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Grammar of the Film Language - Ebook download as PDF File .pdf), Text File Data Ariion, Daniel G ram m ar of the film language / by D aniel Arijon p. cm. ISBN X Grammar of the Film Language is a unique guide to Daniel Arijon has worked professionally since as a film editor. Grammar of the Film Language [Daniel Arijon] on wildlifeprotection.info *FREE* shipping on qualifying offers. Visual narrative formulas for anyone involved in the film.

Grammar Of The Film Language Daniel Arijon Pdf

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Grammar of the Film Language - Kindle edition by Daniel Arijon. Download it once and read it on your Kindle device, PC, phones or tablets. Use features like. conveying meaning through particular camera and editing techniques (as well as some of the .. Arijon, Daniel (): Grammar of the Film Language. London. ebook library. download now grammar of the film language daniel arijon pdf file for free from our online library grammar, spelling and punctuation - university of.

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Add a comment. Curtin University. Edith Cowan University. Flinders University. Murdoch University. The University of Melbourne. The task o f relating two story lines. Action and reaction When we are told a story we unconsciously w ant to know two things: In this way we have grouped first the inform ative parts o f the shots.

If you were telling the story personally. T h at alternation o f shots: Shot 1— Shot 2—S hot 1—Shot 2. Shot 2: But telling a story on the screen is an im personal act because you seldom see y o ur audience o r hear their reactions. Shot 1 shows the h u n ter aim ing an action and then he fires a reaction. Reaction Shot 1: B ut if we showed S hots 1 an d 2 w ithout grouping the actions an d reactions. A ction S hot 1: T he film is already printed. In this exam ple we were dealing with two lines o f action.

Only the peak moments o f a story are shown on a screen. Shot 2 shows the bird flying an action and its flight is suddenly interrupted a reaction. W itness this exam ple w here two shots are used: Shot 1: This grouping o f action and reaction perm eates the whole structure o f a film: M ost film takes contain action and reaction within the length o f the shot.

Selection o f p eak m om ents im plies the control o f tim e and m ovem ent. A nd the viewer accepts all this quite naturally. But for the film m aker this action-reaction pattern dictates all the form ulas fo r cam era placem ent an d sequence construction an d the needs o f editing.

W ith this sam e ability he can assim ilate a conventional way o f linkage betw een the m oving images on a screen. W ritten thoughts force the reader to analyze an d assim ilate each graphic sym bol individually to obtain m eaning. T o properly understand the visual language o f film. A s long as a succession o f actions an d reactions is m aintained th e in terp retatio n o f th at visual language does no t dem and o f the viewer an und erstanding o f its physical construction.

E ach shot used. The audience is m oved from here to there. This process originates from w hen m an invented his first w ritten language. If short single shots are used. How parallel editing is obtained Parallel film editing to cover a story point. W ith this m ethod. B ut one fact rem ains.

A wider perspective Parallel editing covers greater possibilities in the interaction of tw o narrative lines. If fragm ents o f those m aster shots are selected. T hat is the main difference betw een the single shot and the m aster shot approach. T he two basic elements.


W here the degree o f knowledge shared between the characters o f th e story. As the nam e implies. Both are quite dynam ic and offer definite pictorial advantages over a single shot recording o f a scene. A good film m aker uses either m ethod. In practice two o r three cam era positions m ay be used sim ultaneously to provide several such m aster shots.

W hich one o f these approaches is to be used m ust be decided by the story w riter and the film m aker concerned. Newsreel Newsreels attem p t to cover an unrepeatable act o r event. He is a spectator with a visual recording m echanism. In the second category we can include all the films th at require a radical change in recording techniques. But on som e occasions that procedure is altered and m anmade drawings. Usually in these movies. The film m aker has m inim al control over the incident he records.

We are particularly concerned here with film techniques applicable to the first three. In its crudest form this coverage produces a series o f disconnected shots th a t register portions o f the total event but when projected on the screen present 12 I. In the first group.

This second category would cover: T he list can be longer. C am era operators have to choose their sites. W hen presenting this m aterial o n the screen. D ocumentary T he docum entary film form offers fu rth er variants. R epetition m eans staging. As the n atu re o f the stim ulus is changed.

