The representation of space affects the reading of a film. Depth, proximity, size and proportions of the places and objects in a film can be manipulated through camera placement and lenses, lighting, decor, effectively determining mood or relationships between elements in the diegetic world.
Section 1 - Decor
An important elememt of "putting in the scene" is décor, the objects contained in and the setting of a scene. Décor can be used to amplify character emotion or the dominant mood of a film. In these shots from 2001: A Space Odyssey (Stanley Kubrick, 1969) the futuristic furniture and reduced color scheme stress the sterility and impersonality of the space station environment. Later, the digital nature of the HAL computer is represented by the repeating patterns and strong geometrical design of the set.
In Senso (Luchino Visconti, Italy, 1954) décor emphazises the social difference between a wealthy married woman in her richly furnished apartment and her soldier lover in the barren military barracks. Ultimately, she finds the contrast so appalling that she ruins her reputation and financial standing in order to satisfy her lover's desire for a luxurious lifestyle.
Usually used to combine foreground action, often actors in conversation, with a background often shot earlier, on location. Rear projection provides an economical way to set films in exotic or dangerous locations without having to transport expensive stars or endure demanding conditions. In some films, the relationship between scenes shot on location and scenes shot using rear projection becomes a signifying pattern. In other films, it's just cheap... Rear projection is featured extensively in Douglas Sirk's lush melodrama Written On The Wind (1956). Specifically, almost every car ride is shot in this way, a common feature in Classical Hollywood films, due to the physical restrains of shooting in the studio. In addition, by speeding up the rate of the projected images in the background, or quickly changing its angle, rear projection allows for an impression of speed that involves no real danger.
Even if one of the protagonists of Written On The Wind is a fast-driving alcoholic millionaire (and therefore there are multiple instances of careless driving), rear projection is preferred to stunts both for economic and aesthetic reasons. For example, physical spectacle is not as important in a melodrama as it would be in an action film..
Section 2 - Lighting
The intensity, direction, and quality of lighting have a profound effect on the way an image is perceived. Light affects the way colors are rendered, both in terms of hue and depth, and can focus attention on particular elements of the composition. Much like movement in the cinema, the history of lighting technology is intrisically linked to the history of film style. Most mainstream films rely on the three-point lighting style, and its genre variations. Other films, for example documentaries and realist cinema, rely on natural light to create a sense of authenticity.
The standard lighting scheme for classical narrative cinema. In order to model an actor's face (or another object) with a sense of depth, light from three directions is used, as in the diagram below. A backlight picks out the subject from its background, a bright key light
highlights the object and a fill light from the opposite side ensures that the key light casts only faint shadows.
Illustration courtesy of http://www.tcf.ua.edu/TVCrit/
These shots from Written On The Wind (Douglas Sirk, 1956) demostrate the classical use of three-point lighting. Laurel Bacall and Rock Hudson are rendered glamorous by the balanced lighting. Compare this to the manipulation of lighting for expressive purposes on the high-key lighting and low-key lighting pages.
A lighting scheme in which the fill light is raised to almost the same level as the key light. This produces images that are usually very bright and that feature few shadows on the principal subjects. This bright image is characteristic of entertainment genres such as musicals and comedies such as Peking Opera Blues (Do Ma Daan, Tsui Hark, Honk Kong, 1986)
A lighting scheme that employs very little fill light, creating strong contrasts between the brightest and darkest parts of an image and often creating strong shadows that obscure parts of the principal subjects. This lighting scheme is often associated with "hard-boiled" or suspense genres such as film noir. Here are some examples from Touch of Evil (Orson Welles, 1958.)
Section 3 - Space
The representation of space affects the reading of a film. Depth, proximity, size and proportions of the places and objects in a film can be manipulated through camera placement and lenses, lighting, decor, effectively determining mood or relationships between elements in the diegetic world.
A film utilizes deep space when significant elements of an image are positioned both near to and distant from the camera. For deep space these objects do not have to be in focus, a defining characteristic of deep focus. Staging in deep space is the opposite of staging in shallow space. Deep space is used throughout many Iranian films such as The Color of Paradise (Range Khoda,1999). Director Majid Majidi likes to integrate the characters into their natural surroundings, to map out the actual distances involved between one location and another in order to emphasize just exactly how hard it is for a particular character (especially children) to move from one place to another.
but his father does not believe Mohammad should try to mingle with them since he could never be their equal. or openly defy. the distance between the screen and the spectator. Accordingly.
. In this shot from The Stendhal Syndrome (La Sindrome di Stendhal. since it supposedly breaks the spectator's illusion of peeking into a separate world.In this composition. the father finds his son's situation too painful). Mohammad's father looks in apprehension at the school where his blind son is visiting. The distance between the two points of view. by having characters look directly into the camera as if they were aware of the viewers' presence. Italy. often human figures. On the other hand.In the far background. where he spends most of the year. in what is called a direct address. 1996) Dario Argento exploits the iconicity of frontal staging in multiple ways. due to his disability. frontality is often used in films that are more willing to play with. This arrangement is an alternative to oblique staging. is reflected in the deep use of mise-en-scene.
Frontality refers to the staging of elements. Frontal staging is usually avoided by the invisible style of continuity editing. so that they face the camera square-on. Mohammad is playing with his sister and other "normal" children. Mohammad enjoys the company of his new friends in the countryside much more than the School for the Blind in Tehran. Some films may go even further and have the characters speak to the camera. as well as the impossibility of communication between Mohammad and his father (the son is too respectful of his father.
First. having a mixture of "real" and matted elements in the background (the roof and the belfry) with the added silhouette in the foreground. in the second image. rather than on the studio's ground. As a reflexive auteur. the sky in the background is clearly a painting. he flattens the characters by making the space between them and the paintings shallow with the use of a zoom lens. the product of an artist's work. while keeping all planes in focus. Sometimes. In the first one his face is superimposed over a campy "unconscious" image.
Matte shooting is one of the most common techniques used in studio filmmaking. As a final self-referential pun. he situates his characters on a parallel plane with the famous profile portraits of The Duke of Urbino and his wife by Piero Della Francesca. the white belfry is a model added on the foreground of a shot of the roof. as when animation and real figures interact. In
. the last one reverses the process.
The other two shots belong to the fantasy sequence of Scottie's dream. Matte shots can be used to add elements to a realistic scene or to create fantasy spaces. In the first image. either for economical reasons (it's cheaper to shot a picture of the Eiffel tower than to travel to Paris) or because it would be impossible or too dangerous to try to shot in the real space. Argento has his Japanese tourist taking a picture of us!
A process shot in which two photographic images (usually background and foreground) are combined into a single image using an optical printer. director Alfred Hitchcock uses all possible combinations. that space may not even exist. with the purpose of making us believe the scene takes place on a bell tower's top floor. Then. Argento thus uses frontality to equate his characters with the paintings: both are fictional creations. In these four examples from Vertigo (1958).
Italy. The figures in the image occupy the same or closely positioned planes. however. 1996)
As discussed in the offscreen sound entry. 1998) explores the difficulties of establishing communication in a postcolonial space that still depends on the former colonial master for its technology and even its calendar. or is he about to eat them?
. 1988) Miyazaki fills the entire background with a lamp-eyed. Japan. its flatness enhances its pictorial qualities. Mauritania. In these frames from My Neighbor Totoro (Tonari No Totoro. Striking graphic patters can be achieved through shallow space. Dario Argento. in shallow space the image is staged with very little depth.
