Tuesday, 16 February 2010

Sequences in films.....Research *Massive Attack - Angel*

So as I was thinking about more musical animation in terms of captruin the esscence of my animation, I was racking my brain for Instrumenalist bands, which led me to Massive Attack, so whilst I was researching I popped it on in the background, catching a glimpse of the ending of the official video, which really intrigued me, so on a second listen, I decided to watch it through properly, and was pleasently surprised with the relationship between both the visual, and musically.

The story within the video, alongside the editting and camera angles in it are what really make it quite different from moat generic music video's, as it leaves alot of open ended interpretation, but the main gist follows along the lines of the life, and how we perceive it as being a minority in the majority, feeling powerless against the people, things remaining unchanged, hinting at conformity...unitl we reach the point where enough is another, and take rise and control of our situations....the end result the hunter, becoming the hunted....acting wise the characters in the peice deliver on such a delicate note, that every facial expression sells us the theme of the video...

Through the use of editting, it really feels easy to translate just by watching the video into a story board, with the speed starting at a normal relaxed state, shifting rapidly to running, but conveyed in slow motion style, also the camera angle techniques used really give a sense of area and location....as well the sheer number of people....with quick cuts, and slow pans, the ending leaving a more then statisyfing taste...that something so simple can encompass so much meaning....


  1. Online Interim Review 16/02/2010

    Hey Bob,

    Really exciting seeing you wrestling your story components into something that makes thematic and emotional sense; that is the hard graft of creating stories. You must now, however, get on with visualising the story (directing with a pencil) because the ability to get these inanimate objects to 'emote' is most certainly going to come from juxtaposing the shots in a way to 'create' the yearning relationship between them. You may want to check out 1956 film The Red Balloon by Albert Lamorisse...


    and also this from American Beauty (which made me cry - weirdly - the first I saw it).


    You need to start giving your art direction some real thought - I want to know exactly what your world is like and what it feels like to be there...

    Regarding your written assignment, please see the following 2 comments for general guidance re the essay - and particularly ways in which you can cultivate a more structured, formal writing style; we need to get you a little more disciplined and 'together' Bob - so read, absorb, apply, do better...

  2. “1,500 word written assignment that analyses critically one film in terms of the relationship between story and structure; you should consider camera movement, editing, and the order of scenes”

    While the essay questions asks you to analyse one film in terms of the relationship between story and structure, you are nonetheless expected to contextualise your analysis – and that means you have to widen your frame of reference to include discussion of other, related films and associated ideas – and also the ‘time-line’ within which your case-study sits.

    So, for example, if you are focusing on a scene in a contemporary film which makes dramatic use of montage editing and quick-fire juxtaposition of imagery (the fight scenes in Gladiator, the beach landings in Saving Private Ryan, the bird attacks in The Birds…) no discussion of this scene would be complete without you first demonstrating your knowledge of the wider context for your analysis – i.e., the ‘invisible editing’ approach as championed by W.D. Griffith, and the alternate ‘Eisensteinian’ collisions adopted by Russian filmmakers (and now absorbed into the grammar of mainstream movies). In order to further demonstrate your appreciation for the ‘time-line’ of editing and its conventions, you should make reference to key sequences in key films – ‘The Odessa Steps sequence’ from Sergei Eistenstein’s Battleship Potemkin (as in scene in the Cutting Edge documentary, but also viewable here in full


    Also – if further proof were needed of the influence of this scene, watch


    The Cutting Edge documentary, as shown on Monday 15th Feb, is viewable on YouTube at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xJcQgQHR78Q

    If you choose to quote from any of the ‘talking head’ sections (Ridley Scott, Walter Murch etc.), in support of your discussion, ensure you put the documentary’s original details in your bibliography (as opposed to the You Tube url). For official title and release date etc. visit


    Put simply, whatever film you choose to discuss, you will need to link it to its ‘ancestors’ and also, where appropriate, to its ‘children’ – i.e., what influenced it/what it influenced.

    Regarding the ‘language of editing etc.’ the following site is useful – if ugly!


    I suggest you use it only as a starting point for focusing your research parameters – not as the fount of all knowledge (it isn’t!).

    Something that keeps coming up is how to cite websites using the Harvard Method:



  3. Stylistically, many students’ essays still lack the required formality and tone for a University level written assignment. Many of you write as if you’re ‘chatting’ to your reader or writing a blog entry. This is inappropriate and you need to cultivate a more appropriate style if your discussions are to be authoritative and properly presented. Below are some suggestions re. use of language; take note and use!

    Use good, formal English and grammar,
see: http://www.ucl.ac.uk/internet-grammar/home.htm

    Use objective language: e.g. rather than 'I find it difficult to identify ...'

    'It is often difficult to identify...'
    'It can be seen that...
    'There are a number of...'

    Adopt a cautious academic style; avoid conclusive statements: e.g. use may, might, it seems that, appears to, possibly, probably, seemingly, the evidence suggests that, it could be argued that, research indicates...

    Avoid assumptions and generalisations: e.g. everyone can see, everybody knows, public opinion is...

    If you make a statement, always present evidence to support it.

    Within your essay you will be hoping to demonstrate or prove something. You will have a point of view that you wish to convey to your reader. In other words, your essay should 'say' something.

    You should support what you wish to say with a reasoned argument and evidence.

    A reasoned argument consists of a series of logical steps you make in order to lead to a point where you can form some sort of judgement on the issue you have been examining, or come to some sort of conclusion.

    Paragraphs are organised in order to build your argument in a series of logical steps

    A typical paragraph is concerned with a single step in your argument

    The first sentence of a paragraph is the topic sentence. It clearly states which step in your argument you intend to deal with in this paragraph

    Subsequent sentences explain, define and expand upon the topic sentence

    Evidence is offered

    Evidence is commented on

    A conclusion may be reached

    Try to make each paragraph arise out of the previous paragraph and lead into the subsequent one

    Below are some useful ‘linking’ words and phrases that suit the formal tone of an academic assignment – get used to using them to structure clear, articulate and confident sounding sentences.

    To indicate timescales:
    when, while, after, before, then

    To draw conclusions:
    because, if, although, so that, therefore

    To offer an alternative view:
    however, alternatively, although, nevertheless, while
    To support a point:
    or, similarly, incidentally

    To add more to a point:
    also, moreover, furthermore, again, further, what is more, in addition, then
    besides, as well
    either, not only, but also, similarly, correspondingly, in the same way, indeed
    with respect to, regarding

    To put an idea in a different way:
    in other words, rather, or, in that case
    in view of this, with this in mind
    to look at this another way

    To introduce and use examples:
    for instance, for example, namely, an example of this is
    such as, as follows, including
    especially, particularly, notably

    To introduce an alternative viewpoint:
    by contrast, another way of viewing this is, alternatively, again, 
rather, another possibility is..
    conversely, in comparison, on the contrary, although, though

    To return to emphasise an earlier point:
    however, nonetheless, despite, in spite of
    while.. may be true
    although, though, at the same time, although.. may have a good point

    To show the results of the argument:
    therefore, accordingly, as a result
    so, it can be seen that
    resulting from this, consequently, now
    because of this, hence, for this reason, owing to, this suggests
 that, it follows that
    in other words, in that case, that implies

    To sum up or conclude:
    therefore, in conclusion, to conclude, on the whole
    to summarise, to sum up, in brief, overall, thus