Section a-technical-areas-micro-features-booklet-1

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Section a-technical-areas-micro-features-booklet-1

  1. 1.   St.  Pauls  Catholic  College     Center  Number:   ___________________     Candidate  Number:   _____________________________________       Candidate  Name:  _______________________________________________________________________                            AS  Media  Studies           Unit  G322:  Key  Media  Concepts  –     TV  Drama       Micro  Feature  booklet     1  
  2. 2.       In  the  exam  YOU  WILL  refer  to  EACH  of  the  4  features  above  and  YOU  WILL  have  to  make   notes  on  each  feature  before  answering  any  questions.     The  sequence  will  be  3-­‐5  minutes  in  duration  and  YOU  WILL  be  shown  it  x4  times.       •   Camera  shots,  angles,  movement  and  composition  –  Cinematography     This covers the photographic elements of the film camera movement, angles, framing and stock o The use of colour or black and white footage – films may mix both, black and white is sometimes used for period feel or for flashbacks o Choosing a multi or monochromatic palette – where a single colour is emphasised only in terms of purity and lightness e.g. shades of grey o Exposure – over exposed film tends to be harsh and bleached, underexposed film is dark and muddy o Filters – can be used to change the colour composition of the film by draining colours out or emphasising a particular colour o Rate of projection - slows down or speeds up the film for effect o A shot may contain single, multiple, or overlaid images for effect e.g. by juxtaposition – a man thinks of his past love and her face is overlaid on the screen o Camera position can suggest lots of different things; o High or low angles can suggest power or inferiority   2  
  3. 3. o Pan – when the camera moves from right to left or left to right on a pivot - a high speed pan is called a whip pan o Tilt – when the camera moves on a pivot to look up or down an object o Zoom – a way of moving in and out on objects without moving the camera – this has an amateurish feel to it as the camera tends to shake or the zoom may be uneven and jerky – often used to suggest the use of binoculars o Tracking /dolly shot – when the camera moves to follow or track a person or object – often this may involve the camera moving on a trolley or dolly, sometimes on rails in order to minimise camera shake o Crane shot – used to suggest scale or to track in or out on objects o Helicopter shot – common in chase sequences or to convey landscape or cityscapes o Steadicam – a portable handheld camera system which minimises camera shake when the camera is moved o Static camera – the camera is in a fixed position and does not move o Head on shot – shooting from the front o Oblique angle – shooting from the side o Range of shots - Close up/medium/long shot/ECU/ELS/overhead/from below o Choice of Lens – the standard aspect ratio for most films is 1.33 – 1. A lens may be standard or special/distorting –perhaps to suggest a no human eye or a peephole in a door. Panoramic may be used to suggest space and perspective - widescreen for action epics Other aspects to consider o Colour motif/palette – directors may choose to repeat a colour motif or a narrow range of colours in a shot o Space – screen space is two-dimensional but must usually suggest three dimensions to the viewer – compositional balance of colours and objects is important here. Colour and light shape our understanding of on screen space   3  
  4. 4. o Aerial shots – directors may shoot from a plane, helicopter or gantry to open up the space in a scene and suggest scale o Size diminution – aerial shots may make objects appear smaller than they are and seem more vulnerable Terminology • ELS - Extreme Long Shot – bird’s eye view of a landscape • LS - Long Shot – background dominates image • MLS - Medium Long Shot - shots of the human figure from the knees up • MS - Medium Shot –the human figure shot from the waist up • MCU - Medium Close Up – from the chest up • CU - Close Up – e.g. of head, hands or feet • ECU - Extreme Close Up – of a detail e.g. an eye • OTS – Over The Shoulder   • Editing     1) Editing is about how the various shots in the film are joined or cut together, ordered and juxtaposed in terms of duration and number of edits in order to deliver the films mood or message through pacing 2) Editing dictates the pace of the film – action may be speeded up or slowed down for emphasis by the number of edits 3) As the Russian filmmaker Lev Kuleshov discovered, we have a natural tendency to link images together and interpret them, we project our own meanings onto the visual ‘clues’ we see. For instance, if we see a shot of a man's face and then a shot of a woman we assume he is looking at her or is, perhaps, in love (this is called The Kuleshov effect). We interpret them according to our mental perceptual set. Different Edit techniques   • Cut - to new shot; Cut in – when an object in or part of a previous scene is shown again in close up e.g. a cigarette lighter in a man’s hand. Cut away – when an object visible or potentially visible outside the scene is shown e.g. a   4  
