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Voice and Vision, 2nd Edition

Book Description

Voice & Vision is a comprehensive manual for the independent filmmakers and film students who want a solid grounding in the tools, techniques, and processes of narrative film in order to achieve their artistic vision. This book includes essential and detailed information on relevant film and digital video tools, a thorough overview of the filmmaking stages, and the aesthetic considerations for telling a visual story.

The ultimate goal of this book is to help you develop your creative voice while acquiring the solid practical skills and confidence to use it. Unlike many books that privilege raw technical information or the line-producing aspects of production, Voice & Vision places creativity, visual expression, and cinematic ideas front and center. After all, every practical decision a filmmaker makes, like choosing a location, an actor, a film stock, a focal length, a lighting set-up, an edit point, or a sound effect is also an expressive one and should serve the filmmaker's vision. Every decision, from the largest conceptual choices to the smallest practical solutions, has a profound impact on what appears on the screen and how it moves an audience.

"In Practice" sidebars throughout connect conceptual, aesthetic and technical issues to their application in the real world. Some provide a brief analysis of a scene or technique from easily rentable films which illustrate how a specific technology or process is used to support a conceptual, narrative, or aesthetic choice. Others recount common production challenges encountered on real student and professional shoots which will inspire you to be innovative and resourceful when you are solving your own filmmaking challenges.

Table of Contents

