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Literary, Dramatic, Cinematic

Film Studies Project: October 2012
by

Claire Kent

on 24 October 2012

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Transcript of Literary, Dramatic, Cinematic

Literary, Dramatic, and Cinematic Elements The Steps to a Great Film "And the Oscar goes to..." Literary Dramatic Cinematic Literary Elements help tell a story, and are applicable to both books and film. Literary elements can include plot/storyline, characters, setting, etc. The article on genre was interesting because when most people think of comedy in the movies, they think of certain scenes from “classic” comedies that generated a lot of laughs for whatever reason, whether that be the toilet humor, the outrageousness of the situation, or the actors playing outlandish roles. Almost never is a comedy revered for anything substantial, which is why, as the article says, there was never any “golden age” for comedy. It’s not that hard to make one, either, because usually there aren’t a ton of special effects involved and characters are put into everyday situations. Comedy is not an “art form” according to many people, and the article comes to the conclusion at the end that that’s simply not true. A comedy like Bridget Jones’s Diary is considered one of the better or well-received comedies because of its development of characters. The article points out that writers for comedies will often write based on what they think viewers will relate to, so they throw in sex jokes and ridiculous toilet humor. Yet the more in-depth characters in comedies and seeing how they will react to silly situations is usually what will get a crowd laughing, because they’re able to relate to the character as a person instead of just a situation.
That leads to the topic of target audience. The article said that comedies target teenage boys because statistically they are the ones who generate the most revenue. However, if the filmmakers simply changed tactics as far as removing some of the crude jokes from their films and placing more character development within them, more and more adults and women would be likely to see the films. This would lead to better-made comedies, and would maybe even create a new name for the genre—one that’s not just a category, but also an art form. "The film also has a big heart with a lot of very sweet emotions and weird fantasy sequences the show the inner machinations of Barrie's world and what he pictures. Barrie is the man who refuses to grow up lest he lose the magic that kept him alive and risk becoming bitter, yet is forced to by the utterly heartbreaking climax."
(Characters and theme)
http://www.cinema-crazed.com/finding-neverland.htm Visuals Dramatic Elements involve aspects of both theater and film, such as makeup, costumes, set, acting, etc. After reading Katherine Hepburn’s interview, I’m amazed at the confidence and brilliance she showed both on and off screen. Her ideas are truly marvelous. She talks about how she, when she was younger and would do photo shoots, was very confident and a lot of the other women weren’t. She says it as a fact, though, and it doesn’t sound like bragging. She is talking about the mindset one needs to have as an actor or actress, and how he or she needs to just “be.” She talks about how she would over-act scenes, and how actors like John Barrymore would be kind to her and re-do a scene. She sees the value in respecting her fellow actors, but also the importance of creating a learning experience everyday on set. She says at the very end of the article actors should “fill (themselves) up with deeds generous enough that (their) imprint isn’t on them.” She’s saying how it’s crucial to be open to what others do and say and pay attention to their creative processes, because filling up on our own deeds won’t get us anywhere. We need to be drinking in other people’s work and influence in order to keep learning and growing every day. Katherine also talks about how one of her directors played a trick on her during filming when in a scene where she was acting especially over-the-top, he lowered onto the set from the ceiling a giant ham. Katherine said it was hilarious, and she didn’t take any offense and just laughed it off. That shows the importance of being able to laugh at yourself on set and during filming, whether an actor or a part of the crew. Overall, she talks about how her career was a sort of process, and by keeping an open mind and being confident she was able to learn new things every day and grow not only as an actress but as a person.
Benedict Cumberbatch is one of those rare actors that can do both stage and screen acting effectively. He not only has earned numerous awards for his British TV show Sherlock, but has also found himself sought out by theater directors for a major role in last year’s show Frankenstein. He has a very distinctive voice, although all of the characters he plays have very distinctive tones to them, and he is able to manipulate his voice to fit whoever he is playing. Even though his voice is fantastic for expressing on stage and on film, he is also able to convey emotion through his facial expressions. Throughout many scenes of Sherlock he is able to simply stare at other characters with emotion on his face and the audience and other characters know exactly what he is feeling. One final thing that makes Benedict a great actor is his willingness to learn and try new things—after all, he’s starred on screen in movies, on TV and also on stage. He has a humble spirit and his cast mates and directors are always talking about his dedication to his characters and to his art, which is what acting comes down to in the end.
