Analysis Of Cinematographic Structure Film Studies Essay

Published: Last Edited:

This essay has been submitted by a student. This is not an example of the work written by our professional essay writers.

I am planning to make an experimental short film which will be my first experience in film industry. It is also the part of the study to develop a project as Negotiated Film Production. According to my vision in film making, starting with the Research Method Reflective Report keeps my self-discipline balanced and widen my field of vision/ particularly in cinematography. By the help of the research in cinematography and experimental film genre, I am planning to reinforce all the required information both practical and technical. I am going to analysis the movie " The Man with The Movie Camera" which is significantly satisfying reference in terms of cinematography and experimental film . I will be looking into the film by asking myself questions. I believe in that looking for answers of the questions which will guide me before making my film, with clearer wording; "making a good cinematography". The questions that I will be asking are roughly detailed below. In addition, the research sub points will quite possibly lead me to find out any other related questions which have to be answered to help draw a clearer conclusion:

What is a "successful" movie?

What is the movie talking about ?

What is the experimental film genre?

Why is the movie chosen to analyze ?

How the movie can be helpful to develop my cinematographic skills ?

What is the cinematographs' contribution to the film?

How it is referred to in film theory text books ?

How even current filmmakers refer to the film?

Research Type and Methodology

Literature Review (books, articles, reviews, film) and Qualitative Method ( desk research, reading books, screening the film ) will be following during the research. Primary and secondary sources are going to be the tools of the creating a research method report. According to the my questions and methodology, interpretation and correlation reflective report will be used while forming the context.

Supporting Key Points of the Research and Expected Achievements

* Clearer knowledge of defining "experimental" and cinematography.

* Understanding of the key points which bring a success in filmmaking.

* Having a chance of breaking down cinematography into the framing, visual design and composition with the instance film.

* Expected development of interpretation and implementation of cinematography.

Time to discover a new style that is specifically cinematic! - Vertov











Graham Roberts page. 91

Vertov in modernism and soviet culture


Formal structure

First 20 min waking up of the city! Film starts! A lady in bed, gets up, dress up, washing her face.. Cleaning of the streets.. Homeless people wake up, traffic, management of trains and factory starts working!

Analysis of Cinematographic Structure / Composition / Visual Design

Vertov is known by his invents and developments in cinematic techniques ; Double exposure, fast motion, slow motion, freeze frames, jump cuts, split screens, Dutch angles, extreme close- up, tracking shots, footage played backwards, stop motion animations and a self-reflexive style (at one point it features a split screen tracking shot; the sides have opposite Dutch angles). The techniques above certainly were not all invented by Vertov, he was the first filmmaker that was able to make them happen and put all those techniques into the product very impressively. It was given at the opening sequence : "ATTENTION VIEWERS / This film is an experiment in cinematic communication of real events , without the help of intertitles , without the help of story, without the help of theatre. This experimental work aims at creating a truly international language of cinema based on its absolute separation from the language of theatre and literature. This information shows that the movie was done without the aid of any narration techniques and any other art genre. Although, It is considerably a piece of expressive artwork. I would like to look for some of the those techniques used in the film the scene to exemplify the techniques and its relation with the prevailing context.

*Multiple exposure :

Multiple exposure is exactly what the name suggests, exposing film more than once to form multiple images in a frame. This will create superimposed images that can create ghostly effects or add objects that were not originally there. As it happens in the movie "The Man With The Movie Camera" multiple exposure effect was created in camera by exposing the film's negative to light to record an image, then winding it back and exposing it again, this time to an another image.


"Musical Performance with Spoon and Bottles" sequence

*Split screens:

Split screen comprises filming images for two halves of frame separately and then combining them. Early split screens were created to show the audience two completely different shots side by side and primarily used to make it appear as though two images were filmed together, with the split line unnoticeable. But as the Vertov with his own different perspective of usage the special effect, he preferred to use the technic consciously noticeable. Very impressive way of linking the meaning of the shot…

C:\Users\gulben\Desktop\split screen.jpg

Bolshoi Theatre implodes ( in a split screen effect ) to a 90 degree angle

The manner in which the Bolshoi Theatre "falls apart" on the screen reveals the idea of "opening a new road"- the narrow black pathway that leads to deep perspective- beneath the two parts of the severed building. This split screen image of the Bolshoi Theatre makes stronger the ideological meaning implied by the special effect.

*Dissolve :

A transitional editing technique between two sequences, shots or scenes, in which the visible image of the scene is gradually replaced or superimposed (by an overlapping fade out or fade in and dissolve) with the image from another shot or scene; often used to suggest the passage of time and to transform one scene to the next.


The film / eye is the best example of photographic presentation of Vertov. The relationship of two circular forms, the camera lens and eye. The technique was used at the end of the film and in a 1923 manifesto, Vertov wrote "I am Kino-eye, I am mechanical eye, I, a machine, show you the world as only I can see it". This is the one that clearly defines the dissolves technic used in the movie which is the best transforming of the word to the image.