  1. Cover
  2. Half Title
  3. Copyright Page
  4. Table of Contents
  5. Companion Website Contents
  6. Acknowledgments
  7. Acknowledgments for the Second Edition
  8. Introduction
    1. Film as a Collaborative Art Form
    2. Filmmaking and Technology in the 21st
    3. Teaching and Learning Filmmaking
  9. Introduction to the Second Edition
  10. Part I Developing Your Film on Paper
    1. Chapter 1: From Idea fo Cinematic Story
      1. Finding an Idea
      2. From an Idea to a Story
      3. Fictional Narrative Basics I: Essential Story Elements
        1. The Central Character
        2. The Dramatic Situation, Actions and Stakes
        3. Making Specific Choices
      4. Fictional Narrative Basics II: Conflict-Driven Stories
      5. Fictional Narrative Basics III: There Are No Rules
      6. Ideas within Limitations
        1. Story Scale and Film Length
        2. Production Time
        3. Financial Resources
        4. Equipment, Location, Props, and Other Resources
        5. Cast and Crew
        6. Keep It Manageable
    2. Chapter 2: The Screenplay
      1. Stages of Script Development
        1. Concept
        2. Treatment
        3. Author’s Draft
        4. Shooting Script
      2. Formatting the Author’s Draft Screenplay
        1. Elements of an Author’s Draft Script
      3. Screenplay Language and Style
        1. Visual Writing, Character, and Action
        2. Working with Dialogue: Revealing Emotions, Not Announcing Them
      4. Reworking and Rewriting
    3. Chapter 3: The Visual Language and Aesthetics of Cinema
      1. Shots, Sequences, and Scenes
      2. The Frame and Composition
        1. Dimensions of the Frame
        2. Shot Composition and the Graphic Qualities of the Frame
        3. Shot Size
        4. Camera Angles
        5. Creating New Frames and Aspect Ratios
      3. The Moving Frame
        1. Camera Moves
        2. The Moving Frame and Perspective
        3. Motivation and the Moving Camera
      4. Conclusion
    4. Chapter 4: Organizing Cinematic Time and Space
      1. Single-Camera Production and the Continuity System
      2. Principles of Continuity Style
        1. Continuity of Mise-en-ScÈne
        2. Continuity of Sound
        3. Continuity of Performance, Actions, and Placement
        4. Spatial Continuity and the 180° Principle
        5. 20mm/30° Rule
        6. Cutting on Action
      3. Scene Strategies: Putting Continuity to Use
        1. Two-Person and Person/Object Interactions
        2. Multiple Lines of Action
        3. Creating Point of View
        4. Group Interactions
        5. Moving a Person through Space
        6. Moving People through Space: Following or Converging
        7. Parallel Action Sequence
      4. Style Outside the Continuity System
    5. Chapter 5: From Screenplay to Visual Plan
      1. Three Tools for Previsualization
        1. The Shooting Script
        2. Overhead Diagrams
        3. Storyboards
        4. It’s Only on Paper, Not Written in Stone
      2. The Director and Previsualizing: A Method
        1. The Big Picture
        2. The Details
        3. Back to the Big Picture
      3. Previsualization and Collaboration
      4. The Shot List: From Visual Plan to Production Plan
        1. Creating a Shot List
      5. Day-to-Day Production Scheduling
  11. Part II Preparing for Production
    1. Chapter 6: Preparing for Production
      1. Line Producing and the Creative Process
        1. Production Design
        2. Locations and Set Dressing
        3. Location Scouting
        4. The Location Technical Survey
        5. Wardrobe and Props
        6. The Script Breakdown Sheet
      2. Budgeting Your Film
        1. Film Length and Shooting Ratio
        2. Shooting Days
        3. Workflow and Budgeting
        4. Equipment, Facilities, Materials and Supplies
        5. Personnel (Cast and Crew)
        6. Location Expenses
        7. Hidden Costs
    2. Chapter 7: The Cast and Crew
      1. The Production Crew
        1. Production Departments
        2. The Principal Production Crew: Creative Core
        3. Crew Meetings and Communication
        4. Being a Crewmember
      2. On-Camera Talent
        1. Finding an Actor
        2. Auditions
        3. Releases, Minors, and Unions
      3. Working with Actors I: Before the Camera Rolls
        1. The Actor as Creative Collaborator
        2. Rehearsals
        3. Working with Trained Actors
        4. Working with Nonactors
        5. Working with Extras
        6. The Contact Sheets
  12. Part III Tools and Techniques: Production
    1. Chapter 8: The Film System
      1. The Basics of the Film System
        1. Frame Rate
