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Cinematography Versus Mise-en-scene

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Page 1: Cinematography Versus Mise-en-scene Cinematography Cinematography: "writing in movement” Digital Cinematography and Computer-Generated Imagery have brought

CinematographyVersus

Mise-en-scene

Page 2: Cinematography Versus Mise-en-scene Cinematography Cinematography: "writing in movement” Digital Cinematography and Computer-Generated Imagery have brought

Cinematography• Cinematography: "writing in

movement”• Digital Cinematography and

Computer-Generated Imagery have brought changes in Cinematography, which was traditionally based on chemical/photographic images and effects.

• Cinematography = Everything that has to do with cameras and lenses, with film/film stock (and its digital equivalents), exposure and processing of film/digital images.

Citizen Kane (Welles)

Page 3: Cinematography Versus Mise-en-scene Cinematography Cinematography: "writing in movement” Digital Cinematography and Computer-Generated Imagery have brought

Cinematography vs. Mise-en-Scene• Cinematography can be contrasted to

“mise-en-scene” (staging), which refers to “what is filmed”; while cinematography refers to “how it is filmed.”

• This difference raises questions:– Visual Special Effects? Often done

in post-production (esp. digital effects). So, is that Cinematography?

– Lighting? Effects exposure, lens setting, focus, etc., Usually under control of Cinematographer (Director of Photography). But Lighting, since it is part of “what is filmed,” could also be seen as part of a film’s “mise-en-scene.” What is your opinion?

• what is filmed (mise-en-scene) • how it is filmed (cinematography)

Is this cinematography or mise-en-scene?

Page 4: Cinematography Versus Mise-en-scene Cinematography Cinematography: "writing in movement” Digital Cinematography and Computer-Generated Imagery have brought

Main Elements of Cinematography• (1) Composition of the frame and mobile framing.

Frame shape (aspect ratios), camera distance (types of shots: e.g., CU, Medium Shot),

angle, level, height, & mobile framing (camera movements and zooms), perspective, pov.

• (2) Camera, Lens, & Exposure Choices & Techniques (what used to be called “photographic elements”)

Camera Choices (speed of motion, shutter speed), Lens Types (e.g., telephoto, wide

angle), Lens Settings (focus, aperture, depth of field, etc.), Exposure issues.

Page 5: Cinematography Versus Mise-en-scene Cinematography Cinematography: "writing in movement” Digital Cinematography and Computer-Generated Imagery have brought

COMPOSITION OF THE FRAMECamera Angles

High anglePsycho (Hitchcock)

Page 6: Cinematography Versus Mise-en-scene Cinematography Cinematography: "writing in movement” Digital Cinematography and Computer-Generated Imagery have brought

COMPOSITION OF THE FRAMECamera Angles

Straight angle; Straight onRebecca (Alfred Hitchcock, 1940)

Page 7: Cinematography Versus Mise-en-scene Cinematography Cinematography: "writing in movement” Digital Cinematography and Computer-Generated Imagery have brought

COMPOSITION OF THE FRAMECamera Angles

Low angle

Page 8: Cinematography Versus Mise-en-scene Cinematography Cinematography: "writing in movement” Digital Cinematography and Computer-Generated Imagery have brought

COMPOSITION OF THE FRAME

Canted framing (a.k.a. Dutch angle) Man with a Movie Camera (Vertov) –

one of the first films to use Canted angles• Canted framing

– Camera not level / not horizontal

– Often suggests tension, trouble, distress, etc.

Page 9: Cinematography Versus Mise-en-scene Cinematography Cinematography: "writing in movement” Digital Cinematography and Computer-Generated Imagery have brought

Did you know?

• The term “Dutch angle” originates from the term “Deutsch” which means German. German expressionism used canted angled in many films to denote madness and uneasiness.

The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari (1919)Dir. Robert Wiene

Page 10: Cinematography Versus Mise-en-scene Cinematography Cinematography: "writing in movement” Digital Cinematography and Computer-Generated Imagery have brought

Framing can become a director’s signature

• There are other examples of framing, which include using the natural framing occurring in objects.

Tarantino’s low angle trunk shot.

Page 11: Cinematography Versus Mise-en-scene Cinematography Cinematography: "writing in movement” Digital Cinematography and Computer-Generated Imagery have brought

CAMERA DISTANCECamera/Shot Distance or “Type of Shot”

1. extreme long (ELS)2. long (LS)3. medium long shot (MLS)4. medium (MS)5. medium close-up (MCU)6. close-up (CU)7. extreme close-up (ECU)

Page 12: Cinematography Versus Mise-en-scene Cinematography Cinematography: "writing in movement” Digital Cinematography and Computer-Generated Imagery have brought

Extreme long shot (ELS)

Page 13: Cinematography Versus Mise-en-scene Cinematography Cinematography: "writing in movement” Digital Cinematography and Computer-Generated Imagery have brought

Long shot (LS)

Page 14: Cinematography Versus Mise-en-scene Cinematography Cinematography: "writing in movement” Digital Cinematography and Computer-Generated Imagery have brought

