Shot Analysis in Cinema and Film

The film I have chosen that demonstrates Hollywood’s Golden Age of film is “The Wizard of Oz,” directed by Victor Fleming and produced in 1939. The selected scene from the movie comes towards the film’s conclusion. The young girl Dorothy is about to leave with the Wizard of Oz on a hot air balloon when her dog runs off, leaving her stuck behind in the land of Oz with no way back home to Kansas. The good witch arrives on the scene, helping Dorothy find her way home as she says goodbye to her friends; the lion, tin man and scarecrow.

Shot #1: Establishing shot of Emerald City. Extreme long shot. Camera zooming out with movement straight on. Camera focus on Wizard of Oz talking to gathered crowd of people. People in background cheering and band music playing. Shot lasts only a few seconds.

Shot #2: Medium shot. Wizard of Oz, on stage, looks up at crowd, smiles, talking about leaving in hot air balloon. Camera zooms in slowly of Wizard of Oz talking. Camera angle straight on. No movement. Medium shot take.

Shot #3: Extreme long shot. Zooming out of crowd cheering, people waving after wizard of Oz finishes speaking. Low-keyed music played in background. Extreme short take, only a second or two. Part of shot-reverse shot with previous scene.

Shot #4: Medium close-up. Zoom in of wizard of Oz talking. Shot is from point of view of the wizard. Camera moving along with wizard of Oz to left of screen, talking to scarecrow, tin man, lion, and Dorothy. The wizard slowly greets each person, bestowing honors upon them. Trumpet plays in background. Medium take about half a minute.

Shot #5: Shot of Dorothy’s dog growling. Close-up shot distance. Camera slightly titled downward to show expression of anger on dog’s face. Extreme short take. This shot uses the 180 degree rule as it is used with the next shot of an image of a cat.

Shot #6: Medium shot showing another woman’s cat, meowing at Dorothy’s dog. Camera angle is low to ground, tilting upward to show expression of dissatisfaction of the cat. Extreme short take, only glimpse of cat is shown. Part of a 180 degree rule shot director is conveying in showing the special relation between the dog and cat opposing one another.

Shot #7: Medium shot. Camera panning to right of screen, back to the image of the dog. Camera angle originally straight on but moves to high angle above the ground, with camera titled downward, once dog runs off stage and into the crowd. Camera movement also changes as it moves to the right to follow the path of the dog. Extreme short take, a couple of seconds long.

Shot #8: Medium close-up shot. Cut to Dorothy getting out of hot air balloon, panicking to find her dog. Camera quickly pans rightward to follow the dog. Then camera pans towards the left of the screen to capture action of wizard of Oz leaving in hot air balloon. Tin man and scarecrow try unsuccessfully to prevent hot air balloon from taking off. Dorothy pleas for help in background as mellow music starts to play. Short take: a couple seconds long.

Shot #9: Medium close-up of wizard of Oz. Cut back to Wizard of Oz in hot air balloon, starting to move away from the city. Voice over scream. Camera tracks hot air balloon as it moves to top left of screen. Short take: also a couple seconds in duration.

Shot #10: Medium shot. Camera continues to track image of hot air balloon, moving further away from the city. Similar shot to ending of shot #9. Low camera angle tilting vertically upward toward image of hot air balloon in sky. Soft background music playing. Medium-short take, about ten seconds.

Shot #11: Medium-long shot. Cut to hot air balloon in distant background, zooming in on image of the crowd. See shot # 10 for duration. Camera angle tilted upward.

Shot #12: Medium close-up. Cut to Dorothy with lion, tin man, and scarecrow. Shot is from point of view of Dorothy. Dorothy sobs after missing her chance to make her way back home. She is comforted with open arms by lion. Violin playing softly in background. Camera is straight on featuring characters in shot. No camera movement. Medium take about half a minute long.
Shot #13: Over the shoulder shot of Dorothy. Image of pink bubble carrying the good witch comes into view from the horizon. Camera is positioned low to ground, tilting vertically upward. Camera changes to a long shot. Lighting is bright to bring out the pink color in the good witch’s dress and face. Dialogue between the good witch, Dorothy, tin man, lion, and scarecrow. Background music from flute playing. Shot duration see shot #10.

