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Intro to Cinematography PowerPoint PPT Presentation

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Ms. Scales. Intro to Cinematography. What is Cinematography?. Cinematography: The art or technique of movie photography, including both the shooting and development of the film. Categories of Film. Genre :

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Intro to Cinematography

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Ms scales

Ms. Scales

Intro to Cinematography

What is cinematography

What is Cinematography?

  • Cinematography:

    • The art or technique of movie photography, including both the shooting and development of the film.

Categories of film

Categories of Film

  • Genre:

    • Refers to a class or type of film that shares common, predictable or distinctive artistic and thematic elements or iconography (e.g., bad guys in Westerns wear black hats), narrative content, plot, and subject matter, mood and milieu (or setting) or characters.

      What Genre of Film can you name???

The camera

The Camera

  • Setup:

    • the camera’s position for a shot

  • Shot:

    • In the process of photographing a scene a shot refers to one constant take by the camera. It is most often filmed at one time with a solo camera.

  • Take:

    • a single continuously-recorded performance, shot or version of a scene with a particular camera setup; often, multiple takes are made of the same shot during filming, before the director approves the shot; in box-office terms, take also refers to the money a film's release has made

The camera1

The Camera

  • Camera Angle:

    • The perspective or point of view from which the camera photographs a subject.

  • Frame:

    • Frames in essence are still images that are collected in quick succession, developed, and projected giving the illusion of motion. Each individual, or still, image on motion picture film is referred to as a frame.

  • Distance:

    • Distance refers to the amount of relational space between the audience and the character on the screen.

Basic camera movements

Basic Camera Movements

  • Camera Movement:

    • Conventional uses of the camera to obtain camera angles and various perspectives while filming include panning, tilting, tracking or zooming of the camera. These camera ploys are also known as camera movement and rarely does the camera remain static. When a movement does occur, however, the camera comes to a rest providing a smooth transition to the scene. Movements are coordinated with the action in a scene so that the camera does not go in the opposite direction of the action (i.e. action left-to-right.)

Basic camera movements1

Basic Camera Movements

  • Pan:

    • From the Greek "pan" meaning "all" this movement of the camera is achieved by moving the camera while turning it on an horizontal access.  

  • Tilt:

    • Turning the camera up or down on the vertical axis

Basic camera movements2

Basic Camera Movements

  • Arc:

    • This is when the camera moves around the subject, similar to a tracking shot.

  • Crabbing:

    • a less common version of tracking or dollying, this is the camera moving from side to side at a constant distance from the action.

  • Crane Shot:

    • A shot taken from a boom that can move both horizontally and vertically.

Basic camera movements3

Basic Camera Movements

  • Dolly Shot: 

    • A camera perspective, on a moving or stationary subject, obtained while the camera is in motion on either a dolly or a camera truck. When the camera is so mounted and moves toward a closer proximity of the subject it is called "dolly-in"; likewise, when the camera is so mounted and moves away from the subject it is referred to as "dolly-out".

Basic camera movements4

Basic Camera Movements

  • Zoom Shot:

    • A shot accomplished with a lens capable of smoothly and continuously changing focal lengths from wide-angle to telephoto (zoom in) or telephoto to wide-angle (zoom out).

  • Tracking Shot:

    •  Any shot using a mobile camera that follows (or moves toward or away from) the subject by moving on tracks or by being mounted on a vehicle.

Basic camera movements5

Basic Camera Movements

  • Pedestal:

    • Means to move the camera vertically with respect tot the subject, usually refers to the camera moving up or down only

  • Follow:

    • This is when the camera follows the subject or action, the following distance is usually pretty constant

The 3 basic types of camera shots

The 3 Basic Types of Camera Shots

  • Close-up:

    • a shot that tightly frames a person or an object

The 3 basic types of camera shots1

The 3 Basic Types of Camera Shots

  • Medium shot:

    • refers to a conventional camera shot filmed from a medium distance; although it is difficult to precisely define, it usually refers to a human figure from the waist (or knees) up; between a close shot and a long shot

The 3 basic types of camera shots2

The 3 Basic Types of Camera Shots

  • Long shot:

    • a camera view of an object or character from a considerable distance so that it appears relatively small in the frame, e.g., a person standing in a crowd of people or a horse in a vast landscape

More types of camera shots

More Types of Camera Shots

  • Developing shot:

    • Camera shot wherein the entire camera moves.

  • Extreme close-up:

    • A shot taken from a close distance in which the scale of the object is magnified, appears relatively large and fills the entire frame to focus attention and emphasize its importance

  • Reaction Shot:

    • A shot showing one or more characters reacting to an action or statement.

More types of camera shots1

More Types of Camera Shots

  • Medium Close Up:

    • Half-way between a mid shot and a close-up. Usually covers the subject's head and shoulders.

