Thursday, April 9, 2015


I’ve always been much more of a TV person than a movie buff, so there are tons of movies that my friends are shocked to hear that I haven’t seen. This week, I crossed one of those movies off my list by watching Scott Sanders’s 2009 film Black Dynamite.

Black Dynamite is an action/blaxploitation film set in the 1970’s. It follows former CIA agent Black Dynamite, played by Michael Jai White, as he works to clean the streets from drugs and gangs after his brother is killed on the streets. Full of spoof-like camera movements and actor blocking, Black Dynamite delivers just as much comedy as action. From the nunchuck wearing, afro sporting, kung fu fighting CIA agent to one of the most absurd logical deductions probably ever made, Black Dynamite was an entertaining watch all the way through.

Through watching Black Dynamite, I gained some insight on ways to use camera movements to induce laughter. There are many times throughout the film that multiple consecutive dramatic zooms caused me to laugh while the character on screen did nothing but stare into the camera. I personally usually try to avoid zooming during a shot; i generally set the zoom beforehand and will just scale the shot in post to assure a consistent zoom speed. However, since this does cause a reduction in image quality, I generally just try to dolly instead of zooming when I am shoots. This movie showed me how planning out camera movements beforehand can add bits of comedy to scenes that may otherwise be dull at times. Between the entertaining 90 minutes of watching, and the insight on spoof-like zooms, Black Dynamite was definitely a good choice for a boring Monday night.

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