ReviewLast lesson we viewed three short films and we looked atthe narrative structure of these and how they fit Freytag’striangle. We then closely analysed the films and pickedout key points which fit this.
Film LanguageOne of the ways that we make meaning from the films that we view is to analyse the technical construction of a film; Today we are going to focus on the use of the camera
ObjectivesRecognise the use of different camerashots/angles/movement in filmUnderstand that different camera use is used to try andcreate meaningConsider the purpose of camera use in film in the creationof meaning
Long Shot [L.S.]A distance shot in which a setting, and not a character, isthe emphasis. this is generally used to establish theplace in which action will occur, hence the termestablishing shot. Given its function, a long shot is oftenused at the beginning of a scene or sequence, and maybe combined with a panning movement of the camera toshow us a wider area.
Mid Shot [M.S.]A middle distance shot which focuses our attention on aparticular subject. With a mid shot the camera is closeenough to pick up detail, though still far enough away tobe able to follow the subject as he/she/it moves. Themid shot, therefore, is commonly used to show actioneg. as in a fight scene.
Close Up [C.U.]A close shot of an object or person, the aim being tofocus our attention on a particular detail. Close ups ofobjects may serve as the in point to a new scene,depicting a new fact or location in the story. Close ups of aperson have a number of different functions:in an establishing sequence a close up of someonesuggests that he/she is a main characterthe first close up of a character (in a sequence of shots),establishes point of view eg. who is watching an eventa close up is most commonly used to show the reactionof a character, ie. a reaction shot.
CAMERA ANGLESIn filming a shot a decision is made about the angle atwhich the camera is to be directed at a subject. High andLow angles may be used to influence our impression of aparticular character.A character filmed from a low angle will seem strong,powerful, tall, proud, etc... whereas if a high angle is usedthe subject will appear weak, insignificant, vulnerable,small etc... Our impression of a structure or object can bemanipulated in a similar way.A distorted angle may be used to make a scene morefrightening, or to make the viewer feel anxious, or queasy(especially if fast or jerky camera movement is also used).
Close-up camera shot: shows Kiwisdetermination (little bird, but big dreams)
Medium shot: shows Kiwi and the setting as well as detail of action
Over the shoulder camera angle: gives audience Kiwis perspective
Dutch angle: shows Kiwis pereception of flying as opposed to falling
Extreme close-up camera shot: showsKiwis happiness (a single tear falls from his eye)
TaskConsider the short films “Reach” and “Sonata,” chose a selection of different camera shots and angles from these and consider the meaning that the film maker was trying to create for each of these selected shots.
TaskConsidering how camera can be used to try and createmeaning draw me a series of 8-10 images which tell thestory of a stickman trying to get fat.Use LS, MS, CUHCA, LCA, ELAnnotate your images to explain the meaning that youwanted to create (don’t just tell me the story)
ExtensionConsider sound and dialogue for your story
FinallyCompare stick stories with your classmates. Check thatthey have shown a variety of camera use.