Abstract Sequence – Take Two

After completing Assignment Three I took my camera for a peaceful time by the lake in a local place of interest. It was very beautiful, you felt very at one with nature and we sat on the bench just enjoying life. I was listening to a beautiful piece on the incompetech website and decided to re do the Abstract Sequence exercise. I hadn’t been pleased with the video for that exercise. With the copyright issues with the music I had resorted to structuring the music around the video and it’s clear when you watch it.

I left it ambiguous as to what the story is but I would be interested to hear anyone’s thoughts. The music is so beautiful I hope I did it justice.

 

Moving Camera

  1. Find about six good examples of moving camera work that alters the feel and/or meaning of a sequence and add them to your blog.

This part of the course has been focused on looking at the effect of moving camera work. Some examples are those such in found footage horror movies, I have never watched any of these but I have seen the trailers, it is more vicious and realistic, the viewer feels like this could be real.

Jeopardy – entire series 

One example was the childrens mystery drama Jeopardy. Following a group of students from a UFO club they go to Australia in search for Extraterrestrial life. As such they find much more than they bargained for. It’s a fantastic series and a huge percentage of it is filmed from the students video cameras. It feels like you are watching something actually taken place. Though distracting at times (and nauseating) the camera movement made the movie, amping up all moments of terror and allowing insight into the characters emotions which they document on their blogs.

Casino Royale – Poisoning Scene

In the scene where James Bond is poisoned, camera movement is employed to excellent effect to replicate the effect the poison is having on his body. As Bond lurches into the bathroom the scene is overexposed, a screaming horror movie synth plays and the camera shakes as it tracks quickly towards him. There is a multitude of angles, he is shot from below, the side, the camera lurches around amping up the drama and pulling back. All of this replicates the effect of the poison. The camera even spins around at one point to create the feeling of disillusion. It has a feel of a horror movie with the distortion generating fear.

Guardians of the Galaxy – Peter Quill loses his mother 

The scene starts with a young boy, Peter Quill sitting in a hospital corridor listening to music to block out the suffering. He is taken to see his mother who is dying. As he walks towards her we see a subjective shot as he walks around the many people who back up to reveal his Mum. She asks him to take her hand but distraught he doesn’t. She pleads more urgently, “Take my hand!”

“Pete, come on.”

But Peter doesn’t. Suddenly her hand goes limp. When he turns to hold her hand he sees she has died. He is carried screaming out of the hospital room, it’s a heart -wrenching scene. Peter stares in horror and the camera does a reverse track down the corridor showing vulnerability, desolation and isolation. His face is twisted in horror. Then he is running out of the hospital and into the night. Shown from above with an aerial shot jumping to a side shot as he runs through the mist. He is suddenly lit up by light and taken by the spaceship. It takes you from a very real scenario to an out of this world scenario in a matter of minutes. It’s quite unexpected (that is for those who aren’t familiar with the comic books)

 

Push – Opening scene 

The scene opens with a synth sound over a black title page. The viewer is hurtled down a long corridor in a tracking shot passing a maid hoovering. The sound of the hoover increases as the camera passes it fading away, creating a feeling like the viewer is hurrying down this corridor. At the end of the corridor a man and boy suddenly walk. A slow motion shot focuses on the alarmed expression of the boy, slow motion shots like this are used to tell the viewer that something important is about to happen. The man glances down. The camera cuts and swaps to a watch on the maids wrist ( indicating the supernatural people, the watchers, though we do not know this at this point. All the viewer knows is that this is important. It feels like a subjective shot as the camera hones in on the watch, the ticking increases before pulling back just like before with the hoover. All the sounds are indicating something is not quite right and generates a feeling of danger and anticipation. The door opens blocking out the sounds. As the father talks to his son there is slight camera movement creating a more natural feel. It is clear this is a goodbye scene. The scene changes to the maid looking anxiously over her shoulder backlit by the blinding white light behind her. There is a succession of rapid shots, her hand retrieving a two-way radio from underneath a pile of towels. She presses a button. She pulls a gun out. An armed soldier walks into view, only a few glimpses of his face are shown. He holds up a gun, the light emitting from it generates a green bokeh. From a colour psychology point of view green usually has connotations of good things but from a negative side is can indicate possessiveness and jealousy. The maid swings around pointing a gun at the door where the father and son are hiding. The camera alternates in focus creating drama. There is a great deal of handheld movement as the soldiers gather in the corridor.

