Writing film and the ‘cinematic
voice’
Mark Reid, BFI
NAAE London 16 July 2015
Consider the implications of the relationship between
forms of representation for the selection of content in
the school c...
the reader in
the writer
The Creepy House
It is an abandoned house, its
windows battered by the wind.
Nobody has ever live...
‘Voiced’ film poetry
the poet in the film-maker..
What is the ‘cinematic voice’?
Soy Cuba/ I am Cuba,
Mikhail Kalatozov, 1964
Who is Cuba?
Soy Cuba
Developing the cinematic voice
“Is it possible to teach children to be more creative?”
Nelson Goodman: “… … …Yes”
“So how ...
Cinematic Modes (after Burn)
Orchestrating Modes
Contributory Modes
Visual ModesAuditory Modes
Filming Editing
Embodied Mo...
From the cinematic to the Cinémathèque:
Cinema Cent Ans de Jeunesse
• 20 year-old programme
• Watching, making, understand...
Cinema of authenticity
Raymond Williams and ‘unlearning the inherent
dominative mode’
Chris Wagstaff and ‘dialect cinema’
The ‘dominative mode’
Perhaps one of the leading assumptions about cinema, particularly for children
making films for the ...
Wagstaff and ‘dialect cinema’
“Reference can point upwards towards the surface, listing the
specific and the concrete, and...
From the cinematic to the Cinémathèque:
Cinema Cent Ans de Jeunesse
• 20 year-old programme
• Watching, making, understand...
2011 - Montrer/ Cacher
Cat People (USA, Jacques Tourneur, 1942)
The Circle (Iran, Jafar Panahi, 2000)
He Dies at the End (...
2011 - Montrer/ Cacher - exercises
1 Film an action completely in close-up (total duration no more than
3 minutes and 8 sh...
2011 - Montrer/ Cacher - ‘film essai’
Indicative scenario: Two secrets, of which one is revealed, the
other withheld.
The ...
‘Originally we tried two stories, one about a
girl being bullied, but we thought it
wouldn’t work out because there wouldn...
‘originally we put the [opening] shot
in the middle but we thought it was
boring. So we put it at the
beginning to put mor...
‘both [groups] edited a version of the
film and we had a vote on which was the
best.’
3 They made different edits:
‘the wind was blowing really strong
and it sounded a bit.. creepy.’
4 They paid attention to the sound:
‘We kept doing [bike] skids, about 20
skids, trying to get it right.’
‘We were told to film each shot 3 times
and choose t...
‘we were going to have him like
gasping, or ‘what’s that doing there?’
but I just thought it, I don’t know why,
he goes pa...
‘Mrs Liley said there can be a bit of
speech, but not loads.’
And they had to have a secret in the film
that wasn’t reveal...
‘Mr Dickinson showed us how to use the
Macro [lens] .. we thought we’d have a go with
it.. you see Holly in the background...
‘we slowed [the film] down when Adam
comes in the door but we didn’t want to
slow it down when he says ‘Mum’; ‘It’s
suppos...
AGENCY
PLAY
SERIOUSNESS
LOCAL RESOURCES
TOTAL INVESTMENT
CONSTRAINT
How (un)like traditional literacy is this?
• Collaborative; a whole story-world generated and sustained
by a group of peop...
Could every child be enabled to tell stories in
this way? And if so, what needs to change?
More live action film work
A wi...
Consider the implications of the relationship between
forms of representation for the selection of content in
the school c...
What if all children were able to tell stories - and share ideas,
and develop arguments - using film, regularly in the
cur...
Naae july 2015
Naae july 2015
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Naae july 2015

Published on: Mar 3, 2016
Source: www.slideshare.net


Transcripts - Naae july 2015

  • 1. Writing film and the ‘cinematic voice’ Mark Reid, BFI NAAE London 16 July 2015
  • 2. Consider the implications of the relationship between forms of representation for the selection of content in the school curriculum. Learning to use particular forms of representation is also learning to think and represent meaning in particular ways. How broad is the current distribution? What forms of representation are emphasized? In what forms are students expected to become “literate”? What modes of cognition are stimulated, practiced, and refined by the forms that are made available? Eliot Eisner, The Arts and the Creation of Mind
  • 3. the reader in the writer The Creepy House It is an abandoned house, its windows battered by the wind. Nobody has ever lived in there It’s covered in white snow making it look like a strangely shaped polar bear, frozen forever. And if you walked past it you would see a little gate buried in the snow.
