7th Assignment

September 25, 2008 at 5:39 am (Uncategorized)

This assignment is about the film “Elephant” regarding to the theory of “The Audio in Film Productions”.

 

Different types of microphones

Omni-directional microphones:

used for picking up general sound, the ambience sound, of a location

è school canteen/cafeteria

 

Super Cardioid microphones:

primary used for picking up sound because they exclude the majority of ambient sound

è used for dialogues and speeches in the film

 

Lavaliere:

are small clips on mics

è used in the film to hear better individual characters when they are talking

 

Microphone Hierarchy

there are 4 basic ways to approach miking a subject:

1)    Boom
best sound quality will be realized employing a boom overhead of the subject
è used for example in the scene in which the photographer takes a picture of one student in the corridor

2)    Plant
they are strategically distributed on the shooting set to cover also isolated characters
è when the girl runs to the library and passes the photographer we can still hear their dialogue

3)    Lavalieres
are small mics worn on the body
è they could have used it for a variety of characters in the film

4)    Radio mic/ Wireless Lavs
these are lavalieres working with radio signal and therefore without wires
è same as above, the could have used it in various scenes

 

Elements of the Soundtrack

1)    Narration
many films have a narrator figure who provides explanations
è in this particular film there is no presence of a narrator

 

2)    Music
music adds sense and emotions to the visual; it tells the audience what kind of feelings they are supposed to have; different music selection impacts strongly on the sense of the scene and can change a terrifying scene into a comedy scene
è when the two boys walk through the school and shoot people the music is adapted to the visual as there’s a usage of heavy, scaring and horrific sound to transmit a dark, sad and shocking mood to the audience

There are extraneous and practical sources of music in the film:
extraneous: to accompany the scene of shooting with right music
practical: when the two boys watch the film of Hitler, the tv is the practical source of sound

 

3)    Sound Effects
is the sound in the background that naturally occurs that objects and people produce; all these sounds are defined as natural;
sound effects are either “frame-accurate” (“hard”)
è when the boys shot persons, the visual was perfectly synchronized with the noise of the shot
or “wild” (“soft”)
è
when people got shot that where not in the camera view, their screaming was just there, it didn’t have to be synchronized with any visual

They might have used the process of Foley for producing the sound of the footsteps which consists in recording the sound of an artist who mimics the action of the actor on the screen
è there might have been an artist miming with a well-selected pair of boots the walking of the two boys through the school halls during this terror act

 

4)    Dialogues/Speech
The audience wants to hear what the actors say!

There’re 3 cases of dialogues/speeches:
1) the words are spoken by an actor on screen with visible lips
2) the words are spoken by an actor on screen with invisible lips
3) the words are spoken by an actor off screen

and 2 methods of taking dialogue/speech
1) “lipsync”: the process of matching the words with the movement of the lips on screen
2) “wild”: no need for synchronization with an on screen source

The recording of dialogues usually occurs on the set during the shot
— called
“production dialogue”.

Sometimes they record on the set additional lines of dialogue, without cameras rolling to be used later
“wild lines”.

è in our particular film they may have used all these techniques

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6th Assignment

September 16, 2008 at 2:52 am (Uncategorized)

 

In regard to the film “Kill Bill” and the theory of film framing and composition I chose the following scene to comment on:

 

It’s the scene in the very beginning when Beatrix Kiddo (Uma Thurman) and Bill (David Carradine) stand outside of the wedding chapel. In the shot in which Bill talks to Beatrix his face is like a vertical line situated on the left two focal points covering the left third of the picture. Still this shot breaks 2 rules:

  1. the centre of interest is not situated in the middle of the picture – if we imagine 3 vertical lines on the camera his head is in the left third of the shot leaving the other two thirds as space for nothing else than sky
  2. there is not enough Headroom as Bill’s head is nearly cut into half (only face until ears visible)
  3.  

But these BREAKING RULES is combined with considering other rules:

  1. enough Talking Room – as the speaker is in one side of the picture and the direction towards he speaks to Kiddo is an empty space just sky which emphasises the movement of the words he says to her
  2. in this particular scene the Light influences a lot the impact of the shot – black and white colours emphasise their passionate  dialogue and their emotional involvement
  3. the Rule of Thirds is put into action – as Bill’s eyes and mouth are situated on the two left focal points

 

My favourite shot:

When Bill drops Kiddo at Pai Mei for fighting lessons there’s one dialogue when he sits in the car ready to leave and she stands in front of him with her backpacks ready to stay with the priest. It’s lovely because when the camera views her talking the audience can see Bill in the left car mirror. It’s a fantastic use of mirrors to show both who are involve in the dialogue although they stand in opposite to each other.

 

Gladiator does and don’ts:

There’s a nice combination of showing the main actor Maximus (Russel Crowe) framed in the centre of the picture or a little bit to the left and to the right not to be too rigid and predictable and to make Maximus as centre of interest of greater impact.

Another factor is the usage of lines especially vertical lines – when Maximus fights as Gladiator and takes victory and when he opposites himself to the new Caesar he is always shown from down upwards in the middle of the picture to emphasise his victory, his power and his supremacy. His person as vertical line in the middle of the camera puts the audience under him and lets him rise like a statue as a symbol of the victory of justice.

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5th Assignment

September 5, 2008 at 5:09 am (Uncategorized)

Here is the Link to the SCRIPT of WESTWORLD (it is so long that I saw no point putting the whole on the blog)!

