Thursday, 13 January 2011

film opening: Research

For our idea of a dream sequence we wanted to get it very much from a single persons perspective as dreams often are. We wanted the scene to feel very vivid yet the camera shot to be completely different to those we would later use so as to set it apart as his fantasy not as part of his reality. To get his perspective we would need to use a POV shot that would help to capture people’s reaction to him. We imagined the camera pushes through a crowd of people capturing their adoring reactions to him whether as a boy giving a high five or a girl winking flirtatiously at him. We wanted a POV that matched the characters exact eye line so that the viewer felt like they were in his shoes.  We looked for examples of how this type of shot has been done to great effect before. The one example that immediately sprung to mind was the Channel 4 comedy series Peep Show which uses the pov shot when combined with narration to really put you in the head of the two main characters. Most of the show is shot from either Mark or Jeremy's POV even when both characters are involved in a shot reverse shot. By hearing their strange and disturbing thoughts and their view on the world it makes for genuinely original and hilarious show. 

However it was a different example that really captured our imagination. The music video to The Prodigy’s Smack My Bitch Up.

We all liked way in which they tricked the audience into thinking it was a male characters perspective when at the very end they reveal it to in fact be a girl. It made me think that if they were able to make us believe in the gender of the character just through the actions you see them doing then we would be able to make the audience believe that the person is attractive and the life and soul of the party without physically showing them. It is all in the camera movement and the other actor’s interaction with the camera. We liked how they jerked the camera from one point to the other reflecting the characters ever changing point of focus and the frantic nature of the whole video with time slowing down and speeding up as well as the camera spinning reflecting the persons wasted state. It was also effective having both the actor’s arms in shot and the interaction between the camera lens and what was in shot with water spraying the screen as the individual takes a shower or when a towel covers the screen when she is drying herself. It is these techniques that really make you see the screen as the persons eyes and face and that bring the action to life.

A problem that we were going to have to face if we were to go down the internet dating route in our opening was how to film someone on a computer and the website itself without boring the audience. A film I saw recently that did this well was The Social Network which focuses on what could potentially be quite a boring story cinematically, the creation of Facebook. Of course its an intriguing story otherwise no one would make a film about it but director David Fincher still had to solve the problem of filming long sequences of people just programming at computers.

He managed to overcome this through treating these moments as action sequences using close ups and quick editing between typing hands, looks of concentration and the computer screen itself. In this way he was able to bring energy to the scenes and capture the complete focus, quick thinking and drive behind the protagonist, Mark Zuckerberg that lead him to ultimately create Facebook. I think that although the protagonist in our film is very different from that in The Social Network we can still adopt a similar approach in trying to convey his escapism by creating a dynamic and engaging internet browsing sequence.

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