Better Call Saul – Textual analysis.

In the scene Class and status is presented as something to be desired, both by Gene’s power being challenged and by the representation of those with or without power themselves.  In the scene power, and how people feel about it, is represented in various ways. First off Gene is represented as contempt with his level of power, his expression does not portray him as particularly happy but the digetic sound of the soundtrack playing over the scene juxtaposes this and suggests how he might actually feel. This is supported by the fast forward shots that we see as the song is playing, with them representing how time just flies by for him because of the power he feels he has. This power he has is later challenged by the police officer, with the close up shot of his badge adding to his level of power, the fact that the police officer is filmed at an upshot to Gene is important as well as it portrays him as having more power. This presents Gene’s power as being challenged, which is followed up on by his loud and angry reaction to the man in the coat being arrested. which is further supported by him fainting and the contrast in soundtrack between this scene and the previous one. Before he felt calm and secure which is suggested by the music but in the scene with him sat on the bench he does not, which is shown by the lack of music.

Power as a whole is presented in various ways through out the scene, especially in the scene with Gene on the bench. There is no music or soundtrack in this scene of any kind, which forces us to listen only to the characters voices, and those with speaking lines are presented as more powerful, as the police officer gets many, where as the man in the coat only gets one. This further supports the idea of Gene’s power being challenged as he gets no lines until his loud outburst towards the end of the scene. When the music non digetic soundtrack starts playing towards the end of the scene it represents how Gene feels due to his lack of power as this music is far more sombre than the original music. The choice to use black and white in the scene is of note as well, as it presents different character is different ways, the fact that the Police officer is wearing very dark clothing and stands out amongst the lighter tones of the background presents him as Important which contrasts to Gene, whose shade of shirt is almost the exact same as the background, suggesting that he does not stand out at all. which is further supported by his lack of speaking lines. In direct contrast the voices of the police are boosted in volume, presenting them as far more important than Gene. Which Gene Reacts to negatively presenting power as important and his frustration due to his own being challenged.



Fingersmith: Textual Analysis

In the first scene where Maude and her handmaiden are in front of the mirror, Maude’s sexuality is represented through Maude’s inner monologue. The fact that this is an inner monologue, instead of her expressing herself verbally shows that she wants to keep these feelings as a secret, because she knows that her feelings will be oppressed. This is further emphasised by her wearing a pair of gloves almost all the time, the gloves symbolise concealment and keeping things a secret as she does. The fact that both of them re wearing very white or pale clothing all the time, represents purity and how they are perhaps in the right with their sexuality. This is further emphasised by the editing; longer shots that creates a gentle feel to the scene, presenting their homosexual orientation as such. This is supported by the soundtrack, at this point in the scene the music is in a major key and is indicative of their relationship, the long and soft notes played by the Oboe only add to this statement as they are representative of a calm and relaxing setting which is how their relationship is presented as well.

The scene fades to another scene and we see Maude painting while her handmaiden is sleeping on a broken boat, which is representative of how their partnership could end; badly. At this point we are introduced to a male character and it is implied that he is heterosexual, When he is first on screen the music modulates to a minor key  as her feelings are threatened by him. In fact presenting him as the villain at all further implies that Maude and her servant are instead in the right, which differs from the implied norm. The camerawork in this sequence is of note as it is representative of how Maude is viewed: The camera is always looking up at a low angle at the man and always at a high angle when looking at Maude. The dialogue in this scene is further related to her implied oppression, him threatening her with her feelings being revealed implies that these feelings are wrong within this society. this danger she is presented with is focused on heavily. the red paint that drips on her connotes danger. The pace of the editing quickens and the music becomes more uncomfortable to further add to this feeling of dread. forced upon her by the hands of a straight person, which presents her feelings as right by contrat of his being wrong.

The next scene starts with a slow motion shot of Maude’s servant’s back. The slow motion provides a gentle transition, which contrasts with the harshness of the previous scene. Maude is visually shaken by the events in the previous scene but seems to relax a little when her servant is changing. This shows that these homosexual feelings she has are good at calming her down and make her feel better, which contrasts with almost everyone else’s view on them. The music reflects this as it is very slow and calming as well. This presents the homosexual sexuality as such also.

Textual Analysis – Camera Work

Camera Shots
1) Wide shot – A shot from the waist to the top of the head. This shot typically contains quite a bit of background and is also known as a mid or medium shot.


2) Long shot – A long shot is of a characters entire body and therefore contains a lot more background than a wide shot.


2A) Extreme long shot – an extreme long shot is a long shot taken from further back and therefore contains almost all background. The difference between a long and extreme long shot is very subjective and depends on who is directing.


3) Close up – A close up is a zoomed in shot of a couple of items, or one large item for example a head or a few items on a desk.


