MOTION CAPTURE SENSOR SYSTEMS

Motion Capture is also known as Motion Tracking, or Mocap for short is 3D Animation. Motion Capture is a process in which recordings of human movement are translated into a digital code by filming sensors or every pivot point on characters body. One the video is captured it is then translated onto a 3D Model. (Oxford Dictionary, 2017)

Motion Capture technology has developed significantly since 1970. Performance capture is the term referred to when Motion tracking animates small features like figures, expressions and facial gestures. To portray, all this features more sensors hast to be used, and this makes motion capture process time-consuming. For example, the movie “Avatar” took 15 years to create. The whole purpose of this film was to record the performance of the characters and translate it into digital form.

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Here I am embedding a behind the scene video of the famous movie “Avatar”, which I found while researching Motion Capture.

Mechanical Motion Capture:

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This Motion Capture is a process by which the actors wear structured skeleton suit called as an exoskeleton capture system to track human joints and angles. This capturing system is the popular type of Performance capture and this because of the lowest price and availability in the field.

Electromagnetic Motion Capture:

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This is the most specific type of the movement capture system relying on transmitters and receivers to track the body movement. An actor would wear a suit with several magnetic receivers in which transmitters would monitor and calculate body movements.  The 20th-century Fox movie ‘The Lord of Rings’  used this technology for one of the lead roles of the creature “Gollum”.

Optical Motion Capture:

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Optical Motion Capture system requires actors to wear reflective sensors over a tight Motion capture suit or their own clothes if they wish. The actor is asked to act while several cameras track the reflective pads. When cameras have the desired number of footage, it is then shared each other and translated to digital form.

History:

The system for capturing motion was first developed in the late 70’s, however, it was not recognised as a revolutionary animation technique till mid 80’s when it was eventually used for entertainment purpose. Inspired by Rotoscoping or Rotoscopy an ancient time-consuming technique was developed from early 90’s in which the animator will trace the movement frame by frame. Motion capturing technique was originally tested by the air force to track head movements of the fighter pilots by electromagnetic motion capture.

Below is the typical Rotoscope invented by Max and Dave Fleischer animators from 90’s who used rotoscoping infamous cartoons such as Betty Boop and Gullivers Travels.

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 Where is Performance capture or Motion Capture used?

Nowadays motion capture serves a broad range of purposes like pilot’s head movement tracking in the military, tracking of athletes in sports, determining injuries and how to treat them in medical applications, building human-like characters in animation, cartoon, games and films for entertainment and advertisement purpose.

For example, motion capture is used by worldwide car manufacturer Ford to help in developing a better product. Ford is the only company uses the same Motion capture software in its virtual engineering laps as Hollywood to create such motion pictures as Lord of Rings, Avatar and Polar Express.

“Like in Hollywood movies, Ford hooks people with sensors to monitor how they move or react when they are interacting with the machines,” said Gary Strumolo, manager, Ford research and engineering. “Once we capture the motion, we create virtual human models that can use to run hundreds of tests that helps in understanding how people of all sizes and shapes interact with all vehicle designs. This is an efficient way of tomorrow’s engineering vehicles.” (Company, F 2017).

References:

  1. Company, F. (2017). Ford Uses Hollywood Motion-Capture Software Behind ‘Avatar’ to Improve Vehicle Designs. [online] Prnewswire.com. Available at: http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/ford-uses-hollywood-motion-capture-software-behind-avatar-to-improve-vehicle-designs-79912032.html [Accessed 11 May 2017].

  2. AZoSensors.com. (2012). Motion Capture Sensor Systems. [online] Available at: http://www.azosensors.com/article.aspx?ArticleID=43 [Accessed 11 May 2017].

  3. The Hollywood Reporter. (2017). ‘Avatar’ house is motion-capture Giant. [online] Available at: http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/avatar-house-is-motion-capture-86549 [Accessed 11 May 2017].

  4. Coldewey, D. (2014). Interview: Reuben Langdon, motion capture artist for Avatar. [online] TechCrunch. Available at: https://techcrunch.com/2009/06/23/interview-reuben-langdon-motion-capture-artist-for-avatar/ [Accessed 12 May 2017].

  5. Hand, R. and Hand, R. (2009). The Art of Motion Capture in Avatar |. [online] VizWorld.com. Available at: https://vizworld.com/2009/12/art-motion-capture-avatar/ [Accessed 12 May 2017].

