Wednesday, 13 November 2013

Cinema/Idle Fanedit Ideas: Gravity

I managed to catch Gravity earlier this week, at one of the few 2D screenings to boot, and was mostly pretty impressed with it. Some magnificent visuals, and while some of the technical details were undoubtedly dodgy it was a pleasure to see a film in which the nature of sound in space wasn't ignored for the sake of lazy storytelling.

Having said that, I have a nasty streak when it comes to this sort of film, and there's a part of me that wanted it to just end with a fade to black when Stone made it to the Soyuz capsule and realised it was out of fuel. Which would probably work, but make the film feel too short, and thematically weird - Stone would essentially come to terms with the fact that she has to work through her grief over her child's death, and then give in and effectively kill herself.

Which got me to thinking that one particularly challenging but interesting option would be to borrow the idea for the conclusion from Berberian Sound Studio, and go for the full absurd/surreal approach to imply this darker ending. Things like dropping the score for exterior scenes (because the score and its use in the third act was a load of old bollocks, to be honest - typical overblown dumbed-down guff), adding shots or entire sequences from other films like Alien (particularly the segments toward the end where Ripley is on the run from the xenomorph), 2001: A Space Odyssey or Star Trek: Into Darkness, fading in and out voices in different languages on Stone's helmet radio, and more. Essentially veer completely away from the "real" ending and instead have the final sequence be one long CO2-induced hallucination such that at the end you don't actually know what's happened to her. If nothing else, it would be more ambiguous and subtle than the hamfisted rebirth motif CuarĂ³n chose to wrap up the film.

Tuesday, 5 November 2013

Project complete: The Equation Of Crime, final opening sequence

As of last Sunday, I finished The Equation Of Crime, my homage to von Trier's The Element Of Crime for the upcoming Cops Consecution. It's been an interesting challenge, in that I decided early on to work only with footage from Pi to force myself into more creative solutions to the various problems. It limited me in some ways like lack of establishing shots or an overt murder sequence, but this limitation forced me to come up with some ideas for split-screen sequences that I think work nicely as a complement to von Trier's use of crossfaded video segments in his film. I'll have to wait and see whether audience feedback determines that it works as a narrative, but even if the narrative is a failure, it's been a success as a technical exercise (turning a feature-length film into a 15-minute silent short with a substantially different story).

One issue I was expecting to struggle with was the soundtrack - part of the reason I really like Pi is its excellently oppresive soundtrack, and I had to force myself not to re-use it for my project since I felt that would just remind the viewer of the source film. In the end, I found I was able to use a selection of songs from DJ Rkod in a way that perfectly creates the atmosphere I was looking for.

Here's the opening sequence uploaded to Vimeo, using the song "Bullet" from DJ Rkod's album Naoise.

TEOC opening sequence (final) from That One Guy on Vimeo.
Password is "the equation".

Assuming it meets the criteria for inclusion in the Cops Consecution, this should be released at the start of December. I'll hold off uploading the full edit to Vimeo for a while after that.

I'm going to take a short break from other editing projects for the time being. The main thing I've been working on recently is a feature-length silent version of Dagon, trying to make it more in line (at least in terms of atmosphere and tone) with The Shadow Over Innsmouth - which will involve an awful lot of titles for dialogue, and still requires some work on the new script. So it's still quite a way from being complete.

I have other ideas on the boil as well, and since I've purchased a copy of Sony Movie Studio I'd like to do a simple-ish project to learn my way around the software. At the moment I think this will probably turn out to be a polished version of my Mortal Kombat edit - whether it ends up as something I can release or not is undetermined, since a lot of the changes require speeding up fight scene footage by between 33% and 200% (the choreography of the fights is reasonable, but far too many sequences are in slow-motion). But trying to recreate it should get me accustomed to the new software.

As a taster, here's my idea for a better intro/credit sequence:

MK Opening Sequence from That One Guy on Vimeo.
Password is "ultraviolent cut".