The Following Film Style

The Following was filmed on 16mm film stock and consists of almost entirely handheld camera shots. While part of this is due to the extremely low-budget nature of this film (only $6000), being the debut work of a at-the-time unknown director, this antiquated style played a key role in the experience of the film. The Following, a sort of neo-noir film, tried to mimic the style of the classic film noir pieces of 1940s and 50s, and in trying to capture their feel, had to mimic their style. Thus, Nolan was able to evoke the same visual elements present in the original genre. Beyond the meta callback to earlier cinema, however, the filmography style still added an additional flair to the movie. The unsteadiness of the camera often correlated throughout the film to the general uneasiness and nervousness of the main character. The film would get more unsteady, when Bill was in situations where he was uncomfortable such as in the bald man’s office and during his first break-in. However, in later break-ins, Bill’s increasing comfort with the idea of robbery was mimicked in the increasing steadiness of the camera. The lack of a budget, in fact, probably ended up being beneficial in the end, cause it forced Nolan to be innovative and show his prowess as a director. His improvisation to lack of a budget for lighting forced him to use natural lighting and frame his interior shots close to windows and other such sources. When filming outdoors, he had to find the right times at which to shoot on such film to catch the right lighting (although the nearly always overcast London weather definitely helped!), which made even more difficult by the fact that he only could only film on the weekend, as the actors were all just personal friends helping him out.