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Year 11 Visual Text Unit


Year 11 Visual Text Unit – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Year 11 Visual Text Unit

Year 11 Visual Text Unit
Aims of Unit
  • After this unit I will
  • Understand key film terminology
  • Become familiar with camera angles and shots and
    their intended effects
  • Study the aspects of film (lighting, sound,
    costume, makeup, characters, theme, setting,
    special fx, camera)
  • View and take notes on a selected film
  • Write several essays on aspects of the film

Studying a film
  • You can use the same text features as written
    texts, characters, setting, theme, etc. But a
    films quality is also dependent on its technical
    features. It is required that you comment on
    these in your essays.

  • The atmosphere in film is created by sound
    effects, music and camera work.
  • The camera (rather than narrative or dialogue) is
    the main way the audience attention is drawn to
    what is important.

The Literary features of Film
  • should build up to a climax which is the highest
    point of tension in the film and usually occurs
    at or near the end.
  • Situation
  • conflict
  • crisis point
  • resolution

  • Sometimes there is a subplot which runs side by
    side to the main plot. Sub plots add depth and
    complexity to a story as well as emphasising some
    of the main ideas.

  • Most films have 3 acts.
  • The first act is about 17 minutes long and ends
    with a crucial turning point which leads into act
  • This is known as the page 17 moment. This is the
    moment of no return for the protagonist.

  • This is usually a conscious decision by the
    director. 16-18 minutes
  • At this point the protagonist has no control over
    their life.
  • In the second turning point, they do have control
    or they take control. This leads into the final

The Grammar of Film
  • A story consists of letters

  • Which make up words

  • Words make up sentences

  • Sentences make up paragraphs

  • Paragraphs make up a story

  • A film consists of frames

  • Frames make up shots

  • Shots make up scenes

  • Scenes make up sequences

  • Sequences make up a film

Themes in film
  • Most films have an important message. This may
    be a comment on society, on human relationships
    or values or the film may have a moral.
  • Some films help the viewer to understand others.
  • Other films present groups of people as

  • Films usually establish a setting early on with
    establishing long shots quickly giving the
    audience a clear idea of the location.
  • Once these have been established, the events and
    characters should appear both realistic and
    convincing as a part of this setting.

Aspects of Setting
  • Time - when
  • Place - where
  • Social Climate
  • gender roles
  • - what was society like?
  • - traditions, beliefs
  • - economic state
  • - political/religious state

  • Setting is conveyed on film through vehicles,
    clothes, hairstyles, dialogue, music, songs,
    building styles, furniture, props and all other
    things that belong to a time and place.

  • In film, it is important for the actors to become
    the characters they are playing.
  • You can judge these characters on 3 levels
  • script, performance, direction(shots and what
    the director has told them to do)
  • Only the second one is in the control of the

What to look for?
  • How do they change?
  • What do other characters think of them?
  • What they say? What others say to them?
  • Their relationships, conflicts, decisions.
  • Their role in the film.
  • What we can learn from them.
  • What theme do they highlight?
  • Appearance, background, talents?

Technical aspects of film
Facts about V 4 V
  • Based on Alan Moores graphic novel.
  • Set after a limited nuclear war which has left
    much of the world destroyed.
  • Fascist party is called Norsefire and they are
    the ruling power.
  • First episodes were published in black and white
    between 1982-85

  • Premiere was supposed to be on Guy Fawkes night,
    400th anniversary of the gunpowder plot.
  • London bombings postponed it to March 2006.
  • Director was James McTeigue born in Tauranga.
  • He directed the Matrix
  • The original graphic novel is much darker than
    the film and was created as a response to British
    Thatcherism in the early 80s (Margaret
  • Running time 132 minutes
  • Budget 54 million
  • Moore disassociated himself from the film due to
    a continuous series of disagreements over film
    adaptions of his work.
  • He did not want his name to appear in the closing

  • The illustrator of the graphic novel David Lloyd
    supported the films adaptation.
  • V for Vendetta was filmed in London and Germany.
    Most of it was filmed on sound stages and indoor
  • The cinematographer Adrian Biddle died of a heart
    attack in Dec 05, making V his last film.
  • The film was shot to have a future retro look,
    with a heavy use of grey tones to give a dreary,
    stagnant feel to London. The largest set for the
    film was the shadow gallery which was made to
    look like a crypt. This is Vs home and the
    place he stores a lot of forbidden artifacts from
    the government. E.g The lady of Shallot by John
    William Waterhouse.

