Friday, 24 September 2010

Our Ancillary Tasks

We have decided that our ancillary tasks will be the poster and the film magazine review. We did not want to create a radio trailer as we felt they are quite uncommon.

Wednesday, 22 September 2010

Short Film Concept

After lots of careful consideration and discussions, we finally came up with a concept for our short film. It is of a drama genre. The main concept of it is: A gentleman called Lucas is at a train station on the way to a job interview. Whilst waiting for a train, he sees a woman called Grace falls over and drops her papers in front of him. He then begins two flash forwards. One where he leaves the woman and walks directly past her to get on his train, gets to the job interview on time, and successfully acquires the job. However, even though he has a luxurious life, lives in a posh mansion, and drives a fast car, it doesn’t mean that he is living a happy life. The second flash forward shows what would happen to him if he helped Grace after her fall. Although he misses the job interview, Grace turns out to be his wife; they get married, buy a house and live a happily together. At the end of both flash forwards he receives a letter. In the first flash forward it states that he has received a promotion at work, and in the second flash forward, it is confirmed that his wife is pregnant. He then comes back to reality and has to make the decision of which life he intends to lead.

So, this is the concept for our film and although it is of a drama based genre, it does have elements of fantasy and mystery to it. This is because Lucas is having these flash forwards, and the fact that it will be left to the audience to decide upon which path of life he will choose.

As we have our concept, we now need to develop our research further. We are going to analyse films of the similar genre to ours, to make sure we include similar conventions in ours. Furthermore, even though we have never seen the film “Sliding Doors”, we were told that our concept was very similar to that film, which is something we shall look in to. We will then need to find our actors, locations and create our storyboard, entailing the specific shots we are going to include, and must keep in mind: lighting, sound, mise-en-scene and continuity, so verisimilitude is obtained at all times.

We think it will be a bit challenging to produce this film, especially as we are filming at a train station, and we will need older actors. However, we believe that it has a good concept, which will hopefully interest the audience and keep them engaged throughout the film.

Analysis of Short Film – Telling Mark

BBC Short Film - Telling Mark -

As we have decided that we are going to create a short film for our A2 coursework, I have analysed the short film: “Telling Mark”. This film is of a drama genre, which is the same genre as the film we are going to create.

In this film, Mark and Carlotta have some news to tell Mark’s workmates, which is that they are having a baby, yet they also have some news to tell Mark, which is that Carlotta is dead and Mark doesn’t realise it. I think the storyline is very effective, and although is not of a detective genre, it includes enigmas as it is not until the end of the film that we realise that Carlotta is actually dead. Therefore, no dialogue is exchanged between Carlotta and Mark’s workmates, and there is no acknowledgement from them that she is there, yet it is not obvious that they are ignoring her either. Therefore, this makes sense at the end, and is a surprise to the audience that she is dead, and Mark is the only one who believes she exists and can see her.

Regarding camera shots, this film includes the usual shot reverse shots, over the shoulder shots, and close ups. The use of high angle and low angles shots are also incorporated within this short film, to connote who the dominant characters are, and those who are not so powerful. The use of zooming in to closer shots also indicates how the storyline is getting more intense, with the fact that secrets/news is being revealed. Towards the end of the film, when Mark and Christina are discussing the events of the car accident, high angle and low angle shots are used, connoting who has the most power, yet when Christina stands up, this reflects how the proxemics between them have changed, as he realises that she is correct with what she has been saying. The use of focus is also employed to emphasise certain characters in particular, reinforcing their importance within the film.

Regarding diegetic sound, it was interesting how no dialogue was exchanged until 1 minute into this short film, so we are making our impressions on these characters by the use of shots and the actions they are carrying out on screen. For example, in the beginning, we see shots of Mark and his wife together in the kitchen, and then a shot of Mark in the living room, hence making us aware of where the action is going to be taking place in this film, and that Mark is the main character. We can tell that Mark and Carlotta have a good relationship from their proxemics. Other diegetic sounds are also included to create verisimilitude, for example the telephone ringing, the mobile phone ringing, the knock at the door and the sound of him being sick.

The use of the non-diegetic music helps to convey a sense of mystery about the film, with the fact that news is about to be revealed, which will be a surprise and a shock for the characters in the film, and also for the audience. Therefore, the use of the non-diegetic music at certain points in this short film, helps to create suspense and tension, thus definitely ensuring that the audience is interested and continues watching to see the outcome. For example, I really liked how the non-diegetic music was used effectively when Mark’s guests were gathered outside the front door, as at that point the non-diegetic music volume increases, connoting how something is going to happen, and creates apprehension, thus making us more aware of what’s happening on screen, and then when Mark opens the door, the non-diegetic music stops abruptly. This same effect is used later on, when Mark is talking about the car accident, and when he stands up and shouts “no”, the non-diegetic music stops, conveying how he did not like what he was hearing.

The lighting changes when Christina sits down in the chair that Carlotta was supposed to be sat in, and this is when Mark realises that Carlotta died in the car accident, as he can hear the voices in his head of what happened on the night of the fatal car accident. The use of the change in lighting is very effective as it conveys that what he is re-living in his head has happened in the past, yet now he has finally realised the truth. Regarding mise-en-scene, the apartment is fully furnished and equipped with what you would expect, thus creating verisimilitude.

The use of parallel action is also integrated within this short film. For example, Mark and his wife are talking about the guests’ arriving, which then cuts to a shot to show his three guests talking.

As it is a short film, we do not have time to get to know the characters well, like we do in a standard length film. So the dialogue and props within the scenes have to give us as much information as possible about the characters. Therefore, the fact that Mark has a scar on his face, helps to make the audience more intrigued into how he got that.

In my opinion, Telling Mark is a poignant and complex storyline, yet is portrayed with simplicity, due to the fact there is not too much dialogue. Moreover, it has mysterious elements to it and the use of different lighting near the end both help to keep the audiences interested.

Ideas for A2

We have decided that for our A2 coursework, we are going to create a short film. As our 2 minute film opening last year was for a child genre, this year we have decided that we want to experiment with creating a film for a different genre, hence with the aim to reach a different intended audience.

At first we decided that we wanted to create a trailer, about a girl who goes missing, as we thought we could include many of the detective conventions within our trailer, for example: enigmas and retardations. However, we then realised that we are going to need to show many different scenes from within our film, which would mean a variety of different characters and settings, and we were worried that we would have difficulty finding suitable actors and locations, thus making our trailer turn out to be not as effective as we would hope. Therefore, we then decided that a short film would be much better, however we still have the dilemma of coming up with an idea that has a good storyline, yet is also appropriate for us to produce.