Films from Literature ENG 2400, Fall 2021 OL 0550

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  • 9/10 presentation on Cinema I (Cinematic Techniques)
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    Prof. Masiello

    Next, please watch the presentation called “Cinema If20.avi.”
    (direct link)

    Remember you may have to copy and paste the URLs.

    5. Then, as you did for our first video two weeks ago, please answer the following

    a. Name three different things you feel you learned.

    b. Mention something you liked about the presentation.

    c. Ask at least one question that now comes to mind about this presentation.



    a. Name three different things you feel you learned.

    – I learned that some movies don’t need spoken dialogue in order to tell a story. In Sunset (1926), the film was entirely carried out by silent actors, and dialogue ‘cards’, which were on the screen for viewers to read. I didn’t know this was a thing, or was very popular at the time, considering people love going to theatres and not only seeing the actors, but listening to their words and how they said their scripts.

    – I learned that movies, like plays, can introduce the setting/time of the scene in the beginning. In Psycho (1960), the movie starts off with the setting, the date, the time. Of course, it leaves out describing the place, as the film will show you it. I didn’t think you could do that, as movies are very visual/dialogue oriented, and would present the surroundings via casual conversation/camerawork.

    – I also learned that using drones are extremely convenient for particularly interesting shots. In Midsommar (2019), they use a drone to make the view look upside, before putting it right-side up again. I didn’t think a drone would be convenient, considering the sort of massive cameras they use to shoot movies. Did they attach those large cameras on a drone, or used a small but extremely HD camera to attach onto the drone?

    b. Mention something you liked about the presentation.

    – I really liked the multiple shots used in the movie The Fury (1978). It’s just using so many different shots to show the man imploding that brings me a lot of humor. The repetition of it by using different shots of the same scene does make it memorable though, and portrays just how insane the supernatural ability is.

    c. Ask at least one question that now comes to mind about this presentation.

    – What do different angle shots do exactly? In 2001, A Space Odyssey (1968), they use this weird horizonal camera as the character runs in a sort of loop circle. And in Trainspotting (1996), they have a weird vertical shot as the character goes through a short tunnel. What is the effect besides it looking weird and entertaining?


    weipeng lin

    a. Name three different things you feel you learned.

    1) I learned that in the film Psycho (1960), It’s interesting how the film begins with a date, time, place, and what day was it. And I like how at that certain part it did a tour of that specific area and then it gets to the point to show or begin the scene. I really liked what was done to start out the film because the film shows you the surroundings. I was wondering how did they zoom into the window and continued the start of the scene.

    2) I learned that certain films when shooting the entire thing and when its finished they would have a voicover to have the finish product of it. Such films that consists of voice over were Ted (2012), Lolita (1962), Platoon (1986). With that begin said I’ve also noticed and realized that films doesn’t need conversations but just acting and I’ve also notice words displayed on the screen. I guess it’s just the silent conversation between the actors and actress. And I believe that it’s called silent movie era. Such films were Sunset (1926) and Barry Lyndon (1975). I never heard or watched any films that are silent and all acting and didn’t know that these type of films exists.

    3) I learned that angles of the camera are important. In the film Crash (2004) the camera is aimed towards the actors or actress when they are speaking. I thinking that that angle is called “Low camera angles” that shows the character point of view when they are talking. But I believe that angle in any film should be important to capture the movement and the facial features when the camera is zoomed into the person face.

    b. Mention something you liked about the presentation.

    I liked the shots of the film called The Wrestler (2009) I just like the angle movements that was done by the cameramen. As the guy dropped down the camera follows it directions and it gives it a natural look to it. And the zoom out to zoom in I also like they way it was done. With those camera movements and angles that were done as these two guys were in the ring it give me a feeling that I’m also inside as well.

    c. Ask at least one question that now comes to mind about this presentation.

    When watching up to this part there’s a film called Trainspotting (1996) I was wondering why did the cameraman tilt the angle vertically and that as the actor was walking the camera is still tilted vertically. What is the meaning of that and why was that done?

    Are angles shots done with the same exact camera or there’s more than one camera being used? Such as what type of cameras were used during these perfect stable angle shots?


    Prof. Masiello

    Sound recording matched to film did not yet exist during the silent movie era. Silent film actors did not all make the transition to sound since some had poor sounding voices. The great musical Singin’ in the Rain deals with that in a funny way.

    Even current movies sometimes will use title cards to show time and place as happened at the start of Psycho.

