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Style, Camera and Editing This powerpoint lecture was distilled from Chapter 6 - Style and the Camera, and Chapter 7- Style and Editing from Jeremy Butler’s book Television: Critical Methods and Applications Style, Camera and Editing

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Style, Camera and Editing

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style camera and editing
Style, Camera and Editing

This powerpoint lecture was distilled from

  • Chapter 6 - Style and the Camera, and
  • Chapter 7- Style and Editing from Jeremy Butler’s book Television: Critical Methods and Applications
style camera and editing2
Style, Camera and Editing
  • A number of factors related to the camera determines what the audience sees
    • These factors involve
      • Aesthetic issues
      • Economic issues
      • Technical issues
    • Television is largely comprised of images produced by either video or film cameras
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Style, Camera and Editing
  • The camera - although electronic or mechangical - fundamentally changes the objects it reproduces
    • Three dimensions are reduced to two
    • Colors of nature are converted to film or video
    • What the viewer ‘sees’ is determined by the aspects of the camera lens
      • Interestingly as we move towards HD, television and film are getting closer in their look
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Style, Camera and Editing
  • The focal length of the lens is one of the key factors determining what the audience will see and how it will be portrayed
    • We generally speak of focal length as camera angle
      • Wide angle - (produced by a short focal length)
      • Normal - (produced by a medium focal length
      • Telephoto - (produced by a long focal length)
        • As we move from wide to telephoto our view narrows
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Style, Camera and Editing
  • Lenses have two dimensions - horizontal and vertical
  • Normal lenses produce images that seems to duplicate the style of perspective developed during the Renaissance of the 1500s
  • Wide angle lenses produce a perspective that is wider horizontally than it is vertically - giving the impression of a panorama
  • Telephoto lenses produce a narrower view of the scene and (can help) focus our attention…they appear to make distant images seem closer
  • Zoom lenses produce continuously variable views (often) from wide to narrow
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Style, Camera and Editing
  • Focus is the characteristic of the lens that produces an image that appears sharp. Television images are mostly ‘in focus’ and (unless it’s a sporting event) a lack of focus is sometimes used to create an effect or add atmosphere to a scene
  • Selective focus can be used to create a frame where part of a scene is in focus and part is not. This use of focus draws our attention to a portion of the screen where focus is occurring or has occurred.
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Style, Camera and Editing
  • Shallow focus means that the amount of clarity in front and behind the primary object of interest is relatively small.
    • Shallow focus allows the director to show us what is important in a frame
  • Deep focus means that most of the picture, both in front and behind the main object will be sharp and clear.
    • Deep focus is more like human perception
    • Deep focus preserves continuity of space by maintaining a visual connection between objects and their environment
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Style, Camera and Editing
  • Camera Framing - frame is important. It is what we choose to show. We (often) chart the frame based on the human figure.
    • XLS - Extreme long shot - human figure is small, in the distance
    • LS - Long Shot - entire body is visible, there is surrounding space around the body
    • MLS - Medium long - actor body mostly
    • MS - Medium Shot - actor is framed from waist or thigh up
    • CU - Close up - actor is from chest to just above head
    • ECU - Extreme CU - Actor’s head may be cut at forehead
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Style, Camera and Editing
  • Environment feeds our understanding of character (and helps position the character within her/his environment)
    • Establishing shot - LS that establishes character or setting
    • MS are used for conversation
      • Two shot - framing two characters from knees up - helps establish the relationships between characters
      • Three shot - same as two shot but with three
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Style, Camera and Editing
  • Aesthetics of framing follows certain conventions of function
    • Close-up is the dominant framing in a television program give the small screen size
    • Soaps reliance on the CU coincided with the evolution of acting style which favors facial expression over large body gestures
    • Sports and action favor medium shots to facilitate movement
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Style, Camera and Editing
  • Camera angle has an effect on how the viewer perceives both character and situation
    • Normal camera height is ‘eye level’ action. It is transparent to the viewer and taken for granted
    • Low angle is lower than the filmed object
    • High angle is where the camera is above the object/person being shot.
  • Looking at a character from below gives the illusion of strength and power. Shooting someone from above makes the character appear less powerful
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Style, Camera and Editing
  • Principle functions of camera movement
    • To establish a space, a specific area
    • To establish a relationship between people and or objects within a certain space
    • To follow action
    • To emphasize (or de-emphasize) one portion of a space or object
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Style, Camera and Editing
  • Camera movement
    • Panning/ tilting - moving the camera head from side to side or up and down
    • Dollying, tracking, and trucking - moving the camera itself left or right (tracking) or toward/away from the object (dollying)
    • Zooming does not move the camera but changes the focal length of the lens
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Style, Camera and Editing
  • Craning and pedestaling
    • Craning is moving the camera head through space (similar to the way a crane moves objects through space). Crane shots can establish location
    • Pedestaling moves the camera straight up or down without changing the fixed position is space.
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Style, Camera and Editing
  • Directors utilize many techniques to make aesthetic presentations of the story or action. However, there is a real difference between (standard) film and television regarding aspect ratio
    • Standard TV - 4 units wide by 3 units high -1.33 ratio
    • Widescreen - 16 units by 9 units - 1.85 ratio
    • Masked Widescreen - 16 units by 9 units - 1.85 ratio letterbox
    • Anamorphic widescreen - roughly 28 units by 12 - 2.35 (sometimes called CinemaScope)
  • HD television can produce any of the first three configurations for transmission
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Style, Camera and Editing
  • Pan and Scan reduces the 2.35 anamorphic frame to televisions 1.33 ratio by selecting the most important elements from the picture.
    • Pan and scan can alter a films look and the rhythms or the original edit.
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Style, Camera and Editing
  • Color and Black and White
    • Color characteristics are described similarly in both film and video.
      • Hue - the color tint
      • Saturation - the amount of color (chroma) in a picture
      • Brightness - the amount of dark or light in the picture
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Style, Camera and Editing
  • Black and white provides a different look to a project and today is used to indicate a dream sequence or flashback in drama
    • In B&W, lighting can be used effectively to create mood and intone meaning for characters
    • In Color - lighting tends to be more flat although there are many different variations on some basic lighting techniques
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Style, Camera and Editing
  • Special effects
    • In film - special effects were created optically, today many are created using software technology
    • In TV - special effects are generated electronically (DVE) and with software technology
      • Chroma key is an example of a special effect