the net, write in something like 'cinematography, Sergio Leone, Tonino Delli Colli' (Leone's main cinematographer - I think that's the correct spelling) and I'm sure you'll find one or two articles on this topic. Hope this helps.

Road Apple
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« #2 : April 28, 2005, 07:55:29 AM »

Thanks Walton, that helped a lot.  I'm trying to decide what to shoot my film on and you've been a fountain of knowledge.  I read the entire Frayling biology on Leone, "A Fistful of Death," but he never really touched on that subject.  Thanks again,
M. Buchanan

cigar joe
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« #3 : April 28, 2005, 03:26:33 PM »

Here is a good little history:

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