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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 characters 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
Birds-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 – its 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 its 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 viewers 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
Thats All Folks!
40 Minutes Left.
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