‘This week it is your challenge to try and communicate the unspoken feelings between characters.’
We learnt how important blocking and spacing is, so important to the extent that we can understand the relationship between characters even without sound. Our challenge was to play around with this idea with 6 shots.
After receiving feedback from the class one subject kept coming up, the fact that my work was ’13 shots’ instead of 6. I was told I hadn’t met the brief requirements but from my understanding the class hadn’t counted my shots but instead counted how many cuts I had. For example, if I cut from on shot to the other 50 times it still would only be two shots with 50 cuts.
However, technically I haven’t met the brief but that is for the totally opposite reason. It’s because I had used less than six shots. In fact, I have only used 5 shots. My plan is to do a re-edit or even re-shoot to meet the exact requirements. Another thing I would change in the re-edit is the colour correction because in the class workshops I’ve learnt one of the most important lessons which
Another thing I would change in the re-edit is the colour correction because in the class workshops I’ve learnt one of the most important lessons which is to always save the skin. Before this, I didn’t know how to colour correct and I’ve just put a LUT in from premiere pro’s pre-sets. At first when I asked for classmates opinions they all loved it but that’s probably because they are around about the same stage when it comes to editing but now looking back we can see the amateur flaws in my work.
One of the criticisms I do agree with is that my topic may be cliche or not original because it’s a couple fighting. On the other hand, I tried playing around with lighting spacing and framing I even used a slider to create some movement and depth to the shot. I needed it to be extremely better compared to my first task ‘Photographing the face’, it had to be a bit more cinematic with better movement and just more creativity when composing the shot.
There are shots through the door which creates some sort of mystery and leaves us feeling like outsiders because we aren’t directly inside the same room as the characters. Or the use of dark blues and red just to emphasise the unstable emotion in their relationship. Blain Brown mentions that ‘few elements are as effective and as powerful as light and colour. They have the ability to reach viewer at a purely emotion gut level.’ It sets the mood, the audience doesn’t have to consciously think what is going on because the brain reads the situation through the lighting without even thinking about it.
‘Chiaroscuro emphasised shadows and harsh lighting to create a sense of depth and volume in paintings.’
Even though it’s a painting cinematography needs to follow the same concept so that the image doesn’t look 1 dimensional. Many have the misconception that the cinematographer is just for the construction and positioning of the shot but they need to understand how the light will affect a certain space and how to add complexity to the frame without overcomplicating. This time around I spent a lot more time experimenting with lighting, I placed small LED lights in particular parts of the room depending on where I wanted the audience’s eyes to be focused on.
Blocking had to be considered because it tells the story in itself, we are able to differentiate who is dominant in the relationship plus movement in general, helps create a natural realistic feel to the scene.
Blocking was originally a theatre term that refers to the positioning and movement of the actors in the stage. In cinema, camera and lights are added to the equation.
There are points where we had the female subject standing up while the male was sitting looking up towards her which made him look powerless and not in control, again, the fact that you can only see part of her face but because the blocking is so effective you understand what’s going on just through her body language and the way the male is positions and his reaction to her action.
Blain Brown (2016). Cinematography theory & practice. Canada: Routeledge. 48.
FilmmakerIQ. (,). THE BASICS OF LIGHTING FOR FILM NOIR. Available: http://filmmakeriq.com/lessons/the-basics-of-lighting-for-film-noir/. Last accessed 2016.
GABE MOURA. (2014). Blocking. Available: http://www.elementsofcinema.com/directing/blocking-actors/. Last accessed 2016.