Analysis on ‘The Man Inside’ edit – module 162 T2

For this module I produced a short film titled, ‘The Man Inside’, which follows the story of a divorced couple who end up trapped in a lift together. The film is a comedy/drama, and incorporated a circular narrative structure, opening with a flash forward to instantly engage the audience. Furthering this, we were set the task of editing our footage in a particular style, of which I chose the silent film. After researching and looking at examples of each editing style the silent era seemed one of the most intriguing and appropriate due to our actors characterized facial expressions and the vast amount of features that come with the style.

I watched a number of silent films to gain a better understanding of the ways in which they utilize editing techniques and apply this to create the typical conventions of the silent film. I watched the classics: Nosferatu (1922), The Great Train Robbery (1903), The birth of a Nation (1915) and The Kid (1921) as well as the first recordings from the Lumiere brothers’ Cinematographe; the arrival of the express train at Ciotan and the workers leaving the factory. There is a big time differences between all of these films, yet they are all of the same genre, giving me over twenty years worth of information and features of this style.

A silent film is simply a film that acquires no recorded synchronous sound – diegetic or non-diegetic, and this especially includes spoken dialogue (the introduction of the Vitaphone system in the late 1920’s is when “talkies” kicked off). Silent films instead, relied on facial expressions, gestures, and inter-title cards to express what would be said. From the films I watched I noticed that the actors were very strong, their facial expressions were bold, their gestures were over-exaggerated so they could really convey what was going on in the film. Charlie Chaplin is a perfect example of the kinds of this type of acting; for example, in ‘The Kid’ Chaplin is attempting to stop the baby from crying, we see how clueless he is through his dramatic facial expressions, scratching his head, and his frantic full body movements. One thing I instantly noticed when watching my own film footage back was that the actors’ performances were very theatrical, the engineer was a very animated character and the performance style itself would fit perfectly with a silent film edit.

Despite having no recorded sound, music is a key feature of silent films. As these films were being shown a live pianist or musical orchestra would play to help create the ambience being portrayed on screen and add to the entertainment value. Considering this, I searched for a silent film style piano song to accompany my images. I came across ‘Maple Leaf Rag’ this not only sounded great with the visuals on screen, but also includes the sound of an old projector running in the background, accentuating the realism of watching a silent film in a theatre back in the early 1900s.

With having no spoken dialogue, yet needing to get some discourse across I used inter-titles, a vital component of silent films. The designs for which were different in most silent films, some would be signature; for example D.W. Griffith created a signature title card for ‘The birth of a nation”. I used one inter-title card throughout my film, I was fond of the style as it appeared vintage, and was visually pleasing. The typography back then was all serif, and looked hand printed. I used ‘Charlemagne Std’ as it is a serif, bold font, which is legible and I feel, fits the style.

The camera shots are also very particular in silent films, the shots are normally quite long in duration; for example the opening shot in ‘The Great Train Robbery’ is 67 seconds long, as well as being completely static, long shot. Opening/establishing shots in contemporary film tend to be under ten seconds, signifying the extent of difference in technology, style, and general practice in filming and cinematography, which is being perfected over the years. The camera was usually very large back in the early days of filming, and was manually operated by a hand crank – this made it impossible to create pans and hard to do tilts and movement. The majority of our shots were static, with the occasional tilting. As we took hundreds of shots on the day, we ended up with quite a few extended shots, which I included where possible. I took the frame rate down slightly to 20 FPS, silent films had an FPS ranging from 12 to 24, and more commonly at the beginning of the era it would lie at around 16 FPS. Also, I sped up the film slightly from 100% speed rate to 120% – silent films often look as though they are being played in a faster than average motion, this is so it would appear more energetic and engaging. The speed of silent films also depended on the hand crank, so it was the man turning the handle who controlled the speed, which was difficult to manage at a regular speed.

The iris circle transition was exceptionally common during the silent era, as they were much more limited with their video effects. To fit my film, it seemed only right to use cuts, and the iris circle transition only to really gage the era. The cuts were not always perfect in silent films, as they would physically have to cut the film and stick it together where they thought best, not having the computer technology we have now. A few of my cuts are disjointed, to replicate this effect. I also put a ‘dust and scratches’ effect and used ‘overlay’ to merge the effect to the footage, this makes the film appear as though it is being projected rather than shown digitally from the over exposed lighting flashes. The dust and scratches effect makes the film appear as though it has been stored and damaged over many years, a trait common in the silent films we are shown as a contemporary audience, which is also quite trademark for the style.

