An effective filmmaker needs to have a good understanding of how film language works, and more importantly, how to actively influence an audience's thoughts and feelings and guide their gaze around the screen.
Packed with examples from classic and contemporary cinema, The Language of Film reveals the essential building blocks of film and explains how the screen communicates meaning to its audience. You will learn about fundamental theories and concepts, including film semiotics, narrative structures, ideology, and genre, as well as how elements such as shot size, camera movement, editing technique, and color come together to create the cinematic image.
With insightful case studies and discussion questions, dozens of practical tips and exercises, and a new chapter on film sound, this new edition of The Language of Film is a must-have guide for aspiring filmmakers.
John Marland is Senior Lecturer in Film and Literature at York St John University, UK, where he has both taught and developed undergraduate courses in Scriptwriting. Steven Rawle is a Senior Lecturer in Film Studies at York St. John University, UK, where he teaches film form and the politics of global cultural production at undergraduate and postgraduate levels. Robert Edgar is a Senior Lecturer in the Faculty of Arts at York St John University, UK, where he teaches creative writing and film and television. Publications include Screenwriting (2009) and Directing Fiction (2010). Research projects include work on Hitchcock and Herrmann, contemporary television and Top Gear. Robert was a co-editor of The Music Documentary: Acid Rock to Electropop (2013).
Introduction Chapter 1: Semiotics: Images; The Visual Mind; Reading the Signs; Making Meaning; Codes and Filters; Case Study: Seven; Chapter Summary Chapter 2: Narrative: Theories of Storytelling; Structuralism; Theories of Structure; Genette's Narrative; Discourse; Music; Short Film and Narrative; Case Study: The Secret Life of Walter Mitty; Chapter Summary Chapter 3: Intertextuality: Text; Quotation; Allusion; Cult Film; Genre; Case Study: Citizen Kane; Chapter Summary Chapter 4: Ideology: Ideological Analysis; Realism; Ideology and Genre; Case Study: Dead Man's Shoes; Chapter Summary Chapter 5: Frames and Images: The Shot; Distance, Height and Framing; Shot Distances; Mise en Scene; The Mobile Camera Frame; Time and the Long Take; Case Study: Hero; Chapter Summary Chapter 6: Sound: Film: An Audiovisual Medium; Sound Properties; Diegetic and Non-diegetic Sound; Offscreen Space and Audio; The Voice; Music; Case Study: Berberian Sound Studio; Chapter Summary Chapter 7: Constructing Meaning: Continuity Editing; Discontinuity Editing; Montage; Pacing; Case Study: Psycho; Chapter Summary Conclusion Film Language Glossary Index Acknowledgements and Credits