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Cinematography The use of the camera to create a world that we perceive on screen cinematography is a language Governed by certain conventions, but not restricted by these conventions; reflecting and complementing the film’s other formal elements Shots

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cinematography

Cinematography

The use of the camera to create a world that we perceive on screen

cinematography is a language
cinematography is a language

Governed by certain conventions,

but not restricted by these conventions;

reflecting and complementing the film’s other formal elements

shots
Shots
  • Setup: the camera’s position for a shot
  • Shot: one uninterrupted run of the camera
  • Take: the number of times a shot must be repeated (think “take two”)
camera people
Camera people
  • The cinematographer

assisted by

  • Camera operator and assistant camera operators (“ACs”)
  • Electricians: “gaffer,” “best boy,” “grips”
film stocks
Film stocks
  • Gauges of film (8 mm – 70mm) – width
  • Speed of film (fast, slow) – “graininess”
  • Color
  • Black-and-white
  • Videotape vs. movie film (not in the Barsam book, but important!)
lighting
Lighting
  • How shots are lit affects how we perceive them
  • Lighting ratios: hard/high key, soft/low key
  • 3-point system: keylight, fill light, backlight
  • What’s NOT lit is an important aspect of lighting (just as offscreen space is as important as onscreen space)
production values
Production Values
  • A term that describes the number of people and amount of resources expended on creating a film
types of lenses
Types of Lenses
  • Aperture: an iris that limits light
  • Focal length: wide, narrow angle, zoom.

Different lenses are employed for different focal lengths (prime lenses, zoom lenses)

  • Depth of field: what planes are in focus
framing
Framing
  • Aspect ratio (ratio of width to height)
  • Masks (placed over aperture to change the shape of the frame)
  • Transition effects (iris-out)
framing and pov
Framing and POV
  • Omniscient POV (most “usual”)
  • Single-character POV (can also rotate)
  • Group POV
shot duration
Shot Duration
  • Slow-motion emphasizes the action
  • Fast-motion is usually funny
  • Long take (film permits 10 minutes, but this can be extended) creates feeling of real time and space
three basic shot lengths
Three Basic Shot Lengths
  • Closeup shot
  • Medium shot (typical)
  • Long shot

and gradations of these three

i.e., XCS, XLS, MCS

shot depth
Shot Depth
  • Deep-space composition
  • Deep-focus cinematography
  • The rule of thirds
camera angle height
Camera Angle/Height
  • Eye-level shot (from typical POV)
  • High angle shot (from overhead)
  • Low angle (from below)
  • Dutch angle (tilted)
  • Aerial view (from above – long shot)
camera movement
Camera Movement
  • Contrast with lens movements (earlier)
  • Pan shot
  • Tilt shot
  • Dolly or tracking shot
  • Zoom shot (a camera effect)
  • Crane shot
  • Handheld or steadicam shot
special effects
Special Effects
  • In-camera (as in transition effects)
  • Mechanical (staged), including day-for-night, split screen, blow-up
  • Computer/digital
visual themes in the film
Visual themes in the film
  • Thresholds – doors, windows
  • Hallways
  • Domestic objects
  • Barred windows/enclosures