The Subjective Shot in Movies

The one really intriguing thing about Galloway’s essay to me was about the subjective shot in movies. I never really thought about the different points of views that can be seen in movies because to me it just seemed normal for the movie. The two points of view that stood out to me the most from the essay were the mental affect and the criminals and monsters. The mental affect view shows “the optical perspective of a drugged, drowsy, drunk or otherwise intoxicated character” (46). This point of view is really cool to me because it shows a person’s mental state in a way that you may not normally see. I tried to think of a recent movie where this technique could have been used but I could not come up with one. The other point of view mentioned is the view from criminals and monsters, otherwise known as predatory view. This view is obviously the scariest because it gives you the view from the monster or criminal and usually it’s the monster or criminal hunting its prey. To me this is the most suspenseful view because as you see the monster or criminals view you are wondering what their next move is. Another thing that I noticed about this article is that most of the movies he referenced are old movies. I only heard of a few of them but what I’m wondering is if the first person point of view is a technique of the past or can it be seen in movies today?

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2 Responses to The Subjective Shot in Movies

  1. Hayley Roder says:

    The Blair Witch Project is one of the more recent examples I can think of that was done in first-person–it was released in 1999. I can’t think of many off the top of my head, which probably says something about the lack of this technique.

    I thought it was interesting you thought the predatory view was the scariest–I can see how that might be true in some cases, but I usually find the use of off-screen space (where you can’t see the monster/predator) scarier, just because you don’t know where they are or what they’re going to do next. But we saw yesterday in class that the POV of a predator can be scary, too, when he was so close to the woman.

    I also agree with what you said about not really considering the different shots in film–I’ve grown accustomed to the fact that most movies are shot in the third person, and now I’m interested to find others that aren’t.

  2. I definitely agree that the predatory view is one of the scariest. When I first saw Silence of the Lambs, the scene I remembered most was the night-vision scene we watched in class. Seeing the room from the criminal’s angle gives the viewer a sense of control or power. Thinking about it, I don’t remember seeing many movies that incorporate the subjective view. The Blair Witch Project is a great example. The point of view that movie was shot in is what it is most known for. If a movie does use the subjective view, it is usually only for one scene. I think people would get bored if many movies were shot in the subjective view. Using it for only a scene gives people something to remember when the movie is over.

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