Changing Direction

A change in direction, if it happens more than once, will also create a visual rhythm. Each change in the direction of the ball's movement will produce visual alternation, repetition, and tempo. A secondary rhythm is generated by the movement of part of an object that already generates a primary rhythm. The Primary Rhythm is a person pacing back and forth the Secondary Rhythm is the person's moving legs and feet. There is a primary rhythm as the person stops and starts or changes direction, but...

Color and Degrees Kelvin

Different light sources produce different colored light. We see most light sources as neutral white or colorless because our vision systems are able to compensate for the different colored light sources, but none of them produces white light. We can classify these various light sources with a system developed in the late 1800s by Lord William Kelvin and still in use today. The Kelvin scale helps us describe and compare the color of light emitted from various sources. The lower the Kelvin number...

Continuum of Movement

Ninotchka (1939) Directed by Ernst Lubitsch Written by Charles Brackett, Billy Wilder, and Walter Reisch Photographed by William Daniels Art Direction by Cedric Gibbons Lawrence of Arabia (1962) Directed by David Lean Written by Robert Bolt Photographed by Frederick Francis Production Design by John Box Written by Martin Scorsese and Nicholas Pileggi Touch of Evil (1958) Directed by Orson Welles Written by Orson Welles Photographed by Russel Metty Art Direction by Robert Clatworthy

Contrast and Affinity Control

When filming is continuous, the ability to specifically orchestrate contrast and affinity is limited, because the camera can't be turned off during the event. A fragmented sequence makes control of contrast and affinity easier. Since fragmenting allows an event to be broken down into a series of subevents or separate shots, the visual components can be rearranged for each new shot. This means that the picture makers can create changes of contrast or affinity for any visual component in every...

Contrast of Hues

Directed by Anthony Mingella Written by Anthony Mingella Photographed by John Seale Production Design by Stuart Craig This film takes place in two locations. Red, orange, and yellow are assigned to the desert. Blues and greens are assigned to the countryside. Directed by Paul Thomas Anderson Written by Paul Thomas Anderson Photographed by Robert Elswit Production Design by William Arnold The two main characters are assigned a hue that remains constant throughout the entire film. He is blue and...

Controlling Rhythm During Production

Here are some guidelines for controlling it during production. 1. Watch the lines. Linear motif is the arrangement of stationary lines in the picture. It is also the key to finding the visual rhythm. Once you find the lines (using all the methods described in Chapter 4), evaluate them to find the rhythm. If there are only a few evenly spaced lines, the rhythm is probably slow and regular. As the number of lines increases, the visual rhythm gets faster. If the lines...

Controlling the Gray Scale

There are three ways to control the tone, or brightness, of objects in a shot reflective control (art direction), incident control (lighting), and exposure (camera and lens adjustments). The brightness range of a picture can be controlled by the actual reflectance values of objects. These are dark tones. Chapter 5 Tone These are dark tones. Chapter 5 Tone If a production requires a dark look, paint your scenery dark, wear dark-colored clothing, use only dark-colored objects, and remove all...

Crop Duster Sequence List

EX Exposition CO Conflict CX Climax R Resolution 1. EX Thornhill arrives by bus. 2. CO Two cars and a truck pass by. 3. CO Man arrives and takes a bus. 5. CO Plane attack 2 with machine guns. 6. CO Thornhill tries to stop a passing car. 7. CO Plane attack 3 with machine guns. 8. CO Plane attack 4. No guns. 9. CO Plane attack 5 with crop dusting chemicals. 10. CX Plane hits a tanker and explodes. 11. R Thornhill steals a truck and escapes. The numbers in Graph E refer to the numbers in the Crop...

Developing

The lab can alter the length of time the film is developed in the chemical solutions. The original film is underexposed during photography and then developed for a longer period of time (called pushing or force developing) to compensate for the underexposure. Pushing the film will desaturate the color. Laboratories are willing to experiment with filmmakers by removing or adding steps in the chemical development process to alter the color film's hue, brightness, or saturation. Some labs have...

