Week4_Reflection #2

In Friday’s class, we filmed a short scene following the formal process. We assign ourselves into specific roles for this project, such as actors, boom assistance, sound operator, camera operator, first assistant director, cinematographer and director. That was an excellent experience because we had a great collaboration in the process.

I was responsible for operating a camera. The core of this role not simply presses the ‘red’ button on a camera,  but also preserves a good quality of images. How good is it? The basic requirement of good view could be generally measured by two main aspects: under focus and correct exposure.

So these were two major things that I had to do before rolling my camera. If I were shooting, the first thing I would do was turning on the ‘Zebra’ button, this is normally functional in a professional camera,  to see the level of exposure in my viewfinder; secondly, I suggest to focus on character’s eyes when a cameraman tries to make a correct focus. Ideally, you could close-ups on character’s eye with the maximum focal length in order to easily check the correction. If, however, it was still not clear enough, sometimes you could use extension focus, this function is dependent on your camera, to get a closer look.

After reviewing the clips, I found a couple questions. So I reflect. Our location is in narrow space, a back stairway in building 5. Using a tripod is not a good way of shooting in a narrow and small space because you cannot operate easily. Your movement is limited. Instead, a handheld camera is really useful. It is less limitations for camera position. You could definitely play around the space like a master. One shot, but only in my imagination,  I really like if I handheld my camera. I could easily connect Lucy and Charlie by following the railway of stairs. There is no doubt, it is a naturally leading line connecting two characters.

. So overall, shooting on a tripod is kind of a constraint on your own options, and even worse, on your imagination. Hopefully, I could make this shot next time.

Week_4 Research and Reflection


Mise-en-scene, also known as ‘the plastic of the image’, is a filmic technique which includes setting, lighting, costume and makeup, staging and performance, and finally, the framing of the shot that give us its composition. In original French, Mise-en-scene literately means ‘putting into the scene’. This notion briefly explains that filmmaker choose what to be shown in the scene.

According to Andre Bazin, the essence of mise-en-scene is depth of field and long take. These attracted Bazin for two essential reason:

1. It maintained the unity of space and the relationship between the objects within the space.

2. It gave the spectator, according to Bazin, the freedom to direct his/her own control over the viewing process, including what to look at it, in what order, for how long, and to to make their own synthesis of viewing process. Together they maintain ambiguity – the existential ambiguity present all around our life – of that space.


Montage is the creation of  a sense or meaning not objectively contained in the image themselves but derived exclusively from their juxtaposition.

Also, Andre Bazin describes editing as a ‘series of either logical or subjective points of view of an event.’ Dealing with sound films,  Bazin lists three  motives for cutting:

1. As a purely logical descriptive analysis of the narrative.

2.As a psychological analysis from a character’s point of view

3.As a psychological analysis from audience’s point of view.

Bazin, however, opposes classical and expressive editing on the following counts. His statements refers montage style as ‘Trickery’. Bazin consider the psychological cutting within a scene  does not add anything to the intent of the scene. If the scene has only one simple  meaning why insult the audience’s intelligence with needless and obvious close-ups? Contrarily, if the scene is complex why presuppose only one meaning?The meaning is not in the image, it is in the shadow of the image projected by montage onto the field of  consciousness of the spectator. In Bazin’s point of view, the expressive cutting removes the freedom on the part of the spectator to select for him or herself and removes whatever existential ambiguity may be present in the scene.


The French term, decoupage, has no English equivalent. Its literary definition is “to cut”, but is better described as construct in filmic language.

Noel Burch, in Theory of Film Practice, defines the three terms for which decoupage is inter­changeably used for as: 1) The final form of a script replete with the required technical information. 2) The practical breakdown of the film’s construction into separate shots/sequences prior to filming & 3) The underlying structure of the finished film, which has probably deviated from the original “decoupage.”


Week 3_Reflection: What is shown?

Onscreen, what is shown?

