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Hero scene analysis

What is the purpose of the scene that you have chosen and how have language and filmic techniques been employed to achieve that purpose?

 

Zhang Yimou’s 2002 Hero portrays a character Flying Snow, who has to sacrifice herself to save her lover Broken sword. In a short scene from 49:04 to 52:04 Flying Snow decides to kill herself to save her lover. In this scene, the movie utilizes close-up, dialog, pathos, and wide-shot to convey the theme of love to present that love is a powerful emotion that makes one endure anything.

 

    The movie first employs close-up and dialog to present the sorrowful but determined will of flying snow to sacrifice herself for her lover. The scene utilizes close-up to clearly show the facial expression of flying snow. She helplessly closes her mouse and looks down with sad and empty eyes, which highlights the grief of flying snow that she must sacrifice to save her lover. On the contrary, flying snow’s dialog, which employs strong dictions such as “must” and “proceed”, presents that she is strongly determined to sacrifice herself to save her lover despite the sorrow that lies on her heart. No background sound is employed in this scene, which builds up tension and lets the audience solely concentrate on the facial expression and the dialog of the character. Consequently, the author highlights the heartbreaking devotion of a pathetic woman to kill herself to save her lover.

Additionally, the movie also employs pathos to highlight the theme of love. The scene again uses close-up to show the facial expression of Flying Snow, but this time, she stares at Broken Sword. Her face looks sentimental and sorrowful, presenting a tragic love between her and her lover. Moreover, the background music of this scene consists of stringed instruments which set up a sad and heartbreaking atmosphere, highlighting the sorrowful love. Through the effective use of pathos, this scene successfully delivers the theme of love between Flying Snow and her lover. By doing so, the scene elaborates that love is a strong motivation that drove her to sacrifice.

Lastly, the film utilizes a wide shot to emphasize her devotion to her lover. The following scene presents Flying Snow being on her way to sacrifice. The shot is taken in the wide shot, where Flying Snow occupies only a small space in the middle. By doing so, the surrounding terrain looks much larger than the character, which establishes an overwhelming atmosphere. Moreover, the terrain that surrounds her is rugged and harsh. As she must cross over the terrain to sacrifice herself, it portrays that her sacrifice will be overwhelming, harsh, and painful. She even looks lonely being the only person on such vast terrain, but she proceeds without a moment’s hesitation. Although the sacrifice is overwhelming, painful, and lonely, she decides to sacrifice just for her lover. Consequently, the scene highlights that the power of love can even make one commit such an overwhelming sacrifice.

 

Through the effective use of close-up, dialog, pathos, and wide-shot, the scene where Flying Snow sacrifices herself presents the theme of love. Zhang attempts to inform us of the value and power of love.

Propaganda poster

 

 

Through the effective use of symbolism, colors, double entendre, and facial expression, the poster presents the difference between the one who only dreams about a goal and the one who actually achieves the goal, inspiring the audiences to strive for their goals. On the left side of the power, a person sleeps on the bed, “dreaming” about success. Generally, a bed is a place where people rest, so it symbolizes comfort. By lying on the bed, the person decides to stay in comfort without any effort, but still dreaming of success. His facial expression looks calm, but his lip somehow shows that he is unsatisfied, as he cannot achieve his goal. On the contrary, a group of people walks up the stairs. Generally, it is arduous to walk up the stairs, so stair symbolizes pain and effort. Their facial expressions are painful, even more than the person lying on the bed. They present the people who are putting endless effort to achieve their dream. On the end of the stair stands a flag that says “Dream”. The flag is often used to show a destination after a long journey, so it symbolizes the achievement of a dream. When a group of people arrives at the flag, all the pains in their facial expressions are washed away, and they jump in joy. When they do so, their facial expression looks even happier than that of the person lying on the bed, presenting the joy of the people who achieved their dreams. Through these symbolisms and facial expressions, the poster suggests the reader get out of the comfort zone and endure the pain to happily achieve the goal. The flag zone is higher than the bed zone, presenting that the ones who arrived at the flag zone achieved more than those at the bed zone. Lastly, in the phrase, Dream Or Dream?, the word “Dream” is a double entendre, meaning the dream that occurs have when sleeping, and also meaning the goal of one’s life. The former meaning is colored in black, which has a negative connotation, and the latter meaning is colored in gold, which symbolizes success. Through the double entendre and colors, the author appreciates the ones who achieve goals rather than who only dream about it, inspiring the audiences to strive for goals.

Reflection – Propaganda poster

For most of the posters that we had, I found out that they commonly analyzed the color. I think red was prevalent as it symbolizes communism.

 

The Chinese people seemed happy, and the overall poster was trying to convey a positive message about the revolution.

Moreover, most of the poster used appeals to ethos, which relies on the credibility of the poster.

As the poster includes lots of figure, I could spot that symbolism was one of the main techniques too.

