THE TUESDAY DROP: 2700+ Movie & TV Show Screenshots
05.10.22 Get your Decks ready ShotDeck Team! We’re adding a lot of content this week, including frames from the first season of Euphoria, as well as the two bonus specials focused on Rue and Jules. We’ve also taken a Deeper Dive back into some classic films including Pulp Fiction, Men in Black, Back to the Future, and more! Check them out below, and remember you can always request films for future drops by clicking here!
EUPHORIA: SEASON 1 (2019)
EUPHORIA is a teen drama television series created and written by Sam Levinson, based on the Israeli miniseries of the same name created by Ron Leshem and Daphna Levin. The series airs on HBO, and follows a group of high school students – principally Rue Bennett (played by Zendaya), a recovering drug addict, as well as her friends who are navigating challenges of substance abuse, identity, trauma, relationships and sex. The show also stars Sydney Sweeney, Jacob Elordi, Alexa Demie, Maude Apatow, Angus Cloud, Hunter Schafer, Colman Domingo and Barbie Ferreira. Season 1 of Euphoria aired in 2019, and was led in the camera department by Hungarian cinematographer Marcell Rév. Rév shot episodes 1-4, and the remaining episodes were shot by Drew Daniels, Adam Newport-Berra and André Chemetoff.
Levinson and Rév began their collaboration agreeing that they were more interested in visually capturing the inner life of the teens in the show, rather than presenting something based in realism. This pushed the look of the show towards one with strong lighting sources often visible in the frame with high-energy and sophisticated camera movement. To pull off the complicated camera movement and make it work editorially, Rév worked extensively in pre-production to plan scenes with storyboard artist Peter Beck. Lighting plans were built around starting with blue and orange color contrast, and pushing the image towards a more heightened place by adding colors, strong backlight and contrast. Rév lit scenes primarily with large tungsten and HMI sources, with LEDs and Skypanels used in a secondary capacity. Season 1 of Euphoria’s most visually ambitious work can be seen in episode four’s carnival, which opens with a 10-minute long tracking shot, introducing us to all the characters in the episode. Rév and the production design team built the entire carnival set around the camera plan for this opening shot, eventually setting up over one hundred feet of dolly track, and used the dolly, technocrane and four editorial shot stitches to pull off the shot.
EUPHORIA’s first special episode, TROUBLE DON’T LAST ALWAYS, is a standalone episode between seasons 1 and 2 of Euphoria, directed by the show’s creator Sam Levison, airing on HBO. The episode follows Rue (played by Zendaya) on Christmas Eve, after her relapse. Rue sits with her Narcotics Anonymous sponsor, Ali (played by Colman Domingo), and reflects on her addiction. Trouble Don’t Last Always and Euphoria’s second special episode were both borne out of the Covid-19 pandemic, which shut down production on season 2 of Euphoria days before they were scheduled to go into the shoot. Levinson and cinematographer Marcell Rév discussed putting together two special episodes that had a more contained and restrained feel than season 1 of the show, largely because of the practical realities they would face shooting during the pandemic.
Levinson and Rév decided to shoot Trouble Don’t Last Always entirely in Frank’s Restaurant in Burbank, California. The location is also known for being featured in shows and films such as Sons of Anarchy, Parks and Recreation and Gone Girl. Rév shot the special using 35mm film. Unlike the shooting approach of Season 1, Trouble Don’t Last Always was shot in a relatively restrained manner, with little to no camera movement and conventional coverage on the two performers. The result is an intimate, quieter episode that points towards an evolution in the visual language of Euphoria to come.
EUPHORIA’s second special episode, F*CK ANYONE WHO’S NOT A SEA BLOB, is the second standalone episode between seasons 1 and 2 of Euphoria. The episode aired on HBO in 2021, and was co-written by show creator Sam Levinson and Hunter Schafer, who stars in the episode as Jules (Levinson directed). The episode follows Jules after she leaves Rue behind at the train station at the end of season one, and picks up with her as she attends her first therapy session.