  5. 5. man sat at a campfire followed by a shot of the moon (but if he looks as if he is looking at the moon it is an eyeline match!) • Fade out - at the end of the shot to a colour – usually black • Fade in – new shot gradually lightens in • Dissolve – the end of shot A is superimposed over shot B giving a sense of continuity. • Lap dissolve – the image changes in steps instead of smoothly • Wipe - a line goes across the screen replacing one shot with another • Black and white shots may be used to underline that we are in the past and are flashing back (we dream in black and white apparently). Now watch the example edited from a student film Classical continuity editing • Continuity editing involves cutting shots to tell a story in the smoothest, simplest and least challenging way for the audience - ensuring narrative flow and continuity. For instance keeping figures in continuity so that they match from shot to shot, lighting remains constant and action stays central to the frame (e.g. we do not see half of someone’s face) • The 180 degree rule - everything happens in the half circle in front of the camera, which marks the centre line this stops the actors look as if they are looking in different directions from shot to shot for no apparent reason. This rule is only broken when the progress of action is clear. The  camera  cannot  move   to  this  side  of  the  line   The  camera  can  be   anywhere  this  side  of  the   line   180o   30o  rule  -­‐  the  camera  must  move   by  more  than  this  angle  to   prevent  a  jump  cut   Shot  -­‐ reverse   shot  line   180o  rule  –  the  camera  cannot  cross  the  line  or  the   positions  of  the  actors  and  objects  in  the  shot  will   appear  to  be  reversed   This ensures the same space is described in every shot and the characters positions are not reversed   5  
  6. 6. • Titles - between scenes or overlaid to give information • Opening shot e.g. of a landscape or cityscape without figures, gives a sense of place. • Establishing shot – establishes the space in which action is to happen and shows the physical relationship between characters • The 30 degree rule - that the camera must move by more than this angle to stop subsequent shots looking as if they have been shot from almost the same angle and distance • Shot/reverse shot - one shot looks down one end of the central line between two characters the next shot is from the other end, this is commonly used when characters talk to each other (see Pulp Fiction or Rear Window) Often employed as an ‘over the shoulder’ shot • Eyeline match – when character looks off screen the next shot shows us what they see (see Rear Window) • Match on action – a character begins to move in one shot, we see continuation of this movement in next shot. This can also help to create the illusion of the lapse of time e.g. we see a shot of a car leaving then cut to a shot of it ‘arriving’ at its destination • Cross cutting – when we move via editing from one set of actions happening in one place to events happening elsewhere (see Sabotage) • Flashback or flash-forward – moving backwards and forwards in time (see Memento) • Temporal elliptical editing – missing out events to compress time e.g. we see a car pulling away from a house then cut to it arriving at its destination • Film speed - slow motion or speeded up – film may be slowed down or speeded up during production to expand or contract time or for comic or other effect • Non-diegetic insert – insertion of something from outside the plot, i.e. A metaphorical image, intertitle, etc. to break up the action, organise it for us or comment on it e.g. a rowing couple intercut with a nuclear explosion       6  
  7. 7. • Sound     Sound is an extremely important aspect of the film – music can convey emotion and enhance action, consider Star Wars or Indiana Jones without their music. Dialogue anchors the meaning of the image Areas could include; • Music • Dialogue • Sound effects We can consider • Loudness – volume of music, dialogue and effects • Pitch – high or low • Timbre – bass or depth, the tone or musicality of the sound e.g. of a voice • Fidelity - how accurate is the sound and how directly does it relate to the image • Sound perspective – how does sound suggest the space on the screen – e.g. sound can convey the sheer scale of a spaceship • Synchronous sound/asynchronous – how far is sound synchronised with the image is the sound simultaneous with, before or after the image? • Diegetic sound - Sound may be contained within the text of the film itself for instance sound effects, dialogue or one of the characters playing music. • Non-Diegetic Sound – Sound may then be dubbed onto a film in post production e.g. a soundtrack this is called non diegetic sound as it is not a part of the action. • Ambient sound – the general background sound that goes on in a scene is described as ambient sound Music can convey a number of things • • To punctuate and signpost action and to dictate pace of film and mood •   To mirror, comment directly upon and relate to action To counterpoint and contrast with action and be used ironically – jolly music contrasting with a tragic scene 7  