We see the father’s face looking concerned. He waves his hand and with his powers the boy is hurled through the ventilation vent and out into an empty corridor. He quickly runs and hides. The scene swaps to a gun changing focus to the soldiers. A man appears as the moment changes starting as a blurred figure and coming into focus. He has a feeling of importance. He is also wearing a watch. The boy escapes hurtling down the corridor and hiding just in time to see the destruction. Eyes filled with tears he peers through the blinds as the man walks down the corridor blurring into the light.

The more I watched this scene the more things I noticed (hence the length of the review)

Primeval – Mosasaur Scene

The ITV production Primeval is notable for it’s use of moving camera work. Action movies seem to employ it numerously, it serves to amp up drama and hurl the viewer right into the heart of the action. In Primeval the camera swings back and forth, in one episode especially it had the feeling of being on a rollercoaster as you almost feel the effect of motion sickness with the constant jerking, high contrasty graphics and in your face action. In this scene, Connor and Abby find themselves in the water with a Mosasaur, a prehistoric creature that has found it’s way through an Anomaly ( a tear in time) to the 21st century.
The scene begins with an aerial shot which instantly alerts the viewer to the characters vulnerability and hints at the upcoming predicament. As they watch, startled swans lurch across the surface of the lake signifying something has disturbed them. The camera tracks over to Connor focusing on a close up shot. As the Mosasaur appears the camera cranes to give a scale of the creature. As it launches it’s attack the camera lurches back and forth, changing angles to capture the drama.

 

Exercise: Abstract image sequence

Choose a short musical sequence (1 minute max).
Listen to it a number of times. Make a note of the emotions and feelings you experience as you listen and any images or ideas that come into your mind. Don’t worry about trying to create a coherent narrative, just try and record what pops into your mind.

Find images to represent the thoughts, feelings, ideas you have.

Record your images and edit them together. Allow the music to guide the rhythm and pace of your edit.

Upload your finished sequence to your blog and invite people to comment on how they interpret your sequence.

Look at other students’ work.
• What meaning do you take?
• How does the sequence feel?
• How does it accompany or contradict the music? • Are there any images you particularly like? Why?

After leaving it a while, look back at your own sequence and the comments left by others. Do their interpretations agree with yours? Is this what you intended? Where viewers’ understanding differs from yours can you explain why this is?

 

Exercise – Abstract Image Sequence from ChloeClik on Vimeo.

This exercise started off well but I ended up needing to drastically change it due to copyright issues. I did have a lot of fun setting things on fire though. 

One of the songs that always moves me and creates images in my mind is the song Flares from the Script. There is something about it that feels magical, it gives me a feeling of wide spaces, fireflies, lights and a connection between two people. I love the part just before the chorus where the music stops and the focus is on Danny O’ Donoghues voice. It shows the power of stopping the music just for a moment and allow the words and feelings to shine.The beginning piano riff is symbolic of the Script’s music but feels so pure in this. It has an almost intergalactic feel.

As the song was over three minutes long I had to cut and trim, blending the first verse straight into the chorus and then including the final note at the end.

I listened to the song several times and the more I listened to the words the more the meaning changed for me. I decided to make a video about a girl who is worried about her boyfriend but then he writes ending it. She burns all the photos of him and thus the memories. I was originally going to make her  go to a fortune teller and ask if there actually was someone out there for her. But it didn’t fit in the one minute so I decided to leave it despite filming it.

