2 The essence of visual literacy is the awareness of the power of pictures to position and persuade us. Visually literate people respond actively: they participate in making meaning, as opposed to passively receiving the world with which they are presented.
3 WHY DO WE STUDY FILM? It is a language. (angles, shot types, sound, colour, editing)It complements other literature studies.(character, theme, genre, setting, style, etc.)It encourages critical language awareness.(bias, positioning and persuading)It is art.
5 COMPOSITIONTo compose a shot, the cinematographer makes several choices regarding:perspective (high angle, low angle, over-the-shoulder, etc.)the amount of subject relative to background (close-up, medium-shot, long-shot)framingfocus.
6 CAMERA SHOTS – LONG SHOT The subject (the car) is the focus while also being placed in context, i.e. the car is speeding along a remote tar road.from: Forgiveness (2004), directed by Ian Gabriel, a Giant Films-dv8 co production.
7 CAMERA SHOTS – CLOSE-UP The camera zooms right into the subject’s face to extract the maximum emotion or tension from the scene.from: Forgiveness (2004), directed by Ian Gabriel, a Giant Films-dv8 co production.
8 CAMERA SHOTS – EXTREME CLOSE-UP The extreme close-up focused on the smoking gun, emphasises the cycle of violence the revenge-seeking friends are continuing.from: Forgiveness (2004), directed by Ian Gabriel, a Giant Films-dv8 co production.
9 CAMERA SHOTS – OVER-THE-SHOULDER SHOT This over-the-shoulder shot allows the director to focus on one character’s reactions, while keeping another character in shot. This increases tension as it cramps the frame.from: Forgiveness
10 CAMERA SHOTS – ESTABLISHING SHOT and HIGH ANGLE This shot establishes the policemen’s problem – they’ve found the car but the baby has been taken into the big and densely populated township. The high angle emphasises their smallness relative to the size of the township.from: Tsotsi (www.tsotsi.com)
11 CAMERA ANGLES – EYE-LEVEL Eye-level shots promote a sense of calm and equality between characters in conversation.from: Tsotsi (www.tsotsi.com)
12 CAMERA ANGLES – LOW ANGLE The low angle is highly effective in making a subject appear threatening or imposing.from: Forgiveness
13 FRAMINGThis frame within the frame created by the pillar and Sannie’s shoulder focuses our attention on Tertius Coetzee’s anxiety. The high angle also emphasises his fragile state.from: Forgiveness (2004), directed by Ian Gabriel, a Giant Films-dv8 co production.
14 FRAMINGThe frame-within-the frame caused by Sannie’s shoulder and her brother Ernest’s body focuses our attention on Tertius. In addition, the lines of Sannie’s shoulder and jaw draw our attention to Ernest’s clenched fist.from: Forgiveness (2004), directed by Ian Gabriel, a Giant Films-dv8 co production.
15 BACKGROUND FOCUSIn both of these shots the figure in the background is in focus, but both characters are relevant. The figure on the left reacts to the actions of the figure on the right, who then attempts to explain himself.from: Forgiveness
16 LIGHTINGLighting is important not only in order to make important subjects visible, but to establish mood and develop character. Types of lighting include:full light (lit from the front),side lighting,spotlighting,over- and under-exposure,high-key and low-key lighting.
17 LIGHTING – FULL OR FRONT LIGHTING The light source is in front of the subject, allowing us to see his entire face. This suggests openness and serenity.from: Tsotsi (www.tsotsi.com)
18 LIGHTING – SIDE-LIGHTING The light source is from the left, leaving the right side of the subject’s face in the dark. This suggests that the character has something to hide or is experiencing inner conflict.from: Tsotsi (www.tsotsi.com)
19 LIGHTING – SPOTLIGHTING Shadows are used to frame Miriam (with the baby on her back), who is being observed from Tsotsi’s perspective. This creates a spotlight on her as Tsotsi sees her as the solution to his problems.from: Tsotsi (www.tsotsi.com)
20 LIGHTING – OVER-EXPOSURE This shot of Father Dalton and Tertius Coetzee uses over-exposure and high contrast to convey the harsh intrusion Coetzee is making into the Grootboom home.from: Forgiveness (2004), directed by Ian Gabriel, a Giant Films-dv8 co production.
21 LIGHTING – LOW-KEY: SUSPENSE The only light in this shot comes from the streetlamps. This creates a feeling of suspense. We are not sure what Tsotsi will do, but are certain that his intentions are not good.from: Tsotsi (www.tsotsi.com)
22 from: Tsotsi (www.tsotsi.com) COLOUR SCHEMEThe sepia tones that wash through many of the daylight scenes in Tsotsi suggest the smoky-dustiness of township living, both literally and figuratively.from: Tsotsi (www.tsotsi.com)
23 COLOUR SCHEMEThe desaturation of colour in Forgiveness conveys how the suppression of the truth has drained the characters emotionally, and robbed them of a full life.from: Forgiveness
24 COMPOSITION - PUTTING IT ALL TOGETHER The focus of this shot is achieved by following the gaze of the family members: Coetzee is relating how he tortured the Grootbooms’ eldest son. The circular arrangement with both Hendrik and Tertius partially cut off emphasises the discomfort in the scene.The scene is shot ateye-level to emphasisethe harsh honesty of thesituation – neither partyhas power.from: Forgiveness (2004), directed by Ian Gabriel, a Giant Films-dv8 co production.
25 EDITINGThe ordering of the shots below conveys the fragility of the peace Coetzee has achieved with the Grootboom family:While the family prays (frame 1), the friends are on the way (frame 2).Sannie (frame 3) is the one who called them but is no longer sure of her decision.The final shot indicates that the friends have arrived at the graveyard (frame 4).The viewers hold their breath to see what will happen.from: Forgiveness (2004), directed by Ian Gabriel, a Giant Films-dv8 co production.