B1 Intermediate US 5 Folder Collection
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Does the idea of watching two people having a conversation sound exciting?
Probably not.
You probably wouldn't pay money to see that.
And yet, you do.
All the time.
Because ultimately,
that's what every movie and TV show boils down to.
Over and over again.
Two people having a conversation.
How have so many filmmakers managed to make those conversations exciting?
Well, one big way is with film blocking.
[Music: "Film Blocking Tutorial and Techniques"]
Film blocking is the precise staging of actors in a performance.
In terms of cinema, it's where you place your actors in the frame.
There are three visual elements of filmmaker should think about
when blocking a scene.
By considering these components,
you'll be able to block a scene between any subjects,
in a visually dynamic way that is loaded with subtext.
First up - Space.
This scene opens with a boy playing in the snow.
The camera pulls out to reveal a tense conversation between adults.
The stakes of the scene are the boy - Charlie.
Who's framed carefully through the window
for the duration of the scene.
On one side of him his father.
Standing in protest,
but dwarfed in size, due to his distance from the camera.
On the other side his mother.
Framed closer to the lens,
looming larger, more imposing.
Charles is smallest of all.
Take note of the way visual contrast is created in the space
to portray tension and importance.
Next up is shapes.
There are three basic shapes.
Circles, squares and triangles.
Everything around us can be turned into one of these basic shapes.
Even an actor's face.
The basic shapes come with certain emotional qualities and assumptions.
Circles feel safer and inclusive.
Squares create limited space,
boxing someone in.
Triangles are sharp.
They feel aggressive,
but it also has an apex.
-Holy shit
-Let's watch this scene from "Guardians of the Galaxy."
James Gunn carefully framed his subjects
to form a triangle pointing to Groot.
The moment is played for a joke.
The conversation happens
while important action is staged behind it.
-You definitely, need to get that last.
-When you're looking through your frame,
identify the basic shapes,
and bear in mind the emotional connotations of each,
and where they direct the viewer's eye.
We've covered shapes,
and shapes are formed by lines.
Be aware of the lines created in every shot,
and the effect they have on the viewer.
Take a look at this scene from "The Godfather Part 2."
It's a simple dialogue scene.
It plays out between a standing Michael - a vertical line.
And Fredo - nearly a horizontal line.
Fredo could have been standing for the scene.
If he did, the power dynamics would have been potentially equal,
but he was slung so low in the seat
that he was practically horizontal.
This film blocking creates visual tension between the two,
especially when cutting.
It also emphasizes who holds all the cards.
During Fredo's outbursts,
he flounders into an almost diagonal line.
Literally, attempting to change his shape.
An attempt to stand up to Michael.
When the outburst is over,
the order of things remain the same.
Fredo goes back to his horizontal position,
and Michael delivers his final judgment.
-You`re nothing to me now.
You're not a brother.
You're not a friend.
I don`t want to know you,or what you do.
-Happy trails, Fredo.
[Gunshot sound]
So we've covered how shapes, lines and space
can be used when blocking a scene.
The thing is, on their own,
they're not going to make those dialogue scenes that profound.
Unless, you do it with this in mind.
Or contrast.
By contrasting, you're blocking with what's being said or done,
you create an underlying meaning.
-It's also a personal statement about the band itself.
Hey, Paul!
-You can start to reveal the real story,
and it's not only for viewers.
Communicating subtext through blocking a scene,
guide your actors, your DP, and the art director towards your vision.
Blocking tells us what the characters are really up to,
what they really mean,
what's really going on.
That's what makes blocking so important to a story.
A good way to plan, your blocking is with a storyboard.
Think about what the characters are saying in the script,
and then incorporate that into your blocking with storyboard software,
like Studio Binder.
And the next time you're having a conversation in real life,
pay attention to the way you stand, or sit, or move,
or lie down like Fredo.
You might be surprised.
See you in the next video.
[Outro Music: "Film Blocking Tutorial & Techniques"]
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Film Blocking Tutorial -Film making Techniques for Directors

5 Folder Collection
Henry 楊 published on May 24, 2020
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