G ram m ar

o f th e F ilm La n g u a g e
Daniel Arijon

Silman-James Press Los Angeles

C opyright © 1976 by Daniel Arijon All rights reserved. No p art of this book m ay be used or rep ro d u ce d in any m anner w hatsoever w ithout w ritten perm ission from the publisher, except in the case o f brief quotations em b o d ied in critical articles and reviews.

First S ilm a n jam es Press Edition 10 9 8

Library o f C ongress Cataloging-in-Publication Data Ariion, Daniel G ram m ar of the film language / by D aniel Arijon p. cm. Includes index 1. C inem atography. 2. M otion pictures— Production and direction. I. Title TR850.A8 1991 778.5'3— dc20 91-28390

ISBN: 1-879505-07-X

Cover design by Heidi Frieder Printed in the U nited States of America

Silman-James Press
1181 A ngelo Drive Beverly Hills, CA 90210

CONTENTS
F IL M L A N G U A G E AS A SY STEM O F V ISU A L C O M M U N IC A T IO N Beginnings o f film language Types o f film m aker F orm s o f film expression Defining out aims 1

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T H E IM P O R T A N C E O F P A R A L L E L F IL M E D IT IN G Two basic types A ction and reaction Peak m om ents and the understanding How parallel editing is obtained A wider perspective

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3 D E F IN IN G T H E BASIC TO O LS Newsreel D ocum entary F iction film T hree types o f scene Elem ents o f film gram m ar The shot M ovem ent Distances Types o f editing Visual p u n ctuation Scene m atching O pposed glances C entre o f interest alternates

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13 14 14 15 15 15 16 17 18 19
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4 THE T R IA N G L E P R IN C IP L E Basic body positions Line of interest Im portance o f the heads Five basic variations o f the triangle principle Em phasis by com position Types o f visual em phasis Triangle principle: One person 5 D IA L O G U E B ETW EEN TW O PLA Y ER S Face to face N um ber contrast Perform ers side by side Players behind one an o th er W ord o f caution Cam era distance Cam era and actor height Subject lying side by side Telephone conversations Opposed diagonals T ranslucent density m asks Players reflected on m irrors 6 T H R E E -PL A Y E R D IA L O G U E R egular cases Irregular cases External/interna! reverse cam era positions Internal reverse cam era positions Parallel cam era positions Pivoting p oint Emphasizing the centre o f interest Partial em phasis Total em phasis A ‘north-south’ to ‘east-w est’ change Using only four cam era positions Introducing internal shots Eight cam era sites are em ployed A simple m ethod using three cam era sites Using a pivoting shot Deliberate om ission Summing up

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26 26 27 30 32 36 39 46 50 50 52 52 55 59 61 62 66 68 69 73 74 75 75 76 80 84 84 85 90 91 93 95 95 98 100 103 104 105 107

D IA L O G U E IN V O L V IN G F O U R O R M O R E PE R SO N S Simple cases 1 Using a com m on visual axis 2 U sing a right angle cam era site G roups arranged round a table Subdividing the g roup G eom etrical p atterns Several opposed sectors H andling large groups A perform er faces an audience A crosswise change o f the line o f interest C row d with m ain player a t centre A ctors as pivots E D IT IN G P A T T E R N S F O R ST A T IC D IA L O G U E SCEN ES A pproaching and receding patterns How a sequence begins Re-establishing shots Im p o rtan ce o f silent reactions Inserts a n d cut-aw ays N u m b er co n trast Parallel editing o f m aster shots Line o f in terest—changing sides Pause between dialogues T im e com pression Speeding dialogue tem po 9 T H E N A T U R E O F S C R E E N M O T IO N M o tio n b ro k en dow n C hanging view with m ovem ent U sing cut-aw ays N eu tral d irection P erform er indicates the change C o n trastin g m otions in the sam e h a lf screen C onditions o f the cut W here to cu t C utting on action 10 C U T T IN G A F T E R T H E M O V E M E N T 8

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109 109 110 111 112 116 118 121 124 124 127 129 130

135 136 136 137 138 138 149 149 152 152 156 159 160 162 163 164 164 164 172 175 175 176 378

11 M O T IO N IN S ID E T H E S C R E E N T urning U sing a com m on visual axis B rief sum m ary A personal preference 12 M O T IO N IN T O A N D O U T O F S H O T M ultiple fragm ents M o tio n in three fragm ents 13 P L A Y E R A M O V ES T O W A R D S P L A Y E R B C onverging m o tio n R ight angle cam era sites Reverse cam era angles Parallel cam era sites C om m on visual axis A w alks beyond B 14 U S IN G M A S T E R SH O TS T O C O V E R M O T IO N S ON THE SCREEN

188 189 213 245 248 249 249 250 261 261 262 266 268 268 274

276 289 290 293 294 298 298 299 301 322 339 340 340 343 345 346 348 349

15 IR R E G U L A R CASES Visual pause w ith larger groups T h e pause is om itted U sing reverse angles D ivergent m otions C o n stan t screen position for one player Both players m ove 16 P L A Y E R A M OVES A W A Y F R O M P L A Y E R B

17 P L A Y E R S M O V E T O G E T H E R In term itten t m o tio n 18 SO L V IN G D IF F IC U L T E D IT IN G S IT U A T IO N S M ovem ent betw een cam era and static subject M o tio n at the beginning o f the second shot M o tio n beyond the static players Using right angle cam era sites Both players m ove Hiding a m oving subject in the first shot

Using a strong foreground m otion Substitution o f the static subject Redirecting attention Using non-hum an m ovem ent Parting curtain effect 19 O T H E R TY PES O F M O T IO N C ircular m ovem ent Vertical m ovem ent D ynam ic stops 20 T W E N T Y BASIC R U LES FO R C A M E R A M OVEM ENT M ovem ent and the cam era Basic guidelines for cam era m ovem ent Solid dram atic m otivation 21 T H E P A N N IN G C A M E R A Scanning panoram ically C hase sequences In term ittent panning Full circle panning Fast panning In tw o directions Vertical tilts Side tilts Jointing a static and a panning shot Editing two consecutive panning shots A crobatic pans 22 T H E T R A V E L L IN G C A M E R A Interm itten t action covered by a continuous tracking Joining a static and a tracking shot In term ittent cam era tracking Using b o th sides o f the track W inding paths Panning while tracking C am era and perform ers move in opposite directions Single file form ations T racking speed

351 351 353 357 359 360 360 370 376

380 380 380 384 385 385 386 399 401 403 405 406 409 409 415 421 424 424 426 433 436 437 443 446 454 456

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Subject approaches tracking cam era E diting consecutive tracking shots Static shots intercut within a tracking m aster shot C ircular tracking ' T H E C A M E A R A C R A N E A N D T H E ZO O M LENS Follow ing action F oreground props stress height T o visually unite tw o o r m ore story points To inject m ovem ent into static situations T o single ou t a story point in a panoram ic m ovem ent T o provide strong m ovem ent for cutting on action Zoom ing Zoom ing speeds Zoom ing and panning com bined Tilt shots using zoom effects Cam era tracks as it zoom s Zoom ing through foreground obstacles 23 457 458 461 464

469 469 469 470 471 472 474 475 476 477 479 479 482

24 A C TIO N SCEN ES Standard form ulas The subjective point Qf view Five ways o f enhancing visual action Reaching a visual clim ax Breaking the clim atic action into several shots High speed and slow m otion fo r action sequences Follow focus technique 25 E D IT IN G IN T H E C A M E R A Pre-planning is required The pause between m ovem ents The change o f zone A pproaching o r receding from the cam era Changing the body position Substitution by sectors Switching screen sectors Num erical contrast Editing within the film fram e

483 484 486 492 495 497 500 501 502 502 503 503 508 514 516 523 533 538

26 M O V IN G F R O M Z O N E TO Z O N E G eneral principles A g ro u p m oving from zone to zone T he g ro u p expands Two fu rth er variants A player moves, the other rem ains stiil The group contracts Devices for zone change 27 C O M B IN E D T E C H N IQ U E S Shot by sh o t editing M erging the techniques Sum m ing up 28 F IL M P U N C T U A T IO N T ran sitio n s from scene to scene: fade o u t— fade in W hite-outs and colour fades Dissolve W ipe Iris Use o f d ark areas Titles Props Light change Q uestion and answ er A m ovem ent in the sam e direction S u b stitu tio n o f an object W ord repetition A deceptive visual m atch C u ttin g aro u n d a p ro p A sudden close up T ran sitio n by parallel editing Scene openers T he a c to r T he cam era In tro d u cin g points o f view A b ru p t ju m p cuts used as pu n ctu atio n Ju m p cuts as tim e transitions Selected peaks o f action In actio n as p u n ctu atio n

542 542 543 545 548 551 554 554 564 564 571 577 579 579 579 579 580 580 581 581 581 581 582 582 582 582 582 587 588 588 589 590 590 591 595 597 597 599

Single shots as pauses in n arratio n An entire sequence used as a narrative pause O ut o f focus im ages as p u nctuation D ark screen used as p u nctuation P unctuation by cam era m otion Vertical p u n ctu atio n F rozen fram e IN D E X

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FOREWORD TO THE PRESENT EDITION

T h e h ard co v er ed itio n o f th is b o o k has en jo y ed a successful life d u rin g th e p ast fifteen years u n d e r th e im print o f Focal Press. It sa w several rep rin ts in English a n d translations w e re p u b lish ed in J a p a n e s e , F rench, S erbo-C roate, a n d Spanish. I've h ad th e p le a su re o f see in g it u se d as a tex tb o o k in several film a n d te le ­ vision sch o o ls a ro u n d th e w orld. T h at kin d o f re cep tio n to my w o rk h as m a d e m y m o d est co n trib u tio n to th e u n d ersta n d in g of th e visual g ram m ar o f the m oving im age a w o rth w h ile effort. N ow , Silm an-Jam es P ress grants m y w ork an e x te n d e d life in this p a p e rb a c k edition. I h o p e th at th eir effort will benefit all th o se in tere ste d in p u rsu in g a ca ree r in th e com m unication w o n d e r o f this age: the m oving im age in all its diffuse variants— film, tap e, disk, a n d w h a te v e r m ay co m e in th e future. T h e tru e a n d te ste d rules o f visual la n g u ag e o u tlin e d in this b o o k will rem ain co n stan l for a lo n g tim e to com e. You can b e su re o f that. As I said in th e h ard co v er ed itio n , th e greatest m ovies o f o u r age are still u n m ad e. Let us try to b e th e o n es wrh o will m ak e them . T h ere is an e x p a n d in g a u d ie n c e all over th e w o rld w aitin g for th e s e stories. D aniel Arijon M ontevideo, U ruguay April, 1991

INTRODUCTION
There are so m any books on film m aking, th at one is tem pted to ask why there should be yet another. And why this o n e? The au th o r feels, and this conviction stem s from his own case histories, th at for the last tw enty years there has no t been, a book on the m arket th a t chronicles the developm ents in the narrative tech­ niques o f the cinem a in a practical way. A young person n o t lucky enough to be associated with good film m akers, usually seeks the inform ation he needs in books. He will find m any books th at discuss various theories ab o u t film, or contain criticism and interviews or essays. A highly com plicated endeavour such as film m aking, requires the effort o f m any specialists, som e o f w hom have w ritten good technical books. But one sector o f the subject has been neglected in recent years— which m ay be term ed the organizing o f images for their projection on a screen. Existing books on the subject are o utdated o r in­ com plete. A nd few o f them have any tangible practical inform a­ tion th a t the budding film m aker can assim ilate and apply in his ow n w ork. T he aim o f this book is to fill the gap th at has opened since those works were originally w ritten. The cinem a has evolved a t a w ondrous pace, especially in its narrative form s. W ith new lightw eight cam eras, p ortable recorders and o th er technical developm ents on the one hand, an d econom ic hire charges for good equipm ent, cheap raw stock an d processing on the other, the possibility o f m aking a professional full length low -budget film is alm ost within the reach o f everyone. I f the dream o f the form er generation was to w rite the great novel o f their time, the aim o f the younger generation seems to be the m aking o f very good films. To them , an d the m any other persons who are increasingly turning to film as a m edium o f expression, this b o o k is m ainly dedicated. It is designed to shorten the years o f apprenticeship and avoid the uncertain task o f collecting scraps

o f inform ation here and there and to assembie the basic rules o f film narration. Y ou will n o t find theories here, b u t facts, tested and proven over a long period by diverse film m akers all over the world, which can be readily applied to any film project you m ight be considering. W ork on this b o o k has taken up nearly twelve years alongside with my own career in film m aking. I hope that m y hum ble effort will also help anyone who, like the au th o r, began their career or is ab o u t to begin it in countries or areas where an in­ dustry th at absorbs new biood does no t exist. Age, n ationality o r background does not m atter. W hat is im ­ p o rta n t is th a t y o u have som ething to say th at can, and m ust, be expressed th ro ugh the film m edium in your ow n way an d in your own term s. T he greatesL m ovies o f o u r age are still unm ade. L et us try to be the ones who will m ake them . Daniel A rijon M ontevideo, U ruguay, 1975

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS
This b o o k would not have been possible w ithout the help o f CarriUon Films del Uruguay, where I found unlim ited support for my project, and where m oviolas and projectors were freely put at m y disposal over a num ber o f years. Luis Elbert and Nelson Pita located an d obtained m any o f the film prints used by the au th o r in his research. M anuel Martinez Carril o f Cinemateca Uruguaya also helped provide film prints for viewing and analysis expressly for this m anuscript. The late Jorge Calasso, M iss Elena Iuracevich, Raul Fernandez M on tans, and last b u t n o t least, M ilton Cea, m ade invaluable contributions and suggestions. To all o f them , my heartiest thanks. Daniel Arijon

This book is dedicated to Delmer Law rence Daves who ignited the spark and to H ector M ario R aim ondo Souto who propelled my efforts into reality

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FILM LANGUAGE AS A SYSTEM OF VISUAL COMMUNICATION
A cross the open d o o r o f m y office, I can see the editing equipm ent we have been using for several weeks in p utting together o u r last film. From my desk I can partially see the sm all screen o f the editing m achine. N ow it is only a white rectangular sp o t—lifeless, ju st a piece o f coated glass. O n a sudden im pulse I rise and w alk into th at room . I stop a t the d o o r and survey it in a way I have never done before. T he objects are fa m iliar^ -th e cans o f film, the bins full o f strips o f celluloid, the scissors, the splicing m achine. On sm all hooks hang num erous strips o f film, some o f only a few fram es length, o ther o f countless feet unreeling loosely into the bins. I select one o f the strips o f film a t ran d o m an d thread it into the m oviola. 1 pull som e switches a n d the strip o f film starts to move. O n the small screen suddenly an im age appears. W e are inside a church, large, m odern, ascetic. A girl, young and innocent, walks to w ard s us. W e follow her until an o th er figure appears on the screen. It is an actor dressed in a d ark spacesuit an d wearing a strange and b rilliant helm et. We only catch a glimpse o f the lone glass eye o n the projecting front o f his helm et and there the shot ends. T he small screen becom es blan k again with only a flickering light shining beneath the glass. W h a t I have seen is ju s t a fragm ent o f a pho to g rap h ed reality. A reality th at was carefully arranged an d rehearsed in front o f a m ovie cam era. A sim ilar process was registered on the other strips o f film. H ere, reality is broken dow n into little fram es and here in the cutting room I stand, thinking ab o u t this aspect o f my craft. T hose pieces o f film were selected by me, recorded on film by a photo g rap h er, im m ersed in chem icals in a lab o rato ry until the images were clearly visible and fixed on the celluloid base. And
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they are destined to be shadow s, ungraspable, ever-changing patterns o f light when projected on a screen in the m oviola, the cinema th eatre o r a m illion television sets across a nation. W hat had we been doing in th at room for the last few w eeks? We played w ith fragm ents o f recorded time, arranged shadow s and sounds to convey a story, pursued som e m om ents o f truth, tried to com m unicate som e feelings and reached for the clues th at would gran t those im ages the pow er to grasp the atten tio n and em otions o f a n audience th a t will always rem ain anonym ous to us. A nd how did we attem p t to do it? T he answers would be m ultiple an d all interdependent. But they rest on a com m on base, w hich is b oth solid an d yet shifting — the knowledge o f our craft. F ilm editing, m ontage, schnitt are the w ords used to describe it. A n d in its m ost simple sense they also define a simple o p eratio n : the jo in in g together o f tw o strips o f celluloid. T h a t is the final step in a long process. G o o d film editing starts with the writing o f th e script intended for representation in front o f a registering m echanism , the movie cam era. W here d o we learn the process? H ow has it evolved? W hat are its tangible rules? Beginnings o f film language Film language was born when film m akers becam e aw are o f the difference betw een the loose joining together o f sm all im ages in various states o f m otion, and the idea th a t these series o f images could be related to one another. They discovered th at when two different sym bols were com bined, they were transm itted into a new m eaning and provided a new way o f com m unicating a feeling, an idea, a fact— one plus one equalled three— as in other systems o f com m unication. T heorists began to experim ent. T here were no signposts to guide them tow ards the language they needed. M any o f the concepts evolved were so cerebral, so abstract, th a t they b o re no relation to reality. In spite o f all their m istakes, delusions an d false discoveries, those film m akers were a painstaking lot. If any value is to be found in their rules, it is th a t they are the p ro d u ct o f experim entation, an accum ulation o f solutions found by everyday practice o f the craft. T hose rules really w orked for them and their epoch. T he draw back was their lim ited use and the im possibility o f being transform ed into constant principles. Few film m akers have the ability to rationalize their creative m ental processes in the form o f w ritten, analytical theory.

All languages arc types o f accepted convention. A society agrees o r is taught to interpret some sym bols with uniform m eanings for everyone belonging to that group. Storytellers, men o f ideas, have first to learn the sym bols and the rules o f com bina­ tion, But these are always in a state o f flux. A rtists o r philosophers can influence the g ro u p by introducing new sym bols o r rules and discarding ancient ones. The cinem a is not alien to this process. T he history o f the progress o f the cinem a as a m edium o f visual com m unication, is directly related to the ability o f film language to grasp reality. But reality is an ever-changing concept, an everchanging form o f perception. Film editing is the reflex o f the sensitivity o f its user, o f his attunem ent to the current m oods of the m edium . Types o ffilm m aker T he difference between the creator and the artisan lies in the fact th a t the first has the courage to innovate, experim ent and invent. He is not afraid o f his m istakes and is therefore always advancing, w hereas the artisan uses the best pieces o f knowledge gained by the creators and avoids the experim entation stage, incorporating the new advances into his repertory only when they have been accepted by the mass. Both types o f film m aker are necessary to the craft. Films made between 1910 and 1940 were rich culture pods on which were tried different visual and audio experim ents in an industry producing an enorm ous o u tput o f films for popular consum ption, Perhaps this factor contributed m ost to the evolution o f film language. The steady work o f the artisans provided the m eans for the industry to function and then, as now, a healthy industry continued to give op p o rtu n ities to the creators to go on experim enting. A good film is n o t the product o f total im provisation, but the result o f knowledge, not only o f the life and the world that it portrays, b u t o f the techniques that render the ideas more ex­ pressive. Forms o ffilm expression All forms o f film language are artistically licit, except perhaps the use o f the m edium as an em pty play o f forms. The contem porary film goer registers a natural repugnance for the abstract and
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abstruse use o f film n arration. He seeks a representation o f reality, whether external, internal o r imagined, th at is less loaded with clues, charades and unintelligible symbols,, Film as a m edium has lim itations, you m ust understand its strong points and its shortcom ings. C onflict and m ovem ent are close to its soul. But peace, hope and great tru th s are all o f a static nature and can be bu t poorly served by the film m edium . T houghts and ideas, especially abstract ideas, cannot be expressed on film as clearly as by the w ritten w ord; they m ust be show n as acting upon the behaviour o f the characters, anim als o r things recorded by the cam era. Film portrays only the external result— the actions and reactions created by m otivations, thoughts or desires. R obert Flaherty rem arked once: ‘Y ou can’t say as much as you can in writing, but you can say w hat you say with great conviction.’ He was right.

Defining our aims The purpose o f the notes th a t follow is very simple, and perhaps very am bitious too. All the rules o f film gram m ar have been on the screen for a long time. They are used by film m akers as far ap a rt geographically and in style as K urosaw a in Japan, B ergm an in Sweden, Fellini in Italy and Ray in India. F or them , and countless others this common set o f rules is used to solve specific problem s presented by the visual n arration o f a story. This book sets out to record system atically the contem porary solutions to those specific problems. We are dealing with a craft th a t is constantly subject to change; the practices com piled here have proved to be stable for a very long time and hopefully they will continue to be for a long time yet. R ichard S. K ahlenberg, o f the A m erican Film Institute, has pointed out that never before has the aspiring film m aker had such a wide o pportunity o f learning his craft as today. Film s used to be made to be show n for a few weeks and then they were shelved. Now, thanks to TV they are replayed at o u r hom es, as by a nostalgic time m achine, enabling film buffs to see the w orks of past m asters. Television ‘cools' the images and technique can be readily appreciated. K ahlenberg pointed out th a t m any film m akers have learned their craft studying these old films. Peter Bogdanovich is a well know n exam ple o f th at approach.
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Like any w ritten w ork on a practical subject this is not, o f course, w ithout lim itations. Y ou will not learn film language by exam ple, o r by analyzing o ther people’s w ork only. N o t until the film is running through your fingers will you com plete your education. The knowledge o f others an d personal experience are bo th essential to acquire film sense. Sadly we can only ofTer the first h alf o f the job. W e hope it will encourage you to undertake the o th er half. In this context it is well to rem em ber the following com m ent, th at A nthony H arvey, a film editor and director, m ade in a n interview for the British m agazine Sight and S o u n d ': ‘M y greatest fear has always been th at o f becom ing too technical. Sitting at a m oviola day after day, year after year, one is in danger o f becom ing obsessed w ith the m echanics so th at they take over everything else. Y ou can lose the whole p o in t o f a scene th a t way. O f course, you have to know all the technical possibilities, b u t you need to know them so well th at they becom e second nature, not so th at you use them to d istort the m aterial y o u ’ve g o t.’ W ise film m akers stick to their visions. T h a t should be their prim e concern. The com plexity o f the inbetw een processes in­ volved in the tran slation o f a vision from the brain o f its au th o r to a strip o f celluloid, m ust not blind the creato r and d istract him from his own, personal, unique conception o f the them e th a t m otivated his desire to use film as his system o f com m unication.

1 Sight and Sound S pring 1966 Vol. 35 N o. 2. “ P utting the M agic in It" by R oger H udson.

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THE IMPORTANCE OF PARALLEL FILM EDITING

T he m ovie cam era, in spite o f its com plexities as an instrum ent an d th e specialized knowledge needed to operate it, m ust be for the film m ak er only a registering m echanism , such as the p en or the typew riter are to a w riter. T o handle a cam cra, only an efficient crew is needed. F a r m ore im p o rtan t to a film m aker is the ability to handle ideas and concepts. Once these ideas have m aterialized o n strips o f film they m ust be assem bled. F o r th a t he relies heavily on an editing principle: the altern atio n o f tw o o r m ore centres o f interest. This ‘parallel film editing’ is one o f the m ost frequently used form s o f film language. It serves to present clearly conflicting o r related story lines by m oving alternately from one centre o f interest to the other. The technique is so com m on th a t audiences take it for granted in every film. A film w hich avoids use o f the technique irritates the viewer even though if pressed to supply a reason for his discom fort he w ould n o t be able to give the right answer.

Two basic types To clarify w hat parallel film editing is, here is a n exam ple—a rough description o f the first sequence o f a well know n film. 1 Elio P etri’s film The Tenth Victim , begins with U rsula A ndress being pursued on a New Y ork street by a hunter (G eorge W ang). T he h u n ter is m om entarily detained by a policem an who checks the validity o f his ‘licence to kill’. 2 A m an seen in close up, begins to explain w hat the G reat H unt is. In the n o t so distant future citizens exercise ‘licences to kill* in governm ent sponsored duels to the death. 3 T he film retu rn s to U rsula A ndress being chased aro u n d the
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scenic sites o f New Y ork by the hunter, who keeps firing his gun, a n d misses every time. 4 A gain the unknow n m an is presented in close up, and gives m ore inform ation ab o u t the G re at H unt. 5 Miss A ndress teases the hunter to keep on firing, until he runs o u t o f bullets. 6 Once m ore the unknow n m an appears in close up and details the advantages o f succeeding, in ten consecutive chases, alternating as h u n ter and victim. 7 U rsula A ndress, followed at a short distance by her pursuer, steps o n a c a r’s hood, jum ps over a net fence and runs into the ‘M asoch C lu b ’. 8 H er pursuer arrives and, after a pause, also enters the club. H e moves in the futuristic interior, walking am ong the seated patrons. 9 A m aster o f cerem onies on the stage (the m an we had pre­ viously seen in close up explaining the m echanism o f the Great H unt) introduces a dancer. She emerges, wearing a m ask and a costum e o f blue and silver sequins, and starts to dance. 10 T he h u n ter sits dow n and watches her. 11 She moves am ong the club’s patrons who remove pieces o f her dress, until only two small garm ents rem ain. 12 T he h u n ter w atches her. Tw o types o f parallel film editing are to be found in the sequence described. Firstly, two different situations are alternately presented to the audience: the chase on the streets o f New Y ork, and the explanation o f w hat the G reat H unt is. Each story line develops separately, contributing m ore inform ation on each successive appearance. O n the external views o f the chase (the first story line) we becom e aw are th at som ething unusual is happening. Then we see how the victim is controlling the hunter at will. Later we see how she leads him to a site she has pre-selected (paragraphs I, 3, 5 and 7). The close ups o f the club’s m aster of cerem onies (the second story line) explain w hat the G reat Hunt is, then w hat its m echanism is, and later w hat are the advantages o f surviving in ten consecutive chases (paragraphs 2, 4 and 6): Second, two related situations in a com m on site are a ltern ated : the dancer, and the hunter. Once inside the club, the parallel film pattern changes, and
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concentrates on the relationship between the dancer (as shown in paragraphs 9 and i 1), who is really the victim in disguise, and the confused hunter (shown in paragraphs 8, 10 and 12). The task o f relating two story lines, o r two characters, o r two different events, o r a larger num ber o f story lines, characters and events, is assigned to parallel film editing. These types o f parallel editing could be defined as follows: 1 The lines o f interaction are close together, in the same space. 2 T he lines o f interaction are far apart, in different places, and only a com m on m otivation provides the link. The first type o f parallel film editing is exemplified by the con­ frontation o f the dancer and the hunter. A dialogue between two persons, where both are separately observed by the cam era, falls in the same category. The chase on the streets o f New Y ork alternating with the explanations o f the m aster o f cerem onies, exemplifies the second type o f parallel film editing. Their interrelation can be im m ediate (as in a race where two opponents are m oving tow ards a com m on goal), o r delayed to the end, such as in the example quoted, where the identity o f the m an who speaks (he is the m aster o f cerem onies) is carefully hidden from the audience a t the beginning o f the story. This m an is the link between both story lines. Interrelating two story lines in a parallel pattern gives them a m utual dependence, since the average film viewer has been conditioned to expect such a response from this com bination. C om parative behaviours can be presented on the screen with this m ethod. T he docum entary film form is very a p t to obtain rem arkable im age associations by the conscious editing o f several events in parallel patterns, i.e. various athletes in different sports prepare to com pete, the com petition begins and some o f the participants fail. By observing the sam e athletes in the three stages o f behaviour and seeing them alternately at each stage, a space-time relationship unique to the cinem a is obtained. Action and reaction When we are told a story we unconsciously w ant to know two things: what action is going on, and how the people involved are reacting to th at action. If the storyteller forgets to keep track o f those two things his

audience will be confused o r unsufficiently inform ed. If you were telling the story personally, your audience would ask you ab o u t the m issing facts, which you w ould then supply. But telling a story on the screen is an im personal act because you seldom see y o ur audience o r hear their reactions. T he film is already printed, the story inm utable an d if you forget som ething you can n o t stop the film and supply the m issing inform ation. M ost film takes contain action and reaction within the length o f the shot. W itness this exam ple w here two shots are used: Shot 1: a hunter m oves his rifle from side to side and fires. Shot 2: a flying bird is suddenly hit and falls. Shot 1 shows the h u n ter aim ing (an action) and then he fires (a reaction). Shot 2 shows the bird flying (an action) and its flight is suddenly interrupted (a reaction). B ut if we showed S hots 1 an d 2 w ithout grouping the actions an d reactions, o u r understanding o f w hat is going on w ould not be as effective as if we grouped them as follows:
(A ction)

S hot 1: the h unter m oves his rifle from side to side, aim ing off screen. Shot 2: a b ird is flying in the sky. ( Reaction ) Shot 1: the h unter fires his rifle. Shot 2: the bird is hit and falls. In this way we have grouped first the inform ative parts o f the shots, enabling us to show the outcom e m ore com prehensibly. T h at alternation o f shots: Shot 1— Shot 2—S hot 1—Shot 2, is know n as parallel film editing, and is only one o f its form s. In this exam ple we were dealing with two lines o f action, b u t the num ber o f lines involved m ight be increased for a different situation. This grouping o f action and reaction perm eates the whole structure o f a film : from the union o f two shots, to the ju x ta ­ position o f two or m ore sequences, an d to a greater extent the construction o f the whole story itself. P eak m om ents and the understanding The process o f m anipulating action ju st described forces a selec­ tivity process in w orking ou t a film story. Only the peak moments o f a story are shown on a screen, and all the events o r actions that
9

delay o r do n o t a d d new, significant m aterial, are deleted from the narrative. Selection o f p eak m om ents im plies the control o f tim e and m ovem ent. A n expert film m aker is always com pressing o r ex­ panding time an d yet he gives the illusion o f supplying us w ith the entire real time o f the event: m ovem ent m ay be fragm ented and controlled according to a dynam ic criterion. F ilm editing de­ m olishes the old d ram atic unities o f place an d time. The audience is m oved from here to there, from the present to the past, w ithout w arning. A nd the viewer accepts all this quite naturally. This process originates from w hen m an invented his first w ritten language. W ritten thoughts force the reader to analyze an d assim ilate each graphic sym bol individually to obtain m eaning, and th a t developed capacity for instant analysis and com parison differenciates us from prim itive m an, who lived in a tru e unity w ith his environm ent, always conscious o f the w hole and unable to conceive a n ab straction. T o properly understand the visual language o f film, the viewer needs to have passed through the experience o f learning a w ritten language m ade o f conventional signs particu lar to his com m unity. W ith this sam e ability he can assim ilate a conventional way o f linkage betw een the m oving images on a screen. A s long as a succession o f actions an d reactions is m aintained th e in terp retatio n o f th at visual language does no t dem and o f the viewer an und erstanding o f its physical construction. But for the film m aker this action-reaction pattern dictates all the form ulas fo r cam era placem ent an d sequence construction an d the needs o f editing. How parallel editing is obtained Parallel film editing to cover a story point, can be achieved using two app ro ach es: single shots o f sh ort duratio n an d /o r long m aster shots. If short single shots are used, the tw o o r m ore related actions involved are covered individually by using diverse and m ultiple cam era set ups. These shots are edited in such a way th a t they shift the view­ p o in t alternately from one action to the other, thus piecing together the whole event o r scene. E ach shot used, each piece o f
10

film, is a peak m om ent in the series o f actions and reactions that all story lines contain. W ith this m ethod, the whole event can be appreciated only when all the shots have been cut together. T hat is the main difference betw een the single shot and the m aster shot approach. As the nam e implies, a m aster shot is a single cam era position from which the event is recorded in its entirety. In practice two o r three cam era positions m ay be used sim ultaneously to provide several such m aster shots. If fragm ents o f those m aster shots are selected, and edited in parallel, the total event recorded can be recon­ structed using the best o r m ost significant segm ents o f each master take, presenting a fragm ented view sim ilar to the short single shot process. A good film m aker uses either m ethod. Both are quite dynam ic and offer definite pictorial advantages over a single shot recording o f a scene. A wider perspective Parallel editing covers greater possibilities in the interaction of tw o narrative lines. W here the degree o f knowledge shared between the characters o f th e story, o r between the film and its audience is variable th e alternatives can be seen as those in which: 1 Both story lines su pport each other, and the d ata th at both contribute (alternately) builds up the story. 2 In o n e line, the m ovem ent o r intention is kept the same, while on the o th er th e reactions to th at steady repetition are varied. 3 T he characters involved in b o th narrative lines are unaw are o f w hat the o th er group is doing, and only the audience has all the facts. 4 T he inform ation given in both narrative lines is incomplete, so th at the characters have all the facts, but the audience is purposely kept in the dark, to stim ulate its interest. W hich one o f these approaches is to be used m ust be decided by the story w riter and the film m aker concerned. B ut one fact rem ains, parallel film editing will always provide the best way of conveying the desired inform ation to the audience. T he two basic elements, action an d reaction, will help com plete the presentation.

11

3
DEFINING THE BASIC TOOLS

Films m ade with a cam era alm ost always tel! a story. Usually in these movies, real persons and objects are recorded on film and reproduced on the screen a t the sam e film cadence: 24 frames per second. But on som e occasions that procedure is altered and m anmade drawings, patterns, objects, anim als, and persons projected at 24 fram es per second, m ay have been recorded at speeds th at go up to hundreds o f frames per second, o r dow n to fram e by fram e phn(ography with variable time lapses between each exposure. In the first group, we can place the following film form s: newsreel docum entary, and fiction. In the second category we can include all the films th at require a radical change in recording techniques. This second category would cover: anim ated cartoons, anim ated puppets, time lapse photography o f objects, plants, anim als o r hum an beings. We are particularly concerned here with film techniques applicable to the first three.

Newsreel Newsreels attem p t to cover an unrepeatable act o r event. The film m aker has m inim al control over the incident he records. He is a spectator with a visual recording m echanism . In its crudest form this coverage produces a series o f disconnected shots th a t register portions o f the total event but when projected on the screen present
12

I

total chaos. M any things arc missing b u t a n arrato r can give some unity to the ensem ble. A m iddle stage is reached if these shots are bridged by others where spectators arc seen reacting. This creates a sort o f action-reaction relationship, which the audience accepts though still conscious th at they are seeing an incom plete occurrence. T he m ost com plete film record is o b tain ed by using one or m ore m o to r driven cam eras synchronized with a tape recorder registering all the events, interesting or dull, as in som e “ verite” films. But o n film, there is no such thing as the ideal cam era position to cover a situation fully and im partially. C am era operators have to choose their sites, heights, lenses, lights. All this leads to a com prom ise— an unavoidable selection. A nd even then, few people w ould cover a situation in exactly the sam e way, D ocumentary T he docum entary film form offers fu rth er variants. T o start with, m ost docum entary films deal not with one, bu t w ith a succession o f occurrences th at take place under a com m on m otivation. W hen presenting this m aterial o n the screen, changes are intro­ duced in the real order in which the situations occurred. M any m otives m ay be involved, such as the follow ing: a Several situations th a t respond to a com m on stim ulus are grouped into a sequence. As the n atu re o f the stim ulus is changed, the subjects are grouped in new sequences. Each individual subject was perhaps filmed reacting consecutively to the chain o f stim uli, bu t now his actions are fragm ented and p u t together in p atterns o f behaviour, thus disrupting the tem poral continuity to achieve an idea progression, b The linear recording o f an event is interrupted to introduce an explicative visual variant different in nature, i.e.: anim ated draw ings to show a process th at can n o t be photographed using the real elem ents, c T he series o f events are repeated in different pattern s o r order o f p resentation, to explore diverse approaches and solutions. T he list can be longer. B ut the fact rem ains th a t manipulation is necessary — facts have to be arranged to be show n at their best and an event is often repeated to be filmed several times. R epetition m eans staging. 13

We are m anipulating the occurrence, selecting w ith a technique th a t cloaks o u r tam pering with reality. T he result borders on the realm o f fiction. Fiction film M any o f the best docum entaries have profited from a dual a p ­ p roach th at blends unadulterated reality with carefully recom posed fiction. This statem ent leads us to the ultim ate film form — total fiction. H ere the events are also real, b u t can be repeated a t will as m any times as necessary, until the exact nuance o f behaviour or acting is captured on film from one, two o r several angles. Each situ atio n is carefully planned an d enacted for the benefit o f the cam eras. The end result strived fo r is an im itation o f reality. In fact, w hat we see is a richer version o f reality. T here is no t a single view point, b u t a plurality o f them , such as no hum an being is able to o b tain in real life. R econstructed reality is the m ost popular o f film form s. F ilm stories m ay be planned o r unplanned. The techniques to be discussed here m ostly concern the planned approach where events are selected, arran ged an d staged for a series o f related actions. U nplanned events m ust be treated in a way th at perm its them to blend with plan n ed scenes. Three types o f scene F ilm stories usually have a structure th a t progresses scene by scene from the statem ent o f a situation, through a developm ent o f the conflict, to a denoument th at closes the play. All scenes fall within these three categories: 1 dialogues w ith o ut action 2 dialogues w ith action 3 actions w ithout dialogue These are o f course simplified categories. A ctors m ay no t move while they talk, b u t the vehicle on which they are placed can, an d the cam era also can be in m otion. W hen actors m ove during their exchange o f dialogue the cam era can be fixed, o r m ove with them . A nd in the third instance the voice o f a n a rra to r o r the internal thoughts o f the characters m ay accom pany the pure m ovem ent fram ed on the screen. F urtherm ore, all three techniques can be used together within a single sequence. B ut this classification is essential to the study o f gram m atical rules. 14

Elements o ffilm grammar T o translate scenes from script to picture any rules m ust have a tw ofold effect: 1 W e m ust shoot film th a t can later be joined in continuity. 2 W e need solutions for the editorial problem s th at will arise in different situations. T o achieve this we m ust control two things: 1. T he distances from which we record the event. 2 T he m otions o f the subjects perform ing th at event. By selecting the distance, we control w hat the audience sees and th e num ber o f perform ers and objects shown in the different shots. Points o r m om ents o f em phasis in a story, can be governed by approaching o r m oving aw ay from our m ain subjects. W ith the second device, w ithout ham pering the free m ovem ent o f our perform ers we im pose a m easure o f control on the recording process o f th at m otion.

The shot N ow , let us define which are the gram m atical tools o f the film language. F irst o f all we have the shot. T he length o f the shot o r take is lim ited only by the am ount o f film th at can be exposed in the cam era w ithout reloading—say, four, ten o r thirty three m inutes. T he shot can be used in its entirety in an u ninterrupted flow, o r broken up into sm aller strips o f film to be intercut w ith other shots. A staged event can be shot repeatedly, in whole o r p a rt from the same or different positions. G enerally, when the scene does no t play too well the repeat shots are taken from the sam e position. Changes o f cam era position are used m ore conciously, to allow the film editor to cross-cut.

M ovem ent D uring a shot the cam era can rem ain fixed , or it can pan (sweep horizontally on its axis), o r it can tilt (pivoting either up or down) o r it can travel a t different speeds attached to a moving vehicle. It can record simple o r com plex events. It can move supporting the action th a t it records. It can do all th at from different distances. Those distances can be obtained either physically or optically.
15

r

Distances The gradation o f distances between the cam era and the recorded subject can be infinite. A ctual practice has taught th at there are five basic definable distances. They are know n as: close up, or big close up close shot, m edium shot, full shot, and long shot. However, these denom inations do not imply a fixed m easurable distance in each case. The term inology is quite elastic, and deals mainly with concepts. It is obvious th at the distance between cam era and subject is different between a dose shot o f a house and close shot o f a man. Figs. 3.1 to 3.5 illustrate the areas th at each cam era position covers.

T hrough actual practice it has been discovered th at the hum an figure has ‘cutting heights’ from which pleasing com positions can be obtained, w hether one o r m ore bodies are shown on the screen. These cutting heights are: under the arm pits, under the chest, under the waist, under the crotch, and under the knees. 16

FIGURE 3.3

Medium shot.

FiGURE 3.4

Full shot.

FIGURE 3.5

Long shot,

If a full shot o f the hum an figure is fram ed, the feet o f the subject m ust be included. C attin g above the ankles will n o t give a pleasant com position. Figure 3.6 illustrates the diverse cutting heights. Types o f editing T here are three m ain ways in which a scene can be edited: 1 A m aster shot registers the whole scene. T o avoid m onotony, there are several techniques for editing ‘w ithin the film, fram e or ‘in cam era’.’ 2 A m aster shot is inter-cut with o th er sh o rter takes. These other takes cover fragm ents o f the scene from a different distance or introduce subjects in an o th er place, and are intercut into the

m aster shot to provide em phasis on key passages o f the scene. 3 Two o r m ore m aster shots are blended together in parallel. O ur point o f view alternates fro m one m aster shot to the other. By using any o r all o f the three m ethods we can cover a sequence. A sequence envelopes a scene o r a series o f related scenes th at have a time and space continuity. U sually a sequence has a beginning, a m iddle and a conclusion. This conclusion ends either on a high point or a low point o r a iow m om ent o f intensity o f the story. Visual punctuation Sequences are jo in ed together by two types o f punctuation : 1 A straight cut. 2 A n optical. In a straight cut the transition is visually ab ru p t. T he several ways 18

o f achieving it will be discussed later on. In the case o f an optical, a fa d e out, fa d e in, dissolve o r wipe, can be em ployed to obtain a sm ooth visual transition. Scene matching In m atching scenes the following three requirem ents m ust be satisfied. It is necessary to m a tc h : 1 T he position. 2 T he m ovem ent. 3 The look. T he movie screen is a fixed area. If a perform er is shown on the left side o f the screen in a full shot, he m ust be o n th a t side if there is a cut to a close shot placed on the same visual axis. If this rule for m atching the position is no t respected, aw kw ard visual jum ps on the screen will result, so th at the audience has to switch atten tio n from one sector to an o th er to locate the m ain character

FIGURE 3.7 The central subject o l the scene should, in normal cases, be kept In the same frame position, as in the first example, when making a cut from one shot to another, *

19

f
whose adventures they are following. This is both annoying and distracting. The spectator m ust be given a com fortable eye scan o f the shots with a constant orientation th at allows him to co n ­ centrate on the story (Fig. 3.7). F o r this purpose the screen is usually divided in two o r three vertical parts, in which the m ain perform ers are placed. All position m atching is done in any o r all o f these areas. M atching the movement has a sim ilar logical base. D irection o f m ovement should be the sam e in two consecutive shots th at record the continuous m otion o f a perform er otherw ise the audience will be confused ab o u t the supposed direction o f m ovem ent (Fig. 3.8). RIGHT WRONG

FIGURE 3.8 Movement is of a sim ilar kind and in the same direction in the first example illustrated. The audience follows the motion of the subject easily. But if the dlfeciion of movement is suddenly reversed in the second shot, there will be con­ fusion as to where the subject is Qoinc.

M atching the look is the third requirem ent to be taken into account when assem bling shots where players ap p ear individually or in groups. M atched looks on the screen are always opposed. Two subjects who exchange looks, do so in conflicting directions, as shown in Fig. 3.9.
20

z z
FIGURE 3.9 tions. W hen two peopfe face each other, their glances are in opposed direc­

I f the actors are fram ed in separate shots, this o pposition in directions m ust be m aintained for a p ro p er visual continuity.

FIGURE 3,10 If both players are featured in separate shots, their glances should still be in opposed directions.

If b oth players were looking in the sam e direction in bo th shots, they w ould logically be looking at a th ird person o r object, and not at themselves, as dem onstrated in Fig. 3.11.

FIGURE 3.11 When both players look In the same direction, they are not looking at each other, but at something or at somebody else.

W ithout this opposition o f glances, scenes becom e weak and som etim es m eaningless.

Opposed glances Establishing and m aintaining a co n stan t opposition in the direc­ tion o f a look exchanged between two players, can be achieved

very simply. The only requisite is th at their heads face each other. T he physical distance betw een them is unim portant. I f a player moves to a position where he now has his back to his fellow player, the opposition o flo o k s is m aintained as he periodically glances at the other person over his shoulder, o r if after a m om ent, he turns to face his in terlo cutor again. In a group o f three, one o f them is the arb iter o f attention. W hen one o f the actors speaks, the other two look at him. As the interest shifts, one o f the players looks to the new centre o f attention, m aking an effective and clear change for the audience to follow. See Fig. 3.12.

FIGURE 3.12 Player 8 acts as the arbiter of attention, shifting the Interest from A to C . He achieves this change by moving his head from one pfayer to the other.

In the first exam ple in Fig. 3.12 attention is centred on player A, an d in the second illustration the interest is on perform er C. We m ust see the arb ite r o f attention, subject B in this case, m ove his head from one side to the other, to guide the audience in following the displacem ent o f the point o f interest from A to C. T his also happens if we fram e each player in separate shots. Interest in a scene can be destroyed by allow ing the players to
22

look a t the w rong places, in tw o o r m ore directions. W e m ust guide the audience, n o t confuse them (Fig. 3.13).

RIGHT

WRONG

FIGURE 3.13 In the first example tw o players concentrate on the person In the fore ground, who thus becomes the dominant one. In the second case. B looks In another direction, drawing away the attention of the audience, who are forced to choose and are unable to. Either player C is Im portant or something of! screen is really upstaging her. The audience cannot know.

Centre o f interest alternates W hen large groups have to be presented, two possibilities arise: 1 All players focus their atten tio n on a central character, changing in unison to a second centre o f atten tio n as the point of interest in the scene shifts. 2 Several groups are present in the scene. E ach g roup has two basic centres o f interest. A predom inant group is chosen. In the first case two subjects are the centre o f interest in the group. The atten tio n o f the audience (and th at o f the rem aining players on the screen) moves from one to the other, and back again. The silent perform ers are the arbiters o f attention. They look in unison at the actor holding the interest, an d shift their looks to the other perform er as the centre o f atten tio n is transferred. Sometim es a third centre o f interest is introduced to break the m onotony o f continually shifting betw een tw o points, especially in lengthy scenes from a single cam era position.
23

FIGURE 3,14 Me^e a large group Is seen throw ing attention first on to A and then on G. These two players are the centre of attention In the group, and the silent per­ formers decide with the direction of their glances, cast In unison, which of the two la dominant at any one time.

In the second situation stated above two approaches can be applied. In both the dom inant group is nearly always placed near the cam era. In the first approach we have two, three o r m ore static groups fram ed on the screen. T he one th at interests us is located n ear the cam era. T he o th er groups are in the background. All o f them present closed circles o f interest, being independent from each other. Logically, the group closest to us dem ands im m ediate attention, while we are ju st conscious o f the existence o f the others and would miss them only if suddenly rem oved. T o stress the foreground situation dram atically the other groups could at a certain m om ent b reak the closed circles o f attention and turn to look at the forw ard group.
24

FIGURE 3.15 W ith several groups of people rn the scene, the group closest to the camera is the dominant.

T he second ap p ro ach offers a variant: the foreground group rem ains static, b u t the subordinate groups in the background are given m ovem ent across the screen. Such can be the activity o f traffic in a street, o r o f dancers in a ballroom . These m ovem ents m ust be inconspicuous, o r they interfere with th e foreground action.

25

4
THE TRIANGLE PRINCIPLE

Basic body positions All dialogued scenes have two central players. These tw o dom inant players in a film scene can be deployed in a pair o f linear arrange­ m ents: a straight line com position, an d a right angle relation. F igure 4.1 illustrates the concept. W ithin those arrangem ents fo u r body rap p o rts can be assum ed d uring a conversation betw een the players. 1 T he acto rs face each other, 2 th e acto rs are placed side by side, 3 one player has his back to the other. 4 They are placed b ack to back. A hu m an b o d y can assum e one o f the follow ing positions: 1 lying dow n (either face up o r dow n o r lying on his side) 2 kneeling (either the torso straight up, o r sitting on the heels, o r b en t fo rw ard w ith the elbows on the ground) 3 sitting (from a squatting position to any height afforded by the instrum ent used to su p p o rt the body) 4 reclining (either backw ards on a supporting surface o r for­ w ards by using the elbows as support) 5 standing (either up o r leaning sideways using a han d for support) These body positions m ight be assum ed sim ultaneously by bo th players or different body attitudes could be chosen for each. In the later case various com binations are afforded: different linear com positions, body rap p o rts and body positions, provide in toto
26

FIGURE 4.1 Two players can be deployed In the linear arrangements depicted In these illustrations, either as straight line or a right angle.

a wide range o f visual presentations, for dram atically underlining the dialogue o f exchange between two static characters. It can be said th at betw een two talking partners a line o f interest flows. This line has a straight path. Line o f interest The line o f interest between tw o central players in a scene is based on the direction o f the looks exchanged between them . A line of interest can be observed fro m three extrem e positions, w ithout crossing to th e o th er side o f the line. These three extrem e positions 27

28

form a triangular figure with its base parallel to the line o f interest (Fig. 4.3).

FIGURE 4.3 Basic positions Into the triangular method of covering tw o players located on a common line of Interest.

C am era view points fo r m aster shots, are o n the angles o f this figure. T he m ain advantage is th at each perform er is fram ed o n the sam e side o f th e screen in each shot w ith player A on the left side and player B on th e right. Two trian g u lar cam era fo rm atio n s can be set, one on each side o f a line o f interest (Fig 4.5). But we ca n n o t successfully cut fro m a cam era position in one p attern to an o th er o n the o ther trian g u lar arrangem ent. I f we do th at, we will only confuse o u r audience, because using two cam era positions located o n different triangular form ations will n o t present a steady em placem ent o f the players on the same areas o f th e screen, as m entioned in the previous ch a p te r when discussing m atched shots. A cardinal rule fo r the trian g u lar cam era principle then, is to select one side o f th e line o f interest and stick to it. This is one o f the m ost respected rules in film language. It can be bro k en o f course. T he p ro p er way to d o th a t is discussed later.
29

FIGURE 4.4 Constant screen position for both players Is assured by using the triangle principle for camera coverage of a dialogued scene between two static players. Notice how the girl A is always on the left side of the screen In the three shots. The young man B also remains framed on his own side, the right sector of the screen.

Importance o f the heads W hen tw o perform ers are standing face to face, o r sitting facing each o ther, it is quite sim ple to draw the line o f interest flowing betw een them . B ut w hen the actors are lying dow n with their bodies parallel o r extended in opposite directions, it seems m ore
30

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s>J'< 3 .•y

*

2
FI SURE 4.S Two triangular formation® can be employed one on each *tde of the tine Interest. One of them has to be chosen, excluding the position on the other.

FIGURE 4.6 The two incompatible right angle positions relative to the line of

Interest, position 2 and position 5.

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difficult. Y et it is quite simple if we rem em ber only th at the central points o f two persons talking to each other are their heads. They attra ct o u r atten tio n im m ediately, regardless o f the posi­ tions o f the bodies, because the head is the source o f hum an speech and the eyes the m ost pow erful direction pointers th a t a hum an being has to a ttra c t o r direct interest. The positions o f the bodies therefore do not really count, it is the heads th at m atter. Even in situations where one actor has his back to the other, or they are back to back, a line o f interest passes between their heads. In all film scenes, the line o f interest m ust flow between the heads o f the two central perform ers. Five basic variations o f the triangle principle A straight line com position can be covered visually by using three different arrangem ents o f the triangular cam era principle, with the players in a right angle relation only tw o triangular figures can be applied for visual coverage o f the scene. Let us exam ine each one o f these fiv e variants separately.
r e v e r s e a n g l e s . The two sites on the base o f the triangular cam era locations (parallel to the line o f interest o f the scene), provide the three variations with which a linear disposition o f the players can be covered. The cam eras placed on those tw o viewpoints can be pivoted on their axis, obtaining three well differentiated positions. Each one o f those positions is applied in pairs. W e m ean by this th at bo th cam era angles on the base o f the geom etric figure assum e identical positioning in their relation to the players covered. In the first case, both cam era positions o n the base o f the ex ternal

FIGURE 4.7 External reverse angles. The cameras In the two positions parallel to the line of interest are directed Inward towards the players. Note that the symbol represents a human figure—the flat tid e Indicates the fro nt o l the figure.

32

triangle are behind the backs o f the two central players, angled in, close to th e line o f interest between the perform ers and covering them both.
in t e r n a l reverse a n g l e s . In the second variant, the cam eras are betw een the two players, pivoted outw ards from the triangular figure, and close to the line o f interest though not representing the view points o f the perform ers. In either case the ra p p o rt is n o t th at o f a head-on co nfrontation, though quite close to it in effect.

------FIGURE 4.8 Internal reverse angles. In this variant the two camera positions parallel to the Une of interest point outwards, covering each player individually.

W ith the cam eras back to back anyw here on the base o f the triangle the effect represents the subjective view point o f the player excluded from the shot.

FIGURE 4.9 Subjective camora angles. If the camera positions are back to back on the line of interest itself, they each become the subjective point of view of the player excluded from the shot.
p a r a l l e l p o s i t i o n s . W ith the th ird variant the cam era sites are o n the base o f the triangular figure close to the line o f interest, deployed with their visual axes in parallel, (Fig. 4.10) an d cover the perform ers individually.

33

FIGURE 4.10 Parallel camera positions. When both camera positions have their vi­ sual axes in parallel, they cover each player individually giving us a profile view.

T he three situations outlined above can be com bined to m ultiply the cam era placem ents. Fig. 4,11 shows how the com bination looks. Seven cam era view points contained within a trian g u lar figure. All positions can be com bined in pairs to cover both players, except for the internal and parallel sites th at cover each o f the subjects individually.

FIGURE4,11 Thethree basic variants outlined in the previous figures can be com bin­ ed into a major triangular deployment. Thus, varied and ample camera coverage is obtained tor two statfc players during their exchange of dialogue.

34

a n g l e p o s i t i o n s . W hen the a c t o r s are placed side by side in an ‘L’ form ation, the cam era viewpoints on the base o f the im aginary triangle acquire a right angle relationship,' close to the line o f interest passing between the players. In this case with the camera in front o f the perform ers. right

FIGURE 4,12 When the players are placed side by side In an L formation, a right angle camera relationship is assumed by ttie two sites located on the base of the triangular figure for camera placement.

T he same arrangem ent can be placed behind the players, with which a new v ariant for dialogue coverage is achieved, shown in Fig. 4.13.

FIGURE 4.13 but behind.

The right anole camera positions cannot orify be in froDt ot the actors, ,

35

com m o n v i s u a l a x i s . To cover only one o f the players i n a m aster shot while fram ing both players on the other, the cam era in one o f the two viewpoints on the triangle base, m ust be ad­ vanced on its visual axis. Advancing on either o f the tw o viewpoints (optically o r physi­ cally) we obtain a closer shot o f the selected perform er, thus em phasizing him over his partner. Fig. 4.14 shows the arrangem ent.

FIGURE 4.14 Advance on a camera common visual axis. To obtain coverage of a single player in ihe aroup. one of the cameras is moved forward on the visual axis line of either of the two positions on the base of the triangle.

The above m entioned five basic variations are used not only to cover static conversations o f a group o f players, but also the m ove­ m ent of those players on the screen. Emphasis by composition W hen two speaking perform ers face each other, the strongest cam era positions to record their dialogue, are located on the base o f the triangle, parallel to the line o f interest. Positions 1 and 3 o f the external reverse cam era arrangem ent, have two im m ediate advantages over the cam era site situated on the apex o f the tri­ angle. They give com position in depth, because from their view­ points, the actors are placed on two different planes: one close to the cam era and the other further back. The second advantage is that one o f the actors faces the cam era, getting our full attention, while the other has his back to us. In theatrical term s, the second actor has an open body position (face to the audience), while the first has a closed body position

(his back to the audience). T herefore the p erform er facing the cam era is the d o m inant one. O n the screen this is accentuated further by the distribution o f screen space in the com position o f the shot, as show n in Fig. 4.15.

FIGURE 4.15 Emphasis by com position on the two external raverse master shots can be achieved by olvlno tw o-thirds of the screen space to the player who faces the camera, and the remaining third to the one with his back to the camera.

O n norm al screen sizes (3 X 4 ratio) the ac to r who speaks is given tw o-thirds o f the screen space, while his in terlo cu to r has only one-third. If the latter is slightly o u t o f focus, the em phasis o n the speaking perform er will be strengthened. T he sccond position in the triangular arrangem ent is the weakest o f the three. I t view's the actors fro m the side (a half-open body position), an d pictures them on the sam e plane and with equal screen space. It is reserved fo r the opening o r closing o f a conversation sequence. It is also used to introduce a pause in the cutting rhythm o f the sequence o r to precede a change in editorial pattern. The one-third, tw o-thirds, space o f relationship ju st described w orks also wide screen fram es, as Fig. 4.16 shows.
37

m

FIGURE 4.16 The one-third—tw o-thirds space distribution principle is maintained for visual com positions on the wide screen.

B ut a dialogue betw een two persons seen in close shots on such a screen becom es too ja rrin g from a visual standpoint, due to the great volum es o f screen im age being shifted from take to take. A solution can be found however. The screen is divided in three equal p arts for com positional purposes. The player featured in each reverse sh o t is always p u t in the central sector o f the screen. T his m eans, th at player B is in the centre o f the screen from P osition 1, an d perform er A is in the m iddle o f the picture from Position 3. In Fig. 4.17 the pictorial com position in the fore­ ground rests heavily o n the left and on the right respectively. The rem aining th ird o f the screen space m ay be filled only by a background object o r busy detail to balance the foreground com position. Audience attention is thus focused on the centre o f the screen at all times, w ithout breaking the triangle principle for the place­ m ent o f the cam era. This visual solution can be used w ith a norm al
38

screen size com position too, bu t no t with such spectacular results as a large screen affords, especially in close and m edium shots. Types o f visual emphasis N ow th at the wide screen is in general use m any film m akers take advantage o f the long rectangular shape to practise adventurous com positional contrasts in their use o f w hat 1 have called external reverse shots. The player in the foreground blocks h a lf o f the screen with his body. Usually, he is sparsely illum inated, his figure totally in silhouette. T he acto r facing the cam era in the background is brilliantly lit, so th at the lighter areas shift from left to right, and back again, as each alternate reverse shot is used (Fig. 4.18). T he next recourse is to increase the area o f the screen given to the player in the foreground, who has his back to the audience and is m inim ally lit. M ost o f the screen space is allocated to this

FIGURE 4A7 By dividing the screen Into three eq In each master shot can be placed In the centre of trlanole principle for camera deployment. Thus at centre of the screen. ,

sectors, the dominant player e screen w ithout breaking the tlon Is always retained In the

39

FIGURE 4.18 ground.

A half area of the screen is blocked by the body o f She player in th e fo re g ro u n d, w hose back is m inim a lly lit, to em phasize the lig h te r fig u re in the back­

foreground player and a small sector o f the screen is left free for you to see the d o m in an t actor in the background (Fig, 4.19). The device is particularly em phatic, because o u r attention is centred on a small (usually upper, occasionally lower) area o f the screen. R ight and left top angles o f the screen are contrasted from shot to shot, as the two extreme external reverse cam era positions are edited in parallel. W hen an internal and an external reverse cam era position are com bined, some film m akers place the perform ers off-centre in b o th shots, close to one o f the lateral sides. The em pty tw o-thirds o f the screen are filled w ith colour, o r inert shapes th a t do not interfere with the players. Fig. 4.21 illustrates the concept. O n other occasions a dark area th at blocks the same tw o-thirds o f the screen in bo th shots is em ployed to obtain the sam e effect, as seen in Fig. 4.22.

»

A
i i

FIGURE 4.19 Here a very small upper area of the screen is used to frame the dom ­ inant player in each reverse master shot. FIGURE 4.20 In this example a smafl lower area o f the screen is used to compose the key figure in each of the reverse master shots.

I i
41

i i

I
FIGURE 4.21 A n in te rn a l reverse angle and an e xte rn a l reverse cam era p o s itio n use p icto ria l c o m p o s itio n s th a t co n ce n tra te th e players in th e sam e lateral area o f th e screen.

FIGURE 4.22 The ce ntre o f in te re s t in both m a ste r sh o ts is reta in e d on th e feft side o f the p icture . The re s t o f th e screen is darkened to stre ss th e key, w e ll-lit area. D ire c to r S idney J .F u rle uses m any c o m p o s itio n s o f th is type In his Aim s, espe cia lly in The fpcress Fiie, The Apaloosa and The Naked Runner

,

i

42

This technique is also extended to internal reverse camera positions. These cam era sites cover each o f the two central figures individually. B oth players occupy the same screen area in each reverse shots. T w o-thirds o f the screen in both pictorial com positions are kept empty (Fig. 4.23). I I

I I I
FIGURE 4.23 Two Internal reverse shots are used for this example, and the same area o f the screen Is employed to frame the players. Note the opposed glances that relate the players to one another visually.

The usual ra p p o rt fo r two internal reverse shots is to fill two thirds o f the screen area with the figure o f the player featured in the shot, leaving the third area in fro n t o f him free, so th at the com position has b reathing space in front. (Fig. 4.24). J. G . Albicocco in the film L e R at D'Amerique used the wide screen to com pose unusual pairs o f external reverse shots. Fig. 4.25 shows how he fram ed the players on opposed sides o f the screen from shot to shot. He applied the same com positional concept to the juxtaposition o f internal reverse shots, as depicted in Fig. 4.26. 43

FIGURE 4.24 Tw o-thirds o f the screen area are used in each master s h o tto compose the lone player, ieaving 'air' In front of him to achieve a pleasing pictorial com posi­ tion. FIGURE 4.25 Bizarre way of framing two players for a pair of reverse master shots. Its shock effect can often heJp to oblafn an alienated mood in the scene.
J

!

FIGURE *.26 Here, (ha player's face Is placed close to one side of the screen frame, leaving half the screen empty behind, This unusual way of com posing tw o related internal reverse master shots brlnos a special visual enhancement to the scene.

T hose types o f com position quickly grasp atten tio n and tend to d istract fro m the m ood o f the scene. A nd yet, to certain types o f situations such as intim ate love scenes, they bring a strange im ­ balance th a t can enhance the situation. E xternal reverse angles

FIGURE 4.27 Hera, both external reverse camera positions are directly behind the players, on the line o f Interest Itself. Only high angles permit this alignment.

45

FIGURE 4.28 From (he three points o f the triangular camera placement figure stem axis tines on w hich the camera can be placed at any distance to cover the two central players In a scene.

from different heights located on the line o f interest itself can be applied if you p u t one player low in the fram e an d the o ther in the u p p er half. Y o u can interchange their locations on the screen in the reverse shot (Fig. 4.27). These principles d o n o t apply only to close ups. F ro m the three p o in ts o f the trian g u lar figure, stem axis lines on which the cam era can be placed to o b tain close ups, close shots, m edium shots and full shots (Fig, 4.28). W e will now see this principle applied to dialogue scenes in­ volving tw o o r m ore persons. E ach cam era position in the tri­ ang u lar layout will b e used to produce a m aster shot. T he scene will be covered in full fro m each set-up a n d from a t least two cam era viewpoints. T he intention is to edit these m aster shots to give full visual coverage. Before going on to these form ulas let us exam ine how the triangle principle applies to the coverage o f a single player. Triangle principle: One person In a film, as in life, one person can m onologue o r dialogue with himself. But in a film the internal thoughts can be m ade audible. 46

T he device is used in literature, theatre, and radio transm itted to the present, past, or future tense. But with film the capturing of ou r inner self is most direct, w hether the internal o r external voice o f the player speaks, o r w hether they conduct a dialogue with one another. W hen the internal voice is heard, the perform er has his lips closed. He m ay react facially bu t there is no lip syn­ ch ro n ization.T hcinternalvoice can be replaced by the rem em bered or im agined voices o f the protagonist. At all times tire direction o f his gaze dom inates the visual presentation o f the lone player. A line o f interest extends between his eyes and the object gazed upon. Once this line o f interest has been established, the triangular cam era placem ent principle can be applied. Even if we are no t shown the object he is looking at, or he stares into space. T he subject need no t rem ain static—-he can write, paint, or be engaged in a m anual activity, all w ithout moving from a fixed place. T he direction o f his gaze becom es our line o f interest, even when his head is turned sideways (Fig. 4,29). If the lone player is looking straight ahead, o u r line o f interest runs north-south to his body, W ith his head on one side, it extends along an east-west axis. If the player looks straight ahead, an east-west axis cannot be used to position the cam era. T he sense o f direction is broken if either reverse shot is used consecutively. Exam ine Fig. 4,30,

W R ON G

FIGURE 4.30 When the lone figure is looking straight ahead (north-south) the tri­ angular camera placements cannot be in an east-west direction. The external reverse angles will present conflictino directions of gaze, which is incorrect.

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Likewise, if the cam era is on a n o rth -so u th axis when o u r lone player is looking sideways it will no t work. The direction o f his gaze m ust be adhered to as the line o f interest, with the triangular cam era deploym ent set parallel.

FIGURE 4.31 When the tone pfayer turns his head in a half circJe this Is covered by east-west camera positton. W ith a rig h t angle turn a north-south camera placement will suffice.

T he direction o f the line o f interest will shift w hen the lone player m oves his head from one side to the o th er an d tw o coverages are possible: 1 2 a h ead tu rn o f alm ost 180° is covered by the cam era using an east-w est a x is : a head tu rn o f 90° is covered by the cam era using a n o rth -so u th axis.

Fig. 4.31 illustrates b o th cases, for which the trian g u lar cam era coverage m ust be shifted.

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DIALOGUE BETWEEN TWO PLAYERS

Visual form ulae to cover dialogue are few in num ber— though v ariations can be achieved through dress, background, lighting, etc. T h e two strong cam era positions parallel to the line o f interest are those from which m aster shots are m ade to cover the static dialogue. T he scene is first covered partially or in full from one cam era position, an d then repeated from the o th er to be edited in parallel later. W orking from the two dom inant cam era positions, the following analysis uses as a basis the five trian g u lar variations for cam era deploym ent exam ined in the preceding chapter.

Face to fa ce T he m ost sim ple ap p ro ach w ith face to face dialogue is to use a set o f external reverse angles. W ith the perform er appearing in foreground (with his back to us) in external reverse shots the tip o f the nose should not extend beyond the line o f his cheek—we do n o t see his nose a t all from such a n angle. T he one third/tw oth ird s screen space distribution is basic, although the variants already discussed in the exam ination o f the triangle principle can be used if desired. Fig. 5.1 shows the classic arrangem ent, which is the one more widely favoured by film m akers all over the world. An internal reverse angle can be com bined with an external reverse cam era position. T he perform er singled ou t is the more prom inent. Two solutions are available (Fig. 5.2).
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FIGURE 5.1 Dialogue between two players. This is the m ost common framing for external reverse master shots of two players who face one another,

FIGURE 5.2 Two com binations of an external reverse angle and an Internal camera positron are possible. *

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T he next possibility is to cover b o th subjects individually by using internal reverse shots. Only one o f the actors is shown in each m aster shot (Fig. 5.3).

o

FIGURE 5.3

Two Internal reverse master shots cover the players Individually.

2 ,

Number contrast The com bination o f an external reverse and an internal reverse position creates number contrast o n the screen. External reverse shots include both players, while internal reverse shots feature only one actor. T hus we have the following three positions: 2 perform ers to 2—b o th m aster shots are external reverse cam era positio n ; 2 perform ers to 1— one m aster shot is external, and the other is internal; 1 perform er to 1— bo th m aster shots are internal reverse angles. Performers side by side Two players placed side-by-side on a linear arrangem ent, have a com m on sense o f direction—b o th look forw ard. Yet, this is not the direction o f our line o f interest—th a t runs across the heads o f the perform ers— the direction o f their gaze w hen they look a t each other, and o f psychological ra p p o rt betw een them . Even if they do not look at each other at all during the whole scene, if they are in a w ithdraw n m ood, their heads lowered, eyes shut perhaps,
52

with their voices occasionally breaking a long silence—even then, it is no deterrent to the subjacent link betw een them . One possibility is w ith external reverse angles (Fig. 5.4).

FIGURE 5.4 External shots applied to a linear arrangement fo r the actors, where both are looking in the same direction.

A n o th er m ight em ploy internal reverse angles as seen in Fig. 5.5.

FIGURE 5.5 Internal reverse shots applied to a coupfe of performers sitting on the front seat of a car,

A third possibility is the use o f parallel cam era positions for a frontal coverage as Fig. 5.6 shows. W hen tw o persons are show n in the fro n t seat o f a vehicle m oving along a road, those three side-by-side coverage form ulae find an im m ediate and natural application.
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Several varian ts can be obtained with side-by-side positions where b o th players a d o p t a right angle body rap p o rt. T he first is the m ost simple, see Fig. 5.7.

n

FIGURE 5.7 formation.

Right angle camera arrangement to cover two actors who assume an L

T he next variant is achieved by advancing along one o f the cam era axes, so th at only one o f the players is featured. Two solutions are available, seen in Fig. 5.8. In the foregoing exam ples, the players’ bodies face the inside of the angle form ed by their figures. Positioned to face outw ards, the three previous solutions w ould ap p e ar as in Fig. 5.9. In all these right angle, side-by-side exam ples, the players are covered from the front. A re ar cam era coverage is also possible. Fig. 5.10 shows three approaches.
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FIGURE 5.8 Two possibilities for an advancement along one of the camera axes; a close shot of one of the players is obtained.

Players behind one another This situation occurs only in very special circum stances: two persons ride the same horse, o r bicycle, a m otor scooter o r a canoe, and they are conversing from th at forced position. The person in front usually tu rn s his head to look a t the o th er from the corner of his eye. The m ost used cinem atic variations, em ployed to record dialogues in such sccnes, are the external triangular cam era deploym ent and the parallel cam era positioning. The situations covered involve the use o f a moving vehicle. This com plicates the scene because we m ust theoretically put the camera on an o th er vehicle m oving a t the same speed. Establishing shots (the num ber 2 position in the apex o f the triangle principle) are usually from a m oving cam era platform . But closer shots o f the perform ers riding in the m oving vehicle, are m ore difficult to
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FIGURE 5.9 The players look outside their angular formation. The three approaches shown all have a rioht angle relationship.

obtain with precision and safety for those involved. So, for close shots a t speed a static vehicle is filmed in the studio, with either back projection o r travelling m atte, to provide a m oving back­ ground. Some obstructions rotated in front o f the actors com plete the illusion. By resorting to this visual sleight o f hand, the shots are obtained u n d er controlled conditions. The vehicle is placed upon a base th a t can be ro tated in fro n t o f the projection screen or blue-backing em ployed for travelling m atte, so th a t by pointing the players tow ards o r aw ay from the cam era, Positions 1 and 3 of the triangle cam era coverage can be achieved. Positions 1 an d 3 as seen in Fig. 5.11 cover external reverse positions.

FIGURE 5.11

External earners coverage for (wo players aligned one behind the other.

The second ap p ro ach is a parallel cam era coverage. Positions 1 and 3 individually cover each one o f the players, while Position 2 fram es both players on the screen (Fig. 5.12). An advance on a com m on visual axis can be applied by using positions 1 and 2 o r 3 and 2 o f the parallel cam era arrangem ent. By cutting from shot to shot, not only is there num ber contrast, but one o f the players is em phasized as well. On other occasions this type o f dialogued scene is covered in a single shot from a single cam era position, and this position is usually the num ber 2 (apex) in the triangular cam era arrangem ent.
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FIGURE 5.12 the other.

A parallel camera deployment lo cover two player* placed one behind

Word o f caution When filming individual shots o f two or m ore players, m istakes may occur. W hen the cam era is repositioned on the set, an d lens and lights changed and adjusted, frequently the direction in which the player was looking is forgotten, especially if the new shot is a head-on close shot. A n acto r who was previously looking to the left, m ay now unconciously deliver his lines looking to the right, thus ruining the sequence. W hen m aking individual shots o f a player engaged in con­ versation, it is a good idea to keep the second actor in his form er place, b u t o u t o f cam era range, for tw o reasons: 1 it will ensure th at the cam era is n o t placed on the other side of the line o f in te re st; 2 the acting o f the player on cam era will be m ore natural, since he has som eone to whom his lines can be delivered, instead o f addressing them into em pty space. If for any reason, the second player is n o t available when the single shots are recorded on film, a reference point beside the cam era hood (sun-shade) m ust be given to the perform er. Either a technician stands there substituting the m issing player, or an object is selected for th at purpose. Some technicians prefer to put their clenched fist against the hood as a reference point. Fig. 5.13 shows the situation.
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FIGURE 3.13 The om itted player Is kept out o f camera ranfle to ensure proper placement of the camera position. The actor o r substitute 6 Is positioned out o f shot to provide the correct reference point for actress A whose attention Is supposed to be fixed on a definite object or person who might have been seen In the previous shot.

Perform ers m ust avoid looking into the cam era lens. It violates the direction o f the line o f interest a n d the audience feels th at the player is looking at them directly and no t at the o th er players. In a fiction film players m ay look into the cam era lens only for a special purpose. 1 T he perform er m onologues w ith the audience, as Laurcnce Olivier did in his film Richard III. It is a recourse derived from the theatre, where players break the flow o f the scene an d address the audience to give their own personal view o f the events. I t is an accepted convention b u t can destroy the flow o f a staged event. 2 A m ore legitim ate use is w hen the player addresses the audience as a radio o r TV announcer. In the first case, the player relates directly with the audience. We suddenly becom e participants and n o t spectators o f a staged story. It shocks o u r feeling o f security in the darkness o f the m ovie theatre, while in the second instance the p erform er relates with an other player (show n or no t in the preceding o r follow ing shots).
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T h at is why in the second case the audience accepts the actor looking straight into the cam era lens as m ore natural. These scenes m u st be used sparingly, and w ith strong dram atic m otivating. The player need n o t continually look into the cam era lens, H e m ay look elsewhere, with a detached gaze no t particularly fixed o n a given p oint, an d suddenly tu rn to the cam era a n d look in to it as he delivers the im p o rtan t lines o f his m onologue, thus stressing th a t passage. Camera distance L ooking back a t the exam ples given for the coverage o f con­ versations betw een tw o players in a film scene, we notice three lim itations: 1 All the takes were close shots; 2 T he two players had the sam e body level; 3 T he cam era had the sam e level in b o th shots. F u rth er variatio n s are available. The three points o f the triangle principle generate axis lines on which the cam era can be m oved. D ifferent cam era distances can em phasize a dialogue visually, and afford a livelier presentation o f the scene. In an exam ple involving external reverse angles, P osition 3 can be a m edium shot, while Position I is a close shot. Fig, 5.14 illustrates such a case.

FIGURE 5.14 Different camera to subject distances on a sat of external reverse camera positions.

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Likewise, when covering tw o actors placed wide a p a rt, this difference in distances is useful to concentrate atten tio n on the m ost im p o rtan t o f the two. Let us say for exam ple, th at in a bare prison cel! a lawyer questions a prisoner, and the lawyer dom inates the scene. His questions a n d th e way he w aits for the answ ers are vital to the story, b u t th e prisoner’s attitu d e is passively uncooperative. C hanges o f cam era to subject distance w ould stress this situa­ tion by alloting a close shot to the lawyer, a n d a full shot to the prisoner (Fig. 5.15).

FIGURE 5.15 Different camera to subject distances on a set of internet reverse camera positions.

These distances should be exploited in pairs. N o m ore th a n four different distances (two pairs) are needed to obtain good results. F o r exam ple, h a lf the dialogue scene can be covered with a m edium shot from P osition 1, a n d a close shot from Position 3. T he o th er h alf o f the scene is then covered with a close shot from P osition 1, and a m edium sh o t from P osition 3. By reversing the play o f distances in the second p a ir o f m aster shots, an effective and sim ple th o u g h dynam ic presen tatio n is obtained. Camera and actor height C am era height influences presentation. In conversation, the lens is usually a t the same height as the actors, sitting o r standing.
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I f an acto r stands and the other is sitting, the cam era height can vary for the reverse shot (Fig. 5.17).

FIGURE 5.17 Suitable heights must be selected for each camera position to ac­ commodate the differing heights of the players themselves.

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The previous examples used external reverse angles. If internal reverse positions are used to cover the sam e situation (one actor stands, the other sits) for single shots o f each player the cam era is alternately high and low, as if seeing the scene from each player’s view point (Fig. 5.18),

FIGURE 5.18

D ifferent camera heioht* are applied to a pair of Internal reverie ahot*.

