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Film. The Life of a Film Film Terms and Techniques. The Life of a Film. Pre-production (Obtaining / Developing) Production (Shooting) Post-production (Editing). Pre-production: the planning stage. Development: person / company buys the rights to a literary work (screenplay or outline)

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The Life of a Film

Film Terms and Techniques

the life of a film
The Life of a Film
  • Pre-production (Obtaining / Developing)
  • Production (Shooting)
  • Post-production (Editing)
pre production the planning stage
Pre-production: the planning stage
  • Development: person / company buys the rights to a literary work (screenplay or outline)
  • Scriptwriters are hired to improve the work
  • Once the owner decides to film… personnel is hired
    • Director, business manager, talent, talent agents, lighting designers, sound engineers, accountants, special effects coordinators, etc.
  • Dailies: the day’s (or night’s) shooting
  • Each night the director and staff review the dailies
  • Problems: bad weather, talent forgetting lines, technical glitches (ie. Uncontrollable outside noise or equipment malfunction)
  • Music is composed and recorded (The Score)
  • Computer generated special effects designed
  • Publicity strategies are mapped out
post production editing
Post-production: Editing
  • Splicing: film is cut and arranged
  • Director and editor must decide on the order of the shots
  • Transition techniques:
  • Cut – piece of film literally cut and spliced to another piece of film
  • Dissolve – current shot gets lighter and fades away while the next shot appears and gradually takes over the screen
adding sound
Adding Sound
  • Ambient sounds: sounds that occur naturally in the course of a scene’s action
  • Looping: actors watch themselves on a small screen in a recording studio and speak their lines; they’re lip-syncing with themselves
  • The Score
promotion and distribution
Promotion and Distribution
  • Trailers: coming attractions
  • Print ads: Advertisements appearing in newspapers and magazines
  • Posters
  • Previews
film terms and techniques

Film Terms and Techniques

Cinematography: how the film was photographed

  • Frame: an individual picture, or exposure, on a strip of film. Film passes through camera at 24 frames per second (fps)
  • Shot: the basic unit of film; any continuous piece of unedited film (average length is 20 –30 seconds long)
  • Scene: a group of interrelated shots taking place in the same location
  • Sequence: a group of interrelated scenes that form a natural unit in the story. For example, an elevator scene, a fight scene, and a car chase may all be part of an escape sequence.
  • Long Shot (LS): shows the main visual subject of the shot in its entire surroundings (ex: a swimmer in a public pool showing the entire pool) ; also called ‘establishing shot’
    • Extreme Long Shot (ELS): For example, a shot taken from a helicopter
  • Medium Shot (MS): shows the main subject in its immediate surroundings (ex: the swimmer in the pool with only a portion of the pool visible
  • Close-up (CU): shows just the main subject (ex: only the swimmer is visible)
    • Extreme Close-up (ECU): For example, just the swimmer’s face
establishing shot or extreme long shot
Establishing Shot (or Extreme Long Shot)
  • Shot taken from a great distance, almost always an exterior shot, shows much of locale
  • ELS

Indiana Jones And The Temple Of Doom

long shot ls
Long Shot (LS)
  • (A relative term) A shot taken from a sufficient distance to show a landscape, a building, or a large crowd

Austin Powers and

the Spy Who Shagged Me

medium shot ms
Medium Shot (MS)
  • (Also relative) a shot between a long shot and a close-up that might show two people in full figure or several people from the waist up

The Talented Mr. Ripley

close up cu
Close-Up (CU)
  • A shot of a small object or face that fills the screen
  • Adds importance to object photographed

Under Pressure

extreme close up ecu
Extreme Close-Up (ECU)
  • A shot of a small object or part of a face that fills the screen

Rocky Horror Picture Show

The Saint In London

over the shoulder shot
Over the Shoulder Shot
  • Usually contains two figures, one with his/her back to the camera, and the other facing the camera

Hollow Man

Cast Away

  • Low angle (LA): camera is lower than the subject and looks up at the subject (makes the subject look powerful)
  • Extreme low angle (ELA): camera is directly below the subject looking straight up at it
low angle l a
Low Angle (l/a)
  • Camera is located below subject matter
  • Increases height and powerof subject

The Patriot

angle continued
Angle (continued)
  • Flat angle (FA): camera is at the same level as the subject (eye-level shot); these are neutral shots and don’t convey any particular sense about the strength or weakness of the subject.
  • High angle (HA): camera is higher than the subject and looks down at the subject; makes the subject look inferior and insignificant – conveys weakness and / or defeat
    • Extreme high angle (EHA): camera is directly above the subject looking straight down at it
eye level
  • Roughly 5 to 6 feet off the ground, the way an actual observer might view a scene
    • Most common
high angle h a
High Angle (h/a)
  • Camera looks down at what is being photographed
  • Takes away power of subject, makes it insignificant
  • Gives a general overview

Without Limits

bird s eye view
Bird’s Eye View
  • Camera is placed directly overhead
  • Extremely disorienting
  • Viewer is godlike

Beverly Hills Girl Scouts

oblique angle
Oblique Angle
  • Lateral tilt of the camera sothat figures appear to befalling out of the frame
  • Suggests tensionand transition
  • Sometimes used asthe point of viewof a drunk

The Matrix

  • Pan: camera remains in place but swivels from side to side; used to survey a scene or capture horizontal motion (example – camera is located in the middle bleacher section, pan left as the swimmer passes by in the pool)
  • Track: entire camera actually moves to the left or right, also capturing horizontal movement.
    • Motion of the camera is parallel to the motion of the subject.
  • Zoom: camera remains in place, but the lens of the camera is manipulated to create the appearance of moving closer or farther away from the subject; used for dramatic effect
  • Dolly: camera moves toward or away from the subject; differs from a zoom in that it leaves more of the background visible than the zoom
  • Tilt: camera remains in place but pivots up or down; gives the viewer a trip up or down a building, person, or other vertical object
  • Boom: camera, usually mounted on a crane or hydraulic arm, moves up or down; can also move sideways while moving up and down
  • Subjective: camera shows what the character sees
    • The camera is meant to take the place of the character’s eyes. Subjective shots often are not perfectly smooth; they might bounce up and down a little to show that the character whom we’re seeing through is walking (also known as point of view [POV])
point of view pov
Point of View (POV)
  • A shot taken from the vantage point a particular character, or what a character sees
  • Transition between scenes when one scenes ends and another one begins
  • Most common
  • A gradual transition in which the end of one scene is superimposed over the beginning of a new one.
fade out fade in
Fade-out/Fade in
  • A scene gradually goes dark or a new one gradually emerges from darkness
  • An optical effect in which one shot appears to push appears to push the preceding one from the screen.
  • An optical effect in which one shot appears to emerge from a shape on the screen.