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The Cinematic Language Of Film Essay

1540 words - 7 pages

The cinematic language that we know of today would not be as it is today if we had synchronous sound recording from the beginning of film. Cinematic Language is the systems, methods or conventions by which movies communicate with the viewer. A few examples of cinematic language are; montage; mise en scene, the use of long takes, depth of field shooting in order associate people or objects; Expressionism, the use of lighting techniques, severe camera angles, and elaborate props, to name a few aspects; and realism, a technique to make the action seem as true to life as possible. The list of techniques and styles of cinematic language go on, and can only be limited by the imagination. Early ...view middle of the document...

If they had shown a group of firemen on the second floor, shown the first two descending, cut from the ground floor shown the rest coming down, they would have compressed time. Another accepted way to produce films was to present a well-known stage play with narrations such as Edwin S. Porters Uncle Toms Log Cabin for Thomas Edison Studios in 1903. These types of films had no little or no cinematic value. Simple slices of life, similar to scenes that most people could see with their very own eyes everyday such as The Lumiere Brothers Arrival Of A Train, or very obvious gags such as Edison’s The Boxing Cats which todays youtube videos are reminiscent of were also very popular. In there time period many of these films may have been very popular, but it is nearly impossible to know how the average viewer felt about any of these films. In the early days of film it was not common for average folks to write reviews about films. We can get an idea of the viewership of early cinema through box office records, but we can hardly tell how the average attendee responded to any given film.
In the beginning people were eager to gather around and pay to peep into little holes in machines that would play typical street scene that they could easily see for free outside. The early moving sequences were geared towards the wealthy. Commoners and poor folks could not afford to spend what little money they had on distractions such as the moving image. Once the novelty of the new technology of the Vitascope had worn off, the fad died down. In order to combat the fading popularity new ways of making and presenting the movies had to be created. Movies began to be presented by projecting them onto walls, with more and more elaborate facilities.
Eventually it wasn't the presentation that really mattered anymore, but the content of early movies began to fade in popularity. New content, style, and new filmmaking techniques had to be created in order to keep viewers interested. Therefore more complex storylines had to be created. It wasn’t practical to have too many title cards in a movie. Title cards are a plate of text that is put in between scenes of a film to help tell the story to the audience. If movies had to many title cards due to the complex nature of a story, the audience would have to read the entire time. A solution was to develop a cinematic language. Cinematic language was in part developed to help viewers follow a story. By subtly hinting at various elements, such as the characters inner feelings and foreshadowing, cinematographers hoped to subconsciously guide the audience. Filmmakers started using visual technique as a story telling device. The mid-late silent era saw a tremendous development, advancement, and refining of cinematic language. Advanced editing techniques, and camera movements were employed by filmmakers such as D.W. Griffith. The very first film to employ cutting to convey meaning and manipulate action was Edwin S. Porters The Great Train...

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