#6 Deconstructing the Travis visits Betsy Scene from Taxi Driver 2.0

This is a re-deconstruction of the scene where Travis (Robert De Niro) visits Betsy (Cybill Shepherd), from the movie Taxi Driver directed by Martin Scorsese.

The first shot is a two second CU of Travis sitting in the taxi. He looks determined.

The next frame is a tracking shot which follows Travis stepping out of the Taxi, crossing the road and walking into an office building. He´s wearing a red jacket, the same colour as the Palantine campaign colour and the banner outside. The colour makes Travis stand out. Maybe he put it on to impress Betsy? Camera zoom when Travis reach the door.

MCU inside the office. Travis is walking towards the camera. It´s shot slightly from the side. The low camera angle emphasises Travis´ intention. He seems persistent.

Next frame is a fast tracking shot with Travis POV of Betsy and her colleague Tom sitting on her desk zooming into an MCU of Betsy at the end shot.

Travis consists on volunteering with Betsy when Tom asks him to please come with him.

The dialogue between Betsy and Travis goes on with constant over the shoulder shots. This continues until the end of the clip. Travis body language is open and overly eager as he leans over with both palms planted on Betsy´s desk.  She is seated at her desk the whole time, therefore the camera angle is low and the over the shoulder shots from Betsy´s POV makes it look like Travis controls the outcome of the conversation.

In the background, one can see that Tom is ease dropping in a wide shot. That´s the only time the frame makes a dramatic change.

At 1:25, when Travis tells Betsy he drives a Taxi and can´t work night, her body language changes and she pulls slightly away from him. Travis tells Betsy she looks lonely and that it looks like she could use a friend when really it is Travis who is lonely. Eventually, Travis lands a date with Betsy.

They shake hands. Tom enters the MCU frame. He doesn´t look happy with what just went down. The scene ends with a soothing jazzy tune. The final shot is a tracking MLS shot of Travis walking past her building.


Given what I learned from making Lenny while deconstructing this scene over again, it felt very similar to my first go.


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