Conveying meaning visually • Semantic and iconic representation • Iconic: • Cinematography/videography • Direction/blocking • Set design • Costuming/makeup • Visual effects • Editing
Process • Pre-production • Storyboarding: The director develops a set of shots to go with the proposed story (scenes, etc.) to be used to manage production • Production design: Sets, finding locations, etc. • Production • Camerawork • Set design • Blocking • Post-production • Editing • Visual effects/compositing
Cinematography/videography • The art and science of capturing the visual content necessary to construct the narrative on film or videotape
Major concerns • What will be included in each shot? • Framing and composition • What position will the camera take with regard to the mise-en-scene? • Distance • Angle • Movement • What will be in focus/out of focus? • How will the scene be lit? • How will color and tint affect the images? • How sharp will the image be?
Camera position: Distance from subject • The physical distance of the camera (viewpoint) from the subject affects the audience reaction to the scene • The shorter the distance, the more likely the audience is to identify with the actor/character • The ‘closer’ the audience member is to the character the more powerful the emotional reaction • Can see the actor’s face, body movement, etc.
Distance from subject • When the camera is ‘far away’ from the subject, it can provide a great deal of information about the scene, the context, action other than that engaged in by the subject, etc. • Allows audience to make sense of what is going on in the scene • “Establishing shot”
Distance from subject Source: David Chandler
Depth of field • The size of the area that is in focus in a shot • Lenses vary in the depth they bring into focus, image size, etc.
Deep v. shallow focus • Choice of lenses • Experience of depth • Breadth of focused field • New lenses allow for focus throughout a very deep field • Focus does not have to be fixed • Zoom lens
Wide angle lens Telephoto lens
Zoom in Track in
Angle to subject • When the subject is ‘below’ the audience member it tends to make the subject seem weak or pitiful • When the audience is looking ‘up’ at a subject it tends to make that subject look powerful or in command • These are tendencies and are not universally true
Camera movement • Modern technology has allowed for much greater camera mobility than was the case in early film or television • Dollies/tracks • Cranes • Wires • Hand-held • Steady-cam
Camera movement • Rotation/pivot of the camera while on a fixed stand: • Up and down: tilt • Side to side: pan • Turn: roll • Camera stand moves: • Side to side: Usually called tracking, but may be called trucking, crabbing or dollying • Forward or backward: Usually called dollying but may be called tracking, trucking or crabbing • Up or down: Pedestalling (Ped up or down) • Movement that goes in multiple directions and usually requires a crane is ‘craning’
Smooth v. shaky movement • Hand-held • Steadycam • Motion control
Functions of camera movement • Reframing • When a character moves, camera moves to provide adequate headspace, avoid cutting off limbs, etc. • Helps fix the viewer’s eye on important characters and objects
Functions of camera movement • Following • Maintain contact with a character
Functions of camera movement • Direct audience to information unknown to characters • Identify important information that will be used later in the narrative
Functions of camera movement • Help to create suspense or surprise • Prevent the audience from seeing something until the last second
Functions of camera movement • Provide a particular position for the viewer • Omniscient • Subjective • Objective
Three point lighting Key light Fill light Back light
Low key lighting Citizen Kane The Man Who Wasn’t There
Film exposure • Overexposure makes film look grainier and in higher contrast and saturates the colors
YALE FILM STUDIES • Film Analysis Web Site 2.0