**Cinematography in the Digital Age** ENGL 203 / CS 205 / ARTH 205 Instructors : Prof. [Shawn Rosenheim](http://english.williams.edu/profile/srosenhe/), ([English](http://english.williams.edu/))
Prof. [Morgan McGuire](http://cs.williams.edu/~morgan), ([Computer Science](http://cs.williams.edu)) Catalog Description : ![[_Up_](http://www.pixar.com/features_films/UP) ©2009 Pixar, directed by Pete Docter, 101 min](up.jpg width="39%" border="2") In this course we study the language of modern cinema as shaped by two forces. The first is the aesthetics of cinematography, as contributed by many cultures. The second is digital film production, which has proved both empowering and constraining. The modern filmmaker succeeds only through understanding both forces. The structure of the course is similar to a writing workshop. We begin with close reading of isolated scenes from influential films, which we compare and critique in writing and discussion. We augment this with cinematic and image processing theory, solidified through experiments in Photoshop and Premiere that reveal how digital technology shapes a director’s choices. We then create our own short scenes using these tools and consumer video recorders. We refine our film fragments in the context of group critique. ![[_Baraka_](http://www.barakasamsara.com/baraka/about) ©1992 Magidson Films, directed by Ron Fricke, 96 min](baraka.jpg width="39%" border="2") Topics covered include: framing and composition, pace, storyboarding, blocking, lighting, transitions, perspective, sensors, quantization, compression, visual effects, Internet streaming, and color spaces. Diversity Statement : This course explores diversity through comparative study of how different cultures variously render similar themes, and through a larger investigation of film’s ability to make audiences identify with potentially alien points of view. Format : Studio with lecture and discussion. Evaluation will be based on video production activity, computational exercises in Photoshop, script and storyboarding exercises, participation in discussions, and essays. Prerequisites : A 100 level English course, or a score of 5 on the AP Exam in English Literature or a 6 or 7 on the International Baccalaureate; or permission of instructor. Preference will be given to sophomores and Computer Science and English majors. Distribution Notes : Meets Division 1 requirement if registration is under ENGL or ARTH; meets Division 3 requirement if registration is under CSCI. Texts : - Mamet, [_On Directing Film_](http://amzn.to/1QpVs1f), 1992 ($11) - Katz, [_Shot by Shot_](http://amzn.to/1RDPxXO), 1991 ($17) - Brown, [_Motion Picture and Video Lighting_](http://amzn.to/1OCOB2e), 2007 ($18-36) (all available on Amazon and at Water St. Books) _This syllabus is revised frequently. The latest version is always online at http://graphics.cs.williams.edu/courses/cs205_ Meetings & Assignments ===================================================================== - Tuesday and Thursday, 9:55am-11:10am in Griffin 2 (+ Clark 204 for breakout sections) - 8pm Sunday evening film screenings at Images Cinema - Rosenheim office hours Wed 10:30am-12:30pm in Hollander 246, or by appointment - McGuire office hours Wed 2:00pm-3:45pm in TCL 308, or by appointment For some of the class meetings we'll break out into groups of 19, meeting with separate instructors for activities or discussions. You do not have a fixed "section" for these--you'll work with different students and both instructors throughout the semester. Attendance is mandatory. So that you can plan ahead, a complete list of the assignments for the course are: 1. [Cold Open](assignments/coldopen.md.html) 2-person project 1. [Continuity Editing](assignments/editing.md.html) individual homework 1. [Trailer Essay](assignments/traileressay.md.html) individual homework 1. [Trailer Edit](assignments/trailerediting.md.html) 2-person project 1. [Preproduction](assignments/preproduction.md.html) 2-person project 1. ~~[Citizenfour](assignments/citizenfour.md.html) individual homework~~ _cancelled to reduce workload_ 1. [Storyboarding](assignments/storyboarding.md.html) 2-person project 1. ~~[Critique](assignments/critique.md.html) individual homework~~ _cancelled in favor of creative assignment_ 1. [In Medias Res](assignments/inmediasres.md.html) _n_-person project 1. [Production](assignments/production.md.html) 3-person project 1. [Short Film](assignments/shortfilm.md.html) 3-person project Many assignments include a [Self-Evaluation](assignments/selfevaluation.md.html) component. We may introduce some more minor (write a response paragraph or two, capture a few shots) homeworks throughout the semester. We invite your suggestions on all assignments. When inspiration strikes, you may propose changing the rules of an assignment for yourself or request that upcoming assignments incorporate new ideas for everyone. The due dates reflect calendar necessities and are unfortunately not negotiable. Plan to spend 12 hours per week on this course on average, including class time and screenings. There will be some weeks where there is substantially less work and some in which you may need to invest more time. Drafts of all major assignments, screenings, and