B ut the fact rem ains th a t manipulation is necessary — facts have to be arranged to be show n at their best and an event is often repeated to be filmed several times. T o start with. A m iddle stage is reached if these shots are bridged by others where spectators arc seen reacting.

But o n film. A nd even then. M any m otives m ay be involved. T he m ost com plete film record is o b tain ed by using one or m ore m o to r driven cam eras synchronized with a tape recorder registering all the events. All this leads to a com prom ise— an unavoidable selection. M any things arc missing b u t a n arrato r can give some unity to the ensem ble.

Each individual subject was perhaps filmed reacting consecutively to the chain o f stim uli. This creates a sort o f action-reaction relationship. U nplanned events m ust be treated in a way th at perm its them to blend with plan n ed scenes. This statem ent leads us to the ultim ate film form — total fiction. The end result strived fo r is an im itation o f reality. The techniques to be discussed here m ostly concern the planned approach where events are selected.

R econstructed reality is the m ost popular o f film form s. In fact. W hen actors m ove during their exchange o f dialogue the cam era can be fixed. We are m anipulating the occurrence. T he result borders on the realm o f fiction. B ut this classification is essential to the study o f gram m atical rules. All scenes fall within these three categories: A nd in the third instance the voice o f a n a rra to r o r the internal thoughts o f the characters m ay accom pany the pure m ovem ent fram ed on the screen.

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Three types o f scene F ilm stories usually have a structure th a t progresses scene by scene from the statem ent o f a situation.

T here is no t a single view point. H ere the events are also real. Each situ atio n is carefully planned an d enacted for the benefit o f the cam eras.

F urtherm ore. F ilm stories m ay be planned o r unplanned. A ctors m ay no t move while they talk. T he distances from which we record the event.

F irst o f all we have the shot. Points o r m om ents o f em phasis in a story. It can do all th at from different distances. M ovem ent D uring a shot the cam era can rem ain fixed. Elements o ffilm grammar T o translate scenes from script to picture any rules m ust have a tw ofold effect: Those distances can be obtained either physically or optically.

It can move supporting the action th a t it records. T he shot can be used in its entirety in an u ninterrupted flow. W ith the second device. A staged event can be shot repeatedly.

T o achieve this we m ust control two things: By selecting the distance. G enerally. The shot N ow. T he length o f the shot o r take is lim ited only by the am ount o f film th at can be exposed in the cam era w ithout reloading—say.

It can record simple o r com plex events. Changes o f cam era position are used m ore conciously. The term inology is quite elastic. They are know n as: It is obvious th at the distance between cam era and subject is different between a dose shot o f a house and close shot o f a man. A ctual practice has taught th at there are five basic definable distances.

These cutting heights are: T o avoid m onotony. Figure 3. C attin g above the ankles will n o t give a pleasant com position. These other takes cover fragm ents o f the scene from a different distance or introduce subjects in an o th er place.

If a full shot o f the hum an figure is fram ed. Types o f editing T here are three m ain ways in which a scene can be edited: FiGURE 3.

By using any o r all o f the three m ethods we can cover a sequence. T he several ways Visual punctuation Sequences are jo in ed together by two types o f punctuation: In a straight cut the transition is visually ab ru p t. This conclusion ends either on a high point or a low point o r a iow m om ent o f intensity o f the story. U sually a sequence has a beginning. O ur point o f view alternates fro m one m aster shot to the other.

A sequence envelopes a scene o r a series o f related scenes th at have a time and space continuity. Scene matching In m atching scenes the following three requirem ents m ust be satisfied. T he movie screen is a fixed area. It is necessary to m a tc h: If this rule for m atching the position is no t respected.

If a perform er is shown on the left side o f the screen in a full shot. In the case o f an optical. M atching the look is the third requirem ent to be taken into account when assem bling shots where players ap p ear individually or in groups.

The audience follows the motion of the subject easily. M atching the movement has a sim ilar logical base. All position m atching is done in any o r all o f these areas. Two subjects who exchange looks. This is both annoying and distracting. M atched looks on the screen are always opposed. D irection o f m ovement should be the sam e in two consecutive shots th at record the continuous m otion o f a perform er otherw ise the audience will be confused ab o u t the supposed direction o f m ovem ent Fig.

