cinematography. cinematography: "writing in movement” digital cinematography and...

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  • Slide 1
  • Cinematography
  • Slide 2
  • cinematography: "writing in movement Digital Cinematography and Computer-Generated Imagery have brought changes in Cinematography, which was traditionally based on chemical/photographic images and effects. However: many terms and concepts in digital/computer-aided cinematography are based on, and often replicate, those of film-based cinematography. Learning about film-based cinematography is very helpful to understanding digital/video cinematography. Commonly, Cinematography = Everything that has to do with cameras and lenses, with film/film stock (and its digital equivalents), exposure and processing of film/digital images.
  • Slide 3
  • Cinematography vs. Mise-en-Scene Thus, cinematography can be contrasted to mise-en-scene (staging), which refers to what is filmed; while cinematography refers to how it is filmed. (see Bordwell & Thompson) Question areas? Visual Special Effects? Often done in post-production (esp. digital effects). So, is that Cinematography? Lighting? Effects exposure, lens setting, focus, etc., Usually under control of Cinematographer (Director of Photography). But Lighting, since it is part of what is filmed, could also be seen as part of a films mise-en-scene. For simplicitys sake, follow Bordwell & Thompsons distinction between what is filmed (mise-en-scene) and how it is filmed (cinematography). I.e.: special effects: part of cinematography; lighting: part of mise-en-scene.
  • Slide 4
  • Elements of Cinematography (1) Composition or Framing and Mobile Framing Frame shape (aspect ratios), camera distance (types of shots: e.g., CU, Medium Shot), angle, level, height, & mobile framing (camera movements and zooms), perspective, pov. (2) Camera, Lens, & Exposure Choices & Techniques (what used to be called photographic elements) Camera Choices (speed of motion, shutter speed), Lens Types (e.g., telephoto, wide angle), Lens Settings (focus, aperture, depth of field, etc.), Exposure issues.
  • Slide 5
  • Framing: Aspect Ratios ratio of width to height Rules of the Game, Jean Renoir, 1939 1.33:1 (4 to 3) actually 1.37:1 Aliens, James Cameron, 1986 1.85:1 Rebel Without A Cause, Nicholas Ray, 1955 2.35:1 (Cinemascope)
  • Slide 6
  • Framing: aspect ratios Academy ratio = 1.37:1, but often said to be 1.33:1 Note how framing affects balance, visual information, & relationship of on- & off-screen space 2.2 to 1Pan & Scan; 1.33 to 1
  • Slide 7
  • Video Transfers When Widescreen Films transferred to full-screen 4:3 frame (video or television) see pp. 87-95 A&P on aspects ratios & transfers. The controller The person responsible for transferring a film to 4:3 video format Becomes default editor What stays within the frame, and what is cut Letterboxing blacked-out bands at the top and the bottom of a screen approximate the wider cinematic screen Can limit cinematographic possibilities when filmmaker has to shoot for the box (See also: TV Cutoff, p. 331 A&P) Fortunately, newer 16:9 Monitors are much closer to widescreen aspect ratios. 16:9 = 1.78 to 1.
  • Slide 8
  • Widescreen vs. Pan and scan in Blade Runner, Ridley Scott, 1982
  • Slide 9
  • Aspect Ratios (when shooting digital) A. 4:3 - composition well suited for a close-up B. 16:9 - loss of focus - i.e., frame includes extraneous information C. 16:9 - letter boxed - face is smaller D. 16:9 - to command attention - i.e., fill-up the frame - face is cropped fig. 2-16 (A&P, 96)
  • Slide 10
  • framing Camera Angles high angle Touch of Evil (Orson Welles, 1958)
  • Slide 11
  • framing Camera Angles straight angle; straight on Rebecca (Alfred Hitchcock, 1940)
  • Slide 12
  • framing Camera Angles low angle Bride of Frankenstein (James Whale, 1935)
  • Slide 13
  • Tokyo Story (1953) Yasujiro Ozu
  • Slide 14
  • framing level of framing: canted framing (a.k.a. Dutch angle) Bride of Frankenstein (James Whale, 1935)
  • Slide 15
  • Canted Framing Canted framing Camera not level / not horizontal Often suggests tension, trouble, distress, etc. Natural Born Killers, Oliver Stone, 1994
  • Slide 16
  • framing Camera/Shot Distance or Type of Shot Bordwell & Thompson 1.extreme long (ELS) 2.long (LS) 3.medium long shot (MLS) 4.medium (MS) 5.medium close-up (MCU) 6.close-up (CU) 7.extreme close-up (ECU) Ascher & Pincus 1.long shot 2.medium shot = medium long 1.close-up = med close- up 2.big close-up = CU 3.extreme close-up
  • Slide 17
  • extreme long shot (ELS) The Conversation
  • Slide 18
  • long shot (LS) Bride of Frankenstein
  • Slide 19
  • Medium long shot (knees or shins to head; a.k.a. American shot or knee shot) Ascher & Pincus call Medium Shot
  • Slide 20
  • medium shot (MS) The Big Heat (Fritz Lang, 1953)
  • Slide 21
  • medium close-up (MCU) Touch of Evil A & P call this a CU?
