Week 12 [On The Frame]

To finish, I’m going to compile a collection of some camera movements/frames in films which have served as inspiration for this final project – in addition to of course, ‘In the Mood for Love’.

Forrest Gump (1994) dir. Robert Zemeckis 

First off – (I know, it’s cheesy) obviously this kind of camera movement is fairly unattainable for me to emulate but something I have been focusing on in one my clips is this idea of the omnipresence of the camera when it is not attached to or associated with a character – like with the feather in this clip. It’s been a question of mine when reviewing my footage as to what this continuously moving frame is presenting – objectivity because the viewer is seeing a point which is not human like and is literally the perspective of a feather through the air? Or does it carry it’s own objectivity to it? I’ll have to flesh that one out in my exegesis but nevertheless it’s an interesting question.

Man with a Movie Camera (1929) dir. Dziga Vertov 

Especially from about 1:15 – 2:00. This aligns with some of my thoughts on how ontology/speed of the frame can alter create an entire new mental subjectivity to the frame. It’s hectic and confusing and – subjective, I think.

Mad Max: Fury Road (2015) dir. George Miller 

Particularly the beginning of this trailer and the film is interesting to me because it’s an example of how when the camera is positioned directly in front/behind the character is has a very similar effect as it would if it were literally from their direct eye point of view. It also gives the added benefit of the response of Max’s facial expressions while we engage in this hectic, very fast motion weaving through different people and places. Like with Vertov’s film, the hectic motions give a sense of subjectivity communicate through speed which changes the ontological reading of the entire frame.

Week 11 [On The Frame]

As I’ve been getting more and more into my project I’ve been trying to deconstruct the effects of movement in the frame when looking over my footage, particularly in regard to how realistic the frame could be in emulating the human eye. Throughout my filming process I’ve been using some handheld movements, having the camera at eye level and attempting to film how/where a person might actually be moving their eyes. Handheld movement may be considered as presenting a subjective point of view because this type of movement can mimic human movement. However can the frame be representative of the reality of how the eyes move/work? Directors/cinematographers/any constructers of the frame attempt to build suspense or tension and one of the ways this can be done is restricting the story information that’s being presented to the audience. For example – if you heard a suspicious noise to the left of you, in real life you would look to the left to investigate it – but in the frame with handheld movement at eye level maybe the director would purposefully not move the frame to the left to build suspense and this would prove frustrating to the viewer. It would be like when you watch a horror movie and the protagonist goes upstairs and you as the viewer question why on earth they would go where it’s a dead end. My point being – can hand held movement in the frame actually mimic real eye movement or is it restricted to just what the director wants you to see? (On top of this, the camera can’t show peripheral vision like the eye can). If not, is subjectivity possible in this case? Perhaps subjectivity via movement is possible to a certain extent – but emulating real life eye movement is a complex task.

Whatever the answer, I’m coming to understand Buckland’s point of view more and more – as discussed in my essay and project proposal, he discussed how it was the mobile frame when it was comprehended as objective, not subjective, which transcends limitations placed on vision. There are many limitations placed on subjective vision or point of view – especially when this is being cinematically manipulated on top of this. Maybe the basis of the subjective mobile frame is just how limiting it is to be from the perspective of only one person. I guess I’ll have a lot to explore in my exegesis…

Meanwhile, my friend told me about this a few months ago – an action point of view film exists and it kind of explores some of these above thoughts. It’s like a video game in film form, and you can really highlight the limitations that subjective P.O.V have when you watch something where people are trying to shoot at you and you’re jumping off of buildings…


Buckland, W 2004, The Cognitive Semiotics of Film, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, pp. 47 – 50, pp. 177, Available from: Google books [10th October 2015]

Project Update [On The Frame]

Just a stream of consciousness I’m having about my project to prepare for the group update this week ~

So I am investigating movement re: point of view/subjectivity and objectivity

In attempting to emulate subjective point of view from the perspective of the human eye I’ve found that perhaps why handheld movements are considered to be subjective are because they mimic human movement. I’ve done this my literally putting the camera in front of my eyes

However something I’ve been thinking about is that it’s probably not enough to simply mimic human movement because the reality is, if you heard a noise from the side of you in real life, you would be able to look. But the cinematic effect is typically that they want to restrict story information from you to build suspense. So there can really be quite a limited view if you’re mimicking the human eye and although it tries to be subjective maybe nothing is really subjective as it is IRL???

Also I’ve been thinking about two different scenarios, which came up recently:

  • The ways that story info can be restricted from the viewer and then revealed using movement
  • The ways that story info can be restricted from the character or subject but shown to the audience using movement
  • In this way neither is particularly subjective or reflective of the character’s point of view because the audience’s experience is different

Had a go at trying linear movement to see how impersonal this feels

Have some footage – to me this feels impersonal because how it doesn’t mimic natural movement, but at the same time it shows so much of the environment using movement that you think – am I apart of this world of the character

Being out of the body movement rather than camera as natural movement in this way does feel partially objective however unsure if the lines between natural/linear movements are completely different because does anything reflect anything idk though obviously some movements are more subjective and reflective of points of view than others

Week 9 [On The Frame]

What is the studio investigating/exploring? How is it doing this?

