Frames – Character Introduction

Three O’Clock High (1987)
DP: Barry Sonnenfeld
Director: Phil Joanou
Format: 35mm
Lenses: Spherical

In Three O’Clock High, a notorious new transfer student (played by Richard Tyson) challenges a meek reporter from the school paper to an after school showdown. Tyson’s legendary delinquent Buddy Revell gets not one, but two memorable introductions. In the first (pictured below) the camera pulls back from the giant clock outside the school and then follows various students as they detail Revell’s rumored exploits – with each new group of students picking up the gossip where the last group left off. The long tracking shot ends inside the school as the camera pushes in to the school store where Casey Siemaszko’s character works.

Now that Revell has been introduced verbally as a mythic figure, the next scene physically reveals him to the audience. Below is a shot-by-shot breakdown of that intro.


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