Thursday, 28 January 2010

  • EDITING: As in most other film productions, short films use editing in conjunction with the genre and the theme of the sequence to create and maintain a suitable pace and rhythm to the film while also adding purpose to it. In the short films we have studied the most popular form of editing used is continuity editing whereby the work of the editor appears invisible to the audience as the sequence is pieced together through the use of cuts rather than obvious transitions and wipe effects. An example of the use of continuity editing is in the short film 'Double Take', where the editor uses cross cutting to link the different scenes together along with the flashbacks giving the story a more effective, rounded feel to it. This form of editing is also used to dictate the pacing of the film, which is shown by how these quick cuts successfully keep up the tempo of the scenes while adding to the suspense and tension. However in the short film Veronique, there is the use of more obvious styles of editing such as slow motion and effects by which character images are seen fading across backgrounds. This style of editing is just as effective as the continuity editing due to the more relaxed, romantic nature of the sequence.
  • SOUND: Dialogue is a big part in short films. While many neglect to use actual speech others use narration and voice-overs to good effect. 'For the love of...'is a key example of the way voice-overs can be successfully utilised to both tell a story and to draw empathy from an audience. Dialogue between characters, meanwhile, is equally common amongst short films. Furthermore 'Gravity', shows us that the dialogue in short films can give the audience indications on the regional identity and social class backgrounds of characters, which is key in short films because unlike short films they haven't got the time to describe each character individually. Non-diegetic scores are also commonplace across short films, as they can be used to generate different effects and reactions amongst the audience. In 'Veronique', a low key, typically French score is almost constant throughout short film and gives the sequence a romantic feel to it. In contrast to this, the fast-paced dramatic score used in 'Double-Take', gives the sequence a completely different feel to it and complements the tense, upbeat nature of the short film. Furthermore many short films neglect non-diegetic scores altogether in preference of using simply diegetic sounds. This is a technique used in 'Gravity', where the lack of score adds to the gritty realistic feel which the film attempts to emulate.
  • CINEMATOGRAPHY & MISE-EN-SCENE: Cinematography also plays a significant role in the production of short films. Camera angles and camera movements are manipulated and used in similar ways to that of movie productions and drama series' in that they are used to generate specific effects i.e. the use of extreme close-ups to show emotion in a characters face. In a lot of short films, particularly social realist short films, dull colours are used along with low key lighting and kinetic camera work in order to make the sequence appear more gritty and realistic which is complemented through the lack of non-diegetic score. However the technique also works well with more romantic pieces such as 'Veronique', where dull colours and kinetic camera work is used amid high key lighting and close ups of characters to make it obvious to the audience that the film is based around a romantic encounter. In terms of mise-en-scene, actor performance has significant effects on the outcome of a short film. In 'Gravity', the improvised dialogue gives the film a more realistic edge to it. Key props ,such as the bag in 'Double-Take', do well to draw the audience in the same way expensive productions do.

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