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Shot: a shot corresponds to the length of film that is exposed during production as it is run through the camera from the time the camera is turned on until it is turned off. It is essentially defined from one cut to the next.
Cut: The transition from one shot to the next shot. Dividing a moment in time on film. Cuts can be accentuated by different types of transitions (dissolves, fades, wipes, etc.)
Framing : The way in which subjects and objects are depicted within a shot which produces specific readings of the content (the way the camera is positioned, angle or type of shot).
Mise-en-scène : This is what takes place on the set itself, as opposed to during editing – all of the different elements that comprise a shot. The direction of actors, placement of cameras, choice of lenses, sets and lighting, etc.
Dissolve: In a dissolve a first image gradually dissolves or fades out and is replaced by another which fades in over it. This type of transition, which is known also as a soft transition (as opposed to the cut), suggests a longer passage of time than a cut.
Fade in and Fade out : The screen is black at the beginning; gradually the image appears, brightening to full strength. The opposite occurs in the fade out.
Establishing Shot : A shot, normally taken from a distance that establishes where the action is about to occur. A film will often begin with an establishing shot. Close-up : A shot taken at close range, sometimes only inches away from a subject’s face, an object, or some other item of significance, used to focus attention on this particular item.
Follow shot/Tracking shot : A pan, zoom , or dolly which follows the subject as it moves.
Over-the-Shoulder Shot : A shot of one subject taken from over the shoulder of another. This type of shot is usually used in the context of a discussion between two people.
Point of view shot : (Often abbreviated as P.O.V.) A shot which shows the scene from the specific point of view of one of the characters or the camera (in documentary this would be the filmmaker’s perspective).
Pan : Movement of the camera from left to right or right to left.
Tilt: The camera tilts up or down.
Zoom-in and Zoom-out : A way of focusing in or away from a point.
What are some of the unique characteristics of this clip?
How do these techniques contribute to the story?
Are these techniques effective in producing an emotional response?
What other messages do the shots convey?
Who are the characters and what do we know about them from this clip alone?
What other elements stand out?: Music? Dialogue? Costumes? Lighting? Sets?
“ I’ve Seen It All” performed by BJORK from Dancer in the Dark (Lars Von Trier, 2000) Watch this clip and identify the different types of shots. How many different shots are there? What is the effect of the shots independently vs. together? What genre of film is this? What other cinematic elements are important in this clip?
propose a specific action to the audience (stop smoking, help save water, etc.)
give accurate facts
include contact information for follow-up
*Remember – you are shooting for the web so it changes things a bit. You will likely be fitting your images into a small screen so keep that in mind when making aesthetic decisions. For example, no big, long establishing shots with lots of visual elements*
** Keep in mind your time and location limitations**
**Remember to consider Copyright laws. If your piece is going to be shown to the public you must use open source material***
Open Source Cinema and the documentary film: A Remix Manifesto 2.0
Media in Action! Now that you have learned how images are created and how to deconstruct them, it’s time for you to produce your own images and messages: 1. Divide into groups 2. Brainstorm a simple topic that is socially relevant. 3. Being aware of the medium you are working with, come up with a shot list. 4. Storyboard each shot. 5. Assemble your images in an editing program. 6. Edit them together according to your storyboard (as much as possible). 7. Add sound or any other extra elements. 8. Convert your file to a viewable format (mov, mp4, avi, etc.) 9. Upload it to YouTube, CitizenShift or other social media sites. 10. Point people to the URL and encourage them to leave comments and discuss the topic!
Double-check that your camera batteries are fully charged before you begin shooting. If possible, bring extra batteries with you.
After you press record, count to 10 before beginning any movement or dialogue. Similarly, count to 10 at the end of each shot, before stopping the camera. This will make editing your piece much easier.
Keep digital zooming (zooming in and out) and camera pans (moving the camera from one side to the other) to a minimum. When you zoom or pan to much, you lose the audience’s attention).
Whenever possible and appropriate, use a tripod when filming.
Try shooting each shot from 2 different angles (for easier editing)
Make sure you are not shooting into the sun, otherwise your actors will be in silhouette. This is true shooting in a sunny room as well as outside.
Understand the Rule of Thirds: A good guideline for composing your shots is the rule of thirds. This means that you should imagine your frame into thirds, with actions and objects placed at the intersections of the vertical and horizontal thirds.