Saturday, 16 December 2017

Film Reviews: List

Film Review: Mockumentary // What We Do In The Shadows

Film Review: B movie // The Incredible Shrinking Man

Film Review | Exploitation In Cinema | Mad Max Fury Road

Three Act Structure in Avatar: Review

The Hero's Journey in the Hunger Games

Harry Potter: A Hero's Journey and Archetypes Review


Collaboration: Reflective Statement

This project has really been an eye opener into working in a studio environment. It was exciting working as a team because our team had our strengths but also weaknesses, it was gratifying to upload work that complemented other work in your team and it made me feel motivated as we started to bounce off of each other.

The biggest thing that I learned is that communication and compromise are key to thriving together as a group. It is important to talk to each team member together in person to bounce ideas off each other, negotiate ways around possible issues and to give positive feedback on the work that has been done to a good standard, Its easy for things to get lost in translation when typing out paragraphs to send to your team and its for that main reason that I preferred talking in person so that ideas and opinions were solid.

I found it hard when you have a vision for something and for that vision to not be met or to be scrapped. I came up with the Planet Cuckoo name for our Studio and I had a Brand design in mind for the whole look and feel of our studio but for those designs not to get finished or tested because of majority rules was difficult to let go, However I had to keep reminding myself of "What is best for the animation" and to learn to loosen my grasp of control and realise that its a group effort and we are a team and all voices need to be heard.

I've learned that I need to take a step back and to really think about what is the most productive way to tackle something and not jump into the deep end from the get go because I'm stressed of time constraints. With my car model I knew that I was doing it wrong from the start but I kept trying to make it work because I spent so long getting it to that point, whereas if I took a step back from the start and really thought "what is the best way to tackle this?" I think I would have saved more time. It wasn't until Alan showed me the best method for the model that I realise I need to adapt this into every project that I do and I enjoyed finishing off the car after that because I didn't have this nagging feeling that I'm not doing this correctly.

I thoroughly enjoyed using basecamp, It made me feel more productive with its clear interface and I felt encouraged to upload my work onto the site, it felt fulfilling to know that the to do list started to dwindle and that you were closer to a finished piece that you as a team can be proud of.

Even though we didn't get the animation completely finished and polished to our standards I am proud of Greta, Karolina and myself because I think all our hard work paid off from getting a few laughs from our fellow students and lecturers. I would definitely be interested to collaborate and use basecamp again because I feel like I have learned a lot about myself from this project and I feel like I have grown as a person and can use the lessons that I have learned from working together as a group on future projects.

Friday, 15 December 2017

Film Review: Mockumentary // What We Do In The Shadows

Fig 1: Poster
What we do in the shadows is a Mockumentary style comedy documentary directed by Jemaine Clement and Taika Waititi. The film has a camera crew follow vampire housemates Viago, Vladislav, Deacon, Petyr who are clearly not apart of this century with their dated clothes and vampiric accents and having them get up to speed with current culture as vampires is where the majority of the side splitting comedy stems from. The Documentary style of storytelling is nonfictional but as a mockumnetary parodies the documentary style of story telling, What we do in the shadows cleverly and wittily combines the mockumentary style by following along the lives of the vampires and all the debauchery that ensues.  


The juxtaposition between vampires trying to live their lives and performing mundane tasks while also having special vampiric abilities is hilarious as they have to call for house meetings as Deacon hasn't done the dishes for five years even though he is an extremely young vampire at two hundred years old. When they get into argument out of nowhere they take flight and hiss at each other like feral cats and as vampires are not aloud into any building that they are not invited into, watching them try to get into nightclubs on a night out on the town is comedy at its best. "What We Do in the Shadows is so smart and perceptive about the quotidian ups and downs of its protagonists’ lives that it’s almost a jolt when, say, they start levitating off the ground or get into a passive-aggressive argument with a pack of werewolves" (Duralde A 2015)


Fig 2


The writers and producers of What we do in the shadows are extremely skilled to pull anything this silly off and so well and in doing so the film grossed over $6.9 million with a budget of $1.6 million. The film works on so many levels by challenging the documentary genre by showing the real and hilarious lives of these fictitious vampires parodying the documentary genre and superabundant Vampire themes and showing that What we do in the Shadows is a true example of the mockumentary genre done right.   





Bibliography 

Duralde, A., Banks, A., Gilman, G. and Otterson, J. (2015). 'What We Do in the Shadows' Review: Horror-Comedy Breathes Life Into Vampire Movies and Mockumentaries. [online] TheWrap. Available at: https://www.thewrap.com/what-we-do-in-the-shadows-review-jemaine-clement-taika-waititi-rhys-darby/ 
[Accessed 15 Dec. 2017].

