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Notes on Cinematography

by: Talia A. Lubin

Notes on Cinematography ENG260

Marketplace > University of Oregon > Foreign Language > ENG260 > Notes on Cinematography
Talia A. Lubin
GPA 3.4
Media Aesthetics
Dr. Anthony Hayt

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About this Document

Three and a half pages of notes detailing cinematography basics. Covers basic terms and styles, including shot types/angles/distances, film language, lenses, camera movements, and more.
Media Aesthetics
Dr. Anthony Hayt
Class Notes
Film, Cinema, image, canted, dutch, widescreen, semiotic, aesthetic, film language, shot, shot type, shot angle, shot distance, camera movement, effects, cinematography, terms, frame
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This 4 page Class Notes was uploaded by Talia A. Lubin on Wednesday February 11, 2015. The Class Notes belongs to ENG260 at University of Oregon taught by Dr. Anthony Hayt in Winter2015. Since its upload, it has received 120 views. For similar materials see Media Aesthetics in Foreign Language at University of Oregon.

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Date Created: 02/11/15
Media Aesthetics 260 Notes Cinematography 1 What is Cinematography a Cinematography is how you see in a film b The manipulation of a recorded image 9 Can include varying choices in camera lenses film stock filters camera placement camera movement etc c Effects can be achieved during production or postproduction d Can be used in conjunction with miseenscene and editing to create visual meaning or it can be isolated from all other aspects of film language and analyzed on its own terms eg you can discuss how the pace of the cuts between shots and the low camera angle worked to create meaning or you can only talk about how the low camera angle influenced your perception of the scene 2 What is Film Language a Aesthetic image the image as art considered in terms of visual compositions b Semiotic image the image as signifier considered in terms of the social system of signs that relay meaning through symbols i How do we marry the two and consider the ways that the aesthetic image impacts our reading of a film in terms of identificationalienation historypolitics productionreception etc 1 How do we identify with a character because of camera movement or placement How do we read a situation based on the color filter 3 Basic Terms a Film speed faster film takes in more light in less time useful in darklylit scenes to capture detail in low light b Film gauge the width of the film stock selected 8mm 16mm 35mm norm and 70mm horizontal IMAX c Aspect ratio classicacademy 1331 1371 waudio track US widescreen 1851 cinemascope 2351 d Frame rate early film 16fps now 24fps is norm IMAX runs at 30 48 or even 60fps 4 Basic Terms Lenses a Focal length i Wide angle lens less than 35mm focal length greater depth of field aka deep focus Makes things look really far away but still in focus ii Telephoto lens over 85mm focal length tend to flatten the field of vision short depth of field aka shallow focus iii The norm is 50mm b Anamorphic format C i Distorts a widescreen image onto a standard 35mm filmstrip via a special lens an equal but opposite lens is used on the projector to resize the image to widescreen Takes a widescreen image that would normally take up however much space and stretches it vertically so as to fill up the whole film Lens flare i Distortion in image caused by reflectionrefraction of a very bright light shining too directly into the lens Viewers have become accustomed to seeing this in films so it is now sometimes added digitally in post production for their sake 5 Basic Terms Camera Image and Movement a Frame The viewable image on the screen note the framing can be within the viewable image to help focus attention to one portion of the screen within the frame Ex The frame shows a woman in a living room but she is framed by the doorway Focus The object that is most clearly defined within the frame i Deep focus shot A large portion of or the entire shot is in focus a person standing in front of a building is in focus and then the building far behind them is in focus as well both the foreground and the background ii Shallow focus shot Only a small portion of the shot is in focus iii Rack focus A lens that has an adjustable focal length Can change what and how it focuses on Change from focus on background to foreground and vice versa Shot A single uninterrupted length of filmvisual image Can be a single frame Point of view Subjective sutured to a characterpov and objective 3rel person Masks A technique used to change the shape of the frame It is a device used to prevent exposure to film in certain parts of the frame It essentially regulates the size of the picture frame risinout A black circle closes in to end a scene or a black circle opens up to begin a scene Similar to an eye opening and closing Frequently used in silent film Offscreenonscreen space The onscreen space is what is visible to the viewer within the frame eg a kitchen and the offscreen space is what the viewer is not able to see within the frame but is aware is physically there the rest of the house Shot distance 9 i Extreme long shotExtreme wide shot Shows geographylandscape setting Shows spatial relations with landscapeenvironment and story information Sets a mood isolation power etc Wide shotlong shot Provides distance from the charactercreates different relationship with the audience Establishes the spacestory information Head to toe of the character Shows spatial relationships between characters physical movements and activity Gives a sense of the world Medium widecowboy shot Comes from being able to see the gun holster of a cowboy in American westerns That s how directors would frame up on their actors so you can see the gun and hand movements Shot from knee up of the characters Reveals physical activityposturing of the characters Medium shot Shot from the waist up Shows physical actions postures facial expression but still with connection to setting More detail Story information between characters setting is not as prominent Medium closeup Shot from the chest up Reveals facial expressions but also shows physical attitude held in the shoulders Brings audience into personal space of the character and their emotional state Closeup Primary emphasis on the face details in features and expressions Shot size can emphasize importance of the momentstory information Reveals character s emotional state Extreme closeup Isolates a small feature of a character s face think use of extreme closeups of an eye in Lost Stylistic abstraction that becomes a graphic element Obscures other features and can obscure emotions i Shot angle 9 High angle shot Shot from high above the characterlooking down at scene Low angle shot Shot from below the characterlooking up at the scene Overheadcrane shot Shot from directly above the scene as if from a crane POV shot Sutures the viewer to the point of view of the character Needs a shot before or after to establish that the followingpreceding shot is a POV Dutchcanted angle Lets the viewer know that something is wrong or off within the scene The frame is tilted at a strange angle j Shot Types 9 SingleOneshot One character in the frame Clean means that it is only the background and the character Dirty means there are other characters or objects also in the frame partially or out of focus can create depth 2shot3 shot Two or three people in the shot at once A raking 2shot means that it is lit from the side a way to refer to where the camera is going to be placed The cameralight rakes over their faces OTS Over the shoulder shot Shows connection and spatial relationship between the characters k Colors hues and overall spectrum Tone Shades and saturation Balance Contrasting or noncontrastingmonochromatic l Reframingmovement 9 vi Pan The camera turns horizontally while physically staying in the same place Tilt The camera tilts vertically while physically staying in the same place Tracking shot The camera moves to follow the actor s movements typically next to the subject It literally tracks them Following shot Similar to a tracking shot but is typically placed behind or in front of the subject Handheld What the name implies Often has a shaky reallife sort of quality s sometimes purposefully used to add a sense of tension or realism Steadicam Camera stabilizer mount that mechanically isolates it from the operator s movements Allows for a smooth shot even when the camera is moving quickly over an uneven surface m Effects Animation CGI stopaction Claymation rotoscoping shooting live action and then animating over the top of it filters process shot sequence shotlong take matte shot motion capture green screen


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