Film Techniques

Film Techniques

FILM TECHNIQUES Camera Work. Lighting. Editing. Sound. Camera Work The term camera work covers several different areas: Camera shots Camera angles Camera movement

Camera focus The Shot The shot is the building block of all filmmaking. It is a single, uninterrupted piece of film; the image that is seen on screen until it is replaced by another image through some type of editing technique. Common Shots: The

Long Shot In a long shot, the object on the screen appears small or appears to be seen from a distance; if a person is shown, you will generally see his or her entire body. Long shots are used to establish the scene so the viewer will know where the film is taking place; giving the viewer a sense of time and place. They are also used to show distance or separation between characters, or to show how a character interacts with his or her surroundings.

Common Shots: The Close-Up The object or person takes up 80% or more of the frame in a close-up. Can be used to direct the viewer to a crucial detail, to emphasize facial expression or a characters reaction, or to indicate intimacy. Forces the viewer to look at only what the director intends for the viewer to see. Is intimate and revealing though somewhat intrusive and authoritative.

Close Ups Common Shots: The Medium Shot In a medium shot, you see characters from about the waist up. This type of framing is probably the most naturalistic and most common of the types, as it is in real life.

Medium shots may not communicate much in the way of cinematic effect because they are considered neutral shots; however, they are unobtrusive and comfortable, most like the way we view people through our personal space distances. Camera Shots Extreme Close Up (ECU) shows detail Close Up

(CU) shows emotion Medium Close Up (MCU) reactions Medium Shot (MS) relationships Medium Long Shot

(MLS) body language Long Shot (LS) shows action Establishing Shot (ES) sets the scene The Two-Shot Close Up

Avatar 2009 Makes two characters the subject of the frame. It allows you to understand how the characters interact and react to each other. Establishing shot Long shot Extreme Close Up Medium Close up

Close Up Camera Angles Overhead shot High angle shot Low angle shot Mid angle shot

Camera Angles Makes the objects look very small, vulnerable or mechanical. Makes streets look like a maze. The most normal

angle. Suggests real life. The camera is your eyes. Makes the object looks small and insignificant. Suggests vulnerability.

Makes the object look large and powerful. Suggests dominance. Camera Movement The camera can be moved in different ways to create different effects. Pan camera is fixed but moves side to side

Tilt camera is fixed but moves up and down Zoom camera moves in and out of the same shot. Track camera is mounted on a railway track and moves along with what its filming. Crane camera moves above ground level. Camera Focus Focus = Clearly highlights to the viewer which subject is important Soft focus = can suggest romance,

poor vision, or substance abuse. Hard focus = most common in filming as it shows detail of the subject. Lighting Lighting helps create a mood for a scene. Different types of lighting include: Dark / Bright / Warm Soft light / High contrast

High key / low key DARK VS BRIGHT Dark or dim lighting can create suspense or suggest evil. Light or bright light can create peacefulness or suggest happiness.

Back light creates a silhouette effect. Low Key light shows detail. Can suggest the subject is evil. High Key light shows the source of the light (e.g. from the window).

Can suggest the subject is good/angelic. Fill light used to eliminate shadow and create softness. Color Color also helps create a mood for a scene. Colors can be achieved in different ways:

Colored lights Filters in front of the camera Different film stock Added at post production Sin City (2007) Used black and white with only very important details in red and yellow. (E.g. lipstick, blood).

Gattaca (1997) Used a warm sepia tone to contrast with the sterile environment. Editing Editing is the way the film is put together. E.g. inclusion, length and order. The sequences of shots then must be arranged to form an entire film. Film editing is an art form which can either make or break a film.

Pace Think of editing as a heartbeat. The faster the pace (shorter length shots), the more excitement and action. The slower the pace (longer length shots) the more serious or detailed. Editing - Transitions There are a number of ways two scenes can be connected: Straight cut one scene is directly after

another image Dissolve One image merges into another Wipe - One image is replaced by another with a distinct edge that forms a shape. Fade (to black) indicates the end of a scne Crosscutting two lines of actions are cut between to show they are happening at the same time. Editing -Montage A series of short shots edited together to condense a part of the story.

Montages suggest the passing of time. In most cases montages show the main character learning or improving skills that will help achieve the ultimate goal. A song usually plays in the background to enhance the mood. Example: Rocky Training Montage or Godfather Baptism scene Sound The soundtrack is a vital

part of any film and helps it tell its story. It can be broken down into different areas. Dialogue Voice Over Music Natural sound (diegetic) Sound Effects (non diegetic) Sound - Dialogue Dialogue is the words of the actors. It is important as it helps

us understand the story and characters. The dialogue from some films is so memorable, people are still quoting it today. Frankly my dear I dont give a damn! Life is like a box of chocolates. You never know what you're

gonna get. Ill be back! Sound Voice Over This is another way words are used to tell the story but the narrator is not seen. Their voice is over the image. Music

Music is a powerful technique to elicit emotions. Music should complement the story and help create atmosphere. E.g. Jaws Sound Natural sound (diegetic) Any sounds that were actually there when filming. (E.g. the sound of the surf, the actors voices, the trees rustling, cars passing). Sound Effects (non-diegetic) These are any sounds added after filming. They are

usually used to create atmosphere. (E.g. a door creaking, police sirens, voice over, music.)

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