“You will now analyze the clip by watching it three times, in different ways.” I chose the scene called Escape (4th scene) by the movie Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides.
- Analyze the camera work. “Before watching the first time, turn the volume on the clip (or on your computer) all the way down. Take notes on the visual aspects of the clip.” I love this movie and I think the film work on this movie is great! The camera angles were perfect. In the beginning of the clip (you can click the link provided above on the movie name) you see Captain Jack Sparrow on top of a carriage and the camera is at a low angle him looking up at him and looking down on everyone else. This portrays Jack as a dominant character. According to Roger Ebert’s article How to Read a Movie, “Extreme high angle shots make characters into pawns; low angles make them into gods.” The light was mostly consistent the whole clip. The light did a great job clearly showing the characters and objects in the clip. During the clip I didn’t notice any shadows. The camera switches view quite a few times; I tried to count and concluded that the camera gets just about every angle of Jack (the main character). Transitions from people and places were quick but they flowed well with what was happening in the clip. The camera guides the story very well. Jack’s Escape scene is fun, exciting, and thrilling! The camera mostly did close up shots during this clip. The characters were great actors and the film maker definitely knew what he/she was doing.
- Analyze the audio track. “Now turn the volume up, but play it without looking at the screen (or turn off the screen); just listen to the audio.” There was very little dialogue during this clip. This clip was dominated by sounds and music. The little dialogue the clip had contained good pacing and spaces in the audio. The music helped make the action and events taking place flow. Just by listening to the audio, you can tell what was going on in the clip. It was incredible! I didn’t realize that, just by listening alone, you can follow along with the story line and you can imagine what was going on. The music really intensified the scene’s exciting mood.
- Put it all together. “Finally, watch the scene as normal. Pay attention to something you may have missed the first time or how the elements you saw in the first two steps work together. Did you notice anything new by minimizing one of your senses?” The video and audio elements from this scene work very well together. They both compliment one another when you watch the movie with both sound and video. The interesting but great thing is that without each other, you can still understand what is happening in the scene! I never realized how well you could follow along with a movie using only hearing or sight. “The way the scene is shot builds the story element.” The one thing I noticed from watching it a third time was at the end, the typical Pirates of the Caribbean song (or close to it) plays. This theme song of theirs is typically played during action scenes, such as the scene Escape. Also, towards the end of the clip when he is driving the coal carriage, Jack is on the right and the driver who ends up jumping off is on the left. According to Roger Ebert’s article, “in a two-shot, the person on the right will “seem” dominant over the person on the left.” In the case of this film, Ebert’s theory is true because Jack is the dominant character and takes over the driver’s carriage.