RTF 317 Shot List Analysis Guidelines
RTF 317 Shot List Analysis Guidelines RTF 317
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Date Created: 09/27/15
Shot List and Sequence Analysis RTF 317 Narrative Strategies Fall 2015 Due at the beginning of class on Friday February 20 Late papers or electronic copies will NOT be accepted This assignment is worth 10 points and is valued as 10 of your overall grade in the course This assignment requires you to examine patterns of editing in ONE of the following scenes a The badges shootout in Treasure of the Sierra Madre b Ben and Elaine s date in The Graduate The assignment requires two parts a detailed shot list and a 12 page analysis paper Downloadable les of the chosen scenes along with a shot list template and examples of a correctly completed shot list and analysis paper are available in a zip le in the Files folder on Canvas The purpose of this assignment is to apply what you have been learning about lm grammar to an example in order to examine the complex narrative decisions presented in a single sequence Part 1 Shot List For the rst part of the assignment you must break down and describe each shot in one of the two provided scenes Use the shot list template in the Files folder on Canvas to chart this other versions of this template will not be accepted Your shot list will include the following categories shot number shot distance camera angle camera movement timeduration of shot subjects of shot miseenscene sound and general comments If an identi able technique such as a match cut use of dramatic axis shotreverse shot etc is apparent please note this in the comments box of the chart Part 2 Analysis For the second part of the assignment you should present a clear and precise argument about how the linking of shots function to drive the narrative of this sequence Focus on two stylistic elements to analyze from the list below to explain the linking of shots 1 Miseenscene 2 Cinematography 3 Editing 4 Sound The goal of this analysis is not simply to describe the various shots in the sequence but to analyze how groups of shots are put together and how these patterns enhance the visual narrative and thematic power of the sequence Your analysis paper must be 12 pages long with 12 pt Times New Roman font doublespaced and 1quot margins Put your name on all pages of the assignment and staple them together Distance MS LS to MS MCU LS MS MS MS CU Angle Straight Straight Low High Straight Straight Straight High Camera Movement Pan left then right and follow Alex pause as he speaks with Mother tracks right as Alex moves tracks back to reveal Brody static when Brody on right side of frame Pan right as Man and dog enter from frame left at LS distance tracks forward to reframe Man and dog at MS distance Tracks left with Man Static Static Tracks left slightly following Alex Tracks right with dog Tilt down Time 40 03 01 04 02 03 05 03 Subjects Beachgoer then Alex Alex joined by Mother Ocean natural then Alex solo finally sunlight beach Brody in foreground and residents in background left Man with dog Man throwing stick to dog Dog two Lovers in vvater Alex39s mother Alex enters frame right and exits frame left Alex going out to the ocean Follows dog Man enters from frame left Beachgoer Miseenscene and beach props changing rooms Ocean natural suanht Changing rooms in background natural sunlight Ocean water natural sunlight Beach scene natural sunlight beach props Ocean yellow raft Alex39s red suHsuanht Ocean water stick natural light Ocean water natural sunlight Sound Ocean chatter of beachgoers splashing dialogue Ocean chatter of beachgoers splashing dog barking Sameas above Splashing string music chatter Continues sound from above Splash from Alex other sound cuts out Splashing Ocean Comments Shift from water to beach establishes the location of the beach and the distance between Brody and the water Establishes position of dog which will later be missing separates ocean from beach Continues to follow Man from previous shot cuts as he throws stick for dog reverse shot Continues action from previous shot dog is now getting the stick Establishes Alex39s movement toward ocean The sound quiets as Alex enters the water making entrance ominous Tracks opposite direction from Alex further separating water and beach Slows the action expect dangersoon RTF 317 Sequence Analysis To make a movie effective even the shortest scenes are often composed as a self contained narrative with visual story and thematic functions still conveyed at this smaller scale Achieving this in such a short span depends on how the shots in a scene fit together as a whole as a successful example the death of Sonny in The Godfather has linked its shots so that we recognize the brutal murder that takes place enhanced visually by the fastpaced violence that we did not at first expect and thematically establishing a sense of helplessness In the micronarrative of this scene the audience is presented with a rather straightforward story the murder of Sonny at the tollbooth which is constructed as a particularly dramatic sequence through exploitation of the various properties of miseenscene and editing To stimulate an audience s interest in a scene it is common to entice them to become emotionally attached to the protagonist in this