FMP Week 2

FMP – RESEARCH PLAN Approx. No of Words
Interest/Topic/Theme 50
I will be researching into Storytelling and Narrative; particularly in to how teenage characters are represented in film
Why is it important? – Importance 100
I feel that teenage characters are often either misrepresented or underdeveloped in film. Whether that be due to lack of knowledge or general negligence I think the characters are difficult to relate to at a different age and so I want to be able to represent them properly.

 

My progress and achievements throughout the course (write about knowledge, skills and how this influenced your choices during the course) 200
Throughout this course I have learnt a number of skills and an extensive amount of knowledge about filmmaking and the film industry. I have always had a keen interest in “Coming of Age” films, and so as my knowledge has increased in narrative and scriptwriting over the past 2 years; I have realised that some practitioners can create teenage characters effectively, whereas most characters will often feel underdeveloped and misrepresented. I have exponentially increased my camera, sound and lighting skills since the beginning of this course, and throughout, as my confidence has grown, I have found myself taking the position of Director more and more, as I like to be in charge of the set I am on so I can create the product as I see fit.

 

Literature (Proposed Sources – Harvard Format) 200
Louise O’Neill. (2015). How do you write for teenagers?. Available: https://www.theguardian.com/childrens-books-site/2015/oct/23/how-do-you-write-for-teenagers. Last accessed 21/03/2017.

 

Boyhood. Texas, USA: Richard Linklater, 2014. DVD.

 

Fresh Air. (2014). Filmed Over 12 Years, ‘Boyhood’ Follows A Kid’s Coming Of Age. Available: http://www.npr.org/2014/07/10/330291891/filmed-over-12-years-boyhood-follows-a-kids-coming-of-age. Last accessed 21/03/2017.

 

Ramin Setoodeh. (2016). Richard Linklater on the Long Road to Make ‘Everybody Wants Some!!’. Available: http://variety.com/2016/film/news/richard-linklater-everybody-wants-some-dazed-and-confused-1201731914/. Last accessed 22/03/2017.

 

Dazed And Confused. Texas, USA: Richard Linklater, 1993. DVD.

 

Lydia Sharp. (2013). Writing From an Authentic Teen Viewpoint. Available: https://writeitsideways.com/writing-from-an-authentic-teen-viewpoint/. Last accessed 22/03/2017.

 

Fast Times At Ridgemont High. California, USA: Amy Heckerling, 1982. DVD.

 

 

My research questions (What I am trying to find out?) 100
·       What films have represented teenage characters properly

·       Which Directors and Writers have consistently developed teenage characters extensively and how can I learn from them

·       Which Directors and Writers have not developed teenage characters well and what can I learn about how not to build the characters

Research Design (methods) 100
I will be holding focus groups to find out peoples views on the representation in media of teenage characters and what can be done to represent them better. I also want to do secondary research into films with well-developed teenage characters to see how that practitioner made that character. It’s important not solely focus on existing films, and so I want to look at how teenage characters are developed in novels too.

 

·       Focus Groups

·       Interviews

·       Surveys

·       Observation

·       Books

·       Journals

·       Advertising

·       Film + TV

·       Internet

·       Magazines

·       Photography

 

How will this research help me with my product? 200
It’s important for me to look at existing media products to gain an understanding of how what I’m interested in looking at has been produced in the past. I will learn more about how to produce an effective script and what kind of traits make a good and bad teenage character.

 

 

 

 

 

Project Action Plan and Timetable
Week Date Week Beginning Activity / What you are intending to do – including independent study

 

Resources / What you will need to do it – including access to workshops

 

1 13th March 17 Observation Study Camera
2 20th March 17 Timeline – Skills learnt

Research Plan

Computer

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https://www.amazon.co.uk/Neewer-Aluminum-Camera-Making-include/dp/B00QI6Y3X0/ref=pd_cp_421_1?_encoding=UTF8&psc=1&refRID=5KTRCKKB8V0SCB2CP96X

FMP Week 2

FMP Week 1

We were tasked with going into Canterbury town and the surrounding area and take recordings of our observations. As I have been looking into cinematography for my discipline I decided to look into lighting, however I wanted to go more in-depth than that and so chose to look at shadows and reflections.

Here is the selection of the photos I took today:

 

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This photo was taken at a vintage fair at the University for the Creative Arts. I saw the reflection of sunlight off of the metallic coat hangers and thought it was a really interesting shot.

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This photo was taken outside of the Marlowe Theater of the “Bulkhead” sculpture. The photo was taken in the early evening when the sun was low in the sky. Because of the intense lighting the shadow of the face is cast against the fence with focus put on the light coming through the eye.

