top tips to remember when filming our interviews:
top tips to remember when filming our interviews:
After holding up a local bank our main characters, Bonnie and Clyde, are soon on the run from police with their loyal gang in tow. What follows is a tense high speed car chase from Texas to Oklahoma ending in a lethal shoot out and the demise of our two anti-heroes.
1930’s Oklahoma. Early evening, the light is just beginning to wane. ‘Frankie and Johnny‘ by Sarah Tidwell plays quietly on the radio.
We begin at the end. The scene opens to Bonnie cradling Clyde in her arms as he takes his last breath. Bonnie is quite clearly fatally injured too. Their gang lay dead around them and the police are closing in on their bullet ridden car.
Texas. Midday. Inside Texas State Bank. Sun shining through windows.
Bonnie is sat at her desk as a very dapper Clyde struts through the doors of the grand bank. She looks up as he walks past. Clyde is there to see the bank manager to arrange a loan and start up a new business. His application is refused quite loudly and pompously by the manager in front of a bank full of customers. After getting his paperwork together and composing himself, on the way out of the bank Clyde sees the bank manager making inappropriate advances towards Bonnie. Pinned in a corner Bonnie can do little to escape. Clyde walks towards them and ‘accidentally’ bumps a table next to them sending a pile of paperwork flying. The bank manager turns to see what has happened and it gives Bonnie the opportunity to squeeze out past him. She heads straight for the files and starts tidying them up. Clyde bends to help and as he passes Bonnie some of the stray papers they exchange a smile. As Clyde turns to leave the bank Bonnie looks down and sees a small folded piece of white paper on top of the files he handed her. The paper is folded into the shape of a bird with outstretched wings.
cut to…. (flashback sequence)
The Parker Family House. Oklahoma. Early Morning. ‘Nagasaki‘ by Jack Kaufman and The Seven Blue Babies plays loudly on the radio contrasting the seriousness of the situation.
A small, red headed boy is being beaten about the head by a large man with a belt. We soon realize the man is the boy’s father. As the small boy cries we see his three younger brothers and elder sister cowering in the next room (kitchen) against the wall that backs onto the one he is being beaten against. (We see a crossview as if the outer wall has been removed) The elder sister, no more than ten herself, is trying to comfort her crying young brothers while keeping her ears covered to block out the suffering boy’s screams. As she can squeeze her hands to her ears no harder she suddenly calms. She tells the boys to get into the pantry, tells them they’re playing hide and seek and gently closes the door. She goes to the kitchen drawer takes out a knife and heads towards her brother’s screams.
Outside the Texas State Bank. Late afternoon.
Bonnie’s brother, Ralph, whose life she saved in the last scene, is sat in a car just around the corner from the bank, staring repeatedly at his watch. One of his younger brothers, Joe, sits in the backseat directly behind him. Ralph is visibly sweating and keeps asking Joe what is taking so long. As Joe tries to reassure him we hear an alarm bell fill the air. Gunshots are fired and Bonnie and Clyde run into view as the alarm gets louder. Henry and Raymond also appear carrying two large bags each. They jump in the car and speed away, as the sirens reach a cacophony and several police cars screech into view.
Deserted road. Early evening.
Coasting along the road Bonnie is now driving with Clyde in the passenger seat while Joe, Ralph, Henry and Raymond are crammed in the backseats. Everyone is singing along to ‘Minnie the Moocher‘ on the radio and passing round a bottle of gin. They discuss how happy they are now with new dreams on the horizon.
Next day. Petrol Station. Early morning.
