360MC CW1 Critical Analysis

For this critical analysis I will be exploring my second artefact which was based on the topic fear. Feed Me is a short film based on the quote “don’t feed your fears’ The Idea behind this film is about fears coming to life and wielding power over you. I was interested in why we let our fears consume us and how fears affect us, physically and emotionally. The intended message of this short film was to show how people waste their energy by feeding these fears. The short film is almost like a metaphor to show the process of actually giving power to our fears by literally feeding them. I am questioning whether we have become a society that has embraced the fears and given power to them, to consume us.

The rise of catchphrases such as the ‘politics of fear’, ‘fear of crime’ and ‘fear of the future’ is testimony to the cultural significance of fear today. (Furedi 2000). Feed Me is aimed at anyone who has been/is affected by their fears. I wanted the audience to question why they are scared of things and WHY it affects up so much up until the point where it stops us from doing things.

As I mentioned before the biggest influence for the creation of this short film was the quote ‘don’t feed your fears’. I thought this would be a good quote to base my film around. Your fears only have power over you because you let them. Even though it says DON’T feed your fears I decided to turn this on its head and make the character in the short film feed his fears. I wanted to highlight that many of us do actually let our fears consume us. There are many ways you can actually feed your fears. According to the website ‘The Bold Life’ (2012) there are six ways in which you can feed your fears. Those being:

  • You terrorize yourself with stories of fear.
  • You expect the worst case scenario.
  • You visualize the worst case scenario.
  • You believe that you won’t survive your fear.
  • You repeat a fearful story to others.
  • Replay old memories of past failures.

This helped me gain insight in some of the ways that we feed our fears, which is something that I was interested to find out in the beginning of this project. The audience can assume that the character is doing one of these things in the beginning of Feed Me, as it is an ambiguous beginning, it’s up the audience to figure out what is going on. There are many contributions that are linked to inflicting fear on us which will be discussed later in this report.

I had a lot of inspiration for this short film one of them being twist endings. ‘A twist focuses on an aspect of the story (a character’s identity, motive, perception, location, an achievement or a moment left to chance). The twist will then turn that aspect on its head and reveal some kind of opposite of the most dramatic, comedic, ironic or horrific kind.’ (Worley 2014) Worley discussed the five types of twist ending, one of them being reversal of motive which is essentially the character doing the oppositeScreen Shot 2016-11-30 at 15.08.28.png of what was previously assumed. This influenced my idea to do something which the audience do not expect. It’s could be said that my short film falls into the reversal of motive twist as the character intentions confuse the audience. The audience question what he is doing when he takes the food outside, they are clueless to what his intentions are. When it actually comes to him feeding his fears the audience will assume that he is feeding a monster or something physical, what they don’t know is that he Is feeding the fears in his head, only until the end where it is revealed.

When I approached this artefact I knew I wanted to make something that was on a deeper level rather than making a conventional horror film, therefore I watched many short films based on the idea of fear. I found that these were all horror based as there is a strong connection to fear in horror films. I wanted to find something that was different. I came across a short film called ‘Fears’ Nata Metlukh (2016). It was creative and clever, in the way that she chose to represent fear. I thought that the animation worked extremely well. It challenged the notion of fear being a negative thing as the main character embraces his fear at the end. After watching this I knew I wanted to create a short film based on fear.

Even though I did not want to follow in the footsteps of a horror film, I did think some of their stylistic elements would work well in my short film. I looked at the idea of suspense and examples of this. One film I looked at was The Eye (Pang Brothers, 2002) There is a particular scene that stood out to me. The scene embedded suspense through the way it was filmed. For example, the main character hiding behind the walls, close ups on certain parts of her face.

picture1                   picture1-jpgfbgjgng

I found this scene to be suspenseful therefore I took inspiration from it. For example, Feed Me starts off really slow, the shots are long and everything seems normal. I have emphasised the suspension with the sound of the clock ticking in the background. This gives a sense of a countdown, like he is waiting for something. The first two shots are close ups, one is of the character’s eyes moving side to side and the second one is the character fidgeting with his hands, It’s clear to the spectator that he is uncomfortable about something but no one knows what. I have used the diegetic/non diegetic sounds such sounds of the wind blowing, the clock and the ‘fears’ voices to emphasise the eeriness of the whole film.

Screen Shot 2016-11-30 at 15.12.05.png            Screen Shot 2016-11-30 at 15.12.58.png

In terms of stylistic and technical developments I tried to use the camera in a creative way. For this particular project I wanted to be more versatile with the camera. For this I placed the camera in the fridge and the cupboard. Originally I was going to film an over the shoulder shot of the main character taking the fooScreen Shot 2016-11-30 at 15.06.37.pngd out of the fridge but I thought this was too boring and conventional. I think using the camera in a different way gave more or a cinematic/unique feel to the entire film. Cinematography is not one of my strong points therefore I seeked help by watching YouTube videos on different angles and movements that looked interesting. This is where I got my idea from, researching this helped me greatly in terms of thinking about my FMP.

In order to improve my skillset, I booked out the track from university. I have never used It before and thought that these artefacts would be a good opportunity to test out equipment before I make my FMP. The day of filming it got dark fast therefore I had to think of alternatives. Luckily I had a LED light on hand, despite using this it still did not look the way I wanted it to look. However, I did gain valuable knowledge on how to set up and track and how to use it.

