3 Lessons To Learn From Alfred Hitchcock

Hitchcock’s Rule

Hitchcock’s rule is one of the most beneficial lessons you can learn from him and apply to your own work. According to Hitchcock’s rule, everything in the frame must have significant meanings. If you pay attention to the frame in Hitchcock’s films every thing within the shot is symbolic. For example, the person who appears larger in the frame often holds all the power within the scene.

Suspense Vs Mystery

Hitchcock never made a mystery film, nor did he want to. He found that to create meaningful and captivating suspense you had to ensure the audience knew more about what was going on in the film than the characters within the film. Hitchcock’s film Sabotage is a prime example of this. A young boy is meant to deliver a package, with no knowledge there is a bomb within the parcel. However, the audience is well aware, and this causes all the suspense. Because the audience knows that time is running out until the bomb goes off, while the characters have no clue.

The Power of Birds Eye View

Hitchcock uses bird eye view shots a lot in his film, and he states that it helps to create a sense that in reality the characters within the film are tiny and have little to no control over their life. In his movie The Birds, usage of a bird’s-eye view was effective. Through the bird’s-eye view shot the audience sees masses of birds watching the town people, which adds to their threat of terror over the characters in the film. It’s also very affective in foreshadowing events that are about to transpire.


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FireFly lane (2021) review

Synopsis: Tully and Kate meet as young girls on Firefly Lane and become inseparable friends throughout 30 years of ups and downs. First episode date: February 3, 2021 Network: Netflix Program creator: Maggie Friedman Executive producers: Maggie Friedman, Stephanie Germain, Katherine Heigl, Lee Rose, Shawn Williamson, Peter O’Fallon My Review: After watching the first few episodes of this series, I was not sucked into …

Alien(s) (1986) Review

Synopsis After floating in space for 57 years, Lt. Ripley’s (Sigourney Weaver) shuttle is found by a deep space salvage team. Upon arriving at LV-426, the marines find only one survivor, a nine year old girl named Newt (Carrie Henn). But even these battle-hardened marines with all the latest weaponry are no match for the hundreds …

Alien (1979) Review

Synopsis In deep space, the crew of the commercial starship Nostromo is awakened from their cryo-sleep capsules halfway through their journey home to investigate a distress call from an alien vessel. The terror begins when the crew encounters a nest of eggs inside the alien ship. An organism from inside an egg leaps out and …

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The 3 Stages of Production

There are three crucial stages of production when making a film. Each step is as important as the next, and every stage requires lots of attention. In this blog I am going to breakdown the three stages of production and what each stage includes.

Pre Production

  1. Writing– this is the stage in which a script is written, faces peer review, and the script is re-written. This also includes story boarding ideas before you begin writing.
  2. Crew and Cast– The film is cast, and each role is filled. Each crew member is handpicked, and the film is fully staffed.
  3. Schedule– A plan for each day of shooting is written out and planned. The schedule states when and where things are to be filmed.
  4. Locations– The location scouts search for the perfect setting and if required filming contrasts are drawn up and shared with the proper business people.
  5. Props/Costumes/Art Direction– In this stage all the needed props, costumes, sets, etc are creating and ready for use.
  6. Shot List– A format list breaking down each shot, angle, and direction of the camera.

Production

  1. Shooting– This is the stage in which all the pre-production work is put into place and the actual shooting of the film occurs. The longer you spend in Pre Production, the more organized and productive the Production process will be.

Post Production

  1. Editing– The footage is all spliced, transitions are added, and overlays are put into place.
  2. Special Fx– Special effects are incorporated and added to the film.
  3. Color Grading– This is one of the most important steps in the post-production process. It will distinguish your film as professional looking and increase the quality by a ton.
  4. Sound/ Audio Foley– Sound is mixed, editing, and added under neath each shot.
  5. Soundtrack– Music is handpicked and deed to the film in order to add an emotional impact.

