Style and the Camera (Discussion)

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Group 3

  • Explain what focal length is -- using the textbook illustrations.
  • How does a zoom in/out look different from a track in/out?

Group 4

  • Explain what depth of field is -- using the textbook illustrations.
  • What is the difference between deep focus and deep space (as in mise-en-scene)?

Group 1

  • Explain what aspect ratio is -- using the textbook illustrations.
  • Also explain letterbox and pan-and-scan.

Group 2

  • Explain the significance of camera framing, height, and movement -- using the textbook illustrations.
  • When might movement be used that does not follow a character? How is a Steadicam shot different from a handheld shot?

If you were a cinematographer reshooting the Northern Exposure shot (below), from the scene we saw Tuesday, how might you change these cinematographic aspects? How would that change affect the scene's impact or the viewer's understanding of it? Each group should apply this exercise to its specific cinematographic aspect (above).


  1. Butler, Jeremy G. Television: Critical Methods and Applications. Mahweh, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, 2007.

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