  6. Sagar Lonkar. (2014). Types Of Motion Capture. [online] Available at: https://sagarlonkar.com/about-2/motion-capture/types-of-motion-capture/ [Accessed 12 May 2017].

  7. Ranga (2013). Motion capture technology. [online] Slideshare.net. Available at: https://www.slideshare.net/anveshranga/motion-capture-technology-15980853 [Accessed 11 May 2017].

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LENNY’S NIGHTMARE

Link to the video: LENNY’S NIGHTMARE

PRE- PRODUCTION:

During the pre-production stage, the first thing we decided was analysing the script and assigning the role among the team members. Each of the group members shared their personal ideas. We read the script, visualised the scene and decided about the best location which will be apt for the script. We planned to shoot the task interior and decided on the staircase of building 9. We inspected the place and took location stills before the shoot.

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After inspecting the location, I took the task of drawing the floor map. With the help of the map, we decided on the camera position and actions of the character.  With the support of the map, we decided on the camera angles and shot scale of each shot. We divided the whole scene into 16 shots, and for each 16 shots we came up with different shots and angle. The staircase had enough light for the scene, so we stick on to one plan only.

Floor Map:

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We deconstructed the whole scene and noted the camera position, shot type and angle.

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We scaled the length of each shot and had a perfect plan for each shot. After planning the shots we decided to make a trail shoot with our phone. We almost shot our scene fully with the phone. With reference of the trail shoot, we decided on the final camera positions, angle, the length of each shot and position of the characters.

Trail shoot clips:

We also decided on the cast and crew roles for the next day, and also when to swap the roles between the shoot.

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PRODUCTION:

My first task was to set up the camera settings, the frame rate was set in 24 fps and 1/100 shutter. The location had the limited light so the higher exposure value and low shutter became the reason for high noise in the footage. The white balance or Kelvin value was 3900. Still, I decided to go on with the available light.

We has made full preparation for the shooting, but production process started with a problem; students and teachers were coming and going through the location and this made out work slow. My role was to handle the camera and also director gave me the full privilege to direct the shot. I need to tell the actors where to stand and where to move when doing the take. With the help of trail shoot, everything was easy to accomplish without further thinking. As the location was on the staircase, OTS was a bit tough to be framed. However, I managed to set a frame. With the limited time, another issue was with setting the white balance. Setting white balance for each shot made out work slow. To be frank, at times I disobeyed the director and took multiple shots from different angles because I knew how the post-production would be. Later after going through the footages, everyone in the was pleased with the more footages, and they can play with many shots.

For the sound recording,  we planned to position the mic as close as possible to the characters. We recorded ambience sounds, footsteps, door opening and closing and also the dialogues. There was no recording process, so we decided not to take extreme wide shots as the boom cannot be hidden from the frame, and ended up in shooting close frames.

POST-PRODUCTION:

Naming the raw footages and sound clip was the first step and it was followed by setting up the project, sequence and bin in Premier Pro. Most of the shots were great, and continuity of the shots was also perfect. The dialogues matched the lip sync of the actors perfectly. With the flapping sound of slate, the merging of audio and video was easy.  Editing was the easiest task for me, I have experience working for feature films and ad films. I’m a certified Foundry Nuke Studio artist, but working in premier pro was a learning process for me.

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Half way of the movie, the character was changed, and to remove that feel in the video a “Dip to black” transition effect was used. In between the two parts, a caption is shown, “After few minute”. Then it goes to the new character, I believe this worked to a great extent. The aspect ratio of the video was set in 1:85:1, which is the standard US value for the theatrical film.

Timeline Screenshot:

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Audio of the raw files was filled with noise and dialogues of the crew members. After arranging the clips and audio each clip was exported to Adobe Audion to denoise and match the adjacent clips. After importing back the “Constant power” audio transition was used to match the audio with other audio clips.

Workspace Screenshot:

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Colour Grading and Correction:

I’m a great fan of David Fincher and his movie tones. So, I decided to give a bluish tone to the whole film. The Three Way colour corrector and RBG curves were used for accomplishing the task. Reducing the saturations helped me to reduce the yellow and greeish tone in the raw footage.  The movie was shot in the low light interior, so the ISO was set to a high value during the shot and this caused lots of noise in the footage. Grading was tough even though the denoiser effect was used. Still, I managed to bring my favourite blue tone to my edit by playing with all three tones and three-way colour corrector.

