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CTCS-190: Lecture Week 4

by: Alexander Harutunian

CTCS-190: Lecture Week 4 CTCS 190

Alexander Harutunian

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These are the lecture notes from the fourth week of class about visual design. The movie we watched was Meet Me in St. Louis.
Introduction to Cinema
Drew Casper
Class Notes
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This 3 page Class Notes was uploaded by Alexander Harutunian on Sunday September 18, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to CTCS 190 at University of Southern California taught by Drew Casper in Fall 2016. Since its upload, it has received 10 views. For similar materials see Introduction to Cinema in Cinema And Media Studies at University of Southern California.

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Date Created: 09/18/16
Week 4  Visual Design elements:  Costuming: clothes hairstyles etc.  Decor: set dressing, props (anything the actor uses)  Lighting  Color  Title design  Special effects    Why “Meet me in St. Louis”  Simple movie Built around (family values), and visual design  Revolutionized visual design    Lighting  Photos and graphene  To write with light    3­point lighting system (and variations)  Key light ­ main source of illumination within the image; directed toward the principal object of  the frame  Fill light ­ fills in for the shadows that are created by the key light; creates an overall  tonality/harmony with light in the frame; placed 90 degrees from the key light  Backlight­ main source of illumination behind a character or object    Direction of light­ the way light falls upon the subject  Can creates different psychological effects and meaning  If backlight dominates, a halo will be created and will make the subject look their best  Rembrandt light is just like backlight  Backlight separates the subject from the background, creates depth  If the light hits straight on, the face will look flat  Light from the bottom makes the subject seem scary/ominous; unsettling bc lighting from the  bottom is unnatural  Light from the top will spiritualize the subject; sense of power (godfather); foreboding    Quantity of light: amount/degree of intensity  Again creates different values and meanings    High key lighting ­ a lot of key and fill lighting; everything is light  Low key lighting ­ a lot of key but not fill, or vice versa; creates shadows  Hard/Harsh light ­ all imperfections/details are revealed; people don’t look their best in harsh  light  Soft/Diffused/Reflective light ­ imperfections are hidden  Noon has the harshest light; just before dawn or just after dusk has the best natural lighting    Stock­ registers the various sharpness, lack of sharpness; amount of detail  Fast stock is very sensitive to light; not as clear or sharp  Slow stok is not very sensitive to light; need to brings lights on location; will have a very clear  and defined image    Sizes ­ if you increase the size of the material use to film/shoot; you will get a more defined  result    Color  What carries the color? Clothing, hair color, makeup, skin color, rug, chairs, etc.  Those same elements carry color in motion picture  Costume hairstyle makeup lighting decor all carry color  Make sure not to overwhelm the eye will color  This is what the artistic enterprise is all about  The colors are not real; they have all been planned out and stylized  The artist selects the colors; he selects this but not that;  The second aspect is order: this must follow that  We all can select; we all can order; but we are not all artists  You can tell who the main character is based on what color they are wearing    The director uses contrast and conflict ­ any kind of conflict (including color)    Which is more real, sensual, dramatic? Color or Black and white?  Neither one is more than the other; it depends upon the subject matter  Title: tells you about the movie  Title and credits are given a design  Credit design are just as important as the title    Special effects  The art of making things appear to have happened    1. Makeup  a. Street makeup  b. Character makeup (done in a trailer; adding a hump onto notre dame  c. Special effects makeup (done in a lab; supernatural effects; frankenstein)  2. Mechanical special effects  3. In camera special effects  4. Post­production special effects  a. Computer generated effects  b. Can change the time of day, put stars in sky  c. Can correct mistakes    Functions of visual design  Visual effects define the character in the frame  Costume can draw your eye to the main character  Setting­   Meet me in St. Louis ­ the home is the center of the shot; most important part of the film  The horse carriage vs. the car: America is in a stage of transition; the clutter in the house shows  they are safe, solid family, they have been there a long time    Mood­ the feeling of the movie  Atmosphere­ creates mood; physical sensations (use of the senses)    Elements of visual design can tell us the interiority of the characters  The technique of the objective to relative  Motif­ that which is repeated  An artist repeats to put emphasis on something and to structure the work    Visual design can be the subject, theme, or conflict of the movie    Color has a symbolic resonance  Color can draw the audience to a spectacle 


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