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Textual analysis: short film


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Textual analysis: short film

  1. 1. Textual Analysis: Short Film<br />By<br />Fran Matthews & Jordan Cruickshank<br />
  2. 2. Wonders of a Chromatic Mind<br />Camera at the beginning is positioned on floor level; this can be seen as a representative of how young the child is because it is on their level.<br />The shot types which are generally used are close ups and extreme close ups, these types of shots are frequently used within films that don’t have dialogue in them because it is a way of telling the story through the emotion in their facial expressions. There are also a fair amount of medium shots within the film as well; this is in order to show a bit of background so that the audience get a bit of an idea of where they are and what sort of situation they are in. <br />Generally the character is placed in the centre of the screen, this is because he is what the film is about, generally in the shot there is usually drugs or alcohol because the film is about the boys growing dependency on alcohol, which was triggered at an early age.<br />I think that the film is set in the present, but it is quite dated. The house décor seems to be quite old fashioned and the clothing which the character is wearing seems like it was a few years ago, and I generally think that the story line is quite 90’s when substances such as LSD were at a height, which is what the character is being portrayed to have taken due to the editing.<br />I think the target audience for this is teenagers and parents, this is because it sends out a message to parents of what their children could be like without them realising and teenagers because they can relate to the video.<br />I think that the message, which we are seeing in this film, is that if children see or do drinks from a young age it can be a habit that can worsen over the years.<br />Throughout the film there are different depths of fields; majority of the time a wide depth of field is shown but due to the editing techniques used this is not always obvious.<br />The editing has been used to create the meaning of substance abuse and how it can make us feel, for example in this screen shot we see a close up of the boys face with bright colours and lights fading into it. Some parts of the filming had been slowed up and sped up in reaction to the substance, which he was taking. <br />The editing and special effects which have been used throughout have been quite varied, at the beginning of the film we are shown a sequence of stop frame animation along with the opening credits, this looked really different.<br />The film location is quite an average family home, this is to signify that you don’t have to be sat in a pub to be an alcoholic or in fact be legal to drink, because it is clear that this boy is underage. <br />As I mentioned previously the film has no dialogue, but there is a song, which is played throughout. The lyrics directly reflect on the character himself due to the fact that it has numerous references to drink and drugs. Generally the film is non-diegetic aside from the little boy laughing at the end of the film, other than that there is only the song “Underworld” By Born Slippy.<br />
  3. 3. The Run-Away Boy<br />In the short film “ The Runaway Boy” I noticed that there were a number of different shots used throughout, some of these were:<br />·         Close up (convey emotion)<br />·         Over the shoulder (conversations)<br />·         Long shot (atmosphere)<br />·         Tracking shot<br />·         Extreme close up (focus on object)<br />This film is made up of intra diegetic sound, most of the sounds are diegetic (dialogue) meanwhile there are many sound effects which have been added during editing for example the sound of alcohol being poured into a glass, and coins spinning. <br />The titles for the film reflect on the genre quite well, I think it is quite dramatic and full of action as well as being quite youthful at the same time. The title changes from the left image into the right, the 1st image is against grass as if the boy is running from something.<br />The variety of shots used make the film looks really professional; this isn’t always the case with low budget short films.<br />The depth of field is always wide; this is so that everything on screen is in focus, which means that a majority of the time everything in the shot is of importance. Generally the shot types are quite abrupt cuts, this is noticeable especially in the flashback scenes in which the pace quickens and creates a sense of fear.<br />The rule of thirds is generally applied well in this film; characters on screen are always kept into the centre of the screen if they are the only ones in the shot. <br />The film is set in the present day, you can tell this by the landscape and other elements of the shots. As well as some of the morals in the film, for example a mother telling her child off for wanting fruit and saying he should have chocolate instead. Aspects such as these relate to issues, which are currently in the press, in that case it’s the younger generations failing health and the teenagers underage drinking. <br />As you can see the majority of the film is shot in the pub, this is quite ironic because it is quite likely that the young male character is underage.<br />Other parts of the film are filmed outside and in a corner shop; the pub creates quite a lot of atmosphere within the film. This is because it has got a drunken man slumped over the bar and an inquisitive bar man.<br />I would say that the target audience for this short film is pretty wide; it’s fairly light hearted and not very hard to understand so it is suitable for everyone really. Although I think it would probably be better understood by an older generation who would understand the underlying messages within the story.<br />
