Are Keywords a step too far?
Jon E. asked: I appreciate your precision and depth to bring symbolism and meaning to each shot but I just wonder if it is a step too far? As one progresses up the film making ladder this perhaps is necessary, however for me to read and try to understand the deeper meaning of each shot (eg the dolly shot representing a planned and fixed education route), seems like over-thinking. Yes I agree there will be key moments in each production where a planned move is critical for symbolism, yet for each shot, it seems too much. Do you need to go to this extent, to justify it for the client? Apologies in advance if I have misread or misunderstood this chapter.
We can all choose to have as much or as little depth as we'd like. We certainly aren't trying to suggest that every shot needs the depth of the one mentioned. But also keep in mind that "a planned and fixed education route" is also a more complex way of simply saying stability. And yes, we certainly want to convey stability vs uncertainty throughout this film. And that is also the only real level we might share with the client, but even that is probably more than would be said.
The client should feel the result of our decisions (As should our audience) and they should feel the keywords come through. If we have to overly explain them, then we likely didn't do the best job at conveying them through our decisions.
I'd suggest starting with the big things. Things like camera movement, lens choice, color, and audio are decisions that are so huge for your story. I'd try and have meaning in those before you move on to some of the smaller things that still have meaning, but make less of an impact on how your story is felt or understood.