Space that exists in the diegesis but that is not visible in the frame. Abderrahmane Sissako. this scene from Life on Earth (La Vie sur Terre. grinning catbus. Shallow space creates ambiguity: is the cat brimming with joy at the sisters' encounter. such as The Stendhal Syndrome (La Sindrome di Stendhal.recent years. Offscreen space becomes significant when the viewer's attention is called to an event or presence in the diegesis that is not visible in the frame. special effects and computer generated images have taken over the function of matte shots. While the resulting image loses realistic appeal.
The opposite of deep space. Offscreen space is commonly exploited for suspense in horror and thriller films.
There is enormous historical and cultural variation in performance styles in the cinema. gave way in Western cinema to a relatively naturalistic style. or advertise particular fashions.
Section 4 . 1998) filmmaker and actor Abderrahmane Sissako uses "similar" costumes (long loose clothes. or to make clear distinctions between characters. the typage of silent Soviet
. clearly indebted to the 19th century theater.
Section 5 . Early melodramatic styles. since it makes the characters look like they are being crushed against the background. Costume in narrative cinema is used to signify character. There are many alternatives to the dominant style: the kabuki-influenced performances of kyu-geki Japanese period films.Shallow space can be staged.
In this example from Life on Earth (La Vie sur Terre.This is particularly useful for creating claustrophic images.Costume
Costume simply refers to the clothes that characters wear. the use of non-professional actors in Italian neorealism. split between the cold affluence of France and the colorful poverty of Mauritania. big hats) to further stress the cultural and psychological implications of a nomadic existence. with the use of a telephoto lens. or it can also be achieved optically.
whether they rely on the star system. or the deadpan of Buster Keaton and Jacques Tatí... Although current casting practices can no longer be described as typage. noble and stoic in his deathbed.Cinema.
Typage refers to the selection of actors on the basis that their facial or bodily features readily convey the truth of the character the actor plays.. Usually associated with the Soviet Montage school. not to mention the exuberant histrionics of Bollywood films. professional and non-professional actors are used alike. In Pudovkin's Storm Over Asia (Potomok Chingis-Khana. Typage is related to the use of stereotype in commuicating the essential qualities of a character.and the pompous and greedy general
.. the improvisatory practices of directors like John Cassavettes or Eric Rohmer. and the explotative English capitalist
the partisan's leader. but on their physical ressemblance to the following types:
the hero of the Mongol people. the use of performers with experience in the role they played is common to most films. the slapstick comedy of Laurel and Hardy. or on non-professional actors. these filmmakers thought that the life-experience of a non-actor guaranteed the authenticity of their performance when they attempted a dramatic role similar to their real social role. 1928). The cast was selected not on terms of their skills or reputation. USSR.
Algeria. On the other hand. strong mother and fighter. the depth of the space in focus. and the decrepit general's wife with royal ambitions
Part 3: Cinematography
Section 1 . the shimmering Technicolor of a musical such as Singin' in the Rain (Stanley Donen. The look of an image. These images were initially painted or stencilled onto the film but by the 1930s filmmakers were able to include color sequences in their films. Apart from the added realism or glamor that a color image could provide. the relation of background and foreground.the partisan woman. all affect the reception of the image.
. etc.. As the critics at Cahiers du cinéma maintained. Maarakat madinat al Jazaer. the "how" is as important as the "what" in the cinema.. color is also used to create aesthetic patterns and to establish character or emotion in narrative cinema. 1952) suggests an out-of-this-world glamor and excitement. its balance of dark and light. For instance. 1965) seem to guarantee its authenticity.
Early films were shot in black and white but the cinema soon included color images. the optical qualities of grainy black and white in Battle of Algiers (Gillo Pontecorvo.Quality
This section explores some of the elements at play in the construction of a shot.
Contrary to popular belief (and Goethe). who partyhops between black and white and reds and purples. for example. Compare the use of red in Ingmar Bergman's Cries and Whispers (Viskingar Och Rop. the protagonist of Fellini's earlier successes such as Nights of Cabiria (Le Notti di Cabiria. 1957) in which she plays a destitute hooker in a grim suburban environment. Now Fellini has the same actress play a rich housewife in luscious technicolor. In order to further enhance the contrast with his previous work.In Federico Fellini's extravagant Juliet of the Spirits (Giulietta degli Spiriti. colors do not necessarily carry exclusive meanings. and he intended to make full use of it.
and Zhang Yimou's Ju Dou (1990). obviously signaling a clear turning point from his early Neorealisminspired films.
. he cast his favorite actress and wife Giulietta Massina. 1965) colors separate the bourgeois reality and the fantasy daydreamings of the title character.
Juliet of the Spirits was the first Fellini film in color.
deep focus requires that elements at very different depths of the image both be in focus. High contrast is usually associated with the low key lighting of dark scenes in genres such as the horror film and the film noir. If the difference is small. 1958) Besieged (L'Assedio. In these two shots from Touch of Evil (Orson Welles. Unlike deep space. the image is said to be "high contrast". The use of contrast in a scene may draw on racist or sexist connotations. this shot from Orson Welles' Touch of Evil (1958) employs high contrast to further emphasize racial differences between a blonde American woman and a menacing Mexican man. it is referred to as "low contrast" Most films use low contrast to achieve a more naturalistic lighting. Bergman associates the color with stagnation and contaminated blood. A common cliche is to use contrast between light and dark to distinguish between good and evil. If the difference between the light and dark areas is large.While Zhang exploits red as a cliched signifier of unrestrained passion. deep focus involves staging an event on film such that significant elements occupy widely separated planes in the image.
The ratio of dark to light in an image. Bernardo
Like deep space.
A shallow depth of field is often used as a technique to focus
. the opposite of deep focus.
While deep focus may be used occasionally. Hou Hsao-Hsien. as does using a wide-angle rather than a long lens. not only to the characters (like the man peeking at the window in the first image). where the actions and thoughts of an individual prevail over everything else. Bright light and a narrow lens aperture tend to produce a larger depth of field.Bertolucci. Used to direct the viewer's attention to one element of a scene. Orson Welles. Walter Selles. since a character appears as oblivious to the world around her/him. It is therefore commonly employed in genres such as the melodrama.
A restricted depth of field. 1998). Directors like Jean Renoir.
Shallow focus suggests psychological introspection. Brazil. which keeps only one plane in sharp focus.
DEPTH OF FIELD
The distance through which elements in an image are in sharp focus. but also to the spaces (Shanduray's basement room in the second).1998) all of the different planes of the image are given equal importance through deep focus. as in these two shots from Central Station (Central do Brasil. some auteurs use it consistently for they believe it achieves a truer representation of space. or Abbas Kiarostami all use deep focus as an essential part of their signature style. Shallow focus is very common in close-up.
Conversely. Focus is the quality (the "sharpness" of an object as it is registered in the image) and depth of field refers to the extent to which the space represented is in focus. 1986). Exposure can be manipulated to guide an audience's response to a scene. close-up shooting and shooting in low light conditions often results in images with very shallow depth of field. If the aperture is widened. the greater the focal depth. Tsui Hark . but others are not.audience attention on the most significant aspect of a scene without having to use an analytic cut-in.
Depth of field is directly connected. For that reason. the greater the level of lighting or the narrower the aperture. An image with shallow depth of field.
. known as "underexposed". the longer the focal distance (the distance between the lens and the object that is in focus) the greater the focal depth. more light comes through and the resultant image will become more exposed. For a given focal distance. but not to be confused. with focus. as this frame from Peking Opera Blues (Do Ma Daan. For a given lens aperture and level of lighting.
A camera lens has an aperture that controls how much light passes through the lens and onto the film. If an image is so pale that the detail begins to disappear. it can be described as "overexposed". a narrow aperture that allows through less light will produce a darker image than normal. has some elements in focus.
