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Old 12-19-2005, 01:02 AM   #1 (Print)
MattBeckwith
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Jerky Camera

Jerky camera is pretentious, not to mention majorly annoying.

I won't watch any show which uses this technique to any great degree (a little bit is tolerable).

Anybody else here feel this way?
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Old 12-19-2005, 01:24 AM   #2 (Print)
ChofuHS
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MattBeckwith
Jerky camera is pretentious, not to mention majorly annoying.

I won't watch any show which uses this technique to any great degree (a little bit is tolerable).

Anybody else here feel this way?


Yep, I think it was NYPD Blue and few others like that, I can't watch it. I am sure no one watches it BECASUE of that, but I am sure there are many out there who don't watch due to that. One movie I rented, I think it was Friday Night Lights, it jerked around so much I stooped watching!
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Old 12-19-2005, 05:07 AM   #3 (Print)
vikingguy
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Nope and depending on the show it can add to it. The shakey cam in the shield makes the show seem that more real and intense.
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Old 12-19-2005, 09:28 AM   #4 (Print)
MattBeckwith
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vikingguy
Nope and depending on the show it can add to it. The shakey cam in the shield makes the show seem that more real and intense.


Well, to each his own.

I believe that the jerky camera is added to make the scene seem more important. After all, the jerky camera used to only be a by-product of the coverage of news events with hand-held cameras.

Thus, if the camera is jerky, it says to the subconscious: What's happening on the screen must be important.

If the jerkiness is added to make it seem more important, that means the scene is not sufficiently important on its own.

So I think the jerky camera is added to keep the viewer interested in an otherwise uninteresting scene.

I notice that it's used almost exclusively on shows that have such attitudes as: "This is a serious matter", "We're no-nonsense here", "Lead, follow or get out of the way", and other such high-testosterone BS.
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Old 12-19-2005, 02:06 PM   #5 (Print)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MattBeckwith
Well, to each his own.

I believe that the jerky camera is added to make the scene seem more important. After all, the jerky camera used to only be a by-product of the coverage of news events with hand-held cameras.

Thus, if the camera is jerky, it says to the subconscious: What's happening on the screen must be important.

If the jerkiness is added to make it seem more important, that means the scene is not sufficiently important on its own.

So I think the jerky camera is added to keep the viewer interested in an otherwise uninteresting scene.

I notice that it's used almost exclusively on shows that have such attitudes as: "This is a serious matter", "We're no-nonsense here", "Lead, follow or get out of the way", and other such high-testosterone BS.



Right ... and what about "Arrested Development" ?

Yes, it's an artistic choice, but hardly one about being full of testosterone.

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Old 12-19-2005, 02:33 PM   #6 (Print)
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I find the camera-swings ŕ la Boston Legal more annoying!

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Old 12-19-2005, 02:45 PM   #7 (Print)
gonzotek
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Not exactly jerky, but the "floating-on-the-surface" camera effect in Open Water had me seasick by the end.
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Old 12-19-2005, 03:08 PM   #8 (Print)
FourFourSeven
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MattBeckwith
I notice that it's used almost exclusively on shows that have such attitudes as: "This is a serious matter", "We're no-nonsense here", "Lead, follow or get out of the way", and other such high-testosterone BS.


Quote:
Originally Posted by tem
Right ... and what about "Arrested Development" ?


Arrested Development uses it to make fun of those sorts of shows! I thought the creators described the show as "Royal Tenebaums shot like Cops." So Arrested Development does NOT contradict MattBeckwith's thesis...


Now, to paraphrase Homer Simpson:

"Mmm... beef jerky camera!"
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Old 12-19-2005, 03:22 PM   #9 (Print)
ChofuHS
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vikingguy
Nope and depending on the show it can add to it. The shakey cam in the shield makes the show seem that more real and intense.



I guess that is what the producers think also. I think it sucks. I wouldn't watch it with it, would you stop watchig without it? Each to his own.
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Old 12-19-2005, 03:27 PM   #10 (Print)
ChofuHS
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MattBeckwith
"We're no-nonsense here", "Lead, follow or get out of the way", and other such high-testosterone BS.



I tend to agree with you. It would really be interesting to speak with the producers and all and see if this is the demographic they are targeting and why they use and and why they think it works. I think it is done to be edgy and the demographics who want to think of themselves as edgy like it. Most people that I have spoken with don't even notice it and wonder what I am talking about. I had a buddy who I mentioned it to while watching TV at his house who at never noticed it. After I pointed it out, he later told me it drove him nuts and he quit watching the show! lol
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Old 12-19-2005, 04:04 PM   #11 (Print)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MattBeckwith
I believe that the jerky camera is added to make the scene seem more important. After all, the jerky camera used to only be a by-product of the coverage of news events with hand-held cameras.

Thus, if the camera is jerky, it says to the subconscious: What's happening on the screen must be important.

If the jerkiness is added to make it seem more important, that means the scene is not sufficiently important on its own.

So I think the jerky camera is added to keep the viewer interested in an otherwise uninteresting scene.

Can't agree with this. Boston Legal is one of the biggest offenders. They do it for the whole show, and not just for serious parts.

No, I think it is merely a style choice. It is designed to make you feel closer to the action, like you're in the scene. The camera reacts like another person who isn't omniscient, and doesn't know where the next line or action is coming from.

I don't think it's particularly pretentious, just too trendy. Enough is enough already.

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Old 12-19-2005, 05:07 PM   #12 (Print)
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I don't like it either, and I agree that's is just "trendy". It's as bad as the slow motion/fast motion/slow motion cycles everyone was stealing from The Matrix.
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Old 12-19-2005, 07:27 PM   #13 (Print)
MattBeckwith
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Anybody see the movie, "Domino"?