To develop the story, I carried out primary and secondary research. In terms of primary research, I carried out an interview with six people of different ages, genders and ethnicities and asked them 5 questions. From the interviews I carried out I found that a lot of people struggled when I asked them how they define fear. I also found that the older the person was the deeper they got in terms of their answers, in comparison to people who were younger who talked more about physical fears such as spiders. Many people felt uncomfortable talking about their fears. This research helped me develop my idea further in terms of going somewhere secret where no one else can see you to feed you fears which is what the character does in Feed Me.

In terms of my secondary research I looked into the concept of what is fear, in addition I looked at the science of fear and how it can affect you in different ways. I was also curious to find out if there were any fears that we all share. I found that “Fear is a chain reaction in the brain that starts with a stressful stimulus and ends with the release of chemicals that cause a racing heart, fast breathing and energized muscles, among other things” (Layton, 2005) This helped me in terms of preparing the shot list and the actions of the character.

One aspect that I was extremely interested in was what causes fear? I found that the media play a big role in contributing to fear. We are constantly bombarded with news reports/articles about murders, rapists and war. While researching into this concept I found the documentary Bowling for Columbine (Michael Moore, 2002). This documentary explores the Columbine shooting and what influenced the two kids to carry out a massacre. The film highlights that these two kids were influenced by the media. Marilyn Manson’s music was accused for the actions of these kids, Marilyn states that he is just an “easy target’. What I gathered from this research is that It is so easy to feed your fears, because your fears are ubiquitous. We are surrounded by scary things; we consume through fear. Fear is embedded into the audience brain.

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Bowling for Columbine (Moore, 2002)

My short film has conventions of suspense thriller; this genre is dominated by Alfred Hitchcock. Derry describes a suspense thriller ‘as a crime work which presents a generally murderous antagonism in which the protagonist becomes either an innocent victim or a nonprofessional criminal within a structure that is significantly unmediated by a traditional figure of detection’ (Derry 1989) This is applies to feed me as the protagonist become a victim by the antagonist which is his fears.

I have been experimenting with using no dialogue so for this short film I decided against having dialogue. The reason that I chose to have no dialogue in the film was because I thought it was unnecessary, I wanted to tell a story that is predominantly visual with little reliance of dialogue. I also chose to add no music in the background as I felt that having music would distract the audience from what is happening. In my opinion the atmosphere sounds such as the clock, opening the doors and the footsteps made the film even more eerie and powerful. Feed Me is purely about the aesthetics of the film and how that makes the audience feel.

This film is different to anything I have ever done, similar to my other artefact. I feel as though I have become more confident with working by myself and developed in terms of trying out different forms of media, such as the soundscape for artefact one and the flash fiction for artefact three. I learnt a lot by exploring how people think and their innermost thoughts about fears and imagination. This is something I plan to incorporate further in my work as I am passionate about documentary and the how the human mind works.

WORD COUNT – 1883

BIBLIOGRAPHY

Derry, C. (1989) The suspense thriller: Films in the shadow of Alfred Hitchcock. New York, NY, United States: McFarland & Co.

Furedi, F. (2000) The only thing we have to fear is the ‘culture of fear’ itself [online] available from <http://www.spiked-online.com/newsite/article/3053#.WD635RCLSb8&gt; [30 October 2016]

Kanal von TheAndNicole (2012) ‘The scariest scene ever – the eye – Horrormovie’. in YouTube [online] YouTube. available from <https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mb6pLDpbGw8&gt; [1 November 2016]

Kaur, A. (2016) in Artefact 2 – feed me (short film) [online] Kaur, A. Vimeo. available from <https://vimeo.com/191480332&gt;

Moore, M. (2002) Bowling for Columbine [online] available from <http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0310793/&gt; [2 November 2016]

Tess (2012) ‘Please don’t feed your fears’ [online] available from <http://theboldlife.com/2012/06/6893/&gt; [30 October 2016]

The Eye (2002) available from <http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0325655/&gt; [1 November 2016]

Worley, A. (2014) THE FIVE TYPES OF TWIST ENDING [online] available from <http://alecworley.weebly.com/blog/the-five-types-of-twist-ending&gt; [29 October2016]

R&D – Artefact 3 – Imagination

This task required me to make an artefact based on the idea of Imagination. Imagination is ‘The ability to form mental images of things that are not present to the senses or not considered to be real (Farlex 2003) For this artefact I decided to write a flash fiction on what I imagine my happy place to look like. I researched into the idea of what a happy place actually is.

SECONDARY RESEARCH

I found that Your Happy Place refers to a state of mind, a tranquil place you can visualize that calms you down and allows you to restore balance. It is a mental vacation spot. It allows you to go there as needed, to be alone, with spirit, or those you may see as here to help you through the rough times we all face. (Anon. 2006)

Imagination makes it possible to experience a whole world inside of our minds, it has the ability to manifest anything we want in our minds. In your imagination, you can travel anywhere in the speed of light, without any obstacles. It can make you feel free, though temporarily, and only in the mind, from tasks, difficulties and unpleasant circumstances.

