Frame by Frame: The Stepfather (1987)

Year1987
Decade1980s
CinematographerJohn Lindley (imdb link)
DirectorJoseph Ruben (imdb link)
Aspect Ratio1.85
GenreHorror
LensesSpherical
Format35mm

Key Words
Shot-by-Shot Scene Breakdowns                    Camera Moves

Click on any link to view other films featuring frames from that category.

The Movie
A seemingly bland suburban realtor (Terry O’Quinn) marries into a widowed family and reacts violently when the clan doesn’t live up to his ideal of family values.

A link has frequently been drawn between the violence in the horror films of the 1980s – particularly the slasher flicks of the era – and the decade’s shift toward moral conservatism. When characters flaunted the tenants of the religious right that flourished under Reagan, their demise was swift. Have sex and you die. Take drugs and you die. Joseph Ruben’s clever low-budget thriller The Stepfather is one of the few films to intentionally and explicitly make that connection, presenting a portrait of unhinged patriarchy raging against the white middle class male’s dwindling influence that still feels relevant 30 years later.

Check out the movie while it’s streaming on Amazon Prime.
Continue Reading ›

Frame by Frame: Hell on Wheels – Season 1 (2011)

Year2011
Decade2010s
CinematographerElliot Davis (pilot), Marvin Rush (all other Season 1 episodes)
Director – multiple
Aspect Ratio1.78
DistributorAMC
GenreWestern
CameraArri Alexa
LensesSpherical
FormatDigital

Key Words

Silhouettes           Low Angles            Scene: Campfire              Candlelight
Day Exterior        Night Exterior       Desaturation                   Close-Ups
Wide Shots           Firearms 

Click on any link to view other films featuring frames from that category.

The Show
A freed slave (Common), an unscrupulous magnate (Colm Meaney), and a Confederate soldier hellbent on revenge (Anson Mount) are among the characters in this Western detailing the building of the first transcontinental railroad. The show ran for five seasons an AMC. Continue Reading ›

Frame by Frame: Friday the 13th (1980)

Year1980
Decade1980s
CinematographerBarry Abrams (imdb link)
DirectorSean S. Cunningham (imdb link)
Make-Up Effects – Tom Savini (imdb link)
Aspect Ratio
 – 1.85
DistributorParamount
GenreHorror, Slasher
LensesSpherical
Format35mm
Other Key Words
Point of View
Shot-by-Shot Scene Breakdowns

Click on a link to view other films featuring frames from that category. Continue Reading ›

Frame by Frame: Hombre (1967)

Year – 1967
Decade – 1960s
Cinematographer – James Wong Howe (imdb credits)
Director – Martin Ritt (imdb credits)
Aspect Ratio – 2.40
Distributor – 20th Century Fox
Genre – Western
Lenses – Anamorphic
Format – 35mm
Other Key Words:
Group Compositions 
Opening Credits
Shot/Reverse Shot
Scene Breakdowns

Click on any link to view other films featuring frames from that category. Continue Reading ›

Frame by Frame: Paterno (2018)

Paterno hbo frame grab

Year – 2018
Decade – 2010s
CinematographerMarcell Rév
Director – Barry Levinson
Aspect Ratio – 1.78
Distributor – HBO
Genre – Drama
CameraAlexa Mini (3.2K ProRes 4444 XQ)
Lenses – Spherical; detuned Panavision Primos
Format – Digital
*Some of Paterno’s flashback scenes were shot with 8mm and 16mm film, the latter with Arriflex 416 cameras and Arri Zeiss Standard Speed lenses
Other Key Words
Scene Breakdowns         Low key lighting              Highlights               Flashbacks

Thanks to Paterno director of photography Marcell Rév for providing me with tech specs. Check out his official site.

Click on any link for a list of other films featuring frames from that category.

Continue Reading ›