Friday, 29 October 2010

Camera shots

We took some sample photo's of different camera angles and looked at why they are used...

Extreme long shot

An extreme long shot is taken from over a quarter of a mile away and is used to mainly show scenery, e.g. a building or a landscape and is often used to show war or horror film scenes. Although they are taken from a far distance, they normally denote a particular location which is normally located in the center of the screen.

Extreme close up

An extreme close up is an unrealistic shot, which you probably wouldn't experience in real life. They normally show emotions for example, happiness, anger or being sad. They are quite a dramatic shot and they can be easily ruined by lack of lighting or a slight shake to the camera.

High angle shot

High angle shots are used to show characters status'. They make the photographed object seem less significant or scary and the object often gets swallowed up by their surroundings e.g. they become part of the bigger picture.

Low angle shot

A low angle shot is used to show a characters high status or great importance. They make the photographed object seem more scary. The object is bigger and takes up most of the screen and as the angle is low other than the object all you can mainly see is the sky or ceiling.

Close up

A regular close up is used to show emotions for example happiness, anger or being scared. They normally focus on an object, face or body feature e.g. hand. They can be used to show writing on a paper or an expression on someones face. A close up is an extremely intimate shot and can be used to make the audience feel very uncomfortable or very comfortable.

Monday, 18 October 2010

Cloudy with a chance of meatballs - trailer

The beginning of the trailer shows a series of funny clips with upbeat music. You aren't told who the main character is but you can tell who the main character is as he appears in most clips.

The colours change from bright to dull when having an experimental breakthrough. The music changes as he speaks about building a machine which would minimize world hunger.

He wears casual clothes so you can tell he's not too high class and probably isn't taken seriously.

They use sound to make the scene more dramatic by making the voice alot deeper and the cut rate increases. The music gets faster and the cut rate gets faster and you hear screaming.

The camera shots are used to show different things e.g. they mainly use medium and medium long shots with some close ups. They use a birds eye view to show something falling towards the main character.

17 again.

"17 again" was directed by Burr Steers in 2009. It stars Matthew Perry, Zac Efron and many others.

The film  begins with a close up of a basketball ring which has basketballs been thrown into. They then show a close up of his face which shows his emotion for the game.

In the film they use several different camera angles, for example, medium shots, long shots of the city, close ups, extreme close ups and point of view shots.

I like the way the basketball match was filmed as it builds up tension.

The scene fades in at a basketball scene. The cut rate of the scene is fast. The music is fast paced, the cheerleaders are dancing and the crowd are cheering. The cut rate is fast and there are lots of different angles making the scene a lot more tense. The different angles are wide, close up, medium and medium long.

In the scene the older Mike wears a suit to highlight the fact he is important however the younger mike wears trendy clothes, e.g. shirts, jeans and leather jackets. All the other characters wear casual clothes.

Friday, 15 October 2010

The making of - Shrek forever after

I wanted to look into the making of an animated film to see the differences and how it is put together so I looked at the following clip of an all time favourite, Shrek.

The four Shrek films took only 10 years to make. During this time, technology was advanced dramatically allowing them to do things that's never been done and improve various aspects of the animation. Shrek forever after (the final instalment) was even made in 3D. When they made the first few Shrek films they struggled with Global Illumination. This is where sun rays shine through and highlight emotions of the scene. 

By looking back in time you see the transformation of Shrek. You see him change from someone with little self confidence who was rude and abrupt to a loving husband and father. 

One problem Dreamworks have faced since the beginning was hair. In the first film they really struggled to make hair move naturally and therefore they gave Fiona a simple hair do, where she had no single stands. Making the hair sway as she walked took tremendous time and effort. In the fourth film you see Fiona's hair blowing with the wind. This shows how technology has improved over time. 

Faster machines allow the creators to make the animation better. If they are working to a timed schedule they wouldn't have the time to perfect every small bit however if the machines were faster they could get more done, to a higher standard in a smaller period of time. 

Shrek (original) was given 5,000,000 render hours, Shrek 2 was given 10,000,000 render hours, Shrek the third was given 20,000,000 render hours and Shrek happily ever after was given 46,000,000 render hours. Render hours are the hours that are spent on the animation being made. This is a lot more time as the films went on. The scenes are more complex allowing them to make a more exciting film. 

