One of my favourite directors is Edgar Wright, over the decade and a half he has developed a style that I love and i can immediately recognise. For our animation I think there is a lot of content in his films that could be adapted to our own animation. I must warn I’m going to bring out a lot of trivia I know on the films. My teenage years are prepared for this one blog post.
We were recently shown ‘Every frame of Painting’ a online series which analysis film making; of course they did a brilliant one on Edgar Wright:
Heres a couple of things that the video has mentioned which I think are key for our animation. The story of the lightbulb has humour, so we need to set up that humour and stage our film well.
- Moving things in/out of the frame
Edgar Wright stages things so they move in and out in funny and charismatic ways. In our own animation; our character is going to fall and appear overshadowing the light bulb. We could replicate this motion with the character appearing in and out of the frame in a new way.
This is where i go a bit off key and spew my own observations and knowledge. Edgar Wright captures movement in a very fluent way. The shot of the hands appearing out of no where are quick and abrupt. This goes the same for characters moving in and out of shots as they don’t move, they float making the exaggeration of their pose funny.
There is a certain attention to detail when it comes to timing, the relationship between dialogue and action is very key which is why it’s funny.Looking at our own animation we need to understand this relationship.
- Quick Cuts which tell the story
‘Every Frame of painting’ used a good example in Hot Fuzz to breakdown how quick cuts are useful. It is very deliberate to tell the story and is done to bring humour to mundane things.Again audio really plays a part in this, in most of these quick cut stories there is always a millisecond bringing drama and suspense. In Spaced Tyres (The rave character who’s there as their mentor for like one episode. Any who!) is dancing to the mundane things in the room is abruptly cut off at the end. This is a very early on example of Edgar Wright using this technique but it’s interesting to see how this style has progressed.
Spaced Ringing in the Ears
Edgar Wright shouldn’t be at total create for this as Simon Pegg did co- write the cornetto trilogy; as well write Spaced along with Jessica Stevenson. Both Edgar and Simon foreshadow events well. A brilliant example of this is in Shaun of the Dead. The events of the zombie attack are actually told in the beginning through Ed
Bloody Mary first thing – The first zombie they encounter is Mary who they impale.
Bite at The Kings Head – Philip gets bit by a zombie in the neck.
Couple at The Little Princess – They save Liz and her mates at her apartment.
Stagger back here – They arrive at the Winchester for safety.
Back at the bar for shots – They are in a rush to find shot gun shell behind the bar when over run by zombies.
With this and foreshadowing of Ed’s plot line (In the beginning he imitates being a monkey and in the end it becomes a reality when Ed is a zombie.) There is some great written dialogue which i think our group need to take note of. Its not just how pose our characters but what they say and the significance of dialogue.
Shaun of the Dead The Winchester Pub scene
- Lighting cues
This was already explained in the ‘Every Frame of Painting’ video but I think its a technique we could totally apply to our animation. Since our animation is based on light, lighting cues for nearly the end of our animation could symbolise a dramatic moment!
Other cool things that would be cool to do!
In this scene we know more about this character because of the whiteboard behind; this is a very fast shot that we could do. Like on a patient file or a white board of our own which could foreshadow the character.
This is done a few times but the parallel of the background makes the scene funnier. Thinking back to our animation when the character is interrupted by the nurse we could have imagery in the background which shows a parallel.
Not one I think we could implement but its a cool idea. In Hot fuzz Bill Bailey character and his twin are not only separated by there hair and accent but the book they read. One of them is Iain Banks and the other is reading Iain M Banks. Small details to the character i think are nice touches however we technically only have one character so that may not work!
I will stop their only because i’ve realised I would just ramble about not important stuff! I’m glad I got a chance to talk about films and directors i love and for them to actually apply!!