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The killing scene...without actually showing the killing

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  • The killing scene...without actually showing the killing

    Hi all,

    Have been a fan of this site for a while and has been a great resource of information, but recently signed up and decided to post something because I couldn't find it on here.

    I am shooting a film soon and am just in the process of writing the script and camera angle sheet and I have a murder scene. See the thing is I want the murder to be happening but I don't actually want to show someone violently being slashed, because it would completely lose the style of the film.

    Any ideas? I'm open to an suggestion because I'm completely stuck!

    Thank you!

  • #2
    Hitchcock's Psycho has a great scene that might give you some inspiration on how to do yours.


    • #3
      What a great film. I did consider it. Thanks!


      • #4
        Also for other suggestions it would help to have a little more information on how she is killed. For example if she is being stabbed in the body as in the above example you can show her face. If it is her throat then you could show her hand clawing at the murder or clenching and releasing.


        • #5
          The character is killed by a knife to the body. I am basing the killing on a subject I've been researching which is Homicidal Sleepwalking. So the man doesn't even know he's doing it. So obviously the results are messy. I like the idea of showing the face, but I think showing the arm clawing away at the killer after panning away from the initial 'swipe' would be a better option.


          • #6
            Don't forget the feet or legs as well if the person is sleeping or laying down when it happens. If it is in a bed you can have one had clawing at the attacker and one pulling on the covers trying to escape.. Ok I am out of ideas now. Good luck :)


            • #7
              Well the best thing to do is picture how it would be filmed without violence - Then in your mind add in the KEY element of what will make this work (Sound!!) If the images of violence will not do, then you will have to manipulate the audiences emotions with the audio of the scene...

              Hope that helps
              Distribber - Keep 100% of your film's revenue


              • #8
                Thanks guys those suggestions really helped! I appreciate them!


                • #9
                  Interesting, very interesting. I too am writing a scene like this but I almost want it to be quite and erry with only the sounds of someone bashing in another head....


                  • #10
                    It's proving to be quite difficult. Although have some ideas now. Good luck with yours!


                    • #11
                      Hitchcock was the king for stuff like this study his work also directors pre 1960....with that said I can think of two things 1 use shadow you could show the face in a closeup then pull back just enough so you see a shadow of the arm or knife 2 as he walks away show the face with blood splatter on it just a small amount and use a dutch angle could light his sleepwalking in a way that's different ..think about the framing of the shot and using light to tell the story also sound


                      • #12
                        so just incase you havent figured out what your gunna do ill tell u how i got around this recently

                        so i have a shot where we had to kill a kid and dog in a bathroom, now because this will be uploaded to youtube and its kinda wrong in its on sense i didnt want to show it actually happening. so i took the shot of the kid and the dog running in to the bathroom and then they slam the door behind them.
                        the camera cuts to inside the bathroom and the kid and the dog are huddled up agaisnt the wall and the shower curtain flys open and the "murderer" jumps out.
                        the camera goes back outside the bathroom door and all u see is the shadows shaking about and the dog barking and the kid screams, silence no movement the door flings open and the "murderer" has the dogs collar around his neck.

                        now the "murderer" is actually a "murderer" (hints the quotes) and he thinks there just trash mobs in a raid and hes just trying to get gear. so its not like a horror flick or anything but thats how i got around not actually showing the murder but just implying that it happened in a very obvious way.

                        hope this helped