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FPA 135 Study Guide - Final Guide: Panavision, Camera Angle, Long Shot

Contemporary Arts
Course Code
FPA 135
Melanie Cassidy
Study Guide

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LECTURE Cinematography WEEK 7
Cinematography: the process of capturing moving images on film or a digital storage device.
Shot: an uninterrupted run of the camera.
Take: the number of times a particular shot is taken.
Setup: one camera position and everything associated with it.
Director of Photography (DP): the primary person responsible for transforming the other aspects of
moviemaking into moving images.
o Makes very specific decisions about how the movie will be photographed
o Translates the directors vision into realities
Camera Crew
o Camera Operator: does the actual shooting
o Assistant Camerapersons (ACs)
Oversees the camera lens, supporting equipment, and the material on which the
movie is being shot
Prepares the slate, files the reports, fills the magazines, and loads the camera
Cinematographic Properties of the shot
o Film Stock: Most films are still shot on traditional film stock (although digital is on the rise)
o Types: back-and-white/color
o Ganges: 8mm, super 8mm, 16mm, 35mm, 65mm, 70mm, IMAX
o Speed (exposure): the degree to which it is light-sensitive (fast/slow)
Framing: Aspect Ratio
o Ratio of the width of the images to its height
1.33:1 Academy (35mm flat)
1.85:1 American Widescreen (35mm flat)
2.35:1 Panavision and Cinemascope (35mm anamorphic)
Black-and-White Cinematography
o Offers compositional possibilities and cinematographic effects that are impossible with color
film stock
o Strong sense of gritty realism
o Distinct contrasts and hard edges
o Texture and spatial depth
o Can have moral or ethical implications
o Tonality is the distinguishing quality of black-and-white film stock
DPs Responsibilities
Cinematographic properties of the shot
Framing of the shot
Speeding and length of the shot
Special effects
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Color Cinematography
o Kodaks Eastman Color System standard color film stock today
o A new naturalism has become the cinematic norm
o Film artists and technicians carefully plan are direction to manipulate
colors for enhancement
Framing of the shot: the process that determines what will appear within the borders of the image
during a shot.
o Implied proximity to the camera
o Depth
Deep-space Composition: a total visual composition that can place significant
information or subjects on all three planes (background, middle-ground and
foreground) of the frame and thus creates an illusion of depth.
Deep-focus Cinematography: uses a short-focal-length lens to keep all three planes
in sharp focus.
o Camera angle and height
o Scale
o Camera movement
o Rule of thirds: A convention that takes the form of a grid pattern that, when superimposed
on an image, divides it into horizontal thirds representing the foreground, middle-ground,
and background planes and into vertical thirds that break up those planes into further
Helps achieve onscreen distribution and balance, and visual continuity between
Lighting: shapes the way the movie looks and helps tell the story.
o Source: natural and artificial
Daylight: the most convenient and economical source.
Artificial lights are called instruments to distinguish them from the light they
Focusable spotlights and flood lights (produce hard/mirror-like and
soft/diffuse light).
o Lowkey lighting: produces the overall gloomy atmosphere, where its contrasts between
light and dark often imply ethical judgements.
o High-key lighting: produces an image with very little contrast between the darks and the
Dutch Angle Shot: the camera is tilted from its normal horizontal and vertical position so that it is no
longer straight giving the viewer the impression that the world in the frame is out of balance.
Aerial-view Shot: an extreme type of point-of-view shot, is taken from an aircraft or very high crane
and implies the observers omniscience.
Extreme long shot (XLS)
Long shots (LS)
Medium long shot (MLS)
Medium shot (MS)
Medium close up (MCU)
Close up (CU)
Big close up (BCU)
Extreme close up (XCU)
Pan Shot: horizontal movement of camera.
Tilt Shot: vertical movement of camera.
Computer-Generated Imagery (CGI)
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Screen Acting: an actor uses imagination, intelligence, psychology, memory, vocal technique, facial
expressions, body language, and an overall knowledge of the filmmaking process to realize, under the
directors guidance, the character created by the screenwriter.
Stage Actors: convey their interpretations of the characters they play directly to the audience
through voice, gesture, and movement.
Movie actors: using gesture and movement, and voice since the coming of the sound, convey their
characters directly to the camera.
o Personality Actors: take their personae from role to role.
o Actors who deliberately play against our expectations of their personae.
o Chameleon Actors: seems to be different in every role.
o Nonprofessional actors who have achieved success in another field (sports or music, for
example), who are cast to bring verisimilitude to a part.
Types of Roles
o Major Roles: principal agents in helping to move the plot forward.
o Stand-ins: who look reasonably like the stars in height, weight, coloring, and so on and who
substitute for them during the tedious process of preparing setups or taking light readings.
o Stunt-persons: double for actors n major roles in scenes requiring special skills or involving
hazardous actions.
o Minor Roles: help move the plot forward, but they generally do not appear in as many scenes
as the featured players.
o Character Roles: represent distinctive character types (sometimes stereotypes).
o Bit Players: hold small speaking parts.
o Extras: usually appear in nonspeaking or crowd roles and receive no screen credit.
o Cameos: small but significant roles often taken b famous actors.
o Walk-ons: even smaller roles, reserved for highly recognizable actors or personalities.
Naturalistic: actors re-create recognizable or plausible human behavior for the camera.
o The actors not only look like the characters should but also think, speak, and move the way
people would off-screen.
Non-naturalistic: seem excessive, exaggerate, even overacted.
Improvisational Acting
o Extemporizing, delivering lines based only loosely on the written script or without the
preparation that comes with studying a script before rehearsing it.
o Playing through a moment, making up lines to keep scenes going when actors forget their
written lines, stumble on lines, or have some other mishap.
Casting: the process of choosing
and hiring actors for a movie.
Casting Directors
Casting Society of America (CSA)
Konstantin Stanislavsky - Method Acting
Trained to strive for realism, both social and psychological, and to bring their
own past experiences and emotions to their roles.
o Required the actors conscious efforts to tap their unconscious selves.
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