Ben: We're In England

As promised, the first car chase analysis, especially looking for the stuff I outlined yesterday. I'm especially focusing on the way the characters stay in character.
(I have embedded this video below. If you're reading via RSS or another reader, you won't see it.)

  • Ben: He's the one who's after the treasure. While running to the car. That's Ben, always explaning.
  • Riley: Okay, I'll drive! That's Riley, always trying to contribute and be important.
  • Humor when Riley's on the wrong side of the car. His expression when Ben tells him they're in England. Riley is always making a mistake. <-- VOICE OF THE FILM: Humor in tense situations.
  • Ben: He's got a gun, get down! Ben is the one most aware of his surroundings. (Also, this is setting up the villain as ruthless.)
  • Ben: Hang on! Keep your heads down! Ben is in charge. He uses the rear-view camera to steer the car. Brilliant, like Ben.
  • Abigail: Go left, go left! Abigail is a bit bossy.
  • Riley: Turn, turn, turn! Riley's scared because they're going to run into a bus.
  • Ben: Come on, come on. Ben is impatient. 
It's also helpful to go and look at their facial expressions. That's how the camera keeps track of what the characters are thinking. And what the characters are thinking is just as vital to the scene as which way the car is turning.

It says a lot about the character work in this scene that Disney chose to promote it as a sort of trailer. Car chases are a dime a dozen, but what makes them different is how they're written and how well the characters stay in character.

What do you think? Was that a good car chase example? What are your favorite movie car chases - AND WHY?


Stina said...

I love this idea of analyzing a clipping of a scene. Great for seeing how characterization was used. :D

Lydia Kang said...

I love your analysis! I've never thought that deeply about car chase scenes, but I like how you broke it all down.

Sky Destrian said...

Haha! This is awesome, not to mention that National Treasure is... amazing. I loved your analysis, and it's so true! I'll have to try it sometime. :)