A Tale of Two Sisters (Kim, Jee-Woon, 2004) Camerawork & Sound design

In the scene “Under The Sink”, within the film, “A Tale of Two Sisters”, a number of different techniques are used which clearly demonstrate the variation of camerawork which is possible.

The time I will use from the video to discuss the camerawork starts at 5:48 and finishes at 9:27

To begin with, after the man has picked up the crisps, the camera is set in the corner of the room and is taking an establishing shot. The establishing shot gives the audience an understanding of what is going on, where the scene is taking place, when the footage was taken and also who stands within the shot. The establishing shot is also long enough to show that the man has left the room and is probably not coming back.

After this, at 6:22 within the embedded video – we get a mid-shot which may be seen as being taken from a point of view shot. The mid-shot gives us a closer view of the girl and from the strange angle it also adds some tension as if something may be watching her from that specific point of view.

At 6:36, the cupboard squeaks and one of the doors slowly opens up. An over-the-shoulder shot is used so that the audience may also see what is going on within the kitchen. As time progresses, the camera moves in closer towards the cupboard, possibly by using a dolly-shot as the camera is relatively stable and remains at roughly the same height.

At 6:55, the camera changes once again and we have a reaction shot which shows the girls reaction to the cupboard opening up by itself. The reaction shot clearly shows that the girl is scared by what has happened, and also we get the diagetic sound of the girl breathing loudly, which emphasises the feeling of being scared. The camera then moves with the actress as she gets up from the chair, at this point we can see it is a hand-held camera being used to film as the shot moves around and the angles change at the same time, there is also slight shaking of the camera which helps to determine this.

After this shot, at 7:11, there is a close up of an establishing shot pointed towards the cupboard and the girl moves into the camera to save some editing. There is then a mid-shot as the girl bends down to look into the cupboard. At 7:34 a reaction shot shows the expression of the girl which shows some signs of her being confused. Moving on, at 7:37 there is another establishing shot which shows the floor and more importantly it shows that there is nothing there other than the red tiles and part of a rug. A reaction shot at 7:44 then shows the girls expression.

At 7:49 the camera changes into a point of view shot from “something” under the sink. The point of view shot adds a lot of tension because the audience get a hint that something may be under the sink and it may get her when she looks. However, the audience are then relieved as the girl takes a sigh of relief and we establish that there is in fact nothing there.

After this point, the girls expressions change again as she hears a girl crying behind her. As she slowly turns around we come across another establishing shot which also puts an end to a loud non-diagetic sound which adds emphasis to the emotions. After this at 8:43 there is a shot which can be categorised into a number of different shots. Firstly, it is likely to have been taken with a hand held as it is very low to the ground. It also shows a mid-shot as the girl is crouched down, and also it shows a point of view shot because it seems like the shot is taken from hiding behind a chair. At 8:51 another reaction shot is used followed by another establishing shot on a previous bit of floor which we thought we had seen before. However, this time there is a hair pin on the floor that the audience did not see before, because it was not there. Because of this, another reaction shot is used and from there a crane-shot may have been used as the camera is very steady as it lowers down with the girls hand as she reaches out for the hair pin. The camera is almost taking a close-up of the girls hand as it reaches for the hair pin.

At this point a zombified looking hand darts out of the underneath of the sink with a very loud non-diagetic sound which is added purely to make the audience jump even more ( as if they weren’t already!?) there is then a close-up of the hair pin as it falls to the ground and another reaction shot which shows the girl screaming to make the audience jump even more. A hand-held then follows the girl as she scoots her way away from the underneath of the sink and sees the girl who was crying once again. The scene then ends with a final reaction shot of the girl looking shocked.

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