Cinematography, direct translation: (Gr.) Kinema: motion + (Gr.) Graphein: recording i.e. motion recording, but to me the exact equivalent is the art of cinema.
“You must know them before they break the rules.” – Blain Brown, Cinematography: Theory and Practice.
I agree with this statement, otherwise you might have signed up for a work that is supposed to have found something new and is a repetition of the past. Before I go into the depths of cinematography, I believe it is useful to talk about filmmaking stages. These stages are: Development, Pre-production, Production, Post-production and distribution.
Tools used: Imagination, ideas, paper, pencil and / or Photoshop.
We need an idea at the beginning of the project. For example, we would like to adapt Orhan Pamuk’s novel “My Name is Red” to a film. That’s the idea. What to do for this. We have a stake, but we have to script it. A text must be written in accordance with the language of the cinema. (The script was mentioned in the following article.)
Then the concept art and storyboard process begins.
The concept means “subject”, to create visuals according to the subject and to portray the world in which the project will take place.
PS: It is necessary not to confuse concept art with “conceptual art”. Conceptual art strives to transform abstract concepts into artistic pieces, such as exhibiting a model tapestry in an art gallery and seeing a beautiful sculpture. Conceptual art, perhaps artisan, tries to visualize concrete projects with concrete visuals, like adapting a story of a journey into the Star Wars universe.
Concept art has a big role to play in giving ideas and getting support from rich producers. If it were not for the magnificent drawings of Star Wars concept artist Ralph McQuarrrie, George Lucas would not be able to convince the producers, perhaps it would never happen in Star Wars.
Ralph McQuarrie, who drew the above visuals during the development phase, also made a great visual base for next episodes.
Let’s think again “My Name is the Red Film Project”, and the concept artist, who has studied the novel over the past, has carefully examined the costumes, decorations, vehicles, buildings, city plan, they prepare all the details. These images will also be used in the next stage, the Storyboard.
The first person to historically use Storyboard efficiently is Disney. Because the storyboard is the most effective tool to enliven the screenplay and shooting angle. (I’ve mentioned the storyboard stage before.) However, being a storyboard artist in a film, TV and animation industry is really an intense and heavy profession in itself.
After moving the Storyboard to animate with animation, we can move on to pre-production.
Tools used: human relationships, paper, pen, money, patience …
The whole process is almost the same as the movie, sequence or animation does not matter at all. Even in animation, “development” and “pre-production” stages are much more intense. For this reason, a short shot with a camera may suffice in motion-picture; but in the animation all the decor needs to be designed and drawn from top to bottom. I mean, it’s a crazy job.
In the pre-production phase, player, costume, decor, room and set preparation are done by looking at the visuals prepared for the film. Concept artist, screenwriter, storybordist, director, art director is in constant communication in this process. The final changes required before the ceiling in the construction phase are made at this stage.
Tools used: Motion-Picture, camera, set, player, light; mocap setup for 3D, PC, render field: paper pen scanner for 2D, ToonBoom …
Raw shots if the movie is done, all the drawings if 2D animation is done, all the renders are done in this stage if 3D animation is done. The performances of the actors come into play at this stage and the whole film is always praised as if they did it.
Tools used: Artists; After Effects, Nuke for compositors; Davinci Resolve for color artists; Ableton, Pro Tools for sound engineers …
Music, sound effects (Foley art), VFX, compositing, color correction has been happen in this stage. Nowadays, this stage is a process that takes long hours at the computer.
“Fiction”, one of these stages, is almost as important as Turkish tea.
Cuts and Transitions
There is no need for much confusion, The following video explains well about the effect of composition.
The stage of composition is not just about joining the coming scenes. Many successful recordings can be terrible at the time of editing, or vice versa, and the videos can turn into a work of art with good editing. Star Wars is a good example of fiction mastery and a great contribution to film.
After we’ve examined since the last time and we are ready for distribution into the director’s movie.
Tools used: Graphic designers, cargo companies, TV channels, Movie theaters, Internet …
It is not easy to come to this stage. The big productions are distributed by the big producers of the companies and they are collecting the money but if you are doing an amateur job you can use Youtube as a kind of distribution channel on internet. If there was not a channel that worked, there would not be any Youtubers on the earth.
At this stage, it is important not to forget the small details such as designing a beautiful poster for graphic designers, preparing a rigorous advertising plan for social media experts. If all stages are meticulously done, there is no reason for you to makin money.