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EXPERTISE SHOOT

The three-shot edit was the first task given to us in the Sound and Image tutorial. It was hard to express a story through expertise shoot, so we ended up in shooting an activity. The Expertise edit was a good start for the students who was new to the camera and framing. To be frank, I felt this assignment very elementary because I did filmmaking for my bachelor degree. However, I found this was a good start for a course; it is an opportunity for the beginners to learn basics of video making and get used to camera and editing software.

Our team chose to shoot in the building 9; the plan was to shoot a boy walking down the stairs. Our task was to capture an activity from three different angles. The first shot was the long shot of Jason walking down the stairs. As we had only one camera, we decided to do the same activity thrice. We shot all the three shots with full action. Second shot was a low angle long shot of Jason from the side. Moreover, for the final shot, we decided to fame the same first shot in Mid-shot.

Shot 1:

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Shot 2:

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Shot 3:

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For the post-production stage, we had three footages to edit.  Arranging the shots in the Premier Pro was the easiest task. The only problem was the continuity issue; for the second shot, he ran down the stairs bit faster compared to the other two shots. So the only solution I found was to reduce the speed of the clip, i.e., I reduced the speed rate to 75% and almost matched the other clips.

The other problem I wish to address is the sound; all the clips gave a different type of the sound. So while jumping from one shot to another, it was a problem. For solving this the “Constant power.” audio transition was used to match the clips. The lighting conditions were right, and the greenish colour of the shot makes it more attractive.

 The whole process was not hard to accomplish, but this gave a good startup for each of us in the batch.

Link to the video: https://drive.google.com/open?id=0BxECz3inTLMLUTZKck1uUU1yR2c

DIRECTORS TECHNIQUES WHEN WORKING WITH ACTORS

The first point I have taken from the reading is “Actor/ Director Relationships “. The director and actor relationship are like long marriage, where there are fights, however, at the end of the project, they come out of it loving each other. Still, think of the actor as being employee and director being the supervisor. Both must work together to get the movie done, and it is more about the quality than just finishing the job.

The director should be a master of communication, both in listening and speaking. In order to get the best out of actors or actresses, the greater focus must be given to the latter. Successful filmmakers would encourage actors to share their ideas, ask questions and maintain authority while gaining the trust and respect of the actors. It is truly having the ideas roll around in the brain, utilising them, directing the actors valuable to the movie and valued as a person as well. Actors will give hints as to where they are not happy, so attention must be paid at all times. Being open to the ideas and instructions of an actor is often what would make a good movie a great movie.

The second point I have taken from the reading is “Directors techniques when working with actors”. Director should gain the actors’ trust by encouraging them and devoting them time even though they are busy. Call for a complete silence on the shooting location so that the actor can do the last preparations peacefully. An idea here is to have an eye to eye reading and ask the actor to say their dialogues by looking at each other non-stop. For example, this kind of lesion in directing was given to Martin Scorsese by Robert de Niro during the shoot of great movie Taxi Driver. Both were together in the cab, and director said, “Make me lower the counter!”

Another point is interviewing the actor as the character. Ask actor about questions about his past also about his attitude towards specific people and events. According to the reading, this will make the actor get into the character’s head and understand his background better. Finally, I would like to bring out one more technique used, i.e.,. Giving actors an object to hold onto and play with. Actors feel more at ease when they are not sitting or standing, But, smoking a cigarette, holding a phone, taking a sip from a wine glass, all this gives them something to do and relate to the character better.

References:

  1. Luck, R. (2016). You Talkin’ To Me? Scorsese, De Niro, Keitel And Foster On The Making Of Taxi Driver. [online] Sabotage Times. Available at: http://sabotagetimes.com/tv-film/you-talkin-to-me-scorsese-de-niro-keitel-and-foster-on-the-making-of-taxi-driver [Accessed 6 May 2017].

 

SOUND DESIGN

The first point I have taken from the reading is “Aural components in movie”. In a movie, everything aural is grouped into three categories namely music, speech and sound. The famous philosopher Susanne Langer said music is a tonal analog to form of human responses, bearing a close logical similarity to conflict and resolution, speed, arrest, excitement, calm, dreamy lapses (Langer 1953, p. 27),

After reading the article “Sound Design” by Alten S, It made me realize that I have to do deeper researchers in my future video projects and this was an eye-opener. Music also suggests a locale, people, a period in history. Similar characterizations can be made for sound and dialogue as well. For instance, a fire engine or ambulance van speeding down a street creates a little sense of emergency without the blaring. The bright, rapid peal of a church bell conveys a sense of celebration, in contrast to the somber tone of a slow, steady going. Now coming to speech, speech is the most obvious aural conveyor of information. However, awareness of the meaning of nonverbal sound in dialogue, or infection, also plays a part in determining our understanding of spoken words. For example, If one dialogue in a film says, “Do you see what I mean.” we understand what the sentence implies. However, by adding inflection on the specific words, the meaning of the sentence changes from concern to the inquiry, pleading or anger. Even though, there are obvious differences in how dialogue, sound, and music are conveyed; they share basic fundamental elements to aural structure and the derivation of meaning.

