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Hitchcock- The Birds
Transcript of Hitchcock- The Birds
•Born: 20/Apr/1909 (Springfield, Massachusetts, USA), died: 22/Nov/1964 (Hanford, California, USA)
•worked with A. Hitchcock for 11 years, editing 9 of his films (e.g. Psycho, Rear Window, Vertigo)
•known for his innovative style
•focused on the characters and the developement of the story 2.Style
•experimental cuts, like jump cuts
•many POV shots
•creates the suspense and tension Hitchcock's films are famous for, stays close to the characters which makes us engage more The Cinematographer of “The Birds” was Robert Burks
-Robert Burks began his career as a director of photography in the mid 1940’s.
-He was the cinematographer in Alfred Hitchcock’s twelve movies, including “Rear Window (1954), “Vertigo (1958)” and “The Birds (1963)”, except “Psycho (1960).
-He was nominated for an Oscar, for his first work on Hitchcock’s “Strangers on a train (1951)”.
-He also won an Oscar for his work on Hitchcock's “To Catch a Thief (1955)”. Reviews for the film, about its cinematography:
-“A major work of cinematic art.” (Andrew Sarris)
-“ ‘The Birds’ is a tremendous cinematic achievement” (Justin W Price, 2011)
-“Hitchcock at his best. Full of subterranean hints as to the ways in which people cage each other, it’s fierce and Freudian as well as great cinematic fun.” (Tom Milne)
-“If he had never made another motion picture in his life, ‘The Birds’ would place him securely among the giants of the cinema." (Peter Bogdanovich) -“The way he commands a camera, the way he controls the eye of the viewers of his films is masterful and really attests to his brilliance as a filmmaker.” (Justin W Price, 2011)
-“Hitchcock’s classic ‘The Birds’ soars with apt cinematography” (Mike Carusi, 2007)
-““The Birds” is one of his best works. It could be the film’s concept, or maybe it’s the strikingly realistic cinematography.” (Mike Carusi, 2007)
-“The cinematography is flawless.” (Mike Carusi, 2007) -At the beginning of the film there are mostly medium close-ups of Melanie (Tippi Hedren) and Mitchell (Rod Taylor), while they are talking at the pet shop. Generally in their dialogues in the whole film, close-ups and medium close-ups are mostly used from Hitchcock.
-There are also many pans and tracking shots, where the camera follows Melanie as she is walking and holding the love-birds. “There are many scenes where the camera focuses on certain images that seemingly have little to do with the plot. The most notable of these close-ups is the image of the bloody glove of Melanie Daniels, which is perhaps the most enduring non bird image in the film” (Justin W Price, 2011). -There are some static shots. Especially when Melanie is framed helplessly in the window, reacting to the chaos of the fire at the gas station, in quick close-ups, so as we see her reaction to what is happening outside. -There are many point-of-view shots and eyeline matches. More point-of-view shots. -There is also one extremely close-up, which gives tension and agony to the audience. -There are also some Bird’s Eye View Shots, also called “Balloon Shots”, where the camera is at a very High-Angle. Such shot is when Melanie drives to Bodega Bay. When there is the fire scene at the gas station, in which we experience “God’s point of view”, as Hitchcock himself used to say. More High-angle shots. Also there is a high-angle shot, when Melanie is trapped in the phone booth. When the birds attack Mitchell’s home there is a High-Angle Shot of Melanie, too. As well as a High-Angle shot of Mitchell trying to protect and calm down Lydia and Cathy. -Low-angle shots are also giving tension and suspense. Most of those shots are when the birds attack at Mitchell’s house. The close-ups from low-angle shots, especially on the actor’s faces, create a sense of mystery and drama. At the end of the movie, there was a low-angle shot of the car, in which everyone was in, but we were more able to see the birds on the roof, rather than the people in the car. -There are also some shots, in which the actresses seem like they are looking at the camera, but they are not actually doing that. -Hitchcock changes the way a character is filmed, in order to create a specific mood, in which he wants to place that particular character. If we take the character of Lydia Brenner, for example, we will be able to find those different types of filming. At First-She is powerful and strong. Then she lost her power and becomes more vulnerable and scared. Reviews about performance in the Birds 3. Special effects
•took nearly 3 years to complete
•over 350 different special effects in the movie
•first mechanical birds were built (200,000$)
•but only a few made it into the film
•Bud Hoffman (associate editor) ' laughable […] like model airplanes with wings that moved up and down'
•superimpose real bird footage onto shots of actors
•bluescreen technique was not sufficient
•sodium vapor process
•. known as 'yellowscreen'
• used and invented by Disney
•clearly distinguishes different layers of shot material
•two films shot at the same time in one camera
•one regular color photo film, the other only sensitive to the narrow wavelength spectrum emitted by sodium lamps
• the screen behind the subjects was lit only by these lamps, which creates a clearly distinguished matte
•other occasions were two layers of film were mingled is the gas station's bird's eye view and bodega bay
•the deliberate and innovative use of special effects composed a realistic, vivid and scary ambience, which is crucial to convey the films overall mood
•especially for the time it was released, the impact onto viewers must have been enormous as footage like this was probably unseen before Bibliography http://www.moviefanfare.com/the-birds/#.UMWojoPbqSo