deadlines are available at the start of the semester to help you plan ahead. We do not accept late work or grant extensions except in rare medical emergencies-- projects usually follow one another, so an extension is not only unfair to other students in the class, it also is likely to compound whatever situation overloaded you in the first place. Final Project Films ============================================================ Here are the student final project films from the class of S16. We're very proud of what they accomplished. Each film was made by a group of 1-4 students in three weeks, based on previous eight weeks of instruction (for most students, this was their first production course!) ![Big Break [(Download)](final-2016/01-big-break.mp4) ](https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RKoPcGASk0I) ![The Sound of Limbo [(Download)](final-2016/03-the-sound-of-limbo.mp4)](https://youtu.be/CqddhOXj8iA) ![The Squirrel [(Download)](final-2016/05-the-squirrel.mp4)](https://youtu.be/S3O6ADa7ua4) ![Framing [(Download)](final-2016/06-framing.mp4)](https://youtu.be/tEjbzy0sLHw) ![Caprice des Dieux [(Download)](final-2016/09-caprice-des-dieux.mp4)](https://youtu.be/9XsYm7vyG9E) ![Ghosted [(Download)](final-2016/10-ghosted.mp4)](https://youtu.be/swyoQIC6_p0) ![Hear No Evil [(Download)](final-2016/11-hear-no-evil.mp4)](https://youtu.be/9JK6v8EyBM0) ![False Pretences [(Download)](final-2016/12-false-pretences.mp4)](https://youtu.be/6ilkdRzcV6I) ![Does It Get Easier? [(Download)](final-2016/13-does-it-get-easier.mp4)](https://youtu.be/9RuyzQwsBp8) ![Overexposure [(Download)](final-2016/14-overexposure.mp4)](https://youtu.be/nBAhR2KsAT8) Three other films contain material copyrighted by other parties and cannot be distributed. Grading ===================================================================== Your final grade will be 85% the average of your assignments and 15% an engagement score based on participation in discussions and in-class activities. You must _attend_ class to participate, so that is implicitly required. We weight individual assignments based on the level of effort required and amount of material that they cover. For team projects, all team members will receive approximately the same grade. You therefore have a responsibility to your team to meet your commitments and perform an equal share of the work. Note that in some cases, this means that you might have to moderate your ambitions. For example, you may be able to spend 25 hours a week on a film project that you're passionate about, but it is unreasonable to ask your partners to spend that much time or to create a project in which different members are spending unequal amounts of time. The individual self-evaluation component of some team projects may affect your overall grade on that project. You can only receive full credit for your work if you demonstrate an awareness of its strengths and weaknesses. We grade primarily based on the elements of an assignment and secondarily on your ability to integrate other material from the course. The actual aesthetic quality of your work is a distant third criterion. Any reasonably complete work will earn at least C-. Attention to production issues, films that we've studied, technical vocabulary, and general academic quality will earn grades up to B+. An A- grade indicates insights that follow from the material covered but extend beyond it. Full A (and the rare A+!) grades are reserved for work that exceeds the requirements and concepts of the course, demonstrating initiative, conceptual leaps, or aesthetic talent. Calendar ===================================================================== The course is organized into these units: 1. Making movies: _what films are and how we make them_ 2. Editing: _why we need specific shots, and how to connect them_ 3. Cameras: _how we capture shots_ 4. Lights and blocking: _how to create depth and dynamics_ 5. Computer Generated Imagery (CGI): _3D graphics and effects_ 6. Compositing: _technology for combining and adjusting frames_ _Students complete the [Cold Open](assignments/coldopen.md.html) project on their own before the first class meeting, working with an assigned partner_ Wed Feb 3, 2016: Organizational Meeting
★_In: [Cold Open](assignments/coldopen.md.html)_ (Thursday Schedule, meet in pre-assigned groups of 19) + Introduce yourself - Critique the Cold Open student films + What is a "cold open" in film? + You were brave, experimental, and clever--everyone successfully made a film, and it is now going to be viewed by an audience + Screen films: take notes as you're watching them on what works and what doesn't + What do you notice about aspect ratio + Coding: what elements are tied to a specific time, place, and culture? Would this film make sense to an outsider? + Use of space: which films gave you a clear sense of the environment and relative locations of objects and people in the scene? + Framing + blocking: where is the subject in the frame? + Notice that the camera doesn't move very much in the professional films. When cameras do move in pro films, how do they move? + Editing: what kinds of shots can we cut between effectively? - Principles of cinematography + Summarize