    As for cameras on drones, they are light weight HD.

    Circular scenes usually are to dazzle the audience, not necessarily for any dramatic purpose.


    Prof. Masiello

    Although there are many tricks that yhe cameras can do, tilting probably is eother done by actually rotating a camera or might be done by computer in post production.

    The movie Barry Lyndon
    is not a silent film; it is only lacking dialogue in its final scene. There are subtle sounds of someone writing with a pen as well as background music.


    Shania Tennant

    Three things I learned are that handheld cameras give movies a more genuine feel. The unsteady camera in films like “The Wrestler” and “Man of Steel” makes it appear as if the audience is in the scene with the performers, experiencing what they are experiencing. Another thing to consider is that the placement of a camera has a huge impact on how the audience perceives the film. Tilting the camera, for example, conveys anxiety, a problem, or disorientation. Finally, portraying the performers from a specific point of view helps the audience grasp what’s going on. The low camera position in ‘Crash’ elicited empathy from the spectator and demonstrated how the protagonists would see each other at that particular moment.

    The usage of the steady cam was one of the aspects of this presentation that I enjoyed. It gives the performers a deeper and unique perspective, and it has an impact on the movie’s outcome. It has a more intimate feel to it as if you’re viewing their point of view rather than the standard camera angles used in most movies. It adds to the realism.

    One thing that comes to mind is how does the director decides if the montage is too long or too short for the given scenario when doing montages. And if it’s too short, would they delete some of the videos or add more to make room for everything, and vice versa?


    Prof. Masiello


    The pacing for a montage is a perception by the director and the editor. They screen what they do and make decisions. Probably they film more and cut out the surplus.

    As for the reslism of a shaky camera, most of us can apprrciate it in small amounts. However, when low-budget horror movies with so-called “found-footage” use it throughout, it looks cheap and ugly.


    Justin Alava

    Name three different things you feel you learned:
    1) I learned how useful the use of drones are in particular angles and camera shots
    2) Also I learned that camera angles are really important. It’s gives the film perspective and also keeps things out of frame that doesn’t need to be seen.
    3) The point of view in which the film is being filmed at gives the audience a different experience in every scene.

    Mention something you liked about the presentation:
    I like how camera men use their skills in displaying camera angles to give all the actors the shine they need in each scene. This gives the movie a different perspective and has a huge impact on the movies outcome.

    Ask at least one question that comes to mind about this presentation:
    How many cameras are used throughout a film? Is there a different type of camera that needs to be used for specific scenes ?


    Asif Khan

    Barry Lyndon, 1975, the film had no dialogue for the last several minutes, almost leaving a cliffhanger. The director could’ve had an array of endings but chose to leave it undecided.

    Midsommar, 2019, I never noticed that the angle made it more creepy than it initially seems. Paired with the music, the drone has a major effect on the scariness of the film.

    Rear Window, 1954, It’s amusing seeing how everything seemed back in the mid-1900s. There are no smartphones for people to text with, the phones are usually only for calling. Finding love must’ve been more intimate and difficult.

    The presentation had many different types of scenes. There was love, horror, suspense, happiness and more. I like that it was diverse and not boring at all, I usually lose focus easily, but watching this didn’t phase me out.

    My question:
    How are there successful movies with no dialogue?


    Angel Rivera

    a. Name three different things you feel you learned.

    I learned from this video is that camera angles and different techniques is vital for film making. The repetition and multiple exposures adds to the dramatic tone of the scenes. The dutch tilt seems to be used to portray tension between characters. Lastly, with old films that don’t use voices, its possible to assume what’s going to happen next because of the character’s expressions during their interactions.

    b. Mention something you liked about the presentation.

    One thing I liked about the presentation was how circular camera movement was showcased. The examples used during this segment showed used circular movement for different purposes. For example, in The Avengers it was used to show all the different characters, in Carrie it was used while a couple was dancing, and in The Dark Knight it was used to portray a distressing situation.

    c. Ask at least one question that now comes to mind about this presentation.

    Are there any techniques used in the presentation that might be considered niche or unorthodox?


    Prof. Masiello


    Your question about how many cameras may be used is a really good one. I imagine the answer can vary depending on the scenes.

    If there are underwater shots, waterproof cameras are needed. If a camera is attached to a drone or a person, I imagine it is smaller, lighter than the main one. Cinema cameras are quite expensive and sophisticated so they are equipped with all sorts of zoom lenses, etc.

