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Old March 27th, 2004, 01:12 PM   #31
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Wow, I've never read so many "instructions" on framing. To be frank, inquiring about the "rules" of aesthetics nullifies its essence, don't you think? What looks good is visceral, not based on technicalities. Yes, there are basic understandings of what can be pleasing (e.g. centering is not always interesting) but composing is completely subjective. You can recite Death in the Afternoon until the covers are worn but it still would never compare to attending a bullfight.
I'm certainly not trying to put anyone down but villains, left, right, up, down... Geez!
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Old March 27th, 2004, 02:39 PM   #32
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Eric, if everyone had good taste, there wouldn't need to be rules or textbooks or education. Even if the beginning filmmaker already has an innate sense of aesthetics, at least knowing what the 'rules' are will help avoid early mistakes and speed up learning.

And of course, rules are meant to be broken .. etc. etc.

The 'villain always enters from the right' was tongue-in-cheek. But see if this isn't mostly the case the next time you watch a film.
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Old March 27th, 2004, 03:42 PM   #33
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<<<-- Originally posted by Eric Reese : Wow, I've never read so many "instructions" on framing. To be frank, inquiring about the "rules" of aesthetics nullifies its essence, don't you think? -->>>

Not at all. The whole idea is to have the rules become so automatic that they are as easy to follow as breathing is automatic.

However, once you master that, then you are free to make instantaneous changes and modifications.

<<<--
You can recite Death in the Afternoon until the covers are worn but it still would never compare to attending a bullfight. -->>>

And yet how many times does the bull win and the matador die.? And, how many times after a very rare occasion where the bull has won will the audience cheer?

As a matter of fact, does the audience ever cheer for the bulls victory and freedom?
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Old March 27th, 2004, 04:20 PM   #34
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Keith...

I understand the "villain principle" and wasn't implying its non-existence. Was simply stating that as viewed in this discussion, a relatively useless "rule" was being cited as criterion for framing when there are so many other things that can be pointed out for a beginner.
My intentions were not in trying to condescend a novice, but in encouraging him to just go out and shoot. Yes, a canon of useful information is out there (and on this forum) but I think exercising the eye in a viewfinder would be exponentially more helpful. That's all, folks.

Alessandro...

Precisely... not. Aesthetics are subjective, based on feeling. And that's what's automatic, not the rules, even to the "seasoned" aesthete.

My goodness, how do your questions have anything to do with my analogy regarding Death in the Afternoon? Comparing direct to indirect experience was my intent, not examining the elements of an actual bullfight.
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Old March 27th, 2004, 05:36 PM   #35
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<<<-- Originally posted by Eric Reese : You can recite Death in the Afternoon until the covers are worn but it still would never compare to attending a bullfight. -->>>

That was your quote, was it not? I'm pointing out that for a bullfight to follow your edict of spontaneouty, the crowd wouldn't cheer for the same result each time.

But unless someone wants to give me some good news, the crowd is only happy if the bull dies. So what you perceive to be a wild and spontaneous event is in fact every bit as stodgy and predictable as the criticism you seem to be aiming at those who know the rules about framing.

You wanted to know what the rules were, but then you ridicule the rules as being non-creative even though several people have basically said "you must learn the rules and then learn how to break them".

Race car drivers follow rules when they race, that doesn't mean they don't add a level of grit and ingenuity that uses the rules they have learned with their own signature alterations attached.
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Old March 27th, 2004, 06:17 PM   #36
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Eric: (edit, Alfred)

Your topic question may have overlooked one key component. There is a big difference between videotaping an event organized by others and one that you are in charge of yourself.

When you are in charge and it is your own production, then basically you can do whatever you think is right, (you probably still want most of what you shoot in focus, you probably want undistorted audio, etc...) and up to a certain point as you say, the rules can be broken or not even known.

But when you are being hired to shoot someone elses event, you'd better know all the rules and be sure to get a "get out of jail free card" from the client BEFORE you break any of the known rules.
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Old March 27th, 2004, 06:21 PM   #37
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My mistake was in not separating that analogy from the first paragraph and by not being clear (now that I review my post). For that, apologies...
Let me make it simple one last time as to what I meant: Exercising your eye in a viewfinder will do much more than reading about framing, composing, or anything in the category of aesthetics. As in reading "Death in the Afternoon" is no match for attending an actual bullfight. I was not stating anything about being spontaneous or wild. (Even though so much about the relationship between a matador and a bull is spontaneous. It's the first time the two meet, for God's sake; but of course this is not the forum to discuss bullfighting)

Auto racing is not analogous in this discussion. The argument of drivers and cars holds nothing in the aesthetic realm, although some might state that steering a car safely at 200mph is an art. He/she is at the mercy of a machine and its mechanics and must calculate every turn within the certain parameters of physics. Rules are followed and cannot be broken.

