The Clip Club

Primary after-school club in East London, UK – we watch, talk about, shoot and edit short films and clips

Alma Analysis Session

I’m still thinking about last week – analysing Rodrigo’s Blaas’ short animated film – Alma – almost frame by frame – it was an explosive session.

Bursting with great ideas and discussions about the intentions of the film maker, narrative, camera distance, positioning and movement, symbolism, sound, editing, artistry, mood and light…. Wizard23 and Dual2 wrote down many of the techniques used in Alma, some of which we may use in our own film to create drama and suspense.

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Film techniques used in Alma to create drama and suspense

I particularly liked Clara’s suggestion that the front of the shop looked like a menacing face into which Alma was being drawn. Mr. P noticed that the ECU of the dolls’ head with Alma’s reflection inside it could symbolise her being inside the dolls’ head later. This idea comes back again seeing the inside of the shop out of Alma’s doll’s eyes when she’s sitting on the shelf.

The clipclubbers also made comments on the sound effects and the creepy music. Often sounds are heard before you see what’s making the sound. There’s a good point of view sequence of shots when Alma is looking for her doll and the camera moves quickly from left to right, as if it was her head searching this way and that. We noted that there were about 40 separate frames that made up the amazing 2 second sequence when Alma got ‘absorbed’ into the the doll. A couple of these frames reminded me of Gman’s flash photos of Wizard23 lying on the floor.

There are lots of activities we could follow up with here.. Some experimental scriptwriting/poetry: from the point of view of the next doll-victim? a conversation between the twin dolls when they see Alma coming in the shop? the thoughts of the little boy trying to escape? more on Alma’s confusion? something exploring the ‘thoughts’ of the shop itself.

If we had time we could also storyboard and film a reconstruction of a section of the film trying out camera shots, always bearing in mind that no shot must go to waste – there must always be a reason for a choice of shot. Another idea might be to improvise this – in silence – with them taking it in turns to be the director placing camera, people and props accordingly.

However, I think that the next session should be about discussing and starting to storyboard our film.

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