from our discussion: + Camera placement + Camera movement + Camera controls (focus, zoom, shutter, iris) + Lighting + Blocking and composition + Editing of shot sequences + VFX - Consider the _process_ of making films - How to view and discuss film + Watch once for your enjoyment + I prefer to go into films cold, without reading reviews or criticism + ...but if the film is far outside your culture (in time, geography, etc.), a little background research before the first screening might help + Watch again for evaluation + Look at individual scenes + Scrub in digital form + Use your gut reaction as a guide, but not a thesis + Focus on "how" and "why", not "what" + "this happens" ==> *why* must that happen to advance the film? *how* is it depicted? + "I like/don't like this" ==> why? how does the film play on your emotions? + Follow visual [critique process](http://www.wikihow.com/Critique-Artwork): + Objective description + Identify technical elements + Interpret how technical elements give rise to qualitative experience + Connect to context; make subjective evaluation + Compare films to one another (and keep chronology in mind) + Start a film journal + Write a short critique (one paragraph) of every TV show and film that you watch this semester. This will help accustom you to formal analysis and provide material to sample when you have writing assignments. Your paragraphs will naturally become more sophisticated as you repeat the exercise. - What should we study for the next 12 weeks? Sun Feb 7, 2016: _Y Tu Mamá También_ Screening - [_Y Tu Mamá También_](http://francis.williams.edu/record=b1626952~S0) (dir: Alfonso Cuarón, cin: Emmanuel Lubezki, 106 min, 2001) - Free popcorn provided by the English department! - Introduction, discussion of themes for the course Tue Feb 9, 2016: Introduction - Reading: - [Welcome to Production](welcome-to-production.md.html) + Bring: + Graded Cold Open to return + Ruler + Something to measure - What is film? + 10 min + Properties + Self-contained: characters, setting, plot, and resolution in a single piece + Beginning and ending (vs. looped) + Non-interactive + (Mostly) concrete + Lots of forms + Hollywood blockbusters + Nonfiction + Short film + More abstract films + Basic vocabulary: + *Set* is the real-world place where we film + *Take* is continuous, raw shooting from "Action!" to "Cut!" + *Actors* are the people we film + *Setting* is the conceptual location depicted by the Set, in both space, time, and tone + *Frame* is a single image. We show a lot of these rapidly to create the illusion of motion. Frames don't exist for the audience--they are like letters in writing, which only have meaning when assembled into words and sentences. + *Shot* is the final piece of footage used in the film, after editing. Continuous camera. One Take can become multiple shots. Comparable to a sentence + *Sequence* is a group of back-to-back shots, comparable to a paragraph + *Scene* is a logical piece of a film's story, comparable to a chapter (or perhaps a paragraph), usually composed of many Shots + *Characters* are the people we imagine, as portrayed by actors - What is digital? + 20 min + (Hint: the significance of digital for cinematography is not 3D graphics!) + Brainstorm: write in your notebook the words that you associate with "digital" + 0s and 1s + Computer + Electronic ... + "Telephone Game" example: + Have one student measure size of an object with their hands + Pass that length between students + Final student marks on the board + Show the difference + Now, measure with a ruler and report the number + *Digital* is about discrete values. *Analog* is continuous. + Electronics, zeros and ones, and computers are optional + Digital and analog clock example + Spaces on a ruler vs. marks and digits + Numbers vs. numerals (and digits!) + The key property of digital is that it _can_ be copied perfectly (it is certainly possible to corrupt and degrade digital representations of data, however, it is POSSIBLE to copy perfectly, and analog representations cannot be copied perfectly) + Real life is continuous in intensity, space, and time (this is a lie) + Analog film is continous in intensity and space but discrete in time + Our brains merge individual frames to create the perception of motion + The size of the image, speed of motion, exposure time, and frame rate must all be right for the illusion to work--it is easy to make this break down + Digital "film" is discrete in intensity, space, and time + Like a flip book of mosaics + Basis for all of our techniques + We can capture, cut, splice, edit, compose, transport, and display digital film without any loss of quality. - Goals and not-goals of the course + 5 min + Learn by doing; theory through practice + Discover technical and cultural forces that shape film + Cinema and culture are on a wheel, and technology turns it + Not a film school...our goal isn't really to make movies in this course + But you'll learn a lot of techniques along the way that will help if you choose to continue with photography or film + Assignments are evaluated primarily on technical elements and process, not aesthetic success (although, by the end, that will begin to follow from technical excellence) - Discuss _Y Tu Mamá También_ + 20 min + Colors + Composition + Perspective Thu Feb 11, 2016: Story, Plot, and Narrative
