Tuesday, 24 January 2012

Reaserch task by Dan Sheridan

For my five Thriller films i have chosen the following:
As some of these clips were difficult to find on youtube, I already had Hide And Seek, The Hurt Locker and The Perfect Getaway on DVD, so i decided to buy Lakeview Terrace and The Butterfly Effect on DVD as well to make it easier for myself instead of having differant formats.

 i only have mobile internet out of college and i only have 3mb of it, i cannot upload the clips and screen grabs for these films from home this weekend, so i am bringing the DVD's in next monday (30th of january 2012) i will be doing the screen grabs then.

Opening sequence 1 - The Hurt Locker: 
           Why does this work as an opening?: This works because in this sequence we learn  about the history of the unit so that the storyline later on will be easier to understand, we also learn who the members of the unit are. During this scene, we see what the unit does and what the dangers are of their job. we also get the information of where they are and who they are. The audience gets tension and drama in this opening which keeps them interested and wanting to carry on watching.
  • Camera work: Throughout this first scene we get to see the landscape on which this film is set, in this particular case it is set in a desolate and dry town in Baghdad. we start off by seeing a fade in from black shot to a POV shot from the robot, this gives us a inside look on one part of the equipment that they use. A lot of the time in this scene the camera is shaky as if filmed with a hand held camera, this the audience can connect with an adds a sense of drama and a tense feeling, this helps keeps the mood of it being a hectic environment. short clips help add to the effect of it being hectic, mixed with the POV shots, and all the others (such as LS and ELS so we can see the location, CU and ECU so we can get more detail). at the end of this sequence there is a slow motion shot as well as a repeated shot. then we see ECU of the stones of the ground, the rust of the car and the bomb teach getting hit by the force of the explosion.
  • Sound: To start with when it is a black screen and the quote is on, we can hear Afghani voices which is another that will help determine the location of the setting. throughout the scene there is a tense tone and a heartbeat sound this will again add tension and in a way add the message of it being a heart stopping / worrying time. we can hear by the soldiers voice that they are american army. they use military language for example when the finally see the bomb they say "Thats a nice 155"  most people wouldn't know what this means but it does add to the illusion that they are real soldiers and not actors. when they are talking on the radios we can quite clearly hear it from the other person over the radio, this may have been done by actually being said off screen down a walkie talkie but also could've been done with a audio overlay, either way its convincing that it is a walkie talkie. when we see Eldrige see the man with the phone a tense tone with little instruments are used to create a tense sound that is not too complicated.
  • Editing: At the very start on the black screen before it fades in, there is a quote that says "the rush of battle is often a potent and lethal addiction, for war is a drug"  then this text fades out except for the words war is a drug this highlights that it is an important quote about understanding one of the reasons why the soldiers do this. when we see the robots POV we see it as the soldiers do like a TV screen, it has lines going horizontally across the screen and has interference , these again add the effect of it being a camera. The takes are short to medium length to add to the effect of the scene being dangerous and tense, this makes it more interesting to watch and creates slight  confusion that is needed to show that this opening is busy, after a while the takes get longer as the scene is calmer and more controlled.
  • Mise en scene: The costumes - This is a dead give away that we are in a foreign country, the women are in Burke and the men are in the dress like cloths that they wear. The soldiers are in american army uniform this is an indication that the american army is who we are watching. They are also dressed the part with the full bomb techs suit as well as the bomb disposal badge on their uniform. The setting - this is a deserted, dry and hot place, we can see this by the ground having no grass, it being dusty in the wind and we can hear the sound of dry rocks as everything moves. we also get this backed up by the text and the costumes of he locals. The lighting - this is a very bright location and it is set all outside, possible external lighting sources have been used to help add the bright effect and to minimise shadows that are not needed. Body language and movement - the main characters are being portrayed as soldiers so it is vital they move and act like soldiers. 

Opening sequence 2 - The Perfect Getaway:
           Why does this work as an opening?: This works so well as an opening as it lulls them into a false sense of security, this then seems as if the nice nature of this opening means that they are an ordinary couple on their honeymoon, the characters then seem innocent and we can see that they are happy and having fun, this then makes the audience think what's going to happen to them and who is it going to be.
  • Camera work: To start off the opening scene, we can see a video from a video camera, we can tell that this is a video camera by the way it is layed out, with the record sign and the time as well as the batery indicator. It starts of being at a wedding then it goes to the couple in a car on their honeymoon, after this it alter between the two. finally the camera switches to being behind them and in the car when the trees hit her foot, this is a sudden shock which is why it is a good way to swap the shots over. There is also a POV from when their in the helicopter. The video camera is always in the front of the car but when it switches to the film camera its at the back of the car. In a way when the camera is at the back of the car, it is a S/RS as we have it crossing over to see the other persons face as well as being OTSS.  We get a shot of some of the beautiful scenery from a helicopter camera, as the characters are in a helicopter in the same time, we are meant to believe its what they are seeing.
  • Sound: On the video camera there is a sound bridge of them telling a story to start when their on the screen but when the shot goes back over to the wedding he is still telling the story. When they are in the helicopter we can clearly hear they are talking over the microphones by the slightly muffled and the digital sound of their voice. When it changes pace to a slower more gentle time when their driving past in their car, the song playing in the background sinngs "its just anther day in paradise", this is a good way to reassure the audience that they are happy and all is good with them and they are not the killers. Were now believing that they are just a nice normal couple on their honeymoon.
  • Editing: To start with, when the clips from the wedding are playing there is a cut to black, this is when the first of the titles come up, after that they come up every now and then on top of the footage. this whole scene is slow paced takes so that it seems as peaceful as they are trying to make it. there is a cut and a quick take when the tree hits her feet other than that its all a medium length take. the clips have been edited together as if they are really on their honeymoon, 
  • Mise en scene: The costumes - there wearing a short sleeve shirt and shorts, as well as everyone else that we see are wearing Hawaiian shirts and hot weather cloths, this will indicate to the audience that the weather is hot and lovely. The Décor - When we see inside the shack shop, this is made of wood and straw, its designed to keep the heat off and out of it, its all bright happy colours. Body language and movement - When we finally see them out of the car they are very lovely to each other and she walks up to him  and hugs him, this reinforces what their relationship is like and that they are deeply in love, again this will stop any suspicion that they are the killers.  

