Directing the Audience Through the Film

In addition to reading Roger Ebert’s essay, the class was also tasked on reviewing various videos highlighting cinematic techniques.  Upon viewing a minimum of four videos, a personal observation on how these techniques may influence our perception of video production is required.

The first video selected is the one titled “Kubrick – one-point perspective.”   One-point perspective exists when the picture plane or image contains only one vanishing point on the horizon line.  It is typically used for images of roads, hallways, or buildings where the lines of the object seem to run parallel with the view.

one shot perspective

This is probably my favorite technique.  The picture shown above is perceived to be very linear and symmetrical.  If you were to fold the image in half, each side would be a mirror-image, respectively.  Also, the entire shot fills the frame with limited space unaccounted for.

This is another example of a one-point perspective of a location that is familiar to the residents of Richmond, VA.  This is a real life image that helps to better understand the topic because of its similarities to the one-point perspective.

Browns Island

It is the underside of Manchester Bridge, which runs across the James River into downtown Richmond.  In this shot, the lines of the bridge run parallel which converge at the vanishing point in the distance.

The second video chosen is titled “The Shining – zooms.”  Zooming is a technique where the camera gives the viewer the illusion of moving through space either toward or away from the object.  This can be accomplished by zooming in, where the lens is adjusted in a way that the focus or object seems to be larger and closer.  Or by zooming out, when the camera widens the view on an object to introduce the overview of the surrounding environment.  I find these two concepts similar to the “fade in/fade out” effect that was utilized when creating a sound clip in Audacity last week.


The third video selected is titled “Tarantino-from below.”  An observation I concluded from this video is that this angle is perceived as the point of view from the victim on the ground looking up.  From the victim’s perspective, the subject or attacker fills the frame, and into a position of dominance and authority. I believe this technique is similar to my observations in the “one-point perspective” technique in that they both fill the frame with either an object, character, or scene.

from below

The fourth video selected is titled “Example of a match cut.”  A match cut is a cut from one shot to another where the two shots are matched by the action or subject matter.


The example above was taken from Stanley Kubrick’s 2001:  A Space Odyssey.  Other than this research, match-cut is a technique that I am the least familiar with, however it seems like a fun satire.  Since two images with entirely different backgrounds can be matched to portray a single action, this technique vaguely reminds me of the audio assignments we completed last week, such as the sound effects story.  In this assignment, we were tasked to form a compilation of sounds to tell a story without the narration.  Two images used in a match-cut are essentially doing the same thing – combined in a way to continue a story with or without narration.

After reviewing all of these techniques, most seemed to be familiar, even though I did not know what the specific technique was called.  The knowledge gained from watching all of these cinematic perspectives will enhance my perception of the overall movie by taking into account that these images are most likely to be intentional, and to discover the underlying message.


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