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lecture notes

by: Max Geschwind

lecture notes CTCS 190

Max Geschwind


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CTCS 190 week 3 lecture notes. Info WILL be on exam.
Introduction to Cinema
Dr. Drew Casper
Class Notes
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This 4 page Class Notes was uploaded by Max Geschwind on Tuesday September 27, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to CTCS 190 at University of Southern California taught by Dr. Drew Casper in Fall 2016. Since its upload, it has received 4 views. For similar materials see Introduction to Cinema in Cinematic Arts at University of Southern California.


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Date Created: 09/27/16
anCTCS 190 notes Prof. Casper 9-7-2016 PERFORMANCE of a FILM “film beings with the human face” Bergman “film is about the primal desire to stick with other human beings” Hithcock Performance – what you do to interact with the world Performance in acting – what you’re doing on the stage or in screen. Uses same materials that ordinary people use to perform with friends, other people. Performance – part of visual, oral elements of movie that writer gives us. 4 THINGS WRITER GIVES US: 1. Dialogue- comes through voice of player. Consists of words. The intonation (rise, fall of pitch of voice) that performer uses to perform dialogue. “what are you doing?” beat put on each word conveys different meaning. Pauses actor gives between words create meaning. Pay attention to Silence, time when actor does not have a voice. 2. Action – content of action ex. Dance, gesture during dance creates meaning. Posture. Business – between director and actor. When there are long passages of dialogue, actor will do something such as utilize space. Pay attention to reaction when action happens. a. “BLUE JASMINE” clip: touching hair, pearls – nervous, uncomfortable in environment. Holds arms tight – closed off to relating with people, doesn’t want to touch anything because she wants to separate herself from what she’s around, falling apart and she’s aware of that so she’s trying to hold on. Voice: repetition, not convinced of what she’s saying. Talks too much. “I’m really tapped out” soft, low and harsh/deep. Whenever she spoke on seriousness of her financial situation, she spoke soft and harsh. Leaned on a door frame when she spoke about financial situation because she couldn’t take it anymore. 3. Characters 4. Setting Properties of the Player (Cate Blanchett), actor him/herself brings, not director 1. Physicality – Blanchett has a certain age, certain eyes, certain face, certain voice, certain body. Close up – the face of the player is zoomed in. They play only to you. Genetics – good acting begins with good bone structure ex. Monroe’s body. 2. Personality – sexuality; Monroe, stallone; from the gutter. 3. Talent – act, presence, sing , dance 4. Methodology – stories about the player. Stores come from: 1. Reel – reading about players life, interviews. Ex. Blanchett is Australian, mechanical engineering, feminist, into psyche of a female. 2. Work on the Screen – the many films Blanchett played beforehand. Has either the build up or the melt down in most of her movies. Persona of a Player – determining factor of the character and meaning of their work. every actor on the stage has a mask with different expressions. You know who actor is before they put on mask. Every movie actor has a mask that goes with their physicality, voice, Actor can use persona, enforce it, make fun of persona, go against it. Player – speak to us about the present. Nothing turns us on more than seeing an imitation of ourselves. First time you meet player, last time you see player – you remember. Persona of Player – when age, personality, talent, voice, body is popular it is an emblem of collective needs, desires. Showcases what the culture loves, hates. Shows best and worst of culture. TYPES OF PLAYER 1. Non-professional: this can be done on screen rather than stage because you can dub voice, do multiple takes, be in silence (don’t need a pro to be silent) 2. Professional Actor – talent to emote, believe in what he or she is doing, uses persona to create character. Persona is vehicle for many characters such as Streep 3. Star – someone whose persona is the character in every film. Someone who can interest us just by appearing on screen. Has element of commodity. So appealing that it can carry any picture no matter the subject, theme, budget. We have stars in films because it is an industry. Sell movie as product by selling face, body, voice, talent. Ex. Car commercials – faces, bodies, voices sell cars. Stars sell movies. We want to hear voice, see body, see talent that body and face do. Another reason is intensity of technology such as Close-Up. What color is able to do to hair. What soundtrack can do to voice. Makes you want to be like this person. Movie star carries weight of collective consciousness. Above human being, why they are called stars. Dreams are in stars, reassure, inspire, we want to befriend them. 4. Combination of Star/Actor such as Streep, Blanchett – types of people we have in motion picture ACTING STYLE 1. Pantomimic presentational (primary style) – comes from pantomime. Where emotions and thoughts are simplified. Used in Singin’ in the Rain during Make ‘em Laugh. Silent films were also entirely pantomimic presentational. Delsarls – created first book on action. 2. Representational, realist – facial expressions of actor not as large, broad. Use gestures, movements, facial expressions. Business, silence, reaction important. 3. Method – builds from inside out. If you are method, will build character through perceptional observation. Ex. If you will play a baker, you would go down to bakery and observe what the baker does in setting up shop, dealing with customers, puts on apron. Studies gestures. Other part of method is immotive memory – yourself being jealous. How did heartbeat, how did you look at other men? Ensemble – when you don’t have action, react. When you don’t have the words, you listen. 4. University-trained players (ex Streep, Blanchett) – going to Juliarrd, NYU etc where they leanred every style of acting such as Greeks, Shakespeare, Resoration, French farce, absurdism, etc. 5. Improv – let actor transcend script and just go with it. Have actors forget there is a script. Ex. Scorsese films such as Goodfellas where Joe Pesci talks to Ray Liotta. 6. Star-turned – where you are a star and are emoting. Blows everyone off of screen. TEST ON IF ACTOR IS GOOD OR BAD 1. Expressive coherence – if the actor who is playing role looks and sounds like the character should. 2. Ensemble - play together. Reacting and listening. Not wiping everyone off the screen. 3. Do they seem right in setting? Such as in a gown, holding a sword. Does the actor playing a waiter look like a waiter, seem comfortable in environment? Are they comfortable with décor, holding a gun etc. Do they stay consistent or change character every 20 mins 4. Androgyny – performances liked by both male and female 5. Does actor have ability to convey thought without saying or doing anything? Can they convey thought? 6. Can actor act or convey 2 or 3 emotions at once? Can they convey face that they are AND need to be? 7. Beats – where is actor in terms of beats? Actor can play ahead/behind/on beat. 8. When actor performs, was it a long take? Did it hold on them? That’s how you know the actor is being true. When director is holding camera on them for long time. Shows authenticity, 9. Did actor effect you? Did you care for them? Will you remember them? Will you want to see them again years from now? Director directs performance, not actor. Director calls shots. Director tells actor what set will be like, where they’ll be in set. Film is not filmed chronologically. On stage, you can feel whether audience is with you. If actor can feel audience, they’ll get energy to do good. On screen, they have sound man, costume, hair stylist but only director provides feedback to actor’s performance. Director is only person who observes performance on the set.


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