Tsui Hark. The resulting images give an impression of a barren.In his film Traffic (2000). fleeting glance that can be used to quicken the tempo or increase suspense. the technique tries to mimick a brief. the more rapid the resulting action appears to be. in a way. desolated land being mercilessly burnt by the sun. In this clip from Vertov's Man with the Movie Camera (Chelovek s kinoapparatom. when the camera takes only one frame then the subject is manipulated or allowed to change before taking another frame.
Racking focus refers to the practice of changing the focus of a lens such that an element in one plane of the image goes out of focus and an element at another plane in the image comes into focus. the action will seem to move more slowly than normal when it is played back. Conversely. USSR. For instance in this scene from Peking Opera Blues (Do Ma Daan.
Racking focus is usually done quite quickly. 1986). the fewer the number of frames exposed each second.
. This technique is an even more overt way of steering audience attention through the scene. Honk Kong. Steven Soderbergh decided to shot all of the sequences in the Northern Mexico desert overexposed.
A typical sound film is shot at a frame rate of 24 frames per second. 1929) stop motion is used to give the impression than the chairs open up by themselves. If the number of frames exposed in each second is increased. a no-man's land over which police and customs have no control. as well as of linking two spaces or objects. The extreme case of frame rate manipulation is stop-motion. a connection is made between an activist in hiding and a police officer who is pursuing him.
In Kurosawa's Seven Samurai (Shichinin no samurai. so that elements that are relatively close or far away from the camera seem to lie at approximately the same distance.
An image shot with an extremely long lens is called a telephoto shot. slow motion is used to contrast the emotional rescue of a child with the death of the man who kidnapped him. which combines with extreme canted framing to suggest the physical and psychological disarray of a man who has been betrayed. In this first shot from Payback (Brian Helgeland. his face looks like it is pressed against the car! Here a telephoto lens create a shallow space. we can clearly see there is a considerable distance beteen the fallen body and the red car. 1999).
Yet. shot. The effect of using a long lens is to compress the apparent depth of an image. when a telephoto lens is used for a close-up of Mel Gibson. 1954).
. and left for dead. Japan.
or vice versa. but changes in depth of field and apparent size is quite different. Italy. We seem to move toward or away from the subject.
Few cinematic techniques are used in isolation. while the quality of the image changes from that of a shorter to a longer lens. Zooms are commonly used at the beginning of a scene. The change in apparent distance from the subject is similar to the crane or tracking shots. Notice how the woman "helps" the zoom to achieve its purpose of singling her out by moving around. Dario Argento.
. 1996). the camera zooms from a medium long shot of people cueing up at a museum's entrance to a medium close-up of the female protagonist.ZOOM SHOT
The zoom shot uses a lens with several elements that allows the filmmaker to change the focal length of the lens (see telephoto shot) while the shot is in progress. to introduce an object or character by focusing on it. In the initial sequence of The Stendhal Syndrome (La Sindrome di Stendhal. or even a film.
In Cruel Story of Youth (Seishun zankoku monogatari. Oshima Nagisa. as we move closer and closer to the painting (Caravaggio's Head of Medusa.
Section 2 . The edges of the image create a "frame" that includes or excludes aspects of what occurs in front of the camera -.
ANGLE OF FRAMING
. 1590-1600) . both our attention and tension are increased.Framing
In one sense. the relationship between camera and object.the "profilmic event".In another clip from the same film. The expressive qualities of framing include the angle of the camera to the object. 1960) the radical decentering of the character in relation to the frame marks their failed struggle to find a place in their world. a zooms is used to offer a more detailed view of an object. the aspect ratio of the projected image. cinema is an art of selection. and the association of camera with character. Furthermore.
emphasizing their dependence and smallness. Some filmmakers used multiple projectors to create a wider aspect ratio whereas others claimed that the screen should be square.85:1. Widescreen films are often trimmed for television or video release. Compare the same frame from Bertolucci's Besieged (L'Assedio. however. 1.66:1. and keeping them under protection. Widescreen formats became more popular in the 1950s and now films are made in a variety of aspect ratios -.1999) the father.Many films are shot with a camera that appears to be at approximately the same height as its subject. Angle of framing can be used to indicate the relation between a character and the camera's point of view. Or can simply be used to create striking visual compositions.
The ratio of the horizontal to the vertical sides of an image. and 2. Camera angle is often used to suggest either vulnerability or power. These interpretations are not exclusive. The relation between camera and subject can be rendered ironic. In The Color of Paradise (Rang-e Khoda. Objects appear much more cramped with the reduced aspect ratio. Some DVD's have the option of showing the film in its original format and in a reduced ratio that fits the TV screen. who rules absolute over his family. giving an impression of physical (and psychological) space different from the theatrical release. Until the 1950s almost all film was shot in a 4:3 or 1. while Mohammed and her granny seen from above may also indicate that God is watching over them. or it may suggest more the subject of perception than to the state of the object. However. it is possible to film from a position that is significantly lower or higher than the dominant element of the shot.
On the other hand. The father in this film is so busy smiling at his fiancee that he falls off his horse. In that case. effectively altering the original compositions.76:1.35:1 (cinemascope). not rectangular. 1. is often portrayed from a low angle.
. 1998).33:1 aspect ratio. therefore aggrandizing his figure. the image is described as low angle or high angle respectively. his blind son Mohammad and his elderly grandmother are often shot from a high angle.some of the most common being 1.
only the part of him that Mohammad touches is visible. while the second is on a shop in Tehran. or just to create pleasurable compositions.Canted framings are used to create an impression of chaos and instability. Camera level is obviously used to a greater advantage when the difference in height bewteen objects or characters is greater. 1999) Majid Majidi uses different camera height to emphasize the difference between Mohammad and his father.
. after patiently waiting for him for hours. the camera concentrates on Mohammad as he recognizes his father's hand.
Canted Framing is a view in which the frame is not level. The father is almost absent from the scene. A low-level camera is placed close to the ground whereas a high-level camera would be placed above the typical perspective shown in the cinema. The first shot is on Mohammad's School for the Blind. Through different camera levels. either the right or left side is lower than the other. On the second image. music videos and animation.LEVEL OF FRAMING
Not only the angle from which a camera films but the height can also be a significant element in a film. Iran. therefore increasing our empathy with the blind boy. making Mohammed a puny. In The Color of Paradise (Rang-e Khoda. camera level is adjusted to the father's size.
In the first image. They are therefore associated with the frantic rhythms of action films. the director makes clear where Mohammad's fits and where he does not. causing objects in the scene to appear slanted out of an upright positon. Camera level is used to signify sympathy for characters who occupy particular levels in the image. defenceless figure in a world that overcomes him.
A following shot combines a camera movement.
Short panning or tilting movements to adjust for the figures' movements. freewheeling style. 1986). The characters' actions take precedence over the camera movements. thanks to its unobstrusive nature. for instance Tsui Hark's Peking Opera Blues (Do Ma Daan. These films employ unconventional framings to achieve their signature dizzing. tracking. In this shot from Eyes Wide Shut (Stanley Kubrick. as in this dancing scene from Kubrick's Eyes Wide Shut (1999)
. keeping them onscreen or centered.
A shot with framing that shifts to keep a moving figure onscreen. An important technique of continuity editing. 1999) the camera pans slightly to accompany a couple into the ballroom floor.Many Hong Kong films of the 80s and 90s blend elements of the genres mentioned above. tilting or craning. like panning. with the specific function of directing our attention to a character or object as he/she/it moves inside the frame. Canted framings are also common when shooting with a Steadycam.
See also telephoto lens. a wide angle lens is 30mm or less. In doing so it allows for more space to enter the frame (hence the name "wide"). which makes it more convenient for shooting in a closed location. usually cut in before or after a shot of the character looking. In addition. However. rather than a three-wall studio room.