I storyboarded the short film and it was clear I was going to need a photo of the boy. I searched through the free stock on DeviantArt and came across these photos, they were perfect. http://xn3ctz.deviantart.com/art/Cold-City-53969801 I also used a photo of me in Scotland.

IMG_0943cold_city_by_xn3ctz

Then using Photoshop I blended the two images together using PhotoMerge – Compose and adjusted the lighting to match. I was pretty pleased with the result. Only sad I had to then burn them.

Chloe and Lucas

The Shoot

I changed my sister’s name on my phone so the texts looked like they were coming from him. Originally I asked Amber to purely text ‘It’s over’ but she decided to be a bit more creative so I could film my reaction.

Then it was time to set things on fire. I printed off the small photos (making sure they were included earlier in the video) and set a match to them. This was a lot easier said than done as the flame kept blowing out or the sparks hit my bare skin. Eventfully though the match was lit and I held it to the photos. I had written on them messages from Luke and it was quite poignant as it was burn up. I quite like the last shot as the circle of fire burns over Luke.

In the editing I let the music dictate the speed and emotion of the film. I feel it’s quite moving when she answers her phone and as her face falls the music starts “Did you lose what can’t return?”

I was about to upload the sequence when I read Vimeos’s terms and conditions. Not wanting to get into trouble by using copyrighted music I replaced the song with one from iMovie, Half Moon Bay Long. The first notes feel like slow footsteps, or the menacholoy of a broken heart. I cut the music off her to show the importance of the text tone As she reads the text the music is dark thuds like a her mood, the music tempo slows down to allow it to sink in. The match creates it’s own beat and the paper curls up to the beat. It’s not quite as powerful as the original but I think it works well.

 Look at other students’ work.
• What meaning do you take?
• How does the sequence feel?
• How does it accompany or contradict the music? • Are there any images you particularly like? Why?
Ashley Lauryssen.


Ashley filmed a story of a man pining for his lost wife while cutting flowers. He leaves the flowers abandoned and goes to look at some photos (I find it funny how we both recorded a similar thing without seeing the others first) His daughter finds the flowers and takes them to her father. They sit staring at the photos together. It’s very moving and even more powerful so with the choice of music. I love the way it starts following them through the open doorway. The music reinforces the emotions and you feel the mans sadness especially as he walks away. Watching it again, it almost feels with the tracking shot in the first scene that it is the wife watching her husband and the doorway being symbolic for the afterlife. It feels very moving and melancholy and I thought it was very sweet the daughter comforting the father.

 

I was searching through Google and found a video I hadn’t yet seen. It was very powerful and completely different to all the other videos’ I’d seen. The piece of music was violent and dramatic, perfect for a movie score and as it played flickering images of drought, death and destruction were played. I loved how the final beat of each note always ended on the wolfs eyes. Armageddon photos were featured matching the tempo well and ending on a a galactic image.

 

Project 13 – Non-diegetic sound

Research 

Try to find examples of the following

  • Intentional confusion of diegetic and non-diegetic sound
  • Sound that is hard to identify as either diegetic or non-diegetic
  • Music (non-diegetic) used to identify social and cultural references
  • Music and other non-diegetic sound used to create for example atmosphere, tension, emotion
  • Non-diegetic sound that sets the pace of a scene
  • Non-diegetic sound that gives clues or cues to action

Add your findings to your blog

 

I haven’t been well the last week and have really missed the course. However I am feeling better today and looking forward to starting the next project. This exercise is all about sound, non-diegetic and diegetic. Non-Diegetic is sound that is from outside the scene, for instance a musical soundtrack, sounds that give a cartoon feel such as the descending tone to represent someone falling down the stairs. In the sweet movie Moonlight Bay sound was used greatly to illustrate emotions actions and feelings. This effect is also used in silent movies, they would have a pianist in the cinema to improvise on the spot and tell the story through music. This is especially interesting as my Great Grandfather had this exact role. It would be nice to pay tribute to him in the third assignment, perhaps create a score to go along with the scene and have no diegetic sound.

