With this post I will attempt to give a sort of broad sense of the cinematography style that we will be going for in our film. While Tan is the cinematographer, and has certainly proven far more technically competent than me, we will hopefully be able to work pretty closely from a more creative standpoint.
Throughout the film, I want the shot length (as in wide/mid/close) and camera movement to always be in some way connected to the emotional state of Tim, as well as the audiences connection to him. This would basically mean that the unhappier Tim is, the wider the shot of him would be, and vice versa. And then, the more connected and involved we are with him, the more camera movement and, again, vice versa. So, going through the story of our film, this will largely mean that in the early stages of the film, when Tim’s very sad existence is being shown, he will be seen from wide angles, and there will be essentially no camera movement. There may be some instances of some closer shots, such as when Tim is listening to the band through headphones, as a certain amount of happiness is beginning to creep in, but I want to be very careful with the use of true close ups – as I believe using them sparsely can be a very valuable thing in film. By not seeing Tim in close up throughout the film, it will make the point in which we do finally go to a tight close up in the second last scene much more affecting.
A film that I already discussed in our pitch, that has continued to be a source of reference, is Foxcatcher (2014). Throughout the film’s opening 15 minutes, where Mark Schultz’s life is basically presented, the use of still wide shots, as well as using barriers between him and the audience, such as windows and crowds, are extremely effective in conveying the characters sadness, isolation and insecurity – all things that we too hope to convey.
As long as I can keep this sort of disciplined approach to shot types, the end result should see a very strong relationship between the visual and the thematic elements.
Foxcatcher. (2014). [film] USA: Bennett Miller.