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Timelapse footage of rotating thunderstorm (2013)

From Mike Olbinski's thunderstorm footage.

From Mike Olbinski’s thunderstorm footage.

Documentary footage of natural phenomena is tremendously difficult to capture in a way that retains anything like the power it has in real life.  This is incredible footage, beautiful and overwhelming.  The Atlantic has more detail about how Mike Olbinski captured this storm on video, and a nod to the importance of music in framing the perception and meaning of images, even in documentary. Continue reading


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“The Godfather for me is a very good example of good placement of music, because the music doesn’t tell you what to think as the scene is happening. Often, there is no music in those scenes, but music comes in at the end to help you to channel that emotion in the right direction… It’s as if the scene builds up an emotional charge, like an electrostatic charge where if you touch the slightest thing there’ll be a spark. The music comes in to bring that excess energy back to earth, to neutralize things in the right way so you can build up that energy for the next scene.


The other way is to have music during the scene. It’s undoubtedly effective, but the danger is that it’s effective in the way that using steroids is effective. It can definitely build up muscle, but it’s not good for you in the long run, and it’s cheating just by of the nature of bringing this artificial steroid into your body.”

Walter Murch, interviewed by Filmmaker Magazine