Basic Cinematography Concepts


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Overview of basic cinematography concepts for introductory level film course.

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  • Basic Cinematography Concepts

    1. 1. THFM 1610: Introduction to Film Dr. Rosalind Sibielski Bowling Green State University
    2. 2. One uninterrupted take in filming Take = recording of image from time camera is started to time that it is stopped Shots are separated by edits
    3. 3.  Series of shots that are unified by action or events taking place in the same location at the same time A change in scene is marked by a change in location and/or in time Scenes are often recorded multiple times (multiple takes) using different camera and lighting set-ups Scenes are composed by mixing shots from these various takes
    4. 4. The range of color tones and shades, as well as the gradations of light, within the image Controlled by Film Stock Contrast Exposure Technological manipulation of coloring
    5. 5. Comparative difference between the light and dark tones in the image
    6. 6. Stark contrast between brightest and darkest shades in the color spectrum with few variations in color tone in-between Creates rich, saturated colors when used with color film stock
    7. 7. Minimal contrast between brightest and darkest shades in the color spectrum with a large range of tones in-between Washes out and dulls colors when used with color film stock
    8. 8. Refers to how much light passes through the camera lens while images are recorded during filming
    9. 9. Results in high light levels so that the image appears overly bright
    10. 10. Results in low light levels so that the image appears overly dark
    11. 11. • Hand/Digital Coloring • Light Filter • Tinting/Toning
    12. 12.  Rate at which images are recorded and projected  The standard frame rate for movies is 24 frames per second  Filming at a higher rate (>24 fps)results in motion appearing slowed-down when projected at 24 fps  Filming at a lower rate (<24 fps) results in motion appearing sped-up when projected at 24 fps
    13. 13. Fast Motion
    14. 14. An extreme form of fastmotion cinematography. Images are recorded over long intervals (one every minute, hour, etc.) Most often used to condense the passage of a long period of time into a few shots
    15. 15. Slow Motion
    16. 16. Freeze Frame
    17. 17.  Short-focal-length (wide angle) lens = wide horizontal field of vision Results in slight distortion at edges of the image Exaggerates depth, making images in foreground appear bigger and distance between foreground and background appear further away
    18. 18. Middle-focal-length (medium) lens = avoids noticeable perspective distortion Closely mimics the filed of vision of the human eye
    19. 19.  Long-focal-length (telephoto) lens = covers greater distance but takes in a narrower horizontal field of vision Cues for volume and depth are reduced Image appears squished or flattened
    20. 20. The range of distance before the lens within which objects can be photographed in sharp focus
    21. 21. • Background = part of the image that is the furthest distance from the camera • Middle ground = midpoint within the image • Foreground = part of the image that is the closest to the camera
    22. 22. All planes of the image are clearly in focus
    23. 23. Only one plane of the image is in focus, while the other two planes are out of focus
    24. 24.  Framing = using the borders of the cinematic image (the film frame) to select and compose what is visible onscreen  In filming, the frame is formed by the viewfinder on the camera  In projection, it is formed by the screen
    25. 25. Onscreen Space = space depicted within the frame Offscreen Space = space in the movie world that is outside the borders of the frame
    26. 26.  Relative height of the camera in relation to eye-level At eye level Below eye level
    27. 27. The camera’s relative horizontal position in relation to the horizon Parallel to horizon Canted framing
    28. 28. Vantage point imposed on image by camera’s position  Straight-On  High Angle  Low Angle
    29. 29. Types of Shots
    30. 30. Content of shot appears at an extreme distance. If figures appear in the shot they are too small to clearly identify.
    31. 31. Figures can be seen in full view (body fills the frame) with some area above and below visible. Background can also be clearly seen.
    32. 32. Figures can be seen from the knees up. Background is largely visible within the frame.
    33. 33. Figures are visible from the waist up. Some background is visible within the frame.
    34. 34. Figures are visible from the middle of the chest to the top of the head. Limited background is visible within the frame.
    35. 35. In the case of figures, a single part of the body (most often the face) fills the frame vertically. In the case of objects, the object fills the frame vertically.
    36. 36. A single detail of an object or a figure fills the entire frame.
    37. 37. Reframing of the shot by moving the position of the camera during filming rather than cutting to a new take filmed from a different camera setup
    38. 38. Camera swivels from right to left or left to right Camera is mounted on tripod and remains stationary
    39. 39. lateral movement of the camera in any direction Camera is mounted on a dolly and moves along a track Differs from a zoom shot, where a variable focus lens is used to adjust focus while the camera remains stationary
    40. 40. Camera moves unrestricted through space, often changing direction Handheld Camera results in shaky image (Cloverfield example) Steady Cam used for fluid camera movement (Magnolia example)
    41. 41. Camera tilts up or down Camera is mounted on tripod and remains stationary
    42. 42. Camera physically moves up or down through space Camera is generally mounted on a crane
    43. 43.  Length of time the shot is held before an edit Long Take = shot that lasts for an extended period of time before cutting to the next shot in the scene Sequence Shot = when an entire scene is shot in one take with no edits and no interruption in filming
    44. 44. The following example is labeled as a long take. It is more accurately an example of a sequence shot, since the entire scene is filmed in one very long take. A long take can occur within a scene in which it is not the only shot, but instead is combined with shorter takes of other shots. In a sequence shot, the entire scene is filmed in one single long take.
    45. 45. End