Sora no Method Episode 2

Sunday, October 12, 2014

I didn’t really expect this show to offer much in a way of interesting cinematography but this episode pleasantly surprised me with some meaningful shot making.
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As the first episode suggested, Shione has a long held resentment towards Nonoka. Shione is cold to her and even going as far as ignoring her altogether. The shot above reinforces these emotions by creating distance and space between the two. Framing the characters at each side of the frame creates distance. The depth produced by the perspective lines of the desks combined with the exaggerated negative space produced by the low-angle emulates Shione’s feeling of emptiness towards Nonoka.
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This scene engages in imagery. Although it’s a bit too obvious, I thought it was an effective callback to the character’s past. The close-up of the sculpture reflects the period when Noel patiently and longingly waited for Nonoka. It even resembles this shot from the last episode. The scene then cuts to a full shot of the sculpture and a waiting Noel to complete the parallel.

This was an 18 second scene with only those two shots. Since the two shots are similar, it felt like an 18 sec. extended take. This was designed to let the audience absorb the past and the nature of the character.
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In the clip above, the combination of lateral tracking and shallow focus is used to change the main subject of interest of the scene. Even though Yuzuki dominates the dialogue, the camera tracks away from her, centers Nonoka and puts her in focus. This is to show Nonoka trying to get to know and understand Yuzuki. The camera then tracks back and focuses on Yuzuki to visually emphasize her conviction.
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The above are a sequence of shots from one scene. I’m not sure if the last one breaks the 180 degree rule since Noel’s sight line direction didn’t change but the switch of her screen orientation from right side to left side broke continuity. It’s also unbalanced framing. The lack of noseroom/looking room gave Noel’s sight line very little distance to travel, therefore missing visual weight.

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