2nd Assignment

August 21, 2008 at 11:58 pm (Uncategorized)

In the Lecture we watched „Speed Racer“2008.

A film directed by Andy and Larry Wachowski, both born in Chicago, Illinois, USA. After dropping out of college, they ran a carpentry business in Chicago while creating comic books in their free time and developing their ideas for the Matrix Trilogy. Before entering the film industry the brothers dropped their carpentry business and wrote comic books for Marvel Comics.

 

Latest News about Larry Wachowski:

After the release of Matrix Reloaded there was rumor about Larry because of his public appearance as a woman and using the name LANA WACHOWSKI. Reporters already saw every indication that he is about to change his sex by taking female hormones and making a sex changing operation. What up to now was “just” rumor NOW is true!!! The Wachowski Brother are no more two brothers, but siblings. Lana didn’t want to make a clear public statement before the film and Andy made all the press work for fear that all that sex change could harm the family-friendly film. There exist newly-released photos showing Lana’s full change. Dateline NBC already nabbed the rights for Lana’s first public interview on that subject. Let’s see how Hollywood and the Wachowski fans will react to the sex change!!! Will they embrace Lana or will this damage the Wachowski Brother’s carrers?!

 

Wachowskis Statements:

“Because we grew up on comic books and the Tolkien trilogy, one of the things we’re interested in is bringing serial fiction to cinema!”

 

“We think movies are fairly boring and predictable. We want to screw with audiences’ expectations.”

 

A further trademark of the Wachowskis is that they do not include in their film contracts press conferences, interviews, promotion campaigns because they want their films to speak for themselves.

 

Short review of their work:

§         Speed Racer (written by the Wachowski Brothers; producer; director)

§         V for Vendetta (screenplay; producer)

§         Matrix (characters and written by the Wachowski Brothers; executive producer; director)

§         The Animatrix (written by the Wachowskis; producer)

§         Ninja Assassin (producer)

§         WINNER BEST DIRECTOR for THE MATRIX (1999) from Academy of Science Fiction, Fantasy & Horror Films, USA

§         Games: Enter the Matrix (2003) and The Matrix Path of Neo (2005) written and directed by Larry and Andy

 

According to their remarkable Filmic Background we can assume quite easily their favorite genres and techniques.

 

Favorite genres: Science Fiction, Action, Animation, Adventure

 

Favorite techniques: tricks, animation, virtual reality, special effects (fast moving, dark scenes), at the edge between real and unreal

 

Speed Racer (2008) was written and directed by the Wachowski Brothers and fits in their already existing gallery of Action, Science Fiction and Family genre films. Tatsuo Yoshida was responsible for the animated series in this film.

 

Concerning the Conceptualization of Speed Racer the Wachowskis took an already existing idea, changed the concept by putting in their own visions and developed those with their favorite techniques. Speed Racer was originally a Japanese cartoon published through “Speed Racer: Mach Go Go Go” Manga books, magazine serials and a cartoon TV series by the author Tatsuo Yoshida under the genre of action and racing. What did Larry and Andy? They took the cartoon and created a science fiction- action movie. If we compare the cartoon with the movie we can say that both are virtual realties, only that the cartoon aims at children and the movie is more for an adult audience. This is a pretty important fact, because Speed Racer fans who watched and read the cartoon when they were little are now grown-ups, and so this film aims at “already fans” of Speed Racer who are a very well selected target audience.

 

As their Locations the Wachowskis choose Brandenburg and Berlin, Germany.

 

Regarding the Plot we can say that it has the typical organization of all the Blockbuster film: 5 Elements

 

1)    a believable & sympathetic lead character…. who is Speed in our case; Speed is a boy who sits in class having his thoughts being far away in a car race and looks up to his older brother called Rex Racer, who is a record-setting racer. Racing is “in his blood” as also his parents Pops and Mom run a racecars building business. But Rex Racer gets killed in his childhood in the running of the Casa Cristo which is an incredibly intense cross-country racing rally notorious for rough and foul play. Before his brother dies he gets rejected by his dad for the choice to run in this particular race and also his reputation gets degraded by the media for appearing to cheat in a race. Now Speed is 18 years old whose life and love is racing and who surprises the racing world with his artistic driving skill. He drives the “Mach 5” designed by his dad and remains interested only in the art of racing and the well-being of his family.