Opening sequence 3 - Lakeview Terrace:
           Why does this work as an opening?: the opening hear we can see the location of the terrace that the film is set on, we can see that it is a quiet neighbour hood and that it is in a high class area. But the quietness isnt right for a place like this so the audience can tell that something about this place is not right. the audience is made to want to carry on watching as we don't learn allot in this introduction so that it draws them in.

  • Camera work: At the very beginning there inst much movement in the camera, there are ELS of the terrace form a high angle, this allows the audience to clearly see the setting and can tell that its a nice quite clean neighbourhood. From these ELS we can also see what type of terrace it is which in this case it is an upper class area. When we finally see the character, we see him from a high angle LS this shows that at this point he isn't in a verry powerful position and also portrays a sense of loneliness in him. As the children leave the house the camera is in front of them and they are walking towards it. the camera is on a dolly as it is moving backwards at the same speed as they are walking, this keeps them in short and keeps to the long takes to make it a slow opening scene.
  • Sound: To start with there is a slow music track being played, this track hast got very high notes in, this makes it seem sad and lonely, which goes with the terrace as its quiet. In the background of the music track there is a news report of a forest fire but it isn't loud enough for the audience to clearly hear what is happening. when we finally see the character we can see that the news report is coming from a radio, his radio to be exact and we see him switch it off. Throughout the opening scene there is a slow and sad track of music playing in the background, this again like the high angle LS portrays the loneliness of him.
  • Editing: There are long takes throughout the opening sequence, this takes away and idea of there being any action or anything fast going on. the shots are slow and steady this brings on the element of loneliness again which him being a single farther he is. The titles are the beginning are in the black section when the ELS of the terrace has cut out to black the titles appear then it cuts from black to the next view of the terrace. this is peaceful and is calming to the audience and is telling them that there isn't anything exciting going on at this point.
  • Mise en scene: Costumes - The main character is in the same cloths for all of the opening scene. as we see him laying on his bed on the first take, we presume that these are his PJs, his children are the stereotypical children, the teen girl is wearing a mini skirt and a tight top with allot of make up just like all teen girls are portrayed. Whereas the younger boy is wearing a basketball (sports) top, boys stereotypically love sports and always wear them. Lighting - at the beginning of the film there is a very low light as it is morning. as this is ELS it looks as if natural lighting was used other then what is coming from the houses and the street lamps. Again it portrays a sense of loneliness as mornings is when everyone's in bed and just waking up so know one is around. When we are inside the house though and in the main characters room, there is light coming from a visible window. This was probably helped by the use of external lighting just to make it more realistic for the film. In the same shot, there is light coming from a window which is not visible, this light is being projected onto the bed. this was most likely done with external lights again but these were probably inside the room as well. This lighting helps set the time of the day into the room, it is very low and orangey just as it would be if the sun was coming up at the time of the day that the film is portraying.

