Dutch Angle is when the camera tilts to one side by any number of degrees
1st December 2019 by Will Stewart
MadeGood – Please tell me a bit about yourself as a film maker, and how you got into making films. Is this a typical example of your work?
Jake Swinney – I actually started making video essays in college as a way of getting out of writing formal essays. Once I graduated, I decided to keep making them and posting them online. A few of them did fairly well, which led to me being offered a freelance position at Fandor. The Dutch Angle was one of my very first videos for them.
MadeGood – How did you first come across the term ‘Dutch Angle’, and what made you think to make this film about it?
Jake Swinney – I first learned about Dutch angles in college when we were discussing German Expressionism in my Film History course. I thought the technique was pretty cool so I decided to seek it out in more modern cinema. Once I started working for Fandor, I pitched the idea of a Dutch Angle video, but was struggling to find an angle (no pun intended) that would make the video pop. After much back and forth with Kevin B. Lee, we decided that I would measure each tilt and sort them from subtle to extreme. This turned out to be a very tedious and time-consuming endeavor, but it was worth it in the end.
MadeGood – The film has had a fair few views online, are there any rights issues?
Jake Swinney – It actually had a whole lot more. The original version was posted on Fandor’s Vimeo and actually received a Vimeo Staff Pick. However, once Fandor did some internal restructuring, my video no longer met their guidelines and was deleted. I decided to re-upload the video to my personal channel about a year later. The video is rather transformative, so no rights issues as of now.
MadeGood – Which is your favourite shot in the collection?
Jake Swinney – I love the shot from Raging Bull. Visually, it’s very stylised and really grabs your attention. But the tilt also expertly expresses how discombobulated De Niro’s character is.
MadeGood – What are you working on next?
Jake Swinney – Right now my main focus is my podcast (First & Final Frames podcast) and continuing to make a variety of video essays and other fun film-based videos.