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Early Cinema

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  1. Early Cinema HUM 3280: Narrative Film Fall 2014 Dr. Perdigao August 25-27, 2014

  2. Staging Mise-en-scène “placement in a scene” or “onstage” (Corrigan and White 64) Scenic elements of a movie—actors, aspects of lighting, sets and settings, costumes, make-up (64) First movies as “scenes”—Edison and Lumière films (66) Dating back to Greek theater around 500 B.C.E. 1915—change in films with art directors and set designers Soundstages designed in 1920s Location shooting as mid-twentieth century development Setting—as “fictional or real place where the action and events of the film occur” Set as “constructed setting”(70) Realism—truthful picture of society (70)

  3. Propping

  4. Propping Props (short for property), tool used by actors Centrality of prop in The Maltese Falcon; red shoes in The Wizard of Oz; umbrella in Singin’ in the Rain (Corrigan and White 72) Instrumental props and metaphorical props (72) Common function versus reinvention or new purpose Cultural props Meaning associated with their society: Herbie Fully Loaded’s Volkswagen Beetle; Easy Rider’s motorcycles (73) Contextualized props Change meaning within narrative; red violin; Ronin’s briefcase; Hitchcock’s “McGuffins,” props that “appear to be important only at first” (73)

  5. Performatives Actor, performance (use of language, physical expression, and gesture) (73-74) Types of actors: leading actors, character actors, supporting actors (Corrigan and White 75) Character types, casting in specific kinds of roles (Tom Hanks) Blocking “[A]rrangement and movement of actors in relation to each other within the physical space of mise-en-scène” (76) Graphic blocking Arrangement according to “visual patterns to portray spatial harmony, tension, or some other visual atmosphere” (77)

  6. Illuminati Lighting—part of mise-en-scène;light sources located within the scene itself (Corrigan and White 79) Natural lighting Set lighting Directional lighting—more dramatically apparent, to define and shape the object or person being illuminated (82) Shading Complementing narrative

  7. Materialism Mise-en-scène as defining our location in the material world (Corrigan and White 86) External condition—define the material possibilities in a place or space (87) Measure of character—establishing identity in relation to surrounding setting and sets (87) Naturalistic versus theatrical mise-en-scène that denaturalizes locations Historical mise-en-scène as attempt to recreate recognizable historical scene Theatrical mise-en-scène as the fantastic: Sherlock Jr.? Expressive mise-en-scène—setting, sets, props asserted independently of the characters, describe emotional or spiritual life “permeating the material world,” surrealism, horror films, magic realism (89) Constructive mise-en-scène—world as shaped or altered by characters (92)

  8. Cinematography Beginnings of cinematography with Eadweard Muybridge’s chornophotography and Zoopraxiscope (Corrigan and White 99) W. L. K. Dickson, working for Thomas Edison, invented the Kinetoscopic camera in 1891 (99) 1895—Lumière brothers Wide-angle lens Handheld cameras Widescreen processes in 1950s, anamorphic lens (102) Steadicam Cinematography as “writing in movement” Shot Point of view (105)

  9. Frames Subjective and objectivepoints of view Focus Framing—“contains, limits, and directs the point of view within the borders of the rectangular frame” (Corrigan and White 105) Canted frame Unbalanced or askew (105) Mobile frame “may follow an action, object, or individual, or it may move to show different actions, objects, or individuals” (106) Aspect ratio (107): widescreen 1.85:1, correlation with television in 1950s Masks Camera cutting off portions of frame (108)

  10. Frames Iris shot Circular image (108) Iris-in Opening circle Iris-out Closing circle

  11. Scaling Distance of camera from subject determines scale (Corrigan and White 109) Close-up Extreme close-up Extreme long shot—greater distance between camera and person or object, space dwarfs objects (110) Medium shot Middle ground, human body from waist or hips up (110) Medium long shot 3/4 view of character, from knees up (111) Medium close-up Character’s head and shoulders, in conversation scenes (111)

  12. Angling High angle Downward on individuals or scene, making them smaller (112) Low angle Upward, making individuals appear larger (112) Overhead or crane shot From high above (112) Point-of-view (POV) shot From character’s perspective (112), subjective camera Deep focus Multiple planes in image in focus (113) Shallow focus Only narrow range of field is focused (113) Rack focus (or pulled focus) Focus shifts from one object to another (113)

  13. Camera positions Reframing Movement of frame from one position to another (Corrigan and White 116); Citizen Kane example Pan Side to side movement, vertical axis (117) Tilt Frame moved up or down on horizontal axis (117) Tracking shot Changes position by moving camera forward or backward (117) Dolly shot Movement of camera on wheeled dolly (117) Traveling shot Used to describe both tracking and dolly shots

  14. Camera positions Following shot Following an individual character (117) Handheld shot The Blair Witch Project (1999) Steadicam To achieve the stability of a tripod mount, fluidity of a tracking shot, and the flexibility of a handheld camera; special stabilizing mount (118)

  15. Zooms Zoom lenses (Corrigan and White 118) Zoom-in Camera stationary as zoom lens changes focal length Zoom-out Reverses action

  16. Sounds Edison’s phonograph in 1877 Sound experiment by Edison Studios in 1895 Phonography as “sound writing” (Corrigan and White 179) 1927-1930: incorporation of synchronized sound 1926-1927: Warner Bros. and Fox competing with sound technologies 1926: Warner Bros.’ Vitaphone sound-on-disk system Fox with Movietone sound system The Jazz Singer as Warner Bros.’ second feature film with recorded sound; Don Juan (1926) as first with recorded score Studios signed with Western Electric (subsidiary of AT&T) to adopt a sound-on-film system to replace sound-on-disk process (182) 1930s: silent films no longer produced by major studios; only few independent filmmakers, such as Charlie Chaplin, stayed with silent films (182)

  17. Sounds Radio Corporation of America joined with Keith-Orpheum theaters to become RKO, one of five studios, the “majors,” that dominated sound-era cinema—produced King Kong in 1933 and Citizen Kane in 1941