Cinematic Techniques and Bonus points
Cinematic Techniques -
Representation is the way that characters are
presented. The director can influence the
audience‟s feelings towards characters using this
The representation of characters is created using:
– The attitudes or actions of the character
– The character‟s costume
– The language used by the characters (Quotations)
– The set and props surrounding the character
– Camera angles
Shows his restlessness Image
Blue face paint.
and fear. Highlights the
Reinforces the idea that Blood splattering.
Wallace fights for tension Mornay feels.
Suggests Mornay’s fear
Scotland. He murders of a bloody death.
for a cause Jump
Effect Mornay’s Effect
Shows the power and
ferocity of Wallace as Prolongs the tension
he sits on his horse of the scene, thereby
towering over Low Slow
Mornay. By contrast, Angle Mornay’s intense
Mornay seems fear as Wallace
vulnerable and attacks.
Point of Image
view Menacing eyes.
Riding through fire.
Makes Wallace seem Reveals Wallace’s
Effect ruthlessness and
demonic, but also
Puts us in Mornay’s position determination.
suggests he is
invincible. as the canon ball swings
towards him. Reveals
Mornay’s terror and raises
There are two types of
– Sound that we think is part of what‟s happening on the
screen for example, horse‟s hooves, the sound of thunder
– Sound that we know is not part of what‟s on screen, such as
music (unless there's an orchestra in shot!) and voiceover.
Copy the following camera techniques into
your notes. A set of descriptions will
follow. Try to match these with the
techniques you have copied down.
Close Up Zoom
Extreme Close Up Pan
Long Shot Wide-angle shot
Extra Long Shot Low-angle
Selective Focus High-angle
Soft Focus Point-of-view shot
Close Up - The camera moves in to a specific part of a person or object
Extreme Close Up - The camera moves in to show detail on a character‟s face, for
Long Shot - The camera shows all of a fairly large subject and much of its
Extra Long Shot - The camera is at its furthest distance from the subject, and is
used to emphasis the background
Selective Focus - The camera only focuses on part of the action and the remainder
of the scene appears blurred in the background
Soft Focus - The camera is used to blur sections of the image to create a particular
mood or atmosphere
Spins - The camera turns around, following the action of its subject
Zoom - The camera moves in close and pulls back from the subject
Pan - The camera swings across the scene, showing everyone in the action and
what they are doing
Wide-angle shot - The camera pulls back to show a broad field of action
Low-angle Shot - The camera is below its subject, looking up at it. This would make
the subject seem important and powerful
High-angle shot - The camera is above its subject, looking down at it. This would
make the subject seem little or insignificant
Point-of-view shot - The camera sees what the character sees, to give that person‟s
Montage is the cinematic technique that relates to the
way that different images are assembled to build up a
particular impression using the order and transition of
Cut - One image is suddenly replaced by another,
without a visible transition.
Montage is used to:
– link bits of action together into an understandable story
– make the audience feel certain emotions
– control and show the passage of time.
Questions to consider…
1. What does William‟s reaction to the McGregors tell
you about his initial thoughts and feelings regarding
the situation he has plunged himself and his village
into by avenging Murron‟s death?
2. Consider his speech just before he burns the first
fort. What is William‟s motivation for trying to regain
3. Describe Edward‟s interaction with his son when they
discuss Wallace‟s initial uprising in Scotland. Why
does this deepen the audience‟s dislike for this
4. Why does Robert the Bruce admire Wallace?
5. How does the Bruce‟s father describe Wallace and
Edward and what are his feelings towards each of
6. How do we know that Isabelle is in an
unhappy marriage to Edward‟s son?
7. How do the volunteers treat William in
8. During the deer hunting scene, explain
how the camera angles are used to
convince the audience that Steven is trying
to kill Wallace.
9. During the latter stages of this section of
the film, how do you think that William
feels about his role as leader of the
10. Have his feelings changed since the start,
and if so, why do you think this is?
Capital letters are required for the start of sentences and
Apostrophes are required for contractions (when a word has
been made shorter – “don‟t”, or to show ownership, -
A lot = two separate words!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Avoid just telling the story – you have to be brief with this.
The bulk of your essay should focus on analysis.
Think about the way that you construct your sentences!
Re-read your work, to ensure that it makes sense.
Media essays require you to use film language:
– Shot, scene, sequence
– Always use third person
Every essay should start with an introduction,
and end with a conclusion
Each paragraph should
– begin with a topic sentence
– define the technique that you are focussing on
– And where possible use a quotation following the
PEE format (point, evidence, explanation/opinion)
Your task is to place these sections of the
battle scene essay in order. You should work
on this task in pairs.
Essay 2 – Battle Scenes
Explain what cinematic techniques are used to
enhance your understanding and enjoyment of
the battle scenes in ‘Braveheart’.
In your essay you should cover the following techniques:
•Camera Angles and Shots
In pairs, try to write a plan for this essay. You will first
need to work out what aspects of the film (hint: you will
discuss with respect to the four techniques above).
Points to remember
ALWAYS refer back to the wording of the
question at the beginning and end of each
Check your work for technical accuracy –
spelling, punctuation, grammar, correct
Ensure that you provide analysis
Try to include quotations
Nature of Freedom for Wallace
Beginning – wanting peace and a family
Lack of freedom - his dreams are ripped away from
him through the murder of Murrin
Revenge for Murrin‟s murder and his desire for
freedom, catapult him into a war for freedom
Despite the fighting and the betrayal, Wallace‟s
desires are still clear: “I want a home, and children
and peace, [but] it‟s all for nothing if you don‟t have
This is made clear at the end when during the
execution scene Wallace focuses on a child, to remind
him of his reasons for fighting, and then latterly on
Murrin when she re-appears just before he is executed
Significance of the sword – a force
First seen during funeral of father with Argyll, where its use
is encouraged “First learn to use this (head), then I‟ll teach
you how to use this (sword)”
The sword is used as a symbol of the crucifix during
Murrin‟s funeral, after having been used to avenge her
Used to swear Wallace in as the guardian of Scotland
Finally it is used during the final scene to show the success
of the Scottish cause, after they win their freedom at
Bannockburn, under the Scottish King Robert the Bruce.