*Stranded at a desolate Nevada motel during a nasty rainstorm, ten strangers become acquainted with each other when they realize that they’re being killed off one by one.* – IMDB
I’ve chosen to watch this film as it was one of the films mentioned in our seminar about mental health, and as one of my ideas is based on a true story of mental health I thought this would be a good film to watch and see how it is shot, looking at angles, focal lengths/pulls and the general shots and feel to the film.
At the beginning there are no establishing shots and a focus pull is used within the first 4 minutes to shift our focus from the telephone ringing to who then picks it up. All of the focal lengths and shots are quite close up and I think this makes it more intense as you are drawn to the personalities and recognise them as actual characters, so when things do start happening to them there is more of an element of shock, almost as if you knew that person. There are lots more elements used within this film to make it that more realistic for the audience , for example, there are a lot of pan and tracking shots when in the hotel rooms, making it feel as if you are there trapped and all you can do is look around to what is there, it captures the audiences attention and doesn’t let go. The angles of the shots also make you feel apart of the story as there are no birds eye view shots and definitely no over the head shots when the characters are stood up, most of the shots are level with the characters to create the feel that you are equal to them and put in in the same position. The other shots are from below looking up at an angle towards the characters, and as we don’t yet know who the murder is it makes us too, feel like we are victims of all this violence. The only long shots there is, is for place establishment for example when the cars are on the road you can see that they are in the middle of nowhere, and again with the motel establishing shot showing that it is isolated, and therefore making the audience feel even more trapped. The lighting is very intense with shadows on the face and at points with only light in the background or foreground forcing everything else to be cast in shadow or darkness, creating a real creepy and eerie atmosphere.
When planning shooting my film I will have to think very precisely about lighting as I will wan to it to be quite dark as it is a dark and deep story, I will also have to think about the close ups and focus pulls of objects and faces for more intensity, but not only this as I will have to consider the angles I want to use and why, to keep continuity through out the film, or could my film possibly be disjointed like the mind of someone who is mentally unwell? This film has given me a lot to think about in terms of planning and shooting my own film which is good as my ideas may/will change more than once to find a style that fits.