Analysis of Film “I Am Legend”.
I’ve been asked to write an essay on a film. I have been asked to pick a five minute scene from my chosen movie, I will be explaining and talking about how camera shots, miss-en-scene, sound and lightening effects the audience, also what the director want the audience to feel and understand. The movie that I have picked to do my essay on is the 2007 science fiction film I AM LEGEND. This film is based on RICHARD MATHESON’S 1954 novel under the same name and directed by Francis Lawrence.
I AM LEGEND was distributed by the WARNER BROS. PICTURES. and released on DECEMBER 14TH 2007 in the USA. however the developing of the movie started way back in 1994 where several actors and directors were lined up to cast and produce the film, however due to financial and other problems the film was put on hold. NEW York City is where the movie was filmed and also included the BROOKLYN Bridge a $5 Million dollar scene which was the most expensive scene ever at that time.
The movie begins with news broadcast where a scientist Dr. Alice Krippin played by Emma Thompson, who announce the invention of a new drug that could cure cancer saving millions of lives but does it all sound too good to be true? , then fast forwards three years later to the scenes of a post apocalyptic world where there seems to be no sign of human life. we hear car engine and from a birds eye view looking down on the city we see a moving car and then a close up inside the car that’s the first time the main character DR.
ROBERT NEVILE played by WILL SMITH, and his dog SAM are introduced to the audience, through out the movie it becomes clear to the audience watching that the relation ship between ROBERT NEVILE and his dog is a very strong relationship and there are many scenes which showcase the bond between them non more than the scene I have chosen to do my essay on. And the story plays out to the myth that a dog is a mans best friend. The story line of the movie becomes very clear within the early moments of the movie and we see what the task ahead of the main character is. veryday he sends out radio message looking for survivors as well as trying to cure the mutated humans otherwise known as Darkseekrs. The death of ROBERT Neville’s dog Sam proves to be an emotional and a turning point in the film as ROBERT NEVILE loses his senses and retaliates with angry as he cannot bare the loss of his one and only companion and goes out looking for revenge at this point he is attacked by hundreds of dark seekers and seems to be in trouble with his car flipped over all of the sudden a bright light nears and ROBERT
NEVILE passes out as he is coming back around he is inside of a car and looks up with a shaky n unclear camera angle as if the audience is looking through his eyes. at this point he has been rescued by a women named ANNA and her son ETHAN who had heard his radio message and followed him, they take him home but his blood trail is left by the door as he was brought into the house next day the Dark seekers followed the smell of the blood and attacked them that’s when ROBERT NEVILE realises that he has to sacrifice himself to save humanity and becomes almost like a religious figure sacrificing his life for the sake of humanity.
The scene that I have chosen to do my essay on is when ROBERT NEVILE and his dog SAM are chasing after the deer, as they make there way through the roads and cars the deer takes a turn and enters a dark building and Sam follows it, at this point ROBERT NEVILE is also running after them up until the door way screaming for SAM to stop. In this scene the unstable camera and fast scene and ROBERT Neville’s frightened tone of voice makes the audience fearful and worried for SAM.
ROBERT NEVILE then cautiously goes after SAM into the building with a flash light and his gun locked and loaded ready to fire which adds more tension to the scene and makes the audience feel as if something horrible is going to happen, as he is slowly making his way inside the building with a frightened tone of voice whispering Sam’s name, At this point there is no music, the dark building and deadly silence becomes a perfect recpite for a scary scene, the silence and darkens makes this scene very intense and suspenseful which gets the audience on the edge of their seats waiting for something to happen. n the frightful darkness and science all you can here is the sound of his footsteps and water drops dripping down in the background and the frightening tone of ROBERT Neville’s as he raptly says “I shouldn’t be here” makes the scene that much more suspenseful and makes the viewer worried for both him and his dog. uring this scene the camera is very unstable as if the viewer was with him watching him from a corner and the other camera angle used is over the shoulder as if we are ROBERT NEVILE and we see through his eyes, this brings the audience much closer to the action and draws the viewers attention to the scene, especially as ROBERT NEVILE is making his way deeper into the dark building we see more tension building on the characters face as he is making his way round he looks down and there is blood on the floor which is a dangerous sign and gets the audience’s emotions started as we believe it could be SAM. s ROBERT NEVILE is making his way round a corner it appears on the ground the head of an animal which the audience see for a very short time and the camera looks up at ROBERT NEVILE as the tense looks on his face and him slightly whispering “SAM” its creates a very suspenseful moments as ROBERT NEVILE makes his way closer to the animal slowly revealing the head off the deer creates a moments sigh of relief for the character and the veiwer. this plays with the emotions of the audience as being very brightened and scared to the relief and the calming down.
As he goes further into the building, over the shoulder shot is used as we see ROBERT Neville’s view as he point his gun and flash light into different parts of the room seeing nothing but old pipes makes the viewer anxious and worried to what might be in one of theses corners as the audience is looking from his point of view and changes in-between to a close up of his face which the viewer can see the frightened and fearful look on the characters face, all the way through it there is no music used just the sound of his footsteps, water dripping and him calling his dog the second time he looks up the viewer can see the Dark seekers from the characters point of view and the second shot is from the middle of the dark seekers looking back at him, an just as he raised his gun before and seen the you could hear a sound almost like a sward being drawn which with the camera angle and sight of the dark seekers and hearing them breathing and growling grabs the attention of the viewers. hen ROBERT NEVILE quickly looks this shows that he is very frightened and doesn’t want to be spotted and now the audience is very scared and worried for him and there attention is on the screen watching his every move as he slowly takes a few steps back his foot hits a piece of wood on the floor making sound causing the viewer to be on the edge of their seats and very worried this part of The scene is a very suspenseful. As he slowly escapes to the hall the audience is abet more relaxed believing it’s the end of it, As he is making his way though the hall, a whimper can be heard in the distance, echoing through the empty halls of the building. Robert takes a closer look following the sound to find Sam the viewer can see all this as the over the shoulder a very common shot and used a lot in the movie keeps the audience drawn to the action and can see from his point of view, Sam hiding under a desk and looks back at him for a second and we can see this through Sam’s punt of view.
The relief on his face is short-lived as we can see from ROBERT Neville’s point of view as he is looking at Sam and from Sam angle ROBERT NEVILE notices that Sam isn’t looking at him, but staring at something behind him which creates a very scary a moment, He turns around just in time to see a “Dark seeker” jumping to attack him. Robert shoots the Dark seeker, killing it, and then he and Sam start running the camera angle that are used one is wide shot as ROBERT NEVILE is running the other is point of view (pov) shot as we can see from ROBERT Neville’s view and also a wide shot from behind watching him run as he is running towards a window a mid shot and close up are used to see the expression on his face. Also as he is running we see the point of view of the darkeners as they are chasing him getting closer and close. he way the end of this scene has been shot it creates a very exciting climax as the they are running the camera is unstable in a lot of it as its from a human or a dark seekers prospective the speed of the shots and the scene creates a very scary and exciting atmosphere which builds up the viewers emotions and excitement. Thought out the scene threes not much music used at the end as ROBERT NEVILE is running you can here really low but fast music almost like a clock countdown other sound affects used are footsteps running and breathing heavily also you can hearer the dark seekers growling and screaming at the running part of the scene. The reason why I picked this film and this scene to do my essay on because it’s a classic movie based on a classic novel. This scene in particular captures all viewer emotions from being frightened to being happy and scared.