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					204CR / 346CS Block Two
Telling Stories: The basics of narrative Video.
Weeks 4 – 7


1. Early Cinema and the development of film language - The Institutional Mode of
   Representation and Hollywood
2. Constructing space / Managing time 1 – Long shots and close-ups, movement and
   angles. (Semiotics, meaning and narrative impact)
3. Constructing space / Managing time 2 – Cuts, fades and transitions. Montage, Editing
   for ellipsis, constructing sequences from individual takes.

Technical session:
Video formats. Delivery mechanisms (DVD, streaming)

Possible tutorial / homework exercises:
Group: Tableaux: ‘Old Movie’
Group: Shot Choice, cutting: Throwing a ball
Group: 180 degree rule: Open the door
Group: Ellipsis: Climb the stairs
Group: Creating meaning - Low Angle / High Angle
Group: Creating meaning - ‘Suspense’
Group: Putting it together: One camera interview technique
Everyone: Connecting to the Helix Streaming Server
Documentary Film & Video

• “Creative treatment of actuality”- John Grierson

• Every Documentary falls somewhere between
  the most pure form of “telling a found story”
  and the less pure “contrived fiction”

  Surveillance                            Hollywood

    Camera                                  Film
Interview Styles
• Vox Pops: – Series of talking heads all
  responding to the same question
• Discussion: – Wide two shot of both
  participants (no close-ups or reaction
• ‘Soundtrack interview’: (i.e. interviewee
  visually absent) – sound only interview
  illustrated by rostrum camera and
  illustrative moving visuals.
• Classic shot-reverse-shot interview:
  – Multicamera: vision mixing in studio
  – One camera: Needs to be ‘pieced together’ in
Videotaping Interviews
• What we have learned so far:

• Keep the camera still – use a tripod or, failing
  this, let the camera operator ‘lean’ on something

• Record extra video for editing. Start recording at
  least 5 seconds before the action or talking
  begins, then continue recording at least 5
  seconds after the action or talking ends. Editing
  will be a lot easier if you have a little extra
  footage before and after the event you are trying
  to capture.

• Choose your angles wisely and stick with them
 Preparing for a Formal Interview:
• Generate an initial list of questions for the
  guest. It’s always a good idea to provide the
  guest with these questions prior to the interview
  so they can be ready with their answers.

• Your questions should focus on what interests
  you (and your audience) about the thoughts and
  ideas of the person you are interviewing?

• Focus on questions that elicit an opportunity to
  share their thoughts, understanding and
  knowledge, experiences, predictions etc.

• Do not ask questions that can be answered with a
  simple yes or no.
Interview Audio:

• Find a quiet space FIRST (fountains / traffic /
  crowds = BAD)

• Use an external lapel microphone (lavalier) or
  shotgun microphone for the interview if available.

• If you have to use the camera’s built-in
  microphone, you MUST have the camera within 5
  or 6 feet of the person being interviewed to record
  decent audio…. closer if there’s a lot of background
  noise (so go inside!)

• Try to position the camera about 30 degrees to the
  left or right of the subject (not straight on).
Shot Composition for a Formal Interview:
 • ESTABLISHING SHOT: Wide shot showing both interviewer and
   interviewee (Cam Pos 1) – audio is not used from this shot.

 • MAIN SHOT: Set up the shot of the Guest with the camera slightly
   behind and to the side of the Interviewer. (Cam Pos 2) audio of
   responses used.

 • Frame the shot with the Guest's “eyes on the upper third line” (rule
   of thirds – explained later) and allow a little more space in front of
   the face in the direction they are turned.

 • Have the interviewer sit and face the guest so they have someone
   to connect with and talk to. The interviewer should ask the
   questions and tell the guest to ignore the camera and just “talk to

 • Start the first answer shot with a medium or medium-wide
   shot: From just above waist to top of head… with eyes on the
   upper third line! This will allow room to put in a title key over the
   video when editing.

 • You can zoom-in to a closer shot later in the interview, but do it
   while a new question is being asked. It will make editing easier if
   you're not zooming during an answer.
Over the Shoulder (OS) Shot
                                         • This shot is wide enough to
                                           include part of the head and
                                           shoulders of the person doing
                                           the interview. It helps
                                           establish the relative position
                                           of the interviewer and guest
                                           being interviewed.