Late professor of psychology Christopher Peterson wrote a book explaining that when we are acutely aware of the moments in our life that give us pleasure, we can extend these experiences to maximize the amount of pleasure we get from them. He describes happy places as easily accessible, neutral, and without penalty, always contributing to the meaning of our lives. These places outside of work and home are described by Ray Oldernburg as “third places.” (Heisz 2015)

It could be said that a happy place is an escape and a distraction from reality. The main reasons why people have these happy places is because they want to be somewhere else, the want to feel calm in a high tension situation. A happy place could be a physical place like a park or it could be an imaginary place that you visualize in your head.

I came across the website Poem Hunter which feature poems from members on the website. There were many poems about happy places however one stood out to me. ‘This is a happy place’ by Anne Joan can be found below

The Sun hits the water making it sparkle like gems
Blue sky above as the sun peaks through the sky
The gentle sounds of the waves washing up on the shore
This is a happy place

I feel calm and at ease
Feeling the warm gentle breeze
The open wings of seagulls gliding by
Kites soaring high in the sky
This is a happy place

People together with their families laughing, playing and having fun
Picnic on towels
Shovels in the sand
Digging, building, castles falling down
This is a happy place

Splashing, wading, jumping over waves
Boogie boarding, wake boarding, riding waves
Standing up, falling down
This is a happy place

Children smiling having a blast
Wanting these wonderful moments to last
Excitement and joy in everything they do
This is a happy place

As night time appears and the dark sky arrives people walk hand and hand shopping as they walk by
Riding rides, bright lights and music are things to be heard and seen
Funnel cake, french fries and cotton candy are just some of the yummy treats you can eat
This is a happy place

Sleepy eyes, tired feet the night is coming to an end
Jammies on and snuggled in bed, covered up with a book to be read
Ready for a good nights rest
Goodnight, sleep tight for when you wake up you’ll be all refreshed
For it is time to do it all again
This is a happy place

(Jones and PoemHunter 2011)
This poem is great in a sense that I can visualize everything that is written. I assume it is about Anne’s happy place and I thought that writing a poem was a good, creative way of getting across a happy place. This inspired me to write a flash fiction on my happy place.

 

PRIMARY RESEARCH

There are TONS of happy places and each person is different. For my primary research I decided to construct an experiment. I told each person to close their eyes and try to visualize their happy place. What I found doing this experiment was that many people did not have a happy place or that they have never thought of their happy place. I did this experiment to find out how each person is different and how their mind works. I also wanted to explore how age and gender affects this.

Your imagination can depend on your age and gender. Throughout my research I found that the older the person the more logical their happy places were. For example when I asked my mum and dad what their happy places were. My mum described having her own house and having a good well paid job. My dad’s response was that in his happy place he is a millionaire with businesses all around the world.

In terms of gender, when I asked some of my fellow classmates to describe their happy place I found that the males of the group were uncomfortable in doing this experiment. One described it as personal and another said he thinks about it but he doesn’t want to say it out loud. Before constructing this experiment, I did realize that It was personal however I wanted to get a deeper meaning into this artefact therefore I went ahead with it. I found that the females were not as uncomfortable as the guys in the group. While watching these people talk about a happy place I realized that all the people lowered their voice which signified they were vulnerable and uncomfortable.

Knowing all the people I asked, I could tell that their personalities shined through their happy places. For example, Ethan love the idea of being successful, so for him driving a Lamborghini and taking over the world represents success to him which is how he sees his happy place.

In addition to this experiment, I used ‘Survey Monkey’ to construct a questionnaire about happy places as I was curious to find out what people thought. I sent it out on social media and got a range of different answers. I have picked out a few that I thought were interesting, and would help me in my research of happy places

IN YOUR OWN WORDS WHAT DO YOU THINK A HAPPY PLACE IS?

  • A safe place. Safe for expression, ideas, and community. Creates positive feelings due to various things, including environment, people, and context.
  • Somewhere you feel ‘you’
  • A place where you can be yourself and have a good laugh without worrying about anything or stressing.
  • A place of personal peace
  • A place, idea, land etc. you visit in your head when you need an escape from reality.

DO YOU HAVE A HAPPY PLACE?

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IF YES, IS YOUR HAPPY PLACE PHYSICAL OR IMAGINARY? 

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IF NO, WHY DO YOU THINK YOU DO NOT HAVE/NEED A HAPPY PLACE?

  • I don’t know never thought about it
  • Never thought about having one

HOW IMPORTANT DO YOU THINK IT IS TO HAVE A HAPPY PLACE?

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HOW OFTEN DO YOU VISIT YOUR HAPPY PLACE?

  • I try to do it whenever I am stressed
  • Varies depending on circumstances
  • When I can’t sleep
  • Not as often as I perhaps should
  • Often, I think my happy place is both physical and imaginary. Sometimes it can vary, I’m most happy when I’m with my family but also with close friends who I am comfortable around. I think when I say happy, I mean that I am content and not having to worry about people judge me in that moment of time. But then with the imaginary side it’s incredible because you can just go to this place whenever you want to. Even though you know it’s not real, it’s actually real for you and I guess that’s all that really matters.