  • 4. ‘Voiced’ film poetry the poet in the film-maker..
  • 5. What is the ‘cinematic voice’? Soy Cuba/ I am Cuba, Mikhail Kalatozov, 1964 Who is Cuba?
  • 6. Soy Cuba
  • 7. Developing the cinematic voice “Is it possible to teach children to be more creative?” Nelson Goodman: “… … …Yes” “So how do we do that?” “… … Set them harder problems.”
  • 8. Cinematic Modes (after Burn) Orchestrating Modes Contributory Modes Visual ModesAuditory Modes Filming Editing Embodied Modes Speech Dramatic action Music Sound FX Lighting Set design
  • 9. From the cinematic to the Cinémathèque: Cinema Cent Ans de Jeunesse • 20 year-old programme • Watching, making, understanding: ‘film thinking’ • Aesthetic themes: mise en scene; long take; camera movement; montrer/ cacher • Dirigiste and French (‘les regles du jeu’) • ‘cinema of authenticity’: no animating, zooming, pretending, or extraneous music
  • 10. Cinema of authenticity Raymond Williams and ‘unlearning the inherent dominative mode’ Chris Wagstaff and ‘dialect cinema’
  • 11. The ‘dominative mode’ Perhaps one of the leading assumptions about cinema, particularly for children making films for the first time, is about the importance of spectacle; of fantastic places, and fantastic events; of large casts, amazing stunts and big explosions. […] between Avengers, Transformers, Man of Steel, Pacific Rim and countless others, one could be mistaken for thinking that destroying cities in a loud, expensive (and ultimately very boring way!) represents the peak of cinematic achievement! I would argue that there is something to be gained from actively countering the glitzy associations of Hollywood filmmaking, with an emphasis on dialect, and neorealism; the notion that the stories arising from every life are of value, that every voice is worth being heard Jamie Chambers http://understandingcinema.wordpress.com/2014/02/27/dialect-and-neorealism- in-the-understanding-cinema-program/
  • 12. Wagstaff and ‘dialect cinema’ “Reference can point upwards towards the surface, listing the specific and the concrete, and the particular. Reference to other narratives goes in a downward direction, downwards a deeper, less particular, more general, and even universal level". p. 59 The more a narrative prioritises the surface level, the more we call it ‘realist’. The more it prioritises the deeper levels, the more we call it ‘generic’. p60 Christopher Wagstaff (2007) Italian Neorealist Cinema: an aesthetic approach
  • 13. From the cinematic to the Cinémathèque: Cinema Cent Ans de Jeunesse • 20 year-old programme • Watching, making, understanding: ‘film thinking’ • Aesthetic themes: mise en scene; long take; camera movement; montrer/ cacher • Dirigiste and French (‘les regles du jeu’) • ‘cinema of authenticity’: no animating, zooming, pretending, or extraneous music
  • 14. 2011 - Montrer/ Cacher Cat People (USA, Jacques Tourneur, 1942) The Circle (Iran, Jafar Panahi, 2000) He Dies at the End (Damian McCarthy, Youtube) Elephant Man (David Lynch, 1982) Virus (Simon Hynd, 2002) Moonfleet (USA, Fritz Lang, 1955) Creature from the Black Lagoon (USA,Jack Arnold,1954) and about 40 others!
