Wednesday, November 4, 2009

compositional inspiration

I'm pretty much a sucker for all things noir. In planning out an animation, it's easy to want to worry about the camera later on. This turns out to always be a mistake, as you can get to the heart of your shot much faster if you treat the camera as another character.

What I love about noir is that lighting, composition and set all pull together as a primary aspect of storytelling. Foremost, it sets up a sense of drama...sillhouetted characters against light fog...characters faces shadowed under wide brimmed hats. The cliches abound, but for me, it gets intersting when the characters are small onscreen and the background elements played up. It gives a sense that the protagonist is up against forces much larger. The use of shadow as a framing device that enhances sillhouette adds drama.

Not that I'm advocating the over use of heavy shadow, but the idea of using the environment as a storytelling device, and the use of strong foreground and background elements has merit.

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