ARTEFACT 3

For this artefact I wanted to do something different. I wanted to challenge myself further. I found that I was having difficulties coming up with ideas for this particular artefact. I came across something that I wrote when I was in primary school. It was called my dream land, which was basically my happy place then. Since then my happy place has changed drastically which made me think of how your happy place depends on your age. I found that it also reflect the kind of person you are. When I found that piece of writing it inspired the idea of writing a flash fiction along with the poem. For this I took my own experiment, I closed my eyes and visualized my happy place. I wrote down what I saw and created a story from it.

MY FLASH FICTION

LINK TO FLASH FICTION HERE

A single ray of sunlight fell in the middle of the room. The warmth on my skin made me sigh. I get up, stretch and walk into the living room where I am welcomed by the smell of freshly baked cookies. I pick one up and pop it in my mouth, it’s still warm and soft. I kiss my mum on the cheek and walk outside.

There it was, the view that was always there but never got old. I inhale the fresh air and take in the scenery…I walk down the stairs onto the golden sand. It feels so soft in between my toes. I dig them deeper so my feet are buried in the sand. The sound of the waves and the birds chirping relaxes me. I hear the sound of music coming from the beach house. Ed Sheeran, my favourite artist is playing. As I walk toward the sea, the music begins to fade until I can’t hear it anymore. I’m a great distance from the beach house now, the wind blows against me gently. I open my arms outwards and take the fresh air into my lungs. This is something I’ve been doing since I was little. My mum always told me I used to just run outside, sit on the sand and watch the waves for hours. The colours have changed now since then. Everything then seemed grey, dull. Now everything was vibrant. The waves are a brilliant shade of blue and the sky is beautiful as the redness fades into countless shades of blue, purple, pink and orange. The calm wind blows and sends a shiver down my spine.

I’m quiet now, I dare not disturb such peace. Could anything be more perfect? I think to myself. The sky stretches out before me, the sun goes down. Its pitch dark now but the sky is studded with bright shining stars.

It’s getting colder now so I decide to go inside, where I am comforted by the warmth. The whole house is lit. The ambience of the house gives a cozy feel to it. I walk into my room and light a candle. I go to my bed, just as I’m about to get into bed, I hear people shouting outside, there is a knock on my door. It’s my mum “PACK YOUR STUFF! WE NEED TO LEAVE NOW!”

As it is a flash fiction I thought I would add a story element to my happy place which is why I added in the last part, I think this worked as for me it represents coming back to reality after you have experienced your happy place.

ARTEFACT REFLECTION

Overall I enjoyed making the artefact it gave me creative control to write whatever I wanted. This artefact was personal to me as it features pictures that I have taken and words that mean something to me. I think that combining the voiceover with pictures and the transparent text scrolling on the top made it look interesting. Creative writing is not one of my strong points however I enjoy doing it and wish to carry on writing as I thoroughly enjoyed writing about my happy place.

BIBLIOGRAPHY

Anon. (2006) Go to your happy place [online] available from <http://www.crystalinks.com/yourhappyplace.html&gt; [6 November 2016]

Farlex (2003) TheFreeDictionary.com

Heisz, D. K. (2015) Turns out ‘happy places’ are A real thing: Here’s how to find yours [online] available from <http://www.mindbodygreen.com/0-21630/turns-out-happy-places-are-a-real-thing-heres-how-to-find-yours.html&gt; [6 November 2016]

Jones, A. and PoemHunter (2011) This is A happy place poem by Anne Jones [online] available from <http://www.poemhunter.com/poem/this-is-a-happy-place/&gt; [7 November 2016]

R&D – Artefact 2 – Fear

This task required me to make an artefact based on the idea of Fear. I looked at a bunch of short films about fear, however what I found was that they were all in the horror genre. Edwards (1984) suggested that a clear separation between horror and fear lies in the distinction between external threat and the idea of threat but to this she added that terror is associated with extreme fear whereas horror couples extreme fear with disgust. (Neale 1999) I wanted to look into something deeper that breaks away from the horror convention. One short film stood out to me in particular.

Fears from Nata Metlukh on Vimeo.

(Metlukh 2016)

This film directed and animated by Nata Metlukh (2016) from Vancouver film school, was creative and clever in the way that she chose to represent fear. I thought that animation worked extremely well. This film challenged the notion of fear being a negative thing as the main character embraces his fear at the end. After watching this I knew I wanted to create a short film based on fear.

SECONDARY RESEARCH

According to the website How stuff works “Fear is a chain reaction in the brain that starts with a stressful stimulus and ends with the release of chemicals that cause a racing heart, fast breathing and energized muscles, among other things.” (Layton 2005). A lot of different people have different fears weather that is being afraid of the dark, or the fear of failure. As there are so many fears and each person is different I looked at 5 fears that we collectively share.

These are the (ONLY) 5 fears we share according to Psychology Today (Albrecht 1991).

