Seeking Specific Storytelling Style
April 16, 2018 6:52 AM   Subscribe

For a project I'm working on, I'm looking for examples of a very specific type of storytelling in film/tv. A character recounts a stressful/scary event, and the camera work changes/becomes more intense while the story is being told.

Can you think of any examples of this? I'm not talking about flashbacks, or actually being transported into the story that is being told. I'm talking more about the camera helping the audience be drawn into the story-within-the-story.
posted by lizifer to Media & Arts (7 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Watch three episodes of Law and Order: SVU and you will see this...either when the victim is describing the assault or the perp is offering some creepy justification/confession, the music changes (slow sustained string notes) and the camera tracks in to a very close one-shot. It's not ultra-dramatic, but it is ubiquitous. Can be seen elsewhere in the franchise, but SVU did it most.
posted by praemunire at 7:54 AM on April 16, 2018

Forensic Files available under Film Rise Documentaries or Forensic Files uses this visual format; both are on YouTube. When setting the stage for the crime, they usually begin with the distress call, then move to an idyllic setting and personal interview context. They slowly assemble scientific analysis and detective work. At about the 15 minute mark, the crescendo is a reenactment of the crime based on forensic evidence. They close with the conviction and sentence, then close on congratulating the detectives and scientists that brought justice.
posted by effluvia at 8:15 AM on April 16, 2018

I should have been a little more specific (these answers are helpful in clarifying for myself what I want, so thanks!): I'm looking for storytelling that verges on magic realism without leaving the room or adding CGI. More than the old standby's we see on SVU and the like. Maybe what I'm looking for doesn't exist? But on the off chance it does... like the character tells the story and is transported back to that time and place and urgency, and the camera helps us feel that they're not really "in the room" anymore, and they've taken us with them.
posted by lizifer at 8:30 AM on April 16, 2018

Well, Phoebe Cates telling the worst Christmas story ever may apply.
posted by xingcat at 8:49 AM on April 16, 2018

I would have completely recommended Tim Burton's "Big Fish" except you said "no CGI". Here's a clip from the movie that I think has the sort of thing you mean, where the scene goes from normal, to heightened, to magical realism.
posted by The Pluto Gangsta at 11:36 AM on April 16, 2018

Hannibal takes Clarice on a journey down memory lane. Very subtle effects. Slow camera zoom (until the bars separating them are gone). Wind SFX. Music cue. Without her realizing it, he's inside her head. And so are we.
posted by Jellybean_Slybun at 12:50 PM on April 16, 2018 [1 favorite]

Oh, and several scenes in La La Land, especially in the third act, might qualify, especially Mia's audition song and Sebastian's reverie towards the end.
posted by The Pluto Gangsta at 1:55 PM on April 16, 2018

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