Opening sequence 4 - The Butterfly Effect:
           Why does this work as an opening?: This is a nerve racking opening scene. The audience discovers a little bit of the characters history, we can see by the way he acts as the child that something is not right with him and that he is the hook. As we only see a little information about the character but what we see is intense, we as the audience want to keep watching it to see what happens. It draws the audience in by keeping the main plot and the truth a mystery but inst boring.
  • Camera work: Starts off an a tripod and pans round, starts off facing one wall as the character walks round we follow it, For the hole time he is in the office at the beginning the camera is in a fixed position that doesn't move other then panning tilting and zooming. this keeps the audience knowing where they are so instead of concentrating on the location they are more concentrating on the character which is the most important part of this shot, this way with full concentration they can connect with him easier. After he has written the letter we just see him finishing the end of it wit an ECU, hen we see him write save her, at which point the camera zooms in in on these two words, this highlights to the audience that there is someone he wants to save but also raises the question of who and how.
  • Sound: When he is sneaking up to the office door from the outside, the music is tense and slow. When he kicks the door open the thud of the kick starts the music off which gets fast paced showing that he is rushing and there is threat or danger. This pace change tells the audience that something is happening and someone knows that he is there and they are looking for him, it also induces a slight sense of panic. As he is writing the letter he is saying what he is writing at the same time, this allows the audience to know what he is writing as well as letting us see that is is him writing it.
  • Editing: Starts off with one take until he closes the door, then after that the takes are short until the end of the scene before. The titles the length of a take can help with understanding the scene better, as these are medium length takes it means that there is a sense of rush but he also needs concentration, this tells the audience that he is trying to do something and has a plan and is keeping calm in a hectic scene. The title sequence uses a graphic match after it goes blurry when it zooms in on save her, it starts to become more in focus as we see something fluttering as it becomes clearer we can tell these are butterfly's and they are flapping around the title. These butterfly's then form into one as an outline of a head appears, these butterfly s then match and merge with a brain scan which indicates to the audience that the character or the problem has something to do with his brain but still not telling us what it is.
  • Mise en scene:Costumes - The mum is wearing overalls whilst she is working on the car engine, this is stereotypically incorrect and is challenging the role of a stereotypical women. this tells the audience that she is an independent woman that can do everything for herself. Settings - When the main character is a child, we see him playing on the front lawn with his dog. we get a glimpse of his house, the garden and part of the road. The audience can deduce from this that they are an upper-class family and are well off. Lighting - again when he is a child and is playing it is a bright sunny day, there was probably some external lighting so they could control where the shadows were being cast, this helps set the mood for the scene. even small shadows help set the scene, They tell the audience how high the sun is in the sky by their location and the size. the rest of the scene is brightly lit as well so if external lighting was used it was only for the shadows. 

Opening sequence 5 - Hide And Seek:
           Why does this work as an opening?: We see what happens in the film to make this family they way they are throughout the main storyline, we see who they are and we can tell that they are a nice family that are happy. These reasons will all help build up the tension, and questions such as what will happen to them? why this is happening to them? and who is it going to be? these questions keep the audience wanting to know more, wanting to know the answer and makes them keep watching to uncover the truth.
  • Camera work: First scene starts of as an ECU of the little girls eyes, the switches to an ECU of her hand grasping a metal pole, before again switching but this time to an BCU of her face with a big smile on it, this will help the audience to emotionally connect with he character and it calms their nervous seeing her happy this is good so then when something bad happens its even a bigger impact because of the connection already established with the daughter. After we see the farther find the mother dead in the bath he jumps in to hug her, we see an OTSS of him picking her head up from the water, her head is pointing directly at the camera and she is in a CU distance away from the camera, using this view we can almost feel what the farther is feeling and see almost his view as well as still being able to see how he reacts with his body language to this. As she is taking a pill with a glass of wine, we are at a LS, in the shot we can clearly see what she is doing but in the corner there is a picture frame, in this picture frame there is a reflection of her doing the exact same action just from a closer perspective.
  • Sound:  As the little girl is being sun on the round about, there is almost a disturbed and mysterious piece of music playing in the background, this adds a bit of nervousness to the scene and a bit of a chill. At first in that scene when she is  being spun on the round about, she is at a playground but all the other children's voices and sounds from around are muffled and lowered to an almost silence, until we hear the mother speaking to the daughter, this the audience can see that it means there is a special connection there ans as we Haven't met the characters untill hear we can instantly tell heir relationship.
  • Editing: There are allot of short takes, this helps us grasp the sense of happiness in the family and they can find it easier to see the expressions and connection of the characters when they are together. it also helps to understand the characters feelings when they are on their own as we can see their facial expressions more clearly. When the mother is found dead in the bath, as he opens the door to the bath when he gets to half way it goes into slow motion, this makes the effect more dramatic and as we Haven't see what has happened the audience can tell that something bad has happened.
  • Mise en scene: Costumes - we can tell that the mother is an upper class lady as she is wearing a nice dress and cloths that are for a more formal occasion but as she is wearing them down at the park with her child we can deduct that she is an upper class women who can afford these cloths everyday. Setting - in the first location we can tell its cold but not just by the costumes, for starters there are no leaves on the tree, an indication of it being in a cold month or a cold country. Secondly,  the grass isnt very green and has allot of brown spots meaning there hasn't been much sun, again that could be due to a cold season. this helps the audience to feel as if they no some more about how the characters are feeling. Décor - when we see the daughters room there are toys and books on a shelf against a wall, the room is clean and tidy, there is a teddy bear and a porcelain doll on the bed side table. All these things are stereotypically a girls room. this helps the audience to see what kind of girl she is and what she likes to play with and that she likes to read and has a good imagination.

1 comment:

  1. In Hurt Locker, the scene with the robot has been shot using standard equipment - they then have to get you to believe its a robot camera - consider how this has been achieved.

    Consider your layout dan - this is far too dense - it desperately needs to be broken up with screengrabs to illustrate some of the good points that you make.

    level 3

    It is better to do the TA by taking a particular sequence and consider all 4 elements around this. You can't really break it up into 4 separate areas.