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Excerpted from Splaine, John."Critical Viewing: K-8" School Library Media Activites Monthly October, 1990 Keeley Library   May 18, 2000
See also
  • Visual and Media Literacy
  • Showing a Video
  • Advertising Techniques
  • "Movies and television programs are planned and programmed for an intended effect." Through camera angles, scripting, montages, and sequencing, producers of movies and television attempt to influence viewers.

    A camera tilted up at a person gives viewers the sense that the pictured person is powerful.
    A camera tilted down at a person gives viewers the sense that that the pictured person is subordinate, or more vulnerable.

    A camera picturing a person from the side suggests that the pictured person is not being direct.


    "A director can frame our attention through selecting a particular camera shot for the viewers to see.
    If the President is making a speech, and the  director can call for a "cut away" shot to someone who looks uninterested, the viewers will most likely get a different impression than if the cutaway is to a person who looks entranced and interested in what the President has to say."
    Film Genres Grammar of Television and Film
    Film, TV and Video Tips-How To Technical Issues in Film


    Directors use zooms, cuts panning, and other technical maniplations to keep viewers' attention. Lighting is also used to create mood and special effects.
    Close-up shots can make an individual seem more personable, strong, etc.  Distance shots can often make the individual seem small and vulnerable, surrounded by scenery or background detail.

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    Jane Constant, Reference Librarian
    Keeley Library, B.M.C.Durfee High School of Fall River
    September, 1978  to  June, 2001