  • 15. 2011 - Montrer/ Cacher - exercises 1 Film an action completely in close-up (total duration no more than 3 minutes and 8 shots maximum). Indicative story line: ‘Person A moves from space into another adjacent space, then gives something to Person B. You choose what is given (a codeword; a kiss; a curse; a gift; a warning) and which spaces you use. 2 Film a complete short scene (maximum 3 minutes) where someone in shot reacts against something or someone outside the shot, which we never see but know of through sound, light, reaction shots and the direction of the gaze, or a reflection
  • 16. 2011 - Montrer/ Cacher - ‘film essai’ Indicative scenario: Two secrets, of which one is revealed, the other withheld. The main rule, which shouldn’t be given to the students until after they have scripted their scenario: Once the scenario has been written, students have to choose one of the key scenes that will not be shown. The scene should still play an important role in the story, but won’t be filmed, just suggested (through an ellipsis, or use of offscreen sound, reflections, camera movement which hides or reveals, or a substitution of action in the edit)
  • 17. ‘Originally we tried two stories, one about a girl being bullied, but we thought it wouldn’t work out because there wouldn’t be something missing’, ‘so Mrs Liley said why don't we all go home and write a storyboard and choose the best’.’ We chose Darcy’s because we liked it the most, then we all helped improve it.’ 1 It wasn’t their first idea
  • 18. ‘originally we put the [opening] shot in the middle but we thought it was boring. So we put it at the beginning to put more tension in.’ ‘We put the shot of the bag before the boy comes past on his bike’. 2 They changed the order of shots, in the edit:
  • 19. ‘both [groups] edited a version of the film and we had a vote on which was the best.’ 3 They made different edits:
  • 20. ‘the wind was blowing really strong and it sounded a bit.. creepy.’ 4 They paid attention to the sound:
  • 21. ‘We kept doing [bike] skids, about 20 skids, trying to get it right.’ ‘We were told to film each shot 3 times and choose the best’. ‘We were filming from different positions all the time’ 5 They repeated lots of shots and actions many times:
  • 22. ‘we were going to have him like gasping, or ‘what’s that doing there?’ but I just thought it, I don’t know why, he goes past it [the bag] and he goes back to it’. ‘If you’d had him saying ‘oh what’s that’ it would have made it sound put on.’ 6 They used images where possible, not dialogue:
  • 23. ‘Mrs Liley said there can be a bit of speech, but not loads.’ And they had to have a secret in the film that wasn’t revealed: ‘I didn’t like to think about what happened at the end, so I just kept it secret.’ 7 They worked within constraints:
  • 24. ‘Mr Dickinson showed us how to use the Macro [lens] .. we thought we’d have a go with it.. you see Holly in the background, blurred, and I thought it looked cool.’ 8 They used the technology in cinematic ways:
  • 25. ‘we slowed [the film] down when Adam comes in the door but we didn’t want to slow it down when he says ‘Mum’; ‘It’s supposed to be serious’. 9 They were making a serious film:
  • 26. AGENCY PLAY SERIOUSNESS LOCAL RESOURCES TOTAL INVESTMENT CONSTRAINT
  • 27. How (un)like traditional literacy is this? • Collaborative; a whole story-world generated and sustained by a group of people (actually 6 people, plus Mrs Liley and Mr Dickinson, and Luke’s mum). • Uses resources taken from their world: bedrooms, kitchens, green space, neighbourhood streets, bikes and school bags • It requires quite sophisticated (but more and more accessible) technology • It shows (and withholds) rather than tells. Film tends towards showing as a medium, rather than telling. • The pedagogy of constraints, play and experiment, of re- taking shots, of trial and error, making different edits • It’s a complete piece of work, not a story opening or extract
  • 28. Could every child be enabled to tell stories in this way? And if so, what needs to change? More live action film work A wider range of expressive resources Constraints and learning frameworks A wider range of viewing
  • 29. Consider the implications of the relationship between forms of representation for the selection of content in the school curriculum. Learning to use particular forms of representation is also learning to think and represent meaning in particular ways. How broad is the current distribution? What forms of representation are emphasized? In what forms are students expected to become “literate”? What modes of cognition are stimulated, practiced, and refined by the forms that are made available? Eliot Eisner, The Arts and the Creation of Mind
  • 30. What if all children were able to tell stories - and share ideas, and develop arguments - using film, regularly in the curriculum? What different kinds of thinking would be made possible? How would subjects be changed? What new skills would be developed? And most of all, what consequences would these changes have for education, for culture, for us?

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