  1. Extinction—the fear of annihilation, of ceasing to exist. This is a more fundamental way to express it than just calling it “fear of death.” The idea of no longer being arouses a primary existential anxiety in all normal humans.
  2. Mutilation—the fear of losing any part of our precious bodily structure; the thought of having our body’s boundaries invaded, or of losing the integrity of any organ, body part, or natural function.
  3. Loss of Autonomy—the fear of being immobilized, paralyzed, restricted, enveloped, overwhelmed, entrapped, imprisoned, smothered, or otherwise controlled by circumstances beyond our control.
  4. Separation—the fear of abandonment, rejection, and loss of connectedness; of becoming a non-person—not wanted, respected, or valued by anyone else.
  5. Ego-death—the fear of humiliation, shame, or any other mechanism of profound self-disapproval that threatens the loss of integrity of the Self; the fear of the shattering or disintegration of one’s constructed sense of lovability, capability, and worthiness.

I thought this was an interesting list of fears which I found to be true during my primary research. During my primary research I found that many people feared dying which is at the top of the list. Many other people would give stereotypical answers, for example the fear of spiders or the fear of holes (Tryphophobia).

I was interested in the concept on why we let these fears consume us and how fears affect us. Fear is a very powerful emotion and a very strong motivating force. The more intense the fear becomes the more it affects a person’s behavior, mood and life. It could cause anxiety and depression. We go through life trying to avoid all these fears that we have. However sometimes they take over. While trying to find inspiration for my fear project, I came across this quote ‘please don’t feed your fears’. I thought this would be a good quote to base my film around. I have always seen quotes about people making you feel inferior only if you let them, this is similar to the fear concept. Your fears only have power over you because you let them.

‘The Bold Life’ (2012) suggests there are six ways in which you can feed your fears. Those being:

  • You terrorize yourself with stories of fear.
  • You expect the worst case scenario.
  • You visualize the worst case scenario.
  • You believe that you won’t survive your fear.
  • You repeat a fearful story to others.
  • Replay old memories of past failures.
(Tess 2012)

During my research on what causes fear, I found that the media play a big part in contributing to fear. I came across the documentary ‘Bowling for Columbine’ (Michael Moore, 2002), which explores the columbine shooting and what influence two kids to carry out a massacre. The film touches upon the idea that the media had something to do with the massacre. They blamed Marilyn Manson’s music. Manson said an interesting thing about fear and consumption.

(Moore 2002)

We are surrounded by fear, we consume fear. Fear is embedded into the audience brain as the media consists of showing us mediated images and videos on crimes, wars and unpleasantness.

SUSPENSE THRILLER GENRE

In addition to this research I also looked at the genre suspense thriller, in order to understand it better. I found that this genre is dominated by Alfred Hitchcock. He is the father of the suspense thriller. Derry describes a suspense thriller ‘as a crime work which presents a generally murderous antagonism in which the protagonist becomes either an innocent victim or a nonprofessional criminal within a structure that is significantly unmediated by a traditional figure of detection’ (Derry 1989). I also researched into the idea of ‘suspense’ and found that Alfred Hitchcock has his own way of showing suspense.

(Eyes On Cinema 2015)

One of the conventions of a suspense thriller is ending with a twist. ‘A twist focuses on an aspect of the story (a character’s identity, motive, perception, location, an achievement or a moment left to chance). The twist will then turn that aspect on its head and reveal some kind of opposite of the most dramatic, comedic, ironic or horrific kind.’ (Worley 2014)

Worley discussed the five types of twist endings.

1.) Reversal of Identity
Someone turns out to be someone else. (a parent, sibling, son, daughter, a murderer, a mistress) or something else (a ghost, a shapeshifting monster). The twist-character is revealed to be either related to another character (e.g. lover becomes mother – be mindful, though, that this ‘I am your father/long-lost brother’ stuff can be a bit of a soap opera cliché) or is revealed to have been their own physical opposite all along (e.g. a man is revealed to be a woman).
2.) Reversal of Motive
A Reversal of Motive occurs when a character’s apparent line of action is finally revealed to be, in fact, a cunning deception; their motivation is the opposite of what was previously assumed. Although similar to a Reversal of Identity, a Reversal of Motive differs in its focus on a psychological rather than physical deception.
3.) Reversal of Perception
Reversals of Perception are often achieved by the writer pulling back to get the whole picture. The inner workings of the world and its schemes are thus revealed and the enlightened character understands to either their dismay or delight (though usually to their dismay) just how and where they rank in the new order of things.
 
4.) Reversal of Fortune
In a Reversal of Fortune, the twist is located within the events of the plot itself rather than embodied by a person or place or dramatized by a motive. Instead of resolving a character’s objective in the third act, a Reversal of Fortune typically returns the character to the unhappy state of flux in which they set out in act one. The twist is the kicker that either prevents the hero from achieving their objective or else gives them an unexpected helping hand.
 5.) Reversal of Fulfilment

What one character achieves another character takes away at the very last minute! One character will finally get what they’ve been after throughout the story, only to have it snatched away by an opposing character (often their opposite – husband/wife, father/son, poor/rich). Unlike a Reversal of Fortune, in which Fate steps in to either impede or aid a character in achieving their objective, a Reversal of Fulfilment occurs as a result of BOTH characters fulfilling their opposite objectives relatively unhindered.

This research helped me understand the genre in depth and also helped me develop my idea further.

