“Spielberg face” is a term, coined by Jason Hellerman, to describe a particular cinematic technique often employed by legendary director, Steven Spielberg. It involves shooting a character’s reaction in extreme close-up, with the camera positioned below the character’s eye line and pointing upwards. It typically involves a close-up shot of a character looking off-screen with their eyes wide open and mouth slightly agape, conveying shock, awe, or wonder. This technique is often used to heighten the emotional impact of a scene and draw the audience’s attention to a specific moment. This creates a sense of awe and wonderment as the audience shares the character’s point of view.
Interestingly, the use of this technique has spread beyond Spielberg’s films and is now a common feature in many Hollywood blockbusters. In fact, some filmmakers have even parodied the “Spielberg face” in their own movies. Overall, the term has become a popular reference among film enthusiasts and a testament to Spielberg’s impact on the film industry. Spielberg is known for his ability to craft emotionally resonant stories that captivate audiences, and the “Spielberg face” is just one of the many techniques he uses to achieve this.
Here are a few examples of films that have been described as “Spielbergian”:
- Super 8 (directed by J.J. Abrams)
- The Goonies (directed by Richard Donner)
- Stranger Things (a TV series on Netflix)
- The Iron Giant (directed by Brad Bird)
“Spielberg face” is just one element of Spielberg’s cinematic style, but it is a powerful one that has helped to define his legacy as one of the greatest filmmakers of all time.