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  • Travis Lee Ratcliff


This video essay was an early attempt to put into words something that had fascinated me for years in my directing work and in my film watching. I found the idea of character perspective to be elusive to many new filmmakers and film critics and wanted to create a clear guide on what character perspective really means and what its implications are. I was really pleased with the reception of this essay which was featured in many online film publications and used in university programs.

Description: In this video essay I attempt to define subjective and objective character perspective in cinema.

Character perspective is a powerful way of understanding the visual choices in a scene.

I also attempt to clarify the differences between the "point of view" shot and visual language that uses objective or subjective perspective.

Visual references: Tree of Life, Upstream Color, Distant Voices, Still Lives, Blood Simple. 3 Women, Vertigo, There Will Be Blood, Carol, Early Summer, Floating Weeds, Tokyo Story, Russian Ark, Man and a Movie Camera, Singin in the Rain, Son of Saul, The Long Day Closes, Gear VR Trailer, Force Majeure, Enter the Void, Hardcore Henry, Laurence Anyways, The Puffy Chair, Duke of Burgundy, Withnail and I, West Side Story, Armageddon, Transformers 3, Sin City, Lady of the Lake, A Woman Under the Influence, A Nos Amours, Uncle Kent, Hannah Takes the Stairs, Star Trek Bridge Crew Trailer

Music Featured: J DILLA: “Life” / J DILLA: “Flowers” / BERNARD HERMAN: “Scene D’Amour” / BEFORE THE RAIN: “Autistic Machine” / ELLA FITZGERALD:“Taking A Chance on Love”


director's notes


travis lee ratcliff

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