One film I looked at was The Eye (Pang Brothers, 2002) Even though this is of the horror genre I wanted to look at how this genre looks at suspense.  There is a particular scene that stood out to me. The scene embedded suspense through the way it was filmed. For example, the main character hiding behind the walls, close ups on certain parts of her face. These all signify that something is going to happen, the audience are oblivious to it and the horror genre has set it up to scare the audience.

PRIMARY RESEARCH 

For my primary research I interviewed some people and asked them the following questions.

  • How do you define fear?
  • What are some of your fears?
  • Do you think the fears that someone has depends on their age and gender?
  • Is there any fears that you think we all share?
  • Has your fear ever affected your life in a big way? If so how?

Here are the results below…

From the interviews I carried out I found that a lot of people struggled when I asked them how they define fear. While talking about fears each person focused on 1 particular fear. For example, the fear of failure and being scared of the dark. I found this really interesting. Another interesting thing I found was that the older the person was, the deeper they got in terms of their answers. In comparison to people who were younger who talked more about physical fears such as spiders. Many people feel uncomfortable while talking about their fears and it showed throughout these interviews.

ARTEFACT 2

The first idea I came up with was an experimental short which consisted of 1 shot and voiceovers. It was going to be a track shot from light to darkness to highlight that your fears bring darkness into your life. For the voiceovers I asked two questions to a couple of people.

  1. How do you define fear?
  2. What do you fear?

I was going to use the answers to these questions and put it on top of the track footage, however in my opinion I didn’t think this worked as I feel that the footage was too short. I didn’t think it matched with the voices as the voices sounded too ‘normal’ whereas the footage had a eerie aspect to it. I decided to scrap this idea, however I still filmed the tracking shot. It did not come out the way I wanted it to as it went dark really quickly and I needed it to be light. I slowed down the speed of this shot as it was too short, however I thought slowing it down made it look better as it gives more of an eerie feel to it.  I used a LED light and a track to achieve this look.

Artefact 2 Test Shoot from Anita Kaur on Vimeo.

REFLECTION ON THE TEST SHOOT

In conclusion looking at the test shot I realized that I need to focus on my technical work as this is something that I have always struggled with. For example, the lighting in the test shoot, it is very blue due to the fact that I wanted it to look like it was filmed in the day time even though it was filmed in the evening. I tried to colour correct this but It just made it look faded and not authentic. I need to learn how to colour correct properly which would help me greatly in achieving the look that I visualize. In terms of the camera I wanted to get more creative with it therefore I watched many tutorials and different videos on cinematic techniques. Here is an example of one of the videos I watched.

2ND IDEA – MY FINAL ARTEFACT

The second idea I came up with for this fear artefact was based around the quote “Don’t feed your fears” It would consist of one character who is holding a plate of food and throwing the food into the darkness (Which represents all their fears) They then walk away looking defeated having fed her fears which are taking over her life. This would be filmed in the alleyway where the track footage was shot. This film will make a statement about the world and how we let our fears impact our lives. We give our fears the power to make us feel scared. I implied this through making the fears ‘come to life’ I made them a physical thing by adding in sound effects. This is my final fear artefact.

LINK TO SHORT FILM HERE

ARTEFACT REFLECTION

Overall I enjoyed making this artefact. My 1st artefact was a soundscape and I think that it worked well however it was an ‘easy’ option. I am not very skilled with the technical aspects of fiction films however I did want to challenge myself, which is why I worked alone for this particular project. Like I mentioned before I wanted to stay away for the horror convention however I did take something from the genre. In this particular artefact I tried to build up suspense, so for example the film started out slow and the audience have no idea what’s going on towards the end it all become clear. It was a really experimental concept but I chose to film it this way as I thought keeping it simple is the best way to convey the message. In terms of this artefact the footage came out better than I expected.

There was a lot of problems in terms of lighting. I did not book out extra lights which hindered my chance to make the film look cinematic. The interior scenes were very orange and the exterior scenes were very blue despite changing the kelvin scale on my camera. This was a problem for me as I am not great at colour correcting my footage. I did try to make the colours seem more natural. I think the sounds worked well in terms of creating the tension and I thought the footage conveyed the message that I was going for.

The feedback I got for this artefact was that it was too dark. I agreed with this statement, however when I tried to brighten it just looked faded and dull. I did try to colour correct it though, Which I thought I did well on despite not knowing fully how to colour correct footage.

Here are some before and after shots.

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BIBLIOGRAPHY

Albrecht, K. (1991) The (only) 5 fears we all share[online] available from <https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/brainsnacks/201203/the-only-5-fears-we-all-share&gt; [1 November 2016]

Derry, C. (1989) The suspense thriller: Films in the shadow of Alfred Hitchcock. New York, NY, United States: McFarland & Co.

