One Perfect Shot: Appreciating Cinematic Beauty

If you follow me on Twitter, (@PopCulturedWP) you’ve probably seen me retweet posts from an account called One Perfect Shot (whose handle is @OnePerfectShot – GO FOLLOW THEM). One Perfect Shot is a movie database run by Film School Rejects that helps to collect and categorize beautiful shots from movies. And honestly, it’s one of my favorite accounts on Twitter. It helps to highlight beautiful filmmaking, and it is a nice little way of thanking the severely-underappreciated Directors of Photography/Cinematographers.


And a lot of stuff in the OPS database (link here) are from the kind of movies you’d watch in film school, which makes sense. But as time goes on, the OPS Twitter has been diversifying its sources. It’s not just stuff like Citizen Kane or The Godfather but it’s starting to include stuff like the music video for Childish Gambino’s “This is America” and the Pokemon anime.


So with this in mind, here are 20 images from a few of my favorite films and television shows that I wanted to nominate for inclusion in the Database. OPS 1Seven Psychopaths (2012)
Dir.: Martin McDonough
DP: Ben DavisOPS 2.gifThe Grand Budapest Hotel (2014)
Dir: Wes Anderson
DP: Robert YeomanOPS 3What We Do In the Shadows (2014)
Dir: Taika Watiti and Jermaine Clement
DP: Richard Buck, DJ StipsonOPS 4Rango (2011)
Dir.: Gore Verbinski
DP: Roger DeakinsOPS 5The Blues Brothers (1980)
Dir.: John Landis
DP: Stephen M. KatzOPS Kramer.gifSeinfeld (1997)
Episode: “The Comeback”
Dir.: David Owen Trainor
DP: Wayne KennanTheon.PNGGame of Thrones (2012)
Ep: “What is Dead May Never Die”
Dir: Alik Sakharov
DP: PJ Dillon
OPS Sandlot.PNGThe Sandlot (1992)
Dir: David Mickey Evans
DP: Anthony B. RichmondOPS Snicket.PNG
A Series of Unfortunate Events (2018)
Ep: “The Carnivorous Carnival: Part Two”
Dir: Loni Peristere
DP: Bernard CoutureOPS Band of Robbers.PNGBand of Robbers (2015)
Dir: Aaron and Adam Nee
DP: Noah RosenthalOPS Hero.gifHero (2002)
Dir: Zhang Yimou
DP: Christopher Doyle(Note: Hero is amazing. I don’t know if I’ve seen a prettier movie. This is just skimming the surface of this movie’s beauty.)OPS WestworldWestworld (2016)
Ep: “The Bicameral Mind”
Dir: Jonathan Nolan
DP: David FrancoOPS Fargo.PNGFargo (2015)
Ep: “The Myth of Sisyphus”
Dir: Michael Uppendahl
DP: Craig WrobleskiOPS Community.jpgCommunity (2011)
Ep: “Remedial Chaos Theory”
Dir: Jeff Melman
DP: Gary Hatfield(Notes: This shot is so complex. You probably know it from the .Gif it inspired. It’s like a renaissance painting.)tam-612 Angry Men (1957)
Dir: Sydney Lumet
DP: Boris Kaufman

OPS Moonrise Kingdom

Moonrise Kingdom (2012)
Dir: Wes Anderson
DP: Robert Yeoman

OPS Make Happy
Bo Burnham: Make Happy (2016)
Dir: Bo Burnham, Chirs Storer
DP: Andrew Wehde

OPS KuboKubo and the Two Strings (2016)
Dir: Travis Knight
DP: Frank Passingham

OPS Toy Story

Toy Story (1995)
Dir: John Lasseter
DP: Ash Brannon (Directing Animator)

OPS The Prestige.pngThe Prestige (2006)
Dir: Christopher Nolan
DP: Wally Pfister

I’m a big fan of westerns, so when I set out to find twenty shots from movies and television I love, I expected it would be mostly landscapes. I quickly realized that most of my shots emphasized characters and the way they are placed in the frame – and how that relates to the portrayal in the film. I don’t know exactly what that means in terms of my taste, but I’m sure it means something.

I’d like to conclude this post with a question to my readers: what’s your favorite shot in movies/television/etc.? I know that’s a big, broad question, but if you can think of just one shot you love, let me know. If you can think of a few, let me know.

8 thoughts on “One Perfect Shot: Appreciating Cinematic Beauty

  1. Also, to answer my own question from the end of the post, I think my favorite shot of all time might be this one from Empire Strikes Back:

    Or, perhaps the 1-minute continual shot from Game of Thrones’ Battle of the Bastards. I could go on and on talking about my favorite shots that are in the OPS database and shots that aren’t, but I’m more interested to hear from you guys! What are your favorites?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes definitely! Pyrotechnics in that movie are amazing – the car explosion, the hospital explosion are two of the most amazing shots. There are so many great shots from TDK. A few of them are in that database.

      This week is actually the 10th Anniversary of the Dark Knight, so look for a post about that later this week! 😀

      Liked by 1 person

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