Movie Tehcniques

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Film, what do you think of when you hear that word? A motion picture is simply a series of still pictures shown quickly so they stimulate motion. But a film can be so much more than that. It can tell a story, inform people of news, or educate. A film can surprise, aggravate, and inspire the imagination. Some of the necessary skills to analyze how images are constructed, how they create meanings, and how they affect us help us to better understand film as a whole. Throughout the class we watched several films each displaying some different techniques used throughout the films. These techniques help provide a dynamic approach to discover the different meanings that the viewer can receive from the film.

In Buster Keaton’s Sherlock Jr. made in 1924, the specific film technique that best stands out is mise-en-scene. Mise-en-scene is the composition or what’s in the scene or frame. This technique includes long take, long shot, and moving camera. A specific example of a scene from the film that illustrates mise-en-scene is when Sherlock Jr. (Buster Keaton) is riding on the handle bars of the motorcycle that the theater manager, Gillette (Ford West) is racing around through town on (154). Sherlock Jr. is unaware that Gillette has fallen off and he is performing crazy stunts while on the handle bars with no driver. One of the extreme stunts that he performed is when the motorcycle appears to cross a bridge that is open so it looks like he could plummet to the ground, but just as he is crossing the gap two trucks pass underneath him filling the gap and he safely makes is across.

From this account, this powerful scene shows mise-en-scene perfectly. The camera is taking a long take which means that the camera is taking a single unbroken shot that can be moving or stationary. In this case the camera is moving with the action which shows moving camera. The scene also fills long shot which is a shot that shows the full human body, and the camera is also showing the...
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