  4. 4. In the opening scene we’re shown a close up of an elderly woman in confession, the dialogue is the only reason in which I could tell she was in confession. The lack of background in the extreme close up doesn’t give much detail of her surroundings.<br />There are quite a variety of shots used, mainly extreme close ups of the women in confession, these shots are ideal for this part of the film because they convey a lot of meaning and put you in the priests position. There is also a panning shot of other women waiting to go into confession; the shot stays on the main character for the longest amount of time telling us that she is of greater importance.<br />The Act of Contrition<br />Editing wise I thought the film was quite simple and to the point, once again I think that this reflects upon the main character (pictured above) and her confession with the priest, it was straight to the point. Numerous editing techniques were successfully used, for example at the end of the film match on action was used whilst she was walking out of the door to create a shock factor of what was casually in her bin. Throughout the film music is only used at the beginning and end, during the rest of the film there is strictly on diegetic sound. The dialogue is what makes the short film quite funny and ironic.<br />The music creates a lot of the atmosphere; at the beginning it builds and creates a sense of un-ease for the viewer because you don’t know what is going to happen. The lighting also creates quite an atmosphere within the film, the dark lighting makes you feel nervous because you don’t really understand what is going on or where they are, especially at the beginning when the elderly woman is in the confession booth. <br />The titles like the rest of the film are quite straightforward, they aren’t done in a fancy manor instead they are quite straight to the point. Much like the way the woman is dressed, for practicality, and the way in which the film is meant to be perceived e.g. easy to read = easy to watch.<br />Camera movements throughout this film are quite slow and steady, I thought that this could be a reflection upon their opinions of their lives when they believe that they have done something wrong and feel that they need to go to confession. There is obviously a strong sense of guilt. Throughout the film there is a wide depth of field, which signifies that every detail is of importance as all details are important when you go into confession.<br />I generally thought that the main character was centre of the frame, with the comedic values in the outside thirds of the screen.<br />This final shot of the woman and her dead husband confirmed this theory in my mind.<br />I think that this film is set in the present day, but I would definitely say that due to the cast’s age they still have quite old-fashioned views. I believe this because you don’t really hear of many people in our generation visiting confession weekly when they have done something wrong. Which makes me believe that the target audience is probably an older generation who can relate to that, such as them or their parents or even grandparents going to confession in times of sin? But I would say that the target audience would have quite a good understanding of religion in order to understand and find the irony comedic in the way in which it was intended. <br />It is quite a light hearted, comedic film with the underlying message that even good people do bad things.<br />
  5. 5. Black Button<br />In the short film Black Button, there are quite a variety of shots used even though the entire film is shot in the same place. Generally close up shots are used when the 2 men are having conversation. Meanwhile there are numerous extreme close up’s of objects which are of an importance to the film, for example the black button itself and the key to exit the door.<br />There is also a couple of medium and long shots used, which sort of give the viewer an idea of where these 2 men are.<br />Once again there is always a wide depth of field used in this film, showing that every aspect is of importance. Generally the characters are placed a bit to the side of the shot, on opposing sides. This is used because it creates more of a sense of conversation, although when something important is happening on screen the character appearing is generally shown in the centre. Overall I think that this short film applies the rule of thirds quite well.<br />As you can see my from screen shots, the mise en scene from this short film isn’t very interesting. The room is white all over, with just a desk with the black button on it. The room is just generally very bright, this could reflect the idea of heaven, and I think this because ultimately this one decision holds the male characters fate. The lighting is very bright, but I am unsure if this could just be the lower quality of the filming or editing, but I think it creates quite an uneasy atmosphere. I think this because I personally associate bright lighting like this with hospitals. <br />Shot reverse shot is generally used in this short film, the transitions between the shots are also generally quite abrupt and not very fancy. There isn’t any backing music, which makes the short film lack atmosphere. The sound is generally diegetic, but effects such as the noise the lock makes, whilst the man tries to leave the room, would have been enhanced on the film. This counts as non-diegetic sound, therefore arguing that the film has intra diegetic sound. <br />This is the first thing that appears on the screen of the short film, it is a short extract from the bible. It is a good quote to have at the beginning of the short film because it is basically the moral of the film.<br />It is talking about how giving into temptation is the weaker option, which I think is very reflective upon the younger male character who generally seems quite weak but then the audiences opinion of him lessens when he presses the button which we eventually see to be a very bad choice.<br />I think that the target audience of this short film is quite broad, but more likely to be a bit of an older age group so that they understand the concepts of temptation and could possibly relate to having those problems. The younger male character is in debt, which is increasing daily, so being able to pay off all of his debts with just a press of a button is obviously very appealing…<br />