3A) Extreme close up – A close up shot that serves to display one specific item instead of multiple for example an eye or a hand writing.


Framing and Composition.
1) Rule of thirds – rule of thirds is a film making composition technique where a screen is split up into an imaginary three by three grid. Typically objects or characters are lined up against this grid with eye lines being on or close to points of intersection.

2) Point of view shot – A point of view shot is a shot where the camera is positioned in a way where it is as if we are seeing through the point of view of a character.WP_20161002_11_02_18_Pro.jpg

1) Shallow focus – Shallow focus is the type of focus where the camera is focused on one specific depth at a time. The rest of the objects in the background or foreground will therefore appear blurry.

2) Deep Focus – Deep focus is the kind of focus that keeps everything with in a frame in focus. This type of focus however, requires a special kind of lens to film at.

The Hurt Locker
3) Focus pull – A focus pull is a camera technique where the focus within a scene is shifted so one object moves into focus while another moves out. This is typically done to reveal something.

Camera angles.
1) Eye level shot – An eye level shot is a shot filmed at a straight angle or at eye level to a character.

2) High angle shot – A high angle shot is a shot filmed looking down at something and therefore has to be filmed from a higher angle.



2A) Bird’s eye view shot – A bird’s eye view shot is a shot filmed directly above a scene and therefore is filmed looking straight down.


3) Low angle shot – A low angle shot is a shot filmed looking up at something and therefore has to be filmed from a lower angle.


3A) Up shot – An up shot is a shot filmed directly below a scene and therefore is filmed looking straight up. These are very rarely used.

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4) Dutch tilt/ Canted angle – A Dutch tilt or canted angle is a shit filmed at a slant and is tilted to one side.


Camera Movement.
1) Aerial shots – An aerial shot is a shot filmed as in the air and moves around a scene. There are three types: Helicopter, which is filmed from a helicopter. Drone, which is filmed from a drone and is therefore cheaper than a helicopter. And a wire shot, where the camera is suspended on a wire to film in straight lines.New York Luftaufnahmen Nacht Cineflex - aerial view

2) Crane shot – A crane shot is a shot filmed from a crane, which are good for long sweeping shots around an object.


3) Dolly shot – A dolly shot is a shot filmed on a dolly, which is a piece of equipment that is on a train track like track that allows for smooth movement and repeatable shots. They are used for both forwards moving shots ( a pseudo zoom ) and sideways moving shots ( crab shots ). However they don’t have to be filmed on straight track, when a track is curved it is referred to as an arc shot.

4) Tripod Movement – A camera on a tripod can move without the tripod moving itself: A pan is a side to side movement and a tilt is an up or downwards tilting shot.Tilt Shot.wmv

Pan shot







5) Handheld shot – A handheld shot allows for more complex movement, by a camera man holding the camera. This can be achieved by using a steadicam or other pieces of equipment.

6) Zoom – A zoom shot is where the lens on a camera is turned in order to zoom in or out on a scene, making it bigger or smaller. A crash or dolly zoom is a kind of zoom where the dolly moves In the opposite direction to the zoom to crate a disorientating or uncomfortable effect


Holmes Under The Hammer

Discuss the ways in which the extract constructs the representation of disability/ability using  the following: camera angles,shots movement and composition; editing, sound Design and mise en scene.

In the opening minutes of Sherlock the character John Watson as having both a physical disability in his knee and also an implied mental one: PTSD

Camera angles,shots movement and composition.

The camera work in the extract is successful in portraying  John Watson’s disability using camera techniques. The handheld camera work in Watson’s flashback presents his prior life as all over the place and full of adventure, while the shots of hm away from the flashback are all very controlled and still, which is reflective of his current predicament. And the fact that all of the flashback is filmed as if from his point of view, shows that it is still in his mind and he is unable to disconnect from the events. Away from the flashback sequence numerous shot examples are very good at displaying his disability. Noticeably the birds eye view shot of him in bed and the next shot of him sat on the bed with the cane. The birds eye view shot is in essence an extreme down angle shot, which portrays him as being vulnerable and how his condition has opened him up to the civilian world and is very voyeuristic in nature. Whereas the shot with him and the cane, has heavy focus on the rule of thirds. Him sat alone shows that he cannot connect to anyone else, and the framing between the cane and himself give extreme weight to the difference between his current and prior life


The ways in which the extract is edited further aide in emphasising the magnitude of his condition. The use of fast forward in the flashback shows the differences between his predicament and his life in the SAS. the parallel editing and cross cutting in between shots shows his stress and how thinking of those events, or what they did to him, makes him feel. The difference in pace of the editing between the sequence and away from it mirrors the differences between the two times and how he operates. as it is fast paced when he was more capable and is slower when he cannot.Martin Freeman and Benedict Cumberbatch (or Peanut and Curly Fu, as they're known to Chinese fans) in season 3 of Sherlock


Sound Design

The sound design in the extract helps to portray Watson’s disability. for example the difference in volume between the  flashback and him waking up shows the mundane-ness that his disability brings to his life, this is contrasted by the echoing from the flashback as he wakes up, which shows how strongly he is affected by those events; how they echo in his mind and display the distortion and trauma within it. The fact that this noise is uncomfortable to the ear also bears weight as it shows how his condition makes him feel.

