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What is Mood Roll?

Updated: Sep 23, 2020

Simply put, Mood Roll is a phrase we have created explaining a short film sequence - usually cinematic - that provokes an emotional feeling in the viewer. This could be elation, joy, reflection, sadness or even pride. If the clip has achieved this, then it could be classed as Mood Roll.

Mood Roll often has a few consistent elements:

- Slowed frame rate

- Emotive music

- Rich imagery

- Tells a story

A slowed frame rate allows time for the viewer to absorb the content. To immerse themselves in the story that's being told. It creates mood, and with clever use of camera angles, takes the

viewer on a journey.

Sound is extremely important in Mood Roll. So much so, it's an essential component. Sound, both music overlay, and ambience (distance birds, wind noise, boat horn in background) are key to creating the mood the filmmaker is after. The same short film without sound is just a video sequence. Not all Mood Roll has to contain music however it is a key ingredient to immerse the viewer into the story. Ambience, helps tell the story. It sends audible ques to the viewer and prompts their brain to connect what they are watching with the story.

Mood Roll is nothing without the imagery. Often it is shot in landscapes, however this is not essential. City-scapes - urban industrial areas, subways, architectural precincts - make excellent

canvases to create Mood Roll. The topic area or location is only limited by the imagination of the creator.

Story. The difference between good Mood Roll and great Mood Roll is story.

Like anything worthwhile in life, story plays a major part. If the viewer is immersed in the story of the short film or and is carried on a journey away from their current environment - all be it for 2 mins - then the film maker has successfully created great Mood Roll.

And let face it... we can all do with being carried away on a journey once in while, hey?

I'll leave you with this. An amazing example of Mood Roll.

Robinson Barbosa | director

Daniel Nikolaison | director of photography

Own the Shot


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