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Also taken at the “Bulkhead” sculpture this shot is from inside the face. I found that the sculpture was originally constructed in 2003 and so has rusted and worn away alight over the past 14 years, therefore the lighting through the rust holes give a great effect.

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I like the difference in the shadows in these two shots. Both were shot in the same location with the same lighting and it’s interesting to see how the shadow has diffused over a greater distance due to the size of the object and the distance away from the ground. You can also see how the edges of the shadow on the left are far more defined that the right due to the close proximity to the ground.

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This is my favorite photo of the day; firstly because of the great reflection I managed to get and also the contrast between the relatively dull color palette of the shot compared to the subjects bright-colored clothing. The subject and the reflection are perfectly mirrored to the center of the shot.

This task was a really interesting one for me. I found myself seeing and observing little things around Canterbury that I usually wouldn’t. Especially some small objects or places that reflect light in an interesting and new way. I’ve learnt that there is more to light than I originally thought I knew and that I can use light and how it reflects to create a different style of effect in my final film for my FMP.

FMP Week 1

Academic Report – Unit 12

Since the beginning of this term I’ve learnt a large amount about my chosen discipline. I have mostly been looking at cinematography throughout and found that looking into classical cinematographers like Freddie Young was a particularly insightful task. As looking at the past and how they produced and innovated has given me inspiration for my future final major project. I will be looking back at the content I have produced over the past 6 weeks and reviewing the types of research I did, what I researched into and how this has affected my Final Major Project so far.

Explain what you have learnt about the contextual perspectives of your chosen discipline, i.e. historical, social, cultural and industrial factors that may have influenced the development of your specialist area (1.1).

I began by choosing a discipline to look into for the rest of the term. I had originally thought about looking into sound design, as I felt that we focus a lot on the camera side of filmmaking and wanted to research more into it. However I really wanted to focus on cinematography for my Final Major Project and so decided to look into this instead.

In our week 4 task I was looking into Fear and Unrequited love. I found the fear part of the task to be particularly useful to me as I learnt a lot about different cinematographic  techniques that I could use to represent a certain emotion in a scene. For instance the use of different apertures on the camera as the tone of the scene changes from calm to extreme anger when Fletcher is shouting at Andrews face. As seen below the shallow depth of field represents Andrews isolation at that moment compared to the deep depth of field earlier on.

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For the next section of this task we were allowed to choose our own topic to research into. I decided to look into the topic of unrequited love and how through cinematography the emotion could be portrayed. One of the most famous films that heavily feature the theme of unrequited love was 500 Days of Summer(2009). I researched into how the shots were composed and framed to show unrequited love over a more classical shot in a romantic film to show love between 2 characters. The distance between the characters and the differences between the shots where the characters are in love and are not are heavily apparent.

Here is one of the shots that I experimented with and where I got the inspiration for it from 500 Days of Summer:

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I found the week 6 task, the practitioner’s report, to be particularly insightful as we were researching into 2 practitioner’s in our chosen discipline; mine being Freddie Young and Emmanuel Lubezki. When researching into practitioners to choose who I would be looking in depth at I found that Lubezki’s expanse of critically acclaimed work made him a good modern practitioner to look into. I had always been inspired by this scene in Lawrence of Arabia(1962):

Therefore I chose to research into the cinematographer for this film; who was Freddie Young.

I found it extremely interesting how both practitioner’s found their way in to the film industry. With Emmanuel Lubezki studying History and then abandoning that dream and switching to focusing on his new found love for film, and for Freddie Young who got a job as a tea boy at a studio in the midst of World War 1 and ended up working his way up to a DoP.

The difference in cinematic style was quite apparent when analysing these two practitioners. I found Freddie Young’s use of large sweeping wide shots and his preference of 70mm projection and lens use to be an interesting style and uncommon in today’s cinema. Emmanuel Lubezki also used a lot of wide angle shots, however not to the same extent that Young did and the rest of his style is quite apparently different. Lubezki’s experimentation and use of long takes compared to Young’s relatively stationary camera shows a lot about the evolution of filmmaking over the past 60 years.

Analyse what you have learnt about these contextual perspectives and discuss how you can use this to inform your own practice (1.2).

I found the researching of practitioners a particularly good task, as it allowed me to research and learn a lot of new and old skills in cinematography that I hadn’t learnt about before. For example when analysing Freddie Young’s work on Lawrence of Arabia I learnt a lot about scene transitions, which isn’t something I expected to, but it has now made me think more about how I should think about where and how I’m going to cut a scene when planning and on set as well as in post-production. It isn’t linked directly to cinematography but finding out about how sound and colour can make a transition smoother has really helped me for my Final Major Project.

