Presentation on theme: "AP Language and Composition. Some initial considerations… Who is making the film? For whom in the film intended (audience)? What is the context in which."— Presentation transcript:
AP Language and Composition
Some initial considerations… Who is making the film? For whom in the film intended (audience)? What is the context in which the film is being made? (Why is the film being made? What is happening societally/socially/technologically/etc. ?)
Documentary Terms: Evaluating the Argument Authenticity: The belief that the world represented on screen is as the filmmaker discovered it and has not been modified Demonstrative Proof: Emphasis on making evidence persuasive, albeit not necessarily accurate. Perspective: In documentary filmmaking, the selection and arrangement of sounds and images to tacitly convey or imply the filmmakers point of view about a subject. Propaganda Film: films that are made with the explicit purpose of persuading the audience of a point
Rhetorical Appeals Consider starting with which appeals feature most prominently in your film: How does the film make you feel? (pathos) What type of logic is used to convince the audience of the film-makers perspective? (logos) Be sure to consider your films use of logical fallacies, especially when critiquing the argument presented! What credentials does the filmmaker have? (ethos) How does he/she develop credentials through interviews, use of experts, etc.?
What is a Claim? An assertion or proposition that states the arguments main idea Must be arguable; different than a statement of fact Once you watch the film in its entirety: Try to determine what claims (plural) that the film is making. Which of those claims seems to best encapsulate the overarching argument (thesis) of the film? Why? Be able to explain how the more minor claims contribute to the broader thesis.
Types of Claims Claims of Fact -- assert something is true or not true Pivot on what is factual; can be verified/checked May call into question language in a claim Ex.: Zimbabwe has an unstable government. What does unstable mean? New facts can call into question old ones Often challenge stereotypes of beliefs
Types of Claims Claims of Value -- something is good/bad, right/wrong, desirable/undesirable May be personal judgments based on taste or more objective in nature Must establish specific criteria by which the subject will be judged Reviews of books, movies, albums are good examples
Types of Claims Claims of Policy -- when a change is proposed Begins with definition of the problem (claim of fact) Then explains why it is a problem (claim of value) Finally explains what change needs to happen (claim of policy)
Reading a Text: Documentary Films Documentaries have always contained some amount of directorial choice and influence: even when a filmmaker simply records events, she still selects what to frame, what to edit, when to start and stop rolling the camera, and what music or other effects to add to develop the films overall meaning or presentation of a topic. Still, a new type of documentary has emerged in mass cultureone that is less of a factual, objective presentation of ideas and more of a visual debate an argument relayed in images and sound. - Jennifer Prust, AP Lang Teacher, Santa Monica High School Expository Documentary: A nonfiction film that covers a subject by emphasizing verbal commentary and argumentative logic
Documentary Modes: Participatory Participatory Mode: film in which the emphasis is on the interaction between the filmmaker and the films subject The acknowledged presence of the camera and crew The film-maker speaking directly to her/his subjects An emphasis on monologues and dialogues Representation of multiple viewpoints, contributing different information Editing which maintains logical continuity Example: Michael Moores Bowling for Columbine
Documentary Modes: Observational Observational Mode: film emphasizing the filmmaker engages in observing and documenting the subjects life or circumstances with an unobtrusive camera A non-interventionist or fly-on-the-wall style of presentation Unobtrusive camera work, appearing to offer a 'window on the world' Relatively long takes connoting that nothing has been 'cut out' Zoom lenses and hand-held camera following the action Editing which gives the impression of 'lived' or 'real' time Speech which is overheard and not directed to camera or audience Only diagetic sound(sound originating in the documentary's world)
Documentary Modes: Performative Performative Mode: a film that emphasizes the filmmakers subjective attitude or personal engagement with a subject, shown to evoke audience reaction 'Voice of God' narration directly addressing the viewer Direct relationship between images and voice-over Interviews used only in support of the film's argument A conventional narrative structure A narrator who also may appear as a 'character' in the film Example: Werner Herzogs Grizzly Man
Documentary Modes: Poetic Poetic Mode: a film that emphasizes the visual associations and descriptive passages, tonal and rhythmic qualities and de- emphasizes linear or logical sequencing Example: Look for moments of poetic mode in PressPausePlay NOTE ABOUT MODES: While it is useful to keep all these styles in mind, many documentaries don't fit rigidly into a single category. Ex: The film The Lottery, for example, is expository in that it includes interviews to the camera, and observational in that it has footage of each family and their children interacting in their homes. Michael Moore's films offer further examples of this hybridity as well.
Documentary Filmmaking Techniques: Visual Techniques Archival footage: Stock footage such as file footage, news footage etc. that is not custom shot for use in a specific film; archival footage is beneficial to filmmakers as its cheaper than shooting new material and often provides context/background info about the topic of a film Intertitle: Text that appears periodically on screen to provide information such as the date, time and location of an event or identify the person on screen
Documentary Filmmaking Techniques: Visual Techniques Establishing shot: sets up, or establishes the context for a scene by showing a shot at the beginning of a scene indicating where, and sometimes when, the remainder of the scene takes place Mise en scene: the visual elements of a shot such as lighting, setting, costume, figure placement, etc. which contribute to the visual style of a shot and convey an impression to the viewer
Mise en scene: Activity Discuss how the visual elements from this shot in The Royal Tennenbaums conveys meaning. How about this shot from Ferris Buellers Day Off?
Documentary Film Techniques: Visual Techniques – Editing What is a shot in filmmaking? A shot is the moment that the camera starts rolling until the moment it stops. Editing shots (or cutting shots together) is what helps to convey meaning to a viewer; it is a very subtle way to make and argument or create an impression (often subconscious) Types of cuts: Narrative cuts: combining two shots to advance the story Emotional cuts: combining two shots to maximize emotional impact Associative cuts: combining two shots to create a visual metaphor
Editing continued …. Dissolve: an editing technique in which one image dissolves into another; can create connection between images Juxtaposition: cutting two or more shots (usually consecutively arranged) to create a meaningful relationship between them, to points out similarities/differences, or to create an emotional effect, etc. Long take: a continuous single shot of unusually long duration which eliminates or lessens the need to edit the scene; can seem drawn out or make the viewer feel impatient Short take: a shot that has a brief duration on screen, usually less than three seconds; the use of short takes in combination requires a lot of editing and often creates a sense of urgency in the viewer or a chaotic tone (think of action sequences)
Audio Terms Audio track: the sound heard during the film; it can include voices, dialogue, narration, music, sound effects, etc. Diagetic sound: sound that is part of the world being filmed (ex: birds chirping in the background, people talking on screen, music playing from speakers in the scene, etc) Non-diagetic sound: Sounds that come from outside the space being filmed; usually added during editing (ex: soundtrack or voiceovers) Soundtrack: the sound recorded on a film; the audio portion of a film most often added in post-production editing, usually musical Voice Over: An off-camera narrative voice that comments about the images on screen
Documentary Filmmaking Techniques: Audio and Visual Masked Interview: An interview in which the filmmaker is both off-camera and unheard; only the interview subject is filmed
Significant Documentary Film Elements to pay attention to …. Score/soundtrack/sound Selection of interview subjects Editing of interviews (what is included/what is not) Editing of shots Selection and editing of observational footage Role of voice overs Narratives told within the documentary (anecdotes, the people who become the subject of the film, etc.) Framing of individual shots (what is included and what is omitted outside the frame of the shot)