Joel & Ethan Coen: Shot, Reverse Shot

How do you film a conversation?

Most likely, you’re going to block the actors, set up the camera, and do shot/reverse shot. But where do you put the camera? What lens do you use? And how do you cut back and forth? Today, I consider the Coen brothers — Joel & Ethan — and see how these choices lend a particular feel to their version of shot/reverse shot.

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This video was co-written with Taylor Ramos. Follow her on:

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Carter Burwell – Way Out There (Raising Arizona)
Carter Burwell – A Serious Man
Oscar Isaac – Green Green Rocky Road (Inside Llewyn Davis)
Carter Burwell – Little Blackie (True Grit)
Carter Burwell – End Titles (Miller’s Crossing)
Creedence Clearwater Revival – Run Through the Jungle

Interview Clips:
Cinematographer Style:

Recommended Reading & Viewing:
ASC Magazine on Bruno Delbonnel & Inside Llewyn Davis:
ASC Magazine’s profile of Roger Deakins:
Roger Deakins forum post on the lenses he uses:

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