The visual style of The Wire

Erlend Lavik explores the show’s subtle, nuanced photography, making me miss it all the more. Even if you don’t have the full 30 minutes to spend, I think you’ll enjoy the piece:


One thought on “The visual style of The Wire

  1. Interesting…Not sure I agree with some of the analysis…While it’s true TV programmes are shot more like feature films nowadays, it’s always been the case when a strong director was coupled with a good director of photography and a producer willing to let them do their best work. I worked with one DoP back in the 80’s who always produced exceptional camera work. I could always tell from the first scene when he was behind the camera as his style was very cinematic (most of the time he operated the camera as well). How did he do it? Imagination and a lot of homework!
    I have a problem watching some of the TV dramas shot in a cinematic style because the DoP has lit with one eye on his showreel and his ambition to shoot for the cinema so, consequently, you cannot see the characters because he’s lit a room the size of a cricket pitch with a peanut bulb, and then flagged off half the light! Totally forgetting that people don’t watch TV in a darkened room. Doh!
    Haven’t seen The Wire but while most American drama is usually nicely shot, 99.99% of its content is just superficial claptrap. Would even say unhealthy claptrap, that’s preoccupied with guns, murders, drugs, prostitution and the like.
    Homeland, latest export, contains pure comic book plotting. Characters shallower than a kiddies paddling pool. I hear Obama likes it. Must be good in that case, or not, depending on your political leanings.
    Actually, wasn’t sure whether the writers were being critical of the American institutions half the time by trying to depict real world events because the characters inhabiting those institutions do act like amateurs, instead of highly paid pros, but because their antics drive the plot along, I’m inclined to think it’s just shallow writing.

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