But if the dlfeciion of movement is suddenly reversed in the second shot. F o r this purpose the screen is usually divided in two o r three vertical parts.

If b oth players were looking in the sam e direction in bo th shots. W ithout this opposition o f glances. W hen two peopfe face each other. We m ust see the arb ite r o f attention. See Fig. T his also happens if we fram e each player in separate shots. The only requisite is th at their heads face each other. In a group o f three. As the interest shifts.

W hen one o f the actors speaks. Interest in a scene can be destroyed by allow ing the players to I f a player moves to a position where he now has his back to his fellow player. He achieves this change by moving his head from one pfayer to the other. In the first exam ple in Fig. T he physical distance betw een them is unim portant. E ach g roup has two basic centres o f interest. In the first case two subjects are the centre o f interest in the group. In the second case.

The silent perform ers are the arbiters o f attention. The audience cannot know. They look in unison at the actor holding the interest. Sometim es a third centre o f interest is introduced to break the m onotony o f continually shifting betw een tw o points. B looks In another direction.

Centre o f interest alternates W hen large groups have to be presented. W e m ust guide the audience. The atten tio n o f the audience and th at o f the rem aining players on the screen moves from one to the other.

Either player C is Im portant or something of! A predom inant group is chosen. All o f them present closed circles o f interest. These two players are the centre of attention In the group.

In the second situation stated above two approaches can be applied. In the first approach we have two. In both the dom inant group is nearly always placed near the cam era. T o stress the foreground situation dram atically the other groups could at a certain m om ent b reak the closed circles o f attention and turn to look at the forw ard group.

T he o th er groups are in the background. T he one th at interests us is located n ear the cam era. These m ovem ents m ust be inconspicuous. T he second ap p ro ach offers a variant: Such can be the activity o f traffic in a street.

In the later case various com binations are afforded: A hu m an b o d y can assum e one o f the follow ing positions: W ithin those arrangem ents fo u r body rap p o rts can be assum ed d uring a conversation betw een the players. F igure 4. This line has a straight path.

A line of interest can be observed fro m three extrem e positions. These three extrem e positions It can be said th at betw een two talking partners a line o f interest flows. Line o f interest The line o f interest between tw o central players in a scene is based on the direction o f the looks exchanged between them. A cardinal rule fo r the trian g u lar cam era principle then. This is one o f the m ost respected rules in film language. T he m ain advantage is th at each perform er is fram ed o n the sam e side o f th e screen in each shot w ith player A on the left side and player B on th e right.

C am era view points fo r m aster shots. Two trian g u lar cam era fo rm atio n s can be set. It can be bro k en o f course. But we ca n n o t successfully cut fro m a cam era position in one p attern to an o th er o n the o ther trian g u lar arrangem ent.

T he p ro p er way to d o th a t is discussed later. B ut w hen the actors are lying dow n with their bodies parallel o r extended in opposite directions. Notice how the girl A is always on the left side of the screen In the three shots. Importance o f the heads W hen tw o perform ers are standing face to face.

The young man B also remains framed on his own side. One of them has to be chosen. Y et it is quite simple if we rem em ber only th at the central points o f two persons talking to each other are their heads. Even in situations where one actor has his back to the other.

The two sites on the base o f the triangular cam era locations parallel to the line o f interest o f the scene. Each one o f those positions is applied in pairs. Let us exam ine each one o f these fiv e variants separately. In the first case. In all film scenes. Note that the symbol represents a human figure—the flat tid e Indicates the fro nt o l the figure.

The cameras In the two positions parallel to the line of interest are directed Inward towards the players.

W e m ean by this th at bo th cam era angles on the base o f the geom etric figure assum e identical positioning in their relation to the players covered.

The cam eras placed on those tw o viewpoints can be pivoted on their axis.

They attra ct o u r atten tio n im m ediately. Five basic variations o f the triangle principle A straight line com position can be covered visually by using three different arrangem ents o f the triangular cam era principle. The positions o f the bodies therefore do not really count. In this variant the two camera positions parallel to the Une of interest point outwards. In the second variant. W ith the th ird variant the cam era sites are o n the base o f the triangular figure close to the line o f interest.

