The camerawork in the movie Dead Poets Society (1989) directed by Peter Weir provides valuable insight into the characters, as well as enhancing storytelling. A variety of shots and techniques are used for this purpose.
The movie makes frequent use of wide shots. The purpose of wide shots is to present characters in relation to their environment, as well as in relation to the other characters.
Since the film also tells the story of a group, in addition to focusing on individual students, wide shots are often used to show the reactions of the group. This happens mostly during Keating’s lessons, as well as on other occasions, such as when Dr. Nolan is addressing the school. In such shots, the viewer can focus both on the reactions of the group as a whole, as well as on the individual reactions of the main characters.
Another purpose of wide shots is to show a character’s attitude in relation to their environment. In the first scene that takes place in Neil’s room, wide shots of the room show Todd facing away from the rest of the boys, only turning towards them briefly when he is addressed directly. This choice of shot brings into focus the fact that the others are already a group, while Todd is an outsider for now. It also suggests t...