Archive for December, 2013

Film Log

Posted: December 11, 2013 in CPD
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Idea

Our idea is going to be a dramatic hunting sequence. The idea of having a day to day average Joe hunting for food which then is portrayed as a ready meal/pack of food. This shows an unreal/unexpected scene that questions everyday life and what we take for granted. The key objective is to question how we perceive reality.

 

Props/Equipment

* Knife

* Stick

* Ready meal/Pack of food

* Handheld video recorder

* Specific set of clothes to denote ‘normal’

 

Location/Time

* We will be recording in the woods next to Bower Ashton campus.

* 19th November 2013

* 9:00am – 5:00pm

 

Sounds/Camera Shots/Lighting

* Diagnostic/ Diegetic Sounds (Heavy breathing, Footsteps, Wildlife) and non-diegetic sound (music soundtrack)

* POV

* Mid Shots

* Close-up Shots

* Tracking

* Establishing shot

* Long shot

* Low Angle/Voyeuristic shot

* Natural Lighting

Sequence List

1. Establishing shot of the main character standing with a spear

2. POV shot of the main character bending down to look for animal tracks and checking for clues

3. Sudden noises of the animal and then a mixture of mid and long shots of the character running towards the noises

4. After running through the forest movement in the bushes/trees is seen. The character is shown in a voyeuristic shot (POV from the animal)

5. After finding the animal we use an over the shoulder shot of the character raising his spear

6. POV of the spear being thrust into the animal several times

7. Sitting down with the food eating e.g a bacon sandwich, whole chicken

 

Problems

* Timeframe when everyone is free

* Lighting – Having no natural light when filming

* Weather

* Making the clips dramatic as possible

* Not having an actual animal to film and making sure it’s clear that an animal should be there

 

Jobs

* Nathan Foote – Main Director

* Sam Hopton – Sound/Visual Editor

* Tom Woods – Producer

* Jake Ponting – Actor

We will all be participating in all of the jobs. But the jobs that have been listed will be our main jobs.

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Video Proposal

Posted: December 11, 2013 in CPD
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The inspiration for our short film came from Ben Highmore’s article –Questioning Everyday Life. When we look at everyday life we are pinpointing an everyday culture. The everyday is what we live in, our day to day activities but also those unique experiences that break up an ordinary life. To some, the everyday is mundane, repeated, stuck in a life where everything seems the same. But to others the everyday is unique; some follow a life that is filled with adventure and excitement. This is where we found our inspiration for our project, to distinguish the mundane from the excited, not realising how simple the everyday is until you compare it with something that is not considered ‘everyday’. We took the thought of the average western man, we guessed he worked in an office, or maybe a bank, took sandwiches for lunch and at five pm he would head home, eat dinner with his family, watch TV and go to bed. We wanted to disrupt how we as a culture perceive the mundane everyday activity of shopping; especially the convenience and pleasure shopping that  1st world countries take for granted. If he conformed he’d be shopping in Tesco (or Waitrose!), eating dinner with his family – being normal. But in our film he reverts back to his primeval/ archaic instincts and desires – to hunt, to kill, to gather for his family and to eat –  provide for his family as men would do thousands of years ago.

Bringing Home the Bacon

Posted: December 11, 2013 in CPD
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Workbook Blog – Bringing home the Bacon

Posted: December 11, 2013 in CPD
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This week we focused on completing the film. As a group we watched several different adverts to get an understanding of what types of shots are used to illustrate the importance of the product.

This scene shows a close-up shot of the bacon. It contributes to the film’s point of view and focuses on one of the key props in the film.  Ben Highmore quotes “The everyday that must be regarded as a contested and opaque terrain, where meaning are not to be found ready-made.” (Highmore, B. (2002) The Everyday Life Reader).

We have demonstrated this theory in the shot by using the close-up camera angle to emphasise finding a pack of bacon in the woods amongst some leaves. This is hinting at meaning that is opaque and not obvious. Highmore sees everyday life as contradictions between known and unknown, ordinary and extraordinary, obvious and enigmatic. Our film, as it progresses, explores all of these aspects of Highmore’s theory.

 

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During the second week we worked on creating the sound for the movie. Using sounds from youtube and freesounds.org, we identified the perfect sounds to play alongside the visual. Our background music was inspired by the film Apocalypto. We felt the film soundtrack used a perfect blend of buildup music that would fit perfectly into our film.