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Onward Film Review (2020) *Spoiler Alert

Synopsis

Teenage elf brothers Ian and Barley embark on a magical quest to spend one more day with their late father. Like any good adventure, their journey is filled with cryptic maps, impossible obstacles, and unimaginable discoveries. But when dear Mom finds out her sons are missing, she teams up with the legendary manticore to bring her beloved boys back home.

Onward (2020) - IMDb

Release date: March 6, 2020

(USA)DirectorDan ScanlonBox office: $103.2 million

Budget: $175–200 million

ScreenplayDan ScanlonJason HeadleyKeith Bunin

My Review

I was so excited when Disney released this film for streaming instead of pulling the plug on its release. As a Disney Pixar movie, I figured this film would not disappoint. However, it far extended my expectations.

Pixar's Onward: Release date, plot, cast, pictures, trailers ...

The thing that stood out to me the most about this movie was the message of family and the bond between siblings. The whole movie Ian and Barley Lightfoot are trying to bring there dead father back for just one day. As the older brother, Barley has a few special memories of his father. Ian was still not born when his father dies, and he makes a list of everything he wants to do with his father. However, the spell to bring their dad back goes wrong, and it leaves them with their father only from the waist down. The two must go on an elaborate and dangerous journey to complete the spell.

The whole movie the boys are so fixated on bringing back the rest of their father, they lose sight of trying to make the most of the situation they were given. Later on in the movie the two boys have a bonding moment with their father through dancing. Since their father can feel the vibration of the music. This was such a precious moment, and I wish there would have been more like it.

Read the first Onward movie reviews | Cineworld cinemas

It drove me crazy to think of all the moments the two boys were missing out on with their father. However, through their adventure we see the two brothers bond and grow closer than ever. It became apparent while watching the film that Barley had become a father like figure to Ian over the years. Ian himself does not come to this realization until the end of the film. While it was painful to watch him come to this realization so late, it was a heart full and tear jerking moment for the audience.

I thoroughly enjoyed the characterization of this film. Each character had distinct character traits and they each stayed true to those through the entire movie. However, that’s not to say there wasn’t any character growth. In fact, we see each character in the film grow on an extensive level. Overall, this was a very fun and lighthearted film. It had me laughing and crying at others. I recommend watching this film, and I would for sure watch it again.

My Rating

4.8 out of 5

Onward lawsuit | why Disney and Pixar are being sued for a van ...

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Lucas Hagar: The Influence of NArrative Storytelling on Documentaries

In a podcast with Film Riot, Lucas Harger talked in-depth about his filmmaking process as well as the creative cross between narrative film and documentary filmmaking. As a filmmaker, Lucas has been successful in crossing between editing both documentary and narrative stories to produce unique and creative content. According to Lucas, being able to create …

What Did I Just Watch? The Platform (2019) Analysis

Synopsis

Prisoners housed in vertical cells watch as inmates in the upper cells are fed while those below starve.

The Platform review: Angrily scratches the Snowpiercer and ...

Initial release: February 21, 2020

(Taiwan)DirectorGalder Gaztelu-Urrutia

Language: Spanish

NominationsGoya Award for Best New Director

AwardsGoya Award for Best Special EffectsGaudí Award for Best Visual Effects

My Review/ Analysis

Wow. There is a lot to this film. Overall, this film is making lots of statements on society and humanity. In the film, prisoners are kept in a cell like blocks with a roommate for an extended amount of time. Every day a platform full of food travels down the platforms from top to bottom. The more food the top levels eat, the less food there is for the lower levels.

The Platform (Netflix Movie Review)

The film is making jabs and comments on the society of the real-world, however; the filmmakers created a society all of its own within the pit itself. There is a set of rules to follow within the society of the pit. For example, each level has two minutes to eat as much food as they want before the platform will move to another level. If any food is kept on your platform and being saved for later, the people in charge will either freeze you to death or heat you to death until you return the food to where it belongs. Despite these strict rules, the citizens of the pit are free to do as they choose. There seems to be no repercussions for murder, or psychically harming another person within the pit.

