Evaluation of Shots
We all think that this shot works the best (at 1:09-1:13), as it is visually very pleasing. The shot is short and simple, but it tells us a lot - that the spy is picking up the symbol, we see what the symbol looks like, and that the assassin is standing behind the spy. It shows the danger of the assassin behind him, and the viewer realises that something bad is about to happen.
We also thought that this sequence of shots of the spy hurriedly looking through paper (from 0:56-0:59) is very good. We used jump cuts to add a sense of pace (to contrast with the long, unbroken take that preceded these shots) and to create a feeling of chaos because the character is desperately worried (There are 4 cuts in 4 seconds). This sequence is very exciting and creates a feeling of panic and desperation which comes across well in the scene.
We think that the only shot that didn't fully work is the opening shot which could be confused with a point-of-view (POV) shot. It wasn't meant to be, because the camera was at waist-level the whole time and the aim was to achieve the feeling of an 'omniscient camera'. An example of this in a film is the 3 minute shot in Goodfellas where the camera is an omniscient spectator of the action and follows the characters around.
This shot was filmed on a steady cam which we would have used for our opening if we had access to one. However, we had to settle for a handheld camera which was a little too shaky, and so could be mistaken for a character's perspective. Our opening shot starts unmotivated, while this shot from Goodfellas starts motivated (following two characters down steps, through a kitchen and into a restaurant). The movement in our shot then becomes motivated, as the spy character enters frame and we then follow his actions. The Goodfellas shot becomes unmotivated from 2:57 as the camera spins around to show another character independent of any on-screen movement.