I f the cam era tilt is to o acute the effect will be unreal, since we norm ally do n o t look at o th er people from such extrem e low or high viewpoints. Such angles should be reserved as shockers to stress im portant story points o r special events. O n o ther occasions when both players are standing, we can obtain a contrast in heights by merely placing the cam era low in bo th external reverse m aster shots (Fig. 5.19). One player can be stressed with a different cam era height on the external reverse shot coverage o f two players who are standing up (Fig. 5.20). A line o f interest is no t necessarily horizontal. W hen one player lies flat while the o th er stands o r kneels, an d using the triangular cam era disposition, Positions 1 a n d 3 (those close to the line o f interest) are near the heads o f the perform ers, an d therefore have different heights. A vertical line o f interest is also possible (Fig. 5.21). The head o f each player is covered by vertical cam era positions shown in the diagram . 64

FIGURE 5.19

W hen both camera positions are low they create an interplay of h e ifih tt

b etw een th e players.

FIGURE 5.20 This com bination o f a high and a low camera position serves to throw emphasis on to one of the players.

If the line o f interest runs horizontally, obliquely o r vertically, the triangle principle for cam era coverage can be ad ap ted to it.
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FIGURE 5,21

A vertical line of interest Is covered by a triangular camera deployment.

Subjects lying side by side Tw o players lying on the ground, face to face, o r bo th o n their backs, can be covered by a right angle placem ent to feature each acto r alternately on the screen. T he cam era is level w ith the actors on the ground, or fram ing the players from above, either from a slanted angle or from a vertical p osition (Fig. 5.22). The players heads are kept in the sam e sectors o f the screen. There is, perhaps, an altern atio n in heights within the screen. Fig, 5,22 shows (in the illu stration corresponding to Position 1 o f the cam era) the head o f the m an on the left placed iow on the screen, while cam era P osition 2 his head is high on the left. T he same happens to the w om an on the right, w ho w ithout abandoning her area o f the fram e, shifts up and dow n from shot to shot. The higher position in each shot is occupied by the dom inant player. W ith one cam era placed low er th an the p erfo rm er’s position, there is a reverse play o f m aster shots. F o r this purpose the players m ust be placed in such a way th a t the cam era has full scope for changing position above o r below the Ievei o f the artists where the ground
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FIGURE 5.22 by side.

A right ancle camera deployment used to cover (wo players lying side

slopes aw ay sharply below and in fro n t o f them . In a studio set up this is quite easily arranged, but even on location if the shot is vital the perform ers can lie on a platform or over a hole dug in the ground so th at the cam era can be placed com fortably below their level fo r one o f the reverse shots, especially if an im m ovable background object is to be included (Fig. 5.23). M any film m akers prefer to shoot such establishing shots on location with surroundings and closer shots under studio co n ­ ditions subject, o f course, to budget.
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RGURE 5.23 A n external reverse camera set-up to cover two players lying side by side: a platform may be used to aid the shooting o f one by a Jow level shot.

Telephone conversations Tw o players talking to each o ther on the phone, are seen in single takes, an d edited alternately to cover the length o f their conversa­ tion. But to obtain the feeling o f a norm al conversation the actors should look in opposite directions especially with split screen sequences. F o r the perform ers are filmed separately and com bined in printing with m attes (Fig. 5.24).
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FIGURE 5.24 Opposed glances are usually maintained between shots o f Iw o people talking on the phone.

Opposed diagonals W hen people talk to each o th er they do n o t necessarily keep th eir bodies erect. Som etim es the head is unconsciously tilted to a side to express a m ood o f ease o r intim acy—a n o p p o rtu n ity fo r interplay o f opposed diagonals in com posing close shots (Fig. 5.25). This can b e achieved with any one o f th e trian g u lar cam era set­ ups already discussed. W ide screen com positions can also benefit from this treatm en t. Fig. 5.26 gives an exam ple. People have p artic u la r ways o f standing w hen facing each o th er and in a conversation. T heir bodies are seldom perfectly aligned. Standing a little to one side o f the o th er is psychologically a m ore com fortable position. So, from the tw o external reverse cam era positions the players m ay be aligned o r there m ight be a small o r large lateral gap betw een them . I f the players are perfectly aligned the reverse cam era positions m ust be close to the axis line form ed by th eir line o f interest, n o t parallel to the line itself which w ould give a m uddled view o f the d o m in an t player. A good result will register a diagonal com posi­ tion o f b o th bodies on the screen. T he tip o f the nearby a c to r’s nose
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FIGURE 5.25 A n Interplay of opposed diaaonats in the com position of the shots can be obtained with any one of the triangular camera set-ups.

FIGURE 5.26 W ide screen com positions can also benefit from diagonal pictorial arrangements.

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should rem ain within the profile. W hen one sm all lateral gap exists between b oth players, the external reverse cam era positions assume th e relationship shown in Fig. 5.27.

FIGURE 5.27

External reverse angles featuring a small gap In the alignment of the

players.

In one o f the shots the diagonal com position is m aintained, bu t in the o th er the cam era shoots over the shoulder o f the player with his back to the cam era. If the lateral gap between them is w ider (such cases occur when an object o r piece o f fu rniture is placed between the players), the external reverse cam era positions assum e a right angle relationship as seen in Fig. 5.28.

m
Vi

3

FIGURE 5.28 players.

Right angle camera deployments applied to a wide gap between the '

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FIGURE 5,29 Three example# where the positioning o f the actor’s bodies or their direction of travel appears to violate the triangular camera placement principle. Yet all these examples are correct because they adhere to the line of Interest.

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O ften, the op p osition o f an internal an d external reverse shot violates the sense o f direction o f one o f the players portrayed. N evertheless their use is correct, since the line o f interest is always d o m in an t (Fig. 5.29). In these cases the cam era rem ains on the sam e side o f the line of interest. It is the direction in w hich the bodies p o in t fro m shot to shot th a t m akes it ap p e ar as a blunt reverse. In the first exam ple for instance, the legs o f one player extend to the left on the external reverse shot, a n d to the rig h t on the internal reverse. B ut bodies do n o t count, only the line o f interest flowing betw een b o th heads m atters, an d all these exam ples adhere to this rule. If b o th reverse takes are tracking shots, such as in the third exam ple, the directions o f travel ap p e ar opposed on the screen. Translucent density m asks T he Jap anese d irec to r K ihachi O k am o to in his film A nkokugai no Taiketsu (The L ast Gunfight), starring T oshiro M ifune, successfully em ployed this d arin g technique. T he process is no t new. D irectors o f p h o to g rap h y have repeatedly em ployed filters th a t fade g ra d u ­ ally from d ark to clear, using them to m ask out clear skies as seen in ex terior long shots to give them a night effect. In co lo u r films som etim es a blue, green o r red filter o f th a t type is used for the same purpose. B ut the m asks used by K ihachi O k am o to and p h o to g rap h er K azuo Y am ad a o n A gfacolor film and T ohoscope screen size, were translucent density m asks o f a consistent shade, with a definite edge to them th at p h o to g rap h ed in a b iu rr due to the o u t o f focus position o f the m ask. These m asks were placed obliquely on th e screen and seldom placed vertically o r h o rizo n t­ ally, they were used singly o r in pairs. T he success o f the technique was based on the wise criterion w ith w hich it was applied. Basically they were used to en h an ce som bre com positions in gun fight scenes. T h e d irector seldom used these m asks on scenes shot under broad daylight o r w here the lighting was bright. H e k ept m asks o f different sizes, changing from place to place o n the screen as sh o t followed shot, w ithout diverting from the usual p attern s o f m aster shot editing. The m asks were changed on an o pposition principle sim ilar to those p o rtra y ed in Figs. 5.25 and 5.26. In several instances he kept the sam e m ask for tw o shots in a row, before shifting to an o th er m ask position. U nm asked shots were intercut into the sequence along with the m asked shots. H e
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FIGURE 5.30 In a mirror,

A simple case of a reverse shot where one of the players Is reflected

even panned the cam era keeping the m ask on, a n d did forw ard tracking shots to which the m ask conferred a rare m ethod of isolation as darkness crept aro u n d the m ain subject as it was approached. Players reflected on mirrors M irro rs have alw ays fascinated film m akers. One, two o r more m irro rs have been em ployed in a surprising gallery o f effects designed to be used w ith tw o m aster shots edited in parallel. T he m ost favoured effects use only one m irror, in one o f three key positions in relation to the tw o players involved: behind, betw een, o r sideways to the perform ers. F o r exam ple, if the m irror is behind the players, in the first shot one o f the perform ers is placed in the foreground, his back to the m irror, while the second player is reflected in its surface, but is o u t o f shot (Fig. 5.30).

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6

THREE-PLAYER DIALOGUE

Several different visual approaches have been evolved for covering three-player dialogue in a film. T here are three basic linear dispositions; 1 a straight line, I a right angle o r ‘L’ shaped form ation, 3 a triangle. Each arrangem ent requires different solutions to bring ou t its best possibilities.

Regular cases As before, for the m aster shots the cam era is positioned close to the line o f interest. It is an easy situation if the three players are in istra ig h t line— each player m aintains his screen area from shot to shot {Fig. 6.1). Here, tw o players are placed one behind the other, an d face the third. But they could be placed o n the extrem es o f the line, facing in tow ards the central perform er (Fig. 6.2). All the players are standing. F u rth er variations are possible by having one or two players seated, o r a t different heights o n a multi-level stage. These subtle variations, including different spacing between the figures, will help disguise the too form al pictorial com position th at a straight line arrangem ent on a plane setting is a p t to give. A n ‘L’ shaped form ation covered by right angle cam era positions, will also m aintain the same regular order of the players in b o th m aster shots as in Fig. 6,3.
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FIGURE 8.1 Players arranged In a straloht line and covered by two external ravers* camera positions; all the players retain their screen area in both shots.

Irregular cases W hen the players are arranged in a triangle, tw o lines o f interest converge on the d o m in an t perform er, and one line prevails. The centre o f atten tio n for the audience, and for the group on the screen, can be shifted by any subordinate player. He becom es the arbiter o f attention. By turning his head from the dom inant perform er to the other, the second person becom es the im p o rtan t character in the scene. This recourse can be applied in two w ays: 1 the centre o f atten tio n m oves back and fo rth betw een two players. T he third has only a passive role, deciding w ith the m ove­ m ent o f his head which o f his tw o com panions predom inates. 2 the centre o f atten tio n moves in a full circle aro u n d the tri­ angle o f players, each successively becom ing the centre o f attention.
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FIGURE 6.2 The throe players standing in a C formation are covered by two external reverse camera positions. They all maintain the same screen area in both shots.

T here are three basic form ulas fo r external reverse cam era shots. They provide irregular variants bccause this geom etric arran g e­ m ent o f players does no t give each player a steady screen area. T he cam era sites fo r these form ulas are obtained by selecting two o f the six positions depicted in Fig. 6.3A. In the illustration each player, acting as the apex o f their trian g u lar arrangem ent, is given tw o external reverse cam era shots.

FIGURE 6.3a

Player3 arranged In a W angle with si* possible external camera sites.

Formula A The d o m in an t player, in the centre o f the group, rem ains in his place in b o th m aster shots, while the players a t either side ex­ change positions from shot to shot. In this form ula the three players (placed on a neutral line of interest) are located precisely betw een bo th reverse cam era points, which give alternately a rear an d a frontal view (Fig. 6.4.) This solution is best applied to closely knit groups, where the intim acy or bluntness o f the situation requires scrutiny o f the action an d reaction o f the players, divided into tw o sections and featured alternately.
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Formula B Here the perform er acting as arb iter o f attention (as a silent spectator) is placed at one side o f the screen. In the next shot she appears on the opposite side. T he o th er tw o players, conversing (along a diagonal line of interest) m aintain their relative positions and occupy the screen area shown in Fig. 6,5. C om binations o f seated and standing players and different shooting distances add variety.

Formula C The d om inant player, placed o n one side o f the screen, stays in that area in b o th shots, while the o th er two perform ers exchange their positions from take to take. In F orm ula B, the d om inant line o f attention flowed diagonally to the background, an d the arbiting acto r was close to the side of the screen. In F orm ula C the dom inant line flows horizontally betw een the two players in the foreground, and the arbiting ac to r is placed beyond (Fig. 6.6.). N otice th at in all three figs. the order o f players (show n above) rem ains A, B, C. T he shift in o rd er (shown below) dem onstrates the effect o f the different form ulas.

External!internal reverse camera positions O pposing external/internal reverse cam era positions provide what one m ight call ‘num ber co n tra st’ on the screen, because the external position covers the whole group, while the internal placem ent fram es only a segment. This can provide variety in presentation. Tw o approaches are possible. Fig. 6.7 shows a 3 to 1 number contrast. The second variation, a 3 to 2 num ber relationship from shot to shot, is illustrated in Fig. 6.8.
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FIGURE 6.5

Formula B

FIGURE 6.6

F o rm u la e

FIGURE 6.7 A 3to 1 number contrast obtained by juxtaposing an external reverse *hot with an Internal one.

FIGURE 6,8 A 3 to 2 number contrast obtained by luxtaposing an external rever»o shot w ith an internal one.

Once m ore we stress the fact th at all players need no t stand in the scene. One o r two o f them can be seated, reclining o r lying down. This will add variety to the pictorial com positions chosen for the scene. 83

Internal reverse camera positions
W ith a group o f three hum an figures divided in two, th e 2 to 1 num ber contrast is added to the range o f possibilities for covering a trio o f players (Fig. 6.9).

FIGURE 8.9

A i to I number contrast obtained by using two internal reverie s h o ti.

Three internal reverse shots can be used to cover, individually three players arranged in a roughly triangular form . A n external cam era position fram es the whole group and m ight serve as an establishing shot—and could be re-inserted from time to time to rem ind the audience o f the group as a whole. Observe Fig. 6.10. It is im p o rtan t to retain the correct interplay o f directions of interest betw een the actors where one holds the atten tio n o f the o th er two.

Parallel camera positions
If a group o f three, seen from dom inant parallel cam era positions, is divided into two units, the players present profiles to the camera positions. There is no arbiter o f attention, since two players face the third who dom inates. N um ber contrast is obtained by this m ethod (Fig. 6.11).
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FIGURE 6.10 Individual Internal reverse camera positions cover each of the players In the group separately; an establishing shot reminds the audience of the ensemble of the whole oroup.

A n establishing shot encom passes the w hole group, and is traditionally used a t the beginning, m iddle o r end o f the scene. If the cen tral player acts as a n arb ite r o f atten tio n , the group can be divided into th ree—those at the extrem es o f the group are in profile a n d the centre player faces the cam era (Fig. 6.12). C am eras on a com m on visual axis show the w hole group from the first p o sitio n a n d only the d o m in an t ac to r in a closer view. He m ay be a t th e centre o r side o f the group (Fig. 6.13). Placing actors a t different levels and distances ap a rt, as in the other ap p ro ach es, provides new screen com positions. Pivoting p o in t Three players can be show n in a filmed scene by including only two in each m aster shot. The person appearing in b o th can occupy
85

T

FIGURE 6.11 Parallel camera positions applied to a group of three persons, Number contrast, 2 to 1, is obtained in this way.

FIGURE 6.12 Individual coverage of each player in a Qroup o f three performers achieved by using parallel camera positions.

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FIGURE 113 Two camera sites on a common visual line cover a trianQufar group of three performers. One of the shots emphasises the central player in the scene.

the same place on the screen for bo th shots or he can be shifted from one side o f the screen fram e to the other as the shot is changed. The first possibility applies when covering a n approxim ately triangular arrangem ent o f actors, the other is useful where actors are placed m ore o r less in a straight line. In both cases one acto r provides a pivoting p oint for the two dom inant cam era positions. Fig. 6 .14 shows a triangular com position where the centre actor acts as pivot. In the exam ple exam ined, the scene is established a t position 1. Positions 2 and 3 are m aster shots. As in this case, the establishing shot is som etimes positioned on one o f the axis lines stem m ing from the tw o strong cam era positions o f the triangle principle. Notice th at the dom inant cam era sites are a right angles to each other, and b o th include the centre acto r (B) on the same side of the screen. In the preceding exam ple the pivoting actor was kept in the foreground in b oth m aster shots. A shift in distance from shot to shot (in one m aster take the pivoting player is near the cam era and in the reverse shot he is in the background) will w ork sm oothly if the pivoting perform er is kept on the same side o f the screen in both takes (Fig, 6.15).

FIGURE 6.14 One o f the players In the group is used as a pivot to relate two master •hots placed at right angles. This pivoting actor Is placed on the same side of the screen in both takes.

FIGURE 0.15 In this example the pivoting player shifts from foreground to back­ ground as each master shot is edited In parallel with the other while keeping a con­ stant screen area.

88

T he ac to r used as a pivot m u st m ove his head to vary the centre o f in terest th a t shifts fro m player B to player C in reverse shots. In o u r next exam ple the tw o cam era positions are external re­ verse angles aro u n d the player used as pivot in the scene (Fig. 6.16).

F1GURE6.15 A set of external reverse camera positions around aside player use him as a pivot to cover the group o f three players.

If three acto rs are in a line a n d two o f them face the third person, the centre pivoting player is included in b o th takes, but he shifts from one side o f the screen to the other, as show n in Fig. 6.17.

FIGURE 6.17 Irregular coverage of a straight line arrangement of players, wh<re the pivoting perform er shifts from one side o f the screen to the other as each master shot Is alternated In parallel editing.

89

In the cases exam ined the pivoting player was dom inant, as he had an im p o rtan t role in the scene. But a passive stance for him is also possible. In Fig. 6.18 players A and C are dom inant. Perform er B in the centre m ay be ju st listening to a heated dis­ cussion betw een the o th er two. Y et player B has been used as a pivot for the cam era sites, an d is featured in both shots, on the left an d right sides o f the screen respectively. H is passiveness can be stressed by the profiled position, eyes dow ncast, purposely to avoid throw ing em phasis on either o f the others. His role is also m inim ized by being given only a th u d o f the screen area.

FIGURE 6,18 In this example the pivoting player has a passive role. His flflure shifts from one side of the screen to the other as the master shots are alternated.

N o t only can one actor be used as a pivoting point, bu t also a cam era position can be em ployed as such. This pivoting camera position is an advance on the sam e visual axis o f one o f the two dom inant external reverse cam era sites, providing a close shot of the player chosen as the centre o f interest in the scene. A close-up o f the dom inant p erform er B (Fig. 6.19) inserted between shots from sites 1 and 3 m asks the change in screen position o f A and C when seen from the second position.

Emphasizing the centre o f interest
W hen a conversation between three actors develops in such a way as to stress tw o an d reduce the involvem ent o f the third, this could be treated in two ways:
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FIGURE 6,19 A closer ahot of the dominant performer Is uaed as a pivoting ahot to relate two external reverse shots o1 the group of three players.

1 Em phasis is applied over a single line o f interest; 2 The line o f interests in the scene shifts to a crosswise direction. In the first ap proach the line o f interest is unique for the three players, Em phasis can be partial o r com plete: partially, if in the first m aster shot the three players are shown b u t in the second only the two d om inant perform ers, totally by m oving from a 3 to 3 group relationship to a pattern o f 2 to 2, show ing only the two main protagonists.

Partial emphasis
Partial em phasis is possible by using any one o f the three basic linear arrangem ents: a straight line, an ‘L ’ shape o r a triangle. Fig. 6.20 shows partial em phasis being applied to a straight line arrangem ent o f players. A v arian t is show n in Fig. 6.21, where the set o f externalinternal cam era sites is m oved to the other end o f the straight line com position. A n ‘L ’ shaped arrangem ent o f the players can be easily treated with partial em phasis. Fig. 6.22 gives a simple case.
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FIGURE 6.20 players.

Partial emphasis applied to a lino form ation of the group of three

FIGURE (.21 A variation o f partial emphasis applied to the group of three players In a straight ilne arrangement.

FIGURE 6.22 Partial emphasis applied to an L shaped arrangement of players.

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F o r a triangular grouping two m ain solutions are available. Fig. 6.23 shows the first, w here the subdued perform er is placed on one side o f the screen.

FIGURE 6.23 The secondary perform er Is placed on one aide of the screen In this variant o f partial emphasis applied to a triangular com position.

T he second v ariation is obtained by placing the secondary acto r in the centre o f the screen in the m aster shot where all the players are show n (Fig. 6.24).

FIGURE 8.24 Tha secondary player is placed In the centre of this other variant of partial emphasis applied to a triangular form ation o f players.

Total emphasis Total em phasis, as we said before, can be obtained by tw opairs o f m aster shots—featuring three, and tw o players respectively. All 93

fo u r cam era positions are external reverse coverage points o f the group. Fig. 6.25 shows a sim ple case.

FIGURE 6.25 Total emphasis applied to a group of three players. The editing paltern progresses from a 3 to 3 relationship to a 2 to 2 opposition of the principal performers In the group.

A n ordinary editing p attern for these four m aster shots would be like th is : Shots 1— 2— 1—2— 1— 3— 4— 3— 4— 3— 1—2— 1—2 (------ ) (— ) By using th a t co m bination one player is excluded fro m the scene in the m iddle o f the sequence, to re-appear at the end. W hen you cu t from three-person to tw o-person coverage, the cut is m ore effective if the sh o t o f the tw o players is a reverse o f the p osition where the three were show n, ra th e r th an an advance on the sam e visual axis line. F o r exam ple: S hot 1 covers three people. S hot 3 covers tw o. If you are editing shots 1 and 2 in parallel, your m ove to a shot featuring only tw o players will start with shot 3 after shot 1, because shot 3 is a reverse o f shot I. Y o u r editing p attern will look like this: Shots I —2— 1—2— 1— 3— 4— 3—4 (------ ) 94

This is visually m ore effective than if you m oved in on a com m on visual axis position as depicted in the following editing pattern: Shots 1— 2— 1 - 2 —1— 4— 3—4 -3 (------ ) The retu rn from a tw o-person coverage to three person shots follows the same rule. The three irregular form ulas for external reverse coverage o f a group o f three persons, where the three are included in each m aster shot, can be treated w ith total em phasis, where two o f their components are selected to be virtually stressed.

A ‘north-south’ to ‘east-w est' change Examples so far have dealt with em phasis applied over to a single line of interest extending from ‘n o rth ’ to ‘south’. If we em phasize the two players located ‘n o rth ’, the line o f interest will shift to a dom inant direction from ‘east’ to ‘west’, excluding the actor placed ‘south'. This new line o f interest can be placed on either side o f the two players th at it covers, as we will soon see. C am era positions m ust be deployed th a t allow a sm ooth passage from one line to the other as. interest is shifted a n d two o f the players em phasized. A set o f external-internal reverse shots can be applied to each line o f interest, as depicted in Fig. 6.26. Let us begin by simple cases and move on to those gradually more com plex:

Using only fo u r camera positions The m ost elem entary coverage o f a crosswise change in the direc­ tion o f interest, is obtained by using four m aster cam era positions —two for each direction o f the line o f interest. All four positions are external reverse angles. The three players are first shown in a ‘north-south’ line o f interest. O ne o f the three irregular form ulas for external coverage o f groups o f three persons is chosen to frame the players along this line o f interest. The shift o f interest when the two players facing the third, turn tow ard each o th er is shown from a no rth -so uth cam era position. This change in direction is very simply achieved- Follow ing that, two external
95

FiG U R t 8.26 Two sets ot e«ternal-internal reverse shots applied to a group of three players to cover a change in the line of the interest, which shifts from an east-west to s north-south coverage.

reverse cam era positions can cover, an d stress, b o th players on the new line o f interest, excluding the third. Fig. 6.27 shows the four cam era positions. Positions 1 and 2 are alternated by parallel editing, until from position 1 we see the change in direction take place in the line o f interest. T o emphasize the two dom inant players we alternate betw een positions 3 and 4 and fram e only them . If the th ird ac to r is to become involved again this can be reversed to the north -so u th position fram ing the whole group. A simple editing p attern for these four cam era positions w ould look like this: Shots 1—2 —1— 2— 1— 3—4— 3—4— 1—2— I— 2 N ote: in the exam ple given the shift o f interest was seen from site 1. I f it had been seen from behind the players (site 2) the eastwest cam era sites should be behind the players. W hy? Referring once m ore to Fig. 6.27, the ‘n o rth -so u th ’ line is covered by positions 1 and 2, the two d o m in an t reverse angles 96

FIGURE 6,27 A north-south line of interest changes to a dominant east-west line of interest. Four main camera positions are used, and all are external reverse shots. Position 1 is chosen as the camera site from w hich the change in the lire direction is witnessed.

of the trian g u lar principle for cam era deploym ent whose apex is the neutral site 0, the one chosen to establish the scene. When the line o f interest shifts to an ‘east-w est’ direction as seen from site 1, this cam era position becom es the apex o f a new tri­ angular fo rm atio n consisting o f sites 3— 1— 4, a n d angles 3 and 4

m ust be on the side o f the new line o f interest. So, if the change is seen from site 2, positions 3 and 4 m ust be on the side o f the line o f interest th at faces the apex o f that new triangular formation. Fig. 6.28 shows this. To retu rn to a ‘north-south* direction where the whole group is seen, position 2 m ust be used to effect the change in direction, A sequence using position 2 for the shift in the line o f interest, w ould look like this: Shots 1—2— 1— 2—3—4— 3—4— 2— 1—2 — I T he form ula ju s t described is adm ittedly a bit com plicated to describe, though once grasped is sim ple to pu t in to practice. Introducing internal shots In the cases ju s t discussed all the positions were external reverse shots. By introducing a n internal reverse cam era site, we have a new way o f covering the group, still using four cam era sites. Once more these m aster shots are em ployed in pairs. In such a sequence, position 1 becom es the establishing shot, position 2 and 3 the m ain m asters, a n d position 4 is a reaction shot. The conversation begins by alternating Shots 1 and 4 along a ‘n o rth -so u th ’ line. In this way num ber co n trast is obtained on the screen. W hen the shift to a d o m in an t ‘east-w est’ line is desired, we show it happening from position I, an d move to an external reverse coverage o f th e tw o em phasized players. O ccasionally we intercut sh o t 4 w here perform er A (as seen in Fig. 6.29) looks on, reacting silently o r occasionally speaking. A n editing order for a typical sequence using this set-up could be like this: (- .) (-------- ) Shots - 1-4 - 1 -4 -1 -4 -1 -2 - 3 - 2 - 3 - 4 - 2 - 3 - 1- 4 - 2 - 3 - 2 - 3 - 4 - 1 -

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(---------------) (----------------------------) ( _ )
‘a ’ ‘b* ‘c’

In the first p a rt o f the sequence (‘a ’) the do m in an t line of interest runs in a “ n o rth -so u th ” direction, and players B and C talk directly to A . W hen players B a n d C tu rn to each other to exchange dialogue, A becom es a silent on lo o k er, a n d thus sub98

J 1 j ;

/V
f IG, 6-28 This lifte d Interest shifts from a north-south to an east-west direction In a similar way to that preceding except that in this case the change is seen from the second position.

ordinate. T he ‘east-w est’ interest established, this section o f the sequence (‘b ’) uses p redom inantly m asters 2 and 3 edited in parallel. M aster 4 is intercut twice to show the silent reaction of

the subordinate player. M id-w ay position \ is introduced, (with a dom inant east-w est line at work) to re-establish the whole group. N ear the end (‘c’) player A talks a? seen from position 4, and we close the .sequence from cam era site num ber I, where the players in the background (B a n d C) tu rn tow ards A , re-estab­ lishing the dom inance o f the ‘n o rth -so u th ’ line o f interest. Fig. 6.29 illustrates the case under discussion.

FIGURE 6.29 Four camera positions are used for this shift in the line of interest but one ot them is an Internal reverse shot.

Eight camera sites are em ployed T he next developm ent is to apply a full set o f external-internal cam era positions to each direction o f the line o f interest. As shown in Fig. 6.26, a t least eight cam era sites are b rought into play to cover the sequence. You might heighten this 3-person dialogue sequence with the sequence using a com bination o f external-internal reverse shots that cover or relate the three actors (along a ‘north -so u th ’ line), and then move to a set o f external-internal reverse shots that cover only the two actors em phasized (on an ‘east-w est’ line), excluding the third.

FI SURE 4.30

Eight basic camera positions as described In the text.

Figure 6.30 shows the eight basic cam era positions. The order o f the sequence could be som ething like this: Shot 1 Players B an d C in the b ackground talk w ith p erform er A who is in foreground, his b ack to the cam era. Shot 3 A replies. He looks off screcn, right. Shot 4 B a n d C as seen from A ’s view point, lo o k to him off screen, left. Shot 3 A still talking.

Shot 4 B an d C answ er A. Shot 3 A ends talking. Shot 2 C an d B in foreground tu rn to look at each other. Player A in the centre o f the screen becom es unim­ p o rtan t. S hot 5 Reverse. C a n d B talk. Shot 6 Reverse. C an d B talk. Shot 5 Shot 6 S hot 8 B is featured alone. S hot 7 C is featured alone. S hot 8 Shot 7 S hot 3 A re-enters the conversation. H e is facing us, looking o ff screen, right. Shot 4 B a n d C tu rn their heads to us to look a t A off screen left. S h o t 3 A talks again. S hot 1 T he whole g ro u p again: A— B— C. Fig. 6.30 shows how sites 1— 2— 3 an d 4 cover the ‘north-south’ line o f interest, while positions 5— 6— 7 and 8 fram e an ‘east-west' shift. T o show the shift o f the line o f atten tio n from N -S to E-W position 2 is used. N otice th a t this differs from position 4 (pre­ viously used to show the players o n w hom visual em phasis is now b ro u g h t to bear) in th a t the actors exchange positions on the screen. In position 4 the o rd e r on the screen is B— C , while from po sitio n 2 these players are seen arranged in the foreground as C— B. S h o t 3, however, (an internal reverse position) bridges this ano­ m aly. A nd it w orks because shots 3 a n d 4 have a reverse angle relationship, while shots 3 a n d 2 are placed on a com m on visual axis. In fact, P layer A is used as a pivot to effect the bridge betw een those two positions. I f the direction is reversed E-W to N-S later in the sequence, this is achieved by using the sam e principle. Shot 3 is once more bridged between 7 a n d 4 w hich are covering a n E-W line from each side o f it. T he shift from E-W to N-S actually takes place a t site 4, which starts covering a E -W line and ends as an extrem e o f the N -S line th a t d o m inates again. A sequence featuring three persons, em ploying a crosswise sh ift o f th e line o f in terest covered by sets o f external-internal

reverse cam era sites, can be filmed using fewer than the 8 positions given, Only those positions needed are brought into play. In the exam ple ju st exam ined, the acto r excluded by the shift of the line o f interest, was placed in the centre o f the group. The same principle applies if you w ant to exclude either o f the other two, placed on the base o f the triangle. The tw o previous approaches m ay seem a bit com plicated to someone n o t fam iliar with the w orkings o f the triangular cam era placement for coverage o f static dialogues. Perhaps it will help to fa the simple principles ju st described, in which the line o f interest shifts from north-south to east-west, if we keep in m ind th a t the camera positions deployed around the players assum e the form o f across. The two em phasized players become the arm s o f the cross or T* figure, while the lone player from w hom attention is momentarily released, is positioned at the bottom o f the cross or T figure. W hether you use four cam era positions (all external reverse shots o r a com bination o f internal-external reverses) up to the full eight cam era sites, the basic p attern assum ed by the camera coverage is a cross o r T figure. Two sim pler m ethods th at cover a players’ L configuration are discussed next.
A simple m ethod using three camera sites

There is a simple m ethod by which the centre o f interest in a conversation between three persons can be em phasized using only three cam era positions. O ne acts as the m ain m aster shot and covers the three perform ers. T he other two positions cover only two different sets o f actors. These subordinate m asters are edited in parallel with the m ain one. In this grouping the m ost im p o rtan t actor is placed in the centre: player B (sec Fig. 6.31). W hen she talks with C (an E-W direction) the relationship is sh o t I an d shot 2. Shot 2 is a right angle posi­ tion in relation to shot 1. When perform er B turns (this tu rn is always seen from position 1) to talk to A (a ‘N -S’ direction) the relationship becomes shot 1 —shot 3. Shot 3 is a reverse angle position in relation to shot 1. Number co n trast is constantly opposed from shot to shot, as we cut between from three and tw o-persons. Shots 2 and 3 cannot I t edited together in parallel. A typical sequence using this solution w ould look like this: Shots 1—2 — 1— 2— 1— 3— 1— 3— 1— 2— 1— 3— 1 (------ ) . (------ ) (------ )
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FIGURE 6.31 An east-west to north-south change of the line o f Interest achieved with only three camera sites.

The m arks under the num bers underline the points where the shift o f direction o f the line o f interest takes place. Using a pivoting shot A variation o f the previous exam ple w ould m ake use o f a close shot o f the central perform er (player C, as seen in Fig. 6.32) to serve as a pivoting shot. This close shot replaces the establishing shot o f the previous exam ple and serves the same purpose: it docum ents when the central perform er throw s atten tio n from one player to the other. This close shot (1) is the key m aster position in the sequence, 104

and is intercut w ith two subordinate m asters (2 a n d 3) to cover the dialogue. Once again, m asters 2 and 3 cannot be edited together in parallel. A simple sequence using this procedure w ould be edited like this: Shots 1— 2— I— 2— 1 - 3 — 1— 3— 1— 2— 1— 3— 1 (------ ) (------ ) (------ ) Notice how the editing o rd er o f these shots resem bles the pattern in section 4. The m arks below the num bers in the editing p attern given above indicate again w hetc player C in m aster 1, m oves his head from side to side shifting the line o f interest.

FIGURE 8.32 A player Is used as a pivot to achieve a change of direction for the lino ot Interest In the scene.

Deliberate omission Suppose one o f th e players is to be deliberately om itted, as we cut from take to tak e using reverse shot positions giving the ap p a ren t illusion th at all rules are broken.
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Fig. 6.33 shows a n exam ple w here advantage is taken o f an o b stru ctio n in the set d eco ratio n to hide the player located in the centre (and also in the background) o f the triangular arrangement o f perform ers.

FIGURE 6.33 A case of deliberate om ission, fn which one player is hidden by an ele­ ment of the d^cor.

As can be seen, actress B changes her screen position from shot to shot, while the two actors ap p e a r and disappear a t opposite sides o f the screen. The ac to r furthest aw ay in any o f the two reverse shots should ap p ear in the centre o f the screen, in the back­ ground, b u t the set decoration (in this case the colum ns) hide him. 106

While w hat we see on the scrccn is the following com position: Shot 1: B—A Shot 2: C —B the true com position is really: Shot 1: B—C - A Shot 2: C—A —B. In the following exam ple both reverse cam era positions were moved in close to the central character in the triangular arrange­ ment o f th e perform ers, changing a contrast that should be: Shot l : A — B— C Shot 2: B— C — A into a tw o to two relationship, th at looks like th is : Shot 1: A — B Shot 2: C— A In this way players C an d B are alternatedly om itted, while performer A shifts his position from one side o f the screen to the other. D ifferent cam era levels are used to add variety. (Fig. 0 4 ).

FIGUREfl-34 In the preceding example the pivoting player was located In the back' nround In both shots. Here, he is in the foreground and shifts from one side of the screen to the other as either one of the other two players Is consciously omftted from each alternate master shot.

Summing up A brief review o f the topics covered in this chapter is now given to underline the essential points exam ined in relation to dialogues among static groups o f three persons. W e have seen th at:
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1 Three players can be deployed along three linear arrangements: a straight line, a right angle and a triangle. 2 W ith three perform ers engaged in conversation, and where there are two do m in an t centres o f atten tio n an d a silent arbiter, the actors can rem ain in the sam e screen sector by employing the triangular cam era site principle. 3 A triangular arrangem ent o f players can be covered by fifteen pairs o f external reverse angles. These sets o f takes fall within three m ain irregular form ulas. 4 N um ber co n trast can be obtained by com bining an externa! and an internal reverse shot, o r by using internal reverse shots exclusively. Parallel cam era sites give the same effect. 5 A player featured in bo th reverse shots can be used as a pivot to relate the takes th a t cover the three players. 6 A pivoting shot can be used to ease the transition between two takes where the players exchange their screen positions. 7 Visual em phasis can be applied over a single line o f interest using external reverse shots exclusively. This em phasis can be p artial o r total 8 The iine o f interest in a scene can be shifted to a crosswise direction. Five different m ethods were outlined. In the first three a com bination o f external-internal reverse shots were applied, while in the last two a pivoting player was used. 9 One o f the players can be deliberately om itted from shot to shot giving the illusion th a t all ‘rules’ are broken in the coverage of actors arranged in a triangular form. Scope for covering a g roup o f three static persons is wide enough to offer some visual variety.

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7
DIALOGUE INVOLVING FOUR OR MORE PERSONS

Basic techniques for the coverage o f tw o- o r three-person static dialogues are also valid for larger groups. R arely is a dialogue carried on by fo u r people sim ultaneously. T here is always a leader, conscious o r unconscious, acting as a m o d era to r and shifting a t­ tention from p erson to person so th a t the dialogue m oves by Clones. In sim pler cases two central speaking players are only oc­ casionally in terru p ted by the others. In such a g roup it is m ore pleasant to th e eye if som e stand an d som e sit, perhaps in geo­ metric p attern s (triangles are com m on, b u t also squares an d circles). I f som e are m uch closer to the cam era than others it adds to the illusion o f depth. There is a very subtle way o f p u ttin g em phasis on any person within a group. In th e th eatre this technique is know n as occult balance. A group o f sitting people is balanced by a standing figure. The reverse is also true (Fig. 7.1). The use o f lighting p attern s is also im p o rtan t when covering a group. C onventionally, light on the m ain characters is stronger while all the others receive a subdued illum ination th at keeps them visible b u t subordinate. The v ariations applied to groups o f two a n d three persons will now b e show n in a com prehensive pictorial coverage o f fo u r persons o r m ore. Simple cases If both the whole g roup and the ccntre o f interest m ust be covered visually this presupposes at least tw o basic m aster shots— one framing the g roup full view, the o th er a close shot o f the m ain actor/s. Some exam ples: 109

FIGURE 7.1 The principle of visual balance in action. A standing player can balance a group of seated performers, and vice versa.

1 Using a common visual axis Tw o shots o n the sam e visual axis are intercut alternately. This serves to cover a conversation in depth. W hen players B and D talk (see Fig. 7.2) S hot 1 is used. B ut when B turns to C, we move in to close Shot 2 an d back again to S hot 1 as D cuts into the

iff

r1
A

a
b c d

FIGURE 7.2 A group Is covered using two master shots arranged on a common visual axis. In one of them the whole group is framed, tn the other the centre of interest of the group is visually emphasized.

130

conversation an d then, turning, m akes a com m ent to A. If players A and D have their backs to us they throw audience attention on to perform ers B an d C, bu t if A and D turn to face us, they them selves becom e the centre o f attention. A further variation is for A an d D to act only as witnesses to the conversation, and then onJy find their facial o r body reactions to it are im p o rtan t. Shot 1 serves merely as a re-establishing shot and is periodically intercut into m aster Shot 2 to give colour to the dialogue by expanding the group.

2. Using a right angle camera site Figuie 7,3 shows an o th er variant. T he purpose here is sim ilar to the previous case. E ither a dialogue between all the perform ers and the two central ones can be covered, o r a discussion between A and B is w atched by the rest o f the group. T he variation is in the use o f a right angle for th e cam era position o f the closer second shot.

MGIJRE 7.3 The right angle camera arrangement used here covers the whole group end Its centre of attention. «

Groups arranged round a table G roups o f people aro u n d a table are com m on in film scenes. Ways have been found to present them dlearly to the audience. The triangular cam era placem ent principle is valuable for solving many tricky script situations in this type o f scene. O nce m ore the two extremes o f the centre o f interest dom inate in the scene.

Case A The visual axis and right angle sites outlined above can be used together to cover two im p o rtan t actors in a group by giving them individual atten tio n (Fig, 7.4),

1

FIGURE 7.4 Coveraoe of a group where the two central players are emphasized by individual shots.

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The procedure is simple. Shot 1 shows the whole group. A ctors A. and B are the centre o f attention. Player A addresses the whole group. W hen he turns his atten tio n on. B. cut to Shot 2, where A speaks his lines to B off screen. N ow cut to Shot 3, to show B replying. T hen cut back to shot 2 where A replies to B, and again to Shot 3 where B m akes his point clear. Now we re-establish by going back to Shot 1 to show the group reacting. If A an d B speak to one an o th er again, we may cut once m ore to an interplay o f their individual shots and then return to the full shot num ber 1 to hear the com m ents o f another in the group. Case B In Fig. 7.2, 7.3 and 7.4, the second cam era was placed closer to the group, thus excluding some actors from the shot. In Fig. 7.5, the cam era distance is the sam e in both positions. This right angle set up creates on the screen a visual ruie sim ilar to one o f the three irregular form ulas em ployed for covering roughly trian g u lar groups o f three. W ith the second cam era on the left, the first acto r on th at side in position 1 shifts to the right in position 2. O th er actors rem ain in the sam e o rder: Shot I : A B C D E Shot 2 : B C D E A With the second cam era on the right, the reverse occurs: the first acto r on the right in Shot 1 m oves to the left in cam era position 2. Shot 1 : A B C D £ Shot 2 : £ A B C D Groups o f fo u r and five persons can be visually covered using these right angle cam era sites. Case C A group o f five persons covered by external reverse angles, although adhering to the same rule, offers a slight variant th a t is simple to define. Fig. 7.6 shows tw o possibilities for the sam e example. In one o f them the line o f interest flows betw een players C and E, an d in the o ther between C and A. T he tw o actors o n the opposite side o f the line o f interest shift from one side o f the screen to the o th er an d interchange positions, while the others
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FIGURE 7.5 Irregular camera coverage, where a player at one extreme of the frame area shifts to the other side as the shot is changed. The remaining group maintain the same visual order on the screen.

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maintain the same order. W here players C and E dom inate, the coverage is as follows: Shot l ^ S C D E Shot 2: C D E B A In the instance where C and A dom inate, the form ula is reversed: Shot 1: A B C D E Shot 2: E D A B C Study Fig. 7.6 and you will see how the form ula works for diagonal lines o f interest.

FIGURE 7.6 A group with a diagonal line of interest covered by external reverse sliots obeys the visual rule shown. The two p layers not involved in the line of interest move to the other side of the screen in the second shot and exchange positions. The illustration features the solutions available for both diagonal lines of interest.

Case D In our next case, external reverse angles are also applied to a group of persons seated at a table, but with different results. The im portant conversation is between B and C (Fig. 7.7). O ur camera positions are concentrated on one side o f the line of interest generated between the .two central actors.

FIGURE 7.7 When the dominant players are placed in the centre of the screen tor an interplay of external reverse shots, the players on the extremes o f the frame change position from shot to shot*

Notice how actors A and D exchange sites on the screen in the reverse shot, while in the centre o f the screen B and C always rem ain in their sectors.

Subdividing the group So far, we have applied external cam era positions to medium sized groups. Internal reverse cam era sites, on the other hand, can divide the group, oppose its parts and achieve a visual inter­ play where num ber contrast adds variety to the screen image. This division can assum e three basic form s: 1 an actor is opposed to the rest o f the group; 2 the group is split into two equal o r unequal po rtio n s; and 3 the subdivision produces several groups. In each, an establishing shot is needed (conventionally, at least)

to open the sequence and m ay appear again in the m iddle and at the end. Fig. 7.8 shows the first variant. W ith two internal reverse camera positions within the group, one player is placed in opposi­ tion to the others. In a short dialogue the sequence could be edited: Shots 1—2— 3—2—3—2—3— 1 A longer o n e : Shots I —2—3—2—3— 2 — 3—4 —2—3— 2— 3— 1

FIGURE7.8 The croup is subdivided, and the dominant player is placed in opposition to the res! of the group.

The actors m ay, o f course, be a t different heights (Fig. 7.9). The floor plans o f Figs. 7.8 and 7.9 show site I corresponding to the establishing shot, and sites 2 and 3 (inside the group) as internal reverse angles. The next developm ent involves subdividing the g roup into two smaller units. A n even num ber o f players m ay ap p e a r as two sets o f equal parts on the screen, b u t this is no t as interesting as having different num bers in each section as in Fig. 7.10.

ing the effectiveness of the visual formula shown.

T he editing principle is sim ilar to the preceding o n e : an estab­ lishing shot can sta rt the sequence, we then m ove in to internal reverse cam era positions at right angles to that. F o r a while these two closer shots are intercut and finally there is a return to the first cam era position. The next developm ent is com bining internal and external reverse angles. Five players deployed in a straight line can be covered by using opposed diagonals from shot to shot, and a sector o f the line stressed by m eans o f the internal reverse angle (Fig. 7 .11). Geometrical patterns A group m ay be assem bled in one o f m any geom etrical shapes— a circle, rectangle, square, triangle, etc., o r an am orphous shape with no clear pattern at all. B ut the screen com position is governed by the floor plan distribution and the heights o f the players. Both present balanced screen com positions. The floor plan distribution
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FIGURE 7.10 The ensemble Is subdivided into two smaller groups, and the resultant master shots are edited in parallel.

determines the plane in which each player is viewed. The other variable refers to th eir p o sition—lying, seated, reclined o r stan d ­ ing up. The two factors com bined give com position in depth, as opposed to a flat arrangem ent. Sometimes d o m in an t geom etrical shapes are applied only to central characters, allow ing a loose pattern to supporting figures. In the trian g u lar com position for dialogue (Fig. 7.12) for example, the first o f only two cam era sites views the whole group but emphasizes the apex o f the ‘triangle’. The second fram es only the two players on the base o f the triangle.
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FIGURE 7.11 The group, in straight line arrangement, is covered using an external and an internal reverse shot.

FIGURE 7.12 The group of players covered in Shot 1 has a dominant triangu!ar form ation. The reverse shot conform s to one of the irregular ruies applied to this form of arranoement, using internal reverse shots.

Several opposed sectors In a group distributed in three o r m ore sectors, using establishing and internal reverse shots, the dialogue coverage is sim ilar to single shots o f three persons in a triangular form ation except that here, from some angles, m ore th a n one person is fram ed. (See Fig. 7.13 for a three-sector group covered by four cam era sites.)

FtSURE 7.13

A progressive change of interest moving in a circle.

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A sequence using this principle, could be edited as follow s: Shot 1 W hole group is established. Shot 2 P erform er C throw s atten tio n to the left. Shot 3 Perform er A an d B talk to C off-screen. Shot 2' C replies and m oves his head to right. Shot 4 Perform ers D an d E reply to C off-screen. Shot 2* C replies. Shot 4' Perform ers D and E reply and then move th eir heads, and instead o f looking to the left where C is off-screen, they now look off-screen right. Shot 3' Perform ers A an d B looking off-screen left, reply to D and E. Shot 4" D and E reply. Still looking off-screen right. Shot 3’ A and B end talking to D and E off-screen left, and tu rn their heads right, tow ards C, who is ou t o f the screen on th a t side. Shot 1' W hole group. P erform er C is again dom inant. The o th er four players are looking at him. In the sequence ju st described the line o f interest m oved in a full circle shifting from group to group (see Fig. 7.13), The m ultiple plane arrangem ent has endless variations. One, for example, (illustrated in Fig. 7.14) deals with triangular arrange­ m ents o f six players, com posed in depth. The whole group is established in the first m aster shot. O f two vertical triangular form ations the one on the left has its apex in the foreground on A, seated; the o th er has its base in the foreground and its apex on F, beyond. C am era sites 2 an d 3, fram e these triangular form ations separately bu t parallel. Site 4, at right angles to 2 and 3, fram es the seated foreground figures in a trian g u lar composi­ tion. In this group the d om inant players are sitting in the fore­ ground, while the subsidiaries stand. A further variation is to split the group in changing patterns, ie: the whole group is established and then broken up in three parts, each covered by different cam era set-ups. A fter returning to the establishing shot they are seen again in other, closer, shots. But this time the group has been divided only into two parts, present­ ing visual arrangem ents that differ from the previous three master shots. A step further is to mingle these five m aster shots into a free-form editing pattern, where the establishing shot picks up the whole group again from time to time.

f

FIGURE 7.14 A large group subdivided Into trianoular pictorial compositions lo r each of the master shots.

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Handling large groups If, instead of being so closely knit, several groups are scattered ab o u t the set, fixed cam era set-ups can still cover a dialogue that m oves by zones. It is advisable to have a central group o r person on w hom the action is hinged, show ing him as speaker and listener, and shifting audience atten tio n from player to player. M aster shots can be used, edited in pairs, occasionally re­ establishing larger sections o f the group. If the line o f interest is co nstantly changing direction, keep these changes simple. Use a player as pivot in two m aster shots (or in a re-establishing take} to clearly indicate the change o f direction when he m oves his head fro m one centre to another. M ost film m akers prefer sim pler situations or, if faced with such a complex set-up, m ove the cam era o r the players during the sequence to simplify the problem . The m easure o f a good director is seen when he handles such a com plex dialogue situation using only static cam era set-ups, with a m inim um o f m ovem ent for the players an d then only when strictly necessary for the requirements o f th e story. Alfred H itchcock handles a sequence like this in his film The Birds. This is the scene in the cafe, after the birds have attack ed the schoolchildren, and where an elderly w om an specializ­ ing in ornithology puts the whole event in doubt. N otice how M elanie Daniels, the barm an, the lawyer, the lady ornithologist, a m o th e r with two children, the cook, the waitress, the travelling salesm an, the local barfly an d a sea captain, are all involved in a conversation th at covers a whole reel o f the film (around 8 m inutes). H itchcock handles them separately o r in groups using static cam era set-ups.

A perform er faces an audience O n m any occasions in films there is a need to present the central p ro tag o n ist facing a crow d. P erhaps he is a flight instructor talking to a group o f pilots, o r a football coach addressing his team , o r a politician addressing a crow d or, perhaps, a musician perform ing for an audience. T he size o f the crow d does no t matter, there are two ways o f dealing with it—to treat it as a single g roup, o f an im personal nature or, to treat it as a series o f small groups related to the central perform er.
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FIGURE. 7.15 Impersonal treatment of a large crowd, when? the direction of gaze of the dominant player establishes the line of interest. One of Its sides is chosen fo r the camera positions.

In the first case the audience an d our central protagonist form the tw o poles o f atten tio n w ith an im aginary line o f interest flowing between them . H aving chosen one o f its sides, the cam era is sited according to the triangular cam era disposition where two sets o f reverse cam era positions (one external an d the other internal) can easily be ad o p ted (Fig. 7.15).

The protagonist stares straight ahead—an im personal way of dealing with his crowd. In the exam ple here, for instance, he will be looking to the left in all shots. M em bers o f the crow d do not participate individually. N obody stands up and speaks to o u r perform er. The crow d (large o r small) o f passive spectators are there to be entertained o r instructed. If o u r m ain perform er shifts his gaze from side to side, answering questions o r replying to observations m ade by individual members o f the audience, the cam era treatm ent is sim ilar to the one used for covering triangular groups. W hen the crow d acquires identifiable faces, it becomes sub­ divided into sectors. All these sectors radiate tow-ard our pro­ tagonist who can have two body rap p o rts with the crow'd by being on the rim o f the crowd o r in the centre. In the first case at least two groups or a series o f small groups deployed in an arc face the perform er. Between him an d the individual m em ber o f the group, two sets o f cam era positions can be located, one external, one internal (see Fig. 7.16). O ur central protagonist acts as an arbiter o f attention, shifting his gaze from group to group. If the individual players in the audience talk betw een themselves, m om entarily excluding the central player, we have a triangular form ation o f centres of interest. Those people are the ones w ho count, those aro u n d them are secondary and anonym ous. They serve only to reinforce the im portance o f the m ain characters by looking a t them directly— thus acting as a chorus th at stresses any shift in interest. Fig. 7.17 shows a simple sequence with the m am player as centre and arbiter o f attention. The num bers identifying parts o f Fig. 7.17 correspond to the floor plan show n in Fig. 7.16. In the exam ple show n, external reverse shots (1-2 o r 5-6) establish the locale, while individual close internal reverse shots (all the others) focus attention on the centres o f interest. If our m ain protagonist faces m ore than two groups, shifting his attention to a th ird o r fourth subject, opposed looks will always occur. If both persons are looking at the same side o f the screen in individual close shots, they are not relating to each other, but to som ebody else off-screen.

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FIGURE 7.16 FJoor plan showing the camera positions used when lone playerfacing a crowd shHts his gaze from one side to the other changing the direction of the line o f interest.

A crosswise change o f the line o f interest A ‘n o rth -so u th ’ to ‘east-w est’ change in the line o f interest, em phasizing either the subjects on the stage o r those on the audience, can be applied to the tw o central points o f interest located in a crow d. In the first exam ple in Fig. 7.18 the em phasis is put on the players o n the stage, who relate w ith the crow d and betw een themselves. T he ‘east-w'est’ line dom inates. T he players talk am ong themselves and occasionally look tow ards the audience, shifting the direction o f the line o f interest. T he crowd is treated as a n im personal mass. The second exam ple, on the right o f Fig. 7.18, could be a night­ club set-up, where two custom ers a t a table are em phasized rather
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FIGURE 7.17 Storyboard development of the sequence follow ing the floor pian de­ picted in Fig. 7.16.

th an the lovely female singer on stage w ho stands in fro n t o f the orchestra. W hen the players a t the table talk am ong themselves an ‘E-W ’ line is dom inant, but when they watch the singer a ‘N-S’ line o f interest prevails.

FIGURE 7.18 01 the floor.

Placements lo r a crosswise change of direction, either on the stage or

Y ou need not, o f course, use all the key cam era positions shown o n the floor plans in Fig. 7.18. The num erous editing com binations give adequate coverage for situations in this category, with fewer cam era positions. Crowd with main player at centre If o ur m ain player stands alone in the centre o f a crow d, she relates only with h alf o f it—those in front o f her. T hose behind have only an indirect rap p o rt with her. C am era placem ent principles are the sam e as before two sets of external and internal reverse shots. In Fig. 7.19 positions 1 and
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FJGURE 7.19 The dominant player stands in the centre of the crowd. The direction of her look determines the line of interest of the scene, and one side of this line is chosen to position the camera.

2 are external; 3 and 4 internal. As o u r protagonist is in the centre o f the crow d, she acts as a central pivot aro u n d w hom the cam era can be placed to relate her to the surrounding crowd (as in Shots 5 and 6). A ctors as pivots W hen dealing with exam ples with three players, we explained how one o f those players could be used as a pivot to assemble the interplay o f m aster shots covering the group. T here we said that the player used as a pivot could be o n the same side o f the screen in b oth shots, o r assum e an irregular solution where he alternated
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between sides o f the screen from shot to shot. Both rules apply to a perform er in relation to a crowd. H e can be placed in the centre of the crow d (large or small) o r on the rim. In this example a central p erfo rm er is used as a pivot w ithin a sm all group.

FIGURE 7.20 A central player is used as a pivot w ithin a group to present it as sub­ divided into two smaller units. The pivotinB player is used In an Irregular manner, shifting his position from one side of the screen to the other.

Fig. 7.20 clearly shows th at the centrat ac to r is the m ost im ­ portant. T he players facing her in shot 2 are her opponents, and those behind, in Shot 1, are her friends o r her audience. A ctor A shifts from right to left on the screen as we cut from shot to shot. This is a closely knit group and we are dealing with m edium shots to fram e the scene. But the group behind and in fro n t o f actor A can be larger and further ap art. In th at case she truly becomes an island betw een both masses, and the cam era coverage is as if for a closely knit group (Fig. 7.21). Two players, d o m in ant o r passive, can also be used as pivots in a scene. Fig. 7.22 shows a simple case where both central perform ers are d o m in ant and located in the centre o f the group. Actors A and B do the talking, while the others ju st stand in the background w atching the m ain actors play ou t the core o f the scene. If these players are on the edge o f the group, the crowd is omitted from one o f the reverse shots. Fig. 7.23 visualizes one o f those situations, fn the first shot the group beyond the central players is included, while in Shot 2 only the central perform ers are featured.
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FIGURE 7,21 group.

A sim ilar situation to Fig, 7,20 is shown here but involves a larger

FIGURE 7.22 Two central players in the group used as visual pivots to show the whole group around them. The key performers in this instance are located in the centre of Lhe group.

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FIGURE 7.23 The two dominant players In the group are placed on the rim of It. For this reason the group is featured in only one oi the shots.

W hen the pivoting perform ers have a passive role in the scene, they can be placed in foreground to help relate a group divided into sectors. These tw o players always rem ain on the sides o f the screen, b u t the person o r persons in the centre change from shot to shot. This is achieved by placing bo th cam era positions at right angies. Fig. 7,24 shows a simple case involving only four persons seated a t a table.

FIGURE 7,24 The two pivoting players have, in tills case, a passive nature and the dominant pleyers appear aJternately in the centre of the screen as each master shot is edited in parallel.

The parallel editing o f the m aster shots obtained from those two right angle cam era sites, allows a little trickery in shooting the scene. Two groups o f players w ho, for some reason, cannot be present on the stage o r o n the location a t the sam e time, can be related perfectly by arranging two pivoting players in the foreground in b oth shots. The only requisite is th a t these two perform ers be available for filming bo th shots. In the first take, a group of persons situated in the centre o f the screen talk to som eone off­ screen whose place is taken by a substitute w ho provides the replies in the conversation. L ater on, a week o r a m onth afterw ards, the second shot is filmed w ith the missing g roup fram ed betw een the two pivoting players in the foreground. The second cam era site is used. The central players look off-screen, too, b u t in the opposite direction to th a t in the first m aster shot. W hen, a t the editing stage, b o th takes are com bined (in parallel) the difference will no t be noticeable if the lighting has been matched carefully This form ula allows for further trickery: two different sets o r locales can be used, one for each take— producing on the screen a n im aginary set which is an am algam o f both.

EDITING PATTERNS FOR STATIC DIALOGUE SCENES

In any dialogue situation where actors m ove on b u t not fro m th eir sites, and there is no cam era m ovem ent, variety and com prehensive coverage relies purely on a cutting pattern. A m otion picture m ust move. Therefore, o u r cutting p attern cannot always be the same, so there m ust be m ore than one p a ir of key positions from which m aster shots are produced. A m aster sh o t (the long take obtained from a single cam era position) covers a com plete sequence, o r a com plete dialogue. I f the actors m ove within the fram e in th at long take, the shot can be self-sufficient, provided th at certain rules are respected. In such a case a sh o t would need no ‘toning u p ’ by inserting cut-aw ays o r closer shots. In the passive kind o f scene we are concerned with now, this would seldom be enough. Such scenes are to o static to rem ain visually interesting—unless the situation an d dialogue are so full o f m eaning an d d ram atic force th a t any visual variation w ould disturb the m ood o f the scene. Except in those cases, a m aster shot covering a whole c o n ­ versation would be very m uch enhanced by stressing certain passages with closc shots o r cut-aways. A nother solution is to present the scene w ith two m aster shots edited in parallel. But generally th at is no t enough. As a dialogue builds up in interest we tend to wish to be closer to the perform ers to catch every nuance o f m ovem ent and fleeting reactions in their faces. In using an editing pattern the sim plest solution is to cover the first h alf o f the dialogue with tw o m aster shots, preferably m edium shots, and the final p a rt with an o th er pair both close shots.

Approaching anil receding patterns
A lengthy dialogue should have certain peaks o f interest and should not dem and a high degree o f concentration throughout otherw ise the effect o f a denoum ent is weakened an d even lost. T his recom m ended p eak-pattern allows the audience some em otional repose, and they can respond m ore fully to the really im p o rtan t passages. The auditive p a rt o f the scene m ust receive a corresponding visual co u n terp art th a t w orks h an d in glove with the intentions o f the dram atist. T he film director m ust resort to a visual ‘approaching and receding’ editing m ethod. The perform ers may be presented in m edium shots, proceeding to close shots o r close ups as peak m om ents are approached, an d then again m edium shots as we give the audience a rest before building up to the next peak. T his approaching an d receding m ethod m ust not ap p e a r too obvious. So different editing patterns should b e used in each section o f the dialogue covered from peak to peak, in order to m ask the m eans being used as a guide to the audience. The actors could also be m oved from zone to zone on the set after each peak m om ent for further variations—b u t fo r the m om ent we are con­ cerned only with static situations.

H ow a sequence begins O n th e screen we d o n o t usually begin a conversation with the ac to rs already in their allotted places, have them say their lines, an d cu t straight to the next sequence. We norm ally record a more n a tu ra l o rd er o f events. O ur perform ers meet first, then talk, and finally, p art. There are variations to this, bu t no t fro m this need. O n o th er occasions, when the sequence begins the characters in th e story are already in position and needing no introduction to o n e another. Nevertheless, we like to meet them visually before we ca n listen to w hat they have to say. We are then fed in to a closer view for the dialogue. B ut such sequences seldom begin with the players already on the screen speaking their first lines from the beginning o f the first shot. T here is nearly always a m ovem ent at the beginning or at the end o f the sequence. H ere are six generic variants w here such m ovem ent lapses into static body positions from which a con­ versation can be com fortably developed.
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1 Both players enter into cam era range, walk tow ards us, and stop to talk. 2 One perform er is already on the screen, the other enters and stops beside him and they start talking. 3 In the two previous exam ples the cam era was fixed, bu t it could have panned or travelled follow ing both o r one o f the actors to their stopping places. 4 If the panning or travelling technique is used, a third character can start the sequence by w alking up to the couple, giving them som ething and going aw ay. T he cam era rem ains with the o u r two main perform ers (or larger group) who w ould then begin to speak. 5 A panning o r tracking m ovem ent th at starts on an em pty part of the set a n d moves to one side to fram e the m ain players can also be used to begin the scene. The voices o f the players are heard before th eir figures are revealed. 6 The opening m ovem ent in the sequence can be covered in several shots prior to the start o f the static dialogue. The possibilities outlined can be applied to larger groups. F or the exits a t the end o f the sequence we would only have to reverse the m ovem ents described above. It m ust be understood th at these opening an d closing m otions are an essential part o f the dialogue sequences where the perform ers stop to talk in a fixed place. Re-establishing shots To keep o u r interest adequately aroused in the situation, we m ust be rem inded from tim e to tim e o f the place in which the action that attracted o u r atten tion is happening. This presupposes the use, at least once, o f a re-establishing shot halfw ay through the sequence. The shot can serve several purposes; 1 It re-estates the place, rem inding us o f the spatial relationship between the perform ers and their placem ent on the set— som e­ thing we tend to forget as we concentrate on the closer shots. 2 Lt serves as a pause in the n a rra tio n —a visual pause that breaks the satu ratio n o f the close shots accum ulated during the development o f the dialogue. 3 [t serves to end the sequence, giving the perform ers space in which to p art o r go away together. 4 If the sequence continues, it serves to m ask a change in editing patterns, o r allow s the actors to m ove from zone to zone before the new editing pattern is introduced.
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5 If some ac to r is tem porarily excluded in an interplay o f close shots that concentrate on the central perform ers, a re-establishing shot rem inds us o f his presence. I f he is no t re-established his disappearance w ould be baffling to us, since we w ould n o t have been aw are o f his exit. O f course, there are exceptions to this pattern o f establishing shot dialogue in closer shots—re-establishing shot. W e can start a scene w ith close shots an d establish the locale after a suitable period has elapsed (the opening o f the M asoch C lub sequence in The Tenth Victim , (see Page 6) w here the an n o u n cer is first introduced alone, in close up, and his location is revealed at a later stage in the story). T h at procedure is correct. B ut w hat we can seldom do is dispose com pletely o f the establishing shot. Importance o f silent reactions O ften the silent reaction o f a listening perform er is m ore expressive th an the face o f the perform er speaking to him . F o r exam ple, the sequence starts with one player speaking his first lines, and in m id-speech we cut to the o th er listening in silence, w ith the voice o f the first a c to r continuing. W hen he finishes, the image o f the second player rem ains on the screen a n d he then replies. Now we can reverse the form ula, cutting in the m iddle o f his lines to the first m aster shot where his p artn er is reacting in silence. This is a scene tackled in the crudest form . Refinem ents in cu ttin g the master shots to determ ine how m uch a voice overflows into the next shot, o r providing a series o f m uted reactions to statem ents from a player, m ust be dictated by the context o f the scene an d its m eaning an d position in the story as a whole. If one acto r is confronted by a group, to w hom he has a long speech to deliver, we ca n n o t effectively sustain interest with a single shot o f th at lone perform er; we m ust occasionally insert various silent shots o f the listening group as the voice continues. H aving outlined the m ost general principles, let us now get dow n to particulars by investigating som e cu rren t editing prac­ tices o f static diologues covered from fixed cam era positions. Inserts and cut-aways M any directors and editors still tend to shoot and edit a static dialogue in a continuous static single shot. This last vestige of the
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theatrical influence in film w ork is a practice still transm itted from one generation o f film directors to another. It allows screen perform ers to ap p ro ach the scene in a sim ilar way to their ex­ perience in the theatre. The scenes covered tend to be lengthy an d the players have tim e to sink their teeth into their roles and bring o u t the b est in th eir acting. But the cam era is relegated to the role o f passive spectator a n d its cinem atic possibilities are denied to it. M any film technicians have felt secure w ith this type o f coverage and dreaded experi­ m entation with the m ontage lncm uu m at uitaivS tilC Hut ural tem po o f the scene and brings one o f its own to bear, whose rules m ust be m astered by continuous practice in editing. E arly film directors an d editors who were aw are o f the lim itations o f such a shallow ap p ro ach , introduced inserts and cut-aways in their first efforts to b reak aw ay from it. T he insert would be a sh o t spliced in to substitute a p a rt o f the m ain m aster shot. It shows a section o f the scene fram ed by the m aster shot in greater detail. A cut-aw ay is a sh o t inserted on the m aster shot th at shows som e­ thing o r som ebody n o t covered by the m aster cam era position. If b o th such shots are used repeatedly w ithin a m ain m aster shot they themselves becom e subordinate m aster shots. This ap p ro ach to static dialogue editing, although basic, is still useful today. Case A Let us exam ine the use o f inserts first. L et us say th at we have a scene where one player is explaining som ething to another. There is a m ap o n the wall behind them (Fig. 8.1). Suddenly, to m ake a p o in t clearer, o ne o f the players indicates a section o f the map. I f we cu t to a close shot o f him o n the sam e visual axis o f the m aster shot, the audience, to o , will be able to appreciate the point. W e th en retu rn to the form er m aster shot. T h at small shot spliced into the m aster shot served to highlight a p art o f the dialogue an d its use was justified. In fact, it w ould have been a m istake n o t to avail ourselves o f the situation to present a clearer visual story to the audience. The next possibility is to m ake the insert shot from a reverse camera position. F o r instance, a ca r is o n the road parked beside a policem an who is adm onishing its driver. W e cover this dialogue from a full sh o t position (see Fig. 8.2). As the policem an hands a
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FIGURE B.1

The insert has the same visual axis as the master shot.

ticket to the driver, we cut to a close reverse shot in which we catch th at delivery being m ade. The reverse position in this ease affords us a better view o f the proceedings. N ow we retu rn to the full sh o t m aster shot to com plete the scene a n d witness how the driver pulls away and the policem an w atches him go. T h e in sert serves not only to pinpoint atten tio n on a n object, b u t also to show in detail an em otional reaction as portrayed on the face o f a player. The ap p ro ach is sim ilar to the cases ju s t described. Case B A n insert can be used twice w ithin a m aster shot. F o r example, Tw o persons talking as seen from a m aster shot th a t fram es them in full shot. Two inserts o f the sam e perform er are m ade where he reacts silently to the w ords o f his partner. As these m om ents come

FIGURE ».2

Tlie insert has a reverse erteie relationship with She master shot.

in the m aster shot, the reaction seen in full shot is substituted by the insert where th at sam e reaction was filmed in close shot. The editing o rd e r w ould be sim ple: M aster Insert 1 - M aster Insert 2 M aster In such a situation both inserts corresponded to the sam e player, but b oth perform ers can be highlighted alternately, by show ing one o f them in the first insert, and the other in the second. This second insert need not always be placed w ithin the m ain master shot. It can be used at the end o f it, to cap the sequence with the detail that the insert affords. Case C An insert shot is often used as hinge to unite two m aster shots.
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F o r exam ple: Three officers are discussing a situation in front o f a m ilitary m ap. The m ap is placed sideways to the audience and cannot be clealrly seen. W hen one o f the players points to it, we cut to a close shot o f the m ap and the hand o f the perform er roam ing over it. This shot could be from a right angle cam era position, and is o u r insert. But then, instead o f returning to the previous m aster shot, we cut to a second m aster shot th at continues the scene (Fig. 8.3). This second m aster shot can be m ade from any one o f the points o f the triangle cam era disposition for coverage o f a group, and this group can be fram ed in its entirety as before. O r the view may become selective and fram e only a section o f it.

FIGURE 8.3

A n Insert Is used to bridge two master shots.

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Case D In the old days, and in fact in quite recent times, especially in A m erica, static dialogued scenes were shot according to a standard p ro c e d u re : 1 A m aster shot, (usually a full shot), is m ade o f the scene all the way th rough. 2 The ensem ble o f players is split in groups, and each g roup is pho to g rap h ed repeating the whole scene from beginning to end with the o th er players sitting o r standing out o f cam era range all th ro u g h the scene. 3 C lose-ups o f every player involved are shot covering the w hole event. This m eans th a t the film editor has a wide field o f selection w hen editing the scenes, since he has all the lines o f dialogue and silent reactions he needs. H e is the one w ho selects the cam era angles to a p p e ar on the screen. I f the director later w ants to delete som e piece o f dialogue o r phrase, the editor can do th at very easily, because he has num erous cover shots (inserts an d cut-aways) to choose from to bridge the gap where the w ords were rem oved.

Case E In scenes which are essentially psychological and greatly depend on dialogue, the perform ance a n d truthful staging m ust tak e precedence over the arrangem ent o f the shots. T he classical m ethod o f shooting the scene, as described above in case D, is the easiest way o u t, b u t p erh ap s not the m ost econom ical. It allows the director and film ed itor to try' several different versions o f the scene till they arrive at the m ost satisfactory. If the scene has special bits o f business w orth stressing visually, the d irector shoots th em for the editor to use a t the proper tim e in the sequence. Such inserts can be sim ple facial reactions, the m ovem ent o f a hand, the m otion o f a m echanism seen in detail, etc. In fact, the w ord insert is often synonym ous with close shot. It is n o t necessary for the film editor to use them all, perhaps none m ay be used in the final version o f the scene. But a wise director shoots them anyw ay to be adequately covered. On the stage floor, am o n g all the rush an d cxcitem em t o f getting the scene on film, the quality o f all ideas cannot be assessed properly, and the final editing p attern m ay n o t yet, perhaps, have been decided.
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On o ther occasions an insert is used to repair technical errors unw ittingly com m itted—for exam ple, if a piece o f him has been fogged for some reason or som eone out o f cam era range moved in front o f a light during the shot. Such errors m ight not be seen until printed, at which stage it is perhaps too costly o r im possible to reshoot the scene. An insert spliced in place o f the dam aged spot o f film often saves the day. Case F Som etim es during the course o f a conversation the characters refer to som ething off screen: a building, an anim al, a vehicle or, p erhaps, a person. It is quite natural then, if the subject involved is really im p o rtan t, to splice a shot o f it into the single take that covers th e dialogue. T h at insertion is called a cut-aw ay. M o re th an one cut-aw ay shot can be introduced into a master sh o t to show the different points o f interest th at the players cover in the developm ent o f their dialogue. F o r exam ple: two persons are stan d in g on a hill talking, we see them in m edium shot. One p o in ts off screen to the right. W e insert a cut-aw ay in which a faro ff bu ild in g is seen. We return to the m aster shot o f the two players. After a m om ent the second perform er turns and points to som ething off screen, left. W e insert an o th er cut-aw ay showing a d istan t bridge. Then we return to the m edium shot o f the two acto rs where they conclude their conversation and turning, walk aw ay to the background. Thus the sequence is neatly resolved, in a straig h tfo rw ard sim ple presentation. In th e example exam ined bo th cut-aw'ays covered different subjects. Instead o f two different cut-aw ays being inserted into the m aster shot, the subject m atter o f both inserts can be the sam e, but the second is a closer shot on the sam e visual axis as the first, insert. Repeating o ur example, both players are standing on the hill, talking, facing us. (Fig. 8.4). They look up, off screen, to the sky. W e insert the first cut-aw ay, a tall tree with an eagle seen perched 011 a top branch. This is a full shot o f the tree and the eagle. W e retu rn to the m aster shot, an d m om ents later insert the second cut-away, a closer view o f the eagle on the branch. The m ethod can also be applied to silent scenes, where a group, or g ro u p s, witness some far off event, o r are w atched by another group.
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1
C ase G The next step is to insert m ore than two cut-aw ays in the same m aster sh o t—always covering the' sam e subject. The form ula is simple. The m aster is a full shot o f the m ain perform er or per­ form ers. The inserts progress from a full shot for the first, to m edium shot for the second, to close shot for the third and close up for the fourth. This form ula can be applied to dialogues o r silent situations. One can recall tw o exam ples from well know n films. In Max O phuls’ Lola M o n tez , Peter U stinov is seen as the circus master perched on a high scaffold, recounting the life o f Lola M ontez to the public. D ow n below in the arena Lola M ontez (played by M artine C arol) turns on a m erry-go-round where several groups of m idgets represent stages o f her life. T he take covering Peter U stinov is a static Full Shot, and is the m ain m aster take. On it are intercut a series o f shots o f Lola M ontez beginning to recall a particularly painful event in her life. A s a p o unding sound in­ creases in the sound track o f the film, we get progressively closer views o f her on the m erry-go-round, intercut w ithin the shot of Peter U stinov. The second exam ple happens in A lfred H itchcock’s film The Birds. M elanie D aniels has stepped out o f the school building and sits dow n close to the playground to sm oke a cigarette. Un­ noticed by her, several birds began to gather on the clim bing bars iocated on the school playground. The playground is fram ed in full shot, while a progressive succession o f closer shots o f the girl are spliced within that master shot. The scene is played com pletely in silence, and runs roughly like this: Full shot. A lone bird arrives and lands on the clim bing bars. Full shot o f M elanie D aniels sm oking. Full shot. Several birds on the bars. A n o th er crow arrives. M edium shot o f the girl. She sm okes. Full shot. N ew birds arrive. Close shot o f girl. She sm okes slowly. Full shot. M ore birds jo in the crows already gathered in on the playground. Close up o f the girl. She stops sm oking and turns her head to the left to look off screen. A lone bird flying in the sky. The cam era fram ing it in long
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shot follows its flight from left to right, to show how the crow joins the ran k s o f birds now fully covering the metal construc­ tion on the playground. Close up o f th e girl. She reacts frightened. All the shots o f M elanie D aniels seated o n the bench, sm oking, had the same visual axis. Case H C ut-aw ays can be tracking o r panned shots, as well as static set­ ups. F o r exam ple: an actress is addressing a group. It is a long speech she is delivering. W e face her in m edium shot. The first cut-aw ay inserted in a full shot o f the group w atching h er silently. Back again to her m edium shot. T he second cut-aw ay is a panning shot across the faces in the group. W e retu rn to the m aster m edium shot o f the actress. T he th ird cut-aw ay is a full shot sim ilar to the first insert. W e close th e sequence by returning again to the m aster m edium sh o t where she finishes speaking. Case I A cut-aw ay can evoke an event in the past. A kira K urosaw a an d Alain R esnais are two film m akers very adept at this sort o f usage. The rem em brance can be provoked by the subject th at dom inates in the m aster shot, o r it m ay be a sudden visualization o f the character’s inner recollections. In his film Rashomon, A kira K urosaw a has a scene in which the bandit (Toshiro M ifune) tells the co u rt how he recalls the events on the day o f the crime. T here is a particu lar m om ent that is built like this: The b an d it says he rem em bers having covered a great distance with his horse th at day. W ithout in terrupting the verbal n arratio n o f the bandit, a cut-aw ay is introduced fram ing the horizon low o n the screen, and on its edge the small figure o f the bandit riding his horse is seen travers­ ing the screen. The b andit reappears as in the previous m aster shot, and co n ­ tinues his n arratio n to the tribunal.

