Sunday, 30 January 2011

Example Shot Types

 Extreme close up

Close up

Meduim shot

Long shot

Over the shoulder shot

High angle shot

Low angle shot

Friday, 28 January 2011

Bridget Jones Diary Deconstruction


Released: 13th April 2001
Directed by Sharon Maguire
Budget: $26,000,000
Gross USA: $71,500,556

A British woman is determined to improve herself while she looks for love in a year in which she keeps a personal diary.

The establishing shot of the film is a small, scenic village covered in glinting snow and winter scenery. The village looks beautiful covered in snow, and looks like a picture from a fairytale. Along with the soft and gentle music that creates a picturesque scenario. The time of year is clearly winter as it is snowing endlessly. Winter signifies that it is around the time of Christmas, which is the most romantic time of year.  
 The shot of Bridget’s mother’s garden is full of trees and swan shaped hedges. These look like something out of a storybook and add to the fairytale theme of the film. The house itself on the outside is very middle class looking, and has a feel of elegance to it. However inside the house, it is very cluttered and homely, and has slightly naff Christmas decor. This adds to the contributing factors on how the audience perceive Bridget’s mother who seems to be rather strange and a little manic. Bridget’s mother wear overlarge, frumpy knitted jumpers to reflect her outdated fashion sense. Bridget has obviously also been forced to wear a Christmas jumper as she is wearing the similar hideous knitwear. The frumpy jumper also signifies how undesirable she is to men. Bridget’s oversized red pyjamas shown later on in the film are another example of how Bridget does not care about her appearance and is not out to impress anyone.
There is a large range of shots used in the film including lots of point of view and over the shoulder shots. These shots involve the audience more, creating verisimilitude. Panning is used to shoot Bridget moving through her house meeting and greeting family and friends. The film includes a voice over of Bridget speaking throughout the entire introduction of the film. This allows the audience to hear what she is thinking, like a diary entry. Bridget’s internal monologue is very humorous as it allows the audience to see her true thoughts and feelings.

Wild Child Deconstruction

free logo -

Released: 15th August 2008
Directed by Nick Moore
Budget: $20,000,000
U.K gross (21st September) : £4,971,063

A rebellious Malibu princess is shipped off to a strict English boarding school by her father.

The scene begins with the playing of soft, gentle music. The viewer can see the ocean in the background of a shot, this signifies the film is set somewhere exotic, possibly an american beach. The camera zooms in through a window looking at a sleeping girl in a very large and pink bedroom. The girl has long blonde hair and is wearing a floaty pink dressing gown. The girl looks quite innocent with the soft music playing in the background. Until she awakes and realises she has slept  in, swears and the music changes dramatically from classical piano piece of music, to a piece of rock/pop music involving electric guitars. This shows the audience that she is not the innocent little girl she is portrayed as, but is actually more of a spoiled brat. The Mise-en-scene of the girl’s bedroom shows she is very wealthy. Her bedroom is neat and tidy with a lot of pink, a large bed, vanity mirror, and a large wardrobe.                      
This character from Wild Child relates to our main girl in mine and Maddy's project. The character is similar to the girl in Wild Child as they are both very wealthy, have large pink rooms and are interested in expensive designer labels. The main character in Wild Child has a designer Louis Vuitton handbag and shoes. Our main character also has a Louis Vuitton bag and a Dolce and Gabanana watch. These are two very well known designers and are well distinguished for their price and popularity among the rich and famous.    
Other similarities between the two characters are the style in which they dress. They both wear glittery, expensive looking dresses for day wear. This shows they are both formal and extravagant. This also allows for the characters to stand out in a crowd. 


Tuesday, 25 January 2011

Pre Lim Task - Overdue

The Chase- Microdrama

My microdrama was one of my very first media projects. I have included ideas from Propp's theory of characters. These include a hero, princess, side kick, victim and villain. I have used Mise-en-scene to portray the characters. The princess has long blonde hair and wears a tiara on her head to show her royalty and power. I chose for the princess to have long blonde hair so she would be portrayed as a stereotypical princess, who would be seen as blonde, stupid and hopeless. Props I have included in my microdrama are the Heroes and Villains magic staffs. These show the characters have magical abilities. This adds to the mystery of the plot.
The film is edited in black and white to add tension, and make it appear more thrilling and suspenseful.
To read more about the deconstruction of my microdrama, please read my Deconstruction of debut film blog post.

Thursday, 13 January 2011

Pre Lim Improvements

Filming aspects of my Pre lim task that I could improve on when filming for my project.   

