Quentin Tarantino's Standing Ovation Gets Weird

Whether it was an order from the event's organizer or his own mind, it’s a strange moment in time, though it was supposed to be captured for the world to recognize Quentin Tarantino’s achievements throughout his life.

I can try to imagine what was going through the camera operator's mind:

I’m going to get this shot. This is such a beauty. Four huge celebrities of our time, next to each other. It’s a moment. Everyone is standing, clapping their hands, for what seems to be an eternity. I have to get close, I have to capture the moment, this is it for me. Am I in focus, is the camera rolling? Am I getting it in a viewable manner?  What should my depth of field be? Am I going to give context to show the viewer what’s going on around the theater, or am I going to go in close and intimate? I'm going to get close. I want to show the emotions. This is it, let's go.

Have you ever been in a situation where you are busy doing work, and everything is happening so fast while all you try to do is get the best out of it, to make sure you capture everything you need to capture, as this could be a defining moment of your career and life? This cameraman might be a good example of that.

The title of the video is called the Cringe-Worthy Standing Ovation of Quentin Tarantino. It’s cringe-worthy, yes, but not really because of the actors or director facing the camera, but perhaps of the close proximity of the man holding the camera to the talents. How close do you need to get to be sure to have captured the best moments? 

I’m not sure whether the cameraman was told to get up close and as personal as he did. It's not clear. I like getting up close, especially when I do street photography. But, this was a professional moment, and the purpose of this video was for a specific reason. It was done to document the immense gratitude everybody at the event had for the talented director.

Is the cameraman too close, and are there some unwritten rules when shooting celebrities without actually having a conversation or introduction first, or is it the lens that he's using that brings us so close to them? Let us know your thoughts in the comments.

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11 Comments

Michael B. Stuart's picture

Good Vantage Point & Zoom > Extremely Awkward Personal Space Shot
That was a little crazy. Almost like a prank show.

JetCity Ninja's picture

maybe it was the camera operator's attempt at an homage to some of QT's more artistic camera perspectives in his films.

Ryan Davis's picture

Yeah, that comes off a bit "cult of personality" I think.

The camera operator is probably told via earpiece to do specific from the control room. I'm sure he would have been told to back off from the control room or they would have cut away if this was not intentional.

It's cringey because I thought I was watching a cult or something from North Korea. Seriously, there's something terribly wrong with Hollywood.

Robert Nurse's picture

Wow! That was painfully awkward!

Marc Perino's picture

Most of these cameramen don't just do something willy-nilly on their own.
As Yin Ze said there is probably a director somewhere in the control room who tells him what to cover.
And that can be an awkward director's choice of angles...

Lee Christiansen's picture

I speak as a time served DoP who has shot in a variety of awkward environments...

Yes, the camera was too close. I'm in no doubt that there wasn't much room around, but even just a single step backwards would have given much better space.

Alas there is a newer breed of cameramen that don't seem to understand the concept of longer focal lengths for handheld work, or they're just lazy because it is easier to hold a shot steady. Wider lenses allow cameramen to get extremely close and still get the shot, but clearly this was too much and there's an uneasy expression on many of the subjects in front of the lens.

Rarely will a director give an order for a specific focal length. (I've directed and been directed). A director may ask for nice tight shots, but that can be achieved with a fractionally longer focal length. Snag is that a longer lens requires much more effort snd a more dedicated operator to pull it off. I've even seen lazy short focal length handheld work shot in open fields where the cameraman has a whole field of space, but chooses to pop the lens on the end of someone's nose.

I've shot for F1 in the paddock for interviews with drivers and it doesn't get much closer than that - and you'll still get better camerawork.

This video example is a level above and someone should be getting a slap.

Jordan McChesney's picture

If your standing ovation lasts longer than four hours, please contact your doctor.

Ben Bezuidenhout's picture

How long is too long when clapping hands....

Leigh Smith's picture

I don't mine the close camera as much as i mind that ovation that lasted awkwardly too f'n long. That's the real cringe.