Friday, 28 January 2011

First Draft of Script...

Various groups of people wearing a set colour of gloves- socialising, eating food (sandwiches, burger etc..), couple holding hands, pupils on phones/texting, typing on a laptop, spudding to greet, makeup being applied etc...
RUPERT (Blue Gloves) and his friends enter a classroom
FIONA (Red Gloves) with her friends are socialising in this classroom doing some work, having a laugh
Rupert is the voice over introducing the way of life for the glove system in society.

This is my school and these are my fellow students. Note how all the groups of friends are wearing the same colour gloves. Your gloves determine who you socialise with, walk with, eat with and even talk to. Society has been divided. You're either blue or red and that's how it is. No-one dares challenge the colour of their gloves or you'd be shamed. This is me, my name is Rupert; eighteen years old, only child, grade-A student and part of the Blues. This is Fiona, the love of my life- she is part of the Reds.

RUPERT and friends sit in the room where Fiona and her friends are.

They draw eye contact- so to display the fact that they are the main two protagonists held back from the likes of their fellow gloves.

FIONA and RUPERT exit classroom in their coloured groups. RUPERT waits round the corner for FIONA and when he sees her he approaches her and is upset by the fact she ignores him.

Why do you always ignore me? I know I'm Blue but you are so cold to me.
You know its not right for us to be together in public; Red and Blues aren't meant for eachother,  but us were different.

RUPERT- Sighs takes Fionas hand and they walk to the bus stop together.

On the bus Rupert Stands and Fiona sits (Only the reds are allowed to sit down). Fiona explains to Rupert how its just too soon to let her friends and family know that they are together.

They get off the bus near to Fiona's house. They walk and talk.

I'm not doing it any more Fiona, I love you and can't bare to be so apart from you, forget what everyone thinks/knows as right lets be together. You either show what we have... or lose me.

Just as Fiona goes to reply she see notices her fellow Reds accross the road entering a shop, she pushes Rupert round a corner- to his humiliation. Quickly says goodbye and runs over before they notice that shes with Rupert (a BLUE-Forbidden and wrong in the eyes of the Reds)
Fiona unaware of how she's left Rupert feeling heads out with her friend's
Rupert is left heading home sad and upset over Fiona's approach to their relationship. 
A mellow and dull score is played over this slow stroll back to his house. 

RUPERT sits at his desk attempting to do some homework, distracted by his thoughts of Fiona and saddened at how his love for her has been taken away by the colour of his gloves he spots a RED felt tip on his desk and attempts to colour in his gloves. This Fails
He tries to pull the treads of the glove to unravel the colour and rip them up. This fails.
He goes in the kitchen and finds his mums dye and pours it in a bowl, he dies them red and leaves them to dry, seeming slightly happier he turns around and sees them BLUE. This attempt also fails. 
He takes his gloves off and puts them in his draw, fed up he lays his head in his hands when he takes his hands away again the gloves appear on his hands. He marches into the kitchen  and dumps the gloves in the bin. He returns to his bedroom. Rupert lays on his bed picks up a book to read. His mum comes in with the gloves. 

Rupert I found your gloves in the bin? You must have misplaced them.

RUPERT snatches the gloves and puts them on.
(This scene will be accompanied by a voice over of Rupert explaining how the gloves are something you have to live with and how many attempts to lose them they will always be a part of you... if people's attitudes changed then maybe gloves will not play such a role in society and people could have what they wanted. He wants Fiona.) 
RUPERT text's Fiona- This is it. Mine tomorrow 9am. Or forget us. love Rupert. x
Switches off the light and goes to sleep.

We see the outside of Rupert's house. 
Footsteps approach the gate. A RED GLOVE presses the door bell

A zoom out slow motion view of Rupert and Fiona in public walking to school together. The gloves  they wear a matching- YELLOW.

Fades out to credits. 

Final draft of Synopsis

In a world determined by the colour of your gloves, colour is everything. It also means heartbreak for eighteen year old Rupert who's in love with a girl of a different colour. Fiona, beautiful, popular and way out of Rupert's reach, wears red gloves. Rupert, on the other hand, a kind-hearted, smart and genuine person is tragically a world apart from Fiona due to the colour of his blue gloves. It is forbidden and unheard of that people of different gloves have relationship and as their love blossoms and becomes increasingly serious they have to ask themselves whether they are prepared to risk their reputations, glove colour and, essentially, their lives for the sake of their relationship. A distraught Rupert tries many failed, desperate attempts at changing the colour of his gloves in order to gain acceptance by the Reds. Fed up and upset, Rupert is tired of hiding and offers her the ultimatum of revealing their relationship to their judgmental critics; their families and fellow glove members or forgetting about their passionate love affair. Will Fiona break the social conventions and throw away her loyalty to her gloves for Rupert?

First Draft of Synopsis

Toby and Amy are both seventeen years old born, raised and living in west London but, despite the similarities they share, they are worlds apart. Amy is from a wealthy upper middle class family living in an affluent area of west London with parent's enforcing a strict and rigid approach to her upbringing. Their high expectations for Amy would be shattered if they knew about her passionate and inseparable relationship with lost soul, African-born Toby. In recent years Toby's life has been a series of incidents with the police, violating his area of White City with his friends executing fear and abandoning his education..all until he met Amy. All of a sudden what seemed of importance to him dramatically changed as he has to start reassessing his values and morals if he wants to keep Amy. That's not the only obstacle he must overcome; Toby's friends have a painful amount of resentment and bitterness towards white, wealthy people like Amy and have great influence over Toby. Will their differences in race, class and company be enough to keep them apart? And will their families and friends be able to accept their desire to be together?

