How can Camera Angles and Signifiers Communicate?

Essay by pp186 June 2005

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There are different forms in which camera angles and signifiers can communicate. Signifiers are visual or oral signs that directors/authors use for the audience to place meanings to.

Signifiers are used everywhere from our own lives to movies: when crossing a street, you look for the 'green man' to signify that it's safe; when trying on clothes you look at the label to see the size; when watching a movie and you hear thunder it signifies an upcoming event. These messages are all conveyed to a person without words and are hence signifiers.

In the first scene of my Pingu storyboard, I have shown Pingu and his family walking together in a line then seeing a balloon man, the picture is filled with snow and mountains. The camera angle used here is a medium long shot, and the manner in which they are walking implies that they have just entered the theme park and are still taking everything in.

The snow symbolizes purity, and the smiling faces denote happiness, while the way in which they are walking gives a sense of family love and protection.

Scene 2 of my storyboard shows Pingu and Pinga walking with balloons in their hands, snow, mountains, and a snowman can all be seen in the setting. This is all seen in a very long shot, as the audience doesn't need to look at anything in particular. The signifiers are the snow, Pingu and Pinga smiling and holding their balloons, and the snowman. The snow is once again showing purity, Pingu and Pinga are seen as being happy and having fun, and the snowman is there as a representation of childlike innocence and fun.

Scene 3 shows Pingu holding a balloon and walking by himself surrounded by snow, mountains, and only half the snowman. The...