There are 333 platforms in the pit, and with two people per level that equals 666 lives living within this hellish society. This is symbolic of the hellish society humans have created in the real world. The people in the film are very individualistic minded and are very little for one another. If everybody ate only what they needed, everyone would have enough. But the people in the pit seem to have very little regard for one another.

Trailer per The Platform (Il Buco): una prigione verticale porta ...

Despite those at the top platforms, having experiences life at the bottom, they still hoard food and hold no regard for those below them. Even though the members of the pit physically get to experience life at every level they still posses strong selfish actions when at the top.

Immediately this made me think of the recent Pandemic the world is facing. People hoard food and toilet paper, leaving very little for others. It was a scary parallel realization. The film is stating that as a society we only look out for ourselves, and the majority rarely consider how those around us are doing. While we don’t live in a pit like society, the film suggests no matter who is put in the pit the same pattern will occur over and over again. Those at the top will always take too much and cause pain and suffering for those below them.

Towards the end of the film the audience meets a little girl who is hiding in one of the lower platforms. She appears to be the daughter of the woman who rides down the platform every month looking for her child. The audience is told that they accept no kids to take part in the pit, causing the audience to believe the child was born within the pit. Therefore, making her a direct product of the pits society.

The Platform Movie Ending Explained (2019 Netflix Film) | This is ...

At the end of the film, the child is sent back up on the platform to serve as a message to those in charge of the pit. This suggests that the only hope for a change in society lies within the younger generations of the world. However, the girl in the movie has to go on this journey alone since she solely is the message. The girl represents the hope of humanity to overcome the darkest truths of human nature. The only hope for change is through youthful eyes and innocence.

My Rating

3.5 out of 5

I highly reccomend giving this film a watch. However, I don’t think I would ever sit down to watch it again.

Reasons to watch 'The Platform,' a Spanish thriller now on Netflix ...

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julie taymor: the cross universe of film and theatre

In a recent podcast episode with The Treatment, Julie Taymor discussed her new movie “The Glories” and how she uses storytelling to externalize what characters are feeling on screen. Julie Taymor is a Tony Award-winning director of both theatre and film. Her goal as a creative is to master the fantastical elements of the film …

r-e-s-p-e-c-t on a film set: advice from mimi leder

In a recent podcast with the Director’s Guild, Mimi Leder, an American director and producer, gave her best advice for keeping a healthy and productive film set. Mimi’s key piece of advice was to treat everyone with the respect that they deserve, and to always show them your appreciation. She pointed out that the cast …

Newsies (1992) Film Review

Synopsis

In this musical, homeless New York City newsboy Jack “Cowboy” Kelly (Christian Bale) befriends two newcomers to his trade, brothers David (David Moscow) and Les Jacobs (Luke Edwards). When publisher Joseph Pulitzer (Robert Duvall) sets new rules that make it harder for the young newspaper salesmen to make a buck, the boys go on strike. Bryan Denton (Bill Pullman), a journalist who’s sympathetic to their plight, gives them some tips in public relations, as the newsboys’ battle grips the city.

Newsies (film) - D23

Release date: April 10, 1992

(USA)DirectorKenny Ortega

ScreenplayNoni WhiteBob Tzudiker

Music composed byAlan MenkenJ. A. C. Redford

My Review

This is a very lighthearted and enjoyable film. The actors of the movie all do such an incredible job, and it’s easy to buy into the world of the movie. I’m sure watching this production onstage or on Broadway would be a more enjoyable experience, but the movie is a close second.

Newsies (1992) - Rotten Tomatoes

For a Disney film, I was surprised by the amount of violence and ideas the film suggested. There are several times in the movie when the Newsies get a little rouged up on the streets of New York. However, the newsie strike is a historical event that led to lots of riots and rough housing, so I appreciated the historical accuracy of this movie. This is definitely an emotionally heavy film that will make you frustrated.

