In this section of my research, I will look into other existing films and what I can learn from them to make my film more successful.
Short Films & Film Clips
Most Shocking Second a Day Video.’ – Save the Children
This is an advert created by save the children to show children in war and poverty. It flips the story over so it is in the perspective of a child in the UK. Although war doesn’t affect the UK, this is a very powerful. This film is my main inspiration for my final film.
A reason why this film is so effective is that the main focus of the film is a child. This works so well because it hits a protective instinct that most people have, especially women. It shows the girl in danger which makes people feel protective and want to help her. This works for a charity advert because it gets people to think about how children are in danger. The shots also add to this effect. She is the main focus in every single shot by being in the centre. This gives the effect that it’s her world and she is the focus of it as everything is happening around her.
Another reason why this advert is so effective is the first and the last shot. They mirror each other, showing her life before and after the problems in the country. This is effective because it shows the dramatic change within a year. It shows the sacrifice and the life style change she’s gone through.
Thirdly, this film is also effective because of the reality swap with it being set in the UK. This completely flips the situation and makes it closer to home. By doing this, the audience feels more attached to the character and empathize with the character easier. I want to use this idea in my film. By setting my film in the UK, it would make people empathise with the people it’s happening to more.
Another technique they’ve used is putting the news details of the story in the background. For example in the shot below. The dad is reading a newspaper in the back of the shot with ‘Government Declares Martial Law’ on. They’ve put it in the background because the child is most likely not going to understand what’s going on, but she knows something that’s happening. I want to use this technique in my film. I don’t want to put the reasons why the war is happening right in the front of the shot, but in the background. It shows that a lot of people, especially children, don’t know the reason but know the consequences.
‘Family Life’ – By HESCHLE
This film is showing a mans family and what they do together. The point of the film is to show people what his family are like. I looked into this film because I want my film to revolve around a family. Looking at how other people film families is important as it can make my film more realistic.
Something I like about this film is the blur that is put on most the shots. This gives it a ‘dream like’ feeling to the film. He could of done this in after effects by putting a blur filter on. He’s done this because it gives a more relaxed and calming feel to the audience. However, I don’t think I could use this technique in my film. I want my film to be realistic and like the audience is their. I don’t think this effects does that. However, if I was going to have a sequence in my film with this effect it could be on a dream or a character being overly tired part of the film.
Another part of the film that I really liked was the light coming from the windows. I think this shot is really effective because the light drowns out the details of the room, leaving the children, especially the young boy, in a slight silhouette. He’s done this by turning the ISO up as well as the aperture. A lot of filmmakers wouldn’t like this in their films as it makes the light the main focus of the shot. However, I think it’s effective in this film because it creates a dreamy effect, just like the last shot I analysed. I could use this in my film when the two children are coming out of the van. This could work well because it could show that they haven’t seen proper daylight for a long time, and when the doors open they are flooded by it and the light overwhelms them.
I also think that the way that he’s made every detail on the families face show up is really effective. I think this is a good effect for this film because it makes the footage more real by shoeing the people for who they really are. Normally with DSLRs, it gives a more air brushed effect on people. However, he’s made the settings on the camera so the footage is more crisp and that you can see all the lines, freckles, spots and any other details on the peoples faces. I think I could use this technique because it could make the story feel more realistic, as the people look more realistic.
I also really like the use of blue colour palettes. I think I would like to use these sort of colours in my final film as they are cold but discrete. For my film, I would be using cold colours to represent negative emotions. But the filmmaker who made this film used them to create a more realistic and natural film.
‘Political Asylum’ – By Avant-Garde Pictures
This is a short film on YouTube that won an award. The character runs from the police to find the Italian embassy. I looked into the film as it’s meant to be a strong politically film, even though it is low budget and not the best filming.
A part of this film that I thought was successful was the Foley. The use of the ambulance/police siren noise and helicopter noise made it feel like they were there, when actually they didn’t show it. It gave the effect like they were behind or somewhere in the scene but not in shot. I think I should use this in my film because I would find it hard to find emergency service cars for my film. But if I just use the sound effect, it’s like they are actually there. I could use this as well for gun fires, loud bangs, large crowds or a car moving.