Tuesday, 25 January 2011

Analysis of a Short Film

'Bro' directed by Chris Dundon was an award winning short film that won in the special jury mention, in the international short film festival in Oberhausen in 2010 tells the story of two brothers Simon and Mark during a particular summer holiday. They live alone with their mum who comes across as the typical single working class mother working extra shifts. Mark suffers from fragile x syndrome and Chris Dundon is tackling the real issue many families are faced with especially in the UK of having someone in your family with a disability. This is shown in a realistic way through the hand-held kinetic camera work and documentary style of filming which adds to the realism and reflects the hardships the family are facing everyday looking after Mark. Chris Dundon includes many close up shots of Mark which helps drive the narrative forward as the audience feel the emotions felt by the characters such as when Simon is on the bus with Mark and he wants to move to the back of the bus as he feels he will be judged by the girl he is after the close up used showing the temptation and uncertainty of Simon's position as he knows it is morally wrong to leave his disabled brother sitting along on the bus. 
Social realism is an evident theme in  the film as the real issue of disability is tackled in this 18 minute drama, i think that also the fact their mother is alone and working extra shifts forcing Simon to spend more time looking after Mark is another real issue tackled by Chris because single mothers have an extra pressure on theme to provide for their children and dedicate extra time when one has a disability. The low key lighting of 'bro' with the use of a quite grey, gritty looking scenery adds to the audiences knowledge of the hardships faced by the family. However, as the film progresses the colours start to lighten up when Simon starts coming to terms with his brothers disability and starts to except it after the girl told him that it was alright and the film ends on a high with the two brothers getting ready to go out and play basketball together. The budget of 'bro' would have been minimal as the use of unknown actors shows that the use of this short film would have probably been for personal use for Chris Dundon to self-promote himself in the film industry.

Monday, 24 January 2011

What are the conventions of magazine page layout?

This article is from the magazine "total film" and this magazine is quite a commercial magazine and it promotes the big Hollywood films. As a result of this you would expect a much more working class audience who want to see films as a source of enjoyment and it is because of this reason why the page layout of the article is printed out in a different way to another film magazine such as "sight and sound". At the top of this article we have the section title, which is “Screen”, and underneath it we have quite a big screenshot of a specific scene within the film. The picture gives us a little insight into what the film may look like and what may occur in the film. Underneath the picture you have the headline, which is the title of the film “The Road” and beneath that you have the strap line which is an informal but friendly slogan to introduce the film. Within the text there are 2 columns and there is also a breakout paragraph which highlights an important phrase given within the article. The byline is written after the article and the fact that it is bold shows the reader that either the writer is trying to promote himself or is all ready an established writer. There are also other break out boxes within the article and one of these break out boxes encourages you to see the film if you had liked films such as "The last man on earth 1964".

This article is from the magazine “sight and sound”. “Sight and sound” is a magazine generally seen for people who see film as a piece of art work and these people are usually educated people who are middle aged and from a middle class background. The magazines target audience would there for be for educated people and this is shown through the use of 4 columns within a page. Whereby in the article for “total film” it had 2 columns, here you have 4 columns which shows the reader that this article has a lot of contextual knowledge about the film. At the top of the article you have the section title and underneath it you have the headline. Beneath the headline you have the introduction which gives you an insight towards what the film is about. You also have the byline underneath the introduction which also shows that the writer of the article is recognized. The main picture in the middle is also a clip from the film and there is another picture on the top right hand corner of Andre Techine and underneath this you have his opinion towards the film and this encapsulates another view point of the film.

Friday, 21 January 2011

Designing our Film Poster- Rule of Thirds

When creating the poster for our film it is important to understand compositional techniques that would be effective in making the poster memorable and, essentially, sell the film. The rule of thirds is used in visual arts such as photography, art and design that divides an image into nine equal sections- two equally spaced horizontal lines and two equally spaced vertical lines. The subject of the image or compositional elements should be placed within these intersections or along the line. It is believed that following the rule of thirds is more effective in creating energy and interest to an image and placing the subject/s of the image within the nine sections than just typically centering the subject. The image on the right uses the rule of thirds in photography. I put the grid of two horizontal and vertical lines, creating nine equal sections, on top of the image to show how the rule can be applied to this image. The puppy's body is in alignment with the second horizontal line and the head and lower body are both aligned with the two vertical lines. This makes the photograph more appealing and energetic; if the dog had been simply placed in the centre it would look typical and boring. The image on the right is of the film poster for 'The Holiday' 2006 a romantic comedy directed by Nancy Meyers. The poster abides by the rule of thirds which is evident through the grid applied on top of the poster. Both of Diaz and Law's chins are aligned with the vertical line and Winslet and Black's eyebrows are both aligned with the bottom vertical line. Additionally, the title fits within the middle third very accurately. Furthermore, all the actors are placed along the lines; Winslet and Law are significantly put in the same compositional place on the poster. It is important to understand this concept when designing our film poster in order for it to be a success and look professional.

Monday, 17 January 2011

Analysis of Short film - Flung

This short film directed by Fiona Walton, has an objective narrative structure, we see the lives of two very different characters; a tormented young boy and an alientated old man from the perspective of each character. The film has an open ending; like many short films as there is just not enough time to sum the whole story up to an end, an open ending can also work effectivly by leaving the viewer open to interpretation. The short film is set in a gritty urban part of Wales (presumably where the director is from), this setting along with the editing of the film- the greyish dull hue that has been layered over the filming work to create the style of a social realist film. The camera work is kinetic and it is filmed on an open set, this is because the director would not have a big budget to work with, yet these factors works in favour of the theme as it makes the film look realistic. The old mans appearance is bedraggled and unclean leading us to believe he is part of the underclass in society who is homeless with little left to survive on. The young boy appears to be from a working class background, on his journey back from school he seems angry, yet he calms down in his attempt to gain a reaction from the old man. When all fails and the old man- neglected from society carrys on moving, the young boy tries his best to take his anger out on the man asking him what he's doing and playing with his belongings. Social realism is a British genre, it looks at challenging issues in current society and projects them into a film. This film looks at neglection, the homeless, youth problems and vandelism, which are all problems of British society. Their is no score or sound effects used in the film, to make it as realistic as possible the only sound is diegetic. The titles utilised in the film are at both the beginning and the end on black backgrounds in white writing, however the title of the film is not seperate from the film. It is painted onto a wall in the setting to create the theme of the film. `Flung` is graffitied on a wall this fits in with the issue of vandelism in British society and makes the film seem realistic. The young boy asks the man if he was `Flung` out, this film has an emotional side to it as sympathy passes from one character to another, with the young boy becoming increasingly cruel towards the old man; however it is understandable as the neglected boy is craving attention. I liked this film as it was very basic in its storyline yet it has many hidden messages on the downfall of British society- fitting in with the themes of social realism. The visual effects Fiona Walton created set the scene well along with the titles and narrative structure.

