Friday, 26 February 2010
Thursday, 25 February 2010
Wednesday, 24 February 2010
A basic outline for the story is... (and may seem long, but its really not :/)
There are two chefs, ones a Japanese sushi chef, the other an old American cowboy chef. Both chefs have caravan converted burger style vans in which they sell there food, which are dead opposite each other on a derelict dusty highway.
One sunny afternoon they both finally see a possible customer in the distance, the customer parks his car up on the side of the road, and walks down the middle of the road towards the caravans.
Not sure on which style of food to purchase, the customer seems to wander back and fourth between the two caravans. The American cowboy chef, soon gets impatient and suddenly grabs his lasso to reel the customer in. Then out of no where, the Japanese sushi chef does the same thing, but instead using one of his octopus legs as a lasso.
Now with both chefs having a grip on the customer, an epic tug of war breaks out between the chefs, leaving the customer bobbing up and down in the air and being thrown all over the place.
With the customer being launched up a down in the air, still attached to the lasso's he notices an object on the horizon. As the customer is being launched up and down, higher and higher each time, the object in the horizon gets more and more clear up on what it is.
Then with one final launch up and down, the customer manages to break free, launching himself higher into the air, making it perfectly clear what the object is. The good old McyD's logo :D
I now just need to work out what shot goes where and when it will happen. I can imagine most of them in my head so its a matter of directing with the pencil so they say. I hope everyone thinks its ok, some feed back would be very welcome no matter how critical, just dont be too mean. :)
Tuesday, 23 February 2010
Having previously watched the remake which was made in 1998, i must admit i found watching the remake slightly boring. Not at all due to the storyline, don't get me wrong the storyline is really good, especially with the twist at the end. It was due to the fact that i knew exactly what was going to happen.
Like Phil mentioned, the remake was created shot by shot to the original, from what I can remember the camera positioning was a dead replica. The only minor differences i could pick up on was in the wardrobe, for example Sam had a cowboy hat in the remake, then there were some slight difference in peep hole scene, but that really is it.
Most notably, Psycho is known for that epic shower scene of montage editing. As the audience, we see no violence what so ever, there is no blood gashing out everywhere and there are no stab wounds (unlike todays over rated slasher movies). Just a rather clever piece of editing with suspense and violence being built up through music and a cut, cut, cut shot sequence.
As far as editing goes, this movie should be very high up in its list of prestigious movies. Imagine watching Psycho, with out editing, just slow paced camera movement like in Rope. It wouldn’t be a very good movie at all, all the genius of that movie, aside from its good storyline, and good acting, lays within the editing of the footage.
What I liked most about Psycho has to be the main character of the movie Norman Bates (played by Anthony Perkins). His performance throughout the whole movie is superb; all his little characters of emotion and ticks in which he portrays through out the movie really make the character. I particularly like the sly grin and smile in which has when speaking to people, and the way he eats his sweets. They all add up to create the perfect Psycho character.
So finally, we have the ending, some people may have predicted it and others didn't. I must say that i am in the others didn't group. As we all new the killer through out the film was Norman Bates mother, so obviously not Norman, but then we find out that the mother is actually dead and that the town sheriff was witness to the funeral. It was all so confusing, especially when we saw the mother up at the window, but then it was all made clear, with the final twist of the movie coming to a close. It was in fact Norman who killed the people due to the psychotic condition and remorseful past.
Another good movie, this time full of editing and full of twists.
Monday, 22 February 2010
Today we watched Rope (1948), an old Hitchcock classic. Its good to see we are back on the road to old classics which are enjoyable to watch. I must say though i am looking rather more forward to seeing Physco tomorrow, as i have previously seen the remake with Vince Vaughn and would like to see how well they pulled it off.
Anyway, back to Rope, As you all know the story takes place with in the one set and is filmed at a consistant pace with no editing. Which truly makes the film genius in my opinion, but apparently not to others. When there was the mention of no editing what so ever in this movie at the beginning of the film, i got rather confused when they had the fade transition from the street to inside the apartment. But it was all clear form there onwards that there was not any.
