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B. Moving Images Codes and Semiotics
The tank scene involves effective use of close up shots, mid shots, and long shots. For example, viewing the fast-moving convoy consists of the long shot technique, van diesel frightened face after learning about the approaching tank while driving is an excellent example of close up shot. It shows the feelings and emotions of the actors as the action continues. More so, the effects where a tank makes the way out of the disintegrating truck and actors' converse on the phone are the perfect examples of using mid shot technique in the tank scene film. The application of different camera angles to achieve both long, close up and mid shots give the audience different image experience. Varying the image sizes through camera shots give the tank scene an aspect of reality because the viewer experiences different visual effects. In this case, the long shot showcases fast moving cars and truck driving in one direction. The medium shot is used to show the conversation between the actors.
A shift in point of view is meant to create a disconnection that leads to anti-climax to shock the audience feelings and emotions. From the tank scene, a change in point of view is notable when the protagonists' tries to stick to the original plan to complete their mission, but the antagonist turns out to be stronger and well prepared. In this case, Brian, Parker, Dominic and Roman original plan was shuttered by the antagonist tank which crushed several cars on the highway. Parker, Brian, Dominic, and Roman were forced to come up with a new plan to counter the protagonist new threat that is a military tank. The protagonist team improvised the original plan to defeat the villain military tank. It dramatic turn of the event that gives the audience both the antagonist and protagonist point of view. Brian suggestion to do what they do best is a shift in point of view by a third-person who is omniscient.
In the tank scene, camera moves are well organized and connected to bring out new experience and dynamism. In capturing the high speed moving cars and military cars, the pan is used efficiently. Panning is used in showing the car flips and sudden change of direction. In the tank scene, it is easy for an audience to view a sudden change of course by the cars to counter the military tank. It reveals a new plan by both the antagonist and the protagonist. Smooth pans enable viewers to see the action in the scenery and read any information displayed on the screen without straining. Camera tilt is also used to show the height of the bridge. Dolly and track moves have also been used in the scene. For instance, the camera is moved backward and forward from the approaching cars and military tank maintaining the same distance. The overtaking of vehicles in the scene shows the sideways movement of the camera, an aspect of track camera move. Crane shots are also visible where the camera moves above the moving cars. Additionally, dollying in and out is visible at the crush of truck and cars.
In cinematography, depth of the field refers to the acceptable range of focus. It is the most significant task for camera operators to determine the scope of focus to come up with standard visual effects. Consequently, the audience will be able to focus on the specific optical frame without difficulties. However, depth of the field is influenced by aperture, focal length and focus distance. In the tank car scenario, both wide-angle lens and the narrow-angle lens is used to show the scenery background. For example, the short lens is used to give a broader depth of field showing the hilly environment and waters below the bridge. It is also called a wide angle lens which increases the sharpness of the landscape images. A narrow aperture and short focal length increase the depth of field adding more background information about the tank scene. From the depth of field in the tank scene, the viewer can identify the color of the sky, bridge, and the mountains. More so, the convoy is far from focus thus out of focus. However, there is a good depth of field in the whole scene because most of the camera shots are in focus. There are fewer image distortions since there few close-u shoots. In most circumstances, the focal length of the full frame is approximated at 24-40mm (Bulman 2017, p.123). while the standard frame is usually approximated at 50mm. The 50mm camera lens allows more light to give high-quality images like in the case of tank scene. A portrait lens is also used in the scene to provide fast and undistorted close-up images of the speeding cars. However, shallow depth of field is also evident in the scene where viewers focus is limited to critical subject matter or object. Thus, attention is given to specific objects such as cars and the traffic jam. The jumping of Letty and Dominic is an illustration of the shallow depth of field.
There are three primary lighting angles in filming, namely, eye level angle, high angle and low angle. In the fast and furious six tank scene, both eye level and high angle lighting are used. For instance, high angle lighting is used to give a smaller size of crushed cars. Eye level angle like in most productions is also evident in the scene. More so, the three-point light technique is used where key and fill light is used to light the entire scene giving it slightly dark color. Slight darkness involves low key lighting which shows things are scary as well as shows dramatic, sad action. Lighting is therefore well chosen to give the scene a distressing atmosphere. The scene shadows are created by using the high contrast between bright and dark areas.
