Danny Boyle

Danny Boyle is a well known film maker who writes, produces and directs movies. He is popular for films such as Trainspotting (1996) [film] Danny Boyle and Slumdog Millionaire (2008) [film] Danny Boyle. He is regarded as one of the best directors around by many film critiques and for good reason.

His trademark seems to be intricate and creative flashback sequences. Throughout most of his films he uses creative camerawork and editing to his advantage. A prime example of this would be his film 127 Hours (2010) [film] Danny Boyle. Throughout the film it had various different techniques that are trademarks to Danny Boyle’s way of directing. In the film Danny Boyle gives us another one of his truly iconic scenes. The scene of James Franco cutting his own arm off. This scene follows on from his “baby on the ceiling” scene in Trainspotting and his “Boy falling in latrine” scene in Slumdog Millionaire. The music, sound effects, VFX and editing makes the scene so much more terrifying and gruesome than shooting the scene plainly like most directors would.

Danny Boyle is not only renowned for his film making however. He is also constantly involved in charity events for the less fortunate. In 2009 after the release of his latest film Slumdog Millionaire he released, the makers of slumdog gave away $750,000 to children that are living in the slums of Mumbai. “Having benefited so much from the hospitality of the people of Mumbai it is only right that some of the success of the movie be ploughed back into the city in areas where it is needed most and where it can make a real difference to some lives,” said director Danny Boyle. Along with that he also supported an “Early break drugs project” which is a project that is for young people aged under 21 who are affected by drugs and alcohol.

Along with his charitable work and Film making more recently he created the opening ceremony for the London 2012 olympics. This was probably the biggest thing he had done in his career so far as the whole world would be watching. A record of 900million people around the world watched the opening ceremony with 27million of those coming from within the U.K. The opening ceremony has went down as one of the best opening ceremonies ever and showed british culture at both its lowest and highest points. One of the things that was brilliant about this opening ceremony was that it didn’t pretend to have a global appeal. It stayed true to British history and culture even with the odd british humour dotted in here and there. This showcased Danny Boyle’s talents once more and was recently credited with the Beyond Theatre award at this year’s London Evening Standard Theatre Awards. He is also a fan favourite to be Knighted following the success of The London 2012 Olympic games.

Bibliography:

Tim Saunders. (2009). Slumdog Makers Donate To Children’s Charity.Available: http://www.looktothestars.org/news/2375-slumdog-makers-donate-to-childrens-charity. Last accessed 27 November 2012.

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Ashley ‘Ash’ Hinton Process/Development

As part of our 160mc module we had to create a character from scratch and do character development in a group with classmates. It wasn’t as straight forward as it seemed though, as we also had to implement our cabinet of curiosities into the development of the character. Which in other words means put lots of items that we have collected to do with our hobbies together and work out what we could use for the character we were developing.

This was the backstory we came up with:-

  • Before Feb 2011, Ash was a very normal teenage girl. She loved her family, friends and boyfriend, though her father was the most important person in her life. He was her hero and best friend.
  • She was an A* student, she enjoyed the normal things in life; like partying, shopping, musicals, ballet, playing instruments and so on.
  • Used to regularly go out on walks with her father and their family dog, Duke.
  • She was a very popular girl at the age of 18, and was looking to go to university to do Performing Arts.
  • Feb 2011 came, and an unfortunate event happened to the whole family. A house fire broke out at 22:03 on the 11th. This led to the death of her father. Everyone else made it out.
  • Since the fire in Feb 2011, Ashley hasn’t been herself. She’d lost all interest in the things she loved the most. She started to fail at school, her grades started falling from A*’s to D’s and E’s.
  • Ashley found herself hating her own family apart from her younger brother (aged 10).
  • Her mother found a new partner who Ashley absolutely hated. He didn’t want much to do with her because she was ‘crazy’.
  • Her boyfriend struggled with supporting and looking after Ashley. Eventually, he ended the relationship with her. They were together for 3 years.
  • Ashley never got any better, she started getting worse, that she was referred to a mental hospital.
  • Her family visited her every weekend until one day she went insane and she didn’t want any of them to see her anymore.
  • She now claims that she has no family.

After getting together and looking at each others cabinets we soon found out that alot of the items we all had were things such as train tickets and gig tickets. We then found out that we had obscure items that not everybody would have such as Ballet shoes, toys and football match tickets. Me being a guy didn’t really have items such as letters from loved ones and mine were mostly train tickets and gig tickets so we thought that using items such as ballet shoes and toys would be a good idea as they are collected over a long period of time. We then decided it would be a really good idea to mind map our thoughts on what the Character should look like and the personality of the character.

