A Basic Grammar of Film

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This presentation illustrates basic shot scales and camera angles.

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A Basic Grammar of Film

  1. 1. A BASIC GRAMMAR OF FILM
  2. 2. SEQUENCE Forms a distinct narrative unitUnity of action / Unity of purpose
  3. 3. SCENEDescribes an action that takes place ina single location and continuous time Screen time = diegetic time
  4. 4. SHOTA single continuous recording made by the camera
  5. 5. FRAMEA single still image
  6. 6. TYPES OF SHOTS
  7. 7. 1. Shot scale (or camera distance)
  8. 8. Extreme Long shot (XLS)Gone With the Wind, Victor Fleming, MGM, 1939 .
  9. 9. Long shot (LS)From Roman Holidays, William Wyler, Paramount Pictures, 1953.
  10. 10. Medium long shot (MLS) / three-quarter shot
  11. 11. Medium shot (MS)The Social Network, David Fincher, Sony Pictures, 2010
  12. 12. Medium close-up (MCU)Casablanca, Michael Curtiz, Warner Bros, 1942
  13. 13. Two-shotOne subject in MCU in the foreground +One subject in MS in the background
  14. 14. Close-up (CU)The Long Goodbye, Robert Altman, Lion’s Gate Films, 1973
  15. 15. Extreme close-up (XCU)Citizen Kane, Orson Welles, 1941, RKO Pictures
  16. 16. Insert / Cut-inCovers action already covered in the master shot but emhasizes a different aspect of that action
  17. 17. 2. Depth of field, camera angle, and camera movements
  18. 18. DEPTH OF FIELDDistance between the nearest and farthest objects that appear sharp in a shot Long depth of field Citizen Kane
  19. 19. Short depth of fieldFrom The Silence of the Lambs, Jonathan Demme, Orion Pictures Corporation, 1991
  20. 20. CAMERA ANGLESGuide the audience’s judgementabout the objects and characters in a shot
  21. 21. Bird’s eye viewThe Birds, Alfred Hitchcock, Universal, 1963.
  22. 22. High-angle shotThe Shadow of a Doubt, Alfred Hitchcock, 1943.
  23. 23. Eye-level shotCleopatra, Joseph L. Mankiewicz, 1963, Twentieth Century Fox
  24. 24. Low-angle shot Citizen Kane
  25. 25. Canted /oblique / Dutch anglePickup on South Street, Samuel Fuller, 20th Century Fox,1953.
  26. 26. CAMERA MOVEMENTSGive their specificity to cinematic images
  27. 27. DOLLY SHOTS/TRACKING SHOTS Camera moves forward = tracking inCamera moves backward = tracking out Camera moves sideways
  28. 28. PANNING/PAN SHOT Scans a scene horizontallyWhen scans a scene vertically: called « tilt »
  29. 29. HAND-HELD SHOTSSince 1970’s : smooth thanks to the Steadicam Denote a certain kind of realism Audience feeling part of the scene
  30. 30. 3. EditingThe art of combining shots into a coherent whole
  31. 31. LONG TAKE/SINGLE SHOT/SEQUENCE SHOTDescribes a whole scene (even a whole sequence) without any cut The Rope, Alfred Hitchcock, 1948, Warner Bros.
  32. 32. CUT Abrupt change of shot from one viewpoint or location to anotherChanges scene, compresses time, varies point of view
  33. 33. MATCHED CUTEstablishes logical relationship between shots JUMP CUT (When two shots don’t match)
  34. 34. FADE AND DISSOLVE Gradual transition between shots Fade-in / Fade-outDissolve = one shot merging into another
  35. 35. MATCH ON ACTION
  36. 36. EYE-LINE MATCH
  37. 37. SHOT / REVERSE SHOTDeemphasizes transitions beween shots Very commonly used in dialogues
  38. 38. CROSS-CUTTING Describes actions occurring at the same time in two different locationsExpresses simultaneity / Creates suspense / Suggests parallels, contrasts, dichotomies…
  39. 39. 3 TYPES OF RELATIONSHIPS BETWEEN SHOTS 1. Time relationships 2. Spatial relationships 3. Thematic relationships 2 BASIC FUNCTIONS 1. Ensures continuity2. Organizes seperate units into discourse 3. Creates rhythm
  40. 40. THE KULESHOV EXPERIMENTEditing changes the viewer’s interpretation of the whole scene

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