This week’s meeting held particular influence. We covered the different types of conversation shots, eye trace, and angle perception.
Elyjah assigned us a movie to watch and take notes on. This movie is called the Social Network, and its director has very meticulous ways of shooting. The transitions moved flawlessly and not a single shot broke the eye trace rule. I asked Elyjah how to shoot a scene with different angles without making it choppy and taking away from the film; he proceeded to introduce me to eye trace. The eye trace rule essentially means that whichever spot on the screen the scene left you looking at, should be the spot where the next scene focuses on. Here is one example from the social network:
FILM STILL #1 FILM STILL #2
As you can see, the first scene ends with our eyes drawn to the left, so in order for the transition to stay smooth, the second scene begins with our eyes still to the left. Another point to observe is that they are both medium shots. Transitions were a big question on my mind as I found non-choppy transitions as one of my biggest obstacles. Elyjah decided to also introduce us to the different types of shots, specifically conversation shots. In a transition, it is a smart idea to start the next scene off with the same type of shot you ended with in the first scene. There are three main shots:
CLOSE SHOT MEDIUM SHOT LONG SHOT
A piece of information that really stuck with me was when Elyjah said to, “think of the camera as a personality.” By this, he means that when filming we must not only look at the technical aspects, but use creative insight to manipulate the angles and evoke feeling from the audience. For example, there are dominant and submissive shots. In an argument, it is especially empowering to face the angle upwards at the person upset and the angle downwards to the person being reprimanded. This creates a power illusion:
DOMINANT SHOT SUBMISSIVE SHOT
Overall, this week we focused mainly on transitions. I feel my knowledge growing and every step of the way is liberating. I feel as if I got one of the best possible mentors and am excited to further my learning.