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25/10/2012

THRILLER MOODBOARD (independent study)

DESIGN A MOODBOARD TO ILLUSTRATE YOUR UNDERSTANDING OF THE GENERIC CONVENTIONS. Please remember that we are not talking about horror! You might want to illustrate different thriller sub-genres or focus on one specific sub-genre, eg. psychological thrillers or "man-on-the-run" thrillers... Here is one (not terribly good one) I made earlier...

Learning about Genre (independent study)


THE ART OF THE TITLE - ESSENTIAL RESOURCE

You will be coming back to this website again and again for your research.

START EXPLORING AND LEARNING.

THE ART OF THE TITLE WEBSITE


24/10/2012

To be completed on Thursday/Friday morning (25/26.10.12) Thriller openings - Analysis (Complete as independent study)


1. Complete the analysis two thriller openings.
You will consider and explore:
• How does the opening engage/create interest for the audience?
• Does it establish characters? How?
• Does the opening introduce themes, mood or story/narrative? How?
• How are the opening titles displayed?
• How is enigma established?

What you will need to analyse:
• Mise-en-scene;
• Use of soundtrack;
• Use of diegetic sound;
• Editing;
• Camera shot, movement and position;
• Use of special effects.

Remember that to achieve higher grades, you need to be ANALYTICAL rather than just descriptive. Don't simply tell me that there is a close up at this point or a tracking movement at that point. Explain how it helps the narrative and how it is supposed to affect the reader.

Choose 2 extracts from below.
Again create a 9 or 12-frame board to illustrate your comments.

Opening scene of The Usual Suspects (couldn't find it with the opening credits)

The first 2-3 minutes of Memento:

The first 4 minutes of Enemey of State (though a look at the credits that kick off then wouldn't hurt!)


First 5 minutes of What Lies Beneath(embedding disabled so link provided instead) http://youtu.be/3WrycZRmIcs

17/10/2012

BOTH GROUPS: Summary of the work to be completed in the triple on Thursday and Friday

PLEASE GO TO THE POD TO WORK.

MAKE SURE YOU SIGN IN. ASK MS STOBBS FOR THE KEY AND LOCK THE POD AT BREAKTIME AND AT THE END OF THE TRIPLE.

NOTE: All relevant posts are on the blog. Scroll down!

1. All prelim work MUST be completed.
- pre-production / preparation including script, storyboard ...
- the video itself
- behind the scenes pictures
- EVALUATION with screengrabs from the video and from your Final Cut timeline to flag up the compulsory elements.

2. Tasks on Editing MUST be completed.
- The Birds: Answer all questions + screengrabs
- Enemy of the State: Answer all questions + screengrabs

3. Look at the wonderful presentation on Editing and Camerawork. This should really help you consolidate your knowledge of the terminology.

4. With your Thriller Project about to start, you need to start analysing Thriller film openings.
Go to the post below to watch the start of Silence of the Lambs and complete your analysis. A model has been provided for you.

5. At home, watch  the documentary on Editing by Scorcese. Make some notes on what you have learnt (bullet points are fine)
Make sure that everything is completed for next week.

CLASSWORK - Thriller Opening Sequence (Silence of the Lambs) - Analysis and Model of an answer

Complete the analysis of a thriller opening.


You will consider and explore:
• How does the opening engage/create interest for the audience?
• Does it establish characters? How?
• Does the opening introduce themes, mood or story/narrative? How?
• How are the opening titles displayed?
• How is enigma established?

What you will need to analyse:
• Mise-en-scene;
• Use of soundtrack;
• Use of diegetic sound;
• Editing;
• Camera shot, movement and position;
• Use of special effects.

Silence Of The Lambs
The first is the opening of "The Silence of the Lambs" directed by Jonathan Demme (focus on the first 6 min).
Watch carefully and write a detailed analysis of this opening sequence.
Create a 12-frame board of the key shots to accompany your analysis and number the frames for cross-reference.
video

Need help with analysis? Read the example below on "The Shining" to see a model of a good analysis.
Here is an interesting analysis of the opening sequence for The Shining which appears on the Long Road Media Blog (thank you, Long Road). Read it carefully to learn some tips.
Watch the sequence first!



The film opens with a series of shots of panoramic landscape vistas showcasing the bleak desolation of the snowy mountainous surroundings, which will provide the backdrop for the film’s subsequent narrative developments. Various bird's eye view shots intermittently cross dissolve into one another, and depict an expansive clear blue lake, a snow-capped mountain range, and a densely populated forest of evergreen trees. The camera moves swiftly through its surroundings in each shot, sweeping past the breadth of the natural environs below it, and thus conveys to the audience a sense of the massive scale and large land span of the location depicted.
During the camera’s continual movement, it occasionally captures its views from distorted angles, which undermines the idea otherwise created by this series of shots of the benevolent purity of natural beauty and the wintry American landscape. It thus uses spatial manipulation to contradict the principal connotations of the images of nature captured in these shots, and hence foreshadows the heavy deployment of themes and imagery centred upon the supernatural that will follow.

Also indicative of this theme is the use of slow, sombre, unnerving and deliberate electronic music, which in conjunction with the seemingly oppositional images suggest a malevolence to the surroundings shown and imply an unknown danger amongst them.

