The Clip Club

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

Archive for the category “GMan”

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.

Session 9 – Alma, editing and a little bit of blogging

In session 9 we started off by watching a clip called ‘Alma’:

This clip was an award winning animation by French (actually, Spanish) people and has won 4 competitions and several Oscars. Here is what Leonardo, GMan and DJess posted about it. I think that everyone who signs their name on the wall is the next victim of the evil, self-killing shop. Unluckily, Alma signed her name on the wall and the doll popped up in the window. Clara had an interesting idea on the fact that they monitor you through the window on the wall and pop up an appropriate doll.

After watching and discussing we continued editing our trailers while Michelle took us out, to teach us to post. I taught Leonardo.

A great session and expect to see some posts coming soon!

Alma – the animation

We watched an animation called Alma. People thought it was quite scary but I didn’t. There was a bit where the girl disappeared into the doll which was quite good but it could have been better if there were more sound effects and more gruesomeness.

Editing Horror/Thriller trailers

It’s great to see everyone turning up for more Clipclub sessions – we’ll be carrying on into the summer months. This is important because, as we’re discovering, films take lots of time, planning, concentration and effort! Over the past 2 sessions the team has been been working on edits for a potential film trailer.

Before they get on with editing we talk about what makes a good edit:

  • selecting the most interesting bits of the available clips:
    • visually
    • cinematically
    • dramatically
  • being careful about deciding where clips start and where clips finish (the start point and the end point)
  • thinking about clip length – shorter the better for trailers
  • carefully adding digital effects: sound effects, voices, titles, music, fade ins and fade outs
  • carefully editing digital effects: reversing or slowing down sound
  • not SHOWING and EXPLAINING everything… it’s better to make people curious and raise questions in people’s minds so they want to see the film

The below clips were done in a short space of time, with only a quick demonstration on the whiteboard of what’s possible in the software. This one by Nimbus and Leonardo is particularly good and captures all the suspense of a thriller/horror trailer, made from the various bits of footage and sound taken over the past few weeks.:

Here are more practice trailers which aren’t quite finished yet:

Photographs by Gman

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