Sunday 29 November 2020

Home - Academic - Frames: Demonstration of Dominance in Cinematography

24Frames: The fourth installment of the “Frames” article series is dedicated to the short film “Ceiling.” Sorena Afkham o Shoara, the DOP of this film has shared his experience in the making of this project with us.



Demonstration of Dominance in “Ceiling”

By Sorena Afkham o Shoara


I believe that the director of photography’s duty is to translate the script into images. However, this translation does not take place at the conscious level but in the subconscious of the audience, so its function in describing the prevailing environment and creating emotion and atmosphere in order to better understand the dominant sensory frameworks in the film is more effective than merely showing tangible and explicit elements.



In the script of the film, the main important issue in the relationship between the two main characters of the film was the concern of dominance. Naturally, with the help of smart directors, using mise-en-scene, lens selection, and camera movements, the shots were captured in a way that combined the extent of each character’s dominance in each shot with the space they occupy in the frame. An effort was made that the audience, even without knowing the situation and at any time by seeing each frame, could figure out the extent of each character’s dominance in the world of the story. Lighting, on the other hand, with the two components of color and material,  carries the visual narrative. The soft blue ambiance of the night has created two different situations inside and outside of the shop, in a pre-mortal and sad environment in front of the light pole, which shines with an aggressive yellow on the characters. Inside the shop, the face of the character facing outside has a flat and balanced light that indicates him as powerful and dominant, and unlike the person who stands outside the shop behind the zebra blinds outside the security fence, with intense yellow light, the hegemony of the dominant person is subdued. And where this dominance breaks, the girl’s face is dried out under this yellow light, with fear and powerless.



Meanwhile, the environment of the back chamber, which is the place for hiding and loneliness has a feeling of discontinuity and imbalance with intense purple light. Finally, the same rule applies to the invasion of fire (yellow light) and the uniformity, death, and indecision of the girl in the final shot (uniform blue light of night.)



Translated by Erfan Nazarianpour

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