Film Language: Composition
Attack On Titan (Shingeki no Kyojin)
Attack on titan is a show about a civilization terrorised by human eating titans (large humanoid creatures). The walls that protect them are broken and the once safe areas are now plagued with the titans. However, in later seasons, an internal struggle for power begins and the group (scouts) that were on the frontlines of fighting the titans are shunned due to their multiple failures. Below we see a battle between the two sides, Scouts and the Military police.
I specifically chose attack on titan for composition/camera movement because I have always admired how they captured fight scenes such as the one above.
I want to highlight the fact that the camera always has the main character in the centre of the screen, no matter what, during the fight. Yet the amount of movement of the camera around the character is able to create a frantic effect while still showing us his facial expressions. This is great since the audience feels like they are travelling with the character, creating an exciting atmosphere. Although a short one, this scene is a continuous shot, further creating movement in the scene.
Also, we are able to discern the emotions of the character without disrupting the scene due to the zoom ins on his face. These parts show how stressed out the character is being chased by the enemies. According to Zach Bussey, a writer for Epidemic Sound: "Close-up shots are an incredible tool to help build a story by supercharging the small details in someone’s face or of an event. These shots change the fabric of the scene, by altering our perception of their importance." I believe the reason we had a close up in the middle of the fight was due to the fact that the main character is often seen to have a calm demeanour, so seeing him stressed makes the audience much more aware of the severity of the situation.
The camera comes to a sudden stop when our main character enters the bar to hide. Which is then followed by zoomed in shots of the different people in the bar, showing their shocked reactions to the main character. This helps create the tense atmosphere to suddenly seeing a person who is currently wanted and shunned by the whole nation in front of you.
After that, the main character hides behind the bar before his attacker barges into the bar. The next show is a low angle shot. I believe this shot was used to convey how powerful the attacker feels at that moment since he has finally cornered the main character. Which is supported by studiobinder: "Low angle shots are often used to convey power, and depending on your subject, that power can be a good thing or a bad thing."
In conclusion, this scene is a great example of how a mixture of shots can enhance any scene, especially a fight scene.
Bussey, Zach. “Why Close-up Shots in Films Are Important.” This Is the Epidemic Sound Blog! | Epidemic Sound, 30 May 2019, www.epidemicsound.com/blog/why-close-up-shots-in-films-are-important/.
Studiobinder. “The Best Low Angle Shots in Film.” StudioBinder, 16 Jan. 2020, www.studiobinder.com/blog/low-angle-shot-camera-movement-angle/#low-angle-shot-effect.
Academy, New York Film. “The Art of the Long Take.” Student Resources, 19 Jan. 2018, www.nyfa.edu/student-resources/art-long-take/.