Mise en scene involves placing of objects and characters all in one frame. All the action takes place on the highway road passing over the waters and through mountains. The tank action unfolds in the middle of traffic jam leading to the destruction of many cars along the way. The actors are dressed in casual clothing. Parker and a team of two ladies occupy a high vantage point to view the approaching convoy and communicate the details to the Dominic team. The mood of the scene is disturbing because the tank overpowers them. Dominic is also driving fast to save Letty from falling off the tank nozzle. Brian and the team look for safety
Parallel cutting also is well demonstrated in the tank scene. Parallel cutting involves showing two actions simultaneously (Heimann et al. 2017, p.1555). The video editor in this scene can show the destruction caused by the tank on the highway and the telephone conversation between Parker, Dominic, Brian, and Roman. In this case, the suspense is created. Parker and the team have to make a hasty decision on how to take down the tank since the original plan has failed. Roman is frightened because the villain has a tank, but Brian is determined to lead the team and get down the villain. On the other hand, the villain is happy to take down Brian's team by destroying any car that comes on his way. Parallel cutting, therefore, creates suspense at the same time makes the scene interesting. Dissolve is also used when Dominic jumps to save Letty from falling off the tank; the two actions are linked to create a nightmare. Besides parallel editing, cutting on the actions is excellently demonstrated in the entire scene. For example, the Roman action to move his car in front of the tank is well trimmed as the tank tries to run over the car. However, there is no element of continuity in car direction hence the tank scene disobeys the 180 rule. For instance, Dominic's team cars were moving from right to left but all of a sudden they changed direction moving from left to right. Therefore, there is lack of consistency in the way cars were moving.
Other special effects and transitions have been used in the film such as fade and fade out. Fade in and fade out is a popular transition technique where pictures are replaced with a solid color or black screen. Fade in is used at the beginning of the scene while fade out is used at the end of the scene signifying the end of the tank scene. Use of fade in and fade out allows the audience to take a breath after a tensional action (Bruner et al. 2015, p.01A122). Cutaway transition technique is also used to shift from action to actors' conversation then back to action. Cutaway also makes the tank scene enjoyable because boring car drives are edited. Additionally, the L-cut and J-cut are effectively used to show the conversation between Parker, Dominic, Roman, and Brian. When sound precedes pictures, then it involves a J-transition, but when the audio remains the same as the picture changes, it involves the L-cut. In the tank scene, the video editor uses L-cut to introduce the scene.
D. Sound Effects
The tank scene involves plenty of sound effects to make conversations between the actors a reality; this involves the use of diegetic sounds. The diegetic sound is used when Parker Dialogue with Dominic to make the scene convincing to win the audience attention on the essential facts the actors are exchanging to fight the villain. The sounds make the conversations look like close-up talks. The diegetic sound of the car crash and roaring engines resemble sounds made by fast moving cars. The asynchronous sound is also used widely in the entire scene bringing into focus the sound of objects which are not featured in the video frame. Besides the use of diegetic sounds in conversations, non-diegetic music sound is also used at the point where the villain tries to throw Letty off the bridge. It is a background sound that reveals sinister tones of tensional actions (Caramiaux et al. 2015, p.1043). The sound effects also create a spectacular car racing where gears are changed abruptly.
Sounds of crashes is mostly used such as the sound of a car crash and the collapsing bridge. A tank smashes cars on the highway. Best sound effects are used to signify banging and crashing of cars is a typical scenario in any action movie. Car sounds connote dominant model of cars that can flip. The sound of the changing gears indicates the climax level of the race, but like Brian, Dominic, Parker, and Roman drives their fast moving cars, the loud noise of police siren and screeching sounds are heard. The sound of changing gears implies increasing the speed of the vehicle but also means the car is powerful and it can be used for racing purposes. The use of parallel sound, in this case, shows how the highway is busy with parked traffic jam. However, the sound of police siren shows car racing along the road as forbidden by the law.
Bulman, J.H., 2017. Progression in Reading Film: Visual Literacy, Knowledge of Camera and Film Production. In Children's Reading of Film and Visual Literacy in the Primary Curriculum (pp. 123-162). Palgrave Macmillan, Cham.
Bruner, P., Grehl, T., Brongersma, H., Detlefs, B., Nolot, E., Grampeix, H., Steinbauer, E. and Bauer, P., 2015. Thin film analysis by low-energy ion scattering by use of TRBS simulations. Journal of Vacuum Science & Technology A: Vacuum, Surfaces, and Films, 33(1), p.01A122.
Caramiaux, B., Altavilla, A., Pobiner, S.G. and Tanaka, A., 2015, April. Form follows sound: designing interactions from sonic memories. In Proceedings of the 33rd Annual ACM Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (pp. 3943-3952). ACM.
Heimann, K.S., Uithol, S., Calbi, M., Umilta, M.A., Guerra, M. and Gallese, V., 2017. "Cuts in Action": A HighDensity EEG Study Investigating the Neural Correlates of Different Editing Techniques in Film. Cognitive science, 41(6), pp.1555-1588.
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