Monday, 13 February 2012

OGR# Presentation 2



  1. OGR 14/02/2012

    Hey George.

    Okay - a much more action-packed story - which should be enjoyable to panel out, as there'll be a good mix of shots and editing styles. That said, I don't think you have a satisfying pay-off - obviously, the 'morale' of your story is something like - 'rivalry ruins people' - as both performers come crashing down into the pool, but as I was reading your script, the audience reaction gave me a clue as to how you might be able to deliver a final punchline. Obviously, these two performers have always prided themselves on their elegance and athleticism, but their rivalry up on the ropes turns them into a couple of clowns - perhaps, because the audience are enjoying it so much - not 'oohing and aahing' but belly laughing - that the decision is taken that, from this point on, they'll be clowns in the circus, and you could have them both look at one another in the final reel, both of them looking completely ridiculous. It would round off the story and it would further underline the 'rivalry doesn't pay' riff. In regard to your Act 1 set-up, I think it's really important to convey to your audience that the older guy used to be the star, and so maybe you could begin your story in his circus trailer, which is papered with all his posters and photographs. I think it's key the audience understands that, while old, the original tightrope walker wants to stay, wants to be the star; you could very simply construct the rivalry visually; so, for example, start in the first tightrope walker's caravan, which is old, and vintage and traditional, and his costume is the same (think Victorian, say) - perhaps he's getting ready in the his mirror, and we see him in a moment of quiet reflection, and then defiance - and the moment he leaves his caravan - steps out - we see the other tightrope walker - their caravans are directly opposite - and the other guy's trailer is modern, slick, and his costume is as 'spandex' and shiny - and in that moment, as they glare at each other, your audience will understand everything about them! You could accomplish all of this so quickly - in pure visual and design terms (through character designs matching in with their personal environments). There's lots of juicy design work here.

  2. I want you make proper use of the resources on myUCA/Story/Unit Materials - you'll want to pay specific attention to Andrew Loomis' Basics of Drawing Cartoons and Poses, Preston Blair's highly regarded Cartoon Animation, the Dynamics of the animated Drawing PDF - and obviously. Shot-by-Shot by Jeremy Vineyard - which is a illustrated glossary of camera moves etc.

    I like the tight focus of your proposed assignment, but please read carefully the advice that follows re. the importance of context and keeping your introductions lean and mean and waffle-free...

  3. 1,500 word written assignment that analyses critically one film in terms of the relationship between story and structure; you should consider camera movement, editing, and order of scenes.

    Okay - so while the challenge of the assignment doesn’t state it explicitly, as soon as you start to discuss narrative, editing or sorts of shots, you’ll be using a technical or specialist language – with specific terms with specific histories and contexts. Therefore, in common with all your assignments so far (and all future assignments!), you need to introduce and define your specialist/technical terms BEFORE you start discussing your specific film or case-study.

    For example, if you were planning to discuss the famous shower scene from Psycho, which is an example of ‘montage editing’ – you would first need to introduce and define the term ‘montage editing’ – and in so doing, refer to its origins and cultural ancestry (i.e. its broadest context). In written assignments you have to ‘show that you know’ – you have to demonstrate your knowledge of the subject area by showing that YOU understand its various components. You couldn’t discuss Psycho’s shower scene effectively WITHOUT referencing Sergei Eisenstein (the ‘father’ of montage editing), and, by extension, the ‘rules’ of Hollywood ‘invisible editing’ (from which Eisensteinian editing was such a departure).

    Likewise, if you were interested in the ‘continuous take’ of ‘Rope’ – then in order to discuss this technique in context, you’d still have to introduce and define ‘editing’ in general terms, in order to prove Rope’s distinctiveness.

    If you’re dealing with narrative structures – i.e. the ‘non-linear’ structures of Christopher Nolan’s Momento or Tarantino’s Pulp Fiction, you first need to demonstrate your awareness and understanding of the ideas and uses of ‘non-linearity’ in story more generally.

    Another reoccurring weakness in your assignments is your introductions; remember, there is no actual content in your introduction.

    Your very first line should state plainly and clearly what the investigative thrust is of your assignment – and that’s all. “This assignment analyses critically the use of non-linear narrative in film, with particular reference to Christopher Nolan’s Momento (2000).”

    Job done! That’s it. No more – nothing else.

    Next, you list the KEY research sources you’ve used (i.e. the ones your essay will now go on to reference), and your reasons for consulting them (i.e. their usefulness to your argument). You should be specific here – give titles, authors and publishing date etc. Put your titles in italics. There should be no waffle here at all, so avoid sentences like ‘Sources include websites, books and films…’ Also, you don’t need to give the film you’re studying as a source, because that’s been made obvious by the first line of your introduction. If, however, you’re looking at some associated films, then you should include them here – but always give your reason for their usefulness to your discussion.

    Finally – your intro should offer the reader a summary of points – the logical sequence of subject matter that will take your reader from ‘not knowing’ about your subject to ‘understanding’ your subject. This is where you – the writer – must give this ‘logical sequence’ some proper thought – get this bit right and your assignment will flow from one point to the next in a satisfying way.