This is my video I’ve worked on for my project throughout the semester focusing on food trucks in Greenville, SC. I placed an emphasis on how these four food trucks incorporate social media into their marketing campaigns in order to spread the word about their business. Many thanks to Neue Southern Food Truck, Thoroughfare Food Truck, Asada, and Henry’s Hog Howler for helping out and for the delicious food!

For this Thursday’s class we read an article by Douglass & Harnden titled, “Point of View”. Throughout the article they discuss the various definitions of point of view in relation to film. It’s important to understand the different definitions in order to understand the basic story in a video or film.

There are three types of point of view Douglass & Harnden introduce to us. First, it can be “a camera shot taken as if seen through the eyes of a character”. The second definition “refers to the perspective of the storyteller” meaning it can be “an eyewitness account of an incident or an expression of the storyteller’s thoughts and theories”. Lastly, point of view can refer “to the interests, attitudes, and beliefs associated with a character’s or group’s particular perspective” (31).

Point of view shots are used in films to put the viewer in the perspective of one of the characters. It often times build suspense and because of this it is used in horror movies and action movies very frequently. One example I always vividly remember is in the movie theater the 30-second intro before a movie begins when they play the video clip of a rollercoaster ride on a film strip. It makes you feel as though you are on the ride yourself experiencing the thrill.

The perspective of the storyteller is also an important element for the editor to consider when shaping their story. The first person voice is generally used in documentary films in order to state an opinion on important matters. An example of a director who frequently uses this method is Michael Moore.

Third person narration is common in many Hollywood movies, but is less emotional than the first person point of view. It’s also not normal for an opinion to be stated in a third person narrative.

When choosing whose point of view to express in a film, we must keep in mind the attitude we are trying to portray to our audience. The following is an example Douglass & Harnden brought up:

“Consider how different a production about timber logging might be if it were sponsored by a lumber company as opposed to an environmental group” (39).

Clearly, their attitudes would be in direct opposition.

Questions to Ponder:

1.) What are techniques you have noticed in films to help establish a point of view?
2.) Is there a certain director whose films you enjoy because of his/her point of view? If so, who and why?

Onto the Big Screen

We’re finally moving on from dealing with solely photos to working with video! For class we read an article by Herbert Zettl titled, “The Two Dimensional Field: Forces Within the Screen”. It was a good introduction into the topic of video.

Zettl discusses what he believes to be the “six major types of field forces” in video. These six forces are as follows:

1.) main directions

2.) magnetism of the frame and attraction of mass

3.) asymmetry of the frame

4.) figure and ground

5.) psychological closure

6.) vectors

The most basic element, which I believe to be the most important, is the main directions of video footage. By this he means whether a scene is shot horizontally or vertically. As we all know from watching television, YouTube, Netflix, or whatever it is we are all watching our favorite shows on these days, most footage is filmed horizontally. Zettl says this is because horizontal scenes “are in keeping with this new attitude of glorifying the human spirit,” which was introduced to us in the 1400’s during the Renaissance (102).

An example of this horizontal footage and its wide use in television is pretty much any interview you see on a talk show or morning news program. Here is a still shot from the LIVE with Kelly & Michael daily talk show:

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It’s in our nature to view horizontal video footage as the norm. An excerpt from Zettl’s article illustrates this further:

“Our sense of vertical and horizontal accuracy is so keen that we can, for example, judge whether a picture hangs straight or crooked with uncanny precision even without the aid of a level” (103).

Sometimes tilting an image can be beneficial, however. For example a high-energy video or photo can be made appear to have even more energy when tilted. The best example Zettl uses is the image of a rock concert:

“There is no video of a rock concert that does not have the horizon tilt at least a dozen times. Because this adds intensity to the already high-emery scene, such an aesthetic device is usually justified” (104).

Take the photo below, for instance:

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When it comes to the magnetism of a frame, Zettl discusses “graphic mass”. Images with a larger graphic mass tend to have “highly saturated colors” and they also have a greater “graphic weight” (109). Hence, the greater the graphs mass, the more power and image or video will have. 

The last thing I want to make note of in Zettl’s article is screen-left and screen-right symmetry. Zettl says, “even if the screen is not divided symmetrically, we tend to pay more attention to the right rather than left side” (110). I notice this in myself when watching movie, reading a magazine, or looking at an advertisement. Zettl concludes by saying “if you have a choice you should place the more important event on the right side of the screen” (111).

Questions to Ponder:

1) Do you notice advertisements or billboards placing more important information on the right side?

2) What do you think the most important part of shooting a video is?

 

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