Akira Kurosawa

Movement of nature

Through showing the movement of elements such as weather it allows there to always be visual movement on screen, even when nothing is happening with the characters. For example if two people were standing outside staring at each other with no movement, the wind in the background allows there to still be something for the audience to focus on. The movement of backgrounds can help to show a character’s emotions, such as having fire in the background of a scene would be able to show a feeling of anger. The use of weather can also be a way to portray emotions, for example a director may choose for it to be raining in a scene as an emotional trigger or to convey feelings of sadness.

Movement of camera

Fluid camera movements are extremely important when it comes to screen movement and you can go from a close up to a full shot in a single take. Through this every camera move is able to tell a story and if it flows well you can clearly see a beginning, middle and end. Camera movement can also be effective to change up a scene. For example if you end a scene on something static, it switches up the rhythm so you are less likely to be able to guess the next cut.

Movement of groups

Through using the movement of groups it can be a good way to show a large amount of emotion. For example if you wanted a big reaction shot you could use a large amount of people so that when the reaction occurs it conveys the emotion on a larger scale. Large crowds are also very cinematic and any motion that happens with a crowd feels big and can keep the audiences attention.

Movement of individuals

Akira uses blocking to present the movement of individuals in a way that shows emotions while keeping movement on screen. For example a nervous character may show movement through pacing up and down a room, while someone shown to be ashamed may fall to the ground putting their head in their lap . While their are only one or two characters on screen of course the audience’s focus will be on them, this means that the placement of the characters needs to be well executed and in order for it to be successful the positioning of characters should be in relation to the camera and help develop the story while keeping the audiences attention.

In order for a film to have a smooth flow we need:

  • Control
  • Organisation
  • Selection

There are different ways of movement to help give a smooth flow:

  • Circular
  • Horizontal
  • Vertical

Camera Movements:

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(Camera movement – lessons – TES teach, no date)

A Pan – A movement that pans across the screen horizontally and is usually placed on a tripod to make the movement seem smooth.

Tilt – Similar to a pan, this movement pans across the screen however this time vertically

Track – A tracking shot is ultimately when the camera follows a subject and moves along side whatever its following. The camera is usually placed on a dolly, then on rails so it can move fluidly.

Equipment to create the movements:

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(Terry Entertainment et al., 2017)

A boom (jib)- A jib is a boom device with a camera on one end, and a counterweight with a camera controls on the other. It operates like a see-saw, but with the balance point located close to the counterweight, so that the camera end of the arm can move through an extended arc.  

The dolly – A camera dolly is a wheeled cart used to help to create a smooth horizontal camera movement in films.

Steadicam – This devise is designed to hold a camera in a way that prevents  unwanted camera movement such as camera shake from occurring while filming

Slider – Camera sliders or glide cams are sets of tracks that mounts to either a set of tripod legs or a light stand. The slider has a movable carriage that you can attach directly to your camera or a tripod head between your camera and can give you more panning and angle options.

How camera movement is used:

Continuous movement – This is when a scene is recorded by using only segments of the action shot from different angles.  Movement is known to give a film life and most shots should have some kind of movement in them, even if it’s very slight.

Screen direction – Screen direction is the ultimately the direction that actors or objects appear to be moving on the screen from the point of view of the camera or audience. It will usually follow the 180 degree rule which is to keep the camera on the on the same side to keep continuity and so to not confuse the audience. An example of this would be a clip of  someone walking from one direction to another, if the camera suddenly changes which angle it is showing the character from it would confuse the audience and would seem the character has changed the direction in which they are walking.

Cutaway – This is when the camera cuts to something relevant within the scene. For example: You could cut from someone thinking about time to a clip of a clock. This enables the audience to forget the sense of direction in the last movement shown.

Zero-point perspective – Because vanishing points exist only when parallel lines are present in the scene, a perspective with no vanishing points (“zero-point” perspective) occurs if the viewer is observing a non-linear scene.

Amelie (2001) Scene Analysis

We then looked at a scene from the film Amelie, in particular the techniques used to maintain screen direction.

Shot 1: The arrows – The camera follows the arrows on the floor along with the character who is following them up the stairs

Shot 2: The camera circles round the statue to change the perspective while still allowing the audience to not be confused and follow along with the 180 degree rule

Shot 3: Statue is cleverly pointing to the direction that the camera follows – which keeps the audience aware of new line of action.

Shot 4: Cut away to show the character’s view from the telescope, allowing the audience to see things from their point of view.

Run Lola Run (1998) Scene Analysis

Screen Direction Task:

Storyboard:

The task we were given was to create a short film portraying screen direction, which means we needed the scene to keep to the 180 degree rule throughout. I also decided to use some of the camera movements we had studied this week in the film such as a tracking shot, pan and tilt.

Storyboard breakdown:

Shot 1: Tracking shot of character walking down the stairs.

Shot 2: Pan shot of character walking around the corner.

Shot 3: Still shot of character walking down corridor from 180 degree angle.

Shot 4: Tilting shot to show character walking out of doors.

Shot 5: Shot of character looking left and right looking for friend.

Shot 6: Cutaway to the character’s friend walking towards her.

Shot 7: Clip of characters coming together and hugging, making sure to maintain screen direction.

story-board1

——–> Final Film <——–

I was happy with the outcome of my final film and think that I was successful in following the 180 degree rule. I think this because  the direction in which the main character is walking stays consistent throughout the film she is walking from the right of the screen towards the left from the start when she is walking down the stairs to the ending when she meets her friend. I also made it so the character that she is meeting walks from the left of the screen to the right to it is clear to the audience that she is coming from another a different direction to the main character. As the film was fairly basic I decided to add a piece of audio to go alongside it and just chose a simple song so the focus would still be on the visuals and the screen direction. I think the different camera movements I have used such as a pan helps to complement the screen direction and helps the clips of the character walking, something somewhat boring, to flow better and keep the audiences attention. One problem I faced while filming was how busy the college was and filming the tracking shot of the character walking down the stairs was different as we had to wait until the stairs were completely empty to ensure no one got hurt and so my friend helping me film would be able to hold my back while I was filming to make sure it was safe.

Harvard Referencing:

Camera movement – lessons – TES teach (no date) Available at: https://www.tes.com/lessons/YRVz4Xg3TxrJSQ/camera-movement (Accessed: 19 January 2017).

Entertainment, T., Reserved, A.R., Designed, Themes, E. and Shadow, B. (2017) Film production. Available at: http://www.terryentertainment.com/services/film-production (Accessed: 19 January 2017).

Every Frame a Painting (2015) Akira Kurosawa – composing movement. Available at: https://youtu.be/doaQC-S8de8 (Accessed: 19 January 2017).

neo932rcl (2011) Amélie Poulain – ‘Les Flèches bleues’. Available at: https://youtu.be/JTesvzr9TAc (Accessed: 19 January 2017).

TRCMEDIASTUDIES (2013) Run Lola Run casino clip. Available at: https://youtu.be/cXpCa4zGihM (Accessed: 19 January 2017).

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