Illustration List

"Fig 1: Poster"(2015). [image] Available at: http://ew.com/article/2015/05/18/what-we-do-in-the-shadows-short-exclusive/ 
[Accessed 15 Dec. 2017].


"Fig 2:" (2015). [image] Available at: https://www.washingtonpost.com/goingoutguide/movies/what-we-do-in-the-shadows-lampoons-the-undead-lifestyle/2015/02/18/09beb3d4-b2f8-11e4-854b-a38d13486ba1_story.html?utm_term=.887734f5a317 
[Accessed 15 Dec. 2017].

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Film Review: B movie // The Incredible Shrinking Man




Fig 1: Poster


The incredible shrinking man is a B movie directed by Jack Arnold which tells the story of Robert Scott Carey as he is subjected to a mysterious mist that ends up decreasing his height over time, turning him into a spectacle in his home town.

The film was made in 1957 and for the majority of the film it really shows its dated quality particularly with special effects. As Robert begins to dwarf into a miniature version of himself the special effects are clearly visible to a novice in CGI.  The green screen in parts where Robert is juxtapositioned in a world of normal sized people as he walks along the street (fig 2) show no shadow unerneath him which makes him feel like he is floating in the abyss.  The perimeter of Robert seems to animate and ripple in a manufactured manner showing clearly when green screen was used.


Fig 2: Screenshot, showing green screen with no shadow under Robert

At one stage Robert is standing in the threshold of the basement while his wife Louise is looking up at him the wall paneling behind Robert is clearly visible with Robert looking slightly invisible which shows how the special effects in B movies need a lot to be desired (fig 3).


Fig 3: Screenshot, Robert as slightly see through 


The acting in the film in parts is extremely comical especially at any moment when Louise has to show any glimpse of remorse over her husband shrinking down to child size or when she believes that he has been eaten by the household cat, Louise really overacts these parts showing crocodile tears and makes the scenes laughable. On the website Dan of Geek it is described how men are perceived "In The Shrinking Man, men are defined by their ability to dominate those around them – whether it’s their wife, their daughter, or their neighbours. As Carey dwindles in size, so too does sense of power and self-esteem, until he becomes an embittered, deviant character who comes to hate the people he once loved (Den Of Geek 2011".

The movie takes a more impressive turn when Robert is stuck down in the basement as the world around him genuinely seems massive which was not nearly as accomplished when Robert was around other normal sized people. The basement provides all sorts of challenges for Robert as he is now in a quest for survival. The use of everyday normal objects used for weapons and shelter in Roberts new universe is paramount at accomplishing his tiny size and how mammoth and terrifying everything seems at that size as hunting for food and having a battle to the death with a tarantula are all obstacles that Robert faces, all the while his voice overs providing cheesy intropsection of his barren basement of a world such as "eventually Louise would come to the celler, until then I had to keep myself alive with whatever resources I could find in my basement universe... and in myself"


The voice over of Roberts throughout the movie is a nice touch and shows an element of a story within a story as Robert introduces the viewer to his story and shows his elements of brooding which leaves the viewer asking if he will grow back to normal size. The score is also musically melodic to the ears as it instills a sense of eclectic nostalgia that emphasises elements of exasperation and danger especially when Robert faces against the spider. The incredible shrinking man holds up against other B movies and although it is cheesy in parts, its sombre quality shows shows that its a classic story of a mans fight for survival and the ending in particular is unexpected and a nice change from the oversaturated happy endings, In the ending Robert understands that he is one with the universe no matter how small he may be. 


Bibliography

Den of Geek. (2011). The Incredible Shrinking Man: a classic book and film. [online] 
Available at: http://www.denofgeek.com/uk/movies/the-incredible-shrinking-man/18183/the-incredible-shrinking-man-a-classic-book-and-film 
[Accessed 15 Dec. 2017].


Illustration List
Arnold J, (2011). "Fig 1: Poster" [image] Available at: Den of Geek. (2011). The Incredible Shrinking Man: a classic book and film. [online] Available at: http://www.denofgeek.com/uk/movies/the-incredible-shrinking-man/18183/the-incredible-shrinking-man-a-classic-book-and-film
[Accessed 15 Dec. 2017].

Arnold J, (2011) "Fig 2:  Screenshot, showing green screen with no shadow under Robert"
[Accessed 15 Dec. 2017].

Arnold J, (2011) "Fig 3: Screenshot, Robert as slightly see through"
[Accessed 15 Dec. 2017].



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