Hitchcock used a clever technique of making the transition from one piece of footage to another, he created the transition by zooming in onto a characters back and out again. As clever as this technique is, i think it was greatly over used. The first time the transition took place was genius, but soon after that it was really noticeable what was happening. That said, that's the only bad part of the movie i can really pick up on.
A brief comment to outline the story would be; the perfect murder. Two friends set out to create a perfect murder which separates the superior, as being capable and having the power to murder form the inferior which would become accepted as being victims of murder. The two friends succeed in the perfect murder, by using a piece of rope wouldn't you know, what a coincidence. They then put the body into a chest, and host a party to celebrate the murder, by doing so making it more exciting to get caught, seeing as the guests are all friends and family of the victim. The two friends eventually get caught out by a suspicious guest, which is a friend of both them and the victim, who also believes in there theory of murder, until the end where he realises that its mad and inhumane.
Some other parts of the movie which confused me was the fact that the movie seemed to flow in real time, due to the lack of editing and flow of the movie in comparison to the background. The time of day seemed to change from what appeared to be mid day to evening all in the space of an hour. Then the only other confusion part of the movie was the flashing neon lights at the end, which served there purpose in creating atmosphere and mood, but i could not understand why a posh city apartment, would have low tacky neon street lights right next to the window.
But saying this, over all i would say the movie is great in the sense that it has no editing what so ever, it really builds up suspension in its slow pace and lack of camera movement (most notably in the scene with the made cleaning the table and walking back and fourth down the hall) unlike all the fast paced cut, cut ,cut movies today and that i would recommend to any movie enthusiast for a change of film.
Sunday, 21 February 2010
Thursday, 18 February 2010
Are you in tomorrow? if so could you have a quick look, or i could email what i have so far to you and you can tell me what you think there.
Wednesday, 17 February 2010
Monday, 15 February 2010
My story idea in its most basic form is as follows...
There are two chefs, one being a Japanese sushi chef and the other an American Cowboy chef. The chefs both have caravan converted burger vans which they sell there food out of, both customised to match there type of food. These caravans are dead opposite each other on a derelict dusty high way. A passing by car stops to purchase food, with this customer being the first they have seen in a while, both the chefs get to work. The customer cannot decide which type of food he fancies and wonders in between caravans. With both the chefs eager to make a sale, one by one they offer a great deal on some extraordinary food, both taking part in a duel between bargains to make the sale. Whilst the chefs are battling it out between each other, the customer notices a highway sign for a fast food restaurant and decides to leave and go there. Leaving both chefs with a mound of food and no sale.
I'm still not happy with the dull way story ends, it seems to reach it climax then two have nothing happen. But for the essay part of this project, I'm rather happy and enjoying learning about it.
Sunday, 14 February 2010
The story begins by setting the scene, this is to show how deserted the location is and to emphasise the lack of customers. This could will be portrayed by a shot of the hot sun, some birds flying in the sky, and a tumble weed passing by.
The story then moves onto a shot of the chefs looking at each other. The Japanese sushi chef being always happy, and the American cowboy chef being grumpy.
In the distance they notice a car driving down the highway, both chefs then kick into action with it being a possible customer. The Japanese chef chops fish really fast and the American chef flips burgers and steaks on a BBQ.
The car pulls over and out comes a man. The man walks down the middle of the road towards both caravans working away. The man stops directly half way in between both caravans and ponders up on which food to get.
The Japanese chef then offers the man some of his fine cuisine. The man gets intrigued and starts to walk towards his caravan.
The American chef then offers the man a better deal from his caravan, which then draws the man towards his caravan.
The Japanese chef then notices this and offers the man an even better deal which then attracts the man back to his caravan.
The American chef then offers the man an even better deal than the Japanese chef which attracts the customer back over the his caravan.
This process repeats itself again and again, with each offer from the chefs getting more extravagant each time.
The man get so confused and then notices a sign saying for example 'McDonald's 5 Miles' (any big fast food chain in general.)
