Monday, 30 November 2009
Friday, 27 November 2009
'The Cook, The Thief, His Wife & Her Lover' is another movie that says alot through Art, whilst being successful with an attentive storyline. The portrayal of Albert Spica was very successful as I constantly wanted him to get pay his dues for all the bad that he had done, and the film never went short of showing us all the bad that he did do. There are various colour symbols that run through the film, this technique is one that I personally like in film, as it is not so 'in your face' whilst it's impact is massive. When Michael and Georgina are making love outside the toilets, their clothes along with the room become a red colour, red commonly symbolises passion and love, various other colour changes occur throughout the film to accompany the mood. I believe this technique was also succesfully used in House Of Flying Daggers, although this time, it was in your face, but this was because the use of colour was so beautiful it was something to be bedazzled by. 'The Cook, The Thief, His Wife & Her Lover' lures you into the film, in a way that you become part of this world of murder, hatred and pleasure. Georgina eventually gets her way at the end, although it is far from a happy ending with the death of Michael, Albert's (played by Michael Gambon) reaction is priceless as Georgina delivers the final bullet.
This was the first time watching Edward Scissorhands and to be honest, I feel as if I should have researched it a bit as friends were telling me that they were scared of the film when they saw it, that, accompanied by the scary front cover had me thinking this was a thriller. Then, when Phil said "if you're not feeling Christmassy, then you will now", I was confused. As soon as the film started however, it felt immediately as how Phil explained it, a Christmassy film, the bright colours and music made me feel merry. The colours used on the houses was very stylistic and provided a sense of being somewhere that doesn't exist. I had a similar feeling watching Pleasantville, however I believe this was down to the personalities, styling and script as Pleasantville was, for the most, a B&W film. Halfway through the film however, I realised what my friends were talking about, especially when you first meet Edward Scissorhands the suspense created is immense as he is at the very top floor in a dark corner of the roof. The ending of the film was a bit of a surprise as it is neither happy nor sad, it is however, realistic in the sense that if Edward Scissorhands did exist this is probably what would happen to him, he would return to where he came from after a failed attempt of fitting in with society.
Having not seen Alien before, I could not help comparing it to The Matrix, it was mainly due to the spacecraft, shots used, colours and the character of Ellen (in comparison to Trinity). When Kane gets infected by the alien, I naturally believed that he was going to have some sort of reaction later on to it, as this is seen nowadays in films such as Cloverfield and I Am Legend, these two films may have been influenced by Alien. I also, never believed I would get scared by a film made in 1979 but I was genuinely scared when the Alien revealed his face after a suspenseful moment looking for the other astronauts. Building suspense and then following up with a sound-heavy sudden revealing is something that isn't done to often nowadays as I believe directors think this is an overused technique. In films such as Cloverfield, suspense is usually built then decreased, or in I Am Legend, they try to shock the viewer by avoiding suspense altogether. For me, watching Alien, was like seeing where all the more recent sci-fi films got all there scenes from, however I was still able to appreciate the various techniques used. Phil asked us what we thought about the revealing of alot of Ellen's skin towards the end of the film. I believe that this film positively represented the power of females, throughout there are sexual innuendos such as when Kane is attacked by an alien form and then used as an egg to reproduce, it shows how a man is used for reproduction without his consent. When Ellen is being approached by the Alien at the end, the Alien's head is the phalic symbol approaching Ellen, however Ellen gets rid of it again positively representing women.
I really liked the way personalities are revealed and developed throughout this film. For me, this really drove the story, as you are constantly trying to look for the 'evil' character. At first you believe Eleanor is the target, and the victim throughout, with intimidating characters such as Theodora as possible culprits. As you get to know each character you realise that Theodora is innocent and that her intimidating personality, was just something she couldn't help, then as you get to know the characters, Eleanor's behaviour begins to change. This is a surprise, despite it happening over time, as you initially believe she is the only one that could never be blamed for any of the occurances, then as the film closes, we realise how she let the house take over her. When Phil asked "what did you notice about the camera", I was thinking hard and all I could think was "I don't know, it all seemed pretty clear to me", but what I never realised was that it was this that gave this film such a 'haunting' feeling as everything is constantly being shown to you in clarity, almost asking of you to 'solve' the plot.
Before watching this, Phil told us that there was some relation with this to Hansel and Gretel. When the first 10 minutes of the movie passed I started to think "what was Phil on about", as the film started with the hanging of Pearl and John's father and the introduction of the character, Harry Powell. As the film progressed I began to understand what Phil was talking about, there is something 'Hansel and Gretel' about the two children as they venture through the various locations on the way to Rahel's house. Only after seeing this film, did I understand the parodying of Harry Powell in the Simpsons where Sideshow Bob has the words 'LUV' and 'HAT' tattood on his 3-knuckled hands. Overall, I really enjoyed this film and although some of the lines seemed appropriate only to that period in time '1955', lines that appeared comical to myself, (e.g. you threw a hairbrush at Daddy), I still found an interest in the film and personally believe it was a movie ahead of it's time.
Although I can appreciate the unique art that takes place in films such as this German Expressionism film, I was a bit weary as to how good the story line would be as I believe movies cannot do much if a good story line isn't present. It reminds me of what happens when games try to be movies, where games focus heavily on cinematics but do not provide in the game play side. If you sit down to play a game, you sit down (unless you're playing Wii sports) to play a game, not to watch a movie. However, this can be done successfully, such as with Metal Gear Solid 4, in which 90 minutes worth of cutscenes are included whilst delivering the game play. The story, personally, I can compare to that of Spielberg's work, you feel like you're approaching the end of a film, but you want it continue, and it does just that. The story includes a twist at the end, which I feel sort of satisfies you as a viewer, and leaves you thinking "that was a good film". In this particular film, the effect of the story is heightened by the background content, the off-angle buildings create an unusual, strange feeling that isn't so much to throw you off the film. In fact, I unintentionally carried this on into one of my digital paintings, when I was first experimenting with the graphics tablet, I found myself creating off-angled building because I felt it suited the look, however it was only after that I realised this liking came from watching Metropolis.