The ‘On the Frame’ studio is exploring how the cinematic frame works – what can it do? How does it do it? This involves looking at the elements which allow the frame to work or visually communicate not only narrative but mood, point of view, how the frame is able to be presented and experienced. What are the affordances of the frame, and how do they work to create the whole entity that is ‘the frame’?

This studio allows you to ask a lot of questions and constantly question and explore what the frame does and is trying to do. There is a fairly good balance between theory and practise which allows you to do so. Through weekly readings, seeing theories reflected in the films screened each week, class discussions of how these elements work, and then finally attempting to emulate or create the elements of the frame previously seen throughout the semester.

The studio is not just the theoretical acceptance of how different elements of the frame produce certain effects, but instead a kind of exploration of these elements – questioning them, exploring them and sometimes emulating or recreating them yourself. In this way, there is a real balance between theoretical and technical knowledge which lends itself to understanding the many different facets of the frame.

What did you discover in terms of your current/future professional practice?

I discovered how although there are convention which are key to communicating   the frame visually – nothing is fixed. There are a number of different ways to question conventions, remix them, even mould them together. However there is no fixed ideas that are absolute – especially concerning anything media related.

One of the most important things I learnt was that it is okay, and at times quite necessary, to change and re think your ideas and not be stubborn about staying to one vision. That idea or vision is not necessarily the most effective, or there might be more room to develop it. Whatever the case, I discovered how collaborating and gaining feedback is really crucial to being able to change or alter your ideas and begin to think about things you may not have considered before on your own.

This studio also taught me to take ideas and inspiration from other’s work – i.e., the film screenings each week – but also to question how the director/cinematographer created that effect – could I emulate this or what I do it differently? Did it work or would something else work better? In this way I discovered how to not just take different ideas or visions but expand upon or completely reconfigure them and make them my own.

What about this studio would you recommend to potential future students?

I might recommend being open to learning as much as possible rather than entering with pre conceived ideas about the frame and it’s typical conventions. Of course, using this knowledge it good, but there is also a lot to learn from challenging and adding to that knowledge. I would also suggest when completing the final project, if choosing the option to curate a different set of clips – to attempt to bring as many of your ideas as possible to the constructing the frame and to consider really carefully what you want to create. However – be open to serendipitous moments where you realise what you can do with the frame that you didn’t think you could. Experiment as much as possible, essentially.

I would also say be ready for a lot of theoretical knowledge which is likely to enhance a lot of your technical and practical understanding of the frame and all of it’s different facets.

Week 8 [On The Frame]

This week’s ‘Inception’ discussion messed with my brain. However there is a lot that can be learnt from the film especially when talking about ‘the thinking film’. One of the questions Dan asked the class that really got me thinking was (something along the lines of this) if the frame is what is crucial to telling the whole story of ‘Inception’. On first thought I wasn’t sure because of how essentially the entire first half of the movie is spent explaining the different rules of the dream universe. There is a strong focus on this kind of story/dialogue. However, I think this was a little naive – everything is demonstrated through the frame even when explaining all of these rules. Particularly the scene at the cafe in Paris and when the entire city flips over. The film messes with you because of how visually mind blowing everything is. Also, the music and sound is such a key indicator of how cinematic and intensive everything is. This couldn’t be communicated without the frame. On second thought, I would probably really agree with the statement.

My project has been moving along pretty well – I managed two create two clips on the weekend, one which was pretty experimental and trying to discover how exactly the point of view of the subject or character can be cued and conveyed. I was switching constantly between the character’s point of view, as though the camera was actually via their eyes, and then from behind and infant of the character so as to cue that this was their experience. I’m still wondering what this conveyed – did it feel like the viewer is spying into them while simultaneously being them, or both or neither?

The second clip went really will – I emulated a lot of linear movements, pushing the camera in and out and panning across. It made the whole scene feel very impersonal and separate. I think the linear movements conveyed a kind of subjectivity. I might curate some more of these linear movement later on in the project.

Week 7 [On The Frame]

I’ve ended up reconfiguring my plans for my major project – mainly just ditching my focus on the colour aspect of the whole thing. I had been interested in colour since the beginning of the semester, so I think I was probably trying to hold onto that interesting – while meanwhile I had actually become quite focused on the whole movement/subjectivity/objectivity/the thinking frame thing. So, now after reviewing some of the feedback from the panel, I’m going with that!

I was asked after my project proposal if I was going to use zoom and although I hadn’t been planning it, I was kind of asking myself why I wasn’t? When I thought about it, I think it makes sense why I wouldn’t – in some clips for my project I’m planning on emulating the human eye and/or using the camera as extension of the human body (or seeing if it can do these things in the first place) – and since our eyes don’t have zoom – I don’t think I would be using it. Also, the concept is more about following the subject if I want to get closer to them, as you actually would in real life – I think in this way this emulates the thinking frame? I’m not sure, I’m kind of rambling, but anyway, I’m not going to use zoom.