The purpose of the film was to gain attention from bigger film directors, Fiona Walton's film was funded by DigiCult short film scheme with financial backing from Scottish Screen and the UK Film Council. This funding aimed to encourage experimentation and innovation within the digital medium. `Flung` went on to be shown at various festivals and screenings such as; Gulf Fim Festival 2009 and Toronto Film Festival 2008. Fiona Walton won Best Director at the 2008 BAFTA New Talent Scotland.

Friday, 14 January 2011

Potential Themes for our Short Film

Social realism is a genre that is has been established as a British cinematic style. Social realism as a cinematic genre tackles challenging and difficult themes that are depicted in a harsh and often depressing style. Social realistic films contrast greatly with Richard Curtis romantic-comedies, such as 'Notting Hill' 1999 and 'Love Actually' 2003, that gloss over life's struggles through escapism; portraying a blissful and idyllic image of an affluent Britain through the light-hearted dilemmas that the typically British and comical characters face. Social realism contrasts greatly by such a drug abuse, prostitution ('London to Brighton'), illegal immigration and social injustice ('Dirty Pretty Things'), unemployment and economic hardships ('This is England), the difficulties when coming-of-age ('Fishtank') and others. Social realist films gain less distribution from mainstream cinemas and earn less recognition than big budget feature films such as Curtis' 'urban fairy tales' as they often appeal to niche audiences and mass audiences do not favour such sadistic and sinister themes evident in this genre of film. Social realist films often appeal to minority audiences as the working class are often the foundation of the plot and genres such as romantic comedies make larger box office profits, securing widespread distribution in cinemas, as they appeal to mass audiences and use stereotypical characters that international audiences recognise and feel comfortable with. Additionally, social realistic films often use unknown actors due to the small budget, whereas romantic comedies use A-list, worldwide established actors, such as Hugh Grant, in order to gain success at the box office earning a bigger profit.
Our group would like to explore social realism in our short film with possible themes of racism, multiculturalism and divisions in class. I feel that our initial ideas for our film are reminiscent of Shakespeare's 'Romeo and Juliet'. The quote "Love goes towards love, as schoolboys from their books, But love from love, toward school with heavy looks."summarises the ideas and themes we have planned for our film. The quote means that lovers come together eagerly and as quickly as schoolboys run from their books and dread leaving their lovers as much as the reluctance a boy has going to school. Also, the 'with heavy looks' is representative of the dislike and disapprovement people have of the lovers being together which is, essentially, what our short film would be about; how society often disapproves of different races and classes being in relationships together. We would like to explore social realism as an overall genre as it is a genre associated with British cinema and would therefore be recognisably British. We'd also like to explore racism, multiculturalism and class as themes as we would be able to incorporate British iconography, such as red buses, through the representation of young people and explore all different areas of London, affluent and places suffering from economic hardships, that audiences would be able to immediately understand as British. Additionally, we feel that looking at multiculturalism as a theme is relevant and important to Britain today as it is continuously becoming an increasingly more multicultural country, particularly in London where our film will be set, and hopefully our short film will show different British peoples attitude towards it. Multiculturalism is explored in romantic comedy 'Bend it Like Beckham' 2002 but shown in a very positive way where an Indian family living in Hounslow have retained their Indian values and traditional whilst adapting to a western way of life with their daughter's having dual nationalities. We would like to show some of the negative realities of Britain being a very multicultural country in our film by showing the gritty and sinister racist side that is only very lightly acknowledged in Chadha's romantic comedy 'Bend it Like Beckham'. Our film will adopt a gritty and realistic approach to filming our short film by using kinectic camera work at various times and making the hue slightly greyish in order to create a negative atmosphere and dark tone. We would like it to be produced in a similar style of 'Dirty Pretty Things' that addresses the issue of illegal immigrants living in Britain and shows their situations in a gritty and dark way.

Analysis of 'Detour' directed by Kodjo Akeseh Tsakpo, 2008

The short film funded by Digital Shorts Plus received critical acclaiment after being distributed at many film festivals over the world; from Berlin to Mexico to London. It was so highly received that it won the best short film at 'Screamfest' in Los Angeles in 2008. It is a twelve minute drama that has an unsettling blueish/grayish hue throughout establishing a dark mood that forebodes the events that take place. The story depicts a middle-aged man unable to find contentment and forget his past after his daughter's suicide. The audience understands that he want to avenge his daughter's death by getting revenge of the main that claims to be able to predict a person's death. 
This short film caught my eye as the use of flash-backs in time to explain the narrative taking place in the present created a tense and anxious atmosphere. The consistent cutting from past to present increases the audience's anticipation and keeps them engaged as they try to un-puzzle the events that are not in chronological order. Many close-up camera shots are used which brings emphasis to the depth of their emotions and also creates a more realistic feel through some of the use of hand-held camera work. For example, when the man's daughter is shown crying before overdosing on drugs there is a lot of kinetic camera work showing her close up crying. It makes the scene very expressive and gritty looking as you can see the makeup running down her face and the texture of her skin. Much of the short film is filmed in low key lighting helping the audience establish who the sinister characters are and increase tension. The low budget is evident throughout but is important in creating a sense of realism. 
The characters seem very isolated and alone throughout the film adding to the anxiety of the audience and makes them question what the isolation could be foreboding. There are no other cars on the road and the cafe they sit in is very empty and deserted. It could be symbolic of how both the character's have no family and are very alone in life; the 'hitchhiker' even states that he has no loved ones. There are connotations of a thriller film such as the quick cross-cutting editing of some of the actions, for example when the motorist is putting the photo back in his wallet. Furthermore, the use of unknown actors makes the entire emphasis on their cinematic characters without any interferences of reputations or previous known works. 