From the word go we wanted to do something a little different. We wanted the character to have some sort of mental illness that we could base her background on. We originally wanted to have her Bipolar as we all found it quite an interesting illness. However we later changed it to an illness we came across called Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD). We chose this illness as we wanted the character have outbreaks of violence towards people. Other common symptoms of BPD were Mood swings and Detachment from relationships. This fit in very well with the backstory that we had originally planned as she now doesn’t have a family and her boyfriend split up with her when she went into the mental hospital.

Interview with Ashley Hinton:-

Last sighting of Ashley Hinton:-

We recently had a 72-hour challenge where we had to create a Twilight scene and interpret it in a different way and try to make it go viral within 72 hours. We received the Twilight baseball scene and had to try and make the film our own incorporating the key concepts into our film. Having done a Film and Television Production Diploma before I put myself forward to do a lot of the production on the film which resulted in me being the Director, Director of Photography, Cameraman and Editor. This was a challenge, as it would mean long hours trying to work to a short deadline.
The lighting in the production was quite simple to start with, as it was all natural lighting. As we were filming outdoors we didn’t need any additional lighting whilst it was dark, however, as it got darker we noticed grain started to appear on the camera and we did not have equipment to stop this from happening.

As we decided to create a comedy we decided to have happy/comic music to start with when introducing the characters at the start of the film. This automatically engages the audience and makes them think it’s a comedy before any dialogue/acting has been shown/heard. We then decided to switch it up in the middle and cut out the music and add some quiet to loud rumbles to engage the viewer when the camerawork goes closer. This meant that it made it feel more intense and switched genres for a short amount of time. We then added a stereotypical British lower class song so it would clash with the upper-class characters. For the rest we decided to only have low rumbles again as it then goes intense and we felt that music would ruin the flow of it for the conflict.

I thought the story and plot stuck closely to the original however we tried to switch it around and create a twist at the end with the stereotype of Pimm’s bringing everyone together. Also the characterization has changed. We thought it would be good idea to play around with Carlisle and Edward abit and give them more of a friend’s relationship rather than an awkward father/son relationship like in twilight.

As far as Mise-en-scene is concerned, I felt that the staging of characters in frame was good. I felt we did a good job of placing the character in the right areas. Especially for the Long shot of Edward and Bella walking towards his father (00:17 seconds) we used Deep space to map out the distances between the two characters and also integrate them into their natural surroundings. I also think the initial close up of Edwards face before he is about to throw the ball and the shot after that of the family is good as we utilized the off-screen space to give the audience a perspective as to where the family were.

In conclusion, I believe that we did a good job at creating a British stereotype and trying to create something that has the potential to go viral as it could have a huge fan base. I believe that what we did was very good given the time scale we were given.

The Dog Sitter is a film I made in a group of 6 for a media project. Originally we thought of two separate ideas that we could make into short films, the Dog sitter idea and another idea involving a pianist who breaks his hand. After some consideration we decided to make the dog sitter idea. We knew it would be challenging to make but decided to try nevertheless.

From the original script the story had changed quite a lot. The original idea was a girl and most of the filming would take place in a train station but that soon changed to a boy and a bus stop. Personally I would have filmed it at a train station and kept with the original idea of it being a girl because I think the audience wouldn’t expect it to happen to a girl as much as a boy. The girl was also quite innocent in the original idea which would have made the audience actually care for the character and care that this has happened too her. I also think filming at a train station would have looked a lot better on-screen and made the film look and feel more cinematic.

As an editor of the short film I did come across a few problems. We had to cut a few scenes and shots out, as the continuity didn’t work. We also had to cut some out as they didn’t add anything extra to the film or story so I felt it would run a lot smoother and keep people more interested in the film if they were not there. I also came across a problem with the sound so we had to use the sound from the camera rather than the sound we recorded.

I thought the product placement shots were very good showing the main character watching Spiderman on television with the beer on the table with a focus pull. I also thought the storyline was good as I personally haven’t seen anything like it before.

Overall I enjoyed my role in the production of the film as an editor and thought it turned out better than I initially thought and expected. I also learnt how to get around problems such, as continuity and that you do not have to show everything such as walking from place to place. I have also found out through editing that it is a key area in which films can be made or broken.

