English 1102: Television and Feminism

Dr. Casey Alane Wilson • Georgia Institute of Technology

Tag: #longshots

Fresh Outta Film School

Fresh Off the Boat has a fresh visual design. The colors are bright, the cuts are quick, and the color scheme is warm. This show is so wholesome that it even reflects in the visual design. The colors are warm schemed, reflecting the warmth of the show and the inviting characters as the series wants to display their family dynamic. This has the effect of carrying over the program’s lightheartedness. There are no gloomy days, dark scenes, or special effects in the show. It is very clean cut and looks bright and cheery even when nighttime scenes are shown.

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fight like sisters, love like sisters

The show has mostly longer scenes, with a plotline falling over an average to long timeframe, but shots are quick and clean. Conversations between characters are shot with quick cuts between each perspective, ping-ponging between lines of dialogue. Every once in a while scenes are shot differently, like the opening of Episode 7, when the Huang’s are in a mock robbery scene. The opening of the showtimes special edits with riffs and music. The narration is paired with shots, especially when narrating the thoughts of multiple characters at a time, which the show does often. These long takes help the development of the show by allowing for longer jokes and humor with better punchlines and more drama between the characters. Scene 7 also shows a fantasy of Eddie Huang wanting to hit on his crush, who he is intimidated by, by showing her his music taste. In this scene, he gets up to walk back to her and enters a fantasy edit with backup dancers and an autotuned bus driver. More intimate scenes, like one on one conversations between the mom and dad, are shot closer up, leading you into the conversation as if you were there. If it weren’t shot this close, it would feel as though you are observing something private, and may lose engagement with viewers.

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the way they look at each other <3

I find the intro of the show interesting cinematographically because it uses unique panning styles and zooms not used in the actual showtime. In the title sequence as well as most of Eddie’s scenes, the music is paired with the style of the shot. Zooms have riffs, sexy scenes have jazz, happy scenes have elevator music and Eddie’s got his 2pac. Is this show Straight Outta Compton or Straight Outta Suburbia?

The Thinking Behind the Shots of Grey’s Anatomy

Grey’s Anatomy has a lot of cinematographic elements that I think are important to be mentioned. Why? Well Grey’s Anatomy makes use of so many different elements with each having a purpose and relevance to the show that when pointed out, make it much more fun to watch the show. Let’s start with the shots.

Each shot in the TV show is carefully planned. Some shots show a wide view of the scene while some shots zoom in to the action. During very intense parts of episodes, the shots are very short to simulate action and a constant shift of focus. Contrary, if the characters are having long discussions, shots are long and steady to give the audience the feeling of being part of the conversation. The length of each shot invokes a certain feeling in the audience along with background music, dialogue, and the position of the shot.

The lighting is also a key element that’s hard not to notice. The entire show seems to be a bit saturated, especially in shots where there is more blood present or more sadness. Most bright shots in the episodes come at the end where Meredith narrates some lesson that she’s learned as an intern. This is to signify a happy ending or “a rainbow within the rain”. These endings normally also show the sun in some way or another to bring a bit of happiness and sunshine into the episode and the show. The dialogue of the characters fades out, grey’s analogue starts, the music fades in, and the episode ends.

The episode of this blog post’s concern is the 2nd episode in season 1. Most lighting effects/shot styles that are present in this episode also play a role in the majority of the other episodes of the season. These tricks are used by the show’s production team to allow for a stronger connection between the audience, the characters, and the show.

Saturated colors in season 1 episode 2 of Grey’s Anatomy

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