The interview task that we performed gave me a lot of valuable skills for my Final Major Project, as when interviewing a subject before the questions that I asked weren’t planned thoroughly enough and could be too simplistic. This task taught me how to properly construct an interview and how to plan the questions and branch further questions off answers the interviewee gives. I found this task to be more journalism based but it will really help me when researching for my Final Major Project.

I found the personality test an interesting piece of work. Personally I doubt the accuracy of the test, as I don’t personally believe that people’s personalities can be categorised. I believe that every person is unique although have similarities. Although what the task did do was make me think more in depth about what kind of person I am, and how that can relate to what I can produce for my Final Major Project.

I’ve also become very interested in long takes ever since looking into Emmanuel Lubezki. Seeing other examples in recent films such as La La Land(2016) has peaked my interest in trying to use this technique in my Final Major Project if it can be achieved.

When looking at Fear and Unrequited Love I learnt a lot about how small changes to camera settings can change the whole emotion in a scene. For instance in Whiplash(2014) simply the change of angle and aperture transforms the scene from a relatively peaceful environment to complete fear in the emotions of Andrew.  As seen below:

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The lighting experimentation that I performed in week 5 of this term helped me to develop my camera and lighting skills. I’ve always pushed lighting to the side when filming, as it’s sometimes something that can be easily forgotten when planning a short film with a small crew. However now that I have done this task and have seen what kind of results can be achieved through simply using gels to create interesting colours I am more inclined to put more thought into it when producing my Final Major Project.

Considering the range of research activities you have undertaken, explain what you have learnt from these activities and discuss how you can use these to inform your own practice (2.1/2.2).

Throughout this task I have used a wide range of different primary and secondary research techniques. The creation of mind maps, analysing film and internet research are some of the techniques that I used for this unit.

Watching and analysing the films that the two practitioners created in their career was a really insightful process, as I expanded my knowledge greatly by watching films I may not have watched if not for the tasks set in this unit. For example the film A Little Princess(1995). One of Emmanuel Lubezki’s first english language films after moving away from Mexico; the story of a little girl in a boarding school might not be something that initially grabs my attention, however as I wanted to see where Lubezki started out I watched and thoroughly enjoyed the film. I learnt new narrative techniques from the film and found it to be very unique and experimental and unlike a lot of films I had seen before.

Although I felt I knew a relative amount of information about Cinematography I wanted to learn and research more in-depthly about this as I wanted to focus on it

I found that the work on fear taught me a lot about how fear can be not just a theme of a film but can be what drives a character, or fear of failure, or even the fear of success and that fear is something that is in every movie and all around us in everyday life. Not just in, for example, horror movies which is quite an obvious place to find fear. This had lead me to want to look more in depth at the motives and reasons why things happen in my films. To make sure there is always motivation and depth to characters and my story.

From all my research I have learnt a lot of new techniques to use in my Final Major Project. Especially in the aspect of Cinematography I feel much more confident that I can create a better FMP with better camerawork than my previous films and projects at college.

Conclusion

Going back through all the work from this unit for my report has helped me to reaffirm the knowledge gained from the research in which I did for Unit 12. Throughout this unit I did a lot of experimentation and research into a multitude of different areas. Mostly looking into Cinematography I learnt through looking at existing pieces of media and experimenting with what practitioners have created before. This research will allow me to apply the skills and techniques I have learnt to my Final Major Project. I found that the work in the first 3 weeks of this unit helped me to learn a lot about myself and how my interests and personality shapes and informs what I do in my life and the kinds of work that I produce.

This unit also allowed me to expand my theoretical knowledge base as well as my practical. As we were given tasks that allowed for a lot of research and analysis via watching films. This meant I watched a lot of new and interesting films over the course of this term.

Academic Report – Unit 12

Practitioner’s Report

We were given a brief to create a report on one practitioner from modern day cinema, and one from classical cinema. For this task I will be looking at the cinematographers Emmanuel Lubezki and Freddie Young. I came to the decision of looking at these two practitioners due to their work on Lawrence of Arabia(1962) and Children of Men(2006).