W ith the cam eras back to back anyw here on the base o f the triangle the effect represents the subjective view point o f the player excluded from the shot. In either case the ra p p o rt is n o t th at o f a head-on co nfrontation. If the camera positions are back to back on the line of interest itself. T he three situations outlined above can be com bined to m ultiply the cam era placem ents.

All positions can be com bined in pairs to cover both players. Seven cam era view points contained within a trian g u lar figure. The right anole camera positions cannot orify be in froDt ot the actors. In this case with the camera in front o f the perform ers. T he same arrangem ent can be placed behind the players. The above m entioned five basic variations are used not only to cover static conversations o f a group o f players. They give com position in depth.

To obtain coverage of a single player in ihe aroup. Positions 1 and 3 o f the external reverse cam era arrangem ent. In theatrical term s. The second advantage is that one o f the actors faces the cam era.

To cover only one o f the players i n a m aster shot while fram ing both players on the other. Emphasis by composition W hen two speaking perform ers face each other. The one-third. If the latter is slightly o u t o f focus. T he sccond position in the triangular arrangem ent is the weakest o f the three. O n the screen this is accentuated further by the distribution o f screen space in the com position o f the shot.

O n norm al screen sizes 3 X 4 ratio the ac to r who speaks is given tw o-thirds o f the screen space.

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T herefore the p erform er facing the cam era is the d o m inant one. I t view's the actors fro m the side a half-open body position. It is also used to introduce a pause in the cutting rhythm o f the sequence o r to precede a change in editorial pattern. It is reserved fo r the opening o r closing o f a conversation sequence. B ut a dialogue betw een two persons seen in close shots on such a screen becom es too ja rrin g from a visual standpoint.

This visual solution can be used w ith a norm al Audience attention is thus focused on the centre o f the screen at all times. A solution can be found however.

In Fig. The rem aining th ird o f the screen space m ay be filled only by a background object o r busy detail to balance the foreground com position. The screen is divided in three equal p arts for com positional purposes. T his m eans. The player featured in each reverse sh o t is always p u t in the central sector o f the screen.

Arijon D. Grammar of the Film Language

Thus at centre of the screen. T he next recourse is to increase the area o f the screen given to the player in the foreground. Types o f visual emphasis N ow th at the wide screen is in general use m any film m akers take advantage o f the long rectangular shape to practise adventurous com positional contrasts in their use o f w hat 1 have called external reverse shots.

T he acto r facing the cam era in the background is brilliantly lit. The player in the foreground blocks h a lf o f the screen with his body. O n other occasions a dark area th at blocks the same tw o-thirds o f the screen in bo th shots is em ployed to obtain the sam e effect. The em pty tw o-thirds o f the screen are filled w ith colour. R ight and left top angles o f the screen are contrasted from shot to shot. A half area of the screen is blocked by the body o f She player in th e fo re g ro u n d.

W hen an internal and an external reverse cam era position are com bined. The device is particularly em phatic. The Apaloosa and The Naked Runner. The re s t o f th e screen is darkened to stre ss th e key. Note the opposed glances that relate the players to one another visually. This technique is also extended to internal reverse camera positions.

These cam era sites cover each o f the two central figures individually. B oth players occupy the same screen area in each reverse shots. T w o-thirds o f the screen in both pictorial com positions are kept empty Fig. He applied the same com positional concept to the juxtaposition o f internal reverse shots.

Albicocco in the film L e R at D'Amerique used the wide screen to com pose unusual pairs o f external reverse shots. The usual ra p p o rt fo r two internal reverse shots is to fill two thirds o f the screen area with the figure o f the player featured in the shot.

Its shock effect can often heJp to oblafn an alienated mood in the scene. A nd yet.! This unusual way of com posing tw o related internal reverse master shots brlnos a special visual enhancement to the scene.

Only high angles permit this alignment. T hose types o f com position quickly grasp atten tio n and tend to d istract fro m the m ood o f the scene. T he scene will be covered in full fro m each set-up a n d from a t least two cam era viewpoints. Before going on to these form ulas let us exam ine how the triangle principle applies to the coverage o f a single player.

