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"Camcorder View" a fan term used to describe the film and camera techinques used in Cloverfield.


Filming

The film was shot and edited in a cinéma vérité style, to look like it was filmed with one hand-held camera, including jump cuts similar to ones found in home movies. T.J. Miller, who plays Hud, has said in various interviews that he filmed a third of the movie and almost half of it made it into the film.[1] Director Matt Reeves described the presentation, "We wanted this to be as if someone found a Handicam, took out the tape and put it in the player to watch it. What you're watching is a home movie that then turns into something else." Reeves explained that the pedestrians documenting the severed head of the Statue of Liberty with the camera phones was reflective of the contemporary period. According to him: "Cloverfield very much speaks to the fear and anxieties of our time, how we live our lives. Constantly documenting things and putting them up on YouTube, sending people videos through e-mail – we felt it was very applicable to the way people feel now."[2]

Several of the filmmakers are heard but not seen in the film. The man yelling "Oh my God!" repeatedly when the head of the Statue of Liberty lands in the street is producer Bryan Burk, and director Matt Reeves voiced the whispered radio broadcast at the end of the credits. After viewing a cut of the film, Steven Spielberg suggested giving the audience a hint at the fate of the monster during the climax, which resulted in the addition of a countdown overheard on the helicopter's radio and the sounding of air raid sirens to signal the forthcoming Hammerdown bombing.


Shaky camerawork

The film's shaky camera style of cinematography leads some who view it inside dark movie theaters to experience vertigo, causing nausea and a temporary loss of balance. Audience members prone to migraines have cited the film as a trigger. Some theaters showing the film like AMC Theatres posted warnings, informing viewers about the filming style of Cloverfield while other theatres like Pacific Theatres verbally warned guests at the box office about experiencing motion sickness upon viewing the film and what to do in the event a guest had to step out. [3]

It also influences the encoding of the video and can cause compression artifacts.[4]

References

  1. YouTube - Cloverfield TJ Miller Interview
  2. Ryan Rotten (2007-12-14). EXCL: Cloverfield Director Speaks!. ShockTillYouDrop.com. Retrieved on 2007-12-22.
  3. koco.com (2008-01-22), "Hit Horror Flick Leaving Local Moviegoers Queasy." Oklahoma City News, [1].
  4. HDTVtotal.com (2008-04-05), "HornDefined: Cloverfield - Horrorfilm for Encoders!", [2].

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