Home » Crime » Essay on The Sopranos Camera

Essay on The Sopranos Camera

A single camera is a technique used to make TV dramas and Films using just one camera, taking shots from various angles. An example of a single camera drama is The Sopranos, and I’d like to go in to detail about that. Series – The Sopranos My example for a series is The Sopranos. A series is a bunch of episodes, which tell a different story each time, and do not follow on from each other. The Sopranos is an American based television drama created by David Chase.

The series revolves around the New Jersey based, Italian-American mobster Tony Soprano and the difficulties he faces as he tries to balance the conflicting requirements of his home life and the criminal organisation he runs. The show has all the conventions of a crime drama such as criminal activity, violence and drug use, so spotting the drama is easy as it established frequently. The continuity of The Sopranos is across the episodes, this means that the narrative isn’t enclosed, even though the character art is complete and the narrative changes, it’s never really over.

Narrative structure is set up over multiple episodes, with the climax normally at the end of the season. The montage at the start of season two not only recaps what has happened at the end of season one, but also re-establishes the characters. The famous music used in this series is Frank Sinatra’s – Seventeen, to fit in with the Italian-American crime culture, as many people consider the 50’s to be the height of organised crime. Serial – Sunshine (Mini-Series) A serial, is a number of episodes in a season that follow on from each other, and my example is going to be a British TV show called Sunshine.

It is a three-part comedy, which began in 2008. The mini series has it’s own narrative structure built up over three episodes, closing the narrative structure in the final episode. Each episode has it’s own narrative structure and ends in a climax compelling the audience to watch the next episode and reach conclusion. The genre is a comedic drama, which is established in the opening sequence of the episode. It opens with an establishing shot of the town, and the music, which is used as an emotive is playing, and the audience get the feeling and understand the tone of the mini series, which is a light hearted comedy drama.

The opening scene tricks the audience in to thinking that it is a period drama by setting it in the 70’s, and the majority of the series is set in modern Britain. This is effective as it paints a romantic image of the town and establishes the main characters, as they were children. This gives them a sense of innocence and likeability. Comedy is immediately used to establish the comedic tone of the drama. In one of the opening scenes, there is a 360 degree-camera rotation shot used around the table of the kid and the dad playing cards, which could reflect on Quentin Tarantino’s gangster movie, Reservoir Dogs.

Genre is a type of film such as horror, thriller, action adventure and many others. Sometimes a film has dual genre such as Alien, which is a Horror/sci-fi movie about a crew who discover an SOS planet but do not realize they are about to get themselves in a heap of trouble, or star wars which is a Action Adventure & Fantasy which is about 8 unordinary people/creatures/robots who try to save the universe form the Empire’s world destroying station. Comedy This is the most preferred genre for audiences as comedy is all about making people laugh and happy. For example, there is a TV series on Comedy Central called Two and a Half Men.

This is a very popular series over in the US and the UK, which is performed in front of a live audience, which is an addition to the comedic genre. It does involve rude and cheesy topics but most elder teens and young adults appreciate and enjoy the light-hearted humor and can relate to the real-life, everyday struggles. Crime There is a lot of action in crime, which can make the audiences on the edge of their seat, also adding a bit of a thriller twist to it. It contains many factors of what a crime should include such as blood, violence, criminals and drugs.

An example series of a crime is Criminal Minds. Each new episode in these series has a new storyline to it. Narrative Structures Linear This is where a story has a very narrative structure and stays that way, there is no start to finish as it runs in chronological order, which means that each episode has a start, middle and end. An example of a linear film is Forrest Gump, this also has a start, middle and end. The starting scene is when he is sitting on a bench waiting for the bus to go and see his girlfriend, but as he is waiting different people emerge at the bus stop and sit down next to him.

He makes conversation with them and talks about his life story, the ups and the downs. That is the middle section of the film. The end section of the film is when someone asks him which bus he is waiting for, so he tells them and they tell him it’s just a few blocks away. Forrest then goes to see his wife, finds out he has a son and unfortunately his wife dies. He brings up his son and the scene ends beautifully where he takes his kid to the bus stop, the same place as where his mother took him at the beginning of the film. Non-Linear

This is basically the opposite of Linear where as, the episode may be structured to a beginning, a middle and end but it doesn’t work in that order. It is not in chronological order and is allowed to jump structures or even tell the same story but from a different characters point of view. An example of non-linear is Pulp Fiction. the Raj Quartet, which was made by Paul Scott. This tells the same story over and over from each characters point of view, seeing how other characters viewed the events, which makes it more interesting to the audience. Flashback

Flashbacks in episodes are often used to show past events from another characters point of view, or to recap. The Hunger Games uses this technique early on to establish the adequate but essential backstory between the two main characters, Kantiss and Peeta. The reason why this is effective is because you get to see their characters develop throughout the story, and as you’re watching, it is such a memorable beginning, despite both of the characters flaws throughout this journey. Open Ending Open narratives means that the ending doesn’t complete the narrative.

