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View Full Version : What defines a scene?



Digital Hermit
09-07-2008, 04:46 PM
I know, in media/film, that scenes can involve one shot or even more... but really, what are the rules for dividing one scene from another?

Does it relate to all the shots in the same location, environment, situation, and/or event, or is defining it too nebulous of a subject?

Anyone know some good reading material, which can elaborate?

Thanx!

SplineGod
09-07-2008, 06:41 PM
Are you asking in general or referring to LW specfically?

prospector
09-07-2008, 07:02 PM
I keep them as events, with multiple shots making up the event.
Say my character is running towards a building. I will use different camera angled shots depending upon what's going on, but as soon as she reaches the building I will call it the last shot of that scene with building movements starting another scene.
Now that may not be the correct 'Hollywood' terminology, but that's what I go by.
But that would be all I COULD do as I only use the face of a building for those and no backsides or insides...An old Amiga habit.

Digital Hermit
09-07-2008, 08:03 PM
Are you asking in general or referring to LW specfically?

Yeah, let me define that... Not a Lightwave scene... but "Hollywood/TV" scene.

Digital Hermit
09-07-2008, 08:12 PM
I keep them as events, with multiple shots making up the event.
Say my character is running towards a building. I will use different camera angled shots depending upon what's going on, but as soon as she reaches the building I will call it the last shot of that scene with building movements starting another scene...


Thanx prospector, but here is where it gets gray for me, what if we cut to another character that interacts (say, shoots at the running character) in the same event... is that a different shot... or different scene?

prospector
09-07-2008, 11:39 PM
shot

akademus
09-08-2008, 03:34 AM
Scene is a same location/actors/lights/event setup and shot is a different viewing angle of camera in that scene. Shots go from Total (largest viewing) all the way to Detail (smallest).

Cheers

pooby
09-08-2008, 04:44 AM
If you take a film, like Shawshank Redemption, (as I can recall)
--------------------------------------------
it starts off with a couple in a house having sex, then cuts to the main character sitting in his car outside the house handling a gun and drinking scotch then getting out and walking to the house.

This is all one scene, even though you never see the main character and the couple together. Because it is describing a certain thing that happened at a certain time.
--------------------------------------------
Next, you see the main character in a courtroom, accused of shooting his wife and her lover.

This is a separate scene.

Shots are just different camera setups within the scene.. different cuts etc.

cbandla
09-08-2008, 07:31 AM
Digital Hermit, here's a couple of books I've found useful in learning about film language:

Film Directing Shot by Shot by Steven D. Katz (this is highly recommended)

Grammar of the Film Language by Daniel Arijon

You can also find a lot of info by googling "film language"

Charles Bandla

Digital Hermit
09-09-2008, 03:45 AM
cbandla,

Wow! What a funny coincidence... I just picked up Film Directing Shot by Shot yesterday when I went to the bookstore! BTW, it does look like a gem loaded with some great information... I will keep an eye out for Grammar of the Film Language. Thanx!


prospector, akademus, pooby,

So, as in Shawshank Redemption (love that film!) the scene really centers on what happens "within the time of the total event.” For example, if I had a scene with different camera shots in drastically different locations; say a shot of a guy in the control tower (interior stage set) talking to a pilot making an emergency landing (cockpit set); even though they might realistically be shot at different times and in different locations, it would still be categorized in the same scene. Is that, right?

Additionally, how would one name or categorize those shots? i.e. “Tower Shot_Scene 2” and “Cockpit Shot_Scene 2?”

Thanx again.

akademus
09-09-2008, 10:59 AM
I guess so. Technically, that would be to scenes, but since we have direct interaction between those two, they would go under the same scene name.

Naming convention is usually Scene XX, Shot XX, followed by camera distance and angle (like CU for closeup) and such.

Freely add The Five C's of Cinematography to that book list!

Cheers

hrgiger
09-09-2008, 11:30 AM
If you take a film, like Shawshank Redemption,

One of my favorites and filmed in my hometown. I have a few photos of the prison around here somewhere.

This is a good movie to talk about the concept of the scene because there are so few places in the movie for the characters to be. The majority of the movie takes place in the prison so you'll see many different scenes in the same location spaced over a span of years. Location is only one aspect of the scene and you can have different scenes that take place in the same location. You have the cafeteria scene when Andy first goes into Prison, then you have the scene where Tommy is first introduced 20 years later, but still in the same cafeteria. I would call these two completely different scenes, but with the same set.
From everything I've scene, err, I mean seen, movies events are referred to by scene more so then by location. So maybe in Shawshank, you would have the New Andy cafeteria scene and then the New Tommy cafeteria scene. A little easier then cafeteria scene 1 and scene 2 (there are many other cafe scenes in the movie, just using those 2 as an example.)