Casablanca is an excellent film that is always remembered and imagined with the look and score of an older film. However, I remember thinking to myself that the final scene needed more explosions. It’s time to change the public’s perception of this film into something most people would consider to be the polar opposite.
In order to convert “Gone Girl” into a Wes Anderson film we had to change a lot of the cinematic and theatrical elements of the film. We chose to do this by creating a storyboard of the scene where Amy returns home as we felt that it was one of the most powerful scenes in the film. In order for the scene to truly be recreated in Wes Anderson fashion we had to change the color palette. The palette used in “Gone Girl” is a Fincher’s palette which is a lot of blues and yellows in order to set the dreary mood of the film. Wes Anderson uses a pastel color palette and bold colors in most of his films. So we used reds, pinks, lighter blues and other colors that we felt fit with Wes Anderson’s style.
At the beginning of the scene we get a shot of Nick on the couch looking confused about the commotion occuring outside . Nick is in the first two thirds of frame and we get a side profile shot of him. One trademark in Wes Anderson films is his use of symmetry in his shots, so we decided to have Nick look directly at the camera and make him centered. This allowed us to have Nick be completely symmetrical in the frame. We also changed the couch color and background, as the couch was dull yellow. We wanted the couch to stand out so we changed the colors of the couch to red and blue. We also drew a window behind Nick in order to continue with the symmetry of the shot.
Wes Anderson uses an array of different shots in his films as well, with some of his favorites being medium and close up shots. He uses medium shots to establish the setting of his scenes and uses close ups to convey an emotion of a character. The part with the most emotion in the scene we chose, is when Amy gets out the car wearing a white dress covered in blood and pretends to cry. So we recreated that frame by doing a close up of Amy as she is staring at Nick. Wes Anderson also utilizes transition slides in Films that has Bold lettering. We created our own transition slide where we wrote AMY in bold font and colored it in red, we the slide to transition from a close up of Amy falling into Nick’s arms to a wide shot of Amy in Nick’s arms.
Overall converting a scene from “Gone Girl” to Wes Anderson’s style was not as difficult as we thought it would be. Since “Gone Girl” is a thriller with a complex storyline and Wes Anderson’s style is more catered to adventure/comedy films. We wanted to keep the general storyline of the film and change more of the cinematic features of “Gone Girl”. Wes Anderson usually sticks to the same trends when it comes to the plots of his films. Where everything ends well for the characters in the film unlike in “Gone Girl” as the movie ends on a bad note.
By Joseph and TK
For our project, we decided to recreate scenes from the movie “Moonlight” using the film and style techniques of director, Wes Anderson. Anderson is an indie movie director who’s most well known movies include “Isle of Dogs”, “The Grand Budapest Hotel”, “The Fantastic Mr. Fox” and “Moonrise Kingdom”. Throughout all of his movies, Anderson’s directing style stands out very vibrantly in tone and theatrics. Some recurring cinematographic elements of Anderson’s style include tracking shots, zoom, profile shots, symmetrical framing, overhead shots and whip pans. Some of Anderson’s theatrical elements include warm and cool color palettes, non-diegetic plinking harpsichord music, one or more childish adult characters, smoking, characters explaining elaborate plans, action, violence, stylish attire, foreigners, a vintage/ old timey aesthetic, shots of writing, and an assortment of recurring actors and actresses. We chose to incorporate Anderson’s style to “Moonlight” because we loved the concept of revamping a dark toned movie into something more vibrant and lighthearted. To accomplish this goal, we chose some scenes from “Moonlight” that we thought had potential to be reiterated through Anderson’s directing style. We then looked at Then we drew these scenes and placed them in a storyboard panel. We also were deliberate in our camera angles and essentially eliminate dimensions to give our scenes a very “flat look”.
