Sunday, 9 December 2012

Week 8 (Tues 27 Nov)

In today's seminar, we returned to the subject of realism from the previous week, and applied this to our film pitch, this time, imposing the restricitions of Dogma 95 and seeing if we could work around that curveball and see if we could still deliver a good product. Last time, we did a pitch for a slasher horror film, The Housekeeper. However, given the rules of Dogma (everything must be diegetic and not 'post' work), we had to rule this out and start again, making it more like an Agatha Christie murder mystery, still set in a dark house, where a family is celebrating a wedding, and one by one, they get killed off, the horror being more akin to Psycho and The Haunting which were more about atmosphere and tension than straight up gore and guts.

Then, in the lecture, we watched the first episodes of Game of Thrones, a medieval fantasy based on a series of popular books, and Awake, where a police investigator is living two seperate lives where a member of his family died, and trying to work out which one is real. Through this, we got into discussing the concept of Fantasy and the Fantastic:
  • Fantasy, despite the common usage of the term, is not strictly just a genre as many other film types utilise elements of fantasy (things that don't esit in the real world), such as horror and sciene fiction.
  • Often includes elements from mythology (such as monsters, gods, heroes and 'other' worlds), as well as playing with idea of different realities and even having its own world and culture (including races, language and history)
  • More often than not is heavy on special effects, practical and digital, to create the worlds and creatures within it.
  • Like realism, often considered its opposite (even though one can have elements from the other), many other elements make up what can be considered a fantasy (subject material, tone, style form and themes). Also, there are even different categories and approaches, such as a personalized/subjective fantasy (dealing with a character internally, like his/her mind, like Inception) or post modern (which has a self-awareness to it, and even acknowledges elements from other sources).
In closing, today's work, as with last week, gave me a new way to think about these 'styles' and 'genres' of film making, making me look at them from more than just face value, and delve a little deeper into what they can do and offer. And the challenge of making a horror under the Dogma code was interesting, though obviously frustrating given that horror relies on a lot of outside work that Dogma does not permit.

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