The camera motions in this movie were sudden, extreme and very fast-paced. But they were NOT jerky.

I think the director was trying to say that the next level of camera action is sudden, deliberate cut-aways rather than uncertain jerky movements.

In fact, in one scene, there was a news show on the TV. In that news show, jerky camera was used. I suspect the director was trying to show by contrast how much better his approach is.
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Old 12-19-2005, 09:02 PM   #14 (Print)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FourFourSeven
Arrested Development uses it to make fun of those sorts of shows! I thought the creators described the show as "Royal Tenebaums shot like Cops." So Arrested Development does NOT contradict MattBeckwith's thesis...


Now, to paraphrase Homer Simpson:

"Mmm... beef jerky camera!"


Actually they said on the 1st season dvd that they use to make the show feel immediate and to help the audience feel like they are right there as it is happening. They go into some detail about it.
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Old 12-19-2005, 10:41 PM   #15 (Print)
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Bourne Supremacy was a prime jerky cam offender, IMO. I enjoyed the Bourne Identity, and looked forward to the second installment, but found it unwatchable due to the jerky cam in every action sequence. The Rock (the movie, not the actor/wrassler) was one of the first examples of jerky cam that I can remember. The scene where they are racing down the hilly streets of San Fran are almost enough to give me motion sickness. Note to film makers: making your audience ill is usually considered a bad thing...although I'm sure there are some exceptions to this rule.

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Old 12-19-2005, 10:47 PM   #16 (Print)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MattBeckwith
Jerky camera is pretentious, not to mention majorly annoying.

I won't watch any show which uses this technique to any great degree (a little bit is tolerable).

Anybody else here feel this way?
Strongly disagree. As used (started? at least one of the first) in NYPD Blue, it puts the viewer right in the scene. If you pay attention, the camera moves as if it's taking scope of the situation, looking at surrounding objects, then focusing on the action, just like a person. Some of the very best dramas on TV today use this, like The Shield, Rescue Me, and Battlestar Galactica. If you don't watch these, it's your loss, and over what I think is a pretty petty quibble.

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Old 12-19-2005, 11:02 PM   #17 (Print)
bentleyml
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In general on TV it doesn't really bother me, but it's over use in fight scenes in movies is the real problem for me. I think the above mention of the Borne Supremecy is a prime example. I really, really wanted to enjoy the movie, but during the fight scenes I had no idea what the hell was going on. Ugh. In an action movie you want to be able to see the darn fight, not be ill because of the fight scene.

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Old 12-20-2005, 12:55 AM   #18 (Print)
MattBeckwith
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Quote:
Originally Posted by balboa dave
If you pay attention, the camera moves as if it's taking scope of the situation, looking at surrounding objects, then focusing on the action, just like a person.


This would be a valuable observation, if the camera movements weren't so jerky.

But there's more to it than this. The camera movements are often totally random, and just for effect--not the way eyes move at all.

Quote:
Originally Posted by balboa dave
Some of the very best dramas on TV today use this, like The Shield, Rescue Me, and Battlestar Galactica. If you don't watch these, it's your loss, and over what I think is a pretty petty quibble.


I agree that there are some very good dramas on TV which are spoiled by the jerky camera. It's too bad the camera movements are so unpleasant that it makes me unable to watch them. And you're right, it is my loss. It makes me wish there were a way to run the video through a pre-processor which removed the jerkiness, so I could watch the show.
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Old 12-20-2005, 09:44 AM   #19 (Print)
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I agree that too much jerking makes a mess of things. That's one of the reasons I watched part of the very first episode of NYPD Blue and have never watched since. I don't need a fictional show to look like an episode of COPS. I'll watch COPS if I want to get jerked around. Just MO, of course.

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Old 12-20-2005, 10:28 AM   #20 (Print)
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This is one of my pet peeves. There's many a show I'd like to enjoy but can't stand watching the camera bob & weave around. I think it's the equivalent of shaking keys at a baby. Ooo, look.....stuff is moving, this is action packed!

I know it's supposed to look improvisational and 'gritty' but it's distracting and makes most shows that use it heavily unwatchable to me.
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Old 12-20-2005, 10:29 AM   #21 (Print)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bentleyml
In general on TV it doesn't really bother me, but it's over use in fight scenes in movies is the real problem for me. I think the above mention of the Borne Supremecy is a prime example. I really, really wanted to enjoy the movie, but during the fight scenes I had no idea what the hell was going on. Ugh. In an action movie you want to be able to see the darn fight, not be ill because of the fight scene.
IMHO this is a different issue altogether. The problem in fight scenes like this is usually the number of fast cuts they do, mainly so they don't have to choreograph as much. Any shakiness is usually just a byproduct, or an attempt to further disorient you so you don't notice that the movements don't make any sense

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Old 12-20-2005, 10:32 AM   #22 (Print)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob_Newhart
I agree that too much jerking makes a mess of things. That's one of the reasons I watched part of the very first episode of NYPD Blue and have never watched since. I don't need a fictional show to look like an episode of COPS. I'll watch COPS if I want to get jerked around. Just MO, of course.
I thought it was overdone in NYPD Blue, but otherwise it rarely bothers me. Of course maybe it's just that this was the first show to really use it; but even recently when I'd stumble onto Blue, the camera movements just seemed overwrought and random. With most other shows I don't even notice this style being used...

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Old 12-20-2005, 02:24 PM   #23 (Print)
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I personally find it irritating.

The two shows that I watch that have it are Battlestar Galactica, and South of Nowhere.

I'll admit, though, that I find it annoying for the first few minutes. After that, I barely notice it, unless they make it extreme...then I find it annoying again for a few more minutes.

I do think they can do without it, though.

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