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“what is placed in front of the camera during production”, what’s in the scene, helps to create a fully realized story world.
the visible and implied story world of a narrative film
of or related to the story world
Elements of Mise-en-scene
- costume/ make-up
- acting & staging
- computer generated effects
– the locale where the narrative action takes place. Not the shot background, setting doesn’t have to be on screen. It can be artificial or a real place in the world.
Costume and Make-up
narrative art can be traced through the costumes. Make-up can change to accompany the character and any progression the character takes through the narrative. C&MU change as the character changes
lighting makes all other MES aspects visable, channeling our attention to certain aspects of an image. Light source is either diegetic(street lamp) or nondiegetic(not in story, artificial).
an object that is motivated to operate actively in the ongoing action. Compliments directly the setting, it’s an aspect of the setting. Repeated use.
when shadow is cast from part A onto part B of the same object – chin shadow on own body
when shadow is cast from one actor or object onto another actor or object
(directional) deep, solid shadows, hard lines
(diffuse) thin shadows, soft lines
light shot at the back of an object, figure is blackened with highlight in back
light is coming from below the object, looking up at object
light comes from above, shadows stretch down on face
3-point lighting: Key, fill, back
- key light – most intense, strongest light, provides KEY illumination
- fill light – less intense, positioned next to camera on opposite side of key light, functions to soften shadows of key light. FILLS in shadows of key light
- back light – behind and above figure, functions to set figure apart from BACKground. Halo effect is when head hair highlighted.
low contrast between brightest and darkest part. High key lighting IS NOT high intensity key light
high contrast between darkest and lightest parts
help create a scene’s space
involves a few colors in the same range.
monochromatic color design
Here a filmmaker emphasizes a single color, varying it only in purity or lightness. Ex. If you are wearing a red badger suit in a red badger bar, if you are wearing one slight yellow Iowa sticker, the sticker stands our immensely.
we find it easier to immediately see the edges and masses on the screen as a three-dimensional space, this is because the elements of the image create the impression of depth cues. These depth cues are provided by lighting, setting, costumes and staging (mise-en scene). Depth cues suggest the space has both volume and several distinct planes.
Basic depth cues- Overlapping, Size Diminution, aerial diffusion, shallow space, deep space
- Overlapping- overlapping of background planes
- Aerial perspective- hazing of more distant planes
Size diminution- figures are objects get farther away from us are seen to get proportionally smaller, the smaller a figure appears, the farther away it is.
Shallow space- little depth between planes/spaces
Deep space- significant distance separates planes. Deep space composition will often use background events to create expectations about what is to happen in the fore-ground.
Films have a spatial dimension because it comes from a source, can create and define space
Diegetic vs Non-diegetic Sound:
- Diegetic Sound - Source comes from INSIDE story world, can be onscreen or offscreen.
- Non-diegetic Sound – The source is NOT in the story world (the characters cannot hear it). Used to enhance the emotion of a scene, guide our attention to important narrative information. Example: soundtrack
off-screen vs. onscreen sound
- . Offscreen sound can still be diegetic (Ex. In the Stage Coach, can hear the bugle, which is part of the story world, but it cannot be seen until later in the scene), creates illusion of a bigger space (Ex. A Man Escaped)
- . Onscreen is everything we see that makes sounds
internal vs. external sound
- . External is objective and its everything we hear is purely external and everyone can hear it
- . Internal is subjective and comes from inside the mind of one character and no one else in story world can hear it (Ex. Voice-overs)
simultaneous vs. non-simultaneous sound, synchronous and asynchronous sound
- Simultaneous sound is when sound and image are synchronized. (lips and voice)
- Non-simultaneous sound is when sound and image aren’t matched up(voice over telling a story in the past)
the relative importance of one kind of sound over others at any given moment in a film. Dialogue usually on top.
- Volume (the amplitude of the vibrations in the air).
- -Relates to perceived distance—the louder the sound, the closer we are to the source.
- highness or lowness of sound (frequency of vibrations affect pitch).
- - Pitch plays an important role in helping us pick out distinct sounds in a film.
- - Helps us distinguish speech from noises.
- - Plays a role in vocal delivery (how an actor chooses to have their character speak)
- tone quality. When we say someone’s voice is nasal, or music tones are mellow, we’re talking about timbre.
- - Can help us articulate portions of the soundtrack, differentiating musical instruments from one another.
a sense of the spatial distance and location analogous to the cues for visual depth and volume that we get with visual perspective. Can be suggested by volume (rising volume suggests closer distances), pitch, and timbre effects (echoes)
parts of soundtrack:
- sound effects
Involves a beat or pulse; a tempo or pace; and a pattern of accents, or stronger and weaker beats.
continuation of a line of dialogue over a cut in shot/reverse-shot that helps smooth the cut
extent to which the sound is faithful to the source as we conceive it. Film shows a barking dog and we hear barking, that sound maintains fidelity.
