In response to the subway short trend, Eric Escobar blogged about a scene in The Bourne Supremacy that he finds rebelliously inspirational. That struck a chord with me, as I too have a Bourne scene that inspires me. It’s the Waterloo Station scene in The Bourne Ultimatum.
In this scene, Bourne outwits CIA operatives while guiding a reporter to safety. It was shot in London’s busiest train station without disrupting thousands of commuters and travelers. That’s right, it’s the ultimate subway short!
What’s amazing about this scene is that it follows the DV Rebel rulebook to the letter. They used a minimal crew and natural light. When out among the general public, the only props we see are cell phones and a syringe. It’s only when the action moves to a stairwell that the guns come out. A sniper gets involved, and his footage too is shot separately from the actual station (a wee bit of greenscreen work connects the two). All of this is intercut with people in a room full of monitors. There’s nothing in this scene you couldn’t do yourself, without permits.
For The DV Rebel’s Guide my editors went to great effort to secure the rights to use the kitchen scene in La Femme Nikita as an example of an approachable DV Rebel action scene. But as the Bourne films show us, such scenes are abundant. For every Bond-style chase with flipping cars and helicopter shots, there’s a gritty, tense mano a mano battle that requires nothing more than hard work and great choreography.
And color correction. The Bourne sequels are great examples of the hidden gift to the DV Rebel that lurks in many a DVD—the supplemental materials feature deleted and alternate scenes prior to their DI color correction (see Color Makes the Movie). It’s easy to see how the vérité footage, often shot without immaculate control over lighting, becomes more cinematic and pointed thanks to the DI. Color correction adds style, but it also helps tell the story by subtly altering the lighting. Again, this is 100% Rebel-compatible—with readily available tools such as Magic Bullet Looks, Colorista, Apple Color and Adobe After Effects (plus the DV Rebel Tools), you can often color-correct your way to high production value—and you’ll be in good company doing so.