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Every cinematographer has their own unique style when it comes to manipulating the cinematic elements in a movie, these elements can have a significant impact in the film. Cinematographers can change the depth of field to concentrate the viewer’s attention on an object/person or change it to give the viewers a better understanding of the characters’ setting. Another aspect cinematographers can change in the film would be the lighting. The lighting can showcase certain details of a scene.
For example a dimly lit scene in the film can display an ominous tone while a scene with more light can give a more positive tone. Today, many filmmakers include the use of digital tools in their films to help accomplish their perceived view of the movie.
Movie Clip Reflection 1: Cinematography In Film Cinematographer, Claudio Miranda, provides various shots and angles in the film Oblivion to help convey a sense of emotion that the audience can connect to. For example, an extreme long shot is shown as the ship flies towards the crater.
This helps the audience identify the setting of the scene and feel more connected to the film since they are experiencing it with the main characters. The close up shots of the characters also help the viewer to connect with them on a more personal level.
In Lawrence of Arabia, Cinematographer Freddy Young applies a constant use of extreme wide shots. These wide shots help establish the location of the scene and helps the viewer gain a greater understanding of the setting and surroundings.
The use of depth in the film also helps convey emotion. For example, as said in the textbook Movies and Meaning, “Positioning the foreground characters on each side of the widescreen frame and having them gaze at the approaching rider create a fulcrum that draws the viewer’s eye irresistibly toward the rider” (Prince, 2012, p.48). The extreme wide shot in this scene allows the viewer to see that the only people in the desert at the current moment is the mysterious figure, Lawrence and his guide. This creates tension and leaves the viewer wondering what will happen next.
The film, The Night of the Hunter, is filmed in black and white. The usage of gray scale creates an eerie tone that can be sensed throughout most of the movie. The 2D silhouettes in the film added a contrast with the nearby 3D characters/objects. Another film that is also shot in black and white is Schindler’s List. The use of black and white gives the film more meaning and depth as well as “a harsher, stark look appropriate to its grim subject matter” (Prince, 2012, p.50). Although black and white films may not be as common as they were back then, films shot in the gray scale create a certain ambience that is perceivable to the viewer.
Skyfall is a film that incorporates the use of many lights, camera movement and color. These incorporations help capture the attention of the viewer and help the film with its storytelling. Another film that incorporates a multitude of camera angles and shots is Apocalypse Now. The use of these different techniques provides the audience different viewing perspectives on the war displayed. These different camera shots/angles also help the viewer get a better sense of the setting. Inception also includes a multitude of these techniques. What makes it stand out from these films is its slow-motion scenes. These slow-motion scenes grab the audience’s attention and give the film a different perspective in the setting.
Cinematography is made with a variety of techniques in order to create a film that is worth watching. These techniques such as lighting or the different depth of field shots help establish emotion and depth which help the viewer connect with the film on a more personal level. Depending on how each technique is used in the scenes, well done cinematography can help lead the film to success.
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