I’m going to be looking into the skill of a Cinematographer within film and television.
I am going to look specifically at the people that have that job title, what they actually do and how it effect the outcome of the product. I will also be looking at the technology used within that role, how it is used and again what impact it has on the final product.
The reason I am researching this specific job in media is research for my Final Major
The main type of research I am going to do is secondary research. I am going to use the internet to find out what I want to know about cinematography.
The Cinematographer is the person that makes a lot of the decisions about what will be on screen and appear in the final piece. Although the Cinematographer works along side the director in this process who ultimately decides which ideas to go with, ‘The Director is still the “creative tyrant”.’ (Moura et al., 2014)
Cinematography is all about using the correct techniques to portray the correct emotion, this is done by picking the correct location for the camera, the correct angle, the correct colour palette and even the correct weather. All this tactically put together will create the exact feeling the film is meant to have.
The first feature film ‘The Story of the Kelly Gang‘ was made by three Directors. ‘Charles Tait’ , ‘Millard Johnson’ and ‘W.A. Gibson’. The cinematographers for this film were ‘Millard Johnson’, ‘Orrie Perry’ and ‘Reg Perry’.
This was an Australian production and the first dramatic narrative to run over sixty minutes.
‘The Story of the Kelly Gang‘ was six reels long, or close to 60 minutes, a duration that was unheard of. (Curator’s notes the story of the Kelly Gang (1906) on ASO – Australia’s audio and visual heritage online, 2017) However there isn’t much left and the remaining footage is damaged.
(1995, Seven [Se7en])
There are basic rules that cinematographers follow such as Rule of Thirds. Rule of Thirds is a technique where you position the subject of the shot to the left or right of the frame so it isn’t dead in the middle. This attracts the human eye and makes the scene more appealing to the audience.
(2001: A Space Odyssey)
(1980: The Shining)
Natural framing is where the cinematographer using the surrounding environment to create a path leading to the main focus of the scene. It is a common technique used by cinematography and directors alike.
The pictures above are two good examples of natural framing, they are both from the cinematographer ‘Stanley Kubrick’ who using many great techniques in his work and is very famous for it.
(2009, Inglorious Bastards)
Low angle shots are used to give off the idea that the subject that were looking at is powerful and in charge. The scene above is from the perspective of a character that is being intimidated by the two in shot so by having them tower above him adds to that intimidation.
‘The Usual Suspects (1995)’
In this scene starting at 1:34. They use slow zooms to as the character is slowly working out that the whole story that he had just been told was all made up and consisted of names from the pin board behind him the whole time. This technique is used on many productions for the same purpose.
Cinematography is probably one of the biggest parts of what makes a film, it’s what the audience sees and how they experience the narrative story that it playing on screen.
A lot of experimentation was used to achieve the amount of techniques that are used. The biggest examples of experimentation are ‘The Blair Witch Project’ (1999) and ‘Paranormal Activity’ (2014). These sort of films eventually led to the creation of the sub genre ‘Found Footage’.
Curator’s notes the story of the Kelly Gang (1906) on ASO – Australia’s audio and visual heritage online (2017) Available at: http://aso.gov.au/titles/features/story-kelly-gang/notes/ (Accessed: 20 January 2017).
Moura, G., Rajan, Barrasse, L., Amboy, K., Kumar, S., Zadok, C., Bee, V. and ranoliya, sunny (2014) Editing. Available at: http://www.elementsofcinema.com/cinematography/cinematography-basics/ (Accessed: 17 January 2017).
RocketJump Film School (2015) Cinematography 101: What is cinematography? Available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BXAr2yiYCV4 (Accessed: 18 January 2017).