Medium long shot(knees or shins to head; a.k.a. American shot or knee

shot)

Page 15: Cinematography Versus Mise-en-scene Cinematography Cinematography: "writing in movement” Digital Cinematography and Computer-Generated Imagery have brought

Medium shot (MS)

Nosferatu (F.W. Murnau)Modern Times (Chaplin)

Page 16: Cinematography Versus Mise-en-scene Cinematography Cinematography: "writing in movement” Digital Cinematography and Computer-Generated Imagery have brought

Medium close-up (MCU)

Page 17: Cinematography Versus Mise-en-scene Cinematography Cinematography: "writing in movement” Digital Cinematography and Computer-Generated Imagery have brought

Close-up (CU)

Page 18: Cinematography Versus Mise-en-scene Cinematography Cinematography: "writing in movement” Digital Cinematography and Computer-Generated Imagery have brought

Extreme close-up (ECU)

Page 19: Cinematography Versus Mise-en-scene Cinematography Cinematography: "writing in movement” Digital Cinematography and Computer-Generated Imagery have brought

Other "shots" that aren’t named for their shot distance:

• Establishing shot• Master shot • Two and three shot• Reverse shot or reverse-angle shot• Point-of-view (POV) shot (a.k.a. subjective shot)

Page 20: Cinematography Versus Mise-en-scene Cinematography Cinematography: "writing in movement” Digital Cinematography and Computer-Generated Imagery have brought

COMPOSITION OF THE FRAME: Aspect Ratios(ratio of width to height)

Rules of the Game, Jean Renoir, 19391.33:1 (4 to 3) actually 1.37:1

Aliens, James Cameron, 19861.85:1

Rebel Without A Cause, Nicholas Ray, 19552.35:1 (Cinemascope)

Page 21: Cinematography Versus Mise-en-scene Cinematography Cinematography: "writing in movement” Digital Cinematography and Computer-Generated Imagery have brought

Framing: aspect ratios• Academy ratio = 1.37:1, but often said to be 1.33:1• Note how framing affects balance, visual

information, & relationship of on- & off-screen space

2.2 to 1 Pan & Scan; 1.33 to 1

Page 22: Cinematography Versus Mise-en-scene Cinematography Cinematography: "writing in movement” Digital Cinematography and Computer-Generated Imagery have brought

Aspect Ratios (when shooting digital)

– A. 4:3 - composition well suited for a close-up

– B. 16:9 - loss of focus - i.e., frame includes “extraneous” information

– C. 16:9 - letter boxed - face is smaller

– D. 16:9 - to command attention - i.e., fill-up the frame - face is cropped

Page 23: Cinematography Versus Mise-en-scene Cinematography Cinematography: "writing in movement” Digital Cinematography and Computer-Generated Imagery have brought

Mobile Framing1. Actual Movements of Camera2. Zooms, where Camera doesn’t

move, but the frame changes as the lens focal length is changed: Zoom In or Zoom Out. (Magnifies)

3. Computer-generated shots: for ex: “fly-bys,” “rotations.” Computers, like traditional animation, can potentially generate any movement.

Page 24: Cinematography Versus Mise-en-scene Cinematography Cinematography: "writing in movement” Digital Cinematography and Computer-Generated Imagery have brought

Mobile Framing:Camera Movements

• Pans = rotates horizontally, side to side (“camera rotates on vertical axis”)

• Tilts = vertical pivot/rotation, up and down

• In pans & tilts, camera does not change position, it pivots or rotates. Usually tripod mounted.

• Dolly/tracking/traveling shots • Crane (and “boom” or jib) shots• Hand-held and steadycam shots

Page 25: Cinematography Versus Mise-en-scene Cinematography Cinematography: "writing in movement” Digital Cinematography and Computer-Generated Imagery have brought

Mobile Framing:Camera Movements

• Dolly, Tracking, Traveling shots: all basically the same.• Sometimes people use “tracking shot” to mean a

“following shot” • But name “tracking shot” came from the “tracks” that

dollies moved on.• So, dolly and tracking interchangeable terms. • Traveling shot is generally reserved for more expansive

movements, taken from a vehicle. • Dolly shots usually lead to LONG TAKES.

Page 26: Cinematography Versus Mise-en-scene Cinematography Cinematography: "writing in movement” Digital Cinematography and Computer-Generated Imagery have brought

Dolly Shot, on Tracks

Page 27: Cinematography Versus Mise-en-scene Cinematography Cinematography: "writing in movement” Digital Cinematography and Computer-Generated Imagery have brought

Dolly Shot Jean Luc Godard’s Le Mepris (Contempt, 1963)

Page 28: Cinematography Versus Mise-en-scene Cinematography Cinematography: "writing in movement” Digital Cinematography and Computer-Generated Imagery have brought

Mobile Framing:Camera Movements

• Crane and Boom/Jib shots:• Boom/jib shots: Camera mounted on

counterweighted boom (similar to booms for microphones); some booms can also telescope in or out. Can use for combinations of pans & tilts, horizontal (tracking), vertical or diagonal moves.