Diegetic however are the sounds that appear during filming, cars going by, birds singing, thrumming crowds. That said this can be filmed separately to the actual scene but is still diegetic as it is still from inside the scene. Some movies focus solely on this, I was watching the Black Stallion and a great deal of the beginning of the movie is diegetic, when the young boy and horse are stranded on an island it gives an empty desolate feeling with only the sounds of the sea and the shifting of the sands.

It’s a powerful tool using music and removing it totally.

Use of music in movies can be used for many things including

  • Creating character
  • Showing emotion
  • Creating atmosphere
  • Setting the scene
  • Informs viewers of location for instance Indian music at a bazzar sets the tone of a movie.
  • Setting the tone
  • Reveals genre

Try to find examples of the following

  • Intentional confusion of diegetic and non-diegetic sound

In the 2016 production of The Jungle Book, the scene when Mowgli meets Kaa is very atmospheric and creepy. Beginning with diegetic sound of water lapping it builds into synth sounds mixed with monkeys calling. It’s unsure whether the rattling is from cicadas or non-diegetic music. Added with the echo of Kaa scintillating voice it’s a powerful and  atmospheric scene. Filled with emotion and trepidation and the blend of diegetic and non-diegetic creates a feeling of the jungle surroundings and amping up the intensity of the scene.

  • Sound that is hard to identify as either diegetic or non-diegetic
  • I can’t find a full clip of this scene though the ending signals what it’s like

In the scene when Milo the bounty hunter is at the racecourse to take his ex wife to jail the moment when she runs there is a clash of fast paced music mixed with the sound of the horse race starting. People cheer, horse’s hooves thrash the ground, the music thumps and whistles blow as she makes her escape. Both diegetic and non-diegetic are mixed together amping up the action and creating a contrast and similarity between the two scenes. This is echoed as the horses are shown running then the two characters as well.

  • Music (non-diegetic) used to identify social and cultural references

All the non-diegetic sounds in Rio all add to the carnival, party feeling that flows throughout the movie in a continuous beat. It captures the sounds and feelings of South America.

In movies like James Bond he visits so many locations music of that culture is often used. It gives a deeper absorption in the movie.

  • Music and other non-diegetic sound used to create for example atmosphere, tension, emotion 

Titanic – the final scene from Johnny on Vimeo.

In Titanic (I couldn’t find the full scene as all have been blocked due to copyright hence that this one has a foreign voice over)  Rose and Jack are struggling for life in the freezing ocean. Time goes by and the number of survivors drop further and further into they are the only ones. A small boat searching for survivors appears and Rose hurriedly tries to waken Jack. But it’s clear he is frozen. There is a quite sound in the background as she gasps his name trying to shake him awake, shivering incessantly. As she realises he has gone though the theme tune, My Heart Will go On starts up. I think that is the moment that makes most people cry, it’s such a haunting tune so powerful and makes the heart break, you feel her sorrow through the music, her pain.

When she is rescued the music is louder and stronger, interesting as the scene changes to the lifeboat searching for them the music is quiet increasing in volume again when Rose is shown. Almost like the music is from inside her and the love she and Jack shared.

  • Non-diegetic sound that sets the pace of a scene

starts at 16:14

I chose this scene from the TV series Teen Wolf. I knew this was a dramatic scene so decided to close my eyes and purely focus on the sound. The jolt from calm country western music to screaming horror movie is sudden and shocking. Footsteps crunch in the silence luring you into a false sense of security (with your eyes closed that is, there’s nothing safe about walking through a mist strewn forest when you know something bad is about to happen) The thud of music when the werewolf appears caused me to jump viciously with shock. Then another and anther, mixed with the deep guttural growl of the wolf blended in with panicking violins screaming, racing footsteps, panting breath, the feeling of being chased. And then the finale as he hurls himself over the fence and into the water surfacing to find no wolf and instead a neighbour staring in shock at him in his swimming pool.

