The zoom enhance cliche

Today Netflix launched the Marvel series Titans. Superhero films and TV series need to get you to suspend your disbelief to enable you to get drawn into the story. If they are well written you can temporarily believe pretty much anything. However if they are set in the real world the real world things need to behave as expected. Titans managed this until episode 3 when it fell into the ‘zoom enhance’ cliche trap that so many lazy writers seem to fall into.

When you take video from a fuzzy low detail security camera no amount of zooming is going to reveal details that were never captured in the first place.

The first time I noticed this was in the original Blade Runner movie. They just about got away with it there since it was set so far into the future that it might just about be possible. Since then it has become a trope of pretty much every cop and forensic drama. It’s tired old and lazy now. Time to stop zooming and enhancing.

These are the only people allowed to zoom and enhance

1 thought on “The zoom enhance cliche

  1. Couldn’t agree more. We watch a lot of crime dramas – police, military, security services, and the like – and it winds us up that they can tell their in-house analyst to check some CCTV, freeze it there, zoom in this postage stamp sized section, “can that be cleaned up at all?” and you’re looking at a perfectly clean, green (night vision, you understand), image with detail only possible through a £50,000+, 40 terapixel digital camera.

    We buy into the whole “suspension of disbelief” thing when watching fictional TV shows and films, but this just doesn’t work.

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