Created By: QuantumReality on July 10, 2013 Last Edited By: QuantumReality on May 11, 2015

Gratuitous Dialog Panning

Every time two (or more) characters talk the camera shifts slowly throughout the scene.

Name Space:
Main
Page Type:
Trope
It's been very common in the last few years for TV shows to "spice up" dialog between characters by shifting the camera back and forth (and it's really distracting, too) while they speak. (See http://youtu.be/_J11KF2yhaY for example) The phenomenon is especially noticeable when the background has features or landmarks that visibly move left or right.

(Renamed again to better fit the description)

Examples:
  • The aforementioned Csi Ny example in "Hammer Down", but exists throughout the series.
  • Heavy Rain does this during Jayden and Blake's encounter with Nathaniel.
  • One episode of IGPX has a scene where Takeshi and Mark are talking to each other. The camera then shows a front shot of Takeshi's racing mech, and the camera slowly pans around it to show the details of the mech from head to toe, front to back, before finally stopping on Takeshi and Mark. The shot was done to show off the impressive visuals that Production IG was capable of making, and the whole pan took about a minute and a half from start to finish.
  • Leverage also employs this in virtually every episode involving dialog among the group of five main characters. (Seen here with Nate and the first man to hire him: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=21_PmEAWngo or see the introductory scenes of this episode: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=axFJMqjLA60 )
  • Done deliberately in Lord of the Rings during the opening phrases of the conversation between "Smeagol" and "Gollum" (two personalities of the same character) to emphasise the fact that the character has a literal split personality and is arguing with himself.
  • This was used commonly throughout the run of Mash, particularly in the first couple of seasons, as the producers wanted the series to have a classy and cinematic look and feel to itnote .
  • Can be seen in Burn Notice a few times.
Community Feedback Replies: 24
  • July 10, 2013
    dragonquestz
    Well drop "action" from the title, as this isn't for action scenes (although this does seem like an offshoot of Jitter Cam).
  • July 10, 2013
    QuantumReality
    You're right, it does seem to fit as a subtrope. Probably instead of "Whip Pan", "Constant Pan"?
  • July 10, 2013
    KTera
  • July 10, 2013
    dragonquestz
    If this is just during dialog, the name should reflect that.
  • July 10, 2013
    QuantumReality
    In my experience it is mostly during dialog, but I'm not sure what kind of name would work that doesn't sound totally out of left field.
  • July 10, 2013
    dragonquestz
    Well if this is meant to be strictly about dialog, a boring but indicative name can work. If this is about any time the camera can't stop panning around unnecessarily, then the current name fits.
  • July 10, 2013
    QuantumReality
    "Restless Camera Dialog"?
  • July 10, 2013
    robinjohnson
  • July 10, 2013
    spacemarine50
    Is this Dizzy Cam?
  • July 10, 2013
    QuantumReality
    Not really. Dizzy cam seems to be more like rapid whooshing or swooping around the scene, rather than here, which is the use of constant slow motion of the camera to add "pep" to otherwise nonmoving-camera dialog scenes. One especially notable example is the vertical slow-panning in the "encounter with Nathaniel" clip.
  • July 13, 2013
    DAN004
    Often done in Animes.

    • Important conversations in Naruto sometimes features this, with the camera slowly panning from the speaker to the speakee and then cut back to the speaker again.
  • July 13, 2013
    randomsurfer
    Done in a Benny Hill Show sketch parodying Pan And Scan, showing a widescreen film on TV: DEEP IN MY HEART. The panner tries to go from the Boy to the Girl as they talk but their lines are so short that he barely gets over to the Boy before he finishes and the Girl starts talking, so there's a pan over to her, but she finishes before the panning gets to her, etc.
  • July 13, 2013
    ryanasaurus0077
    Very common in Pan And Scan versions of widescreen motion pictures.
  • July 16, 2013
    Melkior
    Film:
    • Done deliberately in Lord Of The Rings during the opening phrases of the conversation between "Smeagol" and "Gollum" (two personalities of the same character) to emphasise the fact that the character has a literal split personality and is arguing with himself.
  • July 16, 2013
    DRCEQ
    • One episode of ''Anime/IGPX* has a scene where Takeshi and Mark are talking to each other. The camera then shows a front shot of Takeshi's racing mech, and the camera slowly pans around it to show the details of the mech from head to toe, front to back, before finally stopping on Takeshi and Mark. The shot was done to show off the impressive visuals that Production IG was capable of making, and the whole pan took about a minute and a half from start to finish.
  • July 16, 2013
    TompaDompa
    For Added Alliterative Appeal, I would suggest calling it Perpetual Panning.
  • Live Action TV
    • This was used commonly throughout the run of M*A*S*H, particularly in the first couple of seasons, as the producers wanted the series to have a classy and cinematic look and feel to it.
  • July 16, 2013
    spacemarine50
    ^^ That can be confused for camera can't stay still at all.
  • July 16, 2013
    DAN004
  • July 26, 2013
    QuantumReality
    I added the MASH example, but it doesn't look like the same style as the Leverage or CSI NY examples. If you watch this ( http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e3PMwNofIxE ), it seems like the camera shifts are sparingly used and only intended to sweep across a scene where a movie (due to the wider aspect ratio) wouldn't need to shift the camera.
  • July 26, 2013
    Goldfritha
    The problem with "excessive" is that it makes it sound like a subjective trope. Is it intended to be one?
  • July 27, 2013
    DAN004
    ^ "unneeded" is more subjective than "excessive" (which just means "too long") :P
  • September 19, 2013
    QuantumReality
    I just revisited this, and decided to try "gratuitious" since all it does is irritate the viewer once they realize what's happening and it's an unncessary "spice up the camera movement to lend 'action' to a scene" thing)
  • May 11, 2015
    QuantumReality
    After thinking about this and watching quite a few TV shows in the couple of years since I set this up, it seems like it's such a universal camera-usage thing now it's almost a People Sit On Chairs situation; in such a case I think this should be discarded.

Three days must pass before this YKTTW is Launchworthy or Discardable

http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/discussion.php?id=75il9s7d5kmiys44qla9hd8v