Camera Work in the Graduate

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Ethan Spiro
FMS 001, A02
January 29, 2012
John Zibell

Cinematography: Camera Work in the Scuba Scene From The Graduate
The Graduate, directed by Mike Nichols is a movie that depicts the story of a young man who is searching for his identity.  The main character Ben Braddock, played by Dustin Hoffman, is a fresh college graduate.  The film follows Ben throughout his very bland life until he is sucked into an affair with Mrs. Robinson, a close family friend.  The Graduate encompasses many aspects of cinematography. I found the scuba scent have outstanding camera work, in which Ben’s parents find it amusing to make a fool of their son without realizing it. Mike Nichols has the scuba scene take place at Ben Braddock’s birthday party, that his parents throw but only his parent’s friends are invited.  The scene begins with a close up of Ben’s father, who is introducing Ben and his new birthday gift to all the family friends in the yard.  The director chooses to begin the scene with a close up to make a point that what’s to come is important, emphasizing the excitement on the father’s face. The father then walks back to the door with his focus towards the camera, making the audience feel as if they are present. As the father backs up the mother finds her way into the shot. she was originally behind the father during the close up.   The second shot in the scene is a medium shot taking place in the kitchen, in which Ben is in his scuba gear.  Mike Nichols uses the medium shot at first to show not only Ben, but also the environment that he is in.  Being shot in an all white  kitchen contrasts Ben's dark scuba outfit and emphasizes Ben and his thoughts of what is happening.  Also the medium shot is used here to show the kitchen and how spotless and organized Ben’s family is.  As the shot continues, Ben walks slowly toward the camera while the camera is grounded.  The shot ends with a close up of Ben in his scuba mask, where the audience can really feel his...
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