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Monday, 28 February 2011

Final Script of "Don't Judge a Book by its Cover!

I forgot to put up my final script so here it is "Don't Judge a book by its cover! ". I am still undecided on the title it it between this and the title Impressions. But he it is anyway ......

Also here is the treatment, the step outline, the premise, the logline, character bios and the 3 act structure for the story as well.

Film Review - Cloverfield (2008)

Fig. 1 Cloverfield Film Poster

"Cloverfield" is an American disaster/monster film directed by Matt Reeves, produced by J. J. Abrams in 2008 lasting 80 minutes. "Cloverfield" was directed so that the viewer can feel the confusion and fear the characters experience as they’re running through the streets, with the lack of any explanation of what this creature could be or the fact that we see little of it, which makes it all that more scarier and creepier.

Fig. 2 Cloverfield Film Still 

"Cloverfield" director Matt Reeves has created an abnormality, a visceral monster movie that doesn't overly concern itself with its actual monster. The filmmaker certainly doesn't go out of his way to show his beast. Not because he doesn't want to, but because he can't. That's not the movie he decided to tell." (O'Connell, 2008) Cloverfield tells the story of Rob Hawkins a twenty-something New Yorker who’s brother, Jason and girlfriend Lily decide to throw a surprise leaving party for him, as he is due to leave and start a new job in Japan. Their friend, Hudson is assigned the task of documenting the big evening on video. A task which he accepts only because it gives him the chances to talk to Marlena, the object of his affections. The party is a rousing success until Beth, the love of Rob’s life, arrives with a date. Angry words are exchanged between the two and she leaves.

Fig. 3 Cloverfield Film Still 

Shortly after Beth’s angry departure, an explosion rocks Manhattan and the city erupts into chaos. Uncertain at first what has taken place; they all go out side onto the streets to find out what is going on. They become aware that the city is being attacked by a massive creature, and they follow the crowds of people who are attempting to escape the city by foot. When Rob receives a frantic phone call from Beth, who is injured and trapped in her apartment, he decides that he cannot leave without her. He returns to the city, followed by the others, uncertain of her fate – or their own. Filmed from the perspective of Hud’s handheld recorder, Cloverfield offers a "first-hand" account of the destruction of New York City. The film offers the viewer a continuous depiction of the evening’s events. With the exception of occasional snippets of Rob and Beth, which we later learn that Hud had accidentally taped over footage of their last time together.

Fig. 4 Cloverfield Film Still 

"Is this attack so terrifying because it has obvious shades of 9/11 or because the handheld camerawork leaves us disoriented, glimpsing the enormous creature only when Hud’s view quivers that way?. It’s both." (Richards, 2008) In "Cloverfield" the first-person perspective is used to amp up the realism and with the shaky cam images can be seen as a passing resemblance to 9/11. "Cloverfield" has several images throughout that have the resemblances of the videos and photography’s that captured the events of September 11th attack in New York. The plume of smoke and dust rolling up the street as a building collapses, the pandemonium of the crowds, the fear of the survivors as they take refuge in open buildings. "Cloverfield" also offers the destruction of other famous iconic landmarks such as the decapitated of the Statue of Liberty and a devastated of Brooklyn Bridge.

Fig. 5 Cloverfield Film Still 
Added with this "documentary" style of filming is of course not new and very few films have used the revolutionary filmmaking technique, making an entire film that was shot from a first person camera. In was in 1999 with "The Blair Witch Project", which was so successful that it brought this type of filmmaking to the mainstream and "It took nine years for the cinematic seeds planted by The Blair Witch Project in 1999 to come to full fruition as Cloverfield." ( Yapp, 2008) With this handheld camera technique it brings a sense of immediacy to "Cloverfield" that couldn't be captured in any other way. There's an intensity that couldn't be achieved in any other way, the viewers are not looking at them from a safe distance, and they are looking at them as if they were there with them.

Fig. 6 Cloverfield Film Still 
  List Of Illustrations

Figure. 1 Cloverfield (2008) Cloverfield Film Poster (Accessed on 28/02/2011)
Figure. 2 Cloverfield (2008) Cloverfield Still. (Accessed on 28/02/2011)
Figure. 3 Cloverfield (2008) Cloverfield Still. (Accessed on 28/02/2011)
Figure. 4 Cloverfield (2008) Cloverfield Still. (Accessed on 28/02/2011)
Figure. 5 Cloverfield (2008) Cloverfield Still. (Accessed on 28/02/2011)
Figure. 6 Cloverfield (2008) Cloverfield Still. (Accessed on 28/02/2011)

O'Connell, Sean (2008) Cloverfield. (Accessed on 28/02/2011)
Richards, Olly (2008) Cloverfield. (Accessed on 28/02/2011)
Nate (2008) Cloverfield (2008). (Accessed on 28/02/2011)

The Attic Concept Art

The attic is the setting for when the audience find out the truth about Damien's behaviour and we finally find out what he has been doing in the attic. So here it is.....