Schafer’s writing process for F*ck Anyone Who’s Not a Sea Blob incorporated extensive storyboarding work, as a substitute for passages of the script where writing made less sense to her. After working on the first special episode, Trouble Don’t Last Always, Levinson felt the scope of the production could be expanded slightly, though the more settled shooting style that he and cinematographer Marcell Rév brought to the first episode was carried over into the visual language of F*ck Anyone Who’s Not a Sea Blob, which was also shot on 35mm film.
PULP FICTION (1994)
PULP FICTION is a 1994 black comedy crime film written and directed by Quentin Tarantino, who conceived of the story with Roger Avary. The film follows four different stories in Los Angeles, interweaving the lives of hitmen Vincent Vega (John Travolta) and Jules Winnefield (Samuel L. Jackson), gangster Marcellus Wallace (Ving Rhames) and his actress wife Mia (Uma Thurman), boxer Butch Coolidge (Bruce Willis), master fixer Winston Wolfe (Harvey Keitel) and armed robbers “Pumpkin” (Tim Roth) and “Honey Bunny” (Amanda Plummer). Pulp Fiction’s unconventional structure, extensive use of homage and pastiche and self-reflexive aesthetic have made it one of the most influential independent films ever made, and one of the most quoted examples of postmodernism in cinema. Pulp Fiction was selected for preservation in the National Film Registry by the Library of Congress in 2013. Tarantino worked on Pulp Fiction with American production designer David Wasco. Wasco had previously worked with Tarantino on Reservoir Dogs.
Tarantino and Wasco’s collaboration began with their common interest in the intersection of LA’s crime underbelly and the distinctive architecture of the city. Wasco was particularly interested in the Googie style of futurist architecture influenced by cars, the Atomic Age and the Space Race, and wanted to design sets for the film that paid tribute to this architectural culture. With just an $8 million budget to make a film that Tarantino wanted to look like a $20-25 million dollar film, Wasco’s biggest production expense went towards designing and building the interior of the Jack Rabbit Slim’s set. The exterior of the restaurant was a practical location – a closed bowling alley which Wasco replaced the signage of. For the interior, Wasco worked from a note in Tarantino’s script which referenced the films Redline 7000, which featured a slot car racing track, and Elvis Presley’s Speedway, which had people standing in fake cars in a club and had cars hollowed out to put dining tables and chairs in them. Tarantino’s description also mentioned that the stage was a giant working tachometer, and Wasco took this to build the stage on which Travolta and Thurman’s iconic dance scene took place. In the end, Pulp Fiction was shot half on stage and half on location.
300 is an epic historical action film co-written and directed by Zack Snyder, based on Frank Miller and Lynn Varley’s 1998 comic series of the same name. The film is a fictionalized retelling of the Battle of Thermopylae in the Persian Wars, waged between the Greek city-state of Sparta led by King Leonidas and the Achaemenid Empire of Xerxes. 300 stars Gerard Butler, Lena Headey and Rodrigo Santoro, and premiered at the Berlin International Film Festival. Snyder worked on 300 with American cinematographer Larry Fong. Much like Sin City, another adaptation of a Frank Miller graphic novel, Snyder and Fong approached production for 300 with the explicit intent of bringing Miller’s illustrations in the graphic novel to life – to the point of recreating panels from the comics exactly the same way in the film.
Snyder and Fong wanted to make the movie itself feel like a graphic novel, and as a result, opted to shoot the entire production on a soundstage against a blue screen, and use visual effects in over 1,500 shots to create the world of the film. Fong shot 300 on the Kodak Vision2 00T 5229 35mm film stock using Panavision and Arriflex cameras, opting for this film stock because of how well it performed in situations where there was low light, which was to be a big feature of the movie. Production designer Jim Bissell and VFX supervisor Chris Watts worked with Fong to develop a post-production process they dubbed “The Crush”, which allowed post-production artists to take Fong’s shots and manipulate the colors quickly by altering the contrast to match the illustrative grittiness of Miller’s graphic novel in the final film.
MEN IN BLACK (1997)
MEN IN BLACK is a 1997 sci-fi action comedy directed by Barry Sonnenfeld and written by Ed Solomon. Loosely based on the Men in Black comic series created by Lowell Cunningham and Sandy Carruthers, the film stars Tommy Lee Jones and Will Smith of a secret organization called the Men in Black, who supervise extraterrestrial beings who live on Earth and hide their existence from the rest of the world. Men in Black grossed over $585 million from its $90 million budget, and has since spawned two sequels, a spin-off film and an animated series. Sonnenfeld worked on Men in Black with makeup effects artist Rick Baker. Baker was known at the time for his work on films such as An American Werewolf in London and Ed Wood.
