What Types of Camera Angles, Lighting Techniques and Audio/Video Effects Were Used to Portray the Main Subjects or to Instill Drama in Tiger King?
“Tiger King” is Netflix comfort food of the highest order: it immerses viewers in a mind-boggling lifestyle and series of scandals, and yet the term “true-crime” doesn’t do justice to its greatness. This is animal-print Shakespeare; a sociological excursion into the minds of eccentric Americans who are addicted to the power that comes from owning tigers, AKA big cats. Theirs is a dramatic, intricate hierarchy, and co-directors Eric Goode and Rebecca Chaiklin study its every facet. “Tiger King,” arriving on Netflix today, includes approximately five different true-crime tales (including arson, a disappearance, and an alleged murder plot), and bundles them into one obsession-ready seven-episode series.
Carole and Howard Baskin opened their Big Cat Rescue five years ago to filmmakers who they thought were working on a documentary to expose cruelty in the captive tiger trade. The Baskins have worked for years to outlaw the pay-to-play industry, which takes cubs prematurely from their mothers to be passed around to paying customers. It leaves thousands of tigers languishing in captivity once they’re too big to cuddle. The couple sat for interviews for the documentary, thinking the filmmakers were going to focus on their cause. Anyone with a Netflix account knows that’s not what happened. Tiger King has become a viral hit since debuting March 20. Some believe the series glamorizes the worst actors in the captive tiger trade as endearing eccentrics, while portraying Carole Baskin as a shady exploiter no better than the abusers she’s spent years trying to shut down. “ I just feel so angry that people have totally missed the point,” she told the Tampa Bay Times in her first interview since the series aired. “And the point is these cubs are being abused and exploited and the public is enabling that.
In essence, there’s very little passivity left in how we entertain ourselves. We choose what to watch, what to recommend, and who to listen to, so if something like Tiger King is a viral hit, it feels organic, like something we’re all talking about because we’re genuinely interested in it. Because of this, Tiger King becomes content that generates more content on websites and social media, which, in turn, leads more people back to Tiger King. This, then, eventually leads to the extremely online becoming amateur sleuths and flooding Florida tip lines about a decades-old murder case. Through this cycle, suffering becomes sport — something that can be said of a lot of true-crime media — but also a call to action.