Final Concept for the attic.

Character Designs - Part 2

These are the last two character of my story, here are PC Mills and Mrs Duke.

Policeman 2
PC Mills

Mrs Duke
(Damien's Mother) 

All four Characters

Character Silhouettes

Friday, 25 February 2011

Character Designs Part 1

Here are two of my finished characters that will appear in my story. Along with the final concept, there is the character turnaround and the original sketch.

First Character

Original Sketch  

Character Turnaround

Final Concept

Second Character
Policeman 1 (PC Harp)

Original Sketch

Character Turnaround

Final Concept 

Maya - PaperClip Chain

Wednesday, 23 February 2011

Some More Character Sketches

These sketches are off my main character Damien a rebellious teenager. I seemed to struggle with drawing this character because with my first couple of pages of sketches Damien seemed to look like a girl not a boy. But I carried on till I has something that I was happy with. It does need some more work on it but he is starting to look like how I imagined.


Film Review - The Blair Witch Project (1999)

Fig. 1 The Blair Witch Project Film Poster
Directors Daniel Myrick & Eduardo Sanchez 1999 "The Blair Witch Project" is a horror film that examines the very nature of what is frightening and it is Myrick and Sanchez that seem to understand what it is that scares us. the viewer, the most is that of the unknown. Filmed as a documentary, on video camera and 16mm black & white camera, "The Blair Witch Project" was exactly what the horror genre needed.

"The Blair Witch Project" has the viewer waiting 82 minutes for the inevitable because the film begins by informing us that In October of 1994. Three student filmmakers disappeared in the woods near Burkittsville, Maryland while shooting a documentary. Nearly a year later their footage was found thus begins the start of "The Blair Witch Project". Led by Heather Donahue an aspiring director and two fellow student filmmakers Michael and Josh, they make their way to Burkittsville (formerly Blair), Maryland. In order to shoot footage for their documentary they are making about a local legend of the "Blair Witch." The legend has it that this mysterious figure has been haunting the Black Hill Forest nearby, since the 18th century and is said to responsible for a number of murders over the years.  

Fig. 2 The Blair Witch Project Film Still

After interviewing the locals and hearing their stories and tales of the legend that is the "Blair Witch". The three head in to the Black Hill Forest to gather the additional footage for their documentary. While Michael handles the sound recording, Josh shoots in 16 mm black-and-white and Heather captures much of the action off camera on High 8 colour video. None of them are experienced campers, they soon get lost when reading the map and to make matters worse, ominous signs begin appearing. With carefully arranged piles of stones positioned outside their tent in the morning; strange and disturbing sounds at night, of whispered voices and babies crying; wooden effigies hanging in the trees. With all these things happening their once enthusiasm starts to become increasingly volatile mixture of fear, blame, frustration, and panic. They start to lose their sanity and start to bicker with each other and the inevitable tensions escalate within the group. Josh and Mike are furious at Heather for refusing to turn the camera off and focusing on their dire situation. Heather and Josh are furious at Mike for apparently kicking the map into a creek. Their desperation and refusal to cooperate with each other threatens to destroy them.

Fig. 3 The Blair Witch Project Film Still
When they wake up Michael and Heather find that Josh has disappeared, they wait and hope for his return. That night they hear a male’s voice screaming for help in pain, they believe that it is Josh. They wake up after that nights events, to find a bunch of sticks tired up with parts of Josh's shirt outside of their tent, when Heather looks through the sticks she finds pieces of flesh wrapped inside it. In the film's harrowing finale, Michael and Heather stumble across an apparently abandoned house where they believe they can hear the screams again. Hoping to find Josh in this house, they start to search it and follow the voices through the house. It is through the lens of Heathers camcorder, we are able to see what she sees, which is just darkness and hand prints of children over the walls. Finally we see that Michael has already been attacked, then Heather lets out a chilling scream before someone or something knocks her to the floor, Ending with the camera being knocked to the floor, still filming a blank ceiling, until the tape and the film itself reaches an end.

Fig. 4 The Blair Witch Project Film Still

"Despite criticisms directed towards the films sometimes slow pacing and non-stop, nausea-inducing handheld camerawork, it is hard to deny
that "The Blair Witch Project" succeeds in its employment of cinema verité as a means of instilling terror in viewers." (Schneider, 2008) Myrick and Sánchez's unique production method had the actors responsible for shooting the entire film themselves, carry their own recording equipment and improvised almost all of their lines. With some of the most terrifying moment’s occurring when neither of the cameras where
functioning, and all the viewer is able to see is a black screen. Also by exploiting some of our most basic and inescapable fears—of the dark, of the unknown, of sounds where the source cannot be detected. Provides that what our imagination conjures up when it is effectively prompted is far worse than anything even the most sophisticated special effects or makeup can produce.

Fig. 5 The Blair Witch Project Film Still

In most films, camera movements are used to reveal things but with "The Blair Witch Project" it is nothing but camera movements but nothing is revealed. "The element that makes The Blair Witch Project unusually compelling is the typical manner in which it is presented. Every scene  is a point-of-view shot, shown exactly as one might expect from someone carrying around a video camera."(Berardinelli, 1999) So the transitions are often jarring and unexpected, the kind that would be a result of turning the camera off, then turning it back on moments later. With  most of the chilling sequences happening at night, making it harder for the cameras to capture anything. This happens several times throughout the film, the screen becomes black and all we rely on is the audio. The near panicked voices of the students in the foreground and the strange  noises in the far distance. Also in the Blair Witch Project, the camerawork is lacking any sense or reason as well as causing confusion, even when it's not shaky, that you can't really focus on anything. Especially in the most intense scenes, there's light flashing at you from the screen,  with little bits of pieces of the world that you can pick out. With "a medium that appeals to the senses of sight and sound the film deprives you of them. What does that leave you with then? Shaky camerawork and sound design that's only as discernable as it needs to be to let you know you should be scared even if you don't know why." (Ben, 2006)

Fig. 6 The Blair Witch Project Film Still
List Of Illustrations

Figure. 2 The Blair Witch Project (1999) The Blair Witch Project Film Still. (Accessed on  23/02/2011)
Figure. 3 The Blair Witch Project (1999) The Blair Witch Project Film Still. (Accessed on  23/02/2011)
Figure. 4 The Blair Witch Project (1999) The Blair Witch Project Film Still. (Accessed on  23/02/2011)
Figure. 5 The Blair Witch Project (1999) The Blair Witch Project Film Still. (Accessed on  23/02/2011)
Figure. 6 The Blair Witch Project (1999) The Blair Witch Project Film Still. (Accessed on  23/02/2011)


Schneider, Steven (2008) THE BLAIR WITCH PROJECT. (Accessed on  23/02/2011)
Berardinelli, James (1999) The Blair Witch Project. (Accessed on 23/02/2011)
Ben (2006) The Blair Witch Project (The Broken Promises of the Moving Camera). (Accessed on 23/02/2011)

Sunday, 20 February 2011

Some Character Sketches

Here are a couple of sketches of three characters in my story Mrs Duke (the mother) and the two policemen at the beginning of the story.

Mrs. Duke (Mother)  Sketches

Policemen Sketches 
These are really rough I was trying to figure out what type of policemen I would use in my story. I decided to go with a New office on the police force (PC Mills) and a officer that has been on the force all of his life (PC Harp).

Policeman 1 - PC Harp

Policeman 2 - PC Mills

Here is the influence map that I used to help with my sketches of my policemen at the beginning of the story.

Thursday, 17 February 2011

Film Review - Reservoir Dogs (1992)

Fig. 1 Reservoir Dogs Film Poster

"Reservoir Dogs" is Quentin Tarantino 1992 American crime film and was his debut for screenwriting and directing. "Reservoir Dogs" is a brutally funny, supercharged introduction to Tarantino’s supremely distinct cinematic vision. This would later become one of the most used styles of the 1990s.

Fig. 2 Reservoir Dogs Film Still

The film opens with eight smartly dressed men eating breakfast at a diner; six of them wear matching suits and using aliases: Mr. Blonde, Mr. Blue Mr. Brown, Mr. Orange, Mr. Pink and Mr. White. Among them is Los Angeles gangster Joe Cabot, and his son, "Nice Guy" Eddie Cabot. A jewel heist is organized by Nice Guy Eddie and gangster father. It is a six-man job that consists of men who have never met before, and know each through their aliases. Most are ex-convicts, but there is an exception: an undercover cop.

From this, we cut to an extremely unsettling image of one of those men, called Mr. Orange, in pain writhing and screaming. His blood smeared all over the backseat of a car which is being driven by Mr. White, making their way to an unknown rendezvous point. Where Mr. White reassures Mr. Orange that he is not going to die today and when the others turn up he will receive proper medical attention he needs. Then we meet Mr. Pink, a nerve-wracked shell of a man who cannot keep himself still. In his conversation with White, we learn that the heist went terribly wrong, when the police showed up. Even though the jewels were taken and most of the gang managing to escape, expect for two  Mr. Brown and Mr. Blue. They believe that the police had a tip off from informant and that possibility that one of the six men are working undercover for the police.
Fig. 3 Reservoir Dogs Film Still

Soon after, another man shows up, a seemingly quiet ex-con named Vic Vega, with the aliases
Mr. Blonde. Of course, being that Mr. Blonde lost his marbles and was the one to initiated start a shoot-'em-up, during the jewellery heist without any regard to civilian casualties. Mr. Pink and Mr. White are none too thrilled to see him. He tells them not to leave the rendezvous as Nice Guy Eddie is on his way. Mr. Blonde walks to his car and opens the trunk to reveal a captured police officer. The three men beat the police officer and he protests that he does not know  anything. Eddie arrives at the warehouse and orders Mr. Pink and Mr. White to assist him in retrieving the stolen diamonds and orders Mr. Blonde to stay with police officer and Mr. Orange.

