It’s A Visual Medium: Intro

02/15/2015  By  Martin R. Schneider     Comments Off

Welcome to It’s a Visual Medium! In this feature, we explore the way movies (and TV shows) convey information to their audience, pointing out all the little visual touches that add themes and motifs in a visual medium. Some of these are original observations, some I take from various sources on the internet.  Submissions can be sent to

What visual touches, do you ask?

Well, they could be something like an homage to another film, either through a visual shot re-creation, or through costuming, like this:


Or it could be visual foreshadowing, like this one from Jurassic Park. (dir. Spielberg) In the scene where our main cast is arriving at the island by helicopter, owner John Hammond, (Richard Attenborough) announces that they have to come in fast, and things will get shaky. Everyone immediately buckles their safetybelts without a hitch:

With the exception of Dr. Alan Grant (Sam Neill), who finds himself stuck with two female pieces, unable to connect:

Thinking quickly, Grant does what come instinctively, and just ties the two belts together, fashioning an improvised harness for himself.

Wait a second, here. Two female components that aren’t supposed to go together, but they do anyway, to fulfill their natural function? Wait, that seems like it could be important later…

In this series, we’ll explore motifs, metaphors, blocking, shot breakdowns, and all the cool ways that movies convey information without directly saying it. Sometimes the articles will break down specific scenes, films, or ideas across multiple films. So join us on this trip through imagery. You might learn something.


Liked This? Share It!

About Martin R. Schneider


Martin Schneider has opinions about a lot of things, and sometimes he writes them down. But he tries not to be a douchebag about it, though.