Beauty and the Beast Cameras

This week I decided to watch ‘Beauty and the Beast’ as it’s my given fairy tale for the motion graphics unit but I thought it a good opportunity to shoot two birds with one stone and analyse some camera moves while I was here.

I initially started out watching this year’s live action re-release as I thought there’d be more to think about cinematography wise, but 20 mins in I got pretty tired of auto tuned Emma Watson and so reverted to the 1991 animation.

Little did I know, this would actually be a beneficial decision and be a fairly interesting bit of research as this was the first traditional Disney animation to use computer compositing, colouring and CGI backgrounds. This gave the animators the opportunity to create what must have been a pretty groundbreaking sequence in the ballroom. We get for the first time a genuinely 3D camera move which is used to great dramatic effect in contrast of very basic pans and zooms throughout the rest of the film.

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At the point in the film the technique is used, Belle and the Beast are getting intimate for the fist time, pulling each other close in an epic dance and the camera reflects this. In a particularly floaty manor, we track around the couple in a circular motion, moving in and out of close ups. We share a feeling of wonder with the characters as the world around us suddenly gains a great amount of depth. There’s even a false depth of field effect as the characters get close to the camera.

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