So this week we finally presented our ad assignment! I was quite excited because I was actually quite proud of what me and my team mate produced. First of all, I was paired up with Agne and she assumed the role of the producer and I assumed the role of the Director, for the first time. When we decided which roles each of us would play, I was nervous yet excited because I knew that I wanted to try out being the director because I felt it was something that I need to do and that it would give me the opportunity to have my creative ideas be more ‘in the open’, so to speak. So when we settled on the roles, we then delved into the topic of which product we would want to make an ad about, and after a a somewhat brief discussion, we decided on doing it about the Marks & Spencers brand, primarily the food department. And the fact that Agne actually works in the company made it even more easy to decide on this as our focus for the film.
After this I then came down to actually writing down the script and storyboard and Agne was in the search of locations and actors. Our first idea was to make the 30 second ad about a family who when eating by themselves, they felt free to do so with no inhibitions or embarrassment, but when eating together as a family unit they felt repressed about showing who they ‘really were’. But after much discussion in class with Helen, we decided that we needed to change our idea to one much more simpler and easy to portray, so that is where the idea of the ‘food porn’, if you will, came to be.
I thought that best way to make an effective ad would be to follow the simpler and more obvious route of inspiring myself on the ads that M&S has done for years and draw from that my inspiration to do our short film.
Now onto the actual filming process: we started shooting in my kitchen on a Thursday and the shoot lasted around 4 hours, give or take, and it was quite smooth and easy. Easy because the communication lines between me and my Producer were always open to new suggestions and ideas, so that we could experiment with different things.
The materials we used for the shoot were:
- Lighting equipment
- Canon 600D
- White plate
- Black card boards
- Toppings (Olive oil, grated cheese and sugar)
And after our shooting, we knew we needed to do a voice-over so Agne was able to find Jess, that was eager to help out, to be our voice in the film. And after I booked the recording studio with Peter Thomas (who I owe a special thanks to for helping us out so much!) we delved into shooting the voice-over which consisted of take after take after take of the different lines from the script being said over and over again until we got the best out of all of them. And one thing that I actually wasn’t thinking would happen was the fact that I actually had to rewrite a few lines because when we actually heard them being spoken, they didn’t quite make sense to the images and what we wanted to portray so it was very helpful to have gone through those changes and I wouldn’t have had it any other way. So a big thanks to Jess for being the awesome voice and Peter Thomas for lending us his insight (and time) into the magical world of sound. We couldn’t have done it without you guys.
Recording studio time.
And here is the script for the ad.
Today we we delved a bit further into the Iranian New Wave, again viewing a scene from the film “Gabbeh” that we saw on Tuesday.
From this we discovered the actual impact this way of making movies had on the Iranian people and culture, because as most of us know, Iran is a country known for it’s conservationism and it’s wars with, primarily, Iraq that have teared up millions of families throughout. So we know that these political and social conflicts had to have an impact on how the film industry acted and that meant it was highly controlled and censored, by the Government, as a means to maintain it’s people under the “leash” of repression. But it was after, the long awaited, Revolution of 1979 that the national cinema was finally more embraced by the government and it’s public, showing more and more depictions of women and love, which was nearly considered a blasphemy in earlier times.
So after cinema was considered less and less of a taboo, the Iranian filmmakers felt they had more and more creative liberty to create their stories without the fear of consequences, and a perfect example of this is the film “Gabbeh” that I already mentioned in a previous post.
This films depicts a woman who wants to marry the man she loves that her father doesn’t approve, so he sets her these ‘ground rules’ she needs to abide by before thinking of being wed herself. It’s an emotional journey told through Gabbeh’s own perspective and it depicts the inner strength women possess when they are fighting for something they want.
So by the end of the lesson, we had two questions to answer:
- How does Gabbeh explore the relationship between form and content?
- Gabbeh explores this relationship through the use of a non-linear structure that keeps the viewer intrigued about the faith of Gabbeh and her lover, the story is generally told through her perspective since she is the one re-telling her journey to an old couple and the principal theme that guides this film is the one of longing, for Gabbeh is always wanting for someone who she knows she can’t have until her father allows it, and that same longing can be felt in Uncle’s constant struggle to find a wife that can “sing like a canary”.
- How does Gabbeh help you to gain a new perspective on continuity editing strategies?
- It helps me to acknowledge that the term ‘continuity editing’ can have a multitude of meanings, since it can either follow a linear or non-linear storyline, since it doesn’t need to follow a specific temporal space.
In the Tuesday’s session we saw an Iranian film from 1996 called “Gabbeh”. This film was, at the least, intriguing. It dealt with matters of mysticism, supernatural and drama. So I don’t think it is inserted into a specific genre, but more of a compilation of different sub-genres.
This story commences with an old couple’s task of washing their gabbeh (somewhat of a carpet in Iranian tradition), and who would do the mighty task. They eventually put it under the water of a river and said a poem/song that brought forth the keeper of the gabbeh called, so originally, Gabbeh. And from that point forward it is understood that the actual protagonist of the story is actually this young woman who recounts her life’s story to the old couple. It is made clear that she is in love with a man that her father doesn’t approve and that he would kill her and her lover if she were to run away with him. Thus knowing that her father is not a very appealing guy. Furthermore Gabbeh’s uncle is introduced, and is made apparent that she likes very much and that her faith lies with him, because only after her uncle finds the woman he wants to marry will it enable Gabbeh to be with the man she loves, although we are not quite sure how this comes to be or how this helps her case with her father. The film ends fairly simply, with an ending that might leave the viewer wanting more and not really getting it.
This story uses a lot of mysticism represented, for example, in the fact that Gabbeh’s family symbol is a tree from which branches grow whenever a new member is born into the family and get cut down whenever someone perishes; and it’s also exemplified in the way that merely through the use of water can Gabbeh “see” and “hear” everything that is happening with her family even though she is, assuredly, far away. So it is never known if the story is told in the present with Gabbeh simply being in another part of the country and acting as a simple observer, or if she is retelling the story of her distant past.
From the movie, it is understandable some of the director’s preferences in terms of shot composition and thematics, shown through some static shots that hold for quite a while through different points in the plot line, and also illustrates that the filmmaker is probably a spiritual person who likes to delve into the mystique of the supernatural and work it to his advantage but always staying as faithful as possible to the original traditions of the Iranian people.