- Class activities
We reviewed the posters designed since last week. If you haven’t uploaded your poster yet, please do it before next week.
This week we’re working towards the next activity, translation, in which you’ll be working with a partner to make a film which translates the form of an existing film scene – the one you analysed last week – into a different genre.
The following two exercises are designed to get you thinking about the way in which we all already know quite a lot about film genres, and what we can expect in a different genre.
Make a list of as many film genres as you can. Examples to get you started:
- Period drama
- Psychological thriller
⏰️Time: 2 minutes
Note: Several of the genres we devised in class were fed into our movie prompt generator.
Choose a film genre from your list. Write as much as you can about the genre in 10 minutes. Don’t let your pen stop moving. Please write in whatever language you feel most comfortable in. Nobody else will read this writing!
Prompts to help you work:
- What are classic examples of that genre?
- What do you always see on/off screen?
- What are themes?
- What are the cliches?
- What is the soundtrack? Is there a distinctive aural flavour?
- What objects do you see on screen?
- How is dialogue delivered?
- Are there specific locations, sets, props, costumes, etc?
⏰️Time: 10 minutes
This activity will form the next 2 weeks’ work! You will make one film this week and another film next week.
Choose a partner.
Once you have a subject and genre, work together to write a scene from a film with that subject in that genre. Think about:
- Characters and motivations
Who is in the scene, and what do they want? What do they want to hide? How can you communicate as much as possible about your characters with a tiny amount of dialogue? You will gain the most dramatic tension if there is a clash of different world-views or conflict between characters.
What is the purpose of your scene? Your scene should have a mini story-arc: establishing an equilibrium, disrupting the equilibrium, establishing a new equilibrium.
How can you write and shoot your scene within a tight timeframe? Who can act in it? Could you use simple ‘hacks’ to create special effects (e.g. using one of the large TV screens to make it seem as if someone is in a car, or in a specific setting)? Does the scene need music? Where could you get this from? Remember, there is a great AV lending facility downstairs. Could your film be animated or filmed with miniatures? Do you need a voiceover? Titles? If you are shooting a conversation, would you be best shooting a real conversation, or all of the lines from one character at a time?
Your source film has an exchange of goods or information. What will be exchanged in your scene?
- Your film scene must have the same pacing as the film one of your pair analysed last week. Please use the Premiere Pro or DaVinci Resolve timeline you created last week to compile your film.
- If possible, it should use the same spatial layout and types of shot as your source film.
- We will be watching the films side-by-side! Your new film must be a translation of the source film into an entirely new genre.
Please document your process well, with a script, drawings, photos of the process, etc.
If you are struggling with this exercise, the following podcast by Ross Sutherland might help. Like Raymond Queneau’s Exercises in Style (which we discussed in the second class), it takes a potentially mundane autobiographical story and re-tells it in several different styles. Imaginary Advice #47: Me Versus the Spar
If you are really struglling with this exercise in any way, please email me.
Please make sure you update your poster with the advice given in class this week. You can re-upload it to the drive here:
Don’t forget to also make your daily rules-based videos!
- Movie Prompt Generator
- Exercises in Style
- Ross Sutherland / Imaginary Advice #47: Me Versus the Spar