Method of Working (part 17)

‘Film Directing Fundamentals: See your Film before Shooting’ by Nicholas T. Proferes

When film becomes a series of connected shots, every shot becomes a complete sequence. A shot is to be simple with one subject, one verb, and one object. There is a scientific component to the task of filmmaking and it is called ‘dramaturgy’. The ‘armature’ (determines the parameters of the final work) of dramaturgy “is the spine- the driving force or concept that pervades every element of the story, thereby holding the story together. Where the director has not determined on a spine for his production, it will tend to be formless”. This reading goes on to talk about staging and how it has eight main functions those being:

  1. Accomplishes the functional and obligatory physical deeds of a scene.
  2. Staging makes physical what is internal.
  3. Staging can indicate the nature of a relationship.
  4. Staging can orient the viewer.
  5. Staging can resolve spatial separation.
  6. Staging can direct the viewer’s attention.
  7. Staging can punctuate actions.
  8. Staging is used in “picturization”; it helps to create a frame for the camera.

Film is used to tell stories through the camera. The director is the ultimate storyteller, but their voice will be that of the camera. There are six elements of a camera that the director can control. Those are:

  1. Angle
  2. Image Size
  3. Motion
  4. Depth of Field
  5. Focus
  6. Speed.

Style is primarily dependent on the needs of the story being told, wedded to the director’s vision of the world or his or her personal relationship to it. Most films do not have a distinctive style, and the directors known for a certain style in their early work often change as they evolve.” This is exactly what we are trying to achieve is this course. We are trying to find our own methodology of working, and personal style. Because we are forever learning and investigating, our style with always be changing. We will be growing as directors and it is the process that we take that defines us, not what we have at the end.

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