After driving all night the gang pull into a rundown, remote petrol station to buy food, more alcohol and cigarettes. Bonnie turns off the radio that is playing ‘In the Mood‘ by Glenn Miller and heads into the store while Clyde and the gang stand around the car smoking and laughing. Ralph nips to the toilet at the back of the garage. As Bonnie opens the door of the garage, with a large paper bag of groceries balanced in the crook of her arm, she sees Ralph careering towards her. Into view comes a uniformed sheriff racing after him. The sheriff raises his gun and shoots at her brother. Ralph is hit in the side and collapses on the floor. Bonnie reaches into her handbag and pulls out a small pistol. In doing so she off-balances the bag of shopping and it begins to fall in slow motion. At the same time we see her raise her arm and the pistol in the direction of the sheriff who hasn’t yet recognised her and has turned towards Clyde and the car. As Bonnie’s gun fires repeatedly into the back of the law enforcements officer’s head we see the bottle of tomato juice, she has just bought, smashing on the white tiled floor in what looks like a pool of blood. Clyde and Joe run over, pull up the injured Ralph and drag him to the car as the petrol station owner comes running out with a large rifle. He aims at the car but shoots into nothing but dust as the car hurtles away.
Back on the road. Driving at breakneck speed. Still morning. ‘Motherless Child‘ by Sara Tidwell plays quietly on the radio.
Clyde is now in the driver’s seat. Bonnie explains if they can get back to Oklahoma, and her home town, she knows a doctor who will be able to help Ralph. The same one who operated on him when he was a small child to save the remnants of his ear after being beaten so badly about the head by their father he became deaf on one side. Everyone is very quiet in the car as they drive and the music and it’s mood dominate.
Late evening. It is dark with several stars in the sky. Car headlight illuminate the sign for Oklahoma.
Bonnie and everyone in the car breathe a sigh of relief as they see the sign. Ralph looks very ill now, he is pale and has a high temperature. Their relief does not last long as once past the town sign they hear the wail of sirens once again. Three police cars are now in pursuit. They have been lying in wait at the outskirts of the town. A high speed chase follows and concludes in the gang’s car being cornered. Everyone jumps out, except for Bonnie, who stays in the car to look after Ralph. The brothers and Clyde shoot it out with the police, standing their ground and taking the upper hand. Until a tirade of bullets hit the car from another side and Ralph is shot in the side of the head, Joe and Raymond are also shot dead and Clyde and Henry are seriously injured. Bonnie is incensed and jumps out with a tommy gun and starts blasting everyone she can see in a uniform. She is shot but not before she has killed all the officers left standing. She and Clyde try to drag bleeding Henry back to the car but he dies before they can get him there.
We return to the very first scene and watch it through with a much heavier heart than our initial viewing at the beginning of the movie. We zoom in on Bonnie and Clyde’s hands entwined. Holding between them the white folded paper bird, it’s wings now stained with their blood. Sarah Tidwell’s voice gets louder on the radio singing ‘Frankie and Johnny’ as we fade to black.
Our idea for a one minute manifesto was a Rebranding of Feminism. Recently many people, particuarly young women, see feminism in a bad light and we wanted to change that. We surveyed a group of students and found that a large percentage of them did not identify as feminists. Yet they told us they strongly believed in equal rights. This seemed a clash of ideals, as when you look up feminism in the dictionary you will see it is exactly what these students believe in:
But when our test group had the definition ‘labelled’ as feminism they rejected it. So why not change the label? Snickers is still the same chocolate bar despite no longer being called Marathon. In fact most people born before 1990 probably don’t even realize it was ever called anything else!
So, we followed Marathon/Snickers’ suit and decided the rebrand needed to start with the name. Feminism isn’t exactly a Ronseal name. It certainly doesn’t say what it does on the tin, and we needed a name that truly explained it’s purpose and couldn’t be misconstrued. After much brainstorming we decided on the name #EqualRights. The hash tag prefix, hopefully, makes it something people will see and then be subconsciously prompted to tweet about.
Looking into the topic of #EqualRights we soon realized we had opened a huge can of worms. Everything that we wanted to cover could not be documented in a short one minute film so we had to pick a small section to concentrate on. There were the issues of ageism, gender, racism, sexism. There were different countries with different #EqualRights problems and different sectors of industry to consider. Our target audience is men and women aged approximately 16-28 but our initial audience would be our media production team so we decided to pitch the manifesto directly at them by concentrating on inequality in the film industry. Both Maria and I had been shocked to learn that currently only 9% of directors are female and just 5% of cinematographers are women. As these are the fields we hope to work in, they are concerning figures to us, and hopefully they would be as shocking to our classmates.
