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Monday, 11 April 2011

Red: Audio Analysis

The audio that we used to complement the footage was mainly provided by team mate and friend Chris Starkey.  His approach was to create rough and ambient sound with the music, as opposed to definitive catchy tunes.  This worked in cohesion with the gritty nature of the film to immerse the viewer in the dark and grungy story.

As all the audio was layered on after the rough video cut had been produced, it was easy to observe the nature of each shot, and compliment the footage with audio scene by scene.  By doing so the audio was attached to the project to add depth, and to emphasize each scene individually. The end result was a relatively seamless progression of sound, that moved in time with, and complimented the video well.

Red: The Pantry Door-Cam Fiasco

 "Commited" -Nuff said

Red: Shot Analysis

Several shots that stood out to me.  Some for technical issues we overcame, some for the developments that were made as a result of the shots themselves.

Red: Static Imagery

Poster created for the Film:

DVD Cover Art:

Red: Role Critique (Art Director)

As the 'Art Director' of the project I felt it was my position to ensure everything we were trying to convey through our short film was visually done to a standard that we were all happy with.  I was first presented with the opportunity to do so during the planning stages. 

At this point we had developed a solid story and had developed an approach and aesthetic regarding our main characters and settings.  I thought this would be a good opportunity to cement these ideas by creating a relatively detailed story board consisting not only of plot outline, but of particular shot choices and cinematic approach.  This allowed us to really envision what we were going to do step-by-step, and to individually contribute to the planning of the film's aesthetics.  Once this was completed, the actual filming stages, although still time-consuming and choppy, were a lot more organized than if this stage had not been implemented.

I feel a lot of responsibility when making the choices regarding cinematography, which as the art director i felt responsible for.  I was happy and confident with the decisions I made. Whilst most of the work we produced was done so by the team as a whole, I felt it was good to be in the position where I felt capable enough to step in and make a final decision.  this allowed us to push forward on potentially time-wasting shots, and work at a much more efficient rate.  In the future, if I was to take a role as art director again, or even push a cinematography-specific position, it would be good to commit entirely to this role.  Having everyone involved in a specialized position would allow more focus on individual aspects of the film.  As long as every member involved was confident with what they were doing, and gelled well with the rest of the group, it would make for a very productive way to approach the work at hand.

Lastly I was able to really take charge with the static imagery attached to the film (poster and DVD cover art).  This was something I was looking forward to, and was allowed absolute creative freedom from the rest of the group.  I took in ideas, and implemented ideas of my own.  I observed the general direction of the film, and pushed the aesthetic idea we were collectively aiming for.  The end result was something I was very proud of.  incorporating the aforementioned bold contrasting 'Sin City'-esque visuals, whilst remaining independently stylized.  As was I believe the general visual style of the project as a whole.

Sunday, 10 April 2011

Red: Final Cut

So here's the final cut.  I think I'll post it now to add some relevance to my previous posts, and look at doing some shooting/editing specific posts afterwards.

Red: Granny

An important part of this project was seeing how far you could travel while remaining true to the original story.  I think there is an important aspect of our movie regarding this approach that may not be immediately obvious upon watching our film.

We wanted to maintain the idea that the big connection between 'The Wolf' and 'Red' was 'Granny'.  In the original tale 'The Wolf' takes 'Granny's place in bed to fool the unsuspecting visitor and draw her close enough to eat.  We wished to maintain this idea by setting up that Red was regularly visiting her Granny in hospital, whilst under surveillance from the wolf-pack. 

I feel as well as being an important part of the project, this is an important detail in the story, and potentially one that wasn't clear enough after watching our final cut.

Red: Wolf / the Bad Guys

The antagonist of Little Red Riding Hood is 'The Wolf'.  He is hungry and malicious, he has already fed on Granny within the tale but is hell bent on chowing down on Little Red Riding Hood next.  Using the guise of Granny as bait, the wolf lures Red' close enough and feasts on his second victim of the day. 

We have chosen to represent 'The Wolf' in a different way.  In our version "The Wolf' is the ambiguous head of a crime syndicate, responsible for the string of human trafficking related kidnappings that Jack has been detective-ing most recently. Ultimately they are responsible for the kidnapping of Marcie, which gives Jack the missing piece of the puzzle he's looking for, and leads to 'The Wolf's demise.

We wanted the wolf to be as mysterious as possible.  We initiallly struggled to determine whether to place 'The Wolf' as the head of the organization, or to have the title refer to the organization itself.  In the end we left this detail somewhat up in the air.  The role was filled by an individual, but the title was never used on camera.

We had a shot towards the beginning of the movie which worked out really well.  It depicted 'The Wolf' in the back of his car, lit and sillhouetted from behind. I feel it accurately demonstrated the importance of the character (being chauffer driven by his henchmen) and retained the enigmatic nature of his character by not revealing his face.  From here we cut to a shot of his hands going through the file, choosing girls as his next kidnapping victims.  We also used this shot to implement a small tattoo on his hand -the alpha symbol from the ancient greek alphabet.  This was to represent his ststus as alpha male of his 'pack'  to play on the idea that the wolf may refer to the group as opposed to the leader himself.

The character was based on concepts rather than existing fictional material.  I suppose a few of the ideas could be taken again from the movie Pulp Fiction -where the main players discuss and introduce the viewer to 'Marcellus Wallace' before the character himself is shown on screen.
Pulp Fiction Scene: Thanks Embedding disabled.

Also I've been running hrough the Mass Effect series recently and comparisons could be drawn between the character of 'The Wolf' and 'The Illusive Man'-for obvious reasons.  Their 'illusiveness', they are calm and assertively coy.  They both end up at the end of their respective titles being a bit of a wimp.

Quite a wicked character.  Fun to play ( both in his attitude, and lack of screentime)  Will try write a seperate entry regarding acting later.

Saturday, 9 April 2011

Red: Little Red Riding Hood.

Red Riding Hood.  The victim and the source of the story from the original fable. 

W however opted to tell our re-imagining from the perspective of Jack our lumberjack/detective.  As a result we found with no intention, that Little Red Riding Hood (or Marcie) had taken a backseat insofar as character development goes.

The imagery was simple, we wanted to make her clothes reasonably generic so we could demonstrate that she was the average 'girl next door' type (In no way disrespect towards our amazing shoe-filler Larissa Pedersen).  She was targeted by the wolf to be kidnapped for human-trafficking because she fit the bill of attractive 19-20y.o. female, not because she was special in any way.

However to define her as Little Red Riding Hood and one of the leads we gave her the trademark vibrant red overcoat.  We initially wanted to go with a semi-dressy overcoat, but ended up going with a red hoodie, this forced the colour on the screen to contrast to the desired degree, but retained the idea that she was just another girl wandering around our seemingly very dangerous city.  Poor girl...