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Introduction to Film Terms and Techniques - Day 2

Fiction into Film

Mariya Vaughan

on 26 August 2016

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Transcript of Introduction to Film Terms and Techniques - Day 2

Perspective: the kind of spatial relationship an image establishes between the different objects and figures it is photographing.

These different relationships are the products of different kinds of lenses and the ways those lenses are used.

Depth and deep focus
: audience can see characters in the background as sharply as characters in the foreground. (1:09)

Shallow focus
: clearly shows only one plane in the image; isolates or highlights certain characters or events.

Rack focus
: the focus is quickly changed, or pulled, from one figure or object to another within the same shot. (1:09-1:15)
Introduction to Film
Terms and Techniques
Day 2

Thank you for your attention!
Next up: A Short Guide to Film and Literary Analysis
Corrigan, Timothy. A Short Guide to Writing About Film. New York: Longman, 2010. Print.

Beaver, Frank. Dictionary of Film Terms: The Aesthetic Companion to Film Art. New York: Peter Lang Publishing, 2006. Print.
The camera eventually films a mise-en-scene: when you watch a movie, you see not only the setting, actors, and lighting but all these elements as they are recorded and then projected.

The film image may influence the way you see a scene or a character in that scene.
In the simplest sense, editing is the linking of two different pieces of film (two different shots).

A shot can be held on the screen for any length of time. The pace of the shots and the editing is relative so we should try to not why and how a film or part of a film is edited according to a certain rhythm.
Composition and Image
The single image you see on the screen before the film cuts to a different image.
Unlike a photograph it can include a variety of action or movement, and the frame that contains the image may even move.

When the image switches to another position and point of view the film has cut to a second shot.

When writing about film, you should pay careful attention to these primary dimensions of the shot: its photographic properties, its frame, and its moving frame.
The Shot
Qualities of the film image that are found in any photograph, plus the speed at which the scene is filmed.

These properties include tone, film speed, and the various perspectives created by the image.

Tone: range and texture of colors in a film image.

Film speed: rate at which the film is shot; most obvious in instances of slow or fast motion.

Action in slow or fast motion usually indicates a change in the nature of what is happening or how the audience is supposed to perceive what is happening.
Photographic Properties of the Shot
It forms the border of the movie image and contains the mise-en-scene.

Alfred Hitchcock’s film, Rear Window, fills the mise-en-scene with the frames of windows and doorways to call attention to the importance of framing and the point of view in the story.
The camera creates the moving frame by altering its position in relation to the object being filmed.

For example: A romantic close-up of a couple whispering may suddenly change its meaning if the camera frame moves backward and makes them part of a long shot full of spectators: what was at first romantic becomes comic.

This kind of framing, also known as reframing, can be done in ways that rely entirely on the movement of the frame, not on the editing of images through cuts.
Moving Frame
Slow Motion:

Fast Motion:
Examples of Film Speed
Photographic Properties (cont.)
Who or what is in focus in an image? Why?

Do the images create a world with depth, or does that world seem unusually flat?

How would you describe the space in a particular image? Is it crowded? Open? Wide? Distorted?

When a specific wide screen image drowns the characters in space, what does this say about them and their world?

Focus not just on what you see but also on how the image makes you see people and things in a certain way and in a certain relationship to one another.
Questions for Analysis:
High angle
: viewing the subject from above.

Low angle
: viewing the action from below.

When two people are shot in conversation an alternation between high angle and low angle shots could mean that one character is tall and the other is short. It could also indicate dominance of one character over the other. (1:50-2:41)
Frame (cont)
A shot which provides a limited, magnified view of a character or an object in a scene.

When filming people it typically shows just the characters faces.

It is a device for (1) directing audience attention, (2) establishing identification with and immediacy for screen actors, (3) isolating detail in a scene, (4) creating visual variety in film scenes, and (5) providing dramatic emphasis.

It can help to showcase emotions, nuances, and convey a dramatic significance to a person or object.
Start clip at 0:50
Frame - Close-ups
Medium shots: the scope and angle of view falls somewhere between a close-up shot and a long shot.

Emphasizes an object or subject in some detail.

When of a person it typically shows them from the waist up.

Tends to isolate the subject from the environment more than a long shot does.
In shot-sequence editing this shot serves the function of a logical step between the close-up and the long shot.
Frame - Medium Shots
provides a wide-angle view of a filmed area.

It enables the viewer to determine relative proportions of elements within the scene: their sizes, shapes, and placement.

Conveys the basic relationships of characters to their environment.
When filming people it shows full bodies from a distance.
Frame - Long Shots
What is the angle at which the camera frame represents the action?

Does the height of the frame correspond to a normal relationship to the people and objects before the camera (are they at eye level)? Or does the camera seem to be place at an odd height, too high or too low?

Does the camera frame seem unbalanced in relation to the space and action? If so, why does that occur when it does? Is it re-creating the perspective of a character looking at the action from an odd angle so that the buildings appear diagonal rather than vertical? Is it meant to re-create the perspective of a drunk?

What kind of distance does the frame maintain from its subject? Does it use close-ups, medium shots, or long shots?

Does the frame suggest other action or space outside of its borders? Do important events or sounds occur outside the borders of the frame? What is the significance of this offscreen space or its relation to what is seen within the frame?
Questions for Analysis:
Crane shot
: a moving shot that may be horizontal, vertical, forward, or backward. The camera is mounted on a studio crane which can be smoothly and noiselessly operated. Also called a
boom shot

Pan shot:
the frame moves from side to side without a change in the position of the camera or the point from which the scene is viewed.

