Sunday, 28 October 2012

Week 3 Of University (Tues 23 Oct)

In today's Communicating seminar, we looked at Editing, which can be divided up as follows:

  • Graphic Relations - The relationship between two images/shots in a sequence
  • Spatial Relations - the locations/spaces of a piece in a sequence
  • Temporal Relations - the passage of time in a sequence
  • Rhythmic Relations - the pacing/speed of a sequence or entire piece
  • 180 rule - an invisble that places each character on a set side of the screen/space, and if crossed, can feel 'wrong' or jarring for a viewer.
  • Establishing shot - a shot that establishing a location (usually either the first or the main one) in a film/TV piece.
  • Transistions - more fanciful/elaborate ways of going from shot to shot i.e. dissolves, wipes, fades etc. Can be used to show passage of time.
  • Matching shots - shots set in the same space looking exactly alike, without drastic changes between them.
  • Invisible - editing that doesn't draw attention to itself
  • Temporal and spatial - the time and spaces/areas/locations that the narrative takes place in being consistent and not jumping around without rhyme or reason.
After, we took a look at excerpts from The Manchurian Candidate, MTV Cribs: Ludacris, Battleship Potemkin, an advert for Lurpak, Bonnie & Clyde and an episode from C.S.I, and looked at what, which and how some of the aforementioned concepts applied to them, as well as how the camera was utilised:

Manchurian Candidate
  • Establishing track across the bedroom to the man (main character)
  • Cross-dissolve between the man's sleep and his dream
  • The camera pans around the room till it blends into the communist laboratory
  • Continous cutting between the 'dream' and the lab.
MTV Cribs: Ludacris
  • Establishing shot a rapid series of cut coming closer and closer to the front door.
  • Rapid cuts (sometimes, between shots in the same room from different angles)
  • Fast camera moves and tracks around the rooms in the house
Battleship Potemkin 
  • Continous crosscutting between the soldiers and the fleeing people
  • Quick cuts of closer shots within same scene or space
  • No camera movement: it is nothing but straight, still shots.
An advert for Lurpak 
  • Establishing shot is a low angle of the bottles in a fridge (like tall buildings in a city)
  • Lots of quick shots and editing, creating a feel and stlye akin to an action film.
  • Additionally, we get extreme closeups of the fork beating the eggs, the fire in the cooker and the inside of a cheese grater.
Bonnie & Clyde 
  • Establishing shot is an extreme close up on a woman's lips (revealed to be Bonnie).
  • Some frames in shots missing, causing sudden 'jumps' in movement.
  • Sudden 'crash' zoom on Bonnie on the bed.
  • The bed bars and their shadow give a bit of symbolism: Bonnie feels trapped in her dull life.
  • All set within one space (Bonnie's room).
  • Camera work is very basic, mainly consisting of close ups and mid shots.
  • Quick dissolve into CG body of murder victim, but apart from that, there are mostly straight cuts.
Then, in the afternoon lecture, we watched Francis Ford Coppola's The Conversation, paying particular attention to its use of sound: aside from its soundtrack being primarily just one piano with some occassional saxophone here and there, used to accentuate the tension or mood of certain scenes, throughout, we re-hear the same recording of the young couple in the park, but used in different contexts i.e. later, it's used to explain why they commited an act of murder as opposed to earlier where we think they're the ones whol will be killed. Not to mention, when we do hear the piano, sometimes its diegetic (part of the world in the film, via a radio or vinyl record).

Afterwards, we briefly touched on the next subject, Sound & Image, going over the basics:
  • Diegetic (what exists in the world of the film i.e. music from a radio, sound of cars in a street)
  • Non-diegetic (what's added in post i.e. a film's score/soundtrack)
  • Dialogue (the words a character says/thinks. Gives us insight into them, their relations and provides other information.)
  • Music (used to add mood, emotion, tone and even depth to a scene or sequence)
  • Sound Effects (the thud of a bat, the bouncing of a ball, the click of heels etc.)
  • Silence (used to add tension/create suspense)
And some of their effects:
  • Space (the size of a set/location)
  • Time (how long something may last/music can bridge time gaps)
  • Representation (how an idea/group/concept is presented)
  • Emotion (what does the audience and the characters feel)
  • Symbolism (what other meaning could something have in a scene other than the obvious).
My closing thoughts are that, like the previous, the concepts were very interesting, but the last half of the lecture was a tad rushed again, and I would have liked to discuss some of these ideas in a little more detail. Apart from that, I gained a little more understanding of how much of an impact sound and editing can have on a piece, and how it can affect one's feelings, reaction and thoughts on a piece of media.

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