In this cut-away to a past event tw o different times co-exist briefly on the screen. The audience accepts this cut-aw ay without difficulty because it is m otivated by the p erform er’s train of thought. A lain Resnais specializes Ln the sudden intrusion o f the past on the present, w ithout w arning and usually for a b rief flash. His film H iroshim a , M on A m our is full o f such examples. T he French w om an in the hotel room fixes her atten tio n on the hand o f her Japanese lover asleep on the bed. W ith o u t warning, a b rief take is inserted showing in close up the han d o f ano th er m an wriggling in agony. It is a b rief pan shot th at moves upw ards over the prone body o f the G erm an. T he wom an looks at her sleeping lover. T here is no immediate ex p lan atio n for th at sudden, b rief shot. It com es as a shock. It is only later, when the p a rt recurrs several tim es m ore, th at we u n d erstan d th at the hand belonged to her dead G erm an lover, a sold ier in W orld W ar II. It is a m ore difficult for the audience to grasp the point. O u r first reaction is one o f shock, we do not u n d erstan d at all. As the experience is repeated we learn to accept th at appearance passively, waiting for the explanation th at we are sure will later be provided by the author. Case J F o r how long should an insert o r a cut-aw ay be held on the screen ? It depends on the content. I f it frames a m otion th at is em phasized, it should begin with the sta rt o f the m ovem ent an d finalize when it com es to an end. In fact, the length o f the shot in such a case dictates itself. If the m ovem ent em phasized is p a rt o f a larger m otion, the visual rapport betw een the m aster shot and the insert should be achieved by cu ttin g on the action. M o re o f this, later. I f a static object is the one fram ed on the cut-aw ay, o r a silent close sh o t o f a person with neutral expression, two seconds is enough, o r sometimes even to o long. But if the silent player giving a passive countenance to his screen interpretation is listening to a phrase, dialogue o r a piece o f m usic, this im age can be easily held up to 10 seconds w ithout seeming over-long.
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Number contrast W hat I have called ‘n um ber c o n tra st’ is one o f the m ost useful recourses fo r covering long dialogues, since it m asks the ap p ro ach ­ ing and receding visual pattern o f the film by featuring a different num ber o f actors on the screen from shot to shot. N um ber contrast is obtained by parallel cam era positions in groups o f three and m ore actors, but m ore often m ainly by opposing a reverse external position to an internal reverse cam era site. This approach works with groups o f two actors and m ore. Its m ost simple application would be a decreasing contrast in num bers, such as: 2 players to 2, 2 players to 1, 1 player to ], This w ould correspond to a visual pattern o f m edium shots, close shots, close ups, th u s perhaps building to a peak m om ent in the dialogue. The p attern is reversed to retu rn to the subdued curve o f dialogue before m ounting to the next peak. A pair o f reverse shots (in any o f the five variants o f the triangle principle) can be at different subject ranges for variety in the final edited result. I f the apex o f the triangular cam era disposition (the establishing shot site) is a full shot, and the other two positions on the base o f th e triangle figure are close shots, the extrem e diff­ erences in subject distance will provide a dram atic introduction and conclusion to the sequence. Parallel editing o f m aster shots What is th e m ain difference between the parallel editing o f reverse master shots and the system outlined before, where inserts and c u t­ aways were introduced into a single m aster tak e? ' Fundam entally, it is a difference o f concept. W hile with the first m ethod the scene is covered in full from a single cam era position, here the scene is divided in segm ents and each one o f those pieces o f scene is given a different visual treatm ent. W h at th e inserts and cut-aw ays did for the previous system , the parallel editing o f pairs o f cam era positions does now. Two m ajor p attern s can be outlined for this new technique: 1 An establishing cam era site opens the sequence: a pair o f external reverse shots cover p a rt o f the dialogue; a return is m ade to th e re-establishing view o f the group the editing p attern is changed into an internal-external cam era opposition. The w hole
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group is re-established once m ore from a fu ll shot, a n d a new editing pattern is em ployed (internal reverse shots). A re-estab­ lishing shot closes the sequence. 2 A fter establishing the scene from a full shot, the different pairs o f reverse shots edited in parallel dovetail sm oothly from pattern to pattern, using each last shot o f a p attern as the hinge to begin the following editing pattern. P artial em phasis on a single line of interest o r a change from north -so u th to east-w est is achieved w ithout resorting to a re-establishing take, whose use is more sparsely em ployed. T he o rd er and n atu re o f such editing p attern s is decided by the director previous to shooting the scene, thereby lim iting the role o f the editor, whose creative labour is now channelled into controlling the screen tim e for the shots. It is with this m ethod th at all the pairs o f key cam era positions outlined in previous chapters com e into their own.

Variation A With this technique inserts a n d cut-aw ays are em ployed for effect only, to stress an object, a spoken line o r a facial expression within one o r several o f the editing patterns o f the sequence. The film m aker need n o t be awed by the large num ber o f pairs o f key shots he has at his disposal. H e selects and ad ap ts for the needs o f his story those types o f com binations m ore suited to his purpose.

Variation B Using shots at different distances for variety can be carried a step further (Fig. 8.5). The four m aster cam era sites show n could be edited in a simple pattern, such as the follow ing: Shots 1— 4— 1— 4— 2—3—2 —3 progressing from close shots to close ups. T o achieve th at we group together the reverse shots o f the sam e distance: 1 and 4 are close shots, 2 and 3 are close ups. Yet, both distances can be contrasted, so that a close up follows a close shot, reversing the form ula half-way through the sequence. The sequence will then becom e as follows:
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FIGURE 8.5 Four key master shots th a t can be used to obtain a dynamic visual presentation of a dialogued scene by contrasting distances on the reverse shots.

S hots 1— 3— 1— 3— 1— 3—2 - 4 — 2—4—2 - 4 — This frequently used variation gives a flashy presentation to a brisk dialogue. Variation C. Here is an o th er widely used variation, applied to parallel editing o f a tw o-player static dialogue. The system im plies the use o f tw o cam era sites placed o n a com m on visual axis to cover one o f the players, while only one cam era position is given to the o th er player. I f you pick two key cam era positions to cover a dialogue, and feel th at the conversation is to o long, you can move forw ard on the axis o f one o f the m aster takes to cover the second h a lf o f the conversation. Fig. 8.6 illustrates tw o exam ples where tw o players are used as pivots in a group. I f the dialogue is a short one the editing o rd er of the sequence could b e : S hots 1— 2— 1— 2— 1— 2 Since the dialogue is longer, halfw ay through it we move to a closer position on the same axis o f one o f the m aster shots (thus

em phasizing one o f the players). T he editing order now becomes: Shots 1—2— 1— 2— 1—2—3— 2— 3—2 B oth exam ples illustrated have subtle differences in number co n trast when the closer shot on one o f the visual axes is introduced in th e sequence.

Line o f interest— changing sides
W hen a long dialogue between two persons seated at a table is covered from one side o f the east-west line o f interest flowing betw een them , an d we risk m onotony from the length o f the dialogue itself, we can m om entarily in terru p t by switching to a n o rth -so u th axis, then retu rn in g east-w est b u t o n the other "Stile o f th e line. Fig. 8.7 shows the screen com positions an d floor plan sites. T he shift in the line o f interest can sta rt in any one o f the first three cam era positions. In this case we have selected the cefitral sh o t (2), where no player is dom inant. T he shift o f attention is easily accom plished: the players stop looking at one another and tu rn their heads aw ay from us tow ards a p o in t off screen, left. W e th en cut to Shot 4, w here p erform er C waves a hand to them. C u t to Shot 5 where b o th are looking to the left an d react to the perfo rm er off-screen. Player C in S hot 4 m oves aw ay from the screen after breaking his visual ra p p o rt with the actors at the table. Shot 5 again, where players B an d A stop looking off-screen left, and face one an o th er again. W e are now on the o th er side of the line o f interest a n d a reverse angle coverage can be started again. O u r two m ain perform ers have exchanged areas on the screen an d this change goes unnoticed due to the m om entary polar stjift. T h e editing o rd er o f this sequence can be as follows: Sho ts 2 - 1-3 -1 -3 -1 -3 -2 - 4 -5 -4 -5 -6 -7 -6 -7 - 5 -6-7

Pause between dialogues
L ong static dialogues are difficult to sustain visually. They need con tin u ed peaks o f attention. B ut such an accum ulation, with b rie f passages o f u n im p o rtan t things said in betw een, arc very difficult to write an d to say convincingly, for tw o reasons: The effect obtained is to o w ordy, an d a logical an d natu ral transition betw een sections is quite difficult to secure every time.
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FIGURE8.5 Three baste master shots can be used to cover a large group where two central players serve as pivots. Observe the differences in number contrast that distinguish bcth examples.

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FIGURE 8.7 Crossing a triangular formation to the other side of the line of interest. A diversion, in this case a momentary crosswise change in the fine of direction is used to achieve the shifting of the triangular camera placement scheme.

The solution is to do w ithout these bridging phrases altogether, and replace them by visual pauses, thus obtaining a flow o f only peak m om ents o f dialogue o n the screen. The visual pause resorted to is one th a t portrays something relevant to. the scene w ithout interfering with the contents o f the peak m om ents. Let us look a t an exam ple: David Lean, at the beginning o f his film D o cto r Zhivago, m akes use o f th at technique:
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' 1 The film begins with Y evgraf (Alec G uinness) looking through She window o f his office. 1 Long row s o f w orkers enter the hydroelectric plant early in the morning. '3 Y evgraf talks w ith his assistant rem em bering the hard times during the revolution. 4 - A single shot o f people com ing to w ork a t the hydroelectric plant. j Y evgraf states th a t he w ants to find a particular girl am ong the workers. 6 A single sh o t o f people com ing to work. \7 The girl (R ita T ushingham ) outside Y e v g ra f s office knocks and is received by him. The sections num bered 3, 5 and 7 are p a rt o f a sam e continuous scene covering three im p o rtan t points in the dialogue. I f they had been filmed as a continuous scene, the w ords separating the peak moments o f atten tio n w ould tend to d istract the audience, defeating the p urpose o f relaying to them im p o rtan t facts about the story. Visual pauses are therefore introduced: the w orkers com ing into the plant, as seen in sections 4 a n d 6. In this w ay the p eak m om ents o f dialogue are isolated and allowed to sink hom e. B ut to m otivate the visual pause, and to prevent their being distracting digressions, their ra p p o rt to the m ain personage was established before in sections 1 and 2. Sometim es th e n atu re o f the forthcom ing visual pause is previously ann o u n ced in a dialogue. R ichard B rooks’ film The Professionals has such a n exam ple : Lee M arvin arrives for the train and is received by M r. G ran t himself, the ow ner o f the railway. As they get on the train a w orker points o u t to M r. G ra n t th at they will have to be moved into a siding to let an express go by. T he train starts to move. Inside M r. G ra n t describes each o f the three m en he has gathered, thus inform ing the audience and the personages o f their m ain traits and abilities. The express passes G ra n t’s wagon. Inside the tra in once m ore, M r. G ra n t explains his problem and his plan. The visual pause used to isolate the peaks o f dialogue looked natural because it was verbally planted beforehand during an otherwise neutral m om ent.
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Everyday scenes can be covered easily with this technique: Two people on the front seat o f a m oving car, talking. As a story p oint is m ade, cut to . . . . . . an external shot o f the car crossing the road from side to side o f the screen. C ut again t o , , . . . . the interior o f the m oving car where both players indicate a new section o f their dialogue. T he technique is simple and effective. Its p ro p e r use will ensure a clear and sharp developm ent o f the story on the screen.

Tim e compression T here are situations in which lengthy dialogue seems necessary to convey properly w hat is happening. A nd yet, we m ay still feel that th e scene is too wordy, an d slows dow n the rhythm o f the film. T here is a solution which is very cinem atic in its results and is always an attention getter. Basically, w hat is done is to compress the tim e span o f the dialogued sequence, specially in its central p art. T he opening and closing parts o f the sequence are treated n o rm aly. Fig. 8.8 gives us a visual idea o f the principle.

FIGURE 8.8 The line represents the total length of the scene, out o f wtileh key passages are selected and edited together, om itting other fragm ents considered not reievant Jo the spirit of the scene. Thus, time compression is achieved.

T he line in the illustration represents the real length o f the scene. The num bered segm ents are the ones portrayed on the screen. As can be seen, beginning a n d conclusion are respected, b u t in the centre significant fragm ents are selected (2— 3— 4— 5— ) and edited together by a sim ple cut. N o optical tran sitio n joins the fragm ents. '~' Each fragm ent selected conveys a com plete idea by itself, just th at, and a cut is m ade to the next fragm ent. T here is no change in b ack ground o r location o f the action, only a com pression o f time. 156

Case A The selection o f fragm ents presents the players in different body positions and p arts o f the location, Alain Resnais in Hiroshima , Mon Am our used this effect several tim es. W e recall an instance concerning the Japanese lover, when he recounted some o f his experiences to the French actress. Three shots containing his phrases -were arran g ed roughly like this: The m an lying in bed, talking. As he com pletes a thought, cut to . . . . . . same background, the m an sitting in bed talking. His words continue the concept o f the form er phrases, cut to . . . , . . sam e background. The m an standing. He ends his exposition. In this way the reactions o f the w om an who listened off-shot, were omitted (and with them her phrases and the resultant answ ers the u n would have been com pelled to give). The scene gained in conciseness and im pact by om itting u n ­ important time segm ents.

C <?.re if If this technique is applied to two people, each shot may contain only two phrases, a question and an answ er perhaps and those phrases cover a com plete th o u g h t o r idea. The scenes are very brief giving a staccato rh y th m on the screen, due to the direct cuts with which th e takes have been joined. This m ood is em phasized by the acto rs changing sites, body positions, and fram ing in the picture area. A pause introduced in one shot would break the m onotony o f (he staccato rhythm . By presenting the scene with a contraction o f real time, we have eliminated the hesitations, repetitions an d verbal pauses betw een the peaks o f dialogue, keeping o n the screen only the im p o rtan t sectors o f the scene.

Cnye C The same technique can be taken a step further and one o f the players can be periodically replaced in the sequence, as the co n ­ versation moves along a central them e. In the French film W ithout Apparent M otive, J. L, T rintignant,
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playing the police inspector, interrogates a suspect. The inspector questions—the suspect answ ers, after a tim e this pattern is broken by having a second suspect unexpectedly answ er a question, and then the first suspect answ ers the following question, and then the second, an d then the first till the sequence concludes. What happens is that two different interrogations were held in the same ro o m a t different times. These scenes are edited in parallel to give the audience non-repetitive inform ation, which w ould happen when the second suspect answers the sam e questions with the same results. W ith this approach only the inform ation that differs as supplied by both is given to the audience. T he scene gained in clarity by a simple contraction o f time. In M ilos F orm an film Taking O ff a song called L e t's Get A L ittle Sentim ental is presented as sung in a fragm ented jum p-cut m ontage by a variety o f girls at an audition. Each girl sings a single phrase or only a few words, an d the lyrics are continued by the one th at follows. U p to tw enty girls are used to render the song o n the screen. Case D A kira K urosaw a in his film Ikiru used the same technique b u t in a different context. The film begins with a group o f w om en com­ plaining in the m unicipal offices. T he em ployee sends them to an o th er section. By a series o f swift wipes across the screen a succession o f em ployees from different sectors o f the establish­ m ent is presented, all saying in their ow n way th a t they are not involved and referring the w om en to the next office. At last, the whole thing com es full circle, and the women are returned to the first em ployee they saw. O ne of the wom en suddenly gives vent to her indignation on the m an and on the system he w orks for. W hen the sequence begins we are shown the wom en and the em ployee, but after he directs them to the next office and the first wipe crosses the screen, the succeeding takes are a series o f close shots o f the em ployees, w ho, speaking directly into the camera lens, give their excuses in tu rn . T he wom en are no t seen o r heard during the whole succession o f faces, till the first employee re­ appears, K u rosaw a’s social com m ent is pu t bluntly enough by this technique.
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Case E David Lean adopted this m ethod o f tim e contraction in Doctor Zhivago. B ut his v ariation is to use a n a rra to r to express verbally the m ood o f the scene whose visual p arts he contracts. Y evgraf finds Z hivago tearing pieces o f wood from a fence. Y evgraf recognizes him as his h alf brother (so his interior voice inform s us) and follows him hom e. T here is a sh o rt scene betw een Zhivago and the tw o com m issars who are rem oving his books from his room. The discussion is interrupted by the arrival o f Y evgraf who snaps his fingers an d disbands the group o f neighbours. Once m ore the internal voice o f Y evgraf is heard on the sound track, while on th e screen Zhivago em braces his step-brother, they eat together, and talk. But only the n arrative voice o f Y evgraf is heard. Suddenly there is a close shot o f Z hivago where he says: ‘N o t liked? M y poem s are n o t liked? By w h o m ?’ A nd over a silent face o f Y evgref his narrative voice on the screen gives the real answ er he w ould have liked to have m ade b u t did not. The scene progresses, w ith the players gesticulating and m oving silently, until th e n arrative voice o f Y evgraf is once m ore in­ terrupted by Z hivago speaking. Y evgraf’s visit is visually reduced to a series o f images com ­ pressing tim e and representing only the peak m om ents of their meeting. Speeding dialogue tempo There is a curious ph enom enon for w hich I know n o t of a valid explanation. W hen you shoot a scene at a norm al pace and project it later on a small screen, the pace reproduced on the screen equals th at o f th e scene when it was photographed on film. B ut when this same strip o f film is projected on a large screen to be viewed by a large audience, the pace o f the scene slows dow n. This is a fact to which m any film directors will attest. W ith an actio n scene, the cam era is undercranked, thus in­ creasing the speed o f the subject when, later, the film is projected at the n o rm al rate. But how do we solve the sam e problem when dealing w ith a static dialogued scene ? Speed up the tem po o f the scene to ab o u t one-third o f the norm al pace. This m ethod should no t be used w hen you w ant to convey m ood, b u t when the dialogue is o f an inform ative nature. W hen a dialogue scene is speeded up, in this way actors tend to speak louder. I f you instruct them to speak quietly their voice level will sound n atural in the finished sequence.
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9
THE NATURE OF SCREEN MOTION

I f a film is to possess a sm ooth flow o f parts, there m ust be co n tro l, organization an d selection. F o r control, you must consider m ovem ent—m ovem ent o f perform ers and o f the camera. B oth can describe circular, horizontal or vertical m otions. The. circu lar m ovem ent o f a perform er turn in g his body o n one spot is equivalent to cam era panning. The horizontally m oving actor, w alking, running or riding is paralleled by sim ilar action of a cam era m ounted on a suitable m obile support. Obviously, an a c to r m oves vertically when he rises from a lying position o r seat, clim bs steps, shins up a rope o r is carried up by a m achine. The cam era can move likewise, an d all three types o f m ovem ent com­ bined w here necessary. H ow ever, a sensation o f m ovem ent can also be obtained solely by cinem atic m eans— where a person sits in fro n t o f a projected m oving background, as for interior shots o f cars, trains, etc which are usually obtained by this m ethod. A nother case o f implied m o vem ent is where wc fram e a person in close shot looking off screen an d in the next shot cut to a view as seen from a moving vehicle. T h e person will seem to be inside a vehicle which is in motion, th o u g h he is, in fact, static. (The illusion is reinforced if the actor m oves his head ap p ropriately.) F ilm as a m edium has a unique p roperty: a continuous move­ m ent can be recorded by using only segm ents o f the action shot from different angles. A significant m ovem ent glimpsed by sectors is o ften m ore livelier and m ore interesting th an one recorded in a single tak e whole. B ut it is essential in this case th a t all the camera positions selected to cover it m ust be on the sam e side. See Fig. 9.1.
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FIGURE 9.1 A continuous movement recorded by several cameras requires that these cameras be pieced on Ih e sam e side o f the path travelled by the moving subject.

If the cam era w ere placed on the o th er side o f th a t line o f movement for one shot, the subject would suddenly be m oving in the opposite direction across the screen (see Fig. 9.2 placem ents 3 aid 6), and these shots would no t intercut properly.
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9
THE NATURE OF SCREEN MOTION

I f a film is to possess a sm ooth flow o f parts, there m ust be co n tro l, organization and selection. F o r control, you must consider m ovem ent— m ovem ent o f perform ers an d o f the camera. B oth can describe circular, horizontal o r vertical m otions. The circular m ovem ent o f a perform er turning his body on one spot is equivalent to cam era panning. The horizontally m oving actor, w alking, running o r riding is paralleled by sim ilar action of a cam era m ounted o n a suitable m obile support. Obviously, an a c to r moves vertically when he rises from a lying position o r seat, clim bs steps, shins up a rope o r is carried up by a m achine. The cam era can move likewise, and all three types o f m ovem ent com­ b in ed where necessary. H ow ever, a sensation o f m ovem ent can also be obtained solely by cinem atic m eans—where a person sits in fro n t o f a projected m oving background, as fo r interior shots o f cars, trains, etc which are usually obtained by this m ethod. A nother case o f implied m ovem ent is where we fram e a person in close shot looking off screen and in the next shot cut to a view as seen from a moving vehicle. T h e person will seem to be inside a vehicle which is in motion, th o u g h he is, in fact, static. (The illusion is reinforced if the actor m oves his head appropriately.) F ilm as a m edium has a unique property: a continuous move­ m ent can be recorded by using only segm ents o f the action shot from different angles. A significant m ovem ent glimpsed by sectors is often m ore livelier and m ore interesting than one recorded in a single take whole. But it is essential in this case th at all the camera positions selected to cover it m ust be on the sam e side. See Fig. 9.1.
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If the cam era were placed on the o th er side o f th a t line o f movement for one shot, th e subject would suddenly be m oving in the opposite direction across the screen (see Fig. 9.2 placem ents 3 and 6), and these shots would not intercut properly. 161

FIGURE 9.2 A s in the triangie principle, one side of the line of movement most be chosen and adhered lo. Any shots from the other side of the line of motion wrl! not intercut properly with those previously used because the reversed direction of movement will confuse the audience.

M otion broken down This sectionalized m ovem ent could be fram ed w ith the subject held in the same sector o f the screen o r entering and leaving the view covered by the cam era (frequently such m otions cover only a half-screen area, on opposed sectors), o r by a com bination of both. T urning, sitting, standing, walking or running m ovem ents can be covered from two cam era positions o n the sam e visual axis,
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or by tw o o r m ore on the trian g u lar principle. H orizontal m ove­ ment (the m o st com m on) can be across the screen, diagonally on [lie screen, from a neutral direction (com ing straight tow ards us or going aw ay) and in an arc. Any change in direction m ust be shown o n the screen, so th at the audience is n o t confused when a perform er is suddenly seen m oving in the opposite direction to th at just shown,

FIGURE 9.3 A ll changes in direction to movement on thp screen m ust be shown to the audience to keep them properly oriented at all times. Shot 3 in this example accomplishes ju st that*

F o r exam ple, if you m ove from your chair to your table to pick up a book (see Fig. 9.3), your rising m ovem ent would be show n with Shot I, y o u r walking m ovem ent to the table in Shot 2 and your arrival a t the table in Shot 3. T here you pick up the b o o k and turn to go back to your chair. W c see you turn an d go out, returning to the previous cam era position (2) on your way back, and your arrival a t the chair seen from position 1. Char\gb)g view with movement Always keeping the cam era on the sam e side o f the line o f m otion is a limiting factor. O ften you w ant to cross to the o th er side o f
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m oving subjects, because from there a m ore dynam ic com position o r a better view o f the events is possible. Y ou can do this by inserting cut-aw ays, by using a neutral direction o f m ovem ent, by m aking a p erfo rm er indicate the change o r by co n trastin g motions in the sam e screen sector. Using cut-aways Cut-aw ays m ake the audience forget the sense o f direction in the last m ovem ent show n, so th a t a new direction does n o t seem un­ n atu ral. A n audience w atching a film is always w aiting for new shots. Their atten tio n is so m uch involved th a t recent visual m em ory becom es very poor. They will rarely rem em ber m ore than one o r tw o shots preceding the one they are w atching. A mind busy grasping story points, does not concentrate fo r long enough o n screen directions to object to a change b ro u g h t a b o u t by inter­ posing cut-aw ays. A racetrack sequence, for exam ple, where you w ant to cross to th e o th er side o f the track for a w ider view could be planned as follows: C ars cross screen from right to left; m ore cars, right to left, at a diag o n al; o th er cars cross right to left in fro n t o f a crow ded stand; close sh o t o f a clock giving the tim e ; a close shot o f a b o ard giving the p o sitio n s; wide shot in w hich the cars m ove from left to right, closer shot in which o th er cars ru n from left to right. N eutral direction A n o th er solution to the sam e problem is to use a neutral diregtio^ o f m otion, betw een changes o f direction o f m ovem ent across the scre.en. In the above case we w ould place ourselves on a bridge over the track a n d film the cars head on o r from behind. These takes w ould be inserted betw een the changes o f direction across the screen. The two n eu tral shots could be used together, so that the cars com e straight at us an d pass below o u t o f the b o tto m o f the fram e and th en ap p e ar from u n d er us and race aw ay into the distance. Perform er indicates the change W here a perform er indicates the change o f direction, by turning his head o r body he could be in a m oving vehicle o r on fir®.
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ground. T he direction in which the perform er looks in relation with the m ovem ent o f the p anoram a across the screen as the camera travels past, indicates the true sense o f direction o f the ■vehicle. Fig, 9.4 shows a typical case o f a boat navigating a stream .

13
FIGURE M The opposed directions of tracking shots 1 and 3 can be properly refated by interposing a shot of a person who Indicates the change. This Indication can be achieved by a simple turn of this person's head.

Let us show the forw ard m otion o f the b o at on the screen by using only m oving shots m ade from the sides— cam era sites 1 and 3, Site 2 Close shot o f a p erson facing us. He is looking off screen, right. Site 1 The river b an k moves across the screen from left to right, as the b o at apparently moves to the left.
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Site 2 Close shot o f the person. He turns his head from right to left. Site 3 The river side m oves across the screen from right to left, as the b o at apparently m oves to the right. The b oat is always m oving forw ard. We do not lose th at sense of direction in spite o f the contradictory m ovem ents across the screen seen from positions 1 and 3. Shot 2, in which the person changes his side o f interest, m akes the opposition natural without disturbing our aw areness o f the real forw ard m ovem ent. The person who directs our attention blocks his background making it im possible for us to see the neutral direction in which the vehicle is moving. In the sequence ju s t described the person has his back to the prow o f the boat, although th at m ay not be ap p a ren t on the screen. His position in the boat is indicated by the order of m ovem ent direction seen on the screen. Using the same shots, we have only to alter the edited order to m ake the player seem to be facing the prow o f the b o at indeed (keeping his background blocked). T hus: Site 2 Close shot o f a person facing us. H e is looking off screen, right. Site 3 T he river side m oves across the screen from right to left, as the b o a t apparently m oves to the right. Site 2 Close shot o f the person. He turns his head from right to left. Site 1 The river bank m oves across the screen, left to right, as the boat apparently m oves to the left. By blocking the background to the player, the shot could be made in the studio. T hough placed on firm ground, it is possible to give the sensation th a t he is on the m oving boat. Two contrasting view points o f a static subject as seen from the same side o f a m oving vehicle can be ‘jo in ed ’ by interposing a person whose attention shifts from one side o f the screen to the other. (Fig. 9.5), W ith the cam era at a three-quarter view to the front o f the moving train (Shot 1) passing buildings are seen from a tangential path. Shot 2 (a studio shot) shows the person looking off-screen right and turning slowly to the left. Shot 3 shows the buildings from his new viewpoint, an d we are now m oving away from them as from a rearw ards-looking three-quarter view. In both m oving shots, the static buildings moved from left

FIGURE 9.5 Two contrasting viewpoints from the same side o f the moving vehicle record an advancing and a receding view of the panorama. They are related by a shot intercut between where a person turning his head from one side to the other motivates Ihe change of viewpoint.

to right, thus confirm ing th at the player’s view was fro m the same side o f the vehicle. T his is n o t exactly a changc o f direction across the screen, b u t a change o f view point along the sam e line o f M ovejn e n t. T here are three o th er ways o f m oving to the o th er side o f a line o f m o tion o r o f interest. The first one involves using the ho ri­ zontal action o f a player, the second com bines th a t horizontal m otion o f a subject with an accom panying pan n in g displacem ent of the cam era. T he third ap p ro ach uses the vertical m otion o f a person on the screen to m ask the crossing o f the cam era to the other side.
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FIGURE 9.6 The person Indicating the chanQe of direction from shot to shot can exit from the firs t and enter view in the other, thus relating tw o different places.

T he three solutions to be explained are quite unobtrusive, and p roperly used will provide a sm ooth passage o f which the audience is n o t conscious. In the first situ atio n a p layer w atching a m otion awa_y fro m h u n , tu rn s in the fo reg round and w alks off.Qne side o f the screen, enters _ the next shot by the o th er side o f the fram e, and stops to lo o k at a subject m oving across the screen from right to left (Fig. 9.6). T he next figure shows the second variation. A caravan m oving from left to rig h t: in the next shot a m an walks from right to left. T he cam era pans w ith him and holds on him as he stops and looks to the far off caravan now m oving from right, to left. T he diversionary m otion o f this player in the second shot was used to in troduce a view from the o ther side o f the caravan’s line o f m o tio n see Fig. 9.6A. T he third v ariatio n begins by showing tw o players facing each other. The cam era covers tTiem from one side. T hen one o fijjem kneels dow n to p ick som ething from the ground. As soon as tBe dow nw ard m ovem ent is com pleted there is a cut to the second

FIGURE 9.6A. The movement of a player at (he start of the second shot masks a change in direction of the main subjects seen In the background.

shot, positioned o n the o ther side o f the players, but featuring only the static player a t its beginning. Seconds later the kneeling player rises into frame. Both players have now reversed their positions o n the screen, but the vertical m ovem ent o f one o f them masked the cam era crossing. In the last case covered, the players m ay be standing on the ground o r floor o f a building, or they stand on a m oving vehicle. In this last case the sam e form ula applies for the cam era crossing to the o ther side o f the players, regardless o f the direction of movement of the vehicle. Three additional ways o f crossing the line o f interest will be explained. They use contrasting m ovem ents to achieve the change. The last approach involves using the same half-screen area twice.
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FIGURE y.7 Opposed directions of movement are suggested when two tracklrifl s io ts covering two central characters are intercut in parallel. These players either walk, >r sit inside a vehicle.

A set o f external reverse shots o f two people in a moving vehicle, o r walking with the cam era, will present this opposition o f screen directions. (See Fig. 9.7), A lternating bo th m aster takes will produce the effect o f con­ trasting m ovem ent w ithout confusing the audience. M oreover, the screen position o f bo th perform ers on the screen will always be the same. The ruse o f putting a static person between two shots to help convey the change o f direction o f a m oving person o r vehicle across the screen, w orks as well on firm ground as inside a moving vehicle. Fig. 9.8 shows a com m on example. T he rider moves from left to right in the first shot. In the second take, an onlooker m oves his head from left to right looking towards the rid er’s off-screen passage. In the third shot the rider is seen m oving right to left. W e accept this change o f direction naturally, because the last shot represents the subjective view point o f the onlooker. Thus, opposed screen directions o f a m oving subject can be clearly presented.
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FIGURE 9.8 A stationary player on firm oround can bo nmployed to Indicate a change In direction of the main subject as i( moves across the screen.

This static o n lo o k er can be present in the background o f the first shot, or not. Also, instead o f using only one person turning his head from one side o f the screen to the other, a g ro u p can be employed, provided th a t all tu rn their heads in unison an d their eyes follow the sam e centre o f atten tio n (the rider) supposed to be passing off-screen behind the cam era.
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Contrasting motions in the same h alf screen We com e now to the last possible variation, where the moving person is always kept on the sam e side o f the screen. The same h alf screen areas is used fo r bo th external reverse shots o f the continuous m otion. Case A P erform er A is seen (static) in both shots, always on the left side o f the screen in this case. H e can easily be replaced by a static object, such as a p ark ed car, a m onum ent, a tree, etc. (See Fig. 9.9).

Both subjects, the static and the m oving one, have been posi­ tioned in the sam e screen area in b oth takes. Case B The m ovem ent in the previous exam ple was continuous b u t a motion th at has a pause in its m iddle can be presented using the same visual form ula. Fig. 9,10 shows this.

FIGURE 9.1G Opposed movements of a subject In a hall area of the screen, will seem continuous to the audience, despite a pause in the movement introduced halfway through the scene.

Subject B enters from the left in Shot 1 and stops to talk to player A. W e cut to Shot 2 where perform er B ends talking to A, and exits left. A lthough perform er B m oved in opposite directions in the same screen sector, his sense o f direction was continuous with respect to player A. Case C
FIGURE 9.9 Contrasting movements of a subject, if remaining in the same half of the screen help to maintain a continuous sense o f direction to r the audience despite the change in camera anale.

Perform er B moves from right to centre in the first take. As she arrives there, there is a cut to the second shot, w here we see her move from the centre o f the screen to the right. T hus, she was seen m oving to the left in Shot I an d to the right in reverse Shot 2.

In the two exam ples ju st discussed, the cam era occupied fixed positions in b o th external reverse shots. But it is possible to m ake one o f those cam era placem ents a m oving one, keeping the contrast in m ovem ents on the screen. (Fig. 9.11). Shot 1 C am era high, looking dow n on em pty seats in a theatre. O ur only perform er walks along an aisle centre to right. As he nears the edge o f the screen, o u t to . . .
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FIGURE 9.11 The same principle of opposed movements in the same screen sector is seen tn action here. The variation is that the second shot is a track.

Shot 2 F rom the other side, the cam era travels in medium shot from right to left, with o u r lone perform er framed constantly o n the right side o f the screcn. The solution outlined w orks because the opposed movements happen on the sam e side o f the screen in bo th shots. T hough it is im p o rtan t to m aintain a co n stan t screen direction, there is an o th er factor which m ust be taken care o f prior to shooting the film. The disconnected film shots will have to be assem bled later, and it is essential to know when to cut from take to take to obtain a sm ooth visual flow. T o achieve th at, certain conditions m ust be observed. 174

Conditions o f the cut The cut m ust afford continuity elem ents th a t prevent a confused presentation o f the m aterial show n to the audience. Three basic rules m ust be observed w hen joining two strips o f film th a t record segm ents o f the sam e continuous m ovem ent. These three rules involve m atching op eratio n s th at can be defined is follow s: 1 m atch in g the position, 2 m atching th e m ovem ent, and 3 m atching th e look. The first rule involves two types o f position m atching: a the physical p o sition o f the a c to r s : their gesture, posture and place o n the stage. T heir clothing m ust, o f course, be the sam e from shot to shot, b T heir po sitio n in the film fram e. c The m ovem ent o f the people in the fram e m ust be continuous as we m ove in closer o r aw ay fro m them by m eans o f a cut. d The direction o f th eir m ovem ents m ust be m atched from shot to shot. The th ird m atching rule has only one requirem ent: e two persons o r tw o groups addressing o r facing each o th er look in o p p o sed directions. When tw o people o r tw o groups m ove tow ard each o th er, we have opposed screen directions, a n d yet their individual m ovem ents m aintain co n stan t screen directions in respect o f the cam era. One group always m oves to the right, an d the o th er to the left. Both opposed scrcen m otions are in tercu t until the final reunion is achieved. This use o f co ntrasted m otion is the basis o f conflicts— soldier m oving against soldier, ta n k against tan k , the In d ia n riders against th e US cavalry, all m oving to a pay-off, a take where bo th meet, always m ain tain in g the sam e direction o f m ovem ent.

Where to cut At w hat stage o f a m ovem ent should we c u t? D uring, before, or after th a t m ovem ent takes place? Let us see w hat happens in a cut. T ake a sim ple exam ple: a person stands facing the cam era. W e w ant to show a full sh o t o f him where he is seen in relatio n to his environm ent, and th en we would like to show him in m edium shot (on the sam e visual axis)
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to highlight his facial expression. T here is no m ovem ent in either. So we simply splice one shot after the other. If these two edited shots are taken to a projector and watched on the screen, the tran sitio n fro m take to take is jerky. There is a visual ju m p on the screen a n d the transition from shot to shot is an atten tio n -g etter th a t disturbs us m om entarily. W hy? Because there is a change iri volum es. T h a t change is inevitable as we move closer to o r farth er aw ay from a specific subject. T here is no way to avoid it. O r is th ere ? W e need a distraction. T h at distraction m ust take place in the m om ent o f the change o f shot, that is, on the cut. W hat sort o f d istraction is there so potent to shift o u r attention du rin g a change ? T he answ er is sim ple—m ovem ent, any movement. H ence it is b est to either cut o n the m ovem ent o r cut after the m ovem ent. The m ore frequent cutting on the m ovem ent, i<T‘ generally applied to two types o f m otion peculiar to the screen: m ovem ent inside the screen and m ovem ent entering and exiling th e screen. These two types o f coverage serve to present the three'' basic m o tio n s o f a subject—circular, horizontal an d vertical. C utting on action A lm ost every shot begins recording m ovem ent o f some kind. T here are very few exceptions to this. The m otion show n may be a cu t m atched with the m ovem ent a t the end o f the previous take. O r if it is a cut-aw ay o r a newly introduced shot, a m ovem ent of the person o r thing show n m ust sta rt it. It m ay even be a camera m ovem ent. " The reason for this is simple. C utting on the m ovem ent will ease the cu t to such a n extent th at the visual ja r produced when changing the distance an d placem ent o f the cam era w ith respect to“ the subjects, will pass unnoticed by the audience. Even the big close shots th at cover dialogue between static persons, start with m ovem ent. The perform er m ay be ju st opening his m o u th to talk, o r m ight be m aking a facial expression previous to the delivery o f his lines. O r one m ight see the attentive movem ent o f his eyes as he reacts to w hat is said to him, or his head bending forw ard. T here are, in fact, quite a num ber o f small unconscious m ovem ents th at an ac to r m akes when concentrating — m ovem ents th at are m agnified by the cam era in close shots. M ost m atched cuts are m ade w ith the m oving character placed

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in the centre o f the screen, particularly if only one subject is involved in the coverage. W hen two o r m ore perform ers are shown, the screen is often divided in tw o halves, with the m atched movement taking place in either half. Oniy the d om inant m ove­ ment is m atched by cut. B ackground m otions, an d the direction of those m ovem ents, are also m atched in addition to the m ain one in foreground, if they are conspicuous enough an d if bo th shots are done o n the sam e visual axis. G enerally, th at kind o f m ultiple matching is avoided b u t in certain situations where m ovem ent is difficult to control, such as in a m oving crow d, som e special methods are applied to insure the sm oothness o f the cuts. W hen actually film ing scenes whose action m ust be m atched, the m ain ac to r’s final m ovem ent a t the end o f the first shot is tepeated once m ore in full at the start o f the next. Later, in the editing room , they can be m atched. M ore often th an not, ab o u t one-third o f the first shot m ovem ent an d tw o-thirds from the second are used.

10
CUTTING AFTER THE MOVEMENT

Although cutting on the m ovem ent is the m ost extensively used device for continuity cuts, let us first deal briefly with the technique o f cutting after the m ovem ent. This type o f cutting is often applied to approaches on the same visual axis. The m ovem ent used m ay be where either the a c to r o r the cam era m oves. If the player m oves, he is seen approaching in a neutral direction (in the centre o f the screen, com ing straight tow ards us), o r he perform s a vertical m otion while staying in his place. M ovem ents across the screen are no t very good for this type o f m atched cut. If the cam era is m oving, it is either travelling sideways or vertically, or panning in either o f those tw o directions. T he cut is usually m ade from a full shot to a m edium or close shot. The technique is simple. Two o r three fram es after the m otion in the first shot has been com pleted, y o u cut to the close shot on the same visual axis. This form ula is used alm ost exclusively for a forw ard cut, it is seldom used to m ove back from a close shot to a full shot. H ere are some practical examples. Case 1 Seen in full shot is the distant window o f a sm all bungalow. Som ebody inside raises the blind. As soon as it is fully opened, cut to a m edium shot o f th a t person, his arm still stretched up­ wards to the to p o f the window. He is standing still and looking out. The first take contains all the m ovem ent. The second is a static shot. (Fig. 10.1).
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FIGURE 10.1 A fte r the completion of a vertical movement in the first shot there is a cut to a second wherer to begin w ith, the subject is held stationary.

T he rising m o tio n contained on the long shot m u st be seen by the audience as it com es to its full com pletion. In fact, tw o or three fram es o f static picture m ust be left at the conclusion o f this shot before cutting to the static closer view o f the m oving subject. The second take, if desired, can be a side view o r a reverse shot o f the m otionless subject. Case 2 Here is an o th er exam ple o f a perform er’s vertical m ovem ent. In the previous exam ple an upw ard m otion was show n, now a dow n­ ward m ovem ent is exam ined. A young girl is seen o n her knees in full shot. She is searching for som ething inside a bag. Suddenly she picks out som e loose clothes contained in it and throws them up, bending h er body dow n and then after th at remaining m otionless. As soon as she becom es static, there is a cut to a close shot o f her on the sam e visual axis. Fig. 10.2 shows the exam ples described.
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FIGURE 10,2 the action.

A downward movement covered by using the principle o f cutting after

I f required, in the second shot you can cut back to a static long shot o f the girl, seen small in the centre o f the screen, her to rso bent. Case 3 T he conclusion o f a m ovem ent in a neutral direction, particularly a n o t too fast m otion, m ay be treated in this way. Tw o people w alk tow ard us. T hey stop, facing us, in fuil shot. As soon as they stop we cut to a m edium shot o f them , standing still (Fig. 10.3). N o u n p leasant ju m p should be visible in the tran sfer from one shot to the o th er if the change in im age size is sufficiently great and the subjects do n o t m ove substantially. Case 4 This technique can be used o n the circular m ovem ent o f a subject who tu rn s a n d throw s attention o n a static perform er standing behind him (Fig. 10.4).
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FIGURE 10.3 An action in a neutral direction can be subjected to the technique of cutting after the movement to advance the view to a closer shot.

FIGURE 10.4 An actor turns and throws attention on the player positioned behind hirrt. As soon as he concludes the turn, there is a cut to a close shot o f the other performer.

The editing o rd er w ould be like this: Shot 1 Perform ers A and B facing the cam era. Player B is in the foreground at the right side o f the screen. H e is talking. Player A in the background listens. T hen B tu rn s to face A. As soon as he stops turning, cut to . . . Shot 2 Close shot o f player A on the same visual axis. H e listens, as the voice o f player B continues o ff screen.
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We said in Case 3 th at the neutral m otion o f a player coming tow ard the cam era could be used for a cut after the movement. The same applies to neutral m otion going aw ay from us.

FIGURE 10.5 A situation in w hich a person moves away from the camera and towards another person or object in the background throw s emphasis on that person or object. This lends Itself to the technique ot cutting after the movement. As soon as t h B moving player stops, cut to a closer view o f the person in the background.

In the first shot shown in Fig. 10.5, player A is seen moving tow ards the prone body o f B. Player A stops halfw ay in his path to B, and as he stops there is a cut to take 2, a close shot o f B, shot on the sam e visual axis as before. A fter the exact fram e in which player A stops a cut is m ade to the forw ard cam era position where he is excluded. Player B was com­ pletely static in b o th shots. Case 6 A m ore conventional cut can be achieved w ith the same receding m ovem ent as shown in Fig. 10.6.

FIGURE 10,6 In this example both players are featured in the second shot, after the performer in motion has stopped near his partner.

In the first take, A walks aw ay tow ards B (w ho is static) an d stops in fro n t o f him. As soon as he stops you cut to the second take, which is an advance on the sam e visual axis. This solution is seldom used because norm ally, m ore dynam ic approaches are em ployed fo r this type o f scenc as will be discusscd later. The sam e criterion o f m ore dynam ic solutions applies when m otions across the screen m ust be dealt with. F o r the record, let us describe an exam ple using a cut after the m o tio n is com pleted. Shot 1 A static player on the left, profiled to the cam era, seen in L ong Shot. The second p layer enters from the right, walks across the screen an d stops, facing the static one. Cut. Shot 2 A M edium Shot o f both players profiled to the cam era. The cu t m ade after the m ovem ent in the first shot had ceased, was achieved on a com m on visual axis. A reverse situation, in which the M edium Shot is used first, and the Long Shot afterw ards, is a seldom used variant. As pointed o u t above, m ore dynam ic approaches to this kind of situation will be exam ined later when dealing into and ou t o f the screen area.
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Case 7 Sometimes a reverse cam era position is resorted to immediately after the player has stopped in the first sh o t (Fig. 10.7).

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FJGURE 10.7 A reverse anole is used lr> this example, where a cut after the movement serves to Join both shots.

F ro m a height, we see a lonely ro ad flanked by tall trees. A lone m a n o n horseback rides slowly aw ay from us. T hen he stops. Cut. Reverse close sh o t o f the m an. His eyes are closed, his head slightly bent dow n, he is asleep on the saddle. Case 8 On some occasions the c u t is m ade in the pause o f the m ovem ent, (Fig. 10.8).

FI SURE 10.8 A pause In the middle of a continuous motion can be used for the tech­ nique of cutting after the movement to Join both shots.

Player B in the first shot places a lam p on the table. F o r three o r four fram es his hand rem ains still o n the lam p. Cut. Side shot. B’s han d in foreground m oves o u t o f the screen left. Thus the pause in the m iddle o f a m ovem ent was used to change the shot and ap p ro ach the m ain subject. This pause afforded an opportunity to introduce a cut after the m ovem ent. T he pau se at the conclusion o f the first shot can be longer if dram atically necessary, provided th at you restart the m ovem ent from th e first fram e o f the second shot.
Case 9

A walking m ovem ent can be treated in a sim ilar m anner. Player A goes to a control panel, stops and depresses a switch. He rem ains still fo r an instant. C ut. Side shot. H e tu rn s an d com es back (Fig. 10.9). The preceding examples dealt with fixed cam era positions, where the perform ers executed the m ovem ents. The situation can be reversed.

FIGURE 10.9 A walking movement in two opposite directions can be treated in the same manner as the preceding example. A s soon as the man stops and before he begins to turn, cut to the second shot where he turns and changes direction on the screen. The cut takes place after the first part of the movement is complete, and a short pause precedes the change in direction.

Case 10 O ur player is seated in the background. The cam era tracks from right to left, showing an em pty conference table. Through an archw ay we see a player, seated. The cam era travels until it frames him centrally, then stops. Then, cut to a close shot on the same visual axis, showing the m an slum ped on the seat, sleeping peace­ fully. 186

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FIGURE 10.10 The camera movement involved here is a vertical tilt. The camera pans up from subject A to performer B seen in the background. A s soon as the camera ceases to pan upwards, cut to a closer view of player B.

Case 11 The technique is sim ilar fo r a panning shot. T he cam era is tilted up from a subjcct in the foreground to fram e the open w indow o f a building in the back ground where a person is seen, in the centre of the screen. C ut to a closer shot on the sam e visual axis. (Fig. 10. 10). A lthough this technique o f cutting after the m ovem ent is som e­ how a lim ited one, it is very useful when unem phatic visual a p ­ proaches to a subject are desired. Since we cut as the m ovem ent concludes, we fulfil the natu ral unconscious desire o f the audience lo have a closer look at the subject to w hom atten tio n is draw n.

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11
MOTION INSIDE THE SCREEN

T he ap p ro ach to screen presen tatio n o f a m ovem ent, whereby fragm ents o f separate shots are cut together, creates a vitality peculiar to the film m edium . O n a practical level, it enables us to change o u r view point sm oothly aro u n d one o r a g roup o f charac­ ters. W here two whole shots o f a single action are cut a good general principle is to use one-third o f the m ovem ent (the start) a t the end o f the first shot a n d tw o-thirds o f the movement_(the conclusion) at th e beginning o f the second. This is n o t a strict rule b u t it m ight be a good starting point. T he rigid rules th at some film th eorists have a t one tim e set up an d said ca n n o t be broken have created a g eneration o f film m aking habits that later had to be discarded as false o r im practical. All rules can be broken if you know w hat y o u are breaking, a n d why. In the present case, the exact fram e o n which to cut from one shot to the o th er is deter­ m ined by a visual com parison. T he strips are m oved up an d down alongside each o ther, until tw o fram es are fo u n d th a t closely m atch in p o sitio n and direction o f m ovem ent, w here the cut is m ade. W ith practice you ‘feel’ w here th a t cut should be. O f course, the am ounts o f m o tio n in the film strips m ay vary i.e. th e com plete m ovem ent in one m ay be longer, especially if sh o t in two separate shots. H ence, m atching speed o f movement w hen shooting should be sought for the two o r m ore shots whicK are to be intercut. I f ill-m atched, how ever, it is generally m ore satisfactory that the m ovem ent be faster in the second fragm ent. A tw o, three or fo u r shot reco n stru ction can be sh o rter o r longer th an the actual m ovem ent. F o r exam ple, if the first take is a full sh o t and the second a close shot, parts o f the m ovem ent m ay be repeated or, in an o th er case, som e fram es m ay be discarded with n o loss of
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smoothness in transition from one shot to the next. Som etim es a matched cu t will seem im perfect when done for the first time, because the m o tio n was not precisely m atched. It is easy to separate the strips o f film and delete from one or bo th the few fram es necessary to o btain a correct visual record. W ith som e practice on the editing m achine, the knack for judging correctly alm ost at first glance where to cut, will soon be obtained. Turning A person turning o n the spot where he is standing, sitting o r lying, moves on the central axis o f his body in a right angle turn (90°), an ab o u t face (180°) o r a full circle turn. T he third possibility is the least interesting o f the three for an action cut. All these turning movements can be covered by three o f the five variants inherent in the triangle principle for cam era placem ent (page 32). It can be readily u n d erstood th a t a set o f internal reverse angles and a pair of parallel cam era positions are unsuitable for shooting a con­ tinuous m otion, due to the divergent coverage given by these camera set-ups. Let us take a look a t the possibilities: Case 1 A pair o f external reverse shots can be used to p h o tograph the turning m otion o f a player in a group. In the first shot both players face the cam era, one located in foreground and the other fuTther back. The player in fro n t turns. His turning m otion is completed on the second shot. B oth players m aintain the same screen positions in b o th shots (Fig. 11.1). Case 2 A right angle tu rn with a right angle cam era coverage is o u r next example. Figure 11.2 shows both cam era sites and the pictorial composition they record. Only one player m oves in the scene. The ap p ro ach is quite sim ple as can be seen here. Case 3 .An advance on the sam e visual axis is one o f the m ost com m only used devices for cutting on the action o f a person who turns. 189

FIGURE 11.1 One player's single turning movement Is divided Into tw o shots. Both players maintain their screen areas. A reverse angle camera coverage is employed.

A player seen in m edium shot in the first take, is profiled to a side o f the screen. T hen he starts to tu rn his head tow ards us. C ut to a close shot where he ends his turning m otion. H e now faces the cam era. B oth takes have the sam e visual axis, an d the player is positioned in the sam e sector o f the screen in bo th shots: either in the centre o r in one o f the three side areas into which the screen has been com positionally divided. Fig. 11.3 shows the m ost simple approach. Case 4 W idening the group o r narrow ing it to one player as the second shot is introduced, as p art o f the m atched m ovem ent, is the next

FIGURE 11.3 movement.

A n advance on a co m m on visual axis fs used here to cover th e tu rn fn g

possibility. Several exam ples will give an idea o f the various treatm ents which are feasible. The use o f a right angle perm its two approaches in the second shot. In the first shot, the d o m in an t player is alone, facing the cam era. A s he tu rns 90° to one side, we cut to a right angle cam era site where he is either in the centre o f the screen or to one side o f it. I f he is in the centre the o th er players w ho have been introduced occupy the sides. If the do m in an t player is in a side area, the rem aining screen area is occupied by the newly introduced perform ers. Fig. 11.4 shows bo th approaches.

FIGURE 11.4 The exampfes shown here show two approaches for the second shot where the group j$ broadened to include one or several more players. The central player turns, covered by a righ t angle camera position which unites both shots.

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Case 5 Ihe same principle works when an advance on a com m on visual axis is em ployed to widen o r narrow the group presented to the audience, using the d o m inant turn in g m otion o f one o f the players as an excuse to introduce o r exclude the group around this dominant player in the scene (Fig. 11.5).
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1 1

FIGURE 11.5 Here the group Is reduced from two persons to one by moving closer to the turning player. Emphasis is given to her and her movement.

Case 6 If a com bination o f external and internal reverse angle is used, the same effect o f w idening or reducing the group on the screen, can be obtained (Fig. 11.6). All the exam ples quoted so far have involved groups o f players placed on firm ground. But if they are located on a moving
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FIGURE 11.6 A n Internal and external reverse camera position deployed around tfc? turning player are used In this example to throw visual emphasis on the central performer,

vehicle, this turning m otion will dom inate the background move­ m ent. If the approach to the second shot is on the sam e visual axis, the background m ovem ent will alw ays be in the same direc­ tion. I f a reverse external com bination is resorted to, the movement in the background will have opposed directions. If a right angle is used, one o f the cam era positions will register a background m ovem ent, while the o ther m ay have its background blocked by an obstruction. If the background can be seen, the direction of m otion glimpsed there will be in a neutral direction, either for­ w ard o r backw ards. In all instances, the foreground m otion dom inates, and is the one th at m ust be precisely m atched.
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Case 7 There is a situation where opposed sense o f direction in the two fragments o f the same continuous m otion occurs. This is where a lone perform er is covered by a p air o f external reverse angles on the extrem e p o in ts o f a n 180 degree arc th ro u g h w hich he turns (Fig. 11.7). ' I

FIGURE 11.7 Opposed senses o f direction are obtained when a lone player is shown turning as recorded from external reverse camera positions.

Shot 1 Player in close shot, facing the cam era. H e begins to tu rn ab o u t face and ends with his back to us. Shot 2 Reverse full shot. O u r player is in the centre o f the picture with his back to us, and then turns to the cam era and stops. When editing these tw o shots, the first h alf o f the turning m otion is used from the first, and the com plem entary h a lf begins the second. In the first the player m oves from centre to one side; in the second from the opposite side to the centre. T he conflicting directions are not confusing because the perform er turning m ove­
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m ent is clear to us. He starts and concludes facing us. Sudden turns are often covered in this way. Case 8 A sudden tu rn by two persons can be covered by the same pro­ cedure. B oth players begin to tu rn aw ay from us together, from th e centre to a side o f the screen, in the first shot, a n d end turning from the o p p o site side to the centre as seen from the second (Fig. 11.8).

FIGURE 11,8 Tw o players who turn round sim ultaneously Switch their screen positions in the second shot, if the movement is film ed from external reverse camera sites.

W ith external reverse angle cam era sites, the players switch screen positions. Case 9 W here an ac to r tu rn s as he walks, the p ath o f m ovem ent is an arc shaped figure. I f we wish to stress the change o f direction here a p air o f reverse external sites o r a right angle cam era position will do it. N o t only m u st we c u t on the action, bu t also locate the per­ form er in the same screen sector in both shots. Fig. 11.9 shows an exam ple involving external reverse angles.

FIGURE 11.9 The turning movement of a sinote performer should occur In the same area o f the screen for both shot3 into which the movement Is divided.

Rising This is a vertical m otion. It does not m atter by which com bination of takes we record the rising m ovem ent (approach on the same visual axis, right angles o r external reverse shots). T he m otion will always have the same direction—upw ards. Case 10 If we wish to keep the m ovem ent within the boundaries o f the screen fram e, it is best to cut from a m edium shot to a backw ard full shot, o r to a forw ard close shot.
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Fig. 11.10 illustrates a rising m ovem ent th at begins in m edium shot and is com pleted in full shot. Both shots have a com m on visual axis.

FIGURE 11.10 A common visual axis on w hich the camera retreats lor the second shot l i used here to record a player rising.

Case 11 In this exam ple the m otion begins in m edium shot and concludes in close shot o f the sam e subject. A gain the second sh o t has the same visual axis as the first, where the m ovem ent originates (Fig. 11.11). Case 12 Here a right angle cam era position registers the upw ard m otion of the rising player (Fig. 11.12).
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FIGURE 11.11 A common visual axis is used for both shots, but In this exampfe the second camera position Is forw ard of the first.

FIGURE 11.12 rising.

A righ t angle camera arrangement is used to cover the central player

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Case 13 A com bination o f an external and an internal reverse angle, pro­ vides num ber co ntrast (page 52) w hen dealing w ith a rising motion in the picture area (Fig. 11.13).

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FIGURE 11.13 A n Internal and external reverse angle around the rlBing performer It employed In th is example.

S ittin g and reclining C om plete coverage for sitting an d reclining m ovem ents filmed in two p arts can be obtained by using the sam e sense o f direction for b o th p arts or, m ore irregularly, opposed directions.
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Case 14 If the cam era sites are on a com m on visual axis, the sitting motion o f a player can be covered on the sam e sector o f the screen in both shots. In the first shot the perform er begins to sit dow n and finishes in the second, w ithout leaving the screen boundaries (Fig. 11.14). W e m ay cu t from a full shot to a m edium shot o r vice versa.

FIGURE 11.14 rrc vem ert.

A common visual a*ls Is ussd here to cover a player's downward

Case IS A lone perform er sitting dow n, covered from external reverse angles is registered as two opposed arc m ovem ents on the screen.
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The hum an body, due to its peculiar constitution, achieves a sitting position by bending its fram e in an arc shape and travelling a curved p ath dow nw ards. The opposition o f directions is obtained because the player has a profiled body position in bo th shots.

FIGURE 11.15 A reverse angle camera arrangement shows the actor sitting down. Opposed senses of downward directions (to the rig h t first and to the (eft after) are obtained with th is approach.

Figure 11.15 shows th at a sitting m ovem ent th at begins, right, is com pleted, left, in the reverse shot. F o r sm oothness, the move­ m ent should be in the sam e sector o f the screen, even if one shot is a m edium shot an d the reverse shot is a long shot, as show n here. Case 16 Reclining m ovem ents done from the waist, are subject to the same rule o f opposed direction in the tw o fragm ents into which the continuous m otion m ight be broken.
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FIGURE 11.16 The recllnino player on the righ t o f the screen moves w ith opposed senses of direction in the change from one shot to another. In the firs t shot he moves from right to centre, and in the second from centre to righ t.

The exam ple in Fig. 11.16 has an external reverse angle coverage, and only one player m oves. Shot 1 Player B is going to recline on his right elbow. His body m oves fro m right to centre o f the screen as he begins to recline. Shot 2 Player B in the reverse shot finishes reclining b u t now m oves centre to right. The reclining player m oves always in the sam e screen sector b u t with opposed m ovem ent directions in each shot, and the second part o f the m ovem ent com plem ented the one show n in the first shot. B oth players retained th eir screen areas o n b o th shots.
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Case 17 The ju x tap o sitio n o f external a n d internal reverse cam era positk aro u n d the reclining player produces opposed senses o f m otic different sectors o f the screen. Fig. 11.17 shows th a t the perfor reclining to the left, as seen in S hot 1 (internal reverse), m oves fr. centre to left. But he com pletes his m o tio n fram ed in Shot (external reverse) where he m oves from centre to right. In Shot I he faced us, b u t in S hot 2 he has his back to the cam era, which accounts fo r the opposed directions.

FIGURE 11.17 In this example the opposed directions o f a continuous movementare stressed, because in the firs t shot player B moves from centre to left, and in the second from centre to rtoht.

Case 18 In the two previous cases we cut from a fro n t view o f the subject in m o tio n to a re ar view. A reversal o f the procedure can be used, covering with external a n d internal cam era sites. Contrasting directions o f m ovem ent in the sam e sector o f the screen are ob­ tained. Fig. 11.18 shows one player pushing the other across the
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screen, covered from an external reverse shot. T he falling m otion is com pleted using a n internal cam era position.

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FIGURE I f .18 Opposed directions for a continuous movement are obtained by using an internal and an external reverse shot.

The external cam era position is level with the players, b u t the internal coverage is from a low angle showing the end o f the pushed m an’s fall.

C a s e1 9
It is conceivable th a t b o th players m ight m ove together, reclining 0 1 one side. This m ovem ent is fragm ented in tw o sections an d the 205

players will have opposed directions o f m otion in the external reverse shots. They would move as a single unit. Their positions would be constant on the same areas o f the screen from shot to shot. A bout one-third o f the m ovem ent is seen from the first cam era site, the rem ainder in the second (Fig. 11.19).

FIGURE 11.19 W han both players move to one side, reclining together. a reverse angle camera coverage produces opposed senses o f direction fo r both characters on the screen.

Case 20 In these tw o exam ples the actors m aintained the sam e screen sectors bu t the following exam ple introduces a v arian t—the moving p erform er in Shot I m oves from side to centre o f the
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screen and com pletes his m o tio n in the second shot by moving from the opposite side o f the screen to the centre (Fig. 11.20).

FIGURE 11.20 Opposed senses of direction and an exchange o f screen areas is ob­ tained by the method depleted here. In the first shot the reclining player moves from left to centre, and in the second she moves from righ t to centre. She Is always kept In the centre of the screen. Her partner shifts sides.

S hot 1 Players A a n d B sitting w ith their backs to us. P erform er A begins to recline tow ards B. She m oves from the left to the centre o f the screen. Shot 2 Reverse external shot. Player A m oves tow ards from B. She com pletes her m otion by reclining from the right to th e centre o f the screen. The first shot was a full shot o f b o th players, an d the second is a close sh o t o f b o th facing the cam era.

W alking and running T he m ovem ents exam ined in the previous sections concerned m otion on a spot. I t is tim e now to liberate o u r player and allow him to w alk o r run. R unning and w alking, w hether continuous or in terrupted, are am ong the m o st frequent m ovem ents th a t m ust be filmed.

Using external reverse shots Case 21 A n external reverse coverage o f a walking o r running movement records m ovem ent o f the player in tw o neutral directions, going straight aw ay from an d tow ards the cam era. These tw o directions can be altern ated in their presen tatio n to ob tain tw o sim ple and basic variations. T he o p eratio n is sim ple. In the first shot we see o u r m ain perfo rm er m ove away. In the second he com es towards us a n d stops. O ne-third o f the m ovem ent was covered in the first sh o t an d the rem aining tw o-thirds in the second (Fig. 11.21). N otice th a t b o th cam era positions are on the sam e side o f the line o f m ovem ent. This becom es im p o rtan t if an object seen in the b ack g ro u n d in th e first shot is included in foreground on the second. T his object m ust be in the sam e sector o f the screen in b o th shots. The cam era can be placed a t the sam e o r different height in the shots. Instead o f w alking tow ards a n object, o u r player m ay walk to a w aiting person, using the sam e technique. T he am o u n t of trajectory recorded in each sh o t can be reversed. T w o-thirds of the m o tio n in the first shot (going aw ay), one-third in the second tak e (com ing tow ards us).

Case 22 A reversal o f the tw o basic shots is the next solution, as pointed o u t above. In the first shot the player com es tow ards us, and in the second he m oves away. H e does n o t go ou t o f the screen in either shot. W hen he reaches a full shot o r a m edium shot moving straight tow ards us in the first shot, cut to the second shot where he is seen from behind m oving aw ay in a neutral direction, also fram ed in a full shot o r m edium shot (Fig. 11.22).
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FIG U RI 11.!!

A n external reverse camera coverage lo r a line of movement.

Case 23 The walking or running m ovem ent m ay be a continuous or dis­ continuous m ovem ent. N ow fo i the second variation. The m otion is interrupted once near its middle. O u r perform er approaches, stops for a m om ent, and th e n goes aw ay to his goal. Here is how the takes are edited as show n in Fig. 11,23. Shot 1 Player A com es to us an d stops in close shot, looking off-screen, right. H e m ay rem ain silent o r speak some lines.
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I I
J FIGURE 11.22 Movement in a neutral direction is covered by a frontal and a rear camera position, w ithout letting the player go out of the screen on either shot.

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A discontinuous walking movement can be covered with two shots.

FIGURE 11.23

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FIGURE 11.24 A player advancing towards an Identifiable goal, in a discontinuous movement can be covered w ilh four camera positions.

Shot 2 Reverse. Player A starts m oving aw ay tow ards B in the background, w ho is w aiting there. Case 24 This co ntinuous m ovem ent within the screen can also be recorded using four cam era positions, as in Fig. 11.24.
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Shot 1 Player A in foreground w ith his back to us. B in the b ack ground waiting. A starts to move. H e w alks away from us. S hot 2 Reverse. Player A approaches and stops in close shot, looking off screen, right. S hot 3 Reverse. Player A in foreground with his b ack to us. B seen b eyond in the background. A again starts to walk tow ards the w aiting perform er. S hot 4 Reverse. P layer B in foreground w ith his b ack to us. He waits. A arrives an d stops in fro n t o f B. B oth actors m aintained co n stan t sectors in all the shots into which the d iscontinuous m o tio n o f one player was fragm ented. Case 25 I f the n eutral m o tio n o f the w alking o r running player is filmed from tw o high cam era positions, the player will ascend in one take an d desccnd in the o ther (Fig. 11.25). As we cut from shot to shot,

FIGURE 11.25 A neutral direction covered by two high camera positions set on re­ verse angles, records this movement as a descending one in the first shot and as an ascending movement in the second.

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the objects or persons aro u n d the m oving perform er will change from one side o f the screen to the other. Case 26 The m ovem ent covered from tw o external reverse cam era positions Is no t always in a neutral direction. M ost o f the tim e this m otion has a diagonal p ath th a t extends from one side o f the screen to its centre. The five preceding exam ples can be filmed w ith the walking or run ning player m oving obliquely. Som etim es the sense o f direction o f this oblique m ovem ent can be changed to m ake it ap p ear continuous on the screen. T h at is what happens in o u r next exam ple, as illustrated in Fig. 11.26. The real direction in which player C m oves, is changed from shot 1 to shot 2, so th a t on the screen it appears to be the same continuous m o tio n in b o th shots. In the tw o shots in to which the m otion is fragm ented, Player C moves in th e sam e sector o f the screen, from right to centre, in a diagonal path. In the first shot A an d B have their backs to the camera. Player C is seen m oving behind B an d approaching the centre o f th e screen. W hen we cut to the reverse shot, B an d A reverse positions on the screen a n d face the cam era. Player C, seen in foreground close to the lig h t side o f the screen, m oves aw ay from us to the centre and stops, facing th e o th er players. The second fragm ent o f the m otion is false because the reverse position o f the second cam era site changes the sense o f direction of the m oving player: she ought to m ove from left to centre. T o obtain, sm ooth continuity her direction o f m ovem ent is changed, giving this fragm ent the sam e direction as the first. The floor plan illustrated in Fig. 11.26 shows the situation clearly. Using a common visual axis Case 27 Now exam ine a walking o r running m ovem ent from two cam era sites on. the sam e visual axis. These neutral m ovem ents aw ay from or tow ards th e cam era straight o r obliquely and in the same screen sector. Fig. 11.27 illustrates a simple ap p ro ach to running movement, A p lay er m oves from foreground to a position far 213

FIGURE 11.26 Sometimes the direction of movement is changed fo r the second shot to make It consistent with the direction shown in the first.

away. T w o-thirds o f the p ath are covered in the first shot. In the second, (forw ard, o n the sam e visual axis) the player nearest the cam era m oves aw ay to his goal an d halts. T he cut is m ade on the action w ith the rem aining one-third o f the p a th covered in the second shot. The player m oved in the sam e sector o f the screen in b o th sh o ts: fro m the right to the centre. O f course, we can reverse the direction o f the oblique path jo th a t it runs from left to centre in both shots. The same principle app lies. It is the concept used th at m atters m o st—the execution is quite simple.
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FIGURE 11,27 Two camera positions are placed on a common visual axis, used here to cover a running player.

T o sh o o t this you let the perform er run o r w alk from one p o in t to the o th er in the first shot. T hen, w ith the cam era forw ard, and the ac to r in fro n t a n d with his back to it, sta rt the shot an d instruct the player to ru n again along the rem aining p a rt o f his path . Later, in editing you cut o n the action, first rem oving the latter p a rt o f the first shot and the static section o f the second. Case 28 This sam e solution can be applied to tw o people m oving together away from the cam era. In the Fig. 11.28 exam ple this is a short distance. Shot 1 Full shot. Players A, B a n d C are talking. T hen B and A tu rn and waik away together. S hot 2 M edium shot. This position is a n advance on a com m on visual axis. Players A a n d B, close to the cam era, stop w alking aw ay from us a n d stop to talk. 215

FIGURE 11.28 Tw o players move away in a neutral direction and are covered by two camera srtes on a common visual axJs.

N o m ore th an five steps were involved in the distance covered by th e tw o perform ers. In the first shot three steps were w alked, and tw o in the second, N um ber c o n tra st has been added by excluding one acto r (player C) from the second shot. Case 29 In the previous exam ples the second cam era position was forward o n th e com m on visual axis. It could have been fu rth er back (Fig. 11.29). S h o t 1 M edium shot. T he p layer is facing the cam era in the centre o f the screen. H e tu rn s and walks away. S h o t 2 L ong shot. T he p erfo rm er in the centre walks away. Case 30 In the preceding case the first sh o t covered a sh o rt distance travelled by th e player, the second a lengthy one. Reversed, b u t using the sam e visual solution is Fig. 11.30.
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Shot 1 M edium shot. Player A standing nearby, back to the cam era an d on the right side o f the screen, w alks away in a n oblique p ath tow ards B, who is waiting in the background, left. W hen A is close to B, cut to . . . Shot 2 Same visual axis. Full shot. A (centre) walks two steps tow ards B a n d stops beside her. The key to this technique consists in having the m obile subjcct concludc his m ovem ent a t the beginning o f the second shot, in the centre o f th e screen, by walking only one or tw o steps and stopping at th at point. The same principle can be applied to a full sh o t—m edium shot camera coverage. Case 31 Now consider som e cases where the player moves, n o t aw ay from but tow ards us. In the first o f these shots the m an (or vehicle) is approaching in
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full shot (centre). W hen he is crow ding the film fram e (and this does no t m ean th a t his body obscures o u r view com pletely, it suffices fo r instance to have his head reach the to p boundary o f the screen), cut to Shot 2. O n the sam e visual axis this, to o , is a full shot. T he m an placed in the centre o f the screen approaches once m ore and stops in foreground. T he effect is to w iden the view in the second take because the approaching m otion o f the player made him grow on the screen, an d creates the visual need to cut back to relate him w ith his surroundings and show his final goal. The first fragm ent o f this continuous m ovem ent served to identify the playei to the audience as well as to show his intentions o r feelings. Fig, 11.31 show s this situation. T here was alm ost equal m ovem ent in these shots b u t a higher or lower cam era position could be used for the second to contrast with the (level) first.

Case 32 The follow ing exam ple is widely used by film m akers to show the beginning o f a w alking m ovem ent. It m akes use o f repetitive motion in th e sam e zone o f the screen (Fig. 11.32). First, A is seen in close shot looking off-screen right. H e then starts to m ove to th a t side. H is head approaches in a diagonal from the centre to th e right. W hen his face touches the edge o f the screen, cut to the second shot. This new (full) shot is placed fu rth er back on a com m on visual axis w ith the player seen centrally, m oving diagonally right. Case S3 Now a static subject is seen in the shot o f a rapidly approaching agure. P erfo rm er B in m edium shot, b ack to the cam era an d o n the right o f the screen, w aits for A w ho approaches in a straight line peft side o f screen). T he second shot is a close sh o t placed fo rw ard on the sam e visual axis as the first. H ere B is seen in foreground on the rig h t, w ith his b ac k to the cam era, an d in a huge close shot.
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Mu

FIGURE 11*32 The beginning of a movement indicating departure can be Initiated in a close shot and completed in a full shot placed on a common visual axis. There is screen sector repetition for the fragments of motion.

A on the left, seen closer to o , stops w alking an d arrives in front o f B. T he first tw o-thirds o f the m ovem ent are show n in the full shot, the rem ainder in the d o s e shot (Fig, 11.33),

FIGURE 11.33 A m otion Indicating the arrival of a player at a destination in the fore­ ground on both shots.

C om 34

Two cam era sites on a com m on visual axis can be used twice to film a discontinuous action such as th at shown in Fig. 11.34. Shot 1 The lone rider m oves in the centre third o f the screen in a full shot. He is seen small over the ridge m oving obliquely left to centre. Shot 2 M edium shot. T he rider at the left screen edge a p ­ proaches us an d stops in m id-screen, looking to right. Shot 3 C ut-away. F ull shot. H erd o f horses grazing on the plain. This shot represents w hat the rider is seeing. Shot 2 M edium shot. The rider in the centre o f the screen begins to m ove again, advancing until his figure is close to th e right edge. Shot ] Full shot. The rider in the centre o f the screen m oves to the right, advancing tow ards us. His m otion in this shot always takes place w ithin the central screen area. Shot 3 Reverse full shot. T he herd o f horses grazing on the plain, the rider in centre foreground m oving aw ay from us tow ards the herd. Shots 1 and 2, on a com m on visual axis, were used twice, to cover the discontinuous m otion o f the rider. N otice how the first time those shots were em ployed, only the left area o f the screen was used in b o th shots. A fter the cut-aw ay, both takes showed rider moving from the centre to the right. Thus th e left an d right screen areas were used in pairs, with repetitive m otion in each sector before changing shot. The sequence was; left sector (twice)— cut-aw ay—right sector (twice)— reverse shot (same site as cut-away). The rider was placed in foreground, descending the slope tow ards the valley, thus capping the sequence and reaffirming the value o f the cut-aw ay show n before, by the rider covering the sam e ground. In fact, this cut-aw ay an d reverse shot could have been shot on a different location from th at o f the player. By intercutting these tw o shots the two locations ap p e a r to be the same place. This time and place m anipulation is quite frequent on the screen for practical reasons. It perm its the film m aker to m ake use of outstanding locations th at are far a p a rt geographically. I f the situation being shot allows it, we should resort to this recourse.
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FIGURE 11.34 Each o f the takes shown here Is used tw ice to cover the discontin uoua motion of an approaching player who stops to reconnoitre the terrain and advances again Into new territory.

Case 35

In the diagonal m otion across the screen, as depicted in Fig. 11.35, half screen areas are used for each shot.

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FIGURE 11.35 A diagonal movement across the screen Is covered using half screen areas In each s h o t

A in the foreground, in full shot, w alks diagonally to B, seen in long shot in the background. W hen A reaches the centre o f the screen cut to a m edium shot. In this second sh o t fram ing A o n the same visual axis and in the centre o f the screen, he continues m ov­ ing away from the cam era diagonally from centre to right and stops, facing B, who rem ained at screen right in b o th shots. Right angle camera sites Motion inside the screen is enhanced by the use o f right angle camera sites, because this m ethod allow s to cover m o tio n over a
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larger span o f terrain. A com m on visual axis for both camera em placem ents lim its the view for across the screen m otion, cir­ cum scribing it to a narrow space. R ight angle positions afford a com bination o f across-the-screen an d diagonal m otion, or acrossthe-screen an d neutral direction m ovem ent.

Case 36 M o tio n by halves o f screen space is em ployed in the following exam ple, using positions with a right angle ra p p o rt. In the first shot th e player w alks across one h alf o f the screen, while in the shot that follow s he m oves diagonally in the o th er h a lf area o f the picture fram e (Fig. 11.36).

FIGURE 11.36 A noth er variant of movement covered by hall screen areas In each shot. A right angle is used fo r the camera viewpoints.

Shot 1 Subject A o n the right side o f the screen, near the b o rd er, m oves to the centre across the screen. When he arrives there, a n d is still m oving, cut to . . .
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FIGURE 11.37 A

Ight

angle

camera disposition covers

the

departing player.

Shot 2 Close shot o f A with his back to us, occupying the full h alf right side o f the screen, moves away in a diagonal to th e left side and stops in the background. Case 37 A perform er m oving from one place to an o th er w ithout leaving the boundaries o f the screen, m ay cover a long trajectory using two shots th a t have a right angle relationship, by applying a neutral
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direction m otion in the second shot. Fig. 11.37 illustrates a device frequently em ployed by film m akers. A crosses screcn right to left. As he reaches the third sector, left, cut to a right angle cam era position, where we sec him move away from us. The end o f Shot 1 an d beginning o f Shot 2 are on the same picture a re a —an im p o rtan t condition for this type of cut. If the m oving figure is no t precisely positioned the cut will not be sm ooth. Case 38 Shot order can be reversed to cover an approaching movement, instead o f a receding one as above (Fig. 11.38).

\
F1GURE11.38

^

"

„ - '

i

i

R ightangle camera coverage of a movementthat usesth* centra o1the screen as the centre lor cutting between shots.

Player A, close to the left b o rd er o f the screen in the first shot m oves to the centre. T here we cut to shot two, where A, centre, is seen in long shot, approaching in a neutral direction. A reversal in which the player comes to the cam era in a neutral
226

direction in th e first shot, and u p o n reaching a m edium shot, we cut to th e second sh o t where he moves in m edium shot from centre to side across the screen. This device is seldom used, although technically feasible. The technique being discussed here requires th a t the player in motion has th e sam e screen size on bo th shots at the m om ent of the cut, so th a t his second m ovem ent, either receding o r approach­ ing, enlarges o r dim inishes his figure. D iscrepancies in the size of the subject on the cut will render it aw kw ard.

FIGURE 11.39 R lflht angle coverage for a movement that takes place in the centre o ith e screen In both shots.

