How Hitchcock Blocks a Scene

An advantage of the video essay is that it is, in a way, a mixed media form. The videographic essay is first and foremost a cinematic format, stringing together moving images and sounds. But it can include other visual elements: overlaid graphics, animated diagrams or graphs for instance. These additional elements can serve to illuminate the footage that is being discussed and dissected. Since this modus operandi is a distinct advantage of this particular format, it should be used more than it is.


This video essay by The Nerdwriter does just that. It sheds light on Hitchcock’s mastery of blocking by diagramming the choreography of a seemingly innocuous dialogue scene  from Vertigo. Putting the original scene and the abstract graphic rendition side by side makes it easier to grasp the intricacies of the movements – and the subtleties of Hitchcock’s directorial style.