I was most curious to see Christian Bale in this film because I have never seen him sing and dance. I’ve seen him in a wide range of acting roles, and I wanted to see how he would live up to the hype. He is definitely not the best singer. But his dancing blew me away. In fact, all the dance numbers of this film are incredibly well filmed and choreographed. From an acting stand point Bale carried most of the weight. Bale plays the hero and protagonist of the film, and I found myself emotionally invested in his story from the very beginning.

Sometimes in this movie when the plot felt rushed, and my investment into the story lessened a little each time. I also wish there would have been more character development for the kids. There’s so much development giving to Bales character that all the others are pushed to the side. Another thing that drove me crazy about this movie was the forced relationship between Bale and his love interest. The audience saw no interaction between the two at all, and then the first scene we see between them Bale asks if she would miss him if he were to leave. This made no sense to me! Their relationship came out of nowhere and was completely forced since the filmmakers were trying to stick to the Broadway plot line.

My Rating

2 out of 5

5 Movies To Help Get You Through Social Distancing

The world right now is a stressful and scary place. Everywhere you look there is news and talk of the COVID-19 outbreak. It’s easy to fall into a state of depression and gloom, and to let the stress of everything get the best of you. However, I’m hoping this list of feel- good films can bring a little happiness to your day. As movie lovers film can be a good place to go to for a mental and emotional break from the world.

Frozen 2

Frozen 2 Details | POPSUGAR Entertainment

I think it’s awesome that Disney Plus released this film early on its streaming database. If you have not seen this movie yet, I strongly recommend you go watch it. I have seen this movie twice now and enjoyed it equally both times. No matter how old you are, it’s a light-hearted and enjoyable watch. If you have Disney Plus, go watch it! I guarantee you it will brighten up your day during this stressful time.

Ferris Bueller’s Day Off

Ferris Bueller's Day Off | Gorton Community Center

No matter how many times you watch this film, you will fall in love with it a little more every time. All around this is the definition of a feel good movie. It will have you laughing till your eyes water, sitting on the edge of your seat, and keep captivated until the credits roll.

The Hunger Games (Series)

A 'Hunger Games' Prequel Book Is Officially Coming Out In 2020

These movies are endearing and suspenseful. After watching the first movie of the series, you will not be able to stop until you have seen them all. Which will end up killing a lot of time and allow you an escape from reality. It’s easy to get emotionally invested in these movies, and the story line is very action packed and exciting!

Mrs. Doubtfire

Mrs. Doubtfire' Review: Movie (1993) | Hollywood Reporter

If you need a good laugh, then this film is a must see. Robin Williams once again does a fantastic job in this film, and will have you laughing until your stomach hurts. Not only that, but this is also a very good feel good movie, and it has a powerful message to it.

The Shawshank Redemption

After A 25 Year Hiatus, A Chance To Finally See 'The Shawshank ...

If you need a movie, that will make you cry, then definitely go check this one out. This movie will suck you in from the first scene of the entire movie. It’s a very tear jerking and a feel good film. Check out my full review of this film under the film reviews section of my blog.

Let me know if you give any of these films a try or if you have any more recommendations of films to watch during this time of quarantine and social distancing.

Arsenic and Old Lace (1944) Film Review

Synopsis

Writer and notorious marriage detractor Mortimer Brewster (Cary Grant) falls for girl-next-door Elaine Harper (Priscilla Lane), and they tie the knot on Halloween. When the newlyweds return to their respective family homes to deliver the news, Brewster finds a corpse hidden in a window seat. With his eccentric aunts (Josephine Hull, Jean Adair), disturbed uncle (John Alexander), and homicidal brother (Raymond Massey), he realizes that his family is even crazier than he thought.
Image result for arsenic and old lace
Release dateSeptember 1, 1944 (USA)

My Review 

If you have not seen this film… Go Watch It Now! This movie has been on my top 10 list of films for years now.

My favorite thing about this film is the plot structure. They based this film off on a play and that shows. This play follows the old style of comedy with dramatic irony. The audience is fully aware of what is going on in the movie, however a lot of the actors are left in the dark. Which leads to a lot of confusion among the characters within the film and adds to the comedic element for the audience.

