Cinematography

Film Studies Chinese International School Y10 MYP 2009-2010

What is Cinematography?

What is Cinematography?
The art and technique of motion picture photography, including both the shooting and developing of film.

A cinematographer¶s concerns? 
     

Film Stock Film Gauge Colour Lighting Camera Lenses Camera distances, angles & movements (techniques) Special effects

Film Stock 
  

Unexposed and unprocessed motionpicture film Slow film stock ± detailed image Fast film speed ± documentary feel Influences the film¶s finished look, including: - Sharpness of detail - Range of light & shadow - Quality of colour

Film Stock

Fast film stock produces a gritty, monochromatic look.
From µWo De Fu Qin, Mu Qin¶ (µThe Road Home¶), Zhang Yimou, 1999

Slow film stock produces a sharper, more detailed effect.
From µWo De Fu Qin, Mu Qin¶ (µThe Road Home¶), Zhang Yimou, 1999

Film Gauge (width)  



The wider the film gauge the sharper the projected image Most common gauge is 35mm; Films are sometimes shot on 16mm and enlarged onto 35mm film to enhance grainy effect.

Film Gauge

Blown up from 16mm to 35mm film
µYi Ge Dou Bu Neng Shao¶ (µNot One Less¶) Zhang Yimou, 1999

Shot directly on 35mm film
µShi Mian Mai Fu¶ (µHouse of Flying Daggers¶ Zhang Yimou, 2004

Colour 
  

Colour associations vary from culture to culture; A colour¶s impact depends on context ± where and how colour is used; In most societies, reds, oranges & yellows = hot, dangerous, assertive. Greens, blues, violets = control, reason, sadness, melancholy; Colour can be saturated (intense, vivid) or desaturated (muted, dull).

Colour

Reds, oranges & yellows = hot, dangerous, assertive
µYing Xiong¶ (µHero¶), Zhang Yimou, 2002

Greens, blues, violets = control, reason, sadness, melancholy; µYing Xiong¶ (µHero¶), Zhang Yimou, 2002

Lighting 

There are 2 types of light: - Hard ± generally unflattering ± focused spotlight / midday sunlight; - Soft ± flattering ± reflects off a surface / magic hour ( 20 minutes before dawn and 20 mins after sunset)

Lighting

Hard lighting highlights shadows and flaws
µQiu Ju de Gu Shi¶ (µThe Story of Qiu Ju¶) 1992

Soft lighting softens border between light and shadow
µMan Cheng Jin Dai Huang Jin Jia¶ (µCurse of the Golden Flower¶) 2007

Lighting   

3-point lighting ± 3 lights used for every major subject: key light (main), fill light (reduces contrast), back light (defines) Low-key lighting - little illumination on subject - reinforces dramatic / mysterious effect High-key lighting - bright illumination of subject - enhances cheerful mood

Lighting

High-key lighting Low-key lighting
µYao Yao Yao, Yao dao Wai Po Qiu¶ (µShanghai Triad¶) 1995 µMan Cheng Jin Dai Huang Jin Jia¶ (µCurse of the Golden Flower¶) 2007

Lenses 

3 basic types of lenses: - Wide angle (e.g. 28mm on 35mm) Emphasizes distances, deep focus, speed up movement to & from camera; - Normal (e.g. 50mm on 35mm) What the eye would see - Telephoto (e.g. 200mm on 35mm) Planes appear closer, shallow focus, slow down movement to & from camera.

Lenses
ide-angle lens emphasizes distances because it causes all planes to appear farther away from the camera. µShi Mian Mai Fu¶ (µHouse of Flying Daggers¶), Zhang Yimou, 2004

Normal lens creates an image the normal eye would see. µQian Li Zou Dan Qi¶ (µRiding Alone for Thousands of Miles¶), 2005 Telephoto lens creates shallow focus. µDa hong Deng Long Gao Gao Gua¶ (µRaise the Red Lantern¶) 1991

Focus 

Deep focus ± wide angle lens or small lens aperture Shallow focus ± telephoto lens or large lens aperture 

Diffusion 

A diffuser (nylon stocking, frosted glass, silk etc.) placed in front of the camera lens or a light source softens an image¶s resolution.

What is the 180 degree rule?

What is the 180 degree rule?
The camera must remain on the same side of an imaginary line, perpendicular to the camera's viewpoint, from which the establishing shot is taken.

180 degree rule

What is the Rule of Thirds?

What is the Rule of Thirds?
Rule of thirds divides the frame into thirds both horizontally and vertically. The points where the vertical and horizontal lines cross are aesthetically pleasing spots to place subjects or to have perspective lines converge.

Rule of Thirds

Rule of thirds: Note how the horizon falls close to the bottom grid line, and how the dark areas are in the left third, the overexposed in the right third. Source: www.wikipedia.com

Here, tthe horizon falls close to the top grid line. The figures are are in the left third, the shops and pavement in the right third. µHuoze¶ (µTo Live¶), Zhang Yimou, 1995

Sign up to vote on this title
UsefulNot useful