Doctor Who “Resolution” Shot Study – Crossing the Line

A month ago I was on a feature film shoot, ready to go into a take. The 1AD had called turnover, everything was slated, and the DOP jumped up, startling everyone, waving his arms. “Wait! Is this a line cross!?” They don’t always wait until quite so last-second, but a line cross is a DOP … Continue reading

Shot Study – Doctor Who “The Woman Who Fell To Earth”

The first episode of the 11th season of NuWho has Very Big Expectations. It has to stand up to many recent introductions of The Doctor and/or companions, some of which arguably rank among the best episodes the show has done. It has to act as a pilot of sorts, because even though we know this … Continue reading

Use of Framing to Visualise Characters’ Thoughts and Feelings in Halt and Catch Fire

Halt and Catch Fire is never afraid to go for broke with its direction. While sometimes (especially in Season 1) this leans too hard into melodrama or Dutch tilts, overall, the direction makes any given episode stand out. (To read a fantastic piece on the show’s use of colour, in the episode after the one … Continue reading

Everything Sucks! is kinda adorable, actually.

It may sound like damning with faint praise, but the best adjective for this show is adorable. The young cast is adorable (and talented), the plots about innocent young love are adorable (and properly teenage-awkward), the set dressing is adorable (though its period budget is obviously less than, say, Halt and Catch Fire), you get … Continue reading

Glitch: Pilot

This is the first in a series of pilot analysis, where I review how the pilot works as such. Eventually if there’s enough interest I may pick up a whole series. First up is Glitch. A good pilot establishes; that’s almost its only job. It establishes the main story, the setting, characters, the look and … Continue reading

The Night Of: Season 01, Episode 02, “Subtle Beast”

The first episode was intense, packed with information and events. The second is a slow inhalation, and feels much more like a traditional series establishment: here’s the system, the major players and some hint at their motivations. Here, too, are the various mundane procedures which accompany a murder. “Subtle Beast”‘s opening scene covers territory we saw … Continue reading

The 100, Season 03, Episode 03, Ye Who Enter Here

This episode opens a week after last episode, practically in real time. And then everything escalates quickly. At the beginning of the episode, I guessed Bellamy’s girlfriend would be dead within three episodes. I overestimated. All four major arcs here (Clarke/Lexa, Bellamy/Octavia/Echo/Pike, the summit including Abby and Marcus, and the newly established Arkers in the … Continue reading

The 100: Season 03, Episode 01, Wanheda Part 1

Starting the episode off exactly where it left of in S2, and with Murphy – whose story was mostly ancillary the last couple seasons and whose ending was not really crucial to any plots so far – felt like quite the bold move. Murphy putting the gun to his chin immediately followed by something life-saving … Continue reading

Lost Girl: Season 05, Episode 14, “Follow the Yellow Trick Road”

Lost Girl has nodded to The Wizard of Oz before, and “Follow the Yellow Trick Road” opens seemingly in the middle of it. The ending of last episode [as the ‘previously on’ reminds us] suggests this cold open is a switch to Bo’s internal POV; ie, her dream, hallucination, or however you interpret The Wizard of Oz. … Continue reading

Title Sequence: Elementary

Elementary‘s title sequence presents us with a Rube Goldberg machine, something both straightforward and convoluted. Like the show itself, the sequence is not all chronological with clear cause-and-effect, but it includes pieces we’re familiar with: mouse wheel, rising bell, pulleys; procedural tropes, situational lying, criminal types, a figure trapped in a cage, etc. The machine includes potential elements of … Continue reading