• Crane shots: Shots look the same as boom shot, but often motorized or with hydraulics for movement. Usually cranes have seat for operator, wheels. Some can be driven.

• Motion-control techniques: computer programs to direct elaborate camera movements.

Page 29: Cinematography Versus Mise-en-scene Cinematography Cinematography: "writing in movement” Digital Cinematography and Computer-Generated Imagery have brought

Opening: Welles' Touch of Evil 1958

Page 30: Cinematography Versus Mise-en-scene Cinematography Cinematography: "writing in movement” Digital Cinematography and Computer-Generated Imagery have brought

Opening: Robert Altman’s The Player (1992)

Page 31: Cinematography Versus Mise-en-scene Cinematography Cinematography: "writing in movement” Digital Cinematography and Computer-Generated Imagery have brought

Mobile Framing:Camera Movements

• Hand-held and Steadicam Shots:• Hand-held & Steadicam shots can pan or tilt or

track. • Hand-held movement is obviously “unsteady”--

which is how we know it’s a hand-held shot. • Steadicam: a patented device wh/ dampens

unsteadiness, producing a relatively smooth movement, even when walking or running. Operators must be trained to use.

• Steadicam first used in Rocky (1976). Early prominent use in Kubrick’s The Shining (1980).

Page 32: Cinematography Versus Mise-en-scene Cinematography Cinematography: "writing in movement” Digital Cinematography and Computer-Generated Imagery have brought

Tracking Shot – Children of Men (2006)

Alfonso Cuaron; Steadicam example

Page 33: Cinematography Versus Mise-en-scene Cinematography Cinematography: "writing in movement” Digital Cinematography and Computer-Generated Imagery have brought

Mobile Framing

• When viewing a film, mobile framing can be hard to spot, because we often follow what is being photographed, rather than how.

• And often, multiple combinations of camera movements:

• Ex: Tracking shots often include some panning.• And combinations of camera movements can

become quite complicated, as in some Crane Shots.• Also, can combine camera movements with zooms.

Page 34: Cinematography Versus Mise-en-scene Cinematography Cinematography: "writing in movement” Digital Cinematography and Computer-Generated Imagery have brought

Mobile Framing

Vertigo, Alfred Hitchcock, 1958 Dolly Zoom

Page 35: Cinematography Versus Mise-en-scene Cinematography Cinematography: "writing in movement” Digital Cinematography and Computer-Generated Imagery have brought

Mobile Framing

Page 36: Cinematography Versus Mise-en-scene Cinematography Cinematography: "writing in movement” Digital Cinematography and Computer-Generated Imagery have brought

– Left: • move the camera (track in)• short focal length lens • Note: Relation of back/foreground,

changed angles• distortion at edges

– Right: • Camera stationary• Change of focal length (i.e., zoom in)• Relation of back/foreground closer

(telephoto effect of flattening)• No distortion at edges• Zooming is unnatural to the human

eye

Tracking Vs. Zooming

Page 37: Cinematography Versus Mise-en-scene Cinematography Cinematography: "writing in movement” Digital Cinematography and Computer-Generated Imagery have brought

• Like the Dutch angle, using mobile framing can denote a particular psychological effect.

• In Vertigo, the motion represents a sudden rush of adrenalin much like what you feel when you’re bungee jumping.

• These types of framing are cinematic depictions of a highly psychological feelings.

Emotional Framing

Page 38: Cinematography Versus Mise-en-scene Cinematography Cinematography: "writing in movement” Digital Cinematography and Computer-Generated Imagery have brought

Who is the audience looking at, and from who’s perspective? What perspective does the camera put the audience in?

M (1931; Fritz Lang)

Cinematography and Perspective

Black Swan (2010; D. Aronofsky)

Page 39: Cinematography Versus Mise-en-scene Cinematography Cinematography: "writing in movement” Digital Cinematography and Computer-Generated Imagery have brought

Subjective shot(or point-of-view shot)

• Subjective Shot/Camera: from the position/point of view of a character--as if seeing through character eyes. Also called POV shot. Cinema equivalent of “First Person” in writing.

• Some people make distinction between subjective shots & POV shots: use “POV shots” to include “over-the-shoulder” shots--which give a sense of POV without actually being from the position of the character.

• But easier & better: treat POV and Subjective as the same; over-the-shoulder as different.

Page 40: Cinematography Versus Mise-en-scene Cinematography Cinematography: "writing in movement” Digital Cinematography and Computer-Generated Imagery have brought

Subjective shot(or point-of-view shot)

• Subjectivity/POV is crucial to Classical Hollywood style: shot/reverse shots & eyeline matching are based on the idea of seeing from character’s POV.

• But, shot/reverse shot shows both "subjective" and "objective" views: Hollywood (most cinema) mixes both together.

• What happens if subjectivity is taken to extreme? If we see only subjective shots?

Page 41: Cinematography Versus Mise-en-scene Cinematography Cinematography: "writing in movement” Digital Cinematography and Computer-Generated Imagery have brought

How many camera techniques can you find?

John Carpenter’s Halloween trailer (1978)