Tuesday, 19 September 2017

Continuity Task Evaluation

The story of the video

In our video, two people, both distracted, walk around a corner and collide with each other. The collision causes one of them to drop his phone, which lands on the floor and breaks. He picks it up and blames the other person for the accident.

How was narrative flow created?

We created narrative flow by matching the position and movement of the characters between consecutive shots. For example, when the camera cuts to another shot at 0:08, the positions of the characters are kept the same, in order to make the transition smoother. Another instance of preserving continuity was the dropping of the phone. In the shot where the two characters collide, the phone can be heard hitting the floor. In the next shot, the phone has already landed on the ground, avoiding the continuity error that would have been present if it had been shown landing again.

Did you achieve full continuity? If not, why not?

Although we came close, we did not achieve full continuity. At the end of shot 1, Abbie's character is between the double doors - but when it cuts to shot 2 for about 3 seconds and then cuts back, she is still in the same location. This could be explained as shot 1 and shot 2 taking place at the same time rather than one after the other, but in terms of narrative flow, it would have been effective to show the passage of time on Abbie's side even when her character is not in shot.

In hindsight, what would you have done differently to improve the narrative flow of your video and tell your story more effectively?

We could have improved the video by omitting the sound of the phone hitting the ground and instead showing its impact on the ground in shot 5. Showing the phone hitting the ground would have been an effective shot, as it would have shown the continuation of the dropping movement, and would then lead into shot 6 when the person picks it up, maintaining the narrative flow. This was our original plan, but once the phone was heard hitting the ground in shot 4, it would have disrupted the narrative flow if it were to be shown hitting the ground again.

Trailer Analysis - Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them - Released in United Kingdom on 18th November 2016

Audience Appeal
  • The hidden magical world in New York is heavily featured in the trailer, since the audience would find this appealing through the escapism it provides from the audience's normal lives
  • The inter-title "J.K. Rowling invites you" uses the famous name of the writer to remind the audience of previous successes - namely, the 'Harry Potter' franchise
  • Action/chase scenes are shown in the climax of the trailer - they make the film look exciting and engage the audience
  • POV shot at 1:25 deliberately included to hide the cause of destruction - mystery element as to what this thing that no human could match is.
  • Short comedy scene at the end of the trailer - tells audience that the film still has its comedic moments despite the fact that "no human could do what this thing is capable of."

Genre Signifiers

The audience is made aware of the film's fantasy genre through:
  • The use of wands/magic CGI throughout the trailer
  • And also CGI animals, e.g. mole-like creature at about 1:28
  • The lighting and colour grading are quite warm rather than being desaturated like an action film would be
  • Settings that do not exist in the real world, e.g. large, ornate room at 1:02
  • Majestic-sounding music to accompany the visuals, connotes fantasy

Character and Representation
  • First dialogue heard tells us the name of the main character, as well as a shot of him from above
  • He is definitely the main character as he is the subject of the opening dialogue, as well as being shown the most
  • He arrives by boat, on his "first trip to America". We know from his accent that he is from England
  • He was kicked out of school, although it is suggested that this was not justified as a teacher "argued strongly against his expulsion". So we don't think any less of the main character despite the fact that this has occurred.
  • He is clearly part of the magical world that the film presents, as he changes the contents of a suitcase before its examination
  • Another main character seen at 0:24, who is clearly one of the main characters due to the way she is centered in the frame
  • The person speaking at the beginning's suggestion that there is "more to [Newt Scamander] than meets the eye" is reinforced by the fact that we don't see Newt's face clearly until 0:29.

  • Warner Brothers logo at beginning of trailer
  • The film logo appears at the end of the trailer, so that the audience knows which film they have just watched a trailer for.
  • At 1:18 and 1:37, the Harry Potter theme tune is included in the music, which brands this film as being part of the pre-existing universe

Thursday, 14 September 2017

Reflections on shot

The shot signifies the mystery or horror genre by having a person look around a corner at something unknown, which increases the sense of mystery that the audience will understand from the image, as the audience know it is a convention of the genre. The area behind the subject is in shadow, another convention that makes the picture mysterious, as settings in shadow can connote that something is dangerous, abandoned, or suspicious.

To achieve the effect, we went to the back of the Great Hall balcony and used a corridor that is always dark, which was what we wanted to successfully show a mysterious setting to fit our idea. We also had a handheld light to illuminate the subject’s face from one side, to make the lighting look more dramatic and add to the contrast between the dark inside and the bright outside.
We wanted the audience to interpret the still as having a threat nearby, at some point in the narrative where the protagonist does not want to be discovered. The still does not fully give the scenario away, as you cannot see what the person sees, so the audience is kept in suspense.

The shot successfully uses a contrast in lighting between the bright foreground and the dark background, which emphasises the darkness of the background against the light. The shot is also framed within its frame, as the two white walls create a vertical letterbox effect. This makes the protagonist seem to be in a claustrophobic environment, as our view of them is restricted by the two walls in the foreground. The shot is taken from a low angle, which served to make the shot more interesting rather than to connote power of the character, which was not our intention. The medium shot worked well, as seeing the character’s legs is not necessary and the viewer’s attention is instead directed to the upper body, head and hands.

In hindsight, it could have been better if the subject were in the centre of the image, since the photograph currently has much more of the white wall on the left than it needs. A canted angle could have been employed to make the still more dramatic, especially to connote the movement of the person who has just looked around the corner.