This is a vague idea of the whereabout of layers in my volcano concept. I have decided to opt out of doing the previous volcano concept in which Captain Nemo and Arronax are looking up at the volcano and have instead decided to show them looking down at the volcano. I believe this change has allowed me to explore new techniques such as creating lava and using lighting techniques on the inside of the volcanic rocks.
These two images have helped me progress my volcano concept. The second, allowed me to get an idea of the various details that are present on the volcanic rocks, aswell as observe lighting as the rocks slope inwards. The second allowed me see the different colours present in lava.
This was another concept that I thought about pursuing, however I have decided to do the same passage that this was painting based on, but alter it instead. I will not be pursuing this any further, but will instead be working on a concept based on if Captain Nemo and Arronnax reach the summit, but instead looked down on a volcano, instead of up at it, as I believe it will create more of a visual impact and allow me to explore other digital painting techniques.
Both these images helped me create my horizon concept (approaching Mannaar Island). The second image really helped with understanding how light appears during a sunrise and how it hits the sea and the rest of the surroundings. The first imaged helped with adding light effects effects to my silhouetted Captain Nemo.
I have chosen to study LittleBigPlanet for my Production Design essay.
I initially wanted to Tekken 6 as it is the game that I was most looking forward to for the Playstation 3. However, I soon realised that if I was analysing Tekken 6's production design, it would be difficult not to do it from a fan's eye view. Although it has limited stages to analyse, their are many aspects of Tekken 6's production design worth mentioning about, from the 80+ costumes, endless customisation opportunities and texturing, to the cinematics, stage design and character design.
However, I have opted to do LittleBigPlanet as it felt as if I could analyse each part of the production design without focusing heavily on one part.
“LittleBigPlanet is a unique game combining an amazing platform adventure with a huge social community enabling players to, play, create and share their gaming with others”.
I feel that I can really expand on the use of colour throughout LBP, with their constant use of bright thematic colours. The themes used can also be ellaborated on, such as the different location you can visit and the levels based on these areas, for example, The African Savannah or The Mexican Deserts. There is also a high use of abstract objects and building, I believe there is alot to talk about in the designing of these buildings and objects and the texturing used throughout. Like Tekken 6's there are endless customisation oppurtunities, however in LBP, it is literally endless with the Sackboy's (the main character) wardrobe constantly being updated by Media Molecule as they design new costumes or designers from other companies do to advertise their costumes on LBP.
I believe this essay on LittleBigPlanet will be alot of fun to write as it will allow me to research the various skills employed by Media Molecule's Production design team to achieve such a fun and authentic overall look.
I will be using the following resources throughout my essay:
LoBrutto. Vincent. (2002). The filmmaker’s guide to production design. Illustrated Edition. Allworth Communications.
Images that will prove useful to analyse:
Thursday, 26 November 2009
My third landscape will be based on this passage from the third chapter of the book. What struck me first when reading this passage was the opportunity to create lava underwater, although I was intrigued by the process of digitally creating lava, I was more intrigued by the visual impact it would have, seeing this flow of lava underwater. I also believe that once my first landscape is done, I could use the knowledge gained from creating simple rocks in the coral reef, to creating that vast landscape made up of the detailed crevices in the volcanic rocks.
My second landscape will be based on this passage from the second chapter of the book. I selected this passage as I wanted to pick a variation of landscapes so it would allow me to explore the various techniques used in different situations, in this case I wanted to pick something that wasn't underwater. When reading this passage, although not as descriptive as the one used for my first landscape, I could immediately visualise the scene, the sun rising behind the Isle Of Mannaar with the dinghy approaching it at the bottom of the painting, with hints of sun rays hitting the dinghy. I think the image will include high amounts of detail on the island, however, the sea and sky will perhaps be empty to symbolise the silence and vacancy of the area they are in.
My first landscape will be based on this passage from the first chapter of the book. I selected this passage as it is extremely descriptive allowing me to easily visualise what Aronnax is seeing. He talks about undersea shrubbery covered with starlike flowers, white lines, how they are rooted in the rocks downwards, the membranous cylinders, small fish, the red sheathes, etc. The endless descriptions would allow me to provide an accurate rendition of this passage, however, I do intend to alter some of this passage visually, in order to hopefully increase the visual impact of my landscape, for example I may alter the position and size of the bushes to create a certain surrounding that adds to the composition.
After reading up on some background information for 20,000 leagues under the sea, I found out that the 1954 Disney adaption of the 1870 Hetzel novel was one that praised itself on the extrordinary creatures under the sea, the vast landscapes and the relationship between all the crew members. The scene in which the crew are attacked by a giant squid is one of the more memorable scenes, it showcases the techniques used to create such a colosal monster and expresses the sheer size of it as the crew members constantly attempt to battle it. The friendships of the members on board was important to the movie as they help to form the team work displayed in the later scenes as they approach life threatening situations. The piece of landscape artwork displayed, done by matte artist Peter Ellenshaw really influenced my landscapes as they displayed the immense rocks in comparison to the submarine with good use of depth with foreground elements.
These two images of coral reefs allowed me to get a general idea of the various colours that are present. They allowed me to create various plants based on the one's in the images aswell as observing the manner in which they move in.