The camera as a Point of View

Here are three clips that use the camera and sound to accentuate very different senses of place.

  1. The first is the opening credit sequence from The Conversation by Francis Ford Coppola. The very removed point of view and gradual zoom strengthen the feeling of being watched (the film’s central character is a surveillance expert). Notice the way that music is used here, it provides an additional feeling of space by including music and reverb from the park
  2. The second clip from Swimming to Cambodia, a monologue by Spalding Gray. The tight shot allows us to focus on his facial expressions and hands. The cut to an even tighter close up heightens tension. Notice how sound and lighting (and also a return to silence) are used here for dramatic effect.
  3. Leviathan (2012) is an unconventional documentary by Lucien Castaing-Taylor and Verena Paravel that takes place aboard an 80 foot fishing vessel in the North Atlantic. The entire film was shot with go pro cameras and emphasizes an almost overwhelming sensory point of view. Again notice how sound works with the images in this clip.


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