Secondary Research Grace Goodwin Tammy Golightly A2 Media Coursework
The League Of Un Co-ordination Teens born with a specific super ability Similar to X-men Don’t quite ‘fit in’ with the rest of society due to their conditions Special Effects will need to be used to obtain the correct effect Focusing on how their abilities differ them and their lives from average youths How each character would differ so dramatically from the next but all are in the exact same situation Abilities would some how relate or represent their character and appearance
Further Research Into Short Films
In order for our film to successfully go to plan, we need to take a look into some other short films and recognise certain qualities and how they differ from full length feature films.
From some knowledge we have on short films already- we know that;
The characters are kept to a limited number
The film is usually focused on 1 or 2 scenes, dependant on the length of the Short.
If there are numerous scenes, then they tend to be brief and not too detailed- only enough to set the story and allow the audience to follow the plot easily
We have realised that our film needs to have certain qualities that makes it stand out from other short films, in order to gain attention from a potential audience.
We plan on doing this by;
Looking at similar genres, mostly comedy.
Looking for films with the same ‘message/meaning’ as ours; Different or unique groups of teens who don’t necessarily ‘fit in’.
We would also be looking at films with similar characters, such as X-Men, to be able to generalise our characters with that of X-Men, yet still having their own little quirks as characters.
Brief Character Research
We have thought about using the films X-Men and Juno to base our characters on, by looking on how younger characters are represented within society, such as high school cliques and reputations.
We plan to use examples from the X-MEN films as there are a lot of similar qualities to be considered regarding the characters being young and having something that separates them from others.
We would be using the characters and examples from Juno . This way we can look at how certain teenagers are seen in school and there usual surroundings by other peers etc. Juno has a very unique attitude to life, and a certain way of portraying herself, we would like to tie that in with our own film.
Comparing short films
We can’t necessarily take most of our ideas from full-length films, as our research is based on short films.
We have been looking at the type of characters you seem to find in short films, and have tried to work some of their characteristics in with our characters.
From our observations, we have come to the conclusion that most characters that are featured in short films are very basic. Their outfit is chosen to instantly give the audience an idea of the character.
We have taken a few ‘scene’ ideas from short films also, which we have acquired from the short films on the BBC Film Network and Vendetta Studios.
Scenes that are featured within short films tend to also be very basic, and many are kept quite short compared to full length films. When it comes to the number of scenes that are featured, from our studies we have seen that there are usually no more than around five.
As we only have a short amount of time to use in a short film, we have tried to focus solely on what kind of scenes/lighting/characters/props that we use. We would have to make our film as interesting and appealing as possible, as there is only a small ‘want’ for short films, and we would like ours to be the one people want to view.
We have chosen to look at the short film by Tim Burton called Vincent. The general plot of the film is how a small boy aspires to be just like Vincent Price. We feel that this short is similar and somewhat relevant to ours because it looks at how the small boy Vincent, is different from other children his age; in how he is different, his opinions and the things he does.
The film shows us how the 2 worlds contrast with each other. For example, the real world that Vincent Maloy lives in and his imagination of wanting to be Vincent Price.
Both worlds seem to differ and through out the film it shows us how different Vincent is and wishes to be. There are many factors to be considered when it comes to how the scene changes to portray which character is evident; Vincent Maloy or Vincent Price
The characters are introduced rather quickly, through rhyme.
The film itself is narrated, so the need to allow the characters traits and need to shine through via mis en scene factors isn’t as imperative.
Vincent’s mother is introduced in slightly less detail, she is introduced as the typical mother figure, annoyed at Vincent when he does wrong, punishing him for it and trying to get him to play outside in the sun. She is not given any specific characteristics- her traits only seem to lie in the stereotypical mother.
Vincent;- Colour Scheme
This short film is set in black and white. This gives the effect of mundanity, while, when required, adds a dark and mysterious effect to the short.
The lighting that is used while the character is Vincent Maloy, seems quite bright and average. His surroundings seem plain and fairly normal. Although the short is in black and white, the greys seem to be warm and neutral in this state.
However when the character Vincent Price is present, the lighting dulls down to mere spotlights and glows, while the rest of the scene is in darkness. This suggests a secretive atmosphere and gloomy mood, there are many other objects and features that are not in full view, this adds mysteriousness to the scenes.