Digital Timing

Color timing in the digital laboratory refers to the color correction of images captured on video or transferred from film to a video source. This timing is done digitally using computers, and offers far more control than is available with photochemical methods. Color timing in the digital laboratory can independently manipulate hue, brightness, saturation, and contrast in an entire production, or any single object within one frame. Whether you're working in video or film transferred to video,...

Direction

An object can actually move in a limited number of directions on a screen, because the screen is only two-dimensional. Remember, object movement can be seen only when the object moves in relation to the frame line. An object can make a horizontal, vertical, diagonal, or circular move. Even when an object on the screen appears to move in three dimensions, all the actual movement is only on the screen surface.

Directorial Choice

The story can suggest a continuous or fragmented approach. A scene that involves real time might play better as a continuous shot. A scene involving complex action might best be filmed in a fragmented manner so that the editor can manipulate the physical complexities. Sometimes an event is so complicated that it can be understood only when the subevents are fragmented. Other times, an event feels more real if it is filmed continuously, without editorial manipulation. A continuous or fragmented...

Dont Go Crazy

It's easy to overthink everything and get bogged down in visual component control. Don't let that happen keep it simple. The clearer you can be about controlling the visual components, the easier it will be for your crew to help you and for the audience to sense the structure you had planned. You need visual rules. It is easier to make good visual choices when there are rules to follow. If there are no rules, then there's no right or wrong answer for any question. Think about memorable or...

Entering and Exiting the Frame

When an object crosses the frame line, a single visual beat is created. The ball entering frame cannot create visual rhythm because a single beat lacks alternation, repetition, and tempo. A rhythm may be created if the ball enters and exits the frame because it produces alternation and repetition. The frame lines act as visual accents in contrast to the unaccented frame area. Repetition occurs because there are two frame lines, and the ball crosses both of them. If several objects enter and...

Flashing

Flashing means the film is exposed to light twice once when a scene is normally photographed, and again at the lab, either before (preflashing) or after (postflashing) the photography with a camera is completed. The lab's flashing exposes the film to a precisely measured amount of light (colored or white) that will desaturate the color, lower the contrast, and, if desired, add an overall hue cast. One film camera manufacturer has added a special flashing light inside the camera body, so the...

I

Excellent examples of incident lighting control can be seen in film noir movies. The term, coined by the French, means dark film and was first used to describe genre films of the 1940s. The tradition has continued today in films like Roman Polanski's Chinatown (1974) and Stephen Frears' The Grifters (1990). Film noir, horror, and suspense stories often emphasize incident control of the gray scale. Of course there was plenty of incident control of lighting before film noir. Silent films,...

Ilms to Watch

There are brilliant examples in television commercials, music videos, computer games, television programs, and short films. If you've never seen the following films, get the videos and watch them. The visual aspects of any film are best revealed when you view the film with the sound off (although your first viewing of any film should always be with sound). The more times you watch a film silently, the more you'll learn about its visual structure. The wonderful...

J

The emotional separation between mother and son is visualized with a vertical surface division that divides the frame. The picture loses its meaning when the division is removed. 2. Surface divisions can help direct the eye to specific areas of the frame for directorial emphasis. The full 2.40 1 frame allows the viewer's eye to wander. Adding a surface division places the actor in a new, smaller area of the frame. The surface division acts like a visual fence and confines the audience's...

J v

A random, multidirectional movement that fills the frame may have enough visual intensity, or dynamic, to push open the frame lines and create space beyond the actual frame. As the audience watches the screen, the movement will visually overwhelm the frame lines, and the audience will sense visual space outside of the frame. Movement in or out of the frame can also create open space. The movement must be large in relation to the frame, slow enough to be seen by the audience, yet fast enough to...

Level Unlevel

A tripod- or dolly-mounted camera will have more affinity when compared to a hand-held camera. A tripod or dolly holds the camera level to the horizon, keeping vertical and horizontal lines in the picture parallel to the frame lines. An unlevel, or off-axis camera, shifts these lines into diagonals. Diagonal lines are always more intense than horizontal or vertical lines. A hand-held camera, being used without the aid of special harnesses or leveling devices, creates additional movement as the...

