Figure 1.1. A frame from Orson Welles’ The Lady From Shanghai.

writing with motion



The term cinematography is from the Greek roots meaning “writing with motion.” Cinematography is more than just photography; it is the process of taking ideas, words, actions, emotional subtext, tone, and all other forms of nonverbal communication and rendering them in visual terms. As we will use the term here, cinematic technique is the entire range of methods, and techniques that we use to add layers of meaning and subtext to the “content” of the film—the actors, sets, dialog, and action. The tools, the techniques, and the variations ...

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