Die hard is considered to be one of the greatest action movies made in the 1980’s-1990’s era. It was this movie that shot Bruce Williams to fame. Directed by John Mctiernan in 1988, Die hard was a movie with great acting, great action sequences, excellent on screen chemistry between actors and many more such qualities. However, one important thing that not many notice is the outstanding photography of the film. It is the astonishing photography of the movie that made movie goers sit on the edge of their seat in anticipation and excitements of what’s going to be John Mclane’s (Bruce Willis) next move to battle the terrorists.
In this paper, I am going to discuss about the photography of the movie Die Hard and to do so I will highlight a few important aspects of photography such as shots, angles, lights amongst others.
“Shots are defined by the amount of subject matter that’s included within the frame of the screen” [ (Giannetti, 2011) ]. In general, there are 6 types of shots and these are extreme long shot, long shot, full shot, medium shot, close up and the extreme close up. These shots are all subject to human analysis that means what one director might consider a medium shot; it might be considered a close up by another director [ (Giannetti, 2011) ].
The movie Die hard is an amalgam of all these shots intertwined to give the audiences a complete and exciting cinematic experience. Mctiernan has used all kinds of shots to make sure that his movie looks realistic and so that it touches the audiences.
Mctiernan uses the long shot in certain places to establish a base ground with the audiences so as to give them a feel of the situation on hand. An excellent example of this shot is the one in which Hans Gruber (Alan Rickman, the villain protagonist) addresses the hostages for the first time (See picture 1).