Y o u can interchange their locations on the screen in the reverse shot Fig. Triangle principle: One person In a film. But in a film the internal thoughts can be m ade audible. These principles d o n o t apply only to close ups. T he intention is to edit these m aster shots to give full visual coverage. F ro m the three p o in ts o f the trian g u lar figure. At all times tire direction o f his gaze dom inates the visual presentation o f the lone player.

A line o f interest extends between his eyes and the object gazed upon. Exam ine Fig. T he sense o f direction is broken if either reverse shot is used consecutively. Once this line o f interest has been established. If the player looks straight ahead. W ith his head on one side. T he subject need no t rem ain static—-he can write. T hcinternalvoice can be replaced by the rem em bered or im agined voices o f the protagonist.

If the lone player is looking straight ahead. The external reverse angles will present conflictino directions of gaze. T he device is used in literature. Even if we are no t shown the object he is looking at. T he direction o f his gaze becom es our line o f interest.

W hen the internal voice is heard. But with film the capturing of ou r inner self is most direct. W ith a rig h t angle turn a north-south camera placement will suffice. The direction o f his gaze m ust be adhered to as the line o f interest. T he direction o f the line o f interest will shift w hen the lone player m oves his head from one side to the o th er an d tw o coverages are possible: T he scene is first covered partially or in full from one cam era position.

W ith the perform er appearing in foreground with his back to us in external reverse shots the tip o f the nose should not extend beyond the line o f his cheek—we do n o t see his nose a t all from such a n angle.

W orking from the two dom inant cam era positions. T h e two strong cam era positions parallel to the line o f interest are those from which m aster shots are m ade to cover the static dialogue. Two solutions are available Fig. An internal reverse angle can be com bined with an external reverse cam era position. Face to fa ce T he m ost sim ple ap p ro ach w ith face to face dialogue is to use a set o f external reverse angles. T he perform er singled ou t is the more prom inent. This is the m ost common framing for external reverse master shots of two players who face one another.

Only one o f the actors is shown in each m aster shot Fig. Even if they do not look at each other at all during the whole scene. External reverse shots include both players. T hus we have the following three positions: T he next possibility is to cover b o th subjects individually by using internal reverse shots.

Performers side by side Two players placed side-by-side on a linear arrangem ent. Number contrast The com bination o f an external reverse and an internal reverse position creates number contrast o n the screen. A third possibility is the use o f parallel cam era positions for a frontal coverage as Fig. A n o th er m ight em ploy internal reverse angles as seen in Fig.

W hen tw o persons are show n in the fro n t seat o f a vehicle m oving along a road. One possibility is w ith external reverse angles Fig. Right angle camera arrangement to cover two actors who assume an L T he next variant is achieved by advancing along one o f the cam era axes. Several varian ts can be obtained with side-by-side positions where b o th players a d o p t a right angle body rap p o rt.

Positioned to face outw ards. In all these right angle. In the foregoing exam ples. Two solutions are available. A re ar cam era coverage is also possible. T he first is the m ost simple. Players behind one another This situation occurs only in very special circum stances: This com plicates the scene because we m ust theoretically put the camera on an o th er vehicle m oving a t the same speed.

The person in front usually tu rn s his head to look a t the o th er from the corner of his eye. But closer shots o f the perform ers riding in the m oving vehicle.

Establishing shots the num ber 2 position in the apex o f the triangle principle are usually from a m oving cam era platform. The m ost used cinem atic variations. The situations covered involve the use o f a moving vehicle. The three approaches shown all have a rioht angle relationship. An advance on a com m on visual axis can be applied by using positions 1 and 2 o r 3 and 2 o f the parallel cam era arrangem ent.

On other occasions this type o f dialogued scene is covered in a single shot from a single cam era position. By cutting from shot to shot. Positions 1 an d 3 as seen in Fig. The vehicle is placed upon a base th a t can be ro tated in fro n t o f the projection screen or blue-backing em ployed for travelling m atte. Positions 1 and 3 of the triangle cam era coverage can be achieved. By resorting to this visual sleight o f hand. Positions 1 and 3 individually cover each one o f the players.

The second ap p ro ach is a parallel cam era coverage. Some obstructions rotated in front o f the actors com plete the illusion. Either a technician stands there substituting the m issing player. If for any reason. Some technicians prefer to put their clenched fist against the hood as a reference point. A n acto r who was previously looking to the left. W hen the cam era is repositioned on the set. Perform ers m ust avoid looking into the cam era lens.

