And the screen-capping adventures continue...
After the layout discovery with Oliver Twist, I moved onto Anthony Minghella's The English Patient. Beautifully shot film. I had much more difficulty quilting these shots together, but it was worth the effort as I learned quite a bit. For example, the camera is like the audience's heart-rate. When you want them to breathe really quickly, make quick cuts. When you want them to rest, use long, sweeping shots. This I already knew, but analyzing films just reinforces the concept.
The first group below is comprised of all the straight-forward camera moves; pans and diagonals. Most are rest-period shots, but the half-moon background in the desert has a slight feeling of panic on screen.
Now things get a little trickier. Truck ins and rotating shots are incredibly awkward to piece together without layers. I fully appreciate the use of CG now. Some of the shots in live action are just impossible to achieve in traditional animation. The perspective is always changing. You would have to animate everything. Mad. Also, I think we often forget about hand-held shots. They can be really versatile and intimate.
Because this group is more awkward, I've also posted the boards below the background. Check out the complex staging in the first shot of the couple.
Okay, now these next shots just looked ridiculous when quilted. Everything was on top of each other, and I just couldn't make heads or tails out of it. Nonetheless, I've posted the boards because they are examples of how gorgeous camera work can reveal all the information the audience needs in one fluid shot.
After talking to Hans about my epiphany -- get this -- I thought I could offer a tip for his students in Asia. He trumped me by saying not only does he encourage his students to do this exercise already, but he tells them to get an actual videocamera, get out there, create their own shots, and analyse their own backgrounds. Yeah, it was like I told the Dali Lama how he should be meditating. Good one, Jamie. So guess what's next? You'll see my oh-so-developed camera skills. Beware.