Cinema
• Cinema is aesthetic communication
through the design of time and threedimensional space compressed into a
two-dimensional image.
Techniques of Presentation
• Narrative- this technique tells a story, using the
techniques of theatre. This type of film follows
literary construction in that it begins with expository
material, adds levels of complications, builds to a
climax, and ends with a resolution of all the plot
elements.
• Documentary- this type attempts to record actuality
using either a sociological or journalistic approach. It
does not use reenactment by professional actors and
is often shot as the event is occurring.
• Absolute- this film exists for its own sake, to record
movement or form. There is no story and rarely runs
longer than twelve minutes (one reel) and has no
commercial intent.
Shots
• Shot- what the camera records over a period
of time: the basic unit of filmmaking
 Master shot- a single shot of an entire piece
of action, taken to facilitate the assembly of
the component shots of which the scene will
be composed
• Establishing shot- a long shot introduced at
the beginning of a scene to establish the
relationship between time & place, which will
then be elaborated upon during subsequent
shots
More shots
• Long shot- a shot taken with the camera at a
considerable distance from the subject
• Close-up- a shot taken with the camera quite
near the subject
• Two shot- a close-up of two persons with the
camera as near as possible while still keeping
both subjects within the frame
• Bridging shot- a shot inserted in the editing of
a scene to cover a brief break in the
continuity of the scene
Editing
•
The editing process creates or builds the
film. Artists rarely record cinema in the order
of its final presentation. They film it in bits
and pieces and put it together
• Plasticity is the quality of film that enables it
to be cut, spliced, and ordered according to
the needs of the film and the desires of the
filmmaker
Editing: How the film is put
together
• Cut- the joining together of shots during the
editing process
• Jump cut- a cut that breaks the continuity of
time by jumping forward from one part of the
action to another that is separated by an
interval of time, location, or camera position
• Form cut- cuts from an image in a shot to a
different object that has a similar shape or
contour, and is used to create a smoother
transition
Director films -then arranges
the segments
• Montage- compression or elongation of
time; also rapid succession of images to
illustrate an idea or create comparisons
• Crosscutting- alternates between
separate actions related by theme,
mood, or plot but usually within the
same time period
Camera movement- adds
variety & impact
• Track- shot taken as the camera moves
in the same direction and speed as the
object
• Pan- rotates the camera horizontally,
while remaining fixed vertically
• Zoom- moves the camera toward or
away from the subject
Viewpoint: elaborates on
director’s ideas
• Objective viewpoint- allows us to watch
the action as a universal spectator
• Subjective viewpoint- present the scene
as if we are actually participating in it
Camera Focus
• Depth of focus- clear focus of images
both near and far
• Differential focus- focuses on one
element within a shot, while other parts
are left out of focus
Dissolves: Smooth Transitions
•
Transitional devices can be worked into a scene
during the editing and usually indicate the end of one
scene and the beginning or another.
•
The camera can cut or jump to the next scene,
but a smoother transition occurs if the scene fades
out into black and the next scene fades in. This is a
dissolve.
•
As viewers, we need to develop an awareness of
how the director articulates movement from one
section to another and how that form of articulation
contributes to the rhythm and style of the film.
Types of Dissolves
• Lap dissolve- occurs when the fade-out and
the fade-in are done simultaneously and the
scene momentarily overlaps
• Wipe- a line moves across the screen,
eliminating one shot and revealing the next
• Iris-out or iris-in- a transition is created by
the closing or opening the aperture of the
lens
Sensory Impact
•
The aim of film and all arts is to involve
us in its product, either emotionally or
intellectually. Filmmakers enhance their final
product by using techniques that manipulate
us toward a deeper involvement or
heightened intellectual response.
• Cross-cutting –alternates between two
separate actions related by theme, mood, or
plot but usually within the same time period.
Its most common function is to create
suspense
Tension
 Tension release- if the plot of a film is
believable and the director talented a
feeling of tension will be built up. If this
becomes too great, the viewers seek
some sort of release to break the
tension and destroy the atmosphere.
Magnitude & Scale
• Magnitude- large panoramas and fullscale action scenes do not translate
effectively to TV. TV films should be
built around the close-up and
concentrated action and movement
because the TV audience is closer to
than image.
Accepted Practices
 Convention- accepted practices of the
medium. We do not ask where the
orchestra is playing when music
enhances an exciting chase scene, or a
performer begins singing in a musical
film- we accept the background music
as part of the totality of the film
Dynamics
• Structural rhythm- this reflects the manner in which
the various shots join together and juxtapose with
other cinematic images, both visual and aural. The
filmmaker creates a rhythm and pattern based on the
way they choose to tell the story and indicate deeper
meanings and relationships
• Symbolic images- are used by filmmakers to direct
our attention to the ideas inherent in the
philosophical approach underlying the film (hero
dressed in white, villain dressed in black)
Audio Techniques
In addition to dialogue, audio techniques
are used to
• create symbolism
• to reinforce the emotional quality of a
scene
• for stronger emphasis
More About Audio
• Abrupt cutting done to beat of a soundtrack
• Sound effects- amplified ambient or
accompanying sound
• Audio motif to introduce visual elements or
convey meaning symbolically
• Create sentimentality by accompanying
dialogue with certain songs
• Changing the tempo and timbre of songs
replayed during scenes
Critical Viewing
• Cinematic style impact
• Characters with complex inner lives
• Relevance to the times: response to
social conditions
• Integrity: serious problems have
believable solutions
• Avoidance of stereotypes
• Gravity of theme- timeless subjects