✩_Out: [Editing](assignments/editing.md.html)_ - Reading: 1. Mamet, _On Directing Film_, 1--55. 1. Filmmaker IQ: [The History of Cutting: The Birth of Cinema and Continuity](https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6uahjH2cspk) - What is cinematography? + Elements: + Camera + Lights + blocking/composition + VFX and post + Effects: "practical" and "in-camera" vs. "post" and "CGI" + Roles + Cinematographer / Director of Photography (DP) + Post producer + Director + Producer + Camera operator - Origins of Cinema: - Eadweard Muybridge, [_Jumping Horse_](https://vimeo.com/43737473) and [_Naked Truths_](https://vimeo.com/58109272) - ["A Voyage to the Moon"](https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_FrdVdKlxUk) (dir: Georges Méliès, 1902) - ["The Great Train Robbery"](https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8oTdPklBE0Y) (dir: Edwin S. Porter, 1903) - Selections from _Hugo_ (dir: Martin Scorsese, dp: Robert Richardson, 2011) - ["Goodfellas (1990) & The Great Train Robbery (1903)"](https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d6EYFiwWPPU) - Computation for cinema + Precision vs. Accuracy + Humans are both analog and digital + Pulse-coding + Frequency representation, digital signals, logarithmic response + Representing numbers: + Integer digits + Scientific notation = floating point: natural logarithmic use of digits + What kind of digits? Base 10, 9, ... 2 + Bit: unit of information, distinguish between two equally-likely values + n bits = 2n possible values (draw tree of possibilities) + 8 bits = 256 shades + 8 red, 8 green, 8 blue bits = 24 million colors (but only 256 intensities for any one) + We'll revisit whether this is enough + Number of pixels depends on aspect ratio and resolution + "Standard Definition"/VGA/DVD: 4:3 640x480 + "High Definition"/720p: 16:9 1280x720 (1 Mpix) + Blu-ray/1080p: 16:9 1920x1080 (2 Mpix) + Consume "4k Ultra HD": 16:9 3840x2160 (8.3 Mpix) + Digital Cinema Initiatives "4k": 1.9:1 4096x2160 (8.8 Mpix) + Bandwidth = bits/second + Digital displays are mostly 60 Hz. 24, 30, 48, 60, 120 and some other variations are present in the ecosystem. + Typical high-quality video is 1920 x 1080 x 60 Hz x 3x8 (RGB) ~= 3 *billion* bits per second + DVD (9.5 Mb/s at 480p) vs. Blu-ray (48 Mb/s at 1080p) vs. Netflix (5 Mb/s at 720p) + *Compression* gives us about 500x more density than you'd expect...but affects the quality in a way that depends on content - Story: characters and what happens - Plot: our coherent view of the story, captured in production - Narrative: specific viewpoint/spin of the plot, revealed through editing - Elements of the shot and cut + Perceptual/attention motivation (justifying the cut) + Information conveyed by this shot + 2D composition + 3D blocking + Sound + Camera angle + Continuity - Film coding + Cigarette after kiss + Fade to white/black/red + Vignette Sun Feb 14, 2016: Short Films Screening - ["The Musketeers of Pig Alley"](http://francis.williams.edu/record=b1622246~S0) (dir: D. W. Griffith, 16 min, 1912) - ["La Jetée"](https://vimeo.com/46620661) (dir: Chris Marker, cin: Chris Marker and Jean Chiabaut, 28 min, 1962) - ["Una Furtiva Lagrima"](https://vimeo.com/33329117) (dir: Carlo Vogele, 3 min, 2012) - "The Mysterious Geographic Explorations of Jasper Morello" (dir: Anthony Lucas, 28 min, 2005) - "5 Minute Museum" (dir: Paul Bush, 6 min, 2015) - "The Blue Umbrella" (dir: Saschka Unseld, 7 min, 2013) - Free popcorn provided by the Computer Science department! Tue Feb 16, 2016: Continuity Lecture
★_In: [Editing](assignments/editing.md.html)_ - Reading: 1. Katz, "Introduction", In _Film Directing: Shot by Shot_ 1. Katz, "Editing: Temporal Connections", Ch 7, In _Film Directing: Shot by Shot_ 1. Filmmaker IQ: [The History of Cutting: The Soviet Montage Theory](https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JYedfenQ_Mw) - Auteur theory - Institutional mode representation - Montage theory + Kuleshov Effect (+ McGurk Effect) + Human perception, ordering, causality, attention, Stanley Cavell from _The World Viewed_ - The cut - Maya Deren, ["Meshes of the Afternoon"](https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VSDaVIDpTww) - Discuss shorts from the weekend - Spatial and temporal continuity - Human perception + People attend to only a small portion of their field of view + Attention is in small segments, analogous to cuts + The brain synthesizes (or halucinates!) a consistent narrative - Continuity editing + What to cut to + Line of action/180 degree + 30 degree rule + Ellipsis + Circle of action + Transitions (wipes, fades, don't use them...yet) + Point-of-view shot + Reaction shot + Maintain eyelines + When to cut + Motivate the cut with a change of attention--sound, look off screen, gesture + Cut audio before visual + Cut on action + Match cut + Jump cuts + Cut just before actor moves out of the frame + Don't cut on a moving camera--pause first Thu Feb 18, 2016: Editing