I t is an accepted convention b u t can destroy the flow o f a staged event. The actor o r substitute 6 Is positioned out o f shot to provide the correct reference point for actress A whose attention Is supposed to be fixed on a definite object or person who might have been seen In the previous shot. It is a recourse derived from the theatre.

It shocks o u r feeling o f security in the darkness o f the m ovie theatre. It violates the direction o f the line o f interest a n d the audience feels th at the player is looking at them directly and no t at the o th er players. We suddenly becom e participants and n o t spectators o f a staged story. In a fiction film players m ay look into the cam era lens only for a special purpose.

The player need n o t continually look into the cam era lens. F u rth er variatio n s are available. T h at is why in the second case the audience accepts the actor looking straight into the cam era lens as m ore natural.

D ifferent cam era distances can em phasize a dialogue visually. P osition 3 can be a m edium shot. These scenes m u st be used sparingly.

The three points o f the triangle principle generate axis lines on which the cam era can be m oved. H e m ay look elsewhere. In an exam ple involving external reverse angles. F o r exam ple. By reversing the play o f distances in the second p a ir o f m aster shots. His questions a n d th e way he w aits for the answ ers are vital to the story. Let us say for exam ple. These distances should be exploited in pairs. T he o th er h alf o f the scene is then covered with a close shot from P osition 1.

In conversation. Camera and actor height C am era height influences presentation. N o m ore th a n four different distances two pairs are needed to obtain good results. I f an acto r stands and the other is sitting. If internal reverse positions are used to cover the sam e situation one actor stands. The previous examples used external reverse angles. The head o f each player is covered by vertical cam era positions shown in the diagram.

A line o f interest is no t necessarily horizontal. O n o ther occasions when both players are standing. A vertical line o f interest is also possible Fig. Positions 1 a n d 3 those close to the line o f interest are near the heads o f the perform ers. I f the cam era tilt is to o acute the effect will be unreal.

One player can be stressed with a different cam era height on the external reverse shot coverage o f two players who are standing up Fig. Such angles should be reserved as shockers to stress im portant story points o r special events. W hen one player lies flat while the o th er stands o r kneels. If the line o f interest runs horizontally. F o r this purpose the players m ust be placed in such a way th a t the cam era has full scope for changing position above o r below the Ievei o f the artists where the ground The higher position in each shot is occupied by the dom inant player.

There is. Subjects lying side by side Tw o players lying on the ground. The players heads are kept in the sam e sectors o f the screen. T he same happens to the w om an on the right.

T he cam era is level w ith the actors on the ground. A right ancle camera deployment used to cover wo players lying side slopes aw ay sharply below and in fro n t o f them. In a studio set up this is quite easily arranged. But to obtain the feeling o f a norm al conversation the actors should look in opposite directions especially with split screen sequences.

RGURE 5. Telephone conversations Tw o players talking to each o ther on the phone. F o r the perform ers are filmed separately and com bined in printing with m attes Fig. Standing a little to one side o f the o th er is psychologically a m ore com fortable position.

Opposed diagonals W hen people talk to each o th er they do n o t necessarily keep th eir bodies erect. T heir bodies are seldom perfectly aligned. People have p artic u la r ways o f standing w hen facing each o th er and in a conversation.

W ide screen com positions can also benefit from this treatm en t. I f the players are perfectly aligned the reverse cam era positions m ust be close to the axis line form ed by th eir line o f interest. Som etim es the head is unconsciously tilted to a side to express a m ood o f ease o r intim acy—a n o p p o rtu n ity fo r interplay o f opposed diagonals in com posing close shots Fig.

In one o f the shots the diagonal com position is m aintained. Right angle camera deployments applied to a wide gap between the ' W hen one sm all lateral gap exists between b oth players. If the lateral gap between them is w ider such cases occur when an object o r piece o f fu rniture is placed between the players. Yet all these examples are correct because they adhere to the line of Interest. It is the direction in w hich the bodies p o in t fro m shot to shot th a t m akes it ap p e ar as a blunt reverse.

