Monday, 20 February 2017

FSTS/Pre-viz #2/without sound

Adobe Audition/Sound Observing/Riverside


  • an airplane in the distance 
  • waves crashing into a wall
  • a van beeping 
  • music coming out from one of the windows
  • siren in the distance
  • machine sounds from the construction on the opposite shore 
  • seagulls
  • a door slamming
  • keys, steps, voices 
  • rustling of a plastic sheet which is covering bicycle

Thursday, 16 February 2017

@Phil FSTS/Storyboard Update


I was trying to bring more action into my storyboard and unify the visual side of a first few shots. I was also thinking about  your suggestion to put the story into a specific destination. For me Caneivelle Rocks (Utah, USA) are very close to what I've had in mind while I was writing the story. 

Also I am not very sure if it is readable and clear what is happening in the past and what is happening in present. I am considering to bring a new shot into my storyboard in between first and second scene. Something like:


Maybe with moving letters. I think it might make it all clearer. 

Monday, 13 February 2017

From Script to Screen/New Influence Maps








Audition#3/Autumn Rhythm


Maya Tutorials/Bouncing Ball/Travel&Rotation


Maya Tutorials/Creating Secondary Action


Maya Tutorials/Pendulum Swing/Settle&Rest



Maya Tutorials/The Bouncing Ball/On the Spot

Bouncing ball from Michaela Cernejova on Vimeo.

Life Drawing/Session #16

25 mins, charcoal and charcoal pastels

5 - 7 mins poses, chaecoal and charcoal pastels

20 mins pose, charcoal and charcoal pastels

Saturday, 11 February 2017

Cutting Edges/Psycho/Film Review

Figure 1, Vintage Poster

Alfred Hitchcock's psychoanalytical thriller based on a case of the notorious 50's serial killer Ed Gein was released in 1960. The whole masterpiece was made on a tight budget and was groundbreaking in many ways. It was a first American movie that shows flushing toilet on a screen. The sound of shrieking violins and the iconic shower scene are both unforgettable. Hitchcock also invented here a new cinematic genre - the slasher. Creating such a movie was a daring act since director also broke all the rules in terms of acceptable onscreen violence and sexuality. Even film studios refused to work with him because of that. Therefore the director decided to take a risk and finance the whole movie by himself. ''He also delivered one of the boldest blows in screen history.'' (Monahan, 2015)
Figure 2, Marion Crane running away from Phoenix with the stolen money


The movie starts with a bedroom scene of one of the main characters Marion Crane and her boyfriend. At the beginning, it seems like Marion is the heroin and most important character of the movie. It turns out to be another Hitchcock's play, which he is fooling his audience with. The secretary Marion steals 40,000$ from his client and she's running away from Phoenix desperately trying to help her divorced boyfriend with a hope for a better start somewhere else. As she runs away with the money she is being followed by a policeman and hunted by her guilty conscious. She's exhausted after hours of driving, escaping and paranoia so she stops at the hostel where she meets shy proprietor Norman.

After she accidentally overhears an argument between Norman and his mysterious mother about him telling his mother how much he likes Marion, they having a dinner in his creepy looking office filled up with stuffed animals, mainly birds. During the dinner she finds out more about his mother. As she comes back to her hotel room, she decides to return to Phoenix and face the consequences. She takes a note and calculates how she will pay the money back. She flushes the notes into the toilet just before taking her fateful shower.





Figure 3, Shower scene 


The famous shower scene was filmed with 70 camera setups on 2 cameras and 78 pieces of film. It leaves the audience with strong emotions and worries without using a single shot of the knife ripping flesh. Even nowadays audience accustomed to more realistic effects would not be able stay still during those extreme close ups of knife's shadow and scared victim's eyes. It is also the fact that the main character dies in the first third of the film, which makes the viewers worried about what happens next. ''By killing Marion a third of the way through, Hitchcock expertly kept his audience off balance and anxious, wondering who will be killed next.'' (Dwyer, 2016)

Hitchcock used a bird's eye shot of the camera in a very impressive way, when detective Arbogast walks into the Norman's house. As soon as detective reaches the top of the staircase, the camera changes into disorientating bird's eye view shot. Right after that a figure with raised knife attack the detective from behind the door without giving the audience enough time to catch up on their breath after sudden and dramatic change of the camera.

