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 • 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
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
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
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
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.
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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.
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
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.
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
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
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