Today, in seminar we learned some general film vocabulary while we analyzed the movie Manhattan with Professor Diaz. We learned how to pay attention to certain aspects of movies that can be used to bring out details that may otherwise have gone unnoticed. Mise-en-scene is basically all the elements that are being placed on camera, including the props, costume, and framing. Cinematography is the use of cameras and other machines to record images. Editing is the piecing together of individual shots. Sound is the voices, effects, and music that blend on a film’s auto track. Framing can be used to capture a certain essence of a setting, for example capturing Manhattan’s skyline. Shots are used to capture certain details about characters or the setting.
I was most interested when I saw the first moving picture. It was fascinating to see how the still pictures of the house were put together to create a moving picture. That was the first idea that was later used to develop movies. We learned how movies evolved from what they began in 1895. The clips were much longer because there was no editing. However, as time passed and technology developed, the movie clips began getting shorter. Often camera cutting sequences were used in 1915 to tell the story. I especially liked seeing a wide array of examples that showed the advancements of the film industry through time.
We learned the difference in lighting which can be used to create stronger or weaker contrasts. In Manhattan, the director dimmed the lights for scenes where the dialogue was the focus. It brought all the attention to what exactly the director wanted you to see. The absence of color in Manhattan actually brought out the beauty of Manhattan by avoiding any possible distractions that can come from a colorful scene. It seemed to get the view across more efficiently.