Case 39 When a n eutral m ovem ent in the first shot ends in a half-screen
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m otion in the second shot, it is n o t necessary for the moving subject to enter the boundaries o f the screen in the second. He may ap p ear from beh in d one o f the perform ers already located in foreground. Thus, his horizontal m otion is shortened. In Fig. 11.39 we see th a t in the first shot perform er A moves tow ards us centrally o n the screen. W hen she is near B, we cut to the second shot. S hot 2 is a side shot where A m oves from behind B a n d walks across the picture area, stopping in the centre between the static B an d C. T o shoot A leaving, after speaking to C, we have only to reverse th e shot order b u t using the sam e cam era sites. W hen A d isappears behind B (as seen from the second camera position) cu t to the first cam era site, where player A (centre) walks aw ay in a n eutral direction.

Case 40
T he fram e o f an open d o o r o r any o th er type o f fixed aperture seen in the first shot, can be used to fram e the second p a rt of the fragm ented m o tio n in the second shot (Fig, 11.40).

i

w

if- ^ r i

FIGURE 11.40 A noth er variant for righ t angle coverage of a movement that takes pJace in the centre of the screen in both shots.

Shot 1 A player advances dow n a c o rrid o r tow ards the camera in full shot. As he nears a d o o r left, cut to . . . Shot 2 Inside the room , looking through the door. He appears from the left in the doorw ay and stops to look in to w ard s the cam era.
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r
Both fragm ents o f m otion were centrally placed in the picture and the player m oved from left to centre in the second take, because the door was on the left side o f the corridor. But if instead th at door were on the right, the cam era (site 3, Fig. 11.40) w ould see him appearing from the right. Shot 1 would rem ain the same because o f the n eutral m ovem ent. Case 41 If the ap p ro ach in the first shot is oblique the second shot m ust be placed on the sam e side o f the line o f m otion (Fig. 11.41). I

t
FIGURE 11.41 Right angle coverage that uses halt screen movements in different sectors for each shot.

Shot 1 A moves o n the right sector o f the screen. He walks diagonally from background to centre. W hen he is betw een B and C, cut to . . . Shot 2 Side shot. Player A in the centre walks to the left and stops there.
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Both were fuJJ shots, and the centre o f the screen was used t§ match the movement. Case 42
N ow consider a case where /n the first take the m otion is from the centre to one side and in the second shot from the opposite side to the centre o f the screen (Fig. 11.42) i.e. the reverse o f the above.

Player A, centre, looking right, moves right: as he reaches the right picture edge, cu t to the second shot from behind, framing him left o f centre walking aw ay diagonally to the centre screen

A right angle coverage of a w alking o r running perform er can be used to relate tw o different areas o f the set. Player A w alks across the screen (centre to side) in the first shot, going away from C. In the second shot he is already in the centre (m edium shot with his back to us, fram ed from the w aist up) an d walks aw ay in a diagonal to the right tow ards B. A ctor D on the left side o f the screen, in the b ack ground, w atches his m ovem ent (Fig. 11.43).

i
FIGURE 11.43 Two different zones on the set are linked by the movement of a player seen from right angled camera sites.

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Case 44 Finally, a case where three takes (one at right angles to the others) cover a running m an. T he exam ple has one peculiarity: m ovem ent is cen tral in all three shots (Fig. 11.44).

FIGURE 11.44 The second camera position In this example Is at right angles to the other two camera sites. The motion of the player Is recorded on the central sector o f the screen In the three shots.

S hot 1 F ull shot. A n escaped convict in the centre o f the screen runs aw ay fro m us (neutral direction) on a bare m arshy plain.
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Shot 2 Long shot. Seen very small on the screen, the convict runs across left to right, within the central sector. Shot 3 Full shot. H e is seen small in the centre o f the screen, com es up to the cam era and stops in foreground (m edium shot) to catch his breath. Because the action is confined to the centre o f the screen it is easy for the audience to follow the action even though the subject is sometimes seen in very small scale.

Movement across the screen When joining tw o fragm ents o f a continuous action w ithin the boundaries o f the picture, m ovem ent across the screen m ay be used to show the arrival o r d eparture o f a perform er as follow s:

Case 45 A. simple situ atio n ; in the first shot the perform er (centre) faces the cam era and, tu rn in g round, he m oves to the left. His face does n o t leave the screen in this shot but, on reaching the left margin, cu t to the m edium shot where the perform er now in the centre moves o u t o f fram e left (Fig. 11.45). I

FIGURE 11.45 A movement across the screen seen (rom two camera sites on a common visual axis.

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Case 46 The next exam ple (Fig. 11.46) differs from the preceding one only in th at the perform er is already profiled o n the screen in the first shot. H is m otion there is sim ilar to the first shot in the previous example, while the second shot is the same. i

FIGURE 11.40 T his example Is sim ilar to that preceding, with the difference that the player Is already profiled to the camera In the first shot.

Case 47 The variation shown next (Fig. 11.47) uses a long shot for the second shot. The first shot is sim ilar to the one in the preceding exam ple; w hen his face reaches the side o f th e screen, cut to the long shot w here the tiny figure o f the player, right, walks slowly to the left w here he stops. Case 48 The technique o f m atching action in the sam e screen area in consecutive shots, serves also to unite a panning shot an d a static cam era shot th at record an across-the-screen m ovem ent (Fig. 11.48). T he player in the first shot runs from right to left framed in the right screen sector in a m edium shot th a t pans with him. His body position is m atch cut at the end o f this first shot with the beginning o f the second, where he is fram ed in full shot with a
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FIGURE 11,47 The difference between this exampJe and the two preceding Is that a long shot is used for the second shot. The player does not need to go out o f the second shot as In the previous cases.

FIGURE 11,48 By keeping the player constantly in the same sector o f the screen, a panning and a static shot can be Joined smoothly.

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static camera. In the second shot he runs from right to left, where he stops. Both tak es have the same visual axis. T his solution is often used to conclude a w alking o r running m otion across the screen. Case 49 H ere a h o rizontal m otion is filmed using opposed screen sectors b u t with the m otion alw ays having the sam e sense o f direction. In th e first shot (close shot) the m oving player walks from centrc to right, close to the screen edge. In the second (full shot) he w alks from the left to centre and stops (Fig. 11.49).

FIGURE 11.49 A horizontal movement covered by tw o parallel camera positions uses different areas of the screen for each shot. In the firs t, the player moves from centre to side, and In the second from the opposite side to the centra.

Case 50 U sing cousecutive screen sectors side/centre, cen tre/o th er side, o n a com m on visual axis, Fig. 11.50 shows som eone in fro n t of a group w ho starts to leave in th e first m edium shot profile view (screen right), a n d m oves to the centre. C u t to a full shot o f the group with him m oving centre to left, and so o u t o f the picture.
236

FIGURE 11.S C The horizontal action shown here Is covered for the movement from one aide to centre in the firs t shot, and from the centre to the opposite side In the second $hol. Both shots have a common visual axis line.

Case 51 Now the arrival o f a character treated in the same way but in reversed o rd e r: he arrives (full shot) m oving right to centre a n d in the second (m edium o r close) shot walks centre to left, which needs only one o r tw o steps. A slight variation is obtained by repeating a m ovem ent across a sm all sector o f the screen: the moving player enters the picture from one side and crosses say, tw o-thirds o f the screen w idth (Fig. 11.51). T hen cut to a close shot on the same visual axis, where he m oves from centre to edge on the rem aining sector. The repetition in th e second shot uses the central third o f screen area. Case 52 All cases o f m o tio n across the screen exam ined up to now have had cam eras sited o n the sam e visual axis an d the sam e sense o f direction in b o th shots. B ut two external reverse angles, o r a com bination o f external-internal angles could be used instead. In Fig. 11.52 player A is departing. In the first shot he moves from centre to left. As he reaches the picture edge we cut to shot 2,

FIGURE 11.51 The movement Is repeated In a small sector of the screen In the secanc shot to conclude the arrival of the walking actor.

i

FIGURE 11.52 The departure o f a player covered from reverse camera p o sitio r.j. His movement on the screen is In divergent directions.

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a reverse view w here A in the centre m oves to the right and, so out o f view. A n act o f arrival reverses the situation. In S hot 1 he w alks into shot an d finishes the m ovem ent in shot 2 (Fig. 11.53). i

i
FIGURE 11.53 A player arriving as shown by tw o contrasting movements on the screen, tn the firs t shot he moves from one side to the centre, and In the second from the other side to the centre. The second shot is an internal reverse shot.

This form ula presents a player w ith his b ack view in one shot an d face~on in the oth er, so, if he is profiled, the suddenly opposed direction will n o t give a sm ooth effect in editing. This is because in profiled positions the centre o f interest m oves ahead, in fro n t o f the player, an d by show ing the m o tio n in opposite halves o f screen, th at interest is shifted ab ru p tly from one side to the other, thus breaking th e principle o f co n stan t screen direction. B ut i f the player in m o tion has his b ack to us in one h a lf o f the m ovem ent, an d faces the cam era in the o th er half, the centre o f atten tio n rem ains in the centre o f the screen. So, for this fo rm u la w ith profiled positions either a neutral direction o f m otion (as in Fig. 11.54) o r a pause (see p. 289) m ust be introduced betw een the shots.
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I
FIGURE 11.54 A n e u tra l d ire c tio n o l m ovem ent is in se rte d between tw o co n flic tin g s h ots to sm o o th th e p assa g e fro m one s id e view to th e o th e r. T h u s , th e a c tio n Is seen as a c o n tin u o u s m o vem e n t on the screen w ith a c o n s ta n t d ire c tio n , d espite the opp o se d d ire c tio n s o f s h o ts 1 and 3.

Case S3 A significant m atching lim b m ovem ent can som etim es serve to unite two otherw ise incom patible reverse cam era views o f two players (Fig. 11.55). T he girl (right) slaps the m an ’s face (left); as her han d reaches his face we cu t to the second shot w here the arm m otion is com­ pleted. T heir positions are now reversed, yet the shots cut smoothly because the arm m ovem ent in the sequence has been in a con­ tinuous direction,
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fIG U R E 11,55 T h e co n tin u o u s sense o f d ire c tio n o l m ovem ent. In th is case th e svrlncing a rc of th e g irl's a rm as she p ro ce e d s to slap th e man. m asks a su d d e n switch o f screen areas fo r b o th s u b je c ts In th e c u t fro m th e fir s t to th e second shot.

Going- through a doorway Case 54 This is one o f the m ost frequent m ovem ents in films. W ith a regular treatm ent, where the cam era sites, inside and outside, remain on th e same side o f the line o f m ovem ent, the result is as Fig, 11.56.
Case 5 5

If an irregular solution is consciously chosen, the fragm ents o f action, are in opposed directions, because the cam era sites are on opposite sides o f the line o f action (Fig. 11.57). This solution is m ore dynam ic on the screen, especially if' the motion is th rough an open d o o r in both shots. I f the d o o r has to be opened, th at m ovem ent is used to m ake the cut from shot to shot. The h alf circular m otion will help m ask a change o f direc­ tor!.
Case 56

Seme film editors save tim e when showing a perform er walking through a d o o r th at m ust be opened. Peter H unt, film editor o f

FIGURE 11.56 M ethod o f s h o w in g an a c to r p a s s in g th ro u g h a d o o rw a y u ses th t tria n g le p rin c ip le fo r cam era p la ce m e nt In th e re g u la r w ay. B o th cam era site s are o n the sam e side o f th e lin e o f m ovem ent.

Goldfinger, in the first sequence o f the film shows Jam es Bond, clad as a frogm an kneeling at the base o f a huge tank. B ond presses a hidden switch and a concealed d o o r hinges open. Cut. Inside the tank Jam es Bond closes the d o o r behind him and com es forward (to lay plastic explosives over nitroglycerine drum s). T he actual m otion o f crossing the threshold was om itted, only the first part and the conclusion o f the m otion was show n, com pressing time spent on a m ovem ent th at had no dram atic value. C onversely, should the opening o f the d o o r take place in a very dram atic situation, th at could be stressed by delaying the opening as m uch as possible, w ithout harm ing the effectiveness o f the scene.

FIGURE 11.57

An irre a u la r a pp ro a ch to c ro s s in g a th re s h o ld .

O n o th er occasions, a pause at the beginning o f the second shot is used, where the d o o r is seen static for a few seconds, from the inside. T hen it opens, and the player seen approaching it in tile previous shot, enters. Case 57 If two players are show n w alking together in a neutral direction towards an open door, their screen positions will be reversed as we cut to the reverse shot for the second h alf o f the action (Fig. 11.58). Case 58 The sam e reversal happens if one o f the perform ers stands close to the d o o r waiting for the o ther to ap p ro ach and enter the room . The m ovem ent o f the walking player has a neutral direction in both shots. W henever possible his position on the screen is m atched (preferably in the centre), so th at the w aiting perform er is seen first on one side o f the screen and then o n the other, while the moving player is kept in the centre o f the fram e.
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FIGURE 11,58 T w o pla ye rs w a lkln o away in a n e u tra l d ire c tio n exchanne screen areas in th e second s h o t as they a pp ro a ch the cam era.

Case 59 A pause is som etim es used when a player enters a closed door. In the first sh o t we see him arriving outside the d o o r and stopping to knock. A fter the knock we cut to the second shot— we see only the door, from the inside. E ither som ebody answ ers from off­ screen telling the player outside to com e in. or after a pause the player outside opens the d o o r and enters. This pause at the beginning o f the second shot serves to m ask a change in the players direction o f m ovem ent. The static view o f the d o o r from the inside, with no m ovem ent a t all on the screen, held for one or two seconds before being opened, constitutes the visual pause. Case 60 As we are dealing with cases involving a d o o r, let us digress for a m om ent an d retu rn to the coverage o f two static players placed one on each side o f a closed opaque door. To o b tain the feeling
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FIGURE 11.59
e r m o v e s d o s e

A
to

r e v e r s a l o f t h e a s t a t i o n a r y

p la y e r s ' s c r e e n p la y e r w h o

p o s i t i o n s h im

a ls o

o c c u r s

when

o n e

play­

w a t c h e s

q o

by.

that they are com m unicating, the shots should be in opposed directions. T hus the feeling o f ra p p o rt through a physical barrier is obtained in situations where tw o players have to speak to each other through a d o o r th at neither o f them can open. Fig. 11.60 shows such an example. N otice that one player looks to the right while the o th er o n the opposite side o f the d o o r looks to the left (the edge o f the screen to which the other player has turned his back). Brief sum m ary The m ost im p o rtan t factors dealt with above m ay be sum m arized as follows:
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FIGURE 11.60 Opposed direction of Jooks where two players on different sides o f i closed door must be presented to relate them visually on the screen.

1? a m otion is broken into a t least tw o frag m en ts; 2,1 the cut from shot to shot is on the action itself; 3, a change o f cam era to (moving) subject distance is involved as we c u t; 4, there are two basic types o f m otion— on the spo t and along a p a th ; 5. for onthe-spot m otion, three variants o f the triangle principle for camera placem ent are used to register a broken ac tio n —reverse shots, right angles a n d a com m on visual axis and all the variants (five) for m otion along a p a th ; 6, all the form ulas presented can be reversed, changing from shot 1— shot 2 to shot 2— shot 1; 7, to film the fragm ents o f action the screen is divided into two or three sectors; 8, the action filmed covers one sector p er shot. Three com m on rules m ay be said to apply to dynam ic presenta­ tion o f continuous m ovem ent split into two shots, each using half­ screen a re a s :
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The m otion is repeated in the same sector o f the screen, either in the same o r opposed directions.

direction or in opposed directions.

The m ovem ent begins and ends in the centre o r starts o n one side an d finishes on the other.

FIGURE 11.62 The movement begins in the centre and f$ concluded In the centre or It starts on one side and finishes on the opposite edge of the screen.

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T he m otion converges tow ards the centre o f the screen o r diverges from it. .............

FIGURE 11.63 from It.

The movement converoes on the centre of lhe screen or diverge*

A personal preference M an y film directors and editors prefer the econom y o f action offered by ‘m ovem ent inside the screen’. T he filmed m ovem ent is edited so th at it does no t go o u t o f the screen in the first shot and enters in the second. T hese film m akers find th at the suggestion o f m otion given by a subject m oving from centre to border o r vice versa, is more effective and econom ical than allowing him to really move out o f th e film fram e. A nd it does no t m atter how fast the subject is m oving. T he stan d ard chosen rem ains unchanged. U sing th at criterion with the form ulas and exam ples examined so far yo u will really o b tain fast, econom ic and dynam ic transi­ tions from sh o t to shot that register a w hole continuous m otion of a perform er, anim al o r vehicle. A lternatively, the subject can enter and exit the picture—an ap p ro ach discussed in the ch a p te r following.

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12
MOTION INTO AND OUT OF SHOT
With this technique the m oving subject in the first shot leaves the shot totally o r partially, and re-enters (o r not) in the second shot. But there are two alternatives for the second shot: T he subject re-enters shot by the o p posite side to his exit, or, he is already in view in th e second shot, either in the centre o f the picture o r placed to one side. The three basic rules sum m arized a t the end o f the previous chapter are applicable here except fo r the m odification im plicit in prolonging th e m otion itself, so th at it really enters o r leaves the sh o t com pletely. W ith a m ovem ent o u t o f shot the cut would im m ediately follow the subject’s exit: 1 The cu t occurs when the subject is partially out o f fram e. 2 The shot is held for a few fram es after the exit. The techniques are reversed for subjects entering the screen. W ith the triangular cam era coverage (p. 32) all its five variants are applicable here: external reverse angles, internal reverse angles, right angles, parallel cam era sites, and a com m on visual axis for two o r m ore consecutive shots. Multiple fragm ents If m ovemenl is sh o rt generally two visual fragm ents are enough to show the beginning and conclusion. W ith a long repetitive m otion a single shot w ould usually be a very poor solution. Instead it could be b roken into three or four fragm ents, or a cut-aw ay could be inserted betw een the beginning and conclusion o f the m ovem ent, thus shortening it w ithout confusing the audience. A repetitive m o tio n can weaken a story by adding length w ith­ out significant m eaning or detail to the story. If the whole o f a
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1
lengthy m ovem ent is to be retained it m ust be endowed with visual qualities th a t justify its use, although those m ight sometimes represent a forced, contrived misc en scene. A m ovem ent in which the subject goes o u t o f the screen in one shot an d com es into it in. the next helps blend separate locations together m ore naturally and easier to accom plish as a convincing transition between two separate areas. Fig. 12.1 shows a m an walking in fro n t o f a building in the first shot and in fro n t o f a scenic m ountain background in the second. The building and the m ountain range m ight be oceans ap a rt bu t on the screen the m otion o f the player will tend to con­ firm th at they are close to one another. If the scene is shot in a studio the actor merely walks twice in front o f the same back projection screen o r blue backing for travelling m atte process.

FIGURE 12.1 A player who crosses horizontally in fro nt of two locations framed l»y the camera makes those places coexist side by side on the screen, notwithstanding the fact of their actual distance apart.

M otion in three fragm ents Som eone who begins to move from one area to an o th er can be covered by three parallel cam era sites that record distant frag­ m ents o f a continuous m ovem ent. T he subject exits from the a « i he occupies, travels through the space th a t m ediates between his d eparture base an d his arrival area, and finally stops at his destination. Figure 12.2 shows th at case simply covered by three cam era sites on a line parallel to the subject m ovem ent. Thus, (he
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cameras register views th at are fram ed at the same distance from the subject. In the first shot there is a h a lf screen m otion from centre to side, where the player walks out o f shot. In the second shot he enters from the o p posite side, crosses the screen profiled to the camera a n d leaves by the other side; the whole screen is traversed. In. the third the acto r enters again from the opposite side a n d stops in the centre. T hus, a com plete cross-screen m otion placed betw een two half-screen m ovem ents, served to record the w hole path travelled. A m odification o f this is to change cam era-to-player distance. T he m ost d ram atic effect is obtained by selecting the centre cam era p osition an d m oving it backw ards so th a t a tri­ angular cam era disposition is form ed with all three cam eras pointing straig h t ahead. The cam era sites covering the extrem es o f the line o f m otion record the d ep artu re an d arrival o f the player, while the centre camera m ay fram e: 1 The centre space betw een d e p a rtu re a n d arrival. 2 The interm ediate space an d the arrival area o r d ep artu re zone. 3 The whole space, including in the shot the d ep artu re area, the intermediate space, a n d the arrival spot. (The screen can be split into either tw o o r three zones).

Case A Figure 12.3 shows the first possibility described above. T he first and last takes are close shots where the d ep artu re (beginning) and arrival (concluding) p arts o f the m ovem ent are recorded. The in-between tak e is a full shot where o u r perform er is seen entering from one side a n d w alking only to the centre o f the screen. H e and his destination are in opposed screen sectors. In. the exam ple discussed we get screen sector m otion repetition in the last two shots. T he editing o f these takes is quite simple. In the first tak e as soon as the perform er is ou t o f the screen com ­ pletely (or alm ost) cu t to the second shot where he re-enters from the opposite side and m oves to the centre. O n reaching the centre, cut to the th ird sh o t w here he again enters into the screen an d stops. This co m b in atio n o f close sh o t—full shot— close shot, clearly shows a perform er changing from zone to zone. T he m iddle take
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FIGURE 12.2 A n horizontal movement covered by three parallel camera position!. A li these are fuli shots.

acts as a so rt o f re-establishing shot (and is often used for that purpose) by showing the next zone tow ards which the perform er is heading, or by show ing b o th adjoining zones together. Case B W hen b o th adjoining zones are show n in the sam e take, the screen is divided into three sectors, and these zones are placed o n the left
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FIGURE 12.3 By placing the central camera position further back In a full shot the de»tinatlo* o f th« m o/lno player is revealed belore he reaches It.

and right, leaving the central area of the screen for the action of The main performer.
In. such a case there is central m ovem ent only in the picture area (Fig. 12.4). The shots are edited as follow s: S hot 1 Close shot. Player A hits B on the jaw , sending him out o f screen, right. Shot 2 Full shot. A is standing on the left. B staggers back in the centre. There is a w agon on the right. Shot 3 Close shot. B enters from the left staggering back and his body slam s against the wheel o f the w agon, stopping violently. The violence in the first and third shot is accentuated by the sudden cu t to a far away viewpoint.
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FIGURE 12,4 In this example the central shot Includes the 1wo jortes of the set and the Intermediate space between them re-establishlno the whole locals for the audience. Shots 1 and 3 record departure and arrival respectively.

Case C In the previous cases the three cam era sites were parallel to the path o f the perform er, b u t can he placed in line w ith it, AH view­ points have a com m on visual axis, an d the m otion is recorded in fragm ents which move forw ard behind the walking o r running player. A further variation is obtained by com bining m ovem ent inside the screen and m otion th at enters the screen. As shown in Fig. !2.5. The first cam era position is located on the stern o f a sailing ship, pointing to the prow. P erform er A in foreground begins to walk tow ards B in the background. W hen she is halfway, cut to 2, a. site on the sam e visual axis as the preceding shot. A enters from right into the field o f vision o f the second cam era position and continues walking tow ards B. W hen A is again halfway in he_D — rem aining path, cut to site 3, where A, close to the cam era on her right, com pletes her trajectory and jo in s B.
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FIGURE 12.5 In the case shown here the three camera positions are located on the path of the movement itself, and advance as the walkina player moves away to her destination.

Case D In the exam ple explained (Fig. 12.5) the subject in m otion starts from one area close to the first cam era site, and m oves to B. A further variatio n can be obtained b y placing his destination b e­ yond player B, T his m o tion can be either continuous, o r w ith an interruption in the centre. T he follow ing exam ple, illustrated in Fig. 12.6 m akes use again o f three fragm ents aligned on a com m on visual axis. Shot 1 A m oves from the right hand screen sector. C ut to . , .
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FIGURE 12.6 A nother example of camera sites arranged on the line of movement it­ self. Here the moving player goes beyond the stationary one, and on into tha back­ ground. Player B on the left side remains stationary but her figure grows In si 2e aa each new shot is introduced.

S hot 2 A enters from the right an d stops in foreground with his back to us. A fter a m om ent he walks forw ard. He m oves in the centre o f the screen. Shot 3 Player A in the centre o f the screen takes two steps forw ard and stops. In the exam ple presented the perform ers have a com m on centre of interest— the car in the background. T he three shots progress spatially tow ards the car. Two methods 256

were used to jo in the shots in sequence. F rom shot I to shot 2 iepetition o f screen zone m ovem ent was used —A m oved m the right sector at th e end o f shot 1 and beginning o f shot 2. To join shots 2 and 3 a different solution was applied. A ction in the centre of the screen was m atched precisely on th at spot. B rem ained static in all shots and her figure cam e nearer from shot to shot, so that we see her in a long shot in shot 1, in a m edium shot in take 2, and in a foreground close shot in shot 3.

Case E

An action fragm ented in three shots may use screen sector repeti­ tion in all the shots, a n d can apply a right angle relationship between shots 1 and 2, an d an advance on a com m on visual axis between shots 2 and 3. The sequence o f shots (Fig. 12.7) is easy to assem ble; Shot 1 A enters from right an d m oves across the screen to the centre. C u t to . . . Shot 2 Reverse right angle position. B seen in the background, left. A , right, enters and m oves aw ay from us diagonally tow ards the centre. W hen he is near B, cut to . . , Shot 3 Close shot o f B, Same axis as preceding shot. B on the left o f the screen. A enters by the right and stops facing B. By piecing a m otion in this way, tw o different locations can be ihown as if spatially side by side. T he illusion works perfectly on the screen. T he fragm entation o f a continuous m otion in m ore than four or five sections becom es annoying an d defeats its ow n purpose. Where the distance is very great fo u r shots could be used as show n in Fig. 12.8. M ovem ent can be confined to the same screen sector in the last three shots. But the aim is to find an editing form ula th at suggests the length o f the p a th travelled w ithout the full m ovem ent which tires the audience a n d slows dow n the story. For that purpose only three shots would be necessary. In Fig.
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FIGURE 12.7 T his example uses screen sector repetition in the three shots for the movement of player A. A combination of a right angle shot between shot 1 and 2 and an advance on a common visual axis between shots 2 and 3 allows this zone repetition o1 motion.

12.8 we would use only shots 1, 2 and 4. On the first, the moving player leaves his area. In s h o t 2, he is seen, small, traversing the space th at separates h i m from his destination o n the right, where the other perform er waits. Shot 4 w ould begin by showing the waiting acto r alone on the screen for several fram es, and then the player in m otion would enter the screen. The length o f tim e th at the w aiting player rem ains on the screen before the arrival o f the other, suggests the length o f the path travelled. A time contraction is usually resorted to when using this m ethod. M otion o f a repetitive n atu re (such as walking or

FIGURE 12.8 M ultiple fragm ents applied to a lengthy movement of a player. Screen sector repetition is obtained in the last three shots,

running) is seldom o f dram atic value in situations w here the intention is to move a player from one place to another. Fast, o r violent m otions can be fragm ented into fo u r o r five pieces to stress visually the violence im plicit in the m ovem ent itself. T he case show n in Fig. 12.9 m akes use o f reverse angles. In take 1 (a close shot) p erform er A lunges forw ard violently going out o f the screen. In shot 2 (a full shot) he enters and runs to the background. H alfw ay along his p a th we cut to shot 3 where he is seen in m edium shot on the centre o f the screen. H e m oves quickly tow ards us going ou t o f the screen.
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FIGURE 12.9 M tiltipfe fragmentation of a movement to stress the violence of a per­ son's movement.

The conclusion o f this m otion accepts three solutions: 1 We cu t back to sh o t 2 (full shot) w here the player ends his m otion by arriving to the d o o r and pounding his fists o n it. 2 H e arrives by entering close shot 4. 3 B oth previous solutions are com bined to conclude the motion, using shots 2 and 4 after the first three shots. Solutions 1 and 2 involve four fragm ents, while ap p ro ach 3 uses five sections to piece together the whole m otion.

13
PLAYER

AMOVES TOWARDS PLAYER B

The nu m b er o f visual p erm utations possible for one player approaching an o th er or a g roup are alm ost limitless. T hose described below are only suggestions for basic situations th a t m ay k useful as a checklist fo r ideas. Converging motion The m oving player com es forw ard on the screen in bo th takes, but in the first his m ovem ent is from right to centre on the right side o f the screen, while in the second he m oves from left to centre o n the left side o f th e film fram e. T he m ovem ent o f the approaching player converges tow ards the centre o f the screen in both shots, using b o th right and left areas o f the screen consecutively.
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FIGURE 13.0 Converging directions of a single approaching motion towards a ttallc player.

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FIGURE 13.1 One of the m ost frequently used formulas for short range movements employed when only one player moves towards another. The camera positions are at right angles.

T he presence o f a m irro r in the first shot allows the viewing of converging directions o f the sam e single action by the approaching player, while the static perform er is seen on the same side of the screen in bo th shots. The inclusion o f one or m ore m irrors in a shot has always fascinated film m akers because o f the opportunities they provide for unusual visual arrangem ents on the screen.

Right angle camera sites W here the tw o m ain cam era positions have a right angle rela­ tionship, the sim plest solution is depicted in Fig. 13.1. A, with his back to the cam era in shot 1, starts to walk aw ay from us towards player B. Shot 1 is a full shot. T w o-thirds o f the m ovement are covcred from this view point. W e then cut to shot 2, a medium shot, where A enters the screen a n d stops, facing B. B may be either standing, sitting o r lying dow n. 262

FIGURE 13,2

The firs i shot is an improvement on the previous example.

The difference in distance betw een the cam era an d the perform er in b oth takes (FS to CS o r MS) adds a visual variety. A always moves in the same sector o f the screen. A lthough we showed m ovement fro m right to left, the reverse direction w orks in the same m anner as in all the exam ples following. An alternative, or ad d itio n to the above is where the beginning of the m ovem ent is first show n in a reverse close shot (Fig. 13.2). Player A begins to m ove in close shot (1) where he goes o u t o f the screen, entering into full shot (2) an d concludes his m otion by entering again in m edium shot (3). Several o f the follow ing situa­ tions also open with a close shot. A nother so lution is to m ake the first a panning shot. The ac to r walks in a straight path tangential to the panning arc o f the first camera site (Fig. 13.3). T h e illu stratio n shows the 180° pan used in the first shot. It achieves th e sam e as the tw o first shots in Fig. 13.2.

FIGURE 13.3 The firs t shot is panned. This is another variant of the basic formula shown in Fig. 13.1.

In the first case exam ined, an d partially in the two variations follow ing it, the m oving player began his w alk w ith his back to the cam era and concluded by arriving a t a profile position. Fig. 13.4 uses the rig h t angle set-up to show the player starting the move from a profiled position a n d concluding it facing the cam era. The perform er in m otion m ay com e to the cam era in either zone of the screen in the second shot.
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FIGURE 13.4 In this variant of the basic form ula w ith a right a n Q l e relationship of camera a tec. the moving player enters the second shot facing the camera instead o f being profiled to it as In the previous examples.

A nother possibility reverses the variation exam ined in the previous exam ple. T he m oving acto r com es up to the cam era in the first shot and concludes by entering the screen in a profiled position. (Fig. 13.5).

FIGURE 13.5 in this approach to the basic form ula the stationary player is used as a pivot for t h e c a m e r a sites, keeping her in the foreground i n both shots.

Fig. 13.6 shows the a c to r’s m ovem ent profiled to the camera in the first shot, and with his b ack to it in the second.

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FIGURE 13.6 In (his variant the camera sites are deployed In a pattern complementary to that shown In Fig. 13.5.

The case shown in Fig. 13.7 shows a cam era pan applied to the second shot. In the first shot A is seen m oving aw ay from us tow ards B in the background. In the second shot A is in the centre o f the screen (or entering it from the right) an d being followed by a sh o rt panning m ovem ent th a t covers the conclusion o f his motion as he com es to a stop facing p erform er B.

Reverse camera angles Fig, 13.8 is the first (and m ost simple) o f several variations using reverse cam era angles to show the m ovem ent. In the first shot the player walks up to the cam era, and enter in the second shot w ith his back to us. W ith this form ula we can also use a close shot where the beginning o f the m ovem ent is recorded, as show n in Fig. 13.9. So far we have shown b o th players in the tw o shots. Using internal reverse angles we can also cover the p ath traversed by the m oving player.
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FIGURE 13.7 The change introduced to the basic form ula in th is example is In the second shot, where the camera is panned.

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FIGURE 13.8

A simple approach using a set of external reverse camera angles.

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FIGURE 13-9 The firs t shot is an improvement added to the external reverse angle camera coverage in the previous example.

This v ariatio n was used before to show the beginning o f the m ovem ent at the start o f o th er form ulas, b u t has sufficient value in itself to be em ployed alone. In the exam ple shown in Fig. 13.10 b o th shots are at the sam e cam era/subjectjiistance, bu t this can be varied. Parallel camera sites Parallel cam era positions have been extensively exam ined before to record m ovem ent o f an ac to r across the screen, so it will suffice to include here only one exam ple, the m ost simple (Fig. 13.11), Common visual axis C am era positions on a com m on visual axis are the key to the exam ples th a t follow. Fig. 13.12 shows a frequently used example.
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FIGURE 13,10 fn this variant, a set of Internal reverse camera angles Is used to cover the player in motion.

The m ethod shown in Fig. 13.12 is simple to execute and quite clear in the visual coverage th at it affords. N o w onder th at it is used so often. i

FIGURE 13.11 A parallel camera deployment used to register the movement of the player as he walks towards his stationary companion.

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FIGURE 13.12 A commo n visual axis fine for both camera sites is used here to show the player In motion.

H ere (Fig. 13.13) the line o f m otion runs parallel to the axis line o f the tw o cam era sites for covering o f the m otion. In the foregoing exam ples the arrival p o in t (player B) was always visible in the tw o o r three shots into which the m ovem ent o f A was fragm ented. Tn the following exam ples she appears only in the second shot. T his is due to the fact th a t the m otion covered is a diagonal across o u r field o f vision (Fig. 13.14). In the first shot player A m oves aw ay from the cam era, in an oblique path, an d leave the picture, left. H e enters from the right in the second shot a n d stops, facing B. A is seen from behind in both shots. In this case we reverse the situation in the preceding example. The m oving player faces the cam era in b o th shots (Fig. 13.15). In shot 1, player A advances to the cam era in a diagonal and passes o u t o f shot, left. F o r shot 2 tw o solutions are available. B is included in foreground in both possibilities. A is either in the centre o f the right sector m oving tow ards us, or he enters from the right and com es to the foreground.
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FIGURE 13.13 Movement in a neutral direction Is covered by camera deployment on a common visual axis.

This fro n tal ap p ro ach to a n unseen destination in the first shot is the one m ost favoured by film m akers. C om ing forw ard is a more dynam ic action than going away.

FIGURE 13.14 In the firs t shot A moves away obliquely from the camera and exits left. In the second shot he enters from the right, still seen from behind, and stops, lacing 6.

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FIGURE 13.15 The difference between this example and that preceding it lies In the fact that here 1he moving player arrives facino us, whereas in the previous case he moved with his back to the camera.

A m irro r can be present in the second shot, in the background, angled to the side where p layer A is still m oving off screen. In this way, in the second sh o t, we first see her enter the screen (in the m irro r) by the left, an d as her figure goes ou t o f the m irro r right, her real figure enters the film fram e from the left, and stops

FIGURE 13.15A The use of a m irror on the second shot repeats the entrance of the moving player twice on the same section of the screen.

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FIGURE 13,16 The variant afforded by this approach fs tha t two stationary players are involved. The moving actor advances from one to the other in tha two shots.

facing B. T hus, h er entering m otion in the second shot was seen twice, and in th e sam e area of the screen (Fig. 13.15A). As pointed o u t elsewhere, the use o f m irrors affords the duplica­ tion o f m o tio n which gives startling and off-beat visual effects. , / T he sam e form ula can be em ployed to show player A leaving C to arrive beside ac to r B in the second shot. (Fig. 13.16). T he m o tio n follow s an oblique p a th in b o th takes. C is excluded in the second shot. In the first take C and A are talking, then A moves diagonally crossing behind C an d approaches, going out d fsh o t, left.

FIGURE 13.17 The moving player walks beyond the stationary one, who aervea as a pivot for both camera positions, keeping him in the foreground In both (hots.

In the second shot he is already on the screen in the centre o f the right sector, and com es tow ards B who is fram ed in the foreground and then speaks to him. A walks beyond B A situation often found in a scene where the player in motion crosses beside the static one, and stops beyond him. This might be filmed as follows. Player B, the static subject, can be used as pivot in both shots, thus relating visually bo th shots into which the m ovem ent has been split. As Fig. 13.17 shows,_B has his back to us in the firstshot and is facing the cam era in the second. A goes out o f the screen in the first shot and enters the second. His m otion can be

FIGURE 13.IS A right angle camera relationship employed for a movement where Ihe walking player passes beyond his stationary companion. The firs t shot is used twice to show the beginning and conclusion of the movement. The second covers the central part of !he movement.

motivated by giving him a significant piece o f business, such as having him lift a heavy box in shot 1 and deposit it in shot 2. The second ap p ro ach is show n in Fig. 13.18. In sh o t 1, player A is seen in the.background. H e w alks to us in a neutral direction, £ is seated on the right side o f the screen and seen in full shot. As A nears her, we cu t to take 2, w here A enters from the left a n d crosses o u r view passing in fro n t o f B an d going out o f shot, right. Cut b ack to sh o t 1, where A having passed B already, m oves towards us and stops in the foreground. As m entioned a t the beginning o f this chapter the list o f cases included here is not a n exhaustive one.
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USING MASTER SHOTS TO COVER MOTIONS ON THE SCREEN

Very few screen m otions so far exam ined have allowed division a n d use o f shots in two o r m ore parts. Inserts o r cut-aways in a m aster sh o t m ay provide a pause in the action recorded, serve to stress a situ atio n o r allow recognition o f the characters involved. In the follow ing exam ple the player pauses in fro n t o f a large building before m oving on tow ards It. A reverse shot is inserted, M aster sh o t 1 Large building in the background. A enters view fro m the left a n d stops with his back to us, L ooking tow ards the building. C ut to . . , Reverse shot o f A seen on the sam e side o f the picture. H e is looking off right. H e advances and passes ou t o f view right. C u t to . . . A , in the centre o f the picture, m oving away from us tow ards the building.

Insert 2

M aster shot 1

T he co m b in atio n is easy to execute. T he m aster shot 1 is filmed w ith o u t in terru p tion. Player A enters, stops, then m oves away tow ards the building. Cut. T he ac to r is b ro u g h t b ack a n d positioned for the second shot. T here we see his expression as he exam ines the building and then starts to w alk to w ards it. In editing, a po rtio n o f the m aster shot I, co rresponding to the action seen in the insert, is rem oved and replaced by the insert 2. This reverse shot, being a frontal shot favouring the perform er, show s the player’s reaction m uch more clearly th a n if we stuck to shot 1 in its entirety. In a n o th er case a subject seen m oving in extrem e long shot, generates in the audience the urge to identify him before becoming involved in his fu rth e r actions. This can be handled as follows,

FIGURE 14.T Player A , afone, faces the building. He enter* shot, stops, then moves away (In the **cond shot) towards the bulldino. again covered by the first camera position.

M aster shot 1

A enters view from the left, running to the right. H e is show n in very sm all scale, silhouetted against the sky, running across a beach. W hen
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FIGURE 14.2 The firs t shot Is used twice. The horizontal movement o f the player is through thirds of the screen area—the firs t and third. The movement that sho t Id be Inthe central part o f the screen In S h o tl is substituted by the movement shown in Shot 2, w hich Is from a right angled camera position, closer to the moving sub je ct

he gets ab o u t one-third o f the way across the picture, cut to . . . Insert 2 A in the centre o f the sc re e n ju n n in g towards us, exiting close to the cam era, right. A s he advances we are given a chance to recognise him. M aster shot 1 A runs the last third o f the w idth o f the screea seen in small scale against the horizon and leaves right. Player A runs right across the picture in the m aster shot. A closer shot shows a segm ent o f th a t m otion. T he division o f his movement

in thirds o f screen space in the m aster shot, allow s us to show the perform er and his environm ent a t the sta rt an d a t the end, using segments I a n d 3. T he m otion perform ed in the central segm ent o f the screen is tak en o u t a n d replaced by the insert. An im p ro v em en t uses the preceding set-up b u t after cutting back to the m aster sh o t the sequence is concluded by adding a third shot to cap the action.

FIGURE 14.3 Floor plan showing the arrangement of the cameras to cover a simple movement of one player.

Full shot. T he girl, A , enters through a d o o r into the corridor. She is unaw are o f the m a n ’s presence, B. She closes the d o o r w ith her back to us. H e says q u ietly : ‘H ello’ ! S tartled, she begins to tu rn to us, we cut on the m ovem ent, to a close sh o t o n th e sam e visual axis.
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She ends tu rn in g tow ards us an d looks off screen, right. She smiles as she recognizes him . T hen she starts to m ove towards us, (right) an d w hen her head is halfw ay o u t o f the screen, cut to the full sh o t again.

The girl in th e centre o f the screen is w alking tow ards us and tow ards B in the foreground. As she draw s near, cu t to a side close sh o t o f B.

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A t the beginning o f the shot, A enters from the left a n d stops. They talk. An elaborate m otion recorded in a single m aster shot can be enhanced by the in tro d uction o f two inserts. Fig. 14.4 gives the camera positions in such a case.

FIGURE t4.4 Floor plan of the camera sites that cover a simple movement with various camera viewpoints, one of them used as a master shot (1).

The scene takes place in a rocky desert where we see a m ountain range behind. A p a th has been w orn into the ground by constant use. The riders m ove in a line o f three abreast, m ore o r less equally spaced ap art.
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High long shot. R iders approach from left to centre.

Full shot. C am era on the ro ad travels with them . T hey ride to ­ w ard us.

High long shot again. R iders tu rn the bend to the rig h t an d move across the screen. P an to the right w ith them .

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Low ful! shot. R iders ap p ro ach diagonally from left to right and exit th e screen, right.

H igh long sh o t again. T he riders tu rn the ben d tow ard the cam era, a n d m ove in a diagonal from right to left. C am era pans and tilts to follow them as they exit.

In this exam ple the two inserts w ere used to inject dynam ism into th e m aster shot. T his m aster is a pan o ram ic view. Its value lies in show ing the riders isolated in the large, w ild terrain. T he inserts p rovide violent m o tio n th a t co n trasts w ith the calm ness o f the m aster. An increase in sound level when the tw o inserts ap p e ar on the screen, a n d a sudden decrease w hen the m aster shot follows accentuates a feeling o f im pending m enace. Several m aster shots can be edited in parallel to cover a p er­ form er’s m ovem ent in o rd e r to stress all the d ra m a tic possibilities, and build a succession o f im ages th a t create excitem ent, suspense or sheer actio n fo r the audience. H ere is a n exam ple from an un­ finished film entitled E l Senor del E ste (L ord o f the East). T he
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FIGURE 14.5 Sequence of shots edited in parallel as described in the text.

scene is Santa Teresa fortress, U ruguay. A gaucho, w earing the uniform o f a Portuguese soldier he has overpow ered, is ab o u t to cross the p atio o f the fortress to w ard the arsenal th a t he plans to sabotage. A soldier o n the ra m p a rts stands w atch w ith his back to th e co u rtyard. The gaucho starts to cross th e p atio (Fig. 14.5). S hot 1 T he gaucho m oves from under the archw ay o f the stone passage a n d w alks o u t o f shot, right.

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Shot 2 Reverse shot. The gaucho enters from the left and m oves tow ards the background. T here we see his targ et: the arsenal.

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Shot 3 F ro m th e. fp rt’£_walls we sce.4£oregraund) the sentry standing w ith his back to the gaucho, who is seen in the b ackground w alking tow ards the arsenal.

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M ood is im p o rtan t to this type o f sequence. A far away male voice singing a song to the tune o f a plaintive guitar, punctuated by the h a ish so u n d o f the sentry’s boots scraping on the ra m p a rt’s stones serve to highlight the sense o f latent danger th a t can be suddenly unleashed. Shot 4 Low angle. C am era m oves back with the gaucho as he walks in m edium shot.
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Shot 3 Full shot o f the walls. T he gaucho moves in the back­ ground.

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Shot 4

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Shot 3 Full shot o f the walls. The gaucho reaches the arsenal and disappears behind it.

S hot 5 T he walls o f the arsenal in foreground. T he gaucho com es tow ards us from a neutral direction a n d kneels below the lighted window . H e waits.

Shot 3 On the fo rt’s walls the sentry changes position and looks tow ards the background.

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Shot 5 The gaucho slowly rises and peeps through the slit w indow o f the arsenal.

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T he w hole sequence com prises ten fragm ents, taken from three m aster shots a n d tw o single shots. These single shots are used at the beginning o f the sequence to show the tw o extrem e zones betw een w hich the m ovem ent takes place. In take ] we see the g aucho leaving his hiding place, a n d in shot 2 we show him heading for his targ et: the fa r aw ay arsenal. M aster shots 3 and 4 record his bold m ovem ent through the dan g er zone. M aster 3 shows the sentry in foreground who m ight tu rn at any mom ent a n d challenge him . T he m ovem ent o f the gaucho is show n in this sh o t in three successive zones o f the screen. T hey are intercut with m aster 4 th a t show s us the feelings o f the gaucho as he moves across th e o p en cou rty ard . As o u r hero reaches the arsenal we cut to the m aster shot 5, w here we show him com ing to the w indow. T h en we in tercut the pay-off o f M aster 3. W e h ad toyed with the em otions o f the audience by stating clearly (in a previous p a rt o f the story) th at if the sentry tu rn ed , the plans o f our hero w ould be ruined. (The audicnce already know s th a t there is a curfew en­ forced every night w ithin the fortress walls). By show ing the sentry turn in g now, wc stress th a t the danger was as real as we had indicated, b u t o u r lucky hero saved him self o n the nick o f time. T h en we retu rn to m aster sh o t 5 where the gaucho starts the next phase o f his o p eratio n , a n d the story m oves on.

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15
IRREGULAR CASES

Dramatic needs som etim es dictate visual presentations th at violate the rules o f m otion already explained. T he exam ples th a t follow fall w ithin this category. Tw o solutions were applied to m ake them work— a pause, o r use o f a small screen sector. In m any films a problem arises w here a perform er m ust m ove between two different zones o f interest th at have opposed d om inant centres so th a t from a general cam era position we face one centre o f interest and see only the rear o f the other. I f this is to be avoided, a visual pause must be em ployed a t th e beginning o f the second take. Im agine a case where two players are seen, one in m otion, the o th er static, as in Fig. 15.1. O nly tw o shots are used to cover the m otion between b o th zones o f interest. Shot 1 L ong shot. P layer B is on the right, with his back to us. He faces th e scenic background. A, on the left, walks across th e screen tow ards B. W hen A reaches the centre o f the screen, cu t to . . . Shot 2 Reverse m edium shot. Player B is now on the left side o f the screen, facing us. H e rem ains alone for a m om ent and then A enters from the right and stops beside him. Both players now face the cam era o r look at each other. The pause th a t m asks the change o f direction is introduced a t the beginning o f the sccond shot. The m oving player is m om entarily excluded from the shot, so th a t the static perform er is briefly seen alone. This allows the audience tim e to adjust to th i new cam era position. In a previous instance, when discussing opposed m otion within the screen area, an exam ple was exam ined w here the m oving player h ad his back to the cam era in one h alf sector and faced it in the o th er (C hapter 11, Case 52). T h a t condition was needed to achieve a coherent m otion because in th at case the centre o f
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FIGURE 15.1 A visual pause is in tro d u c e d at th e beginning of the se co n d shot to obtain a smooth change of direction In the m o vem e n t gf one player.

attention for the player, and the audience, rem ained in the centre o f the screen. W ith the present solution a pause is introduced at the beginning o f the second shot and the m oving player presents a profiled body position in both shots. The m otion o f the player o r other moving subject can be either across the screen o r diagonally. Visual pause with larger groups W ith a large static group the fragm entation o f m ovem ent might be prefaced by the m otion o f an o th er player (Fig. 15.2). Shot 1 A an d C are seen talking, B enters from the right passing behind C and stops (centre). B talks to A, who then moves tow ards B. As A crosses one-third of the picture area, the shot is cut to . . .
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FtGURE 15.2 The people move, with a visual pause in the action of the second player, The players interchange positions on the screen in the second shot.

Shot 2 Reverse m edium shot. B, now on the left is profiled to the right. (Fig. 15.2). T hen,A enters from the right and stops, facing B. Later both tu rn aw ay from us and walk in a neutral direction to the background. A reversal o f screen zone position for b o th m ain players (B and A) is unavoidable with this solution, bu t a pause at the beginning o f

FIGURE 15.2A Opposed movement of a player In the same screen sector. A pause at the beginning of the second shot b ridges both movements.

the second take helps to create a m om entary distraction for the audience, allow ing their reo rien tatio n by breaking the direction on the d o m in an t m otion. Instead o f having the two subjects present in bo th shots, they ca n be show n together in only one shot. (Fig. I5.2A) Player A goes ou t o f shot by m oving from the centre to the left, in the first shot. T he second shot begins w ith B (static) on the right
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sector. A fter a pause A enters from the left and stops in ths centre. M otion was accom plished in the same screen sector (left) in opposed directions.

The pause is om itted With a right angle cam era coverage, the pause is som etimes omitted. A direct cut is used, and the player who m oves does so on opposed halves o f screen from sh o t to shot (Fig. 15.3). W ith a peculiarity. In one sh o t his m ovem ent is across a narrow central area. In Fig. 15.3 the second shot m ak esu se o f this short m ovem ent.

Both fragm ents o f the m otion converge on the screen tow ards its centre. This visually interesting presentation works well not only where two persons m eet, b u t also in cases where one per­
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former, for instance, helps the other c/imb on to higher ground where the first player is already placed (Fig. 15.4).
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FIGURE 45.4 The pause a lth e beginning of the second shot has been om it led, anda dire ctcut is m ado.The movement in both shots converges on th e c e n tre o tlh e scrsan.

A an d B converge on the centre o f the screen, A extends his hand to B. C ut on the action to the second cam era position, right angles, where A ’s body enters from the left an d joins B. Here the small m ovem ent was in the first shot.

Using reverse angles W here one perform er is seated, the other, standing, may feel com pelled to m ove from one side to the other to stress a point or for some other reason. Once m ore, this m otion is fragmented using opposed halves o f screen (Fig. 15.5).

The speed factor is thus very im p o rtan t and m ust be considered when planning this type o f set up. In the exam ple show n, the small sector m o tio n was used in the first shot. This solution is sim ilar to the one presented in C h ap ter 13, Case 52 except th a t in the second shot the player enters ra th e r than ju s t moves from the side to the centre. By using a close shot for the second take, the en tran ce o f the player in to the screen is m ade swifter, so th a t she traverses the h alf screen a rea faster th a n she to o k to cover the opposing h a lf screen area o n th e previous shot. As explained elsewhere, a single m otion split in tw o p arts should have b o th halves m oving a t sim ilar speeds. B ut a close shot by increasing the size o f the figure, also increases its speed o f m otion. Since the close shot is used for visual em phasis, this speed increase cuts well w ith th e slower m o tio n th a t preceded it. W hat will no t work so successfully is a reversal, w here speed from shot to shot decreases on the depiction o f a continuous single m otion,
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from shot to shot; movement converges on the screen centre tn both shot*.

A lthough subject B was excluded from the second shot (which was his view point), he can be present in th a t shot to o — creating a reversal o f players’ screen sectors (Fig. 15-6). A s the illustration clearly shows, there are tw o alternatives for the sense o f direction in w hich the m oving perform er travels. She m ay either displace her body horizontally across a h a lf screen area in each shot, o r she m ay m ove diagonally in a receding direction first, ap p ro ach in g in the shot th a t follows. A player m oving in a neutral direction can use the sam e formula (Fig. 15.7).
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FIGURE 15.7 Movement In 4 neutral direction where the players exchange screen positions In the second shot as the moving person a, completes her action.

Shot 1 B in foreground, back to the cam era. A (right) a p ­ proaches us. W hen she is near B, cut to . . . Shot 2 Reverse. B in foreground, right. A enters from the left. W hen she is behind B, she tu rn s to him. Instead o f crossing the screen to the centre the neutral m ovem ent o f com ing a n d going away was perform ed in opposed sectors. It is n o t necessary to show the player entering the screen from one side in th e second shot. A lthough the use o f th at entrance helps in m aking the m otion m ore dynam ic, it will work if we only show the player with her back to the cam era, standing beside B, and m oving aw ay to the background in the area o f the screen th at is opposite to th at em ployed for the first shot. T he use o f close shot framings for both shots forces the screen reversal o f both players in the film fram e in a m arked way. If the action is photographed in long shots, the sam e principle w ould apply, but the reversal o f the players would be less noticeable, since both would be located in the

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FIGURE 15.8 The direction of the playei's movement diverges from centre to sides.

FIGURE 15.9 Player B remains stationary on the le ft side o f the screen In both shots while the other player moves in a neutral direction In the first shot and across the screen in the second.

centre o f the screen, seen in full figure. T heir area reversal covers less screen space th an the same action pictured in close shots. Divergent motions The perform er m ay m ove aw ay fro m the scene from the centre instead o f com ing in to it. F irst there is a m edium shot o f the group. A m oves from the centre o f the screen to the right, exiting by th a t side. Secondly com es a reverse full shot. A (centre) com pletes her m ovem ent. She either exits by the left side o r stops there and turns to face the group. Constant screen position fo r one player In som e cases instead o f exchanging sides o f the picture one player m ay be kept to a constant screen area while the other crosses (Fig. 15.9).
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Shot 1 B (left, static). A (right) m oves aw ay in a neutral direction. C u t to . . . Shot 2 Side shot. B (left, static). A enters from th a t side an d crosses the screen, sto pping in the rig h t sector. Both players move A fu rth er irregular variatio n is in tro d u ced when b o th players move. T he actors w alk on parallel path s, b u t in o p posite directions. They stop sim ultaneously a n d face each o th er (Fig. 15.10). Shot 1 A ctors en ter sh o t fro m op p o site sides and w alk tow ards the centre fram ed in m edium shot. As th eir figures are ab o u t to overlap, cu t to . . . Shot 2 Reverse. B oth players en ter view in close shot, again from o p posite sides, an d sto p , facing each other. The positions o f th e acto rs in the second sh o t are reversed. B ut
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FIGURE 15.10 The players move In opposed direction# towards a meeting po ln t.T h * second camera position transposes them on the screen but the cut works smoothly because the converging movements In both shots are equal.

their converging m otions in each sector o f the screen are identical, although perform ed by a different player in each screen section from shot to shot.

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PLAYER A MOVES AWAY FROM PLAYER B

Shots in which one ch aracter m oves away from an o th er in sim ilar circumstances to those previously exam ined, only o f course, requires a reversal o f the procedure. It w ould suffice only to reverse the o rd er o f shots a n d direction o f m ovem ent, to obtain smooth an d varied coverage for all these. As in chapter 13 where player A m oves tow ards player B the triangular cam era placem ent principle still applies. Before going into the m o st used and classical approaches for this type o f m o tio n , let us record an oddity. By including on the screen im age tw o m irrors angled to each other, it is possible to show th e d ep artin g player beginning his m otion by leaving one mirror a n d entering the o th er to record the second h alf o f his movement. T he m irro rs act as tw o m ini screens for his m ovem ent, while th e static player is ever present on the large screen itself.

FIGURE 16.0 Two mirrors record on opposed halves of the screen the golnfl away motion o l a player.

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FIGURE 16.1 Two variations offered to cover a departing movement. The first covert movement In a neutral direction and the second, movement across the screen.

Tw o cam era positions placed on a com m on visual axis can be used to film a m otion o f departure either across the screen or diagonally tow ards the cam era in b o th shots (Fig. 16.1). The fragm ents o f m otion are recorded on only one h a lf o f the screen, and in the sam e sector for bo th shots. A exits by the side in the first shot and moves from the centre to the sam e side in the
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FIGURE 16.2 A n external set of reverse camera sites is employed in this example to cover the departure of one player.

second. A n external reverse cam era coverage w ould look like th at shown in Fig. 16.2. A right angle cam era placem ent used to cover the d ep artu re o f a perform er w ould show b o th players in the first shot and only the moving one in the second (Fig. 16.3). A moves o u t o f view in the first shot b u t in the second she is already in the centre o f the screen, a n d w alks aw ay from us in a neutral direction.
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FIGURE 16.3

A stationary player Is om itted from the second shot.

T his second sh ot becomes, in fact, the p o in t o f view o f the player who rem ains in the place. T he distance a t which the moving player is seen in this second shot, corresponds to the personal p o in t o f view o f the static player. I f bo th were seen in full shot in the first shot, the m oving player can be seen in a full shot moving aw ay in the second shot, since the distance travelled across the screen to its edge, is longer th a n if this action were witnessed by the audience in a m edium shot. In th a t last case the departing player is seen closer to the cam era in the second shot, to cor­ respond w ith the shorter distance travelled in the first shot. By seeing the player in m otion, first close to the cam era, then far away, and then close again, a dynam ic visual rh y th m is con­ ferred on the fragm entation o f the continuous m otion.
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FIGURE 16.4 The camera is panned in the second shot to follow a player who walk9 away from her stationary companion.

A fu rth er developm ent when using a right angle coverage is to m ake the second shot a pan (Fig. 16.4). First, (close shot) A in foreground turns and goes out o f view, right. C ut to a full shot where A (centre) continues to w alk to the right. The cam era pans with her. The effect obtained is sim ilar to that outlined in Fig. 16.3, except th at now the second shot is not the point o f view o f the excluded player, b u t an im personal point o f view th at stresses the m otion o f the departing player. T hat is the subtle difference between the two sim ilar m odes o f covering such a scene. The first one is em phatic, the other is less so. The film m aker chooses the one m ost ap p ro p riate to the narrative needs o f his scene.
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FIGURE 16.5

The departing player's maveine.lt is divided into thraa s lu ts,

The m ovem ent m ay som etimes be covered with several camera angles, especially for lengthy m ovem ents. Fig. 16.5 shows an exam ple using three fragm ents.

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Shot 1 A in foreground turns and exits right. Shot 2 Reverse. B in foreground. A in the centre background, m oves aw ay to the right. She does no t exit from the screen in this shot. Shot 3 Low close shot. A enters from the left and crosses our view, leaving by the right (or alternatively stops in the centre). Two people face each o th er and are covered by two external

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reverse cam era sites. T he d om inant person (seen beyond the one in foreground) m oves aw ay from his com panion. If th a t motion in the first sh o t is directed tow ards the cam era, the continuation of the m ovem ent in the second shot will happen within the boundaries o f the screen (Fig. 16.6). The solution is sim ilar to the one show n on page 297 Fig. 15.7 except th at now the m oving player does not re-enter the screen.

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FIGURE 16*6 The moving player comes towards us in a neutral direction. A s she approaches the stationary person we cut to a reverse shot behind her, where she moves away from the camera, passes the stationary player and continues on her path to the background. Due to the external reverse angle coverage employed, the positions of the players on the screen are transposed.

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In the first sh o t the player starts to m ove; in the second she completes the m otion passing the static player, and irregular case where they exchange screen areas. But if the departing perform er moves to the background in the first shot, he moves ou t o f view in the second. In practice, two m aster shots are edited in parallel, alternating betw een angles (Fig. 16.7). Shot 1 M edium shot o f A and B. They enter shot from the right and stop, facing each other. She has her back to us, and he dom inates. H e says: ‘W hen shall I see you again ?’ Shot 2 Reverse close sh o t o f both. She replies: ‘A fter vespers, in church.’ She begins to tu rn aw ay from us. Shot 1 M edium shot. She ends h er turning m ovem ent and walks tow ards us and o u t o f shot, left. Shot 2 F ro m this reverse position we see her in the left sector o f th e screen walking aw ay tow ards the background. Shot 1 Close shot. H e rem ains alone for an instant looking off screen left. Then he turns and crosses the screen exiting left. The m ovem ent o f th e girl was recorded in the same h alf o f the screen in b o th shots. A farewell scene treated visually as we have described, acquires a dynam ic quality o f m otion on the screen due to the use o f th e same sector o f the screen for all shots o f m ove­ ment an d because o f the repetitive editing p attern from intercut master shots. Juxtaposed close and m edium shots add a contrast in distances. M ovem ent m ust flow sm oothly into m ovem ent. A departure motion, th o u g h only a small p art, may be integrated within the general design o f m ovem ent to a sequence (Fig. (16.8). Shot 1 B in foreground rings off, tu rn s to the right. C am era p an s w ith him , fram ing B, left, and A beyond. A is packing a suitcase. B speaks to her. Shot 2 M edium sh o t o f A. She raises her head a t the beginning o f the shot, reacting to B off-screen. She replies, and then closing the suitcase, takes it and exits view, right. Shot 3 B in foreground, right. A enters from left and walks to the d o o r, centre background. She opens it and exits. Shot 4 Reverse. Close shot o f B bending an d picking up phone again, he dials a num ber, puts the receiver to his ear, waits for a m om ent and speaks.
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FIGURE 16.7 Simple reverse camera eaveraae for a departing movement fragmented Into several pieces using only two master shots obtained from the camera positions shown.

FIGURE 16.8 Departure integrated into a more complex pattern of movement that precedes and continues the central action shown here.

N um erous variants to shot 4 are possible. A fter she exits in shot 3, the next shot m ight show her w alking dow n the c o rrid o r o f the hotel, with the action o f the story staying with her. If, instead, the story details w hat happens to player B, an incident th at develops a relevant story p oint can be staged follow ing shot 3. M ovem ent flows into m ovem ent. N ote the curious way in which the cam era was m oved from the right to the left side o f player A. In th e first shot at the conclusion o f the panning m ovem ent he is seen fram ed on the left side o f the screen, with his back to us. Shot 2, featuring player B, is an advance on a com m on visual axis. She is tooking left, which ties this shot visually with the preceding one. T hen she m oves ou t o f shot by the right. In shot 3, she enters left, an d goes to the background. B ut now we are on the o th er side of player A, who is seen on the right side o f the screen. A nd yet the action plays sm oothly, because her d o m in an t exit-entrance m otion played on opposite sides o f the screen, overrides the fact th at player A has been shifted to a new area o f the screen on the re-establishing shot 3. The d om inant m otion o f player B m ade this sm ooth tran sitio n possible.
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FIGURE 16.9 The moving player Is excluded from the second shot, thus emphasizing the stationary one. who remains In shot seen from close by,

T he m ethod used in this exam ple to visually m ove over to the o th er side o f a p erform er, w ithout seeming to violate the triangle principle for cam era placem ent ca n be added to the collection of m eth o d s outlined in C h ap ter 9, em ployed to achieve the crossing o f the line o f interest o r o f m otion. I f a perform er moves o u t o f shot, the next shot need not continue his m ovem ent. It m ight be m ore effective to cut to the facial reactions o f the rem aining static perform er. In Fig. 16.9, as soon as A leaves the screen in shot 1, cu t to a close shot o f B on the sam e visual axis. I f applied to the departure o f a vehicle passing o u t o f the full shot, cut to a close shot o f the hero who was previously seen in the background. This m ode em phasizes the player who rem ains on the screen, m aking him the key figure. C utting to a close shot o f him stresses any m ovem ent he m ight then m ake.
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FIGURE 16 10 Ttie departing player moves In opposite screen directions from shot to another. A external reverse camera coverage is used here.

A reversal o f the shot order is not as em phatic. F o r instance, we cut from the Close Shot o f the static player, back on the same visual axis to the player th at starts to m ove and goes out o f the screen by a side, leaving the lone static perform er a small figure in the scene. In this way both players are de-em phasized: the going away player because she is so little time on screen on the last shot, and the static one because he is fram ed far away from our position. C ontrasting directions o f continuous retreating m ovem ent are possible with two external reverse cam era sites that cover m otion across the screen (Fig. 16.10).

FIGURE 16.11 The moving player is excluded from th« second shot. The sta­ tionary player turning his head in the second shot su 00 « *ts the direction of move­ ment of the player who Is now out of camera range.

F irst, a close shot o f b oth perform ers; A exits the screen, right. C ut to reverse shot 2, also a close shot. Two approaches are possible. In one, A is in the centre o f the screen hiding player B with her body. A moves from centre to left and exits. Alternatively, A enters the foreground from the right, with her back to us, and crosses between B an d the cam era, exiting left. B turns his head right to left. W ith external and internal reverse cam era positions, the sub­ je c t’s d eparture is not shown b u t only suggested by the turning head o f the other perform er (Fig. 16.11). W hen A exits the first shot, cut to the second where B follows the implied m ovem ent o f A. A screen exit from one side to the centre is also possible (Fig. 16.12).

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FIGURE 16,12 Two camera sites on a common visual axis are used to record a person who passes behind the stationary player as she leaves.

B an d A are talking. A decides to leave an d walks to the left, reaching th e centre o f the screen. C ut to . . . Shot 2 Close shot o f B (an advance on the visual axis o f the preceding shot). A enters from right and crosses behind B a n d exits left. In the first shot A ’s short m ovem ent to the left covers h a lf the screen w idth very quickly. In the second she crosses the whole picture w id th behind th e static player who dom inates the scene from his central position. A variation o f the above is to fram e b o th players in separate shots. S tartin g w ith an establishing shot show ing them together, move to single shots o f each, edited in parallel. One p layer then moves away. Fig. 16.13 shows this sim ple variation.
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FIGURE 16.13 The stationary person is excluded from the firs t shot. The moving player passes behind him in the second.

S hot 1 Close shot. A m oves out o f shot centre to left. Shot 2 Close shot o f B. Behind him, and o u t o f focus, A crosses rig h t to left. T his is a very usual way o f relating such individual shots without reverting to an earlier establishing sh o t which w ould also create a digression fo r the audience by em phasizing the w rong player. By showing A m oving in the background o u t o f focus o f the second shot her role is de-em phasized w ithout loss o f sense. D ep artu re can be presented in such a m anner th at it discloses the rem aining subject at the beginning o f the second shot, giving us a fro n tal view o f this player (Fig. 16.14). T he cam era sites are a t right angles to one another. In the first shot, player A tu rns to m ove away. In the second, with the camera behind her, she finishes turning as she leaves the sh o t—disclosing the static player in fro n t view. By this sim ple dynam ic visual presentation, atten tio n is throw n on to the other player. In the exam ple show n, A tu rn s aw ay from us, b u t the same principle applies if she tu rn s tow ards the cam era to leave (Fig. 16.15). In Fig. 16.14 the d ep artu re is from the sam e screen sector in b o th shots, w hereas in Fig. 16.15 it is from centre to sides of opposing halves o f the screen. The statio n ary player rem ains in the centre.
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f FIGURE 18.14 Right angle coverage of a departing player. In the firs t shot the person starts to move away from the camera. In the second shotas sha completes the move­ ment she discloses a frontal view of the stationary player.

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FIGURE 16.15 The difference between this example and that preceding lies In the fact that in this case the departing player begins her movement towards the camera In the first shot Instead of away from It.

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FIGURE 16.16 A pause at the conclusion of the firs t shot (remaining with the sta­ tionary player) serves to shorten the repetitive motion on a lenothy path,

A departure involving m uch m ovem ent need not show more th an the two extrem es o f the m ovem ent—a reversion to the time shortening principle explained elsewhere. Fig. 16.16 shows the present set up. Shot 1 Close shot. A and B talk, then A turns and approaches us exiting right. The cam era stays on B for a moment as he continues to speak, then cuts to . . . Shot 2 Full shot. A in foreground walks tow ards the camera, stops and turns to face B in the background. Once m ore, this action is in the same half o f the picture area and on the same visual axis. T he difference in procedure lies in the fad
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FIGURE 1§.f 7 A diverting movement Is Introduced at the conclusion of the first shot to Omit the long movement of the player towards the other In the background,

that when A goes to B the pause is at the beginning o f the second : shot, but when A goes away fro m B the pause is m ade a t the end of the first. A sim ilar solution is m ade possible by supplem enting the pause with a visual distraction. Such a problem arises when the departing player m oves directly to the background w here his destination can be seen. T he d istraction is aim ed at m aking us lose interest m o ­ mentarily in the m oving subject and his destination an d co n ­ centrate on the ch aracter who rem ains in foreground (Fig. 16.17). Shot 1 A a n d B talk in the foreground. C, seen in long shot at

the to p o f a short flight o f stairs, waits in the back­ ground. T hen A starts to w alk away from us tow ards C, B, in th e foreground, m oves to the right and the camera pans w ith him , excluding the others. T he cam era stays on B m om entarily for a reaction o r for him to speak an d advance the story. S h o t 2 M edium shot o f C. A enters fro m left reaching the top o f the stairs an d turns to lo o k with C off-screen right to B. H ere the com bined m ovem ent o f cam era and foreground player is visually distracting. A cam era m ovem ent alone could have been used by tilting to a detail in the foreground visually indicated by th e rem aining player. The cam era m ovem ent, alth o u g h safer, can be avoided if the foreground player walks tow ards the camera, th u s blocking o u r view o f the background, and forcing us into a close shot o f his face. In stead o f a pause, a cut-aw ay m ay be inserted to shorten the distance betw een d ep a rtu re an d arrival. T his cut-aw ay m ust be related to the m ain action o f the story. Fig. 16.18 illustrates an exam ple o f this type tak en from a well know n film.

FIGURE 16.18 An example taken from A lfred Hitchcock's film North by Northwest, where a cutway is used to shorten the path that must be traversed by the moving player.

Shot 1 C ary G ra n t com es ou t o f the corn p lan tatio n and starts to ru n to the highw ay in the background, w here a truck is ap p roaching a t full speed.
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Shot 2 Long shot. A biplane turns tow ards us and begins to fly straight tow ards the cam era.

Shot 3 Full shot. T he cam era in the centre o f the highway. C ary G ra n t enters right with his back to us an d stops in foreground, waving his arm s to stop the truck driver. The scene will be found in Alfred H itchcock’s film North by Northwest , and belongs to the now fam ous sequence in which a plane chases G ary G ra n t in bro ad daylight through plain open country. The cut-aw ay in the exam ple given is relevant to the story, since it inform s the audience o f the w hereabouts an d intentions o f the pilot in the biplane. T his cut-aw ay is used to shorten the length of ground travelled by C a T y G ra n t from the corn p lan tatio n to the highway, and concentrates on the im portant points o f the action.

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17
PLAYERS MOVE TOGETHER

W e have analysed screen m ovem ent where one perform er, the dom inant one, enters and exits. B ut b o th players m ay move at the sam e time and, in th a t event, three types o f m ovem ent are available to them : 1 b o th m ove in the sam e direction 2 they m ove tow ards each other 3 they m ove ap art. Each one o f these approaches will be exam ined separately and several exam ples w ithin each v aria n t will be offered.

Case 1 W hen b o th players w alk in the sam e direction, i.e. one behind the other, a dynam ic presentation can be obtained by editing the paii o f external reverse shots as described below , a n d in Fig. 17.1. Shot I F ull shot. B m oves fro m the centre o f the screen to the right and exits. C ut to . . . Shot 2 Reverse full shot. A enters shot from the left and moves aw ay behind B. In shot 1, A m oves from left to centre and B from centre to right. In shot 2 b o th execute sim ilar m ovem ents in the sam e areas o f the screen. B ut in shot 1 perform er B exits the screen, w hereas in shot 2, A enters from the opposite side. B, in the second shot, is already in the centre o f the screen m oving aw ay into the background.

Case 2 I f three people are m oving in a single line, a som ew hat similar solution is available (Fig. 17.2).
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FIGURE 17.2 Movement that begins in the centre of the screen for the second ia employed here to unite the shots visually-

T here is an alm ost right angle relationship between the two cam era sites em ployed fo r this dynam ic cut ap p ro ach . The principle at w ork is the same. S h o t 1 A, B an d C m ove diagonally and in single file o u t o f the shot, right. A s the last leaves, cut to . . . S h o t 2 C in the centre o f the screen, m oving to the right. He stops; B and A enter from left and stop. As can be seen, the entrance o f C into shot was om itted. By allow­ ing him to m ove fro m the centre outw ards, a m ore dynam ic effect is achieved. Case 3 A right angle coverage is also possible as show n in Fig. 17.3. In the first shot four persons are standing, profiled to the camera, w atching som ething off-screen left and then begin to m ove to the left. A exits screen, B (centre) moves to left screen edge; C and D reach the centre. C ut to the second shot, at right angles. A and B are already in shot, right, an d walk away to the burning plane in the back g ro u n d followed by others who enter shot from the right.
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FIGURE 17*3 A right angle camera coverage for the departure of aeveral players, nnovlno one behind the other.

Screen areas repetition fo r C and D is obtained, while A an d B move in one half o f the screen first, and in the other in the next shot.

Case 4 Two players approaching each other suggest a right angle cam era coverage (Fig. 17.4). In the first shot b o th players, m oving in a neutral direction, w alk towards each other. C u t to shot 2, where b o th enter shot from their own sides and stop n ear the centre.

Case 5 Cameras placed o n a com m on visual axis will also record this converging m otion well (Fig. 17.5). The first shot is divided in three vertical com positional segments. Both perform ers are placed at the extrem es, and are allow ed to move up to the inner boundaries o f the segments. T hen we cut to a close shot, advancing on a com m on visual axis, where each player is seen from his own sides, and com ing to a stop.
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FIGURE 17.4 The conversing movement c l two players covered by a rl*t*t mi fie earner* arrangement.

It is perhaps unnecessary to p oint out that both players should m ove a t approxim ately the sam e speed, so th a t their m otion on the screen would allow them to arrive on cue to their allotted screen areas. I f one perform er m oves m ore slowly than the other, he 01 she w ould have to delay his o r her entrance into the screen in the second shot. T he visual presentation would be weaker. Y et it is possible to cheat, if such a discrepancy is present in the first shot, by m aking both enter the second shot at the same time.

FIGURE 17.5
v is u a l a x is .

Converging players seen from two camera positions on a common

Case 6 The players m ight approach one a n o th e r a t right angles, as in Fig. 17.6. The editing pro cedure would be sim ilar to those in the preceding case.
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FIGURE 17.6 Both moving players converge on paths at right angles and are covered by * right angle camera arrangem ent

H ere th e right angle cam era deploym ent coincides with the rig h t angle m ovem ent o f the players themselves. N eutral and transverse m otions are attenuated in half-areas o f the screen from sh o t to shot. Case 7 T his m eeting o f tw o perform ers whose m ovem ents converge on a central point, can be extended to two groups. In editing, one could altern ate betw een m ovem ents o r present them in the sam e shot. F o r exam ple: an In d ian chieftain an d a cavalry com m ander agree to m eet in neu tral ground to talk over th eir differences. B oth come with arm ed escorts w ho rem ain u p in the hills as the chiefs descend

FIGURE 17.7 The movements o l characters who converge on a central point tan be eitended to tw o oroups.

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to their m eeting point in the valley. H ere is how the sequence is developed. Shot 1 Low full shot. T he group o f cavalry m en appear over the rim o f the hill and stop. They m oved from right to left. As they stop cut to . . .

Shot 2 Low close shot o f three cavalry men. A n officer, an Indian scout an d the com m anding officer. They look an d wait.

Shot 3 Reverse full shot. F rom behind the group o f m ounted soldiers we see the o th er hill. F aint sounds o f hooves are heard.

Shot 4 Low full shot. Indians appear o n the ridge o f their hill and stop. (They m oved from left to right).
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Shot 2 Close shot o f three cavalry m en. The com m anding officer waves his arm .

S hot 5 Low close shot o f three Indians. T he centrc one is the chieftain.

Shot 2 Low close shot o f the three cavalry m en. T hey wait.

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S hot 5 Low close shot o f the three Indians. T he ch ief raises his arm and then low ers it.

Shot 2 Low close shot o f three cavalry m en. T he Indian scout an d the com m anding officer m ove to the left and go out o f shot. They begin to descend.

S hot 6 Full shot. B oth cavalry m en (the Indian Scout and the com m anding officer) descend to the left a n d go out of shot. T he o th er soldiers w ait a t the to p o f the hill.

Shot 5 Low close shot o f the three Indians. T he chief and his son m ove right an d descend o u t o f sh ot o n th a t side.

Shot 7 Full shot. Both Indians descend left to right and pass o u t o f shot right. They ride slowly. The other Indians spread o u t along the to p o f their hill.

Shot 8 Full shot. Several soldiers o n horseback in foreground. Beyond, in the valley, the tw o cavalry men an d the tw o In dians ride dow n tow ard each other. O n the hill be­ yond, the row o f Indians watch.

Shot 9 F ull shot. O n the same visual axis as the preceding shot with the row o f Indians o n top o f the hill. T he Indian chief and his son ride tow ards us, descending the slope an d passing o u t o f shot below.
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Shot 10 M edium shot. T he Indian scout and com m anding officer enter shot, right, cross the view diagonally descending to the left and ou t o f shot.

