Youtube Saturday: Getting later

Yep, it's THAT time of the week again!

Once again, we bring a late edition of the weekend specials, and for that I can only apologise. So there you are.

But anyway, I am inspired to post some videos of a more technical nature.

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Details in storyboards

the storyboard for Idle Hands - the attention to detail is actually very good

Storyboards can be very useful. They’re not always needed, but when they are, it’s useful. But I hear you ask “What are they for?”. They’re basically for mapping out what will be filmed. It’s easier to do this if you have a location already down and drawn out.

Overall, there’s a clear difference between a floor plan and a storyboard. The floor plan lays out the technical details – where actors should stand, where the lighting rigs must be set up, where the camera needs to be/to go, etc… It goes hand in hand with the storyboard – showing what’s possible, what you need to do to get the creative elements of your shots, etc…

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Getting high production values

The Zombie of War DVD cover may look like it'd be good, but the film has mixed production values, which stop this film from being enjoyed properly. Shame.

There’s lots of ways that you can increase the production values of your projects. But what does it mean? Well, according to Wisegeek:

In the movie industry, the quality of a film is referred to as “production value.” Generally, films with a higher budget will have a high production value, because of the greater investment of resources. It is the goal of most movie makers to make films which are stylish, attractive, and use high quality special effects in combination with exotic locations. These high production value films can be quite costly to make, representing a major gamble on the part of potential investors.

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Having a look at Fear Eats the Soul

Emmi und Ali

One of my birthday presents from Paul this year was a DVD of Fear Eats the Soul (1974). Made during the hey day of New German Cinema, it was a film that tackled a lot of difficult issues that Germany faced at the time of its production (and still faces even to this day) along with the problems faced by individuals as they grow old and the expectations society places on them.

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Diary of Filming – An Actress

The Victoriana logo (drawn by Georgina Greves)

I didn’t know there was a morning on a Saturday.

I’m really suffering for my art here. I got up at god-knows-o’clock in the morning to get to Falmouth Library for 8.45, I’m wearing cheap 3-inch heels that are shredding my feet, and it’s bucketing it down. At least my costume is vaguely dignified, unlike Arthur’s homeless Crimean veteran get-up.

We’re filming a trailer for Tim’s graphic novel, and the concept is people tangentially involved in the story talking about the main characters. My part as a young science student involves walking down a flight of stairs and getting doorstepped for my opinion. It’s fairly straightforward and for once I’ve learnt my lines (which, I will later discover, will make me extremely popular with the crew). Now I just have to act them.

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Chest of Wonder

A tastefully done sex scene in Mass Effect

Now this could be taken badly as a subject matter. The ladies bosom is a thing of great discussion. Be it regarding the nature of breast cancer to the lads talking about the barmaid down at the Winchester Arms with the big breasts.

But this does raise a good point about how does one relate this to film with out it become tawdry and crude.

So I shall try.

Use of the female form can be used in many ways on screen, here I address a selection.

Cheap Thrills: You’re a fifteen year old boy and somehow you’ve  acquired the film classic Emmanuelle. You watch it in all it’s soft-core glory. The lithe form of Sylvia Kristel’s  on screen. Then the next day you’re boasting to your mates about how awesome it was.  A small part of you has grown and died at the same time. It wasn’t  satisfying at all, it has just lead you to want more.

The cover of Emmanuelle

Fetishism: Also known as Mastofact. This is the act of sexual attraction to the mammary area. This may also incorporate exhibitionism in some respects.

A distraction for a weak plot: Long drawn out story, not much goes on, suddenly a sex scene begins or the heroine has her clothes stripped off. The viewer is drawn in again (mostly in the hope some more action). Weak plot overridden by a cheap excuse for nudity.

Fan-service: Mainstay of anime and such. The large chested lady antagonist/protagonist merrily bounces onto the scene and everyone has a small smile. I could try and name some anime which include this but I’d need another internet to finish the list…

Fan service in anime

Demeaning: The act of female nudity as a tool for humiliation. This may be intentional for purposes of sexual gratification or for a villain to make the  heroine/victim become lesser. Either way, not nice.

Presuming the audience consists of straight male viewers: We live in a world of many different kinds of people now. As part of the film community, we should cater for them all.

I Love You Phillip Morris - a touching film that isn't afraid to show two men kissing, or even having sex

Unrealistic Body Definition: This is a very large problem in this day and age. We now have a society that says size 0 (or 4 if you live in the UK, where Habitual Films is based) is what we should all be and if you are not, you are a mutant. It’s unfair and heinously bad for self-esteem (talking from experience as the larger cuddly figure).

Pornography has not helped this case as impressionable young people can now access this far easier than 10 years ago and while people are rutting away, they feel inadequate as all the people having sex are all beautiful, thin and with ‘perfect’ breasts. They forget these people being filmed at the best possible angles and more than likely have had some surgery done. This of course leads to the unrealistic expectations of genitalia and a skewed world view.

So let the female form be seen on our screens, just make it tasteful, relevant to the plot and not the main reason for seeing the film.

[Editorial note: The views of this post do not necessarily reflect the views of Habitual Films as a whole.]


Different things can surprise you

Creepy twins - played by Edmund and Gary Entin

A well made film is excellent. It’s not always good because it’s your type of film, but occasionally you’ll get a gem that whilst it doesn’t convert you to liking another genre, it does pleasantly surprise you. I found this out with a film called Seconds Apart.

What is Seconds Apart? It’s a supernatural horror film about two twins with extraordinary powers. Here’s a quick synopsis from IMDB:

Seth and Jonah are twins with a dangerous ability: telepathy. Things start to spiral out of their control as their classmates end up dying in twisted and bizarre ways. The police suspect them. But, jealousy begins to divide them and soon they can no longer trust each other. Leading up to a horrific battle against themselves.

Why did I enjoy the film? Well, Emily King is far more of a horror fan than I, but this film did have a few nice twists. I won’t spoil it for you, you’ll just have to watch the film! The acting was actually fairly good, and the creepiness factor within the family of the twins was turned to 11. While for the best part of the film, the twins are more or less like-minded in their desire to kill, however the further through the film you go, the more you realise just how different these twins are to each other. Orlando Jones’ character throughout the film was mostly okay, I do feel they may have overplayed the ending. You’ll understand when/if you see it.

Orlando Jones plays the detective that suspects something amiss about the twins

But it’s interesting how people come to like particular genres, while leaving other ones alone. Now I don’t want to turn this post into a genre-based one as that is not my intention. What I will talk about however is some things being appealing outside of you usual genres.

But how do you know what is good if you’re not into it? Well, that’s when you have to rely on the opinions of people that are into those genres. Also make sure they answer why its good. The last thing you want is the advice of someone who considers something a plus, when you consider it a minus. I personally love the idea of a non-physical being in horror films killing people, such as in Final Destination, but some others prefer a good ol’ slasher instead, having an enemy that is not only defeatable, but punishable.

You know the old saying: “Variety is the spice of life”.