Anne-Marie – 44741555392
Katie Jackson – 07834 704298
Harry Davidson – 07578614714
Anne-Marie – 44741555392
Katie Jackson – 07834 704298
Harry Davidson – 07578614714
What did you learn from research in class?
In class we did collective research together on how scripts work and how to write them. We researched conventions in scripts, such as Propp’s character theory and how stories are set up. We analysed the structure of stories, such as the Three Act Structure in which there is a set up, a confrontation and a resolution. We also read scripts in class to understand how they work and the different roles everyone is given. In addition to this, we were given sections from a script (Withnail and I) and explored what we thought the personalities the characters would have, their appearances and the setting they were in. This was useful because it developed our understanding of how scripts work and inspired us to write something that was well thought out. Without this class research we wouldn’t know how to write a script.
What secondary research did you do and what did you learn?
For secondary research I researched the slang and common words used in the 70s – this is the time period that I will be setting my script in. Different websites showed the same results, meaning that the slang I found was likely to be accurate to the time.
Some of the top words that were recurring were:
The second piece of secondary research I did was researching the aesthetic and products of the seventies. I scanned the pages of a book called ‘The 1970s Scrapbook’ by Robert Opie from the college library.
The crisps, chocolate and sauce were similar to the ones we have today, except the packaging was slightly different. The brand fonts were a lot bolder and the style of the packaging was a lot more geometric style. The colours were bright and made each packet stand out. This is useful information because I can reference specific brands in my script, and can also visualise the details of the setting better.
In terms of fashion, for women it involved a lot of of long sleeves, dresses and long skirts that were tighter at the waist and flowed out beneath. The fashion for men involved a lot of long sleeved shirts and trousers, often with flares. It also included a lot of jackets and baggy clothes. This is useful information for when I describe my characters and what they are wearing.
The music of the 70s was very varied. It ranged from disco to soul and jazz to punk rock, and also glam rock. By looking at the album covers and music merchandise in the scrapbook I can see that there was a large punk scene in the 70s, particularly with the Sex Pistols. This is useful information because I can use it to decide what music will be playing in the background at the setting in my script.
What primary research did you do and what did you learn?
For primary research I conducted a questionnaire, asking my classmates questions about their opinions and preferences within the mystery genre.
For the first question I asked my classmate to rate the mystery genre in terms of how interested they would be on a scale of 1 to 10. All answers given were 5 or above, with 1 answer at 5, 4 answers at 7 and 3 answers at 10. This is useful information to know because I now know that writing for a mystery genre would gain a big enough audience.
For the second question, I asked what they like about mystery. The answers ranged, mainly focusing on the suspense of the plot, twists and when the ending is exciting. This information is useful because it helps me to understand how to and what to include in my script.
The third question I asked was what do they not like about the mystery genre and why do they not like it. The responses were that they do not like mystery when it becomes predictable, or when the accused is obviously not guilty. This is useful to know so that I know what to include in the overall plot.
The fourth question I asked was what setting would they prefer the mystery to be set in. The options were British cities such as London, American cities such as Brooklyn or Chicago, or suburban country areas where ‘nothing ever happens’. The option for British cities had the biggest vote, winning 62.5% of the vote. American cities got 25% of the vote and suburban areas received 12.5% of the vote. This information is useful in deciding which setting to go for.
The fifth and last question I asked my classmates was what time period they would prefer the script to be set in. The options were 90s, 70s, 30s, 80s, or 20s. The 90s got the largest vote at 37.5%. The 70s got 12.5% of the vote, 80s and 20a with 25%. This information is useful because it helps me decide which would be the most successful time period to use.
What did you find to be the most useful for your screenplay and why?
I found the primary research I conducted more useful for my screenplay because it was more personal and informative. To be able to do secondary research on the 70s, I needed to know that this would be a successful setting to choose, so I would not be able to conduct the secondary research without the primary research first and so therefore it was more useful. In addition to this the secondary research allowed me to ask questions that were personal to my script and not general – it was a great help receiving answers on what to and what not to include in my screenplay because now I can write my script in a way that will please the audience.
The meaning of Gods and Monsters by Lana Del Rey is quite dark – it refers to the problems of Hollywood. The problems she refers to her song is the materialism of the industry – that there is no regard for originality or creating something worth consuming – that Hollywood is money making machine that values only making profit and exploiting young stars. In the song she talks about being a young aspiring musician, and realising that in order to be a successful star that she must sacrifice the direction she wants to truly go down as an artist and using her attributes to advantage herself – no matter the cost.
