In this week’s module, we have two assigned readings—Chapter 3 and 4 of The Bare Bones Camera Course for Film and Video by Tom Schroeppel. The image following this paragraph is a cover of the book. We are also asked to find and analyze videos that illustrate smooth continuity with multiple angles. In this module, we will also be producing a how-to video.
Reading & Writing:
In Chapter 3, Schroeppel discusses about a basic sequence in films. The idea behind a basic sequence is to break a long scene into smaller pieces and thus retain viewers’ interest. Shooting a basic sequence often involves shots of different angle and image size. Schroeppel also talks about the different techniques one can utilize to have smooth transitions in a basic sequence. Those techniques are cutting on action and having clean entrances and exits. Cutting on action allows the viewers to focus on the action instead of the change between different shots. Clean entrance and exit show the viewers that the subject has left the scene, so that when the same subject shows up elsewhere, the viewers can easily accept its appearance. His final tip about utilizing all these different techniques as much as possible in one’s creation is also very helpful.
In Chapter 4, Schroeppel talks about screen direction, focusing on what it means to cross the line and what to do when crossing the line is necessary. Crossing the line means that the direction of action has been reversed, so what is shown in the scene after the line has been crossed does not match with the previous scenes. If crossing the line is needed, then one can either keep the camera running while changing the screen direction, or one can add a shot that has no screen direction between the shots that have different screen directions. The aforementioned two methods are the better choices to use when crossing the line. The other two less favorable methods are to use a point of reference that viewers can relate between the scenes and to cut on action. In addition, Schroeppel also highlights that screen direction is important because having the same screen direction will allow one to move the camera or the subject to a place where one desires without causing distraction in the finished product.
Research to Inform:
The following are three videos I found that show smooth continuity with multiple angles:
- Homemade Chocolate-Covered Ice Cream Cones
This video is a good example of smooth continuity with multiple angles and sizes, especially when the person in the video is pouring chocolate into the cone (0:36). The scene changes from a wide shot to a medium shot and then to a close up and finally ends with a medium shot. The video also uses cutting on action to change between the different angles and sizes. One great example of the use of cutting on action is the scene starting at 0:53 where the person is putting ice cream into the cone.
- Black Panther – M’Baku vs T’Challa
This clip shows the fight between M’Baku and T’Challa in Black Panther. The clip utilizes cutaways, cut on action and neutral shots to make smooth continuity possible. During the fight, we often see the clip cuts to the audience of the fight, allowing for smooth switch between the different angles and frame sizes. In addition to cutaways, the clip also uses cut on action to switch between the different angles. One good example of cut on action occurs at 0:39. The use of neutral shots in the clip allows the camera to cross the line and switch screen direction. A good example of using a neutral shot to switch screen direction occurs at 0:43. The neutral shot makes M’Baku’s switch from the left side of the screen to the right side of the screen smooth.
3. Spider-Man Homecoming (2017) – School Scene HD
This clip shows smooth continuity from the start to about 0:54. During this clip, the editor uses neutral shots to switch screen direction and uses cutaways to switch between different frame sizes and shot angles. The use of neutral shot to switch screen direction is evident at 0:05, where the scene switched from Peter walking toward the right of the screen to Peter walking toward the left of the screen. A cutaway is used at 0:13 to switch from a wide shot to a close up shot of Peter’s face. The use of cutaways in this clip also allows for smooth continuity. This is shown between 0:18 and 0:30, where the scene cuts to the school’s announcement after we see Peter enter the school, making Peter’s appearance on the school’s stairs after the announcement smooth.
Here is my how-to video:
I love making origami in my free time, so I chose to show how to make origami frog for my how-to video. It’s actually quite fun matching the action from the shots with different angles and frame sizes. This project really exposes me to how useful it is to have shots of different angles and frame sizes. The only problem is that since I handmade those rectangular pieces of paper, each of the pieces might have looked a bit different from one another, so next time I will be sure to be more careful about crafting the materials I need.