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Monday, July 1, 2013

Blocking and transitions

SEXY BEAST

Click on the above to watch a quick scene from the film SEXY BEAST. I want to draw attention to two things: blocking and transitions, but mainly blocking.

Notice the 1st and last shot of this clip - both very awkward, tension filled blocking. The 1st shot we see Kingsley at the airport, waiting. But he's not waiting like most normal people do. He's standing very awkwardly, very impatiently, while others sit and walk by. He looks as if he's going to explode. His arms oddly at his side, like they're dangling. He looks down, then away at people. The camera slowly moves in, as very intense music builds. Excellent.

Yes, there are other elements that make this scene work so well, such as body language, intense score and the slow camera move in. But I want you to realize how important the blocking is and how easy blocking this well can be accomplished.  It's simply thinking outside the box. This character is tense, you want to keep him tense, so don't have him sit with and act like the other passengers.

Next is the terrific transition - as the score builds, we cut to a close up of the engine and it's noise builds, then cut to inside the plane, all quiet and nice. Great transition. Simple. Effective.

And the last shot? Very much like the 1st shot. Again, here is is standing. Waiting. Seemingly in discomfort. Awkward. Out there on his own island. Great.