  • Point of View Shot: This shot shows what the character is looking at.

  • Cutaway:

    • A Shot of something other than the subject

More types of camera shots2

More Types of Camera Shots

  • Cut In:

    • Show some other part of the subject in detail

  • Noddy Shot:

    • Usually refers to a shot of the interviewer listening and reacting to the subject.

  • Two Shot:

    • A shot of two people, usually from the waist up.

More types of camera shots3

More Types of Camera Shots

  • Extreme Wide Shot:

    • The view is so far from the subject that he isn't even visible. Often used as an establishing

  • Very Wide Shot:

    • The subject is visible (barely), but the emphasis is still on placing him in his environment.shot.

  • Wide Shot:

    • The subject takes up the full frame, or at least as much as comfortably possible. AKA: long shot, full shot.

More types of camera shots angles

More Types of Camera Shots: Angles

  • Low-Angle Shot:

    • A shot taken from below a subject, creating a sense of "looking up to" whatever is photographed.

  • High-Angle Shot:

    • A shot taken from above a subject, creating a sense of "looking down" upon whatever is photographed.

More types of camera shots angles1

More Types of Camera Shots: Angles

  • Reverse Angle Shot:

    • A shot of an object or person taken in the direction opposite that of the preceding shot (for example, a shot of the gates of a prison from within followed by a reverse angle shot showing the gates from outside). Rough Cut The initial assembling of the shots of a film, done without added sound.

  • Eye Level Shot

    • Shot is taken at actor’s eye level, 90-95% of all filming is done at this angle

Intro to cinematography


  • Script:

    • A written description of the action, dialogue, and camera placements for a film.

  • Storyboard:

    • A series of sketches (resembling a cartoon strip) showing potential ways various shots might be filmed.

Intro to cinematography


  • Story:

    • In a narrative film, all the events that we see and hear, plus all those that we infer or assume to have occurred, arranged in their presumed causal relations, chronological order, duration, frequency, and spatial locations. Opposed to plot, which is the film's actual presentation of certain events in the narrative.

  • Plot:

    • Plot is often designed with a narrative structure, storyline or story arc, that includes exposition, conflict, rising action and climax, followed by a falling action and resolution.

Intro to cinematography


  • Narration:

    • The process through which the plot conveys or withholds story information. The narration can be more or less restricted to character knowledge and more or less deep in presenting characters' mental perceptions and thoughts.

  • Set:

    • The environment where the action takes place in a film; when used in contrast to location, it refers to an artificially-constructed time/place (a backdrop painting or a dusty Western street with a facade of storefronts); supervised by the film's art director

Intro to cinematography


  • Climax:

    • The climax is the high point of the story, where a culmination of events create the peak of the conflict. The climax usually features the most conflict and struggle, and usually reveals any secrets or missing points in the story. Alternatively, an anti-climax may occur, in which an expectedly difficult event is revealed to be incredibly easy or of paltry importance. The climax isn't always the most important scene in a story.

Intro to cinematography


  • Conflict:

    • Conflict is the "problem" in a story which triggers the action. There are five basic types of conflict:

      • Person vs. Person: One character in a story has a problem with one or more of the other characters

      • Person vs. Society: A character has a conflict or problem with society

      • Person vs. Himself or Herself: A character struggles inside and has trouble deciding what to do

      • Person vs. Nature: A character has a problem with some element of nature, (e.g., a snowstorm, an avalanche, the bitter cold)

      • Person vs. Fate: A character has to battle what seems to be an uncontrollable problem

Roles in film

Roles in Film

  • Character:

    • The fictitious or real individual in a story, performed by an actor, also called player.

  • Hero:

    • Hero, or heroine for females, refers to characters who, in the face of danger and adversity or from a position of weakness, display courage and the will for self sacrifice—that is, heroism—for some greater good of all humanity. Stories of heroism may serve as moral examples.

Roles in film1

Roles in Film

  • Villain:

    • (also known as the "bad guy", "black hat", or "heavy") is an "evil" character in a story. The villain usually is the antagonist, the character who tends to have a negative effect on other characters. A female villain is sometimes called a villainess. Random House Unabridged Dictionary defines villain as "a cruelly malicious person who is involved in or devoted to wickedness or crime; scoundrel; or a character in a play, novel, or the like, who constitutes an important evil agency in the plot"

  • Antagonist:

    • a character, group of characters, or an institution, that represents the opposition against which the protagonist must contend. In the classic style of story wherein the action consists of a hero fighting a villain, the two can be regarded as protagonist and antagonist, respectively. The antagonist may also represent a major threat or obstacle to the main character by their very existence, without necessarily actively targeting him or her.



