This comprehensive introduction to film text focuses on three topics: how movies express meanings, how viewers understand those meanings, and how cinema functions globally as both an art and a business.
Using clear, accessible, and jargon-free writing, this is the only introductory film text to examine the elements of film style and the viewer's contribution to the cinema experience. How do viewers interpret the effects filmmakers create? How do filmmakers anticipate, and build on, the likely ways viewers will react to certain kinds of stories and audio-visual designs? The text examines both how filmmakers create images and sounds and the mechanisms and processes by which viewers make sense of images and stories on screen. This approach helps students understand not only the basic concepts but also how their own reactions and opinions impact the overall film experience.
1. Film Structure.
Elements of Film Structure.
Structure and the Camera.
Structural Design and Creative Choice.
The Camera and Human Perception: Cinema's Dual Capability.
Collaboration and Previsualization.
The Essentials of Cinematography.
Cinematography and the Digital Domain.
Visual Style and Design Quotations.
3. Production Design.
What the Production Designer Does.
Basic Tools of Production Design.
The Design Concept.
Production Design and Special Effects.
Acting in Film and Theater.
Categories of Film Performers.
Method and Technical Approaches to Performing.
The Performer as an Element of Visual Design.
Performance, Emotion, and the Viewer’s Response.
5. Editing: Making the Cut.
What Is Editing?
Linear and Nonlinear Systems.
Functions of Editing.
The Principles of Continuity Editing.
Alternatives to Continuity Editing.
6. Principles of Sound Design.
Sound in Contemporary Film.
Evolution of Film Sound.
Types of Sound.
7. The Nature of Narrative in Film.
Story and Script.
The Turn to Narrative in Early Film History.
Elements of Narrative.
The Classical Hollywood Narrative.
The Viewer's Contribution to Narrative.
8. Visual Effects
A Composited Medium
The Hollywood Era
The Digital Era
Narrative and Spectacle
9. Modes of Screen Reality.
Fantasy and the Fantastic.
10. At the Crossroads of Art and Business.
From Large Screens to Small.
The Art of Film Era.
The Global Dominance of Hollywood.
International Influence of Hollywood Style.
11. Film Theory and Criticism
Women in Film