Thursday, 13 January 2011

The different audiences available for different film magazines

An in-house film magazine such as ‘Cineworld’ or ‘Odeon’ would be aimed at mass audiences. To reach a wider audience, informal language is used in order for young people to make sense of the writing and relate to all readers. Also, the magazine would be distributed in cinemas and therefore all different kinds of people would have access to them making it essential for them to appeal to all age groups in terms of how it is presented, the layout and the reading level. Furthermore, in order to make the magazine appeal to a wider range of people and make it easier to get hold of, in-house cinema magazines are almost always free to enthuse and encourage people to pick up a copy and read positive reviews on new films to be released. The reviews are always praising the films and the foundation of them is to summarise the plot in order to sell the film and make more people come to the cinema and watch it. Essentially, these type of film magazines are to sell the films that the cinema will be showing so criticisms are not evident within them. Similarly, film magazine ‘Empire’ is aimed at mainstream and wide audiences as the majority of the films that they review are feature, mainstream films. Even the front page of the magazine makes it clear that the audience is young adults; this is evident through the use of colour, the bold titles and the famous faces shown on the front page.

The film magazine ‘Sight and Sound’ is a more ‘high-brow’ magazine that is primarily aimed at a more upmarket audience. This is clear in the traditional format and style.Additionally, it is clear through the way that the articles are written; they are formal and often have an underlying dry sense of humour throughout. In many of the film reviews it is clear that it is assumed that the reader has a wide knowledge of film, directors, actors, film makers and more as many casually make reference to other films, themes etc. It is clear that ‘Sight and Sound’ is a high-brow magazine aimed at an upper/middle class audience with a higher age group as, unlike other film magazines, a star rating system is not used to comment on the films being reviewed. This film magazine has been understood as the most in-depth British film magazine as a result of the high standard of writing and target audience of upper/middle class. The reviews are highly analytical and do not focus on labelling films as good or bad. ‘Sight and Sound’ also differs from other film magazines as it separates the synopsis form the writer’s opinion of the film allowing the reader to understand the film fully before reading the review.

‘Screen’ differs from the other film magazines written about as its audience is very different. It reviews many art house, independent films and therefore targeting a niche audience. Also, the layout of the reviews are set out very differently; they have titles and headings throughout the review.

The Purpose of a Film Magazine Review

The main purpose of a magazine film review is to provide information and opinions about films about to be released. Without question, film reviews in magazines provide a synopsis of the film. The depth of detail the synopsis may have varies with different magazines; for example, 'Sight and Sound' is renown for giving a detailed synopsis on up-and-coming films and are notorious for giving away many spoilers within them. Opinions on the actors in the film are given, there is commentary on the director's style and narrative structure and there is often an overall opinion given on the making of the film; an example of a negative respsonse that 'Sex and the City 2' was given, being slated by a 'Telegraph' critic that wrote in May 2010 "I lost count of the number of times the filmmakers dropped the word “sparkle” into the script; no doubt they thought they were going for gold, but they’ve created a load of Ratners." (reference- Film magazine reviews often have the purpose to give brutal and ruthless opinions on films that criticse in order for an objective balance is to be achieved and for people to read honest, unbiased reviews of a film.
Additionally, the purpose of a film magazine review is to introduce themes and subject matter helping people establish whether the film would be suited to them and whether it's of their taste. For example, if a reader of a film magazine reads that a film they were initially interested in was misleading and didn't have the themes in it, for example, that they'd thought then a film review could explain this in detail and show the person that the film is not for them. Film reviews in magazines allow audiences to understand more about the new role of the actor starring in it and the director's approach to the film and its style. Many well established actors that are well-known will have highly anticipated films that will be reviewed critically and allow many audiences in their fan base or who knows of them to read about their new work. Angelina Jolie and Director Clint Eastwood are commented on in a 'Guardian' film review of Changeling in 2008- "He handles a big, long picture with directorial calm and strength, and Jolie's performance has the same qualities, along with intelligence and dignity." This review's purpose was to comment on the worldwide known star of the film and its director (Changeling trailer-
Magazine film reviews cater to audiences who are looking for an expert 'third' opinion on the suitability of a film. Many people will look to their favourite film critic in a certain magazine to give an opinion on a film that they are interested in as they trust that critic's opinion and regard it highly. For example, a 'Total Film' reader may favour Jamie Graham's straight-forward writing style that makes reference to other actors, films and directors throughout in a colloquial style over 'Sight and Sound' critic Philip Kemp that uses embedded quotes from the film throughout and descriptive writing and often trust their favourite critic's opinion over others as they feel they agree and can relate to their views. Also, the purpose of a film magazine review is so people that cannot make their mind up about a film and whether it is worth their money can seek a third party's opinion. Furthermore, film reviews in magazines use star ratings which have the purpose of summarising how successful the film is overall.
Film reviews in magazines are often used to market a film due for release and often provide an unbiased opinion on the film. Film magazine reviews are hugely important for film marketting as they have a wide influence on many people and reach out to all audiences. For example, niche and alternative audience's are targetted by film magazine 'Little White Lies' whereas, on the opposite end of the scale, wide and majority audiences are targetted by in-house magazines such as 'Pre-vue'. A magazine such as 'Pre-vue' differs greatly from other film magazines as it is made purely to market up-and-coming mainstream, feature films. No criticisms are offered as the reviews are intended to promote and sell the film in order for the cinema Vue to make money.

Wednesday, 12 January 2011

The main film magazines in the UK...

The main UK films magazines are; Empire, Total Film and Sight and Sound, they have the greatest distribution and are accessable to nearly everyone. Independant cinemas aim to meet the likes of Niche audiences in the UK, such magazines as Little White Lies and Electric sheep are examples of these. Another type of film magazine well known in the UK is the in house cinema magazine, found in various cinemas such as the Odeon, Vue cinema and cineworld. All of these film magazines may share something in common; that they are full of information on films, however their style, layout, content and mode of address can all be largely diffrentiated.

