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Cheaper By The Dozen
First-person shots: There are quite a few first-person shots in this movie. The aim of the first-person shots is to show the action through the eyes of the character experiencing it. Or to make the viewer feel more involved in what’s going on.
Dylan hanging onto the chandelier: Tom jumps onto the chandelier to try and get him down. The chandelier moves around in circles and so does the camera. Showing from Dylan’s perspective: seeing Tom spinning on the other side and from Tom’s perspective, seeing Dylan spinning around.
Gunner: Camera in first-person as Gunner, the Baker family dog, is following the scent of the meat and running up to Ashton’s crotch
The Dumont family birthday party: A Baker boy knocks over a present containing a live snake. The camera is lowered to the ground and moving in a way a snake would, showing the feet of the guests desperately moving out of the way as it slithers along.
Tom/Dylan: The camera is positioned high up looking down, focusing on Dylan’s screaming face as Tom would see it as he is falling from being thrown from the jumping castle and about to land on Dylan.
The camera is positioned looking upwards as Dylan would see it as he watches Tom about to crush him.
Repairman: Camera is angled downwards near the floor looking upwards exactly as the repairman would see, when the chandelier is about to fall on top of him. The screen goes black for an instant to show the man’s perspective of having the chandelier fall on him.
Present throwing: Camera is positioned from the top floor window looking downwards, as the boys would be looking.
The present is thrown to Sarah who is standing below.
Slow motion is usually used in scenes of chaos or when there is someone to be feared. In a lot of movies, slow motion is used when a person comes into the picture who is
In this movie, the scenes are:
-Hank is shown walking into the front yard and whipping his glove with a frown on his face, in slow motion because he is seen as the bad guy, the man none of the kids like. Almost like there is a feeling of dread as they will have to prepare to spend the day with him.
-Tom is in slow motion about to fall on top of Dylan and Dylan is in slow motion screaming as he sees what is about to happen. This is to show the fear both Tom and Dylan are experiencing.
Close-ups in the movie are used to focus in on an important scene that the viewer needs to watch closely.
Such shots include:
-When the Baker kids are getting ready for breakfast, a close up is shown of the twelve hands grabbing, to make a point of how many children there are in the family and how much turmoil there can be with that amount of kids in a family at breakfast time.
-In the scene where the Bakers are listening in on their parents talking about moving, the camera closes in slowly to create a feeling of tension.
-Another shot is in the scene where the Baker kids are trying to play a practical joke on Hank, the kids yank the cord and the camera immediately shows a close-up of Hank’s feet/shoes, which trip over the hose.
-When Tom is desperately trying to find a babysitter to cope with the chaos, ringing everywhere and getting no responses, the camera shows a close-up of the phone on the table and his hands slamming the receiver down in frustration.
This is to show how impossible it seems from his point of view.
Wide shots are used in the movie are used for the viewer to focus their attention on whatever it is that the producer wants them to notice.
Scenes that use wide shots are:
-A high up wide shot of the new house to show just how huge it is.
-High up wide shot of Mark’s attic room to emphasise the emptiness and spaciousness.
-A long shot of the backyard with toys scattered everywhere to point out the messiness.
-When the Baker kids have been grounded but decide to sneak out of the house to go to Dylan’s birthday party, the camera is at a panoramic view, showing the right-hand side window where Tom is coaching his team in the lounge room, completely oblivious to what’s happening outside and the left-hand top floor window where the kids are using a bedsheet to climb down to the ground.
Music: In most new scenes in the movie Cheaper By The Dozen, there are songs played at the right moments in the action between the characters, which relates to what is happening in the scenes.
Previous scenes building up to the music have been when the Bakers have moved from their house in Midland and they have been through the process of not wanting to leave their old house, hating the neighbourhood, the new house, their siblings and the stress their parents not being there has placed upon them. So when they are dropped off at their new school which they look up at the building as very daunting, the music by Sum 41: “I’m Just A Kid” starts playing.
