"Shakey cam" in action heavy movies | Kinmunity: Otherkin Community

"Shakey cam" in action heavy movies

Discussion in 'Televison & Movies' started by St Claire, Jun 3, 2016.

  1. St Claire

    St Claire Void Walker

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    So, I've been watching a lot of action heavy movies lately (mostly horrors and thrillers) and after finishing a movie that I enjoyed I like to look at reviews on IMDb to see if other people enjoyed it as much as I did. I've noticed that these movies sometimes get really low reviews, which is fine, not everyone likes the same things, but some of the things they're complaining about are honestly confusing me.

    One thing in particular that I don't understand is people bemoaning the use of the "shakey cam" technique. They even go as far as to say that this technique ruins their ability to enjoy the movie. However, I'm usually too focused on the action to notice whether the camera is perfectly still or not. I also think this technique has some merits. For example, in a high stress chase scene, I find that some slight movement of the camera adds an extra layer of immersion.

    So what do you guys think of the "shakey cam"? Do you love it, hate it, or don't even notice it?
     
  2. Mew

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    Personally for me it depends; if I can get really into it, I can ignore it, but sometimes it either makes my ADHD act up or it makes me slightly dizzy, which does hinder my ability to enjoy the movie.

    My mom, on the other hand, cannot watch anything with a shaky camera affect; it makes her super nauseous and dizzy, and she can't look at the screen because she feels really sick.
     
  3. BirdMonster

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    I'm perfectly fine with it. However, my aunt struggles with any video that is shaky. Motion sickness is common to a lot of movie goers now a days. I was actually planning to go see Hardcore Henry but with my recent concussion, just watching the trailer made me nauseous.
    It really all depends on the person.
     
  4. kiror

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    I'm slightly annoyed with it. Unless there's some big explosion or other big thing happening that clearly justifies the camera movement, it bothers me: the camera is giving some information that isn't confirmed by the other elements of the scene, so I get annoyed with that. I could say that the camera being too close to the actors in action scenes is also a problem: the camera shakes more for not so big events and my sense of space available in the scene, the position and the direction the camera is focusing gets lost easily, which can cause on me some discomfort (from headache to nausea) while watching the movie.
     
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  5. Obsydian

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    It bothers me a great deal when it's done too much or too often. I can't think of any examples at the moment, but it makes it really hard for me to focus on the action and the characters and I'll find myself confused as to who is doing what.
     
  6. TimelordVictorious

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    When it gets too shaky, I get a headache. There was this movie about aliens where they were carrying around a camera and running around with it. I think it's called Cloverfield. That was like Shaky Cam: The Movie. I couldn't even watch five minutes of it. But in general, I think it can add to the movie if you use it in small doses. I dunno, like if a bomb drops and the characters are disoriented and the camera gets shaky for a while. But if it goes on for too long or if it moves around too much, it kills my concentration and I get a headache trying to figure out what's going on with the action.
     
  7. St Claire

    St Claire Void Walker

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    It's funny you should mention Cloverfield, because a lot of people quote this as the movie that started the trend. Even though shakey cam was used in movies before it, such as "Blair Witch Project". I think found footage and shakey cam pretty much go hand-in-hand by now.

    I think it might sometimes be used to disguise a low budget, it's hard to focus on special effects (or lack thereof) when the camera is moving around.
     
  8. Velvet Wings

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    I thought of Cloverfield when I saw this topic too. I tried to watch that movie but had to quit part way through because it made me feel so ill. I don't get motion sick with every shakey movie, Blair Witch I'm fine with, but 15 mins of Cloverfield made me feel so ill I had to go lay down in the dark for an hour to recover.
    Some games as well, like Doom, make me feel ill with their camera bobbing. I'm not sure why some are bad and others don't bother me, maybe it's to do with the intensity of the movement or the movement combined with certain lighting/effects or something. But I have certainly had it ruin my enjoyment of movies/games before, it's hard to enjoy something when it's making you feel physically ill.
     
  9. AshenFall

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    For me it depends. I'm not too bad with shaky cam if it's done to add effect, or in moderation. I find in some movies or situations it works perfectly to add that extra realism to the action. However, in a lot of movies the shaky cam is added to try and compromise for the lack of budget (especially in horrors, which is what I will be referring to in my opinion) and to avoid showing the action taking place. This, along with when they add things such as "camera glitching" when the camera suddenly freezes or cuts out (and all you can hear is screaming and monstrous noises before it cuts back to a still scene), it starts to anger me.

    In the cases such as above, they're trying to add a scare factor in one of the cheapest way possible. An attempt to add creepiness, fear of the unknown, but it falls short most of the time. It breaks the tense atmosphere and leaves you feeling frustrated and angry because you can't tell what is going on and it's all a mess of blur and noise. Where's the creepiness in making a scene I could recreate at home with my phone and some video/audio editing software?

    I tend to be relatively okay physically with the visual effects of shaking, however I've noticed when it's excessively used it makes me motion sick which detracts from the enjoyment further.

    So in short, I do enjoy the effect when it is used in the right scenario and with moderation. However, many movies take advantage of this effect and turn it into an excuse to show less, but hide behind the "oh well it's supposed to be creepy" explanation.
     
  10. Maggie Darkmoon

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    I can adjust to the shakey cam however I do not like it at all. It's extremely unprofessional.
     
  11. cervidfae

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    The reliance on the handheld camera effect is evidence of poor film-making, in my opinion. Having gone through filmography for 2 years, I know there are so many effects, and angles, and lighting changes that they could use, rather than constantly depending on "oooh it's actiony better make it look like the cameraman is seizing through the entire film."

    As mentioned above by others, it's a tactic best used in moderation, such as in the case of a large explosion. Camerawork should be used to... I guess accent the aspects of film-making, like the acting and writing. So shaking the camera through the whole movie takes away opportunities for more nuanced story-telling. Like a main character finding out a shocking and/or disturbing fact could be accompanied by a dramatic canted angle. To execute that with a shaking camera would disorient the viewer greatly I think.

    And finally, again, as mentioned above, I have to agree that motion sickness is an issue that many suffer. I remember tales from my mother seeing Blair Witch in the theater, and people vomiting during the movie. At the time, it was not such an over-used technique, however. I've personally found that the larger the screen, the worse the effect, but that could just be me.

    Anyways, that's my bit. Apologies if it's long winded or seemingly rant-ish; I'm a bit sleep deprived.
     
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