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The Most Important Angle

Music is a very visceral medium. It plucks at your emotions, memories and perceptions. This is why music is so important to the connections made through film. There are some that argue the soundtrack is just as important, if not more, than the moving images it accompanies. But look at it from another angle, where music is supported by imagery, and a very different opinion can be generated.

 

I recently had the pleasure of attending a concert, in which the stage set up featured a massive light board as the backdrop. On that board, images that supported the lyrics would be shown.

 

Part way through the concert the performer brought up a very recent, very devastating event. The next song performed was in support of the community affected by the event.

 

Rather than focussing the cameras on the performers, and project their images on the backdrop, the cameras were turned back on the crowd. What we saw was profound. Instead of listening and watching the performer provide support for the community. We saw ourselves, we heard ourselves, through all of our diversity. By simply turning the cameras on to the crowd, and showing us as the backdrop, we all became part of that community. We felt the pain that community was going through. In fact the distinction between that community and other communities was dissolved and we all became one massive community, the human community.

 

Angles in production are so important in driving emotion. But like every shot it needs to suit the context, and the timing has to be right. By shifting the camera angle 180 degrees, during a very relevant moment, a very poignant, very important emotion was evoked. Empathy. Had the cameras stayed fixed on the performer, I am almost certain that the same response would not have been realized.

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