The second point I have taken from the reading is “Elements of sound”. While creating a sound design, we have three elements with which to work, namely speech, sound effects, and music. In my opinion, the sound is a formidable agent in communication cognitive and affective information. The sound in movies has an undeniable power to direct viewers attention to and shape their interpretation of an image, to create expectations and to bring an idea or emotion.

In movies, speech has two functions, narration and dialogue and it conveys meaning through emphasis, inflection and aural mood. The narration is usually descriptive and voice-over, i.e., the narrator describes events from outside the action, not as a participant but as an observer. Sound effects are anything sonic which is not speech or music in movies. Music provides melody and rhythm; simultaneously sound provides harmony and texture.

References:

  1. Langer, Susanne 2017. Feeling and form: A theory of Art, Charles Scribner, New York. <https://monoskop.org/images/1/11/Langer_Susanne_K_Feeling_and_Form_A_Theory_of_Art.pdf&gt; [Accessed 5 May 2017].

THE ABSTRACT – HAIKU

Link to Video: The Abstract Haiku

The abstract shoot was interesting and challenging for me. From the experience of this abstract shot, I realised that spontaneous and unplanned shots work out better than planned shots, i.e., there is no need to think about the idea beforehand. The shoot occurred during sunset which helped our team to get enough footages of refracted and reflected light with lots of contrast and shadows. We got shots of light filtering through the leaves and grass. The main two shots I took was that of the golden grasses and the silhouette of the tree filtering the sunlight. The silhouette of the tree was very sharp and gave me high-intensity shadows in the frame. The golden grasses were shot at high depth with background fully out of focused. The motion of the grass along with the wind amplified the beauty of the shot. This shot was shot in fifty frames per second, and I was able to add the slow motion for the same in the post production.

The second task was to record the SFX sounds from around the university campus. I ended up recording city ambience, rustling leaves and grasses, cawing crow, wind blowing, traffic bell, footsteps, sounds of a barking dog and water splash. From this sounds, the rustling leaves, wind blowing and traffic bell were used for my haiku edit.

The third part was a bit more challenging as the haiku was recorded on our own. Trying to record haiku with different voice was interesting. However, I could not get the desired output because of the stammering issue. So, I ended up in borrowing the audio clip from my friend. The voice was recorded in the quiet edit suit. As a result, the quality of the audio was good.

After all this production works, the most challenging part was the post production. After sorting the videos, SFX and haiku I thought of conveying meaning through the final video. The idea was to show the contrast between the busy city life and peaceful country life. During the edit, the clips are blended with one superimposed over the other. The ambience sound of the cawing crow, traffic bell and rustling leaves and grasses gave some realistic look to the video. The video started with a slow motion of the grasses and to provide more beauty to it, Chinese flute music was added to the background, and which gave a slow melodious start to the video. The music starts before, the video and later the video comes with a slow fade-in. For the first clip, the cawing of the crow and wind blowing sound with flute music was added to make the audience feels like a distant place away from cities. The video ends with the sound of the traffic bell and bike passing which was added to show how busy the life in the cities compared to the peaceful life in the countryside. The starting and ending of the video are given with a fade to black effect to give a dramatic effect.  The haiku that I borrowed from my friend was synced perfectly with the meaning I intended to convey.

The high pitched female narration in the background was the most catchy in the video. Because, from my experience in working in films, most of the time, we would win with the female narration. Female narration attracts female viewers and male one who find female voice attractive. The same cannot always be said for male voices. This is the reason most of the time we would hear more female narration or voice-overs than male ones. It is a most preferred voice among both sexes, and this is what I believe.