Mixing Color on Monitors

Television and computer screens do not use the additive system. The color on television and computer screens is due to a system called optical mixing, which is similar to, but different from, the additive system. Examining television and computer screens with a magnifying glass reveals that the screen is comprised of hundreds of rows of tiny red, blue, and green dots or squares. This is true for conventional tube televisions, plasma, and LCD screens. These rows look roughly like this When a red...

Mm

This color script simply displays the colors for an entire production. The color scheme is all cool, desaturated colors. Here, the color script illustrates the color for each act of the story. Notice the contrast of warm and cool between act 2 and 3 of the story. This color script separates the present tense from the past with two different color schemes. This more detailed color script specifies the color range for various shots in each of four sequences of a story. Notice how the color scheme...

Movement in the Screen World

In the screen world, there are only three things that can move The audience's point-of-attention as they watch the screen Anything that moves in relation to the frame line is a moving object. Every moving object generates a track. A track is the path of a moving object. There are two types of tracks actual and virtual. These are discussed in detail in Chapter 4, Line and Shape. Based on the track of a moving object, there are four ways to categorize movement of an object direction, quality,...

Mr

The ambiguous space is used to create tension and confusion in the audience. The characters are swept up in a story full of mystery and questionable deception. Ambiguous space characterizes this mood. Lines are everywhere in the real world. For example, doorways have two vertical lines, and a volleyball has one curved line. The real world is also full of shapes. A door is a rectangle and volleyball is a sphere. Lines and shapes are closely linked because they define each other. Line differs...

Nodal Point Photography

Nodal point panning and tilting occur when the optical center of the lens is placed directly on axis with the pan and tilt movement of the camera. This keeps the optical center of the lens fixed as the camera is panned or tilted. Originally developed for making camera moves in miniature and special effect photography, the nodal point tilt and pan will create absolutely no relative movement from FG to BG. Most conventional camera tripod heads are not set up for nodal point photography and will...

Object Movement

Gold Diggers of 1935 (1935) Directed by Busby Berkeley Written by Manuel Seff and Peter Milne Photographed by George Burns Art Direction by Anton Grot The Fast and the Furious (2001) Directed by Rob Cohen Written by Gary Scott Thompson, Eric Bergquist, and David Ayer Photographed by Ericson Core Production Design by Waldemar Kalinowski The Matrix (1999-2003) Directed by Andy and Larry Wachowski Written by Andy and Larry Wachowski Photographed by Bill Pope Production Design by Owen Paterson...

Passing Another Object

A visual beat is created when a moving object passes in front of or behind other objects. The ball enters frame, moves past a FG or BG object (drawn here as a pole), and exits frame. As the ball passes the pole it will produce a visual beat like the ones created when the ball entered and exited the frame. Adding more FG or BG objects increases the alternation, repetition, and tempo. The moving object emphasizes the visual rhythm created by the stationary objects. As the moving object passes a...

Pointof View

The term point-of-view has a variety of meanings. Often it refers to the angle of the camera, but in this book point-of-view refers to the way that the author wants the audience to feel emotionally about the subject or story. For example, if a writer creates a detective, the story will be written with a particular point-of-view in mind. Some examples of a point-of-view are Detective as an intellectual, puzzle solving genius (Sherlock Holmes) Detective as a cynical, jaded loner (Sam Spade)...

Quality

The movement of an object can be straight or curved. Since moving objects generate a track or line, the same adjectives and emotional responses associated with straight and curved lines can be assigned to straight and curved movement. Generally, the track created by straight linear movement is associated with these characteristics direct, aggressive, conservative, ordered, unnatural, and rigid. Tracks created by curved movement can be associated with these characteristics indirect, passive,...

Rhythm

Rhythm is easy to experience but difficult to describe. Rhythm is perceived in three different ways we hear it, we see it, and we feel it. We're most familiar with rhythm we can hear, so we will define rhythm's subcomponents using the sound from a musician's metronome. A metronome's ticking sound creates beats that we recognize as rhythm. Every rhythm is made up of three subcomponents alternation, repetition, and tempo. A metronome's rhythm exists because there's a sound followed by a moment of...

Rhythmic Patterns

This slowly undulating flow-line has a slower rhythm that makes gradual, milder changes. Howards End, Hannah and Her Sisters, Wings of the Dove, and The Sixth Sense follow this rhythmic pattern. Every story has a rhythmic flow-line pattern. It may be a combination of these examples or a different line altogether. Drawing a flow line for the rhythm is an easy way to visualize the rhythmic feeling of your production. This idea will be elaborated on in Chapter 9. In the days of silent films,...

