Monday, 28 February 2011

Art of Publication

The Art of Exhibition

Final Story Board Ready for Editing

I have used a minimalist colour style. I tried a more colourful approach at first, but it looked a bit goofy.

Final Story Board

Just need to add some colour in Photoshop, and then put it together with sound in Premier-Pro.

These two are the wrong way around because I’m am idiot.

Friday, 11 February 2011

Character Biography

Skipping Robot

17 years old

Made primarily of delicate metal with a thin plastic shell. 

He was created with a skipping rope accessory that attaches to his hands with magnets.

Was created as a toy for a scientist’s daughter when she was 4.

Was once the pride and joy of the daughter of his creator. 

Was abandoned and donated to a museum after the daughter went to college. 

Has been an exhibition in the museum of robotics for 3 years.

Is forced to entertain museum visitors from 9 till 5 everyday of the week.

Is very bored of being a museum exhibit and dreams of being free so he can find a better home for himself.

Script: First Draft/Treatment

Essay Introduction, Plan and First Part of First Paragraph

Introduction + First Part of First Paragraph

This essay will be analysing the story and structure of Edgar Wright’s Scott Pilgrim vs. The World (2010), specifically in terms of its editing. The importance of editing in general terms will be discussed with reference to the books Introduction to Film Editing (1989, Bernard Balmuth) and The Thames and Hudson Manual of Film Editing (1981, Roger Crittenden). Edgar Wright’s career will be discussed in detail with reference to his previous two films Hot Fuzz (2007), Shawn of the Dead (2004) and his TV series Spaced (1999/2001). More specifically, it will be discussed how Wright’s flair for sharp editing has developed over his career.  The editing style of Scott Pilgrim vs. the World will be looked at specifically, with reference to various internet sources and DVD special features. It will also be explained how the editing style and structure is relevant to the story’s subtext.  

The Story & Structure of Scott Pilgrim vs. the World

Editing is one of the most important stages in a movies development. It could even be said that it is the most important stage, as it is the stage in which the movie is truly made. Editors are often overlooked, but they are as much a part of the creative process as the director and the screen writer. The editor, in popular opinion, is merely the person who cuts out the bad parts, this is not the case. As Bernard Balmuth puts it in his book Introduction to Film Editing, the editor “cuts together the good parts” [Balmuth, 1989]. Even this is an over simplification but it is much more accurate. 

Essay Plan

Paragraph 1

Paragraph 2
Explain what editing is and how it is one of the most important stages of making a movie. Lead into talking about Edgar Wright.

Paragraph 3
Talk about Edgar Wright and his editing style with reference to Hot Fuzz, Swan of the Dead and Spaced, lead into talking about Scot Pilgrim vs. the World.

Paragraph 4
Talk specifically about Scot Pilgrim vs. the World in terms of its editing and what makes it unique.

Paragraph 5
Explain how the editing style and structure is relevant to the story’s subtext.

Paragraph 6

Thursday, 10 February 2011

The Birds (1963)

The Birds (1963) is a horror film directed by Alfred Hitchcock and based on the 1952 short story /novella The Birds by Daphne du Maurier.  The story revolves around Bodega Bay in California, a small coastal town that is suddenly and inexplicably subjected to a number of large scale bird attacks.
The film begins with an oddly light tone, it is similar to Psycho (1960) in that respect, except it is perhaps more noticeable in this movie.  It is described by screen writer Evan Hunter as almost like an “old fashion screwball comedy” [Evan Hunter, 2000]. The movie, at the beginning follows Melanie Daniels (Tippi Hedren) and her funny interaction with Mitch Brenner (Rod Talor), which leads her to pursue him to Bodega Bay. This gives the audience a false sense of security as it is in sharp contrast with the horrific events later in the film. However the movie changes tone gradually after the first bird attack on Melanie.  The attacks get increasingly worse as the movie progresses in chaos towards the end.

Fig 1, The Screwball Comedy
Perhaps the most outstanding scene that shows Hitchcock’s inventiveness in terms of building suspense with editing is the famous school playground scene. The scene builds tension very slowly and subtly, this statement could be extended to describe the entire movie.  This scene works because it lets the audience in on more than the character in the movie (this is a common trait in Hitchcock’s movies). Jessica Tandy talks about the scene in detail  it begins as “she sits down on the bench and you see the one bird land on the jungle gym, then it cuts back to Maloney sitting on the bench” [Jessica Tandy, 2000].Only the audience is aware the bird has landed and introduces the threat “We cut back to the jungle gym, and then you see a few more birds” [Jessica Tandy, 2000] now the audience is aware that more birds are coming into the playground and they are also aware that the camera is getting closer to her (so they cannot see the jungle gym but are aware that more birds must be arriving). “Then when we finally get to a big head close up, it holds on it until the audience can’t stand in anymore” [Jessica Tandy, 2000’. and then it cuts back again and it’s covered with birds releasing the built up suspense in a shocked reaction.

