Latest Movie News Headlines

Cool Videos: Every one of Paul Thomas Anderson's signature shots in these two supercuts

Nov. 16, 2012by: Alex Maidy
100%

Every great director has a signature visual style that sets them apart from the cookie cutter filmmakers out there. Paul Thomas Anderson has kept a pair of distinct tricks up his sleeve for each and every one of his movies. Regardless of genre or subject matter, Anderson has consistently used both the whip pan and symmetrical shots through HARD EIGHT, BOOGIE NIGHTS, MAGNOLIA, PUNCH-DRUNK LOVE, and THERE WILL BE BLOOD. THE MASTER features these shots, too.

For the purposes of these supercuts, THE MASTER has been excluded since it is still in theaters. If you never noticed these techniques before, you will certainly be on the look out for them going forward.

First up is the symmetrical two-shot supercut.

Pretty cool, huh? The composition of each scene is vitally important to a movie. Careful filmmakers will set this shots up both to control the resulting scene as well as give that segment of the movie a deeper meaning. Often these shots give the film the feel of a chess match with the characters playing very specific roles in what plot elements are taking place.

Next is the more obvious technique: the whip pan. Not used nearly as much in THERE WILL BE BLOOD or THE MASTER, this shot gave MAGNOLIA and PUNCH-DRUNK LOVE their whirlwhind feel through some of the more intense scenes.

So, there you go, a nice brief Friday afternoon film class. Now, go watch some movies this weekend and see if you can spot these techniques from any other prominent filmmakers.

Extra Tidbit: "I will f*ck you up if you f*ck with me, ok? I know three kinds of Karate: Jujitsu, Aikido, and regular Karate."
Source: IndieWire

Related Articles

MORE FUN FROM AROUND THE WEB

Strikeback
Not registered? Sign-up!
Or

8:41AM on 11/17/2012
Both Magnolia and Boogie Nights changed my life because of the camera work. I've always wanted to be a filmmaker as far back as I can remember and seeing those films for the first time, for some reason it was those films that made me truly realize what a director was doing with his camera. I haven't looked at films the same since.
Both Magnolia and Boogie Nights changed my life because of the camera work. I've always wanted to be a filmmaker as far back as I can remember and seeing those films for the first time, for some reason it was those films that made me truly realize what a director was doing with his camera. I haven't looked at films the same since.
Your Reply:



7:17AM on 11/17/2012

Others that immediately spring to mind...

Stanley Kubrick - 'Nuff Said
David Fincher - Wide shots w/ low-key lighting to create a background glow; Low angles, Fluid tracking camera which can access anywhere. Also green or blue tinted color temperature
Sam Raimi - Shaky Cam/Screaming Dolly Zoom In-Effect
Martin Scorsese - One Take Tracking Shots
John Woo - Back-To-Back/Side & Top Twisting-w/ Guns-Aimed..(also doves)
J.J. Abrams - Lots of Lens Flare (ok, I admit it..that was a cheap shot)
Zack Snyder - Speed Ramping
Michael Bay -
Stanley Kubrick - 'Nuff Said
David Fincher - Wide shots w/ low-key lighting to create a background glow; Low angles, Fluid tracking camera which can access anywhere. Also green or blue tinted color temperature
Sam Raimi - Shaky Cam/Screaming Dolly Zoom In-Effect
Martin Scorsese - One Take Tracking Shots
John Woo - Back-To-Back/Side & Top Twisting-w/ Guns-Aimed..(also doves)
J.J. Abrams - Lots of Lens Flare (ok, I admit it..that was a cheap shot)
Zack Snyder - Speed Ramping
Michael Bay - 360 Degree Spinning Hero Shot
Your Reply:



10:14AM on 11/18/2012
Wes Anderson - Near non-stop symmetry.
Wes Anderson - Near non-stop symmetry.
8:06PM on 11/16/2012

Just Delightful

Further solidifying my love for this man
Further solidifying my love for this man
Your Reply:



+13
6:47PM on 11/16/2012
I wouldn't call symmetrical two-shots some kind of distinct visual trick...Two-shots are common enough and many two-shots will have some level of symmetry similar to the ones demonstrated in that video above. It's inevitable if you're planning out/composing your shots well that they'll occur.

I think the video is far more interesting for showing the progression from the sloppier compositions earlier in his career to the much better balanced work in the later ones.
I wouldn't call symmetrical two-shots some kind of distinct visual trick...Two-shots are common enough and many two-shots will have some level of symmetry similar to the ones demonstrated in that video above. It's inevitable if you're planning out/composing your shots well that they'll occur.

I think the video is far more interesting for showing the progression from the sloppier compositions earlier in his career to the much better balanced work in the later ones.
Your Reply:



3:44PM on 11/19/2012
i agree. two-shots like that are a pretty standard component of narrative filmmaking.

the whip pan makes more sense as a director flourish, the way spielberg uses the dolly zoom, and hitchcock would start high above a room and zoom down to a close-up.
i agree. two-shots like that are a pretty standard component of narrative filmmaking.

the whip pan makes more sense as a director flourish, the way spielberg uses the dolly zoom, and hitchcock would start high above a room and zoom down to a close-up.