WIDE ANGLE LENS
A lens of short focal length that affects a scene's perspective by distorting straight lines near the edges of the frame and by exaggerating the distance between foreground and background planes. In this clip from Peking Opera Blues (Do Ma Daan. Horror films and thrillers often use POV shots to suggest a menacing and unseen presence in the scene. 1986) the female impersonator's fear of the soldier who attempts to procure him for his general is rendered comic by the cut to POV and wide angle. showing what the character would see. for instance a real room. Tsui Hark. a wider lens allows for a bigger depth of field.
POV is one of the means by which audiences are encouraged to identify with characters. Films that use many point-of-view shots tend toward dynamic and non-naturalistic style. it is actually a relatively rare technique: identificatory mechanisms rely more on sympathetic character and the flow of narrative information than on simple optical affiliation. Hong Kong. In 35mm filming.POINT-OF-VIEW SHOT
A shot taken with the camera placed approximately where the character's eyes would be.
As a young man he rebels against Bernstein's oversight. his figure is lost in the snow at the back of the shot as the lawyer arranges for his adoption.Orson Welles exploited divergent shot scales in Citizen Kane (1941) to demonstrate the changing power relationship between Charles Foster Kane and his lawyer.. extreme wide lenses are avoided in naturalistic styles. Taiwan. landscape. a building. or they are used in unrestrained or open spaces.
Section 3 .Scale
If the same object were filmed at different shot scales it would often signify quite differently. or conversely. Shot scale can foster intimacy with a character. Eric Rohmer. as in this frame from Yi Yi (Edward Yang. As a boy. 2000).Since a wide angle lens distorts the edges of an image. Usually the first or last shots of a sequence.
. with no converging lines around the edges of the frame. it can swallow the character in its environment. 1999) and A Summer Tale (Conte d'Été. 1996) well illustrate the range of uses for this particular shot scale. or crowd of people will fill the screen. that can also function as establishing shots.
EXTREME LONG SHOT
A framing in which the scale of the object shown is very small. The following examples of framing from Eyes Wide Shut (Stanley Kubrick. rising in the frame as he asserts himself.
MEDIUM LONG SHOT
. some extreme long shots can be significantly larger. Whereas Rohmer give us a standard establishing shot that introduces the locale where the main characters are about to meet. as in these two images from Eyes Wide Shut (Stanley Kubrick. for instance Hollywood Musicals or 1970s Martial Arts films.
Another advantage of the long shot is that it allows to show a character and her/his surroundings in a single frame. particularly if shot from the air with the help of cranes or helicopters. since it gives an aerial perspective of the scene.
A framing in which the scale of the object shown is small. Eric Rohmer. However. a standing human figure would appear nearly the height of the screen. While the two shots above have similar sizes. 1999) and A Summer Tale (Conte d'Été. This kind of extreme long shot is also called bird's eye view shot. It is therefore commonly used in genres where a full body action is to be seen in its entirety.These two extreme long shots are also establishing shots. their primary function is different. 1996). Kubrick uses the ballroom shot mainly as a brief transition between two more important scenes. It makes for a relatively stable shot that can accomodate movement without reframing.
given its recurrence in the Western genre. 1999)
A Summer Tale (Conte d'Été. or some other similarly sized object. Framing scales are not universal. Another common shot scale. would fill the frame. 1996)
A framing in which the scale of the object shown is relatively large. where it was important to keep a cowboy's weapon in the image. 1999)
A Summer Tale (Conte d'Été) France Eric Rohmer. Eric Rohmer. but rather established in relationship with other frames from the same
.Framing such than an object four or five feet high would fill most of the screen vertically. 1996
A framing in which the scale of the object shown is fairly large. a human figure seen from the chest up would fill most of the screen. Also called plain américain. Eyes Wide Shut (Stanley Kubrick. In a close-up a person's head. Eyes Wide Shut (Stanley Kubrick.
These two shots from Eyes Wide Shut and A Summer Tale can be described as close-ups. Iran. Majid Majidi. 1999). as these images from The Color of Paradise (Rang-e Khoda.
. Dario Argento.film. Accordingly. faces are the most recurrent images in extreme close-ups.Majid Majidi. 1996). Again.
A framing in which the scale of the object shown is very large.. a small object or a part of the body usually shot with a zoom lens.1999) is also a close-up. this shot from The Color of Paradise (Rang-e Khoda.
The Stendhal Syndrome (La Sindrome di Stendhal.
Framing scales are usually drawn in relationship to the human figure but this can be misleading since a frame need not include people. even if one starts at the neck and the second at the upper chest. most commonly.
Section 4 . Furthermore.
. rapid and confusing motions. as it would have been the case in a live-action film.Movement
There are many ways to move a camera: in fluid long takes. In one famous sequence. Dziga Vertov. we get to see the cinematographer using a car as a mobile support for a tracking shot. not a zoom on his face. the technical procedure to achieve a particular effect can be very different. With regard to the latter. Miyazaki Hayao. it should be noted that while all of these film terms equally applies to animation.and My Neighbor Totoro (Tonari No Totoro. one soon realizes that the whole process is probably being mirrored by a second car. USSR. 1929) features a full catalog of the creative possibilities open to the film camera. in order to film the first one. 1988) demonstrate. For instance this last frame is a drawing of Totoro's teeth. etc.A film such as Man with the Movie Camera ( Chelovek s kinoapparatom. that establish the rhythm and point of view of a scene.
Scenes taken from both cameras are playfully incorporated into the film. Crane shots are often long or extreme long shots: they lend the camera a sense of mobility and often give the viewer a feeling of omniscience over the characters. Was this image of the car passing by taken by the first or the second car/camera unit?
A shot with a change in framing rendered by having the camera above the ground and moving through the air in any direction. as in this clip from The Player (Altman. It is accomplished by placing the camera on a crane (basically. particularly in a long take.
Crane shots can also be used to achieve a flowing rhythm. 1992)
. a large cantilevered arm) or similar device.
and that decisions must be taken fast. it produces a mobile framing which scans the space horizontally.
A camera movement with the camera body turning to the right or left. jerky feel. Whereas hand held cameras give a film an unstable. In a film like Traffic (Steven Soderbergh. 2000). STEADYCAM
The use of the camera operator's body as a camera support. such as Lars Von Trier's Dancer in the Dark (Denmark. two characters may be having a conversation in a room. The speed at which a pan occurs can be expoited for different dramatic purposes. Dogme and other radical filmmaking movements attempt to create a new cinematic look as further away as possible from mainstream Hollywood. therefore contributing to the sense of imminent danger and moral urgency that the films tries to communicate. On the screen.
. and after several minutes. the camera might pan and reveal a third person was also present. 2000)
Ironically. combining steadicam shooting with aggressive reframings and jump cuts . pans are usually very quick. on the other hand. At the time this challenge to prevailing standards was perceived as anti-cinematic but eventually it came to be accepted as a style. In fact. A pan directly and immediately connects two places or characters. They were also used by young filmmakers since they were cheap and lent the images a greater feeling of sponteneity. Newsreel and wartime camera operators favored smaller cameras such as the Eclair that were quickly adopted by documentarist and avant-garde filmmakers. they also allows for a greater degree of movement and flexibility than bulkier standard cameras --at a fraction of the cost. thus changing the whole implication of the scene. thus making us aware of their proximity. Lars Von Trier and his accolites prefer to exacerbate the jerkiness and unstability traditionally associated with these cameras as a marker of visceral autorial intervention. while today's steadicams allow for a fairly stable image. in a Mizoguchi or a Hou film. either holding it by hand or using a gyroscopic stabilizer and a harness. they are extensively used in music videos and in the films of the Dogme movement. or even by shooting on low definition formats. For instance. Gyroscopically stabilized "steadicams" were invented in the 1970s and made it possible to create smooth "tracking" shots without cumbersome equipment. Filmmakers now are experimenting with digital video in a similar way. suggesting that characters have no time to waste.HANDHELD CAMERA. More recently. notably the cinéma verité movement of the 1950s and 1960s.
