Dahmer: Why the Cinematography is a Masterpiece!

The visual storytelling, cinematography, lighting and camera are amazing in the Jeffrey Dahmer series on Netflix. In this tutorial we recreate the look.

Jeffrey Dahmer Controversy

There’s been a big controversy with the Jeffrey Dahmer series. A serial killer portrait as man with feelings and struggles. You would almost get empathy for him.

But hey, this is Jeff we’re talking about. A monster that killed 17 innocent people!

Every time the Jeffrey Dahmer series is brought up, people ask about ones opinion. As a filmmaker I’d like to avoid that question and look at the series from an artistic perspective. And it’s absolutely brilliant!

Visual Storytelling

We’ve spoken about visual storytelling often times. But what sets the series apart are its subtle differences and elements to tell the story.

For instance, look at the lighting of Jeff’s apartment. It has a fitly yellowish tone. So does the hallway. And when comparing that to other people’s interior, even his neighbour, we notice a more vibrant and orange tone.

It’s very subtle, but a great way to mark Jeff’s territory. It works in the unconscious of the audience. When his neighbour, Glenda, steps out of her apartment she needs to walk through Jeff’s area. So there’s always a sort of tension when that happens.

Glenda Cleveland
Glenda Cleveland in the hallway

Linking a Story to Emotion

When the father of Jeff gets interrogated by the police we notice an amazing storytelling technique.

Lionel Dahmer
Lionel Dahmer being interrogated by the Police

Lionel is wearing a shirt with the same colors from Jeff’s apartment. The green stands for the monster inside of Jeff and the yellow is the ugly lighting.

He just heard about the tragedies from his son and he wears the same color pallet.

Later in the series we hear that Lionel understands Jeffrey as he had similar thoughts as him. However, he was able to control it. Wearing such as shirt visually shows that again.

Rotolight

Big thanks to Rotolight for sponsoring this video! Check out their brand new AEOS II Pro and NEO III Pro in their Indiegogo campaign and get an early bird discount.

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