*Dutch Angle

The Dutch Angle is known as Dutch tilt, German angle, oblique angle or canted angle. The oblique shot takes the straight lines of the world and presents them as diagonals.. This can be used for dramatic effect and helps portray unease, disorientation, frantic or desperate action, intoxication, madness, etc.


Dziga Vertov's film is known one of the first usages of the Dutch angle, among other innovative techniques discovered by Vertov. The shot is used in the film to give an overwhelming sense of the world's being unbalanced or out of kilter and symbolized with the view of the smokestack .

*Freeze Frames:

It refers to the technique of printing a sequence of the same frame of film to give the film viewer the impression that time has stopped momentarily. Freeze frame invented by Marcel Duchamp who shocked the art world with his painting "Nude Descending a Staircase." It wasn't shocked by nudity--the artwork was too abstract to show any. They were shocked that he depicted the descent in a series of steps taking place all at the same time.


What Vertov did was elevate this avant-garde freedom to a level encompassing his entire film. The self -referential gesture provokes the viewer's awareness of the cinematic process, as the ensuing shots turn into freeze-frames of horses, ladies in carriages, traffic, the crowd on the street, and children, drawing a phenomenological distinction between motion pictures and still photography.

*Jump Cut :

Discontinuously, two ensuing shots are taken from a slightly similar camera angle is defined as a jump cut. Jump cuts are known a violation of classical continuity editing, which aims to give the appearance of continuous time. Jump cuts, in contrast, draw attention to the constructed nature of the film.

It would be unnecessary to exemplify the definition of jump cut with the footage from the movie as the critic Neil Young wrote: Vertov's dazzling picture seems, today, arguably the fresher of the two." Godard is said to have introduced the "jump cut," but the Vertov's film is entirely jump cuts. Machinery, crowds, boats, buildings, production line workers, streets, beaches, crowds, hundreds of individual faces, planes, trains, automobiles, and so on. But these shots have an organizing pattern of jump cuts.

*Extreme Close- Up


A framing in which the scale of the object shown is very large; most commonly, a small object or a part of the body usually shot with a zoom lens. Again, faces are the most recurrent images in extreme closeups, as these images from " The Man With The Movie Camera". This type of shot creates an intense mood and provides interaction between the audience and the viewer.


In " Vagrants in the street sequence " Cameraman's and the camera's points of view have shown first time together. During the sequence, the Cameraman is not exposed, although the shot of vagrant and the cranking camera is repeated a couple of times, as the camera's point of view is enhanced by the extreme close up of the lens in which the camera and Cameraman's hand are reflected. Symbolically representing the camera's point of view, this shot is highly self-referential: it informs the viewer about the act of shooting, and simultaneously reveals both the technological means of cinema and the object that has been captured by the camera lens.

*Stop Motion Animation

Stop-motion animation is the painstaking process of photographing a model, moving it a miniscule amount, then photographing it again. Finally, you string the photographs together and the tiny movements appear to be action.


Remarkable sequences include a camera setting itself up and then walking off on its tripod; a frozen scene becomes a series of stills. The stills are frames of a 35mm film being cut by the editor. Interlace and montages of the camera lens and the human eye emphasize the camera's role as an active observer and reporter of human activities.

*Tracking Shots

Tracking is often more narrowly defined as movement parallel to the action, or at least at a constant distance.


The sequence from the film includes numerous tracking shots. Vertov's inventive film chronicles both everyday actions and the act of filming them, so the tracking shots alternate between those taken by the camera we see and those taken by a second camera. The Cameraman shoots from a motorcycle speeding toward the audience. Structurally, the tracking shots creates a cinematic abstraction of " Life As-It-Is" that is more meaningful and impressive than the representational content of each individual shot.

Visual Composition and Design in " The Man with The Movie Camera"

The film is grounded on three different shot composition which gives to the film an impressive look by the help of wisely interconnection.

*Black and white contrast of the images

*Dominated graphic pattern of the frames

*Abstract outlook of the shots

Technical Specifications

Film length (meters): 1889 m (6 reels)

Film negative format (mm/video inches): 35 mm

Cinematographic process : Spherical

Printed film format: 35 mm

Aspect ratio : 1.33 : 1

Runtime: 68 min

Sound Mix: Silent

Color: Black and White


Directed by Dziga Vertov

Cameraman Mikhail Kaufman

Assistant Editor Yelizaveta Svilova

Original Music Pierre Henry / Nigel Humberstone / Konstantin Listov / Michael Nyman

Cinematography Mikhail Kaufman /Gleb Troyanski

Film Editing by Dziga Vertov

Pro. Company VUFKU

Filming locations Kiev, Ukraine / Moscow, Russia (exteriors) / Odessa, Ukraine (exteriors)

Country Soviet Union

Release Date 12 May 1929 (USA)