"Good morning, and in case I don't see you: Good afternoon, good evening, and good night!"
- The very first shot of the film in which we see Truman features high key lighting while he stares into the camera, with everything from the studio dark/in shadow. This places particular emphasis on him in accordance to how his life is, and also represents the darker nature of the circumstances not yet known to him.
- When he walks out of his house, Truman notices a lamp crash down from the sky. As he approaches it, a shadow is cast over it while everything else is in high-key lighting. Again, this relates back to the secret he doesn't know yet.
- The lighting in the scene where he reflects upon his father's death is very dark. Metaphorically, it represents the dark memories he has, and it also indicates the doubt he feels about himself, or the guilt he has over his father's death.
- Low-key lighting again as Silvia is taken away by another cast member. Again, this relates to the malignant intentions of the studio/corporation.
- In one scene where Truman is torn between going to work and investigating what's going on, he continually spins around in a revolving door, alternately being well lit and in complete shadow. Aside from showing his indecision, it shows how he is looking to shed some light on the subject...
- Towards the end of the film, after almost drowning, we see the clouds break and sunlight shine down on Truman as he basks in his victory over Christof. Indicative of his ability to not only overcome peril, but also finally exercise his free will.
- In the last shot of Truman, we see him stepping out into the real world, which is represented by a doorway into pitch black darkness. The contrast between the soft blue of Christof's synthetic world and the real world is highly symbolic of the uncertainty he faces in leaving, and exemplifies Christof's assertion of the real world being dangerous and chaotic in comparison to Truman's utopian life.
Framing & Camera Angles
- The Point-of-View shot is used extensively, along with various low angles, and sometimes shots that are partially obscured by objects such as tree branches. This greatly increases the audience's immersion, and gives the illusion that the viewer of the film is actually watching Truman's life, like the viewers in the film.
- The low angle camera shot, used very frequently, could symbolize Truman's power and fame, which he has no real knowledge of. Another purpose of the low angle shot is to create a sense of disorientation for the audience. Much like Truman, we are left dazed and confused by the action that occurs on screen.
- Shots also usually include a lot of minor details, such as "product placements" and other things. (Okay the example on the right isn't very subtle, but it still definitely gets the point across.)
- A high angle camera shot indicating Truman's powerlessness and lack of control occurs while he's being restrained by the actors when he tries to escape and gets caught.
(Sorry, I could not find a single image of the particular shot. :c )
Several unique situational shots involving screen displays occur:
- This (somewhat creepy) shot really displays and develops the twisted affection Christof has for Truman. By having Truman's face on a huge screen, it really conveys how Christof has created something much larger than himself, something that may soon become out of his control....
- Another sequence involves Christof speaking to Silvia through the television while she calls him on the phone. Though they cannot see each other, they make eye contact and emote as though they are in the same room. A similar scene occurs toward the end of the film between Christof and Truman. The odd situation adds both drama and emphasizes Christof's misanthropic nature.
- In one of the most famous shots in the film, where Truman approaches the door, he is tiny in the frame. Symbolically, it represents the loss of importance he will have in the real world, compared to the only life he's known as the main character.
- One particularly poignant example of the use of soundtrack can be found in a scene where Truman is comforted by his best friend, who reminds him of great memories they once had. Although Truman is clearly laughing and joyful, suspenseful music builds up in the background. Finally, at the conclusion of their conversation, Marlon states: "The last thing I'd ever do is lie to you." Truman is immediately doubtful, and the dark music suddenly makes sense; it was foreshadowing.
- For the first half or so of the film, there isn't a lot of music, and instead more focus on diegetic sound, such as conversations, background noise, and dialogue.
- Towards the end of the film, triumphant music plays as Truman approaches the horizon, but is then abruptly interrupted when he crashes into the wall. While he tries to break down the rest of the wall and is generally distraught, the only thing heard is the soundtrack. The result is, in my opinion, a much more emotional scene, even without the sound of his agony.