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Defining and controlling the space of the frame. Aspect ratio Masking Camera placement Focus Perspective Mobile framing. André Bazin (1918-1958). An aesthetic of realism built from critical readings of the films of Orson Welles, Jean Renoir, and the Italian neorealist movement.

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Defining and controlling the space of the frame
Defining and controlling the space of the frame

  • Aspect ratio

  • Masking

  • Camera placement

  • Focus

  • Perspective

  • Mobile framing


Andr bazin 1918 1958
André Bazin (1918-1958)

  • An aesthetic of realism built from critical readings of the films of Orson Welles, Jean Renoir, and the Italian neorealist movement.

  • Founds ciné-clubs and begins writing on film during the German occupation of France during WW II.

  • Founder of Cahiers du cinéma, one of the most important international journals of film criticism.


Andr bazin s film aesthetic
André Bazin’s film aesthetic

  • Creative uses of screen space through . . .

    • Composing action in deep space.

    • Preference for the long take and moving camera.

    • Preference for films that “interpret” the physical world

      • Bringing out social connections between characters and their environments

      • An existential link exists between the camera and pro-filmic space.


Deep space composition and deep focus photography
Deep space composition and deep focus photography

  • Deep space

    • a strategy of mise-en-scene where all the planes of the image--foreground, middle ground, and background--are in sharp focus. Staging action in deep space requires large depth of field.

  • Deep focus

    • a use of camera lens and lighting that keeps both close and distant planes in the photographic image in sharp focus.


Andr bazin s film aesthetic1
André Bazin’s film aesthetic

  • “The Camera and the Screen”

    • The camera may transform our perception of the world by bringing out otherwise hidden or unnoticed aspects of reality.

    • Deep focus composition as specifying “a point of view rooted within the set itself . . . . By uniting foreground, middle ground, and background, but not setting the planes off against each other, the actor is completely entwined with and works in a direct relationship to, his total setting. Every element of the reality on the screen, whether animate or inanimate, is interdependent.”

    • The camera’s creative and critical interpretation of characters’ relations to their spatial environment.


Types of mobile framing
Types of mobile framing

  • PAN

    • camera swivels right or left on a stationary base.

  • TILT

    • camera swivels up or down on a stationary base.

  • TRACKING or TRAVELING SHOT

    • camera moves horizontal to the ground.

  • CRANE

    • camera mounted on a crane above ground and can move in any direction,

  • HANDHELD CAMERA

    • camera is supported by the camera person’s body;

    • Steadicam is controlled by a gyroscope.



Types of mobile framing2
Types of mobile framing

Michael Snow, La région centrale


Know the difference between zooms and camera movements
Know the difference between zooms and camera movements!

  • Both are types of mobile framing. However,

    • the camera does not move during a zoom; instead the frame is enlarged or reduced optically by varying the focal length of the lens.

    • Zooming--for example, changing the focal length of the lens from a telephoto to a wide angle--changes the perspective of the shot; moving the camera does not.


The appeal of the moving camera
The appeal of the moving camera

  • Organizes space according to cinema’s intrinsic qualities as an art of time and movement.

  • Camera movement mobilizes and increases perceptual information.

  • Provides multiple perspectives on dramatic action.

  • Increases depth and volume of objects in frame.

  • Produces perspectives freed from the physical constraints of the body.



Andre bazin s film aesthetic
Andre Bazin’s film aesthetic

  • The use of long takes and deep space encourages greater perceptual and mental activity in the spectator.

  • Editing by its nature rules out a desired ambiguity of expression.

  • The use of long takes and deep space intensifies a perception similar to our "natural attitude" to reality.

  • The use of the long take promotes a temporal realism.


Rules of the game
Rules of the Game

  • Staging of action on multiple planes of depth.

  • Movement through multiple planes of action counters “lateral” orientation of Hollywood films of same period.

  • The moving camera as attentive observer and participant.

  • Mobility of camera activates all six sides of off-screen space.


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