Nick Chandler n8580138

Moving images – Week 3

Image Sequence 1

The Great Gatsby 

Year of production: 2013

Director Baz Luhrmann

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Being a Baz Lerhuman production the Great Gatsby has been shot with high contrasting colours. The party scene particularly showcases this, with a harmony of highly saturated colours, highlighting the atmosphere of the scene. The viewer is drawn to Gatsby, as he is the only monochromatic object/person amongst the other characters in the scene. Although the viewer is not yet sure of who the character is, it’s suggested through the contrasting colour of black against the background.


The party scene is wonderfully lit with artificial lights, this is to showcase the setting and again highlight the atmosphere of the scene to the viewer.

Key lights are used to focus on highlighting the expression of characters in the scene.  

Spatial Composition: 

There’s a shallow focus in this scene highlighting the characters status and relationship to the audience. The camera angles are used cleverly to show each characters status in the scene. Low angles are used to illustrate ‘Nick Carraways’ status in the scene as you as the viewer are constantly looking down at him giving that inferior feeling, where as Jay Gatbys shots are set a low angle suggesting his higher status in the scene. The scene is set at a 1:3 ratio to purposely cut Gatsbys face out of the scene. This ratio is used to highlight various features, such as his ring, his suit etc, indicating to the viewer that is is him without actually showing his face. It’s not until the last frame that you’re actually shown it is him, using a close distance shot to indicate a relationship between him and Nick Carraway. 


 The screen ratio as mentioned before is 1:3 used to illustrate the close up of the characters on screen. By using a smaller screen frame the director was able to affectively illustrate the characters perspective to the audience more clearly. This scene was shot mostly in an open frame to draw the viewers attention to the space outside the frame (which was to draw attention to Jay Gatsby). The frame then jumps from a 1:3 ratio to a 1.8:1 to illustrate the setting, taking away the focus from Nick Carraway and focusing on the other figure (Gatsby) in the scene, who’s facing away from the camera. The shot then jumps back to the 1:3 ratio, closing the shot to focus on Gatsby, using a shallow focus to illustrate the close up of his face.


Through a highly exaggerated use of saturated colours, panning shots, and expressive content throughout the movie, Baz Luhrman has managed to create a slightly over the top portrayal of the roaring 1920’s era.



Image sequence 2

Schindler’s list List 

Year of Creation: 1993

Director: Steven Spielberg 

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Colour Analysis

Schindlers List is shot purely in Black and White, this alludes to the era in which is was set. The monochromatic colour theme is used with various values (lightness and darkness) to illustrate the intention of the subject. For example the close up shot of the poison, the bottle is black signifying its intention to the viewer.


As Schindlers list is shot in Black and White it relies heavily on lighting to highlight the expressive content in each frame. During this scene, key lights have been used to illustrate close up shots of subject matter and people. For example the use of what appears to be daylight strewn across the bodies laying lifeless in their beds as they take their last breath, highlighting the feel of the image.         


Spatial Composition:

In this scene you’re constantly jumping between two frames: The Hospital room and the Soldiers entering the hospital. In the first frame you see the soldiers entering into the hospital, using a medium shot distance to illustrate the setting with an open frame. You’re then juxtaposed to a close up shot of a medicine tray with a syringe; this was used to illustrate the skull on the bottle alluding to the audience that the bottle is filled with poison. Once the soliders reach the hospital room, the focus changes to a medium distance with an eye level camera angle to resonate with the viewer.



Two different screen ratio’s have been used in this scene. For the hospital room, the director has used a screen ratio of 1:3 to illustrate the subject matter of the poison and the people themselves as mentioned before. 1:3 is very effective in illustrating the characters mood to the audience. The other screen ratio used was the 1.8:1 as it was used to illustrate the setting of the scene and to create an open frame. There is a contrast between the shallow focus being used in the 1:3 ratio with the deep focus used to illustrate the soldiers in the foreground in the 1.8:1 ratio.

There’s an effective use of camera angles used to illustrate the characters status in the scene. High angles are used to focus on the hospital patients highlighting their fragile state, where as low angles are used to film the soldiers emphasising their higher status.


Through the use of the monochromatic colour scheme, lighting and acute camera angles Steven Speilberg has managed to create what appears to be quite a dulcet scene, imprisoning the viewer with a feel of what the nazi Germany war might have been like from the Jews perspective.