Monday, 5 July 2010

Short Film and Mockumentary Research.

This is an award winning short film. it is inspired by the story of batman. it surrounds the dull and secretive life and mind of a man called wayne. Elements such as lighting is low, connoting the sense of dark thoughts and desires. The use of little dialogue relates to the characters lonliness and isolation, the collection of shots almost seems like a montage of his life which compliments his dedication to his work and goals. the lack of eye contact is highlighted with the use of a close up on the characters showing the little emotional connection between them. Close ups are also used on the sewing machine whilst he works showing his attention to detail. the interesting use of a voice over being asyncronous adds an identity to the otherwise silent character. The colours are dark and sinister similar to the general theme of the sequence. He is seen wearing red at one point which connotes blood and pain. I like the way the film is almost documentary style, showing once again the characters isolation. It allows for a collection of more interesting shots and you can learn far more about the actions of the character. I think this is a style that would interest me, as it would be very difficult to actually convey an entire story within 5 minutes.

strangers is a short film set in the underground subway.  It gives a modern take on the threat of the neo nazi's on the jewish community.  The use of the lighting being very bright, and of unnatural colour gives the sense of it being unnatural and sinister. the character who is already sat on the train is clearly of ethnicity with long black hair. He seems almost afraiad and gives a sense of vulnerability through his silence. The use of tracking shots are effective as the man wanders down the train giving heightening the sense of a journey. a low angle shot is used as the train arrives showing the power and size of the train; the way it shows the train coming to a stop, raises tension and signifies the importance of the train. the lack of dialogue throughout builds tension, and gives the sense that their obvious identity is enough of a story. The white men have shaved heads and plain t-shirts. the have tatoos and piercings, giving them a stereotypical look of aggression and intimidation. They maintain eye contact, connoting hatred and showing power within the situation. Several close ups are used to portray the enormous tension, and small panning shots to convey the closeness and awkwardness of the situation. They often use the sounds of the underground, which give the unnerving sense of mechanics and machinery, the sound even continues as the credits occur on a black screen, leaving the image to the imagination, but still making the viewer aware of the location.

Sign Language.

Sign language is an award winning short film. It focused on a day in the life of a sign holder, although a very simple idea, it is shot and performed in a completely serious manner, an effective way to even highlight further the ridiculousness of the situation. The first person aspect in which the main character is telling the story is a very popular technique used throughout many short films and one that I feel our group may look into as at the moment we are leaning towards a mocumentary sort of short film. This would mean that the narrative would be more important and would get the point across alot more than the visual which should be suttle and humorous at the same time. Short scenes and a fast tempo are vital for the success of short films and sign language utilises these alot. I like the style of the narrative by the narrator style voice over with the person talking in the first person as if it is their life. This would add to the mise on scene of a documentary as well as the varied shots that would be needed such as wide pan and long tracking shots along with voiceovers giving the viewers the idea that they are actually watching a sad story when really the idea and narrative is extremely bizzarre and the audience feel sympathy for but at the same time a little humour at the expense of the main characetr or person in the documentary. Another good example of this is the louis Theroux dicumentaries in which he follows strange people and their lives on a day to daybasis.

   The office is a very popular and successful mockumentary written and directed by Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant. It was the first of its kind, shot in a mockumentary style, creating loveable characters that are able to communicate and form relationships with the viewer. The style allows sililoquies that would not make sense in other shows, and can convey more about the character, as they can speak whilst alone. The office also contains conventions of a serious documentary, it features silent shots of the characters working within the environment adding to the mise en scene. this style does add boundaries, for example, shot reverse shot cannot be used as continuity would not be relevant. It also creates high demand for the actors, as their characters must be as believable as possible when talking alone, and not always conversing with another character.

Summer heights high is a mockumentary created by Chris lilley. It is a follow on series from a similar mockumentary, 'We can be heroes'. Summer heights follows 3 individuals through a term at a comprehensive in Australia. Chris lilley humorously and incredibly portrays all 3 of these characters.

  • Ja'mie - A private school girl on an exchange, twice nominated for Australian of the year.

  • Jonah - A year eight troublemaker from newzealand, suffers from adhd, with a love of break dancing.

  • Greg Gregson - A flamboyant drama teacher, director of the latest school musical, Mr. G the musical.

Summer heights incorporates interviews with a fixed shot, and other scenes are filmed in an interesting gorilla style. Often shot through windows or from a distance etc. These are all conventions of a regular documentary. The humour within this series is far more obvious, it focuses on the ridiculousness of the characters and their actions. A trait that is similar to ours.


For my a2 project I have decided to make a short film. I found last years project very interesting and there are several techniques that I hope to apply to my work and improve during the making of the film.