 

1. The views expressed and materials presented represent the personal views of the author and should not be taken to represent the opinions, policy, or views of the Department of Media, or of Coventry University, nor any of its employees or other students

2. All content provided on this blog is for informational purposes only. The author of this blog makes no representations as to the accuracy or completeness of any information on this site, or found by following any link on this site.

3. Neither the Author nor host will be liable for any errors or omissions in this information, nor for the availability of this information. The Author and host will not be liable for any losses, injuries, or damages from the display or use of this information.

Reflection 2 – P2P Research

My proposal for the ‘People to People’ documentary was to produce a documentary about Lorraine Lockwood, a cardiac rehabilitation nurse. As she is my mother, growing up listening to her stories, and witnessing first hand how she is affected by these situations was a great help in being able to really visualize the final product, and i felt was the best kind of research. I carried out more primary research by talking to my mother and asking what stories stand out to her, and what she finds important. In terms of secondary research I gathered statistics from the British Heart Foundation website about death rates from heart attack/disease/cardiac arrest/strokes. I read through the papers which Lorraine has had published to gain a better understanding of what she does and her views on the matter and looked into what is going on in the field at present.

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I think my idea could be successful; I got lots of information and have an emotional and personal connection with the documentary, which I believe would reflect in the product if I choose to pursue it.

We chose Meera’s idea, her pitch really stood out. She showed us a hand written letter her granddad had sent over so we could understand what he’d been overcome and how he reflects on it now. We looked into what life was like in India in the 20th Century, the poverty and all the hardships people endured.  I also carried out research into the Hindu religion, as this way of life shapes his values and beliefs, and could be used in the final product (statues of Gods etc to represent this way of life).

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1. The views expressed and materials presented represent the personal views of the author and should not be taken to represent the opinions, policy, or views of the Department of Media, or of Coventry University, nor any of its employees or other students

2. All content provided on this blog is for informational purposes only. The author of this blog makes no representations as to the accuracy or completeness of any information on this site, or found by following any link on this site.

3. Neither the Author nor host will be liable for any errors or omissions in this information, nor for the availability of this information. The Author and host will not be liable for any losses, injuries, or damages from the display or use of this information.

Mash up Video 161

As a group we created a ‘mash-up’ video using three of our own creations from the module 160, and a variety of other material which we all individually and as a group found on youtube etc. which we thought we could apply effectively in our mash-up.

Originally, we were not sure on what kind of mash-up to do, we considered doing a music video using our footage and compiling it with other material, but we were unconvinced by this idea, as we did not think we could make it work as well as we would want from the footage we had. After a lot of thinking we decided upon making a trailer for student films, we could incorporate our own footage, include interviews with directors, footage from other films and of film crews working. We used dramatic music to create a realistic, engaging effect.

The title ‘Rise of the Student Film’ is intertextual with titles such as ‘Rise of the Planet of the Apes’. It uses features that are similar to trailers for shows such as Britain’s got Talent and X factor as the trailer is promoting the student talent.

We used clips such as directors talking about their own films or other professional films and twisted them to make it appear as though they are promoting the student films, we also used the Twilight fan girl clip to convey the excitement of the student film (again, putting it in a different context as oppose to its original purpose).

We wanted to portray a really cinematic, professional-looking trailer, which was serious and dramatic – yet comical. To do this we stuck to the typical codes and conventions for sound, quick clip cuts, bold titles and slow motion effects – and much more. But we incorporated comical clips, such as Spongebob Square Pants, the Twilight fan girl, Simon Cowell interviews etc.

We did create a longer version of our mash-up, the ‘extended look’ as our original version ends at 2 minutes, which is a minute short of the necessary time scale. The extended look had more comedic value, including presidential election results won by ‘Sheldon Cooper’ and clips from Jenna Marbles: ‘Thanks Obama!’. Though the extended look was comical, and looked good visually, it meant that our mash-up had two endings, so for the purpose of the most successful mash-up we cut the extended look.

1. The views expressed and materials presented represent the personal views of the author and should not be taken to represent the opinions, policy, or views of the Department of Media, or of Coventry University, nor any of its employees or other students

2. All content provided on this blog is for informational purposes only. The author of this blog makes no representations as to the accuracy or completeness of any information on this site, or found by following any link on this site.

3. Neither the Author nor host will be liable for any errors or omissions in this information, nor for the availability of this information. The Author and host will not be liable for any losses, injuries, or damages from the display or use of this information.

Fairytale Prezi 161 T2

http://prezi.com/ge2r85j4e7n-/untitled-prezi/ – Follow link for Prezi presentation

We were set the task of using various online/Web 2.0 tools to modernize a traditional fairytale or myth.

