Sound|Inception|Jay A. Patel

That noise has become a staple in film trailers for the past few years. It all started with Inception. The film itself was great, a cinematic marvel to say the least. Sound wise, it was phenomenal. The sound editing done for the film gave the story and the world that Chris Nolan created depth and a type of reality that makes the film believable. However, one sound is all that comes away from the film. BWOOOOOOOOOM.

This noise is famous with this film. This sound was used throughout the film to create a sense of danger, a sense of wonder, and a sense of excitement. The sound meant that something was about to happen that would shock audiences or cause the heightened level of emotion in viewers. Good movies are made of good sound. Not only the dialogue that is spoken but also the sound and music that cover the silent aspects of film. If we watched a movie where only dialogue was heard but there would be no crash or bang when two cars collided, viewers would pan the film and it wouldn’t be all that great.

This specific sound that was created for the film Inception has been repackaged and reused by many films, Prometheus being one of them. The reason behind this is because the sound does what all good sounds are meant to do, make you feel. Hearing the now iconic, reverberating boom, gives off this sense of danger and high octane action. While the Prometheus film uses a quieter version of the Inception sound, it uses it for the same purpose that it was used in for the Inception film.

Sound makes the movie. Visual, acting, and dialogue all play a part but in the end the viewer needs to feel like they are there. Even if it’s only for a minute, the viewer needs to get this feeling that what they are seeing, actually happened and the only way to do that is with proper sound. It needs to be real for the situation presented or the whole things loses its value and interest in the eyes of a film goer. When Inception came out in 2010, it introduced this sound to audiences, not only in the trailer but also the film. Now, nearly four years later, that same noise is tied together with Inception and known as the Inception sound. That is what good sound is, something that is so good that it sticks, that it gets reused, and that it is easily recognizable.

Editing|Pulp Fiction|Jay A. Patel

For those people that know films, they know that Quinten Tarantino has a way of telling a story that is esoteric in nature. One of his early works, Pulp Fiction, takes the cake on this subject matter. It is not only the ensemble cast that he uses or the story that he tells, it’s also the manner in which he tells the story. It’s no wonder that the editor Sally Menke was nominated for Best Film Editing during the 1995 Academy Awards.

In a movie where the story is farfetched and so out there that it demands multiple viewings, an audience requires some form of visual cohesion so as to follow the storyline. Pulp Fiction follows multiple different storylines happening at different aspects on the timeline of the films. Editor Sally Menke jumps that timeline multiple times and relies on the footage provided to make sense of it all. That’s where visual cues come into place. Any movie can follow a script start to finish and follow a set timeline of events. Certain films will tell the story backwards of from the middle. Pulp Fiction jumps the timeline throughout the film.

Visual clues play a huge factor when it comes to editing a film like Pulp Fiction where timeline goes out the window. When the film starts, Travolta and Jackson are wearing the clothes in the bottom image. When the film “officially” starts, they are wearing matching black suits. Halfway through the film, they are wearing casual t-shirts again. Towards the end, Travolta is seen existing the bathroom in a suit, where he gets gunned down and killed. And back at the end of the film, they two men are wearing casual t-shirts in a diner. Even reading that causes a level of confusion. How does a guy get killed in a suit towards the end of the film but end up alive in a diner wearing a t-shirt at the very end of the film?

This is where the timeline comes into play. On paper, it’s very confusing. On screen, this kind of timeline jumping can also be very confusing but it takes a great editor and few visual clues to inform the audience that a time lapse or flash back has occurred. This is one of the many reason why Pulp Fiction is such a great film to portray proper editing techniques. Sally Menke uses very traditional forms of editing to tell an esoteric story on what can arguably be the most confusing timeline every created by a filmmaker.

Post #3 Types of Movies “Jaws”

Steven Spielberg’s 1975 classic “Jaws” was so terrifying that it had audiences staying clear of oceans for years.  This horror/thriller was adapted from Peter Benchley’s novel (also called “Jaws”) which had only been published the prior year.  This movie stays very close to the theme of isolation which is a very common characteristic among other horror/thrillers.