  • Slide 22
  • close-up (CU) Touch of Evil (A & P: big close-up)
  • Slide 23
  • extreme close-up (ECU) Dracula (Tod Browning, 1931)
  • Slide 24
  • Other "shots" that arent named for their shot distance: establishing shot master shot two shot reverse shot or reverse-angle shot point-of-view (POV) shot (a.k.a. subjective shot)
  • Slide 25
  • Mobile Framing 1.A c t u a l M o v e m e n t s o f C a m e r a 2.Z o o m s, w h e r e C a m e r a d o e s n t m o v e, b u t t h e f r a m e c h a n g e s a s t h e l e n s f o c a l l e n g t h i s c h a n g e d : Z o o m I n o r Z o o m O u t. ( M a g n i f i e s ) 3.L a b o r a t o r y a n d a n i m a t e d m o b i l e f r a m i n g. 4.C o m p u t e r - g e n e r a t e d s h o t s : f o r e x : f l y - b y s, r o t a t i o n s. C o m p u t e r s, l i k e t r a d i t i o n a l a n i m a t i o n, c a n p o t e n t i a l l y g e n e r a t e a n y m o v e m e n t.
  • Slide 26
  • Mobile Framing: Camera Movements pans = rotates horizontally, side to side (B & T confusing: camera rotates on vertical axis) tilts = vertical pivot/rotation, up and down in pans & tilts, camera doesnt change position, it pivots or rotates. Usually tripod mounted. dolly/tracking/traveling shots crane (and boom or jib) shots hand-held and steadicam shots
  • Slide 27
  • Camera Movement Tilt up Movement up or down - vertical scan Pan right Dial M for Murder, Alfred Hitchcock, 1954
  • Slide 28
  • Mobile Framing: Camera Movements Dolly, Tracking, Traveling shots: all basically the same. Sometimes people use tracking shot to mean a following shot (one that follows an actor or action), wh/ may be taken from a dolly, crane, handheld, or steadicam. But name tracking shot came from the tracks that dollies moved on (see next slide). So, dolly and tracking interchangeable terms. Traveling shot is generally reserved for more expansive movements, taken from a vehicle.
  • Slide 29
  • Dolly Shot, on Tracks
  • Slide 30
  • Mobile Framing: Camera Movements Crane and Boom/Jib shots: Boom/jib shots: Camera mounted on counterweighted boom (similar to booms for microphones); some booms can also telescope in or out. Can use for combinations of pans & tilts, horizontal (tracking), vertical or diagonal moves. Crane shots: Shots look the same as boom shot, but often motorized or with hydraulics for movement. Usually cranes have seat for operator, wheels. Some can be driven. Motion-control techniques: computer programs to direct elaborate camera movements.
  • Slide 31
  • Mobile Framing: Crane Shot Crane Shot Note: Difference from a tracking shot Movement through 3- dimensional space Carrie, Brian De Palma, 1976
  • Slide 32
  • Opening: Welles' Touch of Evil 1958
  • Slide 33
  • Mobile Framing: Camera Movements Hand-held and Steadicam Shots: Hand-held & Steadicam shots can pan or tilt or track. Hand-held movement is obviously unsteady-- which is how we know its a hand-held shot. Steadicam: a patented device wh/ dampens unsteadiness, producing a relatively smooth movement, even when walking or running. Operators must be trained to use. Steadicam first used in Rocky (1976). Early prominent use in Kubricks The Shining (1980).
  • Slide 34
  • Mobile Framing When viewing a film, mobile framing can be hard to spot, because we often follow what is being photographed, rather than how. And often, multiple combinations of camera movements: Ex: Tracking shots often include some panning. And combinations of camera movements can become quite complicated, as in some Crane Shots. Also, can combine camera movements with zooms.
  • Slide 35
  • Mobile Framing Vertigo, Alfred Hitchcock, 1958
  • Slide 36
  • Mobile Framing
  • Slide 37
  • Another Track and Zoom Goodfellas, Martin Scorsese, 1990
  • Slide 38
  • Perspective: Tracking vs. Zooming Fig. 4.3 Left: move the camera (track in) short focal length lens Note: Relation of back/foreground, changed angles distortion at edges Right: Camera stationary Change of focal length (i.e., zoom in) Relation of back/foreground closer (telephoto effect of flattening) No distortion at edges fig. 4.3 (A&P, 144)
  • Slide 39
  • subjective shot (or point-of-view shot) Subjective Shot/Camera: from the position/point of view of a character--as if seeing through character eyes. Also called POV shot. Cinema equivalent of First Person in writing. Some people make distinction between subjective shots & POV shots: use POV shots to include over- the-shoulder shots--which give a sense of POV without actually being from the position of the character. But easier & better: treat POV and Subjective as the same; over-the-shoulder as different.
  • Slide 40
  • subjective shot (or point-of-view shot) Subjectivity/POV is crucial to Classical Hollywood style: shot/reverse shots & eyeline matching are based on the idea of seeing from characters POV. But, shot/reverse shot shows both "subjective" and "objective" views: Hwd (most cinema) mixes both together. What happens if subjectivity is taken to extreme? If we see only subjective shots?
  • Slide 41
  • Ex: 1947 Detective film The Lady in the Lake shot entirely from main character's point of view
  • Slide 42
  • Slide 43
  • Note that moving camera often suggests someone's subjectivity or POV. Consider use of slow track in scene from Antonioni's L'avventura: