“I have a new name for you.”
Munich (Steven Spielberg, 2005)
This is a great example of Spielberg’s ability to accomplish quite a lot using just a few dynamic shots.
01: The opening crane shot moves from the busy street where we see an approaching car down into the car as it pulls up, finding Avner and Louis in a profile two shot in the backseat. This two shot becomes Louis’ coverage (04) during Avner’s second standing position.
02/03: Avner’s decision to turn and hear Louis’ surprise offer is covered using two matching static frames.
04: See 01.
05: Same as 02, used to cover Avner’s return to the car.
06: Spielberg uses plane of focus to accentuate the separate beats of the end of the scene. When Avner sits in the front seat, the plane of focus is with Louis in the backseat as he clarifies his offer. The camera then dollies into Avner and the plane of focus shifts to him as he makes his decision. The camera move cleanly introduces and hides the well-timed shift. Once the dolly is finished, the camera holds on Avner’s face before he turns to Louis to make his final request. Spielberg accentuates this final volley back to Louis by quickly returning the focus to the backseat. He uses the turn of Avner’s head to draw the eye across the frame with action, elegantly justifying and disguising the simultaneous change in focus.