Empire and Total film are quite similar magazines, their glossy style with colourful pictures and bold titles make them look very much alike. Both magazines look mainly at big budget holywood films that are due for release in mainstream cinemas, with some independent film reviews. The general layout of their articles is a block heading in San Serif to catch the eyes of viewers, with a large picture taking up many of the columns. This large photo will tend to be a clip from the film showing the main stars in action, the purpose of the picture is to draw the attention of the viewers and sway them into reading the article. The content of Empire and Total Film articles generally aim to promote the film, speaking in a formal yet chatty tone to the reader, it relates the film to other well known films and although it has an objective balance usually it sums the article up in a positive way. In house magazines such as Cineworld have a similar layout with a large picture, bold title and columns; however the mode of address is very informal and chatty. The reviews on films are biased as they are promoting the film so that people are attracted to the film. The audience for this magazine is cinema goers looking for a direction on what film to see whereas Total Film and Empire are aimed at people who are generally interested in film, they like to know all about the latest and upcoming films so seek expert opinions on them, their reviews are not so biased, they may include a breakout box with a verdict of the film and a star rating but generally these articles aim to promote the film so do not reflect greatly on the downside of the film.

Sight and Sound magazine looks at cinema and film as an art, meeting the likes of educated middle class, open-minded audiences; their articles are in-depth and detailed with a very well structured style. Unlike cineworld magazine, Sight and Sound does not just review mainstream big budget upcoming films, they like to review independent films, or global films. Total Film and Empire do look at independant film however not as in-depth as Sight and Sound. Sight and Sound articles have a very busy layout with many columns and at times a picture. Their mode of address is formal, with a dry attempt to bring humour to the article. Their articles are well structured with an introduction on themes, synopsis, commentry on the director, an objective balance, wider academic context and then bringing the article to a closure. This detailed structure is not like that of Total Film or Empire which may only look at the themes, synopsis, the narrative structure and objective balance. Sight and Sound is produced by the British Film Institute (BFI), they aim to not only inform their audiences of upcoming films yet to educate them on the art of film and how such narrative and themes are unique, through their expert film reviewers opinions on films which they have widely researched into, to meet the likes of the target audience.

Little White Lies and Electric Sheep are two examples of UK independent cinema magazines, they are very different magazines to the others I have looked at. They aim to meet the likes of niche audiences- independant cinema goers who want to find out about independant film directors and a range of cultural films coming to Independant cinemas. The Electric Sheep magazine says that "The magazine is for lovers of offbeat, left-field and cult cinema. Celebrating the the celluloid dreams of the most outlandish, provocative and visionary directors, the marginal and the transgressive, the poetic and the punk". Even when just looking at the covers of Electric sheep and Little White lies the unique style and strange magazine names suggest their magazines are aimed at a very specific audience; the comic look of Little White Lies shows that it is not an oridnary glossy magazine you would find in a shop, it is diverse and the type you would find in a cultural independant cinema. Unlike Empire which focuses on the mainstrean celebrity films and the dour academic tones of Sight and Sound, these independant cinema based magazines articles are eccentric, intelligent and informative with a real love for cinema and the world of film.

Analysis of `The Hangover` Film Poster...

This is the Film poster for The Hangover (2009). Straight away when looking at the poster we can see that the genre of the film is most likely to be a Comedy. You can tell that it will be a comedy as one man has a baby brace on the front of him; the baby is wearing big sunglasses resembling him, the man behind has a cut lip and the man on the left has a missing tooth and looks puzzled, all three characters look scruffy. At first sight we do not know why the characters are in this unlikey situation, however the title of the film sums this up for us. `The Hangover` suggests to the viewer that the three men have woken up after a drunken night and are stuck in a sticky situation- hence the baby, the scruffy look and the two mens injuries. To many having a hangover is not a nice feeling and we can see for sure in the situation of the characters it is by far a good situation. This brings the humour element to the film as we presume they have woken up clueless to what happened the night before. A tagline has been used to give extra information to the viewer, it says `Some guys just can't handle Vegas` This extra information gives the viewer a further insight into the film, we assume the film is based in Vegas through the tagline; where the three men come accross trouble. The theme of Vegas is kept in the poster through the glamourous, dazzling gold lights in the background and the shining graphics of the lettering for the film name. The title emphasises the `Hangover` part mainly, in a San Serif font to make it bold andeasy to read for viewers, we straight away know the film will be something to do with having a hangover. The `the` part is not so important so to make it more visually appealing and so that the `Hangover` part could be as big and noticable as possible to save room the `the` is put inside the `O` of `HANGOVER`, this is visually mor attractive. When looking at the poster we assume there are three main characters in the film as not one of them stands out more than another. Unlike other film posters the names of the main stars/actors have not been displayed, we presume this is because the three main characters may not be well known so to display their names would not be neccessary. People may not be familiar with the name so get put off seeing the film; by not writing their names on the poster it focuses more on the storyline of the film and attracts viewers through the image and the bold title instead. Above the tagline there is information on the director of the film, this is bolder than other posters, as usually information on the director is found in the `billing block`. `From the director of `Old School`` written on the top of the poster aims to pull in viewers. I presume `Old School` is a well known film, therefore if people know that this film is directed by the same director and they found `Old School` a successful film they will be more than swayed to want to see this film. Mentioning `Old School` will draw the attentions of viewers and make them want to see another film by that director. The colours used are bright and glamorous to fit in with the Vegas theme. The presentation of the characters are not how you would find a person to be presented in Vegas, this contrast makes the characters seem out of place in their surroundings. This is humorous for the viewer as they are supposed to be in classy Vegas, yet they are grubby injured and in charge of a baby. I believe the film would aim to target young adults, through the humour aspect and how it relates to a hangover which young adults would be able to relate to from watching the film!

