Jul 02
ARTISTIC DISCRETION by Corie Henson  |  Posted in Articles  |  on Mon, Jul 2, 2012

To a layman, the job of a movie director is as simple as hollering “lights, camera, action!” But from a first hand observation, that’s not really the gist of directing.

A Director, as it appears to my impression, is the one who gives the instructions in order to achieve the desired artistic level of the scenes that is to be shot. I’ve heard so many times, “Pagdating sa set, walang kokontra sa Director.”

Never forget that a set involves a lot of people. Starting with the Director, also present in the set are the Assistant Director, Production Design staff, Cameraman and his crew plus some minor staff and, of course, the talents.

The set also has the camera, lighting unit and accessories, other equipment like dolly and crane. Kasama rin ang audio devices for recording. For the benefit of the Director ay merong monitor para makita niya kung ano ang naka-capture ng camera.

By the way, a movie script (also called screenplay) is divided into sequences. A sequence is a snapshot of an event (in the movie) or a series of shots called montage. A sequence is then divided into scenes.


Direk William Mayo at right giving instructions to Lipa Mayor Meynard Sabili who is playing himself in the movie. At left is Assistant Director Romel Mayo.

Isang halimbawa ng sequence ay ang pag-uusap ng babae at lalake. Kapag ang camera ay naka-focus sa mukha ng babae, that is already one scene. Kapag inilipat ang focus sa lalake, that is another scene.

A sequence can have as many scenes as per the discretion of the director. Normally, the Director has the liberty kung anong klaseng mga eksena ang gagawin ayon sa sequence na nakalagay sa script.

It is the Director’s call kung close up o full shot ang focus ng camera. Siya rin ang nagsasabi kung paano gagalaw ang camera (panning). It would appear that the Cameraman just receives the instructions of the Director.

Speaking of camera, nauunang i-setup ang mga ilaw ayon sa puwesto ng camera. Jurisdiction ng Cameraman, a.k.a. Cinematographer, ang lighting unless merong Director of Photography.

The setup of lighting sometimes take 30 minutes or until the Cameraman gets satisfied. But when there is a change of angle (ibang eksena but the same sequence) the setup is quicker dahil adjustment na lang ang kailangan sa lighting.

So we can imagine kung maraming scenes ang gusto ng Director sa isang sequence dahil paglipat ng camera ay lilipat din ang lights. By the way, Gaffer ang tawag sa taong in-charge sa lighting.


A movie shooting in Remar Theater in Cubao, Quezon City. The Director giving instructions to the Cameraman.

Kung natural lights naman ang gamit gaya sa outdoor scenes, gumagamit naman ng filter o shades. This is a way of controlling the degree of sunlight. Ayaw kasi ng Cameraman na sobra ang ilaw dahil nasisira raw ang kulay at texture ng shot.

The artistic discretion is extended to the execution of the talent regarding the action and dialogue. Pangkaraniwan na pinapalitan ng Director ang dialogue lalo na kung nahihirapang mag-deliver ang artista.

Ang word na “buckle” ay madalas mangyari lalo na kung hindi sanay sa acting at dialogue ang artista. Minsan ay nakakalimutan lang ang lines pero kung minsan ay talagang nahihirapan sa pagbigkas ang artista. Dialogue change ang remedyo ng Director.

Ganun din sa action ng artista, hindi naman eksaktong nasusunod ang script. As part of the Director’s artistic discretion, siya ang nagtuturo kung paano ang execution ng action na nakasulat sa script.

Ang isang dahilan ng pagbabago ng action (vis-à-vis what was on the script) ay ang setting. Example ay isang pasilyo na lalakaran ng character. Pagdating sa shooting ay naging park ang pasilyo kaya dapat mag-iba rin ang klase ng paglakad.

The Director always takes into consideration the symmetry of the elements inside the scene. In other words, tinitimpla ng Director kung appropriate ang dialogue ng character ayon sa setting o location at kasali rin dito ang situation.

Involved sa “capturing” ng mga eksena ang tinatawag na framing at blocking. Ang blocking ang posisyon ng mga artista sa set. Ang pagkilos ng mga talents sa loob ng set ay naaayon rin dapat sa instructions ng Director.


Direk William Mayo taking a break with Leo Martinez and Soxy Topacio

Ang framing naman ay ang mismong vista na lilitaw sa camera. Kaya kapag nagkamali ng galaw ang artista ay maaaring mawala siya sa frame. Understandably, this framing error often occurs in action movies.

With the people and the equipment at his disposal, the Director is like a musical conductor. Patatakbuhin ng Director ang nasabing resources ayon sa kanyang artistic discretion para gawin ang movie ayon sa script.

So now we understand that directing a movie is not as easy as shouting lights, camera, action.

Para sa mga komento, puwede kayong mag-email sa corzhens@yahoo.com


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