Comments:

  • it’s very detailed – I think if I would not know the film I could immagine the scenes easily
  • -> which is the aim of a Script
  • I found the SLUG LINES at the beginning of each scene
  • FIRST PLOT POINT: After the visitors of the holiday resort gota little bit sceptical, the manager of the resort get aware that they don’t have full power of the robots, but they do not shut down the resort because it would cause uncertainty and scepsis among possible clients – economic reasons.
    First evidence: when two main actors sit in the desert and one gets bitten by a snake.
  • SECOND PLOT POINT: one of the main characters get shot by a highly development and technological “super” robot and consequently the other one tries to escape this gunslinger who breaks loose from the restrictions of being a robot in that theme park to wreak vengeance on the humans who have used him – played by the famous actor: Yule Brynner. All the visitors are dead and the managers are closed in their office – technological breakdown of the entire system.
  • Actors: Yule Brynner (gunslinger), Richard Benjamin and James Brolin (visitors, 2 main characters)
  • Director: Michael Crichton
  • Year of Production: 1973
  • found this film very interesting especially considering the year of production – I mean at that time it was a different technological era; because in those years they didn’t have this technological support like nowadays they expressed themselves on other levels of communication: acting, sound, dark&bright, camera following, perspective of filming the personalities, breaks and silence, ecc.
  • I liked the film and I think it’s still watchable cause the arguments treated are topical even today or especially today -> in days in which we rely incredibly much on technology and are in a kind of extrem dependence of it

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4th Assignment

September 5, 2008 at 4:23 am (Uncategorized)

HERE ARE A VIEW LINKS FOR STORYBOARDS!!!

Online Storyboards:

http://www.storyboardslive.com/gallery.htm

Storyboard for Transformer:

http://www.tfw2005.com/boards/tags/storyboard.html

Storyboard Artist of Transformer – Rico Rival:

http://movies.nytimes.com/person/1128406/Rico-Rival/filmography

How to storyboard movies – few Tips:

http://www.exposure.co.uk/eejit/storybd/

http://www.expertvillage.com/video/62115_independent-film-storyboard-two.htm

Storyboard Artist of Jumper – Michael Anthony Jackson

http://movies.nytimes.com/person/885358/Michael-Anthony-Jackson

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3rd Assignment

September 5, 2008 at 3:56 am (Uncategorized)

The film I watched is called „Awake“. The story focuses on a man who suffers “Anesthetic Awareness”, an occurrence where during surgery the patient did not get appropriate anesthetic medication for his body weight and finds himself awake and aware, and paralyzed during heart surgery. The movie plays in a fast-moving city in the United States and it’s about a rich guy named Clay who is engaged secretly to his mother’s secretary called Sam. Their passionate love story is hidden specially from his widow mother because he belongs to a very rich and wealthy family with high-social status. Still the young couple seems perfectly happy in their relationship. As Clay has health problems he goes to Dr. Jack Harper for his health checkup who is a great friend of him and on whom he relies more than on any other expert. Jack had to give him the bad news that he urgently needs heart transplantation. Despite his mother urges Clay to be operated by a specialist in that field, but he strongly believes in his doctor who already had saved his life previously. Clay prepares himself for the day of the operation by spending time with his gorgeous girlfriend. It’s the night before the operation and Sam appears under his house complaining about their relationship being a secret. It’s heavily raining and out of a sudden he asks her to marry him. They get married in the same night.

 

Operation Day! Before he enters the operation theatre his mother tried to make him change his decision and to get operated by an expert because she is not convinced of his friend’s medical ability. After they gave him the anesthesia they began operating and didn’t realize that he is not completely unconscious. His brain was still working although he had no control on his body. He tried to communicate that he is still awake, but he couldn’t. While the operation started he tried to divert on the amazing moments passed with Sam and focus his thoughts on her not to witness the operation itself, but he failed.

 

Plot Point One: Compelled to listen to the doctor’s talks he finds out that a complot is going on against him. Jack who he thought being his friend with his allies injected his new heart with poison to kill him and make it seem as his body rejected the new heart. Another allied member was his newly-married wife. Since from the very beginning the main plan after finding out that he is extremely rich, unmarried and in need of a heart transplantation was to get Dr. Harper trustworthy to him as a doctor, Sam who in fact was in a relationship with Jack getting married to Clay, killing him during this difficult intervention and let it seem like an accident. Consequently Sam would inherit his huge possessions which would be shared by everyone involved in this assault.

 

Clay tried to communicate in any way possible to anyone helping him, but he couldn’t because his body was under anesthesia and just his mind was awake. The story then moved to women waiting outside the operation theatre: his mother and Sam. Clay’s mother had the strange feeling that something was wrong and was heavily under physical stress. Sam told her about the marriage and tried to get accepted by her.

 

Plot Point Two: However his mother uncovered this complot, only too late after Dr. Harper had already injected the new heart with poison and transplanted the ill heart. Still Clay was alive because he was attached to machines that kept him alive for a short period of time. The problem was that there was no supplementary heart available at that particular time due to his rare blood group. Clay’s mother called the expert who she wanted to operate her son to save his son. While waiting for his arrival she decided to kill herself with tablets so that her heart could be used to be transplanted for saving Clay’s life.

 

Successful ending! The specialist saved the Clay’s life by giving him his mother’s heart and called the police to arrest everyone who was in involved in that crime. After the successful transplantation the specialist declared, “He is awake!”

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