Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Short Film Commentary

Section 1
The first step of our project was writing and creating a treatment. I made one although it is not the one we used. Then we revised the one we did use together and finally at home I edited it a bit and we moved on to the script. Andrew did the script and once we revised that I did the 2-column script. At the same time we were working on the location diagram as well. Once we completed that along with our time schedule we started filming. All of us had an equal input in the filming. After we shot all of our footage Andrew edited the film and I created the titles, credits, got audio, and made the poster for the project. But before I considered something to be done I made sure that my group members agreed upon my ideas and choices so that we could have a unified final film.






Section 2

The actors that were chosen for our project were adequate. There weren’t any moments in which acting was a huge deal since we chose to show the audience what’s happening versus telling them and I think it worked out well that way. Also since we were our own actors we knew exactly what to do and what it should look like. The actors weren’t completely able to portray the roles in a completely believable manner because I myself tend to smile a lot and can be seen in certain scenes. But we didn’t focus on acting just on the overall story as well as the production value. Each actor does have his or her own characterization to themselves and this can be seen very clearly. All characters look differently and have no similarities and this is so that the audience doesn’t get confused on who is who in the film. Also this way it is known that in addition to separate appearances, the characters have separate characterization.

The actors don’t necessarily show emotion, but they’re dialogue reveals how they feel and so the acting is unnecessary to the overall plot. We don’t necessarily care what happens to the actors, instead we care what happens to the story and how that happens. Honestly I feel that we were just acting out our roles because we haven’t been trained to be actors yet. The gestures performed by the actors are meaningful and are a means to convey the emotion of the actors for example when I slammed down a paper in front of the ex-girlfriend it shows that I am frustrated and serious about what I’m doing. The dialogue spoken is very clear and we even did voice overs when the dialogue didn’t come out perfectly to better the sound quality. The acting remained constant throughout the film which facilitated in smooth editing.

The lines are constantly in character which allows a constant and clear characterization of each character. Every line has meaning and no line is wasted. The lines are all separate from each other and the actors cannot say another actor’s lines because each line gives each character their own characterization. The dialogue is necessary when showing something is just impossible. We did limit dialogue as much as possible and by doing so we got rid of minor characters and stuck to characterizing only the major characters. The plot remains consistent and opens clearly and ends clearly and accordingly which allows for clear story-telling. The film does meet the Film Noir requirements and our film conveys the theme of greed and sin since the character Brent kills, sins, just so that he can greedily acquire a lead role which he didn’t deserve.

The wardrobe is accurate to our time period and this is done to show how even now the themes of greed and sin apply to people. The wardrobe remains consistent as well and allows for continuity and we wore mainly dark colors to convey a dark movie. We did not use any make-up to show all of our flaws fully since no one is perfect.
Music and Effects
The music is appropriate to the film and it adds mood to the film. The volume levels remain the same throughout the film so that at no sudden moment does it turn from very low volume to extremely high and loud. This make it so the audience can always clearly hear the dialogue and at the same time their ears wont be sore. The background music is never irrelevant to the story and it holds constant continuity. The pace and beat of the music is appropriate to the story and its content. The music never interferes or competes with the dialogue they always remain constant and the dialogue is always louder than the music.
Staging, Props and Mis En Scene

The set designs are appropriate to the time period and they are appropriate to the story. We tended to stray away from bright lights and we filmed during cloudy and gloomy days to add mood to our films. The set designs allow for easy lighting and give clear sound and audio. The set supports the actors since the set guides the audience’s eyes to look at the actors versus something miscellaneous. The sets are all different which allows for clear continuity and timing in the story. Every prop is appropriate to the time period. Examples are cell phones and computers.

The lighting remains appropriate and constant throughout and the light never interferes with the video. There is sufficient lighting so that the audience can clearly make out what the camera is looking at. All unwanted shadows are controlled and removed. The lighting is always appropriate to the time of day.

Titles and Credits
The type styles are appropriate to the film. All of the titles and credits are legible and can be easily read. None of the titles nor subtitles interfere with the film.

Camera Operations
Each shot follows the rules of composition and the reason for this is for continuity of course. Every camera movement is accurately done for the plot and they aren’t choppy nor perfectly steady but the shots look good. We zoomed to reveal certain shots more clearly for example the shots of the missing person sign were first seen from a unclear angle and we zoomed in to reveal who was missing. The camera movement seems natural and rarely is any shot shaky and if it is then it would be unnoticeable so the movements do not draw attention to themselves. We all chose which shots to use and we shot shots several times to get the best one with the fewest mistakes so unnecessary and jerky camera shots are minimized.