Something I love about this film that I think more plays and films need to be inspired by is all the comedic timing and use of facial expressions. Image result for arsenic and old laceCary Grant’s facial expressions throughout this film makes for some of the best comedic moments. This is also something that is known to be one of Cary Grant’s signature strengths.

The plot of this film is quick paced, and there are several stories lines going on all at the same time. Newly wed Mortimer Brewster is trying to leave on his honeymoon, his aunts are murdering elderly gentleman, his uncle thinks he’s Teddy Roosevelt, and his crazy brother Jonathon shows up  on the run from the police. While the overall feel of the movie is left very light and comedic, the action within the play is insane and the audience gets to watch along on the journey.

I absolutely adore the acting in this film. Besides Cary Grant’s amazing performance, everyone else does a fantastic job. There is not a bad acting performance in this entire film. Image result for arsenic and old laceJosephine Hull and Jean Adair as the two aunts is my favorite. These two women do not disappoint in this film, and their characterization is amazing. They are nothing short of being sweet elderly women in this film, which makes it even more of a comedic shock to find they have single-handedly poisoned and buried several men in their cellar. 

Lastly, the camera work and lighting of this film are unique and appealing. Much like the play, this film takes place solely inside the Brewster’s living room. While we see action take place in a few other locations, most of the film is set in one area of the house. However, the film does not get boring and as an audience member it’s hard to notice that the camera has not left the one room. The camera work is very innovative and creative.

My Rating 

4.5 out of 5

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The Shawshank Redemption Review (1994)

Synopsis

Andy Dufresne (Tim Robbins) is sentenced to two consecutive life terms in prison for the murders of his wife and her lover and is sentenced to a tough prison. However, only Andy knows he didn’t commit the crimes. While there, he forms a friendship with Red (Morgan Freeman), experiences brutality of prison life, adapts, helps the warden, etc., all in 19 years.
Image result for the shawshank redemption
Release dateSeptember 22, 1994 (Beverly Hills)

My Review

I do not understand why it took me so long to see this film, but I am thrilled I did. This film blew me away. It’s a powerful story, with incredible acting and amazing plot action. I was immediately drawn into this film from the very beginning and only became more captivated in the story the more it went on.

My favorite thing about this film was the powerful acting performances. I was not as familiar with Tim Robbins as I was with Morgan Freeman before watching this movie. However, unlike most movies, neither actor over-shined the other. Image result for the shawshank redemptionBoth of them did such an incredible job, and as an audience member it truly felt like the two actors were feeding off of each other’s performances and energy which only strengthened their acting. The other actors in this film were incredible. There was such distinct and committed character development, which added a lot to the film and made it seem even more lifelike.

This film had a very natural flow to it. The plot points moved effortlessly from one to the other. I never noticed a moment where this film seemed to drag on and lose my attention. I think something that aided in that was Morgan Freeman’s character narrating the film and guiding the audience through the story. As an audience member, this also made me feel more involved within the world of the film and helped me get invested into the story of the film.

Probably the most powerful and affective element of this film is the writing. With it being adapted from a Steven King novel, I knew that the writing would have a strong foundation to base off of. Image result for the shawshank redemptionHowever, the writing of this movie entirely blew me away. The movie is very intense and leaves a huge emotional impact on the audience. Since the audience gets so emotionally invested in the main characters, there are many parts of this story that make you mad. Even after watching this film, the emotional impact will stick with you, and you will think about it long after watching the film.

My Rating

4.5 out of 5

Image result for the shawshank redemption

 

Harriet (2019) Film Review

Synopsis 

From her escape from slavery through the dangerous missions she led to liberate hundreds of slaves through the Underground Railroad, the story of heroic abolitionist Harriet Tubman is told.
Image result for harriet
Release date: November 1, 2019 (USA)
Box office: 43.3 million USD

My Review 

I was extremely excited to see this film. Harriet Tubman is one of my favorite historical figures, and it’s about time someone makes a movie about her. However, this movie did not live up to my expectations.