  • One of the biggest challenges of the film was
    bringing the character of V to life despite never
    seeing him or his expressions. Lighting, sound,
    and voice was used together to create the proper
    mood. A microphone was placed in his hairline
    and then to prevent muffling from the mask, his
    entire dialogue was re recorded post filming.
  • James Purefoy was originally cast for V but he
    couldnt handle wearing the mask for long periods
    of time.

  • What was the name of the girl imprisoned next to
  • What was the movie she was well known for?
  • What is the Chancellors name?
  • Each of the law enforcement structures take their
    name from parts of ?
  • How old was Evey when her parents were detained?
  • Who deactivated the bomb set by V?
  • How did Evey know the anchor woman was lying
    about Protheros death?
  • How did Eveys brother die?
  • What is Gordons secret?
  • Evey appeared in what Shakespeare play as a
  • Who does Evey go out after curfew to visit?
  • What is the famous poem that Evey and V recite?

  • When Evey comes back to see V on the eve of
    November 5, what does he ask her to do?
  • What type of flower did V leave with his victims?
  • What is the slogan on the sign V slices into?
  • What is the last thing Evey says to V?
  • What is Eveys last name?
  • What is the first building that is destroyed by
  • Who plays the character V? Evey?
  • What did V call his home?
  • What did V endure years ago?
  • Who lived at 6 Albery Street?
  • What does the guard say to Evey when she refuses
    to answer their interrogation when she is
  • Why can she go from her cell?
  • Why did V torture her?

  • Is V a freedom fighter or a terrorist?
  • Do you think Evey and V love each other in the
  • Who sympathises with V?
  • What has happened to the rest of the world
    outside Britain?
  • Stephen ? And Stephen ?
  • Who plays the role of the Chancellor?
  • What is the piece of classical music that V uses?
  • Where does Evey work?
  • Why does Evey escape from V?
  • Why does Gordons home get searched?
  • What is so significant about Evey getting her
    head shaved?

  • What is the Inspectors name?
  • Britain has previously suffered from war and
    terrorism due to their assistance in the ?
  • Norsefire has to restore order so enemies of the
    state ??
  • This caused the country to be deeply ?
  • A ? occurred which killed over ? People
  • A cure for the virus was distributed which made
    Norsefire a huge amount of money. This mean that
    they could ? all opposition and ? the next
    election by a landslide.
  • The attack has been engineered by ? to gain power
    of the people.

  • Who were the people detained at the Larkhill
    Detention Centre?
  • What was special about V?
  • Why is he called V?
  • What does V ship out to hundreds of homes?
  • What is so important about these masks?
  • The wearing of these masks encourages some of the
    citizens to do ?
  • Why does V go to meet the Chanceller and Creedy?
  • Why does V survive the barrage of bullets?
  • How does he kill Creedy?
  • Who kills the Chancellor?
  • Why does Inspector Finch let Evey carry on and
    blow up parliament?
  • Who is V?

Using the Camera
  • To make a good film, you must understand the
    language of film making. How to use a camera,
    compose a sequence of shots, control lighting,
    change the depth of field and edit to produce a
    quality finished product.

