Films have become wildly popular due to the fact that films can portray different emotions and feelings than a novel. The audience that attends a film gets a visual experience that they would otherwise miss while reading a novel. A film is graded on its ability to suspend reality and immerse the audience in a world that is film. If the audience cannot suspend their reality, they will never let truly experience the film. There are many examples of cinematic and audio techniques used in the film The Help that effectively immerse the audience into the story, leaving the audience to feel as if they are truly in Jackson, Mississippi in the early 1960s during the beginning of the civil rights movement.
“Cinema is strongest when it tells its story through revealing human behavior and actions rather than using dialogue to narrate thoughts, feelings, and situations” (Rabiger 84). In The Help the first example of an effective visual experience that further tells the story comes about thirteen minutes into the film when Celia Foote first makes a phone call. As Celia Foote is talking the camera is zoomed in on her legs and expensive looking heels. In the shot with her legs accompanies a pool in the foreground. Immediately the audience can tell that Celia Foote has beauty and money. Next, the camera pans out slowly to reveal the full body of Celia Foote. This cinematic technique was used to emphasize Celia’s looks by giving time to let the audience appreciate her beauty. This scene made the audience curious about Celia, and when an audience is curious, they are interested and immersed into the story.
The next use of a cinematic technique that further enhances the story is when Hilly Holbrook proposes that the colored help have their own bathrooms outside of the homes. During this scene the camera is placed in the kitchen. In the foreground Aibileen in shown front of the wall facing the camera, while in the background Hilly is shown at the table with her friends. With this camera angle, many things are happening for the audience. The first is that the audience can see Aibileens disgust as she listens in on Hilly’s conversation. Next, the audience can see Hilly’s seriousness with an issue that seems to be ludicrous for the audience. Lastly, while the audience is experiencing both sides of the spectrum with this controversial proposed law, Skeeter is also shown having disgust with the idea of colored help having separate bathrooms outside. This scene is highly effective considering all of the information that the audience gets in a short period of time by the use of cinematic techniques.
When Skeeter is shown walking up her stairs the camera does something that is very interesting for the audience. The stairs wrap around the house, so in order to enhance the immersion of the audience the camera is set in the middle of the room. The camera follows skeeter around the stairs both horizontally and vertically. The camera actually floated up the room with...