Why Angle is Important

I love the way Oliver Stone shoots his movies. Every shot has about 4 or 5 different meanings. The more times you watch the film, the more you pick up on those meanings. 

Last night, hubby and I went to see “W.“. Aside from being a brilliant and, in my opinion, Oscar worthy film, it was, for me, the TV and film geek, a study in camera angles. One thing that was blatantly clear to me was that whenever Stone did a scene with George Bush Sr. (James Cromwell), he shot Cromwell from a low camera angle, looking up. This was particularly noticeable in scenes where Cromwell and W (Josh Brolin) appeared together. 

Shooting someone from a low angle makes them look larger than life. It also makes them appear powerful. Stone’s angle choice was intentional and ironic – it served to make the junior Bush, the most powerful man in the world, appear weak only in the eyes of one man – his father. 

The angle at which we view our lives, be it personal or professional, is no different. If we constantly view things from below, looking up at other people who appear more popular, more successful, more wealthy, or more happy than us, then we impose upon ourselves feelings of incompetence, self doubt, depression. Conversely, if we come at things from above, looking down on others who we perceive to be less intelligent, less successful, less competent, we then impose upon ourselves an irrational sense of superiority. 

However, if we come at life straight on, on an even level with everyone else, then a few interesting things happen. We stop comparing ourselves to everyone else. Nobody is better, nobody is worse. We stop making assumptions about other people and instead just get to know them for who they are. We no longer feel as if people are judging us. We feel good about what we have to offer and excited about what other people have to offer too. 

Next time you meet someone, consider the angle at which you are looking at them. Are you up high looking down, so you can feel better about yourself? Are you down low, so you lack confidence and feel judged? If your angle is off, you need to change it. You need to set your angle at eye level with that other person. Only then can you truly be yourself, and allow them to do the same. Only then, can you be open to whatever comes your way.

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5 Responses

  1. Wow, interesting post (not that your others aren’t as interesting!).

    I never really noticed that about Stone’s movies, but now, being the anally “have to check out that now!” type that I am, I’ll be looking for it.

    What you say is so true – people often put themselves down for no reason (and, converse;y, boost their ego by putting others down).

    So what if you make a million a year and travel first class everywhere? Does that make you a better person? It makes you richer financially than me, but is your life complete?

    I (hopefully) could never look down on another human being – there are enough idiots in the world doing that for all of us, thank you. Is it so hard to offer the hand of friendship, anyway? I may not have much, but if I can give you some, I will.

    Great post, Sue, really thought-provoking.

  2. W is on our list of movies we have to find time to see before we die. Definitely.

  3. terrific insight. I intentionally shoot at odd angles because of this effect, but hadn’t thought about making sure I don’t evaluate from odd angles.

    thanks

  4. Very profound, Suze! I have always preferred to be on the same level with others, eye-to-eye wise; it’s so much more conducive to interpersonal communication, don’t you think?

    Now, lemme just get off my horse here… ;-)

  5. Nicely put, completely agree. Though in the case of Jamie Cromwell it probably helps when you’re 6ft 7 ;)

    Nice blog

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