See the moving picture


Managing Space from the Spectator’s Point of View

Desperate Poaching Affray

William Haggar, Haggar and Sons, Great Britain, 1903

Shot 2, consisting of the three “images” in (2-1), (2-2), and (2-3), uses a single camera setup to record the flight of two poachers from the upper-right corner of the frame to the lower-left corner. The transition from Shot 2 (2-3) to Shot 3, which consists of the three “images” in (3-1), (3-2), and (3-3), is effected by a direct cut. Note that Shot 3 (3-1) opens with the poachers, still on the run, entering the frame from the lower-left corner (3-1) and moving on a diagonal toward the upper right, only to be thwarted by the arrival of pursuers, with whom they engage in a fight ([3-2],[3-3]). The cut between shots renders Shot 3 (3-1) a reverse-angle shot—one taken from 90° to 180° from the opposite side of the subject (the fleeing poachers). The effect (though a little rough in this early instance) is twofold: (1) it integrates the extension of the space covered by the action according to the spectator’s point of view, and (2) it brings the action back into a more manageable distance from the camera.

Back to CHAPTER 5/Part 2