Post Production – Editing (pt 1.) 

To edit my short film and production vlogs I will be using PremierPro.

I began my editing process by editing the vlog I recorded at the end of my first filming day, Saturday 15th April. In the vlog I talked about how filming went, what issues I faced and how I did or will resolve them and what I had to film next. As this was a short clip I imported it into PremierPro and cut the beginning, where I am reaching to turn on the camera, a part in the middle where I repeated a sentence after stopping and starting and then the ending before I reached to turn off the camera. I then uploaded this video to YouTube[1] as part of my production diaries.

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I then began to edit the footage from the first day of filming, which is the flashback scenes in my film. I started by imported and renaming the shots.

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I chose to start with the second flashback scene, at it would be the most complicated to edit because I want to include text messages on screen. Originally I was going to use a close up shot of the messages, however when I reviewed my footage the next day I found that I hadn’t focused the camera and the messages appeared blurry, which I am now glad about as I like the idea of the text bubbles appearing as the messages are recieved, on screen next to the mirror instead. To find a solution I did some secondary research online and found a video on YouTube[2] which explained the different ways text messages have appeared on screen in soap operas, TV shows and film. It also showed the different styles I could use, however I will be using the IPhone grey bubbles. Unfortunately the video did not give an explanation on how I could do this in the editing procces.

The video first explained that the most common way of showing text messages on screen is the shot reverse shot, where we see the character, then the phone displaying the message and then back to the character.

 

It then went on to show the various styles that filmmakers can use to show text messages on screen, including bubbles, free floating text or text bubbles that appear to be attached to the device / person and move with them. The person who created the tutorial seems to prefer BBC Sherlock’s method of free standing text without a bubble because of its simplicity, however I would prefer to include text bubbles.

The Fault In Our Stars (2014)

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House of Cards (2013-)

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Sherlock (2010 – 2017)

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As this video didn’t explain how I could create this effect in my own video I looked online for a tutorial and found an article[3] which included the video I have already looked at by Every Frame A Painting. It also included an AfterEffects template for text messages, which I tried to download, however I was unable to as I would have had to install new software onto the computer which students are not allowed to do.

I then found another video on YouTube[4] which was a step – by – step tutorial on how to use Photoshop to create a text bubble and layer it over my video using AfterEffects.





 

I followed the steps in the video, which started with editing an image of a text bubble in PhotoShop to remove the background of the image. I did this and then saved the image as a document, which I then imported into PremierPro and layered over the clip I wanted it to appear in. I found that once I made the image transparent the edges of the bubble looked messy and the background was visible. I tried to edit the image again to give the bubble a smoother outline however the edges still looked messy. 

I decided to use a different method, as creating a text bubble in Photoshop was difficult for me to do. I decided to use a recording of a girls voice reading the messages as it could represent the character reading the messages in her head. I decided to repeat the last part – ‘it’s your fault’ to show that the character believes that the abuse is her fault, this also shows that the abuser has used emotional abuse to manipulate her into believing him and that it has effected her mental state. I used Louise Howarth’s, another media student, voice as she has a similar accent to my actress, Niamh. I decided to use a sound bridge and overlap the repeated sentence with the scene where the character stops running to show the audience that the flashback has ended. I chose to stop editing at this point and will continue next week.

Primary Research – Go Pro Tutorial and Test Shoot.

Tutorial:

For my primary research I had a short tutorial with Brian, our equipment technician, on the GoPro Hero4 and the Karma Grip tripod. He went over the functions of both, which I took notes on and then explained how to use the GoPro whilst it was connected to the Karma Grip. Even though I have never used the GoPro or Karma Grip before I am now confident about using them as Brian gave me a lot of information.

booking form 3

After the tutorial I looked at the GoPro Hero4 on www.abekislevitz.com [1]  and the Karma Grip tripod on the official website www.gopro.com for more information on the devices so that I had a better understanding of how they could be used.

