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Film Techniques

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First I must say I have watched an ungodly amount of movies.. All throughout high school I would sit down with my family and we would watch a movie every night. It was a lot of fun, although there wasn’t too much critiquing going on. It was not what Ebert would call “democracy in the dark”, however even without understanding the formal techniques of film I would like to think that I unconsciously developed a taste for good movies..

Before reading the article by Elbert I was aware of the basic idea of “intrinsic weighting”, however I would have called it balance, however it seems as if Elbert’s proposed “intrinsic weighting” if more than mere balancing (think rule of thirds), it imposes a guide for additional characterization of the scenes. When I say that I am specifically referring to the idea that characters to the right of the middle line seem more dominate (even in other cultures, which I found super fascinating), while characters in the bottom left of the frame seem even more submissive. Of course as Elbert points out, this is not a hard rule, but the idea seems to permeate through many of the visual arts.

The next portion of the article I thought was interesting was that on the camera angles (specifically when the camera is trained on a character). It  reminded me of many of Tarantino‘s films. Some of my favorites (by the way my four icons was of Pulp Fiction). Now in context it does seem as if many of his characters though of themselves as gods, and perhaps that’s why he used a low camera angle so often? Very intriguing.

For the videos I wanted:

Kubrick // One-Point Perspective https://vimeo.com/48425421
The Shining // Zooms https://vimeo.com/38828455
Tarantino // from Below https://vimeo.com/37540504

I didn’t pick these, because they were the first three (I promise). I picked them because I am familiar with all of their work. It was interesting seeing scenes from many of my favorite movies cataloged in such a way to bring out their similarities.

I felt as if these scenes were all great examples of the ideas presented in Elbert’s article. The first video was interesting, seeing how Kubrick used the same point in a ton of his films was very striking. I feel like that viewpoint kind of robbed the scenes of depth, which added to the effect of the scene greatly.

The video of the zooms from The Shining was crazy! So much zooming going on throughout the entire film, and I had no idea when watching it. Very interesting! I am still brain storming on why exactly this added to the effect so greatly.

The last video really exhibited the point on camera angles. It was very interesting to see how in Pulp Fiction especially he really utilized the angle from below, to perhaps show the inflated egos of the characters, at least that’s my guess as of right now.

I am going to probably going to go re-watch all of those movies now, and see what other interesting element of filmography they utilized.

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