Monday, 10 January 2011

Analysis of Film Posters

'Salt' produced in 2010 and directed by Philip Noyce
The first thing that audiences see when they look at this poster is the word 'SALT'; it is emphasised through the wide text and it's contrast with the colours behind. the fact 'salt' is a one syllable word makes the title memorable and stand out and makes the audience question what 'salt' means in terms of the film- is it a person's surname? is it literally referring to salt? is it in reference to the content of the film and something that happens within it?
Angelina Jolie's name is also very evident and highlighted on the film poster. Unquestionabley, her name is shown centrally on the film poster and quite largely because Jolie is a world reknown actress that many people would recognise and identify as an established and successful actress. This would draw audiences in and make the film more credible as many people would be intrigued to see what Jolie's new film is like after having been familiar with many of her previous films. Additionally, it can be argued that Jolie is a controversial figure in Hollywood due to her often exposed private life therefore many people, whether they respect her as an actress or not, may just want to see her film in order to form an opinion on her whether it is to criticise or praise.
Furthermore, the photo of Jolie used on the poster is of significance; it shows her pouting with accentuated cheek bones and a sexy stare. This image is taking advantage of Jolie's attractiveness in order to sell the film and to appeal to the male audiences that may have initally been put off the film as the protagonist is a woman. The all black outfit suggests that Jolie is wanting to go unnoticed and may be undercover which is informing people of the narrative of the film. Also, the stare to the left implies she is preparing to fire her gun and is aiming at a target. This suggests to the audience what genre the film would be, action and crime, and whether it would be something they'd enjoy. Also, the rule of thirds compositional technique is used in order to make the poster more memorable and of higher interest. Jolie is placed in one of the imaginary thirds of the image in order to create more energy; it would have been a lot less effective if Jolie was just placed in the centre of the image.
The blurred background image gives information away on what the film is about suggesting that events in the film are taking place rapidly and simultaneously. Whereas, Jolie's image is completely in focus implying that she is composed, in control of power and knows what she is doing. This may entice female audiences into the film as it shows a woman taking on the stereotypical role of a man being strong and brave protecting people in a misogynistic society. The use of an orange/brown/white colour pallet makes the film neutral to both genders so it appeals to wider audiences.
The tag line 'Who is Salt?' is effective as it makes audiences question who she is and realise they want to know. It provokes audiences to think that the film may be of a hybrid genre and have elements of mystery in it that they themselves will have to solve throughout the film. The use of the question also reaches out to audiences and makes it as though they are being personally questioned. The billing block beneath the title of the film 'Salt' formalises the film and gives audiences a 'call to action' informing them of the website of the film so that they can immediately research the film for themselves.
'The Blind Side' produced in 2009 and directed by John Lee Hancock
The emphasis of the poster for this film is the image of Sandra Bullocks and Quinton Aaron. The tender hand Bullock's character has on his back immediately tells audiences that the story is going to be of a Drama genre and the foundation of the plot will be the relationship between the two characters. The clear height difference is contradicted by the hand of Bullock on Aaron's back making audiences recognise that the film could challenge preconceptions and stereotypes of young black males. Although you cannot see the characters faces, it is obvious that they are looking at eachother as though they have a connection or a mutual respect for one another giving information to audience about the narrative of the story.
It is of significance that we only see the backs of the characters as it could symbolise how Aaron's character is establishing his identity throughout the film and in order to understand his personality and watch him establish an identity he is comfortable with you need to watch the film. It could also be depicting or symbolise shame or embarrassment that his character has also informing the audience about content of the film. The fact the two characters pictured are wearing similar coloured clothes suggests that, despite their physically differences such as their height, they have a connection and that their characters are intertwined. The way that the characters are slightly in shadows draws attention to them and keeps the emphasis on them and not the background. The way in which the two characters are walking off into the distance suggests to the audience that their is hope and a bright future for the characters shown.
The wide lense used for the background image shows an American football pitch and implies that the story will involve sport. This may appeal to audiences who like or have a passion for sport and be aiming to reach out to male audiences who might have seen the film as quite feminine. Additionally, the title of the film 'The Blind Side' is a sporting term used in football that would interest and catch the eye of many sporting fans and widen the audience. It is also a play on words of how Aaron's character is someone that people have 'turned a blind eye' to and rejected throughout his life. Additionally, the use of a wide lense showing the background image ahead of the characters is at a slight curved angle suggesting that the characters are slightly anxious and confused about the future.
The 'based on the extraudinary true story' may appeal to many audiences as 'extraudinary' implies that the story is about over coming troubles and being courageous and the best you can be; playing on people's emotions and making them feel the film will be moving and of importance. Also, it is highly emphasised on the poster as it contrasts with the light blue of the sky. The fact that only Bullock's name is shown on the poster is to take advantage of her earned fame as a credible actress and make sure audiences know that an A-list film star is featured as the protagonist in the film. Many people in her wide fan base would want to see the film and her role in the film may make audiences feel the film is more respectable.
The 'call to action' is evident at the bottom of the poster giving audiences information on the film date in order for them to see it when it's released.

classic film posters and how have posters developed over time?

A movie can evoke feelings of joy, sadness or love and this can be rekindled with the help of a film poster. Ironically in the early days of film making, actors were not usually depicted on the film posters. The title of the film and the producer and directors names were usually the attraction until Hollywood realised that it was the actors who brought in the viewers. It was at that time that the stars of movies were then plastered on each poster giving life to a new era in the film industry. Movie posters created before the eighties were mainly returned to the studios or poster sources and destroyed when the archives became full or the film's run had ended. Unfortunately many early film posters made for hit movies such as Casablanca, King Kong, Frankenstein and The Wizard of Oz were destroyed as a result of natural disasters that occurred during World War II. As people became more aware of their value theatre owners began to ignore return policies and those film posters that were spared are widely sought today by collectors and dealers.

As times have gone on film posters have become more and more interesting to see. In contemporary times we are now visualising more and more intellectual film posters which makes it more intriguing for a viewer to understand. Another increasing factor for film posters is that actors have now become more and more famous and this has resulted into their names becoming a brand, so that if they see an actor they like they will watch the film. These are two examples of modern day film posters.

