How can montage and sound design be used as tools to reveal the personal within an establishing shot?

From the topshot to the establishing shot. An establishing shot, for me, means giving an overview of the situation. As a topshot can reveal certain patterns and positions of characters in relation to the space, an establishing shot does the same. In the context of the exhibition in the Eye film institute, which we had in the first year of the master’s program, I used an establishing shot of a beach in Port Elizabeth, South Africa, shot by an anonymous filmmaker. The footage came from the collection of the Eye film institute itself, in Amsterdam.  

In the pan movement, he – assuming a man was filming – shot various nice establishing shots on a normal summer day. My curiosity to dive into these shots, to capture the individual, came from the need to reveal all the many points of view that could be in those anonymous establishing shots. 

Reflecting on the re-framing of the footage and working with sound design, the mise-en-scène of the beach scenes came alive the moment I planted various points of view in the establishing shot.