GoPro Hero4 Research:

The GoPro Hero4 has a setting called ProTune, which if enabled, activates adjustable settings for video mode including – white balance, colour tuning, ISO Limit, Sharpening and Exposure Compensation. These adjustable settings can be used and changed on the attachable screen at the back of the GoPro or the small screen at the front.

White Balance is the colour temperature of your footage (from cool to warm.) On the GoPro Hero4 this is set to auto which works in all conditions. The symbols for White Balance represent daylight mode, automatic mode and tungsten mode.


To lock off the colour temperature, you can set this to different values on the Kelvin scale, between 3000K and 6500K. 3000K will make the footage appear blue to look neutral, while 6500K will give the footage a ‘warm’ yellow colour. The Kelvin scale is a measurement of temperature, used in media (film and photography) to measure the amount of light being recieved and how this effects the look of the footage.


As I am filming outside, in natural light I will keep the white balance setting at auto.

Colour Turning is the overall colour, saturation and contrast of the video. For the Hero4 there are two options – Colour and Flat. Colour is the standing tuning with higher saturation, contrast and accurate colours. Flat is a neutral colour and should be used only if you are experienced with the  settings on the GoPro. I will most likely be using the colour setting. The symbol for Colour Turning is a paintbrush.

The ISO Limit tells the camera how bright it should be in darker scenes or lighting by affecting the gain of the footage. The default setting is set to 6400. This means that in a dark room it will use digital lighting gain to make the footage brighter to compensate. Adding gain will affect your footage however, making it look grainy and sound noisy. As you lower the ISO, the footage will appear darker. The ISO limit won’t affect video footage during daylight or bright lighting. The symbol for ISO is simply the letters. The website I have looked at recommended setting the ISO to 400, as it will give the footage a clearer appearance. I will test both settings and decided which is best when filming.

The Sharpness setting affects the digital sharpness in the video. The default setting is high, which makes the footage appear sharp. The setting allows you to lower the sharpness if you prefer a smoother looking video, or if you want to sharpen the footage in post production. The symbol is –


The Exposure Compensation setting lets you decide wether the camera should always be lighting or darker than normal. The default setting is 0. If you set this to +2.0, the footage will appear to be 2 ‘stops’ lighter – this is also known as the F. Stop. Using +2.0 will make the footage 4x brighter, whereas setting it to -2.0 will make it 4x darker. The author of the website recommended keeping this at 0. Again I will experiment with this when filming depending on the lighting. The symbol is –


There are three video modes for the Hero4, which Brian explained to me. Narrow – which gives the camera a narrow view, Wide – which gives the camera a wider view and gives the footage a rounded appearance at the edges, as if it is a bowl, and Linear – which gives the camera a normal view and seems to crop the rounded edges. Brian first suggested using the narrow setting, but then suggested I use linear as it will remove the rounded edges. I will experiment with both settings as I will some scenes multiple times.

Karma Grip.

The Karma Grip works in conjunction with the GoPro Hero4 as a flexible tripod. The grip allows the camera to turn as the opertator turns for smoother – looking footage.

Test Shoot:

I went outside with another student to test the GoPro and karma grip. The camera was on the ‘narrow’ setting.

I started by walking and adjusting the way the camera looked and turned. I then had the other student run from one side of a path to the other whilst I stood back, attempting a wide shot. I then ran alongside the other student with the camera to do a tracking shot. The GoPro was easy to set up and use and the karma grip was useful as it changed positions smoothly and made it easy to track the person on screen.
The only downfall is that the viewing screen does not fit into the tripod, making it impossible to see what you are filming.

When I reviewed the footage I found that the wide shot I attempted had curved edges – a fishbowl effect. When filming a wide shot I will use the ‘linear’ setting which will crop the curved edges. The tracking shots I had done looked good and had good audio, however it would have been helpful to see what the camera was recording as I sometimes cut off the other persons head.

