Found Scene (Week 13)

This scene from ‘Manhattan’ directed by Woody Allen in 1979 begins with a CU shot of the name ‘Elaine’s’, with lights and movement in the background behind the window; suggesting to the audience in the first shot that it will be in a restaurant, as it is also in the evening. It cuts into a wide shot taken from the back of the restaurant showing a group of people at a table; this being the establishing shot. The scene is an example of external composition throughout the rest of the scene, where the group of people at the table are having a conversation. It starts with a CU of character 1 in the right of frame looking left, then cuts to character 2 in the left of frame looking right, suggesting that he is talking to her. However towards the end of the shot, character 2 looks to her side when a new voice is introduced. A CU of character 3 is the next shot, positioned in the right of frame looking both left and right. A CU of character 4 is the next shot, positioned in the right of frame looking right; then character 2 comes back, still in the left of frame. This is one way to see how external composition works with more than two people at one time, and just in case the audience gets confused if they are all talking to one another, the camera cuts out to a wide shot showing the four characters. The next shots show the characters with the camera angles changing depending on who is speaking, and who the audience needs to focus on. As one character leaves the table the conversation becomes secretive, so the camera cuts back to a CU shot whilst demonstrating external composition. This means that the audience can focus on the character’s facial expressions and body movements, which build their overall persona. As character 4 comes back to the table, the camera cuts to a wide shot with all characters visible.

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