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Analysis of short film the desk 1

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    • 1. Analysis of Short Film- The Desk BY ANUKA BARUA
    • 2. Plot  The Desk is a short romantic-mystery film directed by Albert Gonzalez. It follows the story of a young teenage boy, Peter, who has joined a new high school. The story explores the rough patches that travels with him throughout the first couple of weeks until he confides his feelings by writing messages on his desk, to a mystery girl name Julie, whom he has never met. However although having not met her he continues writing to her until he decides to ask her what class she is in so they can arrange to meet up. As he gets up to leave a message magically fades in on the desk from Julia claiming that she is in the same class as him. Peter is shocked and falls of his chair scared. Despite this he still messages her, finding joy in their conversations. Towards the the end of the film, a new girl called Julie joins his class. She smiles at Peter and sits behind him. She then passes him a note asking him whether they have met before and they both smile at each other. The question remains whether Julie is a ghost or actually real.
    • 3. Setting/Location The short film takes place in a high school. We know this from the start of the film, where an establishing shot is used to set the story and give the audience an idea of what to expect in a place like this. Furthermore the younger audience can also identify with the film and characters in it. The film is also shot in the corridors and the classroom „111‟ where he writes his messages to Julie from. The corridor scenes highlights Peters isolation from the other students in his year. It also conveys his unhappiness as he is bullied there everyday day. The classroom is a the main central location as it is where the desk that the protagonists writes his messages to Julie sits on. Isolation in the film is reinforced further as Peters desk is far away from all the other desks. This may be a good thing for him as he may want privacy from other students in the class.
    • 4. Cinematography In this scene, the director uses a series of eyeline match to show what Peter is looking at. . The juxtaposition of these shots further reinforces Peters nervous feelings as he is lost and making sure that he knows his way round. The mid shot of Peter walking down the corridor slowly implies to the audience that it has already been a long day for Peter despite school has only just begun. In the shot we can also see a group of students running past him, cheering and joking around with their friends. This highlights Peters isolation from the other people, thus making the audience sympathise with him. The most used shot type is a close up, mostly to emphasise the writing on the desk, but also to display Peter‟s emotions as he changes from sad to happy. Although the directors shots are too simple, this may have been an intentional as he may have tried to put emphasis on Peter‟s boring life until he finds Julie. The director also uses POV shots to display Peters frustration at school and even at home. This shot is creative as it allows the audience to see the view of the world from his perspective.
    • 5. Editing In one of the scenes, a slow motion is used to show a girl enter the classroom, this draws the attention to her and shows that she interests the main protagonist. In addition, the effect allows he audience to identify that she is the popular girl that we see in every high school thus following the conventions of a teenage drama. The desk consists mainly of cut-away shots and match on action. This shows the continuance of Peters journey so far in the school and the progress of his “relationship” with Julie. The director also uses ellipsis to show the passing of time Peters interest in Julie grows each day. The editing is also a lot more fast paced than before, empathising the joy he feels when writing to her. Fade out is used to show Julies response n the desk. This creates enigma as the Audience wander how it got there and putting into question whether Julie is really a ghost or an actual person.
    • 6. Sound  Throughout the short film, the director uses a music score. This piece is relatively minor and the tempo is slow, at first signifying Peter‟s negative and nervous attitude on starting a new school without knowing anyone. The music becomes louder and more major when Peter is enjoying talking to Julie. This shows the importance of her character as she makes him and the audience happy, thus restoring equilibrium again. At one point the sound stops completely for a second upon his confusion of when her words come through the desk immediately after his has written on the desk. Apart from the music score, there is ambient sound of students and bells on Peters first day of school. This sound is significant to his character as the natural of all sounds over powers his own voice and confidence thus dividing himself from the rest of the people.
    • 7. Lighting  The lighting in the film is combination of both artificial and natural. The director may haven chosen to add additional lighting on Peters face as overhead lighting may have made his face darker. Natural lighting was used in the beginning of the film when establishing the shot of the school, and briefly when Peter wakes up from bed and the sun shines through his window.  The director used dim lighting mainly in the beginning of the film, when the protagonist was finding it difficult to fit in, therefore conveying to the audience about his loneliness ad isolation. The lighting soon became brighter as he and Julie‟s conversations progressed, showing us the joy he feels when he is writing to her.
    • 8. Props and Costume  The main prop in the film is the desk on which he communicates with Julie from. The significance of the desk is that it conveys to the audience how it is the only tool which Peter can use to communicate with Julie and without it, he would have never known of her.  The only costume that changes is Peters. At the start of the film, his clothing was simple and the colours were drab but soon after confiding with Julie, his fashion and dress sense changed and became more colourful and stylish, as a result asserting his delight in the conversations he have with Julie.  The Popular girl in the beginning was wearing a bright cyan tank top, revealing flesh therefore following the conventions of a stereotypical cheerleader girl. The bully was wearing a leather jacket, pointing out his dominance and threatening vibes.
    • 9. Conventions  The genre is romantic sub-plot. The director has used codes & conventions, particularly ones that you would normally expect in chick-flicks except the protagonist is a male. There is a stereotypical cheerleader girl, who is popular with the school jocks. There is also a bully who we see torments the protagonist in the corridors.
    • 10. Characters  The main protagonist in this short film is Peter. A 17 year old boy who wakes up in the morning with great difficulty, dreading to go to school. He is quiet boy and often picked on and teased at the start of the film. However, once he begins to talk to Julie his character becomes more lively and content.  Julie is the other min character. She is only physically seen at the end of the film, however we do not know that it is really her. Julie consistently replies to Peters messages, keeping him happy.  The popular girl in the beginning does not have a major role in the film however she is the character which Peter initially had a crush on, before he discovered Julie. She is the reason why Peter initially started writing a message on the desk, hoping that he would get a reply from her.