Shot II Reverse full shot. Both pairs o f riders m ove towards each other.

S hot 12 Full shot (side). The tw o Indians enter left an d two cavalry m en from the right, converging a t the centre of the screen.

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Shot 13 Close shot o f the Indian chief. His face dignified b u t inscrutable. He w aits in silence.

Shot 14 Close shot o f the com m anding officer. He is the first to speak.

Shot 13 Close shot o f the In d ian chief. He replies.

Shot 14 Close shot o f the com m anding officer. H e speaks again.

The whole sequence has a slow rh y th m th a t confers a m easure o f tension to the total event. T here is m istrust in b o th groups, and they ap p ro ach each o th er cautiously. The construction o f the sequence, from a story view point, is sim ple an d explicit: T h e soldiers an d Indians arrive an d the agreed signal is exchang­ ed. B oth leaders descend to the valley to talk. T he filmic language applied to the scene is sim ple to o : T he first g ro u p (the soldiers) is identified. Then the whole locale is established. T he second g ro u p (the Indians) arrive. T he ritual o f exchanging signals is perform ed. It is covered in single shots of each group. A delay is created w hen the Indians take th eir tim e in answering back. W h en b o th parties descend, they are first shown individually w ith tw o shots for each group, w idening the view on the second shots to include th e terrain in which they m ove. N ow a re-establish­ ing sh o t is introduced. B oth groups are seen in th a t shot. A fterw ards, atten tio n is centered o n the two chiefs an d their com panions slowly riding to th e b o tto m o f the valley. F ro m now on th eir respective arm ed escorts are excluded from the sequence. T w o full shots show us how they stop, facing each other. The faces o f the tw o leaders are now seen in close shot. These two people d o m in ate the sequence from now on. W hen b o th parties later retu rn to th eir arm ed escorts, their m ovem ents will be more vivid. W ith the conference over, there is no need to re tu rn so slowly. It w ould be an an ticlim ax if they did.

Case 8 F o r the th ird possibility, m entioned at the beginning o f the chapter, w here two players m ove aw ay from each o th er we have only to use in reverse the fo rm ulas described for the players w ho walk towards each o ther. A visual em phasis will suffice to give the idea, asshow n in Fig. 17.8. D uellists, back to back, an d seen in close view in the first shot. T hey receive the o rd e r from off screen and start to m ove away from each other. As soon as b o th leave the screen, we cut to a second sh o t where we see them w alking a n d widening the distance betw een them . Finally they stop.

I I r
FIGURE 17.8 Players move away from each other on divergent paths Right angle camera coverage registers the movement.

Case 9 A group o f players m oving aw ay from each o th er m ay som etim es serve to disclose a goal hidden by their presence—a m otion sim ilar effect to where theatre curtains p art to reveal the stage. T he follow ­ ing case m akes use o f this effect: la a sum ptuous hall o f a large palace, the nobles are gathered to dance. Suddenly a lackey enters an d in a pom pous voice loudly announces: His Highness, Prince C harles! The music fades and the dancers break up a n d begin to clear a path to reveal th e lords a t the end o f the hall. T he Prince advances through the crowd, tow ards the ow ners o f the castle. H ere we are only interested in show ing th at p arting m ovem ent o f the crow d.

Shot I Long shot. T he people in the first row s o f the crowd begin to move to the sides o f the screen and exit view at either side.

Shot 2 Full shot. C loser to the crow d. Those in the foreground move out o f view at either side.
i

i ,

Shot 3 M edium shot. The last few people m ove aw ay oat of shot disclosing the three ow ners o f the castle. Each shot lasts ab o u t two to three seconds. All shots have a com m on visual axis, and we progress into the crow d with the in troduction o f each new shot. The courtesans m ove from near the centre to the sides. T he m ovem ent is identical in all the shots.
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FIGURE 17.9
o f the g roup.

A parting curtain effect that reveals the stationary players at the back

Intermittent motion Looking back on o u r exam ination o f horizontal m ovem ent in and out o f shots, we lealize th at we have covered only continuous movement o f one or two perform ers. But in term itten t m otion, i.e. where the perform ers m ove in turn, is very com m on in films. It happens in m ost dialogue scenes where players shift position. This will be exam ined later w hen we discuss shots edited w ithin the film fram e and the construction o f sequences.

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18
SOLVING DIFFICULT EDITING SITUATIONS

T w o difficulties in editing film shots concern those extrem es for which there is often som e dram atic need— nam ely the to tal lack, or, over-abundance, o f m ovem ent. This ch ap ter presents a selection o f ap p ro ach es to cover such difficult situations clearly yet in­ terestingly. M ovem ent between camera and static subject Case 1 Let us first exam ine a case o f lack o f m ovem ent in the central p erfo rm er o f th e scene. O u r p lay er is seated at a lone table in a night club. Empty tables aro u n d him em phasize his loneliness as we see him in a long shot o f the room . N ow we wish to cut to a m edium shot of him , so th a t the audience can identify the player a n d see the expression on his face: tired, disenchanted, eyes lowered, fixed on a n em pty glass. T he m an does n o t m ove. It is no t necessary. In fact it would be a d ram atic e rro r to give the perform er any type o f m otion. But how do we cu t from a static long shot to a static m edium shot yet avoid a visual ju m p on the screen ? O ne way is to introduce a d istracting m ovem ent perform ed by a passer-by and cut using this m ovem ent (Fig. 18.1). S hot I L ong shot o f A. A fter a m om ent a passer-by enters from one side and walks across the screen. W hen her figure, in the centre o f the screen, hides A com pletely, cut to . . , S hot 2 T he cam era’s view com pletely blocked by the body of the passer-by w ho continues m oving to disclose A in
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FIGURE 18.1 A smooth cut Is obtained by hiding the stationary player In the centre o f the screen and cutting on the movement of the passing player across the screen.

m edium shot. The passer-by exits. This shot is on the same visual axis as before. W hat m atters is th a t a sm ooth passage from shot to shot be ob­ tained. It is n o t necessary for the passing figure to fill the screen com ­ pletely, either in the first o r second shot. But he should hide completely, o r alm ost com pletely, the person to be shown in closer view.
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n i m y :1/ )/1 n

t
1

*
I

FIGURE t8.2 The player who produces 9 hiding effect by moving across the frame need not leave the shot In either of the two shots Into which the movement is divided.

Case 2 T he person who is used on the screen to facilitate a sm ooth cut m ight already be on the screen, say, also in a static position. He has only to cross o u r view to effect the above result (Fig. 18.2). Shot 1 A seen in m edium shot seated a t the table. In fore342

FIGURE 18.3 A player moving from centre to side of the screen can unite the shot with a previous one w ithout movement. The stationary player is seen beyond the moving person in the second shot,

ground, right. B stands talking to him . M om ents later B m oves to the left. As soon as she hides A in the centre o f the screen, cut to . . . Shot 2 B, in the centre o f the screen, discloses A an d stops m oving. A is now in close shot. Motion a t the beginning o f the second shot Case 3 The above situation can be reversed so th at we m ove back from a close sh o t o f the static perform er (Fig. 18.3). Shot 1 Close sh o t o f A, She is sitting still, talking on the phone. C u t to . . . Shot 2 Full shot. A person in the centre o f the screen m oves to one side disclosing A in the background. In the first sh o t there was no m ovem ent a t all. But m otion is sharply introduced at the beginning o f the second shot. Back­ ground m ovem ent can be introduced behind the static player and continue during the second shot. It w ould no t interfere w ith the cut because m ovem ent which is closer to the cam era is sharper and dom inant. For this key m ovem ent, any natural ch aracter th a t can be part
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FIGURE 18«4 In the firs t shot the background woman moves out o f view. In the second shot the moving woman, blocking our view, sits down and reveals the woman on the phone behind her. The seated woman is seen in profile. The movement of this woman affords sm ooth continuity and reestablishes the scene.

o f th e scene w ould be suitable— a w aiter, fo r exam ple, if the scene takes place in a restau ran t.
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J

Case 4 Instead o f an incidental person, a n im p o rtan t player can be used. He m ight be som eone w ho is reintroduced to the audience, while at the same tim e his m ovem ent helps to sm ooth the cut which repositions the static player (Fig. 18.4). In th e first sh o t a girl is o n the phone, standing. A nother wom an close to her pauses for a m om ent an d then m oves aw ay o u t of shot, left. A fter a while we cut to the second shot w here o u r view is blocked by the second w om an, who is sitting dow n near the camera, As she sits she reveals the first w om an, still speaking. The shot now fram es the second w om an close by a n d in the fore­ ground, profiled w ith the first w om an seen in the background in full shot, on the o th er side o f th e screen. Thus, bo th purposes were neatly accom plished: the second character was reintroduced into th e scene and was visually related to her friend whose new position o n th e film fram e is clarified for the audience. Motion beyond the static players Case 5 In the exam ples exam ined, the m ovem ent was between the cam era and o u r m ain subject, and the em phasis was placed on the static perform er. But if this player is in m otion, an d m oves behind the

FIGURE 13.5 When the moving pfayer fs hidden behind the stationary subject in the first shot, the cut is made to the second shot where the moving player emerges from behind the other.

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static subject, it is he who becom es im p o rtan t while the other acquires a subordinate role (Fig. 18.5). Shot 1 M edium shot. B stands in the centre. A enters from right m oving left. As she passes behind B, and is hidden by him , cut to . . . Shot 2 Close shot o f B on the right. F rom behind him appears A who moves to the left an d stops in th a t area o f the film fram e. T here can be several static persons in the first take, b u t only on eis in m otion: A. B m ust be on the centre o f the screen in the fiist take to get an effective cut from shot to shot. Case 6 A panning shot and a static one can be related using this technique o f blocking the character o r vehicle in m otion as it passes behind a static subject (Fig. 18.6). In the first shot a person stands in the ro ad at left waving his h ands at an approaching car. The c a r crosses the screen right to left in long shot. W hen the car begins to pass behind the static person (both fram ed now in the centre o f the screen) we cut to the second shot at right angles to the preceding cam era position, and fram e a m edium shot o f the static player w ith his back to us. From behind him em erges the car crossing the screen and exiting left. The static player turns to us to w atch the receding ca r (off screen) with a disappointed expression on his face. This second shot is a fixed cam era set-up. (This example belongs to A lfred Hitchcock’s film North by N orthw est an d happens in the sequence where a biplane chases C ary G ra n t on a lonely country road.) The other noticeable variation m ade on this exam ple was the introduction o f a right angle relationship for b o th cam era sites, instead of sn advance on a com m on visual axis as happened in all the previous examples. T he m ovem ent recorded in the first shot lasts longer than th at in the second where the subject m oves out o f shot quickly due to its increase in size, thus creating a dynam ic visual emphasis for the m otion itself. Using right angle camera sites Case 7 W here two static players are featured separately, one in each shot

(at right angles), they can be linked by the m ovem ent o f a sub­ ordinate subject (Fig. 18.7). In the first shot o f A, a w aiter in the foreground stands for a m oment with his back to us, then turns an d exits left. C ut. In the second shot, a t right angles, the w aiter (centre) m oves out o f shot left, revealing B. Thus we dispose o f the establishing shot where both m ain players (A and B) would be show n together, giving the audience their true physical positions o n the set.

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By resorting instead to the form ula ju st described, the intro­ duction o f player B is m ore dram atic an d clear for the audience due to the m ovem ent o f the subordinate subject, the waiter, whose relation to the first player (A) h ad already been established fo r the
i r 1

FIGURE T8,7 Tw o stationary subjects related by the departure of a secondary person, A rrght angle camera arrangement Is used.

audience in sh o t I. A lso with this m ethod bo th m ain players may have their individual centres o f interest (food they are eating, for instance) w ith o ut the need for opposed glances to relate them from sh o t to shot. Such a requirem ent m ay, in fact, w ork against the g o o d o f the scene. Both players move Case 8 B oth players m ight be in m otion, crossing each o ther. The same fo rm u la can be applied. (Fig. 18.8.). In the first shot, a full shot, A walks obliquely from left to centre^, while B m oves across from right to centre. A s they cross, and B is hidden by A, we cut. M edium o r close shot o f the players (same
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FIGURE 18.8 When both performers cross in the centre of the screen, the cut can be made on this crossing using two camera sites on a common ads.

visual axis). B emerges from behind A an d , finally, the players stop at the sides o f the screen. Hiding a moving subject in the fir s t shot Case 9 If a subject is m oving in a neutral direction in the centre, o f the screen, we can rarely cut directly to a closer shot on the same visual axis. A s a figure recedes it also dim inishes in size. A forw ard cut would increase its size suddenly, and then it w ould decrease again. N aturally the effect is visually jarring. It is no t the sam e with a cross-screen m otion, because there the subject rem ains the same size. So, for a n advance o n the same axis tow ards a subject m oving in neutral direction, a distraction m ust be introduced (Fig. 18.9).

FIGURE 18.9 A subject In the foreground moves to hide the departing person In th» centre of the screen. As soon as this main performer is hidden we may cut loiwsrd to a closer shot of him, obtaining a smooth cut.

Shot 1 A m an, his back to us, is seen o n the right side o f the screen looking tow ards a lake. A m o to rb o a t appears right, turns, and m oves aw ay from us in the centre of the screen. The m an m oves forw ard, blocks o u r view of. the boat. C ut to . . . Shot 2 Close shot o f the b o a t (same axis). T he b oat moves away. A simple solution where m ovem ent in a neutral direction is hidden by a distracting stronger m ovem ent fo r a sm ooth cut.

Using a strong foreground motion Case 10 A bundance o f m ovem ent is the o th er extrem e th at presents difficulties fo r a precisely m atched cu t when tw o shots are o n the same visual axis. This m otion, usually found in crow d scenes, is o f a conflicting nature. Several m ovem ents with opposed directions are present in disorganized crowds. O ne o r tw o central perform ers m oving o r standing against such a busy background, could be difficult to edit w ithout some very noticeable visual jum ps. The principle o f using a distracting m ovem ent on which the cut is to be m ade, is also applied to solve this m ultiple m otion problem .

Case 11 A right angle cam era change can use the sam e technique o f em ploying two different persons to m om entarily m ask the player to be em phasized by a cut with a busy background (Fig. 18.10). A stands alone in the centre o f a crow d. F o r the cut a person enters th e foreground and obscures him. A second person in the foreground (and approxim ately sam e scale) m oves in the same direction and we see A no t only closer bu t in side view.

Case 12 Two crow d shots can be filmed on the sam e visual axis w ith this type o f solution. F irst we have a m edium shot o f several couples girating o n the dance floor. To m ove back to a position where the dance hall is seen in full, if tw o characters cross the foreground the m om entary d istraction is so strong th a t m ism atches in the background will go unnoticed.

Substitution o f the static subject Case 13 M ovem ent o f a player who hides o u r centre o f interest previous to a shot change on the screen, can also be used for tim e transition. David Lean in his film Doctor Zhivago em ployed the device in a
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FIGURE 18.10 The subordinate players moving In a right angle relative to each other provide a smooth cut from shot to shot on a main stationary subject who stands be­ yond the others.

sequence where Y evgraf (Alec G uinness) visits his half-brother Zhivago (O m ar S harif). Y evgraf finds Zhivago tearing dow n a fence to o b tain w ood for his stove. L ater in Z hivago’s ro o m he m eets his family and they talk. This scene is n arrated on the sound track by Yevgraf, A lm ost in the centre o f this sequence the effect th at interests us takes place. Zhivago stands in m edium shot, against a bare wall, Yevgraf enters, right, a n d crosses to the centre hiding Zhivago. T here is a cut to the second shot, o n the sam e visual axis, w ith a foreground figure m oving aw ay to disclose Y evgraf in close shot standing still
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against th e wall. The effect is startling. This ‘reversal o f roles’ suggests a change in time as well (Fig. 18.31). 1

FIGURE 13.11 The players' positrons are transposed, the moving person Is rendered static and vice versa to obtain a transition in time using a cut n r the centre of the screen which hides the stationary subject.

Redirecting attention Case 14 W hen cutting back from a close shot to a long shot o f a person moving in a neutral direction, the problem o f size is very acute in the second shot, because the distance involved minimizes and
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weakens movement. So a dom inant action should be introduced at the beginning o f the second shot. O ne ap p ro ach m ight be as shown in Fig. 18.12.

F1GU&E 18.12 Our attention is redirected by the strong foreground movement of a second player at the beginning of the second shot. The main player in the back­ ground comes forward.

A comes forw ard and exits left. In the second shot a secondary figure m oves from centre to exit left, revealing the small figure of A approaching from the background. A lternatively, the sub­ o rdinate character enters view from the side by which A left (Fig. 18.13). T he m ovem ent o f this subordinate subject redirects the au­ dience’s attention tow ards the central perform er. H er entrance close to the cam era is a strong one and the direction o f her motion will be followed by the audience. As A again becomes the centre c f o u r atten tio n , the passer-by loses herself in the scene by stopping in front o f a window or going into a store o r disappearing through a side street.
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FIGURE 18.13 The entrance of a subordinate pJayef at the beginning of the second shot redirects our attention towards the diminutive main character in the background.

Case 15 A sim ilar solution is applied when dealing with a crow d placed behind and to the sides o f the m oving m ain subjects (Fig. 18.14). In the first shot A a n d B w alk to us from a m oving crow d beyond and occasionally in front o f them . too. A a n d B approach head-on and exit left. W e cut (same visual axis) to w here an onlooker, C, enters, right, crosses diagonally and stops at the left, together w ith other m em bers o f the crow d. F ro m the central background com e A and B, (.2, crossing close to the cam era, helped to disguise all the m ism atches in the background crow d. W hen A and B pass C and resch'th e foreground, they m ight stop or perhaps the cam era m ay begin to track b ack w ith them depending how the scene is to continue. Case 16 A variation is w here the scene is totally blocked at the beginning o f the sccond shot (Fig. 18.15).
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ifar

FIGURE 13.14 The strong foreground motion of a subordinate subject (C) at the beginning o f She second shot Is used to minimize the mismatches that a c ro w d scene creates fro m shot to shot.

S hot 1 A an d C face us, A is talking. He advances a n d exits left. S h o t 2 (Sam e visual axis) B in foreground, back to the cam era, blocking o u r view. He m oves aw ay to the left an d stops, revealing A advancing tow ard the cam era. He stops to talk to B. C rem ains in the background. T he screen was blocked at the beginning o f the second shot, because when player B crosses in front o f C, the cut com es before he leaves the screen com pletely. T h at crossing m otion takes place in the left han d sector, and to m atch it properly should be con356
■t i n . \

FIGURE 18.15 A player who blocks the camera lens at the beginning of the second shot Is used to provide a strong motion that hides any mismatches In the motion of the second player (A ) as he comes forward, seen on the same visual axis as In the

preceding shot.

eluded in th at area in the second shot. Instead, they are seen on the right, hence the foreground distraction. Using non-human movement Case 17 The lens o f the cam era need no t be blocked by a player. Such natural phenom ena as w ater, sand, dust o r sm oke can serve the

FIGURE 18.16 The vigorous movement of the group of players in the foreground towards the sides revealing the scene beyond, serves to mask many Incomplete move­ ments of the player disclosed. in this case the fall from the horse was suggested in the first shot and not shown in the second, where it was substituted by the strong move­ ment In the foreground. When the main player is revealed he feigns thefl.ial part of tne fall without actually carrying It out, because it could be dangerous,

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same purpose. They fall or pass betw een the cam era an d the player and reveal a closer shot o f the em phasized player when they cease or thin out. A flash o f light flaring in the cam era lens can be used to o btain a sim ilar effect. The next shot w ould also begin with a flash o f light and then regain n orm al exposure, revealing a closer shot o f a ch aracter, o r a new angle o n him o r a different player. The shots w ould be cut on the flash. F ran k lin Schaffner used a shadow crossing th e screen to o b tain the sam e effect in his film Pap i lion. Parting curtain effect Case 18 Sometim es a player’s m ovem ents m ust be faked to avoid a dangerous stunt. This rules ou t the possibility o f cutting on the action o f the m ain player. A distraction m u st be introduced at the beginning o f the second shot to hide the om itted full action. This d istractio n is a m otion th at begins in the centre o f the screen and p arts to th e sides like curtains. In Fig. 18.16 the tw o ex­ tremes o f a dan g ero u s m otion, falling off a horse, are faked. In the first sh o t th e central player sim ulates the beginning o f a fall from the horse. In fact he only bends dow n. In the second shot the crow d in the foreground, with th eir backs to the cam era, p a rt to reveal the player slum ping to the g round w ith exhaustion. T he crowd m om entarily obscured the supposed fall. This can be done with vehicles o r o th er objects relevant to the scene.

19
OTHER TYPES OF MOTION

A lthough straig h t line action is by far the m ost usual, circular and vertical m o tio n , passing out o f an d entering view are the further varian ts th at m ake screen action m ore vigorous and interesting. A gain a nu m b er o f cases are given here. Circular m ovem ent Case 1 W ith circular m ovem ent, the perform er’s action m ust be visually clear to av oid conflicting sense o f direction (Fig. 19.1). S hot I H igh shot. A enters the background from the left, ru n n in g in an arc tow ard the right a n d then left, close to th e cam era. Exit lower left side. S hot 2 Reverse. A enters a t the low er right corner a n d runs in an arc to the left, tu rn s right an d exits. S hot 3 A enters left and stops in the centre. T h e circular m ovem ent is tangential to the tw o first cam era positions, placed outside the periphery o f the circle. T he third cam era po sitio n is located inside the circle. C hange o f screen direction by reason o f the circular p ath o f A is clearly visible in the first tw o shots. If the th ird cam era position is placed outside the circular p ath travelled by the running player, the m otion depicted in Shot 1 w ould be repeated. T he use o f the tw o first shots can be applied to record a person tu rn in g ro u n d a street corner. Even if high cam era angles, eye level, o r low angles are used to record this m otion, recording it by using halves o f the screen rem ains unchanged to convey the circular path.
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FIGURE 19.1 A player's circular movement i$ covered using half screen sections of motion. The tw o firs t camera sites are tanoentlal to the circular path of the player, while the third is inside the circle itself.

Since the ap p ro ach described for the first two shots involves a pair o f back to back reverse cam era positions, the device can be used to link two different locations by a m otion th at becomes con­ tinuous o n the screen. It suffices to have the sam e ac to r present on both locations, carrying o u t the m ovem ent. Case 2 Coverage from inside the circular p ath is also possible. The cam era positions m ay be back to back (Fig. 19.2). In the first shot A exits right, and in the second enters left. He stops there facing B who waits for him. In the first shot A looks
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FIGURE 19.2 Both camera locations are within the circular floure formed by the path traversed by the player In motion,

o ff screen left while going ou t by the right, thus stressing the cir­ cular n ature o f his path. Case 3 If one cam era position is outside the circular p ath and the other inside, the respective position o f the players on the screen will be reversed from shot to shot (Fig. 19.3). B holding A by her hand pulls her to him. This forces her to accom plish a circular m ovem ent pivoting on B’s right arm. She exits screen left, in the first shot an d re-enters right in the reverse shot. T he m ovem ent o f A is recorded on opposite sides of the screen, bu t always m oving in the sam e direction.
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4

FIGURE 19.3 The players are transposed on the screen 1 r> this exterior reverse camera angle on a circular motion.

Case 4 A . circular m ovem ent covered by tangential external reverse camera positions, featuring tw o perform ers, tran sp o ses th eir positions. O nly one o f the players m oves, an d b o th have the sam e centre o f in terest in the m iddle o f the screen. This is im plied in one of the shots a n d visible in the o th er (Fig. 19.4). Shot 1 M edium shot. A, in foreground m oves in a half-circular p a th tow ards the window where B is looking out. A s he nears his com panion, cut to . . . Shot 2 C lose sh o t from outside the window. B in foreground a t right. A enters left, com pleting his m ovem ent, a n d stops. A’s m ovem ents in these shots are in opposed directions; b o th converge tow ards th e centre o f the screen. In this a n d the previous
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1
llg jij 7 ) 1

*

i
i
j

3 5

FIGURE 19.4 Tangential external reverse camera silos produce a transposition e l the screen areas occupied by the players.

exam ples the fragm ents into which the circular m otion was broken were executed using only half-screen areas in each shot. Case 5 A perform er m oving aro u n d a large g roup can be covered by two reverse cam era sites, one inside and the o th er outside the circle. Fig. 19.5 shows the floor plan o f the scene. Players B, C and D are all seated and therefore static. A executes the circular motion aro u n d them . In the first sh ot we see B in the foreground. Behind him A enters fro m the rig h t and crosses to the left. As soon as she is ou t of sh o t cut to th e reverse second shot. B has his b ack to us a n d players D and C are seen. A enters in fo reground left and crosses rapidly to the right. F o r a few m om ents we see only B, D a n d C then A re-enters in the background, right, an d stops am o ng the group. She has a tray w ith drinks on it that she begins to d istribute to the o ther players. Leaving a n d then re364

FIGURE 19.5 A n internal and externa! camera location used to cover a circular movement. T his moving player exits atone side and re-enters shot from the same side (instead o f the opposite) in the second shot.

entering the sh o t on the same side in shot 2 clarifies A ’s m ovem ent as circular. Case 6 A sim ilar im pression is given in this case except th at the m ovem ent takes place in the background in the first shot an d in the fore­ ground in the second (Fig. 19.6).
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FIGURE .19.6 A circular movement registered In the background of the firs t shot and In the foreground on the second.

Both cam era sites provide an external angle coverage around the static players in the scene. In the first A m oves and exits right. In reverse shot 2, where A enters from right (foreground) a n d moves to the left. A pause at the end o f shot 1 is necessary to account for the path travelled by player A o u t o f shot before re-entering.
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FIGURE 19.7 A righ t angle camera positioning to cover ths circular movement of a player behind a stationary companion. The firs t shot is a pannino camera movement.

Case 7 A right angle cam era placem ent w here a m oving and a static player are present can be used to em phasize the static player in the second sh o t (Fig. 19.7). The change in angle m aintains the travel o f the player across th e screen—the direction which m axim ises screen activity. Shot 1 M edium shot. A, left, and B, right. T hey talk. A fter a m o m en t A w alks behind B an d turns tow ards the cam era. T he cam era, having followed A , is now fram ing
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b o th perform ers in the centre o f the screen. W hen A is directly behind B, cut to . . . Shot 2 Close shot o f B. B ehind h er A m oves o u t from the centre o f the screen to the right. B rem ains alone in the shot. T he m ain p a rt o f the circular m o tio n is covered in the first shot, while the concluding p o rtio n is fleetingly show n at the beginning o f the second. Case 8 I f the subject exits by the left, leaving an em pty screen (and the shot continues) he ca n n o t re-enter into the screen from the other side. T he audience w ould be conscious th a t a trick had been used on them . B ut if a second subject rem ains in the shot after the first has left and m oves his head as if follow ing the m ovem ent o f the other player behind the cam era, th a t player can then re-enter the shot from th e opposite side. H ead m ovem ents o f this kind can indicate to the audience that a circu lar change in direction is taking place behind his viewing p osition (Fig. 19.8). By placing a m irro r behind the static player the one leaving in the foreground w ould be seen in the m irro r m oving in the back­ gro u n d , so th at his reflected im age is followed by the film audience, while the player with his back to the m irro r w atches him going. W hen the m oving player later re-enters physically into the screen from th e o th er side, the audience is in n o confusion as to his w hereabouts. Such a shot offers only one problem : how to conceal th e cam era from the m irro r. In this instance the static player rem aining in shot blocks the reflection o f the cam era in the m irror with his body. A fu rth er v ariant, is to introduce a forw ard zoom , as the moving p layer goes out o f the screen, so th at the com position is tightened o n the screen by fram ing a closer view o f the static player and the reflected im age o f the m oving perform er on the left. Then the m oving player crosses behind the static one to the right o f the m irro r. L ater as his im age tu rn s and begins to w alk forw ard, as seen in the m irror, the cam era lens zoom s back giving him space to re-enter th e screen from the o ther side, and stop in foreground, left.
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FIGURE 16.8 A player who passes out of shot on one side of the screen and re ente rs by the other in the same shot, calls (or a stationary player who Indicates the palh of (he absent player by turning his head or following him w ith his eyes. This Justifies his reappearance from the other side to the audience.

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FIGURE 19.9 A vertical movement covered by two shots with a common visual axlt. We cut forward to the second shot.

Vertical movement Vertical m ovem ent in and ou t o f shot can be up o r down, The triangular cam era placem ent principle applies here. Case 9 An advance on the sam e visual axis is simple to execute. A raises her body, the upper p a rt passing ou t o f shot and in the (closer) second shot rises into the fram e. It is a strong entrance that clearly punctuates the vertical m otion perform ed (Fig. 19.9). T he effect can be obtained w ithout the rising player moving out o f the first shot (as when she is seen in long shot) using entrance m otion o n the second shot only. If m ore people are present in the
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FIGURE 19.10

A right angle camera coverage o f vertical movement.

first shot, they can be excluded as we cut in to the closer shot, o r the order o f shots can be reversed for different situations. Case 10 A right angle coverage m akes use o f the sam e rules outlined for preceding exam ple, as show n in Fig. 19.10. She rises inside th e shot as seen from a side view and concludes her m otion by entering the second shot from below, but with a frontal cam era position. In this and the preceding case the second cam era position occu­ pies a higher level th an the site th a t precedes it. This is in o rd e r to accompany the upw ard m ovem ent o f the rising player.
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FIGURE 19.11 Reverse angle coverage o1 a vertical movement where the rising pJayer is used as pivot in the scene.

Case 11 A reverse cam era coverage, using externa! angles, obeys the same rules as in the two form er cases. In the case depicted in Fig. 19.11 the rising player is used as a pivot in the scene. Case 12 Som etim es a horizontal m ovem ent perform ed in a neutral direc­ tion becom es a vertical m otion on the screen in the second shot because for this shot the cam era is placed high over the players pointing dow n tow ards them (Fig. 19.12). The description o f such a scene w ould ru n as follows: Shot I Low shot. In foreground two people enter from the right, tu rn and walk aw ay into the background.
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FIGURE 19,12 A high camera angle gives rfae to a movement of the player* upwards through the field of view.

Shot 2 H igh shot. They enter from below and w alk into the background (either o u t o f shot o r w ith cam era follow­ ing). If, in the second shot the cam era follows the players from above in a vertical upw ard tilt, they will rem ain in the same screen
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sector, until the cam era stops the upw ard m ovem ent, and then the players will ascend the screen as they continue m oving to the background.

FIGURE 19,13 The vertical movement In thla case occur* flrat In a mirror and then with the real player present in the a h o t

Case 13 A n im aginative film m aker will alw ays look fo r new approaches to the know n an d com m on event. A curious way o f editing a down­ w ards m otion can be obtained by using a m irro r (Fig. 19.13). S hot I Close shot o f B, foreground, left. A , right, reflected in a m irror (located behind B) begins to sit down. S hot 2 M edium shot. E, left. A, right, sits dow n. Both per­ form ers are now seen in profile. T he reflected an d the real vertical actio n to o k place in the same picture sector. Case 14 In the act o f sitting dow n the body norm ally m oves through an arc. A n interesting effect arises w ith a right angle cam era position.
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In the first shot (Fig. 19,14) A begins to sit. C ut. Side shot o f A blocking the screen and sitting dow n in an arc to one side revealing B beyond.

FIGURE 19.14 Right angle camera placement. A t the baginnine o1 the second shot the player seated in the foreground blocks the screen to disclose his companion In the background.

Case 15 Hum an lim bs often describe an arch as we m ove ab o u t. A w om an lowering an object above her head dow n to waist level m ight be presented in two shots. The second shows details o f the object lowered.
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FIGURE 19.15 A vertical movement w ith screen repetition using the upper area of the screen fo r both »hoU.

In the first sh o t (Fig. 19.15) the player brings the object down to th e central h o rizontal line o f the picture area. W e cut to a close sh o t on th e sam e visual axis. The object enters from above and is low ered in to the scene. Som etim es a reverse angle is used fo r the second shot, contrast­ ing the arc p ath s travelled while keeping the m otion constantly in a vertical d irectio n (Fig. 19.16). D ynamic stops Case 16 A n a c to r’s m ovem ent m ay be intended to end abruptly, particularly if he is ru n n in g and suddenly stops o r if he interrupts his walking
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FIGURE 19.18 Opposed senses of direction for a vertical movement (to the right In the first shot, to the left In the second). The upper area of the screen Is used lor both shots.

movement. A dynam ic presentation stresses the violence o f the force th at is b ro u g h t to a halt. Tw o cam era sites placed on a com m on visual axis are m o st a p t here (Fig. 19.17). Shot 1 A ru n s head-on to the cam era at full speed. He exits sho t (alm ost) close by the cam era. Shot 2 A, in th e centre o f the picture, runs only tw o steps tow ards us and stops abruptly (same visual axis for b o th shots). The stop com es as a slight shock because the preceding shot
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FIGURE 19.17 A dynamic stop is achieved by showing the player moving at lu ll speed in the first shot and coming to a halt with only a couple of steps forward in the second.

im plied the opposite. If the running player in the second shot m oves only one step forw ard an d then jum ps dow n into a trench, a pit, o r dow n a small flight o f stairs, his a b ru p t descent will look stronger on the screen, especially if a natural obstacle is suddenly revealed when the second cam era is m oved backw ard. Case 17 The same technique can be applied if one or bo th perform ers rolls alm ost out o f shot an d com es to rest in the centre o f the picture area in the second shot. This second shot is behind b u t on the same visual axis as the first cam era site as if m ade to com pensate for the inadequate coverage o f the first. If, for instance, we have two m en in a fight, struggling on the ground, we can show them rolling forw ard alm ost ou t o f view and in the second shot in the centre o f the screen, near the camera com ing to a halt. The m an on to p raises his knife and stabs his opponent. The action gains dram atically if presented with the second shot em phasized in this way.
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Case 18 The form ula also w orks if the action is covered from above in the first shot and from a level cam era position in the second (Fig. 19.18)

2
FIGURE 10.18 A shot from above and a level view o f the player can be combined to obtain a dynamic stop.

Since th e player is w alking, only one step fo rw ard in the second shot, will suffice to bring him to a halt. H a d he been running, tw o or three steps w ould have been necessary. In the exam ple in Fig. 19.18 only one perso n is involved, b u t a group o f six o r seven m oving in the sam e direction can be brought to a sto p using th e sam e technique a n d cam era coverage.

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20
TWENTY BASIC RULES FOR CAMERA MOVEMENT

T he m oving cam era brought to film a new dim ension, a new freedom , b u t in the process it also becam e a dangerous weapon. It can so easily destroy illusion. U njudicious use o f a moving cam era quickly develops into an annoyance th a t conflicts with the pace and even the m eaning o f the story. Jo h n F o rd is credited with the dictum ‘N ail dow n your cam era and depend on the cutting'. Such a drastic view point was not m ade w ithout reason although, like ali condensations, it contains a m easure o f exaggeration. M ovem ent and the camera R oughly, there are three types o f m ovem ent th at can be pu t on film: 1 People o r objects m ove in fro n t o f the cam era. 2 The cam era moves tow ards, across o r aw ay from static persons o r objects. 3 These m ovem ents take place at the sam e time. T he cam era itself can provide three different m ovem ents: panning, travelling o r zoom ing (during the shot). The speed at which the film travels inside the cam era w ould also affect the speed o f a m o tio n seen on the screen, adjusting it, perhaps, to above or below the norm . Successful screen m ovem ent lies in know ing n o t only how to create it b u t w hen and why. Basic guidelines fo r camera m ovem ent T he follow ing list will help y o u to control cam era m ovem ent properly.
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1 A m oving cam era can give th e audience the heightened physical sensation felt by a character in the story, by introducing his p o in t o f view w hen involved in a violent m otion. T he driver in a car suddenly feels th a t he has no control on the brakes. We see his face react with fear as he looks a t the ro ad ahead. T he next shot is m ade from his point o f view. T he cam era hurtles dow n a winding ro a d tow ards a dangerous curve seen straight ahead. 2 T he cam era behaves as if it is the eyes o f an actor. This is the so-called subjective technique. It provides a greater involvem ent with the feeling o f a character. In the preceding exam ple we oc­ cupied the place o f a perform er only m om entarily, cutting back im mediately to exterior shots o f him or the vehicle. If the shot is longer the cam era m ore convincingly becom es one o f the per­ formers. It lurches, staggers an d m oves forw ard o r backw ards, just as a player w ould do. AH the o th er players in the scenc treat the camera as a perform er an d look and react directly into the cam era lens when addressing it. It is, however, rath er difficult to obtain successful shots using this technique because the audience is aw are th a t a trick is being played on them . The film Requiem fo r a Heavyweight, directed by R alph Nelson, had a good scene at the beginning th at m ade use o f this technique. R obert M ontgom ery’s Lady in the I^ake, a film m ade in the forties, explored this technique to the full, revealing its lim itations as well as its possibilities. I t is probably the only full length feature film to em ploy this technique from beginning to end. O ther film m akers have used the technique m ore sparingly; K a d a r an d K los in Death is Called Engelchen, D elm er Daves in Dark Passage for the first twenty m inutes, John G uillerm in for the G erm an com m ando raid sequence o f I Was M onty's Double. 3 Panning o r tracking (travelling) can be used to present the scene either directly o r through a player’s eyes. T he inform ation is usually presented directly in a docum entary style film. A series o f objects is presented w ithout being related to a previous o r follow­ ing shot where a player is seen watching. If a person in a police station is told to look at the line o f suspects, the panning or travelling sh o t across their faces becomes his subjective view, because this shot is preceded an d followed by others showing him making th e inspection. 4 Panning o r tracking shots can disclose an expected o r un­ expected situ atio n at the end o f the m ovem ent. F or example, the
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cam era first shows an over-turned chair, then a lam p lying on the floor, a pair o f shoes abandoned in aw kw ard positions, a broken flower-pot, and finally a dead body. W hat to expect at the end o f this panning o r travelling shot was gradually suggested to the audience as the shot progressed. A n unexpected conclusion would be achieved if a t the end o f the shot a goat was seen chewing on the rug. F o r the audience, con­ ditioned to expect a definite result, the pay-off com es as a surprise. 5 A straight cut is faster than a m oving shot because it establishes the new point im mediately. I f we p an o r track to a new point, of interest instead o f cutting, we expend a lot o f useless footage p h otographing irrelevant things, simply to travel there. Significant action o r objects m ust be photographed during the p an o r track to justify its use o r the sequence m ay drag. 6 A pan o r tracking shot from one point o f interest to another can m ove with a secondary subject that m ight com e into view at the beginning and leave as the cam era stops on the new centre of interest. F o r exam ple, the beginning o f a shot m ight be an exuberant floor show in a crow ded nightclub. A w aiter carrying a tray with drinks com es into cam era range, an d we pan o r track w ith him as he m oves aloftg the tables. T he cam era stops on two central characters in the story seated a t a table in the foreground an d the w aiter goes on ou t o f shot. 7 A panning o r tracking shot th at m oves from one point of interest to an o th er has three p arts: a beginning, where the camera is static, a m oving centre section an d a conclusion, where the cam era again becomes static. W e ca n n o t cut from a m oving to a static shot o f the same static person o r object as a visual jump w ould occur. B ut after the cam era has com e to a standstill in the first shot we m ay successfully cut to a static shot o f the same subject in the following shot. 8 C om bined panning an d tracking are often used to follow a subject o r vehicle m oving in fro n t o f the cam era. W e travel along with a m an in a wheelchair going dow n a corridor. As the man reaches a co m er he turns away from us. T he cam era stops tracking and pans with him as he m oves into a crow ded auditorium where his presence is aw aited. 9 A tracking o r wide panning shot following a subject performing a repetitive action, can be cut to any desired length, as necessary, in editing, A tracking shot o f a m oving car, constitutes repetitive
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m otion, so th at ten seconds o r tw o seconds o f the shot can be used as needed. In fact, the shot m ay be broken into two or three frag­ m ents, and intercut in parallel w ith an o th e r series o f m oving or static shots th at cover different, o r the sam e subject m atter. 10 W hen cutting from a pan o r trac k to a static shot where a m oving person o r object is show n, it helps to keep the subject fram ed in the sam e sector o f the screen. D irection o f m ovem ent on the screen m ust be constant too. F o r e x a m p le: A m an swims in the river. Seen in static long shot. He m oves approxim ately in the centre o f the fram e from right to left. Close shot. Pan w ith the swim m ing m an from right to left. H e is fram ed co n stantly in the centre. L ong shot, from an o th er p art o f the river. The m an is seen small in th e centre o f the screen swim m ing from right to left. T racking m edium shot. F ro m a b o a t accom panying the m an as he swims from right to left. He is fram ed centrally. 11 C am era m otion, either panning o r tracking can be used selectively to exclude undesired m aterial and introduce new persons, objects o r backgrounds, into the scene, all the while moving with a central action. 12 P anning o r tracking m ust be executed in a secure, precise m anner. Y o u m ust be sure o f the m ovem ent you w ant. Jerky panning, o r undecisive pivoting o f the cam era first to one side, then to the o ther, reveals an am ateur, inexperienced conception and execution. 13 Subject m ovem ent draw s atten tio n aw ay from cam era m otion. Let your subject m ove first before follow ing him w ith the cam era, and sto p the m o tio n o f the cam era before y o u r subject stops too, to allow him to m ove a little fu rth er o n the screen. 14 W hen executing continuous pans or tracks, m ove the cam era along sim ple paths. Let the actors o r the vehicle d o all the com ­ plicated m otions within the fram e area. 15 P an o r track ing shots should start and conclude in pictorially balanced visual com positions. 16 The useful length o f a static shot fo r editing purposes is based on the actio n it contains, while the length o f a m oving shot depends upon the d u ra tio n o f the cam era m otion. T he tim ing o f a panning o r tracking shot m ust be just right. T oo sh o rt o r to o long a m ovem ent will w ork against the story being told. 17 P anning o r tracking shots are often used to re-establish pictorial balance. W hen a subject leaves the shot, the rem aining
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"h

perform er o f group bccom es visually unbalanced in the picture area. A slight p an o r trac k fo rw ard m ay re-establish balance quite sim ply. T he sam e thing happens w hen a new player enters into the scene. These cam era m ovem ents are slow, and only involve small displacem ents. 18 T he illusion o f m otion can be obtained by seating the subject in fro n t o f a back, o r fro n t, projection screen o r blue screen fo r the travelling m atte process. A lthough the subject is static, the back­ g ro u n d m otion will supply the illusion th at he is on a moving vehicle. If we actually w ant to show the player walking in front of the process screen, a ‘treadm ill’ is installed o u t o f cam era range on the floor o f the studio, and the perform er walks on it. T he tread­ mill will m ake his m ovem ents look n atu ra l while keeping him in the sam e position. 19 T racking shots are frequently used to o b tain a static screen com position th a t is held for the whole d u ra tio n o f the shot. A cam era m oving b ack in fro n t o f a w alking subject alw ays frames him from th e sam e distance while his background changes con­ tinuously. 20 F requently the m o tio n o f a vehicle where the players are located is m erely suggested. A n establishing shot shows a car going dow n a street a t night. N ext we cu t to the actors inside. F o r practical a n d econom ical reasons these shots are filmed in the studio. It is n o t necessary to set up a back projection screen behind the car m ock-up. A play of lights falling first from one side and then the other (suggesting the street corners being crossed as well as the areas o f light and shadow found on any street o r ro ad a t night) will be enough to com plete the illusion o f m ovem ent. I f the sequence is capped w ith a shot where the car is seen m oving along the road, the illusion will be streng­ thened. S o lid dramatic m otivation C am era m ovem ent m u st have justification a t all times. Y our decision to use a m oving cam era m ust be in term s o f results obtained. These reults m ust co n trib u te to a clearer, dynam ic, and precise story telling.

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21
THE PANNING CAMERA

A panning sh o t can scan a subject horizontally o r follow a m oving subjcct. In the second instance the cam era an d subject m ight m ove con­ tinuously o r interm ittently.

Scanning panoramically Case 1 A continuous horizontal pan reveals a collection o f static subjects, such as people, m achines, objects o r distant views. These scanning pans cover wide sectors, up to a half circle a t a m edium -paced scanning rate. (Full circle pans are m ore difficult to perform and look less n atural). T o o fast o r to o slow a p an defeats the purpose by dwelling to o long o n the subject for the visual reporting involved, o r hurrying across it w ithout allow ing the tim e necessary to grasp the details. These shots are often preceded o r followed by another w here one o r several people are show n looking aro u n d and are, in fact, th e subjective view o f the onlooker. S hort pans are sometimes used to move across from one centre o f interest to another. W ith only tw o centres o f interest, the panning m otion serves only to link two subjects visually.

Case 2 In the previous case the reaction o f the player as he begins to look around is seen in the shot th a t precedes the pan. But it is possible to integrate b o th m otivation an d reaction in the sam e shot. In
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I

FIGURE 21.1 The turning player motivates a camera pan at the end of which it disclosed the subject w hich caused the person's reaction.

Fig. 21,1, the shot begins w ith the cam era fram ing playei A looking left. She hears a sound off-cam era and, as she turns her head to the right to look, the cam era begins to pan to th a t side with her an d , leaving her, continues until it reaches player B who attracted A ’s attention. T hus action an d reaction are contained in a single shot. This procedure can also b e applied to a perform er who begins to move to a new zone o f the set. T he shot begins w ith the player static in the first zone, then, as he starts to m ove to one side, the camera begins to pan with him. But instead o f staying with him, it pans faster, reaching the second zone before him . So the audience has a view o f the second zone with its ow n centre o f interest (which m ay be static o r in m otion, an d w ith its ow n pictorial composition) before the ac to r re-enters. Chase sequences Case 3 Chase scenes frequently m ake use o f repetitive pans th a t follow pursuer and pursued either individually o r together. Several com binations are em ployed. O ne involves m aking a p a ir o f panned shots from the same place, before m oving to an o th er site where,
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again, a pair o f panning shots are m ade from the same cam era position. H ere is an exam ple: Shot 1 Full shot. Two cavalry m en run tow ards us. W e pan with them through a h a lf circle from right to left, and see them. Shot 2 Full shot. Sam e place. F o u r Indians ap p ro ach at full gallop. W e p an with them in a h a lf circle right to left. T hey follow into the distance. The same technique is applied at the next cam era position where the action is in a different terrain. Pursued an d pursuer are shown in different shots.

Case 4 A nother technique uses parallel editing o f pursuer and pursued moving in individual panning shots th a t p an continuously. Each player is fram ed centrally in half-circle pans. In the previous case the acto rs’ p ath was tangential to the camera m ovem ent (Fig. 21,2). Now the players are m ade to ru n in a circular p ath and equi­ distant from the cam era. If a long focus lens is used a t close range the shallow depth o f field will keep only the players in focus, while foreground and b ackground appear blurred, (Fig. 21.3), This helps to disguise the fact th at the p ath traversed by the players is not a straight one. I f obstacles are placed betw een the camera and the players in m otion, the effect obtained in these panning shots will be very dynam ic, as the players are constantly seen th rough a succession o f interm ittent clear spaces. But if these obstacles are a series o f vertical bars, such as a fence, a disturbing stroboscopic effect will be obtained. Irregular shapes are therefore preferred.

Case 5 Pursuer and pursued will be seen alternately in the centre o f the screen, as shot follows shot. If, instead o f two persons, five o r six run in the same direction, each photographed individually with long lenses, and with progressively shorter pans, tension is b uilt up as each player is substituted by an o th er in a seemingly con­ tinuous panning shot.
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FIGURE 21,2 The moving subject runs along a path tangential to the panning move­ ment of the camera.

Case 6 This sam e technique can be applied to a running person. Seen in close shot (using a long focus lens) the player moves behind obstacles in a circular p a th around the cam era. If, each tim e the cam era is blocked in f u l l by a foreground obstruction the cu t is m ade to the next shot th a t also starts on a fully blocked fram e, a p ath im possible to cover with a travelling cam era can be o btained, and all these shots cut into one a n o th er will seem to be one co ntinuous take, o f rem arkable length and precision in fram ing. T he v ariation in distance from cam cra to subject in each cut should n o t be too great. If to o large a disparity com es after each fleeting black screen (during the blocking o f the cam era lens in the panning m o tio n ) the shots w ould not seem continuous, but a receding and approaching p a tte rn w ould be achieved instead, w hich is also an interesting visual variant.
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If the background an d lighting o f each panning shot, as well as costumes are changed, the passage of tim e is suggested. Case 7 Akira K urosaw a, th a t extraordinary Japanese m aster o f film language, has used the preceding effects extensively in his films. But he im proved th e crude technique o f alternating panning shots to cover a chase sequence, by cutting from a panning shot o f the pursuer to a static tak e o f the pursued, thus generating a visual contrast particularly well suited to the violence o f the scene. As we shall see in th e exam ple th a t follows he was no t content with the sim ple ju x tap osition described, but im proved on it with a subtle variation introduced in the second p a rt o f the sequence. Thus his visual treatm ent o f the scene was enriched. His film The Hidden Fortress contains a fam ous sequence where Toshiro M ifune, on horseback, pursues two soldiers arm ed with spears who fled on their horses. T he action takes place in a narrow road th rou g h a dense forest. We quote a section o f the sequence to illustrate the editing technique used by K urosaw a. Shot 1 T he first soldier in the centre o f the scrcen rides away from us. A second rider enters, left, and moves away. T he cam era is in a fixed position and m ovem ent is from left to centre.
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Shot 2 M ifune rides from left to right. T he panning shot keeps him in the centre o f the screen, the background blurred, foreground em pty. M ifune raises his sword. T he panning m ovem ent covers only a right angle.

S hot 3 T he tw o soldiers enter by the left and ride tow ards the centre o f the screen. They are looking b ack over their shoulders. Static cam era.

Shot 4 M ifune on horseback seen in m edium shot (framed from the knees o f the h orse’s fro n t legs). Mifune is holding his sw ord high, and is standing on stirrups. Pan fro m left to right (90°).

Shot 5 S tatic cam cra. T he first soldier in the centre o f the screen in full shot. H e rides aw ay looking back over his shoulder. Second soldier enters, left, an d when he reaches the centre o f the screen in m edium shot, cut to . . .

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Shot 6 Big trees in the background. M ifune rides from left to right. A lm ost a right angle pan.

Shot 7 C am era low. Static. T he first rid er (centre) m oves away. Second soldier enters left a n d as he reaches the centre cu t to . . .

Shot 8 P an left to right. M ifune in m edium shot crosses in fro n t o f the cam era until fram ed from beh in d pursuing the second soldier. T he p an is alm ost a h a lf circle.

S hot 9 M ifune in m edium shot. He rides left to right. A nearrig h t angle pan.

Shot 10 Close shot o f the second soldier. P an to the right to see him m ove away. T he first rider is seen in the background M ifune enters, left, a n d catches u p w ith the second rider. H e begins to strike dow n w ith his sword. C ut o n the dow nw ard stroke. (R ight angle pan.)

Shot 11 Low shot. P an left to right. The second soldier, fore­ ground, right. Left, M ifune ends the dow nw ard m ove­ m ent o f his sw ord. T he second rider begins to fall during the pan. A t the end o f it he hits the ground in a cloud o f dust. The first soldier is glimpsed in the back­ ground, right. W hen M ifune a n d the riderless horse cross the centre o f the screen, cut to . . .

Shot 12 Low shot. Static. T he first soldier a t the left rides to the centre, looking back over his shoulder as he moves a w a y As soon as he is a t the centre, cut to . . .

Shot 13 M ifune, centre, full shot, runs to the right. O n the left we see the other lone horse galloping behind. Pan alm ost 90° right. Low shot.
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Shot 14 Low shot. P an left to right. T he shot begins with a m edium shot o f the first soldier leaving right. Mifune enters left. T he first rider turns back on his saddle and prepares his spear to repel the attack. T he cam era stops panning and sees how b o th ride aw ay along the road.

S hot 15 Low shot. P anning left to right fram ing only the legs of the tw o horses. T he swift pan covers a h alf circle.

S hot 16 Both riders in the centre o f the screen seen in full shot. M ifune, behind, strikes som e sw ord blows that the first soldier blocks with his spear. T he pan covers a right angle.

Shot 17 Low shot. H a lf circle pan follow ing the legs o f the tw o ru n ning horses m oving left to right. T he shot has 24 film fram es.

Shot 18 B oth riders in the centre o f the screen m ove tow ards us, ride close to the cam era a n d pass into the background (h a lf circle pan). T he m en exchange blows.

Shot 19 Low shot. A h a lf circle pan, left to right, follow ing the legs o f the horses as they ru n p ast the cam era. T he sh o t consists o f 29 film fram es.
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Shot 20 M edium shot o f bo th riders (fram ed from the knees of the horses upw ards). T he anim als ru n side by side. The m en exchange blows. A panning m ovem ent catches them close to the cam era as they ap p ro ach and is cut as soon as they have their backs to us.

Shot 21 Low shot. A h a lf circle p an , left to right, following the legs o f the horses as they ru n (27 fram es).

S hot 22 C am era high. H orses side by side. The m en still fighting. S hort p an from left to right.
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Shot 23 Low shot. A h alf circle pan, left to right, following the legs o f the horses as they run (25 frames).

Shot 24 Full shot. B oth riders in the centre o f the screen. Pan from left to right through right angle. W hen both riders reach a close shot, M ifune lunges a t the back o f the first soldier. A t the conclusion o f the pan the soldier begins to fall forw ard o u t o f shot, right.

Shot 25 Low shot. Static cam era. B oth horses enter close to the cam era and the w ounded soldier falls in foreground. M ifune and the horses m ove into the background. Then he tu rn s to the left and disappears am ong the bushes.
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T he technique used by K urosaw a in this sequence is simple and rich. Shots 1, 3, 5 and 7 show the pursued soldiers moving away. Their actions take place on the left side o f the screen only, and are filmed from fixed cam era sites. T he pursuer, T oshiro Mifune, is shown in shots 2, 4 an d 6 moving forw ard in right angle pans, left to centre. H aving established a violent rhythm for the chase, the director disposes o f the first pursued m an in four shots. Shots 8 to 11 docum ent how M ifune reaches his first opponent an d kills him. S hot 8 establishes the distance betw een these two men, shot 9 shows M ifune gaining ground, and shots 10 and 11 p o rtray the death o f the soldier. The establishing shot 8 is a h alf circle p an; shot 9 only a right angle p an o f M ifune, left to centre. Shots 10 to II move from centre to right and there is a cut on the dow nw ard stroke of M ifune’s sword. In shot 12 (static cam era) the rem aining soldier is re-established. H e m oves on the left side o f the screen. Shot 13 shows M ifune riding ahead o f the lone horse o f the soldier he has killed. In shot 14 M ifune reaches his second opponent. Shots 13 and 14 arc right angle pan shots, b u t the first is from left to centre and the second from centre to right. Now K urosaw a changes his visual tactics. He intercuts shots o f the tw o m en on horseback exchanging blow s with close shots o f the legs o f the horses galloping side by side. Shots 15, 17, 19, 21 and 23 show swift panning shots o f the legs running on the road. Each o f these shots lasts only one second on the screen. Shots 16, 18, 20 and 22 show the m en fighting. W ith the exception o f the first (a right angle pan shot) all are half-circle pans. One long, wide pan (shot 18) and two faster, close pans (shots 20 and 22). The director needs only tw o shots to end the sequence. Shot 24 shows how M ifune w ounds his op p o n en t in a right angle pan from left to centre. The w ounded soldier begins to fall.
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The last (static low) shot o f the sequence shows bo th horses tntering, close to the cam era, an d the soldier falling in foreground. Mifune an d the riderless horse continue dow n the ro ad an d away. The co n stru ctio n o f the sequence is a m odel o f econom y. All irrelevant details are om itted. F o r exam ple, shot 12 no t only re­ establishes the excluded soldier, b u t m asks M ifune’s advance along th e ro ad w ho, in the next shot, is show n far ahead o f the riderless horse. In sh o t 14 M ifune has reached his other o p ­ ponent. O ut o f twenty-five shots, six use a static cam era while the remaining nineteen are all panning shots. Intermittent panning Case 8 Interm ittent activity by various groups can be covered continuous p an (Fig. 21.5). by a

FIGURE 21.5 A continuous pan covers overlapping actions of several groups who move around the camera in the same general direction.

A. group o f soldiers m ove in double line (I) from right to left. The cam era begins to pan w ith them . As they m ove aw ay they meet an onlooking group turning to the left (2). T he cam era follows them . The soldiers stop in fro n t o f a gardener (3) pushing a wheelbarrow. The cam era follow s him . T he gardener stops as a man on horseback (4) passes in fro n t o f him . The cam era m oves
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with the rider. As he exits screen left, the cam era stops in the foreground. C am era m ovem ent was slow an d continuous throughout. The end o f the sh o t was static. T he interm ittent, overlapping actions gave a sense o f place while a t the end the tw o central characters (5) were in troduced naturally as p a rt o f the whole ensem ble. Case 9 I f a p an n in g shot m ust cover several points o f interest in its path, it is wise to provide pauses in the m ovem ent, which allow the audience a b etter view o f them (Fig. 21.6).

FIGURE 21.6 The subjects are stationary, the camera pans Interm ittently from player So player as they interrelate w ith one another.

T he players are given bits o f business ap p ro p riate to the situa­ tion an d which m ove the action o n to the next player o r group, thus justifying fu rth e r cam era m ovem ent. T his way, results on the screen look m ore n atu ral. A succession o f sh o rt p an s th at cover stationary subjects will need stronger dram atic m otivation
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lhan if the players them selves provide th at m otivation with their own actions. In the second case the m ovem ent o f the cam era complements th a t o f the players. Full circle panning Case JO Panning by degrees need n o t be supplied only to covering sta­ tionary players. Perform ers who, in turn, m ove within a circle, the cam era panning w ith them as they move to new positions, suggest coverage by a full circle cam era pan which can record a whole scene. M ichelangelo A ntonioni used such a set-up in his film Cronaca di un Amore, Fig. 21,7 gives a schem atic diagram of the m ovem ents executed in th at shot.

FIGURE 21.7 Movements for a 3*0 degree pan in Michelangelo A ntonioni's film Cronacn d l tm Am ort. The continuous scene runs fo r 132 metres of film (about 5 mln) •n d takes place on ■ bridge.

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T he scene to o k place in the centre o f a bridge and was acted out by the tw o m ain characters. The m ultiple pauses used paced the shot so com pletely th at you have to pay extra attention to notice th at a full circle panning m ovem ent is involved. Such a shot m ust have strong plotted action in fro n t o f it to be successful. Case 11 Fast circular panning is som etimes used to cover a dance routine, as if taken from the view point o f one o f the dancers. The dance p artn er m ay rem ain in the foreground but behind, the scene spins swiftly round. The usual way to film this scene is to tie the cam era­ m an and the ac to r w ith a short rope round their waists. This will ensure som e accuracy in fram ing as both persons girate. U nless a strong dram atic reason m otivates its use, this type of shot should be used sparingly. It is ju st a form o f cam era acrobatics and one th at has been overdone.

FIGURE 21.7A M aintaining a constant camera to subject distance In a seen* involving a rapidly rotating pan.

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Case 12 An acto r walking slowly in a circular p a th followed by a panning camera will cover th e to tal surrounding background while keeping the player co nstantly fram ed in the foreground a n d on the same side o f th e screen. I f there is a crow d in the background, the idea that the player is com pletely surrounded will be very graphically conveyed. (Fig. 21.8). H arry A ndrew s in the prison rio t scene in Sidney L u m et’s The H ill, an d B urt L ancaster a n d his group surrounded by the M exicans in R o b ert A ldrich’s Vera C ruz arc two films w here the technique described was used quite effectively.

FIGURE 21.9 A circular camera movement w hich keeps a player constantly in the foreground throughout the shot.

Fast panning Case 13 A very fast circular pan is called swish pan. It connects tw o points of interest an d provide a sh o rt blurred im age o f the scene en route.
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It is used to link tw o adjoining scenes spatially. A t th e end o f the first sh o t a swish p a n is initiated. T he second sh o t begins with a swish p a n a n d then stops, fram ing a new scene. I f bo th blurred p arts o f th e tw o shots are joined a fast linking device is obtained. N ow adays, som e film m akers use swish pans o f p u re blurred m ovem ent sandw iched betw een tw o static shots to accomplish th e sam e effect. C hanges in tim e o r locale are indicated by th e use o f such pan s. D avid L e a n in his film D octor Zhivago uses a swish p a n to relate tw o scenes th a t tak e place o n the sam e set. K om arovsky a n d Lara are dancing. T h e m usic ends an d the couple com e to a sto p on the dance floor. T here is a swish p a n to the rig h t an d we see K om ­ arovsky helping L ara to a seat a t the table on the edge o f the dance floor. T he swish p a n serves to om it their w alk across the room w hich w ould a d d n o th in g to the scene and m ight even te n d to slow it dow n. T hus the swish p an bridges tw o p a rts o f the set d isposing o f dead time.

Case 14 A swish p an can be used to relate tw o different vehicles visually, conveying the idea th a t some tim e has elapsed a n d the player is now travelling a t a different place an d time. R ichard B rooks, in his film In C old Blood, uses this effect. A bus is seen approaching, The cam era begins to p an w ith the vehicle to the right. W hen the bus passes close by the cam era as it pans, a blu rred view o f the body o f the bus is obtained. A cut is m ade o n this blur. The next shot starts w ith the blurred m otion o f a train passing the camera, T he in stru m ent p an s in the sam e direction as the preceding shot a n d stops, fram ing the train going into the distance (Fig. 21.9).

Case 15 A swish p an is som etim es used in the m iddle o f a shot in a chase sequence. The shot starts fram ing player A running from left to right. The cam era p an s alm ost a h a lf circle with him. Suddenly the cam era swish pans b ack to the left in a swift blurred m o tio n , to fram e player B, the pursuer, com ing into cam era range. T he cam era now pans w ith this new player, to the right again, following him until he leaves the shot.
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FIGURE 21.9 The blurred pan la uaed In In Cold Blood, to unite tw o vehicle* moving In the tam e direction across the screen.

Case 16 Sometimes a p anning shot starts by fram ing the m ain subject on one side o f the screen an d ends w ith th a t subject o n the o ther side. That is to say, in th e p anning the cam era m oves faster than the subject it covers. T his is som etim es required to keep well balanced pictorial com positions at the extrem es where the cam era is fixed. (Fig. 21.10.). This recourse is also em ployed to give the perform er screen space in fro n t o f them th ro u g h which to m ove o u t o f the screen w hen th e cam era stops panning.

In two directions Case 17 The cam era m ay p an in opposite directions in the sam e shot, provided th a t there is a pause in between. H ere is a simple ex­ ample. B and A are standing together. A walks to the right and stops d u rin g which m ovem ent the cam era pans to the right fram ing him alone. A fter a m om ent A returns to B. The cam era now pans to the left again fram ing both perform ers.
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FIGURE 21.10 The camera pans faster than the subject being covsred so th a t at tha end of the shot she Is on the opposite side o f the screen.

Vertical tilts A vertical p an is know n as a tilt. T ilt m ovem ents a re not used as frequently as horizontal pans. A cam era tilt, up o r dow n, is easier to execute since, in general, it is used only to cover vertical move­ m ents o f a perform er o r object. Case 18 A continuous vertical p a n m ay connect different points o f interest placed one above the other. The cam era is usually tilted slowly to allow the audience tim e to take in the changing view proper!/.
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Here is an exam ple: I t is night. F irew orks explode in a d ark sky. As they finish the cam era begins to tilt dow n, it passes a group of musicians, placed on the flat ro o f o f a house, w ho begin to play a gay m elody. T he cam era continues dow nw ards to fram e an open patio w here people in evening dress have assem bled aro u n d long tables fo r a b an quet w hich is being b ro u g h t in by waiters. The cam era m oves dow n fu rth er to fram e a n elab o rate cake o n a table in th e foreground. T here is an inscription o n it: ‘T o T is h \

Case 19 A discontinuous vertical p an serves to connect centres o f interest placed vertically b u t the players o r objects suggesting th a t coverage need n o t them selves necessarily m ove vertically as the exam ple chosen fro m Jo h n H u sto n ’s film The Unforgiven illustrates here. A door opens th ro u g h a rectangle o f light on the floor. W e see in the foreground a painted anim al skin, stretched on the ground.

Two pairs o f boots w alk into the ro o m th ro u g h the d o o r an d stop in front o f the skin.

The person on the left w alks aw ay to the background. The camera tilts up follow ing him . He opens a w indow an d m ore light comes in. T he player on the right tu rn s tow ards us. W e see the centre section o f his body a n d a gun in his right hand.
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T he player o n the left com es back to the foreground. The camera tilts u p again and fram es the faces o f b o th m en. They look down a t th e skin (now off-screen).

T he player o n the right bends dow n o u t o f view to pick up the skin an d th en re-enters fro m below holding the skin.

N ow b o th players tu rn an d m ove aw ay to a table in the back­ ground where they spread the skin out. T he cam era tilts dow n to fram e them in m edium shot.

As the exam ple shows the shot is a continuous one where the camera m oves fro m one centre o f interest to an o th er and rem ains on each before tilting up o r dow n again.

Case 20
Tilt shots m ove either u p o r dow n in right angle arcs relative to the horizon. I f a tilt starting a t the horizon m oves through a h alf circle the whole scene will be upside dow n a t the end. Some chase sequences m ay som etim es profit by the use o f this property of a tilt shot. F o r exam ple: a ta n k pursues a m an. They ru n tow ards us. T he cam era is high up, fram ing them from above, an d con­ tinues the tilting m ovem ent after they pass below us. N ow the scene is upside dow n an d m an and tan k seem to defy gravity by clinging to the face o f the earth as they run tow ards the inverted horizon. A well know n R ussian film, Ballad o f a Soldier, used such a shot. (Fig. 21.12),

Side tilts Case 21
Sometimes the upside dow n fram ing at the end o f a tilt is used to com m ent on the disrupted m ental balance o f the central character in the scene. B ut a sideways cam era tilt is favoured by o th er film makers. T he cam era leans partially to one side as the m ental breakdown takes place, an d is kept tilted in the following shots until the ch aracter’s condition is norm al again. Tilted reverse shots have a n opposed direction from shot to shot (Fig. 21.13). A right-angle sideways tilt is used only fo r very strong dram atic reasons since it brings the horizon into a vertical position. Tilts first to one side and then to the other, are applied to a camera held inside a set o f a ship’s cabin o r o f a subm arine, to simulate an explosion by rocking the cam era rather than the set sideways. The actors m ove, to assist the illusion.

Joining a static and a panning shot Case 22
A static and a m oving shot can be joined together, covering horizontal o r vertical m otion, by m aking the second take a hori409

VERTICAL AXIS

FIGURE 21.12 A shot used In the Russian film Baltad of a Sofdter, where the canera is tilled down through an arc o f 130 degrees thus giving an inverted view of events in the final part of the shot.

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FIGURE 21.13 Tilted com positions on the screen are used to denote an abnormality In the situation or in the characters portrayed—and w ith opposed senses o f direction provide a visual contrast from shot to shot.

zontal pan o r a vertical tilt. The procedure is sim ple enough. In the first sh o t A goes o u t o f one side o f the fram e. (H e either m oves across the screen or, com ing tow ards us, he exits close to the cam era In the second sh o t he enters from the opposite side a n d the cam era pans with him . W hen he has reached his destination in the b ack ­ ground, the cam era stops. (Fig. 21.14). Case 23 With two perfo rm ers in the shot, one m oving a n d the o ther stationary, th e sam e co m b in atio n can be applied (Fig. 21.15).
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FIGURE 21.14 Tw o sim ilar formulas for jo in in g a stationary and a panning shot to cover an actor's movement. In the firs t case the player exits parallel to the camera in shot 1, while in the second case the player In shot 1 comes diagonally toward* the camera.

In the first shot A com es from the background, passes B and exits right, close to the cam era. A t the sta rt o f the second shot, b o th players are seen in profile. In the centre o f th e screen A moves to th e right. T he cam era pans w ith him excluding B left. Case 24 A n advance on the sam e visual axis to record the m ovem ent o f A crossing behind stationary B, showing how B stops on th e othei side, can be easily achieved using a static full shot follow ed by a panning close shot (Fig. 21.16).
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Flo. 21-15 A n o th e r varia n t fo r Joining a s ta tic and a p an n ing sh o t. Here th e cam era site s are a t rig h t angles to each o th e r.

Here is a description o f the scene: Shot I Full shot. B stands on the left side o f the screen. A, right, starts to m ove left. W hen she reaches the centre o f the screen, and is close to B, cut to . . . Shot 2 Close shot. B, left, and A, right. A t the sta rt o f the shot the cam era is already panning to the left with A who now crosses behind B and stops on the o th er side. F inal screen com position is A on the left and B on the right. The cu t o n the action is with the m oving player in the same screen area in b o th shots.

FIGURE 21.16

A fu rth e r va ria n t fo r Joining a s ta tic and a p anning s h o t (sae test).

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Editing two consecutive panning shots j Case 25 In our survey o f the uses o f panning m ovem ents we find th at a further possibility is to have the m oving player go ou t o f one shot and enter a second (Fig. 21.17).

FIGURE 21.17 T w o co n s e c u tiv e p a n n in g s h o ts o f th e sam e m oving c h a ra c te r are Joined by le ttin g th e m o vin g fig u re leave th e scre en in th e firs t s h o t and ente r in th e second.

F rom the first position, the cam era fram es the m oving player in close shot. A t the end o f the p an she exits. She enters the next from the opposite side. This new take is a full shot, and we continue panning in the sam e direction as in the previous take following the m oving player.

FIGURE 21.1B F o re g ro u n d o b sta cle s a t th e c o n c lu s io n o f th e fir s t s h o t and b eg in nin g o f th e second are used to Join tw o co n s e c u tiv e p anning s h ots.

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Case 26 Two consecutive panning shots where the player never leaves the screen can be edited together if a foreground obstruction is used to achieve the cut (Fig. 21.18). Here is a description o f the scene. Shot 1 A walks th rough a crow d. T here are people in front of and behind her. She is fram ed in full shot. Panning with her, we fram e a person so close to the cam era th at o u r m ain player is hidden behind. C ut to . . . Shot 2 A person in close shot on the right. F ro m behind ap p ears A in ciose shot and m oves in the sam e direction as before. The cam era pans with her. T here are now no obstacles between her and the cam era, although the crowd continues to move behind her. A t the end o f the pan, A stops. People continue to cross the screen from side to side.

Case 27 Two shots th at p an in opposite directions can be joined together if the acto r’s m ovem ents is in a diagonal across the screen (Fig. 21.19). In the first shot the actor m oves off round a corner and into a street, the cam era p anning w ith him left to right. Cut. The player, still on the right, approaches walking left and we p an with him right to left. In order to achieve a successful cut, the player’s position and size m ust be identical on the screen at the m om ent o f the cut. As shown in Fig. 21.19, the perform er is seen on the right side a t the same distance from the right edge, and with approxim ately the same vertical height in bo th takes. M inor m ism atches will be accepted by the audience. P anning speeds are im p o rtan t. The camera is slowing dow n o n its horizontal p an a t the end o f the first shot and begins to increase its speed in the opposite direction on the next shot.
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FIGURE 21.19 T w o co nse cu tive pan s h o ts fro m o p p o s e d d ire c tio n s b u t w hich cover th e sam e s u b je c t can be jo in e d if th e c u t Is m ade w ith th e player loca te d in the same screen se cto r.

Case 28 P ositioning the player in the centre o f the screen allow s two pan­ ning shots o f him to be edited consecutively. T he shots have a com m on visual axis (Fig. 21.20). The first shot here is a close shot an d the second a full shot but th e order can, o f course, be reversed. If the player is located on one side o f the screen in b o th shots a reverse angle coverage can be ob tained, with bo th shots panning in the sam e direction (Fig, 21 .21 ). W ith this form ula the second shot can b e in a totally different place. T hus a transition in tim e is obtained using a continuous m ovem ent by the sam e player.

FIGURE 21,20 The consecutive shots of the same subject where the camera posltions are on a common visual axis at the moment of the cut.

Case 29 Interrupted m ovem ent in one direction can be covered with a panning shot on the first phase o f the m ovem ent an d a static reverse shot for the second part (Fig. 21.22). Here is a description o f the scene. Shot 1 Low shot. A car approaches. It then tu rn s to the left an d the cam era pans w ith it. T he car stops several yards aw ay in a full shot, now seen fro m behind. As soon as th e car stops, cut to . . .
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FIGURE 2T.2T T w o co n se cu tive external reverse p a n n in g s h o ts o f the sam e player w ho moves in th e sam e d ire c tio n in b o th sh ots.

S h o t 2 Reverse low shot o f the car. Its do o rs open and people ju m p o u t a n d ru n forw ard o u t o f shot, left.

Case 30 V ertical tilt shots can be joined to static shots using the formulas described. T hose p anning shots suggested here can be reversed with the static shot used first and the p an second extending even fu rth er the possibilities for covering action.
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1

---------- —— ----- r

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45b
1
— 11— U\

.2
FIGURE 21.22
T h e fir s t s h o t Is 0 pan w hile th e second Is s ta tic .

Acrobatic pans The two examples th at follow depict panning shots th a t are visually stunning. F o r this purpose the cam era has to pass through som e so rt o f aerial loop. Case 31 A horizontal pan is m ade with the subject com ing tow ards the camera an d passing in fr o n t o f the cam era operator, who follows it with his cam era. But w hat happens if th e subject in m otion passes behind the camera o p erato r during a horizontal p a n ? In order to keep him fram ed on the screen the cam era op erato r will be forced to bend his body backw ards. This m otion dem ands that the cam era should be placed upside dow n during a sector o f
421

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the panning m otion. O n the screen the subject covered behaves as follows: he is seen upright approaching tow ard us, then his body tu rn s sideways as he begins to travel aro u n d three edges o f the screen; first on one side till he reaches the to p edge, a t which time he is seen com pletely inverted o n the screen; and descends by the opposite side o r edge to attain a n orm al standing position and m oves aw ay from the cam era. This visual som ersault was used quite extensively by the cam eram en in the TV series M ission Impossible. Fig. 21.23 illustrates the case described. Case 32 W hen the cam era is pointed straight dow n to record a n across the screen m otion, a startling effect is obtained by rotating the
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camera 180 degrees on its vertical axis. In the film The Strawberry Statement such an occurrence to o k place. A slim row ing b o at seen from above entered the screen from the right. As it reached the centre o f the screen, the cam era was turned a h a lf circle on its vertical axis, so th a t the b o a t reversed direction and w ent o u t o f the screen by th e right, the sam e side from which it had entered (Fig. 21.24).

It does not m atter if th e tu rn is done to the left o r the right, the final result will be the sam e, as long as you keep to a 180 degree arc.

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22
THE TRAVELLING CAMERA

O n the screen, m ovem ent has direction, strength, speed, duratio n a n d tim ing. In general, a large num ber o f m ovem ents create a feeling o f energy, hurry, excitem ent o r violence, Little o r no m ovem ent suggests dullness, quietness, depression, solem nity or, a t th e o th er extrem e, depending upon the context o f the scene, an em otional tension so great th a t all activity is suspended. M ovem ent o ften coincides w ith the line spoken. I f the m ovem ent precedes th e line, the line is em phasized. I f the line precedes the m ovem ent, th e m ovem ent is em phasized. M an y o f th e m ethods used fo r pan n in g shots a re equally ap ­ plicable to tracking shots. H ere are som e suggestions: 1 The m ost pleasing m oving shots are o b tain ed w hen the cam era track s sm oothly, w ithout bum ps, a t a co n stan t speed. I f a n in­ crease in speed o r a slowing dow n are required, these m ust never be sudden m ovem ents. 2 T rackings th a t cover subjects fram ed in long shot o r full shot are enhanced if static objects are placed betw een the p ath s of subject a n d cam era. B etter pictorial com positions are o btained by providing pi anal co n trasts so avoiding a n appearance o f flatness. 3 T racking shots w ith pauses where the cam era a n d the subjects m o m entarily sto p can a d d variety o r even b re ak the m onotony o f a continuous repetitive m ovem ent. 4 I f th e p layer a n d cam era are to pause during a tracking shot, it is generally b e tte r to avoid stopping where there are objects in the foreground unless they have som e special significance in the story, because they will certainly be em phasized very strongly, I f they are only obstructive they are b etter avoided. Interm ittent action covered by a continuous tracking A co n tin u o u s tracking shot need n o t follow a single person or g ro u p from beginning to end. I t can, for exam ple, begin with a
424

m edium sized g ro u p th a t halts in stages, while the cam era con­ tinues tracking in a constant direction. Suppose we track w ith a g roup o f soldiers a n d their officer, taking som e condem ned prisoners to the execution ground. A priest walks w ith them . F irst we travel w ith the full group. Then the soldiers stop. T he priest, the stretcher bearers an d the officer continue walking. T he stretcher bearers kneel dow n to atten d a wounded prisoner. T he officer an d the priest go on. T he officer stops. T he priest continues an d jo in s one o f the prisoners. The cam era stops. Stanley K ubrick em ployed such a shot in his film Paths o f Glory. (Fig. 22.1).

