Lecture With Robin

Focal Length – Offers different field of view (how much of the world we see), depth of field and perspective.

The shorter the focal length the greater the field of view. The linger the focal length the narrower the field of view.

Depth of Field: The shorter the focal length the greater the depth of field.
The longer the focal length the smaller the depth of field.

Perspective: Viewers perception of their proximity to the subject.

A Clockwork Orange: A very short focal length lens. Wide lens. Wide field of view and a great depth of field. The choice of focal length has determined the coverage. There is some distortion around the edges of the frame. Its a very wide angled lens throughout the film.

Coverage might demand a particular type of focal length.

A very similar photographic problem. Its a similar story and idea yet its a totally different film, O Lucky Man!, in the way it is treated formally very differently. All shot with standard focal length lenses. There sis ome selective focus. Some of the image is out of focus (the warden in the background). Our sense of depth is what we expect, nothing is exaggerated.

Two different films are treated completely differently. The focal length and the way the scene is covered represents to completely different world views. Different perceptions of humanity are communicated through these photographic choices.

Long focal length stuff:

To Each His Own – Very shallow depth of field, narrow depth of field. Long focal length lens. Compression with things in depth. Focal length and coverage are expressive choices.

[Forgot what the film is called] Good example of eye lines and how they can become the subject matter fo the film itself. Total control of depth of field. She sin total control of the fram, the coverage and the eye lines. The cinematography is the meaning, it is the story. The elements of film create the meaning of the work.

Really good lecture! Thanks Robin.

Choosing a story.

This could potentially be the hardest part of the entire pre-production. Just choosing a story and being happy with it. Firstly, actually choosing one is tough. Coming up with a good one, choosing a great one from around the course. It is so important because it is what we will be working with for the entire semester. If we don’t like it in 4 weeks time, it’s too late!! It has to be a story that is going to help us in the long run. That going to be interesting and great once everything is complete. A story that is going to make life easier in both pre and post-production. It helps with finding actors, editing, actually directing the film. Its making me a little nervous actually! think think think….

Clown Train – Sound

Deconstructing the sound of ‘Clown Train’

Well, first off, the first 30 seconds of the film are in total darkness. All we hear is the sound which I think creates a great effect and starts the film off the way the creators would want it to start. Its very eerie and creepy. It creates the feeling of the unknown. The audience feel lost. We hear the sounds of an old train stopping. The screeching sound of the brakes gives the feeling of a ghost train. Finally there is silence and we see picture for the first time.

The film uses the reoccurring sound of the drum to create a feeling of shock and fear. So when the main character looks up and sees a clown sitting opposite him, the drum sound activates and creates an eerie, scary feeling. This sound creates a sense of suspense and makes the audience feel on edge as if something big is about to occur. Like the clown is up to something.

Throughout the duration of the film, an eerie soundtrack plays underneath all the dialogue and sound effects.

The voices of the actors and the characters they play add to the eeriness of the whole production. They speak slowly. The protagonist speaks in a high pitched tone as he is scared and confused. He end all his sentences with questions. The clown has an unusual voice to match the unusual character. He speaks extremely slowly which makes him extremely intimidating. Suddenly the clown raises his voice which makes the audience jump (well at least me) because we were so used to the soft, slow paced voice.

There are black outs that occur throughout the film and they are synched with electrical sounds. The darkness, mixed with these sounds and the suspenseful music and the drum sound adds to the eeriness of the film. Especially when the clown suddenly appears directly in front of the protagonist after a black out  and the drum sound.

All in all the film utilises sund in an amazing way. Without it the film would not get its point across the way the creators envisioned it. The suspenseful, eerie feel comes, for the most part, from the sound scape and all its elements.

Lecture #3

We are listening to a movie without the vision. We can just hear it. We have to list everything that we hear.

Everything I can hear:

  • Footsteps – They would have recorded this sound as he was walking (boom mic), but that sound would not be used because the mic isn’t close enough. They would have created foley.
  • Ruffling of coat – would have been recorded later as foley.
  • Puts down keys
  • Light switch turning on
  • Music
  • A gun??
  • A phone ringing
  • voice (dialogue)
  • Sirens, Police – actually an ambulance
  • Cars going by
  • Door opening
  • Dog Barking
  • Playing the stereo
  • Sound of the remote control

All the sound is really accentuated in this scene.
Every action had an associated sound effect. In movie land there has to be a sound even if in real life there isn’t.

There are 3 elements to a sound scape (Speech, Sound FX and Music).

Speech:
Non synch –  is when you record sound to a separate device or if you are shooting on film which doesn’t record sound.
Wild Lines – We have to do this. At the end of a scene we have to get the actors and take them somewhere quite and then record all of the dialogue from that scene. We can synch this up later. This is on location unlike ADR. 
Off screen – When you hear dialogue that is off screen. You see a person listening but you hear another person
On screen – Obviously the opposite!!

