The Mentalist


Quick facts:
- A crime, thriller and mystery, drama series
- Duration per episode, approx. 40 min
- 1 people's choice award, USA
- 1 Monte-Carlo TV Festival, Best Drama series
- 1 ASCAP award
- Nominated for 1 Golden Globe
- Another 15 nominations
- 7 seasons 

- - - -
Created by
Bruno Heller

"A famous "psychic" outs himself as a fake and starts working as a consultant for the California Bureau of Investigation so he can find "Red John," the madman who killed his wife and daughter."

I was introduced to this series by a friend of mine, I had heard about it before but never watched it myself. I chose The Mentalist as my drama series for this project because, after looking into it a bit more, I found this to have a very interesting storyline. Crime and serious business mixed with humor and ease created a great atmosphere. And it triggered the interest to go forward with this series, as well as a lot of the different shots are very "normal" and standard, so it inspired me to see what I can do to mix it up a little bit and try to give it more details and perhaps a new/interesting way of looking at things.

As a part of my research on this series, I have here looked at two different episodes, directed by two different directors. I wanted to do this to see if one of them has set the pace for the rest of the series if they were very similar or totally different from each other.

  Red Hair and Silver Tape, episode 2, season 1 - Directed by David Nutter 
 - Directed two episodes (2008)
- The pilot and second episode 

This episode is the first one after the pilot episode, where - The body of Melanie O'Keefe is found at a Napa Valley vineyard. Teresa believes that the murder is the result of an argument between lovers. 

There is clearly a style of directing, where a variety of medium shots, long shots, medium close-up and VSL is mostly used to portray the story unfolding. This is where I get inspired to try out different types of angles, and making it more interesting that way. As it is in this second episode, it is vert general and standard. Which works very well, but it is what triggers me to wanna try something else.

The mood is discreet and at the same time not overdone, it is a light and humorous atmosphere even though there are serious and evil cases going on and/or being solved. I really like the feel to it, and the pace is just great.

The style of cinematography is very simple, yet powerful in itself. A lot of clean and it is very pleasurable for the eye to watch. I thought comparing and setting one of these very first episodes up against an episode quite far out in the series, with the director that has shot most episodes on the show would be an interesting test and research. Mainly because this would reveal quite a lot when it comes to the style of direction. 

Red Sky At Night, episode 1 season 3 - Directed by Chris Long
- Directed 27 episodes (2008-2015)
- Several episodes scattered out in different seasons

CBI takes on a case involving a murdered state lobbyist, and Patrick helps in the case despite being preoccupied with Kristina's disappearance, presumably at the hands of Red John.

What is very clear, is that comparing the two episodes by different directors, there is clear but yet an invisible distinguish between the two. It is fair to say that I believe the first episodes from the first director, David Nutter, sat the standard and base for the whole series. 

Chris Long has developed the episodes from the base, and done more to them, in the style of what I am looking to do. I want to challenge it a bit more, Chris has managed to keep the authentic and base-like layout. But at the same time, he has definitely pushed some boundaries in front of himself while going forward with his style of directing. 

The main message and storyline reach out to the audience with both directors, but I think Chris manages to reach just a little bit further due to a little bit more thinking outside the box, new angles, and style. 

What is the similar: 
- Wide, medium and long shots
- overview of buildings/landscape
- framing; Jane is very most often placed in the left frame (from audience pov)
   Cho, Teresa and Jane often form some sort of shape when standing together = united
- Minimal movements with camera, except some pans, tilts and soft movements

What is different:
- Chris Long is more experimental in varieties of shots, angles etc.
- Nutter tends to have an eye-leveled camera while Long often in landscapes and buildings has the camera positioned and shooting from a lower angle. 

All in all, this is a series I have enjoyed researching, mainly because I really like crime series with a pinch of humor in it. like Castle, Veronica Mars, Orange Is The New Black a.s.o. What I bring with me from this comparison is that different directors have totally different interpretations, style, and way of creating the stories being told on screen. I am inspired by both as I go into my further prep work. Taking the knowledge that balance is key, and it is important not overdoing it, as well as not underdoing it. By that, go bold but at the same time make sure that those bold decisions or styles you chose as a director do not affect what is important. Getting the story told, in the best and right way possible.

//Sources of information

//Images from

You may also like

No comments:

Television by Ida Frank. Powered by Blogger.