Homework 2 /7: Frame, Depth, Movement, and Time


Start by reading the following:

Keep notes in your notebook as you read and jot down questions to look up later or ask about during class discussion.

After you finish the readings, engage in the following activities: [2]


  1. Watch a few scenes of a favorite dramatic movie or television show and watch for the use of shallow and deep depth of field and for the distinctive look of different focal length lenses.
  2. Watch for the use of movement in a scene from a favorite dramatic movie or television show  Be able to name camera movements when you see them. Watch for approaches to talent blocking and actors’ business. Try to discern between dollies and zooms. Watch for the use of long takes.
  3. Watch the videos in Video Playlist 2 in Video Playlists and write a brief response to each of the videos in your notebook.


  1. Find an image that uses a wide-angle lens to exaggerate depth perception. Describe the mood of the image. Include the image with citation/source in your notebook.
  2. Find an image that uses selective focus or a shallow depth of field. Describe how the use of that technology influences how you view the image.  Include the image with citation/source in your notebook.
  3. Reflect on the moving image artifacts you have been consuming recently in terms of their relationship to time. Are the storytime, production time, and experience time the same or different? Look for examples of illusions of real-time. Look for examples of ellipses of real-time. Record your observations in your notebook. 
  4. Respond briefly (two to four sentences) in your notebook to Rachel Strickland's "Notes on Spontaneous Cinematography."


Practice using the following terms in various sentences to demonstrate to yourself that you understand the concept's meaning and how you can use it to describe media production practices and artifacts. If you’re not sure about a term, review the reading. We’ll use these terms in our writings, discussion, and analysis of works, so take some time to review the reading if the concepts are unclear. 

  • angle of view
  • animation
  • aperture (a.k.a. iris)
  • blocking the talent
  • compression
  • continuity editing
  • crane
  • decisive moment
  • depth of field
  • direct cinema
  • directed tension
  • drone
  • ellipsis of time
  • f-stop
  • field of view
  • focal length
  • illusion of depth
  • the illusion of real-time
  • image plane
  • linear
  • long take
  • motion capture
  • motion graphics
  • nonlinear
  • pan
  • pedestal
  • persistence of vision
  • perspective
  • phi phenomenon
  • pixels
  • quantize
  • rack focus
  • real-time
  • reflexivity
  • resolution
  • sampling
  • scanning (interlaced vs. progressive)
  • sensitivity
  • sequence
  • series
  • shooting ratio
  • shot
  • shutter
  • shutter speed
  • spatial
  • telephoto
  • temporal
  • tilt
  • track
  • tripod
  • truck (a.k.a. dolly)
  • vectors
  • wide-angle
  • x-axis
  • y-axis
  • z-axis
  • zoom

  1. Making Media: Foundations of Sound and Image Production by Jan Roberts-Breslin (4th edition, Routledge, 2018), is available for online reading from O'Reilly Media (requires subscription or access through your educational institution). E-book and print editions are also available from booksellers including Amazon. If you choose to purchase, I suggest the newer edition↩︎
  2. Acknowledgment: This text is based, in part, on the "Putting it into practice” sections in Making Media and has been revised better to fit the structure and learning objectives of the course.↩︎