Kanal von TheAndNicole (2012) ‘The scariest scene ever – the eye – Horrormovie’. in YouTube[online] YouTube. available from <https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mb6pLDpbGw8&gt; [1 November 2016]

Layton, J. (2005) How fear works[online] available from <http://science.howstuffworks.com/life/inside-the-mind/emotions/fear.htm&gt; [29 October 2016]

Eyes On Cinema (2015) ‘Alfred Hitchcock explains the element of suspense’. in YouTube[online] YouTube. available from <https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=md6folAgGRU&gt; [29 October 2016]

Metlukh, N. (2016) Fears. Vimeo. available from <https://vimeo.com/126060304&gt; [29 October 2016]

Moore, M. (2002) Bowling for Columbine[online] available from <http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0310793/&gt; [2 November 2016]

Neale, S. (1999) Genre and Hollywood. New York: Taylor & Francis

Tess (2012) ‘Please don’t feed your fears’ [online] available from <http://theboldlife.com/2012/06/6893/&gt; [30 October 2016]

Worley, A. (2014) THE FIVE TYPES OF TWIST ENDING[online] available from <http://alecworley.weebly.com/blog/the-five-types-of-twist-ending&gt; [29 October]

R&D – Artefact 1 – Food

This task required me to make an artefact based on the idea of food. In our lecture we looked at food in terms of symbolism. We looked at a number of different scenes in films such as ‘Mr Creosote’ from the film, The Meaning of Life and ‘A Different Kind of Dinner’ from the film the Phantom of Liberty.  Both of the scenes centre around the idea of food. Me and my two friends, Shahid Mahmood and Sharifah Mian decided to work as a group to pursue this project. We discussed a number of ideas and the forms we wanted to use. Our initial thought was to come up with a question so we can narrow down our research. Sharifah told us about her brother who is a audiologist. He stated that sound affects the way we taste our food. We thought this was an interesting concept and we decided to research this concept further. The question we came up with is DOES sound affect the way we taste food?

SECONDARY RESEARCH

According to a growing body of research, sound CAN affect the way food tastes. Charles Spence, a professor at Oxford University has been studying the relationship between sound and taste for years. He states that sound is the “forgotten sense” when it comes to how we perceive flavours. He highlights that “When people think about flavour, they might think about taste, they might think about smell, they might think about what [the food] looks like, they might think about the texture and the mouth-feel—but they never think about the sound” (Tu 2015). This is something I found to be true. Before researching this concept, I didn’t really think sound had an effect on the way I taste my food.

“The whole idea of taste and flavour is a construction of our mind and it is all kind of an illusion that we think we taste food and all with our mouth, when in fact most of the interesting stuff is happening in our nose,” says researcher Charles Spence. “There are certain smells that you will describe as sweet things like caramel and vanilla and maybe strawberry smells that do not actually have a taste. But I can use those sweet smells to almost trick your brain into tasting sweetness.”(International 2016).  

The first video we looked at was a video by BrainCraft, a YouTube channel that explores all things science.

(BrainCraft 2016)

It is said that if you listen to a song that is high pitched the food you are eating will most likely taste sweet and if you listen to a low pitched song while eating, the food will most likely taste bitter. It is also said the music in the background affects the way the food tastes. It was interesting to find that the loud background noises have an impact on the way you taste food also. Apparently loud background noises suppresses saltiness, sweetness and the overall enjoyment of the food, which is why so many people complain about airplane food. The high altitude of the airplane blocks the nasal passages, therefore access to aromas. (Fleming 2014)

When exposed to loud music in a restaurant, people often drink more. However, when people were asked what is the most irritating thing about dining out, Noise was highlighted as the second most common complaint after poor service. (Spence 2014) Many chefs see a loud restaurant as a successful thing. Ryan Poli of the Tavernita restaurant in Chicago states, “I think it’s totally wrong to think you can’t have a great restaurant that’s also pretty damn loud” (Ulla 2012). Many people are closed off to the idea that sound plays any part in the taste of your food. This is something we found when we did our primary research.

PRIMARY RESEARCH

In order to gain better knowledge about this particular topic we conducted some questions which gave us insight in what other people thought. We asked 54 people from a range of different ages, genders and ethnicities the following three questions:

1. Other than taste, what do you think is the most important sense when eating? (Feel, sound, sight, smell)

2. What do you think is the least important sense when eating? (Feel, sound, sight, smell, taste)

3. On a scale of 1-10, how much do you think the sound of your food affects the way you taste it? (1=not at all, 10=a lot)

The results proved our expectations about what we thought people would say

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From these results it is clear to see that majority of the people thought that smell was the most important sense when eating. As expected no one thought that sound was the most important sense. 

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These results highlight that majority of the people we asked thought that sound was the least important which supports Charles Spence’s statement that sound is the “forgotten sense”. 

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All these results come to the conclusion that majority of the people think that sound has no relationship to the way we taste food. Me and my group expected this result, however we wanted to see if it was true.

We carried out an experiment to test this theory. We got 4 people to carry out this experiment. We wanted to see how listening to music would affect the way one tastes food. We bought two packets of crisps of the same flavour. The participant would take one crisp out of one packet with their eyes closed, after eating it they would rate the crunchiness of the crisp from 1-5 (1= not crunchy at all). After this the participant would put headphones on and play some music. They would close their eyes and take a crisp from the second packet. they will then rate the crunchiness from 1-5.

This experiment didn’t work well as we only asked 4 people to take part. two of the participants said that the crisps were less crunchy and the other two said it was more crunchier when the music played. From these results we could not come to a conclusion. We didn’t keep the variables consistent for example using different music and different environment. We are planning to re-do this the experiment

During a interview with Sharifah’s brother, the audiologist explains that you cannot make someone artificially deaf which explains why the experiment did not work, We decided to take another approach.

