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Boston College
Film Studies
FILM 2202
John B Williaon

1/15/14-Technological Roots / Pioneer cinema • 24 frames per second (fps)speed at which films are shot. (24 stills per second creates the illusion of movement) o Along time ago it was more like 16-18 fps (looks more choppy) o “flicks”nickname given to films because of the gaps in the film, looks like a flip book, has flickers • What makes a movie, a movie? o *Critical Flicker Fusion: there is a threshold for when a series of still pictures becomes motion. Athreshold where the human eye can only recognize motion at a certain speed.  Flicking a flashlight on and off: how many times a second would you have to flick it on and off before you are unable to tell when you are flicking it on and off?  50 times a second when it looks like a single beam of light.  Shutter is breaking the beam of light twice for every frame, every frame is really being projected twicethis creates the illusion of motion.  Approximately 50 flashes of light per second will look like a continuous beam of light. o Persistence of vision: states that when you see an image, it lingers in your brain for a fraction of a second after you see it. This is why it’s possible for your eyes to string all of these images together. o *Apparent Motion: if any visual display is changed fast enough, the brain creates the illusion of motion.  Neon signs, Christmas lights, it looks like the light is traveling. The lights are actually just going on and off at different timesthis creates the illusion of motion. • Phenakistoscope (Greek deceive-turning) o Invented in 1832 o There’s a spinning disk with a series of different pictures on it. Each photo is slightly different from the one before it. o Has a handle on it, and you look at it in a mirror, through slits and you can see the images. o Why can’t you just look at it without the mirror? The images would just blend togetherthe slits on the disk serve the same purpose as the shutter. There’s enough black in-between each image to trick our eye into believing there’s motionPersistence of Vision carries each image over one another. • Zoetrope (Greek life-turning) o Invented in 1833viewer spins drum and looks through slots at images of an objet in various stages of motion. • Challenges of creating film: o How do you create a rapid series of photographs? o How to print photos on a flexible base to pass through a camera? o How to project this rapid series of photos onto a surface? • Eadweard Muybridge, 1878 o First man in history to record continuous live action or series photography. o Muybridge set up 12 cameras, each set-up to take a photo at half-second intervals. o Bet was made that while a horse was running, at no point was all his feet off the ground. o First person to solve the problem of “how to take rapid series of photographs” • Kinetograph o Developed by W.K.L. Dickenson and Thomas Edison in 1891 o Uses flexible, perforated (holes on side) around electrically engaged spools to take a rapid series of photographs. • Kinescope o Created by same people o The film travels continuously over a bank of rollers, each picture being viewed briefly through a narrow slot in the revolving shutter. o People had to individually pay to view a film, there were no “mass viewings”. o It isn’t portable, created a ‘black” room where it moved with the sunlight, because the camera was to cumbersome / heavy to move. • Cinamatographe, 1895 o Developed byAguste and Louis Lumiere o Combines the functions of a movie camera, film printer, and film projector. o Improved upon the Kinetograph in that it was lighter (16 lbs) and could be easily transported. o Improved upon the Kinescope in that it could be projected on a large audiences. • Vitascope, 1896 o Developed by Charles Francis Jenkins and Thomas Armat o Edison purchased the nights and used it to prefect the projection of Kinetograph films o First theatrical projection for an audience takes place onApril 23, 1896. • “Watering the Gardener” 1895 – Lumiere Brothers o The first comedy o Pre-arranged scene, precursor to acting o Dramatic ironywe can see the hose being messed with, the Gardner doesn’t know and is looking into the hose. o Designed to capture the viewer’s interest and capture a story. • “The Sick Kitten”, 1901 – GeorgeAlbert Smith o There’s more than 1 shotthe camera moved between shotsdevelops different perspectivessomething happens on screen that doesn’t happen in reality • “Life of anAmerican Fireman” 1902 – Edwin S. Porter (Worked for Edison) o Meaning of the shots is created through the editingthe shots are not