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Finished Horror Opening Sequence 2010

Preliminary Exercise 2009

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Final Evaluation on Open Sequences and Narrative Structure

Considering all the opening sequences I have seen in class and through my own research I have answered the questions below to finalise my understanding of opening sequences and narrative structure below:

i) What forms can opening sequences take? Can you list the conventional features of opening sequences?

Opening sequences can take on different forms according to the message they want to get to the audience and what type of genre the film is. Each open sequence is unique to every film and displays different messages and plots however conventionally we always have set features that we would expect to see in the opening sequence,

Conventional Features

Main Character- We will always see one character who is predominately followed and the camera will pay special attention to. This character is usually who the film will be about and is usually the hero in the film.In a comedy we might see a typical stereotyped young blonde girl e.g.'Leagally Blonde'. They would show different parts of her like hair,clothing, accessories so that the audience are fully introduced and can be attached to her.

Characters- We may also see characters who may feature in the film e.g. a best friends, a lover, or a helper. In a horror we may see a love interest who could maybe turn into the attacker they wouldn't be shown as much as the main character however are vitally important to the film

Setting- We will straight away be given the time period the film is set in and where the action of the film is given. This initially gives us knowledge of the type of genre. In a comedy it would be very light, sunny daytime giving a feeling of happiness and safety. It may be a small town which will all be friendly

Plot-In the opening sequence we do not find out exactly what will happen throughout the film instead there may be little hints to what may happen or what it may be about e.g. a murder. In a horror open sequence they may be secretive about the plot and not give much away,however this makes the audience want to find out more and builds up suspense for the audience

Music-There is usually music played at the start perhaps over the acting or there is a small bit of action and then music is played. This tells us again of the genre and gives us an insight as to what may happen. In a comedy the music tends to be upbeat this connotes and happy feeling making the film seem fun and exciting and enjoyable to watch

Shot types- There are always a variation of many different shot types e.g. low angles, pans, establishing shots, high angles and closes ups etc.These can all give different meanings. For example a close up will draw the audience in bringing them closer to the action and enabling them to feel some emotion. Whereas an establishing shot lets the viewer see the surroundings and see the sort of lighting and props

Generally the opening sequence is something that pulls the audience in and makes them excited to see what will happen and to making them want to learn new information in the film.

ii) What narrative functions of opening sequences can you identify?

  • An opening sequence never has any closure however there is tight reading involved as the audience know that it's only around 2 hours long so are reading with a likely end in mind
  • The characters that we see initially are in a character hierarchy and we get basic information
  • We immediately see a hero or a heroin they are centre focus and someone that the audience will like and support.
  • We will also gets hints of a villain we rarely get to see the villain as this spoils it for later on however we may see someone that may emotionally or physically hurt the hero/ heroine which makes us hate them.
  • Open sequences are sometimes flashbacks or flash forwards and the time has no relevance to the viewers world
iii) What do audiences gain from watching the opening sequence?

Audiences gain a sense of what the film will be about and perhaps whether they will continue to watch it. The opening sequence is usually and introduction to what is going to happen in the film. We are able to see who are playing the main characters what they are going to portray and what we may get from watching the film. Opening sequences give an inside to the film as whole we get to see give a ways of a plot e.g. a love interest, we get to see where it is set and from this we can identify and genre which then perhaps the audience are able to tell if they will like the rest of the film

iv) What do film-makers gain from including an opening sequence?

Filmmakers are able to tease the audience they need to make the opening sequence interesting unique and exciting to watch. They can use it to entice the audience in therefore building up suspense for the audience. This can be done by dropping obvious yet subtle hints of what’s still to come in the film and give clues to what is including in the narrative of the film. A filmmaker has to make the opening sequence tempting so that people will watch on.It's the most important way to draw in viewers and get a good recommendation for the film

Monday, November 2, 2009

Applying Barthes Theory


Roland Barthes was initially a structurlist thinker,as times changed and thought and philosophy about language, culture and exsistence progressed, Barthes changed his ideas and in relation to narrative theory. He said that stories had 5 same codes and that all genre signifiers can be grouped under them to create narratives
FIVE CODES:

Action Code-depicts the events which take place in the narrative-the who,where,when of the story. Action codes are sequential

Semantic Code- refers to character and characterisation. The actions in the story are explained by the characters viewpoint on events

Enigma Code- Involves the setting up of a mystery, it's development and it's resoulution

Referential Code-Involoves explaning or informing. Mise-en-scene is a referential code

Symbolic Code-Involoves the reading of the connotations of signs which transforms them into symbolic representations
5 Codes in 'The Blair Witch Project':

Action Code

  • the car journey of them reaching the forest them setting up and filming eachother before the adventure
  • Interviewing people before which gave the audience a sense of what they were about to do
  • Know who the main characters are and they are introduced at the beginning
  • We see there emotions and how they feeling-excited
  • We know when it was set so we get a feeling of time and place-1999
Enigma Code
  • The title 'Blair Witch Project'- is the witch real/ do we get to see her? It makes us want to see what happens. Who she is why they are looking for her?
  • Books about this ledgend- Will it turn out to be true?
  • We get the journey there which creates suspense for the viewer

Referential Code
  • Lightness at the start of the film is reflecting the innocence of the characters and not knowing what they are about to get themselves into.
  • The darkness of the forest-this connotates the danger that they are perhaps entering.It also relates to the horror genre
  • Light vs dark
  • The handheld shots of their experiences makes it much more relistic as this film was based on a true event
Semantic Code
  • Young innoncence of the teenagers
  • Use average normal people
  • Actions all happen around the main characters and they explain what is happening and what they are going to do and then film follows their findings in the forest
Symbolic Code
  • All the books and information on the blair witch symbolises what they are about to do
  • Characters are not worried at all at the start they jus want to film a documentary however as we find out they do not know what really is in the forest this symbolises their bravery and commitment
  • It’s symbolic that they use young characters to identify and understand an old myth

Applying Levi-Strauss Theory

Levi Strauss said that story elements which give meaning will usually appear in pairs. For example a story will typically be organised into binary opposites such as: hero/ villain, rich/ poor etc.

1)Applying Levi-Strauss to the opening of ‘Pale Rider’ (Eastwood-1985)

Peaceful setting vs. loud horse riders
Still shot of town vs. tracking shot of riders
Innocent town people vs. evil horse riders
Light vs. dark
Slow paced editing vs. Fast paced editing
Town vs. country
Sun vs. snow
High angles to low angles
Innocence vs. violence
Calm vs. fierce
Survival vs. death
Miracle- Clint Eastwood
Prayer vs. miracle
Supernatural vs. everyday

2)Applying Levi-Strauss to the opening of ‘Die Hard 1’ (John Mc Tierman-1988)

Joking vs. tense
Youth vs. age
Real vs. fake
Serious vs. joke
Family vs. work
Happy vs. sad
Low and high angles
Loud vs. Quiet
Love vs. Fight
Fast vs. Slow pace
Music-happy vs. sad
Peace vs. danger
Innocence vs. danger
New York vs. LA
Prepared vs. non-prepared
Novist vs. experience

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Preliminary Exercise





Evaluation

1)Who did you work with and how did you manage the task between you?

In my group were Spencer, Catharrin, Bianca and I. When beginning the task we all listened to each other’s ideas and decided on what we thought could work well for our sequence. Once decided we all thought about who could be the actors and who could film each shot. We didn't have any particular leader as we all got along really easily with everyone contributing to team discussions. We thought about everyones strengths and worked with them so we decided upon Bianca and I who would do the main conversation in the sequence and Spencer would act in the last couple of shots. This left Catharrin to do a lot of the shooting, however this made it a lot easier when shooting as we didn’t have to keep swapping round cameraman each shot preventing us loosing time. Nevertheless we all decided to at least film one or two shots. These group dynamics worked well so we kept them the same and we all helped with the editing process allowing everyone to have a go. Spencer helped a lot with the editing process as he found it particularly easy however we all tried little bits of editing so we were all involved and again had no one leader as we didn’t think it was necessary.

