3 Lessons To Learn From Alfred Hitchcock

Hitchcock’s Rule

Hitchcock’s rule is one of the most beneficial lessons you can learn from him and apply to your own work. According to Hitchcock’s rule, everything in the frame must have significant meanings. If you pay attention to the frame in Hitchcock’s films every thing within the shot is symbolic. For example, the person who appears larger in the frame often holds all the power within the scene.

Suspense Vs Mystery

Hitchcock never made a mystery film, nor did he want to. He found that to create meaningful and captivating suspense you had to ensure the audience knew more about what was going on in the film than the characters within the film. Hitchcock’s film Sabotage is a prime example of this. A young boy is meant to deliver a package, with no knowledge there is a bomb within the parcel. However, the audience is well aware, and this causes all the suspense. Because the audience knows that time is running out until the bomb goes off, while the characters have no clue.

The Power of Birds Eye View

Hitchcock uses bird eye view shots a lot in his film, and he states that it helps to create a sense that in reality the characters within the film are tiny and have little to no control over their life. In his movie The Birds, usage of a bird’s-eye view was effective. Through the bird’s-eye view shot the audience sees masses of birds watching the town people, which adds to their threat of terror over the characters in the film. It’s also very affective in foreshadowing events that are about to transpire.


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Rear Window Film Review

Synopsis: 

The story of a recuperating news photographer who believes he has witnessed a murder. Confined to a wheelchair after an accident, he spends his time watching the occupants of neighbouring apartments through a telephoto lens and binoculars and becomes convinced that a murder has taken place.

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Release dateAugust 4, 1954 (New York)

My Review

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Rear Window is my favorite Alfred Hitchcock film and has been on my top 10 list of films for years. My favorite thing about this film is the set. The whole movie takes place from Jeff Jeffereies (James Stewart’s) apartment. Throughout the movie the viewer looks into the lives of his neighbors through Jefferies window and into the neighbors’ windows. All the shots spying on the neighbors are done from a point of view aspect. This is creative and different for movies made during the 50s. The camera shots get very creative. My favorite point of view shots is when Jefferies looks through his telephoto lense on his camera to get a closer look at the lives around him. As the camera cuts from Jeffereies looking out, to what he is seeing the audience sees the images on the screen as if they themselves were looking through a telephoto lense. In this way, the director has taken complete control of the audience and has manipulated how they will watch and perceive the film.

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Another creative camera movement this film does an innovative and creative job of accomplishing is breaking the 180 degree rule. In film, we use the 180 degree rule when setting up camera shots. The 180 degree rule says that two characters in a scene should always have the same left/right relationship to each other. Traditionally, if the 180 degree rule is broken it disrupts the scene and causes disorientation to the audience. However, there is a scene in this movie upon which the 180 rule is broken, causing no kind of distortion. In a scene between James Stewart and Grace Kelly, she crosses over the line and into the other side of the action. However, the way they pull it off there is no disorientation to the audience which is hard to do. 

The acting in this film is totally on par. James Stewart never disappoints, and his acting in this film is extremely compelling. The acting of the neighbors though small roles, are done exceptionally well. Something that’s important in this film is the disconnect between all the neighbors. Throughout the entire film, the viewer sees a world in which all of its characters are stuck inside their own worlds and never fully connect with each other. Image result for rear windowThe only time the neighbors interact is when the death of a neighbor’s dog brings them together. I really appreciated this element of the film because it felt a lot like real life. Typically, we are so stuck inside of our own lives we don’t always notice the small details around us until a tragedy brings us all together.

The last thing I really enjoy about this film is the plot structure. This film flows so effortlessly, and it follows a well put together plot structure. It’s the type of movie in which you forgot your watching a film. Every element of this film flows so effortlessly and ties together. perfectly it’s easy to see that the creators of this film put a lot of time and effort into the films pre-production which paid off.

My Rating:

4.5 out of 5