·        When filming make sure nothing is in the way of the cameras lens e.g. fingers held over the lens.
·        Include some aspects of audio in editing. Such as the creaking of a door opening. This increases the tension and professionalism of the film.  
·        Don’t give away the identity of the victim/characters of the film quickly, so this leaves an aspect of mystery with the audience.
·        Make sure the location you are filming is deserted. This is so no passers by are accidently in your shot.
·        Use better actors in my project, so they can play a character well, and are more confident and skilled.
·        Maintain a better aspect of narrative enigma
·        When editing cut clips sharper. Also make sure that all clips correlate with one another, in the correct order.
·        Make sure that everyone is out of the shot when filming. This includes directors etc.

Research into Romantic comedies by the book

Research into Romantic comedies by the book

Four Weddings and a Funeral (1994), directed by Mike Newell and Richard Curtis. From the book: I love you but…. Written by Cherry Potter.

‘In the film Hugh Grant’s screen persona, Charles, is not at all aggressive or controlling.’
‘Beneath his thick, unruly brown hair, his face is most finely sculpted with large eyes and a refined Roman nose.’

The description from these extracts will reflect my male character similarly. My male character will be tall, with scruffy brown hair and an unkept appearance.

The book focuses on Four Weddings and a Funeral. From the book: Falling in love again. Edited by Stacy Abbott and Deborah Jermyn.

‘The film centres on the coupling of a bumbling, ineffectual British man with a beautiful, successful woman within a upper-middle class background.’

This description of the male and female characters in Four Weddings and a Funeral reflects the main characters of my film. As my working title film is named Classmates. This refers to the aspect that the characters are from different working backgrounds. The female character will be from a middle class background. She is wealthy and has a large and well-kept house. In contrast the male character will be from a working class background. He will be quite short for cash and will live in a reasonably small house, which is messy and untidy. 

Wednesday, 12 January 2011

Prom Coms

Napolean Dynamite Deconstruction

Release date: January 17th 2004
Written and directed by Jared Hess.
Budget: $400,000
U.S box office takings: $116,666

A listless and alienated teenager decides to help his new friend win the class presidency in their small western high school, while he must deal with his bizarre family life back home.

The opening begins with the camera looking down on a red carpet. A plate comes across with "Fox Searchlight Pictures" written in ketchup on a plate of chicken nuggets, this is repeated on a different dish with a different coloured carpet. He opens his wallet and brings out a card saying "starring Jon Heder", this is also when acoustic guitar music starts to play. A library book is included with the ticket with the names of music producers written on it. This is continued with a sweet wrapper, lip balm, pieces of paper with doodles on and rubbers.
This idea of using every day objects and putting the names of the producers/actors etc on them is quite clever. I would like to use this idea for my project. Perhaps writing a name of an actor/actress on a plate.

Trick or Treat Deconstruction

Trick or Treat

Trick or Treat Poster

Release date: 24th of October 1986
Directed by Charles Martin Smith.
U.S box office income: $6,310,477

Sammi Curr was a famous, devil-worshiping rock star who died under mysterious circumstances. Now he wants to come back to life. Doing so requires possessing radio wave & automobiles and making a few human sacrifices.

The male and female characters in the film Trick or Treat are similar to the main characters in our film Classmates. The male character in Trick or Treat is into rock music. His bedroom is covered in rock posters and is very messy with clothes lying in heaps on the floor. This will be like the main male character in my film Classmates. The female character in Trick or Treat is the stereotypical 'popular' girl at school. She is attractive, rich, a nice demeanour and everyone wants to know her. The main character is my film will reflect this type of character.
At the start of the film there is a scene in an American schools hallway. The male character is looking at the female character in the hallway. There is a point of view shot of the boy, and it looks like the girl is waving at him. He waves back and then realises that she is actually waving at her friend who is standing behind him.
I thought about this idea and came to the conclusion that I would like to apply a similar comedic idea to my romantic comedy production.
 I decided that I would do a point of view shot of my male character looking at the female character sitting at a desk in a class room, with an empty seat next to her. It will appear to the audience that the girl is beckoning at the boy to sit down next to her. When really she is communicating to the girl behind him. He makes his way forward to the empty seat, until he is pushed away by the girl behind him. This leaves the boy in awkwardness and embarrassment.

Monday, 10 January 2011

Love Actually Deconstruction

Love Actually

Love Actually Poster

Release date: 14th November 2003
Directed by Richard Curtis
Budget: £30,000,000

Follows the lives of eight very different couples in dealing with their love lives in various loosely and interrelated tales all set during a frantic month before Christmas in London, England. 

