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Research paper topic: Making A Movie - 2010 words
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.. der shot is used when two characters are interacting face-to-face. Filming over an actor's shoulder focuses the audience's attention on one actor at a time in a conversation, rather than on both. The Close-up shot is taken at close range, sometimes only inches away from an actor's face, a prop, or some other object. The close-up is designed to focus attention on an actor's expression, to give significance to a certain object, or to direct the audience to some other important element of the film.
The Heads of State The film's producer acts as an administrator, communicator, and guide, helping hundreds of people reach a final goal: completing the film on schedule, on budget, and as the director envisioned. The producer administers all the various aspects of film production, from initial concept to script and budget preparation to shooting, post-production, and release. He or she does not have to be able to write, direct, edit, or act to help screenwriters, directors, editors, and actors do their best work. A producer's guiding agenda is the budget. The producer must work within the limitations of the budget, creatively selecting the best possible people and solutions to bring the script from page to screen. If the project runs out of money, the production can't be completed.
The film can't be printed or distributed, and therefore won't ever make it to theaters. Most film investors take out insurance, called a completion bond, to avoid the often disastrous financial results of an uncompleted film. Questions? Complaints? The producer hears it all and must be smooth in handling problems. The producer must know everything (or know how to find out about it), be "hands-on" or "hands-off" depending on what the situation calls for, and understand the daily decisions and difficult logistics behind the art of filmmaking. The producer always has his or her eye on the prize: the completed film (Houghton, 1992, 50).
The Actor No cinematographer or film editor, no matter how gifted, can turn a terrible performance into a great one. The right actor can give a screenwriter's words exciting new depth and. Actors are essential for conveying emotions to an audience, for bringing the words and ideas in a script to life. Imagine that you are an actor. You've worked primarily in New York theater, but have decided to try your hand at working in film. Once you're lucky enough to secure an agent, you are sent on interviews where you meet casting directors and read for parts. Over the course of two months, you try out for 23 roles and are chosen for none of them. Finally, you are cast in a film.
It's a minor part, but substantial enough that if you do well, you will enjoy more work and exposure. After the shock wears off, you begin to prepare. As an actor, you must be able to become many different people, you must bring to the role those parts of yourself that are similar to the character. You look deep inside yourself to find feelings that will help you come across as sad and bitter. You study the role in depth.
In order to learn your lines, you know you must learn the part. Memorizing lines without understanding the role will be of little help to you. (Barr, 1997, 12) Filming: Shooting the Scene The day of the shoot, you walk onto the sound stage (or location) prepared to begin filming. The set has been constructed prior to your arrival by. You'll be working with a diverse crew of people to get your scene done, each of whom has an important role in the making of the movie.
The cinematographer (or director of photography) is responsible for the lighting, choice of film, correct exposure, correct use of lenses, and supervision of the camera crew. The mixer is responsible recording the sound. Other sounds are added during post-production by Foley artists. The gaffer is responsible for making sure all the lighting equipment is where it should be and operating correctly. The gaffer sets the lights so that the finished picture will have the desired effect.
The key grip is responsible for the rigging (carpentry) and for moving and readying the sets and camera dollies. The set dresser decorates the set. The property master ensures the sets and actors have all the necessary dressing and props. The wardrobe master is responsible for all wardrobe needs. The make up person is responsible for all makeup. The assistant director keeps order on the set and makes sure the production moves according to schedule.
Normally hired by the producer, the assistant director aids the director but also watches over the production company's investment. Sometimes this involves prodding the director to finish the shots planned for a particular day, or hunting down actors if they are not where they should be on the set. The assistant director also functions as a record keeper and handles time cards and minor union disputes. (Wordplay, 1999) During filming, you are told exactly where to stand and where to move. Every time you stop, someone places a piece of tape on the floor. The camera follows you slowly.
You rehearse the scene on the director's command. Once. Twice. Then the director says, "Let's go for a take." The assistant director yells, "Quiet on the set!" The actor who appears in this scene with you moves to his position. The cinematographer instructs the cameraman to take a medium shot. "Roll it," says the assistant director. Someone says, "Rolling." "Speed," says someone else. "Thirty-five, take one." An assistant holds a slate in front of the actor's face and snaps it shut.
This "clacker" will later aid the film editor in synchronizing the picture to the sound. "Action!" commands the director. Seconds later, the director calls out, "Cut. Do it again." The process is repeated until the director yells, "Cut. Print it." The makeup person moves into the scene and adjusts the actor's makeup. The director now wants a close-up shot and the cameraman films several takes until the director is satisfied with each one.
