Mindhunter: In the Hands of the Killer (Scene Analysis)

Mindhunter: In the Hands of the Killer (Scene Analysis) Seduction

Kemper: “It’s not easy butchering people, it’s hard work” Tyler: So Mindhunters based on a book that I am unfortunately familiar with written by Robert Douglas along with a ghostwriter Or sorry John Douglas and John Douglas was an FBI agent who began doing exactly what we see in the show, which is Interviewing and talking to these serial killers called sequence killers at the time as they were developing The process of profiling through the FBI that allegedly led to them being able to sit in a room with no other Information except for the details of the crime be able to tell you very specific things about the killer Just purely based on the nature the murders and all this came through these interviews with the serial killers our criminals borne Are they formed. So just two so just to set this scene up? What we’re dealing with is the second interview with Edie Kemper who was the real the first serial killer that John Douglas Interviewed and what we get to see in this scene I think the aspect that is interesting to look at it from when we watch through it is from the perspective of a seduction and Just keep that in mind as we watch it If you nerd out about true crime this show pays tribute to all that and hits on all of it So it’s fun for people to interact about but that subconscious aspect is a huge huge huge part of this scene as well Which will we’ll talk about. Sven: Well, let’s get into it one more time from the beginning This is like a big chess game and everything is set up in a way that we get into that chest made move So we have an insert shot that turns out to be a boom up to Holden’s face Tyler: It’s just replaying that opening, the first time he enter the prison handing off the weapons walking through the wall going deep into the belly Of the beast.

Sven: Yes belly of the beast. We have lots of noises people are standing around talking chatting cops and Prisoners are all with each other Which is the contrast of what’s about to happen. And the other thing that’s noteworthy is at about Ten seconds in we already get into the conversation and for a long time. We’re still staying on the outside as he’s walking up to it, but we’re already hearing how that conversation is starting Holden: “Here’s the thing I spent five years as a brick agent and a couple of years at the academy I’m squeaky clean,” Sven: Which it’s so long here.

You really don’t know what the actual Layout is going to be of that room, but you would assume that they’re gonna be sitting facing each other in some form of Interrogation room right like the stuff that you are used to and this is not at all what’s happening. Once we cut to it It’s a bigger room. It’s like it feels like a library or something or like a a hangout room that usually is. used for all the prisoners but it’s locked off. There’s nobody there. It’s kind of dark.

Tyler: Yeah, and it’s very Casual thing too and we’d seen this room in the previous scene, but now it’s just such a casual vibe of like “hey we’re friendly now like, my guards dropped. He’s not being as threatening as he was before like the previous scene where he just keeps getting closer and closer to killing range on Holden there’s one really cool shot with the cop in the newspaper in about 42 Yeah, but before we get to that at 21 seconds We cannot have like a profile shot of Holden just like really sunk deeply into his seed like he’s super casual super comfortable and just Spilling out his guts and he thinks like this is gonna be my strategy how I’m gonna like bond with this guy Build some trust and then get the information that I need. That’s the starting of the scene like he feels in control So from this point then forward we have a bunch of like long shots from across the room as they’re talking College I’m more in fucking baby Wow Everything goes you take sugar no milk Thank you Suddenly it’s disco in poppers and burn bars. I’m up to my neck in chicks And he had 42 seconds that’s where we saw the guy with the newspaper just The whole time he’s just reading the newspaper. Not really paying attention.

He’s not even there We don’t see him and then this the waving of the newspaper that sound really suddenly made me notice Oh, there’s actually guard here that’s supposed to watch over this Well, we see his face too like he is kind of doing his job Yeah, and then he just gives up like this is stupid. If I was the guard I’d be like all over this conversation I mean this doesn’t happen every day. I’ll be listening in this is kind of interesting. Crash nobody rides for free next thing I know I’m with the 24 year old that I met in a bar No woman has ever been so into me in my entire life. Don’t brag.

It’s unbecoming. Oh my god. I am so sorry I’m kidding This is the first time that we catch you this profile shot and we should talk about whenever characters move the camera moves Which there’s a great post essay by the nerd writer that talks about David’s Fincher obsession with camera movement in sync with the character this scene Follows that rule. I’m so sorry So camera really only moves with the character here and now listen at 1 13 14 when he’s gonna sit down That sound right there That sounds like a guy that’s 250 300 pounds and it’s really important with the sound to make sure that we understand How much bigger this guy is compared to Holden not even him would have a chance if Ed chose to kill him He wouldn’t have a chance to try and get out of it. So then for at 126, we’re in a couple of profile shots for a while and I don’t know if I’m fully correct with this, but I’m gonna say Whenever they kind of disagree with each other when they’re saying something that the other person is gonna be Disagreeing with or surprised by we tend to be in these profile shots Which isolates the character so you were virgin up until then?

That’s what you’re saying. No, no, no Oh you go over like you’re a virgin What what’s wrong with that? I was a virgin for years. There is nothing wrong with it. No.

