First week of Semester 2~ *Inhales Exhales* I can already smell the assignements piling in already… LETS GO~
Stories and Your Identity
For today’s class, Ru Yi taught us what makes a good story.
Finding your own voice.
Stories you care about
The kind of stories you are best qualifies to tell
The kinds of character that particularly attracts you.
The situations you find especially intriguing
A journal to record them all ( Words, Dialogues that attracts you etc.)
And then Ru Yi showed us a video of novelist, Chimamanda Adichie‘s speech : The Danger of a single story.
After watching listening to her speech, I have learnt that as a child, she created stories based on what she was exposed to in American books; in which she has no first hand experience of as a Nigerian child. For instance, eating apples in winter and drinking ginger beer. As a child she was vulnerable and impressionable. Soon, she changed and started writing about things she recognizes on first hand. She then realized that many of us including herself then that media’s portrayal of people and their single story kind of forms what a specific group of a person ought to look like, this has resulted in what they have become to the rest.
So the overall point that I have extracted from this video is…
“Don’t make ‘One Story’ be the ‘Only Story’.”
In order for a good story to be created, we need to have characters that are impressionable. Hence there is a need to define the need of your characters.
POV (What the character’s believes in)
Attitude (Intellectual Decision)
Behavior / Mentality (The way in which a person behaves in response to a particular situation)
Hence, I watched Kill Bill Volume I for the first time, and had a go at dissecting the main character: The Bride (and yes she wasn’t given a name, they bleeped her name when mentioned in the film by other characters)
Here is the trailer for the movie! 🙂
This is the dissection of ‘The Bride’ in Kill Bill Volume I I have attempted in. 🙂
I have learnt that character dissection is very important because it helps the character in the movie to connect with the audience in terms of familiarity and evoke a feeling to care for the character. This enhances the plot of the film.
Our group or as known as Ling Teh Kam-pany(Derived from our names), consists of Kam Yit Ling, Clara Teh Ke Wei and myself, Seng Yi Ling. And here, we present to you our very own movie trailer for our final 4D assignment of Year 1 Semester 1…
Movie Title: Yi(t) Ling Genre: Fantasy + Psychological Horror
3 Act Structure
Beginning (Act 1)
Yi Ling is a shy and quiet person. Once focused on a task, she is far from being distracted. Sadly, she is ostracized by her classmates as she seemed rude and had a stuck up attitude. Her classmates disliked and gave her a hard time. Until one day, her new classmate Queenie decided to befriend her.
To her dismay, Queenie sold Yi Ling out to fit in as she got ostracized by their classmates when she was seen hanging out with Yi Ling. She ganged up with her classmates and forced Yi ling into room rumored to be haunted for fun’s sake. When Yi Ling managed to open the door after much struggling, she was transported to another dimension where there were doors which led her to places as a ghost tailed her.
Middle (Act 2)
Encounters with the ghost tells Yi Ling that the ghost wants her to stay in this dimension and never go back. The spirit was motivated by loneliness which both characters shared and was enraged when Yi Ling refused to stay.
Ending (Act 3)
The ghost is in actual fact a manifestation as her alter ego. The other dimension filled with doors was a symbolism of change Yi Ling faced in her life. And the only way Yi Ling can get back to her world is by killing a part of her: Her Alter Ego.
We watched many horror movie trailers as a form of research and shared our experiences and views on past movies we’ve watched that could be of assistance to our movie trailer! 🙂
Crimson Peak (The Ghost was constantly present, but not shown blatantly.)
Black Swan (Killing of her Alter Ego)
The Babadook (Ghost was a manifestation of main character’s fears.)
The Boy ( Placement of background music.)
Placement of background music was very on point here – it had us 3 covering our ears and half shutting our eyes in fear to watch the trailer. The initial beginning of the trailer has a soft mellow piano tune when the female lead approaches the mansion, and the drastic change of music when they revealed The Boy to her sent shivers down our spine. The sudden change of music instantly let the viewers know what atmosphere the trailer aims to set: Simple life of the girl -> Horror of her lifetime.
