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Techniques for Independent Production
The challenges of creating Digital Cinema and other narrative forms.


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Old April 15th, 2006, 09:37 AM   #16
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As everyone is saying, it's what works best for them. And what works best for me is a combination and even an evolution of different techniques.

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Old April 15th, 2006, 09:52 AM   #17
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Very true Heath. If Hitchcock had done things like everyone else, we wouldn't talk about him as much. Rules are meant to be broken, it is just a little harder to pull it off sometimes.
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Old April 15th, 2006, 09:59 AM   #18
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Though some argue that Hitchcock was influenced by Welles (PSYCHO and TOUCH OF EVIL--I guess besides Janet Leigh).

http://www.brightlightsfilm.com/14/psycho.html

But then again, who wasn't?

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Old April 15th, 2006, 12:09 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Heath McKnight
Though some argue that Hitchcock was influenced by Welles (PSYCHO and TOUCH OF EVIL--I guess besides Janet Leigh).

http://www.brightlightsfilm.com/14/psycho.html

But then again, who wasn't?

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What a great article! Thanks!
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Old April 28th, 2006, 12:21 PM   #20
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If you watch how a good director paces a dialog scene... often it's like this:

Longer shot establishes setting.

As intensity of conversation increases, the angles move to medium, then to close ups, over-shoulders, etc.

When intensity drops or dialog pauses, we often "step back"

There are often intercut closeups... a hand picking up a glass, a cig in an ashtray, etc.

At the emotional peak of a scene, we often get very close to faces.

Scenes often end with the wider "establishing" angle as a closer.

Rodriguez shows this in Mariachis' "Ten Minute" section; he zoomed or moved in and out (in the example, a "threat" is made and he wants to be really close on that). His wider coverage shot was the overall editing bed, and the transitions in camera/zoom movement were edited out. The final result looked like several more setups that he actually used.

(As we know, a lot of his editing decisions came from sound-synch errors).

This style really appealed to me; allowing the (camera operating) director to respond to the rythm of the performance.
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Old April 28th, 2006, 02:33 PM   #21
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Yep, I know that method, in fact I wrote an assignment on it for my Editing class. Esepcially apparent in The Godfather 2, I think.
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Old April 28th, 2006, 03:24 PM   #22
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Interesting discussion.

I work in state government so I deal with a lot of actors. LOL

Seriously though, I guess I am of the American School. In a recent training video on Domestic Violence, I shot the entire scene wide (working with one camera) got several good takes, then got some medium and extreme close up shots in other takes, but let the actors do the entire scene. It was a scene that built in tension and action. It was also verey loose with dialog, as it was not tightly scripted, there was a lot of ad lib on their parts. I had no problems in post with dialogue, but that darn sweater! (no one following continuity so I had to do some creative cutting to avoid sweater, on, sweater off, sweater on again.) fortunately these were professional actors.

I also do a good deal of talking heads. I usually shoot it wider, then tighter, of course they are usually reading from a prompter, and if they (corporate types not pro actors) can stay close the cutting is relatively easy. I don't tie myself to specific spots to but, I only do it to add some visual variety.

But looking back over more "dramatic" projects, I see that I usually use the master shot, and then get closeups etc later.

Speaking of Hitchcock, one thing I remember reading is that once he had done is extremely detailed storyboards he felt his job was done and the actual filming/editing was superfluous, his vision had been realized. Guess that might be why he wound up placing himself in his films, kept him interested. ;-)
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Old April 28th, 2006, 03:24 PM   #23
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I quit shooting my own movies almost three years ago--too many problems of either focusing too much on the shot and not enough on the actors, scene, etc., or vice versa.

hwm
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Old April 29th, 2006, 12:08 AM   #24
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3d on 2d

a handy way to approach the establishing shot into close-up scenario is to figure out the master in depth. A wide shot is flat... I ask myself how to incorporate foreground into the background (vise versa), as to when to cut in or out. The idea of shooting a master isn't necessarily easy to edit B/C the cues of cutting are staged.
Just trying to refer to movement within a flat screen. A scene should make you feel like your part of something without sensing a distance from the screen.
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Old May 4th, 2006, 02:03 PM   #25
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Ok well, I'm about to film a music video which will have about 10 different angles. I will obviously film medium and close up shots of each of the band members and a wide shot of the whole band, but there is one 3 second shot of the drummer's hi-hat moving up and down...Would I film the hi-hat through the whole length of the song or just the three seconds I would need it?

The same question movie wise, If I know I will use one high angle shot in a scene, do I film the scene through with the high-angle or just use it once for the shot I'll want?
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Old May 5th, 2006, 07:37 AM   #26
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I would just get those 10 seconds or whatever, maybe a little extra of it for safety, so you can take just the slice of it that looks the coolest. You could get the same with the other band members as well, super tight closeups on them playing...hand strumming, fingers...um...fingering...you get the idea.
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