Finally, it's your turn for a close-up. You know that the camera and microphone will be within a few feet of you, so you'll need to communicate ideas and emotions at a very close range. "Action!" You enter the room. You're careful to "hit your mark" and stop exactly where the tape was placed on the floor earlier in the day. "Cut," the director says, and tells you to do it again. (Wordplay, 1999)Finally, he calls out, "That's a wrap." You take a deep breath of relief. The assistant director gives you your callsheet, or your schedule, for the next day's shooting.
The crew begins to pack away the equipment for the night. The film shot that day is sent to a lab where it is processed and made into "dailies." Dailies are film clips that are viewed after each day's work in order to evaluate performances and spot any technical problems. They are shown to only a few people-normally, only the director, producer, and director of photography. Cuts and Transitions: Assembling the Scene The film editor must know how to tell a story, be politically savvy when working with directors and studio executives, and have a calm and confident demeanor. Millions of dollars of film and the responsibility of guiding the picture through post-production and into theaters rest in the editor's hands.
Scenes may have been photographed poorly and performances might have been less than inspired, but a skilled and creative editor can assemble the film so that the audience will never see these imperfections. (Murch, 1995, 28-29) To better understand the editing process, imagine you are seated in a movie theater. The lights are dim and credits appear over an establishing shot of a seacoast town in Maine. The title appears on the screen: Arson Hill. After the last credits evaporate, you see a long shot of a vacant summer cottage, then a medium shot of a mysterious-looking man pouring lighter fluid on the grass near the house and striking a match.
The grass catches fire; the man flees. The vivid crackling of the fire dissolves into the sound of a young girl's laughter as she packs clothing into a cardboard box and sings along with her CD player. Who created this scene? The screenwriter, director, cinematographer, actors, lighting designer, sound designer, and, finally, the film editor. Working with the director, the film editor shaped the scene into its final form. After hours and hours of reviewing the unedited film, he created this one-minute scene.
The scene appears to take place in a seacoast town in Maine during an autumn afternoon. In truth, little of what the audience sees on screen occurred in Maine, and it certainly was not all filmed in one afternoon. The actor who played the mysterious man was most likely filmed on a Hollywood set in late summer. The young girl was filmed on a different set in early fall. The establishing shot of the seaside town was filmed months earlier in California, not Maine. The song on the girl's CD and the sounds of the crackling fire were recorded in a studio.
But when you see the finished scene, all of the sounds and images work together. They appear to have taken place at one time and in one place. That is the magic of film editing. The Big Cut Editors select sounds and images from all the film that has been shot and arrange them to make the movie (Murch, 1995, 46). They also plan how one shot will best transition to the next.
Assembling the opening scene of Arson Hill, the editor might choose to begin with a wide shot of the bay, focusing on the white caps and buoys that dot the water. From the shot of the grass catching fire, the editor might decide to dissolve to the girl packing clothes into a box. There are dozens of possible transitions the editor can choose, each of which will create a different feeling. Editing often begins as soon as film has been shot. Early scenes are assembled for the producer and director to view.
Occasionally, the actors will also view these early scenes. Many directors choose not to show actors these edited scenes for fear that they will affect the actors' performance. The first cut of a film, called a"rough cut," takes up to three months to complete. The final cut may take another month to finish (indieWire, 1999). Sometimes the editor works alone, sometimes with the director. The sound designer and music composer join them for the final cut, adding sound effects and the musical score.
In the past, editors worked with copies of negatives called "work prints" to plan a film's scenes and transitions. When an editor was satisfied with the final film, he or she would create an edit decision list, a list of each shot in the film and its length. The list would correspond to numbers, "edge numbers," printed on the edge of the work prints. These numbers helped a negative matcher accurately copy the work print and cut the negatives. Today most editors use computers or nonlinear digital editing systems to compile a film.
This is more efficient, but for the most part, the process is the same. The work prints, complete with edge numbers, are stored in the computer. The editor arranges the work print, and then creates an edit decision list. (Murch, 1995, 49-51) When the editing is complete and the director and producer have approved the final version of the film, this final cut is sent to a negative matcher. The negative matcher makes a negative of the film that exactly matches the final cut, and the negative is then sent to a film lab where prints are created.
These prints eventually end up in theaters. Like many productions in life, numerous counts of setup and preparation are involved. The film industry is the largest grossing enterprise ever, employing millions of specialists to take on the great feat of creating never before told stories to share with the world.
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