Free Trial

Safari Books Online is a digital library providing on-demand subscription access to thousands of learning resources.

64 chapter 3 the Visual Language and aesthetics of Cinema tension, but the short dolly-in electrifies the exact moment he reveals himself to her in his official capacity as a Stasi officer (Figure 3-38). Notice also that as the camera pushes in, Weisler does not make eye contact with Christa-Maria until the very end of the movement, thus motivating the cut to her reaction. The moment the camera begins to move also needs motivation within a scene. A move that begins arbitrarily can feel artificial and make the camera apparatus itself very apparent to viewers, causing them to become aware of the filmmaker manipulating the world of the film. Camera moves can be motivated by the physical movements of a character or even simply by their gaze. In the example from Cocteau's Beauty and the Beast (Figure 3-32, top), which was photographed by the inimitable Henri Alekan, the pan-with is motivated by the movements of Beauty who crosses from the door to the window prompting the camera to follow her. Narratively speaking, the purpose of the pan is to reveal more detail of the Beast's castle, particularly Beauty's room at the castle. During the pan we see that this is a magical place, with mist and flora obscuring walls and ceiling this is neither inside nor outside, but more like a fantastical dream space. The pan-to example from the same fig- ure (Figure 3-32, bottom) is from the scene where Beauty sees the Beast for the first time. The physical pan move is motivated by her seeing something off screen and the move follows her gaze to reveal the Beast. In cases like this we say that we "pan off her look." The purpose for a pan like this is to place the camera, and therefore the viewers, closer to the subject's point of view--we see what she sees because it is the force of her gaze that moves the camera. move motivation n concLuSion It is essential that anyone hoping to tell stories with moving images develop a deep work- ing appreciation for the concepts of mise-en-scène and montage, because it is here where we truly connect with an audience on the level of story information, meaning, and emotion. In addition, being aware of the expressive power of camera angles and camera moves allows one to conceive of shots, sequences, and scenes that are narratively and emotion- ally eloquent. When it comes to the aesthetics of the frame--still or moving--we have only laid the groundwork in this chapter. There are many factors that contribute to the graphic qualities of your images--for example, choice of imaging format, lens selection, camera support, lighting design, exposure, frame rate, and the physical location to name a few. It's all integrated, and these aesthetic tools will be discussed throughout the chapters of this book.