Our group got together and began researching various fairytales, and decided upon the popular story of ‘Sleeping Beauty’. From this, we delved into the origins of the tale, which is not as innocent and child-appropriate as the contemporary Disney classic!

The original tale was written by Battista Basile, which was published in Italy in 1636. The story follows a young girl – Talia who fell into a catatonic state after a splinter of flax was driven under her fingernail. Her father, a King locked up the castle with Talia still inside and left; another king moved in on the castle, and found Talia alive but unresponsive. The king took her to a bed and raped her, before returning to his own wife. Some time later the King returned to Talia, who was awake and surrounded by two children, named Sun and Moon. Talia had given birth in her comatose state, but one of the children managed to suck the poison flax out of her fingernail. The Queen found out about the King’s actions and she sent for Talia and the children, ordering the cook to kill the two children and feed them to the King. She then tried to burn Talia alive, but the King found out and burnt the Queen instead, to which he found that he had not in fact eaten his children, the cook had hidden them away and served lamb instead. The King, Talia and the children lived happily ever after.

The story we are more familiar with, where Sleeping Beauty is awakened by the kiss of her true love is drawn from a story called “The Glass Coffin” collected by the brothers Grimm – which is a lot less violent.

We decided to follow the themes of the Disney version for our contemporary remix. We follow a woman, ‘Aurora Bellezza’  – Bellezza meaning ‘beauty’ in Italian (in keeping with the original story) and Aurora being the name of Sleeping Beauty in the Disney classic. Aurora pricks her finger on a pin whilst driving and consequently has a car accident, which leaves her in a coma. Her friend and on/off partner ‘Phillip Charming’ (modern Prince Charming) sees a news article about the accident and uses modern technology and social networking: emailing, Google maps, Facebook, Twitter, Amazon etc. to complete his quest of visiting Aurora and hoping to see her awake – which he manages with a kiss. The couple gets married and lives happily ever after.

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Incorporating social media networks, video and online games, YouTube etc. was a really effective way of creating a contemporary visual appeal which is relatable to everyone nowadays. It juxtaposes the original tales, and brings a new and modern way of telling a classic story when these means of communication were not available, where people relied on hand written letters, word of mouth and messenger boys who would travel far to send a message that we could convey through one Facebook status. Amazon was also a great contemporary way of showing how we manage our lives and activities, and how far we’ve come where we now don’t even have to go to the shop to make a purchase. The game ‘Skyrim’ represents the dragon slaying aspect of the Disney story, the graphics of the game signify the advanced technology and animation, accompanied by a rock music interval, to signify the action and danger, whilst remaining humorous. Furthering this, we used music throughout to entertain, and accentuate the visuals and synchronised these to match what was shown on screen, for example when Charming is purchasing a ring, Bruno Mars sings, “I’ll go get a ring…I think I want to marry you”. The remix begins with a lullaby, soft song, as this is typical of the child-orientated Disney classic fairy tale.

Information found at: http://www.infobarrel.com/Fairy_Tale_Origins_Sleeping_Beauty

1. The views expressed and materials presented represent the personal views of the author and should not be taken to represent the opinions, policy, or views of the Department of Media, or of Coventry University, nor any of its employees or other students

2. All content provided on this blog is for informational purposes only. The author of this blog makes no representations as to the accuracy or completeness of any information on this site, or found by following any link on this site.

3. Neither the Author nor host will be liable for any errors or omissions in this information, nor for the availability of this information. The Author and host will not be liable for any losses, injuries, or damages from the display or use of this information.

Script for Documentary ‘Struggle with life and race against time’ 162

Here is the script for our documentary to be shot on Friday 15th February, the script follows the journey of a man, and his struggle in becoming the success that he is today. 


Struggle with life and Race against time

Shots of the plane landing and family seeing grandfather. Will here plane noise, cut to family hugging (silent + soft music). Halfway, he will start speaking.

When a human is born on earth, God sends him with a purpose. To follow karma, working in the interest and good faith for others. I believe that if you fight that karma, God will definitely give you a reward, as and when your time comes.

I was born on the 25th March 1948 in the city Nadiad, which is located in Kheda District, Gujarat, India. I began school up until the 8th Standard at Sonarola High School. My parents had a small, tailoring business and after 1962 we had to shift to another village.

I passed my matriculation exam in 1964 and then joined Nadiad’s College for further study. Unfortunately, after a few months I had to leave college. My family’s condition became extremely poor. We couldn’t afford anything. I had to give up studying to gain money for a roof over our head. We were living in a room, which we all shared.