We did voice overs for our project to get the best possible sound but when we did use the mics we placed them so that clear and loud dialogue could be heard. There aren’t noticeable sound differences because our background music was adjusted to be on level with the dialogue. The dialogue however would always be louder than the background music and they would change sound levels but the sound adjustments aren’t noticeable. All audio is clear. The excess audio was controlled which is why we used either sound effects or voice overs to get the correct sounding audio. The looped segments seem natural and are unnoticed.
All cuts are consistent and we use match action cutting for continuous continuity. Consistent visual perspectives are used and we never change a set nor the way that our characters are standing so that the audience doesn’t think someone suddenly teleported or that somehow an object magically disappeared. When major shots shift we use titles to tell the audience what is happening. The shots do reveal everything necessary for the audience to see so that they can know everything that is happening so the audience Is constantly seeing what they want and need to see. The shots do constitute logical visual statements. Every edit has been made so that only necessary shots are seen and this allows for easy story telling as well as a better overall project with little to no excess shots. Yes both technical and general continuity jump shots have been avoided. The editing is smooth and fluid which makes it seem that the entire story was shot at one constant moment in time. All unnecessary scenes have been removed, but those unnecessary scenes were usually scenes when the acting was bad or when the actor moved so continuity would be ruined. Most scenes take enough time for the audience to see what is happening clearly but I do feel that certain scenes may have been too short and create an unclear grasp for the audience. That may or may not be true however.

Story Analysis
The story tells itself through dialogue and action. The implied narrators are the characters in the film. There aren’t any spectators in our film every character has meaning in being in the film. The only knowledge we provide is common knowledge such as how we know that humans can be greedy and selfish creatures, but there are some decent and even great people too. The film follows chronological order. It is realistic. The genre is Film Noir the evolution is the modernization of the time period the film occurs. Technology is in the film which shows the time period. The film talks about how humans will do anything to get what they want and that is a basic human trait which although people may do unconsciously, they still do. The dialogue is plain and direct and it merely advances the plot when actions can’t be performed. The characters are well characterized so we know exactly why they do what they do. The movie does not contain any symbols, motifs, nor metaphors. This movie is told from John’s point of view since the camera follows wherever he goes. The narrator’s rapport with his audience is that he wants his audience to care about the main character and to feel as if they are the character and to see what they would do in his given situation.
The movie may take the murders a little bit too far, but I feel that the overall message of how people will do anything to get what they want is right on target and its very direct. We can identify that John is the good guy since what he wants is justice, and Brent is the bad guy since he kills to get what he wants. The stars embody the values and if they didn't I think it be a little bit contradictory to the film and its message. All of the edits, wardrobes, and dialect relate to the ideology of the film and they don't dilute the film. The protagonist isnt necessarily a spokesperson because they get murdered rather the film maker wants to show the audience how people are and we want the audience to be disgusted with this human trait of greed. There are no real or concrete cultural values in the film or at least none that we intended on putting into the film. Women are portrayed as running things and only caring about themselves. They are femme fatales and only they matter. The movie does adhere to the genres usual conventions. The tone is serious and it reinforces the values of the characters.
Section 3

Film Noir


Our film is Film Noir because our film deals with the themes of greed and evil and harsh world. Brent shows greed in that he wants the lead role for himself and kills just to acquire that role. The harsh world is shown in that no one really cares that Luke is missing. Only John cares and his care costs him his life. Also, our shots deal in low lighted environments and we shot when the sun was done to add to the darkness in Film Noir films. That darkness also contributes to the darkness in the world theme and this is shown since no real harsh lights are produced in our film. Also our main character follows Film Noir styles because in a sense he is a new upcoming detective yearning for the truth and justice. No one really helps him and he is a lone wolf and follows what his head tells him to. He risks his life and confronts a killer and does finally acquire the truth, but the price is his life. Perhaps evil does defeat good since in our film good loses, and Brent will get the lead role now that no one is going to interfere with him. Also, in some shots we used territorial space to show power and importance. When I get punched I look bigger than Brent but as I fall I get smaller and smaller until the camera is looking at the ground, thus Brent is towering over my body. This alludes to my death and fall as a character.


Thursday, November 12, 2009

Script Analysis- Blog Post

1. How does the film start at a dramatic moment in the middle of the drama?
When John sees a missing person sign of his friend; that friend is the same person who's body was seen in the beginning of the movie.

2. What terrific scene will open, and what memorable scene will end the film?
The dead body of the unknown kid will open the film, and the final memorable scene will be when a missing persons sign of John who was knocked out the day before will be posted on campus.
3. What’s my character’s attitude and position in the events?
John is a good cop type main character who is in the wrong places at the wrong time. He searches for the truth but in the end he gets screwed over. He is yet another typical Film Noir character who fights for justice and bends the rules but learns to find out that the world is corrupt and pays for his drive to find justice with his life.

4. How do I introduce my character? If my character isn’t central to the action, what do they witness that is?
We introduce him by showing him in regular class being a normal kid, and as the story develops he develops as a character. The plot revolves around his actions and his actions give him his characterization.

5. How can I help the audience discover what is happening, rather than just telling them everything?
By showing them through action rather than dialogue. Dialogue just intensifies scenes actions give emotion to the scene because everything that we show is what we want the audience to see.

6. How can I reduce things to a minimum, but still have an impact?
By showing only actions since dialogue takes up too much time and by making each action meaningful and relative to the plot.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Chinatown Reflection

1. I think that the questions that i used were very general which let me to dig in to the question and explain the question in great detail. Our definition for the characteristic was very accurate and we discussed it in great and supportable details and facts from the film. The examples of betrayal we found were very concrete and very true so the question of "are you sure that that is betrayal" never arose and it was always "yes yes i see how this particular scene relates to your topic." My connection to film noir was spread out through every slide a little bit, but on one slide i completely dedicated it to explaining what film noir is and how the film demonstrates film noir. My use of key terms was very accurate and it helped to demonstrate how film directors use certain filmic language to convey certain emotions to the audience. By using these key terms accurately i may be able to incorporate them into my next project. With all of this in mind i feel that my group as a hole had several strengths and little faults.

2. I feel that we couldnt really improve much only perhaps clarifying our terms a bit more but it is unnecessary to do so it may be nice. Next time we may make ours a bit more nice looking and give it some eye candy.

3. i think that our presentation allowed me to understand film noir, and then the film allowed me to see examples of film noir and the characteristics that the movies have. overall i think that i can now go out and create a film noir movie accurately however it will take hard work since film noir movies are so demanding of time and they're so detail oriented.

Saturday, October 24, 2009


I. The Man who Became Obsessed with an Average Girl
by Luis Velasquez
II. Film Noir
III. Man meets a woman after he finishes an investigation, and he falls deeply in love her and becomes obsessed with her.
IV. After a man finishes an investigation, he goes to his client’s office and hands the assistant the final document papers. As she takes them he looks into her eyes and notices a slight green speck within her pupil. He recalls his deceased mother whom had the same eyes. He gives her a paper with his number, and the location of a restaurant.

At the restaurant the two people are talking, and once they finish eating he tries to kiss the girl goodbye, however she turns her head and leaves. The man is flabbergasted and as he goes home he takes out a picture of the woman, which he took slyly from her desk earlier.

The following day the man asks the woman out once more and they meet up for some coffee. The man admires the woman’s beauty and he grabs her hand forcefully and gives her a kiss. The woman kisses him back this time, and they return to their home.

As the man wakes up he notices that the girl has left. He calls her and is seen to be speaking rather desperately and the woman hangs up. He paces back and forth, and goes online to view some videos of her on youtube. Although it has been only 3 days, he is already in love with her.

He walks to her home, and when she sees him she runs away. He runs chasing after her, but runs into a car and dies.

At the hospital, the doctor asks her if he has any close relatives, she tells him that she is his sister and she claims his things.

The woman is seen once more with the man’s belongings. She is on vacation with her husband . . .

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Blog: Chinatown

The story tells itself through the dialogue and actions the characters do. Mr. Gittes is the main character and everything that happens in the film somehow relates to his pursuit of knowledge and justice.

The implied narrator is most likely the main character because the story usually revolves around them and the story is told about them. In this film the main character is Mr. Gittes and we follow his journey and adventure to find the truth about the femme fatal and about the city.

The characters help to create separate situations for the main characters and in those situations the characters perform certain actions that give them a certain characterization. Mrs. Cross situation helps to open doors in Mr. Gittes's need to figure out what is happening in his city and why it is being kept so secretly.

We use our knowledge of Film Noir to further understand why the movie is so dark and what we should expect from these movies such as violence, sex, and a sense of insecurity. This knowledge lets us see certain events that are supposed to be coming up and when we see them we will know that they are following Film Noir aspects and then we can analyze htem.

The time is presented realistically and only moves forward. Any detail that has been left out or is already in the past will be provided to the audience through dialogue in which there will be an explanation of what happened. Mr. Gittes is always moving forward, and when he needs to know something that happened in the past it is told in dialogue instead of flashback.

Film Noir is the genre and the film follows most aspects of Film Noir such as dark lighting and symbolism and the suffering world.

The Film says that during this time period, people were often disloyal and people were "two-faced" in the sense that people would pretend to be good people, but they always have dark secrets or they do immoral things. Several people betrayed Mr. Gittes including Mr. Cross, and Mr. Gittes himself betrayed people. This shows that no person is completely honest and everyone has secrets such as Mr. Gittes's secret life and actions in China Town.

The narrative shows that humans are naturally imperfect and they naturally betray others to hide their dark secrets. Because of this, no one person can be trusted.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Blog 1

Short Film Analysis

• The narration is told through the dialogue of the actors. The reason that it was done like this is because the story is about one main character, and the other character’s dialogue relates to the main character’s situation. So, the story tells itself.
• The implied narrator is everyone in the story. This is because everyone in the story has a part in the story and therefore their part is the story.
• There are no spectators in this story.
• The information that we provide is our general interpretation that “Hell” is a place that you don’t want to be at, and that only bad people go there.
• The timeline of this story is mostly based on the present, however there is one moment when a flashback shows why the character is where he is. The form is formalistic because it follows normal formulas in film in which a flashback is used to further explore the backround of the main character.
• If this film had a drama it would most likely be dramatic however I’m not sure if this is true. I believe that the film was made in order to teach its audience a lesson the lesson that every person should be selfless or else they shall be condemned.
• This film shows that now people are very materialistic and no longer can see a value in life. Without that value people don’t deserve to live.
• This film says that humans tend to be selfish and that this is not how we should be. That we should try to give everyone their rights and that no one has the right to take away another persons life for their own selfish reasons.