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.


  1. You demonstrate your knowledge of various camera techniques by making sure you are using the proper film jargon. There is a variety in what techniques you actually go to talk about. You actually do go in depth with how these techniques create meaning, but i feel like it could have been much more depthful. You can definitely take more time in analyzing the shot composure in the shots that you chose to look at. I think shot composure adds much more meaning to the shot than camera motions are able of doing.

  2. First off I'd like to say this film was very trippy and made me jump out of my seat on numerous occasions. I like the break down of the shot techniques used in the film and thought the BEST shot was the one that the background and foreground were racked this shot caught my attention immediately and allowed me to appreciate the plot further. I thought this film was filtered in more of a low key lighting to create a mysterious feel to the film. The shots were varied from close ups to farther full shots that enhance the films overall appeal. I thought you should have explored more how the shots varied in relation to the plot.

  3. You explain the various shots well in how they are composed. However, you did not go in depth about how the specific shots give meaning to film itself. Instead your points were a bit superficial; try working on your analysis of the shots which should be easy considering that you demonstrated good knowledge of camera techniques. Also, try to stay away from run on sentence because they confuse your reader. Instead make short yet poignant sentences.