This new girl should take it up the ass yet Here at 1:57 when he gets up. It’s all about the weight and the size camera moves Camera moves and sound design. Moves over we hear it with The shackles there or the handcuffs he puts the hand in there and on his Chin in the profile shot. The hand is bigger than his throat. You feel this Feel it.

It’s all muscle Yeah, and it’s it’s so at 1:57. He’s in his seat at 202 He has his fingers around his throat and could be killing him It happened so fast and it’s fun also that shot to follow him in that rising shot because you get to see Holden’s little head In the foreground and realize oh, there’s no escape. What’s what’s gonna happen?

Yeah, by the time that Holden starts choking a little I think that’s when the audience realizes. Okay. This can go two ways No, it’s entirely the opposite. It’s nothing but Resistance, it’s really difficult You feel this feel it it’s all muscle cartilaginous And then the little tap at 210 is just yeah the tap is too killer And it’s amazing on them.

Kemper: “It’s not easy butchering people, it’s hard work” Tyler: So Mindhunters based on a book that I am unfortunately familiar with written by Robert Douglas along with a ghostwriter Or sorry John Douglas and John Douglas was an FBI agent who began doing exactly what we see in the show, which is Interviewing and talking to these serial killers called sequence killers at the time as they were developing The process of profiling through the FBI that allegedly led to them being able to sit in a room with no other Information except for the details of the crime be able to tell you very specific things about the killer Just purely based on the nature the murders and all this came through these interviews with the serial killers our criminals borne Are they formed. So just two so just to set this scene up? What we’re dealing with is the second interview with Edie Kemper who was the real the first serial killer that John Douglas Interviewed and what we get to see in this scene I think the aspect that is interesting to look at it from when we watch through it is from the perspective of a seduction and Just keep that in mind as we watch it If you nerd out about true crime this show pays tribute to all that and hits on all of it So it’s fun for people to interact about but that subconscious aspect is a huge huge huge part of this scene as well Which will we’ll talk about. Sven: Well, let’s get into it one more time from the beginning This is like a big chess game and everything is set up in a way that we get into that chest made move So we have an insert shot that turns out to be a boom up to Holden’s face Tyler: It’s just replaying that opening, the first time he enter the prison handing off the weapons walking through the wall going deep into the belly Of the beast.

Sven: Yes belly of the beast. We have lots of noises people are standing around talking chatting cops and Prisoners are all with each other Which is the contrast of what’s about to happen. And the other thing that’s noteworthy is at about Ten seconds in we already get into the conversation and for a long time. We’re still staying on the outside as he’s walking up to it, but we’re already hearing how that conversation is starting Holden: “Here’s the thing I spent five years as a brick agent and a couple of years at the academy I’m squeaky clean,” Sven: Which it’s so long here.

You really don’t know what the actual Layout is going to be of that room, but you would assume that they’re gonna be sitting facing each other in some form of Interrogation room right like the stuff that you are used to and this is not at all what’s happening. Once we cut to it It’s a bigger room. It’s like it feels like a library or something or like a a hangout room that usually is. used for all the prisoners but it’s locked off. There’s nobody there. It’s kind of dark.

Mindhunter: In the Hands of the Killer (Scene Analysis) Seduction

Tyler: Yeah, and it’s very Casual thing too and we’d seen this room in the previous scene, but now it’s just such a casual vibe of like “hey we’re friendly now like, my guards dropped. He’s not being as threatening as he was before like the previous scene where he just keeps getting closer and closer to killing range on Holden there’s one really cool shot with the cop in the newspaper in about 42 Yeah, but before we get to that at 21 seconds We cannot have like a profile shot of Holden just like really sunk deeply into his seed like he’s super casual super comfortable and just Spilling out his guts and he thinks like this is gonna be my strategy how I’m gonna like bond with this guy Build some trust and then get the information that I need. That’s the starting of the scene like he feels in control So from this point then forward we have a bunch of like long shots from across the room as they’re talking College I’m more in fucking baby Wow Everything goes you take sugar no milk Thank you Suddenly it’s disco in poppers and burn bars. I’m up to my neck in chicks And he had 42 seconds that’s where we saw the guy with the newspaper just The whole time he’s just reading the newspaper. Not really paying attention.

He’s not even there We don’t see him and then this the waving of the newspaper that sound really suddenly made me notice Oh, there’s actually guard here that’s supposed to watch over this Well, we see his face too like he is kind of doing his job Yeah, and then he just gives up like this is stupid. If I was the guard I’d be like all over this conversation I mean this doesn’t happen every day. I’ll be listening in this is kind of interesting. Crash nobody rides for free next thing I know I’m with the 24 year old that I met in a bar No woman has ever been so into me in my entire life. Don’t brag.

It’s unbecoming. Oh my god. I am so sorry I’m kidding This is the first time that we catch you this profile shot and we should talk about whenever characters move the camera moves Which there’s a great post essay by the nerd writer that talks about David’s Fincher obsession with camera movement in sync with the character this scene Follows that rule. I’m so sorry So camera really only moves with the character here and now listen at 1 13 14 when he’s gonna sit down That sound right there That sounds like a guy that’s 250 300 pounds and it’s really important with the sound to make sure that we understand How much bigger this guy is compared to Holden not even him would have a chance if Ed chose to kill him He wouldn’t have a chance to try and get out of it. So then for at 126, we’re in a couple of profile shots for a while and I don’t know if I’m fully correct with this, but I’m gonna say Whenever they kind of disagree with each other when they’re saying something that the other person is gonna be Disagreeing with or surprised by we tend to be in these profile shots Which isolates the character so you were virgin up until then?

That’s what you’re saying. No, no, no Oh you go over like you’re a virgin What what’s wrong with that? I was a virgin for years. There is nothing wrong with it. No.

This new girl should take it up the ass yet Here at 1:57 when he gets up. It’s all about the weight and the size camera moves Camera moves and sound design. Moves over we hear it with The shackles there or the handcuffs he puts the hand in there and on his Chin in the profile shot. The hand is bigger than his throat. You feel this Feel it.

It’s all muscle Yeah, and it’s it’s so at 1:57. He’s in his seat at 202 He has his fingers around his throat and could be killing him It happened so fast and it’s fun also that shot to follow him in that rising shot because you get to see Holden’s little head In the foreground and realize oh, there’s no escape. What’s what’s gonna happen?

Yeah, by the time that Holden starts choking a little I think that’s when the audience realizes. Okay. This can go two ways No, it’s entirely the opposite. It’s nothing but Resistance, it’s really difficult You feel this feel it it’s all muscle cartilaginous And then the little tap at 210 is just yeah the tap is too killer And it’s amazing on them.

Don’t worry. I got this You’re in good hands. I’m not gonna hurt you for now.

It’s in its and it’s also saying yes, I could have killed you. Yes Just so you know Totally when I play it to twelve he’s sitting back down listen again to the skip some of the detail It’s like the loudest it’s been so few are one other thing. I just want to say about that sit down Is there something like you there’s like a good three seconds that we wait after he releases him That we cut to the reverse of Kemper. Just looking out the windows to see this Guards are looking Just ensuring life do that. Did I get away with that or shit?

Maybe I should have just done it just to finish that thought off if I just I froze at 2:19 and If you look at the composition of that shot and you see the guard in the background just on the far, right? behind the window that writes a grid that’s completely Designed that’s a composed shot Oh, yeah, that is telling us nobody’s watching him and throughout the entire scene. You’ll always Have these moments where you see these guards just turned away not paying attention Yeah, right and there’s so many opportunities to show that with a tighter shot to that They don’t which makes it really cool to the restraint is like impressive and also Go back If you have Netflix and watch the earlier scene and just pay attention to the way the guards are being set up in that Because it’s really impressive. They’re much more breathing down Kemper’s throat Yeah, and I also did a I did a scene of mind hunter in the post with Steve halfish 10 tips by fake film editors and one was about the bystander and there’s a scene in Mindhunter where they totally get one over on a sequence killer and It’s all being like the audience. Oh, yeah.

Yeah Yeah, it’s experiencing this through the eyes of the bystander So they’re who ends up being in your time at the guard and he ends up being incredibly important to the plot Yeah, yeah this story later because he leaks some stuff to the press that kind of really throws Holden’s life into flummox Yeah 3:45 so let’s go to the industry because that’s sort of the climax of the scene. This is where we’re starting to learn This is where everything pays off Well, here’s the thing – to the moment where he now talks about why he killed a listening And then everything is moving from this point forward do you think these are dolly shots 3:56 Yeah, you never know I mean Fincher likes a lot of editors especially in television like to like to do the pan themselves I mean, this is a pretty extreme one digital But you can see Fincher planting that into the shooting It feels to me like a dolly shot because the background is moving. Did your mother humiliate you? Exactly.

Yeah for 6480 very well and here is where the music becomes? I mean it started before but it was kind of just sound and now it is kind of like a Hitchcock To me like a Burnett Herrmann theme, which is cool. Yeah It gives us that nostalgic feeling of these suspense thrillers Did your mother humiliate you?

Ed I Also love that the last shot of him. It is the closest shot and it’s still not a close-up. It’s a medium shot and He turns away from the camera at the end which sort of releases us from this scene It’s like he decides when the scene is over. It’s not us.

It’s not it’s not Holden He decides when he’s done This was just a short scene analysis. If you like this you should really dig into the podcast there’s a link that you can check out which is this guy edits comm slash podcast and it’ll take you to all the different ways how you can subscribe to this podcast including Apple podcasts stitcher and Spotify go on a run use it in your commute in the morning and listen to us really nerd out on a scene and Thank you to Kurta for the music and his fan always says happy editing

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