Course on Film Appreciation

Film Appreciation Class of Bong Eliab

It took a long time to discover the importance of imaginative editing in films. In the beginning, the film was considered as one continuous whole and not as an assemblage of fragments. For instance, the French filmmaker, George Melies and his American counterpart Edwin Porter, set their cameras in front of the action and let them record things as they happened.

But it was Edwin Porter who made a bold step towards the art of editing when he inserted a previously shot footage within a larger film. And in 1915, David Griffith, the Father of American Films, discovered that only part of the action was needed to be shown onscreen. (Read more.)


Since film is primarily a visual medium, the grammar and syntax governing the stream of cinema’s visual imagery are of first importance. The visual grammar and syntax of film concern the ways a filmmaker arranges shots into scenes and scenes into sequences, just as the grammar and syntax of spoken and written languages deal with the way words are arranged into sentences and sentences into paragraphs.

The smallest discernible unit in film is the frame. A frame is-a single photographic image printed on a length of film Mentés Másképp teljes film ingyenes magyarul. A viewer can see a single frame only under certain artificial conditions: when a projector is stopped at “still” position; when a frame is excerpted and projected as a slide or printed on photographic paper; or when a freeze-frame appears on the screen. Like a single letter in a word, a frame is not a part of a viewer’s perceptions until it is isolated. Even then, it seldom has meaning.

Although a single photographic frame cannot be discerned during actual viewing, it contributes to a larger unit and is understood in terms of that unit. During normal projection, twenty-four frames per second (Fekete Özvegy (2021) teljes film magyarul film) pass through the projector’s gate. Each image flashes on the screen, then the screen turns black and is followed by another frame. However, the human eye misses the period of blackout since the eye retains an image one-tenth of a second longer than the image exists. It is this physiological phenomenon that allows motion pictures to be seen in continuous movement with no apparent jumps or single frames visible. (Take two frames out of a shot, however, and the eye can often detect a jump.) The average feature contains close to 130,000 separate frames.

The word “frame” also has another meaning in the filmmaker’s Halálosabb iramban 9 teljes film magyarul. The frame is the outer boundary of a projected image — the lines, on the rectangle on the screen where an image ends and blackness begins. Because the frame serves as the boundary of an image, it is the starting point in the filmmaker’s composition. The camera itself sees indiscriminately. The filmmaker must make a variety of choices to be sure that he will put boundaries around a segment of experience that, when projected, will have meaning for the viewer.


At a normal projection speed of twenty-four frames per second, it is quickly evident that a large number of frames make up the basic perceivable unit of the film, the shot. A shot is a single uninterrupted action of a camera. Like the verbal word, the cinematic shot is the smallest functional unit of filmmaking. Some shots last only one or two frames, although such short shots appear rarely in commercial films. But anyone who has seen experimental films The Card Counter teljes film (such as Charles Braverman’s An American Time Capsule or The World of ’68) knows how rapidly shots can operate and how many shots the eye will accept in a small amount of time. Although longer shots are “standard,” few last over thirty seconds. The exceptions, of course, run for as long as a filmmaker chooses to keep film running through his camera. The average shot runs from about two to thirty seconds.

Because it is the smallest functional unit of film and combines to form a larger statement, the shot syntactically parallels the word of spoken and written communication. The frame, on the other hand, resembles the single phoneme or letter of a word. Shots make up the vocabulary that film’s visual grammar and syntax connect into statements with meaning. The vocabulary of film is primarily the vocabulary of a series of photographic images.

It is illuminating to consider the notion “shot” in relation to the notion “word” in order to grasp the syntactical workings of the basic unit of cinematic composition. The shots of a film Space Jam: Új kezdet (2021) teljes film online draw meaning from their context much as words derive significance almost exclusively from their linguistic context. When isolated, the meaning of either a word or a shot is imprecise at best. Consider the word “stand.” Is it a verb (such as a command to assume a certain physical position, or a description of what someone is doing or did do) or is it a noun (such as an ideological one takes, a structure to sit on, a courtroom place of witness, or of trees)? Without a context, one cannot ascertain meaning or function. Similarly, a single shot has meaning, but without a context, a particular meaning is difficult to identify. Consider, for example, a frame showing a saloon with men drinking at tables while a man stands just outside the swinging doors. Is the situation comical or threatening? Or are we seeing a typical Tuesday afternoon at Hank’s saloon?

While analogies can be drawn between shot and word, the shot also resembles the written paragraph. A paragraph normally articulates an idea, then offers supportive evidence or arguments. Similarly, a shot in context assumes a general idea or mood and also offers many equivalents of simple declarative and descriptive sentences, providing a viewer with supportive information. Imagine the elements of a hypothetical shot put into statement form: The woman sits in the kitchen. The baby is in the highchair. The baby is crying. The woman is holding baby food. The wall is yellow. On the wall stands a picture of a horse. There is a table in the foreground. The table is round. The table is dark. There are four chairs around the table. All this, and far more, a viewer perceives as he watches a shot. A shot, like a paragraph, offers both detailed information and an idea or mood.

Any direct analogy between the shot and the paragraph, however, will quickly break down. The elements of a paragraph are met with one at a time. They are linear. The content of a shot is, for all practical purposes, available all at once. Ideas and details are not easily separated. Abstract ideas are seldom stated as such in film-and then usually in documentaries Szörnyella (2021) teljes film online magyar. Film argues almost entirely by evidence, inexorably forcing a viewer to supply appropriate abstract ideas. We are not told, for instance, that Mr. Jones loves his wife. We see him love her. Film is a visual medium, and it must make its statements visually.

Shots are categorized according to the apparent closeness of the camera to the person or object photographed. With the early single focal length lenses, distance literally became the factor determining the “length” of a shot. With the present variety of lenses, only the illusion of distance counts. If an object or person seems very far away, the result is normally called an extreme long-shot (ELS), also called an establishing shot because it places objects in context and prepares a viewer for a closer look later. If a person or object appears extremely close, the shot is called an extreme close-up (ECU). In between lie the long-shot (LS), medium long-shot (MLS), medium shot (MS), medium close-up (MCU), and close-up (CU).

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