I watched 11.06 again today and it struck me how well the cinematography supports the storytelling. Of course, it SHOULD do that, but in this episode it was particularly striking.
In fact, the cinematography is so beautiful I thought I'd share a few of my favourite moments and chat about the way camera angles are used during the episode.
Direction: John F. Showalter. Cinematography: Serge Ladouceur. Writer: Robert Berens
I confess I am rather a huge fan of low and high angles and I loved this one of Cas in the beginning. It's like something or someone (heaven?) is looking down on him. Mostly though, it makes him look small and vulnerable - enclosed in his "safe" place.
In contrast, this angle is from below and emphasises his anxiety (surrounded by bars) and the extreme low angle creates a sense of threat (falling from a height). It's like something or someone (hell?) is looking up at him.
How fantastic is this shot?! Not only do we see that glorious wall paper from Changing Channels, but I love the way the whole shot is framed. Dean is displaying his power in the foreground of the shot - looming over the demon, and Sam is watching his back in the background. I particularly love the room divider (I swear every room divider in this show has hidden meta). This has a "DD" in it - a nod to Demon Dean maybe? The DD is also surrounded by bars (with pointy edges, like the wall clock). All sorts of awesome.
Brilliant shot of Metaron under the bright cross of the Mission. And in between garbage bins. So much commentary in one single shot.
Lovely overhead shot with the gun spotlit under the street light. It's these little moments that gave the episode extra weight. Look at those glorious shadows!
I loved the way the old asylum was shot - low angle and thus giving it a sense of foreboding. Sam and Dean mere shadows in the foreground.
One of my favourite things about this episode is the way it answered many questions. Like where the hell did Crowley hangout? I rather love that it's inside an insane asylum. This is a great opening shot of the place. Love the mix of colours also.
Agh. So brilliant. Adore this high angle shot - it's the PoV of the building and creates a sense of threat. I can't help thinking about a noose about Dean's (and Sam and even Crowley's) neck.
I've always found it curious how much taller Sam is to, well, everyone and yet he often comes across as smaller. It's something about the way he holds himself and sometimes the way he's framed in a shot. Sam can use his height to emphasis his power and strength (particularly as soulless!Sam) or be taller than everyone else but lower his status by his body language. This is also achieved by him being filmed behind Dean. Here, I think there's an attempt at equal power (I've only included this one because I just like it *g*).
Cas and Metatron.
There was a lovely play on status during the Cas and Metatron scenes. Berens took Cas from hiding in the bunker to literally growing in strength through his confrontation with Metatron.
Here, Cas appears as a somewhat powerful force (he's surrounded by darkness with light on his face):
but then Metatron is filmed with the upper hand - his smirk and demeanour.
As the scene progresses Cas ends up looming over a beaten-up Metatron.
Metatron is on the floor, now looking up at Cas. The ultimate statement in the loss of power.
The way Amara was shot was exquisite (imho). During the opening scene with Crowley the camera slowly swings around to film her at a slight low angle. It was the beginning of her slow rise to power over both Crowley and Dean. In this scene Crowley thinks he has power over her, but the way she is shot suggests something else entirely. She is always framed so beautifully in this episode.
During her scene with Dean we seen him looking down on her, but in such a way that makes him look vulnerable. She looks "up" at Dean, but it gives her power (also shot from a slight low angle).
The closing music sequence is perhaps one of my faves ever in SPN (other than Death's entrance maybe). I love this moment when she looks up. At God maybe?
And speaking of looking up, this shot of Sam after his vision is gorgeous also. He looks up - suggesting he is wondering if it was God you sent him the vision maybe? Or perhaps it just emphasis how small and vulnerable he is.
And of course there's this lovely mirror shot to the one of Dean in hell:
Honestly, there are so many more shots I could include here. Even down to Amara doing her nails to then seeing them on Dean face (all shiny and manicured). :)
Such a great episode. <3