This week, we took a scene from a classic movie and analyzed the visuals, audio, and overall work separately. I decided to analyze one of the Joker’s most notorious scenes from the Batman movie, The Dark Night. Directed by Chris Nolan, this is arguably one of the best films ever made. This is due to Nolan’s dynamic and creative directing style.
At first, I watched the entire scene without any audio. Something that stood out to me from the start was how active the camera was, specifically the use of the panning and cuts. Panning is when the camera pans across a frame to follow a specific character or movement and a cut is when the camera moves to from one character to another with no transition. Panning the camera is used in the scene to follow the characters movements and make the scene feel more active. Even though the scene is set in one room, the use of wiping and a camera panning around the room evokes action from an otherwise boring (action-wise) scene. The cuts being used are fast and are used to set pace in the scene. There are a number of characters (three stand alone and one group) and by roughly and quickly focusing on each speed up the scene at points.
After watching the clip without the audio, I only listened to it. The scene opens with the Joker’s very distinct laugh in the distance. As the Joker interact with the room, you can sense the tension between every character. The volume of the characters varies and there is no score behind the scene, which makes you listen. The lack of score highlights the conversation as well as the the rest of the noises in the scene, you can hear the movement of chairs and the footsteps. It also makes the scene more realistic, as unrealistic as it is.
I put the entire scene together and watched it one more time through, with the audio and the video. After watching it altogether, the audio and the visuals come together in perfect harmony. The hardness and scariness of the audio is intensified by the Jokers mannerisms and fast pace fo the video.
Down here I have embedded the clip, so you can analyze it for yourself!