Overall are group got on really well, we listened to each other’s ideas, which avoided any arguments. I really enjoyed working with my group, as they were very helpful and reliable.

2) How did you plan your sequence? What processes did you use? What theories did you try to take into account?

To plan our sequence we had one initial meeting in class and this is were we decided the idea for our sequence and worked out location and actors. We then went into the location to look at size and space and too check are sequence would work well in the space provided. We then made a rough script with everyone contributing and then planned a meeting for a lunch at the end of the week.

At our lunchtime meeting we firstly read through our rough script and worked out what sounded wrong. We then did a run-through in the location and worked out where we would sit, from this we made the final script and I copied this out in neat.

By completing the script we could then work out our storyboard. We knew that we had to include continuity techniques in our sequence and the techniques that were essential were ‘match on action’ ‘shot/reverse shot’ and ‘180 degree rule’. It also had to have someone coming in a door, crossing a room, and sitting opposite another person and exchange couple of lines of dialogue. With this in mind as a group we went through each box and planned what would be in each and what shot type we could use to get the best effect. We decided upon using a pan shot to track a character. We made sure our shots had eyeline match to ensure the charcters gaze stayed the same. We used mid shots, close ups, long shots, Point of view shots, reaction shots and over the shoulder shots. Also when doing the storyboard we thought about the 30 degree rule so that our footage didn't look like it had a glitch. Each of us completed a page of the storyboard so it was equally shared out. The importance of the storyboard was so the director can visualise the shots and it also creates a narrative flow. Therefore to get a narrative flow we had to have a beginning middle and end including charcters and some sort of event to happen, which in our sequence we planned the awkward moment.

We then used this storyboard to quickly work out what shots needed to be recorded for our shooting schedule as some shots were done twice. We grouped shots together according to setups therefore made the shooting process much easier.

3)What technology did you use to complete the task, and how did you use it?

We were taught how to use all technical equipment before our shooting week and we were also told what instructions a director would say on a shoot to make it as professional as possible.

On the day of shooting our group were given a Cannons Digital Mini DV to record all our footage on which we could easily press record and stop for each shot. We kept this camera throughout and this was essentially our group’s camera. We used the rewind button to look back over footage to check we got the right shot and that it looked good.

We were also given a tripod so we could place the camera on it. We used this to make all our shots steady and increase continuity. We attached a microphone on to the top of the camera and a headset. This ensured that we got a good sound and that all words were able to be heard and to check it wasn’t too loud or quiet so that when we capture our footage on the computer we knew that it was right.

We also used a clapperboard to record each shot before we filmed any action so that we could separate each shot and take in, therefore it made it easier when we had to edit

For editing we used an editing software called Adobe Premier Pro which was set up on the PC's.We had a source and and output monitor to playback our edited work easily. The program allowed us to cut up our sequence and edit each shot really easily. We had tools such as the razor and hand tool that allowed us to cut out small sections that we did not need in our sequence precisely. We used 2 video tracks so that we could break up our clips making it much clearer to edit. This helped break up the conversation in dialogues and when different characters come in. We used one audio track and an editing style called non-linear editing allowing us to move clips around in different orders. Once we had our sequence cut up and ordered we used an effect of a fade at the end of the clip and added to title pages at the start of our sequence.

4) What factors did you take into account when planning, shooting and editing?

Planning- When planning we took into consideration who liked acting and was confident to perform in our piece we did this so that we could make the process of shooting as quick as possible. We checked that the room we planned to use was free at our shooting time. This was very important as all other groups were filming in the media block and everyone had a shot in the corridor however we overcame this at shooting. We also checked that we were able to move furniture around for our task. We made sure all our shots made sense in the location and all the conversation works. We checked we knew who was shooting and in what location to make it quick and easy and so everybody knew what they were doing beforehand.