- focuses light to form an image
- -in a light-tight chamber, a drive mechnism feeds unexposed motion picture film from a reel (a) past a lens (b) and aperture (c) to a take reel (d) the lens focuses light reflected from a scene onto each film (e) the mechanism moves the film with a brief pause while each frame is held in the aperture. A shutter (f) admits light through the lens only when each frame is unmoving and ready for exposure
basically an inverted camera with the light source inside the machine rather than in the world outside
duplicates or modifies the footage from the camera. Printer converts negative film into positive for a projector
images are grabbed and stored on the film strip
- width of the film strip, measured in millimeters. usually image quality increases with the width of the film, the greater picture areas gives the images better definition and detail
- -35 mm: standard theatrical film gauge
- -super 8 mm: popular for amateurs
- -16 mm: used for both amateur and professionals
- -70 mm: theatrical gauge - historical spectacles and epic action films, stereophonic magnetic sound track runs along both edges
- runs down alongside of the filmstrip
- -may be either optical or magnetic
- magnetic: nearly obsolete today
- optical: encodes sonic information in the form of patches of light and dark running down along the frames, a wavy contour of black and white along the picture strip
- -may be either monophonic or stereophonic
- monophonic - first 16 mm, then 35 mm
- stereophonic: optical sound is registered as a pair of squiggles running down the left side
3 phases of film business
3 phases of film production
- -Preparation for filming: once script is more or less complete, and some funding is assured, filmmakers plan physical production
- -Shooting: filmmakers create films images and sounds
- -Assembly: images and sounds are combined into their final form, cutting picture and sound, executing special effects, inserting music or extra dialogue, adding titles
The ratio of frame width to frame height. 4:3 is academy ratio, 1.85:1 is standard US widescreen
4:3, or 1.33:1 set early in cinema history
angles of framing
- low angle – looking up at the MES
- high angle – looking down at the MES
- canted framing – camera not parallel to horizon, it’s tilted
in relation to the setting and figures, related to height
types of film stocks are differentiated by the chemical qualities of the emulsion
warm colors attract attention, while cold are less prominent
fast/ slow motion
- fast: film exposed at fewer fps than the projector
- slow: more fps are shot, higher than projector
depth of field
the range of distances before the lens within which objects can be photographed in sharp focus
Two or more images, each with its own frame dimensions and shape, appear within the larger frame
distance from the center of the lens to the point where light rays converge to a point of focus on the film. The focal length alters the perceived mag. Depth, and scale of things in the image.
wide angle lens
things in foreground bulge, you see further out left and right normal lens
reduces the depth, making trees seem close and the same size zoom lens
foreground starts in focus, background out of focus. Camera will shift focus from front to back planes while live.
puts more emphasis on performance, setting, lighting, MES. One long take with no cuts
objects become sharper as camera moves, or new figures revealed as camera moves.
camera is moving through the space in the frame
part of the frame is magnified
6 zones of offscreen space: above, below, left right of screen, behind set, behind camera.
seldom creates very convincing depth cues. Foreground and background tend to look starkly separate, partly because of the absence of cast shadows from foreground to background and partly because all background planes tend to seem equally diffuse.
selective focus vs. deep focus
- -Selective – one plane is in focus
- -Deep – multiple planes are in focus
laying one image over another of separately photographed planes of action to create the illusion that the two planes are adjacent.
cutting back and forth between different spaces to imply simultaneity
30 degree rule
every camera position must be varied by at least 30 degrees from the previous one
aimed to create films to be used for a social purpose and creating physical, emotional, and ideological effects in the viewer – bull slaughter
when two shots of the same subject are cut together but are not sufficiently different in camera distance and angle – jump on the screen
4 kinds of film form meaning:
- Referential – film refers to things or places already mentioned as significance
- explicit -
- implicit – abstract and underlying meaning, analogies, interpretation.
- Symptomatic – puts film in a trend of thought not necessarly specific to the film but with a context of time and history.
development (of film form)
patterning of similar and different elements, compare parts such as beginning, middle, end.
the plot’s way of distributing story information in order to achieve specific effects. The moment-by-moment process that guides us in building the story out of the plot.
range of narration: restricted vs. unrestricted narration
- -Unrestricted narration: audience knows more, sees more, and hears more than the characters. Often called omniscient narration.
- -Restricted narration: audience knows only what one or few characters in the film know(s)
hierarchy of knowledge
The higher someone is on the scale, the greater their range of knowledge. Who knows what when?
- the plot confines audience to information about character’s external behavior
- Subjective -
the plot allows the audience to see and hear what the character’s see and hear
the plot plunges into a character’s mind, allowing the audience to hear internal voices reporting characters’ thoughts, view dreams, memories, fantasies or hallucinations
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