Film Aesthetics II


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Accompanies a video production class at Montana Tech.

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Film Aesthetics II

  1. 1. Video Production Film Aesthetics II Mise-en-scène review. Staging, Production Direction, Framing. Composition and design. The Art of Motion. Movement and Genre, Movement as Metaphor, Moving Camera, Long Takes.
  2. 2. Mise en Scene Mise-en-scène Review Mise en scène: How the visual materials are photographed, staged, and framed (as a captured moment in time). Mise-en-scène -- originally a French theatrical term, meaning “placing on stage.” In movies, mise-en-scene is a blend of the visual conventions of live theatre and converted into a two-dimensional image of the real thing. Even though film is a temporal medium and the visuals are constantly in flux, we will be analysing single-frame composition as mise en scene. The “visual” text.
  3. 3. Systematic Mise en Scene Analysis 15 pt. Systematic Mise-en-Scène Analysis <ul><li>Dominant. What is our eye attracted to? </li></ul><ul><li>Lighting Key: High-key, low-key, combo? </li></ul><ul><li>Shot and Camera Proxemics: What type of shot? How far away? </li></ul><ul><li>Shot Angles. High, low, neutral. </li></ul><ul><li>Colour values. What is dominent colour? Colour symbolism? </li></ul><ul><li>Lens/filter/stock. How do these distort or comment on photography? </li></ul><ul><li>Subsidiary contrasts. What are the eye-stops after the dominant? </li></ul><ul><li>Density. How much visual information is packed into the image? Is texture stark, moderate, or highly detailed? </li></ul><ul><li>Continued next screen </li></ul>“ Photographic considerations”
  4. 4. Systematic Mise en Scene Analysis 15 pt. Systematic Mise-en-scène Analysis 9. Composition. How is the 2-D space segmented and organized? What is the underlying design? 10. Form. Open or closed? Does the image suggest a window that arbitrarily isolates a fragment of the scene? Or is it self contained? 11. Framing. Tight or loose? How much room do the characters have to move around? 12. Depth. On how many planes is the image composed? Does the background and foreground comment on the midground? 13. Character placement. What parts of the framed space are occupied? 14. Staging positions.Which way to they look vis-à-vis the camera 15.Character proxemics. How much space between characters? Continued …
  5. 5. The Frame and Aspect Ratio “ The frame” functions as the basis of composition in a movie image. 4:3 (1.33:1) is the standard TV aspect ratio we have been used to for the past 50 odd years. 4 is the horizontal and 3 the vertical, of course. The problem with 4:3 is that it doesn't reflect our natural vision. Humans have better lateral vision than vertical. In effect, our vision is widescreen, therefore widescreen TV and film seems naturally more appealing to us. Mise en Scene
  6. 6. The Frame and Aspect Ratio Widescreen refers to any aspect ratio wider than 4:3 (1.33:1). 1.85:1 - The original widescreen film format developed in the 1950s to help cinema compete with TV. This is still a popular format. 2.35:1 - (also known as ... Anamorphic Scope, CinemaScope, Panovision) is not as old as 1.85:1. This aspect ratio involves filming with a special anamorphic lens fitted to the camera to squeeze the image horizontally onto the film. A similar lens fitted to a cinema projector un-squeezes them during projection to the 2.35:1 ratio. Widescreen TVs typically have a screen aspect ration of 16:9 (1.78:1) which is narrower than both cinematic widescreen standards (1.85:1, 2.35:1). Considerations of Mise en Scene
  7. 7. The Setting, a systematic analysis <ul><li>Exterior or interior? If an exterior, how does nature play a role? </li></ul><ul><li>Style? Realistic and lifelike? Or stylized and distorted? </li></ul><ul><li>Studio or Location? If location, what does it say about the characters? </li></ul><ul><li>Period? What era does the set represent. </li></ul><ul><li>Class. What is apparent income level? </li></ul><ul><li>Size? Rich people lots of space. Poor people cramped. </li></ul><ul><li>Set decoration. Oddities of taste? Status symbols? </li></ul><ul><li>Symbolic Functions. What kind of overall image does the set and its furnishings project? </li></ul>
  8. 8. Movement -- Kinetics Movement -- Kinetics “ Motion Picture” suggests the central importance of motion in the art of film. In kinetic arts -- pantomime ballet, modern dance -- we find a wide variety of movements ranging from realistic to abstract (formalistic). Eg Clint Eastwood vs Gene Kelly. Kinetic symbolism is a filmmaker’s way to exploit meanings in certain types of movement. Eg. Ecstacy and joy often expressed by expansive movements, eroticism with undulating motions. Film Aesthetics
  9. 9. Movement -- Kinetics Movement -- The Moving Camera In the 1920s German filmmakers moved the camera within the shot for psychological and thematic reasons. There are Seven Basic Moving Camera Shots: Panning shots (swish pans) Tilts Dolly Shots (Trucking, Tracking, Pull-backs) Handheld Shots Crane Shots Zoom Shots Aerial Shots Watch for kinetics and moving camera shots in Moulin Rouge. Film Aesthetics
  10. 10. Duration of the Image -- Sequence Shot Sequence Shots contain no editing. Early cinema relied entirely on “long-take” shot. “ Long Take” is not the same as “long shot.” A “take” is one run of the camera that records a single shot. Usually filmmakers use the long take selectively. One scene will rely heavily on editing, another will be a long take. This permits the director to associate certain aspects of narrative form with different stylistic options. Examples: Marilyn Monroe. Nicole Kidman, Béyonce Fast Forward to next week’s class, in advance of studies of “EDITING” …
  11. 11. Gentlemen Prefer Blondes (Howard Hawks, 1953) Writing credits Anita Loos (novel) Joseph Fields (play) ...   (more) Genre: Comedy / Musical / Romance (more) Tagline: The Two M-M-Marvels Of Our Age In The Wonder Musical Of The World! Plot Summary: Lorelei and Dorothy are just &quot;Two Little Girls from Little Rock&quot;, lounge singers on a transatlantic cruise... Cast overview, first billed only: Jane Russell .... Dorothy Shaw Marilyn Monroe .... Lorelei Lee Charles Coburn .... Sir Francis 'Piggy' Beekman Elliott Reid .... Ernie Malone From imdb Long-take shots
  12. 12. Moulin Rouge! (Baz Luhrmann, 2001) Writing credits Baz Luhrmann, Craig Pearce Genre: Drama / Musical / Romance Tagline: No Laws. No Limits. One Rule. Never Fall In Love. Plot Outline: A poet falls for a beautiful courtesan whom a jealous duke covets in this stylish musical, with music drawn from familiar 20th century sources. Cast overview: Nicole Kidman .... Satine Ewan McGregor .... Christian John Leguizamo .... Henri Toulouse-Lautrec Jim Broadbent .... Harold Zidler moulinrouge .com From imdb