We were inspired by the recent Benetton campaigns and began looking into their history. Starting out they still made very visually appealling ads but they used much simpler ideas. Using bright colours and clever edits to stand out from the crowd.
As part of the brief we needed to include a split screen and we soon realized this really lent itself to a ‘vs’ idea. So we would have a man and woman side by side each holding the salary they earn for a year and similar figures etc.
We found a great red wall to shoot against and managed to get a good halo of light around each of our actors heads as I filmed them flipping through the figures. We slowed the footage down in the edit to give people time to read each fact and let it sink in. While editing the footage i reversed through some of it quickly to get to a piece i needed to change and really loved the effect it gave so ended up reversing nearly all of it. To close the shot we wanted to show that men and women coming together and uniting is the answer to resolving inequality and tried to convey this with a final image of both actors merging together while holding up #EqualRights.
Although I am happy with the final film, I wish we’d had another few days to work on this project. I would have liked to reshoot using the same background and lighting but using larger signs and bigger print for the facts and figures to create more of an impact and make the whole thing look a little more professional.
I absolutely loved this idea of web narratives. Taking a classic, well loved story and retelling it with 21st century technology. Christmas 2012 – The Digital Story of Nativity was brilliant. Excellent choice of music and a good dollop of humor. These were the things I wanted to ensure I got into my film.
I choose the idea of Hansel and Gretel as it is a story I think most people are familiar with. I started to look into it’s history to ensure I stuck to the story’s ideals and got it’s morals across to my audience.
Hansel and Gretel was first published in 1812 by The Brothers Grimm. But it is a German fairy tale that is believed to originally date back to the 14th century. The story depicts a young brother and sister who are taken into the woods by their father and evil step mother and abandoned there as they can no longer afford to feed them. The two children are then lured to a huge candy house where they are kidnapped by an evil witch who starts to fatten them up so she can eat them! These obsessions with food and cannibalism make historians believe that the original folk tale was imagined during The Great Famine (1315-1317) Times were so hard during this period that many children were abandoned to fend for themselves and there were stories of parents eating their own children to survive.
But back to Grimm’s fairy tale. Ultimately the children prevail. Managing to trick the witch into leaning into the oven to see if it is hot enough. As soon as she is far enough in they slam the door and proceed to roast her alive! The very stuff of bedtime stories; and we wonder why children often have such dark imaginations.
Although the moral of the story seems to be if you eat too much candy it leads to any early grave, many more themes are also hinted at. There seems to be the classic don’t take candy from strangers, along with don’t stray from the path and don’t judge a book by it’s cover. the beautiful candy covered house on the outside hiding a cramped prison and a child eating witch inside. But more so than any of these, I think the real issues being highlighted are that of greed and selfishness.
Keeping these ideals in mind I also realized that a 21st century Hansel and Gretel needed a twist. In reality the parents in the original story are very guilty, yet the father is ultimately forgiven and the step mother conveniently passes away. I wanted them to receive a proper villian’s punishment for their crimes so in my story we eventually see them getting their comeuppance and going to jail for their abandonment of Hansel and Gretel. I also always had a soft spot for the witch, however wicked, she was just after a good meal so I made her the hero of the piece. Although at the end we begin to have our doubts as we see her putting on a huge feast for the children. Celebration banquet or fattening up pre-witch dinner?
I started this project inspired by Cassetteboy, hoping to make my own satirical, political point in just three minutes. Three HOURS later, and with just five seconds of footage completed, I am totally in awe of cassette boys skills and patience. Sitting through hours of boring footage looking for just one word or the perfect sentence is excruciating. I could no longer stand the sight of the house of commons and i now detested the sound of Jeremy Kyle‘s voice, and I’d not exactly been keen on it to begin with.