PRIEST OFFICER STRETCHER BEARS SOLDIERS

TRAVELLING

-

FIGURE S2.1 A simple case of Interm ittent movement covered by continuous tracking. The group decrease In number as they slop along the way. Only one reaches the final destination.

In th e exam ple given, cam era and players were m oving on parallel paths. But the sam e principle can be applied to a group which is follow ed from behind by the cam era. (Fig. 22.2). A approaches along a corridor. E enters from behind the cam era, right, a n d walks aw ay p ast A w ho turns a corner into an o th er corridor a n d the cam era, panning with him (left) begins to track behind A. F com es dow n th e corridor. H e greets A an d continues to w alk tow ards us, going o u t o f shot, left. As A reaches the phone b o o th w here C is talking into the phone, we see B enter from a nearby d o o r an d cross in fro n t o f A, w alking to the left into an o th er co rridor. The cam era tu rn s left, follow ing B. A t th a t m om ent C leaves the phone b o o th an d walks behind B. T he cam era travels in the new co rrid o r behind both B and C. H alfw ay along the corrid o r B enters by a d o o r on the left and we continue to track behind C who jo in s a noisy group o f four m en. A t that

FIGURE 22.2 A nother example of overlapping action covered by a tracking camera which moves behind the players in action.

in stan t a n usher, D , asks fo r silence a n d points to a d o o r on the left. The cam era stops and pans to the left w ith the gesture o f the usher, to a d o o r with the w ords Jury Room o n the glass. The continuous tracking had, a t all times, overlapping move­ m ents th a t led the audience’s interest to the culm ination o f the shot. T he m ovem ents were carefully integrated w ith each other as if in a ballet designed exclusively for the cam era. Joining a static and a tracking shot W here a cam era tracks with walking o r running people it is not easy to slow it dow n when they stop, the fram ing a t the end of

such a sh o t is critical, th o ro u g h rehearsals a n d a good cam era crew are required to synchronize m ovem ents. It is easier to achieve th at sto p by sim ply cutting to a static cam era position. Case 1 If the perform er w alks tow ards us an d the cam era tracks back with him for the latter p a rt o f the w alk, we can cut to a fixed cam era position on th e sam e visual axis b u t a t full sh o t distance (Fig. 22.3), where th e player is centrally placed.

FIGURE 22.3 Motion on a common visual axis Is used to Join a tracking and a static camera ahot of the same moving subject.

427

Case 2 W ith quick m ovem ent in the first shot, such as where the acto r runs tow ards a b ack-tracking cam era he can increase speed a t the end o f th e shot an d m ove forw ard o u t o f shot. In the second shot the player (centre) runs forw ard tw o o r three steps and halts (Fig. 22.4).

FIGURE 22.4 It Is easier to |oin s fast tracking shot to a static camera position If the moving subject Is allowed to go o u t of the screen In the tracking shot.

Case 3 I f we trac k back with a player w ho then changes direction it is b etter to show the change in the second static shot (Fig. 22.5). T he first shot corresponds to those in the previous examples. T he player walks in close shot a n d we trac k b ack with him. W e
428

FIGURE 22.5 A change of direction In the subject's movement is best shown in the second, static camera position.

then cu t to him in full shot, centre. H e takes a couple o f steps tow ards us an d then tu rn s and walks o u t o f shot possibly followed by a cam era pan. Case 4 A sh o t tracking parallel to the player can m ake use o f other solutions. In the first, close, shot, we track with the player pro­ filed o r in three-quarters view. W e cut to a static full shot. The player enters from th e side opposite to his direction o f m ovem ent an d stops in the centre (Fig. 22.6).
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FIGURE 22.6 A parallel camera arrangement for the static camera site is used In the formula depicted here.

Case 5 A panning shot can be used as the second shot, thus slowing down w ith the perform er as he stops walking o r running (Fig. 22.7). In the first shot he m oves w ith the tracking cam era. W e cut to a full shot. T he player, centre, m oves in the sam e d irec tio n ; the cam era pans w ith him till he stops. As pointed ou t in previous cases, the size o f the figure in b o lt shots an d the position o n the sam e screen area, are critical for the
430

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FIGURE 22.7 If the subject movement Is too rapid, the second shot w ith this right angle arrangement, can be a pan.

success o f the tran sitio n on the m om ent o f the cut. P articularly here, w here the a c to r’s figure begins to decrease rapidly in size as he m oves aw ay o n the second shot. Case 6 A static right angle cam era site can be used as the second shot to cover a ru n n in g person. In the first shot the player is p o rtray ed centrally in a m edium shot. T he cam era m oves w ith him along the same line. N e a r th e end o f the shot the cam era p an s slightly to one side leaving a h a lf screen em pty in fro n t o f the player. In the next, fixed, sh o t th e player in the sam e screen po sitio n runs aw ay from us to th e centre o f th e p icture area (Fig. 22.8).
431

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FIGURE 22.8 In this right angle arrangement, the moving player remains on the sane side of the screen in both shots. The static shot frames him from behind going away in a neutral direction.

Case 7 A reverse angle cam era position can be used to show a group of players halting in a place (Fig. 22.9). In th e first shot the cam era tracks with the g roup seen in full shot. C u t to a reverse m edium shot. S tatic cam era. The players enter sh o t m oving in the opposite direction, and stop. T he fixed cam era position is placed on the o ther side o f the line o f action, thus obtaining a very dynam ic visual conclusion to w alking o r ru nning m ovem ents.
432

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FIGURE 22.9 A n external reverse camera set-up using a tracking and a static shot to cover a group in m otion who c o n e to a halt In the second shot.

Intermittent camera tracking Case 8 For m ost tracking shots the cam era is m ounted on a dolly running on some form o f suitable tracks assem bled for the particular shot. The cam era m ay travel continuously o r interm ittently o r reverse its direction o f m ovem ent a t any point. Fig. 22.10 is a floor plan view o f a scene using a tracking cam era. Tw o soldiers, A. and B, are walking through a battlefield. The camera travels sideways with them . W hen they reach position I,
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FIGURE 22.10 Interm ittent camera tracking, where the direction of the march Is reversed once and then resumed.

b o th lie dow n and wait. T he cam era stops tracking. T he soldiers get up again but only A continues to position 2, where he stops, followed by the tracking cam era. R ealizing th at he is alone, A turns and goes back to B. T he cam era reverses to the other side with A, returning to position 1—the third cam era stop. B is w ounded. A helps him to his feet and puts one o f B’s arm s ovei his shoulder. B oth walk laboriously to position 2 —the fourth cam era stop. The cam era resum es the original direction o f m ovem ent. Both soldiers rest, then continue to position 5, where, again, they stop

with the cam era. B says he ca n n o t go on. He w ants to be left there, to die. The actors can m ove behind various obstacles betw een stops— for exam ple, barbed wire, upturned cannon an d tall grass. Case 9 The cam era m ight track the w hole length o f the long run, stop and then retu rn to the first position. In Fig. 22.11 the actors move interm ittently.

FIGURE 22.1t example*

Interm ittent movement ot both camera and players is used in this

The shot begins from a static cam era position fram ing A in the centre o f a group. W hen A starts to w alk through the parting crowd, th e cam era tracks right. He reaches B, stops, an d B walks to the right and stops beside C. The cam era stops fram ing B and C among the group. C then com es forw ard an d stops in the fore­ ground. The cam era is still static. C w alks to the left th ro u g h the crowd. T he cam era starts to track back (left). C stops in fro n t o f D and gives him a key. D moves to the left and inserts it in a machine. The cam era stops fram ing D in the foreground operating the m achine. O ther players are seen beyond.
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Using both sides o f the track Case 10 T he cam era m ay reverse its direction o f travel o n the screen though m oving in only one direction, by m erely panning through a h a lf circle to the o th er side o f the track. T he m ovem ent is co n tin u o u s an d the audience can accept the contrasting directions w ith o u t difficulty (Fig. 22.12).

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FIGURE 22.12 Both sides of the track are used in the same shot by panning in the middle of the trackino shot.

Case 11 A shot m ight track dow n the entire length and use both sides (Fig. 22.13). A approaches B a n d bo th ru n a sh o rt way to point 1 where they stop. They sta rt to ru n to the left again an d the cam era tracks with them to th a t side passing in fro n t o f a fence briefly seen in the foreground o f the previous shot. The cam era stops at point 2 and pan s from 2 to 3 follow ing the actors. The cam era faces the o th er side o f the tracks and starts to move again, tracking with bo th players from 3 to 4. C am era a n d players halt for a m om ent, a n d then ru n back to point 5 where they fall. T he cam era follow s to p o in t 5 to conclude the shot.
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FIGURE 22.13 A nother example In which both side* of the track are used for a con­ tinuous travelling shot which keeps reversing its sense of direction perlodfcally to accompany tha action.

A h alf circle pan a t one end o f the track turns the cam era from one side o f the tracks to the other. W hile the m otion o f the camera from points 1 to 4 was continuous, the m ovem ent o f the dolly was not. The fence was included to add visual variety to the shot at intervals. Winding paths Case 12 An actor who appears in a tracking shot does not have to be confined to a straight line; he could approach or m ove aw ay from
437

the cam era by following a sinuous p ath b u t with the camera m oving in a straight line. W ith this kind o f action, static objects between the cam era and the ac to r are essential to give the illusion o f dep th and planal contrast. I f he is supposed to give the illusion o f struggling to find a p ath through a difficult m edium (a crowd or a forest, for exam ple), it is m uch m ore convincing if he weaves in an d ou t an d perhaps is occasionally engulfed. H e adds to the realism o f the situation by pushing people o r bushes aside, as if they offer som e resistance. The cam era m ay track parallel o r diagonally to the crowd or forest. C am era m ovem ent is as in Fig. 22.14.

FIGURE 22.14 The sinuous path of a player is covered from a straight camera track

Case 13 In a further variant, the cam era tracks back in a straight line, while the subject m oves on in fro n t following a w inding path. The cam era pans from side to side to keep him in view.This form ula can be used to show a character pushing through a thin crowd waiting for some event (Fig. 22.15). Case 14 T he same straight cam era path with the cam era panning from side to side can be applied to a static group placed in semi-circle. The

FIGURE 22.15 When the player advances In a winding path this can be covered by a straight camera movement retreating in fro nt o f the player.

camera starts with a long shot an d tracks in, pan n in g from side to side as it goes and finally com es to rest fram ing the central player (Fig. 22.16). Such a m ovem ent requires strong dram atic m otiva­ tion. This sam e ap p ro ach can be applied to a zoom shot. Case 15 Interm ittent cam era tracking follow ing a person w ho m oves from zone to zone in effect tu rn s the w inding p ath into a series o f triangles (Fig. 22.17). From position 1 we fram e A in close shot. W hen he m oves to zone 1, the cam era tracks w ith him to position 2. H e is seen now
439

FIGURE 22.16 The camera advances on a straight line forward, panning from one side to another until it stops, framing the central character in the sem icircular group.

in full shot. He pours him self a drink. B crosses in the foreground. T h en A com es forw ard a n d stops in close shot in position 2. B ehind him B crosses the screen from one side to the o th er in the o p posite direction. N ow A m oves b ack to zone 3. The camera track s from position 2 to 3. A sips his drink as he looks o u t o f the w indow , th en turns an d advances to zone 4. The cam era tracks from position 3 to 4 to fram e A in close shot again. The horizontal m ovem ent o f B w as introduced to b re ak the back an d forth m o tio n o f the m ain perform er, thus adding variety to the screen presentation. Case 16 T he w inding paths o f tw o actors m ay cross in fro n t o f a con­ tinuously m oving cam era (Fig. 22.18). This allows som e co n tra st in the num ber o f figures appearing on th e screen. Player A in foreground slows dow n and is excluded by th e tracking cam era w hich now concentrates on B as he comes forw ard. W hen B is nearby, A re-enters the background from the side where she passed ou t o f view an d crosses behind B to place herself on the right side o f the screen. C om position B-A is main440

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FIGURE 22.17 Interm ittent camera movement covers fntermittent player's movement which assumes an irregular shape or arrangement, form ing triangfes.

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FJGURE 22.18 T h esinuouspatternsof m otionarecom binerfm this shot, sothat each of the two players appears alternately on the screen.

tained for a m om ent, then B slows dow n and A is Framed in close shot once m ore. Later B re-appears in the 'background. The d o tted lines in Fig. 22.18 correspond to the paths o f the performers n o t recorded by the cam era.

FIGURE 22.19 A panning movement in the middle o i a tracking shot changes ths framing of the subject from a front to a rear view.

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Panning while (racking Case 17 A half circle can, o f coarse, be executed in the m iddle o f a tracking shot as well as at the end. Tw o variations are possible. If the shot starts with the cam era fram ing the fro n t o f the player, after the pan the cam era will be fram ing her from behind (Fig. 22.19). The reverse effect will be obtained if the cam era starts the shot framing the players from behind. They will face the cam era at the conclusion o f the shot with their positions reversed (Fig. 22.20). In these two exam ples the cam era tracks along a straig h t p a th and the distance between the actors and the cam era rem ains constant.

FIGURE 22.20 If the camera starts tracking w ith the rear view of the players, a pan in the middle changes that relationship to a frontal coverage. Thn camera m ust move faster than the characters during the pan to be able to frame them from the front, in the previous case the camera slowed down during the pan.

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Case 18 T he cam era m ay track in a straight p ath th at then m oves round th rough a right angle tu rn if, say, the acto r abruptly turns a corner, If the player w alks in front o f the cam era as it tracks back, the sh o t is simple to execute (Fig. 22.21).

FIGURE 22*21 A player’s rig h t angJe path of movement is repeated for the camera movement that precedes him.

In a m ore elaborate set-up the players m ight m ove along a right angle p ath , opposed to the one followed by the cam era (Fig. 22.22). T he cam era tracks behind tw o soldiers who ru n through a deserted street. W hen they reach a corner, the tw o players move off tow ards a w recked trolley bus which has been ab an d o n ed in the m iddle o f the street. D istant m achine-gun fire is heard. The two soldiers sto p beside the trolley a n d check their w hereabouts. The cam era continues tracking all the time, panning to keep the actors fram ed and turns into the new street. T he soldiers then sta rt to run to w ard the cam era and then keep pace with it as it tracks. The changing subject distances here give the take added pic­ to rial value. W hen the actors pause b u t the cam era continues to
444

FIGURE 22.22 A right angle camera turn on a continuous tracking shot to cover an Intermittent movement o l the players in the scene.

move, a suggestion o f doom is introduced, derived from the contrast o f m otion an d quietness and the context o f the scene— the isolation o f a deserted street, m enacing sounds from an un­ known place, a w ar going on. Case 19 A pan in the m iddle o f a tracking shot can be used when covering two static players as in Fig. 22.23. The cam era begins fram ing a close shot o f A and B. T hen it tracks forw ard to B. W hen the cam era reaches her it begins to pan to the side, the direction opposite to th at in which it is travelling. The panning m ovem ent uses player B as a pivot. The cam era continues tracking b u t now recedes from A an d B until it stops, framing th em in m edium shot.
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FIGURE 22.23 A player is us«d as a pivot for the panning shot as the camera tracks. Both subjects are stationary.

Camera and perform ers move in opposite directions O ccasionally, a shot is arranged in which cam era and performers m ove in opposite directions. Several variations are available.
446

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Case 20

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FIGURE 22,24 Player and camera, both in motion, converge toward each other in a neutral direction.

Player and cam era travel tow ards each o ther and stop face to face. Iffo reg ro u n d players are involved, they are excluded at the end o f the sh o t (Fig. 22.24). As can be readily appreciated, the solution outlined has good potential for stressing a p erform er o r a situation. T he opposed movements o f cam era and players are equally em phatic if a departing player m oves away as the cam era recedes. By m oving away from the scene as the m ain player goes aw ay, a break in the mood o f the play is underlined by visual m eans on the screen. Several m ovem ents o f this type in succession, either all converging or diverging featu rin g different players will stress the situation th at follows after th o se m ovem ents are com pleted. It is enough to involve tw o o r th ree players fo r visual stress.

Cas I f the cam era and the actress have converging oblique paths, the take will sta rt also in a full shot an d conclude in a close shot (Fig. 22.25).

FIGURE 22.25

A n oblique path for tho camera and player are used in this example.

Case 22 A n o th er set up has the cam era and subject cross on parallel paths, the cam era p anning to follow the subject as she passes. She appears to ap p ro ach and then m ove aw ay from the cam era (Fig. 22.26).
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FIGURE22.26 Camera and pfayer move In opposite dfrections. When they cross, the camera pans with the player as it continues to move away from her.

Both cam era and subject move at sim ilar speeds in opposite directions. She m ay stop first, m om entarily before the cam era does. Case 23 A further variation is obtained if a central static player is in­ cluded in the shot. The player in m otion, and the cam era, converge tow ards the static player b u t the m oving player stops before the cam era does. The cam era halts only after obtaining a reverse view o f its initial position (Fig. 22.27).
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FIGURE 22.27 One of the players and the camera move in opposite directions. The stationary character is used as a visual pivot in the scene.

Case 24 If the cam era m oves in the opposite direction to that o f an on­ com ing group an d does not pan to follow it, it is wise to have the cam era angled forw ard in a three-quarter position. (Fig. 22.28), This cam era position allow s us to w atch the players comfort­ ably, as they ap p ro ach from the background and m ove out of shot. If the cam era is placed parallel to the players, it gives a profile view and they will ap p e ar to cross the screen m ore quickly. But the speed is too great for com fortable viewing and the fast repetitive m otion quickly becom es annoying.

FIGURE 22,28 A large group moves in the opposite direction to the camera, which observes them trom a three-quarter view.

Case 25 This case involved a q u arter circle p an on a tracking shot (Fig. 22.29). Here th e cam era m oves in the opposite direction to the walking player, A, using the static subject, B, as a pivot.

Case 26 If player A w alks tow ards B, the last cam era position is a side shot of both (Fig. 22.30). The difference is th at at the end o f A 's m ovem ent, she rem ains facing B in profile, while in case 25, both players adopted an L relationship in their bodies’ ‘ra p p o rt'. A stood beyond B, in a frontal view, while B was profiled to the audience.
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FIGURE 22.29 A track is used to move the camera from one static zone to an othe r<1 right angles to the firs t.

Case 27 A n inversion o f the position o f the players on the screen is obtained if the m oving ac to r walks betw een the static player and the moving cam era (Fig. 22.31), M ore involved track an d pan m ovem ents can be obtained by reversing the trac k and p an in the second p a rt o f the shot. A girl talks to h er m an, then she w alks to the left. T he cam era travels with her left an d pans to th at side to pick up her image and [hat of her co m p an ion on a m irror. She stops, facing the m irror, and the cam era stops tracking and panning— fram ing her on the right, her reflection in the centre and the reflection o f the m an on the left.
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FIGURE 22.30 The procedure here Is sim ilar to that used in the previous example except that at the end the players face each other.

She tu rn s to face the cam era. In the m irror the m an advances to her and stops closer but w ithout physically entering the screen. She starts to com e forw ard to the right, and the cam era tracks back and pans to the right with her. She crosses beyond the man and the cam era tracks with her alone. She stops; so does the camera. She turns to face the m an off screen, left. As she completes her tu rn , the m an enters the picture from the left, and bo th remain in profile to the cam era. C am era and players m oved in a chor­ eography for the screen, which is the basis o f editing shots ‘in the cam era’ to be explained later on.

FIGURE 22.31 Hftre the camera movement is sim ilar to that used In the previous examples, but the players cross over and exchange 1heir position on the screen.

Case 28 A panning m ovem ent can be used a t the opening o f a shot, followed by a track as a continuation o f the p a n —capping the shot, in effect, w ith an o th er p an w hen the dolly has stopped moving (Fig. 22.32). It is a simple form ula for introducing the players (in the first pan), travelling w ith them as they speak, a n d seeing them head for their destination (in the second pan). In this way the tracking is used only for the m ost im p o rtan t p a rt o f the shot. In the p an at the end o f shot 1, the destination o f players A, B an d C m ay be seen in the background (actors D an d E). Shot 2 w ould cover the ap p ro ach o f the m ain players, by means o f a q u arter circle pan, an d fram e the whole group when they meet.

Single file form ations W hen players move in single file, a cam era w hich tracks with them m ay move faster o r slower th a n they do.
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FIGURE 22.32 Motion flows into motion as both shots feature camera movement that dovetails sm oothly to cover a group walking to a waiting twosome.

]f the cam era m oves faster, the actors can be revealed one by one and swiftly left behind. But if the cam era m aintains a co n stan t speed, th e actors m ay com e in to range one by one, slow dow n to keep pace with the cam era, then increase their speed an d advance out o f sh o t while the person behind takes his place. T he cycle is repeated w ith as m any people in the line as desired.
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A n o th er v ariant is to have one person o u t o f line m oving with the cam era faster th a n the others so th a t he gradually passes each o th er player. H e can w alk either between the cam era and the row o f people, o r beyond th e line. In the first case he is in foreground, in the second, the background. A fu rth er refinem ent is to have the line o f people m ove in the opposite d irection to the m ain ac to r an d the cam era so that he rem ains in the centre o f view either in the foreground o r back­ gro u n d , while the line o f people cross o n the o th er side. T his gives a very dynam ic shot. But to b e effective in this, an d the previous cases, the camera should be angled three-quarters tow ards the line, never parallel to it (Fig. 22.33).

FIGURE 22.33 A three-quarter view to cover a moving group from a tracklno camera shows the action in a much clearer way than would a parallel moving camera,

Tracking speed
Tracking speed for a cam era is alm ost always dictated by the speed o f the subject being covered. I f the cam era m oves tow ards or aw ay from a static subject o r group, the speed with which it does it will, in effect, com m ent upon the scene. A typical change from a full shot to a close shot o f a player can

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* be used to stress any facial expression o r body m ovem ent o f the player on the term inal sector o f the tracking m otion. A swift d ep artu re m ovem ent can be used to revea! new infor­ mation in foreground th at has caused a reaction in the player seen in close shot. Slow tracking provides a n intim ate m ood, creeping in quietly to the player. Slow and steady tracking in m ovem ents tow ards a speaking or silent player, m akes the audience identify with him m ore fully. His problem s becom e ours, o u r sym pathy for him (lows ou t more freely. Slow, backw ard tracking can stress a feeling o f sadness or loneliness. It isolates the stationary player from the audience. When repetitive tracking m ovem ents are used, either m oving sideways across the landscape o f different locations, o r accom pany­ ing different subjects covered separately in each shot, the speed of tracking should m atch. Likewise, when repetitive forw ard m ove­ ments are used tow ards different subjects (or repetitive receding movements) th e speed should be the same. W hen you intercut receding tracking shots between forw ard tracking takes, to com ­ ment on static subjects o r objects, the sam e requirem ent applies. Different speeds from shot to sh o t will m arr the effect. Subject approaches tracking camera Subjects covered by a cam era tracking frontally need no t start from a close position. A car m oving along a n avenue is seen in full shot w ith the cam era m oving back in front o f it. The car gains speed and approaches. W hen it is alm ost parallel, the cam era pans slightly to one side with it an d fram es a m edium shot o f a pas­ senger on the back seat. C ar and cam era now m ove a t the same speed (Fig. 22.34). The shot could begin with only the subject moving tow ards the camera which only begins to move w ith her when she is nearby (Fig. 22.35). W hen the cam era begins to move, a slow start which gradually gains speed will avoid the cam era draw ing attention to itself. Yet, it is wiser to have the player pause in fro n t o f the cam era and, as she moves on again, start the cam era m oving with her. In this way the new m otion o f the player m otivates the m ovem ent o f the camera.
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FIGURE 22.34 T h e car moves faster than the camera as it cornea towards us, then tfie car slows down to the same pace.

M otivated action is accepted naturally by an audience because it does no t draw attention to itself em phatically. It fulfils their subconscious desire to m ove with the scene.

Editing consecutive tracking shots A long tracking shot o f a player can be broken to intercut with reverse tracking shots o f w hat the perform er is looking at when he moves. The direction o f the m ovem ent is reversed. Such a shot in fact becom es the p layer’s subjective view (Fig. 22.36).
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FIGURE 22.35 The camera waits in a stationary position as the player approaches. When she is close enouoh, the camera begins to track backwards w fth her.

The view point o f the m oving player is thus visually stressed, as the audience alternately becom es th e player advancing to a target.

FIGURE 22.38 The second camera position is the subjective point o f view o f the moving player. Here a neutral direction Is used.

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I f we are tracking sideways with a player, he will rem ain in the sam e screen sector w ith the background revealed at one side of the screen and hidden on the other. This is reversed in a travelling reverse shot (Fig. 22.37) th at represents this point o f view.

FIGURE 22.37 The second camera position is again a subjective viewpoint, but here a horizontal camera movement is used for both shots.

Static shots intercut within a tracking master shot Case A

If the cam era tracks behind a subject, going forw ard after him, in the reverse shot the cam era tracks back with the player who is com ing tow ards it (Fig. 22.38). H ere is such a ca se : S hot 1 O n the lower patio. C am era follows the acto r from b eh in d ; he then clim bs the stairs. As the cam era reaches the first step we cut to . . . Shot 2 C am era above on the edge o f the stairs, facing the actor. It pulls back w ith him as he com es to the top an d travels back with the perform er dow n the corridor. A m ore simple m ovem ent, where the acto r walks on a plain ground, can be covered using the sam e form ula.
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A frontal tracking shot will allow intercutting o f static cut-aways. The m ovem ent o f cam era an d the player is kept co n stan t in the master tracking shot. R elated shots, th at com m ent on o r stress the story point, are intercut. Here is a sam ple sequence: Shot 1 M edium shot o f A. C am era, low, moves back with the player as he walks tow ards us. He has a set o f head­ phones clam ped over his head and a small m icrophone in front o f his face. He holds a b o ard with a check list, an d m oves in the m iddle o f a crow ded underground control room . A : ‘All right. L et’s h ear y o u r final rep o rts.’
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Shot 2 Close shot o f B. He is sitting profiled left in front o f a large control panel. He presses some switches. B: 'C o m p u ter ready, sir.’ Shot 1 M edium shot o f A. C am era tracks back w ith him. A : ‘O .K ., B urke?’ Shot 3 Close shot o f C. H e is standing in front o f a bank of instrum ent panels, profiled right. C : T racking station is locked on the signal. Shot 1 M edium shot o f A. C am era tracks back with him. He checks his list with a pencil. A : ‘Ignition systems read y ?’ Shot 4 Close shot o f D. He has his back to us, and is seated in fro n t o f two m onitoring TV screens, where a rocket on a launch pad is seen. D : ‘Yes, sir. G reen lights all a ro u n d .’ S hot 1 M edium shot o f A. He walks tow ards us and stops. C am era stops too, keeping the m edium shot distance. A : ‘All right. C ontrol. Two m inutes to g o .’

22.38A

As the example shows, the interplay o f questions an d answers gives the visuals greater coherence, even when as in this case none o f the players are related visually by lines o f interest between them. T he four players involved have all their backs to each other.
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Case B A com m on noise held on the sound trac k will help give coherence to a sim ilar editing situation, w here a m aster tracking sh o t is intercut w ith statio n ary shots. H ere is an ex a m p le: Shot 1 O n th e to rn , ravaged street, am ong the debris an d the wrecked buildings, a heavy arm oured ta n k m oves fo r­ w ard. A g ro u p o f arm ed soldiers advanced behind it, co n tinuously on the lo o k o u t for snipers. T he cam era travels sideways to the subject, w ith the group fram ed in full shot. Shot 2 A sniper w ith a rifle takes up position behind a w recked w indow fram e on the first floor o f a n ab an d o n ed house. H e aim s in a diagonal tow ards the low er right corner. Shot 1 T he ta n k a n d the group o f soldiers m ove with the cam era Shot 3 T w o m en near a d o o r fram e, behind a pile o f debris are ready w ith a m achine gun. T hey aim left. Shot 1 T he tan k and g roup o f soldiers m ove with the cam era o n the street littered with b u rn t objects an d chunks o f cem ent. Shot 4 T w o civilians prepare a b az o o k a, and p o in t the gaping m o u th o f the w eapon tow ards us. Shot 1 T he ta n k an d the g ro u p o f soldiers advance along the street follow ed by the cam era. Shot 5 In the fo reground, the m en holding the b azo o k a have th eir backs to us and are aim ing it tow ards the ta n k a n d the soldiers, seen in the background com ing tow ards us. Shot 4 Reverse view point. T he tw o civilians face us. T hey fire the w eapon left o f the cam era. Shot 1 T he tan k and the g ro u p o f soldiers. T he cam era travels w ith them . T he shell suddenly explodes o n the street u n d er th e fro n t o f the tank. A geyser o f sm oke and flame billows up. Shot 2 T he sniper behind the w recked w indow begins firing his rifle. Shot 3 T he two men by the d o o r fram e, fire th eir m achine gun. The tank engine and track s shaking the pavem ent m ake an impressive noise used th ro u g h o u t the sequence. Shots 2 and 3 are intercut into the m aster shot to show how the resistance m ovem ent is preparing its surprise attack . A lthough no precise reference to
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22.31SB

their w hereabouts in relation to the ta n k is given, they are related by intercu ttin g and the all-pervading noise o f the advancing tank, The last p a rt o f the sequence introduces shots 4 and 5. Shot 4 when first show n has the sarne vague relationship to the m ain event as shots 2 an d 3, But when shot 5 is introduced, relating both elem ents visually in the sam e take, then significance is clarified. T he m aster tracking shot, being co n tin u o u san d o f repetitive action, allowed freq u en t intercutting.

Circular tracking
C ircular cam era m ovem ent is tricky and m ust be used with re­ strain t an d only w hen strong d ram atic reasons dem and it. A continuous tracking circular shot lends to eclipse the story point by calling atten tio n to the cam era acrobatics. C ircular tracking around two people is often used to convey an em otional experience so overw helm ing that it becomes a key point in th eir relationship—for exam ple, a couple kissing after an unexpected revelation has restored their faith in each other (Fig. 22,39).
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Some variation is obtained if the cam era m oves with one o f the players in a circle aro u n d a stationary central perform er. The moving player rem ains facing the cam era, the other is seen from a constantly changing view point (Fig. 22.40). Sometimes only a half circle is enough to convey a specific mood in a shot. For example, a leader is addressing the peasants. T he cam era moves in a h a lf circle behind them keeping the leader fram ed in the centre o f the background (Fig. 22.41). A feeling o f dependence on a central figure o r force is stressed because atten tio n , even during the m ovem ent, conveys on the leader as a pivot. A half-circle cam era m ovem ent can involve panning for the shot a t the extrem es. Thus the internal p art o f the
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FIGURE 22.40 camera.

Player A walks around his stationary partner and is followed by the

circle is covered frontally at the beginning o r conclusion o f tlie shot. Such an arrangem ent was used by L aurence Olivier in his film version o f Hamlet. D uring the presentation o f the play in the castle, arranged by H am let to prove the guilt o f his stepfather, the King, and the key figures in the dram a are distributed in three groups in front of e stage (Fig. 22.42).

Here is a description o f this unique shot. The shot begins by show ing P olonius, K ing C laudius and Q ueen G ertru d e (1) seen in full shot from one side. The king is visibly disturbed and Polonius is w atching him. He walks one step forw ard to observe the king better. T he cam era pans to the left (2) to show H o ratio on the o th er side o f the central pit. H o ra tio is looking at the king too. The cam era continues panning left (3) to show the w om an on stage entering and discover­ ing the body o f the other player. H am let is seen in the foreground looking right tow ards the king, off-screen. Behind him the actress kneels beyond the o th er player on the stage miming. Now the cam era travels right in a h alf circle passing behind the players as the play con­ tinues. The cam era (4) passes behind the Q ueen, the king and Polonius. A t th at m om ent the m u rd erer in the play com es on to the stage and com forts the weeping w om an. Tw o hooded men enter and take the dead m an away. T he cam era stops (5) beh in d H oratio. He is seen in the foreground, right, the players behind on the left. H o ratio now looks to the left and steps th at way. The cam era pans with him (6). H am let and O phelia are seen in the back ground left, H o ratio still in the foreground, right. T hen he walks again to the left, the cam era pans w ith him to th at side. C laudius an d G ertrude are
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fram ed left (7). H o ra tio still in the foreground, right, turns his head to the right tow ards the stage and the cam era tracks in a h a lf circle to the left, panning to the rig h t as it begins to m ove (8). It fram es the miming players in their reconciliation. T he cam era passes behind P olonuis, the king an d the queen and in the b ack g ro u n d we can see the tw o players on the stage m oving aw ay. A s the cam era tracks left, p a st th e queen in the foreground, it pans right (9) fram ing H oratio in th e background, the courtesans lined aro u n d the central pit, a n d stops in a m edium shot o f the king a n d queen profiled, left. T he king stands up, visibly disturbed, and raises his hands to his eyes.

FIGURE 22.42B Diagram that shows the movements of the camera, using a half circle path, during the mime played for the king and his court in the film version of Shake­ speare's Hamlet directed by Laurence Olivier.

As the description clearly shows, the half-circle cam era path was used twice in the sam e take, and at the end o f each h a lf circle pans reveal fro n tal views o f the central characters (queen-king) scru­ tinised by the o th er two groups (H am let an d H oratio). T he action in the centre o f the stage continued uninterrupted during the whole shot, b u t this activity was glimpsed at intervals and only at peak m om ents o f action th a t were significant fo r the reactions o f the o th er three central groups.
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23
THE CAMERA CRANE AND THE ZOOM LENS

With the aid o f a cam era crane the cam era with its crew can be raised vertically o r in an arc. F o r the m ost part, the crane is not used to provide cam era m ovem ents b u t simply for stationary shots from angles th at would otherw ise be difficult o r im possible a id certainly tim e consum ing to obtain. Following action A crane is used to execute simple an d usually gentle m ovem ents. Its m ost obvious application is to follow actors who move up or down from one level to another. Such is the case w ith a player ascending a staircase. T he cam era o n a crane keeps him in m edium shot fo r example, th ro ughout. C rane m ovem ents allow visual 'punctuation’ shots o r to m ove from a tight group in the foreground to a large g ro u p in the background. Or, again, to com m ent emotionally on the m o o d o f a scene by using slow vertical m ove­ ments. Som etim es a n unexpected aerial view o f a scene, perhaps tracking, gives the audience a detached view point suggesting an impartial fram e o f m ind. Foreground props stress height If an object w ith some vertical height is kept in the foreground ■when executing an upw ard crane m ovem ent, a n increased sensa­ tion o f height will be conveyed to the audience, because o f the illusion o f depth. D ow nw ard crane m ovem ents m ay profit from the same form ula. In Fig. 23.1, a group o f riders, fram ed in long shot, advance towards us. T h e cam era, high on the crane, captures them in the
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FIGURE 23.1 A vertical prop In the forearound stresses the sensation of h«ioli1 M a cranu shot.

background. In foreground the naked branches o f a tree are seen ju ttin g up from below. As the riders approach, the cam era pans dow n in an arc with them . It passes behind the branches o f the tree in foreground and fram es the riders stopping close by the building at the entrance to the street. To visually unite two or more story points C rane m ovem ents are often used to describe visually complicated sets, by starting from above showing, say, the whole group of
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players a n d parap h ernalia involved in a cerem ony. The cam era then descends from the general to the particular, o r vice versa, going from one p oint o f interest to another. C rane shots should be adapted to p attern s o f actio n and n o t the other way ab o u t. T he action is first designed to suit the dram atic purposes o f the scene. Once this has been decided the cam era m ovem ent is designed to contribute w ith p atterns th a t achieve the fullest visual effect. M isuse o f crane m otion is easy—in particular there is a tem p tatio n to swing the cam era. T his can ruin a film. Crane m ovem ents should be used sparsely and only w hen they contribute som ething o f value to the scene.

To inject m ovement into static situations Crane m ovem ents com bined w ith tracking shots serve to describe visually a static g ro up or situation. Sidney Lum et, in his film The H ill, used the follow ing shots to describe a g roup o f soldiers in form ation on their parade g round aw aiting the arrival o f the com m anding officer. It was a h o t day and the p o in t was to show th eir discipline, while enduring physical discom fort. Fig. 23.2 gives a plan view o f the set-up. Shot i Full shot o f the lines o f m en. The m ast with their flag is seen in the foreground. T he cam era gradually rises.

FIGURE 23.2 A stationary group is covered by four moving camera set ups, [wo of which are crane shots.

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S h o t 2 Side tracking shot. T he cam era is a t a three-quarter angle to the m en an d a t shoulder height. I t tracks across the lines o f men. S hot 3 F ro m behind the group, the cam era descends. As it com es dow n it picks o u t the side o f a building in the left foreg ro und. S hot 4 Side shot tracking to the left, the cam era very low, parallel to the m en. Some m en arc seen kneeling and cleaning o th er soldiers’ shoes. W hen the cam era stops tracking it fram es (in the foreground) tw o hands shining a p a ir o f shoes o f a m a n standing at attention. S h o t 5 View from below w ith the cam era tilted up, close to the m ast where the flag hangs lim ply in the still air. S hot 6 C lose up o f a sw eating face. H e looks right. S hot 7 Close up o f an o th er sweating face. Profiled right. Shot 8 Close up o f a th ird sweating face. Profiled left. Two flies on the soldier’s cheek. T he cam era pulls back and swings u p to the left to fram e the lines o f m en from behind, facing the d o o r o f the fo rt, w here the com ­ m anding officer enters in a Jeep. T he crane shots, effective as they were, served to highlight the m o o d pervading the scene—hum an beings under stress, m ental and physical. T h e only m ovem ents in the sequence were executed by the cam era and n o t the actors. I f they h ad been pho to g rap h ed from static cam cra positions, a series o f ju m p cuts w ould have resulted. Static row s o f players an d static cam era set-ups hardly go together. T he antithesis is visually stronger.

To single out a story point in a panoramic movement A com bined dow n-pan up-crane m ovem ent is often used to cover slow -m oving bucolic scenes o r to stress very fast action. Fig. 23.3 depicts the first possibility. The cam era in a high position fram es a couple w alking towards us. The cam era descends slowly, tilting u p gradually to keep the players fram ed centrally. W hen b o th perform ers are nearby, the cam era pans with them an d , at the same time, swings on the crane arm . The actors are now seen from behind, and, as they walk
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FIGURE 23.3 The crane movement in this example is used to stress a p o in t in the scene, coming from the general to the p a rticu la r.

away, the cam era rises, gradually tilting dow n to keep them in shot, with a pause if required while the cam era is level with them . This gives the players time to m ake a story point before m oving on. If the cam era rem ained level on the crane platform , it would begin and conclude th e shot by only showing the distant view and the actors would be revealed halfway through the vertical m ovem ent. Faster subjects, such as a car com ing tow ards the cam era, can be covered with a m ore rap id crane m ovem ent. In such a case the arm o f the crane practically swings in an arc, com ing dow n and going up while m oving in the direction o f the vehicle. The key to this form ula is to m ove from the general to the particular an d back to a majestic view o f the proceedings. In this
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way, halfw ay through the shot a selected event is stressed and its protagonists are then moved into the m ass m otion once more.

To provide strong m ovement fo r cutting on action W hen covering a crow d from a height, it is difficult to cut to a reverse shot if strong m ovem ent (such as people walking through the crow d) is lacking in the scene. W e are now concerned with the m otion o f a disorganized crowd m oving in conflicting directions. As no clear cut pattern o f m otion is available on which to hinge o u r cut, a crane m ovem ent will help (Fig. 23.4).

FIGURE 23.4 Disorganized patterns of action are made coherent for the camera by introducing a crane movement.

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Shot 1 L ong shot. C am era static, high on a p latform , tilted dow n. W e see the colourful crow d m oving in the m ark et place. Shot 2 A fruit stand in close shot. T he cam era rises to reveal the crow d from a reverse angle. By cutting from a static Jong sh o t to a m oving close shot, the problem o f cuttin g on action is solved, because the m ovem ent shown in fro n t o f the cam era a t the beginning o f the second shot is quite strong due to its closeness. F u rth erm o re, the rising camera m ovem ent ailow s a sm ooth cut betw een shots. The upward cam era m ovem ent can be com bined w ith a track. I f the first sh o t is a track also (m oving in a n opposite direction) the camera m ovem ent alone will give visual cohesion to the dis­ organized m otions th a t it covers. Zooming The principal difference betw een tracking the cam era tow ards the subject an d o p eratin g a zoom lens from wide angle to telephoto settings is th at with tracking shots the perspective o f the scene changes (foreground features grow in size m ore rapidly th a n those in the b ack g ro u n d ) w hereas in an equivalent zoom shot, all p arts o f the scene are m agnified equally. W hen the zoom is o n the telephoto lens setting, it acquires the characteristics o f this le n s : the planes o f depth in the picture are, in effect, ‘flattened’ a n d the b ackground appears to be pulled in toward the subjects in foreground. Like the cam era crane, the zoom has basic applications where its capacity for m ovem ent is n o t used at all. T he crane has a p lat­ form th at can be quickly set to any height. T he zoom , com bining a wide variety o f focal lengths, provides a quick m eans o f selecting a suitable one for the p articu lar scene. Some zoom lenses have a greater range o f focal length than others. T here are three basic ways in which a zoom is em ployed: 1 The lens zoom s to w ards o r aw ay fro m a static subject. 2 The zoom covers a m oving subject. 3 The cam era m oves while zoom ing. The first two possibilities involve a static cam era. T he zoom effect is the only m ovem ent visible. B ut the th ird possibility adds cam era m ovem ent which m ight be a p an o r track o r the tw o com bined with a zoom .
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Zooming speeds Slow zoom s usually have a constant rate o f visual advance or recession. A fast zoom is used fo r shock effect. But a zoom can sta rt slowly and gradually increase in speed. A sudden halt will be obtained when it stops. A fast start and a slow conclusion will be m ore pleasing to the eye b u t the sta rt will be quite sharp and disturbing. A slow -fast-slow com bination seems to be the idea! w hen using a zoom th a t goes from one extrem e to the o th er o f the range available. It is n o t essential to use the full range o f focal lengths afforded by th e zoom lens. Z oom ing in sh o rt sections is generally m ore effective. Z oom ing tow ards a static subject draw s attention to the zoom itself. A fast zoom provides visual pu n ctu atio n th at p in points the chosen subject, sharply excluding all surrounding m atter. T hus it can stress a player’s reaction, such as a shout or scream , o r an object partially hidden by his clothes, o r the barrel o f a gun blazing tow ards the cam era, or a silent witness in the back g ro u n d w hom the zoom pulls forw ard to stress. A slow zoom , quietly creeping forw ard tow ards tear-filled eyes can lend a n intim ate m o o d to a scene by suggesting participation. T h e zoom is b etter m otivated an d thus better integrated with the sh o t if the player in a zoom sh o t m oves with the optical change. A zoom shot m ight be called fo r where a body is seen in m otion (Fig. 23.5).

FIGURE 23.5 The movement o f the player motivates the zooming o f the camera Jens, This may either magnify or dim inish the Image size.

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W hen the shot begins, A is seen profiled left. He is obviously looking for som ething. As he turns his head tow ards us, we zoom back to reveal the object in the foreground. A zoom shot can be suggested by a body m ovem ent: A m an walks tow ards the cam era. The zoom lens on its tele position fram es him in close shot. T he zoom gradually pulls back with the advancing m an, keeping him in a close shot. This back­ ward optical m ovem ent sim ulates a physical travelling bu t the results are different. A nother possibility is opposed directions o f m otion—the camera zoom s in tow ards a player who walks straight tow ards us. The zoom stops w ith the actor.

Zooming and panning combined A zoom m ight be com bined w ith a pan o r tilt. F o r example, a short part accom panying a player w ho walks tow ards another, may start by fram ing a m edium shot o f the first player an d conclude on a zoom close shot o f b o th perform ers.

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In the exam ple in Fig. 23.6, the distance covered by the moving actor was very short, and the zoom used only a p a rt o f the focal range available. A head tu rn in close shot can m otivate an exploratory panning to which a zoom ing m otion is added. In the situation in Fig. 23.7, player A is hidden behind a column in a dimly lit oriental garden, fram ed in close shot. He is looking left. Suddenly he reacts to a noise heard off screen and turns his

FIGURE 23.7 A turning or walking player motivates a panning and zooming camera movement in which it leaves the firs t player to come to rest on the second.

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head to the right. T he cam era begins to pan w ith the m ovem ent o f his head an d continues panning to the right across the garden. As it pans it slowly zoom s in, to stop fram ing a m edium shot o f player B hidden behind a statue, w ith a w eapon in his hand. The slow exploratory pan com bined w ith a zoom m otion gave the illusion o f sm ooth travelling th ro u g h the garden betw een both points o f interest, while the cam era ro tate d on its horizontal axis. A half-circle p an com bined with a zoom forw ard o r backw ard will provide a sweeping arc exploratory m ovem ent th at scans ?. landscape, a building or the interior o f a house. The m ovem ent o f a lone player who walks from one zone to an o th er can be covered with this pan-zoom technique. In the previous chapter an instance was given in w hich a com ­ bined p an and zoom follow a m eandering p a th (Fig. 22.16), as the camera p an s alternately betw een tw o subjects. M ichelangelo A ntonioni, in his film Blow Up, used this effect as the subjective point o f view o f th e m ain player exam ining tw o photographs. T he camera fram ed one o f the pictures for a m om ent, then panned to one side to a second, zoom ed in and held a static view o f this photograph. T h en it panned back to the previous picture and zoomed in to o , stopping on a m uch closer view. W hen the cam era once m ore panned to the second picture, the zoom was resum ed and a n extrem e close up o f the second p h o to g rap h capped the shot. M ario C am us, in a film m ade in A rgentina, Digan La Que Digan, starrin g the Spanish crooner R aphael, used the sam e effect to stage one o f the songs ( Cierro m is Ojos) zoom ing alternately from the player to his reflections in five m irrors placed behind. Tilt shots using zoom effects A tilt a n d b ackw ard zoom o u t to wide angle is often used for establishing shots. A close shot o f the rippling surface o f a river shifts to a full sh o t o f a bridge spanning it com bined w ith an upw ard tilt. Camera tracks as it zooms A cam era tracking in a straight line w ith the lens m oving across the scene, can em ploy a com bination o f several p atterns o f m otion provided by the cam era, the zoom lens and the perform ers. Such is the case o f the exam ple in Fig. 23.8.
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FIGURE 23,8 An advancing and receding zoom motion Is combined with a straight tracking movement which covers an undulating actor movement. Three patterns of motion are th u s combined.

T he scene covers a battlefield—undulating terrain, full of n atu ra l crevices a n d b arb ed wire fences. T he soldiers advance from right to left. G renades and shells explode am ong them and casualties are heavy. The leader urges them on and the cam era track s left a t a steady rate, always level. T he scene is fram ed in long shot. W hile tracking, the cam era zoom s in on the leader bringing him to a close m edium shot. The cam era holds on him for a while then zooms back to the previous long shot view o f the battlefield. It keeps the long shot (wide angle extrem e o f the zoom range) for a while longer and again zoom s in o n the leader, repeating this process several times. T he m en and the cam era have been m oving continuously to the left, am id explosions, people running, falling an d crossing each other. T hree definite p atterns o f m ovem ent m ay be seen here: a straight, horizontal cam era tra c k ; a n undulating p a th for the soldiers; a n ap p ro ach in g an d receding zoom p attern from a m oving cam era. T his com bination was successfully used by Stanley K ubrick in his film Paths o f Glory,
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A cam era th a t tracks an d pans while it zoom s gives the illusior of m oving unham pered and w ithout physical barriers. Trackin and panning m asks the zoom ing an d can render it alm ost in perceptible if the zoom is slow enough.

^

ZOOM

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TRAV . ----------------¥

FIGURE £3.9 Zoom ing w hile panning and tracking. Zooming forward as Ihe camera tracks back. Optical distortion Is obtained. S ubject and camera travel in the same direction, and the ?oom is effected diagonally.

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A com bined track and zoom can provide a startling visual effect if their m ovem ents are suitably opposed. If the cam era travels backw ards and the zoom m oves forw ard, especially in a corridor, there is a peculiar disto rtio n o f distances and object sizes. A lfred H itchcock used the effect in his film Vertigo to convey precisely that sensation when Jam es Stew art looks dow n the stair­ case in the church bell tower. A nother type o f distortion, but not as blunt, is also obtained when a cam era, angled three-quarters to a group, moves backw ard in fro n t o f the ensemble, at full speed, and then zoom s in obliquely tow ards the players. In Doctor Zhivago, David Lean uses the effect in several cavalry charge scenes where the cam era rides w ith the g roup o f soldiers over a frozen river, Fig. 23,9 shows each o f the effects discussed.

Zoom ing through foreground obstacles Objects o f irregular shape, such as the struts at the back o f a chair, or a series o f rings, o r any other obstacle, m ight be fram ed in the foreground o f a zoom shot. W hen the zoom lens is set on wide angle, the foreground and background will be in focus b u t when m oved to telephoto objects in the foreground will gradually pass out o f focus until they are only a b lu r o f colour through which the m ain action can be seen in sharp focus. Interesting effects are obtained if the object o r objects in fore­ ground have m ovem ent them selves, preferably a repetitive m ovem ent. T he film The Ipcress File, directed by Sidney Furie, explored the possibilities o f the zoom m otion used in the way just described.

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24
ACTION SCENES
W ithout ‘action scenes’ film m aking w ould n o t have developed into the m ajo r com m ercial activity th a t it is now. T he effectiveness of such sequences is due to a basic prem ise o f film language, action and reaction, an d parallel film editing is the key. The actio n show n in such a sequence m u st be clcar a t all tim es to the audience—n o t a series o f hap h azard ly built snatches o f action b u t a solidly constructed story. F o r th at, there m u st be clarity o f m otivation an d care w ith detail. T he story developm ent depends on a series o f incidents usually o f fo u r types— the chase, the physical fight o r battle, the fight against a m echanism , and the accident. A ny o f these becom e m ore d ram atic if they involve a fight against time. T he chase can assum e several form s. T he p ro tag o n ist is pursued by the evildoer o r villains o f the story. T he m ain player m ay be holding som ething th a t the o ther p arty w ants or he (she) is the prize coveted by the opposition. T he situ atio n can be reversed and the p ro tag o n ist chases the villains. T he forces th at each group brings into play can be equalized o r a strong difference is present in favour o f cither one. W hen any o f the tw o groups falls into a seemingly inescapable situation, they m ust be able to extricate them selves from it n o t by a coincidence o r by an accident, b u t by their ow n strength or ingenuity. They m ust solve the problem them selves in a logical way and w ithin th eir possibilities, o r w ith the help o f a logically acquired elem ent, either hum an o r m aterial, A chase can be co n ­ ducted on foot, riding an anim al (horse, cam el, elephant), on a land or w ater vehicle or with an airb o rn e m achine, a n d all the com bina­ tions th a t these four elem ents allow. T here are several varieties o f physical fight. T he o p p onents may light each o ther with bare hands o r w eapons, ancient o r m odern. A hum an being m ay be fighting a beast o r m echanism . T he fight
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can spread to a g roup an d becom e a brawl. A full b attle m ight be staged w here large forces are in conflict. A cardinal rule governs each o f the above categories: the fight m ust be designed blow by blow . Every situation in the action scene m ust be carefully planned beforehand. The plot should never be given aw ay prem aturely o r interest is quickly destroyed. A m echanism th a t is a b o u t to produce a catastro p h e if n o t put o u t o f actio n , o r th a t m ay blow off by a m istake o r a w rongm ove, h as been effectively presented o n the screen countless tim es. The transference o f a dangerous elem ent from place to place, where accidents can happen, is the second variety. M echanism s th a t will trigger an alarm is the th ird variation. T he ad d itio n o f a tim e limit increases the a p p a ren t danger and intensifies audience interest. A ccidents on the screen can be real o r staged. T hey usually involve high speed vehicles such as racing cars, m otorcycles or planes. R eal crashes and nerve racking spills have been filmed by cam eram en o n the spot w hen they actually happened and in­ c o rp o rated into the action sequence o f m any films. These accidents are usually recorded in a single shot since there is no pre-planning o f any kind, and so they are the p ro d u c t o f chance. Staged accidents are m ore cinem atic because they can be broken into several shots, thus affording a m ultiple vision o f the event w ith certain aspects stressed quite forcibly. Specialised stuntm en can wreck vehicles spectacularly, b u t a sim ple cam era trick can o v ertu rn any vehicle. A racing car, o r a m o to r b o at speeds on a diagonal p ath tow ards the cam era, which pans to follow it. As it fills the fram e o f the screen the cam era is suddenly turned over on to its side. T he effect obtained is th a t the vehicle overturns. Two factors m ust be tak en in acco u n t when carrying out this effect: Firstly the h orizon line m ust no t be visible on the screen, or the effect will be ruined. If the horizon line is m issing the audience will accept the sudden swift m ovem ent as belonging to the vehicle and n o t to the cam era. Secondly the cam era m ust be tilted in a direc­ tio n co n trary to th at o f the m oving vehicle. This changes the direction o f the vehicle to a sudden vertical m ovem ent up the screen. Standard fo rm u las T he following rules, briefly enunciated, have proved successful in action scenes over the years.
4S4

D ialogue im pedes action. A udiences m ust be shown, no t told w hat is going on. B rief and terse com m ands uttered by the com batants are the exception. D ialogue can be used as a pause in the action to give audiences a rest. C ontinuous action soon saturates em otion, and this m ust be renewed by pauses where verbal explanations can be used to clarify story points. The pause in the action can be a physical one. It gives the com batants tim e to regain their breath before the final show­ dow n. A fter a tense fight the com batants separate to regain strength and m easure the o p p o n en t’s condition. Suddenly they lunge and a brief exchange o f blows concludes the fight. C om bat sequences can be built siowly and resolved quickly. W hen a m echanism is defied, the obstacles m ust be first established. T hen the identity o f those who are going to try to conquer it is given. Some o f the artifacts to be used m ust be presented visually b ut no explanation (or only partial ones) o f how they will be em ployed are provided. Then the plan to over­ com e th e m echanism is seen in action. Several interruptions take place where the situation nears com plete disaster, but they are averted by the participants. Finally success o r failure crowns the efforts o f the defying party. C redibility m ust n o t be strained except for hum orous p u r­ poses. T he outcom e o f a chase m ust not be predictable to the audience. T he diversity o f obstacles faced by bo th pursuers and hunted m ust keep the outcom e uncertain. T he double chase is a further variant. The h u n ter pursues his victim, and both are pursued by a third party interested in either o f them . If the first two ignore the presence o f the third the conclusion o f the chase depends on the behaviour o f this last one. If tw o groups o f pursuers chase the protagonist o f the story, the peril doubles. In tricate buildings offer the best possibilities for this variation. O pen ground nullifies it. Some fight sequences use a gim m ick to cap the action. A special w eapon concealed in a n outlandish place has been repeatedly resorted to in spy films. A ction sequences should not extend beyond their resolution point for too long. A hum orous scene can be used to release tension.
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The subjective point o f view Physical conflicts can be presented from m ultiple impersonal points o f view o r from localized focal points. F o r an impersonal p oint o f view the cam era exam ines each o f the players and each o f the situations w ithout singling out an outstanding character whose point o f view is im posed on the audience. All the facts are presented from the outside. T he audience is k ept as a spectator and n o t asked to participate em otionally. O n the other hand, action can be presented through the view­ points o f the central players o f a film. A series o f reaction shots taken from the em phasized p layer’s position on the set accom­ plishes the trick. T he technique tends to present in a frontal close shot the images o f the central character, and in long shots the views o f the action he is w atching. H is involvem ent in the action can be passive o r active. The attitu d e o f the player is taken to be passive when he merely witnesses the event from afar, an d reacts to it w ithout going away. Such is the case o f the role played by Jam es Stew art in Alfred H itchcock’s film Rear Window. The action across the inner court­ yard o f the ap a rtm en t building is alw ays seen by the audiencc from this player’s p o in t o f view. T he situation where the player engages in the action itself, is, in effect, active. In these scenes, as the action is being established, the parallel editing o f the shots adheres to the lim itation o f em­ phasizing in frontal close shots and close ups the figure o f the central player, while showing d istan t views o f his opponent. W hen bo th engage in physical com bat they are fram ed in full shots th at cover both (im personal points o f view) going back to the form er subjective point o f view as soon as they separate. Thus visual em phasis is throw n b ack on the m ain player. This player is seldom seen in the foreground o f the reaction shots, since these represent his subjective point o f view and therefore exclude him. The central character is never seen from his o p p o n en t’s point of view. T he subjective ap p ro ach by firmly adhering to the point of view o f the central character forces the audience to see the action as this player sees it. Since we are treated to a series o f action and reaction shots, we are not aw are th at we are being forced to ob­ serve the events from a chosen and fixed point o f view. This tech­ nique is no t only efficient in action scenes bu t is in its ow n right a
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good ap p ro ach to heighten the em otion o f a dram atic scene where dialogue is p redom inant. The m ain player speaks to an o th er while concentrating on a different task th a t the subjective cam era approach em phasizes visually. The director can also com m unicate feelings th at are not im plied in the dialogue being spoken. Thus the scene is enriched by cinem atic m eans. An im p o rtan t detail for this technique is to preserve em otion if the m ain player moves. In o u r previous discussion o f the sub­ jective p oint o f view we had assum ed th at the m ain player through whose eyes we saw the action was standing o r seated. If he m ust move to an o th er p a rt o f the set, do not cut back to give him space to move. This would destroy the m ood o f the scene. Use the sam e static shot in which the player is fram ed to p an or travel with him as he m oves to an o th er p a rt o f the set. Em otion is thus preserved. Do not be tem pted to cut back to a full shot because there is room to do so. If you do, y our view is no longer subjective, but objective and the ap p ro ach changes. The subjective p oint o f view is quite ad ap tab le and can be ap ­ plied to small groups th a t have different locations on the terrain or movie set. H ere is an exam ple taken fro m D avid Lean’s film The Bridge on the River Kwai. In the last reel o f the film, a group o f imprisoned British soldiers cross the bridge leaving the detention camp for a new destination. They are w atched from three different locations by the group planning to blow up the bridge. Figure 24.1 gives the positions o f the players a n d the cam eras. Shot 17 Low m edium shot o f W arden (Jack H aw kins) by a rock looking off screen right. A young T hai girl beyond on the right. W arden rises his binoculars an d looks through them (92 frames). Shot 18 The screen is darkened by a ro u n d m atte, representing the view through the binoculars. We see the bridge from above. T he prisoners are approaching the bridge. (189 frames). Shot 19 M edium shot o f Shears (W illiam H olden) an d Yay (M B C h ak rab an d h u ) behind som e rocks. They have sub-m achine guns an d are looking off scrcen right (57 fram es). Shot 20 L ong shot o f the bridge as seen from the position of these two men. The prisoners are reaching the first su p p o rt o f the bridge (141 fram es).
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WARDEN

JOYCE

FIGURE 24.1 The subjective point o f view can be applied to sm all groups with different locations on the set. A n example from The Bridge on the River Kwai.

Shot 21 M edium shot o f Joyce (Geoffrey H orne). He is crouched behind a rock and looks off screen left. He moves to the rig h t and the cam era p an s with him (130 fram es). Shot 22 F ro m his p oint o f view we see a long shot o f the bridge. T he British soldiers reach the centre (164 fram es). Shot 23 Close shot o f Shears and Yay. Some visual axis o f shot 19 (71 fram es). Shot 24 T his shot is the co n tin u atio n o f shot 20. T he British soldiers now cover the bridge (139 fram es). Shot 25 M edium shot o f W ard en as in shot 17. H e has the binoculars in his hand an d does n o t use them to look off screen right. (96 fram es).
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Shot 26 Full shot o f the bridge from above. Some trees in foreground. T he British soldiers still crossing, whistling Colonel Bogey (99 frames). Shot 27 Full shot. Joyce in fo reg ro u n d with his back to us. The dry river bed an d the bridge seen beyond. T he pris­ oners still crossing (90 frames). Shot 28 M edium shot o f Joyce as in shot 21. He rises an d moves to the left. The cam era pans with him left (156 frames). The technique used is simple. T he first site is presented in close shot. Then follows a shot o f w hat the player located there sees. This is a long shot o f the m ain event. T he second and third sites are successively presented using the sam e technique. Thus the central action is seen on the screen from varying angles. There is a fu rth er variation. The central action that is being observed from several em phasized points o f view suddenly becomes dom inant. W e m ove closer to this m ain action an d relate it to its ow n centre o f interest. This approach can be used as a visual p attern in the sequence. H ere is an exam ple: A m an with a gun is hiding in a forest. He is seen in close shot. A leopard moves slowly along a trail seen in long shot. Closer to th e foreground is a goat tied to a post. A second m an w ith a rifle. He is hiding in the top o f a tree, and is seen in close shot, from slightly below. From his point o f view the leopard is seen dow n below com ing forw ard in a long shot. The goat is in the lower right corner. Close sh o t o f the leopard. The cam era is level w ith it as it comes closer and stops, looking ahead. From the leo p ard ’s p o in t o f view the goat is seen in long shot, tied to a p o st in the centre o f the trail. The first h u n ter seen in close shot, looking on. F rom his p o in t o f view we see the leopard in long shot moving again alo n g the trail tow ards the goat. The second h u n ter seen in close shot. He looks dow n. F rom his high point o f view the leopard com es along the trail tow ards its prey. M edium shot, level with its subject. The leopard com es to the cam era an d stops. F rom the leo p ard ’s p oint o f view the goat is seen in full shot. The leopard suddenly runs forw ard out o f screen, right. Reverse. The leopard enters left an d runs tow ards the goat in the background.
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View from above, from the second h u n ter’s p o in t o f view. The leopard rushes tow ards the prey, steps over a p it hidden by branches an d falls into it spectacularly. Observe how the leopard, seen first from the point o f view o f the tw o hunters, becam e interm ittently em phasized in the sequence to relate it with its ow n centre o f interest, the goat. T he pattern was repeated twice in tins sequence until the payoff in the action was reached. R an d o m shifting subjective points o f view are the next develop­ m ent. Instead o f adhering to an ordered p attern th at is repeated (the tw o previous exam ples) the focal view points follow toe em otional line o f the event they record. T he sequence th at follows, taken from D avid Lean’s film Doctor Zhivago, uses three sub­ jective points o f view alternated through the sequence. Figure 24.2 gives a floor plan view o f the cam era positions used. Shot 1 Line o f cavalrym en, their backs to us, looking towards the long em pty street ahead o f them . M usic is heard from round the corner at the end o f the street. Shot 2 Close shot o f the com m anding officer, looking right. Shot 3 T he em pty street from his point o f view. A m om ent later the crow d begins to tu rn the corner. S hot 2 Close shot o f the officer, im passive. Shot 4 Zhivago appears on the balcony o f his house and comes tow ards us. He stops, looking off screen left. Shot 5 F rom his high p o in t o f view we see the crowd below tu rn in g the corner and m oving aw ay tow ards the higher side o f the street. Shot 4 Close shot o f Zhivago. S hot 5 F rom his high p oint o f view. T he crow d moves away w ith the noise o f the ban d . Shot 6 P asha com es tow ards us directing the m usicians. S hot 2 M edium shot o f the officer. H e says, ‘D raw sabers!’ Pan left to the soldiers on horseback who unsheath their sabres, present arm s and keep them at the ready. Shot 6 Pasha a t the head o f the crow d advances an d stops in close shot. H e looks up the street to the left. S hot 7 L ong shot. The line o f cavalrym en is com ing forward blocking the whole width o f the street. Shot 6 Pasha in close shot. The m usic dies behind him and people m ove nervously to one side.
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FIGURE 24.2 W ith randomly shittlno subjective points o f view, Instead of adhering to »n ordered pattern that is repealed the tocai view points can follow the em otional line of the event.

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Shot 7 L ong shot o f the cavalrym en, they increase speed as they ru n tow ards us. Shot 6 Close sh o t o f Pasha. T he people behind him panic and begin to disperse. Shot 7 Long shot. T he line o f cavalrym en is approaching at speed. Shot 6 Close shot o f P asha. People run and he is shoved aside. Shot 4 Close shot o f Zhivago. He is still astounded. S h o t5 F ro m his high point o f view we see a full shot o f the crow d scattering to all sides as the cavalrym en charge them . Shot 4 Close sh o t o f Zhivago. S hot 5 T he im pending clash seen from above. T hree key characters are used in the sequence to develop it and gain o u r em otional com plicity. T he cavalry officer is first used to show us, th ro ugh his eyes, the crow d entering the street before the m assacre. N ext, Zhivago is presented occupying a reverse position. T hro u g h his eyes a w ider perspective is acquired. T hen Pasha, within the crow d (he is the only identifiable person there) allows us to see th rough his eyes the b ru tal beginning o f the cavalry charge. As hysteria grow s am ong the crowd, Zhivago’s point of view gives us again a larger perspective o f it. Five ways o f enhancing visual action The follow ing concepts have proved effective in increasing the visual excitem ent o f an action scene. 1 A co m bination o f static a n d m oving cam era view points will confer m ore visual im pact to a chase scene or to a group o f run­ ning people. T he closer views o f the subjects are m ade with a moving cam era, while the long shots are filmed from fixed cam era posi­ tions. A static shot is followed by a tracking one, an d the formula is constantly repeated w ith occasional pauses in the action. Heie is an ex a m p le: L ong shot o f a street from above. A fleeing couple runs in an arc from the upper left to the low er left and so off screen. M eidum sh o t o f the couple. T he cam era tracks back w ith them. Long shot. The couple, sm all in the centre o f the street, run tow ards us. M edium shot o f the couple. W e track back in front o f them again.
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High full shot. The couple comes tow ards us an d stop in the foreground. They look aro u n d and then separate, running in different directions. The m oving cam era shots m ay som etim es he jerky (hand-held camera). They m ust be o f short duration (no m ore than 5 sec perhaps) to avoid annoying the audience. This uneven m ovem ent will often add excitem ent to a chase. 2 Planned cum ulative action within a static shot can be very exciting. The m any planes o f depth in fro n t o f the cam era can be used in patterns o f action th at recede from o r ap p ro ach the cam ­ era. A ction can be staged on them progressively or sim ultaneously. Here is an example. A n A m erican In d ian h a lf kneeling in the left foreground seen in full shot, shoots an arrow tow ards a m ounted soldier who enters the screen from the right in the back­ ground. T he soldier falls while his horse continues onw ards, leaving the screen left. A second soldier on foot enters from the right and runs his sword into the arch er’s midriff. The Indian falls. Between the soldier on fo o t and the cam era a second Indian enters on horseback an d jab s a lance into the soldier. T he Indian exits screen right as the second soldier collapses. In the foreground right a third soldier a n d Indian roll in, in hand to hand com bat. The In d ian m anages to roll o n to p and stabs the soldier repeatedly with his knife. All these actions overlap swiftly so th at the rhythm of the scene does n o t slacken as the action progresses from back­ ground to foreground. T he scene quoted com es from R aoul W alsh’s film They D ied W ith Their Boots On. 3 The violence o f a blow can be stressed o n the screen by divid­ ing it into tw o shots. A bare fisted knock o r a leg kick can be split into two takes to o btain a m ore violent presentation. The first part of the m otion is recorded in a m edium shot and the concluding swing in a close shot on th e same visual axis. W hen shooting such a scene two com plete blow s are photographed and later edited as described. In the second sh ot we can keep a static cam era position (in th at case the perform er being hit stum bles o u t o f the screen) or we m ay p an with the person who suffered the blow as he falls. A vehicle sm ashing an obstacle can be treated in the same way: A truck speeds along a ro ad tow ards the w ooden doors o f the courtyard gate. The action is seen in long shot. The vehicle moves left to right. Full shot o f the doors. The truck enters screen left and crashes into the d o o r which begins to give way.
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Reverse full shot. F rom inside the courtyard we see the other side o f the gate. T he truck crashes through an d exits screen right a t full speed. T hree cam eras running sim ultaneously are required to record that situation, for obvious reasons. 4 A ction running betw een the cam era an d the fighting group will provide interm itent glimpses o f the m ain event. This heightens o ur interest as we strive to follow the action beyond. If the fighting persons are p art o f a larger group engaged in a full scale battle, we can introduce other com batants m oving in fro n t o f the central g roup an d crossing the screen betw een them an d the cam era (if a long focal lens is used the foreground co m batants can be thrown ou t o f focus). These crossing parties can m ove on foot, o n horse­ back o r on a vehicle. They m ust n o t stay long in foreground and should exit to be replaced by o th er groups. M ovem ent need not be in one direction only; the crossing can be from bo th lateral sides. If the quarrel is between tw o people only, witnesses can be introduced who m ove before the cam era, crossing in fro n t o f the com batants. A varian t to this is to present a g roup o f animals instead o f people, m oving in fro n t o f the cam era between it and the m ain action. Low cam era angles will visually stress these continued interruptions. A m oving m achine in the foreground (a huge rapidly turning wheel for instance) can be resorted to for the foreground action in place o f persons o r anim als. Static objects o f irregular shape can be placed in the foreground and the cam era pan o r track with the fighting group beyond, so that these static objects cross the screen as the cam era moves, 5 In a full scale battle, crow d scenes where the action runs wild should be alternated w ith action scenes where the hero o r heroes are engaged in personal com bat. It is an expanding-contracting p attern applied to coverage o f the action, th a t keeps the audience shifting from the general to the particu lar and vice versa. In that way the m ain characters are integrated into the spectacle and their relationship to the whole can be appreciated with a stronger sense o f identification. These crowd scenes, as well as those where the p rotagonists are singled out, should no t be loose ones where the action lacks a central purpose. M inor story sub-plots should be developed, so th at each o f these sequences presents in itself well rounded sketches th at advance the story.
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Reaching a visual clim ax All actions where a violent conclusion is im m inent, and the audience is aw are o f this possibility, can be built with a succession of short shots th at carry the action swiftly to its pay-off. They can be organized in tw o ways; I, by a random shortening o f the shots previous to the disaster, o r 2, by a progressive shortening o f the shots capped by the clim ax itself. The several n arrative lines involved should be edited in parallel presenting the reactions previous to the disaster. A random shortening will be shown in a fragm ent o f a sequence taken from Robert A ldrich’s Four fo r Texas. Shot 102 M edium shot o f F ran k S inatra on the driver’s seat o f the stagecoach. H e faces the cam era, and pulls at the reins w ith force. W ith his right foot he presses th e b rak e lever (21 fram es). Shot 103 Close u p o f his right fo o t pressing on the b rake lever (22 fram es). Shot 104 Close up o f the brak e pressing against the tu rn in g wheel o f the stagecoach (32 fram es). Shot 105 T he cam era tracks back in fro n t o f the vehicle, fram ing in close shot the tw o fro n t horses o f the team . Between them we see S inatra beyond on the driver’s seat (32 fram es). Shot 106 M edium shot o f S inatra’s h ands pulling the reins back w ith force (31 fram es). Shot 107 Side sh o t o f the heads o f the first team o f horses. T he cam era fram es them in m edium shot an d tracks left w ith them (36 fram es). Shot 108 L ow sh o t o f the horses legs kicking up som e d u st as they run left. T he cam era tracks w ith them (46 fram es). Shot 109 H igh shot. Fixed cam era site. T he stagecoach seen in full sh o t approaches in a diagonal to the left (33 fram es). Shot 110 M edium shot inside the stagecoach. D ean M artin on the left side o f the screen tu rn s a n d grabs a handle n ear the centre window. T he d ead fat m an is slum ped on the right. (35 fram es). Shot 111 Close sh ot o f the window , fro m the inside. The p an o ram a flies p ast outside (10 fram es).