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I mentioned this to Brian, who mentioned an app I could use which would pair my IPhone to the GoPro, making it possible to use my phone as a viewing screen. The app is called Capture and is free on the App Store. We then set my phone up to the media centre account using wifi and I was able to use my phone as a viewing screen. I was worried that this would not work outside as it connected via wifi, however Brian assured me that the karma grip has its own wifi connection and would work.


Technical Research – Editing Effects (Flashback Transitions.)  

My short film will include flashback scenes that cut in and out of the main narrative, this needs to be obvious to the audience and in order to achieve this I will need to research how it is in done in other films and how I can create similar effects using Premier Pro or After Effects, the software I will be using for post production. 

Transition Techniques.

I looked at different techniques used to distinguish a flashback scenes in a film on http://www.cinewikispaces.com[1]. 

The first technique is to use a wipe pan, which will make the scene move rapidly, creating blurred edges which makes the transition from narrative to flashback obvious to the audience. This is an interesting technique that I will try when editing as the blurred effect with work well with some of the shot types I will use and will add to the ‘distorted’ atmosphere of my film. This effect can also be achieved by using a slow shutter speed when filming. 

Another technique used is a colour change, for example if the main narrative is in colour flashback scenes may be shown in black and white. This is a technique I will experiment with during editing however I would prefer the flashback scenes to be in colour. 

A common technique is to use a dissolve transition to make the scene appear ‘wavy’ however this is often used in comedy films and as mine is a serious drama I will not be using it. 

Another technique is to use sound in conjunction with the visual aspect of the scene by using a sound from the previous scene in the new scene, creating a sound bridge. For example if a character is remembering an accident, they will hear sounds from the accident in the present before transitioning into the flashback where they reflect on the visual of the accident. An example of this technique being used in film is a scene in the film Ordinary People (1980) directed by Robert Redford[2]. The scene shows the main character flashback to a boating accident he and his brother were involved in, it is triggered by the sound of running water and the sound transitions into the flashback before becoming the sound of the waves against the boat. The scene mentioned is at 1:38 and plays till 1:54 as it is in a compilation[3] of flashback scenes from the film. 

The first shot is a close up of the sink, this then becomes a tracking shot which follows the water down into the sink which starts to fill. 

A sound bridge is then used as the scene turns into the character, Conrad’s, flashback of the accident. The sound of running water is first used in the shot of the accident before it turns into the sound of waves crashing against the boat. A wide shot is used to show the location and what is happening.


The scene then cuts back to the main character Conrad, who is looking at himself in the mirror, remembering and reflecting the accident. This scene use a medium close up of the character to show that he is still in the same location (the bathroom) and to show his facial expression to convey his emotions to the audience. As he is experiencing a flashback of an accident I think that he looks upset and appears haunted by what has happened. 


Conrad then dips his hands into the sink to splash his face with water and we see a close up of scars from self inflicted wounds, the result of his grief over the accident. The scene then goes back to the flashback of the accident and starts by focusing on the characters hands as he attempts to keep the boat upright. This may have been done to compare the characters hands and arms then and in the present which represents the effect the accident has had on him as the self inflicted wounds are a result of his survivors guilt. 


http://youtu.be/yAvIQyL1IyE

Prop Research. 

For my short film I want to make a couple of fake bricks as they are an important part of the narrative. My female character (the victim) will use these bricks at the end of the film to injure someone as the result of a flashback to her life with her abuser. 

I started by looking online at how to create a fake brick and found a website called Wonder How To – Props and SFX[1]. The website took me to a page about making fake bricks and included the materials I would need and a YouTube tutorial[2]. 



The video tutorial is somewhat childish as it seems to have been done by a pre teen or teenage boy (Parker) however it was helpful as it listed the materials I would need to make the fake bricks and went through the process step – by – step with visual guides. 