Again, condescending or ridiculing is not my intent. Of course there are basic elements (fine, rules) in framing, etc. but I still feel you don't necessarily need to learn them to achieve an aesthetically pleasant picture.

Everyone, join in!!
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Old March 27th, 2004, 06:31 PM   #38
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I concede to the argument of being hired for a project. Alessandro, you're right. But only in the sense that, then, the ideas of aesthetics become convolluted by someone else's opinion/ideas, essentially being bound by someone else's "rules."

I thought the thread was about a personal project (Alfred Okocha).
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Old March 27th, 2004, 08:30 PM   #39
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The art of framing the dollars a client puts in the palm of one's hand may be different than the art of framing one's artistic vision.
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Old March 27th, 2004, 11:26 PM   #40
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Then it's the client's "artistic vision." Either way, we're reduced to aesthetics, and to the original argument.
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Old March 28th, 2004, 12:42 AM   #41
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Many times a client is most worried about receiving a product that falls outside of the range of "normal".
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Old May 17th, 2007, 12:37 AM   #42
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The saying I heard a while ago that may fit here is, "You have to know all the rules before you can break them".
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Old May 17th, 2007, 02:43 AM   #43
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There is NO rule that says if you drive a car with a manual gearbox and you change down from 4th to 1st while travelling at 50 miles an hour that that is a bad thing. But DON'T try it!

There is NO rule that says placing your head 1" away from the "Tee-ed" golf ball as your friend swings the "iron" is a bad thing. But DON'T try it!

There is NO rule that says making a device from plywood, string and bits from a bicycle to make a lighter than air machine is a bad thing. But DON'T try it!

There is NO rule that says thinking about mass as being pure energy is a bad thing. But DON'T try it!

My point is . . . we - I'll speak for west-world here - are conditioned by environment/nuture and genes/nature to what we know about stuff in a west-world way. We then absorb many MANY influences as we wake up in the morning and pile up on these over the decades. Our visual and audio dictionaries and lexicons are being added to, updated and reassessed each and every moment of the day - waking or sleeping. To "kick-against" these, for want of a better phrase, WITHOUT the knowledge that we are sentient beings, capable of the most wonderful abilities and thoughts, would be making video with 12 arms tied behind our backs. BUT . . there is always a "but" . .. knowing that that which we know and understand, and THEN "contrive" to invite/seduce a viewer along a journey of experience through our videos USING and employing these acquired awareness's and purposefully "twist" those acquired realities through ( deep breath!) :

A) Having a nose poke out beyond a face line

B) Having the eyes 1/8 the way up the screen

C) Having the goodie coming IN from the right

D) Employing a rule of 1/5s! ( hey? just WHERE does Ro'3 fit with 16:9? Discuss . . lol!)

( breath out . . )

.. is what we are about. When it is done without that intelligence, it is all too obvious. However . . and there is always an "however" . . where is experimentation? Where is the opportunity to play? Just where is that adolescent in me pushing the boundaries and wanting to skate board with a camera and a skeletal frame of 56?

If you got this far, thank you. My point is this: Knowing how to employ whatever means to stun/engage/in-passion/instruct/tickle/excite/question is what our craft is about. NOT being conscious/knowing and downright obdurate to these matters means missing out on just soooo much!

But please don't get me started on the DaDa-ists:

"Duchamp?"

"Oh, thanks so much, but no the quails eggs filled me up?"

And John Cage? You think he knows the rules?

Just found this on the web. Kinda brings it "full oval":

--At a Dada exhibition in Dusseldorf, I was impressed that though Schwitters and Picabia and the others had all become artists with the passing of time, Duchamp's work remained unacceptable as art.

--John Cage, Interview, 1973


Oh, don't yah just want to . . . . . . ?


Anybody else thought that that musician's surname was so, so, so OPPOSITE?? Appreciate the rules; know where you/I stand with them and employ those same structures to enhance.

"Great thread!"

" . .. Eh, . . not so much?"

Cheers peeps!

Grazie
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Old May 17th, 2007, 04:36 AM   #44
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Charles Papert View Post
yeah, but who's counting?

Sorry, I missed Keith's post somehow--weird.

Regarding having single figures in the frame not being centered: yes, normally. On "American History X", the director insisted that I center-punch to such a degree that he would call for another take if the crosshairs were not between the eyes. I wish I were joking, but I'm not. Never really figured out what he was going after with that. I think he read somewhere that Kubrick was fond of this and decided to make it a law.
You did camera on that? I enjoyed that film a lot... I've only seen it a couple times, got it as a gift from my older brother.

May watch it again ;)
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