Monday, 27 January 2014

The significance of the British film industry

The British film industry dates back to the very start of the 20th century with the establishment of The Gaumont company and Pathe amongst others.
Other key events from the early days of the industry include the establishment of the British Board of Film Censors in 1912 and the first studios opening in Twickenham and Elstree in 1913 and 1914.  Early pioneers include Birt Acres who directed mainly documentaries such as ‘The Derby’ and ‘The Opening of the Kiel Canal’.
Today the UK film industry contributes around £5billion a year towards the UK economy, employs over 40,000 people and is the largest exporter of films in the world after the USA.
To show the importance of the British film industry we must first decide what makes a film British. In my opinion a British film is a film that is directed by a British person for example 28 Days Later. Some films are dominated by British actors and are in a British setting but the director may be American or the funds may come from a Hollywood studio. So it is extremely difficult to find a successful British film. This may be because people in the British film industry move to Hollywood to become successful, so this shows us that there is a British influence on some Hollywood films, some examples of this are World War Z, Kick-Ass 2 and Red 2.
In 1989 Warp started up as a records company, they were seen as pioneers and exclusively involved with electronic music. The film side of Warp started in the year 2000 and their first film by Chris Morris. The film was shot in 2002 and won the best short film award in the 2003 BAFTA film awards. Later Warp films needed distribution funds, so they partnered with Optimum. In 2004 a film was released called Dead man’s shoes directed by Shane Meadows. This was the first film directed by Shane Meadow that was funded by Warp films.
Dead Man’s Shoes later was ranked 180th in Empire Magazine’s ‘201 greatest movies of all time in March 2006. It also came 27th in the ‘Best British Films Ever’ in October 2011.  Paddy Considine won ‘Best British Actor’ in the 2005 Empire Awards, beating Daniel Craig in Layer Cake and Simon Pegg in ‘Shaun of the Dead’.  This shows us that the film was only successful when picked up upon later.  This indicates that British films lack the funds to promote their own films and rely upon the quality of their film to be good enough to be shared by the viewers. An example of this is Breaking Bad where the viewers claim that it is the ‘best thing on TV ever’ and are willing to talk about the show to others for free.

In 2006 the British drama film ‘This is England’ was made.  They story centres around a boy whose father was killed in the Falklands conflict.  He becomes a member of a skinhead group during the summer of 1983.  The film educates us as to what British culture was like at that time.  It teaches the world about issues such as unemployment, conflict and racism in this country.  The film is an example as to why the British film industry is important; it highlights our social problems and contradicts the typical stereotype.
Monty Python’s Life of Brian symbolises a huge part in the importance of the film industry.  It is an iconic film, due to the controversy it caused, because it was deemed blasphemous and heretic.  The film would not have been made without George Harrison’s, who started Hand Made films, help in financing the cost of the film which amounted to £3million.
The storyline follows a young man (Brian Cohen) who is mistaken for the Messiah.  He unintentionally gains a following of locals who hang on his every word.  He speaks out against Pontius Pilate and joins the People’s Front of Judea.  He is eventually captured by Pontius Pilate’s soldiers.  The final scene shows Brian on the cross where he, and others, break into song with ‘Always look on the bright side of life’.
This film was banned in Norway and Ireland and many councils in the UK.  This boosted the publicity and the film gained notoriety. Christians believed the film mocked Jesus and his suffering by using crucifixion in a comical way.  This form of comedy was breaking new ground and gave it the stamp of individuality which is common in British films.  The film was a Box Office success.
The British film industry has many differences to Hollywood. One of these differences is realism.  Drug use in Trainspotting is the harsh reality, whereas in Pulp Fiction it shows us, in a very powerful way, how drugs can affect a person.  Trainspotting shows us that although things may seem different to the character, it is actually different in real life.  This also allows us as average people to relate to the characters and empathise with them. 
British film also allows people in our society to understand how others live and exist in their environment.  They may find having a film set nearby is more effective or interesting.  American and other cultures may find that a British film puts variation in the films you watch.  Whether that would be a different type of person or a different setting. 

In my opinion, the British film industry is very influential in the world arena.  It has a wealth of creative and forward thinking people.  We may not have the finance like the United States to put on an epic film, but we have the ability and skill to produce high quality movies.

Friday, 24 January 2014

Soundtrack Inspiration

The Decent has a soundtrack that suits Horror/Thriller films, is an orchestral song that slowly builds up.The soundtrack to The Decent matches the film and the events that happen thorough the film. The song at the beginning sounds very similar to the sort of soundtracks used in a war film, it does this to make the audience feel sad and to make them empathize with the characters. The sound track becomes more powerful and louder, this is to show the moment of disruption and the disequilibrium and when the real enemy is revealed. The end of the song allows the audience feel relieved and free, this is also combined with some more ominous noises to make you feel doubt at the same time. The soundtrack is perfect when making the audience feel certain emotions to suit the scene that is being viewed.

Far Cry 3 Soundtrack - 02. Heat is a song that suits a resolution scene perfectly as it builds up slowly and has an extended period where the story is allowed to progress with the music in the background. It also changes after the most powerful, and becomes more percussion based, this is useful as it can be played in a wide range of scenes. The song makes the audience feel like that this event is important and that there is conflict. It may also make you feel that there is progression in the story or that the main quest is complete.

Monday, 20 January 2014

TV Drama analysis

Joe Howse
TV Drama representations.

Dexter is a TV drama that centres on a serial killer that is also a forensic scientist. In this scene he arrives at a crime scene where he finds a body that has been drained of all its blood. One of the shots used is a point-of-view shot looking up at him from the body, a possible reason for this shot is that it represents the helplessness of the victim and the power that Dexter has when compared to her. He is also shown in the centre of the shot highlighting his importance in the storyline. In addition to this we can see that he stares at the body without looking away when speaking to the other men, something that the other characters are able to do. This abnormal behaviour suggests that he is captivated by the murder.

In this scene the sergeant confronts Dexter in an aggressive manner, to which Dexter replies in a more casual and relaxed way, this suggests to the viewers that the sergeant’s negative attitude is not retaliated and that he has no reason to dislike Dexter. Jokes are also made by Dexter but he still retaliates seriously continuing to give orders. This scene is dedicated towards letting the audience know about the sergeant’s suspicions towards him. 

Gravity- opinions

I had mixed feelings before watching gravity, hearing about other people loving it or hating it. Personally it didn't strike me as a particularly interesting film as it was based around space. I was also dissapointed when I had realised that it was in 3D because most previous films I had seen in 3D concentrated on it and lacked in all the other aspects of the film, I also felt that it was not properly utilised. After watching Gravity I found it was the complete opposite of all these criticisms.

The first and most important aspect of the film is that it is incredibly easy to empathise with the characters and understand how they feel in the situation that they are in. The film uses isolation in many different ways, for example the fact that she has no contact with Earth or that she lost sight of her crew. It also shows this by having silence throughout the film,as there is no sound in space. The audience really gets to know what it is like to be in that position.

I was pleased to see that the 3D effects were used appropriately and allowed the viewers to immerse themselves in the film. The special effects were realistic and believable, this helps the veiwers to see the danger of the debris.

On what seemed to be a very limated setting, the film manages to make every scene unique.