Movies and Film: Film Composition and Cinematography

Film Composition and Cinematography

In this section we will talk about film space and the stuff that fills it. Not Star Trek space, but the area photographed, and the objects in that area. After a director has decided where to shoot a scene, he or she then has to figure out how to shoot. What do you leave in the picture? What do you leave out? Do you want the audience to pay attention to just one element on the screen, or to several at once? How do you divide the screen so that the eye will be attracted to more than one element? These are concerns about mise-en-scne.

This section will really separate the film viewer from the casual moviegoer because framing is an issue that no one ever thinks is important enough to consider. But it is: what goes into the picture, how it fits in, and why it does. We will examine why what is on the edge of the picture is often as important as the star's face in the center. Who ever thinks about what's outside the frame? Well, here we will.

You will also be able to find some more information about framing in "Film: Camera Movement."

Excerpted from The Complete Idiot's Guide to Movies and Film © 2001 by Mark Winokur and Bruce Holsinger. All rights reserved including the right of reproduction in whole or in part in any form. Used by arrangement with Alpha Books, a member of Penguin Group (USA) Inc.

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