Analysis Project #1: Shot-by-shot Breakdown of a Scene

Scene: The scene I chose was from the movie “The Lady Eve”. I chose a scene from the beginning which was when Charles was just arriving on the boat from his expedition. This is the scene where Jean throws an apple at Charles as he is climbing the rope ladder.

Shot 1: 5 seconds

Framing: Long shot
Camera Placement: Straight on
Description: A boat is shown in the sea. A mountain is in the background but it’s a little blurred out. Most of the frame shows the sea and the sky. The boat seems to be small since it’s taken from a long shot.
Lighting: Even amount of light throughout the frame.
Sound: Diegetic. The motion of the water is heard but it’s not too loud.
Straight cut to the next shot.

Shot 2: 2 seconds

Framing: Medium shot
Camera Placement: Low angle
Description: Steam is coming out from the top of the boat. Again, a majority of the shot shows the sky and a pipe from the boat.  
Lighting: Even amount of lighting.
Camera Movement: Still
Sound: Diegetic sound. Coming from the pipe of the boat.
Straight cut to the next shot.

Shot 3: 2 seconds

Framing: Medium shot
Camera Placement: Low angle
Description: Water is coming out from another pipe on the boat.
Lighting: Even amount of light.
Camera Movement: Still
Sound: Diegetic. Again, coming from the pipe of the boat. The sounds of the boat are made to make a signal to the ship that this boat is arriving.
Straight cut to the next shot.

Shot 4: 2 Seconds (Same as shot 2)

Shot 5: 2 Seconds (Same as shot 3)

Shot 6: 5 seconds

Frame: Medium-long shot
Camera Placement: Shot slightly from below
Description: The shot shows a woman pointing down at the person who is arriving. The rest of the group looks down towards where the woman is pointing. They all show happy facial expressions which indicates that they are excited about the new person that is arriving. The group of people is all dressed up: Women have their dresses or skirts while men have their suits on. This shot doesn’t focus on anyone specific yet. It really just shows the arrival of Charles on to the boat.
Sound: Diegetic. A woman screams “There it is!” as we continue to hear the sound of the boats. Also we hear a whistle being blown by one of the men on the ship.
Straight cut to the next shot.

Shot 7: 2 seconds

Frame: Long Shot
Camera Placement: Shot slightly from below
Description: The seamen throw down the rope ladder to help Charles and his body guard get to the other level of the boat.
Camera Movement: Still
Sound: Diegetic. The signals of the boat are still being heard and the group of people that are already on the ship is heard as well.
Straight cut to the next shot.

Shot 8: 1 minute

Frame: Continuous Medium-Long Shot
Camera Placement: Straight on
Description: This shot begins with a group of people watching Charles arrive onto the boat. The group is made up of different families and each family is talking about Charles’ arrival. They keep looking down onto the sea to when Charles gets on the boat. As the camera begins to move, it slowly begins to move up to another level of the boat. On this level, we find Jean and her father watching down as Charles is arriving. Jean expresses hope that Charles is a rich man. Both Jean and her father are wearing white, representing that they are of higher class. As they are talking about Charles, another man comes out. Apparently, he found out information about Charles and informed Eve that “he is dripping with dough”.
Camera Movement: Begins moving from right to left and then moves upward. Then the camera stays still.
Sound: Diegetic. The group of people that is awaiting Charles’ arrival is heard talking. We can also briefly hear the sound of the water as well as whistle being blown. Towards the end of this shot, the conversation between Jean and her father is also heard.
Straight cut to the next shot.

Shot 9: 3 seconds

Frame: Close-up
Camera Placement: High angle
Description: The man that had informed Jean that Charles was rich had a paper to show it. This short shot is a close-up of the paper that he had. It reads “Pike’s Pale: The Ale That Won For Yale”.
Camera Movement: Still
Sound: Diegetic. The whistles are heard in the background and the man reads what the paper says.
Straight cut to the next shot.

Shot 10: 10 seconds

Frame: Long Shot
Camera Placement: High angle
Description: Charles’ launch is shown arriving. He’s still wearing the outfit from his expedition. The launch is approaching the boat and Charles is then seen beginning to climb up the rope ladder.
Sound: Diegetic. The water flow is heard as the launch is arriving to the boat. More whistling is heard as well.

Shot 11: 4 seconds

Frame: Medium-long shot
Camera Placement: Shot slightly from below
Description: Jean has an apple and decides to aim it at Charles. By doing so, she wants to catch his attention. Jean’s father tries to stop her but he isn’t successful. Jean throws the apple down the boat.
Camera Movement: Stays still throughout the shot.
Sound: Diegetic. Jean’s voice is heard as she wonders what will happen when she throws that apple to Charles.
Straight cut to the next shot.

Shot 12: 7 seconds

Frame: Long Shot
Camera Placement: High angle
Description: Charles begins to climb the rope ladder as the apple hits him on the top of his head. Charles reacts and looks up to scream and see who was the person that through the apple at him.
Camera Movement: Still
Sound: Diegetic. The sound of the water is heard again as well as Charles’ voice when he yells back.

Breakdown:

I chose this scene because this is where Jean and Charles had their first contact in the movie. I notice that in this scene, the director uses a lot of long and medium-long shots. Throughout the film, long and medium-long shots are used very often as well. I think that this is done because the director wants to show not just the main focus, but everything that surrounds the characters. For example, in this scene we see the boat from far away and are able to see that the boat has different levels. Clearly, this shows that people that are in upper-class are on a different level of the boat. When Jean is having a conversation with her father, it isn’t shown up close so that we are able to see behind them. The door is shown that when the man comes out, we see him arrive. Every aspect of the background is shown.

I think that Sturges chooses to not show many close-ups so that he can show everything that is within that scene. If we were to always see close-up throughout the film then that wouldn’t give us an idea of where the main characters are located. Having long shots and medium-long shots shows us where the characters are located and what other minor characters are in that scene besides the main characters are there. It shows how much privacy the main characters have within that scene.

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1 Comment

  1. Amy Herzog Said,

    October 26, 2011 @ 8:57 pm

    This is wonderfully organized and carefully observed. What I especially like is the way in which you took a fairly short, seemingly unimportant scene and draw some really interesting conclusions about Sturges’s overall thematic use of long and medium shots. Nicely done!

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