The picture shown is from the film Dead Snow: Red vs Dead. The film is an Action, Comedy, Horror film that was made in 2014 from director Tommy Wirkola. I chose this image because I believe that the director of the film spent time on getting this shot right to convey a particular message to the audience. The synopsis of the plot involves Martin(the main character) killing his girlfriend with an axe, cutting off his infected arm with a chainsaw after being bitten, and watching his friends be devoured by Nazi zombies. I find this film interesting because although the film is about zombies, the plot is very different from most other films in the genre.
The angle used is a low angle, this is to make the character more prominent and more powerful than otherwise shown. This makes the character more noticeable to the audience, and therefore more scary. The shot is also from a child’s perspective so it makes the character look more scary and bigger than he realistically is. An example of this is in the Hobbit where many cinematography tricks were used to make the actor portraying Gandalf look taller than he really was. The Hobbit made $303 million off an estimated $180 million budget. This shows this approach was successful in adding to the realism of a film. Another example is in Tom Cruise films where they use low angles to show him looking much taller than he actually is. This is used because Tom Cruise is a fairly short actor(5″7), and he is usually cast as the hero. As for example in the highly successful mission impossible franchise, he is the hero and typically in film the hero is much taller and more masculine than that of his co stars.
The shot used shows almost all of the soldier, but the soldier in the foreground is clearly not like any ordinary Nazi soldier, and this would be made obvious to the audience, adding mysteriousness to the scene. This is because the audience doesn’t know what to think of the soldier. On the other hand the audience could also feel more tension. The use of a medium shot also shows the audience that there are other soldiers in the background, showing the audience that the soldier isn’t alone. This is to add tension to the scene and also grab the audiences attention, it could also add a sense of fear in the audience because it shows there is more than one threat. With the audience knowing that the threat is not that of a typical Nazi soldier. This technique has been used in TV shows such as the walking dead to show all of the zombies (pictured below), war films also use this technique to show the opposition soldiers, this can be seen in the 2014 film Fury(David Ayer). The Walking Dead is a hugely successful TV franchise that has had multiple series and had spin off games. I believe it is successful because currently audiences in the modern world are entangled in watching multiple films and TV shows that give a different view of the world before and after a zombie outbreak. Even the US government has devised a plan should a zombie outbreak occur.
The shot also gives the audience a view of the background. Much like the character shown in this picture the background is dead and lifeless. Also the camera angle shows the dimness and the cloudy sky which is parallel to the character that is most prominent in the shot. This tells the audience that the film will most definitely revolve around these soldiers, and how they ended up like they are, as well as how, and why they ended up in the middle of no where. It also connotes bleakness and suggests the situation is a dire and dangerous one. This is a common convention of the horror genre because films of this genre aren’t supposed to be happy places where the audience would want to be by choice.
In conclusion the director successfully uses camera composition to make the audience frightened and scared, as well as using the shot to add tension. This could be attributed to the fact that the director is well established and is experienced in creating various effects to convey to the audience. Personally I think the use of low angles to tell the audience something is a lot better than having a character tell the audience by speech, for example. This is because the use of a low angle makes the focus character more prominent and noticeable, also the low angle adds definition to the character the camera focuses an allowing the audience to see little details of the character, which would otherwise not be seen. This would in hand make the audience more tense.
http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0000129/ -accessed 13/10/15
https://www.themoviedb.org/collection/87359-mission-impossible-collection -accessed 13/10/15
http://www.the-numbers.com/movies/franchise/Mission-Impossible -accessed 13/10/15
http://oodegr.co/english/koinwnia/koinwnika/zombie_genre_modern_west.htm -accessed 13/10/15
http://edition.cnn.com/2014/05/16/politics/pentagon-zombie-apocalypse/ -accessed 13/10/15
2012- Hobbit (Peter Jackson)
1996-Mission Impossible (Brian De Palma)
2000-Mission Impossible 2 (John Woo)
2006-Mission Impossible 3 (J.J Abrams)
2011-Mission Impossible 4 (Brad Bird)
2015-Mission Impossible 5 (Christopher McQuarrie)
2014-Fury (David Ayer)