Tuesday, 11 September 2012

Warp-Meadows openings pres'n

Pants? You decide...
In 3s you will have at least one full lesson to work on a presentation on the media language used in the opening section of one of director Shane Meadows' films produced by Warp Films: 24-7, A Room For Romeo Brass, Dead Man's Shoes. You will also be asked to do some research into the production context. You can borrow the DVD from the Library: all Media DVDs are kept behind the Librarian's desk for the exclusive use of Media students. Further details follow. Two of these are 15-rated while DMShoes is 18-rated: take care where you watch these.

Later in the year you will begin to produce podcasts and vodcasts, and next week you'll start blogging. For this task though a PowerPoint is fine - make sure the text is large enough to read and that you include useful images or links where relevant (make clear where any info or quotes come from).
Take screenshots to illustrate points you wish to make about shots/scenes/details from the film, and take care to change the file name so that it will be clear later what it is - and make sure you place all images into a named folder that you can each share via memory sticks. (1-15 HA MCU victim fear is an eg of how you might name a file: the time within the film, shot type + brief description of who/what/why)
Start with production context (your research findings) then move on to the media language.

Shane Meadows
Rather than give you a definitive list of what to include, I'll provide some suggestions of info that helps to put into context the production of any film. The info that you gathered on TisEng is a good starting point, though also add the budget. You won't always find box office info on IMDB - lower budget films especially often fail to get a cinema release and are 'straight-toDVD' or made-for-TV.
Some further info on what the director has said about the film; blurb from the company website; snippets of reviews or general articles about the director/film are also useful. You can try Wikipedia, googling, my BritishCinema blog, the index of The British Cinema Book or other library books, Media Magazine (one issues has a cover story on Meadows) etc to find some further info.

Film openings tend to be self-contained and vary in length, although most are much longer than the 2mins you get for your coursework opening. Watch it at least twice - note the length of the section you think contains the complete opening. On the first viewing note what exposition (clues or information) is provided for the audience on location, era, characters, genre etc. Remember to try and take screen shots. You could consider here how media language has been used to lead the audience to an interpretation desired by the director (through use of camera work, editing, sound, mise-en-scene).
On your second viewing, try to find one eg of each of the main shot types: ELS (maybe an EstS?), LS, MLS, MS, MCU, CU, ECU; LA, MA, HA, Dutch angle; POV, OTS, 2-shot. You may find you've already noted some from your work on exposition. Where you can, add a note of why you think the director/editor has selected this shot type here.

You'll find plenty of links on Meadows/Warp on the BritishCinema blog. Here's a couple more links:
Eclectica interview with Meadows;
Meadows discusses TisEng 88; [scroll down for more articles]
Empire: Meadows on Meadows (talks about each of his films);
Uncut: Meadows' Stone Roses doc ready by Xmas.

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