TAXI DRIVER – Travis asks Betsy out

The ‘Taxi Driver’ is the most existential film by Martin Scorsese, even before “After Hours”. Scorsese tells stories through his characters, the main plot is derived from a handful of perspectives, but taxi driver often clings on to Travis’ mind, no one else. In this scene where Travis asks Betsy out, it’s quietly visible. The selected scene involves the protagonist Travis going into Betsy’s office and insisting her to go on a date. What the protagonist says can be described in two ways; the first one, he is describing and reflecting himself onto her. On the other hand, he could be describing Betsy. The cinematographer used some pretty claustrophobic camera shots in this scene to zero in on protagonist’s world and get his perspective and camera work dishing out Travis vision in detail and reality.

The scene starts with a close-up of Travis sitting in his Taxi and looking at Betsy, cut to, Travis walks into the office where the camera tracks sideways of the street, from the suggestion of the cab, where a big space in the frame is empty, showing his isolation and loneliness, and towards the end of the tracking shot, camera zooms onto Travis. Both of the shots take us into the perspective of Travis even before the scene starts.

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Inside the office, a tracking outshot where Travis walks towards the frame, fast. These three shots close our thoughts around the character of Travis. The whole scene is told from the perspective of Travis, apart from a couple of lingering close-ups of Betsy’s reactions, most of the time we see Travis or his perception of the moment. After this, Scorsese cuts into the POV of Travis, where we see Betsy and her flirty colleague look into the approaching camera, thus to Travis. The shot tracks into a mid close up of  Betsy.

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When he reaches her table and tells that he needs to volunteer to her, and when the colleague hesitatingly leave, we see a couple of middle shots, with slight movements of tracking in and sideways, showing a really fast and vague vision of the office, which leaves the audience with less details, just like Travis.

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Visually this scene saturates our thinking process in and around Travis until Betsy is introduced. When Travis compliments her we see her close up, and thus the conversation continues, he uses the mid-close track into lock ourselves into the main characters, the only time the camera grabs a wider view to show her colleague spying on them and an aerial shot of her desk.

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When Travis tells her how he thinks of her as a lonely person and he wants to befriend her, the suggestion shots starts to track out slowly, and when she accepts his invitation, we are left out with somewhat of a third person perspective and these characters isolated from their surroundings and connected to each other.

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References:

  1. Scorsese, M., (2017). Taxi Driver (1976). [online] IMDb. Available at: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0075314/ [Accessed 9 May 2017].

Every title has a story to tell: SEVEN (1995)

How many of you adore watching titles in the films? Because, Here in this blog post I am going to give a textual analysis of movie titles, which has the certain hidden meaning of theme and tone of the film. To study, I am choosing the ‘Title Sequence’ from the great movie ‘Seven (1995)’ directed by David Fincher.

In the movie ‘Seven.’, The title comes after three minutes of the expositional opening scene. The title director Kyle Cooper brilliantly crafted the movie title, as it gives a small insight into the movie. The title draws the audience in and hooks them; it intrigues the viewers in the way of wanting to enjoy the rest of the movie and also find out how the taster of the movie at the starting is relevant and how it connects with the rest of the movie. The movie Seven contain horror elements as the case involves a series of murders and each murder corresponds to seven deadly sins, namely wrath, lust, pride, gluttony, envy, sloth and greed.

During the title of the movie Seven, the first shot is a book from the front in black and white, but, there is a changing of colour schemes to the photos after the book is shown. The change of colour schemes is from black and white to red, the red possibly be representing blood or violence. The details of the pages of the book are not shows, although the pages are filled with rough sketches of hand handwriting in the form of a note. The pages of the book can be seen as old, thin and frazzled as they flicker each other, and later a hand appears in the background leading to grasp the pages in its grip, but details are shown only little of the book. The identity of the characters hand also is not revealed.

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The titles are put in the negative spaces. This means that they have put the titles n the spaces where the audience would clearly be able to see them. There are little snip-its of actions happening which give the audience insight into what’s going to occur in the film. The name of the director is introduced into the title sequence from a high angle shot of two large, veiny and unlike human hands placed In a drawing board. The hands are drawn to scale, and the drawing is shown in the dull and dark light, i.e., again not much detail is revealed.  The shot of the hand starts to fade out after a light pans and lead to other credits, and lots of other quick and sharp establishing shots are presented of fingers and palms.

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Some jagged pieces of sharp metal with rough zig-zag edges, but some with ends filled down to sharp point comes across the camera. The link between the identity of the person of the fingers, the hands that are used in the drawing, and the person’s hand touches the pages are not revealed. The title confuses the audience showing that they are the same person or different characters all linking togeather as they may have something in common to do with the events that are yet to be revealed in the movie.