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Shot 112 Close shot o f the dead fat m an (12 frames). Shot 113 Close shot o f D ean M artin inside clutching the handle o f the vehicle. T he coach begins to tilt to the left. The screen is blackened as the floor rises into view (14 frames). S hot 114 F ro n t close shot o f Sinatra as in shot 102. The carriage begins to tilt to the right, taking him to th a t side and going o u t o f the screen. (10 frames). S hot 115 F ull shot. T he stagecoach overturns in fro n t o f the cam era. T he driver is throw n into the air an d lands in fro n t o f the cam era. A cloud o f dust rolls towards th e cam era obscuring the screen. As the dust settles the first titles o f the credits appear. Very long shot. T he construction o f the scene reveals a careful arrangem ent of the shots. F irst, the driver is seen pulling the reins and stepping on the brake. T heir effect is observed, there is no reduction o f speed as the coach reaches a tu rn o f the road, where a full re-establishing view o f the vehicle is intercut. T hen the reactions o f those inside the stage are observed. Finally the vehicle begins to overturn (shots 113-114). The last take docum ents the catastrophe. The shots are quite short, m any are less th a n one second long. T heir lengths are also a rb itra ry : 29-22-32-32-21-36^46-33-3510-12-14-10 fram es. The last four shots arc the shorter ones and accelerate the tem po o f the sequence before the clim ax is reached. T he d u ratio n o f these fo u r shots is roughly h a lf th at o f the shots preceding them . A n exam ple from A lfred H itchcock’s The Birds will illustrate the o th er possibility: a progressively dim inishing length o f the shots p rio r to the visual climax. Shot 29 Full shot o f the parking lot from M elanie’s viewpoint. A car in the foreground is burning fiercely. A second car behind catches fire an d explodes. Som e m en in the b ack ground rush in to fight the fire. A third car ex­ plodes o n the right. Dense sm oke covers the scene. (73 film fram es). Shot 30 Close shot o f M elanie at the window o f the cafe. She is profiled left, looking dow n. Two m en behind her look up to the right (20 frames). Shot 31 Close shot o f the stream o f petrol leading back to the filling station. Flam es advance from right to left on the stream in the m iddle o f the street. (18 frames).
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S hot 32 Close shot o f M elanie as in shot 30. She reacts (16 fram es). S hot 33 Close sh o t o f the flames as in shot 31. C am era pans left with the advancing flames (14 fram es). Shot 34 Close sh o t o f M elanie as in shot 30. She is looking to the right now, fear on her face (12 frames). Shot 35 L ong sh o t o f the filling station. The stream o f fire on the rig h t is advancing tow ards the gas tanks. A policem an, the w ounded station a tte n d a n t an d M itch, run away to the left (10 frames). Shot 36 C lose shot o f M elanie as in shot 30, looking right (8 fram es). Shot 37 L ong sh o t o f the station as in shot 35. The tank ex­ plodes in a roaring inferno. Big tongues o f fire rise higher th an the buildings. (34 frames). By substracting tw o fram es progressively the editor, George Tomasini, created a m ounting crescendo leading to the explosion. The editor used only three shots th a t were intercut in parallel. With seven fragm ents he quickencd the tem po o f the film. Each shot lasts for less th a n a second: 2 0 -1 8 -1 6 -1 4 -1 2 -1 0 -8 frames. The last shot is on the screen for only a th ird o f a second. Notice also th a t the subjective p oint o f view principle is at work on the sequence. M elanie is the key charactcr, an d it is th ro u g h her eyes th at the catastro p h e is witnessed. The acceleration o f the tem po prior to the climax creates a brier tension in th e audience th a t finds its relief in the outburst itself. Breaking the climatic action into several shots W hen there is no surprise in the clim atic action because the audience is expecting it as a logical conclusion, a detailed account of the catastro p h e can be shown from its inception to its afterm ath, intercut with the reactions o f the players th at provoke the event, and th o se w ho suffer the consequences. The m ost exciting shots, where the violent action takes place, are divided into a t least two Fragments. If the destruction is slow and m assive, the action can be divided into several shots. The following exam ple belongs to Michael M cC arth y ’s film Operation Am sterdam. Shot 1 Seen in full shot, Peter Finch throw s a pack o f dynam ite. Eva B artok stands behind him in the street.
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Shot 2 The package slides under the truck blocking the street. Close shot. Shot 1 Eva B artok and Peter Finch turn to go inside the shop. Full shot. Shot 2 Close shot under the truck. A soldier crawls in and extends his hand to grab the sticks o f dynam ite. Shot 3 M edium shot. The couple enters the screcn by the right. They are inside the shop. Shot 4 Full shot. T he truck blows up fiercely. Shot 5 Long shot. Same visual axis as th at preceding. The cloud o f dense sm oke clim bs to the sky. Shot 3 The m an and the girl press themselves together. S hot 5 R em ains o f the truck begin to fall. Shot 3 The couple huddled together, the cam era tracks into them and stops, fram ing them in close shot. T he director did n o t hesitate to divide an exciting event into three shots— the truck explosion, achieving a dynam ic result by editing in parallel with the action o f the couple taking cover inside the shop. Notice also the refinem ent in suspense: a soldier is introduced p rio r to the explosion, trying to retrieve the dynamite when the couple have already turned their backs on the situation. An am ateur would perhaps hesitate in cutting w hat he considers a valuable shot. By presenting the event in its entirety without interruptions, he would be lessening its dram atic im pact and lim iting the pleasure o f the audience. An action broken in two is stretched in time, so th at the visual pleasure o f witnessing a spectacular action is doubled for the audience. H ere is a case taken from David Lean’s The Bridge on the Rivet Kv'ai —the final scene where the bridge is blown u p as the train crosses it. S hot 133 F rom above. T he locom otive enters shot from the right travels to the bridge seen beyond in the back­ ground (2 seconds 11 frames). S hot 134 Close shot o f N icholson (Alec G uinness) from below. H e takes a few steps tow ards us. H e is mortally w ounded. H e raises his head to the sky and falls dow n, o u t o f shot (3 seconds 6 fram es). Shot 135 M edium shot. N icholson’s body enters, left and falls across the lever o f the d eto n ato r, pressing it down (26 frames).
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S hot 136 Long shot. In the foreground lie the dead bodies o f Shears, Saito, Joyce and N icholson. Beyond is the bridge. T he train is seen m oving along the upper right p a rt o f it. T he first pillar o f the bridge explodes spectacularly and the centre p a rt o f the bridge collapses. T he train continues until it reaches the edge o f the gap (4 seconds 4 frames). Shot 137 M edium shot o f W arden and his g roup o f T hai girls. Some o f the girls arc standing. T hey all look dow n to the right. They begin to rise (2 seconds 9 fram es). Shot 138 L ong shot o f the bridge from the side o f the river form erly occupied by Yay and Shears. T he loco­ m otive and some w agons plunge into the river. (5 seconds 11 fram es). Shot 139 M edium shot o f W arden and his group. As in shot 137. P an up with W arden rising to his feet and lean­ ing on his crutch. T hey look dow n, right. (1 second 11 fram es). S hot 140 Long shot. F ro m the p oint o f view o f the preceding group. Som e w agons from the train plum m et into the river (3 seconds 5 fram es). Shot 141 F rom below as in shot 138. T he tw o last w agons o f the train fall into the river. T he second pillar exploded com pleting the destruction o f the bridge (3 seconds 10 frames). Shot 142 M edium shot o f N icholson lying beside the d eto n ato r box. C om position as in shot 135 (4 seconds 7 fram es). Shot 143 F ro m the sam e point o f view as shot 136. T he last pieces o f the bridge collapse into the river (7 seconds 20 fram es). Shot 144 M edium shot o f C lipton (Jam es D onald). H e is looking off to the left. He walks to th at side an d the cam era pans with him as he walks dow nhill. He stops and says, ‘M adness!’ (4 seconds 7 fram es). S hot 145 High angle. Full sh o t o f the four dead bodies lying on the sand bar, near the w ater: N icholson, Saito, Joyce an d Shears. (3 seconds 1 fram e). S hot 146 M edium shot o f W arden standing in front o f the cam era. He looks off screen right, then turns to the T h ai girls in the background an d says: ‘I had to do it! I had to! . . .’ 'They would have been taken alive!’
499

J L

H e again tu rn s to us an d looks off right once more (16 seconds 18 fram es). S hot 147 F ro m th e same p o in t o f view as shot 140. The afterm ath o f the explosion as seen from above, from W a rd e n ’s position (3 seconds 14 fram es). Observe th a t the blow ing up o f the train was filmed fro m three p o in ts o f view. E ach o f these shots was used only twice in the whole sequence to cover th e ca tastro p h e from beginning to conclusion. T he d estru ctio n o f the bridge itself takes 28 seconds o n the screen to com plete (the length o f the six fragm ents em ployed) yet the sequence from sh o t 136 to shot 147 runs fo r 60 seconds and 6 fram es o f film. T he length o f the event was stretched by including the reaction shots o f W arden and his group o f T hai girls, an d the lone m edic C lip to n up o n the opposite side o f the river. By present­ ing the event in this way a richer version o f it was obtained. H igh speed and slow m otion fo r action sequences In the silent era o f the cinem a it was discovered th a t by undercranking the cam era a dynam ic effect was im parted to chase or actio n sequences. T h at discovery is still valid today. T he normal filming speed is 24 fram es per second, a n d a m oving subject is p h o to g rap h ed at 16 fram es per second the resu ltan t film, pro­ jected a t n o rm al speed, the ap p a re n t velocity o f the subject p h o to g rap h ed will be increased. M o to r b o ats, cars, riders on horseback, crow ds running on foot, will all will a p p e ar m ore dram atic if this subterfuge is applied during an actio n scene. C are m u st be taken no t to overdo this effect, o r the m ovem ent will becom e so jerky th a t it will produce laughter. I f laughter is the effect you are after, be sure to w ork at speeds close to 8 fram es per second. Subject m ovem ent will be trem en­ dously increased. Slow m o tio n is used to im part m ajesty to a m ovem ent. A diver ju m p in g from a high p o in t dow n to the sea, an object falling away from us to the g ro u n d below, acquire in slow m otion a grace o f m ovem ent (even as they desintegrate o r splash) th a t norm al speed w ould n o t reveal. Clim axes in which som ebody jum ps from a high cliff, a vehicle plunges into the sea, o r a huge explosion destroys a large p ro p , can be filmed a t slightly higher speeds to be projected a t the norm al rate o f 24 fram es per second, obtaining an im posing effect th a t enhances the scene.

D eath scenes have been filmed in slow m otion on the screen. Akira K urosaw a with his Seven Sam urai started the fad, and some yery interesting an d disturbing effects have been obtained on the screen, such as Sam Peckinpah did in The W ild Bunch where in the Middle o f a frantic shooting deaths took place in slow m otion. Follow fo cu s technique As a cam era tracks, pans or tilts, o r as actors m ove up to o r away from the cam era, o r pass by a t different ranges, points o f interest ia the view as seen by the cam era shift position. This m akes it necessary to ad ju st focus to keep the subject sharply defined. This can be done in tw o w ays: m anually o r autom atically. W ith the first m ethod, a focus puller stands by the cam era and adjust the Focus ring as required. But the ring can, alternatively, be controlled remotely by either a m echanical o r rem ote control device. There are fo u r basic situations requiring follow-focus control. 1. T he cam era m oves ab o u t the set a n d films either stationary o r m oving subjects. T he cam era m ay track tow ards o r aw ay from the subject o r it can m ove alongside, fram ing the m oving subject from a fixed distance. 2. T he cam era rem ains stationary while the subject m oves up to , o r aw ay from it during the shot. 3. The cam ­ era rem ains statio n ary b u t is panned o r tilted, o r both, during the shot, switching fro m one subject to an o th er at different distances. 4. The stationary cam era films tw o o r m ore static subjects in the scene, shifting focus from one to the other. Visible guides are established on the floor o f the set to help the focus puller to set to the correct distance o n the lens a t predeterm ined positions—the beginning and end points o f the tracking as well as particular interm ediate distances. These m arks are either chalked lines or scrips o f tap e on the ground. W hen there is some difficulty in keeping one o r m ore players a t a fixed distance while the cam era tracks backw ard, a w ooden T-shaped assem bly can be attached to the front o f the cam era dolly. It is only necessary for the actors to keep in line with this device to m aintain the correct distance and stay in sharp focus. In som e shots the focus m ay deliberately be switched to the background and perhaps returned to the foreground again. M any dram atic effects can be o btained by selective focus used in this way.

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t

25
EDITING IN THE CAMERA
M odern film m akers have rescued the long m aster shot from the oblivion th at followed the abandonm ent o f the old theatrical front-only cam era set up and endow ed it with techniques develop­ ed for editing in the cam era, o r in o th er words, w ithin the film frame! This approach needs no visual cuts to achieve its effects but relies o n cam era an d subject m ovem ent. E xperim entation with this technique has been extensive and has even led to the extreme of m aking a full length feature film using only ten shots edited in the cam era— A lfred H itchcock’s film Rope. Pre-planning is required Shots suitable fo r editing in this way cannot be m ade haphazardly o r w ith the inspiration o f the m om ent. They require careful pre­ planning, with a studied integration o f player and cam era move­ m ent, like a choreography th at m ust be precisely executed by the acto rs and the cam era crew. W hen well executed, results are very pleasing. T he scene flows sm oothly, the audience is no t aw are of the technique and the actors have a better chance to drop into their characters, since the scene is played continuously as in the theatre. M istakes when m aking this type o f shot can be quite expensive, especially fo r lim ited budget productions. T he am ount o f film expended in retakes is quite considerable. Thus, thorough re­ hearsals are vital before attem pting a shot. But if a m istake is made, a good director should be able to find a way o f partially using the shot by resorting to a cut-aw ay at th a t p o in t and returning to the m aster shot again afterw ards. W ith a well trained cast an d cam era crew, the speed in shooting surpasses by far the cum bersom e efforts needed to cover the same scene using the fragm entation technique o f piecing it together in
502

several shots. Television serials, which have a lim ited num ber o f pro d u ctio n days, have greatly profited from this technique. But an integration o f b o th techniques, ordinary physical editing and editing within the fram e, is the m ost sensible w ay o f benefiting from the best o f b o th. In them selves, the tw o system s have lim itations. A film m ak er who know s screen language thoroughly, however, will su rm o u n t them by blending these techniques for his expressive purposes. T here are seven basic techniques governing shots edited w ithin the film fram e: 1 A pause betw een m ovem ents; 2 A change o f zone; 3 A pproaching o r receding from the cam era; 4 Change o f body p o sitions; 5 S ubstitition by sectors; 6 Switching o f screen sec to rs; 7 N um erical con trast. Several o f these techniques are usually com bined in any such shot, rath er th an being used alone. The pause between m ovem ents The player or the cam era m oves from one zone to another, rem ains there for a while, and then m oves to a third area and stops, [f the m ovem ent is continuous (unbroken by pauses) it will become ju st a follow ing shot because no m atter how m any pic­ torial v ariations are involved along the shot, the audience simply would n o t have tim e to appreciate them . Each new player or camera position presented has to be held o n the screen an d so established before m oving on to the next. The change o f zone The screen p o sition in a cinem a theatre is alw ays fixed. W e see things on it as if we were looking through an opening. If th at opening rem ains stationary (fixed cam era) the background we glimpse will be always the sam e and seen from a co n stan t point of view. In shots to be edited in the cam era, this w ould constitute a lim itation and, in practice, becom es annoying in a very short time. The back g ro u n d m ust vary to give the im pression o f space wherein

th e actors m ove. T he change o f zone required to obviate this cac be achieved 1, by a stationary cam era, 2, by a pan n in g cam era 01 3, by a tracking cam era. Case 1 W ith a statio n ary cam era, the zones are arran g ed in d epth to­ w ards the b ack ground (Fig. 25.1), i.e. a foreground zone, a middle zone an d a b ackground one.

FIGURE
cam era.

25.1

T hree

action zones can

be arranged

in d e p t h

In

front

ot

a

statio n ary

Case 2 I f a p anning cam era is used, the relationship betw een the zones o f actio n can vary, as show n in Fig. 25.2. F o r pans o f less th a n h a lf a circle the Fig, 25.2 exam ples should provide ad equate variety. In th e first case, the three zones are deployed in an arc aro u n d the cam era, so th at m ovem ent from one to th e o th er will keep the fram ing distance equal for the three zones. T h e second, third a n d fo u rth exam ples suggest tw o zones equi­ distan t from the cam era a n d the third either closer o r further away.

F IG U R E 25.2 vary.

W hen

the c a m e ra p a n s th e relatio n sh ip

b e tw e e n z o n e s of a ctio n can

The fifth an d sixth exam ples show the zones a t different distances from the cam era. If a com pletely circular cam era m ovem ent is involved, panning
505

from zone to zone will cover as m any o r as few zones as wished to com plete the circle (Fig. 25.3).

Case 3 If the cam era tracks from zone to zone, these areas m ight be along a straight path. O r an irregular arrangem ent can be chosen. I f a horizontal path is used, three approaches are possible. (Fig. 25.4). In the first case the cam era tracks backw ards or forw ards over the three zones. In this exam ple all the zones are show n either at the beginning or conclusion o f the take, depending w hether the camera is advancing into o r receding from the scene. In the second and third exam ples the zones are placed parallel to the cam era path and equidistant from the cam era. A triangular arrangem ent o f the zones in relation to the cam era path provides further variants for internal visual coverage (Fig. 25.5).
506

F !< S U R E 2 S ,4 lel t o t h e m

A m o v in g c a m e r a c a n travel o v e r th e a c tio n z o n e s th e m s e lv e s , o r p a ra l­

In a h o r i i o n t a l o r o b l i q u e l i n e .

A single player can be m oved in depth, using a static cam era position, b u t th e variations to be encountered are quite lim ited. As Fig. 25.6A shows, geom etric figures are best suited to this technique: oval shapes, triangular, U figures. T he acto rs in the scene will m ove in trian g u lar paths ap p ro ach ­ ing the cam era o r going aw ay from it. Should the cam era m ove diagonally to a straig h t subject-path th ro u g h the zones the distance will shift (Fig. 25.6).

FIG U RE 25.5 A c tio n zones co u ld be arran g e d in tria n g u la r fo rm fo r s c a n n in g by a tra c k in g cam era w h ic h m oves as show n,

These zones o f action can be placed a t height too, covered by a cam era th a t tilts up o r dow n o r from a crane, perhaps panning or tracking also. A fu rth er possibility is to reverse the m ovem ent of the cam era within the shot, thus, in effect, using one o r two zones twice. Approaching or receding fro m the camera M o tio n in depth is the key to this sim ple technique. Variations are achieved by m oving from foreground to background or vice versa, and recording this m ovem ent by using: 1 a statio n ary cam era, 2 a p anning cam era, or 3 a tracking cam era (forw ard o r backw ards). A ction zones m ight be in a line running straig h t to the background or tangential to the cam era. But it is im p o rtan t th at only one player at a tim e m oves from zone to zone no m atter if the group is large o r small. The others rem ain in their places, thus ensuring clear changes o f action zones which are easy to execute, simple to understand and unobtrusive for the audience who will follow the d o m in an t m o tion naturally.
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F I G U R E 25.6 an

A c t i o n z o n e s a r e a r r a n g e d In a s t r a i g h t l in e , a n d t h e c a m e r a t r a c k s in

o b l i q u e lin e t h a t a p p r o a c h e s o r r e c e d e s f r o m t h e a c t i o n z o n e s ,

Case 4 Stationary cam era positions offer a wide variety o f approaches for m ovem ent in depth. Several visual com binations are available. Here are som e sim ple ones, with tw o players. B oth players (A and B) in foreground. B m oves to the back­ ground. A rem ains in foreground (Fig. 25.7). B oth acto rs in foreground. B moves to the background and, m om ents later, returns to the foreground (Fig. 25.8). Both players in foreground. B m oves to the background. Then A joins him (Fig. 25.9). Both actors in foreground. B m oves to the background, rem ains fo r a m om ent and then returns to foreground. Now A moves to the background, while B rem ains in the foreground. Later, A returns to the foreground (Fig. 25.10).
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FIG U R E co m in g

25 .6 A

A

sin g le

p layer

m oves

In

d ep th ,

g o in g

to

the

background

and

b a c k to w a rd s th e c a m e ra . S h e trav els a " U ” p ath .

F I G U R E 25.7 background.

M o v e m e n t In d e p t h : B o t h p l a y e r s a r e in t h e f o r e g r o u n d , B m o v e s t o t h e

510

F IG U R E

25.9

B o th

acto rs

in f o r e g r o u n d ,

O ne

m oves

to

the

b ackoround, th e

o ther

t h e n F ollow s.

F IG U R E 25.10 ground

B o th a c to rs

a r e in t h e f o r e g r o u n d . E a c h

in t u r n

m o v e s Into t h e b a c k ­

and

retu rn .

Case 5 A p anning cam era will easily unite tw o action zones placed on a line th a t runs a t a tan g en t to its location. T he player closest to the camera m oves to the background, followed by the panning camera. T he m ovem ent can be reversed in the sam e shot, having the actor retu rn to the foreground in w hich case the cam era pans in the opposite direction (Fig, 25.11). Case 6 A cam era tracking forw ard o r backw ards w ith a m oving player, will increase the n um ber o f possible visual com binations. H ere are some exam ples:
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FIGURE 25.11 A panning camera unites two action zones on a line running tangenlially to its location.

T he stationary player is placed betw een the cam era and the o th er perform er in the background. T he background actor com es forw ard to the static player in the m id-distance, while the cam era tracks in tow ards him (Fig. 25.12). T he m oving player is placed betw een the cam era and the stationary person in the background. T he foreground player and the cam era m ove together tow ards the background, ap p ro ach in g the static player (Fig. 25.13). The cam era need not be m oved during the whole shot, bu t only for a section o f it to provide em phasis where desired (Fig. 25.14). The shot begins with bo th players fram ed in m edium shot, talking to each other. B then com es forw ard an d the composi­ tion o f the screen becom es A — B 2, when player B turns and goes back to A, the cam era travels with him and stops fram ing a close shot o f b o th (A — B3). B then walks to the background and the pictorial com position changes on the screen to A —B4. A lateral cam era m ovem ent tracking to either side will exclude th e static player (Fig. 25.15).
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FIGURE 25.12 A stationary actor stands between the camera and the other person, in thebackgrci/nd. The background actor moves up to the other as the camera moves in on them. FIGURE 25.13 The moving person is placed between (he camera and the stationary backeround figure* The camera follow s the foreground figure as he approaches the other actor.

b2

L3
FIGURE 25.14

1
a
513

b4

The camera can move to emphasize only a part of the shot.

FIGURE 25.15 A lateral camera track follow ing the moving player w ill exclude the stationary subject, in th is example* the car.

F u rth er possibilities are, o f course, possible with m ore than two players. Instead o f following the player in action, the cam era may be used selectively w ith a stationary group. T he tracking camera will p in p o in t each m em ber by approaching or receding from him. Changing the body position As in the theatre, on a cinem a screen the body position of a p erform er can be either d om inant o r subordinate (Fig. 25.16). A frontal view o f the body, facing the cam era, is know n as an open position. A side view is a neutral view. If the perform er has his back to the cam era, this is a closed position. O pen, frontal positions are the strongest, dram atically speak­ ing. Closed o r rear views o f a player are the weakest. (This concept
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FIGURE 25.16

The three basic body positions are covered by the camera.

is subordinate to the context o f the scene because, for instance, a player introduced to the action showing only his b ack will becom e the centre o f atten tio n by keeping his identity unknow n). Changes in body attitu d e are m ore effective when com bined with changes in position on the stage o r set. The change in body position is m arked by integrating it with w alking. A feeling o f naturalness is preserved and the audience is unaw are th a t their centre o f interest is being consciously m anipulated by the film maker. Som etim es b oth players in a scene m ove in depth and so change the p ictorial com position (Fig. 25.17). The d o m in an t player moves first. Instead o f resorting to a cut to obtain an external reverse coverage o f b oth players, th at reversal com es ab o u t by their movement in mid shot. A change o f body position m ight m ean a change o f direction and level—he can m ove from a lying to a reclining, kneeling, sitting or standing position. These levels can be successfully com bined with those o f his p artn e r (or partners) to form visually pleasant com binations o f vertical m ovem ent (Fig. 25.18).

FIGURE 25.17 A stationary camera obtains a reversal of the actor’s positions by having them move from foreground to background and vice versa.

The shot begins with both players (A and B). B rises an d the cam era tilts up fram ing her alone. A now rises and enters the screen from below. B oth players are now standing. B then kneels dow n, going o u t o f shot. A rem ains in shot.

Substitution by sectors
This technique implies use o f a fixed cam era location. T he trick is in substituting an acto r placed in a particular sector o f the screen by an o ther, w ithout m oving the others also seen in the shot.
516

FIGURE 25.18

V e rtic il movement of the players with n u m b e r contrast.

As we already know , the screen can be ‘divided’ into tw o or three vertical sectors and the m ovem ent can be in foreground o r background planes. Substitution uses these factors for its effects. Case 7 A an d B are seen in the foreground, profiled to each other. B turns and exits right. C then enters from th a t side and occupies the sector o f the screen vacated by B. A rem ains in the same sector o f the screen (Fig. 25.19).
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FJGURE 25,19 A slmpfe substitution by sectors, One player goes o u t o f shot and If replaced by another.

Case 8 A substitution in dep th is the next variant, a n d sim ple to ac­ com plish (Fig. 25.20). A t the beginning o f the shot, A an d B are seen in the foreground facing the cam era. W hen A exits shot left, he discloses C in the background. C either rem ains in the background o r com es forward to a close shot beside B.
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FIGURE 25-20

Here the substitution by sectors is achieved In depth,

Case 9 A. com position in which the screen is divided into three sectors is ideal to p o rtray situations where a leader gives com m ands to subordinates. The leader is fram ed centrally an d the players a t his either side exit and enter, replacing each o th er (Fig. 25.21).
519

the cen tre

FIGURE 25.21 The actors on one side of the screen are substituted by others, while one remains still throughout the shot.

Case 10 A ltern ate changes o f sector, using only tw o screen areas, is a more elab o rate solution (Fig. 25.22).

FIGURE 25.22

In

this example all the players are substituted up to the last two.

A a n d B are on the screen at the beginning o f the shot. B leaves and is substituted by C. T hen A leaves and is substituted by D. Now, D leaves and is, in turn, substituted by E. E rem ains while C is replaced by F. Case 11 There are times w hen th e substitution by sectors is accom plished using only tw o players. O ne rem ains in shot while the o th er enters and exits. This is repeated and then inverted. A n o th er variant is to have one player enter, right, stop in the centre o f the picture and then exit right. The second player enters left, stops in the centre and then leaves left. T he first player then re-enters right and the whole form ula is repeated. T o obtain variation, the three depth planes in to which a scene can be broken are used in com bination with one an o th er. An exam ple will illustrate the technique. Fig. 25.23 shows the set in w hich the scene will take place. T he whole action is shown in a single shot, with a static cam era and the techniques used are explained below.

FIGURE 25.23 Three planes of depth In the scene are used in combination.

A t the beginning o f the shot the set appears as follows: in the foreground is a desk with papers and other paraphernalia. Above, in the foreground is a light, turned off at present; in the back­ ground is a raised catw alk with a vertical stair on the left, descend­ ing behind a block construction placed in the m iddle ground. In the background on the right is a closed door. T he action in the scene is as follows. The cam era is in a fixed position. 1 T he light in the foreground is switched on. 2 Player A then enters from the right (foreground) and gets busy sorting some papers on the table. 3 U nknow n to him , B enters the catw alk from the left in the background and crouches to look dow n. 4 A exits shot right. 5 In the background B rises, goes to the stairs and descends, disappearing behind the block construction. 6 A re-enters from the right w ith a small leather bag. He picks u p some papers and puts them into the bag, and then exits right o f picture. 7 N othing m oves for an instant, then the light in the foreground goes off, obviously switched off by A o u t o f shot. 8 B appears from behind the block in the m iddle ground and calm ly walks tow ards us, keeping to the left side o f the screen. W hen he reaches a close shot position, his figure is silhouetted against the background which is lit. He takes a pocket torch frorn his coat, scans the papers on the table with a slender beam o f light. 9 Suddenly, in the right sector o f the screen in the background, a door opens an d tw o arm ed guards appear. 10 B, in the left foreground, quickly switches off the torch and kneels dow n, m oving out o f shot by the low er side. 11 On the right, in the background, the two arm ed guards shine a strong lam p up to the catw alk at the left an d tu rn flashing the light into the cam era lens and, switching it off, m ove to the right, walking o u t o f shot in the background. 12 B rises and re-appears in the foreground, left. H e picks some papers from the table and exits shot left. N otice how the scene was played in depth using foreground and background action. N ote also th at A m oved only in the right sector o f the screen and B on the left, at all times.
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In this scene twelve different hits o f action to o k place by m eans o f four elem ents: 1 The light; this was switched on at the beginning o f the take and turned off m idw ay th ro ugh it. 2 Player A : he entered an d exited from the screen twice, each time m oving in the foreground righthand sector. 3 Player B: he entered the background, descended fro m a height, hid behind an obstacle, reappeared (still on the left side o f the screen) advanced to the foreground, exited the screen by the lower side, re-entered an d finally exited left. 4 The g uards: they m oved only in the background righthand sector. In the first h alf o f the shot the foreground actions o f A were contrasted w ith the b ackground m ovem ent o f B. But when the latter came to the foreground, the sam e technique was em ployed in his relationship w ith the guards in the background. B oth areas o f the screen, left and right, were used in depth in an alternating way. Switching the light on and off in foreground added a pictorial variation th at reinforced the m ood o f the scene.

Switching screen sectors Pictorial com positions can n o t rem ain constant for long unless there is a special reason for it. V ariations within a group recorded on a long m aster shot edited in the cam era, m ust be introduced if m onotony is to be avoided. Fixed com positions allow a lim ited num ber o f ways by which im p o rtan t m om ents, actions o r pieces of dialogue are stressed. B oth acto r an d cam era m ovem ent are essential if the expressive possibilities are to be widened. T he m ost sim ple variation is a switch o f sectors. The player on the right m oves to th e left and the o th er vice versa. T his switch can be obtained with the sim ultaneous m ovem ent o f bo th players or by m oving only one o f them. The second case involves cam era m ovem ent. W hen b o th players m ove to exchange screen sectors,-they cross over. A s in the old theatrical convention, the d o m in an t player is alm ost always placed slightly upstage o f the o th er (Fig. 25.24).
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FIGURE 25.24 Players cross over and exchange screen sectors and the dominant player upstases the other.

The player piaced upstage faces the audience* the o th er has his back to it. S ubstitute a cam era for the audience an d you have the sam e situation o n the screen. T he d o m in an t aspect can be modified by opening o r closing the body position (Fig. 25.25). T his w orks well on the screen, w ith a fixed cam era position, but one o f the players could m ove o u t o f shot so th at the rem aining one becom es the d o m in an t party. I f the cam era follows the actor w ho leaves, th en he is em phasized. W hen the do m in an t player crosses an o th er person o n the stage, he is m ore likely to pass in fro n t o f the o ther than behind him unless he is sitting dow n. The reason is easy to see. W hen the d o m in an t player passes behind the o th er person, the eyes o f the audience, which have follow ed him to this p oint, tend to rem ain with the stationary player. W ith a close shot, however, the d om inant player can cross behind the o th er person, who has a closed body position, w ithout this happening (Fig. 25.26).
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i

j

f

FIGURE 25.25 The 'upstage' actor faces the camera, the other has his back Jo it, the dominant aspect is modffled by opening and closing the body positions.

A n o th er old stage convention is th e com pensatory m ovem ent m ade by a perform er w ho has been crossed, to re-establish stage balance. He m oves a short distance in the opposite direction beginning a t the m om ent he is ca t across when he is hidden from the audience by the m oving player. W ith stationary cam era coverage this m ethod can be applied on the screen (Fig. 25.27).
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FIGURE 25,26 shot).

The moving player crosses beyond the static actor (seen in close

A couple stands in fro n t o f the W atergate Building. He is on the left and she in the centre, fu rth er back. L ater he begins to move across the screen tow ards the right. W hen his figure hides the w om an’s body, by passing in fro n t o f her, she begins to move to the left in a com pensatory m otion. As the m an reaches the right sjde o f the screen an d stops, she also stops in her new position on the left side o f the film frame. The cam era rem ained stationary, while a neat area transposition was achieved by the players. A n o th er old theatrical device applicable to screen movement involves th at described above except th at audience attention in­
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FIGURE 25.27

A simple cross where both performers move.

stead o f being fixed o n the d om inant player, is shifted fro m the dom inant to the o th er player a n d then b ack to the do m in an t actor again (Fig, 25.28). Player A begins to m ove upstage crossing behind B. A t th a t m om ent B describes a half circle m ovem ent in the opposite direction, carrying the eyes o f the audience with him. B stops (with
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a partially closed body position) an d throw s atten tio n o n to the other perform er by looking a t him . A then concludes by turning to the audience opening his body position. All m ovem ent m ust be m otivated, o r m ust be m ade to ap p ear so. This is th e oldest axiom for stage presentation, either if viewed by an audience in the th eatre o r a film cam era on a movie stage. The m ost n atu ral reasons for m ovem ent are found in the dialogue itself. M ovem ent th a t is the result o f em otion is the m ost effective. If there is no em otional reason for m oving, a practical one can be found. K now ledge o f the laws o f film language gives us technique, and technique is one o f the fiim -m aker’s m ost precious assets. It serves us constantly to sustain o u r w ork even when the m o st essential elem ent, im agination, fails us. If we rely on technique and dispense w ith im agination, we becom e m echanical. If we rely on im agina­ tion alone and ignore technique, o u r w ork will be chaotic. We m ust know o u r film m edium and respect craftm anship. This is th e only way to m ake the transition from com petent craftsm an to artist.
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If the cam era is close to the players, the stationary perform er need n o t m ove to re-establish screen balance. The cam era simply pans with the m oving player and a sm ooth switch o f screen sectors is obtained (Fig. 25.29).

T h e actors d o n o t need to b e close to the cam era to achieve this switch. By m oving one person in depth, from background to foreground an d vice versa, a simple panning m ovem ent will achieve the sam e result (Fig. 25.30). The sh o t begins by fram ing A in the foreground and B behind.
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FIGURE 25.30

The main player moves in depth, thus chanoinfl jone.

As A m oves to her new position, the cam era pans to the right with her fram ing B -A 2. She then returns to her form er position in the foreground and the cam era m oves back to the left with her and the first pictorial com position is repeated. A tracking cam era may be used to obtain the sam e effect. In such a case there is also a change o f zone (Fig. 25.31).

FIGURE 25.31 A tracking camera causes th e players to switch positions on Ihe screen as they move with the camera.

The acto rs exchange screen sectors d u rin g the track, w ith static screen co m p ositions a t both ends o f the track. T he follow ing examples are applied to three people exchanging sectors during an interm ittent p an and tracking m ovem ent. Case 12 Three players exchanging screen sectors follow the same principle. But it is easier an d m ore dynam ic if they also change zones. T he cam era m ay p an as in Fig. 25.32. T his sh o t involves an 180 degree pan. T he shot begins by showing players A, B an d C talking in m edium shot, A then moves to th e left. The cam era pans w ith her. She stops a t her new position. B enters from the right a n d stops in his new position, C enters from the right, behind them , an d crosses to the left an d moves o u t o f shot by th at side. The cam era rem ains fram ing the others. N ow A m oves to the left to the o ther side o f B, T he cam era pans again w ith her to the new com position. B starts to m ove to the left and as he crosses A, she too begins to m ove in the sam e direction. T he cam era pans left with them , picking u p C in the background. W hen the cam era stops we see the three players m oving aw ay from us as shown. D uring the shot the actors exchange screen sectors from zone to zone.

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FIGURE 25.32

A simple case o f editing In the camera using three action zones.

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Case 13 A tracking sh o t with three people can be planned w ith a large num ber o f variants. In the following sim ple exam ple there is a change o f screen sector and action zones (Fig. 25.33). W hen the shot begins, A an d B are seen talking to each other. They start to w alk and th e cam era moves with them . A moves first, crossing behind B so th at during the track the com positions is B -A . W hen they stop, C enters right. They talk. T he com position is B2- A 2-C . B exits shot, right. T he cam era having stopped with the players, p an s right to fram e A 2-C alone. Both players start to walk and the cam era tracks w ith them once m ore in an A -C com position. W hen they stop, com position o n the screen becomes C 2- A 3. A lthough there were only three stationary cam era positions (the two extrem es and a pause in th e m iddle o f the track) there were five pictorial variations. C hanging screen sectors is a useful device for shots edited in the camera. It is n o t em ployed alone, bu t integrated with o th er tech­ niques, so th a t the result is richer, and m ore expressive and serves the scene better.

Numerical contrast The co n fro n tatio n o f one person by a group, o r a small group by a large one, has dram atic significance in itself. Such num erical contrast em phasizes by isolation. These results can be applied to m aster shots w hich are designed to be edited within the film frame. T here are three basic ways o f achieving num erical contrast for such shots. One o f the perform ers exits shot leaving his com panion alone in it. Later, he re-enters—a 2 -1 -2 contrast (Fig. 25.34). W hen a perform er moves, the cam era pans o r tracks w ith him. I f he moves to a zone where he rem ains alone before returning to his com panion, the p atterns o f co n trast are simple—2 -1 -2 o r 3-1 -3 . I f he m oves to a zone where o th er players are present, the num ber com binations possible increase (Fig. 25.35).
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FIGURE 25.33 Editing in the camera using three stationary camera positions and five pictorial com positions to put the scene across.

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I— i

FIGURE 25.34 One a cto r exits s h o t w h ile th e o th e r re m a in s; the fir s t then re -e n te rs —a n u m b e r co ntra st.

FIGURE 25.35 T h e cam era fo llo w s th e d e p a rtin g p e rfo rm e r w ho se m ovem ent alters 1li^ n um b e r c o n tra s t,

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I f the cam era tracks into o r back from a group, the num ber o f piayers covered can be decreased o r increased, according to dram atic needs (Fig. 25.36).

FIGURE 25.36 The camera (racks towards or away fro m the group, which may be covered as a whole or In part.

Fig. 25.37 shows num erical co n tra st in com bination w ith other techniques. A an d B are seen in m edium shot. B exits a n d the camera rem ains, fram ing A alone. A fterw ards she m oves fro m zone 1 to zone 2. The cam era pans w ith her. She stops in zone 3 facing B. T h en B m oves to zone 3. T he cam era pans w ith him . H e rem ains fo r some seconds an d is then jo in ed by A. N otice the different techniques em ployed in this sim ple shot: 1 N u m b er co n trast was used in a repetitive p a tte rn : 2 -1 -2 -1 -2 . 2 The three zones o f actio n were in a h a lf circle aro u n d the cam era, b u t at different distances, so th a t as the cam era panned, the players were seen in a tighter com position progressing from m edium shot to close shot a n d to close up. 3 T he players in each zone altered their body positions. First they interchanged ‘u p stage’ a n d ‘dow nstage’, then m oved into the same plane.
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FIGURE 25.37 Several form ulas fo r edltlno In camera are used in this example. Player A Is always on the left of the screen, while B remains on the right.

4 T here were only two cam era pans. The first followed A, the second B. This exam ple shows the im portance o f using the seven techniques in com bination, to o b tain a sm ooth construction o f m aster shots. By com bining player and cam era m ovem ents this technique dispenses with the need for physical cuts. But editorial emphasis o r changes in the scene are achieved with com plete naturalness. Editing within the film fram e F rench film m akers call it ‘le plan sequence’, in Spanish it is identified as ‘m ontaje en el c u a d ro ’, the A m ericans call it ‘a fluid cam era style’. All these identify the sam e form o f film language— the long m aster shot th at flows sm oothly, covering a scene com pletely or a large po rtio n o f it. M ost film m akers use it and yet there is a m arked preference am ong E uropean directors to avail them selves o f this recourse in a m ore intensive way. Some o f their films are constructed with num erous m aster shots. They seem to prefer the slower rhythm and m ore fluent execution afforded by this technique. In A m erica the technique appears to be used m ore sparingly. C onventional editing by cuts is m uch in evidence. But there are notable exceptions. Sidney Lum et and O tto Prem inger, for exam ple, often edit in the cam era. P erhaps the difference lies in the w orking m ethods employed o n different sides o f the A tlantic. In general, in A m erica the film director covers a suitable scene with m ultiple m aster shots from, say, the three points o f a triangle with interior reverse shots, cut­ aways and some o th er protective shots in case som e extra material will be needed later. An experienced film editor sees the m aterial an d , using an an n o tated script as a guide, edits the film in sequence. He is the one responsible for the selection o f the final shots, he decides when to stress a scene by cutting into a close shot o r m oving back to a long shot. The jo b o f the director is to provide him with a wide pictorial coverage th a t allows the editor an am ple scope for selec­ tion. O n occasions, a film editor will assemble tw o o r three versions o f a sequence. L ater the director and the producer see the sequences as edited by him and suggest changes, or decide th a t som e sup­ plem entary shots are needed. The editing o f the film is a separate operation taking place while
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the director is on th e set shooting fu rth er scenes. The am o u n t o f Film consum ed in this way is quite high— an average o f one fo o t o f film m ight be used ou t o f ten feet shot. Very few risks are taken with th at type o f pro d u ctio n organiza­ tion. Individuality, greatly prized by E u ro p ean film m akers, has very little chance to flower within a system th a t dem ands only com petent artisans. This is n o t a criticism o f th a t p ro d u ctio n m ethod. In an industry th at m ust show a high o u tp u t o f filmed m aterial, a quick, com petent w orker is to be preferred to an individual artist who requires a longer period o f tim e to obtain his results. Pressure is enorm ous in the film industry due to tim e/cost factors am ong others. In d ep en d en t film m akers, particu larly those in E urope, can afford the longer shooting schedules in w hich they can feel a t ease, because their organization is different. They generally w ork with lighter equipm ent, often do no t shoot lip-sync (only a guide m agnetic tap e m ay be recorded to help in the d ubbing operations carried o u t later), and they tak e m ore chances. But they are not wild risks. M oreover this type o f film m aker is m ore likely to take an active p a rt in the editing o f the film. So he shoots a low er p ro ­ portion o f retakes. He m ay plan th e different approaches to a scene in advance and then m ake a choice o f the one he is going to shoot. This is no t a rigid choice. He keeps his m ind open to any im provem ents th at the actual w ork on location o r stage m ight suggest. Alfred H itchcock’s dictum.: ‘G o o d films are m ade o n a desk— no t on a sound stage’ is very good advice. E diting in the cam era is exercising a choice. The scene is shot only in th a t version an d there are no alternative cover shots to change the ap p ro ach though there m ay be som e cutaw ays to stress story p o in ts th at could no t be integrated w ithin the m aster shot. Paradoxically, this system allow s a faster shooting rate than m ultiple coverage for conventional editing purposes. T he m ain risk is th a t there is less ro o m for error. Sim ple dialogue, w here the actors m ove in a lim ited stage space, can be covered in m edium o r close shot set-ups. A television series m ay m ake an extensive use o f this technique as the episodic n atu re o f the series is well suited to it. Several film units m ay be w orking a t the sam e tim e an d finished film can be turned o u t a t a high rate.
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M ovem ents w ith definite geom etrical p attern s are used ex­ tensively particularly circular and trian g u lar patterns. C ircular pattern s m ight be a ro u n d a static player, a piece o f furniture, vehicle o r p ro p on the set. In Fig. 25.38 a player m oves in a full circle aro u n d piece of fu rn itu re and an o th er perform er who rem ains statio n ary during th e shot.

FIGURE 25,38 Circular pattern of movement around a piece o f furniture and • stationary player.

T he player in m o tio n stops successively in the three positions aro u n d statio n ary ac to r A. T he cam era pans w ith B a n d he moves fro m p o sitio n to position. T he static player can stan d in the centre o f a circle o r close to the rim , o r p erh ap s o n the outside. Fig. 25.39 shows som e exam ples of circular p ath s for this type o f shot. T rian g u lar p atterns are also widely em ployed. Fig. 25.40 shows a sim ple instance.
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FIGURE 25.39 D ifferent circular patterns of movement. The stationary player t» either outside the circle, In the centre or close to inner rim of It.

FIGURE 25.40

A triangular pattern of movement tor a player.

T riangular p ath s m ay becom e m ore elaborate, w ith the players m oving alternately in the triangle and in fro n t o f a panning or tracking cam era.

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26
MOVING FROM ZONE TO ZONE
In discussing approaches to groups o f people in dialogue scenes it has been assum ed th at the group rem ained m ore o r less in the same area o f the set and variation and visual em phasis was achieved by physical editing patterns based on properties o f the triangle principle. But m oving the players from area to area also helps lend a feeling o f reality to a scene though the perform ers are stationary in each area bu t their relationship is qualified by variation in body posture, distance between actors, placem ent in the fram e, etc. C hanges o f zone n o t only give variety to the backgrounds glimpsed behind the players b u t also allow the film m aker to change his physical editing pattern. T he audience should be un­ aw are o f the form ulas used to present the scene on the screen. These m ay be used over and over again bu t the fact th at they are applied to different perform ers in different situations helps to mask their sim ilarity. T hus, one o f the m ost dreadful filmic problem s, handling static dialogue scenes, is covered in a natural and pleasant way. A ction scenes, parallel events, lend them selves more easily to film presentation. But static dialogue, although necessary for some expositive scenes tends to bog dow n the cinem atic p ro ­ perties o f film. Physical editing plus changes o f zone solve the problem . General principles W ith changes o f zone the group can m ove from zone to zone, expand to several zones o r co n tract from several to only one zone. T here is no lim it to the num ber o f areas th at can be em ployed but three to five is generally enough since each area can be used several times if the developm ent o f the story so requires. M ovem ent m ust be (or seem) m otivated by som ething. T he most natural reasons for m ovem ent are found in the dialogue o f the
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screen play itself. The m ost effective m ovem ent is th at which results from em otion. I f there is no em otional reason for m oving, a practical one m ust be found. The exam ples here involve only tw o people. Larger groups obey the sam e rules, with the difference only that the increased num ber allows fu rth er com binations on the screen. A group moving fro m zone to zone Z one change is prim arily a technique used to o b tain pictorial variation.. Its second property is th at it allow s the scene to progress to different levels o f em otion and m ood. As the zone is changed so also the m ood o f the play alters, becom ingm ore in tim ate , tense, etc. A change o f zone should take place during the re-establishing sh o t used to bridge tw o different editing patterns. (Fig. 26.1). Only tw o areas are used in this exam ple. T he editing order o f the sequence is as follow s: 123 23 1 4 5 4 5 The whole locale, w ith bo th players in it, is established a t the beginning o f the sequence. T he first p a rt o f the scene, with both players standing, is then covered by intercutting m aster shots 2 ar.d 3 in parallel, which are external reverse sites aro u n d the players. W hen the first p art o f the sequence is finished, we retu rn to shot I. N ow we use this cam era site as a re-establishing position fo r the audience. Here we see the players m ove together into the b ac k ­ ground tow ards the second zone. T w o additional variations are accom plished: the players exchange screen areas and their body level is low ered as they sit dow n. M aster shots 4 and 5 resort again to external reverse coverage o f the couple. The pictorial com position on the screen varies although the editing pattern used previously is repeated, because the actors have exchanged their screen positions. T he m ood o f the scene also changes. T he perform ers now occupy m ore com fortable positions, lending the scene an air o f increased intim acy in th eir relationships. T he form ula is sim p le: a n editing p attern is used in the first zone and repeated in the second. These editing pattern s can be different in each zone, and they can m ake use o f several com binations o f m aster shots according to the five variants o f the triangle principle
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FIGURE 26.1 A simpJe case in w hich a group o f p eople move from one zone 1o another during a conversation. Body level and position change add variety.

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for cam era placem ent. The concept that m ust be retained is that the group o f players can be m oved from one area o f the set to another w hatever the distance. In this way different backgrounds for the static m aster shots are obtained. If a large group is involved, the central characters alone can be moved to the next area. Two, three, four or five areas o n the set can be chosen as zones where sections o f the sequence will be staged. M any types o f visual variation are available in each. N o t only different editing patterns, bu t attitudes, body positions, distances, etc., are consciously planned to achieve the illusion o f spontaneity. The group expands M oving the whole group (as ju st discussed) is a lim ited approach th a t can be im proved by introducing group expansion, or to use a theatrical term , by using broad inter-area m otions. E xpansion is achieved either by selective editing o r by moving som e o f the figures from the central group to an o th er area. Selective editing can em phasize a silent player on the rim o f the group o r achieve pictorial variation simply by changing the editing p attern. (Fig. 26.2). T he editing order o f th e sequence would be as follows: Shot I Full shot o f th e group in the room form ing a circle aro u n d the two central players engaged in a discussion. The passive group is seated o r reclining against diverse pieces o f furniture. Only the central players stand erect, com m anding o u r attention.

FIGURE 2fi.2 Group expansion by the use o f selective editing, using two different zones on the set (the girl and fha central group) during the second half of the sequence.

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r
Shot 2; Each covers close external reverse views o f the central Shot 3 perform ers engaged in the discussion o f a topic o f interest for the whole group. Each is a m aster shot and b oth are edited in parallel, covering the first part o f the scene.

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1

Shot 4 The w hole group is re-established from a different position in the room . In the foreground a t the left, with her back to the cam cra, is the seated figure o f a w om an looking tow ards the central players in the background.
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She is placed on the rira o f the circle surrounding the d o m in an t perform ers. Shot 5 A reverse shot o f the girl seen close to the cam era. She is lo o kin g o ffsc re e n , rig h t T his is a silent m aster shot in which the girl offers a neu tral expression—no reac­ tions are seen in h er face as she listens. Shot 6 F ull sh o t o f the tw o central players a n d p a rt o f the g ro u p a ro u n d them . T he d o m in an t perform ers continue th eir discussion. This cam era position has the same visual axis as shot 4, and is an advance on the axis. In fact, w hat is fram ed in this sh o t represents the g irl’s p o in t o f view. This is also a m aster shot, perio­ dically in terru p ted by inter-cutting shot 5 where the girl w atches silently as the discussion continues on the sound track. T he silent shots o f the girl are very brief— tw o seconds each perhaps, while the segm ents o f shot 6 a re longer. Shot 7 The scene is re-established from a new p o in t o f view an d then ends. A good pretext is to have one o f the central players (engaged in the discussion) start to m ove aw ay fro m his com panion as seen a t the conclusion o f sh o t 6, a n d cu t on the action to shot 7. In this shot the w hole group is set in m otion and all exit fro m the ro o m to an o th er p a rt o f the house. As can be seen in the exam ple quoted, the w hole group, including the central characters, occupied stationary positions o n the set d u rin g the sequence, a n d only m oved at the conclusion. M aster shots 2 a n d 3 heightened a concentrated centre o f interest in one zone o f the stage. T he relationship betw een m aster shots 5 and 6 in troduced a visual expansion o f the group by relating persons occupying different areas o f the set. P ictorial v ariation was ob­ tained w ith o u t m oving an y o f the players. Two fu rth er variants I f a player m oves from one zone to a second while his com panion rem ains in the first, there is, in effect, an expansion o f the group. (Fig. 26.3), In editing the first p a rt o f the sequence tw o external reverse m aster shots are intercut in parallel. W hen the w hole scene is re-established the players m ovem ent is from one zone to another.
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FIGURE 28.3 In the first.

Only one player moves lo another zone, while his companion remain*

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The editing pattern in the second p a rt o f the sequence m akes use o f tw o internal reverse cam era sites, one for each zone, to relate the players visually before closing the sequence with a re-establish­ ing shot. T he editing order for this exam ple runs as follows: 1-2 -3 -2 -3 -2 -3 -4 -5 -6 -5 -6 ~ 5 -6 -7 T he expansion o f a group can be com bined with zone changes for the w hole g roup to add variety to a long sequence. In such an event the sequence begins with both players in the first zone and an editing pattern o f external reverse shots is applied to that area. T hen bo th players m ove to the second zone and exchange screcn areas in the process. A right angle external cam era coverage could, perhaps, be chosen to cover the players in this zone. A fterw ards, one of the perform ers moves to a third zone an d bo th areas (2 an d 3) are related by the use o f internal reverse cam era positions. Re­ establishing cam era sites are em ployed to record each zone change. Fig. 26.4 details the m ovem ents and cam era placem ents just discussed.

FIGURE 26,4 Two previous techniques are blended here. The group moves from zone to zone, and then expands, whife one of the players moves to 0 third zone Meanwhile his companion remains in the second.

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A player moves, the other remains still In this variatio n a p erfo rm er m oves aw ay from the zone com m on to the couple to a zone (or zones) in the background. The key variant is th at he keeps m oving until he returns to his p artn e r who has replied to his spoken lines, w ithout m oving from his original position. The form ula is sim ple: Shot 1 M edium sh o t o f both perform ers. T he cam era then pans to one side with the m oving player as he w alks away. S h o t 2 In tern al reverse shot o f the player w ho rem ains in one place th ro u g h the entire sequence. S hot 3 M aster panning shot in which the m oving ac to r w anders on to the set. He m oves by segm ents, m aking successive stops. This m aster shot is in tercu t w ith tw o sm aller m aster shot o f the stationary player. These two small m aster shots have a com m on visual axis and are from internal reverse positions. S hot 4 T he sequence concludes show ing how the w andering a c to r returns to his form er place besides the statio n ary player. Fig. 26.5 illustrates the sequence th a t follows, using the technique ju st described, w ith dialogue.

FfGURE 26.5 Floor plan of 1he sequence shown in the next figure. In this case one player moves from zone to zone, while the other remains in a fixed position,

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S hot 1 M edium shot. A and B talk. B turns, w alks to the light. T he cam era pans w ith him . B stops a n d turns to face A off-screen. S hot 3 M edium shot o f A facing the cam era. H e replies. Shot 2 Close shot o f B facing the cam era. H e tu rn s a n d walks to the background to position B3 w here he stops in m edium sh o t facing the cam era. T he cam era pans with him to the left. H e talks. Shot 3 M edium shot o f A. H e listens. S hot 2 M edium shot o f B. He m oves again, w alking to the left to position B4 in close shot. The cam era pans with him to th a t side. H e talks. S hot 4 Close shot o f A facing the cam era. He listens. Shot 2 C lose shot o f B. H e m oves to the right to position B 5 in close shot. T he cam era pans with him to the right. He talks. S hot 4 Close shot o f A. H e replies. Shot 1 M edium shot o f B. H e w alks to the left and joins A. The cam era pans w ith him to show b o th actors in m edium shot. T hey talk. T he sequence ends. I t is n o t neccssary th a t b o th perform ers stand up th ro u g h the whole sequence. The static actor, fo r instance, could be sitting 4.own. T he m oving player does bits o f business o n his m ovem ents, like lighting a cigarette, o r m oving a vase o f flowers from one tab le to an o th er— little things th a t justify his m ovem ents from zone to zone. Fig. 26.6 illustrates the screen com positions reached and held for each fragm ent o f the four m aster shots th a t were com bined for the sequence. In a long sequence the m oving actor m ight sit dow n halfway th ro u g h and stand up again m om ents later to sta rt m oving. The cam era can n o t only pan with the m oving acto r b u t trac k forw ard o r backw ards w ith th at player as he m oves alone from zone to zone. I f the sequence is extra long, we ca n reunite the players m id­ way th ro u g h by having the m oving player re-join the other one, stay fo r a m o m ent a n d then cross to the o th er side where the mov­ ing player repeats the whole p attern in full once m ore (Fig. 26.7). The essential thing is th a t one player stays put while the other moves from area to area.
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FIGURE 26.6 A simple case in whrch one player moves from zone to zone while the other stays put during the whole sequence.

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FIGURF 36.? Diagram for a more comple* sequence in which one player moves while the other remains In a fixed position during the whole sequence.

The group contracts T he g roup contracts in the exam ple ju s t discussed— players who are scattered in different zones are reunited in a single area. This recourse is very useful for concluding a sequence. Tw o players have been show n together m oving from zone to zone. The group, having been expanded, is now contracted, bringing the perform ers together once m ore to conclude the scene. A p attern o f m ovem ent th a t expands and contracts periodically during the sequence should be at the service o f the story an d no t arbitrarily imposed o n a scene. R ather, the m ost adequate editing solution should be selected. Devices fo r zone change We have stated elsewhere th a t changes o f zone should be effected during the introduction o f a re-establishing shot to show clearly the two zones involved and underline the geography o f the situa­ tion. T here are several form ulas for m aking changes o f zone em ploying various editing arrangem ents.
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FI GURE 26.8 The players are firs t covered Individually. One then walks to the other $0 that they now occupy a single area. A pair of external reverse shots provide coverage.

Case 1 Players A a n d B are seen on internal reverse shots. The m aster shots are edited in parallel. T hen A exits his m aster shot. She then enters m aster shot 2 (which now fram es b o th players, Fig. 26.8). The co n tractio n o f the group was achieved sim ply by m oving a player from his zone to his partners. M aster shot 2 can now continue with b o th players, o r a p air o f external reverse shots can be introduced to cover the couple by parallel editing. By reversing the form ula expansion o f the g roup can be obtained. Case 2 A pan m ovem ent can be used to reunite the players in a single zone. M aster shots 1 an d 2, covering each player separately in internal reverse shots are edited in parallel. W hen A m oves in m aster sh o t 1, the cam era pans w ith h er show ing how she ap ­ proaches B a n d stays w ith him . (Fig. 26.9).
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FIGURE 26.9 This Is sim ilar to the preceding case, the only difference being In the panning shot used for the change o l zone. T h is pan accompanies the moving player to the other zone, where her companion waits.

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T he result is sim ilar to the case examined previously (Case 1) an d the sequel o f shots equal those em ployed in that example. Case 3 Two players, occupying different zones are often brought together by a short track, b o th players having been show n individually in internal reverse shots. T he sequence is as follows: S hot 1 Close sh o t o f A. Shot 2 Close shot o f B. Shot 1 Close shot o f A. Shot 2 Close sh o t o f B. S hot 1 A advances to the cam era. The cam era tracks back passing beside B a n d stops when it fram es him from behind on one side o f the screen. A stops in fro n t o f B. S hot 3 Reverse external shot o f B -A . S hot 1 E xternal reverse shot o f B -A . S hot 3 B an d A seen together. S hot 1 B and A in a tw o shot. The solution is sim ilar to th a t in the previous tw o cases, where the editing p attern was changed from internal to external coverage as the two actors were b ro u g ht to a com m on zone stage (Fig. 26.10). T h e illustration offers a second alternative for the last p a rt of the sequence. In the scene ju st described she stops in fro n t o f him, the girl o n th e left a n d the m an on the right o f the screen, as seen from th e last position o f the cam era in shot 1. T he alternative is to have her m ove to the o th er side o f him , so th a t from the last cam era position o f shot 1, he is seen placed on the left o f the screen, with his back to us, and she faces us in the right sector of the film fram e. T he site fo r shot 3 w ould now be on the other side o f the line o f m o tio n , providing us w ith a perfectly licit external reverse angle. T he line o f interest flowing between the players at the beginning o f the scene is shifted to a new direction at the conclusion o f the tracking cam era m otion th at reunites both players on a com m on area. Case 4 W hen tw o players move from one zone to an o th er one ac to r might m ove first rath er th an th e tw o together (Fig. 26.11). S hot 1 A a n d B talking. A exits left, leaving B. S hot 2 A enters from the right an d turns to face B o ff screen.
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FIGURE 26.10 A tracking shot accompanies the moving player when he moves from one zone to another where the other person is waiting.

Shot 1 B, alone, delivers one o r two lines, then exits left. Shot 2 B enters from right joining A. In the exam ple given, both players are seen in profile in both zones. But two cam eras placed a t right angles will introduce a pictorial variation on the same form ula (Fig. 26,12). Shot 1 B and A are talking. A ctor B exits left leaving A alone in the centre o f the picture. A then exits left. Shot 2 B is facing the cam era and on the left side o f the screen. A enters, right, into- shot and stops on th at side, with his back to us. This is a sim plication o f the approach detailed in the previous case.
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FIGURE26.t1 Both players move alternately from the firs t to th e second. Two master th o ts are edited in parallel to record the effect.

FIGURE 26.12 A right angle camera arrangement Is used here fo r a change o f zone in which the players move alternately.

Case 5 T w o successive pans from the sam e cam era site, can be used to show tw o players m oving from zone to zone one after the other (Fig. 26.13). Shot I B an d A in m edium shot. A s B m oves to the left, the cam era pans with her to th at side till she joins C. S hot 2 A , still in the first position a n d seen in m edium shot, w alks to the left. T he cam era pans with him to that side w here he jo in s C and B. T h e three players are now in the second zone and can be covered by the trian g u lar principle to em phasize the group as a whole or
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FIGURE 26.13 Two players move from one area to another coveted by a panning camera. Both pans are made from the same camera position, firs t with one player and then w ith the other as they move to the new 2one where a third player awaits them.

its m em bers individually. The second pan (shot 2) can move be­ yond B and C, accom panying A to the third zone (Fig. 26.14). If the p an shots o f the perform ers are long shots, static objccts o r p ro p s in the foreground would add depth to the panning m ovem ent. The second m ay also be from a position closer to the subjects and on the same visual axis as the previous cam era site.
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FIGURE 26.14 Two panning Shots have a common visual axis, and cover the two moving players individually as they change from zone to zone.

Case 6
The second player’s change o f zone can be delayed by introducing an interplay o f m aster shots in parallel (Fig. 26.15). The sequence w ould be edited in the following way: Shot 1 Close shot o f players A an d B. Shot 2 Reverse close shot o f both. Shot 1 , s S hot 2 (A s a b ovc) Shot 1 A fter a m om ent B m oves to the right. The cam era pans w ith her to fram e the girl alone in close shot. Shot 3 Close shot o f A. Shot 1 Close shot o f B. Shot 3 Close shot o f A. He walks tow ards us. C am era tracks back with him until it fram es B from behind o n one side o f the screen. A stops, facing her. This delayed approach to zone change looks less artificial and can

FIGURE 26.15 A pan and track combined in this example achieve the change o f zone for both players as they move one after the other, w ith a pause between.

be introduced w henever the situation w arrants it to m ove the players sm oothly from zone to zone. T here are, o f course, m ore solutions to the problem s o f zone changes where two, three o r four persons are involved. Several o f the rules an d exam ples are outlined earlier (page 503).

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27
COMBINED TECHNIQUES

T hose w ho m ake fiction films wiil soon find th at the larger p a rt o f his w ork concerns dialogue sequences. D ialogues serve to give in fo rm atio n to the audience, define the co nduct o f the characters, give am using relief, contribute to the developm ent o f the dram a o r com m unicate feelings, etc. D ocum entary film m akers also often encounter scenes that require dialogued presentation (either in a visual perform ance alone o r with lip sync speech) to p u t a story p o in t in their them e across m o re effectively. In surveying the cinem atic m eans o f handling dialogue scenes we m ust include the com bination o f physical editing techniques w ith those edited in the cam era. T hese com binations w iden the scope o f resources available by providing solutions w hich are very a d ap tab le to very different circum stances. But it is the concept behind them th a t really m atters since, o f course, the range of possible solutions is alm ost num berless. S h o t by shot editing W ith this type o f ap p ro ach the scene is taken in as m any shots, long o r sh o rt, as is felt necessary. The long shots m ay be static or 'ed ited in the cam era’ shots. D ialogue scenes present some difficulty in planning because there is only one way to edit the sequence— there is ju s t one shot fo r each phrase o r g roup o f lines spoken by the players. Scenes o f pure action w here the perform ers m ove w ithout depending on dialogue are easier to handle w ith the- shot by shot editing technique. The arsenal o f film rules involving cutting on action, the triangle principle fo r cam era deploym ent aro u n d the player, actio n and reaction, etc. apply in full with this ap p ro ach to
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film cutting. The F rench film director, Serge B ourginon, is a m aster in the use o f this technique and one o f the very few who has consistently applied shot by shot editing to whole films. His films Sundays and Cybele, The Rew ard a n d 15 Days in September offer striking examples o f the results th at can be obtained. H e has used each sh o t only once (with the exception o f one o r two occasions p er film, in which he was forced to cut a sh o t in half an d intercut an insert o r cut-away). This approach to film m aking requires a solid knowledge o f film technique, since a n accum ulation o f errors while sh o oting the film will offer less opportunity for correction on the m oviola when the sequences are assem bled. P artial use o f this technique fo r different sections o f a fiction full length film is em ployed by alm ost all film m akers, particularly in sequences th at depict pure action. But docum entary film m akers consistently reso rt to this technique.

Case 1 T here is a sh o rt fragm ent o f a sequence which gives an idea o f w hat the technique looks like when applied to a scene with dialogue. Shot 308 M edium shot o f a couple sitting in tall grass near a tree trunk. The cam era tracks in slowly tow ards them and gradually stops. H e : ‘It is so nice, here far from the village. It makes m e feel alive, full o f jo y .’ The young m an lies back to rest on the ground. C ut on the action. Shot 309 Side shot o f the couple. T he young m an in the fore­ ground com pletes his reclining m ovem ent and puts his hands under his head. T he girl, beyond, turns to him an d laughs. She: ‘Y ou are acting like a boy, Billy.’ He smiles back a n d then rises. The cam era pans slightly to the right w ith him , fram ing both, sitting side by side in the grass, profiled right. H t', ‘Som etim es -we ou g h t to . I t \s good Tot Yhe system .’ He begins to tu rn his head tow ards the girl. C ut on the action.
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Shot 310 B oth are seen from behind. H e fu rth er turning tow ards her. H e raises his rig h t hand a n d gently takes her chin. H e: ‘T hose beautiful, innocent wide eyes . . .’ H e pulls her face closer to his to kiss her lips. C ut on the action. Shot 311 Reverse close up o f both. T he young m an has his head in the shadow o f the tree. H is features are o u t­ lined against the well lit surface o f the girl’s face. She bends her head forw ard to m eet him . They kiss. The cam era tracks to the right behind their heads panning to the left to fram e the o th er side o f their faces, as the windsw ept branches o f the tree cast a m oving shadow over th eir faces. They end kissing an d she pulls back her head to look at him , a sm ile o n her face. They stare at each other. Suddenly a horse neighs nearby, breaking the spell. B oth tu rn to look off screen. Shot 312 Reverse. T he couple in foreground, their backs to us, fram ed in m edium shot. Beyond, in the background, a m an o n horseback is w atching silently. Shot 313 Close shot o f the rider. Sam e visual axis as the preceding shot. H e smiles broadly. R ider: ‘A m I interrupting som ething?’ Each shot in the exam ple given covers a fragm ent o f the scene. N o cam era site is used twice. N one o f the shots is spliced in paral­ lel w ith any o f the others. T h e exam ple in itself is small a n d rather simple. Case 2 Shots edited w ithin the film fram e can be used in accordance with the sam e principles. A series o f m edium length takes (one o r two minutes each) can be cut in, one behind the other, covering a whole o r p a rt o f a sequence. The exam ple th a t follows adheres to such an approach. Fig. 27.1 is a floor plan o f the sequence. Shot 426 T he cam era tracks from right to left with player A (a w om an) who joins perform er B (a m an), joining B and A in close shot in the second zone. A fter a mo­ m ent o f conversation player A w alks to the right and the cam era tracks with her. W hen she reaches th
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FIGURE 27.1 Floor plan of a sequence covered w ith shot by shot editing. Each shot Is used only once, but some use the principle of editing in camera w hich gives the *&quance pictorial variety.

first zone again she stops an d tu rn s to the left, co n ­ tinuing to speak. T hen she m oves again to the left to w ard s the second zone. The cam era tracks w ith her an d stops profiling B -A in close shot. Bitter w ords are exchanged betw een the players. B crosses to th e right, follow ed by the cam era a n d reaches the first zone where he stops. M om ents later, B returns to the second zone and the com position com bines A -B in close shot. H e hurls his last b itter insult. A crosses to the right exiting shot. Only B rem ains, w ith his head dow ncast. S hot 427 A enters the shot from the left. She w alks aw ay from cam era an d stops w ith her b ack to it, fram ed in a m edium shot. She turns to the left to m outh a bitter fine o f reproach and then tu rn s h er head aw ay from us again. C u t on the action. S hot 428 Reverse m edium shot. B on the left o f the screen in the back ground w ith his b ack to us. A in foreground walks right, to an o th er room . T he cam era tracks with her. She stops inside close to the entrance on the left
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side o f the screen. B profiled in the b ackground tu rn s to w ard the cam era a n d approaches player A. Shot 429 Reverse. A o n the left in the second room . B enters right and stops with his b ack to the cam era. H e speaks. S hot 430 Reverse. Close shot o f A a n d B. This is an advance on the visual axis o f shot 428. B concludes his speech. A, left, reacts by turning h er b ack o n him a n d faces the cam era. She replies w ith b itter w ords. B tu rn s and walks to the background exiting by a d o o r there, A rem ains alone o n the screen. F ad e out. T he dialogue o f the scene w as om itted from the description o f the shots to m ake the exam ple m ore graphic an d to concentrate on the physical action itself. Thus we can clearly observe how each shot which is edited in cam era is linked w ith the preceding one for continuity o f action. T he technique em ployed ad o p ts the shot-by­ sh o t editing principle described earlier. Case 3 It is easier to edit single shots o f parallel action, than the one related by a co n tinuous m otion, such as in the preceding examples. W ith parallel editing the tim ing o f the sequence can be adjusted at will by trim m ing dow n the shots o r using longer versions o f them. W ith con tin u o us shot-by-shot editing the film m aker, once his m aterial is sh o t an d p rinted, has less control in introducing any m odifications. By using inserts o r cut-aw ays, filmed as protection, he can delete p arts o f the m aster shots. B ut it is a repair jo b full o f difficulties. O n the o th er hand, shot-by-shot editing th a t alternates two or m ore lines o f n arratio n in parallel is easier to assem ble, change or delete. H ere is an exam ple o f an action th a t adheres to the latter possibility. The fragm ent offered is the conclusion o f a fight scene. Shot 456 L ong shot. A girl standing in the ro a d close to a cliff. She w atches the villain (foreground) flip the hero to the ground. B oth fall. The villain gets u p an d runs to the left ou t o f shot. T he hero rises a n d runs to the left after the villain. The cam era pans to the left with the hero excluding the girl from the shot. A gain we see the villain running to the edge o f the cliff. The hero catches up w ith him , a n d tackles him .
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Shot 457 Close shot o f the girl looking off-screen, left. Shot 458 Long shot. The hero an d the villain fighting. The hero falls u n d er a blow from the villain. T he villain reaches for a rock. S hot 459 M edium shot. T he girl comes forw ard and picks up the gun from the road. T he cam era pans dow n and up with her m ovem ent. S hot 460 Long shot. A car, driven by the h ero ’s friend speeds tow ards us along the road. Shot 461 Long shot. T he villain, holding the rock high over his head, m oves tow ards the hero. Shot 462 Close up. T he girl fires the gun tow ards the camera, p ointing it ofT screen left. S hot 463 Full shot. The hero on the ground recovering slowly. T he villain with the rock high over his head is hit by th e shot a n d falls back o u t o f shot. S hot 464 Long shot from above the cliff. T he body o f the villain plunges into the sea with an audible splash. Shot 465 The hero rises into the screen fram ed from below in a m edium shot. H e looks dow n. Shot 466 Full shot. T he h ero ’s friend steps o u t o f the car and runs along the ro a d to the right. The cam era pans w ith him to th a t side. Shot 467 Close shot o f the hero exiting shot, right. Shot 468 Close sh ot o f the girl. She lowers the gun o u t o f the screen, and then com es forw ard tow ards the camera, passing o u t o f shot, left. Shot 469 Full shot. The hero walks to the right tow ards the road T he cam era pans with him. Shot 470 M edium shot. The friend com es forw ard on the road a n d stops. T he girl enters right, the hero, left. Both have their backs to us. Suddenly all tu rn tow ards the cam era a n d look up to the upper right corner as they hear a n explosion ofT screen. Shot 471 Long shot. T he lone bus on top o f the hill blows up in a fierce explosion. Each shot in this sequence portrays a different p a rt o f the event. T here are three m ain lines o f action alternating on the screen. Since each action is visually independent o f the others, it is possible to adjust the d u ratio n o f shots to the length desired. This
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1

is an im p o rtan t factor th at allows the film m aker to increase or slacken the tem po o f his film. Case 4 On m any occasions, single shots are used to present one fact at a time to the audience. Each shot has the value o f a phrase o r of a short statem ent. These shots are som etim es linked with dissolves th at serve to indicate the passage o f time. W e offer a n example taken from D elm er D aves’ film Cowboy. Dissolve Long Shot o f the country. T he sun rises slowly over the horizon, Dissolve Close Shot o f a coffee p o t over a cam p fire. A hand enters the screen and takes off the lid. The w ater is seen-boiling inside. Dissolve Full shot. The cow boys wake up to the sound o f a frying pan being beaten off screen. O ne o f the m en rises close to the w agon and walks to the left. The cam era pans with him, showing the others in the group an d stops in the foreground on the sleepy face o f Jack Lem m on. Dissolve Close shot o f an iron grid over the coals o f the cam p fire. It is full o f juicy steaks slowly cooking. A hand with a fork enters and picks up one o f the steaks. T he cam era pans u p and we see a cowboy d istributing the steaks to his m ates. Dissolve Close shot o f the cam p fire. Som ebody pours the contents o f the coffee pot over the hot em bers, dousing the fire. Dissolve The wagon train passes in front o f the cam cra from left to right in full shot. Long shot, On the left in the background we see the cow boy’s
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caravan com ing to us. A group o f pacific Indians on horseback enter shot from the right. T hey ride into the background. Cow boys and In d ians cross each other in fro n t o f the cam era. The cam era pans to the right with Jack L em m on (the tenderfoot o f the story) who looks at the Indians. Dissolve T he caravan follows a lazy Z p ath from left to right in front o f the cam era. G len n F o rd and his M exican forem an ride a t the head o f the colum n. Jack L em m on com es along behind, h a lf asleep o n the saddle. Dissolve A t sunset. G lenn F o rd at the head o f the carav an stops his horse a n d raises his arm to signal the others to stop. Dissolve A ro u n d the cam pfire at night a new sequence begins, covering the events o f a day in the m arch o f the caravan. E ach shot is the equivalent o f a w ritten phrase. N o spoken w ords are necessary fo r the sequence, which relies on its im ages to p u t its ideas across. M erging the techniques T o the parallel editing o f m aster shots a n d the editing o f a scene in the cam era w ith o u t visual cuts, one should a d d a fu rth e r resource based o n the com bined use o f these two. T he key com ­ bin atio n s th a t can be obtained a re: ] A series o f consecutive shots edited in the cam era follow ed by tw o (or m ore) m aster shots edited in parallel. 2 T w o (or m ore) shots edited in the cam era intercut in parallel. Case 5 These techniques m ay be applied in a repetitive way. Because there are only two possible variations the presen tatio n m ay be repetitive
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in nature, conform ing to an altern atin g pattern. Nevertheless it affords a very wide m argin for v ariation since each individual technique has, in itself, a w hole arsenal o f com binations th at will disguise the n atu re o f the general pattern. A practical exam ple gives an idea o f w hat this com bination o f technique looks like (Fig. 27.2). S hot 1 A enters by the d o o r a t the left an d walks to his A 2 position. T he cam era pans w ith him. W e see player B on the far right, sitting. A blows o u t a candle and then walks to his A 3 position, now seen in the com position B -A 3. T hen B rises and com es tow ards the cam era. She stops in the foreground, com posing B 2-A.3. A fter a few m om ents, a n d w hen several lines o f dialogue have been exchanged, A com es forw ard to his A 4 position, form ing a B2- A 4 com position on the screen. Both perform ers are now profiled to each other, fram ed in m edium shot. S hot 2 E xternal close shot o f B an d A, favouring A. M ore dialogue is exchanged. S h o t 3 Reverse external close shot o f B and A, favouring B. T he conversation continues. S hot 2 The players in close shot, A featured over his partner. Shot 3 B oth players in close shot, B visually em phasized over his partner. S hot 1 B an d A fram ed in m edium shot again, profiled to each other. T he pictorial com position is sim ilar to that used a t the conclusion o f the first fragm ent o f this take. A m oves to the background a n d sits dow n. T he com posi­ tio n becom es B2- A 5. B then joins A in the background. She sits dow n beside him. C om position is now B-’-A *. Shot 4 Insert. Close shot o f B a n d A seated. T he shot em ­ phasizes a phrase being exchanged betw een them . This sh o t has the sam e visual axis as shot 1. Shot I Again, the com position on the screen becom es B -3A 5. Player A rises an d com es to the foreground again. T he cam era pans with him to the left. H e stops and turns to the background com posing A s- B 3. Shot 5 Insert. Close shot o f A, seen from an internal reverse cam era position. H e listens.
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TRAV FIGURE 27.2 T his floor plan view shows the several camera arrangements used to cover a dialogued sequence. Shot l l s a long master shot covering the whole sequence. Other shots are Intercut either as Inserts or edited lr» parallel w ith the main master shot. Thus, several editing techniques are merged to cover the sequence.

S hot 1 W e retu rn again to the com position A 6- B 3. This is a m edium shot. B rises in the background and walks to A, (foreground). As she walks to A the cam era tracks in tow ards the players to fram e a close shot o f them, com posing A 6 B4. T hey talk. Shot 6 Reverse external close shot o f A 6- B 4. This com position favours player A.

Shot 1 Close shot o f A 6- B 4. T he com position favours B. Shot 6 Reverse external shot o f A -B , favouring A. S hot 1 Close shot o f A -B . A then exits shot left. B turns her head to the left follow ing his m ovem ent off screen. Shot 7 Full shot o f a d o o r in the background. A at the begin­ ning o f the shot enters from the right and walks to the door, stops there and looks back. H e speaks. Shot 1 Close shot o f B profiled left. She listens in silence. Shot 7 Player A in full shot close to the door, opens it an d exits. Shot I Close shot o f B. She lowers her head, then turns her back to the cam era and walks to the background. T he cam era pans to the right with her. She sits on the bench, worried. The sequence ju st described, although som ew hat com plex a t first, is structured in a sim ple m anner, as the analysis th a t follows will disclose. T he sequence is built using the following elements. Shot 1 A long m aster take covering the scene from beginning to end. It uses the technique o f editing w ithin the film fram e by panning and tracking during the shot as the players m ove in three zones on the set. In to this shot are intercut the shots th a t follow, which were designed to cover points o f view different from the m aster shot, and replace sections o f the m aster take itself. Shots 2 A p air o f external reverse shot. Shot 1 acts as the top and 3 o f the triangle in the delta cam era form ation. Shots 2 and 3 are placed o n the base o f this arrangem ent. Shot 4 This is a n insert th a t stresses a piece o f dialogue. It m om entarily gives a closer view o f the players, and is placed on the sam e visual axis as shot 1 a t th a t mom ent in the sequence. Shot 5 Silent reaction shot, covering an internal reverse posi­ tion, th at gives the audience a chance to observe the reaction o f the player with his back to the cam era in m aster shot 1. Shot 6 This shot is edited in parallel with m aster shot 1 and covers a reverse external position on the o ther side o f the couple involved in the scene. Shot 7 This shot, also edited in parallel with m aster shot 1, differs from shot 6, which covered the players on the same zone o f the set, by the fact th at shot 7 juxtaposes the first zone on the set w ith the second seen in the last p a rt o f the m aster shot 1.
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The sequence can be divided in four p arts th a t use different com binations o f the basic approaches already explained. 1 As can be observed, m aster shot 1 is first used alone within the technique o f editing in the fram e. T he players are seen using three zones on the set: one close to the cam era and the others placed at right angles. 2 S hot 1 is in terrupted to give place to a couple o f shots edited in parallel th a t stress a p a rt o f the dialogue. 3 T he scene m oves back to shot 1 which is again em ployed with the technique o f editing within the fram e. Two inserts, one with live sound a n d the o th er a silent reaction, cover the next section o f the scene. 4 T hen, in the fo u rth p a rt o f the sequence, shots 6 and 7 are intercut in parallel w ith the m aster shot itself. S hot 6 provides a reverse view o f the couple standing in the second zone. W hen bo th players are in different zones, shot 7 presents the p o in t o f view o f the perform er -who rem ains in the second zone, thus affording parallel editing o f b o th zones. T hree techniques are used in this sequence. F irst, a com bination o f ‘cam era editing’ m aster shot an d fixed cam era sites are intercut in parallel. T h en tw o inserts are edited into the m ain m aster shot. Thirdly, two fixed cam era lesser m aster shots are edited in parallel w ith the principal m aster shot. T he second technique outlined is an im p o rtan t one. Silent o r live so u n d reaction shots should be intercut w henever necessary into a fram e edited m aster. T hey serve to com m ent on events or perform ers n o t a t th a t m om ent included o n the m aster shot. These reactio n shots are o f tw o n atu res: cut-aw ays o r inserts. T he latter stress a n actio n o r a line o f dialogue o r a n elem ent o r person p resent in th e central m aster shot in to which they are intercut.