 

Lastly, most of our classmates analyzed the words, including font size and word choice.

My Film – An Invisible Ghost/ Synopsis

Synopsis

The protagonist has his film-making project overdue, so he/she remains at school to edit his/her video. Therefore, The film takes place in the film-making center of ISB at late night. While he is working on his project, the incident begins.

He hears a sound in the hallway, so he goes out to check. However, he out nothing. Feeling a sense of awkwardness, he goes back to the classroom to continue editing. When he sits on the chair, he hears a sharp sound at the entrance of the film-making center. He leaves the classroom to check, and he finds a cup lying on the ground. He looks around, but no-one is left in the school.

This time, he hears a footstep on his back. He turns around and spots a red footprint on the floor of the classroom. Feeling scared, he stands up and runs out of the classroom, to the hallway. At the entrance of the filmmaking center, he hears a giggle on his back. He stops and slowly turns around. Then, the light turns off, and the protagonist screams.

Dahun Film Video

Dahun FILMV

Script

ECU: I am fond of the sense of rough drumstick covering my hand. This attractive sense makes me stay close to drumming

CU: Whenever I play drums, I can find myself filled with joy. That is why drumming became my favorite hobby.

 

WS:  I sit on the fluffy chair, feeling the pedals living my feet up.

 

OTS: I put my right hand on the high hat, left on the snare, and take a deep breath.

 

Interesting shots:  Finally, I start drumming.

 

RESEARCH TASKS – Connecting with horror

  • Describe key elements of the short film (use film language as much as possible)

 

Character is one of the key elements of short film, as short film unfolds its story based on characters. Therefore, action, dialog, soliloquy, and facial expressions are considered significant in short films as they are the ones which expresses character’s idea. Film techniques such as extreme close up and close up are used to express character’s features.

 

Theme is also a significant feature of short film, as it is what short film’s plot should be about. Some common examples of themes are love, good vs evil, betrayal, and so on. To illustrate the theme effectively, the film must have a structure which starts with introduction, then rising action, then climax, and ends with resolution.

 

Jump Scare

 

Jump Scare is a technique often used in horror films and it scares the audience by showing the abrupt change of image. This technique is supposed induce a “cheap scare” both physically and mentally from the audience.

 

Tight Framing

 

Tight Framing is a technique that puts a frame very tight on the subject of the film. When doing so the subject almost touches the edges of the film. This technique I used to draw an attention about a specific subject. Moreover, it can also draw audiences’ attention to variety of concepts around the character.

 

Back lightening

 

Back lightening is a technique to use the main source of light behind the character to highlight the figure of the character. Since the light source is from the figure’s back, it is hard to recognize the facial expression of the character. Therefore, it arouses curiosity from the audience about the specific features of the character.

 

Uplighting

 

Uplighting is to use the main source of light from the bottom. By doing so, the light highlights the character’s face. Therefore, it exaggerates the character’s facial expression, and it may be also used to maximize the scary feature of antagonist’s face.

 

Horror films must create an scary and tensive atmosphere so that the audiences can immerse into the film easily. Therefore, the usage of sound is significant, as it is effective in building up a tension. Infrasound is one of the sound technique used in horror movies.

 

Infrasound is a low frequency sound: a sound that has a frequency below 20Hz. Since this sound is hard to be heard, using this sound builds up the tension of the film. It also expresses negative emotions such as uneasiness, anxiety, and fear

 

People expect to feel scared when they watch horror movies. This reason is related to human compensation psychology. When humans feel negative emotions such as fear or anxiety while watching horror movies, happiness comes afterwards as a reward. Therefore, when making horror film, the director must make the film scary.

 

Cultural and historical backgrounds have a great influence on horror movies. For example, most Eastern ghosts are often seen well by others because they have the setting that they died with resentment. Therefore,  eastern ghosts openly slaughter people rather than hiding themselves.

On the other hand, Western ghosts are difficult to detect unless they are experts. Therefore, they evoke a mysterious fear. Since I am accustomed to those “eastern” fear, I can feel that I am more scared by those “western” fear these days.

 

In my horror film, I will include a mysterious fear. It will be about an unexpected spiritual visitor. Since I have no access to computer technology, I won’t be able to include the figure of the ghost. Due to this constraint and my preference of a mysterious fear, the ghost will be invisible for this film. However, the audience are aware of its existence since the ghost is leaving traces by turning off lights, making noises, or knocking on doors. To maximize the sense of fear, I will use some sound techniques like infrasound.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Story Board

Extreme Close up

I will film my hands holding a drum stick. I will make sure my drum stick is highlighted and I will try to keep the background out of focus. This scene will take about 4 seconds.

 

I will use an aperture of 2.8.

I will use a 42.5 lens.

I will use a white balance of 5000K.