The materials I will need are:

  • A hot glue gun 
  • Styrofoam 
  • Exacto knife 
  • Red paint
  • Brown paint 
  • Black paint
  • White paint
  • Sandpaper
  • Flour / Chalk / Plaster of paris 

The first step is to cut out three equal rectangles from a sheet of styrofoam measuring about 2 and a half inches x 6 inches. The tutorial recommends using a stencil to make sure the rectangles are equal. 


The next step is to use the hot glue gun to stick the three rectangles together – on top of each other to thicken the styrofoam. Then I will use sandpaper to smoothen the sides and edges of the styrofoam. 


The next step is to paint the ‘brick’ using one coat of white paint. Once it is dry I will paint over the white with a few coats of red/brown paint, giving it an authentic brick colour. The brick will then be dusted with either flour, chalk or plaster of Paris to give it a dirty appearance. 


The process is then complete. I will have to repeat this process as I want to make 2-4 bricks to use in my short film as one may look out of place or unnatural in my location. I will either use materials provided by my college or buy them from a local craft store, the cost of which will be included in my budget. 

TV Clips Analysis – Holby City. 

I have chosen to analyse certain clips from the BBC1 hospital drama Holby City because of the developing abusive relationship between two of the main characters, Dom and Isaac. Currently the storyline arc between the two characters has shown signs of emotional abuse and manipulation however it has been shown that physical abuse will also be a part of it in the upcoming episodes which air on Tuesdays. This storyline is interesting to me because I was able to guess at where it was going before it was announced, something I think my research has helped me with this as I have been able to easily recognise the signs of manipulation and control which I hope my short film will be able to do for others as I want to use it to raise awareness of the subject. I will be analysing clips with the build up to the start of the abuse and how it continued as well as the trailer[1] for the upcoming episodes which show scenes of the abuse Dom has suffered. I will also be analysing the new episodes as they come out, making this part of my ongoing research until I begin filming.

Storyline between Dom and Issac.

Characters Dr. Dominic Copeland (David Ames) and Dr. Isaac Mayfield (Marc Elliott) first meet in episode 37 of series 18 called The Lone Ranger[1]. In this episode it is Dom’s first day back at Holby City after the death of his best friend and colleague Arthur. From the way he acts we can tell that Dom is still grieving for Arthur however he is a happy and outgoing person with a quick wit and uses sarcasm to joke with his work friends.

Looking at how the character acts in the beginning is important as their behaviour and characteristics can be compared to those at a later time, when they are suffering from the abuse inflicted on them. Looking at how the characters first interact with each other and how they develop a relationship is important as it shows how the storyline has developed and may include signs of abuse in different ways, such as: the two characters acting differently around each other, a facial expression or movement of a character and the dialogue between the two characters.

Before the characters meet is it explained that Dom and Isaac met the night before and have slept together, with Dom’s facial expression falling as he recognises Isaac in the hospital, who addresses him by saying “hello again.” At this point we do not know much about Isaac except that he seems friendly and is obviously working at Holby City. The shot types used when the characters meet are both medium close ups of their faces and chests, giving the audience a clear view of the characters facial expressions and the emotions shown through them.

The rest of the episode focuses on the medical side of the show although Dom and Isaac are still the main focus as they are working together. Both seem friendly towards each other, however Dom seems to be reluctant about working with or seeing Isaac whereas Isaac is friendly and attempts to joke around with Dom.

By episode 40[2], it is clear that some kind of relationship has started as a close up shot shows Isaac pulling Dom into a side room to kiss during work. A wide shot then shows them talking and it is clear that Dom is more friendly and affectionate towards Isaac.

The end of the clip, which uses medium close ups shows Isaac making a speech about caring for Dom to his superior, Dr. Griffin. Isaac seems assertive and acts as if he is in control of the conversation, despite only having worked their for a short time. This is shown especially when he says “You can trust me. You should trust me.”


Spring 2017 Trailer:

The trailer shows a montage of how far the abuse inflicted on Dom, by boyfriend Isaac, has gone. It is the main focus of the trailer and will be a main storyline in the upcoming Spring episodes. The song playing throughout is Skin by Rag’n’Bone Man and has lyrics that relate to the theme of domestic violence. The melody is dark and slow, parallel to the shots used.

