Wednesday, 24 November 2010

Scene by Scene Analysis - Taken Opening

It is a big bad world we live in and we sometimes tend to forget that as we enjoy the comfort and security we have taken for granted. Although we are often warned of dangers when we travel, travel has become something so common that we think nothing of flying a few hours to a new country or hailing cabs in countries where we can’t even speak the language.
If you have always thought those who are extra-careful when traveling are paranoid, Taken will jolt you back into awareness that the world is really a big bad place, if you aren’t careful.

Taken features a single father, Bryan Mills (Liam Neeson) whose job as a “preventer” or Government spy causes his family breakup. He later gave up his job to be a better father and move closer to his and teenage daughter, Kim who is living with his estranged wife, Lenore and her very wealthy husband. Like most children of divorced parents, Kim sees her father only when she needs something from him which was a signature to allow her to visit Paris with her friend, Amanda, after her 17th birthday.
In Paris, the two flighty girls befriend a man, Peter at the airport who offers to share a taxi with them and from there learns that they are staying alone in Amanda’s cousin’s apartment. What follows is a kidnapping by an Albanian kidnapping ring who kidnaps young foreign girls for prostitution and a father’s race through Paris to rescue his beloved daughter in 96 hours.

Tuesday, 9 November 2010

The life of a film - Slumdog millionaire

Film Synopsis
Slumdog Millionaire opens with the Jamal Malik on the popular gameshow “Who Wants To Be A Millionaire” just one question away from the 20 million rupee question. Then in a series of flashbacks, we see how Jamal is beaten and tortured by the police to admit that he has been cheating on the show for how could a boy from the Bombay slums know all the answers to the questions?!

We understand how he knew the answers as the story unfolds and we are given a glimpse of the painful and harsh life the slum children endure in Bombay. Is it a true depiction? I believe it is as the slums of India are known to be terrible living conditions where the residents often dice with death and dangers.
. Starring Dev Patel, Saurabh Shukla, Anil Kapoor.

Screenwriter Simon Beaufoy wrote Slumdog Millionaire based on the Boeke Prize-winning and Commonwealth Writers' Prize-nominated novel Q & A by Vikas Swarup. To hone the script, Beaufoy made three research trips to India and interviewed street children, finding himself impressed with their attitudes. The screenwriter said of his goal for the script: "I wanted to get (across) the sense of this huge amount of fun, laughter, chat, and sense of community that is in these slums. What you pick up on is this mass of energy."
By the summer of 2006, British production companies Celador Films and Film4 Productions invited director Danny Boyle to read the script of Slumdog Millionaire. Boyle hesitated, since he was not interested in making a film about Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?, which was produced by Celador. Then Boyle learned that the screenwriter was Beaufoy, who had written The Full Monty (1997), one of the director's favourite British films, and decided to revisit the script. Boyle was impressed by how Beaufoy wove the multiple storylines from Swarup's book into one narrative, and the director decided to commit to the project. The film was projected to cost US$15 million, so Celador sought a U.S. distributor to share costs. Fox Searchlight Pictures made an initial offer that was reportedly in the $2 million range, but Warner Independent Pictures made a $5 million offer to win rights to the picture.
Gail Stevens came on board to oversee casting globally. Stevens had worked with Boyle throughout his career and was well-known for discovering new talent. Meredith Tucker was appointed to cast out of the US. The film-makers then travelled to Mumbai in September 2007 with a partial crew and began hiring local cast and crew for production in Karjat. Originally appointed as one of the five casting directors in India, Loveleen Tandan has stated, "I suggested to Danny and Simon Beaufoy, the writer of Slumdog, that it was important to do some of it in Hindi to bring the film alive [...] They asked me to pen the Hindi dialogues which I, of course, instantly agreed to do. And as we drew closer to the shoot date, Danny asked me to step in as the co-director." Boyle then decided to translate nearly a third of the film's English dialogue into Hindi. The director fibbed to Warner Independent's president that he wanted 10% of the dialogue in Hindi, and she approved of the change. Filming locations included shooting in Mumbai's megaslum and in shantytown parts of Juhu, so film-makers controlled the crowds by befriending onlookers. Filming began on 5 November 2007.