  8. 8. • To provide direct mise en scene e.g. in a nightclub • Suggest the mood of a film tragic, optimistic etc • Symbolic use e.g. military style music, national anthems or songs with particular associations • Themes and motifs related to characters • Convey Genre e.g. stereotypical horror music, romantic music • Suggest a particular historical time period or convey a culture or to suggest ethnicity and social class • “Mickey Mousing” – when characters move in time to the music (cartoon rather than dance style) • Sound Effects- are very important in creating suspense, suggesting action or conveying off screen space Other Terms • • Monologue – one person speaking • Multilogue – a group of characters speaking over each other • Direct address to camera – breaks realism • Paralanguage and style of delivery – tone of voice, pitch, speed, hesitation phenomena, volume • Sound Motif - Sound that is associated to a character or shape the Narrative • Sound Bridge – when the sound carries over from one scene or shot to another to provide continuity • Voiceover – a common device to fill in details of the plot and introduce characters thoughts and feelings • Overlapping dialogue – a realistic effect - people talk over each other in real life, dialogue may also, less realistically, overlap from scene to scene • Improvised dialogue (improv) – made up on the film set to suggest realism and interplay of character •   Dialogue – two people speaking Silence – to create tension or draw attention to the visual image 8  
  9. 9.       • Mise-­‐en-­‐scene     Mise en Scene - ‘putting in the scene’ • This covers the visual aspects of what we actually see in a single shot; objects, movements, lighting, colour, shadows. We can break it down into a number of areas. Mise en Scene covers the non-verbal (Visual) codes of a moving image text (Film, TV) Setting • What is the significance of a particular geographical and temporal location used in a film? Is the setting real or fictional? How ‘realistic’ is it? Is the film shot on location or in a studio on an artificially constructed set? • Is the environment claustrophobic or open? • Is the setting utopian (a wonderful world) or dystopian (a nightmare vision of the future)? • Colour schemes and themes may be significant within the film, as particular colours may recur or be repeated and contrasted in the setting – harmony or disharmony Art direction is the process of setting up the sets and location settings ready for filming placing props and objects and arranging space •     Props • • Genre - props may provide genre iconography (an image associated with a genre) e.g. gangsters usually have guns and cars, cowboys have saddles and spurs. This ‘repeated’ use of props conforms to Steve Neale’s “Genre’s are instances of repetition and difference” ideology. • Props can be used to anchor characters and act as a signature or trademark such as Indiana Jones’ whip and hat or James Bond’s cars •   What are the key props in a text and what is their significance to the narrative? Hitchcock called key props the ‘McGuffin’ - something that sets the plot in motion. 9  
  10. 10. Lighting o Hard or soft lighting – is the image harsh and glaring or soft and romantic? o High key lighting – bright lighting with little contrast between light and shadow creates a sunny mood e.g. in a musical or a romantic comedy Low key lighting – dark shadowy and atmospheric e.g. in a thriller or horror movie o Side lighting – self explanatory – shapes the characters face and creates shadow o Back lighting edge or rim lighting – creates silhouette shapes - suspenseful o Under lighting – can be quite sinister e.g. under a face o Top lighting – casting shadows on the floor quite glamorous             • • Natural lighting- sunlight • Artificial lighting– light bulbs, interiors • Shadow – used to suggest mood, character or hide objects •   Single source lighting e.g. a torch, or spotlight Lighting effects – shadow, movement 10  
  11. 11. Camera   shots,   angles,   movement   and   Editing   • composition  –  Cinematography • Sound   • Mise-­‐en-­‐scene   Practice! - Revision Print this out at home/school and watch a 3-5 minute sequence of your choice to establish what the predominant representation is (Gender, Age, Class, Disability, Ethnicity etc.) and HOW this is stereotyped by the elements associated to EACH technical area.   11  
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