Cinematography Analysis - The Theory of Everything

Cinematography Analysis – The Theory of Everything

the theory of everything is a beautiful film both in its story and in its visuals but the film's visuals are much more than just pretty images the cinematography is intentional and meticulous one of the best examples of this is when the doctor tells Stephen about his disease we've all seen this type of scene before one character is delivering important news to another and a lot of times it looks something like this I see it go to do or this any okay these scenes work to move the plot forward but you don't feel it the news doesn't hit you as hard as it should this is in part because of the lack of effort put forth in the cinematography these scenes just bounce back and forth from the same two or three bland shots without adding anything visually the audience sees the characters and that's it the cinematography is not being used to push the emotion of the scene but what happens when you use cinematography to help achieve the right emotion that's exactly what the theory of everything does in this scene the first shot is an establishing shot notice how the doctor and Steven sit side by side not across from each other this is the show that the doctor is not an opposing force he is here to help Steven the first shot slowly pushes in as the doctor explained Stevens disorder to him the walls are slightly distorted because of the length of the lens the slow dolly in the distortion on the walls and the washed out green look give a sickness to the shot also take note of the people moving in the background they seem unintentional but they become important later we cut to an extreme close-up of Steven fear and confusion sit in his eyes as the doctor explains the disease we are very close to Steven with his left eye sitting at the center of the frame his reaction to the news is important to help the audience understand the severity of this disease again notice the people in the background now we cut to a wide-angle close-up with the doctor the wide-angle stretches his face making him look distant and giving him an odd stressed look this further pushes the audience's sympathized with Steven and see the doctor as someone who is opposing him notice the doctors position the doctors face doesn't even take up half of the screen this large amount of supposedly pointless space on the left is off-putting on top of that he is facing the left this is important our minds naturally perceive left to right as positive while perceiving right to left as negative if you'd like to know more about this idea of left and right being positive or negative I recommend watching now you see it's video on the subject linked down below this is also a POV shot from Stevens perspective yes the doctor is trying to help and explain to Steven what is going on but the horror of the news distort Stevens view now we come back to Steven it's easier to notice how normal he in contrast to the doctor his face isn't stretched or oddly shaped but he looks trapped by the top and bottom of the screen cutting off his forehead and chin when we cut back to the doctor again note the people in the background the doctor continues to speak and the Steven tries to gain some good news what about the brain the brain isn't affected the doctor tells him the brain is unaffected but the shots don't change this is good news but it's not enough to change how Steven feels about the situation then the doctor leaves abruptly as if it took no time at all for him to stand and walk a considerable distance away from Steven after saying I'm sorry this is because the doctor is distant he is distant from his patients because he has to deliver news like this on a regular basis he does care for Stevens well-being but he is not a friend he has other things to tend to so he leaves and as he leaves the cameras focus does not follow him we were in Stevens point of view Steven isn't watching the doctor walk away he is trying to cope with the news he just heard and as we cut back to Steven he sits alone in the chair the camera pulls away notice the background no one is walking through now previously there were people constantly walking around but now Steven is fully alone alone with the news that his body is crumbling and that he has two years to live this scene lasts only one minute and 35 seconds but the intentional cinematography helped nail the feeling of despair and helplessness aimed for by the director so many movies today take important scenes like this and put little to no thought into how to visually compliment the emotions of the scene the camera is a filmmakers greatest tool when used correctly thanks for watching you

16 thoughts on “Cinematography Analysis – The Theory of Everything”

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  2. Fantastic video. I'm going through now and watching all the rest you have up. Really great editing and content, and you choose to cover films that I don't see people talk about as much.

  3. Great video! The Theory of Everything is very underrated/underappreciated when it's a really great film.

  4. Aawww! very nice explanations n simply explained, So I Got to show how to show a perfect Loneliness in a Scene..

  5. Another very interesting video Tyler! You should get on twitter and try to promote this stuff dude. It's incredible!

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