In August 2007, Warner Independent Pictures acquired the North American rights and Pathé the international rights to distribute Slumdog Millionaire theatrically. However, in May 2008, Warner Independent Pictures was shut down, with all of its projects being transferred to Warner Bros., its parent studio. Warner Bros. doubted the commercial prospects of Slumdog Millionaire and suggested that it would go straight to DVD without a U.S. theatrical release. In August 2008, the studio began searching for buyers for various productions, to relieve its overload of end-of-the-year films. Halfway through the month, Warner Bros. entered into a pact with Fox Searchlight Pictures to share distribution of the film, with Fox Searchlight buying 50% of Warner Bros.'s interest in the movie and handling U.S. distribution.
Following the film's success at the 81st Academy Awards, the film topped the worldwide box office (barring North America), grossing $16 million from 34 markets in the week following the Academy Awards. Worldwide, the film has currently grossed over $377 million.
Horizontal and vertical integration

Wednesday, 13 October 2010

Preliminary Task

Pre-Production Process
When we got set our premilinary task, our first task was to put together our ideas, and come up with a scene which has good continuity and shows a range of shots including shot-reverse shot and match on action. Within our group we desided that we wanted to create a scene where the viewer is unaware of what is going on until a final punch line at the end. Mission Impossible style. So, from here we created our story board and put together shots of the feet walking (close-up), and finally a tilt and pan shot to reveal the mystery man's face who delivers the 'goods'. We also had the idea of doing a high angle shot to create the effect of a cctv camera.

Production Process
Our first shot was the close-up of the feet walking. In order to get this low close up to run smoothly we brought in a skate-board and pushed it along in time with the pace. However, we had problems with the white balance and vibrations and had to re-take the shot several times. One of the difficulties we had were students walking through our set and the noise from classrooms, however we managed to fit our filming into our time schedule and a room was free.
Another problem we had was with the microphone and not being able to hear certain noises we wanted over the background noises e.g. Fingers strumming and footsteps. During our filming of the conversation we had to keep to the 180 degree rule and make sure the eye level was the same on each shot. I think we did this well, but we could of made it more accurate.
At the end of our filming we had problems with our make-up prop, and keeping the continuity. The problem with the make up was that if Dan didnt do the shot perfectly we would have to make sure all of the make up was removed inorder to start over and keep the continuity.
One major problem was clothing, either we forgot to wear the same clothes, or things like zips and toggles weren't the same, however this is an unavoidable problem.

Post-Production Process
When editing our shots in Adobe Premier Pro, one problem we had was with the 8th and 9th shot and fitting them together. The two shots together didnt provide enough continuity and it was hard to cut them in the right places so there wasn't a jump between the shots. After many experiements with these two shots we managed to get as close as we could to a smooth transfer, but if we had the time we would of had to retake the shots and pay more attention to the placement of George's feet and the pace of his walk. Another problem we had was choosing which shots to use out the many takes we had. The fast pace of the placing of the suitcase on the table meant that there were quick cuts and we didnt know whether many of them would be needed, resulting in cutting out most of our shots. However, with the shots we have used we have come up with a well structured, smooth clip with good continuity and shows all the essential shots needed for this task.

Feedback and Evaluation

I really enjoyed this task, and it has helped me to learn how to use the equipment and also use our time wisely and structure what we have to do. It has also helped me to take into account certain problems with continuity, white balance, noise and general levelling of shots during filming and will therefore save time in later filming. Overall, for a first task, i think that our preliminary task went really well and as i have never dont editing or filming before, i am really pleased with what we as a group have come up with. There are parts that could do with improving, a few shot transitions, however with the lack of time and experiance we were not able to do this. 

Wednesday, 6 October 2010

48 hours of media consumption

Our task was to record all of our media comsuption in 48 hours, including, television, computer, mobiles, adverts, magazines. Below is the main media outline of my 48 hours.

10:15am- I checked emails on Facebook and sent a message and updated my status
11:45am- Bus advert for a new film ( Harry Potter)
03:15pm- Checked phone during my break at work. Two messages received.
10:30pm- Received a phone call, Duration 15mins.
10am – Checked Phone, and sent two messages.
11:05 – Watched Tv, caught up on recorded One Tree Hill.
01:20 – Bus advert for Mouthwash
6pm – Checked facebook.

Introduction to Media Studies

Hello my name is Leah Beavis. I am a student at Ringwood sixth form and I am studying English Literature, Art, Ethics and Philosophy and Media studies. I consider myself a creative and sociable person that is really into films and T.V. I love film and the whole experience going to the cinema and I watch and listen to a lot of T.V. &radio.
Why media studies?
I have chosen media studies because it is a general interest of mine. I know that the media is all around me and really influences my life. I feel that choosing media studies to study at a level shall further my interest into the media and possibly create future job opportunities. Film is a big passion of mine and so is all the backstage and editing included to make big feature length films to music videos and small projects to T.V. Hopefully I will continue to enjoy learning more about media and get the grades to have all the job opportunities as a career for the future.