As soon as an actor’s name appears, for example, Brad Pitt and Morgan Freeman, it shows them doing and action close-up. It only shows their hands or fingers. This allows the audience to see how they act and what they are like in the film.

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The sound establishes the genre of the movie Seven, i.e., the sound of the title sequence adds to hook up the audience in and also shows that the genre is a horror thriller. The title sequences’ sound felt like a mystery and withdrawn from detail, a person watching it can hear a constant building up in the background of what is unsure.  However, from the sound, viewers are almost confident that the events that will take place will be twisted in suspense and unkind deadly blood-chilling ending.

The title of the film flashes and looks disoriented which adds to the effect of the thriller genre, and it looks fragmented.

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The images are blended with one superimposed over the other. The flickering words and lines make the sequence even more chilling as it looks like they are meant to be there. The background sound gives the audience some knowledge of the title sequence because the visuals that come across created a suspense of the flickering images of a plan about to happen.

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In between the title, there was a very fast flicker of which showed the title of the film. This is effective because it shocks the audience.

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There are some quick cuts from each action to another, which makes the sequence intense and have a suspenseful atmosphere. The same font and size are used all throughout the title sequence. This makes the sequence continuous. The credits are also entered the same way on the screen every time. A lot of the shots are layered on the top of others which suggests that there are a double meaning to what is happening.

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Most of the actions are in black and white, but some have a bit of red in them. This may emphasise that there will be danger in the film and possibly blood. Some of the actions that are shown may be cringey for the audience as something you would not do, for instance, earlier on we saw someone cut the skin of the fingers with a razor blade. This makes the audience feel uncomfortable to watch. In the end, it quickly transitions into the first scene of the film.

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The place where the scene takes place is very quiet to the point of you could hear the sound of a pin drop, but the sound added in the post production is non-diegetic which adds to the overall gothic and dark atmosphere of the title.

Too many movies devalue the narrative potential of the title sequence, either by rushing through them or not making use of them to any effect but slapping names on the screen. Perhaps this is because most of the viewers see it as a non-essential portion of the movies. To be frank, I have seen people use this time to grab another bag of chips or refill their soda before the movie start.  However, when this part is properly used, a great title sequence can be effective at setting the pace of the as any other scene. The title can be memorable as any acted scene that follows it. Many movies utilised this time, for example,  The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo (2011)North By Northwest (1959),  Vertigo (1958),  Fight Club (1999).

References:

  1. Fincher, D., (2017). Fight Club (1999). [online] IMDb. Available at: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0137523/ [Accessed 7 May 2017].

  2. Artofthetitle.com. (2017). The Look of Saul Bass. [online] Available at: http://www.artofthetitle.com/feature/the-look-of-saul-bass/ [Accessed 8 May 2017].

  3. Artofthetitle.com. (2017). David Fincher: A Film Title Retrospective. [online] Available at: http://www.artofthetitle.com/feature/david-fincher-a-film-title-retrospective/# [Accessed 8 May 2017].

  4. Winter, M. (2015). Watch: Title Sequences: The Leap from Alfred Hitchcock to David Fincher. [online] IndieWire. Available at: http://www.indiewire.com/2015/01/watch-title-sequences-the-leap-from-alfred-hitchcock-to-david-fincher-133145/ [Accessed 8 May 2017].

  5. Fincher, D., (2017). The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (2011). [online] IMDb. Available at: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1568346/?ref_=nv_sr_3 [Accessed 8 May 2017].

  6. Hitchcock, A., (2017). North by Northwest (1959). [online] IMDb. Available at: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0053125/?ref_=fn_al_tt_1 [Accessed 8 May 2017].

  7. Hitchcock, A., (2017). Vertigo (1958). [online] IMDb. Available at: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0052357/?ref_=fn_al_tt_1 [Accessed 7 May 2017].

THE FIRST RULE OF FIGHT CLUB

Here, I am going to discuss my favourite scene from the great movie “Fight Club (1999)” directed by David Fincher. The scene is “The First Rule of Fight Club”. The movie is about an insomniac office worker, who is looking for a way to change his life. And, he crosses paths with a devil-may-care soap maker, forming an underground fight club that evolves into something much, much more. The visual presentation of the scene matches the theme of the story. Harsh lighting and dark, bleak colour help to convey the tone of the film. The shift in the colours and lighting also contribute to representing the schizophrenic nature of the protagonist.