Scale

Scale refers to the distance the audience's point-of-attention travels in relation to the frame line. The viewer's eye will travel the entire width of the screen as it watches the two faces. Now, the travel distance is short. Later in this chapter, we'll discuss continuum of movement, where the scale of the audience's eye movement is critical.

Shapes of Spaces

The Conformist (1969) Directed by Bernardo Bertolucci Written by Bernardo Bertolucci Photographed by Vittorio Storaro Production Design by Fernando Scarfiotti This film emphasizes the shape of spaces. Each sequence of the film changes its use of shape. Written by Stanley Kubrick and Diane Johnson The visual style emphasizes the triangular shapes set up by the one-point perspective. Written by Louis Mellis and David Scinto The architecture of the house and pool create the basic linear motif for...

Si I L

This shot illustrates contrast of line orientation within the shot. These two pictures illustrate affinity of orientation from shot to shot, because the angle of the stationary lines is the same. These pictures illustrate contrast of orientation of Chapter 4 Line and Shape These pictures illustrate contrast of orientation of Chapter 4 Line and Shape Direction refers to the angle of lines or tracks created by moving objects. In the following drawings, the arrow indicates the direction of the...

Speed

A camera movement can occur at slow, medium, or fast speeds. Generally speaking, a slower camera move creates affinity, because changes in the visual components occur slowly. Faster camera moves can generate visual intensity, because the quickly moving camera view can produce rapid, contrasting changes in the visual components. Distinct visual differences occur in the speed of FG, MG, and BG objects during two- and three-dimensional camera moves. Remember that camera movement transfers its...

Story Sequence List

EX Roger Thornhill is a busy executive. 3. EX Thornhill meets Vandamm at mansion. 5. CO Police station and return to mansion. 6. CO Thornhill finds hotel room and escapes. 8. EX Intelligence Headquarters. 10. CO Thornhill meets Kendall on the train. 15. EX The Professor intervenes. 16. CO Mt. Rushmore Visitor's Center. 17. CO Kendall and Thornhill reunite. 18. CO Thornhill in the hospital. 20. CO Walk to Vandamm's plane. 22. R Thornhill and Kendall on the train. 0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80 90 100...

The Continuous and Fragment Event

Touch of Evil (1958) Directed by Orson Welles Written by Orson Welles Photographed by Russell Metty Art Direction by Robert Clatworthy Edited by Edward Curtiss Goodfellas (1990) Directed by Martin Scorsese Written by Nicholas Pileggi Photographed by Michael Ballhaus Production Design by Christie Zea Edited by Thelma Schoonmaker Production Design by Patrizia Von Brandenstein Man on Fire (2004) Directed by Tony Scott Screenplay by Brian Helgeland Photographed by Paul Cameron Production Design by...

The Event

A single action, a scene or a group of scenes, or an entire story can be called an event. This event can be simple (a hand opens a door) or complex (a person is born, lives to be 90 years old, and dies). Any event can be broken down into a number of subevents. The event is simple a hand opens a door. The subevents that make up the event are 1. The hand reaches for the doorknob. Listing the subevents allows us to understand each part of the overall event. On a time line, the event looks like...

The Golden Section

The Golden Section is a surface division that has long been used in classical fine art. Here are instructions on constructing a golden section based on Donald Graham's book, Composing Pictures. This 2 1 frame will be divided using the golden section. First, divide the frame in half with a diagonal line CB. Then transfer the length of the frame's side BD onto the diagonal line creating EB. Now, transfer the length of CE down to the bottom of the frame creating point F. Transfer the length of FD...

The Result

The end result of any preparation process is always the same. You're looking for ways to find a visual structure that will tell your story and express your point-of-view. In this book, most of the examples deal with stories usually found in television and theatrical features. But the principles of visual structure apply to any kind of production that appears on any kind of screen. Here are specific ways to approach visual structure depending on the kind of a production you're involved in. An ad...