In the clip above. a pan does not necessarily mean that the camera moves along an horizontal line. This clip from The Stendhal Syndrome (La Sindrome di Stendhal.
A camera movement with the camera body swiveling upward or downward on a stationary support. nor any pity for the (presumably guilty) accused and their rich legal cohorts. illustrates what we could call a 360° pan. Its function is similar to that of pans and tracking shots. Dario Argento. the defense lawyer has just finished a long. albeit on a vertical axis. 1998) Bernardo Bertolucci uses a tilt to establish the social (and even racial) distance between an African housemaid and her wealthy English employer. In this clip from Besieged (L'Assedio. Italy. yet the judge has no second thoughts on his verdict. Lastly. It produces a mobile framing that scans the space vertically.1996). clever speech.
Lastly. one ininterrupted movement is rendered with two different tracking shots. and moving it along rails or tracks to ensure the smoothness of movement associated with the continuity editing style. tracking shots are one of the most suggestive and creative camera movements.
. and many ingenious wheeled artifacts augmented the range of movement of tracking shots. tracking shots became more flexible and creative: bycicles. Brazil. which mimicks a turning head.A tilt usually also implies a change in the angle of framing. 1998). linked by a match on action. pan. Not surprisingly. As cameras became lighter and steadier. Indeed. or laterally. with the camera on rails sideways to the character that is moving. one that can be accomplished in a number of clever ways. but moving with him/her.
The first is a classic tracking shot. since the spectator is not just watching him/her moving. backward. In this clip from Central Station (Central do Brasil. Walter Salles. in this clip the camera starts with a high angle view of the woman and ends up on a low angle view of the man --which obviously reinforces the social inequality of their relationship. It therefore creates a closer affinity with the character or object moving. following the child as the trains departs. some auteurs like Max Ophuls or Orson Welles made virtuosistic tracking shots a staple of their films. A tracking shot usually follows a character or object as it moves along the screen. and tilt. The second uses the train as a dolly. wheelchairs. consisted in placing the camera on a wheeled support called a dolly. Contrary to the pan. as it was devised in the Classical Studio filmmaking.
A mobile framing that travels through space forward. since a sense of anticipation grows in the viewer as the camera movement forces her/his attention in a precise direction. often in conjuntion with long takes. a tilt is also a means of gradually uncovering offscreen space. See also crane shot. a tracking shot physically accompanies the entire range of movement. nor what will be found there. This can be exploited for suspense. as it moves away from the running child. yet never knowing when it will stop. A standard tracking shot. roller skates.
An extremely fast movement of the camera from side to side. Commonly used in flashy action genres such as kung-fu movies from the 70s. In the classical continuity style. editing serves to establish space and lead the viewer to the most salient aspects of a scene. 1971). As opposed to dissolves. editing techniques avoid drawing attention to themselves.Devices a) TRANSITIONS
The shot is defined by editing but editing also works to join shots together. and fades --the most common transitions of the continuity style-. USSR. like Fists of Fury (Tang Shan Da Xiong.
. 1929) celebrates the power of the cinema to create a new reality out of disparate fragments. Often an imperceptible cut will join two whip pans to create a trick transition between scenes. which briefly causes the image to blur into a set of indistinct horizontal streaks. Wei Lo. given their abrupt.whip pans always stand out. brisk nature. there is no such false modesty. In a constructivist tradition such as Soviet Montage cinema. some more evident than others. In the analytical tradition.
Section 1 . Vertov's Man with the Movie Camera (Chelovek s kinoapparatom. action or graphic matches. There are many ways of effecting that transition. Honk Kong.
Cheat cuts were also often used to disguise the relatively short stature of leading men in relation to their statuesque female co-stars. In the continuity editing system. aka PARALLEL EDITING
Editing that alternates shots of two or more lines of action occurring in different places. In this extended clip from Edward Yang's Yi Yi (Taiwan. associating the characters from both lines of action. usually simultaneously.
However. father and daughter go out on dates at presumably the same time.
CROSSCUTTING. there is a wall behind the telephone. and go through the same motions. that wall magically disappears in the third shot in order to show both the telephone and the family seated around the dining table (an important element in the film) from an angle that would had been impossible in an actual room.CHEAT CUT
Cheat cut. 2000). The two actions are therefore linked. In this sequence from Meet Me in St. 1944) the editing sacrifices actual physical space for dramatic space. As we can see in the first shot. even if the father is in Japan and the daughter in Taipei. Louis (Vincente Minelli.
. a cut which purports to show continuous time and space from shot to shot but which actually mismatches the position of figures or objects in the scene.
generation after generation. CUT AWAY
An instantaneous shift from a distant framing to a closer view of some portion fo the same space. Dissolves can be used as a fairly straighforward editing device to link
. the father is actually reliving his first date with his first girlfriend (whom he has just met again after 20 years).
The two cuts neatly bracket Bill's anguished confession as a separate moment. private and isolated. This editing-constructed secrecy will ultimately have drastic consequences for Selma. for a moment the two images blend in superimposition. that only Selma knows about. 2000) Selma and Bill have a dramatic conversation in Bill's car that is framed by a cut-in and a cut-away.To further stress the similarities. and vice versa.
CUT-IN. In Lars Von Trier's Dancer in the Dark ( Denmark. while his daughter is actually on her first date! Yang uses parallel editing across space and time to suggest that history repeats itself.
A transition between two shots during which the first image gradually disappears while the second image gradually appears.
For instance.any two scenes.
A round. 1920). 1996). in this scene from Neighbors (Buster Keaton. in "real life" she faints). moving mask that can close down to end a scene (iris-out) or emphasize a detail. for instance to suggest hallucinatory states.
. In this series of shots from The Stendhal Syndrome (La Sindrome di Stendhal. or it can open to begin a scene (iris-in) or to reveal more space around a detail. a young woman becomes so absorbed by Brueghel's The Fall of Icarus that she actually dives into the painting's sea! (at least in her imagination. Dario Argento. the iris is used with the comic effect of gradually revealing that the female protagonist is 1) ready for her wedding and 2) ready for her not-too-luxurious wedding. or in more creative ways.
. steadicam. 2000).
. jump cuts are more commonly associated with music videos. modern outlook.Iris is a common device of early films (at at time when some techniques like zooming were not feasible). More recently. as in Truffaut's Shoot the Piano Player (1960). or the background changes instantly while the figures remain constant. Here is an example from Dancer in the Dark (Denmark. so much so that when it is used after 1930 it is often perceived as charminlgly anachronistic or nostalgic. See also elliptical editing. Either the figures seem to change instantly against a constant background. video or alternative filmmaking.When the French Nouvelle Vague films of the 1960s made jump cuts an essential part of their playful. like Lars Von Trier's Dogma films. but feature prominently in avantgarde and radical filmmaking. Jump cuts are anathema to Classical Hollywood continuity editing.
An elliptical cut that appears to be an interruption of a single shot. many directors from around the globe started to use jump cuts --either creatively or in a last ditch attempt to become "hip".
which shows us the other half of the ample room (shot/ reverse shot) and reveals a party going on. but they are also a clear signifier of rupture with mainstream film storytelling. the first few shots in a scene are establishing shots. Rather than presenting a film as a perfectly self-contained story that seamlessly unfold in front of us.
