Media Production Mentoring

Free online film school designed with beginning filmmakers in mind.


Chuck Training - Part 1


You know that I really enjoy Chuck. But as I watched him take on a fake name, I noticed several things that I felt I needed to point out. Half of the elements in the show were awesome. But some of them were rather terrible.

The first thing I noticed was the poor framing in an early scene. Granted, they were shooting in a hall so space was limited. I understand that. But still...

Ellie is far too close to center. The shot feels a little low. She's also a little close to the audience.

Chuck is also a little too close to center.

Perhaps it's also the relationship between these two angles. One is almost straight on and down a little, the other is off to the side. So rather than talking to each other, it's almost as if they're in two different conversations. I don't know. I'm still trying to figure out what it is that makes these shots less than the typically stellar frames.

Honestly, these two shots don't look bad. But they were startling in the context of the show. When you've got really good framing and then a few shots that are just a little awkward, it's really jarring. Like the suddenly poor sound quality toward the end of the show when we were outside along a busy street. I understand the complexity of shooting next to a road and how audio in such conditions is a nightmare. But while I expect it from student films, it's super noticeable in a major--typically awesome--production.

These elements--as well as others I hope to address soon--combined to make the entire show feel rushed and hacked together. From an audience standpoint, where we had a few weeks off for the Olympics, that felt even more odd.

 ~Luke Holzmann
Your Media Production Mentor


Agustin said...

be the framing ins that way in order to make 4:3 safe for SD transmission.

Agustin said...

Sorry about the typo, it should read:
Maybe the framing is that way in order to make it 4:3 safe for SD transmission.

Nanio said...

It is like that so its safe for 4:3 aspect ratio...that's basic.

Luke Holzmann said...

Interesting idea, and you could easily be right. However, these were the only shots in that episode that bothered me... so it was more than just 4:3 crop-space. There was something wrong with the framing that pulled me out the show. That doesn't normally happen for me in Chuck.