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Cinematography Essay Topics & Paper Examples

The Development and Applications of the Zoom Lens in Cinematography

With the birth of cinema just over a hundred years ago, the progresses made between now and then on the techniques of cinematography have never ceased to amaze audiences. Certainly, many of us could remount moments in our lives when we have felt awed by the movies and satisfied that our money’s worth was redeemed in a flurry of special effects; however, very few of us would be inclined to understand just how much effort was put into designing a very necessary part of any film production: the lens. Not only is a properly designed lens crucial to the quality of picture, but it could also save valuable time and money for the DP and Producer, respectively. This is especially…

Cinematography in Lawrence of Arabia

Said to be one of the greatest films of all time, Lawrence of Arabia, a 222-minute movie directed by David Lean released in1962, achieved numerous accolades from popular award-giving bodies, among them the award for Best Cinematography. Through its cinematography, the desert was transformed into a character and major motivator of the film’s narrative, which was achieved through numerous ways. In the initial portions of the film, the desert was featured as calm, quiet, vast, mysterious and beautiful, which was why Lawrence expressed much excitement towards his assignment as an English army soldier. The extraordinary shots of the desert sunrise, and the extreme long shots of Lawrence (and his army) with the desert as its backdrop were breathtaking as they…

Camera shots english

A camera shot is the amount of space that is seen in one shot or frame. Camera shots are used to demonstrate different aspects of a film’s setting, characters and themes. As a result, camera shots are very important in shaping meaning in a film. Reviewing the examples on the right hand side of this page should make the different camera shots clearer. An extreme long shot (animation on right) contains a large amount of landscape. It is often used at the beginning of a scene or a film to establish general location(setting). This is also known as an establishing shot. A long shot (animation on right) contains landscape but gives the viewer a more specific idea of setting. A…

Citizen Kane – innovative techniques

Citizen Kane, a classic American dramatic film, is considered to be the ultimate classic masterpiece and the world’s most famous and highest rated film, as it is ranked the number one best film of all time. It was the first movie Orson Welles, a theatrical genius, co-wrote, directed, and produced at only an age of twenty-five years. The subject of this movie is the life of Charles Foster Kane, known as Citizen Kane, which is played by Welles himself. Dating back to 1941, Citizen Kane set a high standard for the art of cinematography as it made cinematic advances and technical innovations on many fronts. A new style of film making was created with innovations varying from the use of…

The Rear Window – Sequence Analysis

Although many realist films tend to realize that the viewer is an observer, there is a theme that is clearly established in the first few minutes of Rear Window (Alfred Hitchcock, 1954) with a variety of long shots that clearly show the setting; complimenting this Hitchcock also utilizes pan and dolly as well as transitioning angles so we can observe every apartment and tenant. Sound and different camera distance also contributes to the mise en scene that further presents the theme in conjunction with the cinematography. The mise en scene and cinematography in the beginning sequence of Rear Window clearly sets the stage for the viewer to take on a role of careful yet clear observation and watchfulness. This in…

Analysis of “Raise the Red Lantern”

Yi-Mou Zhang’s Raise the Red Lantern, is a beautiful and brilliantly made film in its own right. If, however, the team of Orson Welles and Greg Toland had produced the same film it would take on an entirely different look and feel. The film would reflect Wells love for creating physical representations of thematic metaphors and the long take and Toland’s brilliant use of deep space photography and mobile framing. Under the direction of the Wells-Toland team, the film would take on subtle, yet significant differences from the very beginning. In the opening scene, with Songolian and her stepmother, the focus of the camera would still be a medium close up of Songolian; but, the previously unseen mother would now…