ESTABLISHING SHOT/REESTABLISHING SHOT
A shot. to suggest the ruminations or ambivalences of a character. usually involving a distant framing. Honk Kong. the camera moves forward with several close-ups of both the musicians and the spectators. that shows the spatial relations among the important figures.1986). or of his/her everyday life. This final establishing shot is called a reestablishing shot. In the first one.Jump cuts are used expressively. Usually. Our suspicions are confirmed by the second establishing shot. three musicians are shown against a fireplace in what looks like a luxurious room. At the end of the sequence. In the initial sequence from Peking Opera Blues (Do Ma Daan.
After this introduction. for it shows us once again the spatial relationships introduced with the establishing shots. objects. and setting in a scene. director Tsui Hark uses three shots to establish the locale. as they introduces us to a location and the space relationships inside it. Hark shows us the entire room in a larger shot. jump cuts are like utterances that evidentiates both the artificiality and the difficulties of telling such a story.
right. Director Dario Argento has his protagonist Anna looking at Botticelli's The Birth of Venus (c1485). it soons begins to look as if Venus herself is looking at Anna!
The exposure of more than one image on the same film strip. These conventions have become so strong that they can be exploited to make improbable meanings convincing.
. In continuity editing.. a superimposition does not signify a transition from one scene to another. to express subjective or intoxicated vision (The Last Laugh). as in this sequence from The Stendhal Syndrome (La Sindrome di Stendhal. In this clip from Neighbors (Buster Keaton. The technique was often used to allow the same performer to appear simultaneously as two characters on the screen (for example Son of the Sheik). 1920). or simply to introduce a narrative element from another part of the diegetic world into the scene. eyeline matches and matching framings.Two or more shots edited together that alternate characters. Unlike a dissolve.. the resentful father of the bride looks at the wedding ring and immediately associates in his mind with a five and dime store. in the other framing. The subjective shot gives us a clear indication of his opinion of his soon to be son-in-law.1996). typically in a conversation situation. and they are usually linked through the equally persuasive eyeline matches. Italy..
. Over-the-shoulder framings are common in shot/reverse-shot editing.. Shot / reverse shots are one of the most firmly established conventions in cinema. characters in one framing usually look left.but with the use of successive shot/ reverse shots.
1954). That connection can be inferred from the situation portrayed in the scene (for example.
. A very dynamic and noticeable transition. eliminating the first shot as it goes and replacing it with the next one. like the whip pan. Italy. The following shots from Dario Argento's The Stendhal Syndrome (La Sindrome di Stendhal. Brueghel's The Fall of Icarus. it is usually employed in action or adventure films. wipes became fashionable at an specific historical time (the 1950s and 1960s). the old man's words are immediately corroborated by the wandering. depict Anna looking at a painting.
A cut obeying the axis of action principle. The scene takes place inside Firenze's most famous museum.
As other transitions devices. in which the first shot shows a person off in one direction and the second shows a nearby space containing what he or she sees. so much so as to became stylistic markers of the film of the period. the following shot should imply that the looker is offscreen right. It often suggest a brief temporal ellypsis and a direct connection between the two images.. destitute samurai coming into town. In this example from Kurosawa's Seven Samurai (Sichinin No Samurai.
Editing matches refer to those techniques that join as well as divide two shots by making some form of connection between them. eyeline match) or can be of a purely optical nature (graphic match).. First we see her looking. the Uffizi Gallery.A transition betwen shots in which a line passes across the screen. then we see what she looks at. 1996). If the person looks left. Japan.
Ironically.g. is not part of the museum's collection! The painting that we see is probably a reproduction. shot in the studio.
.. the eyeline match (that is the connection between looker and looked) is stressed with matching close-ups of Anna's face and Icarus's falling into the ocean in the painting. 1988). eyeline matches can be a very persuasive tool to construct space in a film. The Fall of Icarus. as in this clip from Women On The Verge Of A Nervous Breakdown (Mujeres al Borde de un Ataque de Nervios.
Two successive shots joined so as to create a strong similarity of compositional elements (e. shape). Used in trasparent continuity styles to smooth the transition between two shots. Almodóvar. this implies that Anna is looking directly at Icarus's body.Again. real or imagined. and edited together with Anna's shots in the Uffizi to make us believe that they are both in the same room.As her interest grows. the painting he wanted to use. color. As this example demonstrates. even if Argento managed to film inside the real Uffizi gallery.
as in Soviet Montage style. making it seem to continue uninterrupted.Graphic matches can also be used to make metaphorical associations. these characteristics make it one of the most common transitions in the continuity style. Furthermore. Quite logically. some directors like Ozu Yasujiro use graphic matches as an integral part of their film style. 2000)
MATCH ON ACTION
A cut which splices two different views of the same action together at the same moment in the movement. Here is an example from Traffic (Steven Soderbergh.
Aside from the challenge of shooting in real time.
. The decision to extend a shot can be as significant as the decision to cut it. They have to be choreographed and rehearsed to the last detail.
Unless shot at a fixed angle. long takes decisively influence a film's rhythm. since her/his position is shifted.
Only since the introduction of editing to the cinema at the turn of the 20th century has not-editing become an option. stagnant and spell-binding. flowing and carefree. Welles. Angelopoulos. aka PLAN-SEQUENCE
A shot that continues for an unusually lengthy time before the transition to the next shot.A match on action adds variety and dinamism to a scene. which includes all kinds of camera movements and zooms. Sophisticated long takes such as this one from The Player. or daring. since it conveys two movements: the one that actually takes place on screen. are often seen as auteuristic marks of virtuosity. the first shot of Welles's Touch of Evil (1958). a long take can make a film tense. directors like Altman. Renoir. Depending on how much movement is included. Editing can affect the experience of time in the cinema by creating a gap between screen time and diegetic time (Montage and overlapping editing) or by establishing a fast or slow rhythm for the scene. Here is an excerpt from the initial shot of Robert Altman's The Player (1992) which not only runs for more than eight minutes. since any error would make it necessary to start all over again from scratch. any shot above one minute can be considered a long take. long takes are extremely hard to shoot. and an implied one by the viewer.Indeed. Tarkovski or Mizoguchi have made long takes (usually in combination with deep focus and deep space) an essential part of their film styles. but it is in itself an hommage to another famous long take. but most contemporary films tend to have faster editing rates. The average lenght per shot differs greatly for different times and places. with a fixed camera and no movement. In general lines.
Even if both characters overtly disagree with each other. Still. suggested by their proximity (established in short pans and close-ups) and in the tone of their speech. there is an overall feeling of warmth and inmediacy between them. shot from a variety of angles but always in medium close-up and close-up. quick dialogue and gesturing. Overlapping editing is a common characteristic of the frenzied Hong Kong action films of the 80s and 90s. rhythm can be understood as the final balance all of the elements of a film. The quick camera movements and different camera placements suggest the uneasiness of both characters. for it decisively contributes to its mood and overall impression on the spectator. pans. martial arts. series of shots. it is also featured in films in which action and movement take precedence over plot and dialogue: sports documentaries. Rhythmic factors include beat (or pulse). Sweden1972) feature a couple at a table. since it is achieved through the combination of mise-en-scene. Most commonly associated with experimental filmmmaking. they could not be more dissimilar.
. Ingmar Bergman. thus expanding its viewing time and plot duration. etc. It is also one of the most complex to analyze. sound and editing. such as Mission: Impossible 2 (2000).