The tempo and key of the soundtrack playing as he wakes up connotes sadness, which mirrors his feelings. The fact that the piece is based around one short phrase with little change, shows how is life is monotonous and boring.

Mise en Scene

The extract’s choice of setting and presentation presents Watson’s disability and how it affects him strongly. The use of a dull colour palette for example paints his life as such: Dull and lacking the vibrance that it once had, which mirrors how his mind is the same. This is only emphasised by the contrast between him and his therapist, who is dressed in very colourful clothing and when they are sat apart the light is on her side of the roomThe walking stick is displayed as very important as it is visible in almost every shot, which shows how much he relies on it. This is only emphasised by the fact he seems very uncomfortable when there are shots without it.

Not what it seems: Watson watched a DVD Sherlock had recorded before the jump to his 'death', explaining more about the situation

mise en scene terminology

1) Actors: Actors portray the characters in the film.

1A) Appearance: An actor’s appearance is very important to their portrayal of their character and requires the correct hair, make up and clothes.

1B) Blocking: Blocking is the positioning of the actors within a scene.

1C) Performance: An actor’s performance is vital to their portrayal of their character. Their delivery of the dialogue’s content is perhaps most important. But also their expression and gesture in movement.

2) Colour palette. A film’s colour palette is the colours used in a film, for example the matrix is very heavy on green.

2A) Temperature: Temperature is how we as an audience perceive heat due to colour for example a red colour palette would suggest a hot environment.

3)Lighting: How a scene is lit.

3A) Ambiance: Ambiance is the mood that the lighting portrays.

3B) Light and shadow: The level of light and dark in a scene.

4) Setting: The setting of a scene is how the background appears.

4A) location/studio: Where a scene is filmed whether it was on a location or at a specially built studio.

4B) Props: Objects within a scene.

4C) Scene decoration: The way a set appears in the film, this is usually changed to suit the scene


Narrative editing: Narrative editing is editing footage in an order to create a narrative.

1) contiguity: Contiguity is editing where multiple things are happening at the same time, yet we know time is passing in all of them.

1A) cross cutting: Cross cutting, also known as inter cutting or parallel editing, is where events happening at the same time are cut between.

1B) Action match: Action match is where movement in one scene matches that in an other scene. For example, a ball being thrown would cut to someone running.

1C) Graphic match: Graphic match is where the shape of one object in one scene would match that in the next shot. For example a shot of a record spinning would cut to that of a car wheel.

2) Continuity: Continuity is showing events in the order in which they happen.

2A) establishing shot: An establishing shot is a shot that allows the audience to get a sense of the scene’s environment.

2B) Cut away: A cut away is where a shot of something is cut in between two “more important” shots, to give extra information or context.

2C) Glance Object: If a character glances at something, it then makes sense to show that object.

2D) Match on action: Match on action is where two shots match each other in content, for example a wide shot of one object and then a close up of the same object.

2E) Reaction shot:  Reaction shot is where an event happens and then a reaction is shown.

2F) Shot reverse shot: Shot reverse shot is where shots of two or more characters are intercut between dialogue and rections.

2G) Master shot: Master shot is a shot that allows for close ups of an object to happen. For example a shot of a table top game before a piece of that game is shown moving.

3) Temporal structure: Temporal structure is how time passing is shown.

3A) Fast forward: Fast forward is where more than a seconds worth of film is shown in a second.

3B) Frame skip: Frame skip is where frames are missed out to save time

Textual Analysis – Sound Design

Diegetic sound- sound that purports to come from the world of the film

1) Sound recorded on set – often sounds for the film are recorded on the set of filming.

However, usually sound is replaced with Foley effects, which are clean recordings of everyday sounds.

2) Speech/ Dialogue – Although dialogue is often recorded on set, when a film has a larger budget it’ll often use ADR. ADR or additional dialogue recording, is where dialogue is re recorded after filming to make it sound better.

Non diegetic sound – Sound added in post production to have an effect on the audience.

1) Composed score – music composed for the film. This may include themes: Music associated with a particular character. And stings: Short pieces of music added into films at certain moments.

2) Compiled score – pre existing music.

3) Narration – dialogue added to tell the audience information.

3A) Direct address – narration directed towards the viewer.

4) Sound bridge – where music continues between two scenes without change.