Camera Shots in Sitcoms & Dramas

The Office (U.S.) S:7 E:6 and Game of Thrones S:2 E:2

This episode of The Office consisted of the team dressing up for Halloween and throwing a costume party in the office. In Game of Thrones, multiple stories are happening. Majorly, Tyrion takes over as head of the council, Arya tells her true identity to Gendry and Jon Snow finds out the true motive of Craster.

The Office, only about 30 minutes, is very fast paced, constantly cutting back and forth between dialogue. Looking at the types of shots, The Office is very unique in how the camera moves and pans with different characters. Different from most sitcoms, the camera is handheld and is more shaky than usual, giving it a more ‘realistic’ feel. Jokes are being cracked left and right, causing quick camera movements back and forth with cutting back and forth with each character speaking. The significant amount of long shots set up the scene and allow more than one character to interact and react to speed up the comedy and pacing. Very few close-ups are arranged, most likely because the audience doesn’t care to see a character’s feelings. The characters are there to deliver the humor and keep the action going, not be emotional.

Looking at Game of Thrones, the action was for the most part very slow for the episode. There were many long shots to set the scene, unlike in The Office where long shots were primarily used to incorporate as many people into the scene. The amount of mediums were around the same for both shows, however, there were far more close-ups here. Dramas involve the audience into what a character is feeling and want the audience to get a true sense of the emotion that gets involved with the plot. With a significant amount of close-ups, the audience could truly connect with characters and get an understanding of the emotions they’re experiencing. As a writer for dramas, you want the audience to feel a special connection to various characters so they’ll come back and watch more. Not laying out each shot of the show perfectly will result in poor emotion portrayal causing you to lose the show.

More importantly, lose money.

 

Below are the tallies I took for The Office (U.S.) Game of Thrones…

sitcom-vs-drama-shot-tallies

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