Workbook Blog – Bringing home the Bacon

Posted: December 11, 2013 in CPD







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.



During the second week we worked on creating the sound for the movie. Using sounds from youtube and, 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.



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.





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.



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