Class Assignments

Die Hard cast anaylsis

Die Hard
Alan Sidney Patrick Rickman is an English actor. He is a stage actor in modern and classical productions, and a former member of the Royal Shakespeare Company. His breakout performance was as the Vicomte de Valmont in Les Liaisons Dangereuses, for which he was nominated for a Tony Award. Rickman is well known for his film performances as Hans Gruber in Die Hard, Sheriff of Nottingham in Robin Hood. Normally, the bad guy in all his movies.
Edward Regan “Eddie” Murphy is an American comedian, actor, writer, singer, director, and musician. Box-office takes from Murphy’s films make him the second-highest grossing actor in the United States. He was a regular cast member on Saturday Night Live from 1980 to 1984 and has worked as a stand-up comedian. Normally, the funny man in all his movies.
Justin Jacob Long is an American actor, known for his roles in the films Jeepers Creepers, Galaxy Quest, Dodgeball, Accepted, Alvin and the Chipmunks, and Live Free or Die Hard, for his role as Warren Cheswick on the NBC TV series Ed, and for his appearances with John Hodgman in TV commercials for Apple’s “Get a Mac” advertising campaign. He is a well-rounded actor playing in comedies to action to romance. Never know what’s next for him. The only thing he has not been is a villain.


The use of sound in Film

Sound is a vital part of any film or video production that many people often overlook. If you watch a video online you can often forgive poor image resolution, but if the sound quality and design is awful I can guarantee you won’t put up with it for long.

Sound design for film can be a complex affair, adding and creating all new meanings to a scene.

I will be taking you through Peter Jackson’s 2009 film The Lovely Bones, Peter Jackson being one of my favourite directors. The genre of the film is predominately drama but including elements of both surrealism and horror. It is the story of a young girl (Susie Salmon) who falls victim to a suburban serial killer, and watches both her family and her killer from a ‘Limbo’ between life and death. The film is the story of her family’s struggle to move on with their lives, while she tries to come to terms with her own death. After her murder, the film frequently shifts between reality and the world that Susie occupies that is neither Heaven nor Earth. Apart from the visuals, the sound design is a big element in highlighting the transition between worlds; creating a contrast between the two realities that is noticeable throughout the film.

The sound design changes frequently throughout the film as the story progresses. In the opening and establishing of the characters the sound design is very gentle and subtle. It draws no attention to itself and is mainly diegetic, blending seamlessly into the visuals. This creates a sense of normality for the film to start in, the situation of an ordinary family life that many people can relate to. The subtlety and ‘invisibility’ of the sound design in the opening portion of the film creates a contrast to the latter events and helps emphasise the shocking change that the family endures after the murder of Susie.

During the build up to Susie’s murder the sound design begins to change subtly. The murderer lures Susie into an underground ‘den’ that he as built in the middle of a field; supposedly for the local children to play in. It is in here that he eventually attacks and murders her. When Susie first encounters her murderer in the open field eerie music begins to play subtly to give the impression that all is not what it seems. Although the lines of dialogue spoken and the action of the characters gives no startling clue that anything bad is about to happen (hence why Susie is lured in), the sound design heightens the emotion of the scene and makes it clear that all is not well. Although the initial meeting occurs in an open field, the sound design is very claustrophobic and creates the impression with the audience that Susie is already trapped. The contrast between the confined sound design and the expansive visuals creates a restless mood for the scene as though something as not quite right. The sudden heightened prominence of smaller sounds such as footsteps, rustling of leaves, creaking and character’s breaths creates this claustrophobic effect that intensifies the scene far beyond that which the visuals show us. The loud echoing sound of the murderer stamping on the trapdoor leading to the ‘den’ also helps emphasize this.

Film and the right lighting

Lighting in cinematography is the use of various lights on a set or location to give a scene a particular appearance once it is captured on film or video. While lighting is usually done on a production by a crew, the director of photography is often the one responsible for overseeing this work. Since the director of photography is also responsible for the camera crew, this allows him or her to oversee lighting and ensure that it coincides with how a scene is going to be filmed. Lighting is, therefore, essential to the overall feel of a scene and how it appears on the screen.Lighting in cinematography can also be used to help reinforce the emotional content of a scene. Harsh lighting, for example, can often make a scene feel more direct or eventful, while softer lighting is often used for more romantic or emotional scenes. If lighting in cinematography is used inappropriately, then a scene may feel jarring or not play properly to the audience. An emotional love scene lit with strong and harsh lights may feel strange or inappropriate, while a powerfully dramatic scene that is lit softly may betray the events in the scene and ultimately feel weak or unimpressive.


ShawShank Redemption

The Shawshank Redemption
Directed by Frank Darabont

This movie is about a man named Andy Dufresne who is wrongly convicted of murdering his wife and her lover and is sent to Shawshank Prison to serve two consecutive life sentences. Andy is a very intelligent banker who soon starts doing the taxes of guards and is eventually doing money laundering for the warden himself. After 19 years in jail, Andy escaped.The movie is narrated by Ellis ‘Red’ Redding, a long-time prisoner expecting to stay in prison until he grows very old. Red tells the story of Andy’s prison stay, from the moment he arrives at Shawshank, to his escape and explains how he managed it.The plot unfolds in chronological order up until the point where the prison guards find Andy’s cell empty one morning. Here, flashbacks of the previous few hours are used to show the details of how Andy escaped through his tunnel and crawled five hundred metres through a sewage drain to freedom where he donned a suit and made off with thousands of dollars worth of Warden Norton’s dirty money.