Working the Angles:
On the most basic level, we can watch a movie and see the story unfold without understanding how a director draws us in. Unlike books and poems, however, film is right on top of us: the minute we see something, we react. And we react much more quickly than we even (or ever) realize.
In a famous advertising campaign — now illegal — Coca-Cola (Coke) realized that film moves at a rate of 24-48 frames per second. That means 24 little blocks of film capture images in one second. Coke discovered that if you remove on of those frames — just one of the 24 – and insert a picture, the mind will capture that picture without you even knowing it. And guess what happened? At the intermission of the movie, customers went to the concession counter and bought Coke by the truckload . . . they didn’t know why, they just wanted Coke.
This is called Subliminal Advertising, and it is an example of how quickly our reactive mind perceives while our conscious mind is engaged in something else. Directors know this; they understand the power of film, and they use it. In this short unit, we will look at how film makers create impressions, and we will take a shot at doing some impressions of our own.