August 28, 2020
What 'The End of the F***ing World' Can Teach Us About Simplistic Cinematography
DP Benedict Spence details the cinematic rules behind the popular Netflix series.
Visuals are an integral part of any show, but for the series The End of the F***ing World, it’s the inconvertible lifeline to the story.
Season 1 was utterly perfect thanks to the brilliance of creator Charlie Covell’s writing. It’s based on Charles Forsman’s graphic novel of the same name which follows two teens, James (Alex Lawther) and Alyssa (Jessica Barden), and wraps the feelings of loneliness, uncertainty, and the pulse of falling in love into a palpable, dark allegory. Its finale: crème de la crème. But it left audiences clamoring for more. Aptness can be one’s own detriment.
In the follow-up, cinematographer Benedict Spence, who shot the first four episodes of Season 2, lensed a simplistic visual style that subliminally spoke to the weight of the narrative. By creating rules, like center framing, avoiding establishing shots, not moving the camera during dialogue or tilting it unless it was to show perspective, it created a motif of absolute minimalism visually.