These cinematography decisions echo Wes Anderson’s emphasis on aesthetic rather than the actual plot. Since Moonlight deals with a lot of important and heavy topics, changing the scenes to make it seem as if they are right out of a coloring book definitely in some ways dilutes the message. The overall design of his shots, including bright color palettes and fixed camera angles helps readers to disassociate from the societal context and instead pay close attention to the story unfolding between the main characters and everything that surrounds their situation. For instance, during the Grand Budapest, the audience was oftentimes too distracted by the bright colors and whimsical characters to remember a war being the backdrop. Even though the storyline was nothing spectacular or ground breaking, the attention to detail truly compensated for a somewhat lackluster plot. At the time of the creation of the Grand Budapest, Wes Anderson utilized the advent of the anamorphic lenses to capture wide scenes within a single camera frame.
With Moonlight, we decided to use Wes Anderson’s style of directing to take the audience’s attention away from the harsh backdrop that is Chyron’s neighborhood, school, and home life, and instead focus the attention on the better parts of Chyron’s coming of age story. Through color and framing, we used our storyboard to communicate just that. In each panel, we drew pictures that involved vibrant colors and our desired camera angles. We drew a lot of wide/ medium shots, zoom, and made the backdrops pop with warm and cool colors. In terms of positioning characters, such as Kevin, Juan, or Chyron, we drew them face to face to highlight whatever intimacy they may have. Through these changes, we hope to help audiences remember the better and pure parts of “Moonlight” rather than just the harsh backdrop of Chyron’s life.
Wes Anderson is one of the most recognisable directors out there. His symmetrical style, consistent storylines, choice of color and sound set him apart from other directors and genres to the point where he is his own movie. I decided to imagine what it would look like if Anderson were to direct The Breakfast Club, the beloved film from the 1980’s about high schoolers spending a saturday in detention. I created the following presentation as an potential storyboard for the trailer combining some of the most well known scenes in the film with his directorial flair.
First things first, what would be a Wes Anderson film without Futura font? Parodied by Honest Trailers on Youtube, they pointed out that in every film Anderson has made, he has used that specific font which is true! Therefore, I presented the first slide as the actual title cards of the film. They are in Futura font and yellow, a color predominantly used by Anderson for his title cards. The rest of the writing throughout storyboard is also in yellow Futura font as to be consistent.
The second slide pertains to the opening of the film and has been redone to fit Anderson’s style better. In the original, the quote is said over different cuts of an abandoned school. Since in that time the five principal characters are introduced, I decided to mimic Anderson’s fondness for introducing characters via close ups. Instead of using an abandoned school, I decided to use close ups of each character's face as their stereotype is said and linger for a few seconds. The titling of the slide also includes, “Light background.” which is in reference to Anderson’s color choice, usually settling upon light pastel colors.
The third slide is supposed to be from when all the kids have arrived to detention and they are given a speech by Assistant Principal Vernon, hence the quote. Instead of having the kids all sit in different places and rows, I have organized them together looking up at the whiteboard in boy girl boy girl boy order, to fit as close to symmetrically as possible since there are only five characters. The whiteboard is off slightly from being center but only because I could not move the table over without bumping into the wall. As stated before, Anderson is noted for his use of specific types of color and in my interpretation that has not gone unnoticed. Three of the characters as well as the wall they face are different shades of blue which for this film will be the primary color palette.
On the fourth slide is the only deviation from the original film. There has been a whiteboard added with the word, “Detention” in big bold underlined letters. The idea is here is for a classic Wes Anderson wide long shot. This is what the kids are looking at after all so the camera would hold focus and not move for a good fifteen seconds, there would be a ticking clock in the background but otherwise silent.
For the fifth slide, we have Bill Murray as the assistant principal, so this would be a rare full body shot. Anderson does not normally use body shots but to satisfy symmetrical requirements, Murray’s hand is directly underneath his head on a straight line. He too is also dressed in blue, continuing the color theme for the film.
On the sixth slide of the trailer and just over halfway through, we reach the famous, “Eat. My. Shorts.” line. I set this up with another close up since it is a classic technique he uses, this time though not as close as usual. The background is meant to be a pastel color, most likely a light shade of green, still relating to the blue theme. The face of the “criminal” is centered symmetrically in the frame, because like most films and shots, Anderson emphasizes symmetry to a T.