The first shot is a mid shot and shows Zosia, a friend and colleague of the victim (Dom), looking into the locker room through half – open blinds. Her facial expression shows she is shocked.

The next shot is a mid shot of Dom looking at his injuries in a mirror, it is from Zosia’s point of view as the blinds in the locker room are obstructing her view however it is clear that Dom is injured and his facial expression shows he is in pain. Presumably this is how Zosia finds out about the physical abuse.

These two shots are profile shots and show the contrast of the relationship as in the first one Isaac seems to grip Dom aggressively by his shirt and stethoscope whereas in the next they are kissing. This could show anger or passion depending on how you look at it, however I think that Isaac looks intimidating from the way he is standing and his facial expression and that he is trying to have control over Dom through his actions as he does not have the advantage of height. This shot is the opposite to one I want to use in my short film as my couple will start happy and then the man will snap and become aggressive with the woman, however I do want my male character to be intimidating towards the woman so the stance Isaac takes and his facial expression in the first shot will be used in my film.


The next shot is a close up and doesn’t show what is happening in the scene however it appears to be a conversation between Isaac and Dom as he says “when I met you you were broken, I fixed you.” It is as if he is trying to convince Dom that he is good for him.

The next two shots show Isaac inflicting physical abuse on Dom in the hospital (which is where they both work.) The first shot is a close up and shows Isaac pushing Dom by the shoulder, from Dom’s facial expression I can tell he is afraid of Isaac. The second shot is a wide shot and shows they are in the stairway of the hospital. Although Holby City rarely shows scenes outside the hospital it is also an indication of Isaac’s confidence as he doesn’t seem to be afraid of getting caught hurting Dom in a public place.


The next shot is a mid shot and shows Zosia and Essie confronting Dom about the abuse. They both look worried about him, however he tries to make excuses for Isaac by saying “it’s intense” (referring to the relationship) and Zosia replies “it’s abuse!” as she has seen evidence and sees through his lies.

The conversation carries over into the next shot through a voiceover as Zosia says “it’s control.” It is a close up of Dom applying makeup to hide a bruise under his eye. Again this shows he is afraid of Isaac and embarrassed about the situation as he is trying to hide it. Often people in abusive relationships will hide their injuries to protect their abuser and avoid detection.

In the next shot, a mid shot of Zosia tending to Dom’s injuries the voiceover is Dom saying “it’s passion!” He is again trying to defend Isaac’s actions. From the gentle way Zosia is touching Dom it is clear he is in pain which may mean the bruises are recent. In my film the abuse will stay between the couple until the end, where my female character lashes out at a stranger as she confuses him for her abuser in the midst of a flashback.

The next shot is a mid shot of Isaac walking past the room where Zosia is examining Dom. Isaac is the focus of the shot whilst the other characters are out of focus in the foreground. Isaac’s facial expression shows anger, and perhaps fear that he has been found out. What happens next is unclear as this is the last shot and ends with a voiceover of Isaac saying “I love you Dom.” The storyline can then go two ways: either Isaac is confronted by Zosia and Essie and they tell their boss, who fires or arrests Isaac or Isaac takes control of the situation and ‘punishes’ Dom for letting other people find out. I think that it may go the second way as Isaac has easily manipulated Dom and other characters in the past.

The first episode after the Spring trailer showing the abusive storyline is episode 25 from series 19 [2] and is an example of Isaac using manipulation techniques, as in this episode he persuades Dom to convince a patient to take a diferent, more dangerous treatment. However Dom sees through Isaac’s manipulation techniques and gives the patient the original treatment which angers Isaac. This clip is interesting to me because the abusice character in my film will be manipulative towards the victim character in the third flashback. 

At the end of the episode, Isaac and Dom are at home, which is shown by using a wide shot. Dom is sitting on the sofa and is clearly uncomfortable although this is supposed to be his home, this implies that he is scared and tense. 