This is often to allow for a sequel, such as Batman Begins, which lead to 2 further sequels. For example, at the end of pitch perfect, they are auditioning for a new singer to be a part of their acapella group. As Anna Kendrick is about to pick a song, she says “lets go with…” then the film ends, which leads the audience to believe that there is going to be a follow up to the film. Closed Ending Closed narrative films are usually intense, compacted and always have an ending to complete the story. They normally try to compact many years of film into a few hours and include a lot of non-diegetic music, which backs the story.

A good example is a great film called About Time which compresses a time period of 20 years in to just over two hours, and has a sad ending to the story. Technical Elements Technical Elements are all the key elements that make up a production Camerawork In single camera, for each scene there would be a number of various different shots from all different angles. In an opening scene of the program, it may show a long shot of scenery, then move to a medium shot of somebody that is standing there in that scenery.

It may then move to a close up to show the emotion of the characters face, whether they are happy, sad, angry etc. This is when the film editor steps in, who cuts up and pieces together clips. It gives more effect and gives more of a visual interest in telling a scene rather than just one long shot. Lighting Lighting is essential when it comes to shooting because it really does set the atmosphere and mood for the whole story. Most of the time, directors like to use natural light and then get the editors to fix it up in the editing suite.

Lighting equipment can help make somewhere/something seem brighter. An example of this is in the film Twilight, in one of the ending scenes the main character is being embarrassed by a villain in a ballet studio. To make it look dark and ominous, they made the building pitch black but set up some soft lights through slim windows of the ballet studio. It looked very effective as they looked like streetlights in to the distance. Editing Once filming is completed, the footage gets passed on to the editor. The editor works with the director and work out which shots go together best.

There are many ways of editing for example, in a scene that is shot with single camera and many different angles, the editor would have to combine them together so the clips look in sync and remain a high standard of continuity. If a characters arm is in front of them in one shot, they have to make sure that in another shot, the arm is in the correct position to maintain the stability and smoothness of the story. Music & Sound This is one of the most effective parts of the single camera programs or films because it can help set the mood and make the audience have mixed emotions.

For example, in a horror film, there will be high pitch, fast paced violin screeching noise, which will put the audience on edge. On the other hand, if it was a Rom-Com then it will be happy, upbeat music to make the audience gather feelings for the characters. Forrest Gump (1994) The camerawork in Forrest Gump is very subtle and uses a range of shots, which I would like to talk about. One of the shots I found amazing was the extreme long shot/wide shot from a crane, to introduce the main character and create an effect of vastness, slowly moving in towards Forrest Gump as he tries to make conversation with the lady who got off the bus.

Forrest starts to begin to talk about him and his life story. The way he is introduced and the way he speaks make the audience instantly love him as he establishes his character. The audience understand that he is a bit slow because normal people wouldn’t talk to others like Forrest does, which also makes you feel sympathetic for him. The lighting in Forrest Gump seems very natural as most of it was filmed outside and was made to look very beautiful. Interior is also naturalistic and it is clear that a high key lighting composes the sequence, as the colours are not bright, not saturated.

It looks normal, and quite ambient. The kind of lighting that is used, is the kind to have an effect on the audience to make them feel involved in to daily reality. I think that the director has focused mainly on the colour of the sky making it a perfect baby blue colour, to give emphasis on the peace and fate. Another colour that really stands out is the use of green for the grass and trees. These are two colours of nature that really bounce off each other and make that more of a reality.

The main three categories of sound is the dialogue, sound effects and music that balances nd serves a story. The music in a film is used to add emotion as well as rhythm. The music is very soft and touching which really soothed the audience. If you put the correct music with the right visuals, you’ll create a masterpiece and this is what has happened in the Forrest Gump film. For example, in the opening scene, a feather is falling from the sky with some beautiful piano music behind it to set the tone of the film already. It allows the audience to connect with Forrest’s emotion.

