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Cinematography Versus Mise-en-scene

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Presentation on theme: "Cinematography Versus Mise-en-scene"— Presentation transcript:

1 Cinematography Versus Mise-en-scene

2 Cinematography Cinematography: "writing in movement”
Digital Cinematography and Computer-Generated Imagery have brought changes in Cinematography, which was traditionally based on chemical/photographic images and effects. Cinematography = Everything that has to do with cameras and lenses, with film/film stock (and its digital equivalents), exposure and processing of film/digital images. Citizen Kane (Welles)

3 Cinematography vs. Mise-en-Scene
Cinematography can be contrasted to “mise-en-scene” (staging), which refers to “what is filmed”; while cinematography refers to “how it is filmed.” This difference raises questions: Visual Special Effects? Often done in post-production (esp. digital effects). So, is that Cinematography? Lighting? Effects exposure, lens setting, focus, etc., Usually under control of Cinematographer (Director of Photography). But Lighting, since it is part of “what is filmed,” could also be seen as part of a film’s “mise-en-scene.” What is your opinion? what is filmed (mise-en-scene) how it is filmed (cinematography) Is this cinematography or mise-en-scene?

4 Main Elements of Cinematography
(1) Composition of the frame and mobile framing. Frame shape (aspect ratios), camera distance (types of shots: e.g., CU, Medium Shot), angle, level, height, & mobile framing (camera movements and zooms), perspective, pov. (2) Camera, Lens, & Exposure Choices & Techniques (what used to be called “photographic elements”) Camera Choices (speed of motion, shutter speed), Lens Types (e.g., telephoto, wide angle), Lens Settings (focus, aperture, depth of field, etc.), Exposure issues.

5 COMPOSITION OF THE FRAME Camera Angles High angle Psycho (Hitchcock)

6 COMPOSITION OF THE FRAME Camera Angles Straight angle; Straight on Rebecca (Alfred Hitchcock, 1940)

7 COMPOSITION OF THE FRAME Camera Angles Low angle

8 COMPOSITION OF THE FRAME Canted framing (a. k. a
COMPOSITION OF THE FRAME Canted framing (a.k.a. Dutch angle) Man with a Movie Camera (Vertov) – one of the first films to use Canted angles Canted framing Camera not level / not horizontal Often suggests tension, trouble, distress, etc.

9 Did you know? The term “Dutch angle” originates from the term “Deutsch” which means German. German expressionism used canted angled in many films to denote madness and uneasiness. The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari (1919) Dir. Robert Wiene

10 Framing can become a director’s signature
There are other examples of framing, which include using the natural framing occurring in objects. Tarantino’s low angle trunk shot.

11 CAMERA DISTANCE Camera/Shot Distance or “Type of Shot”
extreme long (ELS) long (LS) medium long shot (MLS) medium (MS) medium close-up (MCU) close-up (CU) extreme close-up (ECU)

12 Extreme long shot (ELS)

13 Long shot (LS)

14 Medium long shot (knees or shins to head; a. k. a
Medium long shot (knees or shins to head; a.k.a. American shot or knee shot)

15 Medium shot (MS) Modern Times (Chaplin) Nosferatu (F.W. Murnau)

16 Medium close-up (MCU)

17 Close-up (CU)

18 Extreme close-up (ECU)

19 Other "shots" that aren’t named for their shot distance:
Establishing shot Master shot Two and three shot Reverse shot or reverse-angle shot Point-of-view (POV) shot (a.k.a. subjective shot)

20 COMPOSITION OF THE FRAME: Aspect Ratios (ratio of width to height)
Rules of the Game, Jean Renoir, 1939 1.33:1 (4 to 3) actually 1.37:1 Aliens, James Cameron, 1986 1.85:1 Rebel Without A Cause, Nicholas Ray, 1955 2.35:1 (Cinemascope)

21 Framing: aspect ratios
Academy ratio = 1.37:1, but often said to be 1.33:1 Note how framing affects balance, visual information, & relationship of on- & off-screen space 2.2 to 1 Pan & Scan; 1.33 to 1

22 Aspect Ratios (when shooting digital)
A. 4:3 - composition well suited for a close-up B. 16:9 - loss of focus - i.e., frame includes “extraneous” information C. 16:9 - letter boxed - face is smaller D. 16:9 - to command attention - i.e., fill-up the frame - face is cropped

23 Mobile Framing Actual Movements of Camera
Zooms, where Camera doesn’t move, but the frame changes as the lens focal length is changed: Zoom In or Zoom Out. (Magnifies) Computer-generated shots: for ex: “fly-bys,” “rotations.” Computers, like traditional animation, can potentially generate any movement.

