Intro. to Film Studies Visual Elements Shot • The basic storytelling tool for the filmmaker • A single view from the camera From one cut until the next – may be a fraction of a second may be five (or more) minutes long Pan • The camera pivots horizontally left to right >>>>>>>>> comfortable camera motion <<<<<<<<< right to left uncomfortable camera motion Tilt • The camera pivots vertically movement downwards – comfortable camera motion movement upwards – uncomfortable camera motion Lens • A lens can affect the way the viewer perceives the item on screen. A lens can “soften” the focus of the shot… or it can make it defined and cold. Long shot (LS) • A shot that shows the object in its general surroundings • Equal focus given to object and surroundings (more to surroundings?) this is actually an ELS Medium shot (MS) • A shot that shows only the object • Focus on the whole object (and maybe immediate surroundings) American shot (AS) • A special MS from the waist up • Usually indicates hero (good guy) • Comes from depiction of hero in Westerns Close up (CU) • Only part of the object is shown • Focuses our attention (usually face – shows emotion) Zoom • A lens effect that makes it look like the camera is moving towards or away from an object Point-of-view angle (POV) • A shot looking through the character’s eyes • Draws the viewer into the action Reaction shot • A shot of the person who is not talking or would not normally be the focus in a given situation Bird’s-eye view • A shot looking directly (or almost directly) downward Used to show relationships between objects High angle (HA) • The camera looks down at the subject • Makes the subject powerless Flat angle • The camera looks straight on at the subject • Neutral portrayal of object (sorry, no picture – it’s obvious!) Low angle (LA) • The camera looks up at the subject • Makes the subject powerful (viewer powerless) Oblique angle • The camera pivots longitudinally to tilt the image on screen • Creates diagonal lines (tension) Sometimes this tension is ironic Framing • The camera angle forces the image to be surrounded by lines or other objects on screen • May be used to emphasize an object or show that it is threatened Soft focus • The focal distance of the lens is set so that objects at only one distance are in focus • Frequently used • Focuses our attention on part of the shot Rack focus • A soft focus where the focal length switches during the shot Deep focus • All distances are in focus • Requires a special (expensive) lens • Emphasizes back and foreground as well as object This shot is not completely deep focus, but it’s close Packed screen • A lot of visual information on screen can be used to symbolize tension, action, chaos, etc. 2-shot • Two people on camera • Establishing shot for a conversation (usually a medium shot) • Usually splits sides of the screen 1-shot • One person on camera • Focuses viewer’s attention • Usually in series after a 2-shot (note camera position) 180º Rule • The camera never crosses an imaginary line between two characters • Keeps the characters on the same side of the screen to prevent confusion Putting that all together 2-shot 1-shot (close-up) on one character 1-shot (close-up) on other character That’s All Folks!