It soon becomes a personal duel between the two chefs upon who can offer the better deal. Both chefs get so distracted by there duel they don't realise the mans car pulling away until its too late. Leaving them with no customer.
I still need to work out what shot happens and when it does, and a good way of showing hows the story ends.
I want the cowboy character to be quite similar to Yosemite Sam from Loony Tunes, but not so close that the character essentially is Yosemite Sam. Compared to the sushi chef, the cowboy should be a lot smaller and shorter and have stereotypical actions of a 'bad' cowboy, meaning that any sort of suggestion could lead to physical action.
In my opinion the two main parts of appearance that make a character a cowboy chef are the hat and apron. So i want to keep the rest of the cowboys appearance as simple as possible. Maybe just a red checkered flannel shirt, a greasy white apron, the cowboy hat (not sure what size yet) some jeans or chaps, and boots.
This will all soon become more resolved and clearer once some character sketches have been done.
Obviously these are realistic images of sumo wrestlers, but for my character i want him to be very cartoon like, i still want to use the basic shape and build of the sumo wrestler but at the same time be very curved and cartoon character like.
To turn the sumo wrestler into a chef, im thinking he needs to be wearing some sort of apron or white uniform, maybe with blue and white striped. To truly make the character stereotypical his facial expressions always happy with raised cheeks, and a over exaggerated small chef hat tilted forward and to the side of his head.
Friday, 12 February 2010
Just to refresh your memories, my three given words were; Chef, Caravan and Lasso.
But through further thought (and a joke story which came to be useful) i then decided to think of the chef as a character from a different country. Initially i imagined the chef to be Japanese cutting sushi really fast and look like a very stereotypical Japanese chef. I have then gone on to research some chefs in different countries a bit more ranging from France to Australia. But none of which have as much potential as the Japanese chef, especially in my chosen location. Plus it doesn't help that i had the Japanese chef set in stone before i began further research :)
Now with a completely new character in mind i was free to explore a whole new story idea and take it into the workshop.
Before the workshop, my basic story idea was as follows...
The thought which moved the story into motion was a duel between another character, the cowboy and the chef.
With the chef being Japanese and working with fish, there is a huge range of fish that can be used as weaponry for example sword fish, blowfish, electric eels or even a live shark. All of which could be used in a duel.
Then you have the cowboy, classic weaponry like guns, lasso's etc. Which is where the lasso comes into role on the story. Not so much as a main role, but instead a prop to introduce a new character. I also thought the cowboy should be a cowboys type of cowboy like Yosemite Sam from Loony Toons.
The duel would take place after an obnoxious comment from the cowboy about the Japanese chef's fish. Something along the lines of how they (the cowboys) don't like your type around here (your type meaning the fish).
This was as far as i got before the story workshop, but during the story changed into something quite spectacular. Instead of the duel being a physical fight between the chef and the cowboy, the fight will be a fight to sell food to a passing by customer.
The two chefs (the Japanese chef and the cowboy chef) will be on opposite sides of a dusty highway selling the food out of a caravan converted burger van.
I still need to work out exactly what will happen in my story and when it will happen, but for now I'm off to work. I will try and work it out during the day and post later.
Thursday, 11 February 2010
Not a bad little tutorial, this is now the second of the ever so famous bouncing ball animations that i have now done, although the other one was not as technical as this. I think my final out come was good, i also went back into the scene to create a nice little render.
Monday, 8 February 2010
Just from this small number of remaining photographs you can see how true Spielberg was to the events that took place on that day.
Sunday, 7 February 2010
It has come to my knowledge that Spielberg used a number of different techniques to gather a high sense of realism in his opening scene, some of which include playing with colour, sound and camera movement. But i just cant seem to find out where this information came from. I'm assuming its an interview of some sort.
I know its a long shot, but with your broad knowledge of film in general. Do you know any sites or books i can look up, which may help me in finding some information.
All the principal actors underwent several days of grueling army training - except for Matt Damon, who was spared so that the other actors would resent him, and would convey that resentment in their performances.
Real amputees were used for the shots of people with limbs missing.
