With the rise of online streaming and various alternative television channels, low budget television shows have been on the rise again. Although these TV shows might have been produced with a small budget, many of them are still able to capture the attention of its audience just like the major blockbusters, with prime examples being KillJoys and in movies the Hallmark movies.

Coping with its low budget, we don’t see fancy CGI being used in Killjoys and it is often shot on simple sets, while the external locations are usually just old factories or farms. What made Killjoys enjoyable and stood out among other TV shows was its near excellent use of cinematography. It’s uses of camera angles and how it designed the compositions of the scenes, effectively constructed the atmospheres of each scene while building up the personality of the characters in the show. Today, we shall be discussing how effective cinematography has propelled Killjoys to its success.


「killjoys iconic scenes」的圖片搜尋結果

Example of how a tense atmosphere is constructed just by the cinematography


Have you ever wondered why your focus has always fallen on Dutch while watching the series? Don’t worry, this isn’t something wrong on your part. In fact, it is something the director wanted its audience to do. Apart from Dutch having a longer screen time than the two other main characters (individually), notice how when Dutch is on screen with other characters, she is often placed in the centre of the screen. Although just watching through the episodes, it is pretty hard to notice its effects, as on first sight the characters will be seen on the same ground by us. However, as cognitive misers, especially we turn our brain off while watching TV, what is at the centre of the screen easily becomes our centre of interest. The director’s use of screen composition subtly guides us on who to focus. We usually won’t notice this, but it is this extra time we focus on Dutch, especially when she is with other characters that lead us to become more connected with her over the other. This allows the screenwriters to ultimately “force” a bond between the audience and Dutch.



How Dutch is the Center of Interest


Throughout the series, we are also often given the feeling that Dutch is a woman with a strong character and excellent fighting ability. Apart from the actions she has been seen doing – single-handedly fending off a whole group of mercenaries or directly confronting Delle an Aneela, as you can guess the use of camera also plays a great role here.  Indeed, this can be attributed to the use of low angles shots for Dutch in the show. Same as the reason why your friends might like to take low angle photos, low angle photos can make a person seem more confident and stronger. It makes a person taller and, in the process, distorting body portions resulting in a misjudgment by the audience. The director of Killjoys plays around with this effect, allowing Dutch to remain more confident and dominant over other characters even in crises, strengthening her image while preserving a natural storyline.


A video on the effects of camera angles: