The Jumpy Grumpies

Does anyone like the way movies and tv move the camera constantly now? It’s really obvious with fight scenes, chase scenes, and dances (ok, maybe not all in the same story). The camera bobs and spins through everything like they’re trying to keep you from seeing it.

Maybe this sounds like sour grapes, but 90% of my family gets motion sickness from the camera movement. Personally, I start to get a headache the minute it starts bobbing around (especially with CGI) – there’s nowhere for my eyes to focus. Or if there is, there’s only one spot, and I’m not finding it fast enough.

Then, I get annoyed because I can’t see what’s happening. Oh, I get a dramatic blur of motion. I know so-in-so kicked this way or spun that way. It’s hard to really enjoy that when your eyes can’t focus on it. I don’t understand what they’re trying to do by moving that much anyway. Is the scene that bad that they don’t think we’ll like it if we actually get to see it? Why do they even choreograph fight scenes if they won’t show them?

I looked up some lists of the best movie fight scenes, and guess what? Most of them didn’t move the camera that much. They switched camera angles, switched to different zooms, and panned a bit, but they didn’t jump around constantly.

And why are they so epic? Because they have great fight choreography – and the camera angles let us see it! I don’t care if it’s a fight or a dance. If you have good choreography, I want to see it. Not blurry camera movement.

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