The movie starts off with a small party on the beach.  A boy and a girl detach themselves from the larger group and walk towards the water.  The girl leaves the boy and starts to swim while she is completely alone.  This is the first time that the theme of isolation is addressed.  The boy (who is too drunk to function) has stopped on the shore and is oblivious to everything around him.  Meanwhile, the girl has swam out quite a bit and when the audience is beginning to gain interest as to why so much attention is put on this seemingly unimportant girl, the shark’s first attack is made.  We see from the shark’s point of view as the girl swims by.  At only four minutes and four seconds into the movie, the girl is tugged by the shark and the audience realizes that they will be on the edge of their seats for the whole movie.  The girl screams for help, but nobody can hear her.  Close up shots show her fear and pain as the shark attacks her, while long shots show her being dragged to insight a feeling of helplessness in the audience.  The girl struggles for a short time, but ultimately is pulled under and doesn’t resurface.

The next scene is of Brody (the main character and town’s sheriff) waking up and getting a call that tells him to investigate what has happened to the girl. This is a case of dramatic irony as the audience knows what happened, but to the townspeople it is still a mystery.  As the story unfolds, we see that the feeling of isolation isn’t just during shark attacks, but will be a prominent motif in the film.  The town is on an island that is cut off from all other society, except during the summer as a resort.  Brody and his family are looked upon as outsiders from the other townspeople, because they weren’t born on the island and therefore, cannot be considered “islanders”. Finally and possibly most striking, Brody cannot swim and is even afraid of the water.  This singles him out and people look down on him for this flaw, despite him having authoritative power.  The mayor of the town, on many occasions, reminds Brody of his lack of social power in efforts to bully him into keeping the beaches open.

When the shark attacks in the middle of the day while the beach is packed, Brody finally convinces the mayor to sign a paper that allows Quint (a mad old ship captain) to be paid for hunting down the shark.  Also on the “fishing trip” is Hooper (a young marine biologist who specializes in sharks) and of course Sheriff Brody.  Brody is once again in line with his isolation from the other crew members as he is the only person on the ship without any experience with sharks or even basic seamanship.

The ship is old and doesn’t look all that ready to hunt down a massive great white shark.  This is very clear to the audience and they know that there is going to be no safety for the crew from this point of the movie onwards.  The audience doesn’t even have to wait long for the shark to encounter the ship and the true power of the shark is revealed.  The shark is not only big, but also smart as it fights with quint, until it disappears. Again, the audience doesn’t have much time to catch their breaths as for the first time the shark shows it’s face.  Brody is left alone at the back of the boat throwing bait into the water when behind him the head of the shark surfaces.  Brody has only a split second to see the shark, but backs away to where the others are and delivers one of the most iconic lines in movie history: “You’re (we’re) going to need a bigger boat.” This line really sums it up. They are clearly unprepared for the monster that faces them. Nobody is going to help them face it. They might die. They are helpless and alone.

The movie progress with the shark and the crew in constant (though not constantly threatening) battle.  Both sides have taken damage.  The shark is almost out of pulling power and the crew are doing all they can to keep the boat from sinking.  Finally, Hooper decides they have no other option, but for him to go in the water and tranquilize the shark.  Helplessness befalls Brody and Quint as they can do nothing for their shipmate once he has left the boat, and Hooper feels insignificant as he is almost totally exposed to the enormous size and strength of the monster.  Almost immediately Hooper drops his weapon, and becomes totally defenseless as the shark breaks the cage that was supposed to be Hooper’s protection.  Though sheer luck does Hooper get away, and the shark retaliates on what’s left of the ship.  The shark destroys the ship, killing and eating Quint in the process, and Brody is alone.  Not just metaphorically anymore, he is truly alone, on a sinking ship, with an enormous great white attacking.  Using his wits, Brody is actually able to shoot an oxygen tank in the shark’s mouth causing the creature to explode.  After the last bit of intensity has ended, Hooper surfaces and embraces Brody.  The two create a makeshift raft and slowly make their way back to land.  It is a very calming end, but arguably the best way to end the movie.  The entire film the audience felt anxious and alone, but in the last scene as Hooper and Brody kick for shore, the audience is able to catch their breath and relax as Brody (the perpetual outsider) has accomplished what no other could and reaps the benefit of unity and friendship.

