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You don’t have to talk to me for very long to know my love for Peter Pan and for this film. While it’ll always be a classic in my 7 year old eyes, I am not immune to the improvement of story. I wanted to see how I would make this scene more powerful. Here are the two biggest problems that stood out to me with the original cut of the film.
1. I immediately noticed there’s a lot of medium close shots which tells me there’s an overall lack of knowledge on shot progression - which ALSO tells me this scene probably wasn’t boarded ahead of the shoot. Because of the lack of shot progression, we’re not quite sure what the crescendo of this scene is visually if it wasn’t for Newtons amazing score in the background.
2. In addition to lack of variating shot choices, our characters are mostly staged in 3/4 blocking, meaning they are looking at each other rather than looking at the audience (aka just pass the lens). So we’re potentially missing the emotional connection to what Peter and Wendy are are feeling. It’s kind of like in theater the rule is don’t turn your back to the audience, in film that rule could be translated as don’t turn your back away from the camera, unless of course you’re making a point.
So, after considering what I wanted to be the emotional crescendo moments I rebuilt the shots around those moments to make the characters have a conversation with not just each other but also with the camera. Wasn’t worried about extra poses with this one since it wasn’t the point of the exercise.
To recap, my goals were to:
1. Have more dynamic shot variations instead of a bunch of medium close shots
2. Establish shot progression by moving the closer shots only on pivotal emotional moments
3. Keep the stuff that was working ie some of the blocking and editing choices
4. Make Peter the main character of the scene Instead of Wendy
Keep in mind when I say “fix” that’s a loose term as film is subjective. I’m just reimagining the scene by brainstorming what choices I would make as the director.
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