Friday, 11 December 2009

Just a word and a video

It's been a while since I posted as I have been away on a course and have had a lot of work to do so have been unable to progress with the course for a short while. However I recently saw the video I will embed below (not for the first time), and it really struck me as a good video to talk about here.

This music video I thought was a good example of a short video, as a lot of music videos are trying to tell a story in a short piece of time. The music may not be to everyone's taste, but this is a very clever video in my opinion. Slipknot (the band featured) are known for wearing masks the whole time, so you never get to see their faces, or indeed who they really are. This video is quite teasing in that respect, because here you get clues as to who they are, the masks are there, but they aren't wearing them.

The video itself focuses on little details about each band member and the song. It has such a crisp punchy colour, against the bright background, and the shallow depth of field, really focuses attention on the feature that the video is showing, and although we never get a clear shot of anyone, we really do get a reasonable idea of the members of the band, and the energy within the song by the pace at which cuts to a different shot are used. Overall I think this is a cleverly constructed music video, and something I hope to draw inspiration from in my work

Tuesday, 3 November 2009

Project 3: The feel of a frame (part 2)

Coming back to my short video, the alcoholic, I will reflect on it's positives and negatives here. I feel overall it was fairly successful, but there are a few things I could have improved.

Firstly I feel that the weakest part of the sequence is the cutting to the panicked looking after the bottle cap had dropped. I think this does not fit quite right into the sequence. I wanted a dramatic sudden cut to give the impression of panic, but think it doesn't fit with the objective viewpoint, as it gives the impression it's cutting to another viewpoint. If I had cut to the shot slightly earlier, so I was still looking at the bottle, it may well have worked better, rather than cutting when the noise was heard. I also think that I got the framing slightly wrong in the last cut, as the shot is from a different angle to the previous frame.

However I feel the close up frames add a bit of drama, and really focus the viewers attention, on something that is important to the story, ie the pouring of the wine, the shaking hand, everything that is trying to give the impression of an alcoholic. The wide scenes were good at portraying the sudden change to the awareness of the entire room and I think this was a good choice for those scenes.

 If I were to shoot it again, I would see how a continuous sequence would work, without any cuts, as I think this might work much better from the objective viewpoint, whereas this sequence feels a bit of a mix. I would probably still move between close up frames, and wide frames, but would see how it would work with zooms rather than cuts.

Monday, 26 October 2009

Project 3: The feel of a frame

The next exercise was to come up with a short sequence showing the scene described. This scene was:

You are an alcoholic alone in your home

- You look around the empty room
- Nothing interests you
- You notice a bottle
- You hold the bottle and unscrew the lid
- Something attracts your attention, you look round
- Nothing happens
- You look back at the bottle and pour yourself a drink

Below is the storyboard I devised for this sequence above, and below that, the actual scene itself. You can watch in HD by clicking the HD button, but I would only do this full screen, as the video is too small embedded to notice a difference. I invite comments on the video, and will add my own comments as guided by the exercise in one or two days time.

Thursday, 22 October 2009

Research: Framing

In line with the research suggestion in the course I have decided to find some powerful emotive frames. For this, as it is from a different discipline to this course, I have decided to use my own photographs as examples of framing, and critically assess these.

The first image is a very tranquil shot. In this I think the line leading into the scene of tranquillity provided by the posts really helps draw the eye through the frame, and into the nothingness. The shot is very wide to give a summary of the scene, and really let the scene be the powerful element in the frame.

This shot above again contains a very powerful scene, but in a different sense this time, with a lot of drama, and threat. The person in the frame is very small with regards to the frame as a whole, suggesting her insignificance when confronted by the stormy scene, and really adding to the drama in the scene. Also by having her very central in the frame, but just off center is creating a feeling of discord, and helping to add to the tension.

The last shot is a very tight crop on a face, with a shallow depth of field. This instantly identifies her as an important person within the frame. It draws us in to her. The framing with thirds as well is very easy on the eye, and we feel very comfortable. There is no drama, but a very powerful connection with this person in the scene, and would be useful in a romantic sense in a film, or just generally for an important character to the plot, or just the scene.

Wednesday, 21 October 2009

Project 2: Function of a frame (subjective viewpoint)

Above are my three situations from the subjective viewpoint. Click on the image to view it larger. I have included basic annotations as there was not space for more, so I will expand below.

Knocking on door - In the first frame very little is visible, just the small area of the door where we are knocking, however once knocking, to pass time, we suddenly become aware of the scene as a whole, and when we go back to the door once it is opened, we are now a bit more aware of our surroundings. A third person viewpoint would not have the switch in view, and would probably be a far more standard scene, whereas from the first person, there is a bit more drama added

Shopkeeper - The background is out of focus so to speak, we are aware of its existence, but not of details as the animated shopkeeper is grabbing our attention. A third person viewpoint would probably be aware of the scene as a whole and lose the drama of the shopkeeper

Illicit Affair - Here in the first scene we are only aware of our partner. A close up of her face while we talk passionately, but as soon as a noise is heard, the attention snaps, and the scene instantly opens up and we become aware of everything behind us. If this was an objective viewpoint the scene would already be fairly open and we'd be aware of more, and there would be less tension in the sudden switch of viewpoint with the noise heard.

The Subjective viewpoint is very good at portraying tension, and suspense in a sequence. This is achieved through the narrow viewpoint that can be achieved, with a lot of the scene out of shot, until we require it. It only shows us what the person in the scene sees, so if something is suddenly revealed to our subject, we don't find out until they do, hence we don't know what is coming, allowing for that sudden surprise. It connects us with the feelings of the subject, as we are effectively in the scene with them. The Illicit affair works very well with this viewpoint, as the sudden change of viewpoint really adds drama to the scene, and this would be lost somewhat from an objective viewpoint (though filmed from the right viewpoint could still be done fairly convincingly).

Monday, 19 October 2009

Project 2: Function of a frame

For this project I came across this painting by Renoir that has a group of people in it and I thought it would be ideal for picking smaller frames out.

My first frame below shows a man looking out across the dance floor, admiring the particular woman of his interest.

He plucks up the courage to talk to the lady that he was admiring and her friend, both of whom look charmed by him

The lady agrees to the offer of the dance, and there is a romantic ending as the two share a close dance.

Thursday, 1 October 2009

Project1:Frames in a film (part 2)

Above is my "own story" for the last part of this project. It is a rather short scene based around golf. Having looked long and hard for examples of other students work, and not finding any, I decided I would scrutinise the work above with the questions in part 2 of the exercise. I feel the simple story that I have chose has made it rather easy to show in the 5 frames, and I actually feel I could have done it in 4 frames, with frames 2 and 3 probably being able to be included in one. The story I think is fairly easy to understand (though comments would be nice as to how easy it was) but the simple idea was a golfer putting the ball, and falling short of the hole, then decides to kick the ball in and hope no one was watching (which they were).

Wednesday, 26 August 2009

Project 1:Frames in a Film

For this project I decided to tell the story of the boy who cried wolf in 5 frames, shown below. I hope the scan is good enough quality for you to depict the story. You can see I'm not the greatest artist in the world. Comments would be appreciated as to how succesful the frames are and where I could improve.