Moonrise Kingdom Analysis

One goal of any media studies course is to go from being a passive consumer to being an active observer of media technique and affect. Wes Anderson’s film provides an opportunity to analyze the use of camera placement, composition and movement. Imagine as you watch a particular shot that it’s you behind the camera. As the DP (director of photography) you put it there for a reason, with thought and deliberation. If the camera pans or tilts, your camera operator in tandem with the focus puller has to get the timing just right or the shot won’t work. If the camera physically moves with the action, the dolly grips have to lay down camera track that’s level and smooth, or the steady-cam operator has to move with just the right gait and balance. Meanwhile, the gaffer, best boy and electrical crew have to execute your lighting plan so all shots from different camera positions match and create the right atmosphere. As you watch Moonrise Kingdom, think of yourself as the auteur. You wrote and directed this film, conceived all the sets and costumes (every physical and digital object) in collaboration with the production designer , agreed on the lighting plan and camera placement with the DP, worked out your shot list every day with your editor, and of course, worked with your actors on their characterizations. Having read about auteur theory and watched the short film on Anderson’s visual style, describe the specific elements that went into the making of Moonrise Kingdom. Account for the arrangement of elements within the frame of his shots. Really look and listen. This is how filmmakers learn their craft. What makes his films look like no one else’s? Standard disclaimer: Not a review. Be specific about the visual and auditory content as well as readings that you reference as evidence. Avoid generalities, cut to the chase. Spellcheck. Use paragraphs for clarity.

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