21 September 2010

Pacing and Rhythm in the Long Take - by Altug Isigan

      Posted 09/19/10 05:26:00 am   In this article I will deal with an important design question: How can we control pace and create rhythm under conditions of limited montage options? In order to find answers to this question, I will first identify a number of motion types and have a look at how video games make use of them in their construction of screen events and their management of players’ experience density. Later on I will have a look at how video games that are built around the long take (shot-in-depth) make use of style elements and punctuation devices to create rhythm and pace, and to delineate scenes and sequences along an uncut visual continuum.

 

Motion Types in Moving Pictures

The types of motion in moving pictures (including video games!) can be presented under three broad categories: Primary, secondary and tertiary motion.

Primary motion refers to object movement. It’s the archetype of motion in moving images. It can be best exemplified by objects or persons moving within, or, in an out of the borders of a static frame. Most often a movie based on primary motion would be criticized as being too “theatrical” since the camera moves rarely, if at all. However, a great number of games are built on primary motion. Examples of such games would be Tetris, Centipede or Space Invaders, all of them being games that feature a static frame with objects and characters moving within, or in and out of it.

 

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