Tonal Control Due to Reflectance or Incidence

The Conformist (1969) Directed by Bernardo Bertolucci Written by Bernardo Bertolucci Photographed by Vittorio Storaro Production Design by Fernando Scarfiotti Each sequence of the film uses a different arrangement of the basic visual components. The tonal controls vary from coincidence to noncoincidence, and from tone being controlled by lighting to art direction. The film makes a slow progression from a tonal range being controlled by art direction to lighting. This tonal scheme parallels the...

Light and Photography

A candle's light and daylight differ greatly in brightness and in their color. Imagine looking at a single lighted candle in a dark room and then opening a large window, allowing daylight to pour into the room. Within seconds your eyes adjust to the brightness and blue color of the daylight and everything looks normal. Now close the window and, in the dark room, look at the candle. Its light will now appear unusually orange. Again, within seconds, your eyes will adjust and the darkness won't...

Zoom Dolly

A zoom lens enlarges or shrinks all objects in frame at exactly the same rate. There is no relative size or speed changes between FG and BG objects in a zoom shot. A zoom usually creates less visual intensity than a dolly in or out. A dolly, especially with a wide lens, produces more visual intensity, because it generates changes in the relative size and speed of objects. There is one exception to this rule a snap zoom, which is an extremely rapid zoom in or out. A snap zoom will add visual...

Using Visual Structure

Making decisions about the visual components is essential to controlling visual structure. Different directors, cinematographers, and production designers work in different ways to solve the problem of finding a visual structure. Here are some suggestions for finding a method that works for you. You can avoid planning anything and find a visual structure as you shoot one day at a time. This works well if you're fast, unusually talented, and clever. There's nothing more exciting than the...

Contrast and Affinity

Since objects, the camera, and the audience's point-of-attention create movement, there are many ways to employ contrast or affinity. Remember, contrast and affinity can occur within a shot, from shot to shot, and from sequence to sequence. A moving object generates a line. This line, called a track, can be actual or virtual. See Chapter 4 for a complete description of lines and tracks. The visual intensity of an object's movement can be determined by analyzing the track.

Rhythmic Control

Each of these films has a distinct rhythmic control of the sound and visual components. Watch the films with the sound on, and then again with the sound off, and the rhythmic structure of the pictures and the editing will become clear. Written by Paul Schrader and Mardik Martin Production Design by Dean Tavoularis Barry Lyndon (1975) Directed by Stanley Kubrick Written by Stanley Kubrick Photographed by John Alcott Production Design by Ken Adam Rashomon (1951) Directed by Akira Kurosawa Written...

Beat

JIM I can't leave until she honors her commitment. JIM I have to tell Miss Adams (reciting from memory). You were scheduled to do a concert at our university's Homecoming, then your manager canceled. Maybe you've received a more financially remunerative offer, but we've already advanced 7,500 for the arena and the printing of tickets. The student body and faculty are counting on me to come through. I have a responsibility to them. MAISY Well, you've got a real problem, kid. What makes you think...

Info

Everywhere we go, we're confronted by pictures. We look at still pictures in books, magazines, and at museums. We watch moving pictures at the movies, on television, at concerts, and in theatres we play video games and surf the Internet. We look at a lot of pictures big, little, moving, still, color, or black and white but they are all pictures. This book is about learning how to understand and control these pictures. Every picture is comprised of a story, visuals, and, sometimes, sounds. Used...

The Story Structure Graph

Every story, no matter how brief or long, has an exposition, conflict, climax and resolution. The story can be a commercial, a video game, a documentary, a television program, or a feature length film script. A story usually exists as words written on a page. This is fine if you're reading the story, but a different format is needed to visualize a story's structure. The structure of any story can be charted on a graph. 0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80 90 100 110 120 This is a story structure graph....

Interaction of Color

In his famous color studies at Yale University, the artist Josef Albers demonstrated and defined what has come to be called color interaction. Albers' studies clarified theories about how colors appear to change their hue, brightness, or saturation when placed next to each other. His demonstrations, based on his personal work and the work of his students, developed into a set of rules that accurately predict how colors will interact. Making a color change its appearance requires two ingredients...

