Visual Storytelling Techniques (Video) from CITIZEN KANE

BASIC SEQUENCE (CITIZEN KANE)

Toland uses the traditional mix of long shots, medium shots, close-ups and reverse angles to build this scene. See the filmstrip counterpart. What makes the lighting design so very atmospheric?

MONTAGE (CITIZEN KANE)

Here Toland builds the scene from a series of shots, which, when viewed individually, have no apparent continuity, but which, when assembled, tell the story most effectively. What makes this technique different and special? See the filmstrip

MISE-EN-SCENE (CITIZEN KANE)

In this scene, a very simple visual approach is combined with an intricate rearrangement of characters. What makes it so unusual? What do you notice about how the shot restructures itself for visual variety? To what other technique might this be compared? See the filmstrip.

Advertisements

Sunrise: A Song of Two Humans (1927) | Week 2 FILM/VIDEO

F W Murnau 01
Image via Wikipedia

A young farmer falls in love with a tempting woman from the city, who persuades him to try and kill his wife, so they can be together. What will happen when the man has a vision of what the city is really like..?

Winner of the 1929 ‘Best Picture’ Oscar for ‘Unique and Artistic’ Production, and ‘Best Actress’ for Janet Gaynor.

Directed by F. W. Murnau
Produced by William Fox
Written by Carl Mayer
Story:
Hermann Sudermann
Starring George O’Brien
Janet Gaynor
Margaret Livingston
Cinematography Charles Rosher
Karl Struss
Editing by Harold D. Schuster
Distributed by Fox Film Corporation
Release date(s) September 23, 1927
Running time 95 minutes

Part 1/9

Part 2/9

Part 3/9

Part 4/9

Part 5/9

Part 6/9

Part 7/9

Part 8/9

Part 9/9

Week 2 Lecture Notes | CHARLES ROSHER, CARL HOFFMAN, KARL STRUSS and the films of F.W. MURNAU

by John Budde

Of all the films from the silent era, two stand out in my mind as rising to the pinnacle of their period. Although they are both representative of the German Expressionist movement, on was made in the United States. These two films are FAUST (1926) and SUNRISE (1927).

As I understand it, Charles Rosher was born and educated in London but moved to the United States. He was sent by fFox to serve as an advisor in Hollywood filmmaking techniques to F.W. Murnau and cinematographer Carl Hoffman during the filming of FAUST in Germany for UFA Pictures. When Murnau moved to Hollywood the following year, Rosher collaborated again with Murnau and with Cinematographer Karl Struss on Murnau;s first American film, SUNRISE, for which they both share the first Best Cinematography Academy Award.

As one of the last silent films, SUNRISE opened in theaters just as the first “talkies” were having thier premiers…and is, perhaps, the most sophisticated of the silents. It does have a sound track, but without sync sound. It tells a timeless stroy of love, betrayal and redemption.

To fully appreciate the cinematography, one must first be aware that the optical printer had not yet been invented, and the effects were all hand crafted, with overhead cable rigs for camera movments, matte shots and multiple exposure techniques. The lighting and movements are purposeful and serve to eloquently complement the atmosphere and content of the story.

FAUST, the last of Murnau’s German films, is my personal favorit, although SUNRISE is certainly more critically acclaimed.

What I find so very striking about these films is that they truly embody the ideal of the motion picture…there is an abunadance of motion in most scenes…backgrounds, foregrounds and characters..all moving. This is particularly impressive in FAUST. We see storms of the soul, flights or the spirit, classic struggles of immense proportions. Sets are distorted, with little people in the backgrounds to create a sense of great visual depth. Miniaturizations are combined with real proportions. Layerd exposures and other-in-camera effects carry meaningful support of story content and, throughout, we witness a visual and metaphorical theme of darkness doing battle with light.

Both films have symphonic scores…and a newer audio interpretation of FAUST has a Goth score.

As the silent era ended and the talkie emerged, the portability of the camera was lost for some time to come, and it seems fitting that these two films exemplify the ultimate visual realization of their time.

WEEK 2 | Black Board Assigments

by John Budde

New discussion group, LIGHT AND EXPOSURE:

With regard to the Light and Exposure handout, what is the simple basic mathematical principle that unifies virtually all aspects and elements of the process? In your discussion of this topic, consider the more global meaning of the word “stop” and how we use it not only to express the iris opening of a lens, but also to express differences between one value and another in each of the elements on the chart handed out in class.

Using your own research and best intuition, explain why you think f:stops (iris, aperture settings on a lens) follow the same mathematical logic as the other items on the chart, even though their numerical representations seem to appear otherwise. You will have to work on this together.

View the F.W. Murnau film, FAUST, in the film / video category to the left and contribute to a discussion about its visual atmospheres. Please also contribute to the discussion, noted above, entitled, Light and Exposure.

For those of you who have not yet contributed to the group discussions, please do so. Begin with the Citizen Kane and Visual Storytelling Methods from Week 1, then continue with Faust and Light and Exposure from Week 2.

For the Citizen Kane discussion, use both the clips and their corresponding filmstrips as the basis for your discussions.

Week 2 | Blackboard Assignment

New discussion group, LIGHT AND EXPOSURE: 

With regard to the Light and Exposure handout, what is the simple basic mathematical principle that unifies virtually all aspects and elements of the process?  In your discussion of this topic, consider the more global meaning of the word “stop” and how we use it not only to express the iris opening of a lens, but also to express differences between one value and another in each of the elements on the chart handed out in class.

Using your own research and best intuition, explain why you think f:stops (iris, aperture settings on a lens) follow the same mathematical logic as the other items on the chart, even though their numerical representations seem to appear otherwise.  You will have to work on this together.

View the F.W. Murnau film, FAUST, in the film / video category to the left and contribute to a discussion about its visual atmospheres.  Please also contribute to the discussion, noted above, entitled, Light and Exposure.

For those of you who have not yet contributed to the group discussions, please do so.  Begin with the Citizen Kane and Visual Storytelling Methods from Week 1, then continue with Faustand Light and Exposure from Week 2.

For the Citizen Kane discussion, use both the clips and their corresponding filmstrips as the basis for your discussions.

Spectra Professional Meter (Week 2 Handout) by John Budde

Spectra A(function() { var scribd = document.createElement(“script”); scribd.type = “text/javascript”; scribd.async = true; scribd.src = “http://www.scribd.com/javascripts/embed_code/inject.js”; var s = document.getElementsByTagName(“script”)[0]; s.parentNode.insertBefore(scribd, s); })();

Spectra B(function() { var scribd = document.createElement(“script”); scribd.type = “text/javascript”; scribd.async = true; scribd.src = “http://www.scribd.com/javascripts/embed_code/inject.js”; var s = document.getElementsByTagName(“script”)[0]; s.parentNode.insertBefore(scribd, s); })();

Sekonic Studio Meter (Week 2 Handouts) by John Budde

Sekonic Studio Meter(function() { var scribd = document.createElement(“script”); scribd.type = “text/javascript”; scribd.async = true; scribd.src = “http://www.scribd.com/javascripts/embed_code/inject.js”; var s = document.getElementsByTagName(“script”)[0]; s.parentNode.insertBefore(scribd, s); })();

Sekonic A//

 

Sekonic B//