Have you ever watched a movie and noticed weird things, like odd camera angles or sharp zooms or choppy cuts? How about noises that seem unrealistically loud? Maybe it’s a match being lit, but it’s loud enough to wake the dead. Maybe you hear a heartbeat, but there’s nobody in the scene with whom to associate it.
All movies use camera techniques and sound effects to influence the audience. These methods enhance a feeling of fear or suspense.
I know that color filters, angles, and sounds are the mediums that filmmakers use; however, I think they’re most effective when you don’t notice them. I want to know that what I’m feeling is real—not pumped up by a sound effect. I want the story to earn my fear, or worry, or romantic stirrings.
When I watch a movie and notice a stray heartbeat sound, I get distracted. Whose heart is racing like that? Is it the killer’s? Is it the hero’s? Are they on medication? Distracting.
The use of sharp cuts and angles is even more distracting to me. I’ve read that this technique is employed to hold the interest of the target demographic audience—17 to 24 year-old males. Hmmm. I’m a 44 year-old female. You know what holds my interest? A good story with good actors.
I watch a fair amount of movies, and I like most of them. I even like some of the films with the distracting effects. I just wish the director had toned them down a notch. When I say to myself, “These camera shots are making me nauseous,” my attention has left the world on the screen.
I’d rather be transported into the story—fully—for the entire length of the movie.
That’s a wrap for this Toast to Cinema. Thanks for reading.