 

  • Non-diegetic sound that gives clues or cues to action

In the movie Pan, the scene when they are escaping in a dangling cable car the music is tense with a feel of horror music as Peter confesses he doesn’t know how to fly. “yesterday was my first time.” They are arguing and panicking then Peter glances up and the music changes to signal he has an idea. It’s suddenly more upbeat and hopeful with the violin. It also has a feeling of tinkling bells conjuring up images of magic and pixie dust. It changes to adventurous music as he clambers onto the top of the cable car, Indiana jones esque switching to signal they are in danger as it lurches to a stop. Suddenly the music stills to only a heavy ticking (like the ticking crocodile) as Peter realises what he must do. Release the pin of the cable car to collapse the structure.The music is gone as he looks down stilling the moment and giving the viewer time to catch their breath. Then there is only the sound of the metal of the pin. The music builds into trepidation and finally as the pin is released they fall to a a burst of dramatic octaves.

 

Conclusion.

It’s a wonderful thing that music can illustrate a scene as well as silence can, when you watch with only your ears you can feel two versions of the same movie. This exercise took quite a while to track down every type of scene suggested and feels a big achievement to have competed it. I’ve learnt a lot about the music and the power it has over a movie and the viewer.

Exercise – Two People Communicating

For this exercise you’ll produce a short sequence in which two people communicate across an off-screen space. Don’t use a wide shot – create the impression of the off-screen space through the composition of the shots containing the individual subjects.

Read the script on the next page. Carefully plan a series of shots (each containing only one of the two characters).

Sketch out each frame. Think about how the size of the frame you choose and the space you place around the characters affects the perception of the off-screen space.

Record your sequence using actors or models. You can add an atmos. soundtrack if you wish.

Compare sequences, look at other students’ sequences and leave comments describing what you understand from them. Read the comments other students have left for you. Did they understand what you had hoped they would?

Look again at your own sequences, those of other students and any other films. Think about the meanings that the framing and composition in each shot can imply. Try to identify examples of the spatial composition contributing to:

• the mood or atmosphere of a shot
• your perception of the relationship between the characters
• your understanding of what is happening or what is going to happen
• your perception of how you as a viewer relate to the characters or action.

Take One 

Exercise – Two People communicating from ChloeClik on Vimeo.

Take Two 

Exercise- Two People Communicating – take two from ChloeClik on Vimeo.

 

Back to filming, I enjoy the research and reading but love to film.

I was given this script

SARAH is seated alone. She is holding some- thing (a book, mobile, or other item) that has her attention. She seems distracted, absorbed by what she holds.

DAN is standing [insert some distance] off across the [insert the location that separates them]. He notices Sarah but looks away.

SARAH looks up for a moment and notices Dan. She reacts with [insert emotion / reaction].

SARAH continues to look at Dan.
DAN becomes aware that Sarah is looking at him. He looks up at her.

SARAH smiles at Dan.
DAN begins to walk towards Sarah.

The story

 For this exercise I kept the drama down but did infuse a little mystery and creepiness into it. The story is of a girl who is in the garden on her phone when suddenly she gets a suspicious text “I know what you did”

Production 

I shot the scene at different parts of the garden though that wasn’t necessary I did so as the sound was marginally different on each side of the garden. On the side I was in, there was the sound of bird song and the fountain whereas on the other side were sounds of traffic. This created contrast between the two to highlight the distance between them.

I shot the scene with myself on a tripod and positioned myself so I was always looking to the right and my actor was looking to the left. This ensured the viewer didn’t get confused in the placing of each character and also showed they were looking directly at each other.

If I hadn’t been working off a script I would have included a shot before to show the man had sent the text or perhaps receive the text message in the third frame.

 

Take Two 

At the time I realised I should have changed the scene so the man didn’t continue texting after sending the text. It was picked up on by fellow student Ashley so I edited the shots. I feel it works much better now.

Other student work.

I am gathering together the videos from other students so will analyse that next.