Keeping you on the edge of your seat

Subjective Camera

As defined by Dick, subjective camera represents what the character sees (56). With subjective camera, the filmmaker allows the audience to embody the character and have a glimpse into their take on the action. Subjective camera should be restricted to avoid disorienting the audience but when used properly, it can be very effective with helping the audience empathize and understand the character. For example, in The Hunger Games (2012), protagonist Katniss is stung by genetically modified wasps and starts experiencing hallucinations. As she struggles to run away, the camera takes on her reality, where everything is warped and jumbled and confusing.

The camera cuts back and forth between her subjective camera and a close up on her face, showing her dazed expression. By cutting back and forth, the filmmaker avoids overwhelming the audience with confusing shots but still manages to give an audience the sense of real danger Katniss is in.

Associative Montage

Associative montages are linked by a series of objects arranged in a particular order (Dick 68). Whether to compress several events into a few seconds or to convey a particular message visually, the order of the images in associative montages are purposeful. For example, the opening credits of Law and Order: SVU (1999- ) uses an associative montage to establish the premise of the show.

The montage begins with a wide shot of New York (the setting of the show) then cuts to images of a police line and car, newspaper clippings about rapists, and a jailed person (establishing the “Law” part of Law and Order). Next are images of a broken doll, empty swing and a little girl (establishing the kind of cases the SVU unit often works with); then follows shots of an American flag, a witness testifying in court and an image of the courthouse (establishing the “Order” part of Law and Order).

Parallel Cut

Using a parallel cut allows the filmmaker to depict two simultaneous actions at once (Dick 70). With parallel cuts, the film switches between two scenes that are running at the same timeĀ  and usually culminates in a single place, where confrontation from the two scenes coming into one occurs. An example of this can be found in the TV show Chuck (2007-2012), where agents Chuck Bartowski and Sarah Walker work to disable a bomb while the assassin who set up the bomb searches for Chuck’s best friend, Morgan.

Sarah talking on the phone with the assassin serves as the connection between the two parallel cuts and the two scenes finally culminate into one as Sarah and Chuck find the assassin after having successfully disabled the bomb. This parallel cutting creates suspense as the audience is able to see both actions in their real times, instead of seeing the resolution of one scene before the other scene.

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