I also think a lot of the camera work is successful. The use of steady cam adds to this film as it gives the sense that the audience is following him from behind. Also, it gives the effect that the audience is actually there. I would like to use steady cam in my film because I think it would help the audience submerge in the film, and feel like it’s going on around them. However, steady cam isn’t my strongest part of filmmaking so I would have to practice a lot or get someone else to do it whilst I direct.
‘1984’ – Movie Clip – Your Kind is Extinct
This clip is from a film called 1984. The film is based on a book which was published in 1949, the book set in 1984 40 years a the book was wrote. The book/film is about a future where everyone lives under the rule of ‘Big Brother’ who watches everything. In this future there is a war going on, and breaking any of Big Brothers rules, including thought crime, is charged with treason. I watched this film over a year ago and it was one of the films that inspired me to make more political films. This clip shows when the main character Winston is imprisoned for thought crime.
I looked into this scene because of the costume and character design. In this scene, he’s been in his cell for a long time without eating and being tortured. Although I’m not creating this scene, I want to give the effect that the people have been trapped in the van for a long time. This means I would have to give the effect that they were skinnier. With this scene, they do this. They’ve created the effect that he has lost lots of weight and that he is in a lot of pain. This is done by John Hurts excellent acting as well.
‘ReMoved’ – Nathanael Matanick
This short film is about a young girl who is put into foster families and is constantly moving. I looked into this film because the theme of the film centers around home, which is also the theme of my fmp. It’s a twist on the theme home, showing that she hasn’t got one. That’s also the idea I was going for.
This film has used the use of children to get audience to emphasis with the girl and the story more. I think this is a very cleaver way of getting the audience to be engaged with the storyline and remember it more. If it was an adult speaking the voice over or as the main focus, it wouldn’t work as well because for one, the general story of adoption only really effects children; and 2, audiences don’t empathise with adults as much. They’ve chose a very ‘cute’ child which makes audiences connect and feel sorry for her more. She also looks at the audience a lot (screen shot below). This makes the audience feel uncomfortable because she is looking right at you.
In the start of the film, the girl appears to have bruises and is very pale. This is the sort of look I would like to achieve with some of my characters. I am going to look into how I can make this effect.
Another thing I like about the film is the lighting. They use a lot of contrast shots within the film. The shots with her reliving or in bad memories, they use dark lighting with lots of shadows. On the other hand, when there are happy memories or happy moment, there is a lot of light. This creates more of an atmosphere within the film, showing her feelings. I think I could use this in my film, showing the contrast between her life before and after the fostering.
Colour Palettes and Correction
With my film I want to use colour palettes. It is important that I look into them and how to make them effectively. In my last film I made, I looked into colour and how it can have an effect on the final film. (https://wordpress.com/posts/izzyfilm.wordpress.com?s=colour)
I wanted to look more into using colour pallets and seeing how it could make more film more consistent. The book ‘Film Art – An Introduction – Fifth Edition’, by David Bordwell and Kristin Thompson reads
“Filmmakers have long considered color to be an important aspect of mise-en-scene, capable of furnishing motifs that will develop across the film. Believing that colour evokes definite emotions, Rouben Mamoulain claimed that the director must develop ‘a complete chromatic palette for the film.'”
– Page 208
I completely agree with this quote, I think that colour is very influential in film and get set a tone and atmosphere. A scene could be shot exactly the same in every way, but with different colour tones and it would create a completely different scene. As a director or filmmaker it is very important to know what colours can be used to set certain tones to make audiences feel different ways. This also confirms the research I found during my Wes Anderson project. I want to make sure I use colours that are all relevant to the emotions I want my audience to feel.
Conclusion of Research
What I found
I have found that lighting could be an important part of my filming. I could use lights to show certain moods and atmospheres. I could also use shadows and outlines of people. I could use this idea in my films by showing people from the army as shadows instead of on screen people. This could be effective as it shows they are like a darker presence, especially in the mind of a child.
I have also found that when filming, I want to see all the details of the peoples face. I think this will make it more realistic and ‘gritty’.
Furthermore I need to look into special effects, especially make up. I already have a keen interest in special effects makeup, but I look more into fake bruises, cuts and how to make someone look skinnier and more fragile.