Sound FX:
Sound Scpae – All the sound that happens in the film or it can set scene…
Wild Sound – same as wild lines but with the sound, not dialogue.
Atmos – Need to record this on location. It simply means atmosphere. Lay the atmos underneath the sound track.

Music:
Music is trial and error. Have to start collecting music immediately.

All in all a pretty interesting lecture. Didn’t think i would be so interested in Sound. But this made me respect the field a little more…

Kony 2012

Aside

One of the most controversial, topical things going on around the world right now is the ‘Kony 2012′ Campaign. Agree with it or not, it is 100% relevant to FilmTV. It demonstrates the power of video and social media and networks, whether it have positive or negative outcomes.

“KONY 2012 IS A FILM AND CAMPAIGN BY INVISIBLE CHILDREN THAT AIMS TO MAKE JOSEPH KONY FAMOUS, NOT TO CELEBRATE HIM, BUT TO RAISE SUPPORT FOR HIS ARREST AND SET A PRECEDENT FOR INTERNATIONAL JUSTICE.”

This is the small synopsis on top of the video of Kony 2012. Regardless if its a good or bad thing, Kony 2012 is an incredible example of how powerful these social networks are and how powerful making videos are. Whether it be Youtube, Facebook, Twitter, Vimeo…whatever!!! This just demonstrates the potential this medium has to change the world. I believe that this is the beginning of something special, something unprecedented. This may be a small step but I think this phenomenon will become contagious and other causes will follow in its footsteps. Social Networks are the most important, powerful tools in the world and I can’t believe it has taken this long for something like this to happen. Mixed with great filming, editing and ideas, this has become one of the most incredible campaigns of all time.

As the video itself says:

“there are more people on Facebook than there were on the planet 200 years ago”.

This statistic alone demonstrates the power and ability this medium has. In my opinion it can seriously change the world. Over 65 million people have watched the video so far and it hasn’t even been out for a week!

I donno, this is blowing my mind. I don;t even know what to think about it. Where to even begin thinking about it!!! AHHHHHHH!!!! crazy stuff. All I know is, social media is the future. It just is!

http://kony2012.s3-website-us-east-1.amazonaws.com/

Week 2 readings

‘Slogans for the Screenwriter’s Wall’

I thought I would highlight 3 or 4 slogans that I thought were significant or important or just more interesting than the others!!

  1. “BEWARE OF SYMPATHY between characters. That is the END of drama.” – I don’t think I have ever thought of drama like that before. I think its a great way to look at it! Audiences don’t want to see characters feel for each other! Its not so interesting, its almost boring! people want to see characters argue, fight, laugh at, torture etc.
  2. “Screenplays are not written, they are REWRITTEN and REWRITTEN and REWRITTEN.” – This is really important for me. I seriously struggle at second, third fourth drafts. Once i do my first copy I tend to get lazy and think to myself that i have done enough when really there is still so much improvement to be had. Its so hard to go at it again and again and again. This is something I really need to focus on.
  3. “If you’ve got a Beginning, but you don’t yet have an end, then you’re mistaken. You don’t have the right Beginning.” – I was just intrigued by that. Thats all.
  4. “DRAMA IS ANTICIPATION MINGLED WITH UNCERTAINTY.” – Beautiful!!!

The reading is titled ‘Slogans for the Screenwriter’s Wall’…So thats what I did!

Image

The next reading was ‘The Director and the Actor’…

The article highlighted the differences between the director and the actor and ultimately how they work together. As a general rule, the director is an interpretive artist and is often called upon(by the actor) to be critical and self-consciously analytical in his approach, full of verbal explanations rooted in deep thought. The actor craves direction from the director. The actor, however, works from intuition, instinct and impulse rather than critical and intellectual comprehension. Imagination is a huge factor in the way that actor learns about his character.

It is almost better for an actor to not understand the directors techniques and ideas. Thinking too much may inhibit the this magical process. It may cause the acting to not be spontaneous enough.

Directors come up with many problems. Perhaps the most important step for a director is to appreciate that the actor is the director’s most valuable collaborator, to the point the director should go out of his way to ensure he has a rudimentary understanding of the craft of acting. It is important that the director has some sort of comprehension of what the actor is feeling on the other side of the camera. The director should never appear to be overly distant from the actors, the should never be afraid to do anything it takes to protect the actor.

I’ll end this summary of the reading by bringing up this point, one which stood out for me. A director contributes not by instructing the actor but by inspiring him.

Another reading that was included for this week was “script formatting and layout”. I am lucky enough to have a general understanding of how to create a script. I wrote a script in year 11 for year 12 media. I used a program called ‘Final Draft’ which taught me how to make a script. One thing i didn’t know about scripts was how to write out ‘Montages and Series of Shots’. This is something I learnt from the reading. I learnt that you write only one scene heading, indicating that you’re using a montage/series and then describe each part below it using either numerals or letters, and begin a new scene when you’re through.