                                         • This shot isn't always
                                           necessary but is useful if you
                                           are going to have "reverse"
                                           angle shots (Cam pos 3) of
                                           the interviewer asking
                                           questions or reacting to
                                           something the guest is saying,
                                           like nodding in agreement as
                                           the guest talks. (audio can
                                           be used from this take)

                                         • You could also pan just a bit
                                           right to eliminate the
                                           interviewer from this shot
                                           leaving you with just a
                                           medium shot of the guest.
Medium close-up Shot of Guest with title
                                                          • This shot positions the
                                                            eyes of the guest on an
                                                            "imaginary" line
                                                            approximately 1/3 of the
                                                            way down from the top
                                                            of the screen. In
                                                            addition, the shot is
                                                            wide enough to allow
                                                            space to add the Name
                                                            and Title of the guest
                                                            being interviewed.
                                                            Notice that the guest is
                                                            not looking at the
                                                            camera but at the
                                                            interviewer and there is
                                                            slightly more room in
 http://www.library.kent.edu/page/11061                     "front" of the face in the
                                                            direction the guest is
                                                            looking. Use this shot at
                                                            the beginning of the
   The rule of thirds
Shooting “Cover” Video
• 2 types: Cutaways & Noddies

• Cover video can be used during the editing process to
  “cover” edits needed in the interview or to provide visual
  support for narration.
• While the interviewer and guest are sitting and talking
  (before starting the formal interview) try to get some shots
  of the guest's hands or just the guest sitting and listening
  to the interviewer. You can use these shots in editing.
• Ask permission to stay in the location (office or wherever)
  that you shot the interview for a few minutes more to tape
  cover video for the program.
• If you can, move the camera around to a position next to
  where the guest was seated and get a medium shot of the
  interviewer from the guest's perspective. Record the
  interviewer asking questions and just sitting and nodding as
  if listening to the guest (only need to have them do this for
  about 5 seconds, then ask the next question. These shots
  can be used later when editing the interview.
Shooting “Cover” Video
• Get shots of other things at the interview location. Any
  signs, objects on desks, anything that might be associated
  with the content of the interview.
• When possible, get interior shots of anything you can. If
  you can get shots of people working, great! But be sure to
  get permission first.
• Limit panning and zooming. Don’t pan over here to
  something interesting, then pan over there to something
  else. Similarly, don’t zoom in and out. Think instead of a
  series of still shots.
  OR MORE! Count to at least 15 after starting to record a
  shot before stopping, changing shots, starting a pan or
  zoom, etc. Some shots, like an exterior of a building or an
  interior of a working space with workers should be recorded
  for at least 30 (or more) seconds without moving the
  camera. Hint: The wider the shot, the longer it should be
  on to allow the viewer to “see” everything in the shot.
More tips
• Camera person: Don’t be afraid to ask the interviewer and
  interviewee to wait a second when adjusting the framing of
  a shot or changing shots. Let them know when you’re
  ready to record and when you are recording…. Wait about 5
  seconds AFTER you start recording to “cue” the interviewer
  that it’s ok to start.

• Avoid Group Interviews. Interviews are best when you are
  one-on-one with the interviewee. In most situations it is a
  bad idea to interview a group of people all at once, they
  may tend to answer for one-another rather than the
  audience and they may play off one-another in a manner
  that is distracting (e.g., interviewing a band).

• Group interviews are extremely hard to shoot with one
  camera and get close-ups of the person talking without lots
  of distracting panning and zooming.
Editing the interview

• Introductory Shot (GV of location / venue)
  with voice-over introducing the interview
3 main shots + additional cutaways:

• Shot 1 – Wide 2 shot as first question is
• Shot 2 – Mid shot (o/s shot) of
  interviewee’s reply
• Shot 3 – reverse shot (noddie) if the
  editor needs to ‘shorten’ the answer
 Advanced editing technique

 • Split edit
 • Use audio from one shot to ‘go under’
   visuals from another (see handout for
                       Guest listening      Guests
 Interviewers          to question          Answer
 question                                   starts
Audio Track

                   Question finishes here
Optional / Supplementary portfolio task
(for the more theoretically inclined…..)

• Analyse one or more computer game cut-scenes
  in the light of the lectures / readings on classical
  Hollywood film language (mise-en-scene,
  continuity editing, narrative conventions).

• To what extent do the cut-scenes conform to
  Hollywood norms?

• How might computer game cut-scenes develop in
  the future (Hints A.I. behaviours / Machinima….)

• About 1000 words – with images.

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