Isaac appears to be relaxed, although he is snarky towards Dom, showing that he is upset over the day’s events. A mid shot is used to show Dom flinching away from Isaac as he places his hand on his leg, showing that he is afraid of Isaac.

Isaac sits next to Dom and accuses him of making him (Isaac) look like a fool infront of their boss, he sees Dom has placed his suitcase near the door and becomes angry, this is shown through his facial expression and tone of voice which gets lower and quieter, a technique used by abusive people to make their victims feel uncertain as they could start shouting at any time. This creates tension between the characters and leaves the audience wondering what will happen. 

As Dom gets up to leave, a two shot is used to show Isaac placing his hand on Dom’s shoulder as if he is comforting him. Instead, Isaac uses his other hand to punch Dom in the stomach, who falls to the floor and is then kicked repeatedly while Isaac berates Dom for multiple failures. 



I like the idea of using a shot to mislead the audience into thinking a characters actions mean one thing when they do another as it creates suspense and tension. Using a close two shot adds to the misdirection as the audience is unable to see what Isaac’s other hand, and the rest of his body is doing until he moves. In this scene his fist could have been clenched and ready to swing forward, but as the audience cannot see this they may assume Isaac is comforting Dom until the plot twist. I am going to experiment with this idea in my film. 

After the assault, a mid shot is used to show Dom sitting down on the sofa again, this time touching his chest to show he is in pain. Isaac is apologising and says “you know I love you, you have to forgive me.” The act of begging for forgiveness after inflicting physical violence upon someone is a common occurs in domestically abusive relationships as the abuser wants the victim to feel bad for them and therefore stay with them. The abuser may even try to justify the abuse, and the apology by saying things such as ‘I wasn’t in the right mind’ and ‘that wasn’t really me’ etc. As my character will be emotionally and physically abusive I would like to include a scene like this in my film. 


As the episode ends, Isaac is again reaching out to Dom, who is looking away, his expression is sad and thoughtful, however I think that he looks resigned – as if he knows he cannot leave Isaac and the now abusive situation. 


In both shots Isaac is out of focus slighlty, which puts the audience’s focus on Dom and his facial expressions, allowing the audience to determine how he is feeling. 

The next episode I chose to analyse is episode 27 from season 19 [3] because it is the end of the abuse storyline between Dom and Isaac. 

The first shot I have chosen to analyse is at the beginning of the episode and shows Dom putting on makeup to cover a bruise left from Isaac. The first shot is a mid shot and shows Dom staring at his reflecting in a hand mirror. The next shot is also a mid shot and shows Dom putting on makeup. I looked at this shot because it is similar to my idea for my second flashback scene, using a mid shot or a close up would draw attention to the character’s facial expression which would convey their emotions to the audience. 


The next scene I have chosen to look at is at the end of the episode and is the climax of the storyline. In the scene Isaac is confronted by a badly injured Dom, (due to an incident of physical violence from Isaac in the hospital staircase) Dom’s colleagues Sorcha and Essie, the head of the hospital and the police after Dom has admitted what has been happening. The first shot is a close up of Isaac, who is standing alone and talking at Dom. He is still arrogant and confident in what he is saying even though he has been found out, this could mean that he doesn’t think he has done anything wrong, or that he is confident that he will get away with it through support from Dom. 

The next shot is a close up of Dom’s face which is badly bruised, it shows the extent of the damage inflicted upon him. 

The shot then goes back to the close up of Isaac, who says: 

“When I met you, you were broken. I fixed you.”

Dom has finally stopped making excuses for Isaac and surrounded by his friends, stands up for himself by saying: 

“No, you targeted me and wore me down. You’re the broken one Isaac.”

A wide shot then shows Dom being wheeled away by his colleagues / friends as Isaac is arrested. The ending is anticlimactic for a drama series, however the storyline ran for a number of episodes and included lots of dramatic scenes throughout.