Although whenever Forrest came across an obstacle in life, the music soon turned upbeat and triumphant so the audience could keep that connection with him and understand every challenge that he conquered. The editing was different in this film as there was different moments in time what Forrest had to go through, so for example, when he was sat talking to the lady on the bench or if it was a sad emotional scene, the cuts would be smoothing or just only use one cut, whereas if he’s running or something intense starts to happen, the editing becomes a lot more jumpy and cuts from scene to scene.

When he is in the war and he all his platoon have been wiped out, there is a load of jump cuts as he is saving them, but as Bubba is about to die, there is a minimal number of shots. Also for the editing, there are some clips where Forrest Gump has been edited onto clips of meeting presidents and going on talk shows etc. The way they did this over 20 years ago was great to watch, as it looked very realistic and convincing. The scripting of this film is amazing and the way it builds up a story is clever.

A voice over of Forrest Gump is used to commentate his life between scenes, which gives the audience an understanding of what is happening. Also, the way he takes you through his life story and what he has been through makes you feel sorry for him but so proud at the same time. It also goes through time in history where he was at events where he met presidents and visited the White House to make a representation that Forrest was this big icon and a role model to others. Saving Private Ryan war/action adventure

The cinematography throughout the film is extraordinary with the pace the film goes at, being able to capture chaotic movements and position the camera skillfully also helps with the audience’s reaction to the film. The opening scene to Stephen Spielberg’s film is shot in a realist style and I would like to talk about the camerawork used in Saving Private Ryan. According to Sproe. com Kaminski had the protective coating stripped from the camera lenses, making them closer to those used in the ’40s. Without the protective coating, the light goes in and starts bouncing around, which makes it slightly more diffused and a bit softer without being out of focus,” (2015) [Online].

This technique will make the film look more desaturated, and more like the olden days of the war era. In the film they used 45 and 90-degree shutters to sustain actors movements and expressions and a certain crispiness in the explosions to make them look more realistic. The shots used in this film were mainly mid shots and close ups to show the expression of the soldiers being scared and when they are shell-shocked which adds to the realism.

The location also looks so real where they filmed it because it looks really rundown and it does look like a real wasteland/battlefield type location. I think that the film became desaturated with the dulled effect was to bring out the tragedy and emotions in the film. By adding this desaturation, it made the film look more explicit, violent and disturbing. Sound is key to add to the realism in Spielberg’s film because music plays a big role in films and the audience judge whether they like the film or not, purely because of the sound used.

In the opening battle scene, you can immediately hear gunfire fulfil the air as they are charging towards the beach. The sound mainly includes gunfire, and bomb explosions. This is a good technique that they have used because it makes the dialogue barely audible and the reason why the director has done this is to demonstrate and emphasise to the audience the reality of difficulties in the war. Spielberg applies imaginative ways of sound placement and sound deprivation to help the audience connect to the character and reinforce ideas and themes.

With the sound effects rising, such as the clanging of the bottle and the man throwing up at the begging of the scene, makes the audience aware of the growing tension. On the other hand, sound effect will go together with the visual aspects, for example, Captain Miller’s moment of confusion shows the idea of being shell-shocked. As a bomb plummets onto the beach near where Captain Miller is walking. This is greatly shown by the camera shaking, giving an earthquake effect to add more chaos and shows that there is more destruction in this scene.

Spielberg purposefully used a shaker to vibrate the camera to approximate the impact of explosions. As Captain Miller is shocked, the cameras zoom into a close up of him in jerky slow motion. At parts of the film, the lighting is very bright due to explosions and gunfire but other than that, it is quite dark and gloomy, it’s not all sunshine and rainbows. Also when soldiers are alone in a room in the film, the lighting goes very dark to emphasise the sound of something that is going to happen, which makes the audiences put on edge.

The editing in this film is really good as a combination of fifty separate straight cuts have been professionally merged into just four minutes of the film and that is what makes the entire film what it is, them four minutes on the beach. I think that the story is legitimately correct and has such an effect on all of us of what horrible things happened and what people did for us so we can have what we have today, and that’s the message that it sends across and Spielberg did a good job of making that happen.

Cite This Work

To export a reference to this essay please select a referencing style below:

Reference Copied to Clipboard.
Reference Copied to Clipboard.
Reference Copied to Clipboard.
Reference Copied to Clipboard.