lesson 05 cinematography lesson 05: cinematography professor aaron baker

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Lesson 05 Lesson 05: Cinematography Cinematography Professor Aaron Baker

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  • Lesson 05:CinematographyProfessor Aaron Baker

  • *Previous Lecture EditingContinuity and DiscontinuityThe Limey (1999)

  • In This LectureThe Photographic ImageLensesFramingCamera MovementThe Long TakeCinematography in Raging Bull (1980)*

  • Part I: The Photographic Image*

  • Cinematography Literally, Writing in MovementUses Photography (Writing with Light)Light Inscribes Patterns on Film Strip to Make Shots*

  • Film StocksEmulsion on Film Stock Records Image Made with LightFast Stock Sensitive to Light, More ContrastSlower Stock Less Sensitive, Less ContrastContrast = Difference Between Light and Dark Areas


  • High ContrastTechnicolor StockSaturated ColorsSpecial Camera, Processing


  • ProcessingColor Timing Change ColorChemically, DigitallyTinting With Dye Add Color to BXW; Lighter AreasToning With Dye Color Added to Darker Areas*

  • ExposureHow much light passes thru lens Filters-Day for Night/Blue-Glamour/Diffusion*Clarence Sinclair Bulls study of Gary Cooper, done for MGM in 1934

  • Frames Per Second (FPS)

    Rate at which Film passes thru Camera/Projector24 FPS - Sound Film More FPS Projected than Shot = Fast MotionWhy Silent Films Sometimes JerkyShot at 16-20, Shown at 24 FPS


  • Slow MotionOvercrankingFilm Shot at More FPS than ProjectedDirector Sam Peckinpah used slow motion for violence.The Wild Bunch (1969)*

  • Time Lapse and High Speed PhotographyShot slow, few frames: One per minute or hourMany frames shot per second to capture rapid movementThe Matrix 300 FPS Slow Motion*

  • Part II: Lenses*

  • PerspectiveLens like eye, controls lightFocal Length Can ChangeControls Perspective: How we See What we See*

  • Three Lenses Wide Angle:
  • Zoom LensCan Change Focal LengthChange Perspective Within a Shot Please watch a zoom out shot from Oceans Eleven (2001)

  • Racking FocusChanges Perspective within ShotFocus ChangedWhen we first see Wilson in The Limey (1999) the camera racks focus.


  • Depth of FieldFocal Length Impacts Shape and Scale of ImageAlso How Much of Space in FocusDeep Focus*

  • Deep FocusForeground, Middle-ground, Background All in Focus1940s Faster Film, Shorter Lenses, More intense lightingShow More, Less Cutting

  • Special EffectsSuperimposition: One Image Over AnotherProcess/Composite Shots: E.g. Back Projection*

  • CompositingComputer Generated Imagery (CGI)Different Images Joined in One Shot*

  • Part III: Framing*

  • FramingCreates Different Points of ViewDefines ImageStableMobile*

  • *Aspect RatioRatio Width/Height of Image1:33:1 = Academy (1930s-50s)1:85:1 = Now1:66:1 = Europe2:35:1 = Cinemascope

  • Widescreen ImageAnamorphic LensSqueezes wide image to fit on 35 mm filmWhen shown widens image back to larger aspect ratio


  • Framing Impacts Whats VisibleBut Also from What AngleWhat DistanceFrom a Static or Moving Perspective


  • AnglesLow Looking upHigh Seeing DownCanted Tipped *

  • Shot DistanceHow Far Camera is from What FilmingGauged in Relation to Human Figures*

  • Shot DistancesExtreme Long Shot (ELS)Long Shot (LS)*

  • More Shot DistancesMedium Long Shot (MLS)Medium Shot (MS)Close Up (CU)Extreme Close Up (ECU)*

  • Part IV: Camera Movement*

  • Mobile Framing

    Pan Side to Side on Fixed AxisTilt - Up/Down on Fixed AxisTrack or Dolly Camera moves In/Out or LaterallyCrane In/Out, Laterally, Up/Down*

  • Hand Held CameraMobility Unstable ImageAssociated with DocumentaryRealism Steady cam *

  • ReframingMost Common Camera MovementKeeps Characters CenteredStays with Character Movement*

  • Part V: The Long Take*

  • Cinematography and DurationEarly Cinema, 1890s-1910s = Longer Shot DurationClassical Cinema/Continuity Editing = More Cutting, Shorter Shot Duration1930s Filmmakers Experiment with Long Take = Shots of Longer Duration


  • French Theorist: Andre BazinLong Take and Deep Focus More RealismLess Alteration of Pro-Filmic Reality

    *Jean Renoirs The Rules of the Game 1939

  • Touch of Evil (1956) Orson WellesLong Take, Camera MovementOpening Shot = 3 minutes, 30 secondsPlease watch a scene from Touch of Evil to see a long take


  • One Shot EstablishesLocation (Two Countries)Noir AmbianceMajor CharactersViolent Crime at Center of Story*

  • Part VI: Cinematography in Raging Bull *

  • Realism and StylizationViolence and Dysfunction*Combination

  • ViolenceCommon in Hollywood FilmsEntertainmentGenres:Crime FilmsSci-FiHorror*

  • Boxing FilmsGraphicLess Entertaining Hard Life of FightersFewer Special EffectsHand Held Camerwork*

  • Raging Bull Graphic & Visually StylizedOpeningSlow MotionStylized - Grace Matches His ViolenceLong Shot Allow Critical DistanceRopes Suggest Ring Imprisons LaMotta*

  • Fight ScenesCloser ShotsHandheld CameraPut Spectator Close to Violence, Blood, Pain*

  • Scenes Outside RingJakes Social DysfunctionMore Medium and Long ShotsEncourage Critical Distance for Viewer*

  • Last Robinson FightShots from Jakes PerspectiveExpressionist (Dark) LightingTrack In/Zoom OutMakes Robinson Look MonstrousPlease watch this clip from Raging Bull*

  • *Discussion Questions What state of mind does this cinematography suggest for the Jake LaMotta character? Why does he see Sugar Ray Robinson in this way?After viewing the film, post your response on the eBoard to these questions and to the comment of a colleague.

  • SummaryCinematography-Image-Framing-Long take-Realism/Stylization in Raging Bull*

  • End of Lecture 5*Next Lecture: Genre