Technical Terms
  • Subject The person or thing being filmed.
  • Aperture the size of the opening of the lens
    which controls the amount of light reaching the
  • Each time the camera stops and starts again, a
    new shot begins. Each attempt at a shot is
    called a take.
  • Depth of field means the amount of the view
    through the camera which is the focus.
  • The flow of shots which deal with the same
    subject in order is called a sequence.
  • Sequences which run together produce a scene.
  • A frame is a single picture on celluloid or
    magnetic film.

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The Camera
  • High Angle Camera is higher than subject and
    looks down so the subject appears to be small,
    weak or threatened.
  • Level Angle Usual level for filming. Camera is
    at subjects eye level.
  • Low Angle Looking up at subject who now appears
    to be tall and powerful.

  • The main shots you need to learn are
  • Close up
  • Extreme close up
  • Long shot / establishing shot
  • Medium / mid shot
  • Reaction shot
  • Over the shoulder shot
  • Crane shot
  • Hand held camera

  • Walking with a hand held camera will produce an
    unsteady picture, as if the viewer is in the
    scene and are the eyes of the subject.
  • Using a tripod enables a steady picture.
  • Static The subject remains in the same
    position, so the camera does not need to move at
  • Zoom Requires a zoom lens. The subject can be
    made larger or smaller without moving the subject
    or object.
  • Pan Swivelling a mounted camera from side to

  • Tilt Tilting the camera vertically up and down.
  • Head on The subject moves towards the camera
    and involves the audience.
  • Tail away The subject walks away from the
  • Tracking Requires some sort of mobile support
    called a dolly to wheel the camera along as it
    follows the subject.
  • Pull back The camera moves back from an object
    first seen in a close up to a place in context.
    This shot usually suprises the viewer.

Special Purpose Shots
  • Cut-away a very brief shot of something
    connected with the scene but outside the action.
    Usually some clouds or scenery.
  • Cut-in or insert a very brief shot of something
    involved with the action.
  • Re establishing shot Usually a long shot which
    shows the audience the whole scene again.

  • Focusing on close objects or subjects keeps our
    attention while other objects or the background
    seems blurred. An impression of depth is given by
    changing the focus or arranging objects in the
    scene to show distance.
  • Focus is not just about getting the subject
    clear. Most shots of a nearby subject look best
    if the background is blurred.
  • The smaller the lens opening (aperture) the
    greater the depth of field.
  • When you narrow the depth aperture to increase
    the depth of field, you cut down the amount of
    light which reaches the film.To make up for this,
    you need to increase the amount of light
    available as you reduce the size of the aperture
    so that the subject remains clearly visible.

  • Many cameras have adjustable film speed. Speeded
    up shots are created by slowing the film down.
  • Fast motion is often used for humour or is
    sometimes effective as a means of compressing
  • Slow motion is used to focus attention on an
    action or emotion.

  • Tchaikovskys 1812 Overture was written to
    commemorate Russias 1812 defense against
    Napoleans advancing Grande Armee at the Battle
    of Norodino during the French invasion of Russia.
  • The Overture debuted in the cathedral of Christ
    the Saviour in Moscow on August 20, 1882. It is
    best known for its climactic volley of cannon
    fire and ringing chimes. It is used often in the
    US for celebrations like Independence Day.

  • What happened?
  • On September 7, 1812 (75 miles) west of Moscow at
    Borodino, Napoleans forces met those of Mikhail
    Illarionovich Kutuzov from Russia. The French
    Army was known to be invincible. The battle saw
    casualties as high as 100,000 and produced
    victory for neither side. It did however break
    the back of the French invasion.
  • The Russian army retreated and Napoleans forces
    moved into Moscow but had no food, froze, endured
    famine etc. The Russian forces barred their way
    out of the country. Napolean abandoned them and
    the army was one tenth its original size by the
    time it reached Poland.

  • Sixteen cannon shots are written into the musical
    score, each one combined with a mixture of notes
    and playing of God preserve thy people
    portraying the increasing distress of the Russian
    people at the hands of the invading French.
  • At the turning point of the invasion, the score
    calls for five Russian cannon shots. The
    descending string passage represents the
    subsequent attrition of the French forces,
    followed by the victory bells and triumphant
    repetition of God preserve thy people. A
    musical chase appears, out of which emerges the
    anthem God Save the Tsar! thundering with
    eleven more precisely scored shots.

