Posted on Friday, July 24th, 2015 by Russ Fischer
Mad Max: Fury Road is the sort of film that will inspire film nerd conversations for years to come. The craft behind it is so potent and sharp that we can’t really help it; there’s a lot to talk about in George Miller’s latest film, built as it is on his direction, the cinematography of John Seale, and the editing of Margaret Sixel. (To say nothing of the film’s performances.)
A new video is all about the Mad Max Fury Road editing and cinematography, specifically with respect to the push-in shots and a few other elements.
The edit’s Vimeo page says “Mad Max: Fury Road uses in a wonderful way push- ins, pull- outs and fast motion shots.This video is a compilation of all of them.” And, well, it might not be all of them, because this is just over a minute of footage, but it is a good compilation of one of the best tricks in the film’s bag.
(Spoilers in the video for Fury Road, as it goes through the entire movie.)
Sadly, there’s no real context here, so let’s talk about all that footage for a minute. Clarity was among the greatest qualities of Fury Road; we always knew what was important and why, and the way the film is shot and edited keep us aware of the overall layout of the characters and action at all times.
The shots highlighted in the video above are a key part of the shooting and editing strategy, in that they provide two things: context, and emphasis. We see where the action is set, and Miller emphasizes a particular element with the push-in, which also keeps that element large and centered. Combined with the fast-motion sequences also highlighted here, the technique keeps the story focused and the object(s) of any given scene clear, while also maintaining the film’s sense of constant movement.
The push-in is not Miller’s exclusive technique by any means, but he uses it in a specific and consistent manner that is a big part of the personality of his films overall, and of Fury Road in particular.
In addition to this video, the Fury Road blu-ray specs were released this week. Sadly, while George Miller told us earlier this year that his black and white edit would be on the disc, there’s no hint of that in the list below, nor is there any commentary track. The black and white version definitely exists, so we’ll hold out hope for a further special edition. Perhaps the middling domestic performance of the movie, combined with the ever-shrinking market for physical media pushed WB to scale back on the feature set.
The 3D Blu-ray Combo Pack (Blu-ray 3D/Blu-ray/DVD/Digital HD), Blu-ray Combo Pack (Blu-ray/DVD/Digital HD) and two-disc DVD releases of Mad Max: Fury Road feature the following specs:
Both Blu-ray Combo Packs and the DVD are set to include:
Maximum Fury: Filming Fury Road
Mad Max: Fury on Four Wheels
The Road Warriors: Max and Furiosa
The Tools of the Wasteland
The Five Wives: So Shiny, So Chrome
Fury Road: Crash & Smash