4.1 Evaluation

In this Post I will critically evaluate my final media project against the agreed requirements and parameters that I will detail in my own project proposal.

  • Task 1

I made a short experimental noir film. It was shot in the course of one night. It is inspired by film noir’s made in the 40’s and 50’s. I had only me and another crew member to help me achieve the project. I researched through lot’s of film noir to achieve the style of substance of what I wanted to make. I wrote a cynical and sarcastic script in order to create a character by using voice over. I wanted all the key elements of noir to make this project including the colour black and white, femme fatales (even though they weren’t in the project). The Jazzy soundtrack, Male protagonist with a solace of drinking and smoking cigarettes. City streets and voice over work.  I wanted a private detective as the main character. Because I liked the idea of flawed anti hero trying to do what is right even though he looks incredibly scruffy, I found that really cool to do and wanted to make a project concerning a troubled private eye with a past. So I wrote a script that i wanted to use for voice over so we the audience get’s a clear idea of who the character is and why he is the situation he is in. When he is woken up by a mysterious phone call asking to meet the person who called at another location I wanted the private eye to not really give too much though over suspicion. I wanted the private to be funny yet melancholic in the same time. Since Noir has strong female characters who manipulate men into doing sinister crimes. I wanted a similar aspect for that in the sense that (finding out through voice over) A woman has done damage to this character which is why he drinks. This influence came from films like Gilda and Double Indemnity.  So when I was making this clip in one night , I knew exactly what I wanted to do in order to achieve what I wanted to achieve. By doing so I needed the clip to be set in a flat right in the midst of a street of Canterbury. I wanted the flat to look as scruffy and messy as possible and I had to shoot in colour so that during editing I would change the look of the clip from colour to black and white. When making the project and researching it’s genre themes I needed a smooth cool jazzy soundtrack in order to create a great noir’esque atmosphere. So that we are submerged into the gritty yet stylish of noir.

Reflective writing on Task 1

In this task I wrote down everything I wanted to make for the noir project and it was also what I originally had in mind.

  • Task  2

Introduction to the project

My Final major project is an experimental Film Noir. it revolves around a private eye ( played by myself) who receives a mysterious phone call one night concerning a meeting in less than 5 minutes. As the scruffy looking detective is getting ready to leave, through voice over we find out who this character is and the previous girlfriend he used to have and how he got the job as an investigator. It is shot in colour and edited in Black and White. I researched the themes of Film Noir the understand the requirements and techniques for the task.

5 Strengths and Weaknesses

Strength.

1# My Knowledge of cinema is a strength because it helped me know exactly what types of shots and characters I wanted for this project. With my knowledge over Film noir I knew exactly what kind of characters needed to upgrade the style of noir and what kind of mood and tone.

2# Music. Noir consists of a jazzy soundtrack since so I knew what kind of music I wanted to add the mood for the project. Jazz is a heavily strong element for noir. And I researched music to gain inspiration and to know what kind of jazz music would fit the right tone.

3# Dialogue. In Film Noir most of the time there is lot’s of voice over. The voice over in Noir is always descriptive and often cynical and sarcastic. Something I needed for this project.

4# Inspiration of other movies to experiment on camera angles. As heavy influence of noir and other types of genre movies. I wanted to borrow certain shots from other movies that could work for my FMP. By doing so I borrowed scenes like the mirror talk shot from La Haine (1995). Or the opening sequence of The Killing of a Chinese Bookie

la-hainechinesebookieblu00002

CriterionForum.org(2013). Available at http://www.criterionforum.org/DVD-review/the-killing-of-a-chinese-bookie-blu-ray/the-criterion-collection/1216 (15/06/2016)

 

 

5# My skills in Art to develop storyboards.

Since I know how to draw I knew what types of shots I wanted for this project and by doing so I drew through multiple storyboards papers and to make them as authentic as possible.

Weaknesses.

1# My knowledge over cinema. Since I watch sometimes too many movies. I tend to explain and film things in a far more experimental fashion instead of something more conventional or academic. This can sometimes distract from the audience’s eye not knowing exactly what I am trying to prove.

2# Using hand held instead of using a tripod. In certain shots of my FMP I used a hand held camera that turned out to shake in certain moments during the making of the project.

3# Lack of paying attention to detail. In certain shots of the clip, like when the main character in my project picks up a photograph it was unbeknownst to my part that we ( the audience ) can see the image as the camera was pointing the image up above from the protagonist looking at the image.  In certain other shots we could see Asian samurai swords when the main character is clearly not interested in those factors.