  • "Voilà! In view, a humble vaudevillian veteran,
    cast vicariously as both victim and villain by
    the vicissitudes of Fate. This visage, no mere
    veneer of vanity, is it vestige of the vox
    populi, now vacant, vanished, as the once vital
    voice of the verisimilitude now venerates what
    they once vilified. However, this valorous
    visitation of a bygone vexation stands vivified,
    and has vowed to vanquish these venal and
    virulent vermin vanguarding vice and vouchsafing
    the violently vicious and voracious violation of
    volition. The only verdict is vengeance a
    vendetta held as a votive, not in vain, for the
    value and veracity of such shall one day
    vindicate the vigilant and the virtuous. Verily,
    this vichyssoise of verbiage veers most verbose
    vis-à-vis an introduction, and so it is my very
    good honor to meet you and you may call me V."

  • Music should be suitable for the setting and mood
    of the film.
  • It is used to support the dramatic sequences by
    inspiring tension and expectations in the right
  • Sound effects add to the realism of the film.

Sound Terms
  • Ambient live background sounds creating the
    illusion that we are seeing and hearing a real
    world such as the sounds of distant birds or
  • Wild (live) sound sound actually recorded while
    the shot is made, e.g footsteps, clapping, birds

  • Background music Off screen, non diegetic sound.
    The music does not originate from within the
    action but accompanies it to heighten the
    emotional intensity or drama.
  • Dubbing Replaces sounds, voices or languages on
    the sound track with others, though maintaining
    their sync with the image as much as possible.
  • Sound effects Mixed into the sound track to
    accompany action as if they were already there.

  • Diegetic sound Source of the sound is visible
    on the screen or implied to be present by the
  • e.g voices of characters, objects in the story,
    music coming from instruments
  • Another word for digetic sound is actual sound.
  • It comes from the greek word diegesis meaning
    recounted story.

Non diegetic??
  • Sound whose source is neither visible on the
    screen nor has been implied to be present.
  • e.g narrators commentary
  • Sound effects added for dramatic effect
  • Mood music

Mise en scene
  • An expression used in theatre and film to
    describe the design aspects of a production.
  • The french term literally means putting on
    stage. This refers to everything that appears
    before the camera and its arrangement.

Guy Fawkes
  • 15 April 1570 - 31 January 1606
  • Sometimes known as Guido Fawkes
  • Was a member of a group of Catholic
    revolutionaries from England.
  • Robert Catesby actually thought up the gunpowder
    plot but Fawkes was put in charge of executing it
    because of his experience.
  • Fawkes was caught guarding the explosives as he
    was wearing a coat, boots and spurs. This is of
    course what V wears.

  • The English parliament repressed local Catholics.
    One example was a lady called Margaret Clitherow
    who protected Catholic priests in her home and as
    a result was crushed to death.
  • England was divided between Protestants and
  • Fawkes spent 10 years fighting for the Spanish
    Catholic cause as a soldier. He gained a lot of
    experience with explosives during this time.
  • The plot was to kill King James 1 of England, his
    family and most of the aristocracy by blowing up
    the House of Lords in the Palace of Westminster
    during the State Opening of Parliament.

  • When Fawkes was caught, he was asked by one of
    the Scottish Lords What did you intend to do
    with so much gunpowder? He answered, To blow
    you Scotch beggars back to your own native
  • On 31 January 1606, Fawkes and a number of others
    were tried in Westminster Hall. After being
    found guilty, they were taken to the Old Palace
    Yard in Westminster and St Pauls Yard where they
    were hanged, drawn and quartered. Fawkes,
    however cheated the hangman by jumping from the
    scaffold, breaking his neck before he could be
    drawn and quartered.

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