JCM412512/Cinematography (Discussion)

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Cinematography and narrative

  1. Describe the depth of field. What narrative meaning does the shallow/deep focus suggest? Or in other words, what narrative function does it serve? How does it help to establish the characters and their relationship?
  2. Describe the framing. What is the film's aspect ratio? What narrative meaning does the framing suggest? Or in other words, what narrative function does it serve? How does it help to establish the characters and their relationship?
  3. Describe the camera movement. What narrative meaning does the camera movement suggest? Or in other words, what narrative function does it serve? How does it help to establish the characters and their relationship? Also, would the camera movement in this scene look different if it were done with a Steadicam? Why or why not?

Out of the Past

In the twelfth and final shot in this Out of the Past scene:

  • Groups 2 & 3: Question 1
  • Groups 4 & 5: Question 2
  • Groups 1 & 6: Question 3

Monster's Ball

In the third shot in this Monster's Ball scene:

  • Groups 2 & 3: Question 2
  • Groups 4 & 5: Question 3
  • Groups 1 & 6: Question 1

Citizen Kane

In the third shot in this Citizen Kane scene:

  • Groups 2 & 3: Question 3
  • Groups 4 & 5: Question 1
  • Groups 1 & 6: Question 2

Cinematography vocabulary

  1. What is depth of field?
    • Define these terms:
      • Shallow focus
      • Deep focus
      • Pulling focus (What's another name for it?)
    • Identify the depth of field in each Out of the Past screen shot above.
  2. What is focal length?
    • Define these focal-length terms:
      • Wide angle
      • Telephoto
      • Variable focal length lens (what's another, more common name for it?)
    • Can you identify the focal length probably used in these Out of the Past shots (above)?
  3. Framing
    • Explain high/low angles.
      • Identify the high/low angle in each Out of the Past screen shot above.
    • Explain the differences among these types of camera movement:
      • Pan
      • Tilt
      • Handheld
      • Tracking or dolly shot
        • Explain the difference between a tracking/dolly shot and a zoom.
  4. What is aspect ratio?
    • Define/explain these terms/numbers:
      • Standard Ratio: 4 : 3 or 1.33 : 1
      • Widescreen
        • Anamorphic 2.35 or 2.4 : 1
        • Masked 1.85 : 1
        • TV widescreen: 16 : 9 or 1.78 : 1
    • What are the aspect ratios of Out of the Past and Ordinary People?

Bibliography

  1. David Bordwell and Kristin Thompson, Film Art: An Introduction (McGraw-Hill).
  2. Jeremy G. Butler, Television: Critical Methods and Applications (Routledge)

External links

  1. Cinematography illustrations
  2. Out of the Past frame captures
  3. Out of the Past video clip
  4. Shakespeare in Love video clip
  5. Monster's Ball frame grabs
  6. Monster's Ball video clip