Shooting- When shooting we made sure all furniture was in the right place so that both characters could fit into the establishing shot. We made sure the light in the room was kept constant to make it look realistic and kept a check on the weather conditions. Made sure all actors were in the correct place and could be heard on film. When filming the shots we had to make sure the framing was correct and that we were keeping to all the continuity techniques because that was the point of the exercise. We kept a time check so that we did not run of time and got through our shots as quickly as possible.

Editing- The main element we had to check was time because we didn’t want to run out of time because we needed to get it all done. We also had to make sure our computer for editing was free and set up so that we could get on with as quickly as possible.

5) How successful was your sequence? Please identify what worked well, and with hindsight, what you would you improve/ do differently?

Our sequence started with a girl sitting in an office working and another girl then comes through the main door back into the room where they begin to type on computers. One girl then turns to the other girl and asks her if she is going to a party on friday not knowing she wasnt invited and it quickly turns awkward. Then a boy enters the room and without knowing asks the same question there is then an exchange of awkward looks and the clip ends with the boy looking down feeling very awkward and embarassed

I think our sequence went quite successfully. We were able to stick to all the continuity rules and I think our match on action looked really realistic. I also like the conversation because I think are framing went well and the cuts between them were accurate. However as this was a preliminary exercise I think there were quite a few things I would change. At 16 seconds we firstly did not realise when shooting we filmed me opening the door with one hand and then on the extreme close up I opened the door with the other hand. This was only noticed after we had filmed therefore could not change it so we had to cut out the ECU. This would have given us a variety of shots and would have brought the audience closer to the action however we still managed to make it work. Another big error we made when filming was that we did the establishing shot with Bianca sitting in the chair in the room at 10 seconds into the clip. We then later on at 13 seconds filmed the clip that would join this and forgot to put Bianca in the chair. There fore when I opened the door she was not there and then she appeared which ruined the flow of continuity. However again we made it work and only opened the door a small bit but would have been better opening the door more. At the beginning of a lot of the shots some look very blurry and of focus for around a second. If we could reshoot I would have checked this much more carefully because we had small problems when we came to editing. At some points I didn’t think the acting was that realistic however I think if we had more time to plan and shoot this could have easily been changed. We also had a small problem of lighting as we shot some scenes later on which joined onto earlier scenes therefore at some points we had stronger sunlight then other shots. We also had a shot by the door therefore as this light was coming through the door it made the actor look very dark this was shown at 16 seconds which is something we could aim to improve for the real thing.

Overall I think it went well we learnt a lot and worked hard. Although there are some things I’d change we still made the editing look smooth and not edited which was the main point of the exercise

6) What have you learnt from completing this task? Looking ahead, how will this learning be significant when completing the rest of your foundation coursework, do you think?
The main thing from this task was to learn new things and understand editing shooting and planning in much more depth and I feel I really have taken a lot from this.

  • I have learnt so many new continuity techniques e.g. the 180-degree rule, shot reverse shot and match on action. I have seen how important it is to get every detail into each shot to make the continuity techniques make sense and for the sequence to flow. It is also much harder then I first thought to get all the shots to make sense to the audience and how important little shots like reaction shots are.
  • I have personally learnt how to use the edit tool and familiar myself again with the editing process. I still feel I need more practise however have learnt a lot more and also how to put them on 2 tracks to make it clearer to edit.

  • I’ve also realised how important time is and how essential it is to keep a time check so that we do not run out of time. During a shoot I’ve realised to play back the shots and look out carefully to make sure I’ve got the correct shot before moving on

Monday, October 12, 2009

Applying Propp's Theory to Mean Girls



Propp's Theory
Vladmir began by basing his theory on russian folktales. His theory was mainly for fairytales and folk tales however he came up with different function that can be applied to fictions and lots of films.Vladimir Propp developed a character theory for studying media texts and productions, which indicates that there were 7 main character:

  • The villain (struggles against the hero)
  • The donor (prepares the hero or gives the hero some magical object)
  • The (magical) helper (helps the hero in the quest)
  • The princess (person the hero marries, often sought for during the narrative)
  • Her father ( who rewards the hero)
  • The dispatcher (character who makes the lack known and sends the hero off)
  • The hero or victim/seeker hero, reacts to the donor, weds the princess