Fig 2, Playground Scene

The reasons for the bird attacks in the movie are never explained this makes the events far more sinister. It makes the birds actions far more unpredictable and believable. When there is an elaborate scientific explanation of the events in movies like this it somewhat cheapens it, and makes the premise seem a little ridiculous. An example of this is, otherwise excellent, zombie reimagining 28 Days Later (Danny Boyle, 2002), an explanation is given involving rage infected monkeys that could have been cut from the beginning of the movie entirely. It would have been much more effective if the reason for the infection was never explained. Screen writer Evan Hunter has said early in the production “Hitch would say, do you think we should explain it? And we decided that it would be science fiction if we explained why the birds are attacking. It would have a greater meaning if we never knew, if it were this kind of unsettling thing that these creatures we see in the park every minute can suddenly come at our heads with no reason” [Evan Hunter, 2000].

The Birds, like Psycho, is a film that feels very contemporary. In the case of both films this is largely due to their sharp editing. As with Psycho, The Birds still has the power to frighten people and put them on the edge of their seats.  

About the Birds, 2000, DVD, Universal Studios
Image List
Fig 2, Playground Scene, The Birds, 1963, Movie Still, Available at:

Fig 1, The Screwball Comedy, The Birds, 1963, Movie Still, Available at:

Psycho (1960)

If Halloween (1978, John Carpenter) is considered the father of the modern slasher movie genre, then Psycho (1960, Alfred Hitchcock) could easily be considered the granddaddy of the genre. Interestingly Halloween stared Jamie Lee Curtis, the daughter of Psycho's Janet Leigh. The plot of Psycho revolves around Marion Crane (Janet Leigh) who runs away after stealing a great deal of money. She ends up stopping at a motel where she is nexpectedly and brutally murdered by a creepy but fascinating shut in named Norman Bates. Then the movie becomes like a crime thriller as a privet detective named Milton Arbogast (Martin Balsam) along with one of the Marion’s friends and her boyfriend try to piece together what exactly happened to her, and the money she stole.
Something that is notable about Hitchcock’s masterpiece is that it does not conform to the conventions of any particular genre. Although it is primarily a horror movie, it seems to move from one genre to another as the movie progresses. The first act is, in a way, like a soap opera, nothing scary is happening and there are not really any hints that it will (except for the ominous opening credit sequence), the same is true of Hitchcock’s The Birds (1963). In the second act once Marion has stolen the money and goes on the run it seems to become a chase movie. The main horror element is introduced in the third act after the character is unexpectedly murdered. Then it is like a procedural as the characters try to piece together the mystery of the Bates Motel.
The editing style used in this movie is, in a way, opposite to that of Hitchcock’s earlier movie Rope (1948). The cuts in certain scenes this movie are fast and frantic as opposed to the seemingly edit-less Rope (1948). This builds suspense in a different way, it makes the audience feel uneasy and apprehensive. It also matches the frantic twisty nature of the plot itself. A great example of the frantic editing in action is the famous shower scene. It cuts from the knife to the women’s flesh, back to the knife and to the bottom of the bath were the blood is seen disappearing down the plug hole. The injuries are never shown; it is all left to the power of the imagination. The audience fills in the blanks with their minds. Bernard Herman’s Iconic music score is also fast and frantic adding to the suspense and apprehension. It works in unison with the editing as the cuts slow down so does the music.
Fig 1, Shower Scene

Perhaps the thing that scares viewers the most about psycho is its realism. Unlike many of its more modern counterparts it never strays into the elaborate, unlike the supercharged zombies Jason Voorhees and Michael Myers, Norman Bates feels very human and believable. Indeed Norman Bates is no more unbelievable than the real person on whom he is based, Ed Gein.  As James Rolf of has said “Psycho deals with the beast that lives within the mind” [Rolfe, 2007] as opposed to real monsters
Psycho is a timeless movie that is perhaps as contemporary today as it was in 1960. Its influence is vast and undeniable and it still has the power to frighten people.
Image List
Fig 1, Shower Scene, Movie Still, Available At:
Cinemassacre, 2007, Cinemassarcre’s Monster Madness Psycho 2007, Available at:

Wednesday, 9 February 2011

Robot Museum Image Reference

I have been looking at images of the Robot Museum in Nagoya as reference for my stories setting. I especially like the last one, the robot looks very depressed. Its like his board of the place and wants to escape. It sort of links with one of my story ideas about the robot wanting to escape the museum.