scene however our protagonist is a criminal Sonny for whom it is naturally more difficult to establish sympathy This scene manages to override this problem though largely through the approximately four second sequence where Sonny looks around and sees the gangsters emerging with machine guns with this Sonny is given a problem that he must either solve or perish in his attempts to do so the hero s quest since the earliest myths of ancient times Lighting aids this purpose with Sonny receiving some sidelighting in his car while the gangsters in the tollbooth are left dark and obscured from a purely objective standpoint this tells the audience that their focus should be on Sonny In terms of story structure the editing in this scene is also notable for the way that the length of the shots tends to mirror the idea of a narrative arc a slow long take introduces the scene then rises quickly to Sonny s collapse as the rapid re shots of the actual hit begin before dropping back to longer quieter shots in the resolution RTF 317 Sequence Analysis Sonny s death ful lls the visual needs of a movie by lling the scene with a great deal of rapid violence that catches the audience offguard with miseenscene providing all of the sudden gory detail that such a scene would suggest and editing setting a certain rhythm to death Naturally the most eyecatching miseenscene in this murder sequence is the bright red blood that covers Sonny by the time the gangsters are done showing up clearly against his gray suit However perhaps the most important miseenscene for the shock value of the scene comes from the setting that is the tollbooth before and after the shooting The building itself is intact when the scene starts yet as the movie lingers here during the last third of the sequence we are shown that the tollbooth has been utterly demolished by the gunmen a visual reinforcement of the dramatic change that has taken place in the space of nearly a minute Editing in this scene enhances this unexpected violence with rapid re shots cutting between Sonny and his attackers as they begin to re building upon the sudden and shocking nature of the attack by giving us Sonny s reactions Additionally this editing strategy makes the scene much more grim forcing the audience to watch as each bullet tears into Sonny as opposed to other editing structures which might have omitted the violence as bad taste and just show the result The miseenscene and the editing of the scene both contribute thematically to its overall narrative by visually creating a sense that Sonny is trapped with no chance of escape In the brief fourshot sequence when the gangsters rst emerge with their guns the cuts between the shots help us to see that Sonny is running out of options Additionally Sonny s car serves as a spatial trap limiting the directions that Sonny can attempt to escape in to his two side doors while the car s proximity to the tollbooth reduces that to just the passenger side Sonny s death from The Godfather illustrates that story visual and thematic elements of narrative building are conveyed by lmmakers in choices both during and after production Name TA Distance Angle Camera Movement Time Subjects Miseenscene Sound Comments Establishes movement El39gnvme Car engine from Elaine39s home to traffic date location over CU OSS Straight Static 31 Egnaend grggg lgfs sounds shoulder shot prevents cha racters honkingtire us from reading screeching characters39 heads faceemotions Tracks left with Ben and night time dimly 333 of Quick pace audience MS Strai ht Elaine as they walk pans 42 Ben and lit cars passing traf c like Elaine has to keep 9 out slightly as they turn 39 Elaine in foreground peopl s up with movement the corner crowds around chatter creates anXIety Dimly lit club Tracks left as Ben and gnaenghen people in suits Elaine enter pause when B e nEl ai n e red velvet they stop walking and talk with waiter curtains waiter to waiter tracks left in a tux old jazzier MS Low slighty as they approach 3946 g1Elaine at fashioned music EStabllShes new settmg camera and fill up nearly table with electric lighting entire frame pan up as dancer in glittery stage they sit in front of stage burlesque background dancer dancer39s skirt passes through Close up with frame in front of same as sunglassescigarette CU Straight Static 04 Ben character Ben39s above symbolizes the cigarette and intentional barrier sunglasses between Ben and Elaine inside glittery stage in Elaine dancer background same as Displays Elaine39s CU Straight Static 22 in dancer passing above discomfort sets up the background in and out of conflict shot Ben Elaine in jazz music Static while dancer foreground whistles oqus moves to danger spotlight on Indicating that she wrll MS Low performs tIlts up when 25 focus on dancer tassles from have a bi er role in she approaches Elaine dancer in patrons what congegs next background drum roll Name TA drum Closedup on sfulllglasses ben39s rollcymbals 3310 Lase ha 7 CU Straight Static 03 Ben sunglasses wolf d t indoors whistling quotGale 39 5e 5 up a clapping turnIng pomt creates suspense tassles swinging in and out of Continues action from 8 CU Straight Static 06 522 shot glittery gg39veeas two shots ago Elaine39s stage in tears reinforce the mood background 9 CU Straight Static 02 