Camera Works

“A Middle-Class Health Care Dilema” is the short documentary from The Washington Post I chose to watch. The documentary was shot and edited by Pierre Kattar from The Washington Post. It shows a middle class family, with three kids living the suburbs. Their problem is that the husband is currently unemployed, and their health care plan expires at the end of October. The wife works part-time, and cannot switch to working full-time because she home-schools her oldest child who is autistic. His health care is their main concern because he has been receiving therapy and special care from the same doctors periodically, and once their health care expires they will have to start from zero with new doctors.  The mother only wishes that in the short-run they could have options that would allow them to pay for the part of their health-care plan that covers her son’s needs. 

The video combines a variety of shots during the documentary. It starts out with an establishing shot of the family’s house in the suburbs. Then it moves to focus the parents with a very stable medium shot, as they are sitting on the sofa explaining their situation. As the mom tells their story, it repeatedly cuts from the medium shot of the parents, to scenes describing what the mom is talking about, and general around-the-house activities of the family. When she first mentions her oldest son Zachary, there is a close-up on the boy’s face to make emphasis on him and his autism situation. For scenes with more general action of the family we frequently see pans, and camera-on-hand shooting. Every once in a while, the mom’s face is shot in a close-up as she discusses really important decisions they’ve had to make. I think this helps bring emphasis to her speech rather than to the background action. 

Link to Documentary:


~ by rozeanafonseca on October 17, 2009.

One Response to “Camera Works”

  1. I really liked the close-ups on their faces because it helped bring the focus entirely on what they are saying and their situation. I also really like the scene with Zachary choosing a donut because it shows an ordinary event from his life which creates a certain feeling of familiarity with the family. It emphasizes the fact that they live normal lives despite Zachary’s condition but the loss of Healthcare will affect their lives a great deal. I agree with you that the close ups of the mom’s face emphasizes her speech, and it is important because she gives a very logical argument for the importance of Zachary keeping the same doctor, and not just an emotional argument.

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