 

Close up

For the second shot, I will film my face. I will make sure that my eyes and mouth are in focus to clearly show the expression. I should have a concentrating expression on my face. This scene will take about 4 seconds.

I will use an aperture of 4.

I will use a 25 lens.

I will use a white balance of 5000K.

Medium shot

For the medium shot, I will take the picture of myself sitting on the drum set. In this scene, the only action I am going take is spin the drum stick. This scene will take about 4 seconds.

 

I will use an aperture of 5.6.

I will use a 25/15 lens.

I will use a white balance of 5000K.

Over the Shoulder Shot

For the over the shoulder shot, I will film the drum set on the point of view of my shoulder. At this scene, I will show myself being ready for drumming; I play my left hand on the snare drum, and place my right on the high hat. This scene will last for 4 seconds.

 

I will use an aperture of 4.

I will use a 42.5 lens.

I will use a white balance of 5000K.

Interesting Shots

For 5th shot, I will show myself playing the drum set. The camera angle at the top, filming down will on me drumming.  I will actually play the drum to make this scene interesting.

 

I will use an aperture of 5.6.

I will use a 25/15 lens.

I will use a white balance of 5000K.

 

My story

For this project, the subject of my film is going to be drumming. The film is going to present me picking up the drum stick, sitting on the drum set thrones, and drumming. It will be in chronological order, starting with me picking up the drum stick, and end with me starting to play drums. Since this film is quite short, I thought it will be quite challenging to involve complicated emotion in it. Therefore, I decided to deliver my passion for drumming in the film. To make it interesting, I will try to make my film include actual drumming sound in the “interesting shot” stage.

My first 4 Shots

ECU of Hands

 

I will film my hands holding a drum stick. I will make sure my drum stick is highlighted and I will try to keep the background out of focus. This scene will take about 4 seconds.

 

I will use an aperture of 2.8.

I will use a 42.5 lens.

I will use a white balance of 5000K.

 

CU

 

For the second shot, I will film my face. I will make sure that my eyes and mouth are in focus to clearly show the expression. I should have a concentrating expression on my face. This scene will take about 4 seconds.

 

I will use an aperture of 4.

I will use a 25 lens.

I will use a white balance of 5000K.

 

MS

 

For the medium shot, I will take the picture of myself sitting on the drum set. In this scene, the only action I am going take is spin the drum stick. This scene will take about 4 seconds.

 

I will use an aperture of 5.6.

I will use a 25/15 lens.

I will use a white balance of 5000K.

 

OTS

 

For the over the shoulder shot, I will film the drum set on the point of view of my shoulder. At this scene, I will show myself being ready for drumming; I play my left hand on the snare drum, and place my right on the high hat. This scene will last for 4 seconds.

 

I will use an aperture of 4.

I will use a 42.5 lens.

I will use a white balance of 5000K.

 

 

For 5th shot, I will show myself playing the drum set. The camera angle at the top, filming down will on me drumming.  I will actually play the drum to make this scene interesting.

 

I will use an aperture of 5.6.

I will use a 25/15 lens.

I will use a white balance of 5000K.

 

A story in 5 shots

Extreme Close-up (ECU):

Extreme close-up refers to the first filming technique among the 5 shot sequences. The specialty of this technique comes from its shot size. Just like its name, the shot size of this technique is extremely close; the camera extremely closes up to the hands of the character. As this technique is arranged in the first order of the 5 sequences, its feature of only showing the hands of the character makes evokes the audiences’ interests.

Close-up (CU)

Close-up refers to the second technique among the 5 shot sequences. The shot size of this technique is quite close, as this technique focuses on the face of an object. Since this technique focuses on the face, it can effectively present the emotion of the character, helping the reader to understand the character’s emotion. In most cases, the eyes are the most emphasized in the face.

Medium Shot (MS)

Joe Blogs: The Medium-Shot

Medium shot refers to the third technique among the 5 shot sequences. The shot size of this technique is moderately close, focusing on the upper body of the figure and a background. Since it generally shows the whole picture of the scene, it builds up a general understanding of the character and the surrounding for the audiences. Therefore, medium shot is one of the fundamental techniques of filmmaking.

Over the Shoulder (OTS)

Camera Angles: Over The Shoulder or Single Shot?

Over the Shoulder shot refers to the fourth technique among the 5 shot sequences. The shot size of this technique is quite close, and the point of view of this technique starts from the shoulder of the character. This technique focuses of what the character is doing, so it reveals the relationship between the character and the subject. Since the point of view of this technique is similar to that of the character, it engages the audience into the film.

Interesting Shots

Interesting shot refers to the last technique among the 5 shot sequences. Just like its name, there is not specific shot size to follow. It just has to be “interesting”, and this shot must put an end to the whole film. An unusual focuses such as “crawl on your belly” can be an example of Interseing shots.

 

 

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