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Introduction to Film & Visual Culture 02 & 03 / Cinema's Construction of Meaning

Cinema's Construction of Meaning

Gareth Gee

on 11 August 2013

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Transcript of Introduction to Film & Visual Culture 02 & 03 / Cinema's Construction of Meaning

2: The visual construction of meaning
Location (Time)
NVC (Non Verbal
Licensing $20m
Script $10m
Producers $15m
Director $10m
Cast $30m
Below the line $45m
Special Effects $65
Music $5m
Prints and Marketing $75m
Spiderman 2 Budget
£175m ÷ 130 minutes
= each minute costs £1,346,153.

24 frames per second;
1440 frames per minute;
187,200 frames in total.

Each second of finished film costs £22,435.
Each frame costs £935 to produce.
Camera Movements:

pan, tilt, tracking, zoom

Extreme close up
Close up
Mid close up
Mid Shot
Long shot
Extreme long shot
(or establishing shot)
High: subservience,
Canted (Dutch)
Camera shots

120 years of cinema...
6 main shot types
Camera angles:

3 key ones...
Lighting &
Costume and make up are subject to fashion in films as in reality...
"It was
in the
NVC (Body Language)
NVC (Body Language)
Props =
Film composition (framing)

Techniques borrowed from painting and photography...

...especially the 'rule of thirds'.
Introduction to film
and visual culture

For a detail that
we need to know
The head fills the screen.


Only the face is important.
Costume may be important.

We see the chest as well as the head.
The mid shot makes up 70 - 80% of a typical film's content.

'Natural'; typically shows two people.

Full costume, background, props and location are all important.
A greater distance between camera and actors.

More people; people AND place are important.

LOTS of location information, also full costumes, props.

Often follows (or can be itself) an establishing shot.
Extreme long shots / establishing shots generally introduce locations.

Horror films use fewer of these. Why?
Count the shots in this introduction.

How many are there?
What types?
Is the order important?
Indicates uneasiness, sickness, drunkenness, waking up, disorientated, delirium, danger, criminality...
Mise en scène
Watch a clip from Donnie Darko.

Make notes on shot types, angles, camera movements and the rule of thirds.
German Expressionism:
Early 20th century;
shadow / light & dark
Watch a 'montage' clip from Rocky IV.

How is everything combined to create visual meaning?
For next week:

Write a descriptive summary of:
1. Mise en scène
2. The rule of thirds
3. German expressionist cinema
4. Pan, tilt, track & zoom camera movements
5. Diagetic / non-diagetic sound

(without using Wikipedia, obviously).
Watch a video about framing /
the rule of thirds.

Full transcript