Cinematic elements involve what is only unique to film (not books and theater), such as camera shots, special effects, lighting, editing, etc. This particular shot from Third Star, which is about a dying man whose friends take him on one final camping trip before he dies, has an interesting mise-en-scene for a few reasons. There director chooses to use a low angle, although the characters are far enough away from the camera that it almost looks eye-level. This creates an interesting view because it’s like the viewer is sitting in the grass looking up and out at these four goofy men who are having a good time with each other. It gives us an “outside” perspective, almost, as we feel a part of the scene because of the angle and the grass at the bottom of the frame but at the same time none of the characters are looking in the direction of the camera, and they’re all tightly packed together and looking the same direction. There are also a lot of bright colors in this shot, and that represents the feelings of the characters as they’re playing around because although the one friend is going to die soon, this is a happy time for them to celebrate his life and have fun one more time. The position of the characters is also important, as we see the main character, James (the one who is dying), in the middle of them all and the three surrounding him on all sides. This shows the closeness of their group and how, even as James journeys into his last couple of days on earth, his friends are going to be right there with him and not let him go alone. Finally, the framing is interesting because the characters are right in the middle of the frame, showing their centrality and the significance of what they are doing even though it seems goofy, but there’s also a lot of free space around the characters to move around and be free. This goes along with the big ideas behind the film, like the fact that even though James is dying and that limits him in so many ways, right at that moment when he’s still alive he has all the freedom he could ever want. The positioning of the characters, their places within the frame, the angle and the colors all create a feeling of oneness, and evoke a happy and playful mood in the viewers. Film Terms Characters Setting Adaptation "But it's Phoenix's showy-but-strong performance that really burns itself into memory. Phoenix is the kind of guy who always comes across as if he's sliding down the knife's edge of sanity anyway, but here -- all lanky arms akimbo, sagging shoulders and stooped posture -- he truly seems like a man bearing the weight of a frightening world on his back…Also, there's a chilliness to Anderson's approach that makes the film easy to admire but harder to love. But, long after the lights have come up, Phoenix's performance will stay with you. If there's a master here, it is Phoenix."
-The Master review "Phoenix, Hoffman deliver 'Master' strokes" found on Rotten Tomatoes (acting and directing) An extreme close up shows only the face or a portion of the face of a character (the camera is in close proximity with the subject). A close up is a shot that is taken in close proximity with the subject and shows detail (usually shoulders and head). A long shot shows a subject from a distance and usually establishes the characters' surroundings. An extreme long shot shows the location/set of a film, where the subject(s) is/are usually very tiny or not seen at all. A point of view shot shows the character's viewpoint of a subject or situation. A tilt shot is when a camera stays in one spot but tilts up and down, like in this picture when the camera tilts upward as the character runs. A birds eye view is when the camera points directly down to show what is happening below (in this case, the character was looking straight back up). A low angle is when the camera looks up at a subject or subjects. A pan is when the camera stays in place but rotates left or right (the camera, in this case, rotates right). A high angle shot involves the camera looking down at a subject. A medium shot shows usually the waist up on a character, and shows about half of the subject. A deep focus shot
shows not only the character in front but also details in the back of a frame. An over-the-shoulder shot shows one character speaking and the other's back and back of the head to show that they're still in the scene, or the one with his/her back turned speaking and the one facing the camera's reactions. High contrast lighting shows a pool of light in one area of a frame and darkness all around it. High key lighting shows few shadows and involves lots of light.
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