In the first shot, a focus pull is used. A focus pull is a creative camera technique in which you change focus during the shot (mediacollege.com, 2017). This is effective for the audience as it allows the audience to focus on one thing, in this case, Edward Norton’s character. This suggests that he is a more important character than the rest. The tone used in the film is dark. In my opinion, this is used to show the contrast between two places, i.e, the outer world and the underground club.

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In the second shot, when Brad Pitt says ‘Gentlemen’ the other characters and the scene/ surrounding goes quiet, which suggest that everyone listens to him and has the respect of people around him. The camera at this point moves around the main focus which is Tyler (Brad Pitt) which suggest to the audience that this revolves around him, and is an important part of fight club. When Pitt is around, the lighting is dark, and there is a significant contrast in colours and light. The scenes with Brad Pitt are very tense and excessive compared to everyday life, i.e., the hard lighting emphasises the intensity.

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At the end of the second shot, shot cuts to mid-close-up of Brad Pitt. Here, we start to see men take off items of their clothes, which suggest to the audience that they are getting ready for what they are about to do. By Pitt’s character saying the world fight club over again, with firmness, it suggests that he has more authority and has the power to command the other men in the club.

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In the fourth shot, we see another focus pull. The camera focuses on Tyler, and the other characters are not in focus. This again emphasises the point in which Tyler is the main character and is also shown to be the leader, as he is standing in front of the camera and front of the crowd of men.

In this scene from Fight Club, the low-key lighting creates dramatic shadows, and in many ways there seemed to be no fill light at all, i.e., creating some harsh shadows in the scene.

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After the fourth shot, we start to see more close-up used on the different men doing different things to get ready for fighting. This gives the audience insight to a little of each person’s identity/ personality which allows the audience to create some rapport with the characters.

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Each close-up of the people’s faces shows what’s happens between these people in personal and means something to them.After the continuous close-up’s, we could see a quick transition from one shot to another. The camera movement zooms in on Tyler’s’ (Pitts) face and then zooms out in different directions which suggests that we are looking at the next scene in Tyler’s perspective.

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As I said in the previous paragraph, the camera zooms into Pitt’s face and zooms out to another scene, i.e., a fight scene. During the fight scene, we see Tyler leaning on the wall casually smoking a cigarette which suggests he is used to this type of behaviour and activity. The voice-over of Edward Norton’s (Jack) character makes us think of what is happening from his perspective; this makes the audience want to relate with his character and see what he is seeing. Jack’s voice-over throughout the film serves as both narrative, as Jack’s VO throughout the film serves as both narrative, as most VO’s do, but also as a point of levity to balance out the dark images the film shows.

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The mis-en-scene and acting make the men in the fight club seem like animals. They are sweating, dirty and are yelling for the men fighting.

In between the wide-shot, one of the fighters enters the shot and changes to mid-close-up of him. In this, the blood seen around his mouth shows how dangerous fight club is and shows how men are strong but also shows how weak men are as they could not defend themselves and lose.

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Next shot takes to next day, here we can see what damage has been done next day. We can also see the contrasting between the two places, his office and the underground fighting ring. We can also see the different members and how they interact with each other out of the club. Everything in the normal world is flat nad bland reflecting the protagonist’s feelings towards the corporate life and the rut that he is stuck in.

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The Sound Design and Editing in the selected scene is minimal. Nothing more can be said other than diegetic sound incorporating Pitt’s and low shuffle of crowds’ sound stood in silence. The editing in this scene looks interesting for me as it represents Brad Pitts’ mood in its simplicity.  In this scene, the first shot is very slow but is then cut’s with reasonably rapid edits to show Pitt’s temper increasing as he starts his speech. When he talks and gets annoyed at the lack of discipline of the new members, the edit remains at a reasonably fast level until his speech gets into full flow. Later when the speech goes on the cuts become very slow representing how Pitts is then calm and disciplined himself to make his idea clear.

Another important element I have to discuss is about the dressing of the characters. All the characters are battered and bruised and even the freshers who are yet to fight. Each of the characters is covered with a form of grit or grime even in suits or formals.

References:

MUST HAVES FOR A SUCCESSFUL MOBILE APPLICATION

 

The development of a successful application begins with a solid foundation of planning. In 2016 the App Store made a shattering record and didn’t show any sign of slowing down soon.