 

The second try was more successful. In order to carry this out we got 10 plugs from the audiologist. We got 10 people to take part and sat them down at a table. Placed in front of them were two paper plates, both had crisps on. Each person took a crisp from plate one and ate it with their eyes closed, the room was quite. After eating it, they rated the crunchiness of the crisp from 1-5 (1 = not crunchy at all). After that we got them to take a crisp from the second plate, however this time they had to put in their ear plugs and close their eyes, we then asked them again to rate the crunchiness of the crisp from 1-5. Here are the results of this experiment

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Regarding these results this indicates that sound actually does affect the way we taste food.

SOURCE OF INSPIRATION

We took inspiration from the film ‘Eat Drink Man Woman’. The scene in this film that we took inspiration from is essentially a man preparing food, this is exactly what we did, but without the video. When we watched this in our lecture I was engaged in it and really felt a part of it, mainly because of the sound design. It really makes you feel as if you are there. This is something we came back to when we came to the idea of making a soundscape. Even though we did not have visuals to our soundscape, we wanted the audience to visualize being there and to guess what we were cooking through the sounds.

Eat Drink Man Woman Scene

(lazaman 2007)

Another thing we drew inspiration from was the YouTube channel Peaceful Cuisine. This is owned by Ryoya Takashima a youtuber who records himself cooking food. The sounds are very dominating in these videos. Many people in the comment section have referred to these videos as hypnotic and compared it to therapy as they found the sounds of him cutting onions and garlic relaxing. Here is an example of one of his videos.

(Peaceful Cuisine 2016)

ARTEFACT 1

As our question is about the sound of food, we thought it was appropriate to make out first artefact a soundscape. We debated a lot about the form of the artefact. At first we came up with the idea of a person who is hard of hearing, and how he is never satisfied with the food he eats, we also came up with an idea of someone eating the same food every day, but the sound of the food changes depending on where the person is eating the food. We didn’t know how we could relate these ideas to the question we came up with. Someone then suggested the idea of a soundscape which we all thought was a good idea.

When people are preparing a meal, they only take notice of the smell and the look however our soundscape bought attention to the sound of the food being prepared. For example, the sizzling of the onions, the opening of the jar, the drink being poured in the glass. Listening to the onions sizzling in the pot could make the audience imagine what was sizzling and the taste of the food, which would make them gain an appetite. My role for this project was the sound operator. I was responsible for recording all of the sounds that are heard in the soundscape.

OUR SOUNDSCAPE

LINK TO SOUNDSCAPE HERE

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ARTEFACT REFLECTION

I thought that making a soundscape for this particular topic worked well. There were no problems in terms of recording the sound apart from the ALARM GOING OFF! It worked well in terms of our idea about how the sound of the food affects the way you taste it. I think we surprised people with the concept as we thought that it was original.

The feedback we got from class was that it was clever creating a soundscape and it worked really well, some stated that they felt part of it, that they felt they were there watching it all happen. This was a great thing to hear as we wanted it to be engaging just like the Eat Drink Man Woman scene.  Our tutor told us that the fact that you couldn’t hear any people made it unnerving, he stated that it was like an industrial machine.

I think that creating this soundscape made me realize how important sound is. Sound engages the viewer; weather this is sound in a soundscape or sound in a fiction film. Sound is underrated in the filmmaking process. The sound/music has an effect on the spectator and makes them feel a certain way. It can make a scene seem more powerful. I realized that in my previous films I have given little or no thought to sound in comparison to visuals. This is something that I will pay more attention to in terms of my future projects and my FMP. I think having a small soundscape in a documentary film would be interesting and original. This is something that I will explore while making my FMP.

BIBLIOGRAPHY

BrainCraft (2016) ‘Can you taste with your ears?’. in YouTube [online] YouTube. available from <https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1nnkm9OyzvM&t=161s&gt; [10 October 2016]
Fleming, A. (2014) ‘How sound affects the taste of our food’. The Guardian [online] 12 March. available from <https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/wordofmouth/2014/mar/11/sound-affects-taste-food-sweet-bitter&gt; [16 October 2016]
International, P. R. (2016) How music can affect your sense of taste [online] available from <http://www.pri.org/stories/2016-02-06/how-music-can-affect-your-sense-taste&gt; [17 October 2016]
lazaman (2007) ‘Eat drink man woman opening scene’. in YouTube [online] YouTube. available from <https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zs5WiddD7i0&gt; [6 October 2016]
Peaceful Cuisine (2016) ‘[No Music] how to make pad Thai’. in YouTube [online] YouTube. available from <https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UyaYhxQQKXY&gt; [16 October 2016]
Spence, C. (2014) ‘Noise and its impact on the perception of food and drink’. Flavour
 Tu, C. (2015) Does sound affect the way we taste? [online] available from <http://www.sciencefriday.com/articles/does-sound-affect-the-way-we-taste/&gt; [17 October 2016]
Ulla, G. (2012) Chefs weigh in on LOUD and NOISY restaurants [online] available from <http://www.eater.com/2012/8/24/6551933/chefs-weigh-in-on-loud-and-noisy-restaurants&gt; [16 October 2016]