Documentary Idea- no interviews

So this is the idea if I ever want to make a documentary in future:

The story will revolve around a group of wrestlers who come daily to their practice area which is situated in a graveyard in the city of Lahore, Pakistan. Despite the lack of facilities, their mentor ‘Ustad’ provides his couching to students. Regardless being in a same sport and it is based on individual effort, there is no jealousy among the group and it is their bond that provides the joy of watching them perform. This documentary will focus from the preparation of the ‘Akhara'(square ring of dirt on ground) to their relationship, aggression and the excitement that they have in the ‘Akhara’.

Approaches to film this except for interviews.

I think the observational style as coined by Bill Nichols would be the appropriate way to shoot, as this style has no interviews with the subject. Many different approaches can be made. Following shoots comes into my mind

1, Mid shoot of these wrestlers coming to the area.

2, extreme closeups of their gear changing (Keeping it mysterious for a while)

3, wide shot of the empty ground.

4, closeups of preparing the ring

5, may be add elements of poetic mode with some music which would portray rushing towards finishing it up.

6, Mid shot to close ups of their emotions (aggression, laughter, the energy, excitement) while training

7, wide long shot of them leaving the ring and going back home.

6 Shoots

In today’s class, Robin introduced us to different approaches of a filmmaking on a same subject which was very interesting to see how did the filmmaker went by. We just saw three short clips from ‘Thirty Two Short Films About Glenn Gould’ (1993). The first was an interview style where this lady is telling about this gentleman, it was more of a documentary style film and it seemed natural and unrehearsed due to the plane flying above them and she looking up at the plane. The second approach was very artistic like, closeups of Gould playing piano but the visuals were of x ray vision, extreme closeups which showed the intensity of the subject and his passion for that piano. The final clip was more of a film like look, where actors were dramatizing one of his events or something similar. They were just three different approaches and I can imagine there will be other ways to the methods as well, it’s just a matter of observation and practise that is required in order to be well aware of what way you can go with the shooting.

In the other half of the lecture, we were given small class exercise, the first was a one shot of a scene of meeting between two people, which went well since there weren’t many dialogues, I specifically chose the frame as I thought that the both subjects are equally important as it was written in script, it was when I saw the original thing later in class that there were some dialogues missing and in nature it was all about the lady. Moving on the second exercise which was about interaction between 2 strangers in a train. I didn’t used any panning or tilt as it was a “confined” space, so I used the steady shots but with different zoom and angle variations. I’m happy with what I achieved as I knew what I was doing with the subjects. Lets see how it looks in the final version of the edit.

Comparison of Scarface 1932 and 1983

Watching both of these movies, I found similarities with the content and few of the dialogues but yes there were some changes made in the remake to suite the social conditions of the way America was in 80’s.

First about the characters, Tony in both the movies were different in some way like Tony (1932) was a jolly fellow and had fun with his gang members and also the boss, He dressed in plain black and white suits, He is an Italian in the movie, he sells beer to make money and when he wanted to kill someone he usually whistles. Whereas in 1983 version, Tony is from Cuba, he is violent, bad mouths a lot, does not joke around and takes business seriously, more courageous then the Tony (1932) since he gave up to the police in the original ending but in remake he fought with the mobs and worked his way from down to top whereas in the original Tony was already shown part of a gang. And whenever Tony (1983) gets angry, the camera focuses on the eyes of Tony and more importantly he sells cocaine in the remake.

But there were similarities in both of them like both of them wanted to reach the top, both have same relation with their mother and sister (in the remake’s case the sister was more of a incest type as she appeared almost naked and tells his brother to have sex with her), both killed their best friend for being with the sister, both like their boss’s girl, both kill their boss for double crossing, both die in the end.

Now about the other characters Tony’s friend in both the movies helped Tony to reach the top but the original one was more resilient towards women whereas in the remake he could fall for any hot woman that he could lay hands on. Sadly both die by the gun fire from Tony for being caught with his sister.

The girl for both Tony’s were vowed almost the same way but in the remake they both get married but the marriage does not work well and she leaves him in a restaurant whereas in the original, she falls for tony after the Boss’s death and is in relation with him.

Both the Boss’s in the two films were of the same situation, both high in power and tried to kill Tony and died same way as well by Tony’s friend. Difference comes here that in the original; the boss dies alone in the office whereas in the remake he is killed with Mel and Ernie watching them both killed.

The rest of characters in the remake were introduced new Like Mel Bernstein, Omar, and Sosa as they had significant roles in this movie and were not in the original.

Now about the situations of the movies which were somehow similar but portrayed in different timings and in different ways but in the end the meaning was same.

The first sequence when Tony sees his sister dancing with a stranger in a club. Tony gets mad as he is protective of her and does not want her to be with a man like he is. However the difference between the original and remake was that in original Tony stops dancing with Poppy and goes to his sister and punches the guy who was dancing with her and leaves the club taking along with her. While in the remake, he sees his sister walking with the man that she danced and when the Tony saw the man touching his sister’s buttocks, he got mad and followed them to the men’s bathroom. When they were making out, Tony bangs the toilet door and kicks the guy out and slaps his sister for doing this. There is a difference of how each tony reacted but the meaning in the end was same.