Our single scene practise was reviewed on this Friday morning. Well, obviously, there were many things that were worth to reflect.

First of all, most of us had a misunderstanding of the use of shot while we were filming the single scene. We like to start our scene with an establishing shot because we thought establishing shot represent a beginning. However, we hadn’t understood the specific function of establishing shot. Establishing shot means Start, the notion of this is absolutely right. But it is dependent on the narrative.

Robin suggested, Single scene is a fragment from a bigger part of a film rather than a whole film. So we really don’t need to start with an establishing shot while doing this scene. More importantly, we should focus on what we really need to show onscreen.

Either a long wide shot or a close-up shot as a starting, the substance is what we want to show. Framing is only a approach in order for illustrating a content. In photography, we can see different photographers who are taking pictures in many different way. For example, Henri Cartier-Bresson and Bruce Gilden are both photo-journalists, but their ideas of photo are dissimilar. Bruce Gilden is crazy for taking photo in front of his subject within one or two metres. Cartier-Bresson, on the other hand, like to keep some distance from his subject by using a longer shot. In Gilden’s pictures, we are able to know subjects’ stories from their facial expression. Cartier-Bresson prefers to emphasise the relationship between subject and environment.



(Henri Cartier-Bresson)



a627e38db0c54b6d162adc05873d4f5a(Bruce Gilden)

So what I am trying to say is content is more important than framing. In visual language, content decides frame.

Working the scene: Media 5_Week 2 Reflection

When we are about to film, at what kind of point we should start?

How do we work in the scene?

In Wednesday’s class, Robins tells us about the order of shot during operating to shoot. As all we has known, most of filmmakers, professionals or amateurs, would see an establishing as the first thing should be done of a scene. Why? What is the reason for that? There are a number of reasons we got after we have discussed in class.

Warm-Up Performers.

Everything should not be hurried. So does filming and acting. Establishing shot could give them space for a warm-up performing. At the beginning of filming, actors are not in their best shape. So we need to give them some time to get into it. Before they starting to perform one or two meters in front the camera, they could turn themselves to the right channel in an establishing shot.

Coverage, another important thing to notice

The main reason to put establishing shot at the top list is because of the coverage. An establishing is able to cover everything of a scene. At the very beginning of your process, you have gotten the thing you want and you do not have worry about what would happen at the next moment. Once you get it, you won’t lose it. Otherwise, you do not make an establishing shot of a scene, you put everything into unsure.  Robin gave a good example that when you have done all the stuffs except for the establishing shot and your actor are dead. How do you establish your scene?


Get Start: Media 5_Week 1 Reflection

Woooh! New semester, fresh and exciting!

Well, reflective writing again….

Let me talk about what I have learnt in the first class of Media 5. First day class, we started to shoot with a camera and a tripod to create a short scene. This assessment requires us to use a single shot to cover a fictional story through the lens (Techniques: Panning and Titling Only).

Well, this story is about three people are in trouble with a tension. Henry is the boss of a business company. Maria (maybe this is a wrong name, sorry I’m really bad at names), Henry’s wife, is kind of worried. Steve, an assistance, is being panic for the situation.

When I got this task and read the provided story, the first thing came into my mind was mise-en-scene (putting everything into the scene). Because of the technique requirement, I consider the position of characters is able to reveal the relationship of among them. For example, how do I tell audience that Henry and Maria are a couple on screen? I think a position can easily provide these information. Another good example shown on Friday’s lecture was one of those shots in a film called ‘Margaret (2011)’. As we clearly see here, the relationship of the actor and the actress is built because of their  position. A long shot includes the actor on the foreground, and a bus door is kind of a ‘frame in the frame’ to pick out the actress on the background. I think how you compose the shot really affect how audience would think it about.

And the last thing I want to add, which I just realise, is composition. The position of characters actually is composition of the frame, I think. Therefore, in a single shot, a good composition would give a easy way to audience to receive the information onscreen.