Nick Broomfield's Counter Shots

A shot will be responded to by another such that if a figure in a dialogue momentarily disappears as a consequence of a reverse shot, that shot in turn will be countered, and that one countered again and the figures, their presences, and accords with each other re-established as a progression and without a tear. Sam Rohdie, 'Montage'


Nick Broomfield's reverse (counter) shots are interesting.

Normally in a documentary the reaction of the documentarian is either left out, over-heard, or re-staged in its full opposite.

But Broomfield's counter shots are often from the same axis line framing the subject. He appears as a 3/4 profile from behind, almost an over the shoulder shot. 

Not simply panned to by the cinematographer at a climactic moment, but footage of Broomfield casually listening to his subjects speak, taken from the same camera (and more than likely, the same roll of footage - though seconds or minutes before [or after] the actual piece of dialogue has been recorded), and edited into the continuity of the work, as to enhance a certain kind of immersion into the experience.

It's by this quiet artificial push, and others like these (take notice at the complexity of his sound design), that Broomfield is allowed to maintain what is essentially being said in the shot / reverse-shot's relationship :: a subjectivized diary-esque unfolding of events, in a concentrated period of discovery, using footage of the real world as building blocks to create the illusion of reality, in an understanding that there is no reality in film, especially not in the genre assumed to be that of reality.

Nick Broomfield // Errol Morris

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