Sunday, May 3, 2009
Tuesday, April 28, 2009
Monday, April 27, 2009
Friday, April 24, 2009
Wednesday, April 22, 2009
The Designer, the Actor, and the Rock God...
The Style Icon, he Funny Man, and the Sporting Hero..
Friday, March 20, 2009
If you've found anymore let me know.
Tuesday, March 10, 2009
Ages ago I read in a storyboarding book that the protagonist of a film generally travels from the left of the screen to the right. This spans from the fact that in the West we read from left to right, so, logically, it would make sense for our eyes to follow the same direction. I put this theory to the test and, sure enough, in most films it was true. This also means that the antagonist is more likely to travel from the opposite direction – inevitably confronting each other.
I wanted to point this out because it’s such a good way to use camera movement and action to build up to a clash. I’ve used this amazing scene from ‘Vampire Hunter D’ as an example. This is the scene where we are first introduced to ‘D’, through the eyes of the bounty hunter gang. They are both after the same bounty, so they don’t really want to be friends. As this is a Japanese film the direction of the protagonist is opposite from Western film (because they read funny.)
The guy with the beard has a sharp shot with his metallic bow and arrow, so sharp he doesn’t even have to look at his prey- he can just listen to their movements. As he hears a horse galloping behind the hill he shuts his eyes and follows the sound with his bow. A brilliant entrance for our hero- as we don’t even see him coming!
Just before he moves towards that ‘sweet spot’ we cut to a close up of his bow, a direct opponent of the gallop. Then, just at the exact moment, SWOOSH! He releases the arrow which hurtles towards our hero. It cuts to an intense movement as the camera follows it through the graveyard- only to be caught by D’s hand. D’s horse buckles. His cape flaps up. We cut to a wide as he makes a silhouette in the moon. They all stare at him in disbelief. He snaps the metal arrow.
If you haven’t seen this film I recommend doing so. The story and dialogue are a bit cliché, but there are a few scenes like this that are jaw dropping. The design concepts are pretty stunning as well.
Let me know what you think? Any thoughts, examples, arguments? I like arguing.
Tuesday, March 3, 2009
Thursday, February 12, 2009
33:53 mins into the film.
Every time I watch this scene it brings me to tears (or pretty close.) Matilda has such a strong sense of who she is. I admire people who can open up to someone, especially if it’s a kid. It’s a definite sign of maturity. I also love how the two get along so well, despite their difference in age and backgrounds. You can really feel the bond between the two.
Just before this scene begins there is a huge action sequence where Matilda’s family, including her little brother, get shot up by the cops. Matilda narrowly escapes this ordeal because she is down at the milk bar getting milk. Leon, who lives at the end of the hallway, reluctantly lets her in to his home, saving her from being killed. Now she is telling him why she is crying.
The camera before this, for the most part, has been quite tense. There have been a lot of truck ins, wide angle lenses, forced perspectives, and panning with the action. So this is the first scene that has really stayed up close and is steady. The camera, for the most part, is set up in the same position at a medium-close-up/close-up. This is a bold move because it means the story relies heavily on the actors.
Looking at the first and second shot, we can see that the positioning of the characters, their clothes, and the background all draw our eye towards their face. This is where we find out who the characters really are, so the attention has to be on their expressions.
Even though the shots are divided up into three, where the characters takes up the middle and the silhouettes and empty space fall to the side, Leon is positioned on the left side of the screen while Matilda is on the right. This is to be clear of who is talking, avoiding the ‘pop cut’. It is only until frame 19 (page 3) where
Moving back to frame 4 (page 1). The camera has cut in slightly closer. This is as Matilda reveals more about what has happened. It also cuts in equally close to Leon, who is more interested in what she has to say. As she starts crying in frame 7 the camera does a slight truck in, putting a bit more emphasis on what is happening. The camera only ever trucks in slightly, so not to bring attention to the movement. It moves like this right until the end of the scene, where everything has been revealed. Here it trucks into an extreme close up to make it obvious of what the characters are thinking.
Looking at frame 10 and 11 (page 2), I have made a note about the light and dark. This is another method the director has used to make the characters stand out. It also gives the shots a sense of balance.
Going to frame 19 (page 3), when we cut to a wide as Leon gets up, the lighting on the back wall creates an bridge from the doorway where Leon has gone to chair where Matilda is sitting.
Two frames along, where the pig comes into screen, the shadows on the top right and bottom left balance the shot. This shot also uses a deeper perspective, shot from below, than the previous to bring attention to the puppet pig. Only until frame 25, when
Moving to frame 35 (page 4), the camera jumps to an extreme close-up, shooting up at Matilda, as she says, “Cute name.” to
In summery, the camera in this scene is quite subtle in its movements allowing the actors to give their performance. It’s a stark contrast from the previous scenes which have been very action driven. I responded to this moment so well because the actors are so convincing. They are real people and they have a real bond between each other. Luc Besson is a very action driven director so I am glad he included a scene like this to break up the pace.
Tuesday, February 3, 2009
Thumbs up - Go buy it.
Thumbs sideways - Borrow it from a friend.
Thumbs down - Have a flick through it at the book store, then put it back.
Thursday, January 29, 2009
Here's my first assignment. The brief was 'How did I get here?' Let me know what you think.
Monday, January 26, 2009
My aim in this sequence was to introduce the woman, find out that she's wanted by the police then show what she is capable of - all in thirty frames. If I were to expand it I would make the fight at the end more technical. Maybe she grabs his gun, turns, punches him in the wind pipe, elbows him then throws him in the chicken stall - like a SAS dude would, short and to the point.
A market is a very confined space, so to reflect this I wanted to keep the camera close to the action, occationally going out to show how big and easy to get lost it is. As the characters glance up and react we follow what they see. It's like a slightly delayed response. Battlestar Galactica uses this technique through out the series, especially the spaceship scenes.
Let me know what you think.
Thursday, January 15, 2009
Tuesday, January 13, 2009
I thought I'd start off this storyboarding blog with an exercise. An editor once told me that the best film practise you can get is from actually studying films. So, I thought I’d start off with my favourite – The Bourne Identity.
Here are rough thumbnail shots of the opening sequence. I’ve tried to keep the thumbnails as loose as possible and include the bare minimum of detail. What I’m interested in is what the camera reveals and how the characters develop.
The story starts with an accidental meeting of a man floating in the sea (on the left side of the screen) and a fishing boat (on the right side.) As they cut back and forth from the interior of the boat to the exterior with the man, the camera moves closer on both sides. Finally, it ends up on a close up shot of one of the fishing crew realising what he has found. This is the moment when the two sides meet.
From here on we’re with the fishing crew, mainly the doctor. We’re discovering about this mysterious man as they are. It’s as if we’re another fisherman among the action. The camera mimics this by rocking back and forth with the doctor’s actions and the movement of the boat. It’s not until the doctor finds out that the bed is empty and the man has woken, that the camera now shows the perspective from the man’s point of view.
I love this scene because it builds up and ends on intense emotion. It also raises the important questions for the story, “Who is this man?”, “What is this thing in his back?”, “Why has he been shot?”, “Where has he come from?”
It is a stark contrast from the following scene at
You can read the script here. It’s interesting to see what they’ve changed to bring it more to the point.
The shots travel downwards, not across. Also, I accidentally spelt ‘identity’ incorrectly on the top of the page. I suffer from dyslectica. Sory.