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CINEMATOGRAPHYHARRIS

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by

Stuart Harris

on 20 February 2015

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Transcript of CINEMATOGRAPHYHARRIS

CINEMATOGRAPHY
It’s like the art of photography but for the movies.
“ Making creative decisions about how to use the camera when recording photographic images for the cinema.”
Can include technical decisions such as what lens to use or even what type of film stock (or digital vs. film). When discussing and analyzing cinematography, we will be focused on three of the creative choices.
CAMERA DISTANCE
CAMERA ANGLE
CAMERA MOVEMENT
Choosing the camera distance from what’s being filmed usually what determines what type of shot you have.
LONG SHOTS
MEDIUM SHOTS
CLOSE-UP
EXTREME CLOSE-UP
Often scenes begin with long shots that give the viewer a sense of the location the scene is taking place in. Also called establishing shots.
A long shot can also allow the audience to see multiple characters' (or objects) actions and movements at once. A long shot would make sense in a car chase, battle sequence, ballroom dance scene.
High Angle
Low Angle
Most actions by a single character would be filmed in a medium shot close enough to emphasize gestures and movement
Dialogue can be filmed by alternating between close-ups of whoever's speaking or by using a medium shot to show all the speakers at once
Used to show:
-Facial expressions
-Emphasize a piece of the action
-Reveal important details
- Maybe reveals important detail but often meant to confuse viewer (or at least make them stop and think about what they're seeing) by presenting an unexpected perspective
Camera is looking down on subject, makes them appear small and vulnerable
Can create sense of surveillance
Angle can be slight, extreme or even create a "bird's-eye view"
Camera is looking up at subject, makes them appear large and powerful
Can make subjects appear menacing
Angle could indicate first person POV or just be there to create an impression in the viewer
TRACKING- Camera moves smoothly from one place to another
-Usually done by moving the camera along a dolly track or with a crane
PAN- Camera pivots in any direction without moving location
-Usually done side to side
ZOOM- Camera appears to get closer to or further from its subject without changing position
HANDHELD- Camera moves shakily from one place to another
-Usually done by carrying the camera while filming
-Often creates POV perspective, documentary feel
- Show small but important details
- Create unfamiliar, confusing perspective
- Done with the adjustment of lenses instead of actual camera movement
- Speed of zoom often important to its effect
Possible functions:
to follow action
to reveal previously off-screeen info
to simulate POV
What is the function of this zoom shot?
What is the function of this tracking shot?
(i.e.- What is communicated that wouldn't be if each of the sequences were filmed separately and cut together?)
(i.e.- What is the impression this zoom creates in the
mind of the viewer?)
Discuss camera movement and other techniques
discussed in class to explain how and why two
different moods are created by the filmmaker in
the following sequence
This low angle actually makes the character appear
more
vulnerable. How is this effect achieved?
Sometimes a high angle is just the best way to capture an effective image
Where is the camera here?
What is going on in this image?
Used to show:
Used to show:
-a character's actions
-characters talking to each other
Find an example of a filmed dialogue scene that includes both medium shots and close-ups and explain the purpose and/or effect of each
-the whole character (i.e. body
language, costume and interaction
with surroundings)
-ESTABLISHING SHOTS introduce new
locations
- a clearer sense of setting
- an action sequence
- lots of characters at once
How does the establishing
shot at the beginning of
this sequence help the
audience to know what's
going on?
Homework Written Responses:
Discuss how the zoom shots
and tracking shots are used in
sequence from "Amelie" and
the different purposes/effects
they have
Describe three different
cinematography choices that
are made in the sequence from
"Leon" and explain their effects

Why would a filmmaker want to confuse an audience? Think of examples of extreme close-ups you have seen. Where and why were they used?
(filmed from far away)
Deciding to leave the camera in one place with no movement as action occurs within the frame is still a cinematography choice
NO CAMERA MOVEMENT
5 Types of Choices
Many possible choices
but 2 common alternatives
to straight-ahead angles are:
Skewed Angle-
Filming without keeping the camera
level with the floor creates various effects
What effect is created by the camera angles in the following sequence?
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