Blog post 8; Editing

Not the most challenging movie but by far one of the most quoted teen movies in pop culture history. Mean Girls staring Lindsay Lohan, Rachel McAdams is about a girl in an American high school for the first time trying to take down the popular girl who every one hates but in turn she becomes that same girl. The editing in this film is clever sine the main character Cady is from Africa many scenes show her comparing the people around her to the animals in the African wildlife

The shot in this film especially at the bringing are some what long because it shows the perception on the main character and her taking in her surroundings of her new environment. When Cady is being introduced to the clicks in the cafeteria the shots are quick to show her eye movement across the drawn map. The shot then fades to the live layout of the tables into the next scene. The film also used the split screen technique when the girls are talking on the phone.
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It’s just those small editing tools that make this film such a pop culture hit. Don’t forget to wear pink on Wednesday!
-Marcy

Blog #10- Young Frankenstein (1974)

Blog #10- Young Frankenstein (1974) 

                   The film. Young Frankenstein was released in 1974. The director of the film is Mel Brooks, and screen story and screen play writers are Gene Wilder, who plays the character role of Dr. Frederick Frankenstein, and Mel Brooks. The stars of the film include Gene Wilder, Madeline Kahn, Marty Feldman, Peter Boyle, Teri Garr, and Cloris Leachman. The film was based on the novel Frankenstein, which was written by Mary Shelley. The film was predominantly in black and white, which was an important factor because during this time black and white was not as popular as films done in color. This illustrates the purpose of Brooks having this film in black and white is because it reflects the atmosphere of the earlier films. The film genre is comedy.

The film begins with Dr. Frederick Frankenstein (played by Gene Wilder), who is a physician lecturer at an American medical school (06:00). He was engaged to Elizabeth (played by Madeline Kahn). Frederick becomes overly uncomfortable and angry when someone brings up his grandfather, the mad scientist, especially during his class (10:40). (11:29)A legal representative informed Frederick, during his class, that he has inherited his family’s estate after his great grandfather’s, Baron Beauvort Von Frankenstein’s, death.  Frederick then traveled to Europe to look at the property. (15:00) He meets Igor (played by Marty Feldman), at the Transylvania train station, where he then meets a young personal assistant, Inga (played by Teri Garr). They traveled in a carriage to arrive at the estate, where they met Frau Blucher (played by Cloris Leachman). Frau Blucher was the housekeeper. Her name was significant because every time her name was said, they horses would react and “Nay” (20:10). Although his family legacy bought shame, Frederick began to become very intrigued about his grandfather’s work, especially after Inga led him to the discovery of Frankenstein’s laboratory (31:25). After reading his grandfather’s journals, Frederick decided to continue his grandfather’s experiments in re-animating the dead.

Frederick and Igor rob the grave of a criminal who was recently executed (39:09). They plan to put in a deceased scientist’s brain, Hans Delbruck’s, as a transplant for the criminal, but instead, Igor took an “Abnormal” brain and does not tell Frederick that it’s the incorrect brain (40:36).  The townspeople do not support the idea of Frederick continuing Frankenstein’s work; Inspector Kemp is most concerned about this idea (54:06). The criminal becomes a creature who is brought to life by the electrical charges; however, as soon as Igor confesses to Frederick that it was the wrong brain, everyone goes into panic mode. Frederick sees that Frau Blucher is setting the creature free and she then divulged that the creature loves the violin music and that she had a romantic relationship with Frederick’s grandfather (01:03:08). With all the commotion, the creature escapes from Frankenstein’s castle.

The creature comes by a young girl (01:04:47) and a blind man when walking around. (01:12:53) Frederick recaptures the creature and locks the two of them in a room to calm him down. Frederick and the creature launch into a musical number (01:20:58). The routine ends terribly because a stage light explodes and frightens the monster (01:23:07). He was captured and chained by the police. The creature escaped and kidnapped Elizabeth, who arrived unexpectedly for a visit (01:32:22). Elizabeth ends up falling in love with the creature. The townspeople hunt for the monster. Frederick plays the violin to lure the creature back into the castle because the creature loves the violin sound. Frederick transfers some of his intellect into the creature so he is able to reason with Kemp’s mob. With a happy ending, Elizabeth and the creature get married and Inga and Frederick get married.

Props were very popular in the film; important props throughout the film include the lab equipment used, the violin (01:03:08), and the skeletons. The film credits in the beginning were in a very gothic font, which relates to the movie, especially because it goes well with the background of the dark castle and night skies (00:52). This particular font also relates back to the 1930s, around the time when Shelley wrote the novel Frankenstein. The film also heavily includes scene transitions; such as fade in and out, fade to black, and wipes.  The scene 05:12 portrays an example of fading in and out to show that there is a change in plot scene. Another example of fade in and out was in (13:53).  In the beginning of the film, sound was highly demonstrated, especially with the thunder sound emphasizing the lighting and the rain (02:57). Some lighting sources in the film include lighting/thunder, fireplace, black and white lighting (classroom scene), and candlestick(20:58). Another source of sound includes the violin (01:03:08) because it symbolized the strategy used to lure the creature. In scene (01:00:10), it included sounds of breaking glass as the window shattered because of the thrown darts, which enhanced the dramatic effect.  During the credits (02:18), there was soft music playing in the background.  A setting includes the classroom where Frankenstein was teaching (05:51). This is also the scene that introduces the black and white lighting in the film. In scene 12:07, this was an example of freeze film with Elizabeth and Frederick positioned together and a few people walking around them. An example of fade to black was in scene 13:53, which took effect in order to illustrate change of scene and setting. Scene 16:18 includes a frame with Igor and Frederick shot in a frame, which shows the dialogue between the two of them; the camera angle is also facing downward directly toward Igor’s face. The camera was zooming in to get closer towards Frederick’s face when he was talking in his sleep because he had a nightmare; this was another camera tactic used in the film (24:20).