The mysteries about murders and character of Mother are revealed at the end when Marion's sister Lila and her boyfriend Sam learn from local Sherif that Norman's mother had been killed many years ago. Lila discovers mother's corpse in the basement of Norman's house. Together with Sam they stop Norman from more murders and put him into psychiatric care. All details about the psychology of Norman's behaviour and his motives are explained by the character of psychiatrist.

Norman lived alone with his domineering mother as no one else exists which leads into Oedipus complex. When his mother finds a partner after all these years he feels hurt and rejected therefore he kills them both. He cannot stand horrible crime he committed so has to erase it, at least in his mind. His personality splits and he becomes also his mother. Because he was always so jealous about her, he assumes that she has to be jealous about him as well, so the mother half of him has to kill every woman that Norman likes. 


Figure 4, Norman in psychiatric care



It was also Hitchcock, who directed the sound designing process. The first third of the film is sound design calm and nature. There are only sounds that are coming out of a scene. It is in that notorious shower scene when the audience can hear terrifying shrieking sound of violins for the first time. Thence its's repeating with every horror scene and sometimes the sound starts even earlier just to prepare the audience that something bad is going to happen.

It is impossible to overlook the amount of birds of signs of birds appearing in the movie. Starting with the Marion's surname, continuing with the name of the city where the first act is happening and finally the creepy office of Norman filled with stuffed birds. As Monahan said for Telegraph it makes the audience questioning: ''Was he also subconsciously warming up for his next project, The Birds?'' (2015)
Illustrations:
Figure 1, Loefler Shawn (2010) [Website] At: http://www.yellmagazine.com/psycho-blu-ray/4208/  (Accessed on 11 February 17)
Figure 2, Calvin Law (2016) [Blogger] At: http://actorvsactor.blogspot.co.uk/2016/08/ranking-alfred-hitchcocks-films.html (Accessed on 11 February 17)
Figure 3, Jonathan Crow (2014) [Website] At: http://www.openculture.com/2014/10/1000-frames-of-hitchcock.html (Accessed on 11 February)
Figure 4, Jason Bovberg (2012) [Website] At: http://www.jasonbovberg.com/hitchcock-conversations-psycho-1960/ (Accessed on 11 February 17)

Bibliography:

Bradshaw, Peter (2012) Mty Favourite Hitchcock: Psycho 
At: https://www.theguardian.com/film/filmblog/2012/jul/23/my-favourite-hitchcock-psycho (Accessed on 11 February 17)
Crowther, Bosley (1960) PSYCHO 
At: http://www.nytimes.com/movie/review?res=EE05E7DF173DE273BC4F52DFB066838B679EDE (Accessed on 11 February 17)
Dargis, Manohla (2012) A Knife and a Shower: Sounds Hitchocockian 
At: http://www.nytimes.com/2012/11/23/movies/hitchcock-with-anthony-hopkins-and-helen-mirren.html (Accessed on 11 February 17)
Dwyer, Shawn (2016) Alfred Hitchcock's 'Psycho' 
At: http://classicfilm.about.com/od/mysteryandsuspense/fr/Alfred-Hitchcock-S-Pyscho.htm (Accessed on 11 February)
Ebert, Roger (1998) Psycho 
At: http://www.rogerebert.com/reviews/great-movie-psycho-1960 (Accessed on 11 February 17)
Freuds Concept Of The Unconscious And Psycho Film Studies Essay (2015) 
At: https://www.ukessays.com/essays/film-studies/freuds-concept-of-the-unconscious-and-psycho-film-studies-essay.php (Accessed on 11 February 17)
Genzlinger, Neil (2010) Room Service 
At: http://www.nytimes.com/2010/01/24/books/review/Genzlinger-t.html (Accessed on 11 February 17)
Monahan, Mark (2015) Psycho, review At: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/culture/film/filmreviews/11025424/Psycho-review.html (Accessed on 11 February 17)
Rebello, Stephen (1999) Alfred Hitchcock and the Making of Psycho 

At: http://filmsound.org/articles/hitchcock/makingpsycho.htm (Accessed on 11 February 17)