  6. 6. Offside<br />The titles on the main screen are slightly different to any other that I have seen; I think that they really reflect the story line of the film is you think about it properly. The ‘S’ has been changed to make it stand out, and then I believe that it acts as the fence in the actual film. It also has the same number of letter (people in the film) on each side of the ‘S’ fence.<br />This film has a slight resemblance to a real story of 2 oppositions bonding over football, there is the famous story from World War One in which on Christmas day the German and British soldiers played football against each other on no mans land. I think this leaves quite a strong message of how people can put aside their differences for “The Beautiful Game”.<br />Like a previous short film which I have watched by Erez Tadmor & Guy Nattiv there is also no dialogue present, this leads to frequent close up and extreme close ups of the characters faces in order for the audience to get some kind of idea of their current emotional state. Each character generally has the same amount of camera time, which signifies they are all of the same importance within the short film. Generally the film has a wide depth of field, meaning that everything in shot is in focus. But in some shots we are shown a range of field depths, for example in the screen shot above the foreground (fence) is blurred meanwhile the background is in focus. Throughout the film there are generally quite a broad range of shots used, we see quite a few long shots, these are good because it gives us an idea of the environment which they are in. The location of the film is obviously an Eastern country at war; we know this because of the desert like conditions and armed guards patrolling the border.<br />I also noticed that a prop which is of great importance within the film, the radio which the guards are listening to the football match on, had numerous extreme close ups.<br />The transitions between the shots are performed quite smoothly at the beginning of the film, then as the film progresses the transitions between the shots become faster and more abrupt causing a growing sense of tension for the audience.<br />
  7. 7. Teeth<br />I chose to analyse the short film “Teeth” because I thought it really shows how you don’t need numerous locations and characters in order to create a good film.<br />You get an idea of the simplicity of the film just from the titles, they are readable yet effective.<br />The whole film has been edited into black and white, it has no dialogue but I would still describe the film as being intra diegetic sound. The only sounds that come from the characters themselves are laughter, throughout the film there is soft music playing. The soft music is really reflective of the atmosphere; it is a wide-open lake with just a small fishing boat in the centre. The whole scene seems to be very tranquil and relaxing, there is no one else on the lake just the 2 old men and the music really reflects the calmness of the scene.<br />The film is quite a nice uplifting piece, I think that it gives off quite a strong message of what goes around comes around but in quite a light hearted way.<br />I think that the film is quite easy to understand, therefore will appeal to a lot of audiences because there aren’t any underlying ethical messages which you will have to know loads background information about to understand. Instead it is quite easy going, but I think it will be more appealing to an older audience who can relate to the film more than teenagers can.<br />The shots above are the most frequently used shots in the short film, the long shot signifies where the two men are meanwhile the over shoulder shot, which is usually used for conversational pieces, is used in this context to display one characters action and the other characters reaction. The close up shots are being used to portray the emotion that we lose through lack of speech and to place emphasis on objects, which are of an importance to the film.<br />
  8. 8. Lovefield<br />I noticed that throughout most of the film the settings were all quite dark and dim, but once the baby was brought into the image the lighting appeared to be much brighter. This signifies a baby bringing light into peoples lives, and generally making the world a more pleasant place for the parents. It is also only when the baby is born that any dialogue is spoken, the music seems to become slightly more warming as well.<br />I was quite impressed with this short film from the beginning, I liked the fact that is had a logo for whom it was produced by I thought that it gave the film quite a professional look from the start. The main titles merge onto the screen at the same time as an establishing shot is shown, which gives us a good idea of the setting of the film. <br />The first minute or so is basically panning shots of the cornfield, giving the audience an idea of the atmosphere and how empty the place is. The fact that it is concentrating on how empty the environment is gives the audience quite an uneasy feel, as if they know that something is about to happen. This is created mostly through the shot types and the slowly building music used.<br />I think that this film teaches us a lot, the atmosphere can be really manipulated with the editing and music, it really changes the way the audience perceive characters and the story line. The moral is basically not to judge so quickly; it could be lighter hearted than expected.<br />I noticed that numerous shot types were used within the film, all the different uses of shots meant that the film looked professional. <br />They experimented with different depths of field also, for example in the image on the right we are shown a shallow depth of field. Meaning the foreground is in focus, but the background is blurred. Generally throughout the rest of the film though we are shown quite a wide depth of field, meaning everything in the shot is in focus.<br />The editing in this short film has been carefully thought through, initially we are thought that something awful has taken place in this field. We are portrayed this view by the entire different close ups, making us put our own story together in our minds. The tension builds due to their being no dialogue throughout most of the film; this causes the audience to become uneasy and dying for the story to unfold.<br />
