Our first task for video week was to of course learn things from the masters. The first master from which we were to learn was esteemed film critic, Roger Ebert.

The Ebert article we read was “How to Read a Movie.” Since photography and cinematography are so closely related, I already knew most of the things that he points out about techniques and what they accomplish. I can’t explain why these techniques work, all I know is that they just do. I suppose the the concept of “right is more positive, left more negative” in terms of placement works because of the millennia-old notion in the West that the right side is blessed and the left side is cursed. Though, I cannot explain why this concept also rings true in films from cultures that read right to left, as Ebert says.

Along with the Ebert article, we were to also watch 3 clips about cinematic techniques.

This clip was about how which clips are juxtaposed together can make or break or break a story. The example in the video shows how putting different clips in between two shots of a man, one in which he is expressionless and one in which he is smiling, can completely change the perception of the man. First, a clip of a woman smiling and holding a baby is placed in between the two clips of the man, which makes him seem sympathetic. The next clip that is placed in between the the clips of the man is a clip of a woman in bikini, which makes him seem like a pervert.

Just as the title says, this video shows examples of editing techniques:

Jump cuts

Slow motion/Montage

Wipe transition

Still/Thaw frame

Form cut

Flash cuts

Fast motion/time compression

Tempo/Rhythm

Freeze frame

This video shows many examples of scenes shot from a one-point perspective. There is no narration in the video, but it is clear that this perspective draws the viewers’ eyes into the middle of the frame.

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