By January 28th, I want to utilize camera angles and lighting compositions that emulate the tension in horror films. To do this I will study leaders in the field that have achieved what I want and follow tutorials on how camera movement makes a movie terrifying.
PRE-PRODUCTION – INQUIRY
Leader(s) in the Field / Exemplary Work(s)
Primary Source: The Shining
Cinematographer: John Alcott
Very still camera movements, very little room to move.
The camera shakes on an action and follows movement
The camera glues onto the person in peril, forcing us to watch them scream and writhe.
Uses a wide angle shot to represent how dire the situation is
Eyes are important
Camera tracks/follows Johnny to create suspense
Facial expressions matter – They tend to be the main focus of the sequence
1:30 – Structure of Horror Downtime, Build-up then Scare
2:34 – Cutting from a Character to their POV (when approaching a threat); Push-ins
3:57 – Open spaces scare people/ Closed spaces are safe
How can interrupting patterns built by structuralism emphasis underlying meanings of a film?
Structuralism examines the foundations of language itself, to examine the rules that govern language
“Signifier” i.e Sound Pattern, said out loud or quietly “Signified” or The meaning of the word spoken or thought of.
“Individual frames in a relatively brief scene are structured to emphasize ideologies”
“The relationship between words and what they signified gave words meaning”
“The underlying goal is always this: to identify the foundations the cinematography and dialogue establish in a genre or collection of films, and then examine how singular films fit into or subvert these foundations”
This section of the film theory article explained how structuralism is the foundation of language and understanding how the rules apply through a “signifier” and a “signified” and how it relates to film by referencing the film, “The Birds” as if it were a series of paintings and how each individual scene emphasizes the
Ways of Thinking (Creativity, Innovation, Critical Thinking, Problem Solving)
Ways of Thinking: To get an idea of how the film would play out. I created a storyboard with the assistants of my team to create a plan that was interesting and creative. A part of that process was a plan for a cliché training montage; to break the mold and subvert expectations we decided to create a twist at the end where the protagonist over trains and comedically hurt the antagonist at the end.
Ways of Working (Communication & Collaboration)
Ways of Working: Throughout the project, me and my team had to communicate on what days to film and our time restraints. One of the hurdles we had to jump was the fact that if we filmed on different days, our actors wouldn’t be wearing the same clothes. This would effect the continuity of the film, so we decided to split the film into 3; the first encounter, the training montage, and the final showdown. All these scenes were filmed on different days, one scene per day, to show the progression and clear separation of shots while still keeping continuity.
Tools for Working (Info & Media Literacy)
Tools for Working: For this film, I used a single video about all the different shots and what they did to a film, as well as getting inspiration from the short videos on TikTok and Youtube. During pre-production I researched Bill pope, a cinematographer who worked in the industry. For filming, I used our directors phone to record to save and create more time for the rest of the team.
Ways of Living in the World (Life & Career)
Ways of Living in the World: During session 2, other than working on the project, I had buttloads of homework (thanks pre-calculus). I spent a lot of my time working on personal art projects and rewatching some of my favorite animated shows, and thinking about volleyball.
Reactions to the Final Version
After finishing up the film, we had to present it to the class. Mr. Leduc commentated on “how the bright red and green lights on the actors faces, against the dark background draws the attention of the viewer to what’s happening” This feedback helped me learn what I did well, what I wished I heard more of was on what I didn’t do well, sadly that was out of my control.
Self-Evaluation of Final Version
The final version of the film had a simple premise, which was a typing race; a unexpected twist at the end which made the cliche training montage work; we created an emotional connection to the protagonist with the unexpected but endearing acting from Windsor; and finally created a sense of story from the structure of the 3 parts and the multiple stimulations that drove the story such as the music during the training montage.
What I Learned and Problems I Solved
What I learned during the process of this film was that I wasn’t going to be able to do everything I wanna do as a cinematographer and that my job isn’t to execute my vision, but to execute the directors vision of the film. I also learned a very important lesson in the limitation of time; this was learnt when I was unable to save the footage we had just recorded to the computer due to the class ending, I solved this by switching to phone for the film.