Episode 5 - Composition (29 replies and 13 comments)
n this episode, we talk about the importance of composition and why composition matters.
It’s a tricky and complicated subject and there are no set answers. We talked about the difference of composition in still work and in motion. It’s one of those subjects that could continue on and on! Just defining composition is difficult!
Post your comments or questions on this topic below.
Yes, the cat! I`m not so good with nuances in English and I might be off sometimes. I guess I was referring to this search of mine. I won`t hide, I tried to find the reason behind each shot, how does it work? I do not find an answer, wright or wrong, each time, but I search for it. I was thinking about the cat as a metaphor about this need to find out.
Lot of the movies you shot felt so wright to me. So, I am looking and trying to understand why they felt like that, there must something. I won`t make a secret that I am stuck now with Revolutionary Road, and I keep finding things.
How do you show the house from the outside? You might think, what about the house? It is just a house; you shoot the establishing shoot and that is it! Well not really, it does not seem so.
Establishing shoots related to characters emotions, story
The original material, meaning the book, was almost an academic study of suburban life. That led Sam and I to consider shooting the film in a quite observational manner, as a series of static shots. Although we soon realized that the idea was too severe and the camera needed to be more 'connected' to the characters, the original concept still influenced our approach, hence the static frame into which Frank sits, the shot of the house with the roof cut off etc.
Soon you realized the idea was too severe and camera needed to be more connected to the character means? Did you add camera movements slowly? What do you mean exactly camera needed to be more connected to the character.
I have read somewheres 'Road to perdition' movie also sam wanted like book reading! What's your opinion. Your admire connie shot on that movie.
I see, thank you!
Well, I thought further about those lines, and I said to myself that they are put to work during the fight scene in the house. I came up with the idea that all the movement, and camera work is so precise, synced to the characters, the dialogue, the emotional state, perspective of the characters. When I look at it seems obvious. I am curios if you searched for the house, the tree in front, knowing you were going to shoot like that, or did you work it on set? Thank you!
We spent a lot of time looking for the 'right' house. We also needed a house where the occupants would allow us to take possession for months and even allow us to re model some of their interior. They, of course, would have to live in alternative accommodation for the entire shoot. That is not such an easy thing to find so the positioning of the trees was the last thing to consider. We wanted a house that felt surrounded with quite newly planted trees as if it were a modern suburban home but we couldn't be that picky.
There are so many lessons to be learned, in just one film. I thought about the scramble eggs scene and I wonder If you used the framing, and the headroom, position of the characters in the frame to create the subtext, another meaning to what we see on screen?
I thought about that frame in the forest with the tree which grows from April`s back, it has something expressionistic to it, it seems to be working as a shadow in a way...
And back to Franck in the house, all the black in the room seems to be in the same expressionist esthetic. Was this lighting there to refer to the characters subconsciousness?
April`s arrival in the scene which was cut from the movie seems to go that way. You film her legs coming inside the room and then her sitting on the side of the bad, you film her lap, very maternal, I guess, caressing the her, going out after that...
And the kitchen scene, which I keep thinking about, it just makes me wonder. The framing and placement of Frank and April face to face, the head room which varies from dialogue to dialogue, from emotional state to another. Such a great synchronization, I mean, it is mind blowing.
When it cuts between the two, their faces almost overlap. But before that, Franck and April have a different head room, in the end they are the same, but I wonder if It is Franck's perspective on April which gives her more headroom.
After the moment April sees the drawing, they get even, almost. Franck is straighter to camera, his shoulders draw this parallel line, it makes him more vulnerable. April`s shot, on the other hand, it is very little to the right of her axis. It is such a fine adjustment, or it is just in my head. When I look at it, I feel it that way... And when they stand in front of each other near the table Frank has no headroom, and April`s head is slightly cut. All these variations, I mean, there must be intention behind them. But, the more you look the less you know. Anyway, I made these screenshots.
In film school I was used to analyzing films, but I never really got the chance to ask the people who did it.
It happens that I feel it that way, and then I just try to look for the reasons why it makes me feel the way it does...