Removal (main project)

Preliminary Exercise

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Group 2 Shot Analysis

This shot was planned by Despina. It shows a young man sitting against a wall wearing a hoodie. The man has a shadow cast over half of his face with a single eye visible directly addressing the camera. He is casting a shadow on the wall behind him. The camera is positioned slightly above the subject at about mid-shot distance. This shot could be seen as representing ‘Horror’ because of the shadows cast over and by the subject, because of the menacing direct address, and because of the high angle, showing the evil nature of the character, and emphasizing the ‘good – high, bad – low’ idea.

In order to achieve the desired effect, we positioned the light below and to the side of the character, casting a shadow over half his face and the wall behind, suggesting a shady, troubled character and a split personality. We positioned the camera on the other side to the lighting, at a slight high angle in relation to the subject, in order to capture the shadows and make the character seem lowly. We placed the light near the wall to create a progression into darkness at the far right side of the wall. This shows that the character has bad things either in his past or waiting for him in the future, and creates a sense of foreboding about what is to come. Attention is drawn to the blue eye framed by shafts of shadow, directly addressing the camera. This creates an eerie quality where the viewer feels a sense of menace emanating from the character, but also maybe feels scared for him, and the shadows that are closing in.

I believe one successful aspect of this shot is lighting. The shadows on the wall and on the man’s face create a good atmosphere of menace and darkness. The way the man’s eye is lit up with shadows around it strengthens the direct address and heightens the atmosphere. Also, the way the man is looking up at the camera with wide eyes shows that he may even be scared himself, of the shadows that are about to consume him. The look he gives the camera could be interpreted as pleading, which adds more depth to the possible story behind the shot and makes it more intriguing to look at.

With hindsight, I feel that the expression made by the actor in this shot was not quite right, as he does not seem menacing enough. The expression is rather neutral, which was not the effect I wanted. However, and the lighting seemed most effective in this shot, we decided to use this one. I also believe the composition of the shot could be improved. The feeling of isolation of the character would be heightened by a longer distance away from the camera. However, there are two flaws in that plan. Firstly, the brick wall in front of which we took this photo was not very large, and not large enough to completely fill the background of a longer shot. Secondly, the character’s face would not be as prominent, which I think would detract greatly from the mood of the shot. I am proud of the eerie look of the shadows and the bright eye in the shot, and I believe a longer shot may lessen the emphasis on those features.

In conclusion, I think that although our shot is certainly not without it’s faults, it also contains many good attributes, and is nevertheless a decent first stab at a horror shot.