The two German Tiger tanks in the movie were in fact Russian T-34 tanks modified to appear as convincing Tiger tanks. You can see the difference between these fake Tigers and the real ones by the differing road wheels.
Upham is chastised for saluting Miller (Tom Hanks) because it will make Miller a target for snipers. In Forrest Gump (1994), Forrest (Hanks) is chastised for doing the same thing to Lt. Dan.
Although Steven Spielberg reduced the color saturation of the movie by 60% for artistic reasons, both major American satellite providers (DirecTV and Dish Newtork) and numerous cable TV providers turned up the chroma gain to re-enhance the color saturation to normal-looking levels when broadcasting the movie. They did this because on the first day or two of the movie's broadcast run, their customer service centers were swamped with calls from viewers complaining that something was wrong with the color.
For the initial fighting scenes in the sea, spare ammunition carried by the actors was made from wood, as metal was too heavy.
The two "German" soldiers who are shot trying to surrender were speaking Czech. They were saying, "Please don't shoot me, I am not German, I am Czech, I didn't kill anyone, I am Czech!" They were members of what the Germans called Ost [East] Battalions, men - mostly Czech and Polish - taken prisoner in eastern European countries invaded by Germany and forced into the German army.
Edward Norton was offered the role of Private Ryan, but turned it down.
The siege in the village of Ramelle was filmed on a set created on a disused airfield in Hatfield, England. The bridge so valiantly defended actually crosses a three foot deep canal created for the movie. Earlier scenes in the village of Neuville-au-Plain used the same set carefully shot from different angles.
In the German-dubbed version of the movie, one of the actors, himself a German veteran of the Normandy invasion, couldn't deal with emotional realism of the film and dropped out and had to be replaced.
Just after the scene where Captain Miller "recruits" Upham for the mission there is a short scene that shows the motor pool. For a few brief seconds a jeep with a small trailer rolls by. If you look carefully you can see that the jeep and trailer contain Captain Miller and his men. The next scene shows Miller and the others walking through a meadow on foot with no vehicle in sight. This is due to the fact that the scene which shows how Miller and the men lose the jeep was deleted from the final cut. Later in the film Miller mentions something about losing "most of their ammo". This occurred when they lost the jeep.
When the camera shakes during explosions, Steven Spielberg used drills attached to the side of the camera which were turned on when required. While shooting with this effect the crew's photographer let Spielberg know that there was a shaker lens for cameras. Spielberg said in an interview that he had thought he had invented a great new technique at first.
Two of the landing craft used in the Omaha Beach scenes were actually in use in World War II.
40 barrels of fake blood were utilized in the opening battle scene.
There are many many more, it would be pointless me listing them all, these are just ones i found quite interesting. The link for the information is the one below.
Wednesday, 3 February 2010
For Act Two of the story i want to have the chef try and catch the animal that has walked past (which still needs to be developed into something, but what !???) for time being imagine to be the road runner. The chef keeps failing to catch this animal, he tries various booby traps but none of them seem to work, they keep getting messed up some how.
Then for Act Three of the story i want to have the chef succeed in catching this animal. By now the chef will have given up in catching the animal so hes sat down in the back of his caravan flicking through channels on the TV when he comes across a cowboy catching a bull with a lasso (another diiing light bulb moment). The chef then goes out side and catches this animal (not sure whether this will be shown), but to every ones surprise (hopefully) the chef does not want to cook and sell the animal for food, but instead use the lasso and the animal as a toe truck to move his caravan along the road into happiness.
So to recap...
Sad lonely chef in his caravan converted burger van in the middle of no where
Sees an animal go past (diing light bulb)
Tries and keeps failing at catching this animal
Gives up and goes back into his caravan
Sad again and slouched on his chair the chef watches TV
Sees a cowboy on his TV using a lasso to catch a bull (diing light bulb)
The chef then catches the animal with a lasso
Uses the lasso and animal as a toe truck and rides of down the road into the distance.
