11/28/12 – Christian Siason

On Wednesday, we sat through a cinema lecture from Professor Diaz. I actually found it really interesting, though I expected to be bored out of my mind. I wouldn’t say that I watch a whole lot of movies, but when I do watch movies, I usually end up amazed at how they’re filmed. After Professor Diaz’s lecture, I have an even better understanding of the filming process.

We learned that cameras record movement at 24 frames per second – that is, cameras take 24 separate pictures in one second. Later we learned about different types of camera movement, like panorama (when the camera rotates from side to side), tilt (when the camera moves up and down), the dolly or tracking shot (when the camera moves along the ground, following the subject), and the crane shot (when the camera views the scene from behind). I’ve always found different points of view interesting when watching movies, and the way the camera moves is very important to making these points of view possible.

We also learned about continuity editing. A movie seeks to present a story and continuity editing, as the name would imply, ensures continuity in the story. It allows space, time, and action to flow over a series of shots and it condenses the action. If films weren’t edited for continuity, they would go on for ages, and would likely lose the audience’s attention. Films today are usually one and a half to two hours long, and I think that that’s the perfect length. It’s not too short that someone wouldn’t want to spend their money to go see it, and yet it’s not too long to bore them to death. Of course, some movies like The Dark Knight Rises and The Avengers go way beyond that mark, but in cases such as those, the sheer amount of action is enough to keep the audience enthralled throughout.

I really appreciated learning about these things in class on Wednesday, and I think I want to take a cinema class at some point in the future now.