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Symbeline's avatar

What do you think of ''shaky camera'' movies?

Asked by Symbeline (30385 points ) July 10th, 2012

The type of movie which you see directly filmed through a camera, in which the events are usually filmed by a character or several characters in the movie. Some notable examples are The Blair Witch Project, the Rec movies, and Paranormal Activity.
These strive to reach a new height in giving the viewer a sense of genuine realism, and some work, some don’t. For me it all depends on the events depicted in the movie, and if it seems plausible that someone would actually film everything. The technique has to accommodate the content and make it plausible, otherwise I get real irritated.
Blair Witch makes sense, as did Paranormal Activity, and that last one helped with having security cameras that watch constantly, so that takes away some of the absurdity of someone filming shocking and frightening events that, in real life, most people would be too scared to do.
Sometimes it gets annoying. Zombie movies have fallen prey to this a lot. Rec, Zombie Diaries, Diary of the Dead…I like these movies, but sometimes all this bugs me. I want to see detail, not just shaking cameras and blurs when something cool is happening.
I understand the look, feel and intent these go for, and I find it interesting. Except there are so many of these now that I find myself going, oh no, not another shaky camera movie…It’s not always pleasing to the eye, and it doesn’t always go kindly with the subject matter. I realize, during a war, you always have some people who’s job is to record everything…but seriously, if my town gets invaded with zombies, getting everything on film is the last of my damn worries.
What are your thoughts on this? What types of shaky camera movies have you seen, and do you like it?

also Imma hurl the next time I hear someone say, ’‘will you turn that damn thing off?!’’

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23 Answers

josie's avatar

I have never seen one I liked

ragingloli's avatar

They make me physically sick.

chyna's avatar

I find them annoying.

YARNLADY's avatar

I think it is disgusting. It does not add anything to the supposed realism, but rather detracts from the overall enjoyment.

poisonedantidote's avatar

I don’t get the link between shaky cam and movies that have characters doing the filming, from what I have seen the shaky cam is used on many other movies.

I think it worked well for Saving Private Ryan, other than that I have disliked it. Some movies have gone way overboard with it, if used 1ce or 2ce in the movie it can be very effective, but keep doing it the entire movie and it just ruins it for me.

Michael_Huntington's avatar

I dunno about the amount of shakiness in Cannibal Holocaust, but that’s a good movie. I really like Diary of the Dead, I felt like it was kind of parodying the genre. But other than those examples, I don’t care. Still better than The Avengers! LOLOLOLOLO

Symbeline's avatar

@poisonedantidote Yeah, I realize I may be getting some terms mixed up. I looked it up on Wiki before asking this, but I can’t quite figure all that which shaky camera implies. In this question I mean when a character is constantly filming the events, à la Blair Witch.

@Michael_Huntington Cannibal Holocaust is a good movie. I like the whole morality issue it addresses, and how it’s all Conan the Barbarian syndrome; are civilized people really more civilized than ’‘savages’’? The special effects when a human gets fucked up suck ass though lol. but damn, the animal scenes…:(

@YARNLADY That’s how I often feel, that the visuals take away from what I’m supposed to enjoy.

Pied_Pfeffer's avatar

I do not like films in this style.
It makes me ill after awhile.
I do not like this style of cam.
I do not like them @Symbeline I Am.

bewailknot's avatar

I do not watch movies with this type of cinematography. Hate it!

Blueroses's avatar

It bothers me in the same way that CGI bothers me.

After the original, effective, new-use of pov filming, it’s just copycat that takes me out of the story.

Pol_is_aware's avatar

Oh you mean like The Hunger Games? Yeah, that shaky camera movie sucked. Some “Found footage” films are good. I really enjoyed Paranormal Activity.

6rant6's avatar

I think handheld shots can be very effective in creating a sense of chaos. That being said, any one note movie is going to cloy at some point. It should be used with intent, and not just as an alternative to doing the job of the cinematographer and director.

I saw a b-movie the other night where one scene at the beginning was shot with three cameras – or three takes, anyway. Two of the shots were tripod-mounted. The third was handheld. That’s just stupid.

Ponderer983's avatar

I’m going to vomit!

Aethelflaed's avatar

Kill it. Kill it with fire.

filmfann's avatar

I loved it in Blair Witch and Cloverfield, but the beginning of Hunger Games had no action, and they still did the shaky cam when they were looking at trees! I was thinking they were trying to show an earthquake or something. I loved the book, but almost walked out because it made me a bit ill.
Even Woody Allen has used it at the wrong times. Watch Deconstructing Harry, and you will see what I mean.

Pandora's avatar

Oh, I am glad I didn’t see the hunger games then. I really hate it. I feel like vomiting and then I get pissed off because I blew good money on a movie I can’t watch. They should put warnings with it. Beware stupid shaky camera may make you feel sick to your stomach, so save your money and the food in your stomach.

Blackberry's avatar

I don’t like them. It doesn’t make me sick or anything, I just can’t see anything. The point of watching a movie is to actually see stuff, lol. They did this in the second Bourne movie and it pissed me off because I couldn’t see the fight scene.

Blueroses's avatar

I actually saw Hunger Games opening weekend on the HUGE screen. I loved the book and the cinematography didn’t bother me at all (oddly, because I’m usually very sensitive to being manipulated). I decided that story couldn’t be told on film the way it was in the book, so appreciated how it was presented. I thought it was well done as a supplement to the book, not as an exact replication of it.

XOIIO's avatar

Battle los angeles was one of thse.

They are fucking annoying.

digitalimpression's avatar

I actually enjoyed the Bourne movie where they used the shaky camera effect. The first time I watched it, it was a bit annoying.. but now when I watch it I don’t mind it. It adds visual action to scenes that normally would be a dull, flat dialog.

Zaku's avatar

Much more often annoying and cheesy than a positive thing, to me.

ucme's avatar

Cloverfield was fucking pathetic, didn’t like Blair Witch or the Paranormal Activity films either, the Rec movies are brilliant though, top notch shocks with the shaky camera thing only adding to the suspense.
They may as well film Porn with the shakes, coz most blokes watching get the same effect from vigorous wanking :¬)

Only138's avatar

I think they suck…...balls.

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