Lana Del Rey uses a large amount of imagery in all/most of her songs. In Gods and Monsters, she uses a thread in which she presents herself as an angel and Hollywood as hell. The first lines of the song are ‘In the land of Gods and Monsters
I was an angel, living in the garden of evil’. The gods and monsters she refers to represent the figures of Hollywood that try to lure her into trouble and that will not give her what she needs. The garden of evil represents the temptation of falling into the trap of losing herself to Hollywood cliches and problems – she tries her best to be the only one that doesn’t give in. By not giving in she presents herself as the angel she talks about in the song.
The imagery in the next line shows progression in how she is feeling and her changing reactions to Hollywood – ‘Screwed up, scared, doing anything that I needed’, reveals that she has given up and has decided to give in to the expectations of Hollywood.
Further on in the song, the lines ‘It’s innocence lost, innocence lost’ show how she has lost this image as an untainted angel and is now aware of the complications of being famous.
The full song uses imagery such as this – this imagery would have been used to dramatise and fictionalise the theme of the song, making it a story for the listeners to follow. In addition to this, the imagery fits her visual and content aesthetic of ‘Hollywood Sad-core’.
The duration of the song is 3 minutes and 57 seconds, which is almost four minutes. Songs that reach this kind of length are usually very detailed with lots of verses – which in this case proves to be true. In the song, there is two verses, three choruses, two refrains and a bridge. Because of this the song needs to be long enough to include this amount of content without rushing it – that way the audience can appreciate every element of the song peacefully without the song being over too quickly. In addition to this – the song is not too long where in which it drags on and becomes boring to listener. It is long enough so that the audience can appreciate it fully but short enough to keep the attention of the listener.
The pace of the song is medium to slow pace. The beat is consistent and doesn’t change very much, staying at a low bass tune paired with some higher pitch classical tune and some electronic elements. This pace is a consistent element of Lana Del Rey songs. Her style is old classic Hollywood themes mixed with melancholy (often dubbed as Hollywood Sad-core) so it is appropriate for her songs to be of a medium to slow pace in order to match the mood and theme of the song. The slow pace gives a graceful and elegant vibe which is very much Lana Del Rey’s aesthetic and image.
The horror movie opening I will be analysing in this essay will be Halloween, dating back to 1978. The film is stated to be inspired by Hitchcock’s ‘Psycho’, and was one of the first iconic slasher films made, inspiring many more to follow and a popular following still to this day. The film sold 30 million tickets worldwide when it was released in cinema, and was instated into the National Film Registry of America in 2006, for being “culturally, historically or aesthetically significant”. The film was directed by John Carpenter.
The target audience for Halloween is primarily a male audience, of the ages between 18-30. We know that the audience is mainly male because of the attention to sexual imagery and combined violence within the film. It’s a stereotype that this is a trope that will appeal to men, and so this was incorporated into the film. The killer is male, and the ‘final girl’ is saved by another male and so the film is made to be ‘relatable’ to men – if there were more female characters (or if the killer was female) it would be less relatable to that audience.
The film faced controversy due to the portrayal of women and society – with Myer’s victims being sexually promiscuous and substance abusers. It was suggested that this was a social critique of 1970’s American youth. In addition to this, critics suggested that the film was sadistic and misogynistic because it was made for viewers to be able to relate to the killer. Carpenter however dismissed these theories.
Halloween is an iconic and prime example of horror movie conventions, particularly in slashers. The trope in which all characters die except for one female survivor is known as the ‘final girl’ trope and Halloween brought this into mainstream horror. In addition to this, the opening is conventional of the genre. It starts with Michael Myer’s POV, walking into the house. We see him watching his older sister with her boyfriend, and go upstairs. We then see him creeping into the house, following them before stabbing his sister. Watching this from the killer’s perspective is a convention as it adds tension because we know exactly what is happening and can predict what will happen.
When his sister goes upstairs, the lover leaves for the night, leaving the girl defenceless. This is conventional horror – women in early and stereotypical films are often the victim of the killer, and by leaving her defenceless, we already know that she won’t survive.
Another way in which we know this is a generic slasher is that the killer has his own musical theme – as begins his journey to kill his sister an eerie tune begins to play – this is also a conventional signal that leaves the audience expecting a murder. It leaves the audience on the edge of their seat.
In Halloween, the representation is specific and significant, especially in regards to women. Halloween is a classic film that popularised the film trope of killing off the slim, blonde and pretty woman, and this character is usually the first to be killed – as with this film.
In the opening, the first shot we see of characters is from Michael’s point of view – we see him looking through a window and seeing his older sister kissing her lover. As the audience we know that she is going to die because we know of this trope. We then see the characters running upstairs to the bedroom, furthering our knowledge that she is going to die. When the lover leaves, she is left defenceless and we know Michael is going to kill her. He creeps up the stairs and kills her, leaving her on the floor. Throughout this whole scene, the sister is represented in a promiscuous manner – when she dies, we see her on the floor in none/little clothing.