Shot #14: Medium close-up turning into medium shot. Camera focuses on expressions of awe and wonder of the Oz people at seeing the good witch approaching. The Oz people clear the way for the good witch to arrive and greet her. Soothing music played in background. Medium take, about half a minute long.

Shot #15: Medium close-up. Camera focuses on image of good witch. Camera panning towards right of screen as the good witch crosses Foot Bridge and moves toward Dorothy. Dialogue between Dorothy and good witch. Medium-short take about several seconds long.

Shot #16: Medium close-up of Dorothy. Dorothy says a monologue of her inner thoughts and desires. Camera angle is straight on, focusing only on Dorothy with no camera movement. Medium take, a little longer than half a minute.

Shot #17: Medium shot of good witch. Camera panning towards Dorothy at left of the screen. Medium close-up of Dorothy is shown. Camera angle straight on. Dorothy says goodbye to lion, scarecrow, and tin man as she hugs and kisses them. Camera moving to left of screen as each character is wished goodbye. Temperate, somber music playing in background while dialogue goes on. Long take in duration, about a minute and a half long.

Shot #18: Medium shot turning into medium close-up. Characters all saying goodbye to Dorothy. Slight camera movement panning to the right and then back to the center of the screen. Camera angle is straight on. Flute playing with the dialogue. Duration of shot is only a few seconds.

Shot #19: Extreme close-up of Dorothy’s shoes. Sound effect of shoes tapping each other, making a clicking sound. Camera angle is high to the ground with camera tilting downward focusing on the shoes. Lighting is very bright, bringing out the rosy red color of Dorothy’s shoes that sparkle in the light. Extreme short take, only a couple seconds long.

Shot #20: Close-up of Dorothy’s face. Camera angle is low to ground with camera tilting upward to show her face. Circular fade into background, her face dimming. Screen wipes with image of black screen for split second as scene ends. Subdued, softly played background music. Good witch has a dialogue with Dorothy. Dorothy repeats the phrase “There’s no place like home” as she imagines herself back in Kansas. Music speeds up quickly at rapid pace as scene nears its end. Medium take, around half a minute.

After finally finishing the shot by shot analysis of a scene from “The Wizard of Oz” I have realized how much hard work a director puts into each and every shot in every scene in a film. My analysis showed how the director Victor Fleming was able to use the establishing shot to set up an initial setting for the scene and to grasp the viewer’s attention as he zoomed in on the action right away. Fleming’s use of the classic Hollywood style in which he demonstrates the use of the 180 degree special rule and the shot reverse shot all help grasp the viewer’s attention and make it easier to follow the shots in a given scene. In using the 180 degree rule Fleming orchestrates the feeling that conflict or a turning point is about to ensue in the movie. In my particular scene from the movie, the 180 degree shots of the cat and dog created a sense of tension between the two animals and that something important was about to happen to Dorothy that would involve them. In the scene, the conflict between the animals caused Dorothy to miss her escape route with the wizard of Oz to go back home to Kansas. In analyzing the structure of the scene Fleming makes sure that everything is in chronological order, and that all of the events logically make sense so that the film can flow smoothly and be followed easily by a viewer. I found it interesting that when Fleming wanted to focus on a character’s inner thoughts and feelings, he used a close-up, usually in a monologue form, with a longer than average shot duration. This was all particularly helpful in understanding a character on an emotional level. In using the example of Dorothy, the director makes you the viewer like Dorothy because she is able to come to the self-realization that she must follow her heart and mind in doing what she feels is right, not the advice of others in looking for answers to her problems. Through the use of shot duration the director is able to make a smooth transition among the shots, preventing a particular or uninteresting part from being dragged out too long and loosing the viewer’s attention. Fleming’s superb use of the classical Hollywood style makes “The Wizard of Oz” a true classic and great film. He is able to create a magnificent set of shots in a scene to captivate the viewer and leave a lasting sense of satisfaction in the viewer after watching the film.

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