4# The amount of time I had to figure out the idea for this project. When it was announced to make our final major project it wasn’t easy to find an idea concerning 4 interest to develop the project. So within the weeks working on my previous blog posts by that point I didn’t have a clear idea of what I wanted to do in my head. Until it hit me that my favourite genre is indeed Film noir so I used this piece to make my FMP. Which meant I had to restart my Research and my interpret research.

5# Soundtrack during editing. With the voice over work I didn’t use a strong microphone while using the sound recording for the voice recording I needed to create the right kind of style the genre of Noir needed.

 

Theme for the design ideas and influences.

Since I wanted to make an opening sequence of a Film Noir. The themes and rules of noir were something I wanted to work with. The use of black and white and the fact that the genre was mainly shot always at night. The use of a strong female characters and a flawed anti-hero. Dialogue is also an important and especially voice over. Also Smoking and drinking was one other key use to pitch into Noir as it’s themes  create this stylish yet sinister world of moral depravity. Another reason why I had to use voice over work was to add not only black humour but extreme cynicism another rule used in noir.

Market Noirafcd7e59d6e006ae8837722eba3e83c5

Clhoe Morello(2016)pinterest.com . Available at https://www.pinterest.com/stratevol/noir/ (16/06/2016)

 

Influences.

There are a lot of influenced that I used for my FMP. But for the shots that I wanted as I have explained up above in 5 strengths. I took inspiration of Kassovitz’s La haine to provide the shot in the bathroom in which the camera is the mirror and the main character looks at the mirror to describe what he is doing. In the last shot of the project i spared influenced from of noir’s and crime thrillers. Including Out of the past starring Robert Mitchum or The Maltese Falcon when Humphrey Bogart is walking in the streets. The main character that I play in the FMP is inspired a lot of stereotypical characters found usually in noir and neo noir. But he has strong similarities to Elliot Gould’s Character in The long goodbye and Robert Downey Jr’s Harry Lockhart from Kiss Kiss Bang Bang.

kiss-kiss-bang-bang-robert-downey-jrelliott-gould-long-goodbye-614x458

Sean Troutman(2014)ranthollywood.com. Available at http://www.ranthollywood.com/2014/10/07/top-10-robert-downey-jr-movies/ (12/06/2016)

Other influences come from the voice over and the location. The room for which the Protagonist lives in had to be this messy looking flat. The vision I had in mind for which I wanted the flat to slightly look like comes the film Touch of Evil in which Orson Welles’s murders a character in an apartment. I wanted a similar environment for my flat in comparison to the one from Touch of Evil. Other  influential aspects from come from video game with it’s genre being noir. In the Wolf Among us the main character lives a scruffy old flat an influence that I wanted to use for the location in the FMP.

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gamepressure.com(2016) GRY-Online. Available at http://guides.gamepressure.com/thewolfamongus/guide.asp?ID=22338 (15/06/2016)

 

 

 

The Experiments I used for the project.

When I first started working on the genre of Noir for the Final Major Project. I knew I had to this clip in black and white and by doing so I would shoot in colour because using the camera 700D and shoot in black and white, the result in editing wouldn’t be in a better quality than shooting in colour and thus using monochrome to change the colour.

That’s one but other experiments I wanted to use is the focus on small detail like when the main character pours a glass of vodka to drink and then plays Jazzy music. Another flaw in the movie was the soundtrack because John Barry was due to play in the clip. However the song wasn’t long enough to fit in the clip. So I was searching for Jazzy music to fit in the project and I wanted to experiment in the right kind of smooth music to fit in the right gloomy style I wanted for the FMP.   All these experiments affected my project just the way I wanted them to. However there was one experiment that affected the FMP in a negative was that when the main character look in the mirror, the camera was meant to be the mirror and the tripod we used for filming this shot was too small to grab the full face of the character. So we decided to use handheld for the shot. But it wasn’t easy. Part of the reason the shot in bathroom was very difficult was because when our crew member was taking the shot it was difficult to not laugh which is why the camera was slightly shaky.

  • Similar types of design publication

My FMP similarities are  from Noir clips and movies. These are the products I can compare to from down below.

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Christmas, A. (2011) 25th Hour, The Cinephiliac. Available at: https://thecinephiliac.com/2011/11/14/25th-hour/ (Accessed: 22 June 2016).

