FILM AS ART

I. Watch the Week 8 lecture http://kurtlancaster.com/filmclass/lecture8/viewer.swf


II. Read 

Mamet’s On Directing Film ch. 2: 9-55.


III. Watch either Casablanca or Mr. Smith Goes to Washington 

assignment

Choose one scene and describe in detail each shot and actions occurring within it.

Identify what kind of camera angle was used (such as a wide shot, medium shot, close-up), any camera movements (dolly, pan, zoom, tilt), and a description of the action occurring in the scene (the movement of the actors, and so forth).

The scene I chose to use during the camera analysis was when the Ghost Dog, acted by Forest Whitaker, was meditating on the rooftop of a building. After the Ghost Dog finishes his meditation, he begins to swing his sword as if he was practicing the physical art of the samurai.

Shot 1

The scene starts at a medium shot displaying the side of Ghost Dog on his knees praying towards a makeshift shrine. The lens is at a medium field of view, in which the focus is on ghost dog and his shrine, while the tops of the buildings and the pigeons in a coop behind Ghost Dog are not focused.

Shot 2

The second shot is a close up of the shrine that Ghost dog is praying at. The camera pans from left to right slowly displaying the contents on the shrine, then the camera tilts up still at close up view focusing on the contents on the top of the shrine. The background behind the shrine is unfocused.

Shot 3

The third shot is a close up of Ghost Dog with his eyes closed finishing his meditation. Ghost Dog then places a necklace around his neck while releasing a deep breath. The camera still at a close up then tilts and tracks ghost dog standing up from his knees, in which quickly turns to a pull out shot of ghost dog pulling out his sword.

Shot 4

The fourth shot is a side long shot of Ghost dog thrashing his sword through the air. As Ghost Dog thrashes his sword around he takes two lunges forward, in which the camera tracks alongside his lunges. The focus is on Ghost Dog with a wide field of view showing the whole rooftop floor while the city in the background is unfocused.

Shot 5

The fifth shot is of the side of Ghost Dog continually thrashing his sword through the air. In this shot the camera is at a long field of view as the camera continues to track Ghost Dog at a medium shot of his upper torso.

Shot 6

In shot six, Ghost Dog has no sword in his hand as he practices his hand moves and punches. The camera pans from left to right as it shows Ghost Dog moving forward while punching at a medium shot. The background displays the pigeon coop in which is unfocused along with the city background behind Ghost Dog.

Shot 7

In Shot 7 the camera is at as close up of Ghost Dog thrashing his sword, but while he is thrashing his sword the camera tilts slightly up and down stopping when the camera cuts off half of his face. During this whole shot there is a camera effect that delays the image of Ghost Dog, in which it leaves a slight holographic image with a fuzzy focus.

Shot 8

In shot 8 the camera remains at a close up view of Ghost Dog throwing punches in the air. The camera is at a long field of view as the camera does a slight tilt up and down covering Ghost Dogs moves. The camera has the same effect of the previous shot leaving a delayed image of his body in motion leaving a fuzzy focus.

Shot 9

In shot 9 the camera is still at a close up of Ghost Dog back to thrashing his sword, in which a shallow field is displayed. The camera has another slight tilt motion up and down and Ghost Dog still has an effect where his image has a slight unfocused delay. Towards the end of this shot the effect stops and the close up of Ghost Dog thrashing his sword becomes in focus and clear.

Shot 10

The tenth shot begins at a medium view panning right to left as Ghost Dog continues to practice his sword skills. The shot has a push in of Ghost Dog when he gets close to the end of the left side of the frame.

Shot 11

The eleventh shot is of Ghost dog lunging forward with his sword pretending to strike the air. The camera is at a medium shot of Ghost Dogs upper torso and tracks from left to right following his movement. The field of view is medium only displaying half of the rooftop.

Shot 12

In shot 12 Ghost Dog has his last thrash of his sword at the air and the camera tracks him left to right, but comes to a stop when Ghost Dog stops his movement. The camera then pans in a 180 degree fashion and does a pull out at a long view when it almost reaches the back of Ghost Dog after he puts his sword into its holder.

Shot 13

Shot thirteen starts at an extreme close up of Ghost Dogs face and as Ghost Dog walks back to the area of the shrine the camera performs a pull out. As the camera does a pull out the image of Ghost Dog fades and re appears a couple steps ahead from where he was when he started fading away. The View then turns into a wide view with a long shot towards the end of the scene and Ghost Dog in slow motion keeps walking with his head down as the scene fades to black.

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