Emmanuel Lubezki

Early Life

Emmanuel Lubezki grew up in Mexico City; however his parents originated from Russia and fled to Shanghai after the Communist revolution in 1917. Studying amd living in Mexico he says the first “magic moment happened when I was looking through the viewfinder on a Super 8 camera and shooting the film” (Lubezki, 2007). He began studying History at the University of Mexico, however after visiting the still photography department at the university he abandoned history and began producing short films at the Mexican School of Cinema. From the outset he knew he wanted to become a cinematographer and even worked with Alfonso Cuarón whilst still at University. Him and a group of other aspiring cinematogrpahers worked in, and around, Mexico City producing films and trying to fund future films through sales of VHS tapes. After some of his work was selected for the Toronto Film Festival he started to gain notoriety from agents and producers in Los Angeles. From there he began working in Hollywood and on bigger and bigger films.

(IEC, 2016)

Work

Emmanuel Lubezki is famous for his handheld wide-angle filmmaking style. This 3 time Oscar winner collaborated on films such as Birdman(2014), Children of Men(2006) and The Revenant(2015). Lubezki experimented with long takes in Children of Men; following in the wake of Steven Spielberg, who pioneered the “Spielberg oner”, he shot multiple impressive one takes through the movie including the famous car scene.

This 4 minute take took months to plan and build the rigging. Here are some photos of the car to show how they managed to achieve it.

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(Nathalie, 2017)                                                             (Mike Seymour, 2007)

Lubezki and Alfonso Cuaron originally thought about using green screen over actually shooting the sequence in a real environment, however Lubezki fought for a non green screen route, as his preferred style is to shoot using natural lighting and he felt that there wouldn’t be realistic and natural reflections through the windows if shot using green screen.

Lubezki’s experimentation with long takes in Children of Men transferred over in 2014 to one of the most impressive cinematographic feats in the history film. The film Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)(2014) seemingly runs for 1 hour and 59 minutes without a single cut throughout. Of course there are hidden cuts and the film itself separates itself into 3 acts via a transitional shot looking at the sky. Lubezki himself said the longest shot in the film is only roughly 15 minutes; most clocking in around the 10 minute mark. Still this is an extremely impressive achievement; when you consider every time the camera moved lighting also had to be altered to avoid unwanted shadows and to keep continuity.

Freddie Young

Early Life

Freddie Young began his work in the film industry in the midst of World War 1 in 1917. He began working as a tea boy. In 1929 he signed a contract with MGM British Studios doing any job from driving the studio car to an editor. Over the next 20 years he spent his time building up an impressive catalogue of films that he worked on. During World War 2 he served as “captain and chief cameraman in the Army Kinematograph Service at Wembley Studio” (IEC, 2016) and filmed major events such as the Normandy landings. In 1959 he freed himself from his MGM contract after 30 years and went on to produce critically acclaimed films such as Doctor Zhivago(1965) and Lawrence of Arabia(1962).

(IEC, 2016)

Work

Freddie Young was one of the most influential and long working filmmakers of the 20th century. Working from 1917 all the way until 1984 his career spanned 67 years before his death in 1998. He was known for shooting his films using 70mm lenses for wide cinematic shots. The use of 70mm or 35mm is usually based on the cinematographers preference. Young was a Cinematographer who thought 70mm was a better medium to shoot on for his style of work. The wider shots and better quality when projecting were clinching points for Young to use this format at the time.

Young won 3 Oscars in Cinematography for his work on Lawrence of Arabia(1962), Doctor Zhivago(1965) and Ryan’s Daughter(1970); all of which he collaborated with David Lean on.

These 3 screen grabs are shots from Lawrence of Arabia.

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Freddie Young’s deep and intense color palette used in this film is particularly evident here. The strong orange and reds bounding over the dark and bleak desert gives off a certain intensity to this shot.

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The use of a wide angle lens for this shot accentuates the vast expansiveness of the desert, furthermore the leading lines of the shot point to a character in the distance of great significance, therefore representing an imminent scene of importance.

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Again the use of a wide angle lense shows just how dwarfed the characters are by the vastness of the desert. A lack of identity is shown by the silhouettes of the characters in this shot.

This task gave me a lot of insight into the detailed styles of cinematography both directors of photography have. The natural lighting style of Emmanuel Lubezki, but still using a lot of diffusers and reflectors I found particularly inspiring and would like to implement that kind of lighting technique into my final major project.

 

https://www.theguardian.com/film/2008/may/04/features

http://www.cinematographers.nl/PaginasDoPh/lubezki.htm

http://www.cinematographers.nl/GreatDoPh/young.htm

https://www.fxguide.com/featured/children_of_men_-_hard_core_seamless_vfx/

http://www.mentorless.com/2012/05/01/alfonso-cuaron-and-the-art-of-long-takes-the-children-of-men-example/

http://deepfocusreview.com/definitives/lawrence-of-arabia/

Practitioner’s Report