Without the Industrial Revolution technology, the story of Frankenstein would not have been conceived. The technology from the Industrial Revolution inspired the author of Frankenstein’s story. The science class in the beginning of the film (06:00), included Frederick referring back to Darwinism and the idea of intelligent design, idea of evolution, and the idea of God vs. Science. Science and technology was also illustrated when Frederick was performing the brain transplant in the creature’s body as he was getting elevated up. The idea of preservation of life was also discussed in the film as that was Dr. Frankenstein’s experiment.

– Pooja Parikh

Young Frankenstein- Trailer

Benjamin Nazario || Blog Post #10

Avatar (2009): 

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     For this weeks blog post I have decided to talk a little bit about the movie Avatar directed James Cameron. At first this seems like an odd choice for this weeks chapter which is Film History. But the way I see it Avatar is a film that is going to go down in history in the next couple years, it actually has already. There are several different reasons why I think that this film will indeed go down in history as one of the most influential and innovative films. 

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     First and for most, the visual effects/animation of this film is something that has never been seen before during the time this was made back in 2009. The film took animation and live action and combined them in a way that was never seen. The animation, which was the majority of the film was not exactly animation. It wasn’t just a computer generated image and a simple voice over of an actor. But rather it was a special technology that was used that put sensors on each actors body from head to toe. They shot the majority of the film in a giant room with over 1,000 cameras on the ceilings and the walls to get every movement of the actors. This was the shown on the computer. But before this they decided to take still photos of each actors face to get an exact animation of their every muscle, wrinkle, and bone. This is something that is used in today’s animation, but during 2009 this was legendary. This is why I decided to do this weeks blog post on this film. Because 20-30 years down the road when this topic comes up in a conversation, they will state that Avatar directed by James Cameron was the first movie to successfully do this. The following video shows almost every aspect of the process that they had to do for this special animation/VFX. (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P2_vB7zx_SQ

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     One other factor in this weeks chapter was to look a little bit at the directors motives and his repeated methods. It seems like James Cameron is very selective with his move making, he seems to attempt to make movies that are completely innovative for the time being. As he did with Titanic, which was a multi million dollar movie and an innovative one to say the least. He did the same with Avatar, making a movie that opened peoples eyes and will in deep go down in history as one of the most innovative films of all time. 

 

 

 

Benjamin Nazario 

Art & History of Film 

Blog Post #10 

21 April 2014 

Blog Post #9- Sound

For this week’s blog post I wanted to talk about The Paranormal Activity Series. In chapter 9, it talks about sounds in a movie and how it can be manipulated in different ways to provide a unique experience. Out of all the movies I could’ve picked, I chose The Paranormal Series because I believe they’re successful horror movies based on how they work sound into their movies.

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Throughout the series, all the sounds you here are coming from inside of the world of that world. There are no soundtracks or scores. They’re all diegetic sounds which they use very effectively. The way they edit the sounds is what makes these movies so freighting. There are many scenes where it is completely silent for a long period of time and it makes it so tense and it almost causes you to cringe because you know something is going to happen. What compliments the silence is the sudden loud sound effects from normal ordinary objects in movie. It could be completely quite one second and the next a door slams or glass breaks. These movies almost have to be watched at the theater in order to fully appreciate the sound effects. Theater quality speakers can make hearing footsteps unbearable.

The way the movie is filmed is also set out to scare you as a viewer because it is shot in first person. So it’s almost as if you’re in that moment with them and you’re just helpless to what comes next. The audience awareness of these movies are what make it so great because we already know the sounds that occur right before something happens and yet we get scared anyway. If you haven’t seen any of them, you should definitely give it a try because it is a genuine horror movie experience.