Week 6 [On The Frame]

This focus of this week’s lecture was on the ‘exploded’ frame – that being 3D cinema and mobile cinema. I think I was much more intrigued by the 2012 documentary ‘This Is Not a Film’ than I was by ‘Night Fishing’. Mobile/iPhone cinema is just very intriguing to me and when you mix it in with documentary, it’s even more personal. Especially when considering ‘This Is Not a Film’ – nothing within the documentary is even that interesting, but if you consider the wider context of how Jafar Panahi is making this film and his frustration all within the constraints of the apartment building, it further exasperates the personal nature that the framing provides already.

‘Night Fishing’ meanwhile really sets something of an example or benchmark for mobile cinema especially in terms of the technical competence which is exhibited throughout when you consider that the primary mode of technology being used is an iPhone 4s. I am much more impressed with the use of the lower quality, older iPhone then I might be if I had heard of someone I knew making a film with an iPhone 6, as the newer iPhone actually has a great quality.

I would imagine with mobile filming there is also just an added ease when it comes to filming. It’s so much less constricting than professional film cameras, or even an entry level DSLR.

I’m also particularly impressed with how ‘old movie ish’ (great description) these specific frames appear. I’m pretty curious as to how it was edited because it has that older quality, not just a black and white filter.

Screen Shot 2015-10-23 at 8.45.32 pm

Screen Shot 2015-10-23 at 8.45.21 pm Frames from ‘Night Finishing’ dir. Chan-kyong Park.

Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2tRlqPQ7dAw

Week 5 [On The Frame]

In considering subjectivity and the affordances of the frame, I definitely think that to a degree, subjectivity can be communicated through the frame. Although ‘Drive’ is not told from the direct point of view of the driver, much of the suspense which is created in the film is as a result of the driver’s perspective and it’s limitations. We see this in the opening sequence particularly – though we see Ryan Gosling’s character driving, we still see the police car going past as he does, and anticipate the robber’s returning into the car as he does.

However there are a number of questions here about subjectivity, because we aren’t seeing the POV of the driver as though it is happening live, we’re seeing his facial expressions and responses as a kind of commentary on the action, particularly in the car chase scenes. However the driver’s responses to elicit a kind of mirrored response in the audience – e.g. when Standard gets shot, we see the shock in the driver’s eyes which may mirror our own, etc. Subjectivity doesn’t appear to be as obviously told as directly showing point of view shots, but it is shown – especially through, as this week’s lecture mentioned, how the frame functions in showing the relationship between the frame, subjectivity, editing, miss en scene, colour etc.

In fact, I was exploring the question of film/subjectivity in my essay this week. Colour, mise en scene and editing can function in creating mood, which is reflective of subjectivity. For example in ‘Drive’ during the scene with the driver, Irene and the boy by the water – the colour palette is yellowed and everything seems like a kind of spring inspired dream which reflects the driver’s joy. In this way I think the mood the frame creates is relative to it’s ability to present a subjective POV.

I found some of these thoughts reflected in this week’s Frampton reading, particularly from the ideas of V.F Perkins about how “narrative, concept and emotion are completely fused…. film becomes the projection of the mental universe.”

On a side note, I find the subjectivity question interesting when looking at ‘Meshes of the Afternoon’, as there a points where we do seem to view the camera directly from her point of view (as cued by shaking movement) and other instances where we see the woman’s limbs moving, her eye closing… I feel as though the experience of point of view here has more room for interpretation.

I think that the idea of subjectivity may become a point of focus for me for the major project brief… we’ll see!


Daniel Frampton, ‘Film Minds’ in Filmosophy (2006), Wallflower Press, pp. 15-26.

Week 4 [On The Frame]


Deleuze’s ideas were more difficult for me to grasp this week, however what I did really start thinking about was whether or not I would contend his perception that the frame is either the geometrical or the physical. If I have the right idea in mind here, I would think that a frame of a person’s eyes in an extreme close up, straight on is a physical representation. Perhaps anything from a straight on angle close up could be considered a physical representation? Whereas, taking an image from a lower or high angle alters this perception away from what it may look like physically. However this idea of ‘physical’ – is it based on my idea of dimensions and accurate spatiality? There is a lot that you can manipulate within the frame, and also a lot that you can present as is (to an extent). However even with taking a photo of eyes, that is still geometrical – the oval shape of the eyes for instance – but there isn’t the illusion of space or the third dimension.

The ‘out of field’ concept, although quite vague to me, is also interesting. I suppose some of it could relate to semiotics – there can be more to the frame, purposefully representing different meanings and the connotation of different ideas. However this also concerns emotions that are inferred or that which we perceive… Deleuze is interesting and confusing, but will help me with my understanding of the frame the more I think about these ideas.


Gilles Deleuze, ‘Frame and shot’, Cinema 1: The Movement-Image (2005), Continuum.

Skip to toolbar