My research during the summer

As a student who considers taking Film Studies at university, I paid my coursework production a lot of time during the summer holiday. After deciding on the ‘short’ genre, it was time to choose the short-film’s sub-genre. I must say this was the most difficult part as I watched a variety of shorts, and many inspired me. Each different sub-genre consisted a different filming style (camera shots and angles), a different editing pace, a different mise-en-scene, and different lightenings. Of course, all the listed elements were used to portray the short’s sub-genre. For example, a comedy short called ‘STAR’ (http://shortsbay.com/film/star) contains aspects of an action film in the middle. The action part uses a fast editing pace to convey the fast speed of the car. This was used alongside a variety of shots, including shaky ones (but not close-ups as It does not concentrate on character emotions, but rather their actions). This is clearly contrasted to the start of the short film where the shots were very still and many close-ups were used to show the characters’ emotions, and to get the audience familiar with the characters’ faces.

Through my research during the summer, and my experiences as a viewer with films in the past years: I have come to the realisation of the needed elements to make a film appropriate to its genre. Drama films are perfect examples for containing steady shots that are edited to make a slow paced film. They will also mainly concentrate on the characters’ emotions, therefore, a lot of close-ups will be used. Although, all what’s been mentioned varies depending on each mood of the film (not just genre, and each film has many changing moods), mise-en-scene is the most obvious varying element e.g. the happier the characters are, the brighter they will dress, or the brighter the screen settings will become. My personal opinion from my experiences at watching drama films is that each film consists a scene which has a ‘yellow-ish’ setting to it. The yellow setting can be used to convey a variety of moods e.g. War (as shown in ‘The Lucky One’) or memories (as shown in ‘Remember Me’) and such.
Horror/thriller genres are like action, edited to make a quick pace. However, horror/thriller films tend to have a darker lightening to them which creates suspense and build tension. Whereas, action genres concentrate to the speed and generally have a ‘natural colour’ setting.
The mentioned three genres were the most appealing to me during my summer research.

Although I have looked at many sites to see examples of short films, the primary sites I visited were:

http://shortsbay.com/feature/award-winning
http://www.filmsshort.com
http://filmshortage.com/short-films/

Through those sites I was able to look at a variety of shorts. Particular films that influenced me were:

– ‘The Technician’ (http://shortsbay.com/film/the-technician)
– ‘December’ (http://shortsbay.com/film/december)
– ‘What Is That?’ (http://shortsbay.com/film/what-is-that)
– ‘Strangers’ (http://shortsbay.com/film/strangers)
– ‘The Last Three Minutes’ By Po Chain (http://www.filmsshort.com/best-short-films/Best-American-Films-1.html)
– ‘To Sleep & Dream’ (http://filmshortage.com/shorts/to-sleep-dream/)
– ‘Coward’ (http://filmshortage.com/shorts/coward/)

Screen Shot 2013-04-04 at 03.49.06 Screen Shot 2013-04-04 at 03.52.13

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