The distance from the camera to the characters changes depending on what they’re doing/saying. How does the camera distance change
For this week’s exercise, I want to give you some more practice in looking at how formal elements contribute to meaning and impact in fiction media, particularly film and television.
As you re-watch this clip, pay attention not only to the story but to the form: how far or close the characters are to us, how the camera is moving, the mis-en-scene, and the music. In answering the questions below, use whichever of the following technical terms might apply.
Shot: one still images from a piece of media. A movie or TV show is made up of thousands of individual shots. Any time you pause, you are paused on a shot. Scene: a number of shots edited together to form a coherent structure (part of the story). Camera or shot distance: how far away the camera is from a character or another element (like a prop). Pan: a horizontal swivel movement of the camera (left to right or right to left). Tilt: a vertical movement of the camera (up or down). Mis-en-scene: a French term that represents every visual element contained within a shot, including setting, props, acting, clothing, and lighting. Sound/music: Sound effects and music that the characters can hear within the film are called diegetic. Sound effects and music that the characters cannot hear but the audience can (such as movie soundtracks and scores) are called non-diegetic. Genre: a category. Film and television categories include drama, comedy, western, noir, science fiction, fantasy, horror, and more (plus combinations and sub-genres).
Questions (be as specific as possible with your answers to receive the most points!)
1) The distance from the camera to the characters changes depending on what they’re doing/saying. How does the camera distance change your emotional response to parts of the scene? 2) Notice how the camera is moving. Name/describe one instance of camera movement and talk about how it adds to the story. 3) Choose one aspect of the mis-en-scene and talk about how it adds to the humor and/or emotion of the scene. 4) Consider the music used in this scene (note: it’s a polka). How would a different choice have changed the feel of characters’ interactions?
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