Shake OK not OK

Camera shake is used in a couple of segments of the Netflix Black Mirror series where it is used the right way and the wrong way. The first image we see here is of the scene where mom is desperately looking for her 4 year old little girl who got separated from her in the park when she was preocupied with taling with someone. She is screaming “Sarah!” many times, the camera follows the mom, spins around, shows from differrent angles her frustration. Apparently the producer believed that this was good to add the frantic motion to display the confusion. This was completely unnecessary and actually made it harder to see mom’s distraught facial expressions that convey that message much more than shaky cameras.

Later in the episode called Arkangel (S4E2) which is produced by Jodie Foster we see the daughter in her teens frantic and frustrated that her boyfriend just dumped her. In this scene there is shake but it’s necessary because there is no dialog. It adds to the presentation of emotional upset and should only be used in limted basis when there is no dialog. The reason it also works here has to do with how the viewer knows the context of her frustration from more than one perspective, hers, and her moms, and even that of us as we watch it and feel for what she went through her whole life bringing her to a point where we wonder if she might kill herself. We do not always have that kind of perspective and the shake and wander compliments the feelings of this scene.