The return of one of our most popular seminars! In an era of extreme camera efficiency and portable recording devices, much of the art involved in creating the cinematic shot is now left behind in favor of talking heads and one-dimensional composition. But the art of mise-en-scene (the spatial arrangement of elements within the frame) is actually what separates cinema from all other visual media. Visual Consultant Thomas Ethan Harris pulls focus on the artistry that goes into designing masterful shots that actually speak more than dialogue ever could.
In an era of extreme camera efficiency and portable recording devices, much of the art involved in creating the cinematic shot is now left behind in favor of talking heads and one-dimensional composition. And it gets worse! When contemporary Hollywood and Independent filmmakers are not completely obsessed with just capturing dialogue and performance on screen, they are completely beyond themselves with aspirations to create the most “beautiful” or “awe-inspiring” shot -- think at best of David Lean’s astounding LAWRENCE OF ARABIA or George Miller’s mind blowing MAD MAX: FURY ROAD, then drop down a notch to Tom McCarthy’s story-bound but cinematically visually resistant SPOTLIGHT, then begin to wonder if Wes Anderson really gets anywhere visually besides establishing yet another one of his tired, quirky worlds with THE GRAND BUDAPEST HOTEL or if Colin Trevorrow’s overdose of CGI in JURASSIC WORLD is really visually interesting or just boring. Are Anderson and Trevorrow creating spectacularly innovative films or visually unmotivated disasters?
Now you can see the full picture of what cinema has become:
Lots of spectacular talking images with no real visual ability to empower narrative intentions or signify unique character voice.
In the long run, and definitely when it comes to the masters of cinema (both Film Directors and Directors of Photography), much more goes into the conceiving and designing of an effective shot or series of shots for a film. In fact, the art of mise-en-scene - the spatial arrangement of elements within the frame - is actually one of the primary elements of what separates cinema from all other visual mediums.
Cinema is not solely about how pretty a shot is or what is said with onscreen dialogue – Cinema is about how the shot itself speaks and how the shot itself interprets character and provides story definition.
• What Does CLASSICAL COMPOSITION Look Like? What Are Its Primary Conventions? Why Does It Exist Today?
• When Is It Best To Ignore CLASSICAL COMPOSITION?
• When It Comes To Character Design and Character Intension, What Are PROXEMIC PATTERNS? How Do They Function?
• What Goes Into The Design Of A Great CLOSE UP?
• Why Employ The LONG TAKE, SPLIT SCREEN or OBLIQUE ANGLES anyway? What Is The Affect Of Each and When Is It Best To Use Them?
• What Is The Emotional and Psychological Difference Between A DOLLY SHOT and A ZOOM?
• What Are OPEN and CLOSED Forms Of Cinematic Shot Construction?
• With THREE VISUAL PLANES To Work With (“The Middleground”, “The Foreground”, and “The Background”), Why Do So Many Contemporary Filmmakers Compose On Only One Dominant Plane?
• What Is The Effect Of A Shot That Emphasizes “THE FOREGROUND” or “THE BACKGROUND”?
• Can A Shot Function On All Three Planes At Once? What Is The Overall Affect Of This Composition and When Is It Best Employed?
• What Is DOMINANT CONTRAST In Cinema?
• How Can You Create A More Dynamic Form Of Cinema By Understanding The Affect Different SHAPES, COLORS, LINES and TEXTURES Have Upon The Audience?
• LETTING THE SHOT ITSELF SPEAK FOR THE CHARACTER. How Does The Actual Design Of Your Character Tell You How They Would Like To Be Photographed and Situated Within The Shot?
In this seminar, where everything’s “within the frame”, Film Producer and Visual Consultant Thomas Ethan Harris pulls focus on the artistry that goes into designing masterful shots that actually speak more than dialogue ever could.
Film clips will be used to inspire an open dialogue with the audience.