Controlling Tone in Production

If you are preparing a production, you have the chance to control the tonal range or brightness of your pictures before production begins using art direction. If you are arriving after preparation is completed, you'll have to rely on lighting for tonal control. 1. Find the subject. You must know where you want the audience to look. If there is no movement, they will usually watch the brightest area of the frame. 2. Don't confuse color with tone. You probably are shooting in color, but evaluate...

Depth of Field Lenses Effects on Space

Even though wide angle lenses have a greater depth of field, all lenses have the same depth of field when the image size of the subject is kept the same. This is an overhead view or ground plan of a wall, an actor (indicated by the dot) and a camera. The camera, with a 100 mm telephoto lens, is set up 14 feet from an actor in front of a wall, but the wall is out of focus and we want both the actor and the wall to be in focus. Without moving the camera we switch to an 18 mm wide angle lens that...

Anamorphic Lenses and mm Film

Standard lenses are called spherical or flat lenses. They are used to photograph the 1.33, 1.66, and 1.85 films, and all the television shows that you watch. Spherical or flat means that the lens's glass elements are round (not oblong or asymmetrical) and produce an image that is not distorted. (Spherical lenses are used on all still cameras.) In the early 1950s, Hollywood adopted a system that used aspherical or anamorphic lenses that purposely distorted the image. This system, first made...

Dolly Track Perpendicular To Subject

It not only defines the screen where all the other visual components are seen, but space itself has several subcomponents that must be explained. This chapter is divided into two parts. Part One defines the four subcomponents of space deep, flat, limited, and ambiguous. Part Two discusses aspect ratio, surface divisions, and open and closed space. The real world that we live in is three-dimensional, having height, width, and depth. But the physical nature of...

Lighting Filters

Colored filters can be placed on lights. Several manufacturers provide a wide range of colored plastic sheets called gels that are available in any imaginable color. Placing gels on lights uses the subtractive system. Whenever a gel is placed over a light, the output of the light decreases. The colored gel absorbs its complementary color and transmits its own color. Standard gels for photography usually are calibrated in degrees Kelvin, and will accurately and predictably warm up (with an...

Choosing Components

Once a point-of-view is established, the picture maker can select visual components that best communicate that point-of-view. The approach to choosing specific visual components can vary. Four methods are instinctual, arbitrary, researched, and analytic choices. There are many directors, designers, and photographers who control visual structure using their instincts. Instinct is an excellent way to form a point-of-view and make visual choices. Great instincts are an inexplicable, unique talent...

The Key Relationship

Before visual structure can be used correctly, some basic story structure concepts must be understood. This chapter will not attempt to explain story structure instead, it defines some terms that will help link visual and story structure together. The beginning of a story is called the exposition. Exposition can be defined as the facts needed to begin the story. These facts include (but are not limited to) the identity of the main characters, their plot situation, location, and time period. If...

Selecting and Controlling Visual Components

The process of selecting and controlling the visual components can be daunting. Although every visual component must be controlled, the structure of each component should be kept simple. To choose visual components, begin by answering these questions Where is the story's location Here are some examples that answer these questions and lead to a visual structure. 1. Story An honest, impulsive newspaper reporter infiltrates a secret society of assassins. The reporter tries to expose them, but...

W iff

Aerial Diffusion Graphic

This shot uses a FG actor and three BG actors. The camera dollies to the right. As the camera dollies or tracks from left to right, the FG actor passes the camera faster than the three actors in the BG. There's relative movement between the faster moving FG and the slower moving BG objects. An audience interprets the relative movement between the FG and the BG as a depth cue. The third camera move that produces illusory depth is a boom or crane shot. The camera is raised or lowered, usually on...

Found Footage

Found footage means that the production will use only existing archival photographs, film, or video that has been shot by other people. The first steps are to write the story, find a point-of-view, and design a visual structure that supports the story. A specific point-of-view must be defined so that the best selection of visual material can be made. Although some documentary filmmakers recreate historical events using actors, many documentaries use vintage photographs or archival film. Analyze...

Control of Color in Production

There are many ways to control color the color palette, filters, time and location, film and digital photography, and the laboratory. The best way to control color is to limit the color palette itself. The palette means the actual color of the objects (sets, props, wardrobe) in the picture. If you want your finished production to appear red and desaturated, then put only desaturated red objects in front of the camera. Give yourself strict rules about the color of your production and remove...