·      The music to the start of the film is soft and quite loving. This connotes to the audience that this is going to be a romantic film.
·      Medium shots of embracing family’s and couples symbolizes again to the audience that this film is going to be about romance and love. 
·      The voice of over of a man with a soft voice talking over shots of loving people, gives the story more meaning and makes the film opening appear very sentimental.
·      Subtitle and voice over: love actually …. is all around. This includes the title of the film and highlights the love in red in the subtitle. It does this so it stands out to the audience and engages the viewer into the film more.
·      The subtitle love actually is the only thing left on the screen as the background dissolves into blackness. The love is still highlighted in red. The red signifies (obviously love) romance, deep feelings and warmth.
·      The subtitle fades out. The shot then fades in on a man signing in a recording studio. The background music of the studio is playing so the viewer can hear it.  
·      The opening credits of the actors are in the bottom left hand corner of the screen. Whilst you can still see the man in the recording studio singing a Christmas rendition of Love Is All Around by Wet Wet Wet. 
·      The first letter of every actors name is highlighted in red. The constant colour scheme seems to be white and red. This signifies romance and brightness and a new beginning.
·      The comedy aspect of the film is introduced when the recording artist keeps using the word love instead of Christmas. Which they have to keep redoing until he sings the song correctly.
·      On the second attempt of singing the words wrong are followed by lot of swearing, like in Four weddings and a Funeral.

There are some aspects of the film Love actually that I have incorporated into my production.
One being the use of swear words for dramatic effect, and response from the audience. In Love actually the character Billy Mack played by Bill Nighy swears repeatedly when sings the wrong lyrics to his song.  When my main male character wakes up late for school, he will look at his alarm clock and swear reputedly.
The film Love actually explores many different types of love such as marriage, partnership and non official relationships.
My film explores the different aspects of love as it looks at the common boy liking girl scenario. My film as looks at heterosexual relationships as towards the end of my film the audience finds the main girl to be interested in women instead of men. This leaves the male character confused and annoyed.
The audience would not expect the female character to be lesbian as her stereotype is portrayed as the pretty, popular girl who everyone loves. This character normally has a good looking boyfriend who is similar to herself. I did not want the girl to be a normal stereotypical girl because I wanted to give my film a different, unexpected edge.

Saturday, 1 January 2011

Research for Romantic Comedys.

Richard Curtis

Richard Curtis is a New Zealand-born British screenwriter, music producer, actor and film director. He is primarily known for his romantic comedy films, such as Four Weddings and a Funeral, Bridget Jones’s diary and Love Actually to name a few. He is also well known for his hit sitcoms, Mr Bean, Blackadder and the Vicar of Dibley. Richard Curtis is also the founder of the British charity Comic Relief. He is also the founder of the Make Poverty History campaign which exists in a number of countries.

Curtis wrote the Blackadder series from 1983 to 1989, each season focusing upon a different era in British history. The well known actor Rowan Atkinson played the lead throughout, as he had done sketches with Atkinson for their TV series Not the Nine O’clock News in the past, where Curtis had been a regular writer and music producer.

Curtis achieved his breakthrough success with the romantic comedy
Four Weddings and a Funeral. The 1994 film, starring Hugh Grant and Andie MacDowell, was produced on a limited budget by the British production company Working Title Films. Four Weddings and a Funeral proved to be the biggest grossing British film in history at that time.

Curtis' next film for Working Title was not an original script. Instead, he was heavily involved with the adaptation of
Bridget Jones's Diary from novel to film. Two years later Curtis re-teamed with Working Title to write and direct Love Actually.

John Hughes (February 18, 1950 – August 6, 2009) was an American film producer, director and writer. Who had scripted some of the most successful films of the 1980s and 1990s. Some of these films include Sixteen Candles, The Breakfast Club, 101 Dalmatians, Home alone, and its sequels, Home Alone 2 and Home Alone 3.
Hughes first directorial effort, Sixteen Candles, won almost unanimous praise when it was released in 1984. It was also the first in a string of efforts set in or around high school, including the films he produced which include The Breakfast Club, Pretty in Pink, Weird Science and Ferris Bueller's Day Off.
To avoid being pigeonholed as a maker of teen comedies, Hughes branched out in 1987, directing Planes, Trains and Automobiles starring Steve Martin and John Candy.
Hughes's greatest commercial success came with Home Alone, a film he wrote and produced. Home Alone was the top grossing film of 1990, and remains the most successful live-action comedy of all time. His last film as a director was 1991's Curly Sue. In 1994, Hughes retired from the public eye and moved back to the Chicago area