What makes a good picture?

“Probably the only reason I would advise someone to attend film school today is because it is an opportunity to discover all kinds of films that you will never be able to see in theaters.” Bernardo Bertolucci. 

What makes a good picture? Actually, it is not that hard to define what a good photograph is. We start with basic elements of photography like exposure, composition, and texture, then we add interesting subjects, and then we add good lighting, which is essential. That’s it! If we understand the basic elements of photography, find interesting subjects, and have good lighting we can make good pictures.

Elements of a good photograph

Now, what makes a good movie? This one is a bit trickier. A good movie has all the elements that define a good picture, but now we need to add good stories, and on top of that we absolutely and definitively need to have good sound.

basic elements of a good movie

In essence, the biggest difference between shooting stills and motion is that with stills we are freezing moments, we are going for that perfect instant in time. In motion, we have many sequences of frames, and we need to keep them connected with dialog, composition, camera movement, color, and obviously, a great story.


Watson MD. New ways to see data.


Data is not useful until it becomes information, and on this fascinating 30-second commercial the flow of information is presented in a unique way by seamlessly combining medical visualizations, scientific literature, live action photography, pathogen analysis, and more. Guillermo Navarro, the same cinematographer who shot Night at the Museum, the Hellboy series, and the fantastic Pan’s Labyrinth, used two RED cameras and one ARRI Alexa camera to capture over a million images for this project.

“We shot insects, livestock, plants and other elements live on greenscreen. We licensed medical procedures for the young actor in the spot to get medical visualizations of the boy’s actual anatomy – CAT scans, X-rays, brain stem eye visualizations, and more; photos of his family members to illustrate medical history, medical literature showing research on actual potential causes and conditions of the scenario, images of pathogens, viruses, allergens and bacteria at the root of the possible causes, and more.”

Motion Theory’s Director Mathew Cullen Visualizes Supercomputer’s Thinking Process for IBM’s “Watson M.D.”

Incredibly, none of the images in the spot are computer generated! According to another source, production on “Watson M.D.” took four weeks and included consulting with medical practitioners, a three-day live-action shoot, developing the animation engine and integrating visual effects, and editing.