 

In the movies that i have placed up above and so much more. My project was primarily inspired by films made in the 40’s and 50’s concerning one genre which is noir. The main character that i play is inspired by Elliott gould’s character’s in The Long Goodbye, The main character from KissMe Deadly and Edward Norton’s character from 25th hour.(I wanted to create a flawed anti hero) and other noir male protagonists. There are several influences with the voice over dialogue particularly with Frank Miller’s Sin City and Max Payne. I wanted a cynical,sarcastic yet witty script found in most noir’s. Because to make my project as stylish as possible to the point where the audience can recognise the clip being noir and see it’s inspiration even for a more mainstream audience.

  • Key areas of development in the Project

Me and the crew shot this project in one night on the June the 8th.

I hired a canon 700D and a microphone. Since the noir that I wanted to make for the clip had to be script and atmosphere oriented. I specifically wanted a location as urban as possible.

My crew member Jack Stevens lives right next door to Canterbury college and that area looks more urban than where I live so I though it would be a good idea if I shot in that location to add more authenticity. Because in the final shot of the project where the character is walking out of his flat and heading into the streets. The area looked very shadowy and neon filled thanks to the city lights so that was a strong key element I wanted to use. Because in such films like Mulholland Drive, Lost Highway, Collateral and so forth, the city is a solid second character , so for the flat I use in the project and the location I wanted to bring as sophistication as I intended so that the location because a character in the clip.

Black and White was also very important, originally I wanted my project to look a little bit like Lars Von Trier’s Europa and Powell and Pressburger’s Red shoes. making sure I  use  extreme style. I actually did 3 days before shooting wanted to add more style over substance but noir not only is extremely cool but the storytelling in crime thrillers revolving have great storytelling , whether the plot is old school or not. I needed a substantial effort to keep the audience interested in what is going on, which is why in the voice over work there is lot’s of description over the character’s past.

Originally I wanted more character’s instead of one. I actually had a though in mind whether we could use flashback sequences in certain moments like when the protagonist is talking about the woman he used to love back in the past. I Actually wanted a picture of a woman so I could use as a flashback when the character is observing  the image. ( We had a picture of man)

In the first long shot in the opening sequence of the clip we did 2 takes. Jack was the only crew member to film the sequence when I am sleeping. We used his room and we made mess of the room so we could build the surrounding as a form of explaining how this character appears and lives. We putted several empty bottles on the tables and wardrobes.

Another key aspect is the vodka the character drinks. We used water and had no bottle of vodka but we found a bottle of Captain Morgan to use for a shot for drinking alcohol.

Music was also very important, during the course of editing I originally wanted a song of John Barry which was advise from my mother. However the song didn’t turn out to fit the entire film on the moment it is played as it lasts 2 minutes and the rest of the clip last more than 3. So I researched through Jazz in the likes of Charlie Parker, Miles Davis and Chet Baker. Eventually I fell into Angelo Badalementi’s Dance of the Dream man from the TV series of Twin Peaks. And the soundtrack turned out to fit perfectly for the  tone I was looking for in my project.

  • Reviewing my proposal.

As I look back on the proposal I made for the final major project, it was one hell of a rocky ride. When I was first task to work on the FMP. We were working on our 4 different interests I didn’t quite understood at the time that what the tutor’s meant was pretty much, pick your favourite genre and a clip out of it and what kind of cinema interests you.

My first idea was a mini murder mystery in which I had no real interest of doing because the plot wasn’t evolving or wasn’t part of what I was looking for.

Then I develop another idea concerning a callback to 80’s retro commercials like Pepsi. So originally through the inspiration 80’s music I develop an idea inspired entirely by a Michael Jackson 80’s commercial.

 

 

Then that idea suddenly change when an epiphany occurred. I suddenly realised that in fact my favourite film genre is Film Noir and I could do something about that.

I am satisfied with what I had made. There are some flaws that I should have worked more so on, like why is there samurai swords in the shot when I pick up the vodka bottle or why I didn’t use a tripod when shooting certain scene when the tripod was required. And I also very glad that I manage to set out to complete everything I wanted to in one night. Because we couldn’t shoot the project during half-term. So I had only 3 day left to finish the project , but I knew this could be done in one night if we dedicated ourselves to it. And I think we did.

 

  • What did the clients think of my proposal.

 

My Fellow students really enjoyed the script that I wrote. The biggest flaw about my project that I got from nearly everyone was the soundtrack was a little off kilter but I manage to achieve the style that I wanted because since nearly everybody knew this was a film noir and what style it came from. It felt when the clients were complementing my project. I took advise from my tutor’s and one fellow student said that if ever he would want to make a noir, he would want to make it with me, so that’s a plus on my perspective.