The perceived rate and regularity of sounds. When director John Woo moved to Hollywood. Rhythm is one of the essential features of a film. Indeed. he tried to incorporate some of that style into mainstream action films. musicals. and movements within the shots. due to its temporally disconcerting and purely graphic nature. and tempo (or pace). as they budge on their seats.Cuts that repeat part or all of an action. These two clips from Deconstructing Harry (Woody Allen. and both clips feature a moment of fracture between the two characters. as he concentrates exclusively on the two characters. Let us compare how rhythm can radically alter the treatment of a similar scene. accent (or stress). Allen employs fast cuts (even jump cuts). 1997) and Cries and Whispers (Viskingar Och Rop.
and an intensified framing (the sequence actually begins on a long shot similar to the previous one). rhythm is. In fact.
The prelude to the final shotdown of The Good. if not more. In this context. even the smallest sounds of forks and knives sound ominous. thus reversing the customary order. 1966) runs for several minutes (of which we only see the last minute here). Bergman accelerates the rhythm for a second. sometimes the music would be composed first and then a scene that fitted that rhythm would be shot. and it only quickes when the glass breaks and both characters lift up their heads. having the characters become one with the austere backgrounds. elegiac beginning to a frenzy crescendo that is abruptly cut off by the first gunshot. One of the film's theme songs is played in its entirety. il Cattivo.Cries and Whispers. punctuating the moment of the glass breaking so that a trivial incident is magnified into a clear signal of disaster. Italy. the Bad and the Ugly (Il Buono. a glass shattering resonates like a shot.
Section 2 . The feeling of claustrophobia is enhanced by the use of shallow space. The slow mounting crescendo is paralleled by an increase in the editing rate. Pace is deliberately slow. waiting to see who will take the first step. il Brutto. from a slow. Bergman accentuates the separation between man and woman by shooting them frontally and almost eliminating dialogue. intrisically related to music and sound. present us with a scene of horrifying stillness.Styles
Furthermore. on the other hand. as three men face each other in a triangle. Lastly. only to immediately return to normal. important than the characters. reducing everything to dour red. almost by definition. black and whites. which were written in close collaboration with composer Ennio Morricone. Some of the most striking examples of the use of music as a film's driving force occur in the (endlessly imitated) spaghetti westerns of Sergio Leone. the mise-en-scene becomes as equally.
matches and duration can be identified as a cinematic style. helping the audience to understand the layout of the scene. Editing styles are usually associated with historical moments.The patterned use of transitions. or national schools. The "180° rule. In this sequence from Neighbors (Buster Keaton. and temporal relations from shot to shot. dictates that the camera should stay in one of the areas on either side of the axis of action (an imaginary line drawn between the two major dramatic elements A and B in a scene. usually two characters).
By following this rule the filmmaker ensures that each character occupies a consistent area of the frame. continuity is maintained by the spatial and temporal contiguity of the shots and the preservation of direction between world and screen. technological developments. position. This sense of a consistent space is reinforced by the use of techniques such as the eyeline match or match on action. Continuity editing relies upon matching screen direction. Also. More importantly. The film supports the viewer's assumption that space and time are contiguous between successive shots. the diegesis is more readily understood when directions on the screen match directions in the world of the film.
. the shots are matched on Keaton's actions as he shuttles across the courtyard from stairwell to stairwell. 1920)." shown in the diagram below.
A system of cutting to maintain continuous and clear narrative action.
USA. developed a complex theory of montage that included montage within the shot. and The Godfather (Francis Ford Coppola. often discontinuous. as well as in the conflict between two shots. between sound and image. screen direction and shot scale to produce the concept of religion as a degenerate practice used to legitimate corrupt states. as well as his ability to gain acceptance into both on their own terms -.
1. in particular. 1927) is an example of Eisenstein's intellectual montage. Rather than stressing the temporal simultaneity of the events (it is highly unlikely that all of the New York Mafia heads can be caught off guard at exactly the same time!).through religion and violence. 1957). In a famous sequence from the latter film. Sergei Eisenstein. Mother India (Mehboob Khan. USSR. USA. the montage suggests Michael's dual nature and committement to both his "families". This sequence from October (Oktyabr. shots of Michael attending his son's baptism are intercut with the brutal killings of his rivals. it emphasizes dynamic. 2. India.In the Hollywood continuity editing system the angle of the camera axis to the axis of action usually changes by more than 30 ° between two shots. A synonym for editing. We can see echoes of Pudovkin in The Grapes of Wrath (John Ford. multiple levels of overtones. The 180° line is not usually crossed unless the transition is smoothed by a POV shot or a reestablishing shot.
. 1973). for example in a conversation scene rendered as a series of shot/reverse shots. The increasingly primitive icons from various world religions are linked by patterns of duration.
Soviet Montage proved to be influential around the world for commercial as well as avant-garde filmmakers. 1939). Vertov and Eisenstein. relationships between shots and the juxtaposition of images to create ideas not present in either shot by itself. An approach to editing developed by the Soviet filmmakers of the 1920s such as Pudovkin.
Shot transitions that omit parts of an event. a drug party is rendered through elliptical editing (achieved with a plentiful use of dissolves and jump cuts) in order to both shorten the time and suggest the character's rambling mental states. causing an ellipses in plot and story duration. In this clip from Traffic (Steven Soderbergh.
Elliptical editing need not be confined to a same place and time. 2000). from a cricket match to a ritual welcoming a new wife..
from scenes of the newlyweds' daily life. to the announcement of Pooja's pregnacy. India 1994) dances us through several months in the life of a family.
. A seven-minute song sequence from Hum Aapke Hain Koun (Sooraj Bartjatya..
and the sound engineers' chatter." In this clip from Nashville (1975). Sound can also be used to reintroduce events from earlier in the diegesis. a gospel choir singing. Sound bridges are one of the most common transitions in the continuity editing style. Alternatively.from a gift shower for the upcoming baby. The sound bridge is used to ease the transition between shots in the continuity style.
Section I . to multiple scenes of celebrations. layering multiple voices and sound effects in a sort of "sonic deep focus. when the sound from the next scene is heard before the image appears on the screen. But sound bridges can also be used quite creatively. they can occur at the end of a scene. as Pooja's approaches her ninth month. one that stresses the connection between both scenes since their mood (suggested by the music) is still the same. we simultaneously hear a conversation between an English reporter and her guide. They can occur at the beginning of one scene when the sound from the previous scene carries over briefly before the sound from the new scene begins. as in this clip from Yi Yi
. Directors such as Robert Altman are famous for their complex use of the soundtrack. Especially since the introduction of magnetic tape recording after WWII. nor does it have to be continuous... the possibilities of sound manipulation and layering have increased tremendously.
Sound bridges can lead in or out of a scene.Sound Editing
Sound in the cinema does not necessarily match the image.
It is only then that we realize the music is diegetic. 2000). diegetic or nondiegetic
. where a pregnant woman is looking at some cd's. 1946). as she starts dating her best friend's ex-boyfriend later in the film. A sound can be onscreen or offscreen. A piano starts playing and the scene cuts into a house interior.
Sonic flashback often carries this kind of moral or emotional overtone.
Section 2 . the camera pans to reveal a young girl (previously offscreen) playing the piano.. In this example from Kurosawa's No Regrets for Our Youth (Waga seishun ni kui nashi.(Taiwan.
. and that the young girl was looking at the window at her best friend and her boyfriend. Japan. The romantic melody she plays as she realizes they are breaking up in turn introduces a now possible future relationship for her -.Source
Sound from one diegetic time is heard over images from a later time. the heroine Yukie hears the voices of her dead father and executed husband.finally... Director Edward Yang uses a sound bridge both to play with our expectations.. making a character's motivation explicit. this category refers to the place of a sound in relation to the frame and to the world of the film. The clip begins with a high angle shot of a couple arguing under a highway. voicing the aspirations that sustain her continuing struggle.which eventually happens.
