Sunday, 18 March 2012

Project 2–Function of a frame

Exercise 3: Visualisation
The objective of this exercise is to image three scenarios and visualise them from a subjective point of view. I have used my graphics tablet to make these drawings in an attempt to get used to controlling the stylus. It’s almost like learning to write and draw all over again. I’m getting used to it and time will only improve my technique.
The first one is your view of a man in a shop,  talking in an animated way and facing you:
I’ve included enough information to suggest that this is a shop, with signs saying what’s for sale. a counter and some folded newspapers. I’ve used a frame to enclose enough of the man to show that he is animated and using his hands to gesticulate. I’ve left a lot of the details out as they are not important in communicating the story.

Next, you knock on a door,
Here I’ve included my left hand knocking the door, I’m aware of  the door’s construction. the number of the house, the letterbox and on the edge of the frame, the exterior light.

you wait, examining the lamp by the door
Because the lamp was in the periphery of the frame, while I wait I am examining it closely and become aware of the bricks in the wall too. The door is left out, only the door frame delineates it from the brick wall.

the door is opened by a familiar and friendly face.
Again, I’ve included enough to show a doorway and a part open door, the central part of the frame is the person and I have concentrated on showing his face and expression.

The final exercise imagines you are having an illicit affair. In the first frame you are having a passionate conversation with your lover and in the second, a sudden sound in the background causes you to glance round.
Here I have included only the face of the lover. I felt his was most important as the conversation needs to be shown as passionate and you would be concentrating on their eyes and mouth as you converse. Nothing else is important in the scene. (I  think I’ve over emphasised the eyes a bit – scary or what!)
The sudden sound is the cat knocking over a milk bottle. A glance is a quick look to confirm something, quite casual and very brief. In this case I would probably know the sound of a bottle tipping over and once I had identified it, I would continue with the conversation. The frame contains only the information I would need to confirm the source of the sound. Although there would be a lot of detail there, I have only included what is relevant, the cat, the milk bottle and a corner of the table. The cat stealing the milk is also analogous of the illicit affair and it looks guilty too. (not by design I assure you, my drawing is not that good)
These questions were asked at the end of the exercise. I have related them to the learning notes but I'm not sure that the might be asked of other students posts:
Q. Which sequences are the most effective and why?
A. It depends on the reason for choosing a particular viewpoint. Subjective (POV) viewpoints are very powerful devices,  they can show drama, enhance tension and emotion. They bring the viewer right into the centre of the action. Objective viewpoints have the distancing effect of viewing the scene from a third party point of view. The viewer is only an observer, uninvolved.
Q. What makes a convincing subjective sequence?
A. Concentrating the frame on what the actor will be seeing. The example in the notes about “seeing” rather than “looking” is important. The viewer needs to be convinced that he is “in the head” of the actor. the film maker needs to provide only the information to do that, include nothing that detracts from the point of  the story. Close-ups and movement will help in this regard.
Q. What gives the sequence a sense of atmosphere or tension?
A. Close ups, movement, lighting and dialogue.
Q. What information is conveyed in each frame?
A. I think this question relates to other students work. I’ll write that up when I’ve looked.
That is the second project completed.  To my fellow students, if you get a chance, please comment either on Blogger or email me. Thank you .


  1. You seem to have got used to drawing with the graphics tab pen - I especially like the cat, the man in the newspaper shop and the crazy eyed lover. All the frames seem to me to work as a subjective viewer.
    Your point about 'seeing' as opposed to merely looking is good. What the viewer registers is all that's important otherwise it's in danger of interfering with the narrative.
    Great. - good luck with the next project - get the gin out. (I did!)

  2. Thanks Emily,

    I keep experimenting with different input devices for my blog and I've found that the graphics tablet forces me to slow down, think about what I'm doing and stops me scribbling. I'm just about to start on the storyboard for my first sequence. Here's hoping my ideas work OK.