2)     his urgent and difficult problem…winning and corruption in race industry; Mr. Royalton who is the owner of conglomerate Royalton Industries offers him a contract for racing with his team. This offer would mean luxurious lifestyle and racing with the world’s best and most famous racer legends. There’s temptation, but he refuses knowing that his dad mistrusts such power-hungry corporations. By his declining Royalton reveals that top corporate interests are fixing races and cheating to gain profit and frightens Speed telling him if he doesn’t sign this would mean the end of his successful career. But Speed doesn’t change his mind which stirs Royalton’s anger. And Royalton kept his promises by trying everything against Speed.

3)     attempt to resolve, but failure that makes situation even more desperate…..Speed forms a racing team together with his girlfriend Trixie, his one-time rival Racer X and a Japanese racer Taejo Togokhan to compete in the Casa Cristo cross-country racing rally known as “The Crucible” in part of a plot to uncover the treacheries of Royalton and to save the racing business. Despite his dad’s anger at his racing in this very dangerous race his family joins him and Speed has to overcome Royalton’s brutal team and many appearingly-unsurpassable obstacles to win the Casa Cristo, the Grand Prix returning to its original purpose and to end Royalton’s corruption. But the Japanese racer is the son of a engine producer who just wants to sell his machines at a higher price to Royalton and wants his son to join the Royalton team.

4)     crisis and the last chance to win…… the sister of the Japanese racer comes to Speeds house and gives him a certificate which allows him to compete in the Grand Prix which is the last and most important race of the season.

5)     successful resolution through the central character’s own courage….. Speed wins the last race with outstanding supremacy by overcoming all possible obstacles

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1st Assignment – Digital Video Foundations

August 8, 2008 at 5:49 am (Uncategorized)

We watched “Enter Zombie King” and “Brick” in our lectures and tutorials. It is really interesting comparing two low-budget productions and noticing a large gap in quality and wathcing-friendlyness.  I would like to note a few differences by investigating the films through the five main stages in the production process:

  1. the development:
    – script: is more believable and more interest-rising in Brick
    – screenplay: is definitely more sofisticated in Brick regarding the quality of the dialogues, the definiton of the character attitudes and the overall style
  2. pre-production:
    – choosing the location: Brickhad defintely better locations than Zombie King although Zombie Kind included also night shoots which are more expensive, but it didn’t achieve the goal 
    – storyboard and shooting list: the whole structure of the scenes and the organisation of the dialogues of the actors and of the location was of much superior level in Brick
  3. production:
    – camera work: in this point the two films distinguish each other so obvious even for non professionals; the Zombie King had a kind of home video style always taking view of the whole situation and changing view after finished speeches or dialogues; whereas Brick had a much more professional camera taking, they showed different persons and situations from different angles and they changed the views fluently
    – dialogue + acting: there is no compare; Zombie King had actors that where kind of reading down from a paper, not fluent at all, horribly pausing, the pronounciation and the stress were poorly; in comparison to Brick which had high quality in their dialogues and nice acting work
    – shooting style & organisation of location: the best take of the a situation in a certain location in Zombie King was worst than the worst one in Brick
    – audio & sound: in Brick it was movie-like and the audio was well adopted to the scenes whereas in Zombie King it was not that great, as mentioned above more like a homevideo
    – lights & colours: in Brick the light and the colours let it seem real and believable; in Zombie King it was more poor
  4. Post-production:
    – choosing shots: superior in Brick
    – background music & music effects: they were very well suited to the scenes and to the sense that the visual expressed; Zombie King: didn’t like it at all
  5. Distribution
    I think that both films are not available in shops. Perhaps people pay for looking Brick, but they would rather not pay for Zombie King.

MY OPINION: I found it very interesting to watch Brick after Zombie King to better notice the huge gap in quality and to better recognize what it is that I don’t like in one and pretty much like in the other. I quite liked Brick and I found Zombie King quite funny, but I need to admit that I would not pay for none of them to watch them at home. 

MY FAVOURITE MOVIE: “Last Samurai”
First of all I like the theme and the story. Furthermore I liked the acting of Tom Cruise and his heroical behaving. I found it fantastic how scenes, actors, theme, dialogue, music, locations and simply the overall style build a perfect frame for an awesome film. In the last scene these last Samurai die with so much pride and honour and it is greatly supported by the background music. Loved it!

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Hello world!

August 8, 2008 at 4:36 am (Uncategorized)

Welcome to WordPress.com. This is your first post. Edit or delete it and start blogging!

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