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Sicario - Focus shift from Alejandro to “Missing Persons” posters in background (1 reply)

Shyam Ediriweera
4 months ago
Shyam Ediriweera 4 months ago

Hi Roger,

One of my favourite moments in Sicario is when the SUV convoy transporting Alejandro and Macer et al through Juarez pause for a few minutes on their way to pick up the high value target. There is a CU of Alejandro in the backseat of the SUV, and the focus shifts from Alejandro (attached Sicario Frame 1) to the missing persons posters on the outside wall (attached Sicario Frame 2).

I find this very effective on several storytelling levels. For me, it acts as a subliminal prelude that connects Alejandro to his "missing" wife and daughter, whom we later find out were executed by the Cartel. The ubiquity of the posters also focuses the audience on the horrors of the Cartel kidnappings and murders that have become everyday life in Juarez.

I wanted to ask you about how you and Denis came to design this shot? 

The missing persons posters appear to be very realistic - but I presume that they were placed in that location as part of the production design of the Mise En Scene, and as such the shot was designed, rather than it being something that was discovered by way of a "happy accident"?

Thank you very much and kind regards
Roger Deakins
4 months ago
Roger Deakins 4 months ago

That was a scripted moment and the posters were specifically designed and set to camera. We shot the sequence in Mexico City and we wanted some particular images to resonate within the chaos of the journey.

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