Frame of Mind: To Do True Crime Right, The Confession Tapes Used Private Interview Locations and Macro Lenses (Video)

What makes a scene work?

Does it lie in the carefully executed plans of a film’s cast and crew? Or does the magic rest upon fortuitous mistakes, spontaneity and improvisation? What steps must be taken to convey your vision and intent? Watch our video series, Frame of Mind, to get answers to these questions and more from commentators working in a wide variety of areas in production who’ll guide you through clips from their films, in their own words. Moviemakers and film fans: Grab your notepads, popcorn, or both, and press play.


Yet another addition to Netflix’s nearly-unmatched slate of compelling true crime non-fiction series, creator/director Kelly Loudenberg’s The Confession Tapes probes multiple cases of false confessions that have led to the death sentencing of those who’ve confessed. Loudenberg eschews the serial format now expected of this subgenre in favor of focusing on one individual, standalone case per episode. In the video below, she breaks down how she gave her subjects the treatment they deserved by choosing locations that made her interviewees most comfortable. From a technical standpoint, Loudenberg shares her preference for macro lenses, shooting interview subjects in a 4×3 frame, and filming the monitors of cameras and TVs playing VHS tapes, all in service of imbuing The Confession Tapes with an “analog” aesthetic.

What did you take away from Loudenberg’s frame of mind? Let us know in the comments below. MM

The Confession Tapes is now available to stream on Netflix. Video and featured image photograph courtesy of Netflix.

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