self containing • **“The Great Train Robbery” (Edwin S. Porter -1903) o Moving into parallel action, but within each scene there’s only one shot. • **Director D.W. Griffith o Considered grandfather of modern directing o Moved the camera into the scene for emotional reasons. Breaks each scene into a series of shots. o Birth of a Nation – 1915 o Cuts for emotional changes, not physical changes (scene changes, getting off a train, etc…) 1/22/14-Content and Form / the camera as a tool • Difference between two songs o Same lyrics, music was slightly manipulated to create different feelings • Content: story, characters, themes • Form: camera (angles, etc…), cinematography (lighting), sound, editing, performances (casting), art design, • Three different kinds of time to be aware of in movies: o Running time: how long the movie actually is o Story time: the time in the movie o Internal structural time: how does editing / music manipulate the appearance of time… stretching our / slowing down time  Final play of a game seems slow  Fast and Furious seems faster • *Cinema is not only space, but is also time • The camera position helps to manipulate our emotional involvement in a scene o Cutting to a new position can create rhythm, tell us when something is important etc… • Camera positions: o Long shot (also called an establishing shot): establishes the scene or environment. Helps give us a sense of the location. o Full shot: show the whole body of the subject o Medium shot: waist up essentially, not entire actor o Close up: face of the actor o Insert shot o Extreme close up: eyes, hands etc…taking a very tight shot of a detail. o Single: shows one person as subject o 2-shot: shows two people o Over the shoulder: can see who the main character is talking to, other person is out of focus. • Camera angle: o Low angle: camera is looking up at the subject o Eye-level o High angle: camera is looking down at the subject o Canted angle (also called a Dutch angle): frame is slightly slanted / tilted • Shot: everything between two points of editing / an uninterrupted segment of film • Camera lenses: o focal length=length from lens to the film. The longer the focal length, o Telephoto lens (usually greater than 50mm): lens is very far away from the film  Depth of field: how much of the shot is in focus o Normal lens=50mm o Wide lens=less than 50mm  You get a wider angle of view than you would normally get  Surface area is greater, light is curving to get into the lens.  Opens up the angle of view  Greater depth of view o Zoom lens: has a focal length that can change. Lens moves farther away from the film. • Motion parallax: what separates a zoom move and a dolly move o The relationship between objects in the shot will change with a dolly move o In a zoom lens, that relationship wouldn’t move • Camera movement o Pan: the camera moves from left to right on an axis. The camera doesn’t move through the space, it’s usually moving on a tripod. o Tilt: the camera moves up and down o Dolly / tracking shot: usually you say “tracking” when you’re literally following a character. o Boom / crane shot: when you use a camera on a crane and it can move through space both laterally and up and down  We’re most likely to not experience this feeling as humans, out of body experience o Steadicam: camera operator has the camera attached to him on a rig, but weights and such eliminate bouncing etc that you would get with a handheld. It allows for tracking in small, tight spaces where a track couldn’t be put down for a dolly. 1/29/14: Silent Film Stars / Cinematography • Charlie Chaplin o Known for his “tramp” character (down on his luck, hobo, always getting into trouble etc…) o One of the first international “movie stars” o Championed the underdog or exposed some kind of social injustice o “The Kid” (1921) • Harold Lloyd o Put himself in physical danger for laughs o “Safety Lasts” (1923) o Pure entertainment / sight gags (less concerned with story or important plot, no social themes) o “Glasses” character o Dumb and Dumber (harry and Lloyd)homage to his name • Buster Keaton o The Great Stone Face o “The General” (1927) o The less he does, the funnier it is (facial expressions) o Known for elaborate stunts he would do (trains, etc…) o Most expensive shot ever was in this movie (blew up an actual bridge and a real train went into the river) • Mise-En-Scene o Used to describe the overall visual design of a film. How all the visual elements of a film create the overall feeling. o All the elements in front of the camera. • Saving Private Ryan o Hand held
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