The lyrics of the song represent the action in the movie: “I’m just a kid, and life is a nightmare.” Therefore the music plays throughout the scenes at school where everything goes wrong, such as: in the beginning, the kids all holding hands and being afraid of their first day at school, Tom getting teased by the city kids when he first arrives and when he happens to bump the side of a car in the parking lot, setting off the alarm, Mark getting his glasses knocked off and his hat pulled down by an older boy who doesn’t apologize because he is seen as the geeky new kid.
In other scenes of chaos, and Tom having to juggle kids and his career, the song: “In Too Deep” by Sum 41 begins. Again, the lyrics relate to the action in the movie: “Cause I’m in too deep and I’m trying to keep up above in my head, instead of going under” Scenes include: Tom having to bring his team home to coach them, when the kids start screaming when he enters the house with food, calling his wife, Kate, to see how things are going because he feels he can’t handle the stress, the twins grabbing onto him when he takes them to preschool, his kids looking miserably at him as he drops them off at school, Sarah going back inside in defeat as she sees the footballers playing in the backyard, Charlie getting corn coming out of his locker and the boys laughing, the twins in trouble at preschool for throwing things at the teacher.
In another scene where Jake goes to the fridge but finds the football men are sitting at the table eating it all, the lyrics of the song fit in very well, “It’s one thing to complain, but when you’re driving me insane.”
The music stops when Tom realizes that something needs to be done and he takes charge of the situation.
The last song: “What Christmas Should Mean” by Hilary Duff is another example of the movie creators using a song that fits in well with the scenes in the movie. The song comes straight after the ending with the Baker family sitting at a dinner table at Christmas, all problems have been resolved. The lyrics: “How about peace on earth? That’s what Christmas should mean” represents the fact that Christmas is a time for resolution of arguments and the Bakers have managed to come together in time for that occasion.
Delta Goodrem: “Nobody Listened”:
There is quite a lot of anger, built-up frustration and disappointment in Delta’s voice. In the first and second verses, her voice comes out quite distressed, it rises higher then low again and the ends of the words drawn out longer, to create a haunting effect and to show her exasperation.
When she sings, “Ohhh” it draws attention to her agony, pain and trying to find a resolution.
“Did you think that things would be okay, that my life could keep going on this way?” is sung in a sarcastic voice and also when she laughs sarcastically; she is fed up and sick of having to pretend she is feeling alright when she’s not.
The chorus is sung very forcefully and her anger is shown, especially in the part: “And I was mad and I was angry” the “angry” is more of a growl or grunt
“Why didn’t you listen to me? Was it really that hard to see?” is in an agonizing pleading voice
After the exact words: “Nobody listened,” she sounds as if she will collapse in defeat or burst out crying.
In one part, Delta screams in frustration and being fed up which reflects the emotional, out of control state she is in.
Delta repeats the words: “Nobody listened” over and over to make her point about how she tried to tell everybody the way she was feeling but no-one could understand or try to hear her out.
The lyrics of the song are in first person, her words are written as though in a conversation with another person. Telling this person what it was he or she did to confirm why she is feeling the way she is. In other parts the words are written as if in a diary, telling the events that happened in the time she is singing about.
Use of impersonal pronoun: “Invader took the breath from me”
Use of simile: “Like a train off the rails here”
Towards the end when she sings: “Invader took the breath from me” and then “Healer, the angel did I see” there is a sense of accomplishment, as if justice was served. Just when she thought everything was hopeless, she was granted a miracle from her sorrow and desperation.
The use of the names: ‘Invader” and ‘Healer” shows the difference between good and evil. And from the outcome of her story and lyrics, that good prevails evil.
In the ending of the song, where she says: “But they’re listening now” it is in resolved tone of voice, as though everything has worked out and it’s a relief; but it has a hint of revenge since she has made people understand where she is coming from and they are regretful now of their actions towards her.