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Intro to Media Analysis - Moving Camera

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Catriona Miller

on 21 November 2016

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Transcript of Intro to Media Analysis - Moving Camera

Intro to Media Analysis
The Moving Camera

"The control of the viewer's perspective that a film maker enjoys is one of the most salient differences between film and stage." (Monaco, 1981: p.77)
"Welles and his cinematographer, Russell Metty, were not simply showing off. The destinies of all of the main characters are tangled from beginning to end, and the photography makes that point by trapping them in the same shots, or tying them together through cuts that match and resonate. The story moves not in a straight line, but as a series of loops and coils." (www.rogerebert.com)
Ingrid Bergman with the Arriflex 2C in 1953.
Colour and synchronous sound camera in 1934!
Invented by Garrett Brown in 1976. It is a system for isolating camera movement from the operator's movement. The first film to use it was
Rocky
(John G. Avildsen, 1976)
Technological Innovation 4: Computer Generated Imagery (CGI)
These "assorted movements and their various combinations have such an important effect on the relationship between the subject and the camera (and the viewer), camera movement has great significance as a determinant of the meaning of film." (Monaco, 1981: p.76)
"Camera movement... functions as an active agent in creating the film's drama; in its ability to place emphasis and make associations, the camerawork is as important as the mise en scene. The camera carves into space to create connections that enrich the film's narrative form. (Bordwell & Thompson, 2004: p.186)
Winter's Bone (Debra Granik, 2010)
A Taste of Honey (Tony Richardson, 1961)
Today we'll consider:
Types of Camera Movement
Some historical developments
Mobile framing
The term cinematography comes from the Greek meaning 'writing in movement', and the art of film relies heavily on motion.
Types of Camera Movement
Types of Camera Movement
From a FIXED point the camera can...

PAN (short for 'panorama') - a lateral movement from side to side, as if the camera shakes its head.

TILT - a vertical movement up and down, as if the camera nods its head.

ROLL - quite rare, but as if the camera puts its head on one side.
From an UNFIXED point the camera can... (in theory do anything, but in practice...)

TRACK - the camera is mounted on a dolly (a truck which travels along the ground and often placed on tracks)

CRANE - the camera is mounted on a crane and leaves the ground.

A Touch of Evil (Orson Welles, 1958)
Virtuoso opening 'long take' opening scene with no edits.
Technological Development 1: ARRI
The company ARRI founded in 1917 in Germany and its 1937 Arriflex 35 was a very popular model of camera. But it was too noisy to allow sound to be recorded at the same time as the images.

1953 they managed to sound proof the cameras enough to permit sound recording at the same time. This smaller, lighter, more manoeuvrable camera revolutionises the possibilities of location shooting.
A Taste of Honey
(Tony Richardson, 1961)
Uses the soundproofed Arriflex 35II and was the first British film shot entirely on location, making the most of the post war landscape of Salford.
Technological Development 2: Steadicam
Technological Development 3: Louma Crane
Invented by Jean-Marie Lavalou and Alain Masseron in 1970 but is first used in Hollywood in 1978 in the early Spielberg film
1941
.
It is a system that permits the camera and crane to be remotely controlled.
The possibilities for camera movement are expanded further with the growth in CGI. First film to use CGI was
Futureworld
(Richard T Heffron, 1976) but it wasn't till James Cameron's film
The Abyss
(1990) that it really takes off...
The Matrix
(Wachowski Brothers, 1999) creates a new way of appearing to move the camera... though as you can see in fact the cameras don't actually move!
Uses of Camera Movement
REFRAMING
Normally, the camera tends the keep the most important thing near the centre of the frame. If a character moves, then usually the camera will move with them. This happens so much we hardly notice it.
From live opera
Rodelinda
(2002, Glyndebourne Production)
SUBJECTIVE CAMERA MOVEMENT
Winter's Bone
(Debra Granik, 2010)
Camera movement can be motivated by the narrative and encourage us to accept what we see as the character's point of view. In this scene the camera drifts in and out of subjective pov (wobbly, out of focus) as Ree (Jennifer Lawrence) comes round.
EXPLORATION OF SPACE
Gladiator
(Ridley Scott, 2000)
A moving camera can show the space in which a scene takes place seamlessly (i.e. without editing). This enhances the illusion of the story space extending beyond the frame.
SPEED OF MOVEMENT
Tombstone
(George P Cosmatos, 1993)
The speed at which the camera moves adds to the action (often moving more quickly as the action within the frame moves more quickly. Part of the 'internal cadences' (see Editing).
The Thirteenth Warrior (John McTiernan, 1999)
The Thirteenth Warrior (John McTiernan, 1999)
Camera behaves as if it is one of the group, including pov whip pans.
Its height tends to match their height (horseback, or on the ground).
Uses a crash zoom, but also pulls focus and reframes
all
the time.
It rolls and cants when Banderas feels nauseous.
One of the rare moments when the camera doesn't move and offers an objective pov is when the 'wendol' appears in the shadow - the characters don't see it.

What are the camera movements (panning, tracking etc.)?
Do they simply serve to keep our attention focused or do they (also) substitute for/enhance the characters' movements?
How does the camera movement add to the overall stylistic system of the film?
Ask yourself...
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