The Impact Of The Use Of A

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The Impact Of The Use Of A Camera On A Script Essay, Research Paper The first stage in the production process is the creation of the script. This determines not only the dialogue of a piece, but lays down the basis of the film’s plot. In modern cinema before a film goes into production it is probable that it’s script has gone through a series of treatments and re-writes. Once a script is completed it is given to a director who’s job it is to realise the script. The director, however, has a multiplicity of choices to make about the way in which he brings a script to screen. It is the responsibility of the director to hold the attention of the audience whilst disseminating enough information and meaning from the script to make his piece coherent. Before a director has

committed a single shot to celluloid he has already made vital choices which will affect the way his film is viewed by the audience. One of the first considerations a film maker has to decide upon is the camera and film stock he will use. The choice of film stock has many artistic implications, since it dictates the texture, colour and shape of a film. If a director chooses a slow film, the look of his film will be high in contrast, whist faster films which are more light sensitive will produce a look which is lower in contrast. The choice of filmstock therefore dictates to a great extent the tone and feeling of a film. An example of how filmstock can affect a films meaning is seen in the Vietnam movie “Charlie Mopic”. Here the filmstock used produces a contrasting, grainy

look. Since the film is shot entirely from the point of view of a camera man following a platoon, the choice of filmstock lends the piece the feel of a newsreel. The camera in the film is not an objective bystander but in fact the leading character and the realistic look reflects the disillusionment that men at war feel. The feel of a script is therefore enhanced by the look it is given on screen. It would be illogical to use a high contrast grainy film on a screwball comedy. The feeling created by such filmstock would not be compatible with the desired feel of the piece, since this look is rarely associated with comedy. German expressionist film makers made extensive use of high-contrast films. “The Cabinet of Doctor Caligon”, for instance uses high contrast films to achieve

a look which highlights deep black and bright whites to add to the strange dream like qualities of the film. Film making is a visual medium and the composition of a shot is not a random act. A director puts the same sort of thought into the framing of a shot as a painter does into a portrait. The dialogue of a piece is obviously very important since it drives the story along. The way in which the dialogue is presented and the meaning we infer from it, is intrinsically linked to the way in which the director depicts the circumstances of the dialogue. For instance in “Citizen Kane” when Kane and his second wife sit down to dinner they are placed at opposite ends of a long table. The physical distance imposed between the characters highlights the emotional distance that has

grown between them. This is an example of framing. Framing is highly important in cinema since it helps to define for the audience the meaning of an image. Framing controls angles, distance and vantage point in a shot as well as defining on and off screen space. The angle at which a shot is taken has serious ramifications for the viewers perception of a film. A low angle, looking up at a character usually suggests power, and a high angle, weakness. For instance when we are introduced to the “femme fatale” character in “Double Indemnity” we first view her from a low angle as she stands at the top of a flight of stairs. The shot then cuts to a high angle, point of view shot as she observes the man with whom she starts an affair. Thus from an early stage in the film the