Case 6 T w o m aster shots edited w ithin the fram e can be intercut in parallel. T he ap p ro ach is quite simple. T he last p a rt o f the first m aster is intercut w ith the fir s t part o f the second m aster. T he exam ple th a t follows features such an occurrence. Fig. 27.3 gives a floor p lan view o f m otions o f the players in the scene. Shot 1 Close sh ot o f a couple. She is standing in foreground w ith her back to us. H e is seen beyond on the right,
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Shot 2

Shot 1

S hot 3

Shot 4

facing the w om an. She then walks to the right. The cam era tracks w ith her. She stops in the second zone a n d tu rn s to face her co m panion w ho is now off screen. The cam era stops, fram ing her in close shot. A fterw ards she retu rn s to the first zone on the left. T he cam era tracks w ith her again an d then stops, facing the m an, as the girl crosses in fro n t o f him an d exits shot, left. The cam era holds o n a close shot o f the m an looking off screen left. M edium close shot o f the girl. She tu rn s in the centre of the screen and faces us looking off-screen right. The cam era holds o n her as she speaks. Close shot o f the m an. He walks to the left to the third zone. T he cam era tracks w ith him and stops as he joins her, fram ing a close shot o f girl an d m an. They talk, then he exits right, leaving the girl alone o n the screen. W e stay w ith her fo r a m om ent. Close m edium shot o f the m an walking to a railing in the background. T he cam era track s behind him an d stops when he reaches the railing an d sits down. Close shot o f the girl. She talks.
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Shot 3 M edium shot o f the m an sitting at the foot o f the railing. H e replies. S hot 4 Close sh o t o f the girl. She speaks. S hot 3 M edium sh ot o f the m an, seated. He speaks. Shot 4 Close sh o t o f the girl. She speaks and then walks to the right to the fourth zone where the m an is. The camera pan s and tracks with her to th at side, fram ing both together at the end o f the tracking m ovem ent. She is in the foreground, left, w ith her back to the cam era. He is seated o n the right, facing her. They speak. Shot 5 C lose sh o t o f her. This is an internal reverse shot featuring the girl. Shot 4 M edium sh ot o f b oth. The cam era angle favours him. S h o t 5 Close sh o t o f her. S hot 4 M edium shot o f both. H e replies. The girl then walks to th e right, going o u t o f shot. W e stay with him for a n instant. Shot 6 Full long shot. F ro m up high th ro u g h an arch in foreground, we see the girl in the centre o f the screen m oving aw ay into the background. A t the beginning of the sh o t she m oved from behind one o f the colum ns into the picture. In the exam ple given the m aster shot th a t illustrates the point is sh o t 4. S hot 3 is in tercut in parallel with the beginning o f shot 4 in the static cam era sections o f the shots. T hen the cam era moves in sh o t 4 from th e third to the fourth zone, where it again becomes stationary. T his last p a rt o f shot 4 is edited in parallel with an internal reverse sh o t o f the girl (shot 5). In this example the m axim um possibilities are obtained from a simple shot like shot 4 by relating the first an d th ird zones initially and by providing reverse angle coverage on the fourth later. Sum m ing up T h e exam ples given to show how the different editing techniques can be m erged are in them selves simple ones. M ore complex editing patterns can be achieved depending o n the context o f the scene to which these techniques are applied. N o m atter how intricate the solution arrived at, tw o m otivations m ust be constantly

observed-.
T h at the technique applied serves the scene and not vice versa.
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T h at the visual results obtained seem natural and lifelike as they are projected on the screen. Technique w ould defeat its purpose if it fails to convey the inten­ tions o f the film m aker and the subtleties o f the acting perform ed in front o f the cam era.

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28
FILM PUNCTUATION

Film p u n ctu atio n — separations betw een sequences, pauses in n arratio n , stress o f a passage— is achieved by editing, cam era m ovem ent o r subject m ovem ent, either alone o r used in com bina­ tion. The best know n devices are now described.

Transitions from scene to scene: fade out—fade in
This ‘tim e tran sitio n ’ device (where the screen image gradually darkens an d is replaced w ith an o th er image which either fades in o r begins ab ru p tly ) is norm ally carried o u t in the laboratory. If insufficient film footage is available, the scene can be ‘frozen’ and then faded either in o r out.

White-outs and colour fades
A n alternative to o rdinary fades is a fade o u t to a white screen. Fades can also em ploy dom inant colours. T he im age to be faded ou t is suddenly tinted by a colour that grow s denser till it o b ­ literates the image com pletely and a flatly coloured screen remains. T his colour then grows lighter an d the new scene is revealed. Two different colours can be used, one to fade o u t and the o th er to fade in to the the new scene. Agnes V arda, in her film Le Bonheur, used this m ethod repeatedly, em ploying single colours (red, blue) or com binations (blue-red; green-violet) so helping to suggest the m ood relationship o f the sequences connected by the colour fades.

Dissolve
A dissolve is a co m b ination o f a fade ou t and a fade in, super­ im posed on the same strip o f film. It is believed th at dissolves were first used by G eorges Melics in 1902 for his film A Trip To The 519

M ood. A rap id dissolve gives a fairly sharp transition from one scene to an o th er. Slow dissolves ca n relate the m ood o f tw o scenes to one an o th er. I f the overlapping p o rtio n is extended the dissolve is prolonged, p erh ap s to stress an intense nostalgic o r poetic m ood. T he co m b in ation o f a fade o u t a n d fade in is used to obtain ap p aritio n s o n th e screen. T he em pty set is first photographed, the cam era sto pped, the player m oved into the shot a n d the cam era restarted. L ater, in the laboratory, w hen the tw o shots are dissolved, the player appears to m aterialize from now here an d becom e solid. T he statio n ary p arts o f the scene retain even intensity th ro u g h ­ out. T he cam era ca n n o t be m oved. W ipe A wipe is a lab o rato ry effect in which a new scene is introduced o n the screen as the first one is pushed o r wiped to a side. T here are tw o types o f wipe. In the first the new scene enters from one side or above and pushes the other o u t o f the screen. In the second, a th in line travels across erasing the old scene a n d revealing the new. T he second type o f wipe, the travelling line, is the m ost often used for tim e transitions on the screen. The travelling line can m ove horizontally, vertically o r diagonally, either from right to left o r vice versa. M ore com plicated p attern s, such as the spiralling wipe, o r m ultiple squares, have been designed a n d used to achieve time tran sitio n s b u t their startling effects have been reserved for film trailers. Iris T he iris effect has undergone some transform ations over the years. A t first it appeared as a dim inishing circle th at centred attention on an isolated subject o r detail. A bandoned a sa tim e tra n sitio n m e th o d th rough being overw orked, it was relegated to a closing effect for anim ated cartoons. It has been revived and updated from tim e to time. F o r exam ple, in an A m erican television series, B atm an , a stylized figure o f a bat grow s from the ccntre o f the screen tow ards the cam era till it covers the im age com pletely and then recedes again to a d o t, revealing a new image.
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Use o f dark areas F o r an o th er form o f tim e transition, the cam era can p an o r track behind a d ark area o r shape th at fills the screen and then cut to a sim ilar opening device in the next scene. If the cam era m oves in the sam e direction in b o th shots, the transition will be sm oother than w ith opposed directions. A lternatively, the actor him self can move tow ards an d away from the cam era. W ith only one personthe effect is som ew hat artificial, b u t becom es m ore subtle w ith tw o per­ form ers, w ho ap p ro ach the cam era draw ing closer together as they reach the foreground, and separate as they m ove aw ay in the next sh o t in a new place and a different time. Titles T he use o f titles to separate sequences is a rem nant o f the silent film epoch. B ut today titles can identify places, the exact time of the day, o r the year in which the action is supposed to take place an d m ight a p p e ar over a typical picture o f the place o r over a plain background. Some docum entary films use sub-titles to designate new sequences.

Props Tim e p ro p s arc still used to denote the passage o f time. The idea is to depict the ravage o f tim e o n an article th at requires small spanses o f time to show m arked changes in its appearance. T he com plete pro p is first show n an d then dissolves to the final stage in which the p ro p has been destroyed, consum ed or w orn out. Such props, though now m ost are cliches, include lighted candles, cigarettes, fireplaces, campfires, clocks, calendars an d dated newspaper headlines.

L ight change Changes from m orning to evening light can suggest a tim e transi­ tion. The cam era fram es a m otionless set, and the studio lights are altered to denote the change. The audience sees the light change, shifting shadow s as a gradual effect, then the cam era or players move into the scene to begin the new sequence.
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Question and answer This m ethod relies o n an idea to effect the tim e transition. F or exampie, a character in the story asks, ‘D o you think th at Pam ela is really b eau tifu l?’ ‘Yes, she is,’ replies an o th er player in a different place at a different tim e an d to an o th er person standing beside him . T he questioner an d the person answ ering are n o t related by the direction o f their looks. Only the ra p p o rt between the w ords spoken effects the transition. A movement in the same direction The player sits in the cockpit o f a racing car. H e is in fro n t o f his country house, surrounded by friends. H e starts the ca r and moves out o f shot, right. In the following shot the car enters a race track from the left and speeds away. T he sam e vehicle is used, the m ove­ m ent is in the same direction from left to right, b u t the place, the time and the m ood are different. Substitution o f an object Som ebody holds a glass o f cham pagne. H e is irritated by the event that has taken place and reacts by throw ing the glass aw ay o u t o f shot. The next shot, introduced by a sudden cut, shows a pane o f glass being broken by a stone. Behind this broken pane a face appears, looking dow n. T he students o f a university are stoning the w indows o f the faculty’s quarters. The link between such sequences is provided by a sim ilar sound o r effect. Word repetition A character closes a sequence by speaking a w ord in close shot. The next opens with a new player repeating th at w ord in a dif­ ferent place, at a different time. He m ight repeat the word w ith the same em phasis, or perhaps change it into a question. The new scene develops from there. A deceptive visual match In scene transitions that rely on an elem ent a t the end o f one shot and the beginning o f the next, th at elem ent m ay play a different
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role in each. The viewer is led to believe th at the new scene is p art o f the sequence he has been seeing but suddenly becom es aw are th at this is a new sequence bridged by a period o f time. The two basic devices em ployed to achieve this effect are: 1, the reaction shot and 2, m ovem ent continuity. The first recourse conditions us to expect a reaction shot after a given action but this reaction is linked to w hat follows in a different way. F or example, in D avid L ean’s film The Bridge on the River Kwai, we see a scene in w hich C lipton (the m edic) looks up a t the sky com plaining o f the fierce heat. T he follow ing sh o t shows the sun beating down. It is the subjective view o f the medic. Instead o f cutting back to C lipton the shot continues on the sun when suddenly from below rises the figure o f Shears (the escaped A m erican) who blocks ou t the sun and stands backlit an d fram ed from below. Shears is unkem pt, clothes in rags, h air dishevelled, a step away from m adness. W hen he m oves on and the sequence continues, we are in a different place a t a different tim e. A subject th at at first cannot be properly identified until a hum an reference is introduced, can also be em ployed fo r such a tran sitio n . M ichelangelo A ntonioni in his film L a N otte, uses such a recourse. T he m ain ch aracter in the story, a w riter, is in his flat waiting for his wife. He lies dow n on a sofa in his library an d looks off screen. T he next sh o t shows an ab stra ct pattern. It seems to be a section o f the wall o f his ro o m u ntil the sm all figure o f a w om an enters the low er left co rn er o f the picture an d the image acquires meaning. T he ab stra ct p attern is revealed as the side wall o f a large building. A new sequence has begun. Visual shock can be increased for a ‘flashy’ scene transition. In F ran k T ashlin’s film Caprice, D oris D ay an d R ay W alston m eet for a secret rendezvous on a lonely m o u n tain in the Alps, R ichard H arris w atches from a fa r an d trains a hidden film cam era o n the talking couple. A tw o shot o f D oris D ay and R ay W alston is suddenly presented. It looks as a n atu ral p a rt o f the scene, a co n tinuation o f it, b u t w ithout w arning the figure o f Jack K ruschcn rises from below the screen an d blocks the im age, w hich is now projected on him . The im age disappears and a w hite screen rem ains and the new scene develops inside the office where the film has been projected on a screen. A m ovem ent th at continues from one shot to the next shot can be used as a scene transition even though the subject has been
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1

substituted by an o th er. A cam era m ovem ent by itself can serve for transitions from scene to scene relying o n a m om entary distraction supplied by a close shot o r close up fram ing at the beginning o f the second shot before the cam era m o tio n reveals the true relationship o f things in the new shot. H ere is a n exam ple from The Sleeping Car Murders directed by C osta G avras (Fig. 28.1).

C♦2

I
[
The scene seems

F I G U R E 28 -1

T im e tra n sitio n o b ta in e d by a d e c e p tiv e v isu al m a tc h . a tim e g a p

to co n tin u e fro m sh o t to sh ot* b u t

Is

revealed.

A descends a flight o f steps in a stadium . H e a n d the cam era stop in the foreground. He is fram ed with his back to us. Beyond, tw o fighters slug it o u t in a boxing ring. W e cut to a m edium shot o f the boxers seen in the centre o f the screen, exchanging blows. A
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m om ent later the cam era tracks to the right to show A advancing through the crow d and then sitting in foreground. The second shot seems to be a n advance on a com m on visual axis with respect to the first shot. This would be the norm al case b u t the surprise com es when the cam era moves and discloses o u r m ain character already in the fro n t row o f the crowd. The time lapse in which he descended tow ards the ring was om itted by the device described. A close shot, w here the surroundings cannot be identified, is used to o btain a tim e transition within a scene. In his film Blow Up, M ichelangelo A ntonioni uses cam era m ovem ent to get the sam e effect. Fig. 28.2 shows b o th cam era positions. The shots are as follow s: Shot 1 The young photographer is kneeling in the p ark beside the place occupied the night before by the dead body o f a m an. T he cam era picks him up from behind as he looks tow ards the branches o f the tree. S hot 2 Close shot from below o f the branches. It is apparently his p oint o f view showing what he sees. M om ents later th e cam era pans dow n to reveal the young m an standing up near th e bushes. The disclosure com es as a surprise because the young m an occupies a position th a t is no t com patible w ith the subjective point o f view im plied by its ra p p o rt with the preceding shot. C utting aro u n d a central ch aracter is an o th er variant. A close up o f a p erson serves as a bridge between tw o sequences in which he is seen. T he cam era pulls back to reveal the new location. The change is m asked by using neutral backgrounds in bo th shots. The close up seems to b e p a rt o f the first sequence b u t in reality belongs to both scenes. F o r exam ple: S hot 1 A boy in the bed seen over his fath er’s left shoulder. T he boy speaks. Shot 2 In ternal reverse, the father seen in close shot. He replies, trying to calm his son. Shot 1 Boy an d father as before. The boy continues to speak. Shot 3 In ternal reverse. The father in close shot reacts pain­ fully to his son’s w ords an d turns his head to the right. T he cam era tracks back to show him seated a t a table in a public dining room . T he sound o f the noisy crowd erupts o n the soundtrack.
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^ |

1 , 1

FIGURE 28.2 A noth er time transition employing a deceptive vl&ual match u ie d by Michelangelo A ntonioni In his film Blow Up,

This sequence, show n in Fig. 28.3, was used by director Guy G reen in The Angry Silence. A sim ilar deception is played by em ploying dialogue to trigger an em otion th a t results in an idea opposite to the one expressed. A m an, in close up, m enacingly says to a girl, ‘If you d o n ’t co­ operate I will kill your sister’. T he next scene is a close up o f th at sister opening her m outh to cry as she falls back. T he cam era pans with her an d we see th at she is in a bathing suit and is jum ping back into a swimm ing pool, where she gaily plays with her com panions.
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1

2

2

3
FIGURE 28.3 The second shot in this sequence is the ambiguous one. It belongs to (tie scene that concludes and to the one tha t begins after it. The background Is i>»utral In th is second shot, to Integrate It sm oothly w ithin both sequences,

Cutting around a prop A n extension o f the previous exam ple, using a ‘p ro p , is dem on­ strated as follow s: A m an , talking to an o th er, asks to be introduced to a third. H e presents his card, which is taken by the first m an. T he card is seen in close up. Close sh o t o f the third and the second m an. T he third m an is holding the card. But the place, tim e a n d one o f the characters have changed. (Fig. 28.4). T he com position o f shots aro u n d the close up are sim ilar, bu t
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the situation is not. A tim e gap was quickly bridged by a purely cinem atic recourse. A sudden close up T he close up used as a visual bridge need not relate to the shot th at follows. It could be a simple cut to an object or person in close up a n d then seen in the follow ing shot in its p ro p e r context. F or instance: A sequence concludes with a scene inside a room . The shot that follows is a close up o f a lam p post w ith four light bulbs. The third sh o t is a full shot in which the lam p post is show n as p a rt o f the general scenery in a p ark , The new characters are located in the foreground. T he close up in the first shot was related to the whole ensem ble in th at which follows. Transition by parallel editing B rian H u tto n in his film Where Eagles Dare, used parallel editing to introduce a flashback near the beginning o f the film, R ichard B urton as head o f a com m ando g roup is in the plane th a t is taking th em to th eir d estin a tio n : Shot I R ichard B urton, seen in close shot, becomes aw are o f the green light th a t begins to blink on the plane (we do n o t see the light, only its reflection on B urton’s body). S hot 2 Close up o f a green light bulb in the ceiling, blinking on and off. Shot 1 Close shot o f B urton, as before, bathed by the green light, looking. Shot 2 Close up o f the green light in the ceiling. T he cam era pan s dow n revealing th at the light was no t located in th e plane b u t in the underground conference room o f a m ilitary outpost. T he parallel editing o f these shots introduced a retu rn to the past in a visually fluent m anner. R oger C orm an in his film The Trip used th e sam e recourse to introduce a tran sitio n into the future. O n these two occasions the cutting tem po w as unhurried. But when D ennis H o p p e r used this effect in East Rider (D ennis H o p p er and P eter F o n d a h ad bo th w orked w ith R oger C o rm an o n The Trip ) th e tran sitio n betw een one scene and the next was achieved by quickly cutting b ack an d fo rth a couple o f tim es between the two scenes.
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1

2

FIGURE 2fl.4 A close shot of an object Is employed here to obtain a time transition from scene to scene.

Used in th at way the effect looks ra th e r selfconscious. O nly time will tell if it could become a substitute for the dissolve. Scene openers If all scenes began abruptly, undue em phasis w ould usually be throw n o n them a n d unw ittingly conspire against the nature o f the scene itself. It is better to begin neutrally and then m ove o n to the m ain event o r character. T here are two ways—by m oving the actor o r the cam era.
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The actor His body blocks the cam era lens. H e starts to m ove aw ay, dis­ closing the scene. Something in foreground (in sharp focus) is rem oved by a player. The cam era shifts focus to fram e the player m oving aw ay an d then stopping to use the object he picked up in the foreground. Somebody opens a window (cam era outside) or slides aw ay a closed d o o r (cam era inside) revealing him self and the scene beyond. Some o f the m ost com m on props used on opening scenes are: doors, V enetian blinds, w indow shades, curtains an d room lights (turned on one by one to illum inate the scene gradually).

The camera T he scene begins with som ething being picked up and carried away. The cam era pans or tracks to fram e a new place where the central action begins. This disclosure m otion can be executed by the m ain player him self o r by a secondary person who exits view as soon as he discloses the central characters. The cam era fram es an object in silhouette th at blackens the screen com pletely, o r alm ost, and tracks to one side to reveal the new scene behind. The cam era tracks back from an extrem e close up o f an object revealing the place where th at object is located. T h at p ro p can be either som ething w orn by a person such as a piece o f jewellery o ra w rist-watch o r m ay be located on a piece o f furniture, o r even on the floor. The prop used m ust in some way be related to the content o f the scene. The scene begins with the cam era fram ing an empty section o f the set, and the cam era tracks or pans o r cranes down to the sector where the players are. The scene begins with a close shot o f a person. T he cam era dollies back an d we becom e aw are th at it was shooting through an opening in a screen th at is now revealed in the foreground between the cam era and o u r m ain subject. The subject then m oves from behind the screen an d m oves into a n o th er section o f the set. A painted picture, an em broidered scene, a still picture in a newspaper, are used to begin the scene. They fade into a p h o to ­ graph (in the first two cases) th at suddenly acquires m ovem ent. T he frozen image is given life. T he procedure is reversed to close a scene: the im age freezes on the screen, the cam era pulls back so
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th a t it is now p art o f a new spaper story, w ith caption and h ea d ­ lines. A bsolute stillness is an o th er way o f introducing a new scene. A fter a sequence concludes by a sim ple cut the new shot begins, b u t n o th in g m oves in it for a few seconds. T hen the players enter from any one o f the sides, o r th ro u g h a d o o r in the background, and the action begins. Stanley K ubrick in his film Clockwork Orange em ployed this device several times. T he scene openers described do n o t denote the passage o f tim e betw een scenes. T hey arc conventional ways o f introducing an event with varying degrees o f em phasis. Introducing points o f view T he subjective p o in t o f view o f a character on the screen is co n ­ veyed by first show ing him in close shot and follow ing with a shot taken from his position an d excluding him . This p o in t o f view can be stressed by subject m ovem ent and letting people featured in it lo o k straight into the cam era lens. H ere is an exam ple (Fig. 28.5). A young m an w alks into an office. The cam era pans along with him left to right. N ow , for a shot tak en from the m a n ’s position, the cam era track s from right to left beside a desk, a n d the girl behind it looks up a t the cam era and follows it with her gaze. W e cu t to a static-cam era shot o f the m an and girl. T he m an (left) walks into the b ackground, the girl looking at him. The subjective shot, where the cam era represents the view o f the m ain player, stresses the situation. T he cam era m ovem ent (pan and track com bined) represents the body m ovem ent. A n o th er possibility is to introduce a static shot w ithin a tracking shot to show th e character whose subjective view point we have ju st seen (Fig. 28.6). S hot 1 T he cam era tracks forw ard. Player A (right) pulls B o u t o f the way. C u t to S hot 2 A and B standing in the foreground, right. A car enters fro m the left, crosses the screen a n d exits right. C u t to S hot 1 T he cam era continues tracking tow ards the wall in the background. T hen we cut to Shot 3 F ro m one side—the car enters, left, crashes into the wall. 591

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FIGURE 28.5 Emphasizing the point of view o f a character by using a subjective camera shot.

S hot 3 is only a coda to the whole event. T he m ain shot is the first, the subjective view point o f the occupants o f the vehicle while hurtling tow ards the wall. Shot 2 introduced a t a critical m om ent, re-establishes th e vehicle in m otion an d , w ith its sudden lack o f cam era action, stresses by co n tra st the view from inside.
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FIGURE 28.6 tion.

A subjective point of view is broken to stress its im pact In the narra­

Som etim es a subjective view point is introduced w ithout first identifying the observer. C ertain m arks are 'immediately recog­ nised as representing this such as binocular shapes o r gunsights, the spectator or g unm an appearing in the subsequent shot. A d o m in an t co lo u r in the image can represent a subjective point o f view. R o b ert A ldrich in his film The D irty Dozen, during the final raid o n the G erm an castle, suddenly introduces a scene photo g rap h ed through a red filter, an d follows it by the image o f a sniper pulling th e trigger o f his w eapon. In the next shot a man from th e attacking p arty falls dead. The second time the director uses a red coloured im age we im m ediately identify it as the sub­ jective view point o f an o th er sniper bu t this tim e we only hear the w eapon being fired and the follow ing scene (with norm al colours) show s a bullet ricocheting close to a n attacking soldier. T here is yet an o th er way o f introducing a subjective viewpoint w ithout identifying the person— a m ovem ent in the foreground w ith the accom panim ent o f hushed voices. F o r example, a tree bran ch in the foreground m ay be pulled aside by a hand, off screen,
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revealing a d istan t colum n o f soldiers m oving across the forest. We hear sotto-voce com m ents from different people off screen planning how to take the enem y by surprise. As the foreground branch is released o b scuring the view, the im pression is given that the hidden attack ers are m oving away.

Abrupt jum p cuts used as punctuation Jum p cuts, as the term implies, are very visible as cuts on the screen bccause the change from shot to shot is ab ru p t. T hey are usually done with a m ore o r less static subject on the screen with each shot o f the series placed on a com m on visual axis.

En Tlw Birds, A lfred H itchcock has a scene in which he uses ju m p cuts to stress a gruesom e discovery. W hen M itch’s m other dis­ covers (he farm er’s body lying beside his bed with his eyes pecked out by the birds, three sh o rt shots advance tow ards the face o f the m an. The farm er is a static subject and these three shots placed on a com m on visual axis serve to stress the im pact o f the discovery (Fig. 28.8). The efTcct can also introduce a new elem ent visually. M ichel­ angelo A n to n io n i in his film 11 Dcscrto Rosso begins a sequence showing a m etallic island th at rises from the sea a t some distance from the coast. T hree successive ju m p cut shots, draw ing closer, show us the su perstructure o f the m an-m ade island. D ocum entary films som etim es use jum p cuts to introduce new subjects with em phasis. Bert H aanstra in his film The Sea Was N o M ore em ploys the device several times, bu t limits the effect to two shots. One is an extrem e long shot and the other a full shot on the same visual axis—accom panied on the sound track by percussion m usic th at stresses the jum p cut. On o th er occasions the effect can be em ployed as a pause before an unexpected revelation. In the final sequence o f Lewis G ilb ert’s Jam es Bond film You Only Live Twice, a plane has jettisoned rubber rafts th at fall on the surface o f the ocean. The survivors from the catastro p h e on the island swim tow ards the rafts. Jam es Bond and a young girl clim b ab o ard one o f the rafts and prepare to enjoy them selves d uring the long wait. T hree shots follow o f the raft bobbing on the sea, each closer th an the o ther, but using relatively lengthy shots. Then com es a close shot in which B ond’s
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FIGURE 28.6 Rapid succession of static shots used to punctuate a situation. This example belongs to A lfre d H itchcock's film The Birds.

ra ft rises into the screen. A subm arine has surfaced under the ra ft an d lifted it o u t o f the w ater. D ialogue scenes can be treated this way. In Farenheit 451, F rancois T ruffaut uses it w hen som eone speaking on the phone receives a warning. T his effect can be obtained directly in the lab o rato ry by en­ larging a single fram e. The S p y in the Green H a t , a film o f the N ap o leo n Solo spy series, uses this variant in som e o f the shots em ployed for the credits. Jo h n F rankenheim er in his film Seconds , reverses the technique. M r. H am ilto n is w aiting for a vital phone call in his studio. The
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scene begins with an extrem e close up o f the eyes o f the player an d by a series o f ju m p cuts recedes to a full shot o f the room with the player looking small seated behind his desk. The phone rings an d the director cuts to a tight close up o f M r. H am ilton picking it up off-screen and raising it into view to speak. D irector G erard J. R aucam p used a series o f shots o n an axis line deflected to the left to cover a progression o f static advancing shots tow ards an oil refinery in his docum entary film Holland Today.

Jump cuts as time transitions A noth er pro p erty o f ju m p cuts is th at on som e occasions they can be used as tim e transitions from scene to scene o r within the same scene. Sound judgem ent m ust be em ployed w hen selecting this m ode for such a specific purpose. N o t every situation lends itself to it. R o b ert Enrico in Les Aventuriers has a car chase through the streets o f Paris. T he cam era is shooting from the front seat o f the chasing car. T he o th er car is always fram ed in the centre o f the screen b u t w ith each cut, the surroundings change. Several tracking shots have been spliced together and the idea o f a long chase is conveyed. Ju m p cuts can elim inate uninteresting segm ents o f time as in the film Blow Up, where D avid H em m ings is photographing a m odel and from the same cam era position we see a succession o f jum p cut shots o f the m odel in various body postures representing his pictures o f her.

Selected peaks o f action As m entioned earlier, the story can continue sm oothly with large pieces o f uninteresting action deleted even within a sequence. In Blow Up th e pho to g rapher leaves the antique shop and gets into his car. H e opens a glove com partm ent and takes ou t his camera. H e closes the com partm ent. W e cut to a reverse shot. He is stand­ ing in the street beyond his car with his cam era, looking for a good angle to p h o to g rap h from . T he tran sitio n is sm ooth because a m ovem ent is concluded in the first shot and an o th er begins in the second. Also the fact th at the
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cam era angle is changed, a reverse in this case, helps to m ake a sm ooth cut. The same principle is used in Les Aventuriers. Alain D elon is testing a biplane passing through some obstacles erected by Lino V entura on an airfield. The tests com pleted, V entura rides hom e in a truck, an d is playfully followed by the plane. Here is a section o f th at sequence:

FIGURE 28.9

Fragment of a sequence from Robert Enrico's Him le s Aventuriers.

T he cam era m oves with the truck on the airfield. Lino V entura is seen on the left looking into a rear view m irro r and beckoning the biplane which approaches from the background, right, and th en flies out off shot, right. C u t t o :
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View from inside the truck, V entura in the foreground, left, his b ack to us. The plane, right, flies tow ards us a t low altitude as we advance along the runw ay an d then rises an d flies o u t o f view top left. C ut to : P anning shot, right to left. The truck runs to the left, closely follow ed by the plane. T he plane then veers aw ay to the background. Observe how, w ith o u t sacrificing sm oothness o f transition from shot to shot (the cut com es after the plane exits from each shot) the tu rn ro u n d m ovem ents o f the plane are om itted. This concept is also applied to a tran sitio n where in the first sequence two persons, talking, are viewed separately. N e ar the conclusion one m akes a statem ent b u t instead o f splicing to a reaction shot o f the o th er (before concluding the sequence) this last shot is deleted, and a direct cu t is m ade to the next sequence. Inaction as punctuation If the screen im age is rendered devoid o f m otion a t the beginning o r conclusion o f a shot, it affords an easy transition betw een the preceding o r follow ing shot, and the shot in question i.e. the easy tran sitio n is betw een the tw o shots separated b y the static view. T here are tw o ways o f using i t : 1 A t the conclusion o f a shot. 2 A t th e beginning o f a shot. T he static scene m ay take the form o f a sh o t held on the general scene after a ch aracter m oves ou t o f it. T he scene m ight be a landscape, a b lan k wall, an em pty building o r ju st a long shot o f a beautiful seascape. Single shots as pauses in narration T here are occasions where the conclusion o f a sequence w ould be ruined by a n ab ru p t change, especially if the one th a t follows has a m ood totally opposed to it. A visual pause is needed as a bridge, either by a black leader inserted between the sequences, by p ro ­ longing the last sh o t o f the sequence beyond its dram atic peak o r by using a different related o r unrelated shot betw een. W ith the first recourse—a black screen— the audience will be b ro u g h t to a com plete em otional standstill. The effect m u st n o t be overdone, which w ould be irritating. T he next scene follow s, faded in or
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ab ruptly. M ichelangelo A ntonioni in his film L e Am iche used this effect. A girl quarrels with her lover in the street and the scene fades to darkness which is held for a m om ent. T he new scene begins ab ru p tly an d the body o f the girl is being recovered from the river by the police. She has com m itted suicide. Som etim es the period o f darkness is accom panied by a ‘cu rta in ’ o f background m usic which increases in v o lu m e an d then dim inishes as the new sequence fades in. The device o f prolonging the last shot beyond its dram atic clim ax, often used by John F ord, corresponds to a slackening o f our em otional pitch, an d conveys a m ood o f m elancholy. The next sequence norm ally starts with a full o r a long shot. T h at cam era fram ing dilutes o u r concentration and relaxes o u r attention. The third recourse m entioned above is the m ost frequently em ployed— a single shot is used as a pause betw een the sequences an d this shot is either related to the sequence th a t concludes o r it has no story relation, only an em otional effect. Let us take an exam ple fo r the first case. Peter Y ates in his film Bullitt has a sequence in which the hero an d his girl p ark o n the side o f the highw ay an d discuss their personal relationship after a particularly violent sequence in which a w om an is strangled. This sequence begins w ith a long shot o f the heavy traffic on the road. A fter a m om ent the girl’s white sports car em erges from it and com es tow ards the cam era. She parks and gets ou t o f the car, walking to the edge o f the river. M om ents later Bullitt joins her. T he dialogue begins. She reproaches him with his way o f life— his total indifference to violent death. T he scene is revealing an d painful to the characters. As they reach a tentative agreem ent an d rem ain silent, there is a cut to the traffic. T hen a new sequence begins. The last shot o f the cars is, in effect, the pause. The director uses the sam e effect again. A m urderer has m et a grim end in an airp o rt term inal an d the shot th at follows is a view o f an em pty street in San F rancisco. In the shot following, B ullitt arrives at his house on the m orning o f the next day. O nce m ore a single shot, this time related to the new sequence, was em ployed as a pause betw een sequences. On o th er occasions the shot intercut as a visual pause between tw o different scenes bears no relation a t all to either o f the se­ quences it bridges an d is used solely for the em otional content of the shot itself. In The Girl On The M otorcycle such a recourse bridges two

scenes th at take place on the same set between the same perform ers, b u t with different m oods. T he central couple in the film, Alain D elon and M arianne Faithful!, are in bed in an hotel. He is telling her o f his experiences as a m o to r cycle rider. The m ood is ebullient, full o f joy. As this sequence com es to an end, we see a tran satlan tic ship in a h arb o u r, at dusk, with all its lights abiaze, silhouetted against the setting sun, as a sm aller vessel passes in the foreground. The m ood o f this scene is bucolic, suggesting quiet­ ness and fulfilment. The sequence then continues with the lovers in the hotel, still in bed. But the m ood has changed and they are taking stock o f them selves and o f their feelings and attitudes to ­ w ards each other. The bridging shot provides no identification o f a new place, is n o t rem iniscent o f a previous point in the story. It only has value in its visual content— an ainotional catalyst that prepares us fo r a different m ood. A n entire sequence used as a narrative pause O ften, a single sh o t is n o t enough pause between two sequences o f differing m oods. W hen two story points m ust not com pete with each o ther they should be placed well apart. In Peter Y ates’ film Bullitt, a gangster is given protection by the hero who is a policem an. He assigns a guard to the m an and leaves to m eet his girl, whom he takes to dinner in a bistro laden with beat atm osphere an d later bo th go to bed. N ow the killers arrive to elim inate the gangster under custody. As can be seen, the actions o f Bullitt are irrelevant to the ad ­ vancem ent o f the m ain plot. W hat counts is th at an inform er is given p rotection and th at his form er colleagues succeed in killing him. Both are strong scenes in the structure o f the story. But if they were p u t together we w ould w atch them at a n em otional saturation point where we w ould not care w hat happened. It is all too pat. So, to m ake each sequence stand out on its own, an irrelevant sequence is inserted between. This particular sequence acts as a pause in the n arratio n and resorts to a subject to justify its in­ clusion and to disguise its true role—the hero’s personal life is revealed. But atten tio n is not focused o n his particular relationship w ith the girl. T he whole thing is stated casually with m ore attention given to the b eat orchestra in the bistro than to the central couple. This diversionary tactic is quite useful to build u p suspense as A lfred H itchcock has am ply dem onstrated. In Rear Window,
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G race Kelly has entered the ap a rtm en t o f the suspected killer. She is seen from Jam es S tew art's p o in t o f view across the inner patio, m oving through the flat, exam ining things. Suddenly his atten tio n is distracted by the actions o f a spinster w om an, pre­ viously established in the story, who seems on the verge o f com ­ m itting suicide. W e are sidetracked into this new plot. W e m o ­ m entarily lose sight o f G race Kelly an d her erran d , so it co m esas a shock w hen then we see the suspected killer com ing to his flat. T here is no way to w arn the girl inside o f the danger. If we had no t been diverted into the secondary subplot, we would have been w aiting for the killer to ap p e ar at an y m om ent and w hen he did o u r expectations w ould be fulfilled and we would lose interest. In this o ther way, the arrival o f the killer gains an em otional im pact d ue to its suddenness. T he strong scenes in the plot were isolated by an inbetween sequence used as a pause. O ut o f fo cu s images as punctuation T his effect is m ore often seen on live television th a n in films. The technique is simple. T he concluding scene in a sequence is defocusscd until it becom es an unrecognizable blur. W e then cut to the new sequence which begins w ith the im age com pletely ou t o f focus, an d then gradually grows sharp. This new im age is in ano th er place and at an o th er time. M ichelangelo A ntinioni has used an o th er variant. A sm o u ld er­ ing fire is seen ou t o f focus at the beginning o f a sequence. It is an intriguing p attern o f colour and undefined shapes. A few seconds later a pair o f bare fem ale feet enter the foreground in sharp focus. T he sccne acquires m eaning. Sequences can be concluded using the same recourse. A person in the foreground, in focus, leaves the screen and the o u t o f focus background rem ains for a m om ent. (Incidentally, there is now a tendency to use ou t o f focus im ages as background for the credit titles o f a film.) O ut o f focus actions are often used o n purpose to stress a point. F o r exam ple, in Sidney F u rie’s film The Ipcress File the hero gets ou t o f bed in one image (in focus) and enters in the next as a vague blurred im age in the b ack ground, to open the w indow shutters. In the foreground and in sharp focus, is a n alarm w atch m arking the tim e. A nother technique is to have one player sharp in the foreground w ho rem ains still d u rin g the take, while a n o th e r m oves in the b ackground com pletely o u t o f focus a n d com es forw ard into focus

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to jo in th e o ther. Jo h n H u sto n in his film M oulin Rouge uses such a n effect. T oulouse L autrec has quarrelled w ith his girl friend and she d ep arts, slam m ing the d o o r on her way out. T he next shot show s a dejcctcd L autrec in the foreground, facing the cam era. A fter a m om ent the d o o r in the background (com pletely ou t o f focus) opens and the girl com es in again an d slowly w alks to the fo reg ro u n d until she is in focus beside the painter. T he sh arp focus can be in the back g ro u n d . T w o lovers seen in focus begin to kiss an d m ove slowly forw ard ou t o f focus an d tu rn in to undefined m oving shapes. W hen they w an t to suggest th a t a m an is losing consciousness and is ab o u t to faint, som e film m akers use p o in t o f view shots th a t gradually defocus. T he reverse effect is em ployed w hen the c o n tra ry situ atio n is desired: a person com ing to his senses. T o suggest th a t a person has trouble w ith his eyesight, the point o f view shot o f w h at the m an sees goes from sharp to blurred an d to sh arp again. As m entioned elsew here w hen discussing the use o f split focus in a •'cene, there is a tendency to d ay to have a subject sh arp in the fo reg round an d , as he tu rn s his head to the b ack­ ground to shift focus there so th at the fo reg ro u n d p layer becom es blurred. M ik e N ichols used this in The Graduate. In th a t scene Ben im plies to E laine th a t it was w ith h er m o th er th a t he had an affair. T he rev elatio n com es w hen she is close to the h a lf open d o o r o f her b ed ro o m . W e see her in the foreground. B eyond, h er m other appears. Elaine tu rn s to look b ack a n d the cam era shifts focus to her m o ther. She is w et fro m the rain, as Ben is. T he m o th e r goes aw ay after a m om ent and E laine tu rn s h er head to us. But she rem ains o u t o f focus for a m om ent, then slowly the im age becom es clear a n d sh arp as she realizes w hat has hap p en ed a n d reacts angrily. H er m ental process o f un d erstan d in g the situ atio n fully is m ade clear to th e audience by the delayed focus w hich p o rtray s it visually. D a rk screen used as punctuation A d a rk screen can be effectively em ployed to separate shots or scenes. T he effect o f isolation is to tal an d each scene hits the viewer unexpectedly an d w ith the fullest em otional im pact. T he audience waits fo r a n im age to ap p e a r o n the screen b u t is never certain fo r how long it will be. T his confers a certain type o f suspense on the sequence, an d each sh o t o r g roup o f shots will sink hom e w ith
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great force. L ook at an exam ple from a n A rgentinian film entitled L a H ora De L os Hornos (The Tim e o f the Ovens) m ade by F e r­ n an d o Solanas a n d O ctavio G etino in 1968: D ark screen. A d ru m is heard on the so u n d track. Suddenly a h an d carrying a torch a p p e ars on the screen. S h o rt p an right follow ing the m otion o f the arm o f the running m an. D ark screen ag ain. T he d ru m beats continue. A g ro u p o f policem en w ith m achine guns ap p e a r running o n the centre o f a street a t night. S hort pan to the rig h t with the m en. D ark screen again. A civilian throw s a M olotov cocktail against the display w indow o f a store a n d it b ursts into furious flames. D ark screen again. A civilian runs along the street, right to left; the cam era p an s to follow. A policem an clubs him in the back an d the m an falls to his knees, a second policem an enters fro m the left a n d kicks the m an in th e kidneys. As the civilian doubles in pain, still on his knees, a th ird policem an enters, left, a n d savagely kicks the m an in the face w ith his bo o t, sending him rolling backw ards. D a rk screen again. T he shots em ployed for this sequence were all tak en from new sreel coverage o f d istu rbances in B uenos A ires a n d the film is an indictm ent, b itte r a n d gripping, on the political situation o f th a t tim e in th a t co u n try as seen b y the tw o film m akers. W h at m akes th a t op en in g sequence o f th e film so stu n n in g is precisely the use o f d ark strips o f film edited in parallel w ith th e individual shots selected fo r th e sequence. T he co n tin u o u s so und— a percussion m o tif in this instance— brings u nity to the sequence a n d helps to heighten the visual im pact. Som etim es a d a rk screen is used to begin a n d a so u n d is heard an d suddenly a n im age is revealed th a t places the so und in its p ro p e r context. B ert H a an stra in his d o cu m en ta ry film The R ival W orld begins w ith a d a rk screen an d only the buzzing o f a fly. Suddenly an im age a p p ears on the screen—a close-up o f a m an who o p en s his eyes a n d realizes th a t a fly is standing on the tip o f his nose. It is a striking w ay to open a film. P unctuation by camera m otion A n ad vancing or receding cam era can stress o r isolate a c h a rac te r o r a situ atio n o n the screen.
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Case 1 A s we po in ted o u t elsewhere, a cam era m ovem ent th at precedes a line spoken by a player stresses th a t line, b u t if the m ovem ent com es after th e phrase has been uttered it stresses the reaction o f the player. I f th e cam era advances during a long speech by the m ain c h aracter a feeling o f intim acy is gained. I f it recedes the player is de-em phasized and his surroundings o r lack o f them becom e im p o rtan t. Case 2 A p lay er’s m ovem ent can be com bined with the punctuating m otio n o f th e cam era to give the scene ad ded visual im pact. F o r exam ple, som ebody is challenged a n d in the shot th a t follows the cam era advances tow ards a g roup o f persons. A s we ap p ro ach one turns aside disclosing behind the challenged person. T he cam era stops, fram ing this character in close shot. A delayed cam era m otion can be used too. F o r instance, a ch a rac te r fram ed in close sh o t stays in the foreground fo r several seconds and th en w alks to the background into a full shot. H e stops, begins to tu rn and the cam era tracks swiftly in, fram ing him again in close shot. Case 3 U sually, when these cam era p u n ctu atio n s are em ployed, the sh o t begins w ith th e cam era in a fixed spot and as the scene develops th e cam era moves b u t th e sh o t concludes w ith the cam era static once m ore. A v arian t o f this is ob tained by starting the shot w ith m ovem ent in it and, as th a t ends, cutting again to a static com position sim ilar to th at a t the beginning o f the preceding m oving shot. F o r example, a scene begins with a close shot o f a m an sitting at the head o f a long table. T he cam era is tracking b ack over the table revealing the tw o row s o f guests. It stops a t the end an d then we c u t to a close sh o t o f the m an as seen a t the beginning o f the preceding shot. M usical films avail them selves o f this solution w here, for instance, a full sh o t o f the couple o f dancers begins the shot with the cam era tracking b ack an d boom ing upw ards. T he cam era then descends vertically (fram ing the whole scene in long shot) to the
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dancer’s height an d stops. A cut follows to a full shot on the same visual axis and the whole m ovem ent is repeated once m ore.

Case 4
A n ap p ro aching o r receding m ovem ent can 'r c repeated tw o, three o r m ore tim es consecutively. W ith a single subject th e effect is disturbing a n d draw s atten tio n to itself. In the Italian film Agostino, directed by M auro B olognini, the central ch aracter, a boy w hose nam e is the title o f the film, wit­ nesses a sexual act perform ed off cam era by iwo o th er boys. This revelation com es as a shock to him. Visually, ihe scene is presented by a series o f forw ard cam era tracks th a t repeat six o r seven times. T he cam era m oves from m edium shot to cl* >e up and suddenly cuts b ack to a m edium shot on the sam e vi ual axis, tracking in slowly once m ore. A sim ilar use o f repetitive forw ard cam era m ovem ent was em ­ ployed by A lain R esnais in L 'A nnee Dernidre a M arienbad bu t the effect o f im age overexposure was added in the laboratory. T he girl in the film runs from a room o u t on to a wide terrace an d stops, opening h er arm s in jo y . T he cam era tracks tow ards her several tim es consecutively from the sam e direction adding a static pause before each cam era m ovem ent. In an o th er exam ple from Laurence O livier’s film version o f H am let , the K ing and O phelia’s b ro th e r are plotting against H am let. T he scene opens w ith a m edium shot n f both players. T he cam era tracks back an d upw ards until they are seen in sm all scale dow n below. T here is a cut to an o th er poim in the triangular cam era deploym ent a ro u n d the two players and they are seen in m edium shot. T he cam era again m oves back and upw ards. A cut follows to a reverse m edium shot o f bo th player v The cam era holds it fo r a m om ent an d again begins to track back and up. T he m ood o f conspiracy is thus em phasized. Case 5 Repetitive cam era m ovem ent tow ards o r aw ay fro m a single player can be intercut in parallel with scenes rem em bered by th at ch aracter a n d representing a subconscious return to the past. H ere is a fragm ent o f such a sequence: C am era tracks forw ard to a young m an sitting with his b ack to
606

the railing on a deck of a transatlantic liner. The cam era advances from a full to a medium shot. There is a cut to: A woman opening a door and facing the camera. She says something. It is a scene previously seen in the film, during an earlier sequence. The camera tracks from medium to close shot of the seated man. There is a cut on the track to: The young man in full shot walking in a park beside the girl. They are both talking. The young man, in a room, with his back to the camera in the foreground, left. On the right another man advances towards him and stops to utter some harsh words. The young man. The camera tracks from medium to close shot on the ship. The young girl turns away from us and walks to the background. We are in a room now. She turns to us again and speaks a few lines. The young man on the ship’s deck. The camera tracks from close shot to a big close up and stops, holding a frontal image of the young man to register a tear running down the young man’s cheek. AH the shots spliced in parallel with the repetitive forward tracking correspond to images already used in previous sequences and represent a return to the past. The cuts come while the camera is still moving except at the very end. The camera is allowed to slow down and stop tracking. The method described is also useful to stress one of two simultan­ eous actions. For example: A man seated in the foreground, with his back to us. He is read­ ing a book. A girl in the background, facing him, turns away and moves into the background. Reverse shot. The man is reading the book. The camera tracks towards him from a full to a close shot. The scene is cut while the camera is still moving. The girl enters shot, stops, turns and looks off screen, then she turns to the background and exits through a door. The camera tracks forward from a medium to a close shot of the man still engrossed in his book. The repeated tracking shots towards the man emphasizes that H e is unaware of the girl’s wish to speak to him.
607 1

Case 6

Forward tracking movements from two opposite reverse camera positions can be edited in parallel (Fig. 28.10).

FIGURE 23.10 situation.

Opposed camera movement* edited In parallel used to

A man walks towards a car where a girl is waiting. The first camera position is behind the walking man and the camera tracks behind him as he walks to the car. The second camera position is located behind the car and we advance to it as the man in the background walks towards us. These two shots conclude with close shot compositions of both players and can be edited in parallel either when moving towards the static goal (the girl in the car) or when both camera sites become static themselves. Parallel editing of these opposed camera movements aids the scene with dynamic presentation.
608

Case 7

Forward tracking movements intercut in parallel can be applied to two separate individuals who are looking at each other or talking to each other. Speeds in the tracking motion can be varied and they will change the emotional effect of the sequence. The idea is not to make a single track towards each player and then intercut those two shots in parallel, but to make several tracks towards each character, each one closer at its end to the waiting actor. The paths of the tracking movements overlap slightly so that the area that concludes a shot is again used at the beginning of the next (Fig. 28.11).

FIGURE 28.11 Overlapped earner* movement* for each player, laler edited in parallel to pinpoint attention on the players.

The two last shots of the series (one for each player) conclude the track by coming to a stop in front of the player and holding on him.
Case 8

A further variant to two camera movements edited in parallel (where each camera covers a single player) can be achieved by introducing a reversal of direction at the end of the sequence. Here is an example: Shot 1 Camera tracks in swiftly to player A, slowing down as it approaches, cut to
609

Shot 2 C am era tracks in a t the sam e speed as before tow ards subject B, slowing dow n. Shot 3 Close shot o f A. T he cam era pulls back swiftly and slows dow n to a com plete stop in full shot. T h is sudden change in direction o f the cam era m ovem ent provides a fu rth er exam ple o f pu n ctu atio n with m oving cam era shots. Case 9 T w o shots, in which the cam era m oves in opposed directions, tow ards one player an d aw ay fro m a n o th e r,c a n be edited in p aral­ lel. By this device one o f the players is de-em phasized while the o th er is visually stressed. In this and all the previous cases, the subjects rem ain static while the cam era does all the m oving. Case 10 C am era m ovem ents com bined w ith m ovem ent w ithin the picture can be used to stress a sudden unexpected accident o r disaster. H ere is a n exam ple w here the visual pu n ctu atio n precedes the catastrophe. C am era tracks in, fast, tow ards a subject who looks surprised. A second person w alks into shot, right. C am era track s in, fast, tow ards a th ird person. C am era track s back quickly from a group. C am era track s quickly into a person. As the cam era nears him , he ducks under. Several successive explosions sh atter the place. Observe the co n trastin g direction o f m ovem ent from sh o t to shot. These m otions are sh o rt and fast, while the pay off, the explosions them selves, are longer. The second exam ple concerns the reactions o f several players to a sudden catastrophe. A n explosion seen in long shot. Close up o f a w o m a n ; she tu rn s h er head to the left. Close up o f a m a n ; he tu rn s his head to the right. Close up o f a m an ; he is rising into the screen, looking right. Close u p o f a m an ; he approaches diagonally from rig h t to left. The afterm ath o f the explosion seen in long shot. H ere the p u n ctu atin g m ovem ents are perform ed by the players, n o t by th e cam era. Sudden tu rn s are am o n g the m ost frequently 610

used hum an m ovem ents fo r visual p u n ctu atio n o f a situation. Several successive close-up head tu rn s can stress the arrival o f a ch aracter. These m ovem ents precede the arrival o f the m ain ch aracter. T hey can b e overlapped o r repetitive. Fig. 28.12 shows the tw o possibilities. t All the m ovem ents are slow ones. W ith overlapped turns, the three subjects tu rn a th ird o f a circle— m atched fro m sh o t to shot fo r sm ooth tran sitio n as the characters change. T he second possibility confines itself to a repetition o f m ovem ent in the sam e screen area an d direction. Slow, co n trastin g tracks or pans th a t cover static subjects can be used to o b tain an intim ate, tense m ood, o r to enhance the prelim inaries o f a task being p re­ p ared by th e p ro tagonists. Several film m akers have refined this ap p ro ach , n o tab ly am ong them the British film m ak er J. Lee T h o m p so n , who in Kings o f the Sun, R eturn fr o m the Ashes and The E ye o f the Devil offers excellent exam ples o f the use o f this technique.

Vertical punctuation T here are situ atio n s in which the m ain action m oves in horizontal p ath s and th erefo re a sudden developm ent will n o t have a clear visual stress, unless a helping vertical m otion is introduced to accentuate th a t sudden event. An exam ple taken from David L ean ’s film The Bridge on the River Kwai clarifies this point. In the b attle previous to the blow ing up o f the bridge, tw o central charactcrs in the story arc killed: Joyce an d Shears. H ere are the fragm ents. S hot 105 FS o f N icholson and Joyce struggling beside the cable th a t leads to the d e to n a to r. Joyce: ‘Y ou d o n ’t u n d e rsta n d !’ T hey craw l tow ards the background. (2 seconds 20 fram es). S h o t 106 M S o f Y ay an d Shears behind the fallen tree trurik. Shears rises a n d shouts to the right oft' screen. Shears: ‘Kill him ! Kill h im !’ H e holds a knife in his right hand. (3 seconds 22 fram es). S h o t 107 T he sam e as shot 105. Joyce struggles tow ards the d e to n a to r in the b ac k g ro u n d a n d is prevented from
611

I
REPETITIVE

FIGURE 28.12 Puntuatlon by pla ye ri movement that p receda i the introduction o f an im portant action on th * screen.

612

reaching it by Nicholson, who clings to Joyce’s legs. (47 frames). Shot 108 FS of Shears standing on the right, Yay crouched on the left. Shears makes a decision and jumps forward over the tree trunk and falls down to the left. (2 seconds 3 frames). Shot 109 FS. The bridge in the background. In the left fore­ ground Shears falls and starts to run to the right. The camera pans with him and he wades into the river. He exits right. In the background, four Japanese soldiers descend on the opposite bank of the river, close to the bridge. (4 seconds 7 frames). Shot 110 MS of Shears swimming across the screen to the right. The camera pans with him. He is shouting. Shears: ‘Kill him!* (3 seconds 23 frames). Shot 111 MS of Nicholson and Joyce in foreground. They crawl, struggling towards the right. In the back­ ground two groups of Japanese soldiers areadvancing. They fire. Joyce is hit and falls on his back rolling towards the camera. (3 seconds 1 frame). Shot 112 Close shot. A beautiful, young Thai girl descends, looking to the right. (39 frames). Shot 113 As in shot 111. Nicholson turns Joyce face up on the ground and sees blood on the lad’s chest. Nicholson turns his head to the background to look at the Japanese soldier. (8 seconds 12 frames). Observe how the crawling of Nicholson and Joyce and the running and swimming of Shears are horizontal movements. The death of Joyce would go unstressed except for that sudden shot (112) in which a girl supposedly on the ridge that overlooks the river, descends. This adds nothing to the story, except a strong vertical movement after the sudden, unexpected event. Her action pin­ points attention on Joyce’s death. This recourse is used again when Shears is hit. Here is the fragment of the scene. Shot 116 FS. Nicholson standing beside the fallen body of Joyce. The Japanese soldiers in the background are looking towards the centre of the river. They open fire. Nicholson turns to the left to look at the river. The camera pans to show Shears in LS swimming towards us. (3 seconds 12 frames).
613

Shot 117 As in shot 110. MS of Shears swimming to the right. (3 seconds 10 frames). Shot 118 MS of Nicholson taken from a low angle. He looks incredulous towards the left. Ho advances towards the camera and stops in a close shot. (3 seconds 9 frames). Shot 119 FS of Shears in the river. He stands and wades towards us. Suddenly he is hit and falls. (4 seconds 4 frames). Shot 120 Close shot. Another beautiful Tl;ii girl rises into the screen and looks off screen right. (33 frames). The vertical motion (upwards in this case) is brought into play to direct attention on the action that preceded it. The recourse described is simple, unobtrusive and effective when punctuation is desired on a predominant horizontal action. These examples use movement inside the screen but a strong vertical camera motion can serve the same purpose. In the film just quoted there are several such examples. When jungle birds are startled into sudden flight by gun shots, they are shown crossing the screen in flocks that move horizontally. But midway there is a vertical camera pan showing the shadows of the birds crossing the jungle foliage.
Frozen frame

With the frozen frame technique, time ceases to move physically on the screen. Many films conclude with a sudden freeze of the image on the screen, thus interrupting the flow of motion. Other film makers use the effect to terminate a sequence: the image is stopped and after a moment it fades out. In the middle of a se­ quence, sometimes the end of a shot is frozen to centre attention on a fact or a character. Zoom shots that move forwards have been frozen at the end with remarkable effect. A single shot can be momentarily frozen on any frame—one or more times. Bob Fosse in Sweet Charity momentarily stops the flow of motion to emphasize the reaction of a character, or uses it several times during a musical number to break the exuberant rhythm. He also uses colour changes on the frozen film frame. The normal or natural colour is changed by using coloured filters during printing.
614

i

An antecedent to this technique can be traced in Stanley Donen’s film Funny Face, where during a musical number the image of Audrey Hepburn modelling different dresses was frozen on the screen and its colour altered several times before passing on to the next shot. Careful judgement must be exercised in determining just how much time a frame is kept frozen on the screen. Sound can be interrupted, slowed down or increased during these motion stops to work in contrast or in harmony with the mood of the scene.
In conclusion

The many aspects of film language discussed in the preceding chapters do not, of course, in any sense exhaust the expressive possibilities of film. But, beside the purely aesthetic aspects they include an attempt to provide some sort of basic physical structure to the interpretation of ideas and emotions in the cinema. As with most art forms, so with the film, the best way to develop and expand your technique is to study the masters of the medium. The most obvious way would be to see as many of their films as possible. But a most profitable way to examine a film is to run through a copy on a viewer, analyzing the scenes that excite ypu, and noting how they were put together. It is surely then that the films or scenes that excite you will reveal their secrets and inspire your future film making.

615

INDEX
A ction accidcnls 484 action and reactions 483 chase 483 clear actions 483 establishing obstacles 485 fight'against a mechanism 484

humour to release tension 485
on dialogues 485 overturning a vehicle 484 pauses, physical 485 verba! 485 physical fights 483-4 plausible plotting 483 resolution 485 subjective viewpoint 486-91 time limit i n t e n s i f i e s suspense 484 visual climaxes 495-501 Action and reaction 7-13 A gfacoior 73 A gostino 606 A lbicocco, J. C. 43 Aldrich, R o b ert 403, 495, 593 American Film Institute 4 Andress, Ursula 6-7 Andrews, Harry 403 A ngry Silence, The 586 A nim ated cartoons 12 A nim ated puppets 12 A nko ku g a i no Taiketsu 73 A ntonioni, M ichelangelo 401, 479, 583, 585-6, 595, 600, 602 A paloosa, The 42 Apparitions on the screen 580 Arbiter o f attention 2 2 -3 , 76, 80, 8 4 -5 , 126 Argentina 479

Back projection 58, 384 Ballad o f a Soldier 409-10 Bartok, Eva 497-98 Batman 580 Bergman, Ingmar 4 Birds, The 124, 146, 496, 595-6 Blow-U p 479, 585-6, 597 Blue backing 58, 384 Body positions closed 36-7 from prone to standing 26 half-open 37 linear formations 26-7 open 36 rapports 26, 28 right angle rapport 26-7 triangular deployment 75 Bogdanovich, Peter 4 Bolognini, Mauro 606 Bond, James 242, 595 Bourginon, Serge 565
Bridge on the River K wai, The 487-

88, 498, 583, 611 Brooks, Richard 155, 404 Buenos Aires 604 Bullitt 600-1 Burton, Richard 588
Camera m otion

camera as player 381 character's view point 381 cutting r ep et itive action 382-83 framing in the same sector 383 implied motion of a s t a t i c subject 384 moving shot i n three parts 382 personal or impersonal role 381

616

precise motion execution 383 restoring p ict o r i a l balance 383 secondary subject motivates the motion 382 si g n i f ic an t action i s a must 382 simple paths 383 start/endwith pi ct o r i a l balance 383 subject movement i sdominant 383 suggested vehicle motion 384 timing camera motion 383 to cap a situation 381-2 to keep composition constant 384 tracking and panning combined 382 used s el e c t i v e l y 383 Camus, Mario 479 Caprice 584 Carol, Martine 143 Centres of attention applied to crowds 24-5 controlled background motion 25 for a single person 46-7, 48-9 for a single s t a t i c group 23 for several s t a t i c groups 23-4 for three persons 76 four or more persons 1tO-6 f u l lc i r c l e 76 importance of the eyes 32 linear emphasis 91-3 player faces an audience 127-8 prone body positions 3 1 -2 s h i f t to crosswise direction 85-103 Chakrabandhu, M. B. 487 Cierro los OJos 479 Cinema veriti 13 Circular motion around a group 364-3 implied behind the camera motion 368-9 inside/outside the c i r c l e 362-3 s i t e s inside the c i r c l e 361-2 tangential to camera s i t e s 360-1 two subjects covered 363-4 using external reverses 365-6 using r ig ht angle s i t e s 367-8 C lockw ork Orange 591 Colonel B ogey 489 Corman, Roger 588 Costa Gavras, Constantin 584

C ow boy 570 crane motion 469 close objects s t r e s s height 469,475 Cronaca d i un Amore 401 Crossing the l i n e of movement contrasting motions 164 cut-aways 164 neutral direction 164 performer indicates change 165 v e r t i c a l motion 169 Cutting easing the cut 176 feeling the zone 188 length distribution on the cut 177, 188 matching by zones 176-7 matching speeds 188-9 required conditions 175 where to cut 175 Cut away, use of as a f l a s h back 147 length on screen 148 on a same subject 144-5 on d if fe r e n t subjects 144 several on a forward axis 146 used for e f f e c t 150 with camera motion 147 Cutting heights 16

Daniels, Melanie 124, 146-7, 496-7 D ark Passage 381 Daves. Delmer 381, 570 Day, Doris 583 D eath is called llngelchen 381 Delon, Alain 598, 601 Departures from a s t a t i c subject common visual axis 302 contrasting directions for a single motion 313-4 disclosing s t a t i c subject 316-7 external reverse s i t e s 303, 308 importance of f a c i a l reactions 312 master shots edited i n parallel 309-10 movement flows into movement 309-11 out of focus departures 316 passing behind s t a t i c subject 315-6 right angle deployment 303-5

617

Departures from a s t a t i c subject ( C on t,) several shots used 306-7 side t o centre, centre to opposite side 315 suggested departure 314 time compression 318-21 Dialogues, patterns for s t a t i c crossing the l i n e of i n t e r e s t 152-4 cut-aways 144-6 editing patterns 144-56 iso lation of peak moments 156 movements previous to s t a t i c edit­ ing 137 th e a t r i c a l tradition 139 the c l a s s i c method 149-50 time acceleration 159 to and fro patterns 136 visual pauses 152-6 Digan lo que Digan 479 D irty Dozen, The 593 Distance contrast 61-2, 150-1 D octor Zhivago 154, 159, 351, 404, 481,490 Documentary film form 8 , 12-3, 581 Donald, James 499 Donen, Stanley 615 Dynamic stops high/low camera axis 379 l e v e l common axis 37-8
E asy Rider 588

s t a t i c subject i s hidden i n the cut 340-3 Editing with oMir-abundant motion foreground ; notion used 351-5 parting cun m e f f e c t 358-9 redirecting . I ' . i c n t i o n 354-7 Elaine 603 E l Senor del I ' le 283 Enrico, Robcr! 597-8 E ye o f the D eril, The 611 Fai th full, Marianne 601 Farenheit 451 596 F e l l i n i , Federico 4
in Septem ber 565 Finch, Peter 4'>7-8 Flaherty, Robert 4 Fluid shot, technique of body position change 514-7 changing the background 504-10 towards and away from thecamera 502-14 compared with fragmentation techniques 502 follow focus 501 geometrical patterns of motion 540-1 how to repair errors 502 moving the camera 529-34 number contnist 533-7 substitution by areas 517-22 switching a r e a s 523-28 Fonda, Peter 5KH Ford, Glenn 571 Ford, John 380. 600 Forman, Milos 158 Fosse, Bob 614 Four fo r Texas 495 Frankenheimer, John 596 Front projection 384 Funny Face 615 Furie, Sidney J 42, 482, 602

Fifteen D ays

Editing with combined techniques conditions to be observed 577 i t s advantages 584 masters i np ar allel with f l u i d shots 572-7 using single shots 565-69 Editing with moving and motionless subjects both players move 348-9 centre-to-side motion i n second shot 343-5 hiding movement subject with another motion 349 moving subject i s hidden in the cut 345-7 non-human motion used 357-9 relating two s t a t i c subjects 347-8

Getino, Octavio 604 Gilbert, Lewis 595
G irl on the M otorcycle, The 600 Coidfinger 242 Graduate, The 603

Grammatical tools camera distances 15-6, 46, 61 cut-away 17 cut-in 17 cutting heights 16 moving camera 13 optical motion 15 optica) punctuation 19 sequences 18 shot length 15 shots, master 17-8 s t a t i c camera 15 straight cut punctuation 18 Grant, Cary 320-1, 346 G reat Hunt 6-7 Greene, Guy 586 Groups, handling of a player opposes the group 117-8 changing patterns 122 close knit groups 131 geometrical shapes 122 lone player in the centre 126, 129 multiple subdivision 121-2 pivoting group 130-1 the group i ss p l i ti n two 117-20, 123 Guillermin, John 381 Guinness, Alec 155, 352, 498 Haanstra, Bert, 595, 604
H am let 466, 606

Huston, John 407, 603 Hutton, Brian 588
Ikiru 158 II Deserto Rosso 595 In C old B lood 404

India 4 I n s e r t s , use of as pivot between two masters 142 length on screen 148 on a common axis 139-40 u on a reverse angle 139, 1 41 synonymous with close shot 143 to save a mistake 144 j two ins e r t s into a master 140-1 used for e f f e c t 150 Internal thoughts 46 Internal voioe 48, 159 Jpcress Fite, The 42, 482, 602 I t a l y4 I W as M on ty's Double 381 1 Japan 4 Joyce 488-9, 499, 611-13 Kadar and Klos 381 Kahlenberg, Richard S .4 Kelly, Grace 602 Kings o f the Sun 611 Komarovsky 404 Kruschen, Jack 583 Kubrick, Stanley 425, 480, 591 Kurosawa, Akira 4, 147, 158, 389, 398, 501
L a H ora de los H o m o s 604 L'A nee D ern iire & M arienbad 606

Harris, Richard 583 Harvey, Anthony 5 Hawkins, Jack 487 Hemmings, David 597 Hepburn, Audrey 615 Hidden Fortress , The 389 H ilt, The 403, 471 H iroshima, M on Am our 148, 157 Hitchcock, Alfred 124, 146, 320-1, 346-7, 481, 486, 496, 502, 539, 595-6, 601 Holden, William 487 H olland Today 597 Hopper, Dennis 588 Horatio 467-8 Home, Geoffrey 488 Hudson, Roger 5 Hunt, Peter 241

Lancaster, Burt 403
L a N o tte 583

Lara 404
L ast Gunfight. The 73

Lautrec, Toulouse 603
L e Amiche 600

Lean, David 154, 159, 351, 404, 481, 487, 490, 498, 583 L e Bonheur 579 Lemmon, Jack 570-1 L e R a t d'A m triqu e 43 L es Aventuriers 597-8 L e t's G et a L ittle Sentim ental 158 .

619

Limb motion as link 240-1 Line of i n t e r e s t 27 crossing on action scenes 289, 290, 292,311 crossing i t in s t a t i c dialogue scene 152, 154 Lola M o n tei 146 Long motions destination beyond s t a t i c subject 255—6 f a s t motion 259-40 half-way re-establishingshot 253-4 options for the centre camera s i t e 251 r ep et itive motion 249 right angle - common axis 257-8 sector repetition 252-3 suggesting a long distance 257-9 time contraction 258-9 time saving 249 using a common axis 254-5 using p ar allel positions 250-3 L ord o f the E ast 283 Lumet, Sidney 403 481, 538 Martin, Dean 495-6 Marvin, Lee 155 Masoch Club 7 , 138 Master shots, to cover motions across the screen 278 a second in s e r t caps the action 279-80 in a neutral direction 276-7 several motions in parallel 283-4 using a pause i n the middle 276-7 using one in s e r t 276-9 using two in ser ts 279-81 Matching the look 175 Matching the movement 175 Matching the position 175 McCarthy, Michael 497 Milits, Georges 579 Mifune, Toshiro 73, 147, 389-99 Mirror, use of on an edited in the camera shot 452-3 repetit iv e motion in the same shot 272-3 to include the excluded player 74

to obtain opposed motions of a single player 261 to record a player moving behind the camera 368 to record a v e r t i c a l motion 374 to show a receding motion 301 M ission Im possible 422 Montgomery, Robert 381 Motion, control of by projected background 160 change in direction 163 crossing the line of movement 160-9 human and camera motion 160 implied motion 160 recomposed motion 160 the line of motion respe<*ed 161 triangle principle applied 162 Motion, inegular coverage on a narrow area 293-5 use of a pause 289-91 use of sector repetition 292 using opposed halves of screen 295-99 Motion, types of across die screen 233-40 common visual axis 214-20 right angles 224-33 ri sing 198-229 side to centre - centre to opposite side 223 s i t t i n g and reclining 201-7 the three basic variations 246-8 through a door 241-6 turning 189-96 walking and running 208-14 Moulin R ouge 603 Moving to a f i n a l destination going beyond a s t a t i csubject 274-5 using a common visual axis 268-73 using parallel s i t e s 268-9 using reverse angles 266-9 using right angles 263-7 Moving together both move in the same direction 322-4 intermittent motion 339 moving towards each other 325-36 they move apart 336-9

6 2 0

cross-cutting patterns 10 delayed interaction 8 distance contrast 61 immediate interaction 8 interaction close together 8 interaction far apart 8 i n t e r e s t , alternated centres 6 i t s limitations 10 master shots 149-50 Okamoto, Kihachi 73 only audience has a l l the facts 11 Ol iv ie r,SirLaurence 60,465,468,606 only charactershave a l lthe f a c t s 11 Operation A m sterdam 497 reconstructed r e a l i t y 14 Ophuls, Max 146 selection of peak moments 10 several story l i n e s support each Panning other 1 1 a pause used to bridge opposite two basic story l ine components directions 405 8-9 camera moves ahead of the action, two di ff e r e n t situations alternated then halts 386 7 changing p ict o r i a l balance during two related situations alternated the action 405-6 7-8 circular motion 401-3 use of the techniques avoided 6 conditions for a scanning pan 385 written languages, i t s origins 10 constant screen sector 387 Pasha 490-2 cutting on a foreground obstruc­ Paths o f Glory 425,480 tion 388 Peckinpah, Sam 501 discontinuous t i l t motion 407-8 P e t r i , Elio 6 intermittent motion 400 Pivoting players interrupted movement 419 background position 87-8 motion edited i n pa rallel 387 foreground position 87-9, 1 33 , motivation and reaction in the 151,153 same shot 385-6 one in a group of three 87 opposite directions 417-20 on the centre of a crowd 131-2 panning and s t a t i c shots for a on the rim of a crowd 131, 133 chase 389, 398-9 manipulated for time and space panning and s t a t i c shots, their 134 editing 411-4 passive attitude 90,131,133 r ep et itive pans 386-7 same screen area 87-9, 151-3 side t i l t s409,411 shifting screen area 89, 131, 134 swish pans 404-5 two in a group of four or more t i l t s406-7 131,133, 151, 153 unusual camera motion 421-23 Polar s h i f t 152,154 Papitlon 359 Preminger, Otto 538 Parallel film editing Pre-planning f l u i d shots 502 action in master shots 1 1 Professionals, The 155

N a k ed Runner, The 42 Nelson, Ralph 381 new?reel 12-3 New York 6-8 Nichols, Mike 603 Nicholson 498, 611-4 N orth b y N orthw est 320-1, 346-7 Number contrast four players 116, 152-3 three players 80, 98, 103, 108 two players 51-2, 58

oomparatlv* behaviour t conditioned response I

action i n single shots 10-1 a story line itkept constant 1 1

6 2 1

Punctuation by camera motion 605-11 by inaction 599 by jump cuts 595-8 by p a r a l l e l editing 588 colour fades 579 dark areas 531 dark screen 603-6 deceptive visual match 582-6 dissolve 579-80 fade in 579 fade out 579 frozen frame 614-5 identifying points of view 591-5 i r i s 590 l i g h t change 591 object substitution 582 pauses 599-601 question and answer 582 related motions 582 s tr essing out of focus 602-3 s tr es si ng props 581 t i t l e s 581 to s t a r t scenes 591 using a close up 587-8 verbal repetition 582 v e r t i c a l 611-4 white outs 579 wipe 580
Queen Gertrude 467-8

Raphael 479 Rashomon 147 Raucamp, Gerald J . 597 Ray, Sa tj a v i t4 R ear Window 486, 601
Requiem fo r a H eavyweight 381

matching the look 20-22 matching the movement 20 matching the position 19 Schaflner, Franklin 359 Screen spacc distribution by halves 39-40 i n thirds of screen 37-9 minimal versus maximum screen areas 10-1 occult balance 109 off-centre 45 opposed screen areas 43-4 repetition of screen area 40, 42-3 space gaps between players 69, 71 v e r t i c a l opposition 45 Sea Was no M ore, The 595 Seconds 596 Seven Samurai 501 Shakespeare, William 468 Sharif, Omar 352 Sight an d Sound 5 Sinatra, Frank 495-6 s i t t i n g and reclining converging on the centre 207 irregular coverage 201-6 Sleeping Car M urders, The 584 Solanas, Fernando 6 0 4 S pl it screen 68 S p y in the Green H at, The 596 Stewart, James 481, 486, 602 S traw berry Statem ent, The 423 s u b t i t l e s , use of 581 Sweden 4 Sw eet C harity 614 Sundays and Cybele 565 Tashlin, Frank 583
Tenth Victim, The 6, 138 The Time o f the Ovens 604

Resnais, Alain 147, 167, 606 Return from the A shei 611 Reward, The 565
Richard III (to

Rising on a common axis 198, 200
R ival World, The 604 Rope, The 502

San Francisco 600 Santa Teresa Fortress 284 Scene matching

The triangle principle axis l i n e s 46, 61, 87 common visual axis 36 external reverse angles 32 internal reverse angles 33 i t s advantages 29-30, 36 oblique l i n e of i n t e r e s t 65 par allel positions 33-4 right angle positions 35 s t a t i c players 29-30

6 2 2

the cardinal rule 29 the line o f interest 27 tw o triangular form ations 29-31 use o f the apex position 37 vertical line o f interest 64-6 They D ied with their B oots On 493 T hom pson, J. Lee 611 Tim e and space manipulation tw o places to a com m on spot 134, 221, 250, 257, 3 6 1 ,4 0 4 , 418 one shot flash back 147 time com pression on action 342 Tim e lapse photography 12 T ohoscope 73 T om asini, G eorge 497 Trailers, film 580 Travelling m atte process 58, 68, 354 Travelling m otion avoiding obstructive foregrounds 424 both sides o f the track used 436 circular m otion 46 5 -6 cut away to static sites 46 1 -4 intermittent camera m otion 434-5 intermittent subject m otion 42 4 -6 opposite directions for camera and subject 447-55 panning added 44 3 -6 plana! contrasts used 424 point o f view stressed 458-61 qualities o f m otion 424 qualities o f tracking speed 45 6 -7 single files 4 5 5 -6 sm ooth tracking preferred 424 subject approaches tracking camera 457 -5 9 subject stops in second static shot 430-33 use o f pauses 424 winding paths 438-41 Trintignant, Jean Louis 157 Trip, The 588 Trip to the M oon , A 579 Truffaut, Francois 596 Turning arc m otion 196-7 com m on axis 189, 191 external reverse 189-90

foreground m otion dominates over background m otion 194 opposed fragments o f a continuous (notion 195-6 right angle 189-91 visual group expansion and co n ­ traction 193 Tushingham , R ita 155 Unforgiven, The 407 Uruguay 284 U stinov, Peter 146 Varda, A gnes 579 Ventura, Lino 598-9 Vera Cruz 403 Vertical m otion blocking the screen 375 by horizontal halves o f screen 375-7 com m on axis 370-1 external reverse sites 372 neutral direction becom es vertical 372-3 right angle 371 using a mirror reflection 374 Vertigo 451 Visual pauses picture established 152, 154, 155-6 verbally established 155 W alsh, R aoul 493 W alston, R ay 583 W ang, G eorge 6 W atergate Building 526 Where Eagles D are 588 W ild Bunch, The 501 W ithout A pparent M otive 157 W orld War II 148 Y am ada, K azuo 73 Y ates, Peter 600-1 You O nly L ive Twice 595 Z ones, m oving by advantages 542 a subject m oving or static 551-3 different editing patterns used 543, 545

(

623

Zones, moving by (C ont.) group contraction 559 grotip expansion i t s properties 543 making zone changes 555-63 motivating motion 542-3 on the re-establishing shot 543-5 subject moves, second stays 522-4 visual group expansion $45-8 zoom shots adding t i l tmotion 479 frozen zooms 482

opposed subject-zoom directions 477 panning whilezooming 439,448-9, 479 player moves during zoom motion 476-7 qualiti es of zoom motion 475-6 through foreground objects to simulate a tracking shot 477 tracking while zooming used without lens motion 475

624

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