Aims• To be able to identify all the different elements of cinematography used in Film and Television production in a range of still images and film trailers.• To shoot a range of different shot types to be both aesthetically pleasing and create meaning and emotional response.
What is Cinematography?• It is the culmination of various elements to create emotional response, give information and create meaning. Those elements are:• Shot size• Angle & Height• Camera Movement• Aspect ratio• Lens type• Focus & Depth of Field• Exposure• Shutter Speed
• For additional information and training go to our YouTube channel for video tutorials, interviews and film scenes.• http://www.youtube.com/smcbtecmedia
The Rule of thirds• The very first and one of the most important elements to learn is The Rule of Thirds.• This will help your shots look more pleasing to the eye, balanced and professional.• All film and television productions use this rule, so from now on you will too!• See the Cinematography playlist on our YouTube for more examples
Dark Knight Rises Trailer• http://www.youtube.com/watch? v=ASQqjK47c04
Cinematography• Cinematography deals with all aspects of framing and composition. It can be broken down into three categories:• Shot size• Shot angle• Camera movement
Shot Size• The following shot sizes cover the whole shooting range. Each one carries its own meaning and is used for different purposes.• Extreme long shot (ELS)• Long Shot (LS)• Medium Shot (MS)• Close Up (CU)• Extreme Close Up (ECU)
Extreme long shot • A wide shot that shows a very wide angle, where actors are usually small dots. • These shots are commonly used to introduce a location. The viewer is able to get an overview of where he is, what is where. • Emotionally, the viewer is distant. Hes a spectator. Just watching what happens.
Long Shot • The angle is wide, your actor is full in frame, from his feet to his head. • These shots are commonly used to introduce an actor/object, but still leave details aside. The viewer sees more of the actors/objects and has an overview of them. The location becomes less important, the actor becomes more important. • Emotionally, this is a bit closer, but the viewer is still a spectator that gets an overview.
Medium Shot • This closer shot shows your actors from waist or chest upwards. This is commonly used for all kind of character situations. • You get closer to the actor/object, and the viewer gets more and more drawn into the action/emotion of whats happening. • Emotionally, you get more attached.
Close Up • This focuses on a detail, a face, an object. This is commonly used to draw the attention to something very important. • The one ring, the fist of the angry boy, the eyes of the loving woman, the wound of the hurt soldier etc. • Emotionally, this is very close. This can be both pleasant or unpleasant, but as a viewer, youre forced to watch a specific detail.
Extreme Close Up • This is the closest you can get. Focus on an eye, a mouth, an ear etc. • This is so close, its very uncommon for the human eye and therefore should be used only in a short sequence where a detail is either very small or you want to attach your audience very close to a character or emotional reaction.
Shot size• The following extract uses all the shots in the size range.• Note how the camera starts with wide shots to establish location and moves closer as the scene becomes more dramatic.• Select three key shots and be ready to discuss how they worked to serve the scene.
Shot angle• Shot size places us closer to or further away from subjects, affecting our emotional response.• Shot angles create power relationships between characters and objects within the film as well as between the characters and the audience.
High Angle• Makes subject look inferior/weak/vulnerable
Low Angle• Gives subjects a feeling of power and authority
Canted Angle• These angles are achieved when the camera is tilted so that the frame tilts to the left or right.• This is an unnatural and unconventional angle and is used to suggest unbalance, danger or disorientation. The angle also creates a stronger more dynamic composition.• This angle helps the audience to experience the same emotions as the characters as we are also disorientated.
Camera Movement• Meanings and emotion response can also be manipulated by the way in which the camera moves. We will study the following:• Tracking• Steadycam• Handheld• Pan• Tilt
Tracking• “Tracking” shots get their name due to the fact that a camera is placed onto mini train tracks to produce a very smooth moving shot.• The camera can then be moved forwards and backwards, left and right or in circular motions.• This is a very useful technique for putting the audience into the shoes of character as we move with them within a scene. This helps the audience to share experiences, and identify with characters.
Handheld• This is when the camera is removed from a tripod or crane and is literally handheld by the operator.• This creates an unstable and bumpy shot.• Handheld is a useful device for creating realism and recreating the experience of being on the scene.• It also injects instability and an adrenaline into a scene.
Steadycam• The Steadycam was invented in the late 1970’s. The camera operator wears a spring mounted harness which the camera is attached to.• The harness smoothes out the bumpiness of a handheld shot and gives a super smooth shot with the camera appearing to float.• Therefore, steadycams provide the smoothness and stability of a tracking shot, but the freedom of movement of a handheld shot.• The Shining (1980) was shot almost entirely with a steadycam to allow ease of movement through the Overlook Hotel.
Steadycam• There are many connotations of a steadycam shot.• The smoothness and fluidity can be used to suggest ease of movement of characters in a scene.• The freedom to effortlessly move in and out of places and turn suddenly has been utilised in films such as Halloween (1975)• Its fluid quality can also be used to suggest dreams and fantasies.
Point of View Shots (POV)• A point of view shot is any shot which is through the eyes of a character.• This is the most personal type of shot in terms of identifying with a character as we experience the scene through them.• POV shots can also make the audience feel helpless as we can only see a small part of a scene and are only given the same information as the protagonist.
Wide Angle/Fish eye Lens• Wide angle and fish eye lenses are characterised by exaggerated linear distortion.• In other words the effect is like looking into a mirrored glass ball.• This gives an extremely distorted, unnatural and unrealistic shot.• This lens is most commonly used to give a distorted point of view of an unbalanced character.
Wide Angle/Fish eye Lens• In Requiem for a Dream (1999), a middle aged woman takes diet pills to loose weight to appear on a T.V. show.• The pills cause hallucinations and a fisheye lens has been used to help convey her disjointed/fragmented/nighmarish perception of the world.
Pull Focus• This is when a certain part of the shot is brought into focus.• This technique is used to draw the viewers attention to an object or character within the frame and to give significance.• Pull focus is also useful for isolating certain parts of the frame, or characters, to separate them from the rest of the scene.