I wanted to study further. But financial struggles erupted. My dreams were to become a Chartered Accountant.

I became a typist.

1965. I was earning 911 rupees per month, which is £10.86 in pounds. Three years passed and I went onto becoming a junior clerk. At this time of crisis and struggle, I always questioned myself ‘What is my purpose? Did I have one? Challenging my words, belief and faith. Three years passed and I went onto becoming a junior clerk. At this time of crisis and struggle, I always questioned myself ‘What is my purpose? Did I have one? Challenging my words, belief and faith. During these few years, I had saved up some money. I began studying my Bachelor of Commerce in 1971.

As well as working at the same time, it was difficult for me to fit studying and reading in. When I got home it was late and due to limited space or bedrooms, there was nowhere for me to read books in the night. And so I read under the streetlights in the dirty gullies.

I went on to joining the big city, Ahmedabad. My next job involved being a Clerical Officer at ‘The Kaira District Central Co-operative Bank LTD’. In this period of time I gradually completed my Masters of Commerce in 1975.

I have to say that during these 25 years, it was difficult, struggle, hard and painful. But the outcome and learning process was vital and unforgettable. The ladder I climbed was my journey.

Today, I have my own house in Ahmedabad. I am a professional Bank Manager at ‘The Sanans Urban Co-operative Bank LTD’ and thoroughly enjoy my job. I got married in 1975. Through this struggle with life, my wife gave me full support and stood with me in every situation. She now works in the State Government. I also have two children, a daughter (1979) and a son (1980) whom both now happily live in England.

I would like to take this time out to mention that I am very proud of my childhood period. Even though my father was earning less in which we were unable to stand on our two legs, I still am thankful for everything he did for me. He never let the struggle and poorness get in the way, and kept smiling. Since then I have promised him that I would never disappoint him. At that time I had no sources to make him happy except my hard work, effort and love. Now I know he is watching me and is proud.

As a family, we suffered many difficulties. But God gave us strength to fight.

When a human is born on earth, God sends him with a purpose. And my purpose is what defines me. This is story of my journey from being a helpless, brave typist, to a hard working, proud Grandfather.

1. The views expressed and materials presented represent the personal views of the author and should not be taken to represent the opinions, policy, or views of the Department of Media, or of Coventry University, nor any of its employees or other students

 

2. All content provided on this blog is for informational purposes only. The author of this blog makes no representations as to the accuracy or completeness of any information on this site, or found by following any link on this site.

 

3. Neither the Author nor host will be liable for any errors or omissions in this information, nor for the availability of this information. The Author and host will not be liable for any losses, injuries, or damages from the display or use of this information.

Semiotic analysis of online logo 161

logo for 161

FML Productions Logo (click photo for larger image)

A logo is a distinctive symbol/design which identifies a certain brand or organization. They help us recognize these particular organizations, products etc. whilst communicating underlying messages to the audience. Roland Barthes is an important theorist who studied the cultural signs and symbols of images and the intended meanings behind these. I applied the technique of using particular images and compositions to portray a particular meaning and connotation, whilst keeping them subtle enough for the audience to reflect their own ideas about what the logo represents.

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My logo was created for a filming brand “FML Productions”. I thought acronyms would be popular amongst contemporary audiences as it is quick to read, easy to remember and causes intrigue – people may become interested to carry out further research into the brand and what the acronym stands for – which is in fact my initials; bringing a personal feel into the brand.

In terms of colour codes, I stuck to dark blue/black with some metallic style blues shining through. This is intertextual with the key colour codes used for DVD cover and poster releases for the film ‘Donnie Darko’, which I incorporated intentionally so that my brand can reflect the film genres and styles which I am interested in and interested in producing (drama, mystery, sci-fi, thriller). I find the stormy background style visually pleasing, the hazy clouds connote the mystery and though it appears sullen it also has areas where light is breaking through the clouds, signifying a positive atmosphere, and optimism.

Image

I used a san serif font called ‘Okula Hayir Soft’ as it is a bold, strong font, which is easy to read. The font is filled with a dark blue colour, as this is in keeping with the colour codes. Unfortunately, the typography and fill on its own did not leave the title very legible, as the title did not stand out, but blended in with the background. To overcome this I created a glow to outline the title, so that it could be easily distinguished.