The killing of the sister after being with a lover presents the idea of intimacy as a sin, which is a narrative that continues throughout the film. The film may have been constructed this way because it combines intimacy with horror, and it also suggests the idea of male dominance which may appeal to the target audience, particularly at the time of release when gender stereotypes were firmly in place.
The narrative of the opening of Halloween is single strand narrative – up until we see the killer revealed at the end, the entire opening is from the perspective of the killer – Michael Myers. We see exactly what he is seeing from a first person point of view. This engages the audience because we can begin to understand his thought pattern and why he does what he does (considering that we are familiar with the female representation trope). We also see him picking up the knife from his perspective, making us anticipate what is about to happen. In addition to this, the killer picks up as clown mask and puts it on – the mask would only fit a child, so it alerts us that this killer is not an adult, which could be argued that this makes it creepier. This is the only thread that we see in the opening – it makes hang on to the story and it is creepier because we aren’t given a break from it – it is the only thing to focus on.
Whilst Halloween can be considered an objectifying and problematic film in terms of representation, the tropes that the film popularised are still being modelled after in today’s horror. Horror films are made to be uncomfortable, scary and/or suspenseful, and these tropes have worked out successfully for the horror industry with Halloween being a shining example that continues to enthuse horror fans across the world.
Unit 6 (Part 2) Task1 – BBFC Statement
After much consideration, the BBFC have decided to support the ongoing production of violent films. We classify them carefully and any content that is graded too violent will be cut from the film.
Our decision was carefully considered and explored, with research and evidence all the way through. Through our own research and the Uses and Classification Theory, we have decided that audiences are responsible enough for themselves to make a choice whether or not to watch violent content. There are many justifiable reasons someone may decide to watch this content and it is not our decision to take that away. Whilst it is highly inappropriate for people below the age restriction to watch violent films, we cannot be responsible for the choices a young person may make to watch a violent film, and we cannot prohibit these films based on the potential that it could affect someone’s mental health. Whilst watching a film at the cinema, the option for the audience to leave the viewing area if the content is too distressing is always available. Likewise, when watching a film at home or watching it with acquaintances, the option to leave the room or switch the device off is always available. We expect our audiences to make a well informed decision before watching a violent film.
In the 1960’s, media theorists decided that audiences were ‘not a passive mass but were made up of individuals who actively consumed texts for different reasons and in different ways’. This means that when we watch violent films we are conscious that it is violent and still decide to consume it for a multitude of reasons that can be personal to each person. This is a theory that we support, and through research and case studies we have discovered this to be true. Some of the ways in which our audience may use violent films are:
In terms of diversion, someone may watch a violent film because they use it as escapism from the issues they may face in their personal life. Instead of doing the same routine everyday or feeling aggravated because of a personal situation, viewers may turn to a violent film for distraction.
Viewers may also use violent films due to the fact that the dialogue and human side of the film may substitute for personal company, such as friends or family. Viewers will usually watch soap operas and other less violent content for this connection, however violent films can appeal in this way to certain people.
In addition to this, viewers may also watch violent films because they may identify with certain elements of the film, such as the ideologies or characters. For example, viewers may relate to the character The Narrator/Tyler Durden.
Research has revealed that for a large percentage of viewers, watching violent films provides catharsis. This means that when a viewer is feeling aggressive or antisocial, they may decide to watch a violent film to work through the negative emotions. They are provided with catharsis because they are watching a film that reflects how they feel on screen. By the time the film has finished these negative emotions have been expelled and so they won’t feel the need to go out and express these emotions physically.
For example, people may watch Fight Club when they feel violent because the violence they feel is being displayed on screen. The premise of Fight Club is an underground club in which men will meet to fight each other as much as they want without repercussions, to express their emotions in a feminised and consumerist society. The audience may relate to how The Narrator/Tyler feels and how he views society, so watching him fight and release the pent up emotions allows the viewer to do the same. By the end of the movie, the idea of a Fight Club has changed and we see the repercussions of it – therefore the violence is not promoted and the audience has disconnected from these feelings.
My personal experience regarding violent films is neutral. Personally violence in a film does not affect me as it is make believe and actors will use certain effects or methods of acting (such as fake punches, fake slaps, fake blood pouches) to portray violence, so there is no distress whilst viewing it. On the other hand, watching violence in a film that is a true story or based on real events (e.g. Saving Private Ryan) is distressing to watch because it’s based on actions that would have actually happened. However, despite being distressing, it helps to understand and empathise with the situation and so therefore we detest the idea of these things happening in real life.