        2. Film and Sound
      2. The Generic Film Camera
        1. Body
        2. Gate
        3. Movement: Claw and Shutter Mechanism
        4. Drive Mechanism and Film Transport
        5. Viewing System
      3. Loading a Film Camera
        1. Film Loads
        2. Camera Magazines
        3. Loading a Mag in a Changing Bag
        4. Removing Exposed Film and Splitting Cores
      4. Film Stocks and Processing
        1. Anatomy of Raw Film Stock
        2. Film Processing Basics
        3. Identifying Film Stocks
        4. Aspect Ratio
    2. Chapter 9: The Digital Video System
      1. Broadcast Standards
        1. Frame Rate and Scanning
        2. Aspect Ratio
        3. Resolution
        4. Color Encoding
        5. A Final Note on ATSC Standards
        6. Other Broadcast Standards
        7. Timecode
      2. Digital Video Camcorders and Formats
        1. The Basic DV Camcorder: Exterior
        2. The Basic DV Camcorder: Interior
        3. Compression and Color Subsampling
        4. The Ultra High End: Uncompressed, 2K, and 4K
    3. Chapter 10: The Lens
      1. The Camera Lens
        1. Focal Length
        2. Lens Perspective
        3. Prime and Zoom Lenses
        4. Focus
        5. Aperture
      2. Depth of Field
        1. Controlling Depth of Field
        2. The 1/3–2/3 Rule
        3. Circle of Confusion
      3. Lens Considerations on DV
        1. DOF and DV
        2. Focusing a Zoom Lens
        3. Video Lenses and Automatic Functions
    4. Chapter 11: Camera Support
      1. The Handheld Camera
      2. The Tripod
        1. Tripod Head
        2. Tripod Legs
      3. The Dolly
      4. Stabilizing Arm Systems
      5. Jerry-Rigged or Improvised Support Systems
      6. Aesthetic and Practical Considerations
    5. Chapter 12: Basics of Exposure
      1. Elements of Exposure
      2. The Light Meter in Film
        1. Calculating Exposure
        2. The Incident Light Meter
        3. The Reflected Light Meter and Spot Meter
      3. Metering for Digital Video (SD and HD)
        1. Exposure Control and DV
        2. Using Field Monitors
        3. Other DV Exposure Factors
    6. Chapter 13: Basic Lighting for Film and DV
      1. The Fundamental Objectives of Lighting
      2. The Fundamental Sources of Light
      3. Three Essential Properties of Light
        1. Intensity
        2. Hard versus Soft
        3. Color Temperature
      4. Camera Filters and Lighting Gels
        1. Altering Light with Filters
        2. Altering Light with Gels
      5. Light and Directionality
      6. Fundamental Lighting Setups and Principles
        1. Key Light
        2. Fill Light
        3. Backlight
        4. Set Lights
        5. Specials and Practicals
        6. Three-PoinTLighting
        7. Lighting Ratios
      7. Exterior Lighting
        1. LocatioScouting
      8. Basic Lighting and Grip Equipment
        1. Lighting Units
        2. Basic Grip Gear
    7. Chapter 14: Lighting and Exposure: Beyond the Basics
      1. ContrasTRange and Exposure Range
        1. Film Stocks: Latitude and Characteristic Curves
        2. Gamma
        3. Putting Latitude, Exposures, and Lighting to Work
        4. Reflectance Values and Exposure Range
        5. Film Latitude and Exposure Latitude
        6. Dynamic Range and Digital Video
        7. Black Stretch, Knee, and CineGamma
      2. Lighting Approaches and Styles
        1. Naturalism and Lighting
        2. Stylized Lighting
      3. Finding the Appropriate Lighting Strategy
        1. The Overall Look
        2. Visual Research
        3. Other Considerations
    8. Chapter 15: Sound for Production
      1. What is Production Audio?
      2. Understanding Sound
        1. Frequency (Pitch)
        2. Amplitude (Loudness)
        3. Quality (Timbre)
        4. Velocity
      3. Production Sound
        1. LocatioAudio
        2. Double- and Single-System Recording
      4. Digital Sound Recording
        1. The Basic Signal Path
        2. Digital Audio: Quality Matters
      5. Production Sound Tools
        1. The Digital Sound Recorder
        2. Digital Recording Media
        3. Sound Recording oDV Camcorders
        4. Portable Field Mixers
      6. Microphones
        1. Dynamic, Condenser, and Electret Condenser
        2. Microphone Frequency Response
        3. Microphone Directionality
        4. Wireless and On-Board Microphones
    9. Chapter 16: Locatiosound Techniques
      1. The Sound Team
        1. Sound Preproduction
      2. Recording Technique
        1. Setting Levels
        2. Reference Tone and Calibration
        3. Manual versus Automatic Functions
        4. Headphone Monitoring
