Watch: Ridley Scott Teaches Us How to Cover a Dialogue Scene
In space, someone can hopefully hear you scream.
If there's one thing audience members can be sure to take away from the bone-chilling, horrific 1979 film from Ridley Scott, Alien, it's those darn, dialogue-heavy dinner table sequences. With tongue placed firmly-in-cheek, we'll admit that that's not technically what viewers will remember, but due to one dinner-set scene in particular, in which the title character makes a blood-soaked first appearance, they do matter a great deal.
Popular online video essayist wolfcrow has just released an examination of the way the dinner table dialogue sequences in Alien are shot and framed. Scott and cinematographer Derek Vanlint worked closely together to indicate balances of power among the spaceship's crew, as well as subverting the attention away from whom ultimately grew to be their leading heroine (Ripley as played by Sigourney Weaver).
If the bringing in of actors closer to the frame indicates their character's immense power, then the pushing back of an actor out of the frame (or rather, further away from it), works as a subversion to indicate a lack of importance that the character may secretly possess. It's a visual sleight-of-hand that proves quite effective by film's end.
What do you think of the video above? Are you fan of the Alien franchise (and does this video increase your fandom)? Let us know in the comments below.