Wednesday, March 03, 2010

PHIL please read:

Hi Phil or anyone else who wants to read this, Could you please leave feedback on what needs to be changed or edited in? There may be some spelling mistakes too for the meantime as I had to write it on Notepad -.- still need to get Office. Ill change it all over to Word file tomorrow at Uni but for now here it is. Thanks in advance..
Essay Question:
1,500 word written assignment that analyses critically one film in terms of the
relationship between story and structure; you should consider camera movement,
editing, and the order of scenes.

In this essay I will be writing about the relationship between story and structure, and I will take into consideration camera movement, editing and the order of scenes. Films are usually shot with different types of camera. I will be analysing the technical side of a film. The film I have chosen is, GAMER. Directed by Mark Neveldine and Brian Taylor. The film was released in cinemas on 16th September 2009, and on DVD the 19th January 2010. There are various techniques and camera tricks used which I will be analysing step by step.

The film begins with the song: Sweet Dreams (Are made of these) by Marilyn Manson, I find this song quite fitting with the film as the film is about 'dream' worlds where you can interact with one another in various ways and forms. The first camera we get to see is looking down a street which looks like a New York style. The camera uses a Fisheye effect to make it seem more enclosed. The scene has been sped up a bit. And the word 'SLAYERS' has taken over the whole city. Being projected onto buildings, walls and printed onto posters. On the next shot we see the name 'Kable' this will be the character we follow during the film and begin to feel for him. The next several shots are from various angles, helicopter cameras, crane rigs, and static floor cameras, these are used to show how SLAYERS, Kable and Mr Castle have taken over the whole city, and from a few more shots we see pyramids and London, which gives us the idea of this SLAYERS franchise being a world wide icon.

Then the action starts, at 01:24 we are looking down on an alley way, SLAYERS again is plastered to the wall above, and an explosion blasts it's way through the alley. We are now 'looking through the eyes' of Kable, he gets an adrenaline rush and we see bullets fly past his head, just missing him by milimeters. When Kable shoots his gun and hits another 'person/character' (As its a 'game' we will call  them characters) the screen gets distorted and we see the video 'noise'. Whilst Kable is shooting another lot of 'Characters' we see a Heads-Up-Display, which shows Kable/Us where the 'Save Point' is. This is very common in a video game which then gives us the thought of it being real. The camera starts to shake quite a bit during the following shots due to the intensity of the action going on, explosions every 5 seconds, non-stop shooting, and Kable running, which is giving us even more of a sense that we are 'playing' this game. Another part of this section is where a 'Player' runs over to a dead body and T-bags him, a common thing to find in any shooter gamer (e.g. Call of duty). When a grenade gets thrown its like the bodies are 'rag-doll-like' as they get thrown about so much like in a video game.

'Turn me around!' is one of my favourite quotes from this film, this is where we find out that Kable isnt able to control him-self. We can see from Kables facial expressions that he is worried and nervous about this moment. But the 'Player' turns him around and kills the 'Bad-guy'. Then Kable makes it out of the game zone into the Save Point. We are now inside a vehicle and are now introduced to a few more Characters. We are taken to a news studio and start to see an interview between Gina Parker Smith (Like Oprah) and Ken Castle (Owner of Society and Slayers). We then learn that Ken Castle surpassed Bill Gates' wealth practically over night. We then find out that Simon Silverton is a 'Gaming Superstar' who controls Kable. The cameras used during the interview are similar to that of ones used in TV shows today. This creates a realism that we might be watching a 'documentary' about a new simulation game.

The film then goes on to explain how the SLAYERS can be controlled. A short animated clip is shown. This means that any SLAYER can have a distinct IP address like a normal computer. Then the show is interupted by a transmission from the 'HUMANZ' group saying how Ken Castle wants to take over and rule everything. Moving on, 10 minutes later, we are running along side the Players, through the war torn city, the camera shaking. A 'tramp' like figure is sitting on the floor, shaking a can for money, we see some bullets fly past him, then he gets a splat of blood on his hand but he continues like before. There is a 'glitched' player which is just walking into a gate repeatedly to no avail. Now we see the full HUD, we see the kill count going up rapidly and the bullet count decreasing. Kable goes for an 'Upgrade'.