Visual Structure

The terms used to describe the three basic parts of a story's structure also apply to visual structure. Just as there's story exposition, there's also visual exposition. The story exposition defines the characters, the story situation, the location, and the time period. Story exposition sets up the basic story elements. The visual exposition defines how the basic visual components will be used to support the story. A story begins Once upon a time there was a happy family. This exposition could...

Uncontrolled Documentary

Shooting a documentary in an uncontrolled situation is a difficult job because it is impossible to predict what, if anything, will happen. A clear understanding of your point-of-view can help. When something happens in an uncontrolled situation, how do you want the viewer to feel emotionally about it You may need to develop different visual plans and have the ability to change plans quickly, depending on the situation. Examine your shooting location carefully before you begin and try to take...

The Visual Structure Graph

This familiar graph represents story intensity. It indicates the exposition, an intensifying conflict, a climax, and a resolution. A second graph can be added that represents the visual intensity. By placing a visual intensity graph directly below the story graph, the relationship between story and visuals becomes clear. The story graph indicates the story conflict intensity, and the visual intensity graph shows the amount of contrast or affinity in the visual components in direct relationship...

Using the Graphs

Visual Structure Script

Drawing graphs is a simple way to quickly structure the visual components. The graphs can be used to plan structures for the visual components over the course of an entire story, a sequence, one scene, or even in a single shot. Different combinations of visual components are easy to draw and change as you find the best visual plan for your production. Try different combinations of visual components. The labels on the visual graphs can be changed, making component variations and alterations...

Basic Silhouettes

Lines 1 and 2 have affinity of quality of line, because they're both nearly straight. Lines 1 and 4 have contrast, because one is straight and the other curved. Certain adjectives and emotional moods often are associated with quality of line. Most of the other basic visual components don't have preexisting emotional characteristics associated with them, but straight and curved lines often do. Generally speaking, a straight line is associated with these characteristics direct, aggressive, bland,...

The Visual Story

CREATING THE VISUAL STRUCTURE OF FILM, TV AND DIGITAL MEDIA AMSTERDAM BOSTON HEIDELBERG LONDON NEW YORK OXFORD PARIS SAN DIEGO SAN FRANCISCO SINGAPORE SYDNEY TOKYO Focal Press is an imprint of Elsevier Publishing Services Manager George Morrison Cover and Interior Design Leslie Haimes Focal Press is an imprint of Elsevier 30 Corporate Drive, Suite 400, Burlington, MA 01803, USA Linacre House, Jordan Hill, Oxford OX2 8DP, UK Copyright 2008 Bruce A. Block. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights...

Affinity of

Night Shyamalan Written by M. Night Shyamalan Photographed by Tak Fujimoto Production Design by Larry Fulton The color red is used sparingly to represent death. All the other hues are desaturated or removed from the color palette. Directed by Frank Darabont Screenplay by Frank Darabont Photographed by Roger Deakins Production Design by Terrence Marsh In this movie, blue is the color of imprisonment and red is the color of freedom.

Rhythm of Moving Objects

An object must move in relation to the frame line to create movement. Most object movement does not create rhythm. There are two types of rhythm in moving objects primary and secondary. The movement of a whole object creates a primary rhythm. When a part of the whole object moves independently, a secondary rhythm can be created. There are four ways a moving object can create a primary visual rhythm Entering and exiting the frame Moving in front of or behind another object The movement of a ball...

Relative Movement

Relative movement occurs when the movement of one object can be gauged by its changing position relative to a second, stationary object. The black circle appears to move because its position changes relative to the stationary green circle and the frame. In the screen world, visual movement can be produced only when an object moves in relation to the frame line. When objects do not move in relation to the frame line, there's no movement. Photograph a moving car in the open desert. The desert...

Apparent Movement

When one stationary object is replaced by another stationary object, the change between the two objects may be perceived as the movement of a single object. This creates apparent movement. Film and video rely on this principle. When real world actual movement is photographed onto film or video, it's transformed into a series of still pictures. Film and video can play back these still pictures at 24 or 30 fps frames per second , and the pictures appear to move, but the movement is apparent, not...