✩_Out: [Trailer Essay](assignments/traileressay.md.html)_ - Reading: 1. Mamet, _On Directing Film_, 57--77 1. [An epic history of the movie trailer](http://www.hopesandfears.com/hopes/culture/film/214473-epic-history-movie-trailers-mad-max-independence-day), start reading about 30% of the way through, at 1950 1. ["Dr. Strangelove trailer"](https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1gXY3kuDvSU) 1964 1. ["The Killer trailer"](https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JhxMQqI0jWA) 1989 1. ["Inside Llewyn Davis trailer"](https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VuQ8pz-5WLY) 2013 1. ["Furious 7 trailer"](https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Skpu5HaVkOc) 2015 - Continuation of Tuesday's discussion - Lighting and use of artificial atmospheric perspective for depth - Toward fantasy vs. toward realism - ["Centrifuge Brain Project"](https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RVeHxUVkW4w) (dir: Till Nowak, 2012) - Unreal artifacts of "realism" + Lens flare + Vignette + Depth of field - What's at stake with cinematography ... in the _digital_ age + Digital as enabling technology + Photography as truth...to photography as fiction - Thoughts on trailers and genre _Winter Carnival Feb 19-20_ Sun Feb 21, 2016: _Stagecoach_ Screening - [_Stagecoach_](http://francis.williams.edu/record=b1591877~S0) (dir: John Ford, dop: Bert Glennon, 96 min, 1939) - _A MOVIE_ (16 min, dir: Bruce Conner, 1958) Tue Feb 23, 2016: Digital Editing
★_In: [Trailer Essay](assignments/traileressay.md.html)_
✩_Out: [Trailer Edit](assignments/trailerediting.md.html)_ **Meet in Sawyer 269** + Editing demonstration in two 40-minute mini sessions each with half the class - Reading: 1. Katz, "The Basics Applied", ch. 8 in _Film Directing: Shot by Shot_ 1. Alfred Hitchcock, excerpts from [The Birds](https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IdOF7xg5lug) 1. [Fan recut trailer for The Shining](https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6s40Q6ODSI8) (Robert Ryang, 2005, 1:25) 1. [Fan recut trailer for Mary Poppins](https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2T5_0AGdFic&list=PLr6d2r8BCmtzrDWGZlQp2OqgL-RXOxr94&index=6) 1. ["Dissecting a Trailer: The Parts of the Film That Make the Cut"](http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2013/02/19/movies/awardsseason/oscar-trailers.html) By Shan Carter, Amanda Cox, and Mike Bostock, _New York Times_, 2013 - Editing activity + Use iMovie + Reassemble the Mount Rushmore scene from _North by Northwest_ from individual randomized shots + Develop skills: + Continuity/kinetic/analytic editing + Eye for good shots + Develop film grammar + Effective montage _No McGuire Office Hours this week_ Thu Feb 25, 2016: Editing - Reading: 1. Katz, "Composing Shots: Spatial Connections", ch. 6 in _Film Directing: Shot by Shot_ - Discuss _Stagecoach_ and _A MOVIE_ _McGuire out of town_ Sun Feb 28, 2016: _Ghost In the Shell_ Screening **This screening is in Bronfman auditorium** - [_Ghost In the Shell_](http://francis.williams.edu/record=b1706977~S0) (dir: Mamoru Oshii, cin: Hisao Shirai, 142 min, 1996) _McGuire out of town_ Tue Mar 1, 2016: Camera Mechanics
★_In: [Trailer Edit](assignments/trailerediting.md.html)_ - Reading: 1. Mark Wolf, "[Subjunctive Documentary: Computer Imaging and Simulation](Wolf1999SubjunctiveDocumentary.pdf)", in _Collecting Visible Evidence_, 1999 1. Katz, "The Basics Applied", ch. 8 in _Film Directing: Shot by Shot_ 1. Peruse the documentaries of [Kevin Lee '97](https://vimeo.com/kevinblee) 1. Kevin Lee, ["The Gender Gap in Screen Time"](http://www.nytimes.com/2014/03/02/movies/awardsseason/cinemetrics-extracts-statistical-data-from-movies.html), New York Times, 2014 1. Marie Becker, ["Interview with Filmmaker Kevin B. Lee"](http://www.carbonculturereview.com/interviews/interview-with-filmmaker-kevin-b-lee/), Carbon Culture Review, 2015 - Parts of a camera - Image formation - Pinhole - Similar triangles - Optical vs. "digital" zoom - Exercise: find the camera position from an image - Frame rate and telecine + US films are shot at 24 or 48 Hz + European ones are at 25 Hz...European films are slightly too slow and have deeper voices when played back in the US, US films are slightly too fast in Europe. (This somewhat matches our perception of the slower-paced European indie vs. the frenetic US Hollywood blockbuster, although most of that is in the content.) + Animation often uses 2's or 3's...note Ghost in the Shell + TVs and Blu ray (player output) are 60 Hz, DVDs and most streaming are 30 Hz...how do we show 24 Hz and 25 Hz films? + Here's what we need to accomplish: 24 * 5 / 4 = 30. Somehow, stretch four frames into five. Just repeating would create judder. + TVs used to be interlaced: alternating rows changed on alternating frames. 2:3 pulldown exploits this by blending frames: ABCD ==> AB(B+C,C+D)D or ABCD ==> AB(B+C)CD + Older films like "Musketeers of Pig Alley" were shot at even lower rates (in this case, 16 Hz), so the interlacing and pulldown patterns are even more visible: 3:4:4:4, blends almost all frames pulldown was used on the DVD, which is why you see terrible interlacing and jerking. + Image: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Telecine#/media/File:32pulldown.svg Thu Mar 3, 2016: Camera Choreography