Often hailed as the greatest film of all time, this classic has only grown better with age. The foreboding atmosphere and uneasy tensions reach their
peaks in all the right places, and the film’s poster is not to be sniffed at either. The imposing figure of Don Vito Corleone emerges from the darkness, the sinister glare of his shadowed eyes leaving no doubt in the viewers’ mind as to who he is; the Godfather. Beneath him lie the immortal lines of dialogue that cement his place in film history as the ultimate puppeteer of crime, corruption and deceit.

What’s notable about this Art Deco eat-your-heart-out poster is that it looks more expensive than the film it’s selling! Martin Scorsese’s low budget gangster drama embraced its handheld origins to full effect, the end result being a coarse but absorbing piece of cinema full of character. The clean-cut design of the poster is therefore apparently at odds with the film’s style, but in actual fact its deceptively detailed imagery is more than appropriate for a film which cleverly sculpted its own unique identity hot off the heels of the momentous crime picture The Godfather.

Saturday, 8 January 2011

How would British Board of Film classification BBFC certificate affect potential audiences for short film? Which classifications are most appropriate?

12A: May be unsuitable for children under 12. Those under 12 must be accompanied by an adult at all times (in cinemas).

12. Nobody younger than 12
may rent or buy any form of media with this certificate.

Personal response:

With our theme of racism still being alive within our community parents may feel that our theme of racism could upset children of the age of 12 or under and so for this reason I don’t think a 12 or 12a would be appropriate for our film. Our use of language within our short film will contain a lot strong language and to portray our theme of racism we will also be using racist terminology which could also be unsuitable for young children of the age of 12 or younger.

Effects of have having a 12 Certificate

If our film was to be certificated as a 12 this would have a huge effect upon our target audience. Our target audience is between 15-25 and by certifying our film as a 12 it would demonstrate that we may have to lower our target audience. People at the age of 15 or above who are looking to watch a social realist film are more likely to watch it when the film is certificated as a 15 not as a 12 and as a result of this we may not have the initial success we would have wanted for our film .

15: Suitable only for those over the age of 15. Nobody younger than 15 may rent or buy any form of media with this certificate.

Personal response

The 15 certificate for our group would be the most ideal certificate for us to be given. The reasons for this are because we meet the criteria for it and because we feel our target audience would be categorised between the ages of 15-25. Our misuse of drugs, limitation of strong language and racism tick all the boxes for the 15 certificate.

Effect of having a 15 certificate

If our film was to be given the 15 certificate it would be much easier for us to reach our target audience. The majority of films which contain the theme of social realism are 15 or above and so by gaining this certificate we are showing our audience that our film also contains some significant information about the topic of racism.

18: Suitable adults only. Nobody younger than 18 may rent or buy any form of media with this certificate.

Personal response

It would be very hard for our film to be categorised as an 18. Although it would enable us to tackle the problem of racism in much more depth and also tackle stereotypical views of people, due to our target audience I don't feel that we as a group would tackle that problem in that much detail.

Effects of having an 18 certificate

If our short film was to be rated as an 18 certificate it would be clear to suggest that we wouldn’t be able to reach out a large audience due to the fact that our target audience is 15-25 and by having an 18 certificate on there we are limiting people from the ages of 15-17 to watch it. However there are also positives in making it an 18 due to the fact that it allows us to create in more depth the harsh realities of racism in the UK.

What is the purpose of a film poster...

The sole purpose of a film poster is to advertise an upcoming film; through letting audiences know that a new film is due for release, which raises awareness and in turn aims to generate hype. A film poster provides a range of information on an upcoming film such as; the name of the film, the release date, the stars/actors and actresses who are in the film and the BBFC certification. This information both attracts a viewer; through naming the stars who are popular and well known, aswell as a catchy film title, and at the same time informs them of vital information they may want to know about the film such as the release date and the certification- which will determine suitabity, in such cases as an adult wanting to take a child to see a film. It is not only the writen parts of the poster which provide information for the viewer. The photos and graphics of the poster can suggest a particular genre and narative that the film will follow which is an insight to what the film may be about/along the lines of and therefore helps them to decide whether this film is something they may be interested in seeing.

Film posters can target specific audiences; whether through one poster for a film aiming at a specifc audience, or a range of posters which all vary in terms of images or clips from the film which work together to target different target audiences to bring them together to see the one film. Also when films are released in different countries posters can vary, as different countries have different preferences in genre therefore a poster that displays the most desired genre of that country would differ from that of another country.

This is the film poster for Bride Wars (2009); starring Anne Hathaway and Kate Hudson. The pupose of this poster is to promote the film. Its title and image suggest that the film is a Romantic comedy, as it shows two women baring wedding dresses and cake knifes on the romance side as we presume they are to wed as the title tells us they are brides, yet they are both at war with one another as we can tell in the title of the film as well as posture and expressions of the charecters which would suggest the comedy side of the film. The poster targets a specific audience which I believe is young to middle aged females. It has the feminine appeal and as there is only one poster for the film, its pupose is to bring in the mass audience of this specific target audience.

The 1998 film Elizabeth is an example of different posters for different countries. The USA poster shows the main actor who plays Queen Elizabeth on a throne, the style and theme of the poster suggest to the viewer that the film is a romantic thriller. As the bold reds and grand dress suggest the film will entell a love story with destruction. British Heretic films are popular in the USA however to meet the audiences expectations to secure target audience they brought the genre more closey to the romantic side instead of the thriller side which is more desirable in the UK and can be seen in the choice of poster that are used in the UK to meet a different target audience.

To the left is the USA poster as we can see it is more focused on the romantic side of the film. On the right is one of the many different posters released in the UK. There were four different posters in the UK when the film was due to be released. Each had a photo of the one of the main charecters with one word written above their head. In this case we have a man with the word Lover written above his head, as people in the UK are most likely to know the film is about Queen Elizabeth it is not as nessecary to show her charecter on the front yet display another charecter and how they may relate to her. This UK poster is targeted at women as it displays romance from the word 'Lover' and the photo of the male. However the other posters have different charecters and words, such as `Traitor` and `Assasin` meeting different target audiences as they bring out the more thriller side to the film. The title of the film on both US and UK posters are displayed in the same style to suggest to all that the film is a Heretic film.

