Roger Ebert’s “How to Read a Movie” really made you take a more in depth look at everything. And that’s the point. While a movie as a whole is “good” or “bad,” what makes it so? Quite literally everything, make a movie what it is. While we only really think of the big picture, every frame goes to attribute that. So it is good to look at, as a filmmaker, what those things are. Ebert goes to point out that every frame matters, and you need to focus on little things like movement, lighting, point of view, and the direction of motion. These all lead to a focus on one thing or another, and while there is no “right” or “wrong,” and you can’t break the rules, there are things you can do to make it consistent with what people like. To present some form of organization. Even while people don’t consciously see every little detail, subconsciously it is all being processed to make a judgement about the movie, and you read it like a book: frame by frame analyzing every aspect of it. I agree that sometimes it is good to analyze the little things that make a movie great, and things like symbolism, lighting, and movement are great indicators of that. However, at the end of the day I go to movies to just not think and enjoy the movies.
The first video I watched was “Top 20 Amazing Cinematic Techniques.” This really emphasized movement and motion. This explored the differences between different pans, steadiness of the camera, zooms, and lengths of shots. This really opened my eyes to the contrasts this brings. Longer shots make for more drama, while shorter make for quick excitement. A slow exaggerates how big the area is, and is used for wide landscapes and battle scenes. A camera shot that tracks a character is used in a hectic situation and emphasizes how hectic and crazy the world around the viewer is. A first person point of view shot makes a more intimate discussion with a character and makes you feel as though you are closer to them. A crane up leads to suspense for what is to come in the new field of view, and a smooth/steady camera shot makes things seem under control. A quick zoom builds suspense for what is at the end, and a bunch of shots built together exaggerates the distance something/someone travels. This was a great film because it emphasized just how much the camera work and movement alone affects a scene and the viewer’s emotions on that scene.
The second video I watched was “Examples of Editing Techniques.” This focused less on the movement of the camera, but more on how scenes were edited post-production together to convey some emotion. There are some very standard cuts, that we see all the time and just don’t think much about. The first is a jump cut, that brings together two characters in conversation when they aren’t in the same frame. The next is a slow motion montage, which is simply a mashup of various related things in slow motion. This is done to make a dramatic effect and enhance the drama of the scene. The next is wipe transition, where the current scene slides off to the side and is replaced by the next, and this shows motion very well and traveling somewhere. The next is a thaw frame, where a frame is still until a certain point when movement starts. This builds drama and suspense as to what will happen next. Then it took us to a form cut, where the scene goes from the scene to a specific object, and adds importance to something. The next was flash cuts, that are simply just quick cuts from scene to scene. This creates a fast and upbeat tempo to the scene. Then came a time compression, that can show the blooming and a long period of time and compress it to quickly happening to enhance the beauty. Finally was a freeze frame, where emphasis is added to the end of a scene to allow a narrator to speak.