Locke & Key

Locke & Key

I’d like to start with small side note, Locke & Key is an American comic book series written by Joe Hill, illustrated by Gabriel Rodriguez and published by IDW Publishing.

Word of curiosity and wonder had always been in the human kinds DNA. Especially turning the abstract thoughts into a concrete forms could be the most of individual’s dream or nightmare. From centuries to centuries great minds created stories to make people believe or at least having a good time within that stories. Locke Key is one of that stories which open the window to your view in the sense of imagination.

Main focus point of this writing is elaborating the manner of visual storytelling of Locke Key’s very beginning scene.  Let’s look to cinematic language of the film;

  Key Words: Locke Key, Cinematography and Visual Storytelling, Frame, Light and Color, Lens, Camera Movement

The Frame

At the very beginning scene curtains are opening in the dark street with man who walks at the neighborhood in thin fog and accompanied dog barking voices. For that scene shot scale depicted in long shot to preserve both alienation to scene and create curiosity. This depicted scene gives audiences the feeling of something bad about to occur. When obscurity and unknowingness get combines with the long shot, the man at the frame getting in the position of the victim of any kind unexpected event. Subsequent selected frame is close up which directly focusing on the keys that man’s hold in his left hand provide a scene which does not give enough importance to the character’s existence and maintain the curiosity at the same time. Interpreted meaning here is the event that possibly shown will have more serious outcome than the character.

Light and Color

Light and color have ability to reach people at emotional level. So, this phase of the film includes another important component of the integral part in the cinematography and visual storytelling. In that case, the interpretation of the very beginning scene should be divided into 2 different parts because of the interior and exterior location of the shooting. Color palette of the exterior part mainly consisted with black, blue and brownish. Dark colors could have plenty of meaning but in the scene (Picture.1) feeling of mystery is one step forward than fear, gloom, aggression or authority.  



Image manipulation can be done through many different ways; camera, light, mechanical efx, post production and so on.

We manipulate the image in some way, we add some visual texture to it; this is not to be confused with the surface texture of objects. There are many devices we use to accomplish this: changing the color and contrast of the picture, desaturating the color of the image, filters, fog and smoke effects, rain, using unusual film stocks, various printing techniques, and of course the whole range of image manipulation that can be accomplished with digital images on the computer. (Brown, 2002)

For the entering scene (Figure.2) mixture of both the fog and haze are at visible level which changes the atmosphere of the street, sharpness of the blue light and beautify the narrative. In that scene plain level of haze is not distract the attention and alter the texture of the scene.



Camera movements are another important part of the visual storytelling. In order to provide mystery and unknowingness camera angles are not uncloak the character’s identity. When he came in front of his home’s door, camera starts to do movement till phone rang. Beside mystery of the character’s identity still preserve its unknowingness. Despite the phone rang (figure.3) camera is not showing the face of the character rather makes smooth movement from pocket to the head of the man. When he started to talk with his phone audiences finally sees the characters identity. In that case, camera movements are used as provide the mystery in visual storytelling.


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