The following scene is set around a 'dirtbike' course, with dirt ramps and hills. Bikes are racing around and Bad-Guys with flamethrowers are loose. Kable is now talking to Simon due to a 'Mod' Simon got installed. Kable is being hunted and for some reason he believes he was meant to die 'tonight' he asks for Simon to let him loose so he can make his own decisions. During the next 'Game' Simon gives control over to Kable, who then makes his escape, he finds a car and drives it off. He is followed by two big cleaner trucks with mounted plows. When he escapes he is pronounced 'DEAD' and is no longer in the game. Now we go to the 'Humanz' settlement. We see a dirty, run down town whose inhabitants are all 'hiding' we see a lady get off a motorbike, and tells Kable to go with her. The camera follows the bike, shaking as it goes along, the transitions between shots are fast paced and 'blink' like. She takes Kable to a hideout for the 'Humanz' leader where they are playing the 'old school' games, Air Hockey, Space Invaders etc.We learn now that Ken Castle wants to take over and control the country, he says he will combat disease with his genetic modifications and child birth is no problem with the gene transfer scheme. This means people will "live a longer life and have a fatter wallet". Kable finds his wife, she is being controlled by a dirty obese man. Kable says he wants her to be ok, but she cant say what she wants to say, as she is being controlled. More action follows after Kable is attacked by a guy from the begining. Then he is being chased by several 'Law' enforcement officers. Kables' wife leads us through a 'Rave' club, which has fast paced camera movements and transitions. Flashing lights and loud raving music acompany.

Simon is in for questioning over Kable going missing. He is in there for aiding the escape of a convicted criminal. The cameras in this section are up close and personal due to the nature of the scene, we can see facial expressions from both characters, Simon and the interrogation officer. The first showing up for the Nano technology was when Castle decided to test it on Soldiers, saying that it will keep your body from growing old, and cell reproductivity fastened up. But a few weeks after testing one of the subjects died, the project was then shut down. Then a year later the same technology popped up in the game 'Society' now its playing around in 'Slayers'.

In the near final scene we see Kable getting in to Castles' house. The characters are all being controlled and as such look like puppets. Castle starts to sing Ive got you (Under my skin). When Castle is controlling the other characters he sends them one by one to attack Kable. Kable comes out of this the victor. Castle says 'Your Awesome' to Kable another of the best lines in the film. Castle is controlling Kable with his mind.

I have learnt that film makers use different camera angles, tricks, focuses to create a vast atmostphere in the short space of time they have to get the messages across. In Gamer, we see various Arial shots, Crane rigs, Dolly rigged shots and hand camera shots. I think the most effective shot is the hand camera, as it shows movement with the shakes and bumps. I thought the soundtrack to the film was brilliant, the music fitted in perfectly at the right time as well as the sound effects, the bullets were louder when needed and quiter when not needed as much.

Well theres my essay people, please comment if I need to change or add things, its 1471 words so far.
Ill make any changes needed during thursday whilst i'm in uni. Thanks


tutorphil said...

Hey Dan,

I'm not going to give you a super-detailed critique - but suffice to say, there's not enough critical content here and no supporting evidence; you don't feature any external reviews of the film - where maybe another reviewer picks up on the use of camera or editing, thus giving you 'proof' and a way to bolster your own observations. There is too much description of action and plot - instead of analysis. More generally, you should consider an establishing paragraph in which you discuss the role of editing and POV more generally: I don't know if you even read the advice I posted at the time of the interim review - if you had, I think your essay would have been structured differently - I gave loads of applicable advice at that stage, which you appear not to have acted upon; go back and look again:

There's a lot of much too general commentary and your tone is too subjective - 'I thought the soundtrack to the film was brilliant' - so what, Dan! This is an academic essay not you talking with mates down the pub. There's a difference. Please - look at the advice I've already posted. Everything you need to improve your essay is there.

Jackie said...

Hi Dan...try and make the essay more impersonal - for example, instead of saying "In this essay I will be writing..." say something like, "This essay will look at/analyse..."etc. Also, I'm not sure, but you may have concentrated a bit much on 'telling' the story, rather than talking about how the editing etc has influenced how the story is seen... think about the effect that editing can have on a scene - remember in Rope, how the tension was built up with no editing ? That's the sort of comparisons you want to be making! (I think!! ) Good luck with the final bits!

Jackie said...

Whoops - I think I must have been writing the same time as Phil - sorry for the repeats!!

D Bright said...

Thanks for the comments guys, ill sure try to whack out a revision thursday :/

Not to worry jackie the more comments the merrier :)


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