1) It is difficult to describe what a cinematographer does because
A) the word comes from Greek
B) the word covers a number of different jobs
C) because it is a very sophisticated job
2) The general purpose of cinematography is
A) to show a story in colors
B) to make it popular
C) to give a visual side to the story
3) During the preparation stage the director of photography
A) reads the script to determine how much money the crew will need
B) discusses every bit of the film with the film director
C) gets engaged in discussing the special effects
4) For each scene during the shooting the director of photography
A) chooses the equipment and its position
B) decides who will play in each scene
C) may sometimes perform the director’s functions
5) After the shooting the director of photography
A) changes the shots if the director wants him to do it
B) ensures the proper color and feelings
C) tries to apply criticism to everything he has done
Exercise 56 Complete the gaps using the words from the article.
The director of photography should be good at _______________________, which means the ability to ____________ shots and point out which shots are actually ___________. He should also know the fundamentals of ____________________ in order to be able to use _____________ and ____________. As from time to time director of photography sets up and work with such things as _____________, _______________ , ___________________ and ___________________, he should have some specific knowledge of the _____________________ he works with. The director of photography works in close connection with the ___________________, trying to visually embody the whole conception of the film. Not the least professional requirement is ___________________ skills, as things suddenly can go wrong and the director of photography has to ______________ various problems in this case. Finally, he should always be informed about new technology and be ready to ________ to it when it is needed and not to forget about the _________________ that he needs to bear in mind while solving creative problems.
Exercise 57 Read the article
(taken and edited fromhttp://preproduction.4filmmaking.com/film-equipment.html)
Movies don't move. A movie is a series of still pictures presented to the viewer so rapidly that the viewer's brain is fooled into thinking the images are moving. The eye holds the image of one picture for a moment, 1) ____ . This is called persistence of vision and allows movies to work.
Cameras use a lens to focus the light rays coming from the scene onto a small rectangular area of film or, in the case of video, onto an electronic circuit that is sensitive to light. In a film camera a shutter opens allowing light to shine on the film for a moment, then the shutter closes and the film is advanced to the next frame by a claw mechanism. Then the process repeats 1/24th of a second later. In a video camera light is gather by the electronic circuit for a fraction of a second then the brightness and color values are read out of the circuit for processing and writing to some form of memory.
Film consists of light sensitive chemicals coated on a thin, clear cellulose acetate or other flexible plastic film. The chemicals are color dyes and silver compounds (explaining the high cost of photographic film). When the film is processed it becomes a negative image of the original scene with the lightest areas of the original scene represented as black on the film, and the darkest areas of the scene staying light and transparent on the film. Colors are also reversed. A positive print has to be made from the negative in order to view the film correctly.
16mm is a lower cost alternative but somewhat lower quality. A few filmmakers experiment with super-8mm but the results don't hold up well in theater projection. All the world's theater projectors are 35mm so any other film size will have to be enlarged and reprinted onto 35mm at some point if it is to be shown in theaters.
Film can be shot in a variety of rectangular shapes called aspect ratios. A movie's aspect ratio is given as a ratio of the width of the frame divided by the height. The classic size of 35mm film and standard definition television is a width of 4 units and a height of 3 units giving an aspect ratio of 1.33:1. This aspect ratio is often referred to as Academy aperture after the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences 2) ________ .
Although the Academy frame was standard for most of the early years of filmmaking a wider aspect ratio is now preferred. In America the most common ratio is a 1.85:1 widescreen ratio. Most European films are shot with a 1.66:1 ratio making them not quite as wide as American films project for the same height. The film is shot on the same 35mm film stock but the top and bottom of each frame is cropped by masking it off in the cameras and projectors. High definition video uses an aspect ratio of 16 to 9 units, or 1.78:1 which is very close to 1.85:1 widescreen and makes a transfer to film possible with only a small amount of cropping.
Another popular format is anamorphic widescreen having an aspect ratio of 2.35:1. It is sometimes referred to as scope after the trade name Cinemascope. Scope is also shot on the same 35mm stock and the extra wide aspect ratio is achieved by a combination of cropping the top and bottom of the frame and using a special anamorphic lenses 3) ________ .