 

  • What could I adapt from the project

Sound is the biggest adaptation that I could improve on the project. Because when I was voice recording I didn’t use a fully functional microphone as we could hear some background noise during the voice over.

The other point I could have made better was using a tripod when I shot the mirror scene because the camera shaked a little during the shot.

I should have payed  more attention to detail. Because when I picked up the bottle for vodka to drink samurai swords are in the background, adding slight confusion of the location I shot in. I should have removed those samurai swords and replaced them with empty bottles and messy papers.

  • If the final work is appropriate for the needs of the client.

Yes, because when I showed the final work to the project to clients I was slightly concerned that it would be too experimental and unconventional. However the people liked what I made and knew it was a noir. So if I do show this project to people who are fan of noir they would know what style I was trying to achieve when the project. And yes it answered their brief since my proposal was to make a noir and that it was a strong interest of mine and that I received carte blanche to make it.

  • How did I feel about the project before.

Well I first started working on this project not having a real clue of what I had to do. Until when I wanted to make a noir I knew immediately what I wanted. I didn’ t had any though of inconfidence because I know the themes of what noir needed and I knew it was possible to make what I had in mind. There were worries on when and where I was going to make it and how but during the making, I knew exactly what types of shots I wanted.

The project didn’t go worse or even better than I expected. Because I wanted to make a neo noir in black and with different colours like and red in certain glimpses like Spielberg did with the girl in red in Schindler’s list. But We didn’t shot the project in that vain. However though the project turned visually different than I expected, the narration was there and is what I had in mind despite a trouble sound. But the look I wanted for the project and the music adding into it made it look like it was set in the 40’s and 50’s. So I was happy about that part.

The Feedback from the client/lecturer was to be careful with voice over and to that I should have shorten the opening shot as it was too long. Other feedback was to give more detail about the location the character in the project was in like when he moves from his bedroom to the bathroom we don’t see how he heads from one place to another. Next time I will improve my use of sound and how to really synchronise it with video footage. And whenever I will record voice over , I will use a strong microphone, if I ever do make a noir next round I will use more flashbacks. Other material I will improve is detail on design and knowing which location the characters will go from to the next.

  • Did it go better or worse than I expected ?

It didn’t go worse than what I was expecting, I was worried on how to use sound when making the project which turned out to be dodgy. But overall I am satisfied with what I made.

  • What was the feedback that I received from the client/lecturer

The feedback that I received from my clients and lecturer’s was to be careful over sound and detail but the style works well and the script is well written.

  • What I could improve next time.

Work on sound editing so that I could provide a great soundtrack next time I work on a project.

Other notes I need to focus on is camera work and details of environments, I must make sure how keep an eye on detail and other small factors.

Reflective writing on task 2.

I found some of the questions concerning the clients slightly confusing but I wanted to answer every question academic as I could.

References.

info@modernartoxford.org.uk

 

All photos © 2012 by Michael Dillon. All Rights Reserved. (16/06/2016)

Clhoe Morello(2016)pinterest.com . Available at https://www.pinterest.com/stratevol/noir/ (16/06/2016)

Sean Troutman(2014)ranthollywood.com. Available at http://www.ranthollywood.com/2014/10/07/top-10-robert-downey-jr-movies/ (12/06/2016)

Henry Gibson(2015)wordpress.com  Available at https://travsd.wordpress.com/2015/05/27/tonight-on-tcm-robert-altmans-the-long-goodbye/ (16/06/2016)

cesta.cz(2006) Chris Rankin. Available at http://www.cesta.cz/Film%20Series%202006.htm (13/06/2016)

gamepressure.com(2016) GRY-Online. Available at http://guides.gamepressure.com/thewolfamongus/guide.asp?ID=22338 (15/06/2016)

Arthur Christmas(2011)cinephillac.com . Available at https://thecinephiliac.com/2011/11/14/25th-hour/  (16/06/2016)

Max Allan Collins(2015)tumblr.com. Available at http://noirwhale.tumblr.com/ (16/06/2016)

Lebbeus Woods(2012)wordpress.com.Available at https://lebbeuswoods.wordpress.com/2012/01/06/kiss-me-deadly/ (16/06/2016)

OldRedJalopy(2013)oldredjalopy.com.Available at http://www.oldredjalopy.com/portfolio/oldboy-poster/ (16/06/2016)

 

 

 

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4.1 Evaluation

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