TV Ad Analysis. 

The advert I am looking at is called House Hunt[1] and was made by JWT London[2], a company that works with brands and social media to produce different forms of art or media. The ad was launched by the National Centre for Domestic Violence (NCDV) in 2013 and had a big impact on the general public as it showed what can happen behind closed doors.

The first shot is a wide shot of hallway and front door of a house. Behind the frosted glass we see people about to enter the house. In my short film, the first and last flashback scenes will be set in the couples home, originally I was going to use my own house for the location however using a house with things such as extra locks (as seen in this shot) may be useful as it will give the audience subtle clues to the situation.

As the people enter the house we see it is an estate agent with a young couple.

The second shot is a mid shot and shows them looking at the living room, where the estate agent says “double glazed, so no one can hear you scream.” They all then turn to look out the window, in another mid shot, perhaps imaging the situation the agent has hinted at and the man raises his hand to his girlfriend / wife’s back, as if to reassure or guide her. This gesture may have also been a warning for her, to make sure she didn’t say anything about the situation.


The next shot is a close up of the agents hand on a worktop, this is shown and described to be the kitchen. They start by looking around the kitchen and then the agent tells them it is a “fully fitted kitchen and smashing (at this point he slams his hand down onto the worktop, which is the picture below) new granite worktops.” The gesture is violent and his tone of voice is low, adding to the dark atmosphere. The next shot is a medium close up of the agent still in the kitchen where he continues his description saying “ceramic floor tiles, easy to wipe up any mess and blood spills.” The way he acts around the couple is contrary to what he is saying as he is smiling and being polite whilst hinting at abuse that may happen in the house.



We then see a close up of the cooker and the agent says “oh and a six burner hob, that’s great for scalding” again this is a hint towards the abuse that could happen in future, however it could also be seen as the agent giving the man ideas on how to hurt the woman.

They then progress to the second floor of the house, passing a cupboard where the agent says “under stairs cupboard, good sturdy lock on the outside” implying that it is easy to lock someone inside of the cupboard.

As they walk upstairs it is a wide shot and the agent says, almost jokingly, “be careful on these steep stairs, easy to fall down, accidentally of course.”

The next shot is a wide shot of the characters in the doorway to the spare room where the agent says “this is the spare bedroom, not huge but enough room to swing a punch.” The shot then transitions into a close up of the couple as they listen to the description of the room, both seem calm and natural however through the facial expressions used it appears to me that the man seems more interested than the woman in what the agent is saying.



The next shot is a wide shot of the couple entering the master bedroom whilst the agent describes it from the door by saying “and here we have the master bedroom of course you’ve got your ensuite bathroom where I’m sure you’ll be seeking refuge on occasion.” The last part is directed at the woman and hints that she will be using the room to either flee from her husband or to assess her injuries. The shot then transitions to a close up of the couple looking at each other, both are smiling as if the description is normal and they are happy with the house.


The three are then back downstairs, about to exit the house and we see a close up of the couple holding hands and squeezing in what seems to be a reassuring gesture, perhaps a subtle agreement that they both like the house. Before they leave the agent points out the front door in a wide shot and says “triple locks on the door, very hard for anyone to get out.” After they have left text appears over the wide shot, informing the audience of a statistic about domestic violence towards women before offering a contact number for their organisation. This is helpful in advertisements as someone suffering from domestic violence, or someone who knows a person that is, can contact the organisation for help.




Throughout the advert the housing agent speaks in a calm, yet sometimes threatening tone. The calmness is the agent playing off the descriptions of possible abuse as normal whereas the threatening undertones emphasise the severity of the subject to the audience. The juxtaposition used throughout, in the dialogue and actions of the characters gives the advert a sinister atmosphere even though it appears to be normal and calm. I think that it is an interesting and creative approach to raising awareness for domestic violence and that it will have had a big impact on people, something I want my short film to do.

Film Analysis – Six Years. 

