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What are the camera angle techniques used in the film of To Kill a Mockingbird?...

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ruby-diamond | Student, Grade 10 | (Level 2) eNoter

Posted March 15, 2011 at 9:16 AM via web

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What are the camera angle techniques used in the film of To Kill a Mockingbird? Elaborate and describe them in detail.

Discuss how camera angles (high, low, wide, short etc.) highlight the themes in the novel.

Themes: prejudice, tolerance, innocence, etc.


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bullgatortail | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Distinguished Educator

Posted May 26, 2011 at 5:54 AM (Answer #1)

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At the beginning of the movie, the first images are of a close-up shot of the various gifts received by Jem and Scout from Boo Radley. The camera slowly pans to show them all as the opening credits and score play in the background. 

After the credits, a shot is seen of trees, with the camera panning downward to show the street on which the Finches live. Shots from above ususally serve to show a God-like presence--of a powerful being looking down upon a smaller thing. This camera technique is also used in the courtroom scenes showing Atticus and again at the end showing Scout walking Boo home.

There are several shots that feature an almost a 360 degree camera sweep to show the neighborhood. 

Close-ups are important throughout, with many shots of a usually silent Gregory Peck (Atticus). The close-ups are intended to instill a dramatic touch and to build on the stoicism of the character. Peck is also seen several times from a low-angle view, used to accentuate the power and size of the individual.

The scene with the mad dog begins with a long-shot, focusing on the dog at a distance as it slowly moves up the street toward the Finch house.

There are quite a few scenes shot at night, utilizing the use of shadows; and, as in the case of when the children are attacked by Bob Ewell, a sense of danger.

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