How To Direct Like Quentin Tarantino – Visual Style Breakdown
Quentin Tarantino (QT) is arguably one of the best film directors that Hollywood has ever produced. He has been directing for about 24 years and he has been nominated and won countless awards. From the number of movies he has done, one can tell that QT believes in quality and not quantity.
He has produced just 8 films. Instead of focusing on the low number, his ingenuity lies in the efforts dissipated into each of the movies. All his movies from Pulp Fiction to Reservoir Dogs, from Inglorious Bastards to Kill Bill, were hits. Even Death Proof has its place in the Tarantinoverse.
The Film Guy created this remarkable video essay explaining the below.
Here is a breakdown of Tarantino’s visual style to illustrate why he is one of the best of all time.
His movies seem to have a slow pace. While some people see this as a minus, most people see it as a way to make the audience understand the movie. Having a slow pace is not a problem as long as each scene engages the audience. Due to this slow pace, Tarantino focuses more on long dialogue.
For instance, the bar scene in Inglorious Bastards took about 30 minutes and about 90 percent of the scene was covered by a lengthened dialogue. The ingenuity here lies in the fact that the scene and the dialogue got more interesting by the minute and so viewers were not bored.
Point of View (POV) shots
To get this kind of shots, the camera is positioned in a way that the audience sees from the eyes of one of the characters. He usually gets this shot from either the trunk of a car or while lying on the ground. This is a way of making the movie intense.
This kind of view is done by placing the camera above the head of the subject. Tarantino does this a lot in all his movies. This shot projects a situation where a bigger character than the actors is watching from above. Tarantino also uses this shot when a character is being monitored.
Extreme close up
Tarantino does this by placing the camera very close to the actor or his actions. This makes the scene more immersive and more intense.
To do this, Tarantino zooms the camera in on the subject and withdraws it immediately. He repeats this several times in a minute. He uses this to introduce the arrival of a character. He also uses it to draw viewers’ attention to either the character of his/her actions.
He uses 360 cycling, Following/tracking shots and Push-ins to make the movie very interesting and captivating. This is why his viewers hardly blink all through his movies. In addition, he uses black and white backgrounds to represent flashbacks and he also uses shots where an actor looks into the mirror in a moment of sober reflection.
Another gimmick that makes him a success is foot shots. He knows how to tell stories with feet. One thing Tarantino does not like and hardly uses is Computer Generated Imagery (CGI). He believes that CGI should only be used for a stunt that is humanly impossible. He will rather hire a stunt man for stunts.
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