Discussion on 3 minute clip

The 3 minute clip I chose is from the movie called Freedom Writers. This small section of the movie is what I would call one of the most emotionally moving pieces and starting turning point for the whole plot which portrays the stories of the high school students that they have expressed in their journals. The camera serves an extremely important role in achieving the emotional impact for the audience.

It starts off with the camera angle in a slightly elevated angle that is slowly zooming into the teacher flipping through the journals. This slow start sets the mood and tine of what is to be shown to the audience of the tragic and horrible situations that the students face in their daily lives. As the teacher flips the page, the audio which is the voice of the writer begins her story and soon after the camera changes to the image of the student in the classroom seeming like there is no problem. The video changes scene to the situation of the story which is dark, gloomy and misty as if like an awful dream. The fact that there is such a transition to her story emphasizes the idea of being hidden. After her story is told, an upbeat tempo sound is played and gradually transitions and fades into the teacher from a straight on side view holding the journal up to her heart with her eyes closed. All these choices was carefully selected to stir some emotional conflict in the audience.

Later, a new set is seen with the same upbeat tempo music playing and the voice of another student is heard over it. Tactics used by the director to ensure the point is made across includes the zooming into the gun and zooming back out to the whole scene of the two boys. To add more shock into the scene, we hear the gun shot and the reaction of the other boy and we do not see the actual shooting take place to add the effect of uncertainty. It shows a close up on the boys face and how shocked he is which is what the audience's reaction would be like as well, making us feel as if we are also in the same situation. It then changes the camera angle to a straight on look at the dead body lying on the lap of the shocked boy. This zooms out and the environment changes into the darkness of the night at the same time as his story says "till the police came". Changing the scene right after to him being put into juvenile stirs up emotions in the viewer as the setting is very dark and the slow movements of the camera zooming into his face yet not showing the eyes emphasizes this especially when it fades out and the image of him in the classroom all grown up fades in.

Another story is told by the camera rotating around the back of the teacher and eventually reaching a point where another student is seen sitting down. As this happens, the light goes down and only one main source of light is shown down on the student sitting down to show and set his story for the viewers to see. This is a really powerful technique as it really focuses on the one student and his story making it more effective.

The transitions used within this clip are used extremely well switching between the spotlight on the student and their story. Camera angles of how they show the student are also important. For example some students are shown on the edge of the screen, and some are at a diagonal view of their face. Effective use of editing also enables their story to be told as their faces are shown whilst at the same time their writing in their journal faded in so that it is a combination of the character and the story.