Inivitation scroll

The frame

Although the production of moving images in cinema creates a very strong impression of reality, there are two key characteristics that distinguish the cinematographic image from the images of the world as we naturally perceive them:
1) it is delimited by a frame,
2) it is a flat two-dimensional image, even though it gives the impression of depth.

This first session focuses on the frame.

1.1 – Formats

The word "format" is used to refer to two things:
- the format of the filmstrip, defined by the width of the film,
- the format of the projected image, known as the aspect ratio, i.e. the ratio of the two dimensions of the image projected on a screen.

We will thus be using the word "aspect ratio" to denote the format of the projected image.

This animation is excerpted from a collection produced by the programme
Court-Circuit, co-produced by Arte France and Trois Fois Plus production.

1.2 – Frame, Onscreen, Offscreen, Off-frame

Whatever the format, the frame of a shot delimits a portion of space, called onscreen space.
This space extends beyond the edges of the frame into the offscreen space, which must be distinguished from what is termed "off-frame" space .

1.3 – Using offscreen space

All fiction cinema relies on the principle that an offscreen space, exists and constantly plays on the interaction between onscreen and offscreen space, in different ways.