The eye is an important feature in the logo, I did not want the eye to be overpowering, my intention was to blend the object into the background and place it subtly without losing it completely. Getting the blending right took much experimentation as it sank into the background too much or it was too obvious. The bolt of light in the pupil contrasts with the dark colour codes surrounding the area; I wanted elements to capture peoples’ attention. It also creates a sense of mystery, or suggests that the eye is staring at something peculiar, but intriguing. The eye is a key signifier, it is said that the eyes are the windows to the soul, or a way to delve into somebodies mind. This, again links with the style and genre that I want to produce: films concentrate on the way our mind works and the complexities that accompany it. Also, it uses direct mode of address to connect with the audience personally.

Overall, I wanted to create a holistic design with a particular underlying messages – putting across the types of films I am interested in producing and receiving both as a film maker, and a consumer of the media. I did not want to make this message overpowering as I am interested in a wide variety of film genres and styles; but I found the colours, and style of this logo aesthetically and visually pleasing, which I hope will entice an audience.  The logo is also intertextual with skate, and extreme sports logos which is another area I have always had an interest in and I hope will expand the target audience.

I am not entirely happy with the design itself, I think at the moment it is still looking very amateur; however it is a starting point and something I will go onto develop as my own photoshop skills develop.

 

1. The views expressed and materials presented represent the personal views of the author and should not be taken to represent the opinions, policy, or views of the Department of Media, or of Coventry University, nor any of its employees or other students

2. All content provided on this blog is for informational purposes only. The author of this blog makes no representations as to the accuracy or completeness of any information on this site, or found by following any link on this site.

3. Neither the Author nor host will be liable for any errors or omissions in this information, nor for the availability of this information. The Author and host will not be liable for any losses, injuries, or damages from the display or use of this information.

Visit to the Tate Gallery, London 160 T2

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We took a trip to the Tate, and normally, art galleries don’t particularly interest me. I walk around slightly dazed and confused, watching as other people undercover all these deep meanings behind a piece of art, things which I believe looks like a child painted…or simply a few coloured squares on a canvas, which yes is all well and good to look at; but if that can make it into the Tate, then where is the line drawn exactly? But art is subjective, and I’m no expert and won’t claim to be. Either way, whilst wandering around hoping to be awe-struck, I found this sculpture: ‘FGF Warsaw’ (above) by Polish artist and sculpture Pawel Althamer.

It stood out visually to me; the space is simplistic and basic but has a huge amount of character. I also thought the inclusion of moving image was unique, to see the merging of different types of art was a great addition, and changes the piece as a whole – bringing in contemporary forms that engage us all so intensely this day in age. When I looked at this piece, I actually managed to immediately and effortlessly see a variety of different meanings and possibilities behind what was created. I was able to think of all the different back-stories that came behind this space; what it meant to me and what it means to the artist are totally different things of course but when I look at this piece I see possibilities: a character who lives there, how they got there, why they live in such simplicity, all the things those walls have seen; even where it would lie in the world and what I could create if this was the predominant setting to a film.

So, yes this piece managed to spark interest and inspiration. I did conduct some further research, and found that it is in fact a collaboration piece with other artists working from the Foksal Gallery Foundation, based in Poland. I found the idea of combining art work and the different forms of art to create one, big, mobile piece interesting: the painting (ceiling) was created by Wilhelm Sasnal, the video on the wall by Artur Zmijewski, and something that seems so simple: the door handle, designed by Monika Sosnowska. Bringing all these artists together leads to a room which literally radiates their own individual elements and styles in a space open to everyone, a quote I found on the piece that I found interesting (despite coming across it on Wikipedia) reads:

‘Each of the participants had at his/her disposal “a space of their own” […], where they could build elements of their own visual language, and the “common space” open to everyone, where they could conduct simultaneous dialogues with the other participants. All without using words.’

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pawe%C5%82_Althamer

Yes, Wikipedia is an unreliable source but; I still find that quote by Pawel inspiring, and think it conveys the power of the inanimate and the forms of art which lets us communicate without having to directly speak to each other.

As an aspiring film maker, this one piece has sparked countless ideas that I will write into pitches, and expand.

To read more on this piece go to: http://inhabitat.com/pawel-althamers-fgf-warsaw-is-part-mobile-gallery-part-art-installation-in-london/pawel-althamer2/?extend=1

1. The views expressed and materials presented represent the personal views of the author and should not be taken to represent the opinions, policy, or views of the Department of Media, or of Coventry University, nor any of its employees or other students

2. All content provided on this blog is for informational purposes only. The author of this blog makes no representations as to the accuracy or completeness of any information on this site, or found by following any link on this site.

3. Neither the Author nor host will be liable for any errors or omissions in this information, nor for the availability of this information. The Author and host will not be liable for any losses, injuries, or damages from the display or use of this information.