Clifton Powell's blog

March 10, 2010

On Epstein

Filed under: Uncategorized —— powellclifton @ 4:10 pm

In Epstein’s article he emphasized on the different movements of the face within close up camera shots. Epstein explained how the face can give him a different impression depending on the cameras angle and how far or close up the shot is. This is accurate in the majority of films. In order to bring the audience in closer you have to utilize the close up shots in ceratin scenes while creating that particular film. To create an authentic feel for your film a filmmaker should use close-up shots in order for the audience to capture whats being shown in a much more detailed way. As you watch a close-up shot in a film, the audience tends to be focused in a intense manner because they want to capture everything that’s being shown in that shot or scene. Filmmakers want the audience to be a part of of the movie opposed to just watching and following along.

When the audience is paying close attention to the close up shot the filmamkers have successfully did his/her job. On the contrary, when a close up is no longer being utilized the audience may not pay as much close attention to the character on the screen. This is very true because when i first saw “I am legend” I personally felt included in the film during the close-up shots. However, when the close ups were not used in other scenes I felt as if I was just viewing the film like the rest of the audience. Another film that made me feel included was the “Blair witch project”. Not only did the close ups keep me included but the lighting was also a big attraction. The “Blair witch project” had numerous close up shots and if the filmmaker changed the close up shots and used less i might not have been that interested or included in that film.

Epstein also explains that the landscapes have no importance which is true in some cases and false in some other cases. The landscapes and close ups vary depending on the filmmaker and what’s being portrayed in the shot or scene. In some films in order to have a detailed close up you will actually need the landscape, vice versus.

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3 Responses to “On Epstein”

  1.   Ronnie Jaber Says:

    Epstein’s explanation on the necessity of landscapes during an close-up is to illustrate the purpose of the close-up .The close-up is for emphasizing a particular object or subject. Therefore landscape is entirely unnecessary. The majority of the time during a close-up the landscape to is left out of focus(if any). The landscape during a close-up should have no impact on the narrative of a film.

  2.   christina421 Says:

    In response to Ronnie, I am in between with the landscape’s importance. Landscapes are usually used as an establishing shot, without it we’re lost as an audience – it gives us spatial awareness. However, I understand where you are coming from when you say that the landscape should have no impact on the narrative of the film as we saw with Joan of Arc. We were not aware of where she was because all we saw was her face and white space around her – although we saw something behind her, we were still not aware of where she was. So in that case, the landscape was not important, Joan’s face was – because it created a sense of confusion, and it was important to feel the way that she felt. –

    My interpretation of that shot composition in that scene was to make us feel as caved in as she was because she was put in a situation where she had to make a choice: 1) stand up for her beliefs or 2) save herself from death by going against her beliefs.

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