Monday, 31 January 2011

Notes from Film Studies - Warren Buckland

Buckland, Warren, 2003, Film Studies, Chicago, Contemporary books

1. Film aesthetics: Formalism and realism

- Mise - en - scene 'putting on stage' originates from the theatre
 - in book: 'What appears in front of the camera - set design, ligting and character movement
- Mise - en - shot - shooting or filming
- Film makers make a productive relationship between the two
- long take - shot of long duration - according to Barry Salt average  of Hollywood shots is 9 secs in 1940 so any duration past this is a long take
- Deep focus photography - keeps several planes of the shot in focus at same time (foreground, middleground and background)
- combined with long take so camera can stay in one place with slight movement for reframing (popular with Orsen Welle's films)
- Pg 14 quote by Orson Welles explaining it's importance
- Continuity editing - shots controlled and regulated in a series
- Continuity editing enables viewer to create coherent picture from the shots presented on screen
- other techniques:
. eye line match
. point of view cutting
. match on action cut
. directional continuity
- editing breaks down a scene into a multitude of shots and gives director complete control over events and actors
- advantage of editing over long take and deep focus is changes in viewpoint can fully involve the spectator in action
- example pg 20 'Editing in Jurrassic Park'
- "Colour can be manipulated to create an atmosphere"
- montage creates symbolic meanings by juxtaposing shots together
- "Associations" (in words of Einstein, that didn't exist before

2. Film Structure: narrative and narration

- narrative structure consists of a series of elements related to one another in terms of cause and effect
- scenes as well as shots are also linked together for a cause - effect narrative logic
- narrative development is dependant on the way in which caused - effect logic is worked out in relation to film's character/s
- Tzvetan Todorov describes narrative in 3 terms pg 36:
1. a state of equalibrium
2. the disruption of this equilibrium by an event
3. the successful attempt to restore the equlibrium
- transition from one stage to next is the narrative's 'turning point'
- middle part is characterised as liminal or transition period - meaning it takes place outside of social events
- additional elements of narrative structure include: exposition, dangling causes, obstacles, dealines and dialogue hooks
- Thompson defines 'dangling cause' as "information or action that leads to no effect or resolution until much later in the film". Pg 39
- The dealine is time limit placed to accomplish a goal
- dialogue hook creates a link between 2 consecutive scenes
- Pg 43 restricted and omniscient narration
- Restricted - the camera filters the narrative only through the vision of one character
- Omniscient - the camera jumps from one character to the next or no characters (the camera filters the narrative through the director's vision)
- sometimes omniscient narration the camera will disengage from all characters in case narration is controlled by someone outside - director
- narration is a mechanism that determines how information is conveyed to the spectator

No comments:

Post a Comment