Next we get to the seventh slide, or the dancing scene. In the original, it’s set to Karla DeVito’s “We are not alone” but in the Wes Anderson version there will be a different tune. Anderson is fond of classic rock songs, generally with guitar and not too loud so the choice of songs is quite numerous to be narrowed down. The background is going to be a light pastel blue staying continuous with the early color theme. Occasionally Anderson makes a wipe cut where he takes a contiguous part, such as a facial expression or a person standing still, and then cuts to a completely different scene at which the facial expression changes or the person adjusts to their new surroundings. That is what happens here from the dancing to running in the halls, it's meant to be a seamless transition so when the characters dance off frame, they return in a new setting.
Slide eight is the new setting described earlier, therefore the song from the scene before will still be playing as the characters run into frame. At this part, the characters are running in the hallway so the setting changes to blue lockers. As for the characters running, the camera would be on a dolly and follow them as they run down the halls. This mimics scenes where he has side shots of motorcycles driving and the motorcycle appears to stay still, but the setting whips by as the motorcycle drives by. In this instance it would be lockers that fly by behind the characters as they run down the hall.
Slide nine takes place in one of the most poignant scenes of the original film where all the characters open up to one another and reveal something hidden about themselves to the others. This image is meant to be when the girl on the right says “When you grow up, your heart dies.” Though not symmetrical, the image represents a whip pan. A whip pan is where the camera is focused on an object or person then quickly whips to a new subject. When the whip pan is finished the girl on the right will be sandwiched between two boys, bringing back a type of symmetry close to Anderson’s style. Since the girl on the right is the “basket case,” the camera will pause and hold its position. This is intended to let an awkward silence linger over the characters, something Anderson does often to denote a bit of dry humor or moment where someone is out of place.
Lastly we finish with slide ten, a photo of “We are The Breakfast Club!!!” This sentence is ever so slightly paraphrased from the ending when assistant principal Vernon reads the essay written for him. Instead of him holding up the letter and reading it, we have him look down at the letter where we shift to the camera’s point of view. The camera then starts at the top of the page and pans down the paper as it read aloud and when the final words are read, the camera holds on the paper and lingers for a few extra seconds to accentuate the silence in the room where the kids once were.
For our fourth quarter benchmark we decided to convert the hit musical Singin’ in the Rain into a terrifying horror film that will scare you right out of your socks. In order to accomplish this goal, we had to first learn from the best. Starting from all your favorite halloween specials and fright night films, we looked for all the cinematic elements that really made us jump. All the different types of coloring, dark lighting, camera angles, underexposure, distorted music, etc. really pull the film together and keeps the audience interested. While still using the original clips from the film we tried to highlight the below eye level angles, creepy facial expressions, and scenes where the movements played well into the storyline we’re trying to create.
Just like how Alfred Hitchcock's used the technique of knowledge for the audience during Psycho. You need to give the audience information to create great suspense throughout your film. This is something we are trying to incorporate during our trailer but in a different way. We put in clips that would tell the story but not give away what exactly is happening. You seem to understand who the main focus is on and can begin to put your own storyline together.
Along with worrying about what makes a great horror film, we had to find what elements would make a great trailer. Should we focus more on the pop up aspects like The Conjuring , follow a normal life of the people that just suddenly turns bad like in Texas Chainsaw Massacre, or walk the audience through every important location like in the Psycho trailer? After looking at each and deciding whether or not we would actually watch the films. We decided to do a happy energetic scene to start off and allow the trailer to get more and more horrifying over time. This way you aren’t just bombarded with scary things popping out but more so a story that just doesn’t end so well.
One of the main things we focused on in this converted trailer is the music. We wanted to continue to use music from the actual soundtrack and just flip it to more distorted scary sounds that will play throughout the film. This way we aren’t pulling too far away from the theme of the movie but still adding that creepy aspect. Also, we included many dissolving edits between the scenes that will allow the images to play through quickly, allowing the audience to be exposed to little parts of the shot.