Blair Witch Project (Handheld camera shots to show desperation and fear.)
Coraline (Travelling into another dimension, and use of different colour for different world)
In Coraline, the saturation of her world is low and colours are dull like the reality she lives in. In the other dimension, she enters a door where saturation is high and colours are vibrant and lively like the life she yearns to live in.
Blackout shots – Blackout transition shots are a recurring motif. It is used as a representation of time lapse. When used in our trailer, the following scene will be of another place and another time. In addition, length of transition creates suspense and indicate a tonal shift in the scene.
Color – Adjusting of color to establish different dimensions were used. In the real world, colors are more saturated and was brighter; whereas in the other dimension, saturation was kept to a minimum and brightness was decreased to emphasize on the stark differences in both worlds, so as to make it more spooky.
Background music and audio – Music were used to build up the anticipation and gives the audience the emotion they ought to be feeling a specific sections of the trailer. For instance, mellow piano music at the start to give a soothing feeling, and high pitched fast paced music at the climax when main character was being chased down.
Parallel Universe – At the scene (0:45) where the main character exit onto the parking lot, the composition has a mirror image reflection on the extreme left of the shot, to enhance the parallel universe feeling.
Staircase scene shows main character running up the stairs away from the Ghost, but she remains on the same level as the stairway in the other dimension is an infinite loop (0:58 – 1:09) .
Still Shot was used at the start of the trailer, where a serene feeling is given of the school environment. (0:09)
Fast Pan + POV at the scene where main character looks around perplexed at the new dimension she entered (0:49) .
Dolly In and Out scenes are present at the scene to show the ominous door (0:30) and the scene where zooming in on her expression to show that she is perplexed after opening the door to another location (0:48).
Mid-shot was used at the scene where main character is pleading the classmates to let her out. (0:40)
Handheld shot when the main character is running up the stairs. (1:01)
Low Angle Shot at the scene where 3 Classmates (Dawin, Jon, JiaQi – Thanks guys!) were gossiping about the main character. (0:22)
Trucking Shot was used when classmates (Thanks Queenie and Debbie!)were pushing the main character inside the haunted room. (0:35)
Close-up Shot was used when main character was wrenching at the door handle when she is locked in (0:41). And the part where the main character’s phone is ringing (1:25).
Canted angle shot are present when phone is dropped amidst the struggle when pushing the main character inside the haunted room (0:37), and the scene where the ghost is wrenching the door to be opened (1:14). This is to create drama and suspense.
Slow Pan is used at the transition scene where the main character looks into the mirror and the reflection looks back at her (1:39-1:42).
We tend to forget that the trailer is 2 mins and thus, eventually worry that our trailer does not convey our plot properly; but at the same time we don’t want our trailer to be a 2 min summary of the movie (given that it is a MOVIE trailer).
Finding an appropriate location which conveyed the intended feeling was not easy. Our main character’s setting is in a school environment and hence the school was used. But for the horror aspect we had to find narrow and dark areas within campus and that was difficult. Given that we even trespassed ongoing construction sites in school.
Suitable. background. music. was. really. hard. to. find.
Miss Ruyi mentioned that our logo and lobby music was not very appropriate for our Horror trailer, but our group felt that the logo was a good representation of our efforts as a group and the elevator music gave it a merry feeling. This will create the drop of emotions when the horror aspects of our trailer is revealed. 🙂
Feedbacks and Critiques
Bar chart results obtained from Ms Ruyi’s Google survey for our group were more towards the positive end of the spectrum. (thank you!)
Sound effect can be toned down to hear narration of the alter ego better in the end.
The starting music doesn’t match with the rest of the trailer , perhaps a non jazzy music that foreshadows the story?
Show that the alter ego and the main character are two compelling personalities/ people by including more interactive scenes between the 2. Perhaps by voice over of dialogue between 2 person or a struggle between the 2.
