Tag Archives: realist

Thoughts on Post-Production: Editing

Once a project has been filmed and the production process is complete, the film then moves into post-production where the editing process begins.  The craft of editing consists of selecting, combining, and trimming sounds and visual images after they have been recorded.In classical, analog style editing, this was done at the end of the filming process and required a whole separate team. Now in the digital age, editing can be done side by side the film process.

The editing team has a lot of control over each individual clip, and decides whether how each shot if cut or faded, depending on the director and producers vision. This takes a lot of time and skill to edit large amounts of video and audio, especially under a tight deadline.

Like I’ve discussed in previous posts, editors will choose to follow a certain aesthetic that the director has set forth in the filming process. In realism, the editor will do everything in the editing process to make sure it looks as true to real life as possible, whether that means edited from the first person perspective or third person, viewing from afar.

In modernism, the editor will make the editing process evident, rather than trying to hide the edits like in realism. The editor can draw attention to a certain aspect of film by causing a dramatic edit that draws an emotional reaction from the audience. Editors in the modernism aesthetic are given a little more freedom and creativity to showcase their artistic side.

Postmodernism takes the editing process even further by piecing unlike sounds and images together to create dramatic scenes. The audience might even find the collages of video to be disorienting or hard to follow, but it is done on purpose to achieve a specific reaction to the scenes in the film. An example of a dramatic enactment that was staged as a direct cinema interview, was in Mitch Block’s No Lies.

One of my favorite films, Fight Club, definitely varies between realism and modernism editing aesthetics. While the film feels authentic and real in many scenes, there are times the editing process takes a turn toward the modernistic approach and creates dramatic, jarring scenes.

 

 

 

 

Thoughts on Film: The Director

In Chapter 5, the text discusses the role of a director and how significantly it can influence the artistic influence of a project or film.  Depending on a director’s aesthetic focus, a film can create a completely different look and feel from another director’s vision.

In order to better create a specific artistic expression, a director must know how all facets of the film making process work together to create the final project.  Once the director understands lighting, sound, angles, filming, and editing, the director then has complete control over their entire project beginning to end.

Growing up, I had very little exposure to movies and television. It wasn’t until I started college that I began going to the movie theatre and watching film regularly. It was during this time that I developed an appreciation and love for Quentin Tarantino and his artistic approach to film.  With a modernist style, Tarantino takes moments of realism and moments of postmodernism and blends the two worlds together to create something audiences might not have experienced before.

In any director’s film, you can typically identify the aesthetics of film: Function, form, and content.  These things are what drive the purpose and vision of each project and provide clear direction for the film maker and crew.

Some directors use traditional shots and angles to create realistic images, while others choose to integrate angles and shots, providing a jarring visual for the viewer. While these modern and postmodern styles of film are valuable in film, often times it is important for a director to follow more “realistic” styles when filming professional interviews, news packages, or educational material. The Rule of Thirds, Essential Area, Framing, Speed of Motion, and Scale and Shape are all things that are important for a director to know before he/she can break the rules.

 

Thoughts on Film: Lighting

When it comes to artistic creativity on a film set, the lighting director or director of photography has the freedom and ability to create any scene from any time and place.  By creating and manipulating light, those who are proficient in the complex art of lighting can make the directors vision come to life on screen.

Following with the styles of film, expressive design and effect of lighting setup are typically described as realistmodernist, or postmodernist.

Realist lighting appears to come from actual light sources in a setting or location.  The goal is to create an illusion of reality and enhance how a scene should normally or naturally appear.

Modernist lighting has no real-life basis, which leaves the design director free to design a light setup that can be more abstract or more subjective to emotional criteria.  The goal is to achieve a specific emotional effect or abstract design through sequences and design that might not seem natural.

Postmodernist lighting usually mix a variety of styles that comes from many different genres.  This style often is used to evoke a strong emotional reaction from the audience, either by bombarding them with powerful sensations or to highlight extreme moments.

The book lists an example of postmodernist lighting in Batman Forever which was released when I was five years old.  I remember watching this movie many times, in awe of the lighting effects and stylized scenes.  I didn’t quite understand what postmodernist lighting meant until I read this example and was immediately reminded of the disorienting feeling I would get when I watched certain scenes.  The film is truly a blend of moments of realism and modernism, creating lighting that is unlike anything else.

Light can also be distinguished by the color temperature the light emits, which is measured in degrees of Kelvin.  Light sources have different color temperatures that give various amounts of color wavelengths (red, green and blue), which together make up white light and the visible spectrum that we can see.  Depending on the light source, there will be different hues of the white light we see which is why it is important to white balance before filming.

Light can also be classified by the way it is housed, which we refer to as lighting instruments. These instruments are further classified according to the directness or indirectness and hardness or softness of the light they emit.  Some examples of these instruments include spotlights, floodlights, portable lights and various types of lamps.

In order to understand lighting control in the studio or on location, the director of photography must be proficient in understanding how light is measured and translating that to using patch panels or dimmer boards in order to get the appropriate amount of lighting in each shot.

While learning about lighting and how to control it takes patience and practice, becoming an expert in this field can allow to endless amounts of creativity and ability to design new scenes and aesthetics for movies and television.