Most of the shots are either eye level or below eye level. Even through these were scenes from the actual movie, we actually did try to focus on the scenes where the camera was leveled or lower because it creates this thought that the audience is little and the actor is more powerful making it seem scarier. It also plays into the theme that you do not have the power which is usually a common theme in horror films.
Overall, adding all these little changes and touches to this film, I feel we did a great job not only converting it into a horror film but creating a trailer the audience would love to watch.
By: Jessica Guarino and Tia Roberts
The Movie “A Quiet Place” is originally a horror movie that doesn’t have a lot of dialogue, so we decided to do our version of “A Quiet Place” which is “A Quiet School” in which is a horror-comedy instead of just a horror. Because “A Quiet Place” is a horror, we wanted to maintain that horror but add comedy. But how can we add comedy if there’s no talking? We decided to incorporate actions more so than a cinematographic element. Though, we did keep the elements needed for a horror movie, that includes camera shakes, shoulder-shots, close-ups, tracking, and more in order to keep that horror aspect. At the beginning of the trailer we wanted to make people question what are they looking at, and what are they hearing? After the first scene, we decided to make it more of a casual type of “movie” and decided to go with casual clothing, and keeping an eye-level angle with the camera. It allowed it to make it seems like everything was fine and equal until the “horror” kicked in. Thus, the camera work became more intense as the background sound become intense. It also became fast pace, making you see and take in a lot of information going on in the movie trailer. The fast pace comes from the constant cutting during a scene or two giving it that effect. We also added a first person shot while the actors were running to give the viewer a feel of what is going on. There were many shots that were still due to the fact of the green screen not being big enough for a track motion shot. To make sure we were able to get the message out there the acting and expressions were able to serve that purpose.
The soundtrack plays a big part of the trailer due to its aspect of giving it a suspenseful feeling throughout the trailer. Without it, the trailer would’ve looked random and dull. But the soundtrack can't just make it horror, in a horror-comedy trailer. During some scenes, the soundtrack was lowered in order to hear what was going on in the scene. Or what you can call “Comedic break.” The comedic break was helpful due to the very fast pace scenes going on throughout the trailer. How we used the comedic break into the horror scene was we first changed the sound of the trailer giving the audience a different type of feeling rather than a suspense feeling the whole time. We just stop the audio so the audience can hear what was happening (which was the slap.) The audio stop on the slap wasn’t the only thing where it occurred. Later on the trailer a scene with another character conversing with the suppose two protagonists you hear the audio dimming down and was able to hear what was going on the scene with the 3 of them going back and forth shushing and asking for money. Throughout the whole trailer, we didn’t use as many elements as we would’ve thought and planned out, but the trailer was still able to become a horror, that was also had a comedic sense implemented.
The scene we decided to transform was the “Impenetrable Shield” scene from Marvel's The Avengers (2012) It Provided the perfect setup that could translate well into a Western Movie Scene. It has a mexican standoff between the villain (Loki) and the protagonist (Tony Stark) where Loki has a weapon that is a danger to Tony. For our scene we transformed the environment into a Wild West town, the characters into cowboy versions of themselves, and Loki’s Scepter into a magical shotgun.
Our scene opens up with a long shot of the characters in a staredown, smack dab in the middle of a dry, saturated environment. The ground is sand, the sky is orange and black and all the building use hot colors to demonstrate the warmth of the environment.
The second shot is a eye level close up shot of our villain, with the orange sky behind him to keep the dry theme going. Loki's outfit is a western take on his Asgardian robe from the film. Rather than a low shot looking up at the characters like the original film, we followed the Western trope and brought the camera to his face, showing his emotion clearly.
The third shot cuts to Tony’s face, in the same eye level close us style as the previous shot. Tony is wearing a western inspired poncho with the colors of his Iron Man armor. His facial expressions express the cockiness of his character that he carries with him in all his interactions.