  • Boom

    • A long mobile beam or pole used to hold a microphone or camera.

  • Dolly:

    • Cameras and other equipment, such as microphones and lights, are often carried around the set on movable platforms. These are dollys and are independently moved by the dolly grip so that the technician, be s/he cameraman, audio or lighting technician, can keep their concerns focused. Dollys are often run on tracks for special dolly pans or for mere structurally smoothness. Most of the time, dollys are used for camera work and can include booms for the cameras which allows for the lowering, raising and pivoting of the camera.



  • Crane:

    • A large camera dolly that can raise the camera as much as twenty feet above the ground. The crane has the capacity to move forward and backward and is usually operated by electronic controls. Motions are generally silent and the crane allows shots to be made over a wide ranging area providing great access to cover shots.

  • Bluescreen (or Greenscreen):

    • a special-effects process whereby actors work in front of an evenly-lit, monochromatic (usually blue or green) background or screen. The background is then replaced (or matted) in post-production by chroma-keying or optical printer, allowing other footage or computer-generated images to form the image; since 1992, most films use a green-screen.



  • Flip :

    • A transitional device (now used rarely) in which an image appears to flip over, revealing another image on its backside; the effect is much like flipping a coin from one side to the other.

  • Fade:

    • A transitional device in which either an image gradually dims until the viewer sees only a black screen (Fade-Out) or an image slowly emerges from a black screen to a clear and bright picture (Fade-In). A fade provides a strong break in continuity, usually setting off sequences.



  • Dissolve (lap dissolve) :

    • A method of making a transition from one shot to another by briefly superimposing one image upon another and then allowing the first image to disappear. A dissolve is a stronger form of transition than a cut and indicates a distinct separation in action. Dolly A platform on wheels serving as a camera mount capable-of movement in any direction.

  • Wipe:

    • A transitional device in which one image slowly replaces another by pushing the other out of the way.



  • Jump Cut:

    • An abrupt, disorienting transitional device in the middle of a continuous shot in which the action is noticeably advanced in time and/or cut between two similar scenes. May be done accidentally or purposefully to create an artistic effect.

  • Cut:

    • An individual strip of film consisting of a single shot; the separation of two pieces of action as a "transition" (used when one says "cut from the shot of the boy to the shot of the girl"); a verb meaning to join shots together in the editing process; or an order to end a take ("cut!").



  • Editing

    • The process of splicing individual shots together into a complete film. Editing (as opposed to Montage) puts shots together to create a smoothly flowing narrative in an order making obvious sense in terms of time and place.



  • Editing:

    • The process of splicing individual shots together into a complete film. Editing (as opposed to Montage) puts shots together to create a smoothly flowing narrative in an order making obvious sense in terms of time and place

  • Cutting: 

    • The process of changing from one shot to another accomplished through the camera or by the splicing of shots together by the cutter (editor). This is also referred to as editing, the preferred term, and includes the decisions, controls, sensibilities, vision and integrative capabilities of the individual editing (cutting) artist.



  • Sequence:

    • Segments of a film narrative that are edited together and unified by a common setting, time, event or story-line.

  • Continuity:

    • a film term that suggests that a series of shots should be physically continuous, as if the camera simply changed angles in the course of a single event.

  • Montage:

    • A method of putting shots together in such a way that dissimilar materials are juxtaposed to make a statement. A shot of a man followed by a shot of a peacock, for example, declares that the man is pompous. (See Editing.)



  • Voice-Over

    • Any spoken language not seeming to come from images on the screen.

  • Sound Track

    • That portion of the sound film medium to which are recorded the dialogue, music, narration and sound effects. The sound head and film gate on a film projector are physically separated from one another. This gap is covered during the recording of a sound-film by keeping the soundtrack recording a few frames head of the photographic image. The sound passes over the projector head at the same time the photographic image passes before the projector's light aperture/lens (the film gate).

  • Background Music:

    • Refers to the music that accompanies a scene or action in a film, usually to establish a specific mood or enhance the emotion.

  • Synchronization: Correctly aligning the photographic and audio portions of a film so that the image and sound is heard and seen simultaneously.

Editing the cuts

Editing: The Cuts

  • Editor's cut

    • There are several editing stages and the editor's cut is the first. An editor's cut (sometimes referred to as the "Assembly edit" or "Rough cut") is normally the first pass of what the final film will be when it reaches picture lock

  • Director's cut

    • When shooting is finished, the director can then turn his full attention to collaborating with the editor and further refining the cut of the film. This is the time that is set aside where the film editor's first cut is molded to fit the director's vision

  • Final cut

    • Often after the director has had his chance to oversee a cut, the subsequent cuts are supervised by one or more producers, who represent the production company and/or movie studio

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