…analyze the clip by watching it three times in different ways…Write up a blog post that includes the embedded clip, and the notes you made in the three views of the scene…
(My clip came from this list on youtube: #33 http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLAE4410DF71EC2BC2)
I LOVE Dexter.
Michael C. Hall couldn’t be more creepy, or adorable…in a creepy kinda weird way, as Dexter a serial killer with only the best motives. (errr?.)
The analyzing begins.
1. Analyze the camera work. Before watching the first time, slide the volume on the clip (or on your computer) all the way down. Take notes on the visual aspects of the clip. Look for camera angles, cuts, how many times the camera switches view, the quality of light. Look for the ways the camera tells, guides the story.
Okay, so I counted 57 camera cuts and angles. Some of the bits are a few seconds long, while others just seem to flash, maybe half a second or so. The emphasis the camera puts on some aspects of the scene happen thru depth, focus, and simply the amount of time spent on a subject. The colors are dark and saturated. Even colors like the yellow in the egg, it is deepened, gritty even. Just looking at the scene, I don’t think of anything really bad or creepy, I just think UGH. Tough morning. Something that turns THAT on it’s head a bit for me is watching Dexter walk away from his apartment. The colors are MUCH brighter, lighter, and cleaner.
2. Analyze the audio track. Now turn the volume up, but play it without looking at the screen; just tune into the audio. Take notes on the pacing of the dialogue, the spaces in the the audio, the use of music or sound effects (think back to our work earlier on listening to audio).
Listening to the audio without the visual is a completely different experience! The music almost, dare I say it, has pop overtones to it. There is a dark sound that creeps in here and there, but nothing that is really alarming in any real way. The sounds of cutting, frying, tying, and pressing are regular morning sounds, not alarming or unnerving when you just listen to it.
3. Put it all together. Finally, watch the scene as normal. Pay attention to something you may have missed the first time or how the elements you saw in the first two steps work together.
First let me admit that most of the time when I watch a show it is on the DVR, so we skip through the opening sequence. Not with Dexter. It is strange in a way, I am almost unable to take my eyes off the whole thing. At first I didn’t think much of it and then one day I noticed the part where Dexter is pulling his white shirt over his head. It hit me all of a sudden…HE IS A CREEPY SERIAL KILLER!!
Then the next few times and up until today– I watch that scene carefully. Each of the techniques, implements, and bits in the scene are reminiscent of what he “does”. BUT! These aren’t instantly apparent, but are revealed subtly through camera, color, sound, and the music. The images without the music, and the music without the images aren’t nearly as effective as the two together.
THE WHOLE IS GREATER THAN THE SUM OF ITS PARTS.