✩_Out: [Preproduction](assignments/preproduction.md.html)_ - Reading: 1. Katz, "Depth of the Frame", ch. 12 in _Film Directing: Shot by Shot_ 1. Katz, "Camera Angles", ch. 14 in _Film Directing: Shot by Shot_ 1. [CineFix's Top 10 Opening Shots](https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PnhZXELUmUs) 1. [Who Deserves the 2016 Oscar for Best Cinematography?](https://vimeo.com/153484691) - Role of the lens - Focal length - Circle of confusion - Depth of field - Orson Welles, opening shot from [_A Touch of Evil_](https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E8AXd1ayxrg) - Robert Altman, opening shot from [_The Player_](http://francis.williams.edu/record=b1416470~S0) - Martin Scorcese, nightclub entrance from [_Goodfellas_](http://francis.williams.edu/record=b1701731~S0) - Nabokov on influence of film camera moves and lighting in writing + Recall what we learned from editing: now we need to _take_ those shots + Movement towards the camera is more exciting than across the image (Hitchcock) + Framing in the plane + Avoid cutting people at joints + Headroom above--and in the direction that characters are looking + "Wide" depends on your aspect ratio. In 4:3 it is hard to make a landscape look good (hence, 70mm Westerns) + Framing in depth + Occlusion + Translucency (smoke, glass, foliage) + Shadows + Perspective Sat Mar 5, 2016: Kevin Lee Screening 2pm Saturday at Images (optional) Sun Mar 6, 2016: Stop Motion Screening 1. ["The Sandman"](https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vKFDpI9ihLs) (dir: Paul Berry, 9 min, 1992) 1. ["Bottle"](https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5mVEapKnS1c) (dir: Kirsten Lepore, 5 min, 2010) 1. [_Coraline_](http://francis.williams.edu/record=b2147371~S0) (dir: Henry Selick, cin: Pete Kozachik, 101 min, 2009) Tue Mar 8, 2016: Stop Motion
★_In: [Preproduction](assignments/preproduction.md.html)_ - Reading: 1. Katz, "Mobile Staging", ch. 12 in _Film Directing: Shot by Shot_ 1. Katz, chapters 17--20, in _Film Directing: Shot by Shot_ 1. Paul Bush introduces "The Five Minute Museum", https://vimeo.com/145642956 1. ["Allaxis"](http://www.wasaru.com/portfolio-item/kaly-live-dub-allaxis/), (dir: Wasaru, 4 min, 2013) This is a music video that screened in competition as a short film and won many [awards](http://www.wasaru.com/portfolio-item/kaly-live-dub-allaxis/) - Stop motion and its relation to CGI (philosophical, technical, bio) Profound force of stylization. - "5 Minute Museum" (dir: Paul Bush, 6 min, 2015) - ["4 Dark and Light"](https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=el8RUqN_4Fw) (dir: Jan Svankmajer, 7:30) - Iris, shutter, and filters - Frames and frame rate - Phi phenomenon - Strobing - Motion blur - Revisiting Match cuts - Common examples - _2001_ - "The Race" - "5 Minute Museum" - Cultural universality and distinction Thu Mar 10, 2016: Moving Cameras - Reading: 1. Katz, pages 19--22 and "Storyboards", ch. 23, and pages 90-96 in _Film Directing: Shot by Shot_ 1. [The Career of Paul Thomas Anderson in Five Shots](https://vimeo.com/56335284) - Begin [Storyboarding](assignments/storyboarding.md.html) homework - [Club scene from _Goodfellas_](https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iayYZLB__5Y) - [Steadicam opening of _Boogie Nights_](https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iiXtFyZqvQQ) - [How to get awesome tracking shots - with a tripod!](https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5fGmCBnD-D0) - [8 Awesome Ways to Use Your Car to Shoot Great Video](http://www.reelseo.com/car-shoot-video/) - Tripods - Dollys, cranes, and steadicams - Tracking and registering for CGI - Bullet time Sat Mar 12, 2016: _A Marvelous Order_ [_A Marvelous Order_](http://62center.williams.edu/?post_type=event&p=3196) performance at the '62 center Sun Mar 13, 2016: _Citizenfour_ Screening
✩_Out: [Storyboarding](assignments/storyboarding.md.html)_ - [_Citizenfour_](http://francis.williams.edu/record=b3848282~S0) (dir: Laura Poitras, cin: Kirsten Johnson, 114 min, 2014) Tue Mar 15, 2016: [Kirsten Johnson](http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0990310/)
- Reading: - George Packer, ["The Holder of Secrets"](http://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2014/10/20/holder-secrets), New Yorker, October 20, 2014 - Cinematographer guest lecture - Optional screening: 7pm [_Cameraperson_](http://www.theguardian.com/film/2016/jan/26/cameraperson-review-kirsten-johnson-2016-sundance) at Images Thu Mar 17, 2016: Cameras
★_In: [Storyboarding](assignments/storyboarding.md.html)_ - Making shots _Spring break Mar 19-Apr 3_ Mon Apr 4, 2016: ✩_Out: [In Medias Res](assignments/inmediasres.md.html)_ Tue Apr 5, 2016: Cinema Vérité - Reading: [Sam Mendes On Directing](https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VJK2_njfC-M) - Excerpts from Vittorio De Sica, _Bicycle Thieves_ - Excerpts from Martin Scorcese, _Mean Streets_ - Excerpts from Daniel Myrick & Eduardo Sanchez, _The Blair Witch Project_ - Filmmaker IQ, [What is Neorealism?](https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=odJxAd4WU8Y) Thu Apr 7, 2016: Workshop - Reading: Brown, "Fundamentals of Lighting", pages 35-57 in _Motion Picture and Video Lighting_ Have your entire group for the _In Medias Res_ project go to either Griffin 2 (with Morgan for preproduction) or Sawyer 269 (with Shawn, for preproduction or post production), depending on what stage you are at in your film. We'll work with you on your current assignment. Come prepared to work with scripts, storyboards, footage that you've shot, etc. - Tell us who you're working with - David Lynch, excerpts from _Blue Velvet_ Sun Apr 10, 2016: _Stories We Tell_ Screening in Bronfman Auditorium - _Stories We Tell_ (dir: Sarah Polley, cin: Iris Ng, 1h 58m, 2012) Tue Apr 12, 2016: Critique
