In Depalma's thriller Blowout Jack Terry is a folly artist that happens to witness the accidental assassination of Governor McRyan. Not only does he see the whole thing unfold, but also he has the sound of the entire accident on tape. After analysis Jack not only got the sound of the trees which he was looking for, but he got the recording of the gun shot that starts the conspiracy that not only was the death of the Governor not accidental, it was set up by a third party present at the scene. The victims of the conspiracy, Jack and Sally, work together to clear the air and let everyone know what truly happened that night. In this movie the cinematography and sound help to disclose the political conspiracy to a tragic ending, while following the five basic phases of conspiracy films. The first phase of any conspiracy film is the lead character (Jack Terry) being oblivious to all the details of the events that initially take place to them in the movie; however even though the character may not know what is going to unfold, Depalma foreshadows the events to come to the viewers in a very subtle manner.
To start out there is a medium shot of the television as a politician is explaining how the people will rally for the president in the upcoming votes because, "a lot can happen between now and then." This statement coming from a politician opposed to McRyan, which gives the viewers a question in our head exactly what can happen between now and then? Depalma answers this question by using a split screen shot of Jack working on his sound effects with the local news channel playing on the other half of the screen. Depalma uses a split shot in this scene, not to differentiate the two events happening, but to suggest similarities between the two events happening simultaneously. Therefore, this shot is very informative of the possible tragedies to come. At the precise moment the news reporters show the governor at the liberty ball, Jack's recorder plays the sound of a gunshot as he writes the sound on the tape.
This particular shot implicitly implies that there could be possible misfortune for the governor in the future by way of a gunshot. The next sound heard is a body falling, this could implicitly imply that the governor will plunge to his death, which he indeed does plummet in to the river and drown. So before the events even occur Depalma gives the viewers a little taste of what is about to come about later on in the film. The next scene really gets in to phase one of a conspiracy film. Jack stands on a bridge to record the sounds for his new movie he is making. The main sequences throughout this scene begin with a medium shot of Jack pointing his recorder in the direction of a sound, to a long shot of Jack, to an extreme long shot.
Then the camera shows a medium shot of where the sounds are coming from. Depalma uses this method to establish where Jack is in relation to the sounds we are hearing through his headphones. The first sound recorded is a couple talking, followed by a frog. The next sound is the first sound that can't be easily recognized, or be determined by the medium shot of where the sound is coming from. The sequence is broken when Depalma adds a close up shot of the microphone for this sound, which gives the viewer the knowledge that this sound will be important later on in the film.
The camera then switches back to the sequence shots with an owl. The sequence is then broken again when there is a sound of a car coming down the road in the background. The shot breaks to a medium shot which zooms in to the modulometer gauge on his equipment. It then goes back to a close up of the microphone, which again implies the next sound is important.
The camera zooms in to the earphones as the suspense builds to the pivotal sound. Depalma then switches to a shot of the modulometer going to the max as a shot is heard in the background. Depalma then moves in to an extreme close up of Jack. This sequence of shots lets us know exactly when the sound occurred, and puts us in Jacks shoes as it all happens. The audience sees the entire accident from Jack's point of view shot. Depalma uses these techniques to help the audience connect with Jack's character, who is the innocent bystander.
It is only until Jack talks to the politician in the next scene that he gets filled in on some small details of what happened. At this point the hero (Jack) is ignorant about what really happened that night. This ties right in to phase one of most conspiracy films.