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Often in film school, the only aesthetic advice you will get is "Don't use zooms." Screw that. Zooms are NOT on this list. That's because zooms, while potential cheese, can be used even at the student level effectively and are much cooler than most film schools even understand. [ filmmaker.com ]
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How to Read a FilmSubscribe to Open Class @ 200x Aesthetics
Film & Video Directing (Spring 2004): textbook Grammar of the Film Language by Daniel Arijon
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KEY TERMS: Glossary
Method for Directors?
ShowCases: 3 Sisters, Mikado, 12th Night, Hamlet, The Importance of Being Earnest, Dangerous Liaisons, Don Juan
prof. Anatoly Antohin Theatre UAF AK 99775 USA
"POV" (above logo) is a nonfiction writing, but with a lot about the nature of film. There is another page -- Speed, because it is difficult to talk about Style in filmmaking without discussing HOW director manipulates time, how he creates the chronotope of the spectacle.
3-4 types of motion: Primary motion, Secondary motion, or both! Plus -- cuts. Manipulation of time through the space manipulation!
Symbols:Sorry, I have no time to scan;
@< -- camera (facing right), or -- >@ (facing left)
(I ----- I) : two actors facing each other
For more see GRAMMAR OF THE FILM LANGUAGE, Daniel Arjon, Coomunication Arts Books, 1976
"Nail down your camera and depend of the cutting" - John Ford (extreme statement)
20 Basic Rules for Camera Movement1. A moving camera introducing character's POV
2. The camera behaves as if it is the eyes of an actor.
3. Panning ot tracking (travelling) present the scene directluy or as POV.
4. #3 can disclose an expected or unexpected situation at the end of the movement.
5. A straight cut is faster than a moving shot because it establishes the new point immediately.
7. Moving shot has three parts: a beginning (the camera is static), a moving centre section and a conclusion (static again). We cannot cut from a moving to a static shot of the same object!
Combined panning and tracking are used to follow a subject moving in front of the camera,
The rest is later.
A panning shot can scan a subject horizontally or follow a moving subject, (In the second instance the camera and subject might move continuosly or intermittently).
I have to make this page, because I didn't talk enough about the difference and connection between the motion in film: primary motion (in front of the camera) and secondary motion (camera's). Two out of four!
The first is covered in Mise-en-Scene for theatre directors. How to connect it with the camera movement? Because we block the motion for ONE very active spectator -- the camera!
Film is about changes! That is where motion is born.
Of course, there is the 3rd, the most powerfull motion, the CUTS!
Read Montage page!
There are several rules about shooting, which can't be violated. "180 degree" rule is one of them. "Continuety" principle covers many of them. The Triangle Princple is another one to remember (coverage by the three camera's positions).
First, define what is the action? Staging the primary and secondary motions must be considered together, but within the shot and cut mindframe.
Beginners, follow the Ford's advise. Master the static camera and the cut.
[NB. Most of my pages are the notes for classes. Come back later, when I will expend them.]
TRIANGLE shootingThree camera positions (1,2,3 pointing at actor A and B)
____ A(I __________ I)B _____ Line of Interest (or ACTION) 1@/_ --------------------- _\@2 \ / \ / \ / \ / \ / \ / \ / \ / \ / \ / \/ @ 3
Actor A and B facing each other, three camera positions: 1 (CU B), 2 (CU A), 3 (2shot A&B)
A. External reverse angels (above)
B. Internal (cameras [1 and 2] inside the line of interest, or line or tention/action between A and B):
-----A(I--->@1 ----- 2@<-------I)B------- \/ @ 3
Parallel Positions (camera view points)
\/ \/ @ @ 1 2 \/ @ 3
All three are in the same direction (2 CUs & one 2shot) -- what is the grammatic diffence between the above (external and internal positions)?
ISSUES:[emphasis by composition] -- give several examples
TRIANGULAR CAMERA PLACEMENT (oveview)Three levels (camera distance):
--------A(I----------I)B--------- /I\ CU CU / I \ MS MS / I \ LS LS
CU, MS, LS (camera distance = intensity of the screen action)
Another way to indicate camera DIRECTIONS: North-South, West-East (N, NW, NE and etc.)N W + E S
TOPICs:Re-establishing shot: return to the master shot to refresh the sense of location -- how often?