Baker’s biggest challenge taking on Men in Black was to design and build a set of aliens that audiences weren’t already overly familiar with in the science fiction genre, and as a result, worked with Sonnenfeld to design and build creatures that were more insect-like than humanoid. Baker and his team built maquettes for dozens of aliens that were a combination of mechanical and radio-controlled puppets. Baker also collaborated closely with the visual effects team from Industrial Light and Magic, who were responsible for creating CG versions of the aliens for moments where the aliens had to either transition or move at a speed that the animatronic puppets couldn’t. This combination of practical and computer-generated effects gave Men in Black an authenticity that made it a unique entry in the sci-fi genre, and the film has gone on to become one of the most beloved science fiction comedies of the past 50 years.
THE BABADOOK (2014)
Jennifer Kent’s directorial debut, THE BABADOOK, is a 2014 psychological horror film starring Essie Davis as Amelia Vanek, a single mother living in the Australian city of Adelaide. Amelia is plagued by the violent death of her husband, who discovers a sinister presence all around her as she battles with her son’s fear of a monster lurking in the house. The film is based on Kent’s 2005 short film Monster, and also stars Noah Wiseman, Daniel Hernshall, Hayley McElhinney, and Ben Winspear. The Babadook premiered at the Sundance Film Festival, and was shot by Polish cinematographer Radek Ładczuk.
Kent began her collaboration on The Babadook with Ładczuk from the very clear basis that this would be a film that achieved all of its effects in-camera. Inspired by 1950’s B horror films and the work of filmmakers such as David Lynch, Kent was originally interested in shooting the film in black and white, but later transitioned to shooting in color, but worked with Ładczuk and production designer Alex Holmes to create a cool, claustrophobic interior environment with meticulously designed sets. For the Babadook monster itself, and the film’s scarier effects, Kent and Ładczuk used stop-motion techniques that were smoothened in post-production to give the film a tactile, lo-fi feeling that heightened both the believability and the fear factor of what was captured on camera, and brought to the screen.
BACK TO THE FUTURE (1985)
BACK TO THE FUTURE is a 1985 sci-fi adventure film directed by Robert Zemeckis, and written by Zemeckis and Bob Gale. It stars Michael J. Fox as Marty McFly, a teenager who is accidentally sent back to 1955 in a time-traveling DeLorean car built by his eccentric scientist friend, Doctor Emmett “Doc” Brown (Christopher Lloyd). Trying to find a way out of 1955, McFly inadvertently prevents a meeting between his future parents, and must reconcile the pair before returning to the future. Back to the Future was selected for preservation in the National Film Registry by the Library of Congress in 2007, and is considered today to be one of the greatest science fiction films of all time. Zemeckis worked on the film with American cinematographer Dean Cundey, who was best known at the time for his work with John Carpenter on films such as Halloween, The Fog and Escape from New York.
Back to the Future was shot over 14 weeks on a $14 million budget, but faced budget and time delays when Eric Stoltz, who was originally cast as McFly, was fired and replaced by Fox. Zemeckis and Cundey wanted to create a visual language for the film that felt in constant flow, with lots of camera movement designed to keep the film moving, as opposed to relying upon cuts. Cundey was also shooting another film, Cocoon, for part of the shoot of Back to the Future, and faced a grueling initial schedule where he sometimes went without sleep for 24 hours straight. Cundey’s work on the project was done in close concert with visual effects supervisor Ken Ralston, from Industrial Light and Magic. Together, Cundey and Ralston utilized compositing techniques to shoot miniatures of the DeLorean time travel car that were brought into the environments where Marty and Doc are interacting. Cundey and Ralston also collaborated to pull off the effect of the car going into another time. Initial attempts to use pyrotechnics on the car failed, and the pair eventually turned to animation supervisor Bruce Walters to create the lightning and electrical effects that the movie is now famous for.