No Ordinary Phone Conversation…

30 Sep

There seems to be at least one telephone conversation in every movie.  How could there not be?  Telephones are a way of life these days!

Bethany, the main character in Girlfriend 19, is on the phone multiple times.  This created a challenge for me as the director: how was I to avoid the redundancy of showing numerous telephone conversations?

The answer to my dilemma came as I prepared my shot list.  It occurred to me that a telephone conversation is a wonderful time to be creative visually.  I could position Bethany in countless ways, have her move however I wanted and compose the frame intentionally.

Take a look at the still images of four separate scenes from Girlfriend 19 while Bethany is on the phone.  Not only did I try to create a visually interesting shot, but I utilized the space around her in a way that subtly communicates more than the words in the conversation.

Telephone conversations in movies can be a great opportunity for directors to be creative and intentional!


Atop her bed in the morning, Bethany makes a difficult call. One function of this shot was to establish her bed, which is prominently featured in later scenes.

Bethany on the phone with an unwelcome caller. Much occurs throughout the film at the kitchen table in the background...

Wanting singular focus on Bethany's face, she is squarely positioned in front of the curtain.

More tension was needed during this call, so a portrait and mirrors were included in the frame to vie for the viewers' attention.



2 Responses to “No Ordinary Phone Conversation…”

  1. Chris September 30, 2010 at 5:50 am #

    Brilliant! Those feelings come across in the stills alone.
    I reaaallly like what you did in that last frame.
    But I don’t know if I could make a difficult call in bed… I would probably be pacing the floor. Depends on the circumstances I guess.

    • Christopher September 30, 2010 at 1:30 pm #

      Thanks for the comments, Chris! Yeah, that last shot is pretty fun. In fact, something really cool happens at the end of the scene, but I’ll wait for the film to be finished so you can see it!

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