★_In: [In Medias Res](assignments/inmediasres.md.html)_
✩_Out: [Production](assignments/production.md.html)_ Meet in Clark 204 or Griffin 2 based on e-mail assignment for your group - Reading: - "Animation Sound Design" Extra on _WALL-E_ Special Features DVD menu. Available on Glow. - Critiques of _In Medias Res_ films - Suggestions and expectations for the Production assignment Thu Apr 14, 2016: Final Project Discussion - Reading: Brown, "Basic Scene Lighting", pages 58-85 in _Motion Picture and Video Lighting_ Go to Griffin 2 (Shawn) or Clark 204 (Morgan). If you already have a final project group, everyone in the group should go to the same room. We'll help you form groups and then work through your ideas and production plans. - _Stories We Tell_ discussion - Screen short films and previous student shorts - ["Re:new"](http://graphics.cs.williams.edu/courses/cs371/f14/gallery/8-Final/stop-film.mp4) - Review final project schedule and checkpoint scheme Sun Apr 17, 2016: [Chris Perry](http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0003255/) - Reading: Chapter 13 of [Advanced Renderman](https://www.cg.tuwien.ac.at/~ginko/REYES/1558606181%20.pdf) - Film screening TBD - Guest lecture and discussion Tue Apr 19, 2016: Digital Post
★_In: [Production](assignments/production.md.html)_
✩_Out: [Short Film](assignments/shortfilm.md.html)_ _Rosenheim out of town_ - Reading: Brown, selections from "Technical Issues", pages 220-231 in _Motion Picture and Video Lighting_ - Digital Post Production for Live Action - Matting - Compositing - 3D graphics - Manual touchup - Color grading - VFX breakdowns Thu Apr 21, 2016: Workshop - Reading: - [_Toy Story 3_](http://francis.williams.edu/record=b2549217~S0) (dir: Lee Unkrich, cin: Jeremy Lasky and Kim White, 103 min, 2010) - Meet with your producer or work on your film Sun Apr 24, 2016: Animation Screening (Griffin 6) - Opening montage of [_Up_](http://francis.williams.edu/record=b2308469~S0) (dir: Pete Docter and Bob Peterson, 96 min, 2009) - First act of [_WALL-E_](http://francis.williams.edu/record=b2244849~S0) (dir: Andrew Stanton, 98 min, 2008) - "The Race" (dir: Michaël Le Meur, 15 min, 2015) Tue Apr 26, 2016: CGI
✩_Out: filming on [Short Film](assignments/shortfilm.md.html)_ - Discussion of _Up_, _WALL-E_, and "The Race" - Break up into groups to workshop projects Thu Apr 28, 2016: Acting Workshop - Reading: http://www.backstage.com/advice-for-actors/backstage-experts/secret-great-film-acting/ Sun May 1, 2016: ~~_Amélie_ Screening in Bronfman Auditorium~~ - Cancelled because almost everyone has seen the film! - [_Le fabuleux destin d'Amélie Poulain_](http://francis.williams.edu/record=b1621326~S0) (dir: Jean-Pierre Jeunet, cin: Bruno Delbonnel, 122 min, 2001) Tue May 3, 2016: Color
_Out: Final editing on Short Film_ - Reading: Brown, "Theory and Nature of Color", pages 128-148 in _Motion Picture and Video Lighting_ - Break up into groups to workshop final projects Thu May 5, 2016: Workshop - Reading: Brown, "History of Lighting", pages 1-9 in _Motion Picture and Video Lighting_ - Meet with your producer or work on your film Sun May 8, 2016: _Apocalypse Now_ Screening at Images - [_Apocalypse Now_](http://francis.williams.edu/record=b1557755~S0) (dir: Francis Ford Coppola, cin: Vittorio Storaro, 153 min, 1979) Tue May 10, 2016: _Apocalypse Now_
★_In: [Short Film](assignments/shortfilm.md.html)_ - Meet in Griffin 2 - Professors analyze _Apocalypse Now_ (dir: Francis Ford Coppola, cin: Vittorio Storaro, 153 min, 1979) Thu May 12, 2016: Student Film Screenings - Location TBA - Distribute course evaluations for completion outside of class Equipment ===================================================================== You do not need to purchase any software or a video camera for this course. For most assignments, one person in your team will need to borrow equipment from the [OIT ELC](http://oit.williams.edu/itech/resources/elc/) in Sawyer. However, if you have a cell phone with a video camera or a standalone camera, computer, or video editing software, you may be able to use them for some assignments. ELC loans are only for 24 hours for this class and there are only a few of each piece of equipment, so you will have to look ahead on the schedule and reserve your equipment well in advance to guarantee availability. Sometimes you won't be able to use the equipment that you want or will run into technical problems and will have to jury rig a solution or alter your vision. That's part of what you're learning in the course. Production realities shape films much more than theory or culture, and only by experiencing these challenges firsthand can we fully