Tuesday, 3 April 2012

Project 4: Camera angles

This project deals with the position from which the camera (and the audience) views the action (shot). There are four basic shooting angles and their names are self explanatory:
  • Low angle
  • High angle
  • Canted frame
  • Point of view (subjective of an individual)

Examples of camera angles from the film “The Limey” (1999) directed by Steven Soderbergh for Film Four
Low angle: This low angle close up was shot showing Terence Stamp’s character Wilson, as he reflects on the events of the past days during his return flight from Los Angeles. This intimacy helps to show the emotion of  the character during a complex montage of back and forth cuts at the start of the film.

High angle: A high angle shot like this one has introduced tension, Wilson is about to break into a freight depot to confront some hoodlums and try to gain information about his daughter’s death. There is no way to know whether this is a subjective POV and his approach has been detected or just an objective view showing that he has to overcome a high security fence to enter the depot. 

High Angle: This viewpoint has introduced anticipation to the action. This unusual swimming pool on a hillside house in Los Angeles just has to be the scene of a fatality in the coming action – but who will end up in the bottom of the canyon?

High angle and low angle POV: This final pair of angled shots are shown over Wilson’s explanation of his “incremental” relationship with his daughter. He is looking up at her from the prisoner’s dock to the public gallery. He is relating how, as young girl she would threaten to call the police if he was naughty. It shows how he looked up to her and how important she was in his life. She is looking wistfully down at him with a sort of resignation. (Soderbergh very cleverly used footage of Stamp as a young man from Ken Loach’s 1967 film “Poor Cow”.)

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