Eventually the camera finds a road snaking through an aerial shot of a thickly forested area then picks out and follows a lone car in extreme high angle long shot, making its way along the road. The camera gradually moves increasingly closer maintaining its birds’ eye view position, but also gradually rotates to distort the angle and create a sense of unsettling foreboding in the manner described above. A series of shot changes track the car’s journey and depict a range of different natural backdrops indicating the traversal of time and space. As the camera finally tracks speedily in to a mid shot of the car from behind, revealing it to be a yellow Volkswagen Beetle, credits rise up through the frame from below in blue typeface, and each gives way to the next, departing the frame by rising out of it.

The moving camera overtakes the car and veers away to the left, aerially crossing country before again finding the car and tracking its journey, once again with another series of extreme high angle long shots, while the eeriness of the electronic score continues to aurally unsettle the viewer.

The camera’s point of view eventually shifts to depict an extreme long shot of a remotely located building amongst the mountains, trees and lakes. It slowly circles the building, getting gradually closer. This building is the Overlook Hotel, and will be the yellow car’s final destination, and the principal location for almost all of the film’s subsequent action.

Overall, the opening sequence has been gradually building up to this elaborate establishing shot of the hotel, and has served to highlight its isolation and remoteness and communicate an implication of danger, that the audience should by now have associated with this idyllic yet spectral location and its backdrop.

Remember that to achieve higher grades, you need to be ANALYTICAL rather than just descriptive. Don't simply tell me that there is a close up at this point or a tracking movement at that point. Explain how it helps the narrative and how it is supposed to affect the reader.

11/10/2012

Analysing Editing

The art of editing

Watch the clip below from 1:03 to the end then answer the questions that follow.

Enemy of the State, Tony Scott, 1998




1. What is the point of this sequence? Describe briefly how tension is created through the editing.
2. Look at the use of CU or Medium CU. Why are they primarily used here? Refer to specific shots (screengrab them) and embed them within your post.
3. Choose 15-20 seconds from anywhere in the sequence and describe each shot in detail, explaining its effect / function for the audience, as well as commenting on how the cuts (the editing) add to the meaning.
4. How far does the editing of this sequence fit in with the genre of the thriller? Justify your opinion.

Above all, do your best to engage with the sequence and the task.

10/10/2012

Evaluating your Preliminary Task

First of all, make sure you embed your Prelim on your Thriller blog. It is coursework.

Evaluation: The Prelim- Complete the edit of your preliminary task. Screengrab key shots and your work in FCE. Embed your video.
- Then evaluate using these questions:

1. Discuss how your group came up with the idea for the script. How efficient was the discussion? What key decisions were made? Embed your script.

2. Reflect on the planning / storyboarding stage and upload the storyboard.

3. How efficient was the shoot?

4. What were the key elements from the brief you had to demonstrate and how well did you handle each one? Did you make any mistake? What are you most pleased with and why?

5. What did you learn during the course of this production? What did you learn to do or do better with Final Cut?

- Finally embed another student's sequence and offer some peer-assessment:
What is most successful and why?
Are there any mistakes and where?
What could you suggest for further improvement?

Continuity and Preliminary Task (for both groups)

We have started looking at CONTINUITY and it is a key element of your preliminary task.

Group 1 has a bit of an advantage on group 2 but no matter...

TASK 1:
Watch this sequence from Hitchcock's The Birds. It's an excellent example of continuity and uses the techniques we've seen in class this week.


After watching it, try and work out:
- How many shots are there?
- Where was the camera positioned for each shot?
- Which principles of continuity editing have been followed?

Then you're ready to write an analysis of shots and techniques used in this sequence to demonstate your understanding of them. You can use the following questions for guidance:
1. What principles of continuity are used here? How successfully? Refer to specific shots / screengrabs.
2. What is the effect of the editing on the viewer? What are we meant to feel at different stages? (ie before she enters the house, in the kitchen, in the corridor, in the bedroom, running away)?
3. What is the 'best bit' for you in this sequence in terms of learning new techniques and why?
Continuity editing is all about making your film work in a logical way (ordering the shots logically) so the audience can follow it easily and enjoy the story y without being confused; they are properly 'positioned'.
Can you remember all the techniques/ principles discussed in class? Can you find some examples of these techniques in other films (embed)?

EXTENSION TASK/ STRETCH YOUR LEARNING:
Find and embed a film extract that makes good use of continuity. Grab a few shots and comment on techniques used (bullet points)


Ocrmediaas_basics of Video Editing

FINALLY, GROUP 1 HAVE SHOT THEIR PRELIMINARY TASK BUT NOT GROUP 2.
GROUP 1: Make sure you post pictures of your script/ storyboard etc... (I've saved the pictures in the relevant folder on the media drive)
Also include the brief below and make sure you explain and flag up the techniques included there.
PRELIM BRIEF:

GROUP 2: Get prepared too by reading the above and watching the example below:

08/10/2012

The Cutting Edge - The Art of Editing

This is Part 3 of a wonderful documentary by Scorcese on the power of editing and how it builds narrative.

Follow this link or scan the QR code to watch on your mobile device.