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Analysis Project #1: Shot by shot breakdown of a scene

Filed under: Uncategorized — glennis at 9:02 pm on Saturday, October 8, 2011

Movie:”M”
Time frame os shot:1:03-1:05

1)
The scene begins as it fades away from the shot where the underground committee received a phone call that the homeless marked the murderer and were in pursuit. Everything is silent as the scene dissolves in a long shot of the child murderer walking down the street with a little girl. The camera angle is placed so it was from the angle as if we were watching them across the street. Two hobos casually followed behind them and looked very much out of place from their usual stand and beg routine. It continues as it shortly dissolves right after the characters leave the frame beginning with the murderer and the child again. Just like the last shot, the men are following behind them and they pass by a pole from behind that contained many ads and warnings about the child murderer.
The camera angle shifts as it dissolves into the 3rd shot, we are now watching from inside a store where a hobo is waiting outside by the door and watches as the man and the girl crosses the street. From inside the store the lighting is dark then the streets are illuminated by the outside light. As they cross the hobo on the door switch places with one of tracking hobos and he now is following behind the pair. Dissolving as the characters leave the frame we return to the across street spectator angle though the shot is much closer now, putting more detail to the shot. As the girl and man walk pass a store a hobo stands behind and knocks on the window of the passed by store, exchanging posts with the in store man, and he does the hunting for him.
The 5th shot sharply cuts in as the focus goes to the man and girl. A medium shot where we are looking outside of a toy store display, the duo stand from the outside looking inside the store. Though no audio is heard we assume the man asked the girl which toy she would like as she points to the left and the smile on before leaving the frame, not before the hobo passes by them and leaves the frame first. It goes to cut of an establishing shot where we see the duo as they’re about to enter the door before the little girl tugs on his jacket and breaks the silence of the scene by asking what was on his shoulder. The mirror by the entrance reveals to the viewer the M chalk mark on his back and soon he too can see it, turning his back completely to the mirror and observes closely. It cuts to an eye level angle with a close up on the murder’s shoulder through the mirror. He spots the marking and his eyes go wide.
Back to the establishing shot the girl offers to wipe the marking for him where he watches her wipe the M away then spot movement in the mirror. The 10th shot is a medium shot where we see a hobo peeking out from behind a truck and pulls his head back in when he realizes he’s been spotted. It cuts back to the man and the girl, realizing he’s in danger he pulls on the girls hand to run. The whistling of the hobos frightens him and he lets go of her arm to make an escape.

2)
In this scene the director uses silence like he does for much of the entire film. Another repeated editing technique we see is the use of dissolving into the next shot when we are trying to string the movements of a character walking out the frame. Most of the shots are still and do not move with the character and are long shots. The camera watches the characters from a side angle, as if they were scrolling down the background.

3)
In this scene, they used dissolving transition techniques shot after shot while the man and girl were walking to perhaps suggest movement within the frames. That and for at least 4 shots they used the same camera angles and transitions as the characters came in and out also suggests that this theory is true. I thought the scene made the right choice in keeping its silence. The man and girl looked like a normal father daughter bonding, but the silence made it seem sinister. We the viewers know of the danger the girl is in and the lack of sound made everything more suspenseful.

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