Short-Film Happy Hour for One or Two from Jesse Thompkins III Foundation for Young People in the Arts (50% Off)

The City Club of Washington

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Choose Between Two Options

  • $20 for admission for one to a short-film happy hour ($40 value)
  • $40 for admission for two to a short-film happy hour ($80 value)

The event, which takes place on Friday, April 4, at 6 p.m. at City Club of DC, includes:

  • Screening of award-winning short films by young screenwriters and directors
  • Screening of top six-second videos submitted by young DC metro residents
  • Help select the winner of a $100 award for best six-second video
  • Light appetizers
  • Complimentary glass of wine for of-age guests
  • Cash bar
  • Silent auction including original film and TV memorabilia

Cinematic Storytelling: How Directors Manipulate Audiences

It’s easy to lose yourself in a movie, forgetting that you’re even looking at a screen—and much of that is because of the ways the camera lures you in. Read on to learn some of the basic techniques directors use to subtly affect our emotions.

Though much of a movie's story is told through dialogue, film is inherently a visual art. As a result, many of the techniques filmmakers use—the language of the cinema, so to speak—are subtle visual tricks designed to instill certain thoughts or emotions in an audience's mind. One of the simplest of these techniques is controlling the direction of movement. If a character enters from the left side of the screen, viewers may naturally consider him a "good guy," instantly feeling at ease with his presence. The idea behind this principle is that the eye is more comfortable moving from left to right, since this mimics the motion of reading in most Western cultures. Likewise, a character entering from right to left can be seen as unnatural and unfamiliar—a clear antagonist. Directors can also use vertical motion to influence audiences. If a character moves down the screen, from top to bottom, it appears comfortable, as the audience subconsciously assumes the pull of gravity aids in the motion. All of these tricks can be used together to instill a scene with unbearable tension—if the camera moves diagonally up the screen from right to left, defying both gravity and the eye's natural movements, audiences can feel dread without even knowing it.

Though they sound like clever artistic flairs, many of these techniques were the children of necessity. For the filmmakers who made classics such as The Great Train Robbery and Metropolis, the camera had to do all the work of telling the story without the help of sound. Title cards could communicate locations and dialogue, but directors used them as a last resort since their static appearance was less engaging than the marvel of a moving image. Thus, filmmakers were forced to experiment with the nascent art of cinematography. Along with the aforementioned tricks, directors found ways to introduce plot and character details without saying a word, such as using light to highlight important objects or shooting a character from a low angle to make him instantly appear more powerful.

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    The City Club of Washington

    555 13th St. NW

    Washington, District of Columbia 20004

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In a Nutshell

Watch the short works and six-second movies of filmmakers ages 16–34 from DC and New York

The Fine Print

Expires Apr 4th, 2014. Limit 1 per person, may buy 1 additional as gift. Valid only for option purchased. Limit 1 per visit. Merchant is solely responsible to purchasers for the care and quality of the advertised goods and services.

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