A lot of cinematography is intuition. It’s an art, not a formula- Reed Morano
Cinematography is mastering the art of making movies- from the taciturn usage of lights to picking the correct palette and colors; capturing the variant tones and distinctive details that are mostly invisible to the naked eye. Cinematography breathes life into a motion picture and turns into a memorable, albeit worthwhile, experience. Join us at BL Xpress, as our authors take you on a journey through their favorite cinematic imagery!
Word of Honor
Who knew a show with a (literal) peanuts budget could look so good? But it does, from the sweeping landscape shots to the most intimate glances between Wen Kexing and Zhou Zishu. I felt the scale of Jianghu watching it, and the loneliness of the characters. Add to that some excellent use of colour and lighting to highlight characters and their personalities (Wen Kexing in bright red robes coming to fight for Zhou Zishu is one of the most stunning scenes in the series) and the result is absolutely breath-taking.
Not Me Series
I fell in love with Not Me’s cinematography in the first ten minutes of the series, through just an establishing shot of the city, and as it went on I was happy that my admiration wasn’t misplaced. The camera and lighting work goes perfectly with the gritty reality and shades of dark and light that the series is engaging with. None of us will ever get over the visual impact of the Pride scene and that giant rainbow flag fluttering above the characters.
In a similar vein to Not Me, Enchanté’s cinematography is perfect for its story. Theo, the romantic dreamer, in a world where he is something of a parallel to The Little Prince, sees the world in a somewhat soft, fuzzy filter that fits him perfectly. Add to that the way the scale and often palatial look of their university (Assumption University in Bangkok) is highlighted with some amazing camerawork and sweeping establishing shots, and the ‘prince’ imagery is only heightened. There is one scene against a rainy windowpane of an art gallery, with a rose that is reminiscent of Disney’s Beauty and the Beast in the foreground and it’s probably the most beautiful scene I’ve seen in a BL this year.
A Tale of a Thousand Stars
To no one’s surprise, I love every scene of this series. But even without my obviously biased opinion, you can’t deny that the production team has gone above and beyond to showcase the gorgeous landscape of the mountains around Chiang Rai. The visual poetry of using the image of Phupha standing alone at the cliffside contrasted with the final scene of Phupha and Tian at the same place, embracing against the sunset? Perfect.
Boys’ Love content from all over the world exists to give us the best views of our favorite couples. Creating stunning visuals from steep mountains to seedy bars nods towards the diversity in their country’s heritage. But none of this would be possible if the cinematography isn’t well done; taking the emotions documented by the actors and the sets created by the designers one step farther by adding to the charisma. The special effects add to what the viewer sees, which changes our perspective of what is happening before our very eyes. All of this comes down to well-orchestrated cinematography and my personal favorite is the one used in “Golden Blood”.
Everyone knows the pacing and beauty of romance shows when it is their focus. But in “Golden Blood” the pacing switches so fast, if anyone but Mike Phontharis Chotkijsadarsopo weren’t the director, I don’t think it would have worked so seamlessly. The show moves from university cuteness to knock-down drag-out fight scenes at the drop of the hat. The cinematography never loses focus as it follows what’s happening on screen; it’s always flawless. The camera stays in focus as we watch the fights happen on screen. The screen turns hazy at the right moment for any romantic moments and we have close angles shots to depict how the characters relate to what’s happening on the screen. What I adore the most is that Mike always makes sure you know where to look. The cinematography is perfect.
We will be back with an exciting new feature next weekend. So till then, keep watching this space as we bring you updates from the BL world!