Ben sunglasses are same as Ben removes the removed above sunglasses indicates that he39s taking down the barriers 10 CU Straight Static 03 Elaine dancer glittery stge low same as Close up of Elaine39s right behind lighting above tears indicate escalation her almost dramatic of emotional conflict not visible 11 CU Straight Tracks right as Ben 02 Ben red lighting same as Break in the previous reaches toward dancer intermittent dark above actions signifies that spots change is coming 12 MCU Straight Tracks right slightly as 01 Dancer spotlight glittery end of Conti39nues action from dancer backs away stage stage drumroll previous shot dancer props noticable moves away with anger lack of noise 13 MCU Straight Static 07 Elaine Ben dim artificial jazz Elaine is trying to escape lighting red ambient the club signifying her lights red velvet chatter desire to get away from curtains Benhumiliation Ben chasing after her indicates that he cares 14 MS Straight Tracks right as Ben 107 Elaine and night time low same as Ben rushes to keep up follows Elaine pauses Ben with street lighting above with Elaine creating when they stop static as crowds in the crowded street tension the kiss is the they talk foreground cars passing turning point that sets then Elaine through up the larger conflict of and Ben solo foreground Ben vs Mrs Robinson Name TA n car n ng car 0 n co Elaine lighting diner noises pop with previous scenes food props music indicating that things have calmed down n cars cars er pop s os ng o roo Elaine people around them music is a reestablishment of in the car next people standing barriers but this time to them in crowds Elaine is on the inside of them Cassidy Schap RTF 317 The over the shoulder shot at the beginning prevents us from reading the characters emotions or facial expressions instead forcing us to assume that action we do see Ben s reckless driving is a result of his distressed emotional state Sound factors heavily into this as well because the conversation between Ben and Elaine takes place over the roar of the car s engine interspersed with honking and the screech of tires The fact that this loud background noise actually muf es their words re ects the idea that Ben is not giving much thought or attention to what Elaine is saying The next shot cuts to Ben walking quickly as Elaine struggles to keep up and the camera tracks with them creating a visual full of movement and stress Elaine asks questions and tries to make conversation as Ben dodges around people in the street and Ben s noncommittal answers re ect his lack of commitment to her presence and ties into the theme of ambivalence and emotionally immaturity throughout the film What is arguably the most important part of the date scene occurs next within the club Ben has chosen for their date Once inside the club Elaine sits facing away from the stage but toward Ben signifying her general discomfort However the sequence of shots that follow allow for the escalation of tension and emotion First we see a close up of Ben s face in which he wears sunglasses though it is night time and he is indoors and holds a cigarette in his mouth While his facial expression and posture indicate a clear disinterest the sunglasses provide a symbolic barrier between him and Elaine We then cut to a middle shot in which Elaine is in the center but the focus is on the dancer behind her What little dialogue there is has to fight for the loud jazz music playing in the club similar to the way that Elaine has to fight for Ben s attention We cut to another close up of Ben still with sunglasses on though his demeanor has changed to suggest that he is more engaged with Elaine than before Cut back to Elaine with the emphasis Cassidy Schap RTF 317 on her face and no dialogue to detract from the clear dismay on her face This time when we cut back to Ben s face he takes his sunglasses off literally and figuratively removing the barrier between him and Elaine Though there is still no dialogue the drum roll in the background tells us that the scene is about to reach its breaking point as the dancer in the background moves toward Elaine and the light catches a tear falling down her cheek Finally the tension breaks as the drum rolls and wolf whistles cease when the camera cuts away to Ben whose abrupt movement to defend Elaine breaks the previous motionlessness of the two characters Symbolically this is the final break in Ben s indifference after which he shows decided interest in Elaine s emotions The editing in this scene cuts from one character to the other in quick succession letting the actions and emotions of the characters tell the story in lieu of heavy dialogue The editing and sound in this particular scene contribute to the unfolding of the rest of the narrative s events Thematically we see Ben s growing interest in Elaine as a smashing of the apathy and distance that has been building since Ben began his affair with Mrs Robinson The cuts back and forth from Elaine to Ben make it clear that while Ben is trying to resist his newfound stakes in Elaine s wellbeing the sight of her in distress reawakens the awkward young man that we saw at the beginning of The Graduate who slowly disappeared behind the cool demeanor of Mrs Robinson s lover
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