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21 March 2011 @ 08:12 pm
Overused Cliché  
Something I dislike: Movies and TV show you someone running, walking, or generally looking around. Suddenly, they see something. Camera changes to shot of what they see, say, man in distance. Camera cuts back to original subject, reacting to view. Camera cuts back to viewed target, to show it is no longer there. Camera cuts back to original subject, reacting to loss of target.

So, what, are we supposed to believe that the viewed simply vanished? Turned to smoke? Exploded into multi-colored glitter? This is a trope that is WAY over-used, and it drives me ape. It has plenty of variations, but they all boil down to the camera showing you a character's reactions without allowing you to see what they see. Sure, this can be used for dramatic build-up; for example, man sees monster coming at him (but camera does not show monster), next shot is him trying to explain what he saw to companions, allowing the watcher to relate to the companions. But when we are allowed to see the target of the view, then the target is removed, we have nothing to relate to: we cannot relate to the character, as he sees what we don't...but we've seen what he sees, so we're only fed half the info, without the use of build-up.

It's cheesy as Hell, and needs to be stopped, much like the "scary noise, person gets paranoid, opens door/cabinet/box, cat jumps out" trope. It's completely overdone.

We now return you to your regularly scheduled pablum.
 
 
 
Stax: popcornstaxxy on March 22nd, 2011 12:17 am (UTC)
my biggest peeve is the 'camera held just below table height to give feeling of "eavesdropping" or to make it feel more Like It's Real". :|

The Sniper in Dragphasmaphobic on March 22nd, 2011 12:29 am (UTC)
Question: were you a director of TV/Film, and you wanted to quickly and without too much emphasis illustrate the universally-understood concept of "Gone in the Blink of an Eye," how would you do it differently?
God of Thunder and Rock'n'Roll: Argument Clinicarchmage on March 22nd, 2011 12:38 am (UTC)
I understand the idea, I'm saying it's overdone and unrealistic.

If the viewed exists, it doesn't simply cease to be. It has to move or be removed in some way. If, on the other hand, the viewed isn't truly there (hallucination, supernatural, etc.), then its disappearance comes by extra-normal means. The overused trope is helping to obscure that, but it's selling out, phoning it in.

Something disappears "in the blink of an eye" (also an overused trope)? Then have it vanish, in the frame just as in the character's view. I'll be much more interested in the scene, as a viewer, having it disappear from view while I am watching, because then I relate to the viewing character better; I, too, saw it and then it was gone. I don't know why, which increases my tension along with the character's, and invests me in the story.
Morinon: Serious Sciencemorinon on March 22nd, 2011 12:55 am (UTC)
Yeah, that's something I was about to suggest myself.