Music video - "for the first time" by the script

In the beginning of the video the girl is writing a post card, it is shot using a hand held camera. In the video she isn't talking however she is narrating what she is writing. The image frequently changes using cut shot which changes with the beat. The hand held camera gives you the effect your actually there and makes the image more real.

As they begin to sing the image changes using a cut shot and then the image is in black and white rather than colour. They use hand held camera and colour shots when shooting the actors however when shooting the band they use fixed cameras at a medium close up in black and white.

In the video they use various shots like medium shots, long shots and close ups. As the band reach the first chorus the image begins to be shot in colour. They use reverse shots and extreme close ups to show the emotions the actors within the video are feeling. The cut rate is about every 2 seconds meaning it's a fast paced video.

Love happens

The romantic comedy was directed by Brandon Camp in 2009. It stars blockbuster favourites like Jennifer Aniston, Aaron Eckhart and Dan Fogler. The film is a basic love story between two people who accidentally meet.

The film opens with a medium close up and changes between medium shots and long shots of scenery and the character, Burke. There are several cut shots between the shots of scenery which changes at the same time as the music in the opening sequence.

The main character, Burke, wears a suit in the film as he is a buisness man the costume works very well to portray his importance. The woman in the film, Erika, is a working class woman who wears knitted cardigans and casual clothes maybe showing she isn't as higher class as him.
Whilst watching the film I also saw low angle shots, high angle shots, medium long shots and long shots. I like the way the scenes are edited as the cut shots reflect the way Burke is feeling as he is waiting for his meeting. The several cut shots show his anxiety and how long he's been waiting.

They use a reverse angle shot as the man is giving a talk, this shows the man and the audience. They also use close ups of the audiences faces showing their reaction to the motivational speech being given.

The scene changes on a face out to the man being photographed for his book. As he is being photographed they make the cut rate faster and change between photo's of him and video and also add in a camera flick.

When the man has a flashback in the film he looks down and the shot is faded out. This colour of the video gets darker and there is subtle music being played to tell you it's from the past. 

The man often narrates the film at the beginning or end of the scene, one quote he says is...

"Chapter 2. Happiness is a state of mind, and like all things it takes practice. Devote at least 5 minutes everyday to smiling, just smiling, and one day it will become natural."

Wednesday, 6 October 2010

Superman Returns

Recently we watched a clip of Superman Returns which was made in 2006 and directed by Bryan Singer.

Whilst watching the clip of Superman we noted down as many camera shots as we could. We saw big close ups, close ups, long shot, medium shot, low angle shot, high angle shot, birds eye view shot and reverse angle shot. Bryan singer also used pan and zoom very effectively.

Bryan Singer had cleverly picked each individual shot within the clip to emphasise a particular thing e.g. surroundings, character relationships and surroundings. He also used them to show feelings.

In the clip Bryan Singer chose to use a hand held camera to shoot a particular moment adding tension.


After watching a short clip of the all time classic Jaws (by Stephen Speilberg) we saw the different shots and how it was edited and I also saw a variation of camera shots and angles.

At the begining of the scene you saw several shots of the same people e.g. the man with the dog and the mother and her child. The several shots of the same characters lets you get to know the character before the action takes place.

One of the camera edits we saw was cut shots, these are where you focus on a subject. They are often used to emphasise feelings e.g. anxiety, excitement or enthusiasm.

Also as the scene built up the cut rate increased. The cut rate increasing adds tension to the scene and gets people on the edge of their seat.

Stephen Speilberg uses his trademark edits between scenes by having an actor walk past the camera. As the camera focus' on the person the scene can change location or camera angle.

King Arthur

We were looking at the camera angles in King Authur (2004) directed by Antoine Fuqua.

There were many edits/cuts within the scene:

Matched cut - change of angle keeping the continuity to show, an arrow flying through the air from the bow to the enemy. You can see the two sides at war and the relationship between the characters.

Jump cuts - were also used to flick from one conversation to another between characters and you see their reactions.

The cut rate increases in speed over the duration of the scene. As the level of action increases the cut rate increases building tension.