24 Mobile Framing: Camera Movements
Pans = rotates horizontally, side to side (“camera rotates on vertical axis”) Tilts = vertical pivot/rotation, up and down In pans & tilts, camera does not change position, it pivots or rotates. Usually tripod mounted. Dolly/tracking/traveling shots Crane (and “boom” or jib) shots Hand-held and steadycam shots

25 Mobile Framing: Camera Movements
Dolly, Tracking, Traveling shots: all basically the same. Sometimes people use “tracking shot” to mean a “following shot” But name “tracking shot” came from the “tracks” that dollies moved on. So, dolly and tracking interchangeable terms. Traveling shot is generally reserved for more expansive movements, taken from a vehicle. Dolly shots usually lead to LONG TAKES.

26 Dolly Shot, on Tracks

27 Dolly Shot Jean Luc Godard’s Le Mepris (Contempt, 1963)

28 Mobile Framing: Camera Movements
Crane and Boom/Jib shots: Boom/jib shots: Camera mounted on counterweighted boom (similar to booms for microphones); some booms can also telescope in or out. Can use for combinations of pans & tilts, horizontal (tracking), vertical or diagonal moves. Crane shots: Shots look the same as boom shot, but often motorized or with hydraulics for movement. Usually cranes have seat for operator, wheels. Some can be driven. Motion-control techniques: computer programs to direct elaborate camera movements.

29 Opening: Welles' Touch of Evil 1958

30 Opening: Robert Altman’s The Player (1992)

31 Mobile Framing: Camera Movements
Hand-held and Steadicam Shots: Hand-held & Steadicam shots can pan or tilt or track. Hand-held movement is obviously “unsteady”--which is how we know it’s a hand-held shot. Steadicam: a patented device wh/ dampens unsteadiness, producing a relatively smooth movement, even when walking or running. Operators must be trained to use. Steadicam first used in Rocky (1976). Early prominent use in Kubrick’s The Shining (1980).

32 Tracking Shot – Children of Men (2006) Alfonso Cuaron; Steadicam example

33 Mobile Framing When viewing a film, mobile framing can be hard to spot, because we often follow what is being photographed, rather than how. And often, multiple combinations of camera movements: Ex: Tracking shots often include some panning. And combinations of camera movements can become quite complicated, as in some Crane Shots. Also, can combine camera movements with zooms.

34 Mobile Framing Vertigo, Alfred Hitchcock, 1958 Dolly Zoom

35 Mobile Framing Famous shot from Jaws (1975), which uses both forward tracking and a zoom out. Reverse of Hitchcock’s Vertigo shot, which zoomed in while tracking out. Both forms are often called “dolly zoom” shots.

36 Tracking Vs. Zooming Left: move the camera (track in)
short focal length lens Note: Relation of back/foreground, changed angles distortion at edges Right: Camera stationary Change of focal length (i.e., zoom in) Relation of back/foreground closer (telephoto effect of flattening) No distortion at edges Zooming is unnatural to the human eye

37 Emotional Framing Like the Dutch angle, using mobile framing can denote a particular psychological effect. In Vertigo, the motion represents a sudden rush of adrenalin much like what you feel when you’re bungee jumping. These types of framing are cinematic depictions of a highly psychological feelings.

38 Cinematography and Perspective
M (1931; Fritz Lang) Black Swan (2010; D. Aronofsky) Who is the audience looking at, and from who’s perspective? What perspective does the camera put the audience in?

39 Subjective shot (or point-of-view shot)
Subjective Shot/Camera: from the position/point of view of a character--as if seeing through character eyes. Also called POV shot. Cinema equivalent of “First Person” in writing. Some people make distinction between subjective shots & POV shots: use “POV shots” to include “over-the-shoulder” shots--which give a sense of POV without actually being from the position of the character. But easier & better: treat POV and Subjective as the same; over-the-shoulder as different.

40 Subjective shot (or point-of-view shot)
Subjectivity/POV is crucial to Classical Hollywood style: shot/reverse shots & eyeline matching are based on the idea of seeing from character’s POV. But, shot/reverse shot shows both "subjective" and "objective" views: Hollywood (most cinema) mixes both together. What happens if subjectivity is taken to extreme? If we see only subjective shots?

41 How many camera techniques can you find?
John Carpenter’s Halloween trailer (1978)

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