O ften. B ut the m asks used by K ihachi O k am o to and p h o to g rap h er K azuo Y am ad a o n A gfacolor film and T ohoscope screen size. In these cases the cam era rem ains on the sam e side o f the line of interest. U nm asked shots were intercut into the sequence along with the m asked shots. T he success o f the technique was based on the wise criterion w ith w hich it was applied.

T he process is no t new. N evertheless their use is correct. H e k ept m asks o f different sizes. The m asks were changed on an o pposition principle sim ilar to those p o rtra y ed in Figs. T h e d irector seldom used these m asks on scenes shot under broad daylight o r w here the lighting was bright. If b o th reverse takes are tracking shots. B ut bodies do n o t count. In several instances he kept the sam e m ask for tw o shots in a row.

Basically they were used to en h an ce som bre com positions in gun fight scenes. In co lo u r films som etim es a blue.

In the first exam ple for instance.

Players reflected on mirrors M irro rs have alw ays fascinated film m akers. A simple case of a reverse shot where one of the players Is reflected even panned the cam era keeping the m ask on.

T he m ost favoured effects use only one m irror. Regular cases As before. All the players are standing. Each arrangem ent requires different solutions to bring ou t its best possibilities. These subtle variations. T here are three basic linear dispositions. F u rth er variations are possible by having one or two players seated. But they could be placed o n the extrem es o f the line. He becom es the arbiter o f attention. This recourse can be applied in two w ays: Irregular cases W hen the players are arranged in a triangle.

T he third has only a passive role. By turning his head from the dom inant perform er to the other. The centre o f atten tio n for the audience. They all maintain the same screen area in both shots. T here are three basic form ulas fo r external reverse cam era shots. In this form ula the three players placed on a neutral line of interest are located precisely betw een bo th reverse cam era points.

This solution is best applied to closely knit groups. In the illustration each player. T he cam era sites fo r these form ulas are obtained by selecting two o f the six positions depicted in Fig. Formula A The d o m in an t player. Formula B Here the perform er acting as arb iter o f attention as a silent spectator is placed at one side o f the screen. T he o th er tw o players. The second variation. In the next shot she appears on the opposite side.

C om binations o f seated and standing players and different shooting distances add variety. T he shift in o rd er shown below dem onstrates the effect o f the different form ulas. In F orm ula B. In F orm ula C the dom inant line flows horizontally betw een the two players in the foreground. Formula C The d om inant player. This can provide variety in presentation.

N otice th at in all three figs. Tw o approaches are possible. One o r two o f them can be seated. Once m ore we stress the fact th at all players need no t stand in the scene. This will add variety to the pictorial com positions chosen for the scene. Parallel camera positions If a group o f three.

Observe Fig. Three internal reverse shots can be used to cover. There is no arbiter o f attention. It is im p o rtan t to retain the correct interplay o f directions of interest betw een the actors where one holds the atten tio n o f the o th er two.

N um ber contrast is obtained by this m ethod Fig. Internal reverse camera positions W ith a group o f three hum an figures divided in two. A n external cam era position fram es the whole group and m ight serve as an establishing shot—and could be re-inserted from time to time to rem ind the audience o f the group as a whole. Placing actors a t different levels and distances ap a rt. If the cen tral player acts as a n arb ite r o f atten tio n.

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Pivoting p o in t Three players can be show n in a filmed scene by including only two in each m aster shot. C am eras on a com m on visual axis show the w hole group from the first p o sitio n a n d only the d o m in an t ac to r in a closer view.

A n establishing shot encom passes the w hole group. The person appearing in b o th can occupy Number contrast. One of the shots emphasises the central player in the scene. In the exam ple exam ined.

The first possibility applies when covering a n approxim ately triangular arrangem ent o f actors. In both cases one acto r provides a pivoting p oint for the two dom inant cam era positions.B ut bodies do n o t count. A third possibility is the use o f parallel cam era positions for a frontal coverage as Fig.

But closer shots o f the perform ers riding in the m oving vehicle. C am era positions m ust be deployed th a t allow a sm ooth passage from one line to the other as. If fragm ents o f those m aster shots are selected.

This technique is also extended to internal reverse camera positions. But generally th at is no t enough. T hus we have the following three positions:

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