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Unit 4: Story Telling Essay Psycho By Amrit Chohan 02/03/12


Introduction Main Body Conclusion List of illustrations Bibliography


Introduction The focus of this essay assignment is on psycho directed by Alfred Hitchcock and released in 1960. It firstly starts with the book Digital Cinematography. This focuses on camera angle and camera movement. This book is by Leeuw. The second focus is on film editing this is by Crittenden. The next source is upon film editing techniques. This is by Reisz. Lastly is about Wenk a film reviewer. Who talks about the shower scene of psycho. This leads onto camera angle.

Main body Camera angle depends on the placement and the setting of the direction. Leeuw an, author and a freelance animator states Camera angle refers to where the camera is placed In relation to the action of the scene. (Leeuw, 1997:p74) Camera angle is all about the placement of the camera and the position as it is crucial. Within the action of the scene it depends where the stage of the environment is set. So a camera can be set in a position where it is focused on a particular scene. Where it could be a close-up where the camera is moved closer to the direction of the scene.

Fig 1 Psycho-2 This is a film still from psycho directed by Alfred Hitchcock. It starts when Lila is told by her boss to bank 40,000 dollars to the bank. She doesn t then runs away. At of the city Lila is in heavy rain then sees a hotel. As Lila is tired and stays the night there. In the image it shows a camera angle where it s not aimed at Lila but at the mysterious person behind her. So it s positioned at the background of the scene. This is to show what the new main focus of the story is. The change of the perspective has changed.


Camera angle depends on the placement and the setting of point direction. Leeuw states If you think of the action in scene as being contained within a circle, the camera angle is where on that circle you place the point of view. (Leeuw, 1997:p74) a camera that is on a circle can be moved in any angle as long as it is in the circle. But it means that a camera can go round 360 degrees. The camera can be moved in any position best suited to the scene. So the camera has to fit the view of the circle. The person controlling the camera has the idea to design the movement of the scenes. This brings at the direct camera angle. This shows movement of shots in angled views.

Fig 2 Psycho-20 The image still in fig 2 is from Psycho. The psycho killer is running towards the in spectator. The interior space is old. So the setting of the environment is set in the mid 1950 s. The camera shows a bird s eye view of two characters. So the camera is showing an angle where it is in a different perspective. The image does look very interesting and has a different approach to show another type of camera angle. The setting of the direction is showing a roof top shot of both the characters in this action event.

Finding ways of film editing is by the controlled use of rhythm and mood. Roger and Film Editor states Thus the early filmmakers sensed that it was necessary to find ways of controlling rhythm and pace, establishing mood, providing emphasis and focusing attention in the scene. (Roger, 1996:p14) film editing is about being able to create a rhythm or a mood and focusing on keeping a pace when editing. Able to take the parts of a piece of editing and making it suit the scene of the film. The main focus from a scene is the tension it builds up and how the mood is set. To create the scene so the atmosphere of the rhythm, flows in a style. This creates the mood that brings the focus of the scene.


The technique of film is the use of the creative nature of film. Reisz film maker states Once more I repeat that editing is the creative force of filmic reality and that nature provides only the raw material with which it works. That precisely, is the relationship between editing and the film. (Reisz, 2010:p3) the use of creative editing is being able to use the techniques. Such as taking parts of film that is not so important able to create a film that is better. To make film creative it has to be natural. It has to be able to flow and be realistic. This then well give it a more realistic flow to be natural. So the editing of a film is about breaking it down so it fits as one whole scene. Nature can be the concept as this gives directors ideas in which to film. Using the sets and use this as key for the environments. This gives the advantage to the director.

Technique of film editing is from the main people. Reisz a film maker states The responsibility for the editing of a film rests with a number of people-the writer, the director, the editor and the sound editor. (Reisz, 2010:p20) the techniques is about the editing and who put the story together the techniques is which comes from the director and the editor. They make it happen by the judgments of the editor s opinion or the director. Which they discuss what to take. The reasonability comes from these people as they make film work because they make the whole film in general glue together. As the thinking of the directors and editors give at the idea to in discussion which when coming to the making it works. So the film does rest with the directors and the key editors.

The shower scene brings a whole load of scare and is a slasher. The famous shower scene never shows the knife touching flesh, but it's still terrifying. (Wenk) The scene of Lila as she is having a shower then is knifed to death. The great angle of this scene as the camera is shot to the flow of Lila s blood going down her body then into the drain. So the camera is shot in a way to lock on not the character but the leading of a new angle to the direction of the scene. The technique used for this style sets the mood and it creates atmosphere. The shower scene has great movement because of the direction of the position of the camera. The interesting point of this is that the scene is very close up and the camera shot are extremely close into the characters.


Fig 3 Manicured This film still is from psycho. The blood from Lila leads to the drain. Then the camera zooms into the drain then leading onto a new scene. After this the part of the screen then fades. The camera angle of this shows a great use of technique because the position of the camera is set to the angle leading to the drain. So the camera is moving on to a different scene. Which shows the action is changed.

Conclusion Finding at that camera angle is about movement and placement. It depends where the camera is positioned. Also those different areas of a camera can be placed not at a particular of a character but at an environment. Camera even on a scale of a circle a camera can be able to move all round in any angle or direction. Camera can be place in various angles so that it can make a different approach to an overall scene. Being able to find ways to create film to control the rhythm. The directors and editors who create a film. They have discussions and cutting of scenes which work or don t work. So based on the famous shower scene it shows a scene where the camera angle is based on the environment and the action of the character. So the images indicate that Alfred Hitchcock s aims to take point of filming objects and environments closely.


List of illustrations:

Fig 1 Psycho 2 Film still URL at: (Accessed on 26/02/12) Fig 2 Psycho-20 URL at: (Accessed on 26/02/12) Fig 3 Manicured URL at (Accessed on 28/02/12) Bibliography:

Leeuw (1997) Digital cinematography United Kingdom: London

Roger. (1996) Film and Video Editing (2nd Edition). Florence, KY, USA: Routledge

Reisz (2010) The Technique of Film Editing United Kingdom: Oxford

Sarah Wenk Commonsensemedia URL at: (Accessed on 07/02/12)