What's your take on showing depth and perspective vs. straight on and flat composition? I certainly like dynamic composition where the camera's a bit lower and things aren't totally symmetrical, but sometimes composing things right in the middle of the frame and at eye level can be really powerful.
I'm still trying to figure out how these things interact. Any thoughts?
Four things to talk about here:
- Deep space
- Flat space
This is a stylistic choice because the majority of his films are shot this way. The Royal Tenenbaums is told as if it were a storybook, thus the flat/limited space. Parts of Stanley Kubrick's Barry Lyndon were shot to represent the paintings of the time and used zoom lenses (which are flat, since everything in the frame moves proportionally to the camera lens) instead of push ins and pull outs. The Shining uses deep space but has a lot of symmetry in its shots, a really interesting combination of visual elements. Tenenbaums' shots often are the opposite, flat and asymmetrical.
Deliberate usage of flat and/or symmetrical staging can be used as counterpoint or for emphasis in a film that is predominantly deep or limited space.
The reverse is true as in the fight scene in Barry Lyndon -- the handheld moving camera really creates a jarring feeling compared to the static camerawork that surrounds it.