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Friday, December 11, 2009

Creative Philosophy: Viewpoints

Viewpoints was originally developed for theater and by these standards it is defined as a technique of improvisation that provides a vocabulary for thinking about and acting upon movement and gesture.

I have taken these basic ideas and adapted them for film. I now define Viewpoints as a technique that defines the dynamic placement of camera and emotional blocking of actors in order to tell the story. (see the Wikepedia definition) I use 7 elements to guide the placement and blocking.

Here are the 7 elements of Viewpoints used to create the breakdown of movement and angles to tell the story:

Spatial Relationship - Distance between objects on the screen; one body in relation to another, to a group, to the architecture and the camera angle.

Kinesthetic Response - A response to an external stimulus which defines the (non)movement of the camera and blocking of actor(s).

Floor Pattern - The movement over landscape, floor pattern, design of the actor and camera.

Tempo - How fast or slow something happens on camera.

Duration - How long an event occurs over time; how long the actor(s) and camera maintain a particular movement, tempo, gesture, etc. before it changes.

Repetition - a) Internal: repeating a movement done with one's own body, and b) External: repeating a movement occurring outside one's body.

Architecture - The physical environment, the space, and whatever belongs to it or constitutes it, including permanent and non-permanent features.

Gesture - a) Behavioral gesture: realistic gesture belonging to the physical world as we observe it everyday. b) Expressive gesture: abstract or symbolic gesture expressing an inner state or emotion; it is not intended as a public or "realistic" gesture.

Shape - The contour or outline of bodies in space; the shape of the body by itself, in relation to other bodies, in relation to camera angles and in relation to architecture; think of lines, curves, angles, arches all stationary or in motion.

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