    One might assume that in a non-special-effects film w/o underwater or microscopic scenes, one camera will suffice. The key is that many takes from different angles are done and the best ones are selected in the editing process.

    Great question!


    Prof. Masiello


    At the beginning of film history, over 100 years ago, people were so excited to see moving images of trains and horses that they were happy. They did not need sound or color.

    Just think about how unsophisticated your parents’ first home computers were or landline telephones, yet they were happy to have them. Each new technology is exciting.

    People do not generally hold off on enjoying things when they are new. We like color TV images. Probably in the future 3-D TV will be everywhere, just like every home has a color TV now. In the meantime, we who do not have 3D do not miss it.

    Big budget films with huge box office returns seem to have started in the the1930s, that’s more than 20 years AFTER silent movies.

    Most young people are not too keen on B&W films. Most silent films were in B&W, so not too many people in your age group have ever seen a silent film. They take more attention than sound films since you cannot multitask with a silent movie. One has to look at the screen and read the captions to follow the stories.

    There are iconic and legendary films (Modern Times, Intolerance, the first version of Ben-Hur) and film stars of that past era. Everyone still knows the name Charlie Chaplin. (Robert Downey, Jr. played him in a biographical movie several years ago.) When an actor named Rudolf Valentino died young and handsome, several of his female fans actually committed suicide in their grief. So popularity has existed as long as there have been celebrities. You can Google all of this…


    Prof. Masiello


    Much of what may be considered unusual would be based on creative choices by directors and DPs (directors of photography). You may find more of those in the Cinema II video, especially within clips showing elliptical editing and even split-screen.

    Sometimes a film is experimental and not necessarily effective as a story. I cannot recommend Enter the Void because I simply did not like it. It is extremely unusual. I do like that the camera “blinks” when the main character blinks but seeing sexual intercourse from inside (!) is unnecessary and contributes nothing dramatically other than shock value.

    On the other hand, I highly recommend Requiem for a Dream, which is extremely creative in its use of sound effects and camera angles. This one works because the acting is fine and the story is relatable. We eventually will see clips from both (NOT the intercourse scene.)

    Soon we will see a video on POV. There are many creative things going on in it.


    Tatiana B.

    a. Name three different things you feel you learned.

    1. Prologues are used to draw context to a story for example, in the movie Star Wars 1977. Epilogues help to explain what happens to a character once the story has ended. In Platoon 1986 movie a voice narration is used as a tribute to the individuals who died in war. Overhead helicopter shots and forbidding/ ominous music suggests the presence of super natural forces such as in The Shinning 1980 film and Midsomer 2019 film.

    2. Low camera angle is used to draw in the audience and create and evoke empathy or emotion. This type of angle helps to show the characters point of view for instance in the film Crash 2004 I felt like I was in the car and equally felt scared when the I thought the woman would not be saved.

    3. A tilted camera shows something is wrong. This is called a Dutch angle. For example, in the movie East of Eden 1955 ,the father and son can be seen sitting far apart and the tilted camera angle implies a strained relationship between the two. Many movies involve the displacement of the camera to crate or complete a shot.

    b. Mention something you liked about the presentation.

    I enjoyed learning the various terminology and how to identify it in a film. When we look at The Graduate 1967 the blurring and refocusing can creatively advance a story. I mostly enjoyed how this film was composed of a variety of films from recent to old films. I am excited to see more films such as this one. I
    c. Ask at least one question that now comes to mind about this presentation.

    Why is CGI so expensive if it is based on the current technology we have today? Also, what is the point of using a moving dolly to give the illusion of someone walking? For instance, when we look at Malcom X 1992 Denzel Washington is not actually walking but instead moves through the scene on a dolly. In my opinion people do not walk so smoothly as the moving dolly implies. Is this strictly for creative purposes?


    Steven Mendez

    a. Name three different things you feel you learned.
    1.) The point of view in which the film is being filmed at gives the audience a different experience in every scene.
    2.) I learned that some movies don’t need spoken dialogue in order to tell a story.
    3.) I learned from this video is that camera angles and different techniques is vital for film making.

    b. Mention something you liked about the presentation.
    Is defenitly the different angles of the cameras. We see this in all movies and it gives us a different scenary of what is rea;lly going on

    c. Ask at least one question that now comes to mind about this presentation.
    How much money is used for all these cameras it sure must be alot

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