Monday, August 29, 2011

Cinematography Focus: Short Film- "Spider"

"Spider" by Blue-Tongue Films


Please take the time to watch this video before you read the analysis. Its about 8 minutes . . . without ending credits.


The short film that I decided to analyze, focusing on cinematography is Spider. This short film was directed by Nash Edgerton and produced by Nicole O'Donohue. This dark comedy teaches the audience the valuable lesson that its all fun and games until someone gets hurt. There are two characters who seem to be in a relationship and the female character is mad at the male character over what seems to have been a prank. Well the male character decides to pull another prank, but his friendly joke goes horribly wrong and will eventually effect, not only his girlfriend, but himself as well.


The film starts out with an establishing shot of the cars to show where the action is going to take place in order to prepare the audience for the next scene and also introduce the setting of the short film, in which takes place on a busy highway in an urban city. The director uses this shot, to start out the short film, instead of starting out with an establishing shot in the car because he wants to show how this setting will contribute to the plot of the short film and also the climax. The director then switches to another establishing shot in the car, so he can create an eye-line match between characters as he uses close-ups on their faces in future shots. This gives the audience a sense of awareness for the position of the characters in the car.  

As the short film progresses, the plot reaches a point where the characters get out of the car. The director uses this shot to show where each of the characters are from the point of view of the other character. This shot shows the depth of field, in which the focus is on the mid-ground to establish the character's position. Since the foreground and background are blurred, the audience is forced to turn their attention to the mid-ground. This shot also provides structure for the plot as it tells the audience the position of each of the main characters, one being in the store and another putting gas in the car.


As the characters re-enter the car and drive along, the director uses this shot to make the z-axis line face the audience and show the audience where the actions of the foreground, mid-ground, and background are taking place. As this character jumps from mid-ground to background, it surprises the audience as she jumps from the slow action of the mid-ground to the fast, intense action of the cars in the background. I think this shot gives a shocking effect on the audience because throughout the short film, the pacing is slow paced with the characters, but as this character enters fast pace action, the audience is surprised by the sudden contrast in the two forces of the shot. Therefore I think this shot is what really captured the effect of the audience and made the short film more amazing to watch.