The total number of Mobile application downloaded worldwide:

BlogPhoto-WhyAppsFail2Source: Statista

Mobile applications are progressively becoming the go-to resource for communication technology, shopping, productivity, entertainment and lot more.  In turn, the time users spend in applications has exploded over the recent years. There is continuous growth in the number of companies that are adopting the mobile-first attitude and realising that mobile is no longer an optional asset, rather an inevitability. However, with lots of selection in application market, customers aren’t expected to give an application a second chance when they lost interest in it. In fact, around 35% of mobile applications engagements less than a minute, suggesting users do not take long to find a mobile application that delivers them with more worth. (Marketwatch.com, 2017)

Must haves for a mobile application:

  1. Research Market and Target audience:

At present, there are 2.2 million mobile applications available in the App Store, and there’s plenty of choice for smartphone users, so we need to make sure that users want or need our app. The final decision to launch a product in the market should be research driven. Once the target segment is chosen, we need to examine the users in greater detail, i.e., we need to understand why our target audience will want our product or service. Most of the users searching for a solution that would solve a problem they are undergoing in life, whether that is faulty mobile checkout or troublesomeness in personal banking experience. This kind of problem points motivates the users to find a solution which would resolve this issue. Identifying the user’s problem points is the most significant step during product discovery, else we would end up wasting money and time developing an app.

The applications can be validated in many ways such as user acceptance testing, soft launching or focus groups. Putting our applications through one of the tests will demonstrate precisely how our product will perform.

  1. Marketing Strategies and User Acquisition Plan:

Many developers often underestimate the time, resources and efforts needed for an application awareness and achievement both before and after introduction the application. Our user acquisition is going to vary based on the nature of our application, target audience and many other aspects. Certain areas we need to consider while creating a customer acquisition and marketing strategy include early outreach, teasers, early access offers, collaterals, beta list, app store optimisation and discovery., The user acquisition involves ongoing marketing efforts, like appealing users for any other business, does.

  1. All-in-one User Experience:

Even though there are lots of components involved in developing an app with seamless user experience, basest level our need is to be intuitive. If an app user is struggling to do basic functions on our app and could not able to figure out main functionalities easily, the outcome is destitute usability. For instance, app performances issues like lagging or slow, long load times, lengthy registration processes and features that are difficult to access are some examples of poor user experience.

  1. Proper Testing:

Testing is the most critical step in an app development. It’s estimated that the user finds 44% of the defects, 24% from feedback and other 20% from reviews in the app store. (perfectmobile.com, 2017) Everytime application crashes or lags, all other mobile applications metrics will be affected as a result. Because of this, it’s very significant to track front end and back end functionality to get an understanding of how good our app is functioning.

References:

  1. PremiumPremium statistics Industry-specific and extensively researched technical data (partially from exclusive partnerships). A paid subscription is required for full access. Read moreNumber of mobile app downloads worldwide in 2016, r. (2017). Annual number of mobile app downloads worldwide by region 2021 | Statistic. [online] Statista. Available at: https://www.statista.com/statistics/266488/forecast-of-mobile-app-downloads/ [Accessed 1 May 2017].
  2. MarketWatch. (2017). One-Third of Mobile App Engagements Last Less Than One Minute. [online] Available at: http://www.marketwatch.com/story/one-third-of-mobile-app-engagements-last-less-than-one-minute-2014-07-17 [Accessed 4 May 2017].
  3. Mobile, C. (2017). App Store Submission & Optimization Guide. [online] Info.clearbridgemobile.com. Available at: http://info.clearbridgemobile.com/app-store-submission-optimization-guide [Accessed 4 May 2017].
  4. App Annie Content. (2017). App Monetization: Store, Ads to Deliver $189B by 2020. [online] Available at: https://www.appannie.com/en/insights/market-data/app-monetization-report-2016/ [Accessed 1 May 2017].
  5. Clearbridge Mobile. (2016). The Step-By-Step Guide To Product Discovery | Clearbridge Mobile App Development Company. [online] Available at: https://clearbridgemobile.com/the-step-by-step-guide-to-product-discovery/ [Accessed 2 May 2017].
  6. Perfecto Mobile Helps You Perfect the Digital Experiences that Define Your Brand. (2015). Failure to Launch. [online] Available at: https://www.perfectomobile.com/why-apps-fail-survey [Accessed 4 May 2017].
  7. Foreman, R. (2017). Mobile Application Development Blog By Apptology |. [online] Apptology.com. Available at: http://apptology.com/blog/ [Accessed 4 May 2017].
  8. Clearbridge Mobile. (2016). 4 Strategies For Product Validation | Clearbridge Mobile. [online] Available at: https://clearbridgemobile.com/4-strategies-for-product-validation/ [Accessed 4 May 2017].