How to Read a Movie

“How to Read a Movie” by Roger Ebert had some vital points regarding videography. He mentioned pausing the film and thinking about what you see when you do. He also spoke about how visual compositions have “intrinsic weighting”, where certain areas of the available visual space have tendencies to stir emotional or aesthetic reactions. Filmmakers naturally compose shots from images that well up emotionally, instinctively or strategically. For the first time I heard what the Rule of Thirds is, aligning a subject with the guide lines and ther intersection points, placing the horizon on the top to bottom line.

The first of the 4 short films that I watched was the Top 20 amazing cinematic technique. The pan technique is one that I notice a lot in different films, it is the turning of the head view in the active scene. The next was the short video on match cuts. Match cuts are two shots with similar compositional elements joined metaphorical or thematic. Hitchcock Loves Bikinis discussed how the assembly of film can be changed to create a different idea. The same shots can be mean two different things based off the context of the supporting cuts. the last featured editing techniques, from jump cuts, slow motion montages, different transitions, and a few more interesting tricks in editing.

The scene that I chose to do a video essay on was the ending scene to the movie “10 Cloverfield Lane”. The scene used a decent amount of the transitions mentioned in the Top 20 amazing cinematic techniques video. I also noticed the amount of B-roll used in the ending scene to give context and pass time. There aren’t any words being said in these last few scenes because there’s only one character, other than the lady on the radio. The music controls the majority of the tone for this scene and supports the setting perfectly.


One Reply to “How to Read a Movie”

  1. Great choice of scene. For this assignment, the goal was actually to edit yourself doing voiceover commentary about the cinematic techniques — either over the film audio or by pausing the scenes (like Ebert’s technique). Keep an eye on those instructions!

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