The second film I have chosen to analyse is Six Years (2015) directed by Hannah Fidell. It is a romance / drama film about the relationship between the main characters Melanie Clark and Dan Mercer, a young couple who have a strong relationship until things turn sour and Melanie becomes violent towards Dan. This film is different than most as the abusive character is the female when the male character is often portrayed as the abuser.

 The film starts with a sex scene, introducing the audience to the main characters whilst the title is layered over the scene. 


A montage is used to show the couple, Mel and Dan, with their group of friends doing different activities. The montage has been used to show that the couple are happy and doing things that young people typically do, showing that they are an average couple. The first shot in the montage is a close up and shows the male character Dan giving Mel a piggyback ride, a close up is used to show the characters facial expressions which shows they are happy. Their other friends are in the background and are out of focus, once again showing the audience that they are the main characters. 






The montage ends with a party scene, where Dan leaves before his girlfriend, who is shown talking to a friend and says that she and Dan have been together for six years, this is the titular sentence. Mel (the girlfriend) then decides to drive to Dan’s house drunk, which he berates her for as he thinks she has been reckless. The couples argument is shown in close ups of each person as they speak, so that the audience can see their facial expressions and understand the characters emotions. 




Mel then tries to leave, and gets angrier the more Dan tries to speak to her. She turns and pushes Dan aggressively, who falls backwards and hits his head. Although this could come across as an accident to the audience because of the fact that Mel is drunk, to me it seems that she meant to injure Dan in a moment of anger and aggression. 



Dan is angry at Mel at first and wants her to leave him alone, she apologises multiple times before the scene cuts to a two shot of the couple sitting in an exam room in the E.R. 


Close up shots are used in the next scene, where a nurse comes in to release Dan and asks how the injury happened. He hesitates before answering and looks nervous before looking down at Mel and then back up at the nurse, saying he tripped and fell on his dresser. Victims of domestic abuse often try to hide their injuries and lie about how they got them, looking at their partner before answering is usually done out of nervousness as the abuser will want to make sure they lie. It is interesting that these techniques have been used in this scene as it displays the dynamics of an abusive relationship, which is what the relationship between the couple becomes later in the film. This could have been used as a subtle hint to the audience. This idea is interesting and something I would have liked to have used in my own film if it was longer and had a similar scene. 


The next scene I have looked at is a conversation between Dan and a co – worker, where she points out that it would be a different story if Mel was the one with the injury. The fact that the abuse is inflicted on a male character instead of a female character is why the film is interesting because it is a different dynamic as abuse is often inflicted upon women and many films and TV shows have used this trope. 


Another scene like this one is shown later on in the film, where the couple (Dan and Mel) have had a physical fight after Mel finds out Dan has kissed his co – worker. In the scene Dan is shown trying to restrain Mel by holding her down, the police are called and the situation is misread as the police detain Dan whilst Mel watches. 





The next scene I have chosen to look at is near the end of the film and it shows another example of physical violence between the couple. In this scene Mel has caught Dan sleeping with his co – worker and they begin to argue, which is shown in close ups. Both characters become violent, with Dan attempting to punch Mel (shown in a close up) before punching the wall next to her head and Mel pushing Dan into a pile of broken glass, a close up is then used to show his foot which is bleeding. 





The couple go to the E.R and talk about what their relationship has become, the film ends with Mel telling Dan that she has given up on them. 

In conclusion, Six Years was a good film to analyse as it portrayed an abusive relationship between a young couple which is what my own short film is about. It gave me some ideas on what dialogue I could use for the main characters of my film, the facial expressions and the emotions they would convey and the different shots I could use. However I wasn’t able to find much inspiration for my narrative or how the abuse could be shown as the idea for my own film is very different from how it is shown in Six Years.  The characters are also very different than what I would like my characters to be like, my victim character will be timid and run down by the abuse, whereas in Six Years the male character is the victim in the beginning however as the film progresses the relationship becomes toxic and both characters are aggressive towards each other.