Film Noir Hero: The Most Challenging Role

Film Noir Hero The Most Challenging RoleThe classic film noir genre has always enjoyed a cult following. It’s not quite like any other genres in that the movie is principally pervaded by dark moods that include disillusionment, bleakness, melancholy, evil, moral corruption, alienation, paranoia, pessimism, desperation, and ambiguity.

Movies like Franklyn exemplify these classical, dark films that were produced and gained popularity during the 1940s. In these movies, the heroes and villains are presented as gangsters, government agents, socio-paths, conflicted cops or detectives, petty criminals, politicians, crooks, murderers, war veterans, or any law breaker. The subject often deals with moral-ambiguity which pervades the entire gloomy and dark theme of the movie. The protagonists are not like in any other film genres because they embody generally negative values of cynicism, sexual obsession, menace, sardonic, fright, disillusionment, sinister, insecurity, depression and everything abject.

Getting a role, especially a lead hero (or anti-hero) character, in a film noir requires preparation for the actor or actress. The emotions and themes that these actors are called to act out in the movie require careful study. Delivering a disturbing and repressively negative portrayal is much harder than the predictably morally upright protagonist. More than just preparing physically for the role, the actors have to study how to effectively deliver the story and theme in a precise and realistic way possible. Unlike in many of today’s Hollywood movies, where actors spend a lot of time preparing physically, some actors even enroll in intensive physical training to achieve the desired look or spend time studying the action routines through practice with a grappling dummy like those reviewed here, film noir requires internalization to successfully give life to the hero of the movie. The preparation in a role in film noir is more on psychological and emotional than physical.

Many of us think that film actors and actresses have the easiest jobs in the world. They go the set, act out the story, speak their lines, pack up, and leave. While some actors do it this way, it can never be the case in challenging roles like in film noir. Only the real good ones, those who study their role and do a lot of study and hard work, are successful in effectively portraying roles in black films. The names of Robert Ryan, Robert Mitchum, Glenn Ford and Humphrey Bogart stand out in the film noir genre. Apart from appearing in various film noir flicks, they seemed to have developed a unique persona that is perfectly suited to the genre.

To successfully portray a film noir role, these actors go to great lengths to study and internalize what their roles are actually feeling and going through. Their preparation involves research so that they know the background of the character. It’s difficult to assume the very conflicting and ambiguous role of the protagonist in film noir. If the actor does his job well, it’s likely that he can deliver a convincingly real and truthful portrayal of the character, which is also a critical ingredient in the success of black films.

Tips To Improve Your Cinematography Skills

Tips To Improve Your Cinematography SkillsKnowing about medium, wide, and close-up shots is not the only requisite to excel in cinematography. There are plenty other aspects that you should be skilled at before you can take videos with that special touch. Here are some such tips that are sure to improve your cinematography and take it to new heights

Life experience

While it is allowed to get some hints from the work of other cinematographers, the best way to be unique is to develop your own way instead of copying from other cinematographers. When you increase your footwork and get more of practical experience personally, it can help in more ways than learning from a film, tutorial, or a school.  In short, cinematography cannot be copied or for that matter learnt. You need to learn the ropes by your own life experience, which is more significant than having the necessary technical knowledge.

Art of story telling

Whatever latest technology you may be using for your cinematography, the crux of it is telling a good story. While the latest gadgets and cameras may be awe-inspiring and produce great looking images, forgetting the fundamental storytelling can make all those gadgets go to waste.

Although you may get new and advanced technology, the art of storytelling with your camera, frame, and light settings is still the same just as we all need shoes for walking no matter what new things are invented. Since cinematography involves standing on your feet for long periods, using effective and solidly built shoes is a wise choice.


Light is without doubt the most important tool of a cinematographer. When you know when, how and where you can apply your knowledge of light to tell a story the right way, you have mastered it all. You need to ensure that your subject is visible and has the proper lighting. The challenge however lies in making the light itself a subject and letting it speak more than the other characters.

Doing the job right

As mentioned before there is no finite number of ways to complete the job. The trick here is finding the right environment, work and process, which helps you, be productive and efficient. Once you start experimenting with things, you will find the pieces fall in place and it will be just a matter of time before you build upon the core and form a unique style of your own.

For good cinematography, you need to have the right equipment and experience to get the right touch. And wearing shoes like those at helps to reduce the strain on your body, while working for long hours.


You need to know that when you are hired for a job, it is your vision that matters here and not the vision of other expert cinematographers. You may spend hours trying to reproduce the work of a popular cinematographer. But if the producer had wished for the work of that cinematographer he would not have hired you? You should understand that they depend on your unique ideas and vision and have hired you because of the good impression your style has made.