This picture is a audio waveform that we used in the film. We used a build up of sounds starting with a calm and natural environment (linking to Highmore’s ‘known’) leading up to a dark and mysterious, almost jungle beat (hinting at the unknown and enigmatic). Janet Marshall states, “Though we might think of film as an essentially visual experience, we really cannot afford to underestimate the importance of film sound. A meaningful sound track is often as complicated as the image on the screen.” [Marshall, J (1988)]. We demonstrate the importance of this theory by identifying a clear contrast between the different sounds/music in the film. In the documentary film Grizzly Man, [Grizzly Man (2005), directed by Werner Herzog], very little of the film unfolds without sound and music (and voiceover) guiding the audience’s experience. We wanted to emulate this in our film too.

 

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For the third week we concentrated on the Hunt scene, a key element of the film. We studied films which contained hunt scenes such as The Hunter(2011), Predator (1987) and Apocalypto (2006). After listing the criteria for a successful hunt scene, we started putting together the hunt sequence.

This image shows a close-up shot of the character’s face whilst he is running through the woods breathing heavily. We wanted to portray how intense the hunt scene really is during the film, and hope to have shown this by focusing the viewer’s eyes and ears on the shots and sounds we used. 

“Film sound thus became a‘close-up’ sound. Unlike the image, that denies the spectator and turns him into a voyeur, the sound is meant for the spectator. The sound fixes the spectator in his or her seat and allows a greater mobility of the camera.” [Altman, R (1992): 61-62].

In our film we were very aware of close up sound (heavy breathing as the character hunts) and distance sound (the background sound of birds chirping), creating different effects to move the narrative forward.

 

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In the final week we focused on the ‘pig scenes’.

 

Here are two screenshots. One is a close-up of the character staring at his bloody hands after he has just killed the pig and the other shot is a POV shot of the animal staring at the character and grunting/squealing. The first picture emphasises how brutal and bloody the killing was, the second image shows us how important it is to use different camera angles and to visualise the story for the viewer from every character’s POV. We wanted to emulate the atmosphere from films such as Alien or Predator and we did this by using two effects. One, shaking the camera to denote action and the other showing a dark red, a menacing and bloody colour.

As a group we realised the importance of synchresis (the point at which sound and vision combine) which was key to the project. We wanted there to be a smooth transition between the two, and also the sound effects needed to build the tension. The birds singing in the background at the beginning (calm and tranquil atmosphere), turned into crows cawing as the character entered the woods, (classic Hitchcock sound effect during the menacing scenes in his 1963 thriller,The Birds), to the sound of footsteps running and heavy breathing. The inspiration for the moment where the ‘pig’ is killed was taken from Alfred Hitchcock’s famous shower scene in Psycho[Psycho (1960) directed by Alfred Hitchcock.] where the sound and action work together to create suspense but without the ‘murder’ actually being witnessed.

The music was chosen to create a wild feel to the chase scene, but music was paused to allow the audience to focus on the character’s breathing and footsteps,(once again building the suspense) and not be distracted by non-diegetic sound. Overall, this project was a fascinating and fun experience. It allowed us to practise some of the classic film and sound techniques we have learnt about and discovered this term.

 

This week David Cameron has said that he plans to toughen welfare rules for EU migrants, saying he was sending a “clear message” to people that the UK was not a “soft touch” for claiming benefits. He also hinted that there were great public concerns that we would be overrun with Bulgarians and Romanians next month. They would overpopulate our schools and burden our NHS! 

Are the doors to Britain closing? Is this the only way to protect our National Identity? This is odd when just over a year ago we were welcoming the world to Great Britain and one of the most amazing Olympic ceremonies ever seen. I have to say, I was so proud to be British that night. I watched as the history of Britain was laid out in front of me, from the farms and countryside of long ago to the leaders and workers of the Industrial Revolution, to the rather strange celebration of the NHS, the Beatles, The Spice Girls and even Mr Bean! Danny Boyle said that the show would create “a picture of ourselves as a nation.”

I know that, once again my national identity and how I feel about it, is linked to my gender, my class, my ethnicity as well as where I live and study and the cultural capital given to me by my parents. My parents have always been keen travellers. I was travelling around America before I was one and over the years I have been to many different countries. In the future I am looking forward to a free world where I can travel and work. 

I have always thought I was open minded about my National Identity. Living on the Gloucester Road in Bristol, you can meet people from all over the world. In fact I live next door to a Vietnamese supermarket, an Italian barber and a polish café opposite. Maybe I should be feeling that my national identity is under threat but I don’t. I don’t feel any less British and in fact I think it’s great that people can come to this country and enjoy the privileges I have. I don’t need to walk around wearing a bowler hat to keep my sense of identity. Our history doesn’t lose its power or its influence on the future because there is an Indian restaurant on the corner. 

I agree with Sunder Katwala’s piece in Our Kingdom magazine about ‘Britishness’ as the ‘warm ability to adapt, to absorb, and to include’. I think the sign on the door to Britain should read “Welcome – but just give us a minute to prepare!”