Analysis Of Filming Techniques Used In Inside Out

When composers represent ideas about human experiences they do it in a variety of ways. A human experience is the mental, emotional, spiritual and physical characteristics of human life. When discussing human experiences in the film Inside Out, directed by Pete Docter, it represents many textual elements which are used to foreshow the different human experiences portrayed. The film is about a girl named Riley who has made an intense move from Minnesota to San Francisco, from this move she struggles to cope with her new life and emotions and we are shown these changes through distinctive textual elements.

Inside out shows Riley having a cultural change from Minnesota to San Francisco, where Riley will need to adjust to new cultural practices such as different foods and celebrations. As well as adjusting to new environment’s which will be her new ‘home’. The film broadcasts many human experiences especially a key milestone of Riley moving houses. Riley’s home in Minnesota evokes happiness from the audience through the use of bright and inviting colours. This is contrasted quite heavily with her new ‘home’ in San Francisco, where dull colours are used in combination with sombre non diegetic sound, to allow the audience to share in her discomfort in facing this new experience which shows us that this isn’t what Riley’s perspectives of her ‘home’ is. Furthermore, the close up of Riley’s face as she walks through the door of her new home, highlights the disappointment which is emphasized with her shoulders shrugged down and her emotion less face. From these physical expressions Riley shows that this traumatic change which has entered her life has impacted her emotional state. This shows emphasis on the distinctive textual elements being used.

Riley’s main source of comradery in her life is hockey, she found happiness in playing hockey when she was in Minnesota surrounded by her friends. However, the move to San Francisco has affected her ability and made it difficult to perform due to the change of environment and being unsettled with her new team as they are newly introduced into her life. Due to this experience she struggles to try-out for hockey because she’s unsettled in the environment which makes her react out in anger and quit hockey all together which caused her emotions to fall into a ‘memory dump’. This can be identified from the camera shots and movements as they are lacking the spatial movement and are locked to the tripod which limits the movements of panning and tilts when Riley starts getting momentum. As she goes to score the ‘blurred focus’ of the camera occurs, this emphasises how unfocused and unsettled she is. This shows how she is feeling unsettled because she is not able to perform and achieve the same happiness she would get if she was playing in Minnesota where she feels most comfortable, the use of distinctive techniques in Inside Out further expresses the human experience.

Riley’s emotions on the inside world both joy and sadness come to the realisation that adapting to new surrounding is okay and she is best off knowing the emotional polarities of life allowing riley to experience ‘mixed emotions.’ On the outside world Riley loses it and snaps and tries to leave San Francisco to move back to Minnesota at this point the inside world allows her to experience and comprehending numerous emotions at the same time, from receiving these emotions in the outside world Riley comes to terms of accepting newly developed change in her life. This can be shown from the reconciliation of Riley and her parents in their kitchen which are displayed as a stable unity for both the inside and outside world. We are shown this through the mixture of the two camera languages. The beginning of the scene begins with a Steadicam shot of the outside world which transitions into a crane shot of the inside world as it lifts away smoothly from the action. Which shows the audience how both the inside world and outside world have come to a stable balance of the change. Which emphasises the whole purpose of these shots being mixed together to symbolize the harmony of the inside and outside out and shows balance being restored. This is an example of a techniques coming together to admire human experiences.

The overall human experience which was emphasised throughout Inside Out is that our life changes and these changes can cause a spiral in our lives. It is okay to not always be happy and it is okay to feel sad and lonely at times. We can see this through the many different techniques used in the creation of Inside Out which allows Pete Docter to display various ideas of human experiences in the film from using many distinctive textual techniques of the camera shots and language.  

16 December 2021
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