  9. 9. Mud Boy<br />I found this film on the BBC short film website, so obviously the titles and production title all looked very professional.<br />The background was black with white writing; it is in a nice font that is relatively easy to read. <br />In the house whilst the parents are arguing the mise en scene is quite dim and dark, the house seems to me like a bit of a prison? There seems to be little natural light in the house and everything looks quite dull, but once the daughter is out in the garden there is still this dull light. I think this has been obtained through the editing; they are trying to create the atmosphere.<br />There are a wide range of shots used throughout the production, at the beginning of the film we see the two adults arguing in the kitchen. In this scene the shots which are used are mainly over the shoulder shots and close ups, the transitions between the shots at this specific time are quite fast and abrupt which reflects the to and fro of the argument. There are a lot of close ups and low angle shots of the younger girl, the close ups portray her emotions well meanwhile the use of the low angle shots make the girl look quite strong and brave for the way in which she is coping with finding her brother buried at the back of the garden.<br />It is quite a chilling film of a young girl discovering her brother buried in their garden, but yet at the same time it manages to be quite heart warming.<br />There is a mixture diegetic and non-diegetic sound used in the short film, there is dialogue used throughout the film that gives us a clearer idea of the state of the relationships within the household. The non-diegetic sounds such as backing music are featured throughout the whole film, the music builds to develop tension and make the audience wonder what is going to happen next.<br />Generally I don’t think that this image has a very specific target audience, it isn’t really aimed at a lower age group such as children because it might frighten them and they generally might not really have a great understanding. Therefore I think the video could be targeted at people who have suffered from domestic violence, it empathises with them but manages to put a bit of a more easy going spin on things by focusing on the daughter.<br />
  10. 10. Bro<br />I found this short film on the BBC short film network, it is a film about a boy learning to cope with his brother’s disability and not be embarrassed by it.<br />The main character Mark is embarrassed by his brother’s disability, he is a very shy character and I think that the film titles reflect this really well. The text is small and in lower case, showing that it isn’t very formal, meanwhile the placing of the text is in the bottom right corner. The title is basically hiding away in the corner, not centre stage where all the attention lies. <br />This film is made up of both diegetic and non-diegetic sound, the script throughout moves the film along but I think it’s the shot types that are used which really tell the story. There are frequent close ups, especially on Mark and the Mother, they show their characters emotions quite well. Generally Mark looks angry and frustrated, he is fed up with being left to look after his brother while his mum is at work and this shows through the script and his expressions. Medium shots are used to give us a slight idea on the situation, and then the close up shots are used to signify the characters emotion of having to deal with the situation.<br />Mostly we are being shown the film from the perspective of Mark, who is trying to meet Gemma whilst looking after his disabled brother but trying not to let anyone know about him at the same time.<br />I noticed that throughout the film Mark wears very dark clothing, this shows how he wants to hide away and almost disappear. He doesn’t want to draw attention to himself and Mark, his disabled brother, so he dresses himself in dark clothes which are very reflective upon his mood and his general negativity upon life. When Mark is leaving the house we generally see him dressed in quite bright clothing, this shows his happiness for leaving the house and having some time with his brother, and really shows that he isn’t embarrassed by his disability it shows he just has to get on with it.<br />The film is obviously set in the present day, Gemma’s reaction to Mark having a disabled brother reflects that, she has an understanding of It and sees no reason for Mark to be embarrassed by it. This is quite a modern day view upon disabilities, in the past people wouldn’t even acknowledge them and treat people as If it was their fault. You can also tell its modern day by their dress sense and other elements which we see in our day-to-day lives.<br />
  11. 11. Notice<br />Hayley is leading a dull 9 to 5 lifestyle, she does the same thing everyday and isn’t content with her life in the slightest. She meets Lizzie on a fag break, which changes Hayley’s work ethic.<br />Throughout the film there were a lot of different depths of field show, the most common would be a shallow depth of field in which Hayley would be in the foreground and all of her surroundings would be blurred. I think that this shows that her work environment really is a big blur to her, it has no meaning to her therefore there wouldn’t be much reason to be having the whole film in a wide depth of field when loads of the smaller details really mean nothing to the main character.<br />I realised that later on in the film, when Hayley goes out to see Lizzie on her fag break and realises she isn’t there, a wider depth of field is used. The friendship they have formed causes Hayley to have a much more open eyed view about her work life, she realises that if she dislikes the ob that much she may as well quit. Lizzie made her get her identity back, no one at work noticed of acknowledged her so what was the point in spending more of her life there?<br />Throughout the film the only dialogue spoken is between Lizzie and Hayley, background music isn’t used to cause any effects instead we just hear industrial noises throughout, this means the film is made up of intra diegetic sound because the industrial noises would have been edited in.<br />The film is definitely set in the present day, it shows the typically British behaviour of having no backbone and just getting on with your job no matter how much you hate it, Hayley is just carrying on with her job even though she hates it because well what else is she going to do.<br />I would say that the target audience for this film is quite broad, it could appeal to women more than men because the 2 main characters are both female, it gives the audience the idea that a woman can have the character just to walk away not care in the slightest. <br />