Let’s try from another angle…

The angle of vision or shot type is used in a variety of ways throughout every type of media. The angle in which the shot is taken directly influences the audience’s perception of what is happening and what they should be feeling. Certain shots add drama and intensity to a scene, creating a specific mood for the audience to experience.

A perfume ad focusing on the model's expression and not the actual perfume.

Newspapers and magazines are known for putting certain pictures with their articles to display a specific point of view. For example, many tabloids use candid shots of celebrities portraying them, usually, in their worst moment. This directly influences the reader and their opinion of the celebrity to match the tabloid’s projection of them. Advertisers use a variety of shots with different angles to focus the audience on the main emotion or feeling being portrayed in the ad. Most perfume ads use models posing with a relaxed happy expression and the product in the corner to direct the focus on how the model seems to be feeling at the moment. The focus on the facial expressions persuades the reader to make a direct connection with the mood and the product thus influencing them to feel what the ad is subliminally telling them to feel.

 In Bernard Dick’s book Film, Space, and Image, he thoroughly describes the multiple camera shots and angles that are used in film in chapter 3. A close shot, a head-and-shoulders shot, is most commonly used in advertisements. He describes the extreme close up shot to be very rare because it adds extreme drama to the scene. This drama intensifies the scene and wraps the audience in the scene’s drama. Hitchcock is known for using the extreme close up shot in his movies to draw attention to certain key factors in the movie or to intensify the fear for the audience to experience. In this YouTube video  of the famous shower scene from Hitchcock’s Psycho, you can see the multiple extreme close up shots used during the scene to heighten the audience’s fear and sense of mystery by zooming in on Marion Crane’s screaming mouth and other facial features.

The types of angles and shots utilized in the media vary from what the general focus is and what they want the audience to feel/think. The audience’s attention is directed at certain aspects of the particular media thus making sure the information is permanently retained. The subjective shots used will not always work with every audience because some groups, such as political parties, have strong opinions on certain subjects already. It would be very difficult for audience members to immunize themselves to such subjective shots and angles because the manipulative techniques are done subliminally. However, the reader/viewer might not always have the intended reaction from the media they are viewing. The subtle hints used to shape their reactions depends on how easily influenced they are.

This entry was posted in Blog #2. Manipulative media techniques and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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