Researching into Editing

One of many aspects of film production I love is editing. Coming onto this course I had a beginners view on editing. I knew how to use Adobe Premier Pro quite well and knew how to use Adobe After Effects to a certain degree, however I didn’t really know the concepts of editing and how much it can improve your film by having a good editor. Having been on this course for nearly 2 months now I have came to realize that Editing could make or break a film. A poorly edited film can affect the flow of the film and make it incomprehensible. Although I have managed to create things such as planets in the sky and turn daylight into dark following a tutorial I would love to be able to do it competently.

ImageTwo editors I am particularly fond of are “Angus Wall” and “Chris Dickens”. Having seen various films from both of them such as “The Social Network. (2012). Directed by David Fincher. Andover, Massachusetts: Columbia Pictures.”And “Slumdog Millionaire. (2008). Directed by Danny Boyle. Agra, Uttar Pradesh: Celador Films.” I decided to find out a little more about them. I soon found out that Angus Wall had worked with David Fincher on five productions, winning Oscars on three of those five. This astounded me, as I didn’t know he edited any of the other films directed by David Fincher. This showed me that if you do well and have a good working relationship with someone working in a different area to you, you could work with him or her on consecutive films and have a better understanding of what one and other want. Which could lead to awards just like David Fincher and Angus Wall have had on their last 2 films together.

ImageThe other film Editor I have huge admiration for is Jon Harris. I have found he has his own unique style and seems to work with Nick Frost and Simon Pegg on a few of his films as well as Edgar Wright as a Director. He has also won an Oscar for Slumdog Millionaire who was directed by Danny Boyle who is a director renowned for having a creative style of filmmaking. I have found that in films such as “Shaun Of The Dead (2004). Directed by Edgar Wright. 37 Abbots Gardens, East Finchley: Universal Pictures”, “Paul (2011). Directed by Greg Mottola. Rio Grande Gorge Bridge, Taos: Universal Pictures” and “Hot Fuzz (2007). Directed by Edgar Wright. Barn Theatre, Welwyn Garden City: Universal Pictures”, Chris Dickens uses a lot of sound effects. When watching each film I found it hard to substantiate the use of sound effects as it fit in with the music and scenes, so I decided to look into this a little further. I then found an interview Written by Oliver Peters for Videography magazine (NewBay Media, LLC), which I found some very interesting points made by Chris Dickens himself.

Chris Dickens on Hot Fuzz – “When you work with sound, you have to think about what works for the picture and how to manipulate the audience’s emotions. I love to intertwine music and sound effects to create a ‘soup’ that is very atmospheric – so you can’t tell the difference between the music and the effects.”

As a whole I believe editing is one of the most important jobs in filmmaking. If you are a good editor then you will be well respected and it will come out in the work that you do. Doing this research task has made me realize that sound is also key when editing a film and can both can make or break one. I am going to continue working hard and trying to improve my editing skills and aspire to one day be as successful as the great editors listed above.

Twilight Codswallop.
Group F4 – 72 Hour Challenge.
We had to re-imagine the Baseball scene from Twilight in our own way so that it explores the key concepts of media.
Ross Forshaw – Director, Editor, Director of Photography
Nathanael McGirr – Director, Editor, Script Writer
Monica Wyithe – Bella, Storyboard
Matt Johnson – Sound, Script Writer
Harpreet Sehmbey – Esme, Props
Nathan Deacon – Jasper, Script Writer
Mishal Ghandi – Carlisle
Corey Coulson – James

My reflections on The Dog Sitter

Originally we thought of two separate ideas that we could make into short films, the Dog sitter idea and another idea involving a pianist who breaks his hand. After some consideration we decided to make the dog sitter idea. We knew it would be challenging to make but decided to try nevertheless. From the original script the story had changed quite a lot. The original idea was a girl and most of the filming would take place in a train station but that soon changed to a boy and a bus stop. Personally I would have filmed it at a train station and kept with the original idea of it being a girl because I think the audience wouldn’t expect it to happen to a girl as much as a boy. The girl was also quite innocent in the original idea which would have made the audience actually care for the character and care that this has happened too her. I also think filming at a train station would have looked a lot better on-screen and made the film look and feel more cinematic.

As an editor of the short film I did come across a few problems. We had to cut a few scenes and shots out, as the continuity didn’t work. We also had to cut some out as they didn’t add anything extra to the film or story so I felt it would run a lot smoother and keep people more interested in the film if they were not there. I also came across a problem with the sound so we had to use the sound from the camera rather than the sound we recorded.

I thought the product placement shots were very good showing the main character watching Spiderman on television with the beer on the table with a focus pull. I also thought the storyline was good as I personally haven’t seen anything like it before. Overall I enjoyed my role in the production of the film and thought it turned out better than I initially thought and expected.