Vincent;- Additional factors
When the film originally begins- there’s a gentle tune, that viewers soon learn is being played by Vincent on the flute. When Vincent Price is first introduced-- The delicate tune that Vincent Maloy plays on the flute, is played again, but more distorted and lower in pitch. This helps gives a great contrast to the 2 Vincents. There tends to be a drone of an organ as Vincent switches from one state to another- instantly separating the 2 worlds and throwing the viewer dramatically into another state of the film.
The narration of the film also tends to change while switching from state to state. For example, when the narrator introduces Vincent Maloy- his voice seems mellow and gentle as he says “Vincent Maloy is seven years old- he’s always polite and does what he’s told.”
However when the narrator says “But he wants to be just like Vincent Price”, his voice seems to be deeper and heavier than before.
Vincent;- Further details
As the film goes on- the two states of Vincent Maloy and Vincent Price seem to be more and more blended. While more to the beginning of the film, Vincent Price only emerged when the lights were turned off, and when the lights were back on, Vincent Maloy was revealed once more. However, switching between each Vincent becomes more frequent and blended further into the film. For example digging his dead wives grave, quickly turns into his mothers flower bed, and being greeted by his aunt, the character is Vincent Maloy, but as the camera shot changes, he turns to be revealed as Vincent Price.
“ Zombies take over YouTube”
We came across a short film on YouTube called; ‘Zombies Take Over YouTube’.
Its features people who are popular on YouTube, and their survival as the world has been thrown to the zombies
The short lasts just under 4 minutes but does not have a definite ending.
“ Zombies take over YouTube”; First Impressions In this short, the characters are introduced together as they leap out of the dark in synchronicity armed with DIY tools, a dagger and a gun. They’re smeared with blood and dirt and seem eager to attack their intruder. The only character is shown to stand out is the one the group originally set out to attack, Shane Dawson. The rest of the group, on first glance all seem to be quite similar.
“ Zombies take over YouTube”; Further insight on characters
Shay Carl -
This character seems to be the most responsible of the group as the film progresses. He possesses a sense of maturity and knowledge. For instance when Lisa makes a comment on a Pop stars recent death- he sternly says “ Lisa! Too soon. ”
He seems to be wise and ‘all knowing’ amongst the rest, especially when he says
"Everyone’s dead we're the last ones alive!” Another character asks;
“ How do you know that?”. He calmly holds up a screen of a News Flash type channel which informs them everyone is dead.
After a short time he is elected New President from his other team members- which also sets him apart as the most experienced and most in control. This act of pointless idiocy proves that this film short is a comedy and spoof of most zombie and survival movies
“ Zombies take over YouTube”; Further insight on characters
Lisa / Lisanova:
Lisa is portrayed as a cool , calm and controlled . Although she is the only girl, like Shay Carl, she shows a strong sense of leader ship and knowledge. She is shown to make numerous comments that express this such as;
"I know the answer to that- He only eats green skittles.“. When another team mate suggests they reproduce as a solution to their problem, she sternly replies with “ That’s not gonna happen Casanova”
When the character iJutine is shown to be brutally killed by zombies- Lisa is the first to regain order and turns her back on the recent mess while saying “Alright guys, Lets do this!”
“ Zombies take over YouTube”: Target Audience
The target audience for this short is a fairly youthful age group. Approximately 14 – 24 years old. This is because aswell as the video being aired and viewed on YouTube, the characters that star in the short are all reasonable ‘famous’ stars on YouTube with lot of subscribers and videos- Most of their subscribers fit into this age group. As mentioned in a previous slide, iJutine is briefly featured in the film short. Shown as begging for entry at the door for safety. Many of the people watching this short would instantly recognise her considering how the majority of Justine's subscribers and people who know of her tend to be around her age group. The group act as if they recognise her by saying
“ Is that iJutine?”. Then as she is begging to be let in away from the zombies- Another member of the group then wearily asks;
“ Should we let her in?..”. Although their decision is shortly answered as she is brutally killed by zombies.
By featuring yet another YouTuber with a little more recognition and fame will impress their target audience a little more as their favourite subscriptions on YouTube have all been banded together in a video.
The video will also be easily found and watch by their target audience too, due to their notifications on their YouTube subscriptions.