In the first clip from Almodóvar's Women On The Verge Of A Nervous Breakdown (Mujeres al Borde de un Ataque de Nervios. musical passage. this is an example of external diegetic sound. A further distinction can be made between external and internal diegetic sound. and aesthetic considerations. Italy. Since he is speaking out loud and any other character could hear him. As Anna looks at Paolo Uccello's famous painting of the Battle of San Romano (c1435).
Any voice. the Ennio Morricone eerie score that sets up the scene and mixes with the battle sounds. If it originates outside the film (as most background music) then it is non-diegetic. which is highly sensitive to works of art. These sounds exist only in Anna's troubled mind. etc. it can be recorded separately from the image or at the moment of filming. Sound source depends on numerous technical. each of which can affect the final significance of a film. 1988) we hear Iván speaking into the microphone as he works on the Spanish dubbing of Johnny Guitar (Nicholas Ray. or sound effect presented as originating froma source within the film's world is diegetic.
Sound and diegesis gets more complicated in the next clip. This clip has no non-diegetic sounds other than the brief keyboard chord that introduces the scene. we begin to hear the sounds of the battle: horses whimpering.(including voice over). is a common example of non-diegetic sound. 1996). no boom-box blasting tourist is allowed into the Uffizi's gallery!)
. weapons clashing. sounds that only the spectators can hear. from Dario Argento's The Stendhal Syndrome (La Sindrome di Stendhal. economic. 1954). (Obviously.
On the other hand. These are internal diegetic sounds (inside of a character's mind) that no one else in the gallery can hear.
This is the opposite of postsynchronization in which the sound is dubbed on top of an existing. notably Italy. On the other hand. silent image. Furthermore. Iran. but left "as it is". incidental sounds (street noise.
The result maintains the immediacy of direct sound at the expense of clarity. In this clip from Almodóvar's Women On The Verge Of A Nervous Breakdown (Mujeres al Borde de un Ataque de Nervios. have avoided direct sound at some stage in their histories and dubbed the dialogues to the film after the shooting. the male voice having previously been recorded by Pepa's ex-lover Ivan. some national cinemas. and speech of the profilmic event at the moment of filming is recorded in the film. Spain. as in Abbas Kiarostami's Taste of Cherry (Ta'm e Guilass. Impression and mood are favored over precision: not every word can be made out. The final sonic picture is blurred and harder to understand. noise. etc) are not mixed down. improvisatory and realist styles that also record sound directly but with an elementary microphone set-up. the music.
Diegetic sound that comes from a source in time either earlier or later than the images it accompanies. 1988) Pepa adds the female voice to the dubbing of Johnny Guitar. but arguably closer to what we perceive in real life. Studio systems use multiple microphones to record directly and with the utmost clarity. 1997).DIRECT SOUND
When using direct sound. India and Japan. third world filmmaking and other documentarist. But direct sound can also mean something other than the clearly defined synchronized sound of Hollywood films -.the Cinéma verité. (You can see Ivan's dubbing here)
In Life on Earth (La Vie sur Terre.
Simultaneous sound from a source assumed to be in the space of the scene but outside what is visible onscreen. he has the jilted lovers repeating the words of another couple of cinematic jilted lovers. since it comes from a previous moment in the film.
The process of adding sound to images after they have been shot and assembled. and only the woman is present.
Of course. their centrality to the scene is alway tangible through sounds (dialing. the camera shows us that we are in a dubbing studio. Moreover. as well as inserting diegetic music or sound effects. It is the
. In this clip from Women On The Verge Of A Nervous Breakdown (Mujeres al Borde de un Ataque de Nervios. we instantly believe they must be around. nonsimultaneous sound is often used to suggest recurrent obsessions and other hallucinatory states. with a perverse melodramatic twist. etc). 1998) a telephone operator tries to help a woman getting a call trough. we hear a woman and a man's voices in conversation. and yet it is nonsimultaneous. the camera examines the office and the other people present in the scene. While he tries to establish a connection. in what it looks like a film production studio. As in this example. 1988). the man's voice being previously recorded. Yet. talking. a film may use offscreen sound to play with our assumptions. even if the operator and the woman are now offscreen. Even if we do not see the speakers.While Pepa's voice is diagetic and simultaneous. theirs is not a real conversation but lines from a movie dialogue. Abderrahmane Sissako. Ivan's voice is also diegetic. Almodóvar uses nonsimultaneous sound to establish a conversation that should have taken place but never did (Ivan is not returning Pepa's calls and she is becoming desperate) when. This can include dubbing of voices. Gradually. Pedro Almodóvar.
where) is present in a scene.
The sense of a sound's position in space. pitch. version of Mission: Impossible 2 (John Woo. with the sychronized original. with events happening (that is. We can also hear hushing remarks that gives us a sense of the absent presence of a whole web of family members in the house. the closer his/ her room.
Sound that is matched temporally with the movements occuring in the images. or post-synchronized. however. It is not. 2000). timbre. yielded by volume. the opposite of synchronous sound.
As soon as she closes the door her voice sounds muffled and distant (she is walking away). in stereophonic reproduction systems. as she comes out. Sound perspective. Compare the French dubbed. combined with offscreen space. The norm for Hollywood films is to synchronize
.opposite of direct sound. Welles' use of sound in this scene is unusual since Classical Hollywood Cinema generally sacrifices sound perspective to narrative comprehensibility. binaural information. and. coming from) closer or further away. even if at a later stage in the editing process. as when dialogue corresponds to lip movements. Listen closely to this clip from The Magnificent Ambersons (Orson Welles. also gives us clues as to who (and most importantly. then grows clearer (she is coming back). since sound and image are also matched here.
You can hear the original English version here. The stronger the voice. then at full volume again. Used to create a more realistic sense of space. 1942) as the woman goes through her door and comes back.
reverb.e. the American family in the 1970s).sound and image at the moment of shooting. voice over is an often abused technique. 2000).its timbre. often that of a character in the film. But voice over can also be used in non literal or ironic ways. -.have a major effect on a film's aesthetic. sustain.
with the French dubbed version. Some avant garde films. postsyncronization) Compare the original English version of Mission: Impossible 2 (John Woo. Over dependance on voice over to vent a character's thoughts can be interpreted as a telling signal of a director's lack of creativity --or a training on literature and theater. The voice over is often used to give a sense of a character's subjectivity or to narrate an event told in flashback. and its obsessesive characters with a dark past. the aural properties of a sound -. It is overwhelmingly associated with genres such as film noir. A film can register the space in which a sound is produced (its sound signature) or it can be otherwise
While a very common and useful device. nostalgia. volume. rather than visual arts.
Section 3 . and literary adaptation. while also giving an indication of his main character's ideas and general culture. as when the words a character speaks do not seem to match the actions he/she performs.
When a voice. is heard while we see an image of a space and time in which that character is not actually speaking.. for instance. make purposely disconcerting uses of voice over narration.Quality
Much like quality of the image. It also features prominently in most films dealing with autobiography. In the title sequence from The Ice Storm (1997) Ang Lee uses voice over to situate the plot in time and to introduce the subject matter (i. etc. others national cinemas do it later (see direct sound.
The recording of Orson Welles' voice at the end of Touch of Evil (1958) adds a menacing reverb to his confession.manipulated for dramatic purposes.
The mediation of Abbas Kiarostami's voice through the walkie-talkie and the video quality of the image in the coda of Taste of Cherry (Ta'm e Guilass. 1997) underscore the reflexivity that is characteristic of his films. Iran.