As their staredown continues, our fourth shot is from over the shoulder of Tony. He looks as Loki approaches him with the Scepter. The colors continue to be dry and saturated as a tumbleweed is blowing past in the distance.
A typical western includes a drunk protagonist. Tony is just that, opting to threaten his opponent while he takes a sip of some alcohol. This over the shoulder shot looking at Tony taking a big gulp of his beverage demonstrate that he is a laid back yet gutsy and reckless hero that relates more to the audience that a know it all, all righteous hero.
As a typical western would have, the “draw your weapon” scene. The sixth shot is a medium long shot of Loki in action, drawing his scepter at Tony. The town building is in the background to keep the audience in the town to keep the environment small but sufficient in this scene. Similar to how the movie takes place with New York in the background but inside of Tony’s penthouse.
The seventh shot is an extreme close up of Loki’s scepter failing to fire. In an intense moment the misfire is a relief to both the protagonist and the audience.
The final frame medium shot of the scene shows Tony looking down at the Scepter pointed at his chest. His attitude provies humor in a time of chaos and concern, making the protagonist even more of a crowd favorite, and lightening the mood of the intensity.
The existing content the movie provided some pre existing western movie tropes. Taking those and going full on western creates a new take on the genre that we are proud to show off.
If Up Were A Horror Film:
By: Jamie Polson and Nadia Green
Here is the link to our video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DNd_5BylO6g
We chose to turn the animated film Up into a horror film. We wanted to turn an innocent family friendly movie into something that was not expected. The first thing that we did was allow for the storyline of Ellie and Carl to play. We wanted a build up, like most horror movies have. It begins to seem like an average film until the character Russell is introduced. We chose the most dramatic moments in the movie to feature in the beginning. Carl lived a happy life with his wife Ellie. The trailer showed a timeline of the life events when there became a turning point when Ellie died. The trailer showed Carl saddened by the death of his wife. We had a dark background when the words were appearing on the screen. Then we used a sound effect in between transitions to bring suspense. We wanted to focus on creaking of the door to make the viewers feel like they’re on the edge of their seat when watching this trailer. We wanted the build up to seem real and natural.
The first thing that we did was make the background visually darker. Dark backgrounds and shadows are a staple in horror films. We wanted to make it appear that the now horrified movie provided suspense. We added emphasis on sounds such as the door creaking. This allows for a very quiet and still shot. Your focus would be on what is going to happen, sitting on the edge of your seat, which horror often does.
The next thing that we did was spliced together a sequence of scenes together of people or animals looking nervous or scared. For instance there is a shot of Kevin (the huge bird/snipe) running across the screen. It is followed by text on the screen saying “No matter where you run…” This is supposed to make the audience get more engaged with the trailer. It piques their interest because it makes you wonder what it is talking about and why it is so dangerous. This is followed by a clip of Carl closing all the blinds and curtains very fast and looking very nervous. There is then text on screen saying “No matter where you hide…” This emphasises how dangerous it really is and that no one is safe no matter what they try to do. Then this is followed by a scene of Carl sitting in his armchair and settling down but is interrupted by three loud slow knocks at the door, followed by text saying “he knows where you are…” This is meant to spook the audience even more and make them feel uneasy or restless because we have now learned that we are never safe even when we think we are and have entered a state of paranoia. Then there is a clip of Carl looking out his peephole onto the porch and he opens the door and looks around and sees Russell there even though he is in the air. This is followed by text on the screen saying “He is…” The the reason we included a peephole is because they are kind of a staple of the horror genre. Any horror film that takes place in someone's house usually at some point uses the peephole. Then finally we hear a peak in the music and see the word “RUSSELL” on screen. This is meant to give some closure to the audience. They finally know what this mysterious thing is but they still have so many questions which is what the trailer is meant to do. They have been intrigued and now want to see the movie to find out what happens. The final thing we see on screen is “Coming to theaters October 2019” This is very unlikely to happen but the reason I chose October is because that is the month that Halloween is in so people will be in the scary movie spirit and may be more likely to see it, so it makes a lot of sense financially.