Most film producers in Hollywood put a big money in producing their films just to make sure that audience will impress and satisfy. Different from the past period, the usage of camera techniques nowadays has become a major role in creating mood and visual FX. The CGI technology makes those impossible shots possible. This technology gives a new hope of film industry in improving the cinematography. Besides creating the characters and settings by using CGI, such as Dragon heart, Jurassic Park and Star Wars the First Episode, the techniques of camera movement are also changed. This can be looked in a few films such as The Fight Club. Even though, the theory and principal of traditional camera techniques must not been forgotten because this is the basic foundation of the usage of camera techniques.
The simplest way to use a camera is to set it up at a suitable viewpoint, then zoom between overall cover (covering) shots showing general action, and closer shots showing detail. But this mechanical, unstimulating rountine soon becomes very boring to watch. Good techniques add to the subject’s appeal; they arouse our interest. Bald statements are not enough. Rather like listening to a hack pianist, who plays the right notes without any sort of expression, our attention falls.
When you point a camera at a scene you are doing much more than simply showing your audience what is going on there. You are selecting particular features in the scene. You are drawing their attention to to certain aspects of the action. The way you use your camera will influence the audience impact of the subject.
In an interview, for example, you can shoot the guests from a low viewpoint and give them an air of importance or self-confidence. From a higher viewpoint they might look diminished. Concentrating on detail shots of their nervous finger movements, they may appear insecure or ill at ease.
The camera interprets the scene. How you use it will effect your audience’s responses. If you use the camera casually you will get haphazard results.
Whenever you point a camera at action you have to make a series of fundamental decision, such as:
• Which is the best viewpoint? Can the action be seen clearly from there?
• Which features do you want to emphasize at this moment?
• Do you want the audience to concentrate on a particular aspect of the action?
• Do you want to convey a certain impression?
Of course, we seldom analyze in this fashion before deciding on a shot. Instead, we develop an instinctive feeling that a particular type of shot is most suitable for the situation.
Motion picture film is made up of a series of still photographic images. When projected in succession, these provide the illusion of movement. Each individual photographic image is called a frame a discrete entity that, just as in painting, has shapes and forms arranged in a composition. A sequence of frames is called a shot, which is commonly defined as the footage created from the moment the camera is turned on until it is turned off. Despite several styles of film that have specialized approaches, the shot is generally considered to be the basic building block of a film.
If the shot is the basic building block of a film, the setup is the basic component of a film’s production. A setup, also referred to as a camera position, placement, or, simply, angle, is just what the name suggests: it is when you set up the camera to execute a shot. If you need a simple shot of a character saying “yes,” you have to set up the camera, do some basic set decoration, work out the lighting, record the sound, and so on. If you then want another character to respond “No,” you have to go through the same process to execute the shot. A setup may involve something as simple as a single line of dialogue or cover extensive material that is going to be used throughout a scene the basic unit of a script , with action occurring in a single setting and in real time or evenn throughout the entire film.
Beyond these basic definitions, it is important to start thinking of the shots as accomplishing goals, dramatic or otherwise. A shot may show us a necessary piece of information or help to create an atmosphere. It may serve as a simple delivery device for a line of dialogue: it may produce associations that were not implicit without its presence.
A shot does not necessarily have to be discussed in a purely narrative ( story ) context. Like a detail in a pointillist painting, it may be one piece in a grander abstract plan. It may add to the kinetic energy (movement) of a piece, such as in music videos. But all shots have a purpose and must be thought out in terms of their relationship to the greater whole of the film. A shot has to do something because, whatever its content, its presence will have an impact.
When discussing shots, the idea of choice is key when considering the filming of any action simple or complex, conventional or unconventional. Filmmakers repeatedly face a deceptively simple question: Where do I put the camera to “cover” this action (this line of dialogue, this facial expression) in a way that is involving and dramatically effective? Although covering the action implies a purely functional approach, there must be an internal logic to the way the camera is being used a logic that fits the dramatic context and the formal approach of the material being shot. There must be a reason why a closer shot is used at a specific point. There must be a reason why you withdraw from the action with a wider shot at another point. A scene in which the presentation has not achieved some internal logic will appear shapeless and “undirected,” The choice made will structure the viewer’s perception of the scene and contribute to defining the shape and meaning of the material and the greater structure of shots in which the single shot participates.
Overshadowing this ideal of choice should be an awareness that all the decisions made on a set (camera, lighting, sound, and son on ) are driven by the demand of the editing room. Experienced filmmakers will attest to the importance of approaching each shot with a sense of the whole film in mind a prosess called shooting for the editing. A film crew is made up of many skilled professionals, all of whom must understand how the scene being filmed is going to cut together. The sound people must know what the compositions will cut together, and whether the scenes are being appropriately covered. The lighting crew needs to understand that the quality of light must be continuous from one shot to the next.
With the exception of a few specialized approaches, virtually every film, whether narrative, experimental, documentary, or animated, has to confront this question of the relationship of the camera to the camera to the subject and surroundings. Some common strategies for shooting scenes and having a strategy is crucial will be developed throughout this text, but any plan must come from the filmmaker’s understanding of the materials at hand and the dramatic need of the subject matter. Whatever the approach to shooting, keep in mind that someone ( possibly you) will have to fit all the pieces together. The beginning of the process must be informed by the end.3
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