Chapter 5Camera

The Camera as Narrator

Film is a language used to tell stories, and the narrator of those stories is the camera. Yes, the director is the ultimate storyteller, but the “voice” she will use is that of the camera.

There are six variables a director can control with the camera. In all six, composition within the frame is a primary factor.

  1. Angle
  2. Image size (which affects scale and field of view)
  3. Motion (up, down, track, pan)
  4. Depth of field (normal, compressed or deep, affected by focal length of lens and f stop)
  5. Focus (selective within the frame)
  6. Speed (normal, fast, or slow motion)

The director will manipulate and integrate these possibilities to create the sentences used to tell the cinematic story and will then organize the ...

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