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Forgot account? Not Now. Related Pages. Ignite Tampa Bay Community Organization. Wertmuller makes physical this relationship — makes it palpable to the audience — by the spatial separateness between the two as they explore the island. This separateness is highlighted by a pan from the protagonist on top of the highest cliff on the island to the antagonist far below on the beach, while they are screaming obscenities at each other.

It seems as if no two people on earth could be further alienated from one another. The scene starts with the two lovebirds together, she throwing her arms around him. She talks of love, but something in him has changed since she last saw him. He is cold and insulting. He offers her a job assignment, one in which she is expected to seduce a former admirer of hers who is a Nazi spy. Psychologically, this drives her away from him. Hitchcock makes this physical — makes it palpable to the audience — by having her walk away from the embrace.

A spatial rendering often used it is used in the continuation of this same scene has Characters A and B apart, then come closer to each other, and then become apart again — giving us an accordion pattern. This pattern can also exist as the superstructure of an entire film plot, which is a staple among romantic comedies: boy meets girl, boy loses girl, boy gets girl. But circumstances force them to work with each other to solve a murder, and in that collegial atmosphere they begin to close the distance that separates them. One final point in this area: Dramatic movement and the spatial movement that makes it physical are always relative to the starting point.

Sometimes very small movements can be exceedingly powerful. It could be as simple as moving the actors from a lighted area to one that is darker, or from a table to a couch. The main concept here is that a particular part of the location is saved for this particular part of the scene. We may be aware, tangentially, that this other stage exists, but its evocative power is not used up. Then the stage changes abruptly when Novak runs from the tree to the rocks abutting the ocean below. Will she try to kill herself again?

Stewart pursues her, grabs her, and takes her in his arms. They kiss for the first time. This makes good sense on the stage, but I do not recommend it for the film director.

This is in no way meant to imply that the film director does not listen to suggestions from the actors, the director of photography, the dolly grip, or her mother for that matter. On the contrary, the director should encourage participation from everyone on all aspects of the production. It does mean, however, that she is the only one fully capable of integrating staging and camera.

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Only she knows, or should know, what job the staging must accomplish at any particular moment, how that moment fits into the overall design of a particular scene, and how that scene fits into the overall design of the entire film. A caution about staging and movement on the screen in general: Even though the action might seem to proceed with sufficient alacrity on the set, you should understand that once that same action appears on a screen and receives the concentrated attention of the viewer it will often seem slower.

Although some locations do not lend themselves to working with a floor plan, most do. And it allows you to do this with pencil and paper on the kitchen table. But the scene is dramatically more complicated than that, and when Alicia attempts to regain her want, Hitchcock has her stand fulcrum and then move closer to Devlin. Devlin enters and through his laconic replies and body language we understand that his expectation for the evening has undergone a huge transformation.

Hence, all Hitchcock has to do in this first dramatic block is bring the two expectations together. This is a good example of staging for picturization — staging in order to create a frame for the camera that articulates the dramatic circumstance of the moment or to create an atmosphere for that moment to happen in. Devlin is still hanging tough, and it looks as if Alicia will not obtain her want: intimacy with Devlin.

But she does not give up! This is the key to all drama. She will not be defeated without a fight. Here, Alicia goes on the offensive to win Devlin over. But Alicia has not yet given up. You could get a clear idea of the overall arc of this scene by watching the actors move through it without dialogue. There are six variables a director can control with the camera. In all six, composition within the frame is a primary factor.

How To Know when a Scene is Working - Advice for Theatre Directors

But what we are interested in here is the dramatic reveal — a reveal that has impact, that carries dramatic weight. The entrance also announces to the audience whether or not the character is someone who will play a significant role in your story. Announce them!

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He sees Linda. Linda turns away from him. The personality of the narrator and the style in which the story is told are introduced at the beginning of a film. Is the camera curious, playful, omniscient, lyrical? Will it use extreme close-ups or stay distant from the characters; use a kinetic camera or one that is static?

Box set theatre

Any repeated visual or audio element can be a motif. Will the narrator take an active role in interpreting the meaning or consequences of an action for us, or perhaps take pains to point out a plot point that is integral to understanding the story? Or will it remain standoffish and let the audience fend for themselves? It can be helpful for the beginning director to view the narrator as one who must take the audience in a headlock, which is not relinquished until the film is over. I believe you will discover for yourselves that the audience prefers to be in the hands of a strong, authoritative narrator, rather than a weak, tentative one.

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It is not altogether analogous to the first person voice in prose, but it shares that narrative function by allowing the audience to participate more fully in the interior life or perceptions of a character. The subjective camera allows us to see what our subject is actually experiencing.

Film Directing: Cinematic Motion by Steven D. Katz

An example of this occurs in Notorious, when Alicia wakes from a drunken sleep to see Devlin at an angle in the doorway, watching him turn completely upside down as he comes closer to her bed. The subjective camera should not be confused with simply using a point of view POV shot, which is an approximation of what a character is seeing. The POV contains the dynamics of the spatial relationship, thereby conveying an awareness in the audience that this is indeed what the character is seeing, but there is no shift in voices.

The subjective camera should also be distinguished from the flashback, a narrative dimension that can be rendered, and often is, with an objective camera; as are other modes of reality, such as dreams, memories, and hallucinations. Overusing the subjective narrator can minimize its dramatic power. One way of overusing it is to assign it to more than one person. That one person is usually the protagonist. The distinctions between subjective and objective camera will become clearer as we proceed through this book, especially in our thorough analysis of Notorious Part III, Chapter 13 , in which Hitchcock uses an active interpretive camera as well as a subjective voice.

There are five questions to answer that will help us determine where to put the camera, and all of them can be subsumed under one general question: What jobs must be done? Whose scene is it?

Visual Storyteller

This is not always the same as whose film it is. The late Frank Daniel, a great dramaturge and my former colleague at Columbia, told me the following story. Daniel was then dean. Daniel asked Mr.