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Monday, February 16, 2015

Best Shot: The Professional - 1993

Here's a shot from something non-Carpenter. Luc Besson's The Professional. In 1993, I was a movie junkie, just starting to make my own on a VHS camcorder, and Le Femme Nikita was on a constant loop at my house. When the trailer hit for this film, I was working at a theater and my friend Seth saw it first and he came into the lobby with tears in his eyes, saying he saw the most beautiful thing he'd ever seen. When the movie came out, I watched it twice in a row with my bud Jayson. This movie was a big deal in those days. Luc Besson was God of All Filmmakers. But enough of all that, above is the shot that knocked my socks off. Seems like nothing but it was the first time I noticed how powerful framing your shot with a lot of negative space can be. If you see the shot before this one, Gary Oldman's big head is filling the frame. You cut to this, and the guy is surrounded with nothing, He's got a lot of head space above him. He looks like he's about to get eaten. The lens is really wide, you can see the distortion on the vertical lines. Everything in this shot says that this guy is weak and in trouble. Everything started clicking in my head at that point. 

I had to say something about this shot above. I love the arrangement of the SWAT team. This shot made my heart sink (I gasped out loud when I first saw it) and it kicks off the best 20 minutes of Luc Besson's career.

Sam Drog

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