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Cinematography is the art of manipulating light and shadow, and capturing it as a moving image. We'll be posting articles and insights - maybe a bit of inspiration too! Whether you're a pro or have hardly picked up a camera except to point and shoot at a birthday party, we hope you'll find some useful information below.
CINEMATOGRAPHY - SHOTS AND CAMERA ANGLES
QUESTIONS TO ASK:
SCENE defines the place or setting where the action is laid
TYPES OF CAMERA ANGLES
CAMERA ANGLES Are the most important factor in producing illusion of scenic depth. Which angle the object is photographed.
FIVE BASIC ANGLES
EYE LEVEL SHOTS Provide frames or reference. Audiences sees the event as if in the scene. Most scenes in movies are photographed from eye level. 5 to 6 feet off the ground. Capturing the clearest view of an object.-Treating your characters as equals. Discourages viewers at judging them and permits audience to make up their own minds.
BIRDS EYE VIEW Photographing a scene from DIRECTLY OVERHEAD. Hovers from above like all powerful gods. Idea of fate.
HIGH ANGLED SHOTS Camera is tilted downward. Movement is slowed down. A person seems harmless and insignificant photographed from above.-The higher the angle, the more it tends to imply fatality
-Heightens the importance of a subject. Scenes depicting heroism
-Suggests tensions, transitions, impending movement
IMAGE THAT SLANTS TO THE RIGHT Acting forceful
IMAGE THAT SLANTS TO THE LEFT Weak, static
A shot should be held no longer than required to make its point.
Approach each sequence with a fresh attitude and strive to treat the action in an individual matter.
A definite change in camera angles will assure a smoother flow of images.
"And later I thought, I can't think how anyone can become a director without learning the craft of cinematography."
SIX BASIC SHOTS
1) Extreme Long Shot Taken at a great distance. Almost always an exterior shot and shows much of the locale. Establishing shots usually
DOMINANT CONTRAST Area that immediately attracts our attention because of a conspicuous and compelling contrast
SUBSIDARY CONTRAST Structured image so that specific images are followed in sequence. Whatever character or object that is most dramatically important will assume dominance.
The HUMAN EYE scans pictures from left to right
HORIZONTAL LINES Move from left to right
SPACE is one of the principal mediums of communication in film
Dominant characters are almost always given more space to occupy than others are.
You can define, adjust and redefine human relationships by exploiting spatial conventions
ACTOR CAN BE PHOTOGRAPHED IN FIVE BASIC POSITIONS
FULL FRONT Most intimate, vulnerabilities exposed-Audience agrees to become their chosen confidante.
QUARTER TURN Involves a high degree of intimacy but with less emotional involvements
PROFILE More remote.
THREE QUARTER TURN More anonymous. Rejecting audiences
BACK TO CAMERA Characters alienation from the world. Sense of concealment, mystery.
TIGHTLY FRAMED SHOTS Confined
LOOSLY FRAMED SHOTS Freedom
PROXEMIC PATTERNS Climax, noise level and the degree of light all tend to alter the space between individuals
1) INTIMATE Eighteen inches away. Distance of LOVE, COMFORT, TENDERNESS between individuals
2) PERSONAL Eighteen inches to about four feet away. Reserved for friends and acquaintances
3) SOCIAL Four feet to about twelve feet away. Business and casual social gatherings
4) PUBLIC � Twelve to about twenty feet away.
ANALYSIS OF ANY GIVEN SHOT � TWELVE ELEMENTS
1) SHOT AND CAMERA PROXEMICS
-How do these distort or comment on the photographed materials?
4) LIGHTING STYLE
11) STAGING PROBLEMS
12) CHARACTER PROXEMICS
MOVEMENT IS NOT SIMPLY A MATTER OF WHAT HAPPENS, BUT HOW THINGS HAPPEN.
The OBSERVER has to be the CAMERA and it needs to know where it�s going.
THE VALUE OF A SHOT ALWAYS DEPENDS ON A NARRATIVE.
" You make the movie through the cinematography - it sounds quite a simple idea, but it was like a huge revelation to me."
THE PRINCIPLES OF PERSPECTIVE
-Finding the right points of the sequence and getting to tell the best narrative story
AESTHETIC DISTANCE Phrase used to describe the degree to which a work or art manipulates the viewer
FIRST PERSON POINT OF VIEW Sees events through the eyes of the character
THIRD PERSON POINT OF VIEW Presents action as seen by an ideal observer
OMNISCIENT POINT OF VIEW Having to know what the character is thinking. Requires a type of narration, voice-over or graphics
PAN SHOT, Used to:
"Cinematography is infinite in its possibilities... much more so than music or language.