My Dead Bunny is my latest book. It’s a tongue-in-cheek picture book about a zombie pet rabbit. My illustrations took a lot of inspiration from movies.
Today I’m writing about how some illustrations were inspired by clichés and camera angles used in film.
The Dutch Angle (aka Dutch Tilt)
This is the family home as described in last week’s post. You might notice that the camera is on a weird angle here. In film it’s called a ‘Dutch Angle’ or ‘Dutch Tilt’; it’s used to give a feeling of weirdness, confusion or drama. I used it here to reflect the sister’s madness – and also so I could fit the whole house in.
In Terry Gilliam’s film 12 Monkeys, many scenes take place inside an asylum, and most are shot using Dutch Angles.
Dutch Angles were also used A LOT in the Batman TV series from the 1960s.
The Grave POV shot
The grave point-of-view shot is used a lot for funeral scenes, often with dirt being piled onto the camera. It gives a feeling of claustrophobia and can help you to see the emotional reactions of all the characters at once. It’s used on the poster for the black comedy Death at a Funeral.
The Mirror Scare
One of the most popular scary movie cliches is the ‘mirror scare‘. It’s where someone opens their bathroom medicine cabinet, and when they close it, a figure is standing behind them. There are variations too: sometimes it’s a reflection in a window, and other times there is no reflection at all – the main character opens the door of a fridge or a kitchen cabinet instead. I took that cliché and presented it in a hallway. Looking back now, I have no idea why I didn’t set it in a bathroom so it was a proper mirror scare – oh well!
Here it is used in Shaun of the Dead.
The Raised Hand of Survival
At least that’s what TV Tropes calls it. The hand coming out of the grave is a well-worn cliché of zombie films – so naturally we had to use it in My Dead Bunny.
Here it is used in Kill Bill.
For more on camera angles, check out this fantastic guide put together by Empire Magazine – The 30 Camera Shots Every Film Fan Needs to Know.