Thursday, 13 September 2018

Camera Angles: Character Positions & Dominant Framing (Power Relationships)

'Drive' (2011): The Quadrant System

Camera Shots and Lighting Guidance On Blog

There is a glossary of camera shots with sketches available on the 'Shot and Lighting Page' under the blog banner so that you can confirm shot types. There are also helpful tutorial videos for framing, camera movement and lighting. Use these resources if you are unsure of any of the key terms when analysing your film clips.

There is also an 'Editing & Sound Page' under the blog banner for guidance concerning other aspects of analysis.  

Cinematic Techniques


Roger Antony Deakins, ASC, BSC is an English cinematographer best known for his work on the films of the Coen brothers and Sam Mendes.
  • Simplistic lighting design, often using only one or two lights

  • Only shoots films using spherical lenses

His primary hobby is taking still photographs. Before he entered the National Film School, he spent a year in North Devon, England, documenting the way of life on the farms and in the villages. This cemented his passion for still photography that continues to this day. On the rare days that he is not in his boat while in Devon, he enjoys traveling to various places to augment his growing series of images.

Friday, 13 July 2018

City of God - Contextual Information

Here is an explanation of what a favela is and how they developed in Rio de Janeiro. It is useful in understanding the key concepts surrounding issues of World Cinema and for a discussion of 'City Of God'.

How the People Of Rio View the Favelas

The image that most people have of the faveladors revolves around their rural origins, supposed lack of urban experience and that they are only leaching off the infrastructure of Rio. Many consider the favelas the source of Rio's urban problems, citing them for crime, violence, promiscuity, family breakdown and the creation of a culture of poverty. The prevailing view is that the favelas are just a transfer of poverty form the country to the city and are responsible for the negative effects of over-urbanization.

This over-urbanization are seen by some as a positive aspect, creating a perfect atmosphere for new industrial development. Because of the cheap, surplus labor that exists in the favelas, industries could find an easy market for locating and making money. Still others view the favela as just another part of the framework of Rio. It is a natural occurrence of the city and is compared to a weed growing in a garden, there will always be weeds. Despite these views, little is being done to modernize the favelas or even deal with the shortage of utilities.

City of God - Director Interview

Here is an interview with director Fernando Merielles about the making of 'City Of God' where he discusses how he cast the film largely with non-actors, mostly young males, who were discovered in the various favelas around Rio de Janeiro in an extensive and non-traditional casting process.

When did you decide to use non-actors in the film?

When I decided to do the film, I wanted to do it with the same feeling as the book, this “inside” feeling. I knew I couldn’t get this feeling with professionals. And I wanted to use the expertise from the people inside the slums for the film. Whenever I gave them the script, instead of giving them the dialogue, I’d tell them what the intentions of the sequences were and let them improvise. Doing those improvisations for about ten months is how we came up with all the dialogue. If you read our fourth version of the script, the one that I decided to work with, I think like 30 percent is actually scripted. The rest they made up, that’s why it feels so natural. They were a co-author of the film to be sure and that’s why it works.

City of God - Useful Book

 Urban Stories - City of God

Worth a look for a discussion of 'City of God'. Go to chapter 8: Post-Cinema Novo - Brazilian Cinema (pg. 117). There are also some useful chapters on New Wave Cinema.