In conclusion, I disagree that violent films should be banned. We choose the content we watch and it’s the viewers responsibility to stay sensitive to violence and make an informed decision before watching such content.
My idea for my animation is to focus on the beauty of wildlife and nature. My idea is inspired by the opening to the Lion King – I want to animate a sunrise with animals and plants gathering at the edges, focusing on two elephants coming together in the middle as the poem below is recited. It will be colourful and peaceful which I can also mirror with the rhythm and mood of the poem below. The poem I will be using is Make The Earth Your Companion, by J. Patrick Lewis. I will convey the poem through the visuals of the animation – it focuses strongly on different features of nature, such as rivers and sky. I will show these visuals in the animation. Another way I can convey the poem through the animation is through the pace. The scene will be moving slowly but kind of gracefully – I hopefully will include an elephant raising its trunk which is a graceful motion, matching the pace of the poem.
The animation technique I will be using is time lapse. I will be photographing every frame of the animation and stitching them together, most likely in an Adobe software. To create my animation, I will be using paper cut outs and moving them by hand for each scene. For the sunrise, I will cut out a colourful sun and tuck it behind a piece of paper representing the land, and move it up gradually. I’ve chosen this method as I like the homemade look and I think it is sweet. It also appeals to a younger demographic which is great for my target audience.
The frame rate I will be using for my animation is 12/FPS, also known as 12 frames per second. For a 30 second animation, this would equal 360 frames/shots. I chose this number as it is fluid and the actions will translate smoothly, but also because it is a lower frame rate than high professional standard (24/FPS) keeping it to the homemade look which is consistent with what I hope to achieve.
The lighting I will use will be soft and warm coloured, so that the colours of the animation will shine through properly. In my animation the sky changes from night to day so having a neutral, not to harsh or too dark lighting will allow for better realism and saturation of the colours.
The main characters of my animation will be two elephants, coming in from both sides of the animation (set in a savanna with the sun rising) together and meeting in front of the sun. The poem will be recited to the pace of the elephants walking.
The other characters in my animation will be a flock of birds, which will rise from bottom to top in front of the sun as it is rising. I chose to add them as it makes the scene more interesting rather than just two characters. It also adds realism as elephants are not the only species to inhabit the grassland. The birds will also add contrast of colour against the bright sun.
This is my set design for my animation. I took pictures from google and stitched them together to create the basic design. I will use silhouette imagery against a colourful background which will create a nice contrast. There will be grassland at the bottom, as this is typical elephant habitat. On the left, there will be a large canopy tree. It will make the scene much more interesting and complex. It will also add realism as it is typical grassland greenery, and it will also add scale so that the sun, tree and elephants are coordinated in size. The sky will be a reddish orange, the colour of a traditional sunrise sky. The sun will be big and bright, adding contrast and adding more peace to the scene.
To create the elephants movement, I will cut out the silhouettes of the elephant and have the legs, head and trunk separate which I will move manually. I may use a certain pin to attach the limbs on and then move them, so that the limbs don’t look uneven or inaccurate. Elephants walk slowly because of their weight, putting their left legs forward, then back, and the right legs will move in opposite motion.
For the birds, the motion is simple to recreate. The birds will be secured in the middle with a pin, whilst the wings will move up and down.
For the sun, I will cut it out of yellow paper and the grassland will be in front of it. I will glue the grassland down only at the sides and bottom, so that there is a pocket that the sun can be tucked in and moved upwards by hand.
The target audience for my animation will be kids, aged around primary school aged. The animation takes inspiration from the opening to Lion King, Circle of Life, voiced by Carmen Twillie and Lebo. M. The Lion King is a film by Disney about a family of Lions, which teaches a message of respect to the world around you. Likewise, the poem that will be recited for my animation focuses on respecting wildlife and nature, so the target audience will be the same. In addition to this, animations are typically targeted towards young people – animations from studios such as Disney, Dream Works and Aardman create animation targeted at kids, such as The Little Mermaid, Shark Tale, and Shaun the Sheep.
In terms of visual effects, I will be using filters and colour editing to make my animation seem more digital. I will be creating my animation out of coloured card, and using specific pins to attach the limbs of the elephants and birds together. The pins will allow the limbs to be secure and rotated to demonstrate walking, but not be moved where they shouldn’t be. In the editing application I will adjust each frame so that it has a more digital appearance.
For sound, I will use a TASCAM to record the poem being recited. I will be doing this in a studio at college, with the help of someone in my class doing the voice over. I will then bring the animation into Adobe Premiere and match it with the poem. In addition to this, I will download nature/savannah sounds and have those in the background so that there is a variety of audio.
The software I will use to edit my final animation is Adobe Animate.