Happy ending :)
This still needs alot of work and development, but im just getting nothing and going now where now, open to suggestions.....please :)
La Jetee (1962) is a black a white masterpiece of still photos which convey a science fiction based short story of a post apocalyptic Paris. The short story is built up entirely of still photos except for a minor part nearing the end of the story (when a sleeping women opens her eyes).
Through out the story there is no sound except for a calm paced narrator explaining and describing what is happening to the listener, an occasional burst of German muttering which proves to be very creepy indeed and a continuous heartbeat in the back ground which does well in building tension through out the whole story.
The stills themselves are photography at its finest for its time, the lighting is very dramatic and the way the frames cut into the peoples faces create a feeling of movement and emotion. In almost every shot I'm sure you would be able to ell what sort of emotion is running through that persons face.
Overall i would say that this short story is packed full of emotion and has a very creepy/eerie feel to it.
I have now changed my essay subject. This is due to a quick word with Phil and a morning of research. Phil mentioned yesterday the film 'Saving Private Ryan' directed by Steven Spielberg which is a film I'm sure almost all of you have seen. The last time i saw it was quite some years ago so i gave my self a quick refreshment this morning which then certified that this was the film i want to write about.
The link below is of the scene and the entire movie which is posted on YouTube.
The opening scene starts with a war veteran walking down the Normandy American Cemetery and Memorial, he then drops to his knees with emotion from all of the grave stones and the story soon begins with an epic 30 minute opening scene of the American soldiers trying to land and make foot onto the beach, slowly trying to fight through the German defense and get off the beach.
In just this small clip at the beginning of the film i am already nocticing all the different shots which would have been story boarded and ones which really work well for the stroy.
Here's the character which inspired me, and some other rough ideas i was thinking of. I really thing the first two have potential for more development.
Story Idea One, Act One:
The story starts with an up close shot of the chef's sad/lonely face.
The shot then pans out to reveal the chef is leaning on his hand and on his workspace looking into nothing.
As the shot pans out it reveals that the chef is working in a caravan that he has converted into a kebab/burger style van. Which then continues to pan out and reveal that the caravan is located on the side of an old dusty road in the middle of no where. I'm thinking if having a desert location, road runner styley.
Whilst the shot is panned out showing the caravan and empty landscape, either something runs past really past just showing a trail of dust (which would rip on road runner really obviously, so I'm not quite happy with that) or some sort of animal walks past.
The shot then pans back in on the chef. The chef's facial expression then changes into a slow raising smile, as if the chef gets an idea. (the whole light bulb Biiiing, above the head effect)
End of Act One and fade to black.
I drew this quick storyboard scribble before when i got my idea just to get it down on paper so i wouldn't forget it, before the storyboard lecture, so I'm now thinking I'm on the right trails story board wise.
Also like a few other people on the course, i went to grab some Disney Pixar books from the library after the briefing the other day. Just to get an idea of what is produced behind the scenes of animation. I came across these storyboards from 'The Art of Up', its interesting to see how tightly the animation stuck to the storyboards and hopefully i will be able to produce some in the same fashion.
Monday, 1 February 2010
I have been attempting to create some sort of idea from my three words for quite some time now and its getting me no where. So i am going to focus more on the words them selves, and hopefully the story should follow accordingly :)
My initial thoughts up on the three were...
for the Chef, a nice short, fat and stumpy Italian man with a big moustache, big hat and small arms and legs with that hint of Italian arrogance.
for the Caravan, pikey's and gypsy's or the chef's possible restaurant which would be small, dirty and white.
and for the Lasso, i think of the obvious cow boys, which is then overtaken for some reason by the Rad Runner and the Coyote in Looney Toons.
And a Caravan
Not as desert, god knows where i got that from. After the briefing today i am now allot more knowing and ready to crack on with this project :) I'm also pretty sure on my essay subject and film in which we will deconstruct into a short story board. I'm thinking i want to write about and draw the story boards for Disney Pixar's most recent movie Up.
I went to grab the book for it from the library 'The Art of Up' but sadly it was gone, curse you people !!! Then decided to go buy form Waterstones but they wanted £25 for it, waaaay too expensive. None the less i did leave the library with two helpful books on pre production and storyboarding.