35mm cameras are generally very large, heavy and cumbersome pieces of equipment. They require substantial tripods and dollies and several operators to use them. Some newer cameras are small and light enough to be handheld or supported on a Steadicam, a support that is attached to an operator and keeps the camera steady while the operator walks through the scene.
35mm production is worth it when the budget is large enough as none of the current video formats can quite equal the quality.
A few productions are even shot using special 65mm or 70mm film and cameras. Films such as Lawrence of Arabia and the popular IMAX films have rich and detailed images.
Most film cameras do not record sound along with the image. The sound is recorded in a double system where a separate sound recorder captures the sound from the microphones 4) _______ . For a long time sound was recorded on Nagra analog tape recorders. DAT (digital audiotape) recorders replaced them with their perfect speed and superior sound. Hard disk recorders and even direct to memory card recorders have pretty much taken over professional productions today. These recorders are essentially portable computers dedicated to recording sound.
Film cameras designed for making sound films have synchronizing crystal clock circuitry to keep the film moving at a precise speed and in perfect sync with the sound recording.
Much of the sound you hear in films today is actually recorded after the fact in a studio. Sound effects, music and even dialog are recorded and added long after the filming is completed.
Traditional film editing is a very mechanical process involving physically cutting and splicing a copy print of the master negative to sequence together the scenes of the movie. Each day's film is processed and printed onto positive film stock and shown to the director as dailies or rushes. Sound is transferred from the original media to 35mm magnetic sound stock to be matched to the image film.
When all the sequencing of scenes is done the same cuts are applied to the original master negative in a process called negative matching or conforming. Dissolves between scenes and color correction (called color timing) is done after the editing is finished by optical processes.
When the sequencing and color correction is done a sound mix (or rerecording) is done to get the final sound and it is all put together to create an answer print. Necessary changes are communicated back to the laboratory from the director and editor. Eventually a release print is produced and the film is ready for distribution and theater screenings.
In the 1990s this process began to change as directors chose to capture images from the master negative into digital images in a computer and perform nonlinear editing of the digital images in a computer. When the edit is done the digital images are put back onto film stock for distribution. The process costs more but may make the edit go faster and usually results in a better quality film.
Video cameras, like film cameras, focus light to capture a series of still images giving the illusion of motion. They capture light onto a light sensitive computer chip, usually a CCD (charge-coupled device), instead of film. Unlike film which has a relatively continuous light sensitive surface, the computer chips records the scene as a matrix of individual colored spots called pixels. The number of pixels a video camera can capture limits the resolution of the final images. The resulting digital images are usually stored onto magnetic tape, or in some of the latest cameras, onto memory cards.
For the purposes of modern filmmaking one can eliminate all the older analog forms of video such as VHS, 8MM and Hi8 5) _______ .
Standard definition (SD) video, such as mini DV, is not a good choice for making a production intended to viewing in a theater for several reasons. SD video is effectively limited to about 1/4 of a megapixel of resolution, or about 250,000 pixels so the images have poor detail when blown up to the size of a theater screen. The aspect ratio in most cameras is 1.33:1 rather than widescreen. SD also has a frame rate of approximately 30 frames per second rather than 24.
To make matters even worse the frames are divided into two interlaced frames every 1/60th of a second. The odd horizontal rows of pixels are made into a picture, 6) ______ . The two frames can't be combined because any movement in the frame results in two slightly different views so the moving objects seem to have fine comb-like edges. Very clever software is required to convert 30 frame per second interlaced video into single images every 1/24th of a second.
High definition (HD) video formats get around many of the issues with SD video. First the resolution is much greater with HD's resolutions of either 1 megapixel per frame or 2 megapixels per frame. Compression techniques reduce this resolution somewhat with many HD recording systems but HD is still startlingly sharper than SD.
Many HD cameras can record at 24 frames per second. A few can even record at a variety of frame rates making fast and slow motion filming possible. Some HD cameras also record entire frames at a time, know as progressive filming, eliminating the problem of interlaced images.