Where do posters appear...

Film posters can appear in a range of places. Such as on billboards in streets and along motorways, train stations and bus stops, on the sides of buses, inside and outside cinemas, in magazines and on websites and many more places. These places are all eye catching for example when driving down a motorway and stuck in traffic you may draw eyes with a huge billboard with the poster of a new film advertised on the front. Or when waiting for a train inside the tunnel posters can be pasted onto the tunnel walls these two are eye catching and alert the viewer. The places that posters appear are where viewers can come in contact with them without realising. This optimizies the audience liable to see the film as they have pre seen a poster which has alerted them of the film and in turn they could mention it to friends who would then look out for the poster and continue the build up of hype for the new film.

Here are some examples:

This Expendables (2010)Film poster is on a billboard high off the top of a building in an obvious eye catching place for all to see, most probably over a motorway or busy street.

This is also another billboard bearing the film poster for Watchmen (2009).

This is a film poster for the 2008 Slumdog Millionaire Film, it is pasted onto the side of a London bus as it is eye-catching for pedestrians and other road users.

This is the view of a film poster in a train station from the inside of a train, it is in an ideal place as when the train is stationery- waiting for passengers to load on and off of the train. Passengers can see the film poster and become aware of the film. In this case Derailed (2005).

As you can see from the various film posters and where they are displayed that the content varies. For example the billboard film poster has less written information than the train station poster; this is because it is at  further distance so would not be good to have loads of written information on the film which would be hardly visible to the viewer. Instead the poster has a huge title and date of release and a big picture. These are the most catchy details of a film poster people aim to remember. The name of the film and the date of release stick in mind and the picture aims to sway in the viewer; like the Watchmen poster which would presumably be high in the sky over a busy area hence why the title and date of release are huge and in a bold, easy to read font. However the train station poster Derailed is closer to the eye, therefore the extra information can be put on the poster- such as the call of action- a website address. The person viewing the poster would have enough time to remember the address or even write it down, in comparison to driving past a billboard which you may not have enough time to read and remember. The Derailed poster would have a tag line as it would be readable from the carriage or platform of the train station, however putting a tag-line on a far away poster would be inappropriate as it would not be as readable. The layout of a poster may have to be altered for some intended locations. For example on the side of a bus, the bigger the poster the more noticeable; however the side of a bus has limited area for a poster. As you can see the Slumdog Millionaire poster on the side of the bus has been altered in a way that the picture of the main two stars are in the biggest area and the rest of the poster with the written information is on the thinner part of the bus, this layout works best for the side of a bus however would be altered if on a billboard as there would be a bigger ratio to work with for both picture and written information. As the side of a bus is more visible to viewers than a billboard more written information may be in the content, such as a tag-line and star names. The designer of the poster has to consider the location and space the poster has to be placed on, and decide what content and look they want the poster to display to meet the likes of passing viewers. 

Friday, 7 January 2011

Conventions of film posters

There are many reoccurring conventions of film posters seen within feature films that help the audience established whether the film is suited to them, what the film is about, who stars in the film, the release date and the distribution of the film where it will be shown.
A convention of film posters would be an image of the main protagonist of the film or an iconic symbol or image from the film for example in Rocky IV Sylvester Stallone is clearly pictured in the centre of the poster. This iconic image from the film drives the narrative forward of the film as he is pictured with the American flag around his shoulders looking victorious. Having Stallone clearly pictured on the poster would enthuse many people to go and see the film and the fact it is the fourth film in the successful rocky saga. Furthermore, Sylvester Stallone is A-list actor by the time of the release of the film adding to the appeal and popularity of the film.
A different example that does not use the protagonist or the main star of the film on the poster would be Saw as the poster includes a sawn of hand which gives the audience information on the genres and the narrative of the film whether the film is suitable for the individual.
A film poster always includes the title of the film, sometimes to drive the narrative forward. The type of font will be relevant to the style of the film for example in the poster for gladiator the font is authentic and relates to the roman era in order for audiences to understand more about the narrative. Another convention would be the taglines included in the film posters. They often play on words and use the rule of three when doing so. An example of a tagline that uses a play on words would be the one used in American Pie (2000) which is 'There's something about your first piece' This tagline cleverly has a double meaning; has a sexual innuendo and refers to actually having a slice of pie. A tagline that includes the rule of three would be from Terminator 2 judgement day (1991) that is 'Same make. Same model. New mission. this uses the rule of three which is physchologically proven that is the most effective way to make people remember the tagline.
The BBFC certificate given to the film normally would be shown on the film poster. The classification of the film would be used in order to inform the audience on the type of content to be expected in the film. The BBFC is also used to help attract their target audience to the film through the film poster.
Another convention included in film posters would be the billing block always seen at the bottom of the poster that is the credits of the film but in short including the names of the main people involved with the making of the film and the main companies that would of produced the film. Along with this technical code the tag-line used 'To find her son, She did what, no one else dared' gives an insight into the narrative in to the film and would attract women in to watching the film as it projects that Angelina Jolie plays a strong, brave women. This would encourage women to be bolder and it also recognizes a real women as it is based on a true story, as it praises the courageous actions of the brave women who did what she could in finding her son and this would encourage women to stand up in what they believe in. The final technical code would be the billing block of changeling makes the poster look more professional and makes the poster come across as being more formal.  The 'call to action' gives information on the accessibility of the film such as the dates it is released and the website of the film.
A final convention would be the background images used in film posters often includes the supporting characters or the location where the film is set in order to help drive the narrative forward and the suitability. The main actors name would only be included if the actor is well-known, this can be seen in Changeling where Angelina Jolie's name is printed at the top in order to attract people who would follow her and seeing as she's a respected actor she is worldwide known however in films where the protagonist is quite unknown their name will not be put on and if it is put on the poster it will not be the main emphasis of the poster.