From this he then broke down films into small sentences and suggested that all films have a similar narrative structure that they follow. He came up with 31 key components of a fairytale which are used in all different films today and split into 4 spheres
  • 1st sphere: The Introductory Sequence
  • 2nd Sphere: The Body of the Story
  • 3rd sphere:The Donor Sequence
  • 4th sphere:The Hero's return
Problems with Propp's Theory
Problems with Propp's theory is that this theory was made a very long time ago so its now a new era and with that there is new technology to consider which is why sometimes it does not fit with the structure. Also there are new film writers and many different genres therefore they are more complexed and do not fit with the theory as it was orgianlly for folktales and fairytales. Valadmir was also criticised for removing all verbal considerations as folktales were always oral, therefore the theory did not consider tone or mood so all fairytales were exactly the same according to the theory. His theory of a structuralist approach to a narrative was also looked at by Claue Levi-Strauss who looked at connections between story elements eg theme and characters. Therefore he developed Propp's theory further and pointed out many problems.
Propp's Theory applied to Mean Girls
Hero-Cady

Villain-The plastics

The Helpers- Lizzy and Damien
The Father- Family and People and School

In the first part of the film Cady would be the part of the hero she is introduced immediately and is the protagonist of the film. We also meet her and her family who have left Africa and cady is about to start her first day at a high school this fits with sphere 1 part 1 of Propps theory
Cady is then told not to be friends with the plastics by Damien and Lizzy and this is when we find out ‘1st sphere part 2’ the interdiction is announced

They invite Cady to have lunch with them in order to meet her which shows that the interdiction is violated which is ‘sphere 1 past 3’

We are then introduced to ‘The plastics’ that would play the villain according to the theory. This also fits with the 1st sphere part 4 ‘Villain tries to meet hero’.

The plastics then find out that Cady has moved here from Africa and that she likes Aaron in her maths class this would relate to ‘sphere 1 part 5’ where the villain has now found out information that she is vulnerable and easily influenced and likes Regina’s ex.

The Plastics have now made the Cady, the hero part of there group in this way Cady turns quite evil which highlights a flaw in Propp’s theory because she has now turned into one of the villains for part of the film. Hovever the fact she has been tricked and is now turning into one of them corresponds to ‘Sphere 1 part 6/7’

The Hero is also tricked because Regina tells Cady she can’t go with Aaron because its against the girl rules and then Regina gets back with Aaron knowing Cady likes him

In ‘Sphere 2 part 10’ the hero decided on counteraction, Cady plots to get Regina back my doing horrible things to her and is helped by Damien and Lizzy
In Sphere 3 part 12 the hero is tested this is like when Cady is tested by Regina where she flaunts her boyfriend that Cady wants but Cady has to stay strong in order for her counteraction to work
After Cady sets up all these plans to make Regina unpopular she soon finds out and this is where the hero and villain are now in direct combat 'Sphere 3 part 16' Regina hates Cady and visa versa
The hero is then branded 'Sphere 3 pasrt 17' Cady is the new plastic however this is not a good thing and does not fit with a hero's description
The villain who is Regina is defeated and nobdy likes her anymore this fits with 'sphere 3 part 18'
So now Regina wants to get her own back so decided to hand in the burn book which is full of horrible things about people and give it into the headteacher corresponding with 'Sphere 4 part 21' Hero is persued
Regina the says thats she is the burn book when infact that was set and pretends shes very upset by what has been done which is like 'Sphere 4 part 24' false hero claims success of true hero
The difficult talk of 'Sphere 4 part 25' is that Cady is exposed as being mean and everyone turns against so she has to not lie anymore and get her friends back and to be liked
This is resolved by true hero 'Sphere 4 part 26' when she goes to the prom in order to do her speech and not take the crown but share it with everyone
Everyone likes her again and this is 'Sphere 4 part 27' the true is recognised
Everything then changes Cady becomes like a normal girl the plastics break up and everyone has joined new groups and have a new appearence which fits with 'Sphere 4 part 29'
Although not every part fits, considering this was made a long time ago alot of functions fit with a modern film Mean Girls. I think the main thing that does not work is the thought that the hero must go on a physical journey and leave home because this could be percieved differently in new films. For example Cady did not leave home but she changed and went through a mental journey in Mean Girls.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Applying Todorov's Theory of Equilibrium


