Conveying Through Convex: Lensing for Characters

The Graduate Ending Shot Elaine And Benjamin On Bus
By  · Published on November 27th, 2017

Consistency and change in equipment can create meaning.

Filmmakers and critics alike often enjoy discussing the headier subjects of cinema more than the nitty-gritty tech side. There are certainly camera geeks, but if everyone understood a little bit about lenses and their storytelling power, movies would have a deeper impact on thier audience’s psychology.

Subjective and objective character perspective is a dynamic vital to cinematic storytelling, but attaining that is up to many in the filmmaking process. The intense focus of a telephoto lens or the spread of a wide lens blows out the mental preoccupation of the characters in the frame.

Travis Lee Ratcliff’s video essay isn’t just a meditation on technology mimicking humanity, but a tidy explainer on one of the most basic pieces of filmmaking need. Character comes first in almost all of cinema, so understanding how each piece of tech (even something as basic as lenses) relates to them is paramount.

Related Topics: ,

Jacob Oller writes everywhere (Vanity Fair, The Guardian, Playboy, FSR, Paste, etc.) about everything that matters (film, TV, video games, memes, life).