Fig. 4 Reservoir Dogs Film Still

Mr. Blonde confesses to enjoying torture, and he is uninterested in what the cop does and does not know. Blonde turns on the radio and starts to dances before he cuts off the police officers ear with a straight razor, then he dousing him in gasoline. Just as he is about to drop a lighter, Mr. Orange shoots Mr. Blonde several times. Mr. Orange reveals he is the informant. The remainder of group return to the warehouse to find Mr. Blonde dead and Mr. Orange claiming that Mr. Blonde the diamonds for himself. Joe arrives confidently accuses Mr. Orange of being an informant. Forcing Mr. White to defend his friend, leaving Joe and Eddie dead, Mr. White severely wounded. Mr. Pink, who hid to avoid the shootout, takes the diamonds and flees the warehouse. As police sirens are heard outside, Mr. White cradles Mr. Orange in his arms and Mr. Orange reveals that he is in fact a detective. The police then enter the warehouse, demanding that Mr. White drops his gun; he shoots Mr. Orange, resulting in the police opening fire on Mr. White just before the film ends.

Fig. 5 Reservoir Dogs Film Still

"Reservoir Dogs" is not your standard crime film because "The thing that really sets Reservoir Dogs apart from all of the others is that it is PURE. When you look at the screen, you’re looking at reality." (Cinemarolling, 2011) Most important of all, is that there’s no romantic subplot thrown in, usually a trademark director will use in their action films. Instead of all of that, Tarantino presented his film as simply and straightforwardly as possible. Doing this gives the effect that you are really looking at a gathering of on the run criminals, who are trying to figure out what to do after their failed Jewellery heist.

Fig. 6 Reservoir Dogs Film Still

"Reservoir Dogs" is a heist film without the heist and an action film without much action because Tarantino lets his characters talk and "more than anything, "Reservoir Dogs" is extremely well written. Every scene is exciting, every twist is gripping, every character is memorable and the dialogue always snaps, crackles and pops" (Montreal Film Journal, 2008) Tarantino has a way with words, and the uses dialogue and conversation in the beginning moments, to wet the appetites of the viewer. The way that he directed the opening scene, it seems as if we, the audience, are listening in on their conversation. The dialogue is crisp and clean, providing line after line of snappy dialogue designed to leave the audience to alternately pondering and laughing. As well as the dialogue, there is a heavy quotient of extreme brutal violence. With multiple shooting scenes, and a very violent scene when the hostage police officer, has his ear cut off with a razor blade by Mr. Blonde. The camera angles in this scene and throughout the rest of film are dynamic, making this film not have one dull shot in it.
With "Reservoir Dogs" "Tarantino dosen’t answer the question immediately, but more so flaunts an answer to the audience. He sparks the curiosity and then builds upon it, which is a plus in incorporating a non-linear plot." (Suen, 2000) With films that use non-linear plots, it can either confuse the audience or draw them in, and Tarantino was successfully with the non-linear plot in "Reservoir Dogs".  It especially works here because he takes his idea of not showing the main plot point in the movie which was the actual heist and forms everything around it instead. We are then trying to piece together the events that happened prior to the aftermath of the heist with the help of effective dialogue and convenient flashbacks.
List of Illustrations

Figure. 1 Reservoir Dogs (1963) Reservoir Dogs Film Poster.   (Accessed on 17/02/2011)
Figure. 2 Reservoir Dogs (1963) Reservoir Dogs Film Still.  (Accessed on 17/02/2011)
Figure. 3 Reservoir Dogs (1963) Reservoir Dogs Film. on 17/02/2011)
Figure. 4 Reservoir Dogs (1963) Reservoir Dogs Film. (Accessed on 17/02/2011)
Figure. 5 Reservoir Dogs (1963) Reservoir Dogs Film.
(Accessed on 17/02/2011)

Figure. 6 Reservoir Dogs (1963) Reservoir Dogs Film. 
(Accessed on 17/02/2011)

Cinemarolling (2011) Reservoir Dogs Movie Review (1992). (Accessed on 14/02/2011) 
Montreal Film Journal (2008) Reservoir Dogs (Film Review). (Accessed on 14/02/2011)
Suen, Anthony (2000) RESERVOIR DOGS, 1992 Movie Review. (Accessed on 14/02/2011)