Silent reactions (inserts)
Inserts (also, Cutaway shots) and Master Shot
Time compression (building any screen event is cutting our "non-dramatic" time and streatching the high density moments). Examples. [Relevant topis: subjective camera or subjective time, POV, chronotope]
Reverse camera position as a screen statement (to discuss)
CUT: Montage as the 3rd MotionCUTTING on action (motion)
CUTTING Afrter the movement
How the two are different as the screen sentences?
I. MOTION of the screen (secondary)
List ther types:
II. Motion Inside the screen (primary)
III. Both at the same time
180 principle: movement in a neutral direction could be covered by a frontal and rear comera position, without the player go out of the screen on either shot:
1@< ------- Actor ---------- >@2
Cut from 1 to 2 (while actor is moving) is fine, as long as both cameras on the same line (see 1shot illustration, left).
HALF SCREEN PRINCIPLELeft and Right side of the screen designated for one or another actor, keep the continuety (screen sectors)!
Continuety principle again!
Triangle principle / one person (above) or THREE Actors are governed by the same rules!
[Right angle camera position -- L] (Explain in class)
[ samples ]
[Add to the Glossary]
[ when and how to combine primary and secondary motions ]
3 PLAYERS caseSeveral cases are possible, see one on the right bellow.
1. Traveling camera (tracking shots)
2. Zoom ---> follow action
EDITING in the Camera
Jump cuts = time transition
What is PUNCTUATION?
[ Chapter 9. The nature of screen motion (160) ]
[ cases ]
[ cutting on action; see CUTS page + Chapter 10. Cutting after the movement (178), see cutting page * both, primary and secondary motions, cases ]
[ 3 shots (single shot form) in class -- full description ]
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Finale (sample): "BONNIE & CLYDE" by David Newman & Robert Benton
125. EXT. ROAD. CLYDE reaches the spot, pulls off the road and stops the car. He gets out. Camera pulls back. CLYDE talks to the old man, BONNIE stays in the car. Cut to a shut down the trench of the law, tense. Suddenly, a truck loaded with chickens comes riding down the road from the opposite direction. HAMER sees it from a long way away and realizes that he cannot afford to let anything pass between him and his quarry. He decides the time is now. He leaps up from the trench and yells at CLYDE. HAMER Barrow! The OLD MAN dives under his truck to hide. The shooting starts. We see the chicken truck. Two men in the front seat. They see ahead of them an incredible shooting match and, in terror, they jam on the brakes and leap out of the truck. They run as fast as they can into the meadow, away from the trouble. The gun fight takes just seconds during which law fires eight-seven shots at BONNIE and CLYDE, giving them absolutely no chance. The sound is rapid, deafening. At no point in the gun fight do we see BONNIE and CLYDE in motion. We see, instead, two still photographs cut into the sequence: one of Clyde, half out of the car, taking careful dead aim with his gun, just as he did in the teaching scene: one of BONNIE, in terror, a pack of cigarettes in her hand clutched tight, looking as fragile and beautiful as she can be. The noise stops at once. Utter silence. It has been a massacre. BONNIE and CLYDE never had a chance to return the gunfire. We see the car, a complete shambles. We never see BONNIE and CLYDE dead, though for a moment we discern their bodies slumped in the car. The camera pulls above the car until it is on a level with the opposite side of the road. Then, slowly, the six lawmen stand up in the trench. On the faces of the five deputies, horror and shock at what they have just done. HAMER, however, registers no emotion. His face is a blank. He lights a cigarette. Slowly, slowly, the five men begin to edge closer to the car to see the result. Music, the wild country breakdown music, begins on the sound track. 126. Before they reach the car, the camera swings away from them, past them, and zooms out and above into the meadow where the two truck drivers are standing--tiny, distant figures. The truck drivers begin to walk toward the camera, coming back to the road to see what happened. They get closer and closer to the camera until they have reached a middle distance and, as they continue to walk at us, it is-- THE END CUT TO BLACK.
2007 An online course supplement * Film-North * Anatoly Antohin. * eCitations *
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