So I needed a rethink. My editing skills and the impending deadline meant I needed to simplify, and then I remembered this amazing video I had watched earlier this week.
could i do something like this?
well, i had to be realistic and not expect the above level of slickness but a more basic version could possibly be done so i started with one of my favorite movie dance sequences, Mia Wallace and Vincent Vega dancing at Jack Rabbit Slim’s Twist Contest and started looking for other films i could find that featured the twist.
here’s the end result:
while making my remix i needed to keep these factors in mind to ensure my project kept to the fair dealing guidelines:
my remix videos would definitely not be a substitute for watching any of the original films. my selection of clips span many eras so i hope i am bringing in a new audience for the films i used rather than acting as substitute for watching the originals. hopefully i have exposed several different audiences to a film or two they may not have discovered yet. maybe a fan of Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers will wind up having their first viewing of Footloose or Pulp fiction, or a fan of Grease may have looked out The Blues Brothers film after seeing it in my remix. if so i hope they love the films as much as i do.
my remix is just a 3 minute snippet compared to most film’s 1hr 30 mins – 2hr 34 mins durations so i believe the amount of material used comes under fair dealing. i needed to make the length of footage for the dance sequence match the music but other than this requirement i tried to only use what i needed to give the impression of the characters being in the diner and then a bit of dance time each. each film probably only gets about 30 seconds of screen time each. pulp fiction a little longer as it establishes the scene and therefore should hopefully be considered ‘reasonable and appropraite’usage.
My idea for people to people is to film a documentary about a burlesque dancer and their life. My original idea was to film their performance and then to contrast it with an audio interview that explains what they do in their ‘normal’ life, if they have a day job, and their views on burlesque.
I recently read that Dita Von Teese believes that burlesque “turns the old fashioned ideas of feminism upside down”, and hits us with the surprising fact that 80% of her audience is actually female. It could be interesting to find out if our performer agrees with this and if her audience is also so predominantly female.
The people to people documentary needs to be visually appealing and i think an evening filming of a burlesque performance will fulfill that criteria. Bright lights, dark corners, sparkles, fans, feathers and dancing. The audiences reactions and maybe a little behind the scenes footage will also help.
I don’t have a particular individual in mind as yet, but i’d really like to find someone as different in everyday life as possible. Maybe someone in quite a boring, responsible job as it would be a great contrast to their night time persona. If i do manage to get someone like this it might even work well to film their two different lifestyles next to one another in a split screen effect. Leaving the house for work in the morning plays alongside leaving the house for work in the evening. Entering the office to start work behind a desk next to walking on stage in costume to perform.
I have begun looking at films that use split screen to great effect and was particularly inspired by the film (500) Days of Summer (2009) and a 1998 episode of The X-Files called Triangle. This shows present day Scully alongside 1939 Scully as Mulder frantically searches a ship trying to find her before time runs out and the ship capsizes.
As part of my pitch I have made a 30 second trailer trying to ‘sell’ my short film idea. As I don’t yet have a confirmed performer I decided to do a short history of burlesque from Gypsy Rose Lee and cabaret in the 30’s, through to Bettie Page in the mid fifties and then on to Dita Von Teese in the present day. I have used the classic striptease music The Stripper by David Rose and his Orchestra and tried to fit the dancing to the beats of the music and stopped it bluntly at the end in the hope of leaving the audience wanting more. I’m really quite pleased with the results as this is the very first thing I have ever edited. Hope you enjoy it.
i’ve been so stuck for an idea for this project. i wanted to do something political as i so admire Cassetteboy‘s work,
but as my editing skills are ridiculously basic i needed to keep things a simple as possible.
and then i spotted this in my newsfeed on Facebook, it’s perfect. thank you lou 🙂
i’m thinking david cameron with peppa pig subtitles or maybe something really ridiculous like the teletubbies or the tweenies. going to see what i can find on youtube to edit around with.
maybe this naughty pig story could work: