Monday, 28 November 2011

A change to the 'typical' conventions

Self-consciousness and anxiety often in characters. Guilt, sexual jealousy and paranoiaoften regarded as promising ingredients in rom-coms. Alfred Hitchcock's version of The 39 Steps may seem like a rip-roaring thriller but it's as close as 1930s British cinema came to the anarchic zest of the Hollywood screwball rom-coms appearing at the same time.

(500) Days Of Summer director Marc Webb has complained about "formulaic"romantic comedies that are trying to "sell a bill of goods."
 (500) Days Of Summer isn't cynical and contrived in that way and the protagonists appear very different. Although it can't escape its own wholesome cheeriness.
(500) Days at least attempts to avoid the gooey sentimentality that often makes modern-day forays into the genre so hard to digest, a love story with layers of irony. Would-be architect Tom Hansen (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) is a romantic, writes syrupy greetings cards. Summer (Zooey Deschanel) is the woman he idolises. He sees her as the woman of his dreams. After all, they both like The Smiths. However, his puppy-dog devotion isn't quite reciprocated.

Jess and I would certainly like to involve some of the quirky lighting and dialogue in to our piece. The characters are also interesting as they are different from others, harder to get to know.

Saturday, 26 November 2011


I quite like the idea of a simple, fresh faced female protagonist and a stranger looking boy, that isn't the traditional 'heart-throb' or vice versa. Two completely contrasting characters, an unimaginable pair-that works!

Cassie and Sid from Skins

Joel and Clementine from Eternal Sunshine Of The Spotless Mind

Unsuitable partners illustrate perhaps a deserved change/break-up for later on in the film. Also helping in setting a miserable and unachieveing tone for the 'stuck' protagonist.

Similar Conventions in less-known 'quirky' trailers

Protagonist:    downbeat
                      low confidence
                      significant facial expressions
                      room for improvement
                      unique- in sense of certain dislikes and habits
                      warm/wrapped up clothing-     enclosed personality
                                                                     basic looking-but pretty
                                                                     bad past experiences

Gentle music and dull background-suits the character and narrative

Lars and the Real Girl Trailer

Garden State Trailer

Monday, 21 November 2011

Iris- The Holiday Monologue

The Holiday
written by Nancy Meyers

Iris: I've found almost everything ever written about love to be true. Shakespeare said "Journeys end in lovers meeting." What an extraordinary thought. Personally, I have not experienced anything remotely close to that, but I am more than willing to believe Shakespeare had. I suppose I think about love more than anyone really should. I am constantly amazed by its sheer power to alter and define our lives. It was Shakespeare who also said "love is blind". Now that is something I know to be true. For some quite inexplicably, love fades; for others love is simply lost. But then of course love can also be found, even if just for the night. And then, there's another kind of love: the cruelest kind. The one that almost kills its victims. It's called unrequited love. Of that I am an expert. Most love stories are about people who fall in love with each other. But what about the rest of us? What about our stories, those of us who fall in love alone? We are the victims of the one sided affair. We are the cursed of the loved ones. We are the unloved ones, the walking wounded. The handicapped without the advantage of a great parking space! Yes, you are looking at one such individual. And I have willingly loved that man for over three miserable years! The absolute worst years of my life! The worst Christmas', the worst Birthday's, New Years Eve's brought in by tears and valium. These years that I have been in love have been the darkest days of my life. All because I've been cursed by being in love with a man who does not and will not love me back. Oh god, just the sight of him! Heart pounding! Throat thickening! Absolutely can't swallow! All the usual symptoms. I understand feeling as small and as insignificant as humanly possible. And how it can actually ache in places you didn't know you had inside you. And it doesn't matter how many new haircuts you get, or gyms you join, or how many glasses of chardonnay you drink with your girlfriends... you still go to bed every night going over every detail and wonder what you did wrong or how you could have misunderstood. And how in the hell for that brief moment you could think that you were that happy. And sometimes you can even convince yourself that he'll see the light and show up at your door. And after all that, however long all that may be, you'll go somewhere new. And you'll meet people who make you feel worthwhile again. And little pieces of your soul will finally come back. And all that fuzzy stuff, those years of your life that you wasted, that will eventually begin to fade.

I think this monologue captures the loneliness and despair so many women can relate to when not in a relationship and 'in love' with someone else.

Film opening brief:

    A ‘relationship’ comedy/drama made by an independent production company, aimed at young adults.
      "In a typical romantic comedy the two lovers tend to be young, likeable, and apparently meant for each other, yet they are kept apart by some complicating circumstance (e.g., class differences, parental interference; a previous girlfriend or boyfriend) until, surmounting all obstacles, they are finally wed. A wedding-bells, fairy-tale-style happy ending is practically mandatory."
      Although, our brief of a 'relationship comedy/drama' would differ from the usual excessively romantic a-lister crammed Hollywood blockbuster. With a much quirkier and realistic feel. Yet the two protagonists will be introduced, and may show a complicating circumstance simliar of a typical 'rom/com'. The Holiday opening captures the sickly sweet romance of a loved-up couple in a comic contrast with the harsh reality of being lonely, and in love with someone who doesn't know you exist:

    Sunday, 6 November 2011


    Shot List:

    1.) Extreme Long Establishing   2.) Low Angle C.U- Rhino   3.) Low Angle C.U- Gazelle   4.) Low Angle M.S- Meerkats   5.) Low Angle M.S- Cheetah   6.) L.S- Birds   7.) Tracking- Flying Birds   8.) High Angle- Birds Over Waterfall   9.) L.S- Elephants   10.) High Angle Slow Tracking- Birds   11.) L.S- Gazelle   12.) Low Angle Tracking- Giraffe    13.) Level Tracking- Giraffe Up Hill   14.) Pan to L.S- The Heard   15.) High Angle C.U- Ants   16.) Low Angle- Birds   17.) Tracking M.S- Zebra   18.) Tracking M.S- Birds On Tusk   19.) Tilted Birds Eye Tracking    20.) High Angle Tracking Zoom- Pride Rock   21.) Zoom to C.U- Mufasa   22.)   High Angle M.S- Zazu   23.) Low Angle Zoom- Mufasa   24.) M.S- Antelope   25.) Low Pan   26.) C.U- Mufasa   27.) Low Tracking- Rafiki   28.) M.S Zoom To Full Length- Mufasa & Rafiki   29.) M.S- Family   30.) C.U Zoom- Simba   31.) Low Angle C.U Zoom- Rafiki   32.) High Angle M.S- Simba   33.) Low Angle C.U- Fruit   34.) Tilt Downwards To C.U- Rafiki   35.) High Angle C.U- Simba   36.) C.U- Dirt   37.) High Angle C.U- Simba   38.) C.U- 2 Lions   39.) High Angle C.U- Simba   40.) M.S- Rafiki   41.) Low Angle L.S- Pride Rock   42.) Slow Zoom To Birds Eye View    43.) Low Angle Zoom Continued   44.) High Angle C.U- Simba Lifted   45.) Low Angle L.S- Simba In Air   46.) Low Angle M.S- Elephants   47.) Low Angle L.S- Rafiki   48.) M.S- Monkey   49.) Low Angle L.S- Rafiki & Simba   50.) C.U Of Feet & Tilt- Zebra   51.) High Angle M.S Pan- Simba's Back   52.) Low Angle L.S Pan- Around Simba   53.) Low Angle- Sky   54.) L.S- Raising Simba   55.) M.S Tracking- Animals   56.) Zoom Out Into Extreme L.S- All Animals & Pride Rock

    How Are Character Types Established?
    Characters can be defined through their positioning in this scene, status plays a huge part in the whole film, and with the characters being on their different levels this can be conveyed. For Example: King Mufasa is of the highest status, therefore stood above Pride Rock. The M.S of the small animals sat on the elephants tusk also represents the close relationships and equality they are surrounded by.

    How Is Location Established?
    The establishing shot of the sun rising revealing a huge open space with just a tree; initially portrays a heavily spatial, non-restricted environment. With the fiery tones and entry of the safari suited animals, it is soon obvious to be a huge savannah, with a strong African inspired feel. 

    How Is The Narrative Constructed?
    There is a feel of anticipation when viewing the different types of animals all on a journey together at the start, from this, the audience become aware that something about to happen is going to involve the huge variety of animals. When Simba is raised, followed by the uproar this creates, there is a celebration. It is clear he is going to make an impact on the feature, and by the status of his family it can become predictable that he will have, if not already, excessive power.

    How Does Opening Reflect Genre Of Film?
    The Animation is noticeable straight away, with the dramatic music and upbeat feel from all of the individual animals shown, a family feel-good feature is created. The expressions and creativity used in the making of the characters makes it apparent that this is aimed at children, and with the inspiring and theatrical feel, it could be a drama with an encouraging moral to tell. 

    Is opening appropriate for a film of this genre?
    It has a huge impact with the different colours, angles, pace and characters used. This would definitely grip any child, and any member of the family, with a climax that creates excitement and drama prematurely. The realism of the gestures given from the animals is great to see from an animation feature, definitely suiting the children/drama genre. 

    How Have Titles Been Used?
    The title is presented at the end of the opening, followed by the build up of the music and is displayed with the last hard hitting beat. The fiery red font suits the environment it is set in, and is very broad and powerful. Although, the red paired with the black background can create a contrasting sinister feel, which could be an indicator for the trials faced later in the feature.

    In Your View Is This An Effective Opening?
    Being 4 minutes long and building anticipation with every second, united with the powerful and undeniably incredible music, this opening sets such a standard for the story. Almost every character is introduced, along with the theme of 'the circle of life' being enhanced by the strong lyrics early on. The atmosphere and setting can only make you feel optimistic and energized.