For example: a character may look slowly from left to right and the camera may pan to re-create the movement of her/his gaze.
Dolly shot:
a shot in which the camera, placed on a wheeled mount, moves closer to or away from a scene. Also known as a tracking shot.

An alternative to the cut in changing scope and angle of view. The camera moves dynamically and fluidly through space.

Dolly zoom shot
: the camera is pulled away from a subject while the lens zooms in at the same time, or vice-versa. This creates a perspective distortion which makes it seem as if the background appears to change size relative to the subject.
When analyzing frame work and their actions do not simply describe the technical details and expect them to be self-explanatory.

Put them to work to convey an idea about the various ways that frames and their points of view operate and what they mean in specific films, in specific cultures, and at specific times.
For example: we expect a chase scene to be edited with lots of quick cuts and brief shots. To make us comically aware of our expectations about editing, that same chase scene could be edited with a very slow rhythm and few cuts.
: the break between two images.

: a unit of a motion picture usually composed of a number of interrelated shots that are unified by location or dramatic incident.

: a unit of film composed of a number of interrelated shots or scenes which together comprise an integral segment of the film narrative.
Typically a sequence has more action, more time, and more than one location compared to a scene.
Editing Terms
A method of film editing which follows precise continuity procedures. Shots are edited for the purpose of reconstructing an event, and for placing scenes in their desired chronological order.

It does not call attention to itself as does dynamic or conceptual cutting.

Creates a more natural and realistic feel. (Remember to be aware of the possible intentions behind this realism)
Continuity/Invisible Editing (cutting)
Continuity editing depends on highly crafted editing techniques such as establishing shots, master shots, shot/reverse-shots, and eyeline matches.

Establishing shots
: shots that begin a scene or sequence as a way of locating a scene clearly in a certain place before dividing that sequence into more detailed shots.

Usually presents a long, wide-angle view of an area to identify the location either generally or specifically (shots of NY skyline or the Eiffel Tower).
: an exchange between two characters (or a character and an object) is edited to appear logical and natural by cutting from the person speaking or looking to the object or person being addressed or seen.

Eyeline match
: Following the gaze of an onscreen character. When this character looks offscreen, the film will cut to whatever she/he is looking at, be it an object or another character. It is the trajectory of the looking eye. Very similar to shot/reverse shot.
The cutting from one shot to the next is made abruptly apparent to the viewer.

Self-conscious and will often startle the viewer by moving abruptly in time or space or by rapid cutting within a scene for expressive as well as narrative purposes.

: cutting together of two non-continuous shots within a scene so that the action seems to jump ahead or back in time.
Dynamic Cutting
French word meaning “mounting” frequently used to describe the assemblage of a film through editing.

Accelerated montage
: use of editing to add to the effect of increased speed of action in a film. The climax to a screen chase is often accompanied by this, where the excitement of the event seems to quicken with shorter shots and editing.

American or Hollywood montage
: a scene in which a series of short, quick shots are edited so as to suggest in a brief period the essence of events occurring over a longer span of time.
Conceptual montage
: cutting together of shots for the purpose of creating meanings that exist only by the arrangement of various shots. Typically the shots are arranged for emotional-intellectual impact. It seeks to produce ideas and effects through the joining or collision of shots.

Narrative montage
: editing together of shots and scenes which have been arranged in a desired chronological order according to a prescriebed shooting script or master shot procedure. The editor’s goal is to structure the narrative flow of the film story.
Montage (cont)
Fade-in or fade-out
: an image is darkened or lightened so that it appears or disappears.

Iris-in or iris-out
: the new image appears as an expanding circle in the middle of the old image, or the old image becomes a contracting circle that disappears into the new image.

: a line moves across an image to gradually clear one shot and introduce another.

: a new shot is briefly superimposed on the fading old shot.
Stylized Editing Methods
Are there larger implications concerning the world and society in the “continuity”? Is the movie trying to create a sense of a logical or safe world? Do establishing shots indicate that the characters (and the audience) know where they are and should feel at home?

Has the continuity editing been adjusted to fit a genre or to create certain emotional responses?

When the editing presents a fundamentally continuous and unified world, are there times when that continuity is disrupted? If so, why?

Does the shot/reverse-shot pattern in a particular sequence tell you anything about the characters involved or how they see the world and each other? Are considerably more shots given to one person or the other? Does the editing create a pattern in which one character’s eyes never meet the others?
Questions for Analysis:
How would you distinguish between the continuity editing of an older, classic movie like The Maltese Falcon and that of a more modern Hollywood film like V for Vendetta? Does one use more long takes and the other more quick cuts?

How would you differentiate between the continuity editing in a movie like Bride and Prejudice from India and Pride and Prejudice from the U.S.?

Why are there so few establishing shots in a particular movie? Is it difficult to say where an action takes place because the scene begins with a close-up of a character inside an unidentified room? Do the characters seem to share our disorientation? Is this disorientation related to the themes of the film?

Why is the temporal continuity within a film broken up in such a confusing fashion?
Questions for Analysis (cont):
Master Shots:
Usually a long shot that covers the
entire action of a scene

Master Shot examples at 0:40 and 1:41
Why are slower film speeds used to enhance dramatic or significant moments?

Why are faster film speeds typically used for comedic effect?
start at 0:52
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