Color Systems

There are two basic systems for organizing and mixing color additive and sub-tractive. Although these two systems share terms and certain characteristics, each must be considered separately. The additive system of color involves the mixing of colored light. Colored light is mixed by taking a light of one color and a light of another color and beaming them onto a common surface. Where the two colors of light overlap or mix, a third color is produced. The additive system is used most often in...

Control of Movement in Production

The importance of continuum of movement in a shot or series of shots can be planned in a storyboard. The arrows in each storyboard picture indicate the movement of an object in the frame. In Storyboard 1, notice the curved curvilinear tracks and the affinity of continuum of movement. The viewer's point-of-attention will be left off in one shot and then picked up in the next shot in the same quadrant. Combining all the pictures into a single frame reveals the linear motif created by the tracks...

Controlling Line and Shape during Production

Tomorrow you're going to direct a scene, and you've decided to emphasize lines and shapes. How can you control them on the set 1. Squint. Most lines in the modern world are vertical and horizontal because they're created by architecture. Doors, windows, and walls tend to be vertical and horizontal. The same thing often is true with furniture. What is the linear motif of the shot Use a contrast viewing glass or learn to squint properly so recognizing the lines in...

Induced Movement

Induced movement occurs when a moving object transfers its movement to a nearby stationary object. The stationary object then appears to move and the moving object appears stationary. The black circle is moving to the right, but, under certain conditions, the green circle will appear to move left. Usually the movement will transfer to the smaller and brighter object. Moving clouds over a stationary moon is a good example of induced movement. If the cloud speed is correct, the moon will appear...

The Basic Components of Color

Talking about color is difficult because words can never accurately describe a color. Commercial paint stores use names like King's Ransom, Liberty, or Sorrento to describe colors in their catalogue. Interior designers use words like mushroom or peach, which may generally describe a color, but still aren't very specific. Sometimes colors are given names like sea-calm or romance, which tell more about the emotion the color hopes to evoke rather than a description of the color itself. Ultimately,...

The Subtractive System Color Wheel

The subtractive color wheel looks similar to the additive wheel but the primary colors are different, as shown here. The primary colors on the subtractive color wheel are magenta, yellow, and cyan. Combining two primary colors produces the other colors needed to complete the color wheel. YELLOW CYAN GREEN CYAN MAGENTA BLUE Mixing magenta, yellow, and cyan pigments together equally produces black. Colors opposite one another on the subtractive color wheel are called complementary colors. On the...

Coincidence and Noncoincidence

Coincidence and noncoincidence of tone refers to the relationship between the tonal organization of the shot and the subject of the shot. Coincidence of tone occurs when the tonal range reveals the subject. Noncoincidence of tone occurs when the tonal range obscures the subject. The subject can be a face, an entire person, a group of people, or any object that is the subject of the shot. To determine if a shot is coincidence or noncoincidence, the picture maker must identify the subject. In...

Rhythm of Stationary Objects

Visual rhythm is created by placing stationary objects in the frame. This is called composition. Simply stated, composition is the arrangement of objects within the frame. Shot 1 is an empty frame. It is the visual equivalent of white noise. This shot has no visual rhythm because there isn't any alternation, repetition, or tempo. An object a dot has been added, and now the empty frame has a visual rhythm. Shots 1A and 1B both have rhythm, but Shot 1B appears more intense than Shot 1A. The...

Color Schemes

Since color has so many variables, it's impossible to review all the possible color schemes, but the color wheel is a good place to begin, because it already has organized the hues into a simple circle. Following are some possible color schemes using hue. A monochromatic color scheme involves finding a single hue for an entire production. Warren Beatty's Reds and Francis Ford Coppola's The Godfather use only the hue of red. Almost all the color in these films is...

The Additive System Color Wheel

A color wheel organizes colors and shows their relationship to each other. The additive system color wheel is shown here. The primary colors in the additive system are red, green, and blue. Combining two primary colors produces the other colors needed to complete the color wheel. Remember, the additive system is the mixing of light. Magenta is similar to purple, but more reddish. Cyan is like turquoise, but more greenish. When the additive primaries are mixed together equally, they produce...