AS Film Studies Unit FM1Introduction to Micro Features: Cinematography
Lesson AimsBy the end of the lesson you will be able to:• Understand what cinematography is• Deconstruct how cinematography is used in film extract to communicate meaning
Definition: Cinematography• The way in which the camera is used to communicate meaning• Composition of visual elements• Communicates essential information to the audience• Made up of shots (framing), angles and movements, lighting can also be included
Framing the shot• The “framing” of a shot simply indicates where the cinematographer has placed the borders of an image.• Framing, the overall composition of the shot, is the placement of people and objects within the border of the film frame.• Composition greatly influences the audience’s experience of a movie and allows the filmmaker to emphasize people or objects that hold more importance than others.
Close Up (CU)• The closer we get to a character, the more sympathy we are likely to feel. The longer we are held in close proximity, the more sympathy we feel• The close up can also be used to evoke fear or evulsion when the audience is forced to be close proximity to a characters already established as a hated antagonist.
Extreme Close Up (ECU) • An extreme close up shows us objects and people differently than we see them. • It calls attention to the subjects, making them more memorable visually • If also separates the scene form other scenes, underscoring the importance of the scene dramatically
Two Shot • A two shot is when two characters are filmed in a single shot – usually from the mid-chest up. • The two shot can show harmony or disharmony depending on the scene • Whenever mother and daughter are in the same scene they most often appear in a balanced two shot to connote their symbolic harmony
Two Shot • The use of the imbalanced two shot shows the disharmony between husband and wife • Ada looks away and her husband looks at the ground, it contrasts with the harmonious shots of Ada with her daughter
Over the Shoulder Shot • Similar to the two shot, characters share the same space. The difference is that one of the two characters faces us, the other doesn’t. • The physical connection can be used to convey information about the relationship. What is conveyed is dependent on staging and the storyline
Point of View• The POV shot generally leads sympathy to the protagonist by allowing us to see through the characters eyes• Conversely, it can instil fear by forcing the same intimacy upon us with the antagonist
High Angle • High angle shots make the subject appear small and vulnerable • The high angle is used for an unguarded moment showing her vulnerability; the over the shoulder show her public persona, tough, shrill and embittered • What’s interesting is how much sympathy the first high angle lends to the second shot
Low Angle• Low angle make subjects appear larger than life• It transfers power to the subject, making it appear to dominate objects beneath it• By merely shifting camera angles, a director can suggest not only the ups and downs in a characters fortune but also the attitude an audience should adopt toward any personality or action in the film.
Pan • A pan occurs when the camera is seated on a tripod and pivots to the left or the right (can be handheld) • In the process of moving the camera new information is revealed
Task #1• Set up a Film Studies blog• When requested to homework can be posted here• The following tasks can be done on the blog once set up• Please email your blog addresses to me• email@example.com
Task #2• Find out what the descriptions are for the following shot types and why they would be used. Try to find examples of them and include screen shots• Medium Shot• Long Shot• Extreme long shot/ Establishing Shot• Medium long shot• Canted/ Dutch Tilt
Task #3• Find out what the • Tilt up descriptions are for the • Tilt down following angles and • Tracking movements and why they would be used. Try • Dolly to find examples of • Crane them and include • Handheld screen shots/ video • Aerial/ Birdseye • Zoom
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