Spielberg Face, Caught on Video

    December 14, 2011

Earlier this year, the UGO.com publication wrote a post about the the legacy of the Spielberg Face, which is an homage to the Spielberg style of moviemaking, especially when he is capturing an actor’s reaction of awe or surprise.

In UGO’s post, the Spielberg Face is described as such:

When a character looks up and catches something unexpected, that’s the face. When a character watches something otherworldly take place in front of their eyes, that’s the face. When a character stares outward, mouth slightly agape and has a revelation that will change them forever, that’s the face.

Considering Spielberg’s mighty list of movies — under the “Director” label, Spielberg is credited with 50 movies — there’s plenty of content to pick these faces from. Fast forward to the end of 2012, well, almost, anyway, and we find someone has taken the idea of UGO’s post and created a video highlighting the same Spielberg Face phenomenon.

According to SlashFilm.com, the video was made by Kevin Lee of Fandor.com, and it features over nine minutes worth of various actors making the “Spielberg Face,” and it is required watching for all movie buffs, or, at least it should be:

Oh, look! A fair use target. Of course, under SOPA, it’s doubtful this video would see the light of day, and if it did, the creator — as well as YouTube — would likely fall victim to the stipulations in the protection acts. That is, the video would be removed and there’s a good chance the Fandor site would be taken down by SOPA enforcement police.

Another story for another day, apparently.

As for the video itself, it’s narrated by Lee, who also provides a transcript for those who are considering adding subtitles to the video. An excerpt:

Expressive close-ups of faces reacting to events offscreen. This is a common device in Hollywood filmmaking, perhaps due in part to Spielberg’s influence. Sometimes these shots even make explicit homage to his movies. This is not to say that Spielberg invented the technique. The expressive close-up existed as early as the days of D.W. Griffith, and has long been a staple of both international and classical Hollywood filmmaking.

As you can see, a great deal of effort was put into the making of this video, which takes full advantage of fair use. The question is, under a SOPA-controlled Internet, would this video be available to the masses like it is now?