“ Zombies take over YouTube”:- Dialogue
In this short, we have noticed that dialogue seems to be short and brief, never too detailed, even in complex situations.
Although, passing dialogue from other characters is important- it helps the audience decide what both the person passing the comment, and the other receiving it, is like personality and character wise. E.g. Good guy, bad guy, cute & quirky.
Here are some examples of dialogue that is said from character to another which can define personality and intentions;
"Yeah- he looks kinda- dead.."
"I try to stay outta the sun!“
"You're pale...... But smart..."
"Why're you so anal, Ben?!“
"We could-- reproduce?"
"Its not gonna happen Casanova."
“ Zombies Take Over YouTube”:- Character line up
Toward the end of the film- some cool yet stealthy dance music begins and a montage of upper torso shots are featured of each character holding their name on a board. This took on the theme of a line up- Similar to the kind of method we plan to introduce our characters.
During this part, there was no dialogue, only music as the montage of characters went on.
By doing a line up of Characters- all the main characters and a brief personality insight was easy to come by.
“ Zombies Take Over YouTube”:- Character line up #2
The line up idea for each character allows them and their personality to be introduced quickly yet effectively. Which we have found is imperative for film shorts.
For instance when this character “ Lisanova ” is introduced- she is shown doing a cheeky smile and feminine hair flip. So although her surroundings / theme is the same as everyone else's- She is set apart from the others by showing a quick trait or quirk.
“ Zombies take over YouTube”:- Character traits
These are more examples of featured characters. This means that with such little time to be introduced, Mise en scene factors should be carefully considered, such as costume and body language to ensure the right image and first impression. Dialogue should also be picked with a great amount of thought as characters may not have time to explain any dilemmas or allow the audience to absorb their personality fully if the script is written in a roundabout way like a feature film.
Fifty People One Question
We found another short film on YouTube that lasts around 7 minutes. Although it doesn’t have a story line, it involves a lot of characters and dialogue. It also included a nice technique where the audience could have a good look at each character before they introduced themselves. As the montage of people stand in front of the camera, it pulls in and out of focus, blurring the person then focusing back onto them. It gives viewers time to take in what each person looks like.
Inspiration for opening credits
While title display should come into Planning- we have found 2 interesting shots in 3 films which includes examples that we would like to use. In the pictures to the right, are from the opening credits of Vincent and School Of Rock. These are two fine examples of the title being featured in the general film footage. For example a character in the film will casually pass the title as the camera pans across or tracks with the character. While the Step Brothers title isn’t a physical feature within the filming footage- It somehow interacts with the characters- i.e. Helping to emphasise the distance on the newly introduced step brothers who clearly don’t see eye to eye. The title still has an effect on the characters in this shot.
Although Juno is a full feature length film- we thought it would be worth looking into character design of this as all the characters tend to have a certain Comedic quirkiness about them which we hope to obtain with our characters. We hope to capture this because like the characters featured in Juno- we would like our characters to act in a unique way which helps our audience realise that they are somehow separated from average society.
Juno;- Character analysis
Juno is a movie aimed for younger adults and teens. It is set in a high school and shows how a slightly outcast girl manages to continue her life while carrying a baby. The audience learns immediately that Juno is set aside from most of the teens just by looking at her outfits which seem to be old school and somewhat grungy.
Juno;- Character analysis #2 Her concern for vanity seems to be almost non existent, while she is shown to bear natural beauty The film is mainly featured in school where Juno is seen to be a minor misfit, as she explains in the film (narration) Ellen Paige’s character Juno is shown to be independent and mature for her age. Deciding to keep the baby shows the viewers maturity and how she is strong willed The outfits that Juno wears give her a Tomboy look about her. The block and almost dull colours add an old school and grunge feel to her character
From the research we have gathered, we have learned that characters in our short should be introduced briefly yet thoughtfully. Detail should be carefully applied to a character as a short film does not necessarily give us the time to redesign any first impressions they may give to the viewers. And since we are not narrating the film, we will need to pay incredible attention to Mise en scene factors to give viewers the right impression on each character.
By looking at the results from our questionnaire we gave our target audience, we will try and stick as closely to their ‘demands’ and preferences. We will also try to include our listed character types that seemed most popular to our target audience
We are also aware at how tiny details can have a massive impact on the film.