In the remake when tony asks his friend many to drop his sister back home, she tells him that he wants her as per her judgment of his looks and both stare at each other. While in the original, Tony’s sister throws the coin from her balcony to Tony’s friend Guino and both stare at each other sharing a moment.   

In both movies when the Boss’s girl asks Tony what will he do about the boss for which Tony in both the movies reply “I like Johnny/Frank, but I like you better”.

In another scene when the dialogues of both movies meet are when Tony saves himself nearly being killed and suspects his own boss for the doing. When the boss asks question about his condition, tony replies “They wanted to spoil my suit”. Then the boss begs for his life and is then killed by Tony. In the next scene Tony goes to Poppy/Elvira’s house and asks him about the boss for which he replies “where do you think?” But the difference arises when in original movie Tony and Poppy go to Florida for vacation and in the remake Tony and Elvira does not go anywhere and at that moment Tony’s business reaches at the top.

The Line “The world is yours” is seen on both the movies, in the original on the billboard and in the remake on the blimp and in Tony’s home. Which symbolizes that the only way you can get is through Money, Power and Respect and that is how the world became his.

In both the movies Tony executes his best friend for being with his sister and upsets him later on. However the outcome was different in both the movies. In the original, Tony’s sister shows up to him with a gun but cannot shoot him as she believes that there is a part of her in him. And then later the bullet which was for Tony hits his sister and dies in the end. In the remake one, Tony’s sister actually shoots him and then later is killed by a man who comes from window and shoots her like 10 or more bullets. With this also thing to notice that the remake had more gore in it rather than the original one.

And more importantly the way both died was different as well. In the original, police surround his house and want to arrest him for the murder for his best friend Guino. Tony tries to escape and losses his courage and thus dies by the machine gun. In the remake version, Tony is surrounded by a mob and picks up a gun and kills few of them when finally he dies from a shotgun behind his back.

To conclude, the content is similar only the difference comes in execution of both of them since each movie was made according to the demands and likes of the social lifestyle. The remake was well made by De Palma. Both of these movies tell a story of rise and fall of a gangster because of his greediness for money and power and the movie ends with Tony’s death since this movie was about him

Meeting up differently

So this is my video which I edited for the class exercise. I think in my previous post I mentioned my planning for the task in which i record the same incident but with different camera angles and composition. So now that the whole clip is edited, I think I acheived what I wanted. I feel it does somehow change the mood in different situations. What do you think about it?


Experiment time

So in this week, we had to come up with an approach or a method to film in class with individually but divided in groups so that each can help out to fulfill their requirements. Last week when Robin mentioned this task, I was curios to what degree I can try something, I can’t just film a whole story or something using certain dialogues as it requires practise and time to perform for an actor. Then an idea struck, why not just film a single take multiple times but with different camera angles and shot sizes.

But before I could shoot, I had to act for my other group members task. My group members were Farina, Diana and Joel. Joel and Diana had almost similar idea, a journey of a guy from one place to another, nevertheless, I did what they wanted me to do. I think i did a decent job, well this is what they said to me so lets see how it comes to the edit for them. For my own task I asked Diana and Joel to only do the following tasks, enter the frame, shake hands/ talk/do some gestures and leave the frame. I asked them to repeat the actions while I changed camera positions and using a mixture of shot sizes.

I think in the end when I watched these clips, I realized that even though it was a single take, but it did gave a different mode to different camera angles and shot sizes, like when Diana talking in a closeup, she looks mesmerizing in those few seconds and I was astonished if she was the same Diana that is in our class In the other clip where the camera is positioned tilted low angle, it gave a mysterious feeling of what is going on and it provides a kick of a curiosity to the audience.

That being said, there were some miscalculations in the shoots I took, some clips had over exposed images and in parts Diana’s sweater was a bit highlighted. Other than that, I’m pretty much satisfied with what I achieved in the end.

Sequence 1- 50 Second take

Few weeks back we were given a small task to go out and take a single 50 second take on anything interesting we like. So I went to bowen street and decided to record a random scene. Out of a blue a bird walks in on the foreground of the scene and leaves at exact 50-51 st second of the take, It is something what Lumiere Brothers have done but I guess luck played in my part. Like Alfred Hitchcock says “In feature films, the director is god, in documentary films, God is the director’



Rack it Up

I thought the shoot we did the other day was just okay, we didn’t record much sound and the action we did on par, but with this edit I’m happy that it came together effectively. Although I used music made by my friend and I think it fitted well with the mood. The starting scene gives a kick feeling that some energetic scene will be coming. The cut between me and Mona just reflects the difference of an expert and an amatuer trying to copy. In the end the expert just can’t take it anymore and decides to cut off. Well that worked well.

Sequence 2 Edit

The original video had Mitch entered the screen first, Farina takes the can away and then when Mitch enters the coin again, the machine fails and he walks away, In this edit I tried to match up a video of another group as well, I think the video gives a new feeling and with the match edit from the second clip to the third, it gives a smooth transition of a change of a scene.