appreciate and identify them in films by others. The following equipment is available at OIT: Canon video cameras : The Canon cameras have optical zoom and moderate depth of field. These record to internal memory in MP4 format. You can then read the video out to a Windows computer over USB as if it was a hard drive, or to a personal Mac using iPhoto. OIT Macs do not have iPhoto. You can also use an SD card instead of the internal memory. Samsung video cameras : These have digital zoom and essentially no focus control, like a cell phone camera. They are waterproof. They record to MP4 format and can be read on a Windows or OS X (Mac) computer as a hard drive. These are good for the Cold Open assignment. Sony video cameras : We recommend avoiding these cameras because there are software driver challenges in reading the data out. SD cards : These can be used with the studio cameras and Canon cameras. USB external hard drives : These can be signed out for longer periods. For some projects you'll have larger amounts of video and need something with more space than Google Drive can provide. Video light kit : A set of indoor white studio lights that use standard 120V (grounded) plugs. Tripods : All OIT cameras can be mounted on the same tripods. DSLR cameras : These are high-end cameras with good lenses that can record both stills and video. The lens quality will make for greatly improved shots over the dedicated video cameras. Because these are very expensive and somewhat fragile, consider the financial liability that you assume if you choose to use one. No assignment requires using these cameras. Studio : The video studio can be reserved. It contains a black-box, audio-isolated room with pro-sumer video cameras, standalone lights, mounted lights, and enough space to set up extended filming sessions. You can use Photoshop, Premiere, and iMovie on OIT desktop machines, as well as any software that you may have (including phone apps). You only need the ability to trim shots, concatenate shots, and overlay audio. For most assignments you are not permitted to use fades and wipes, overlaid titles, or special effects anyway. Slow/fast motion and some limited color correction may be useful in some cases. Specialist [Tamra Hjermstad](Tamra.L.Hjermstad@williams.edu) and the [OIT Student Media Consultants](http://sites.williams.edu/oitsmc/) coordinated by Trevor Murphy are available to help you with video software and equipment issues once the semester is underway. Ethics ===================================================================== Treat the films and your peers with respect. **Plagiarism** is an academic offense that can result in penalties up to expulsion for an undergraduate. It is not illegal in itself. **Copyright** violation is an independent concept based on the legal right to use material, which is enforced by civil courts. Content --------------------------------------------------------------------- Works of art often engage contentious, provocative, emotional, or uncomfortable topics. Expect to be moved and challenged by some of the films shown in class, and use your reactions to identify material worth studying. Also strive to separate your reaction to the message from the mechanism: the important question in this class is not "how did you feel" but, "what techniques made you feel that way?" We hope that the films you see and the ones you create will broaden your appreciation of cinema. We also hope that you'll enjoy many of them. Honor Code --------------------------------------------------------------------- Students in this course are expected to obey all provisions of the Williams College Honor Code. Any student confused about how those provisions apply (as, for example, in collaborative projects) should discuss them in advance with one of the professors. All contributors, including third party material (e.g., music, video footage), must be acknowledged in submitted work. Copyright Law --------------------------------------------------------------------- The materials for this course are protected by the Copyright Law of the United States of America and are presented to you with the permission of the copyright holder or in accordance with the [Fair Use](http://copyright.gov/fair-use/more-info.html) provisions. You may not redistribute course materials without permission from the copyright holder, which is often not us or the College. This includes making materials available on websites and file-sharing programs. As is the case with any copyrighted materials, beware that if you distribute these materials you may be liable for substantial civil and criminal penalties, including imprisonment and substantial fines, and that this is entirely outside of the College's and our ability to protect or excuse you. Likewise, you must follow all relevant copyright laws for the content in your own work for the course. Do not use music, text, video, or other material for which you do not have permission and do not redistribute the provided licensed material. This section of the syllabus does not constitute legal advice--we are advising you of our own understanding of the relevant law, but it is your responsibility to be aware of and follow all applicable laws.