What does it do?
- Ability to let the audiences experience the action as if seen directly through the eyes of a character
- Allowing the audience to become a surrogate for a character, watching events unfold as if through his or her eyes, making them an intrinsic part of the story for the length of the shot
- The composition can be carefully manipulated to match physical (height, angle, perspective) and psychological attributes (emotional subjectivity) of a character
- It lets other characters interact directly with the audience, by looking into the lens, speaking to, and sometimes even having physical contact with it (interaction can be very powerful but also potentially jarring because the story is not experienced from a safe third person position anymore)
- Danger that when used over extended periods of time audiences will find it difficult to identify with the character, gradually disconnect with the story (caused by the lack of reaction shots which reveal the emotional response of a character, audiences are left uncertain as to how they should feel and react) – ambiguities that fail to produce a sense of narrative clarity
- Should therefore only be used under very special circumstances and then only for short periods of time
- Provides audience with unique insight, if used correctly will amplify the dramatic impact
Examples of use
Shows the vision of PI looking up to his father from under water.