Ever walk past a dark alley? All the things you have ever heard about dark creepy places come to your mind. Moviemakers know this! They know what scares people, they know what makes them feel good, and they know how to create a scene that evokes your emotions.
Partly they know because we tell them so; every time we buy a movie ticked we make the world know our preferences. Mostly, though, they know the stories that we knowl; they read the same papers, they heard the same bedtime stories, and (probably) they have watched the same movies.
So, like anyone who has heard the same stories over and over again, they look to tell the old stories in a new way. Within those stories, they create an atmosphere that, once again, leaves the words to the actors, the music to the choreographers, and the glitz to the cinematographers. Instead, they put the viewer in a position to think about what they are seeing, and how that picture tells a story.
Look above, you will see three frames from recent movies (Sideways, Spiderman, Inception). Look closely at each and ask yourself three questions of each:
- What stands out in this frame?
- What impression does this leave on the scene?
- If the focus were different, how would the scene be different
When finished, write a brief comparative paragraph telling me what these scenes tell you about the movie.