“Blick” is defined as a look or glance. In film, illustration, comics and graphic novels it can be a frame that enhances action, speed and atmosphere—a fast glimpse into the story.
A blick is:
– Incomplete in itself.
– A part of a series or a single fragment.
– A clue to the content and meaning of the series.
– A scrap of information that contributes to milieu.
– It is secondary to the story line not primary.
Examples of Blicks
– Most common use: Montage
– Railroads, towns—to suggest a tour.
– Shows space and time.
– Calendar Pages—to show the passage of time.
– Battle shots—to suggest fighting and travail.
– Used effectively in film by Orson Welles, Alfred Hitchcock, Stanley Donen.
– It must show up in thrillers a lot— The eyes in the portrait; the silhouetted figure watching. It is meaningless out of context.
– People remember blicks more than anything in the pictures because they have to solve the clue. They have to put two and two together. They are engaged in a dialogue with the story!
– A blick expands the storyline by expressing the milieu of the piece.
It may express a system within a system of character:
– A mood or psychological state.
– Paranoia, shock, fear, joy, hunger.
– Sleepiness, acrophobia, agoraphobia, claustrophobia.
– Or a system within a system of milieu— Corruption, tyranny, laissez-faire, holiday spirit, celebration or workaday life.
– Or a system within a system outside the system of character—Time, weather, rain and atmosphere; or the business of the noninvolved… bystanders, observers, the self-involved, animals and birds.
The Style of a Blick
It is that of a glance, a snapshot, a telltale clue or detail. It may be a cropped view partially obscured. It may be shot through a grid or some other foreground. It resembles an in-between in animation—anticipation or a follow through. It is not a key or contact drawing. It is a gathering or aftermath. It partakes of shadows, reflections and silhouettes.
The Composition of a Blick
It has instability. It is unbalanced and uncentered. It has maximum tension and only minimum relief of a disturbing imbalance. It contrasts to storyline pictures.
Blick as Related to Townscape
Townscape, a book by Gordon Cullen, presents many ideas regarding existing towns and cities that can be applied to fictitious ones you create for your film or story.
He emphasizes the importance of relationship—how a huge building seems to tower over a tiny one as opposed to being viewed among those of similar size. “Serial Vision” evokes the feeling of moving through a variety of spaces, as from path to street to courtyard. Each turning reveals a new vista as one proceeds from existing view to emerging view. “Place” is the emotional nature of your environment—being elevated or low, constricted or limitless, enclosed or outdoors. “Content” includes style and meaning—the ambiance and unique character of the location.
Excerpt for Rowland B. Wilson’s Trade Secrets by Rowland B. Wilson and Suzanne Lemieux Wilson © 2012. Focal Press an imprint of Taylor & Francis Group. All Rights Reserved.