First things first. The soundtrack of this movie made no sense at all. I often got sucked out of the world of the film. The soundtrack did not match up with the scenes of the film, and instead of heightening the audiences emotional experience, it only took away from it. Image result for harriet movieThere is a powerful scene in the movie where Harriet is getting taken away by boat to safety after the passing of the fugitive slave law. It was a powerful and emotional scene. However, the music sounded like a song from a funeral and did not match up with the action of the film. 

One element I really liked about this film was how historically accurate they made it. By sticking close to history, the filmmakers lost a good chunk of creative freedom. But this was something I really appreciated about this film. I appreciated how they tried to incorporate the use of Harriet’s god given visions, but the way the filmmakers incorporated it into the film was confusing. It made more sense as the film went on, however, at the beginning it was hard to tell if the audience was getting a look at visions or flashbacks.

The most redeemable trait of this film was the acting. Cynthia Erivo  gave a convincing performance as Harriet Tubman. Image result for harriet movieShe did an excellent job of showing the growth and contrast of Harriet’s character from the beginning of the film to the end. However, Cynthia’s acting stood out the most and compared to her the other actors/actresses only did a sub par job.

It took me a hot minute to get emotionally invested into this movie, but once I was invested, it stayed constant till the credits rolled. I understand that the filmmakers needed to set up the story and show Harriet’s life before the Underground Railroad. But the movie did not get interesting until she ran away and come back for her husband and family.

Overall, I enjoyed this film, but I would not watch it again. However, I would recommend that everyone see it once in their life. As there is a lot to learn and appreciate about Harriet Tubman.

My Rating

3 out of 5

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A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood (2019) Film Review

Summary

Lloyd Vogel is an investigative journalist who receives an assignment to profile Fred Rogers, aka Mr. Rogers. He approaches the interview with skepticism, as he finds it hard to believe that anyone can have such a good nature. But Roger’s empathy, kindness and decency soon chips away at Vogel’s jaded outlook on life, forcing the reporter to reconcile with his own painful past.
Image result for a beautiful day in the neighborhood
Release date: October 10, 2019 (USA)
Box office: 64.1 million USD
Budget: 25 million USD

My Review

I definitely had different expectations for this film. I knew that Fred Rogers would not be the focus of the film, since Tom Hanks was the supporting actor. However, I did not expect the film to intertwine two worlds by transitions related to Mr. Rogers show. This was one of the most confusing elements of the film. While it was very creative and looked amazing from a visual standpoint. It was hard to tell if the film was taking place in real time or was just another episode of Mr. Rogers show.

The show starts off with Mr. Rogers on set for his show talking about a man named Lloyd. And the movie cuts between the show and Lloyds’s life until finally the two intertwine. Image result for a beautiful day in the neighborhoodThis got even more confusing toward the end of the film when the audience ended back on Mr. Rogers show. The mixing and cutting between the two worlds was unique and interesting, but very confusing in terms of time and space.

The strongest thing about this film was the acting. Tom Hanks did not disappoint, and he fully became the essence of Mr. Rogers. In fact, it was hard to remember that it was an actor portraying Fred Rogers instead of the real deal. I was pleasantly surprised by the other actors of the film. Especially Matthew Rhys and Chris Cooper. I have not seen a lot of movies with either of these actors in it, and they did a fantastic job. However, compared to the scenes with them on screen alongside Tom Hanks, their performance was weak in comparison and less believable.

Overall, I enjoyed the feel of this movie. The color grading, music, and camera style was kept very similar to how an actual show of Mr. Rogers Neighborhood. Growing up watching the television show, this was very nostalgic for me and helped as an audience member to peak my interest further into the world of the film. Image result for a beautiful day in the neighborhoodHowever, the transitions got confusing as times since as I stated it was hard to tell if the film was in real time or all flashbacks. This is a main reason I would not watch this film again. I enjoyed it, however, for me once is enough.

My Rating

2.5 out of 5