Moving Camera

  1. Find about six good examples of moving camera work that alters the feel and/or meaning of a sequence and add them to your blog.

This part of the course has been focused on looking at the effect of moving camera work. Some examples are those such in found footage horror movies, I have never watched any of these but I have seen the trailers, it is more vicious and realistic, the viewer feels like this could be real.

Jeopardy – entire series 

One example was the childrens mystery drama Jeopardy. Following a group of students from a UFO club they go to Australia in search for Extraterrestrial life. As such they find much more than they bargained for. It’s a fantastic series and a huge percentage of it is filmed from the students video cameras. It feels like you are watching something actually taken place. Though distracting at times (and nauseating) the camera movement made the movie, amping up all moments of terror and allowing insight into the characters emotions which they document on their blogs.

Casino Royale – Poisoning Scene

In the scene where James Bond is poisoned, camera movement is employed to excellent effect to replicate the effect the poison is having on his body. As Bond lurches into the bathroom the scene is overexposed, a screaming horror movie synth plays and the camera shakes as it tracks quickly towards him. There is a multitude of angles, he is shot from below, the side, the camera lurches around amping up the drama and pulling back. All of this replicates the effect of the poison. The camera even spins around at one point to create the feeling of disillusion. It has a feel of a horror movie with the distortion generating fear.

Guardians of the Galaxy – Peter Quill loses his mother 

The scene starts with a young boy, Peter Quill sitting in a hospital corridor listening to music to block out the suffering. He is taken to see his mother who is dying. As he walks towards her we see a subjective shot as he walks around the many people who back up to reveal his Mum. She asks him to take her hand but distraught he doesn’t. She pleads more urgently, “Take my hand!”

“Pete, come on.”

But Peter doesn’t. Suddenly her hand goes limp. When he turns to hold her hand he sees she has died. He is carried screaming out of the hospital room, it’s a heart -wrenching scene. Peter stares in horror and the camera does a reverse track down the corridor showing vulnerability, desolation and isolation. His face is twisted in horror. Then he is running out of the hospital and into the night. Shown from above with an aerial shot jumping to a side shot as he runs through the mist. He is suddenly lit up by light and taken by the spaceship. It takes you from a very real scenario to an out of this world scenario in a matter of minutes. It’s quite unexpected (that is for those who aren’t familiar with the comic books)

 

Push – Opening scene 

The scene opens with a synth sound over a black title page. The viewer is hurtled down a long corridor in a tracking shot passing a maid hoovering. The sound of the hoover increases as the camera passes it fading away, creating a feeling like the viewer is hurrying down this corridor. At the end of the corridor a man and boy suddenly walk. A slow motion shot focuses on the alarmed expression of the boy, slow motion shots like this are used to tell the viewer that something important is about to happen. The man glances down. The camera cuts and swaps to a watch on the maids wrist ( indicating the supernatural people, the watchers, though we do not know this at this point. All the viewer knows is that this is important. It feels like a subjective shot as the camera hones in on the watch, the ticking increases before pulling back just like before with the hoover. All the sounds are indicating something is not quite right and generates a feeling of danger and anticipation. The door opens blocking out the sounds. As the father talks to his son there is slight camera movement creating a more natural feel. It is clear this is a goodbye scene. The scene changes to the maid looking anxiously over her shoulder backlit by the blinding white light behind her. There is a succession of rapid shots, her hand retrieving a two-way radio from underneath a pile of towels. She presses a button. She pulls a gun out. An armed soldier walks into view, only a few glimpses of his face are shown. He holds up a gun, the light emitting from it generates a green bokeh. From a colour psychology point of view green usually has connotations of good things but from a negative side is can indicate possessiveness and jealousy. The maid swings around pointing a gun at the door where the father and son are hiding. The camera alternates in focus creating drama. There is a great deal of handheld movement as the soldiers gather in the corridor.

We see the father’s face looking concerned. He waves his hand and with his powers the boy is hurled through the ventilation vent and out into an empty corridor. He quickly runs and hides. The scene swaps to a gun changing focus to the soldiers. A man appears as the moment changes starting as a blurred figure and coming into focus. He has a feeling of importance. He is also wearing a watch. The boy escapes hurtling down the corridor and hiding just in time to see the destruction. Eyes filled with tears he peers through the blinds as the man walks down the corridor blurring into the light.

The more I watched this scene the more things I noticed (hence the length of the review)

Primeval – Mosasaur Scene

The ITV production Primeval is notable for it’s use of moving camera work. Action movies seem to employ it numerously, it serves to amp up drama and hurl the viewer right into the heart of the action. In Primeval the camera swings back and forth, in one episode especially it had the feeling of being on a rollercoaster as you almost feel the effect of motion sickness with the constant jerking, high contrasty graphics and in your face action. In this scene, Connor and Abby find themselves in the water with a Mosasaur, a prehistoric creature that has found it’s way through an Anomaly ( a tear in time) to the 21st century.
The scene begins with an aerial shot which instantly alerts the viewer to the characters vulnerability and hints at the upcoming predicament. As they watch, startled swans lurch across the surface of the lake signifying something has disturbed them. The camera tracks over to Connor focusing on a close up shot. As the Mosasaur appears the camera cranes to give a scale of the creature. As it launches it’s attack the camera lurches back and forth, changing angles to capture the drama.