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Being there

             Making Being There by Jerzy Kosinski into a film allowed the director to let viewers really understand the character of Chance. The director has many options in which to portray the feelings, mood and characters. He can use certain film techniques to make the scene. Using different angles and distances can change the whole outlook of a scene. Hal Ashby's significant opening and closing shots in Being There use many different techniques. Medium shots with regular angles in the opening shot and a long shot with a telephoto lens in the closing shot are what Hal Ashby picked to use.
             Ashby decided to open the movie with a fairly simple shot. In a small, tidy room, a middle aged man sleeps in his bed. When awakening, he slowly rises from bed. A medium shot shows Chance watching television, frequently changing the channel with his remote control. This shot is significant in many ways. The director purposely uses simple angles and medium shots to represent Chance as a simple person. Also, the director wants the viewers to focus on only Chance and the TV, without getting distracted by moving scenes or high or low angles. Chance's continuous flicking of channels shows the viewers that he does not have any real connection to what he's watching. Ashby shows Chance as a simple, middle aged man who seems to have no preference of TV show, but likes the TV on. The opening shot serves the purpose of helping the viewer getting to know Chance. The director wants people to realize the man is amused easily and constantly has his eyes fixed on the TV, and he accomplishes that with the film techniques he uses.
             Different techniques were used in the making of the closing shot. The last scene with the funeral shows Chance walking off through the large garden. Hal Ashby chose a long shot to capture Chance reviving a sapling along the pond. Continuing the long shot with a telephoto lens, Chance is seen walking on water across the lake.

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