Yi Ling can act! (Yi Ling says thank you >~< )
There were different shots to show the mood of the character.
If u guys have any constructive criticism or comments that we’ve missed out, do leave a feedback down below! WE APPRECIATE IT ?
Initially I was pretty apprehensive to do group work for assignments as I am a rather ‘lone ranger’ kind of person, and having to do group work would mean that there is potential conflicts etc. But I was proven extremely wrong as I felt that our group worked really well together and even bonded closer as friends! 😀 I am very blessed to have worked with Clara and Yit Ling for this project, and I couldn’t have asked for better group mates~
Our first and hopefully not the last group photo as Ling Teh Kam-pany 😀
Our very first G05 class outing happened yesterday at NUS Museum featuring the exhibition: Double Vision! Double Vision is a selection of video works and experimental films that are inspired by the affinities between the Philippines and Vietnam in the history of the American wars in the Pacific.
Videos & artist films by: David Griggs, Gym Lumbera, Miko Revereza, Roxlee, Shireen Seno, Angel Velasco Shaw, Stephanie Syjuco and Kidlat Tahimik.
When we first entered the exhibition, the first film we watched was Shotgun Tudingby Shireen Seno
In summary, the film is about Tuding (the protagonist) who journeys to a distant town to hunt down the man who got her youngest sister Teresit pregnant. Along the way she
This film is constructed after Pancit Western, which is the Pinoy form of Spaghetti Westerns.
What I liked about this film:
Shots used are rather interesting. I found the dramatic close up of the subject matter’s face and dramatic pan out shots to be rather comedic and kind of poking fun at the mainstream western American Wild Wild West kind of films, where two cow boys would be having their showdown.
Color pallete used in this film was muted and had a rather soft and dusty feeling to me.
Nailedby Angel Velasco Shaw
Is a Filipina’s exploration of a Catholic Church and 400 years of Spanish and American colonialism woven in a montage of images, sounds, stories and performances.
Although I watched this film from the start, I didn’t have much patience to sit through this particular film. The narrations were muffled, and I think with subtitles I would actually have stayed till the end of the film…
But regardless, I took away some learning points from the video in which I really find it interesting. The way the artists juxtaposes 2 shots: The dying pig being tortured to it’s death on the ground & the baby cradled in the mother’s arms; was rather fascinating to me because, in the case of the ritual where the child is baptized in one scene ( I think?), a pig is slaughtered. The phrase, ‘A life for a life.’ came to my mind immediately after this scene, and then Yit Ling (my classmate who was sitting beside me) said :’ The pig is like a baby also… because it can only scream and cry and you have no idea what it is saying, but it is suffering.’ My heart sank when I heard that.
ABCDby Rox Lee is an experimental animation video shot on Super 8 film. It uses techniques such as hand-drawn animation, painting on film, found footage, and collage to advocate a radically new and personal understanding of the alphabet.
I really liked the use of a mixture of techniques to this film as it adds variety. The film is a socio-political commentary. By incorporating the use of the order of alphabets, it made things a little disturbing in a sense by which the use of hand-drawn animation and Alphabetical sequence usually seen on American TV shows for children to teach them about alphabets, things take a darker turn when something so innocent turns into something morbid and cruel.
Instead of the usual, ‘A is for Apple, B is for Boy etc.’ the film goes ‘ D is for Dynamite’ and then the following scene is a morbid display of explosion etc.
My thoughts at the end of the exhibition:
Sad to say, I was not as enthralled as I expected to be after watching the film exhibition as I did not understand majority of the films. Perhaps it is because I have little interest in politics. The film that kept my attention from start to end is Shotgun Tudingby Shireen Seno as I felt there was a narrative story plot goal for me to follow from start to end. But regardless, I took away some lessons from this exhibition and that is the choice of color pallete, type of shots to be excuted and use of different techniques to evoke certain emotions in the viewers.