  • As this is quite a long clip I have only looked at the first 4 minutes of the sequence as the opening part. From this I have tried to use Todorov’s theory to find out about key components in the film.
  • The equilibrium in the opening is set in a busy city. We see these from the overhead shots first used to look at an overview of the city. We then get a pan shot which is used an the establishing shot of where the main girl lives. The LA used as she comes down the stairs highlights her character we are able to see her school uniform that is quite geeky. We see the bushy hair and her cat on her arms. Finally we have long shot of the school this shows an average American high school with the popular children and the not so popular we are able to see their uniform everyone is quite busy and lively. We also see the limo with the Genovian flag on it suggesting royalty however it’s done very slyly as we only see it very quickly hovered is significant.
  • Firstly I think the protagonist in the film is going to be the main girl we first see Mia. The attention is on her throughout and she looks as if she’s not very popular and only has her one best friend who she scooters to school with. We have a lot of Cu on her that’s keeps us watching her and wanting to know more
  • The antagonist looks as if it will be the main young cool guy Josh. His character is very popular whom all the pretty girls like and Mia seems infatuated by him and really wants to be with him. We are made to look at him, as there is a fuss when he enters. The fact the protagonist and antagonist are opposites suggests a clash of some sort
  • This suggests to me the disruption may be the romance between this young girl and boy. Perhaps he uses her or cheats on her with these popular girls. We did see another boy with red hair look at her in the opening therefore maybe he secretly likes her and she may go with him instead. Josh the cool guy may hurt her is some way.
  • The resolution may be that she dumps him or doesn’t like him anymore and goes for the not so popular boy. We are unable to know this though from the opening scene as we know this is going to come further on in the film
  • The fact that they show this love interest this girl has for the popular boy suggests already there is going to be a make over because we know he would not go for her with the way she looks at the beginning. The title of the film would also suggest she becomes a princess and this is the hero’s journey however again these would only be assumptions

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Deconstruction of Continuity Sequence


I decided to look at a film that is one of my favourites ‘A Cinderella Story’ however, having watched it many times I don’t think I’ve ever looked closely into the editing and shot types. Therefore I’ve chosen to deconstruct a scene from Cinderella Story focusing particularly on the techniques that have been used to make a good narrative flow.

Firstly they have used an establishing shot therefore we are able to see that its in a locker room. This is taken as one long shot that tracks Hillary Duff as she passes through the locker room. This is taken from a LS which informs the audience of the characters position and where she is relation to location and to other people. We are also made to be the onlookers so we are able to watch what she is going to do.

We then see the technique of match on action as we follow Hillary she turns the corner and then we turn to watch her back following behind her. This shot is now a MCU and we are able to see where she is walking to and more of the characters physical appearance. We are tracking her as she walks forward. We then have an MCU of the front of her and the camera has turned around so she is now walking towards the camera.

From this we have gone from a Long shot to a medium close up to a close up in order to take us the audience across physical space steadily. A long conversation then happens where the technique of shot-reverse-shot is used between Hilary Duff and Chad Michael Murray. This places the audience in the action and makes them feel involved in there argument. This would have been filmed twice to do this once just filming her and then once filming him and then edited to make sense to the audience.
A high angled shot is used when filming Hillary in the conversation to make her look vulnerable and hurt. And Chad looks more filmed on a LA to make him look quite powerful. This conversation uses the 180 degree rule so the viewers perspective is kept on one side

Finally we get a shot of her walking away again this is a LS so we are able to see where she is and see she is walking away from him. It then cuts to a MCU of him, which is a reaction shot we can then see his emotion.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

DYM HW FEEDBACK

Well done Ciara. Your comparison was very well presented and showed excellent analytical skill and a clear understanding of the task.

Accident Sequence



What did you think was the point to the activity?

1)The point of this activity was to achieve success in film sequence continuity. This was to be achieved by filming six different shots to make a short sequence of an accident as the focus point.

In regard to your finished sequence, what worked well?

2) I think there were a lot of good points. I think there are a variety of different shots to make it more entertaining and to achieve different things, For example the first shot is an establishing shot that sets the scene. There is also use of LA so the camera is close to the ground making the audience part of the action. We used tilt and hand held also to give a variety of techniques. The narrative flow works reasonably well and makes sense to the audience without breaking any main rules. I think the timing of all the shots work well to make them link up. Overall the shots and angles used make our sequence live and immediate.


What would you aim to improve about your sequence?

3) I think if I was to make any improvements the main one would be one of the cuts because they weren’t matched well it breaks the flow and disrupts it breaking the match on action rule. I would also change the length on the first pan shot to make it much shorter as it takes along time. Finally I would change the pose that we see from the character in the first shot as it’s very random and does not fit well with the sequence.

What did you learn from doing this activity?
4) From doing this exercise I have learnt how hard it is to make sequences flow and how many rules you must follow to enable a smooth sequence. It has highlighted how important it is to cut the shots at the right time and to get timing and positioning right. I can now appreciate how much work editors must do to achieve a good film

Monday, September 21, 2009

Comparison

Comparison between two opening sequences “Legally Blonde” and “Seven”

Narrative Expectations
Legally Blonde

  • We initially see the blonde hair as a close up and straight away we know that the main character is going to be a girl
  • All clips of the girl are slowed down allowing us to focus of her for much longer
  • The camera only shows parts of her we are unable to see her face therefore building suspense and making us focus on her more because we want to see what she looks like
  • A letter is passed around the girls and the camera follows this with a close up of the name ‘Elle’. There is a lot of attention to this card suggesting to the audience the girl we keep seeing little clips of is ‘Elle’ and she’s the main character
  • There is a lot of focus on labels such as Tiffany and Prada connoting affluence
  • All of the girl’s possessions which are shown are all pink and sparkly suggesting a very girly film
  • Music is very lively with happy lyrics suggesting a fun, exciting film
  • High key lighting also suggests a fun and bubbly film
  • We see a lot of girls looking pretty and boys looking masculine suggesting the film to be quite stereotypical.
  • Campus seems very party like and focus of girls looking perfect
  • At the end we see her blow a kiss to a picture of man which would mean there is a romance or love interest in the film
Seven
  • Colours are all very dark nothing bright suggesting quite a scary eerie film
  • There is no music so its much more serious
  • There is conflict between brad pitt and Freeman suggesting that they will fall out during the film
  • Everything is very neat and laid out nothing is out of place showing he is very in control
  • One man alone is followed by the camera showing he’s the main camera
  • Shown little clips of pictures and cutting outs from film strips and newspapers which would show this is a mysterious/detective film

Comparison
  • There is a big contrast in both films and what we expect from them. In “Legally Blonde” we are expecting a much more upbeat and girly film compared to “seven” which is much more serious and mysterious. The colours are much brighter in Legally Blonde then in Seven. There is a contrast in music from Legally Blonde being very happy to there being no music apart from a heavy drumbeat in Seven. Both main characters are very different one is girly girl always smiling and quite comical whereas seven we get the impression of a very serious solitary man who focuses on his work. High key lighting in Legally Blonde contrasts the low key lighting in Seven.

    Character Information

Legally Blonde
  • Blonde hair, seen doing her nails, looks perfect which would relate to a girly girl
  • All of the main characters room and belonging are pink which is very girly
  • Shown a sash on her desk showing she is president of her sorority which would mean she’s very popular amongst her friends
  • All girls that are seen look perfect and everyone’s first priority is looking good
  • All the titles are sparkly and pink which is also very girly
  • We are shown lots of fashion brands to perhaps show her wealth or maybe that she is a bit stuck up

Seven
  • He is always on his own showing solidarity
  • Everything is very neat
  • We see him dressing himself with his suit all laid out in a particular order perhaps to show he likes things done in a certain way
  • Wears long trench coat and hat perhaps to portray he’s a detective
  • Brad Pitt seems very relaxed on the other hand, chewing gum, leather jacket, trendy

Comparison
  • We only get to see one side on there characters in the opening sequence. Reece Witherspoon is portrayed as being a popular girl that everyone seems to look up to and wants to be. Morgan Freeman is seen as a very hard working man quite solitary with everything done in a particular way. She’s very upbeat and doesn’t sound very clever compared to Freeman who isn’t particularly happy but seems very clever and work focused.

    Shot types
Legally Blonde

  • ECU-this is used at the start to show shots of the main character it’s so we are able to focus clearly and in detail in order to learn about her further
  • HA- this was used to show inside the mansion. It was as if we were looking down into the mansion to see it’s wealth and to set the scene of what this house was.
  • WS- This is used to show the outside on the campus and to give us a sense of what everyone is like and where we are
  • MCU- Of main character at the end this is the first time we see her face and its used to see her face features and emotions

Seven
  • LA-used in dialogue with Pitt and Freeman along with rain noise it’s used to feel like everything is coming down on them and the audience-quite scary
  • Slow Pan-Used to show him getting ready to show his organisation and placement
  • ECU-used on him getting ready perhaps to show how well dressed he is
  • LS-Used in the bedroom when he’s in bed to show how lonely he is
  • ECU- of pages and film strips everything blurred quite mysterious-detective
  • LA-used in dialogue so we are looking up to them as if they are more important
Comparison
  • All the shots used are similar in both films. I think there are lot more establishing shots in Legally Blonde so we can see all the surroundings. However in Seven there aren’t as many so not as much information is given away to the audience. ECU are used very often in both films and are used to hold back information e.g. in Legally Blonde the main character was hidden until the end and in Seven we only see little buts of documents which may be uncovered later on in the film.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

My Still Evaluation


My Still Shot Evaluation

1) Describe your shot and identify in what way it could be seen as representing 'horror'

My group have taken a medium close up shot this focuses in on the emotion on the character ‘s face. She is a young teenage girl looking scared and nervous this represents horror as she looks very innocent therefore is the victim. She is looking away from the camera and up at something this connotes a mysterious feeling and the audience no she is looking for someone. Her hands are clasped to the wall again showing how scared she is and also suggesting she is hiding perhaps from the attacker, which signifies horror. We used a night mode making the colour of the picture very dull and dark reflecting the horror theme. Her face is most in light again showing off her emotion and facial expression. The lack of lighting makes everything seem scarier and makes her look very alone. The composition of the shot is uneven the girl only takes up half of the shot and the d├ęcor takes up the other half this again signifies isolation relating to the theme of horror.

2)What did you actually do to achieve the effect?

To achieve this shot we used a slit of light to shine directly onto the face and we held the light up high to shine downwards. On the camera we put on night shot mode to create the grey look. The camera was about a metre away from the actress and taken on a camera stand. We used the zoom in button to get closer to the actress. the actress stood standing up holding onto a wall with her hand close to her face and with a scared expression therefore eyebrows raised mouth slightly open.

3)What is successful about your shot?

I think the composition and positioning of this shot went really well I like the way the actress is standing and holding on to the wall. The eyes look really good because the light hit them well. I like the night mode because it really helps to give the horror feeling and makes the whole picture dull and frightening.

4)What would you do differently in hindsight?

After looking back on my shots if I were to do this again I would make the expression on the actresses face much more over the top to really show how scared she was. I would also try and create some sort of shadow of the attacker behind her so she’s looking forward but the attacker is actually behind her making it even scarier. I would also make the light source more obvious therefore have it darker apart from her eyes lit up to create a contrast. If we zoomed in a little further we could make the shot look even lonelier and entice the audience even more. Overall though I think are shot went well and we can now improve with further tasks.