07film Studies

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This slideshow is being used by Film Studies 3030 at the University of Lethbridge, Calgary campus. The slide information is largely derived as commentary for the Giannetti and Leach textbook, Understanding Movies, and Richard Barsam's Looking at Movies.

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07film Studies

  1. 1. Film Studies Week Seven Special Effects. Music and Sound. Classifications of Sound. Sound montage. Functions of Music. Sound and Musical Motifs. Language. Feature, Donnie Darko
  2. 2. Discussion from last class What was the function of Lola’s non-diegetic cutaways? Other intriguing ways of transiting between major scenes? Where did you see a truck/dolly shot that breaks the 180 degree rule? (Hint, we saw it over and over.) How many times did she run? Did the “runs” simulate real time? How were the indicative of continuity editing? Dis-continuity editing? See the jump-cuts? Split screen? Why? How does Lola carve open the idea of non-linear narrative? How would the story be if the runs were swapped out? What is the style? Run Lola Run de-brief screen 1
  3. 3. Where did we see “mechanical distortion?” What was the significance of the scream? Every film we’ve studied gives glimpses forward to the next study topic Dr. Strangelove to music (even though we were studying camera work, Lola now to performance. ( Apocalypse Now to everything.) Camera angles. Notice them? Birdseye? Camera proxemics. Notice them? Establishing longshots? Closeups? Two shots (mid)? Run Lola Run de-brief screen 2
  4. 4. The Thesis Moment Writers seldom resist the temptation to get pedantic. They’ll sneak a thesis moment into their script -- some character will lay out the central idea in a “Thesis Moment.” This thesis moment will often drift out of your memory if you let your mind connect with characters, their expositions, their crisis decisions, their epiphanies. Thesis moments can hide in many places in a script but one character or other almost always utters the central idea. Hear anything in Run Lola Run that expressed a central idea? Run Lola Run de-brief
  5. 5. The Thesis Moment Try this out … Manni said early on in the story, previewing the main idea. “ How do we know anything at all? Isn’t it always the same question and the same answer? Everything is just theory.” Is this a philosophical assertion? Anybody know? Goethe? Nietzche and existentialism? Albert Camus? Or: Voiceover intro: Mankind, probably the most mysterious species on our planet. A mystery of open questions. Who are we? Where do we come from? Where are we going? How do we know what we believe to know? Why do we believe anything at all? Innumerable questions looking for an answer, an answer which will raise the next question and the following answer will raise a following question and so on and so forth. But in the end, isn't it always the same question and always the same answer? Run Lola Run de-brief
  6. 6. Motion Picture Sound Sound is classified in three ways, sound effects, music and as spoken language. These elements can be synchronous ie recorded at the same time as the images; or nonsyncronous, ie recorded at a different time and dubbed onto the image. These elements can also be diegetic ie where the source is within the world depicted in the film (eg dialogue or music from a radio in the scene; or nondiagetic, where sound comes from outside this world (voice overs, background music etc.)
  7. 7. DRILL Are these following examples Synchronous or non syncronous? Diegetic/non? 1. Dialogue … recording by mike whilst shooting. 2. Dialogue … dubbed from English to Cantonese. 3. Sound of background TV broadcast but added after. 4. Orchestral music swelling amidst desert scene? These elements can be synchronous ie recorded at the same time as the images; or nonsyncronous, ie recorded at a different time and dubbed onto the image. These elements can also be diegetic ie where the source is within the world depicted in the film (eg dialogue or music from a radio in the scene; or nondiegetic, where sound comes from outside this world (voice overs, background music etc.)
  8. 8. Sound -- History In 1927, The Jazz Singer ushered in the talkie era. Early in talkies era, formalist directors like Eisenstein were hostile to use of synchronous sound. He believed it would limit editing and kill the very soul of film art. The increased realism brought on by sound forced acting styles to become more natural -- performers didn’t need to compensate visually for lack of dialogue. Orson Wells was an important innovator in sound. He perfected the technique of sound montage where dialogue of one character overlaps with another.
  9. 9. Music With or without lyrics, music can be more specific when juxtaposed with film images. Eg 2001 (Kubrick). Theories of music varies. Eisenstein insisted music not be used as mere accompaniment -- that it should retain its own integrity. Other filmmakers insist of purely descriptive music or “mickymousing” where music is a literal equivalent to the movement. Beginning with opening credits, music can suggest the mood or spirit of a film as a whole. Certain kinds of music can suggest locales, classes, ethnic groups. Music can be used as foreshadowing, eg. Hitchcock’s “anxious” music he used when preparing an audience.
  10. 10. Music Music can control emotional shifts within a scene. Remember this from Apocalypse Now? Music can provide ironic contrast. The predominent mood of a scene can be neutralized or even reversed with contrasting music. Examples? Remember this from A Clockwork Orange. (Music like Singing in the Rain as a “distancing” device.) Characterization can be suggested through musical motifs. The Good the Bad and the Ugly? Others? Watch for this in Donnie Darko too.
  11. 11. Descriptions of Film Sound pp 278 - 279 Read and review these terms: Pitch Loudness Quality Pitch • Frequency • Loundness • Amplitude • Quality • Harmonic Content • Fidelity Functions of Film Sound pp 298 - 306 Audience Awareness • Audience Expectations • Expression of POV • Rhythm • Characterization • Continuity • Emphasis
  12. 12. Donnie Darko (Richard Kelly, 2001) Originally screened at the 2001 Sundance Film Festival, DONNIE DARKO became one of the festival's most talked-about and debated films. Writing credits Richard Kelly * Executive Producer Drew Barrymore Genre: Fantasy / Drama / Sci- Fi / Mystery / Thriller (more) Tagline: You can never go too far. (more) Plot Outline: Highschooler Donnie is plagued by visions of a giant evil rabbit who orders him to commit acts of violence and predicts the impending end of the world. Cast overview, first billed only: Jake Gyllenhaal .... Donnie Darko Holmes Osborne .... Eddie Darko Maggie Gyllenhaal .... Elizabeth Darko Daveigh Chase .... Samantha Darko From imdb SFX -- process shots (+editing), simple Maya animation
  13. 13. Donnie Darko sfx Watch for these. SFX as CGI in tangential energy scenes. Water, eyes, clouds. Simply created in editing suite and Maya. SFX implemented as editing montage. SFX as camera angles. SFX as green screen. From imdb
  14. 14. Think about for next class Story Structure? Inciting incident? What else is this same event once you know the ending of the film? Sound (Meaning of “diegesis”: “Fictional world presented in a film.”) Synchronous? Nonsynchronous? Diegetic? Nondiegetic? Nonsynchronous diegetic? How about Synchronous Nondiegetic? “Mickeymousing” anywhere? Character motif through sound? Foreshadowing?What mood was set up with the music? How about emotional shifts? Other Writers seldom resist the temptation to get pedantic. They’ll sneak a thesis moment into their script -- Hear anything in Donnie Darko that expressed a central idea?

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