Movies have one general purpose, to tell a story. They can do that through many different methods and styles. However, the concept at its core is similar in all of them; visual storytelling. Visual storytelling relies on what we call cinematic language, which includes a very specific set of perspectives, shot types and editing techniques that are integral to understanding movies from a filmmaker’s perspective. These film techniques and camera scenes help to create images that represent certain thoughts or themes in the movie’s storyline.
Film Structure and Cinematic Language
In order to discuss the film structure and cinematic language of a film, one must first understand what those terms mean. Film structure refers to the overall form and organization of the film, while cinematic language refers to the specific ways in which the film is shot and edited.
Cinematic language can be divided into two categories: diegetic and nondiegetic. Diegetic elements are those that are part of the story world and can be heard or seen by the characters within the story. Nondiegetic elements are those that exist outside of the story world and can only be seen or heard by the audience.
Some common diegetic elements include character dialogue, sound effects, and on-screen action. Common nondiegetic elements include narration, music, and off-screen sound effects.
The way in which these elements are combined can create different effects on the viewer. For example, if a scene is mostly diegetic with only a few nondiegetic elements, it will likely feel more realistic or naturalistic. If a scene is mostly nondiegetic with only a few diegetic elements, it will likely feel more stylized or dreamlike.
films often use a combination of both diegetic and nondiegetic elements to create a specific mood or effect. In general, films tend to rely more heavily on diegetic elements than nondiegetic ones since they are usually more essential to the plot and characters. However, both types of cinematic language are important in creating
Types of Kinesics
Kinesics, also known as nonverbal communication, is the study of movement, both of the body and the face, in order to encode or decode messages. It is a form of nonverbal communication that includes facial expressions, body movements and gestures, eye gaze, and more. There are four main types of kinesics: emblems, illustrators, regulatives, and adaptors.
Emblems are gestures that have specific meaning within a culture and can be used to replace words. For example, a wave goodbye generally means ‘goodbye’ regardless of the language you speak. Illustrators are gestures that accompany or reinforce speech. For example, you might gesture with your hands while explaining something complex. Regulators are used to regulate interaction between people. For example, nodding your head typically indicates that you are listening to someone else speak. Adaptors are any type of motor movement that relieve tension or discomfort, such as fidgeting or stretching.
Body Actions in film
There are a variety of body actions that are often used in film to communicate different things. Here are some common examples:
Walking – This is often used to show the passage of time or to depict someone’s journey.
Running – This can be used for a variety of purposes, such as showing someone’s panic or fear, or depicting a chase scene.
Looking – This can be used to show interest, curiosity, or suspicion.
Facing – This can be used to show confrontation, challenge, or courage.
Reaching – This can be used to show desire, want, or need.
Basic types of filming angles
There are three basic types of filming angles: close up, medium, and wide.
Close up: A close up shot is when the camera is very close to the subject, usually a person. This type of angle is used to show emotion on a character’s face.
Medium: A medium shot is when the camera is at a moderate distance from the subject. This type of angle is used to show the subject in relation to their surroundings.
Wide: A wide shot is when the camera is far away from the subject. This type of angle is used to show the surroundings and provide context for the scene.
In film, a mood chord is a type of leitmotif associated with a certain emotional state or idea. It’s usually a short, simple melody that’s easy to remember and identify. Mood chords are often used to signpost key plot points or emotional states in a film. For example, a sad mood chord might play when a character dies, or when they’re reflecting on a loss. A triumphant mood chord might play when the good guys win an important victory.
Mood chords aren’t just reserved for big moments, though. They can also be used to establish an overall tone for a scene or the film as a whole. A eerie mood chord might play during a suspenseful scene set at night, while a playful mood chord could be used to lighten the tone of a scene taking place at a carnival.
Whether you’re aware of them or not, mood chords are an important part of cinematic language. They help give films an emotional resonance that can stay with viewers long after they’ve left the theater.