Rashomon | Influence On Style

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After watching Rashomon, I have had a clear influence from Kazou Miyagawa Cinematography in the film. This influence now has to be adapted into the transgressions documentary on Michael Soper which we have called ‘Searching For The Unexplained’.

Kazou Miyagawa use of tracking shots will be something we can apply whilst filming actuality footage of Michael Soper UFO spotting at night. The use of long shots and close ups in our documentary is of importance also. Using close up’s when we want our audience to empthasize with Michael and long shots to put the audience in a objective position and distancing them away from him! The audience will never truly know what his world is like? We will never truly know. Distance gives the audience time to think about his character. HIs strangeness. One thing I understood from Rashomon is that one must always question the nature of reality. In the documentary we must compose our shots to question the relaity of UFO’s, are they real?

Initially I wanted to shoot Michael from low angle perspectives. Symbolising his search for UFO’s and the unknown. High angles also, to symbolise how these unknown beings may view us (him). But importantly to portray how we think we are above him because we think his insane but truthfully, maybe we are the insane ones for not being able to break away from what society tells us is normal and not normal.


Screen Test | Michael Soper |Transgressions

Previously filmed during the summer. Our documentary on Michael Soper as he ‘Searches For The Unexplained’ literally. Michael is a UFO spotter and philosopher on the subject of UFO’s. We had a set style when we filmed this however, I think this style is going to be changed if we decide to reshoot. As the cinematographer of the project its important to think about to how to present Michael’s strangeness through the documentary style. Maybe thinking about framing him in a way that goes against normal conventions because thats who he is now, someone who goes against the norms of everyday life. Another idea is to delve into questions that explore his transgression from renowned scientist and scholar to UFO spotter. A title that the population often associate with someone who is abnormal in a sense, crazy is another word used. In the next week or so we shall discuss as a group what path we should take.

KAZUO MIYAGAWA, Cinamatographer | Rashomon (1950)

I chose to watch Rashomon because I’d heard of the name in the form of a novel in the film Ghostdog: The Way Of The Samurai. The cinematographer Kazuo Miyagawa was really experimental in his approach to photographing this film.

His use of natural lighting from the sun is very a symbolic way to portray the characters.

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He used the sun to symbolize evil and good in the film, arguing that the wife gives in to the bandit’s desires when she sees the sun. However, I read that the sun was too weak and they had to use a mirror to reflect to sunlight to make it strong resulting in the light travelling through the branches. Kazuo Miyagawa also uses some expressionist techniques through the use of shadows. I particularly enjoyed the way characters were framed.

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The use of sunlight is particularly effective in the woods. Rashomon also had shots that were directly into the sun. Kazuo Miyagawa is also know for his tracking shots which are apparent in the film. Some tracking shots particularly when characters are running in the woods create a blurred motion from the leaves.

Mise-en-scene is also quite symbolic to support the contrast of good vs evil. The use of space is also great particularly during the scenes at Rashomon.

Defining Mode, Content & Style


Developed by american documentary theorist, Bill Nichols. They include six different types of documentary ‘modes’: Poetic; Expository, Observational; Participatory; Reflective, Performative

When considering documentary modes, all documentaries can overlap into different modes. This is simply there to determine style and several aspects of documentary.


Content is the subject matter of any media production. The information we receive through interacting with media objects is content. The experiences, the visuals, the topics explored all this falls under content.


The style of any documentary is linked to the mode. If the film is observational (fly on the wall) then the style is going to be very free formed and often out of shot. Nothing will be staged or rehearsed, its simply being from the outside looking in.

Kick-Portraiture|Devoloping Idea| Visual Essay

As part of my visual essay I wanted to explore people through their shoes. This idea stemmed from our task on the long portrait. It goes back again to my interest in this ‘lost’ generation, my generation.

A lot of young people are concerned about the amount of shoes they have some having dozens upon dozens some having maybe about two pairs. Shoes for young people has become a part of the representation of their identity.  I’ve been toying around with this idea in my head for a while. Essentially, Id take single portraits of people faces, and then take a shot of the shoes they have on that day. Then place the picture of the portrait and the shoes side by side and see what can be said about the persons character through their shoes. I may ask them to describe in a sentence their choice in that pair of shoes that day. Then quote it below the two images.

It would be a really interesting way to see how young people view themselves and their choice in footwear.

100word Documentary Proposal: ‘Jacked In’

Rather than exploring the transgressions of one single being, I came up with an idea for a documentary film on the transgression of a group of people; a generation, the digital generation, the 16-25s.

This film would explore how todays youth has transgressed from what they used to be like 50 years ago compared to now. The film would focus on the ambitions of young people at the moment, looking at the reasons as to why the ‘I dont know’ generation are more lazy and uninterested compared to the more active swinging young people of the 60s. Furthermore, the film will explore the affect the digital age has had on the young population . I call this being ‘jacked in’ all the time. We as a generation are always ‘jacked in’ to the digital world. We are slaves of it and slaves to our gadgets. Constantly facebooking, instgramming, tweeting, blogging, surfing and etc. Gaming aswell.

The film would explore a how wide range of topics comparing the 60s teens to the 2000s teens. The topics would range from drugs, music, life ambitions, intimacy and relationships. I’d like to juxtapose the two different times, using footage of young people then, that I can find on the internet, interviews from old people whom were young (I have access to loads of senior citizens )/ interviews from young people now.

The film would be called ‘Jacked In’.

1 minute: Documentary Style (actual footage)

I chose to do my 1 minute film on ‘Family’. We took a trip to Scotland over the summer and it was the first time in about 2 years we’d gone for a holiday as family. I decided to shoot some video whilst we were on our way to Kelburn Forest and in Kelburn Forest. It was a great time, were we bonded as a family. It goes back to the power of photography mentioned by Susan Sontag in her collection of essays ‘On Photography’. That families are able to create a collection of memories through photography. They have the power to immortalise events in their history together.

Unfortunately, I lost my software due to a harddrive replacement; so I have no editing suites, hence the watermark on the video from a trial I am using.