      3. Microphone Technique
        1. Balance, Consistency, and Being On-Axis
        2. Boom Technique
        3. Using Lavaliere Mikes
        4. Miking and Perspective
        5. Using Multiple Microphones
        6. Audio Continuity: Ambient Sound
        7. Miscellaneous Recording Challenges
    10. Chapter 17: On-Set Procedures
      1. Walking onto the Set
      2. Who Does What, When
        1. Dressing the Set
        2. Loading In
        3. Tech Rehearsal
        4. Setup
        5. Final Run-Throughs
      3. Shooting a Take
        1. Evaluating the Take
        2. Additional Shooting Procedures and Tips
        3. After the Shoot
      4. The Director and Actors on the Set
    11. Chapter 18: Set Etiquette and Production Safety
      1. Set Etiquette: Respect, Courtesy, and Good Work
        1. Food and Breaks
        2. Courtesy on Location
        3. Respect and Protect the Location
        4. Respect Your Equipment
      2. Production Safety and Security
        1. Prepare for Safety
        2. Production Insurance
        3. Common Sense
        4. Rest and Health
        5. Weather
        6. Risky Locations
        7. Picture Vehicles
        8. Weapons and Violence
        9. Fire and Open Flames
        10. Water
        11. Physical Stunts
        12. Security
      3. Electricity and Safety
        1. How Much Electricity?
        2. Lighting and Grip Safety Tips
  13. Part IV Tools and Techniques: Postproduction
    1. Chapter 19: Postproduction Overview And Workflow
      1. Workflow and Format Interface
        1. Two Common Workflow Paths: DV to DV and film to DV
      2. Technical Process of Postproduction Workflow
        1. Setting up Your NLE Project
        2. Transferring DV and Film Footage
        3. The Film-to-Tape Transfer
        4. The Audio Transfer
        5. Editing and Sound Design in the NLE System
      3. High-End Finishing Workflows
        1. Digital Cinema Finishing
        2. Finishing on Film and the Digital Intermediate Process
    2. Chapter 20: The Process of Digital Editing
      1. Digital Editing Fundamentals
        1. What Is Nonlinear Editing?
        2. Nondestructive Editing
        3. Too Much of a Good Thing?
        4. How to Approach Surplus Technology
      2. The Basic NLE System
        1. The Hardware Setup
        2. The Software Interface
        3. Transferring, Logging, and Organizing Media
        4. Syncing Audio
        5. Making a Simple Edit
        6. The Three-Point Edit
      3. The Editing Stages
        1. Viewing Dailies
        2. First Assembly Edit
        3. Rough Cuts
        4. Cutting Dialogue
        5. The Fine Cut and Picture Lock
        6. Finishing
        7. Mastering
        8. Think!
    3. Chapter 21: The Art and Technique of Editing
      1. The Golden Rule of Postproduction
      2. Why We Edit I: Narrative Order and Emphasis
        1. Editing for Story Order
        2. Editing for Dramatic Emphasis
        3. Fundamental Image-to-Image Transitions
      3. Why We Edit II: Extra-Narrative Considerations
        1. Temporal Editing: Condensing and Expanding Time
        2. Timing, Rhythm, and Pace
        3. Associative Editing
        4. Emotion
    4. Chapter 22: The Sound Design in Film
      1. Sound Design Overview
      2. Sound Design I: Sound, Sync, and Source
        1. Sounds: Speech, Sound Effects, and Music
        2. Synchronous, Nonsynchronous, and Postsynchronous Audio
        3. Source
      3. Sound Design II: The Sound Elements in Detail
        1. Speech
        2. Sound Effects and Ambient Sound
        3. Music
      4. Sound Design Strategies
        1. From Realism to Stylized Approaches
    5. Chapter 23: Cutting Sound and Working with Multiple Tracks
      1. Working with Multiple Track
        1. Building Your Audio Track
      2. Basic Sound Design: Analysis of an Average Scene
        1. Dialogue Tracks
        2. Room Tone
        3. Hard Effects Track
        4. Ambience
        5. Music
        6. Sound Levels and Effects during the Edit Stage
      3. The Sound Mix
        1. The Sound Mixing Steps
      4. Advanced Sound Mixing Programs
        1. Why Go Pro?
    6. Chapter 24: Finishing, Mastering, and Distribution
      1. Finishing On DV (SD or HD)
        1. Digital Color Correction
        2. Titles and Credits
      2. Mastering Your Project
        1. Output Formats
      3. Distribution Copies
        1. DVD and Blu-ray for Distribution
        2. Screening Dubs for Film Festivals and Broadcast
      4. Web Distribution and the Future
  14. Recommended Readings
  15. Web Resources
  16. Bibliography
  17. Filmography
  18. Photograph and Illustration Credits
  19. Index