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Reading Movies Summary

Ebert brings up a lot of details that go into film that I do not really seem to notice when I watch something for the first time. What he emphasizes though, is that no matter how many times you watch something you are able to notice something new each time. This was helpful when watching the clip of The Shining for Part III of this assignment. One thing he brought up that I have never noticed is the fact that power and dominance is resembled usually on the right of the screen. Or if it isn’t always on the right, it is usually favored. Additionally, he says that “visual spaces have tendencies to stir emotional or aesthetic reactions”. This is very important for any film, because It is important for the audience to feel involved in the film emotionally. Lastly, the way that the characters are placed within the set is also important, the “lines” and position of actors on the screen. This includes the foreground, background, and the angles and placement of the camera in a specific scene. There is so much more planning that is involved in perfecting a movie than I realized. It is hard to notice everything at once especially if it is the first time watching a film.

I chose to read “15 Essential Camera Shots, Movements, and Angles”, because this is something that interests me the most about filmmaking. The camera crew is such an important part of the film as a whole and elevates the scene. A scene could be perfect on paper, but if not executed properly via camera angle or movement, it could be ruined. The close-up is the most common shot in film, this does not surprise me at all because it is such a valuable aspect to many iconic movie scenes. The example given for the close up is looking at a classic Western movie before a duel, and the camera does a close up of both cowboys to show their facial expression. Another common angle is the long shot which is used to show the characters from head to toe, this is very important because it shows the movement and environment of the character. One of the other angles that drew my attention was the POV. I think adding a POV into a movie is a great way for the audience to feel connected to the character in the movie, I have seen it used mostly during action or horror movies so that you can see where the character is running or maneuvering to get to safety. In conclusion, there are a lot more angles to choose from that you can choose to perfectly match the movie scene at hand and make it even better.

Lastly, I chose to watch Hitchcock Loves Bikinis. Although this was a short video there was much to learn. The cut of a scene can change emotion so easily, and especially when there is a clip in the middle. The close up in the beginning will dramatize the emotion that the character is feeling. In this example Hitchcock is looking at a woman and a kid, the camera flips back to him and he is now smiling, clearly happy to see them. Now, Hitchcock switches the video of the woman and kid to a video clip of a woman in a bikini. Now watching this clip, the innocence is taken away because he is now watching a woman in a bikini with a creepy smile on his face. This shows that although these clips can be versatile, changing something so simple can portray a different meaning than was intended.