Deep Focus: Taking a Closer Look at the Use of Split Diopters in Film « nofilmschool

Since split focus diopters are half convex glass, when attached to your camera’s lens, it makes one side nearsighted, and the other farsighted. What this allows you to do is focus on multiple planes — you could have objects in the foreground and background completely in focus. This also means that the staging of your scene must be copacetic.

The way that many cinematographers use this is to add a little mystery or uncertainty to their shot. Since our eye doesn’t see things in this way naturally, it can be a jarring and disorienting experience when it does. In fact, some shots look almost like two separate images juxtaposed together, which immediately adds a layer of fantasy.

via Deep Focus: Taking a Closer Look at the Use of Split Diopters in Film « nofilmschool.

ht @pbonewell

Moving Image Arts Study Guide free download


My Moving Image Arts Study Guide (with embedded links to slide shows on Google docs) will be free of charge between Tuesday 30 April and Saturday 4 May 2013.

This is the last opportunity to download it for free before the GCSE exam, which is in the middle of May. The iPad version(s) of the guide, with the slideshows embedded, remains free from the Apple iBooks store. Here’s the link.

A Moving Image Arts Study Guide (Film Study Guides) eBook: Robert McMinn: Kindle Store.

You need a hardware Kindle of some kind, or the Kindle App, which is available for Mac, PC, Windows Phone, Android, and iOS (iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad).

GCSE Moving Image Arts revision resources and where to find them – UPDATE


New Kindle Book

There are now a number of different revision and study resources for the GCSE Moving Image Arts set films. The latest of them is the KINDLE version of a guide to all five of the films (plus a chapter on GENRE). Available on the Kindle store, it can be downloaded and read on a hardware Kindle (or Kindle Fire), and on any other device with the Kindle App. You can get the Kindle App for iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch, Android, Windows Phone, Mac, and PC. This all-in-one guide replaces the previously-published Bride of Frankenstein Study Guide, which is now incorporated into the one guide. Within this Moving Image Arts Study Guide are links to complementary presentations, hosted on Google Docs.

Here’s the link to the Moving Image Arts Study Guide on Kindle. It’s a bargain £1.53, but there are FREE WEEKENDS coming up, so watch out for those.



iTunes U Course

Next up, I’ve created an iTunes U course as a place to find study and revision materials for the five set films for GCSE Moving Image Arts.

iTunes U is a free app for iPad, iPhone, or iPod Touch.

Download the app, scroll down on the home page and click ENROL.
Enter the code FV7-KFV-DZD

I will then get an email about a pending enrolment which I will need to approve.

Alternatively, follow the direct link to the course.

The course includes a variety of materials, including four interactive study guides (iPad only) for the five set films. These will download into the iBooks app, which you will also need to download. They’re published separately because they are quite large files containing embedded presentations. If you download the iPad versions, you don’t need the Kindle version.

If you’re accessing the course through an iPhone or iPod Touch, you can’t use the iPad study guides, which only work for iBooks on iPad. Instead, you can download movie versions of all the presentations, which are available as individual files. There are presentations for all five of the set films, and they play back at 5 seconds per slide, though you can of course pause whenever you want. Consider reading the Kindle version of the study guide in conjunction with the movie presentations.

 iBooks Study Guides for iPad


If you don’t want to enrol on the iTunes U course, the individual study guides for iPad are also available directly from the iBooks store. Here are the links.

  1. Bride of Frankenstein
  2. Romeo + Juliet
  3. The Wrong Trousers
  4. Young Frankenstein and A Close Shave


Cottesloe students not able to download iTunes U or the Kindle book can access the presentation files on the school VLE, or on Google Docs (see posts below).

Young Frankenstein – shot by shot

Of course, the best way to experience this presentation is by downloading the iBook study guide, available for iPad soon.

There will also be a Kindle version of the text, though that will have to link to this presentation on Google Docs.

The Wrong Trousers study guide – free for iPad on iBooks store

screen shot1


The third of my free enhanced Film Studies books for iBooks on iPad is based on Nick Park‘s The Wrong Trousers. It contains a short, easily digestible text accompanied by several embedded interactive slide shows.

The Wrong Trousers study guide has three sections. The first looks at camera techniques used in the film; the second looks at editing in the two main “set piece” sequences; and the third includes an analysis of the first appearance of the mechanical trousers in terms of the five film language areas (mise-en-scène, Camera, Lighting, Editing, and Sound/Music), as well as more general notes on lighting and mise-en-scène.

The book is richly visual, short, and great value for money at zero pounds and zero pence. It’s a study guide and classroom resource that puts the stuff you have to pay for to shame.

Positive feedback left on the iBooks store would be welcomed, naturally.

Romeo + Juliet and Genre Study Guide for iPad – free on the iBooks store

screen grab2The Romeo + Juliet and Genre study guide has two chapters, and several embedded interactive slide shows.

Chapter one is an introduction to the concept of genre for GCSE students, taking in their importance to the industry and popularity with audiences. It covers the question of hybridity in genres, and the ways in which they reflect the times.

Chapter two looks at Baz Luhrmann‘s genre mash-up Romeo + Juliet, and the ways in which it links to the spaghetti westerm the war film, the teen film, and more. There is also consideration of editing and camera techniques, and cinematography.

Available free on the iBooks store for iPad. Positive feedback would be welcome.



New enhanced e-Book – available free on the Apple iBooks store

Screen Shot 2012-12-20 at 17.24.23

My study guide for Bride of Frankenstein (previously available on Kindle) is now also available as an Apple iBook.

Created with iBooks author, so for iPad only, this enhanced version features interactive elements (embedded slideshows), which can be viewed full screen on your iPad. In the screen shot above, you can see one of the slide shows. Just pinch-zoom to go full screen. The Kindle version doesn’t support embedded slide shows, so you have to follow links within the book to the slide shows as hosted on Google Docs.

The study guide focuses on five key sequences from the film. It’s free of charge, and will soon be followed (I hope) by study guides for The Wrong Trousers and Romeo + Juliet.

Direct link