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The Classical Hollywood Cinema
Transcript of The Classical Hollywood Cinema
Justine Barker CLASSICAL HOLLYWOOD STYLE
IS ALSO REFERRED TO AS
“THE GOLDEN AGE OF HOLLYWOOD” Classical Hollywood style
is essentially created on
the principle of continuity
whereas the camera and
the sound recording should
never call attention to themselves. Sound The US film industry was the first to work successfully in sound production The improvement of sounds is apparent in movies such as "Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde"  First microphones used for sound recording picked up distracting noise from surroundings
o Had to be kept in a soundproof room called “blimps”
o Microphones were transportable by placing them at the end of a stick called “boom”
o "The Jazz Singer" (1927) – a successful screening caused many film industries, such as French producers, to race to produce sound featured films themselves The new microphones allowed actors to speak at a normal rate and not have to speak slowly to be recorded easily. Music was used in the recordings to energize the moods of romance and suspense in the films
o Symphonic score: refers to the lengthy musical passages played in the background of action and dialogue
o "King Kong" (1933) has notable music in its suspenseful scenes Technicolor Almost 30% higher to make than black and white films.
o Used occasionally in the 1920s
o Colors such as pinkish orange and greenish blue
o "The Black Pirate" (1926) is an example of the greenish blue color Prisms (1930s)
o Vivid colors
o Color was a fantasy and a spectacle during this time.
o First animated short - "Flowers and Trees" (1932)
o First live-action short - "La Cucaracha" (1934) Camera Movement &
Cinematography Styles Soft Touch
o Putting fabrics or filters that were filmy in front of the lenses gave it the soft look. Subtle compared to the sharper images used before the 1920s.
o Some lenses could make the background of the shot less distinct while keeping the action in the forefront focused.
- Gestures and facial expressions were one of the main aspect in a film.
o This allowed the NARRATION of the movie to be smoother, allowing the audience to focus on what’s truly important in the film.
o Different filters used to convey different things.
- Glittering effect -> romance
- Soft grey -> glamor D.W. Griffith’s "Broken Blossoms" (1919)
o When the camera focuses on the face of the young girl, the picture is faintly blurry, giving it the soft look. •Deep Focus
o Unlike the soft look, deep focus is a technique when EVERY ASPECT OF THE SCENE can be clearly seen. Orson Welles’ "Citizen Kane" (1941)
•USED A LOT IN THIS FILM o A new way to represent spatial depth.
o It became an regular technique throughout the 1940s and 1950s. Camera Movement:
Tracking Shot & Dolly Shots
o Bell & Howell Rotambulato (picture)
- Cameras became too heavy in 1932 this came to the rescue
o CONTINUITY was difficult before this invention because the camera made too much sound.
- Could lift the camera up to 7 feet a
- Allowed panning, tilting and tracking much easier
o FILMS BEGAN TO RELY ON CAMERA TECHNIQUE Narrative Style & Character Development Plot : The sequence of actions in chronological order
o Introduction of the problem early in the movie
o Create a story as the movie progress the characters logically work through the problem.
o Problem solved at the end Editing : The physical rearrangement of frames of film and the adding of effects such as sound
o Editing on a glance - cuts back and forth between actors or objects
o Cutting on action - cutting an actor follows an action through different takes. Mise-en-scene ("Putting on stage" in English)
o Arrangement of scenery and properties to represent the place where a play or movie is enacted
o Space in the mise-en-scene is very articulated, and backgrounds are less distracting.
o They are created to be true to life with great detail. Cameras
o The shots and angles they use follow a pattern.
Ex: start with a wide shot, (crane or panning shot) to help the view identify the background. As the shots grow closer we are introduced to the main character.
o Crane shot – used to view the actors or place from above or to move up and away from them (common way of ending a movie) o Panning shot – horizontal scrolling of an image that is wider than the display. Character
o A character has certain traits and reacts to certain situations as an agent of action and decision
o A protagonist is the central character, active, goal-oriented, positive motivations.
o An antagonist is in conflict with the central characters and situations. Effects of the Code The self-imposed motion picture production code, also known as “The Hays Code,” had a major effect on what we now view as the Classical Hollywood Style. Fearing that the federal government would passed sweeping and restrictive legislation on the content of film narratives, Will Hays, the chief Hollywood censor of the MPPDA (now known as MPAA) passed a list of “don’ts” and “be-carefuls” regarding the content of motion pictures in 1930. The Hays Code was largely ignored from 1930-1934. Several films took advantage of the weakness of the code. Most notably gangster films like "Little Caesar" (1930) and "Scarface" (1933). Films with sexual innuendo and strong independent female leads like "The Red-Headed Woman" (1932) and Mae West’s "I’m No Angel" (1933) and "Tarzan" (1934) featured a female nude scene.
While these films took advantage of the lax production code, their contents were very controversial and spurred Hays to much stronger action to control the process. In 1934, penalties for showing content forbidden by the code became much more severe and Hollywood finally had to abide by it. The “don’ts” and “be carefuls” help define the moralistic and wholesome films that define the era.
•Criticism of churches Be Carefuls include:
•Men and women in bed,
even if married
•Criminals or immoral persons get
away with behavior The Production Code helped influenced the focus of psychological motivations behind actions and moralistic way the majority of films ended. Good had to triumph over evil and immorality had to be punished.
But some directors and producers still tried
to push the limits of what was acceptable for
films like Hitchcock’s "Notorious" (1945) and "The Outlaw" (1946). Special Effects Rear Projection Special-effects work usually involved combining separately shot images in one of two ways: through rear projection (also called back projection) or optical printing actors perform in a studio set as an image filmed earlier is projected onto a screen behind them - this saved them a lot of money. Optical Printing an optical printer consisted of a projector aimed into the lens of a camera for rephotographing and combining images using fades and dissolve methods. This was often used to create montage sequences. Matte & Matte painting Portion of the studio sets would be blocked with a matte, allowing matte painting to be inserted later. 1:22 Thank You (: