For this project I have decided to re-cut The Simpson’s Movie (Silverman 2007). The movie’s original genre is animation comedy and adventure. Although I will continue to use the adventure portion of the movie, I have made it focus more on the heroic aspects of Homer Simpson and Bart Simpson. My genre for this movie will be “comedy epic drama”. I will take segments of the movie which will show the heroic scenes and combine them in order to change the plot of the movie. We talk about genre films and how their characteristics are important in the movie itself. In our reading from Literature Film Quarterly, we notice that in genre films there is “fixed plot[s], the characters [are] defined, [and] the ending’s satisfyingly predictable” (Shobchak, 1975, p. 1). In my particular film that I edited, there is a clear hero, a certain task that needs to be taken care of, and there is an obvious ending.
Specific Links to Course Readings:
Throughout the trailer, I took many different shots from the original movie to help build a new genre for this movie. Bernard Dick says that there are many different shots that can be used to make a point. For instance, I will take Long-Shots, Close-Ups, and Medium shots that are used at different parts of the movie which enables me to set a different mood or tone for different parts of the movie. Also, Dick says that “shots can be defined by what they contain” (Dick, 2002, p. 1). While putting together this film, I thought about how I will make the audience better understand the point I am trying to put across. Music, shots, and transitions were a few of the many things I had to take into account. In our reading, Language of Film, Robert Edgar-Hunt reflects on how the film-maker has the responsibility to make sure the film or trailer communicates the message to all its audience. If the film fails to do that, it is our responsibility as the film-maker to adjust our product so it is better understood (R. Edgar Hunt, 2012, 7). He goes on to say that semiotics is very useful in trying to communicate the message. My goal in this project is to alter the way my audience viewed The Simpson’s Movie.
Rationale for Creative Choice:
I knew what my genre was going to be for this film editing project, so it was not too difficult to find certain points in the movie that helped reflect the genre I was trying to convey. In the film, there are shots that showed Homer and Bart as heroes who are trying to fix a problem that has come up in their town. I took a few clips from the movie and put them together to show how these characters had a “vision” to solve whatever that was going on. The original movie fails to focus on a specific character or characters, so I made an effort to point out something the movie does not. I made it my primary focus to show the audience the importance of Bart in the movie. Although the movie is considered a comedy, I tried to lessen the humorous portions of the movie and bring out the serious parts. In order for this to be done, I changed the audio to the theme song of Requiem for a Dream (Aronofsky 2000). This music lets the viewers know that there is a serious problem that needs to be solved and that this “hero” has a certain goal that needs to be solved by the end of the movie.
Also, the many title pages I incorporated in the trailer helps illustrate the meaning I am trying to communicate to the audience. When I had put the clips together, the trailer was very choppy and needed to be adjusted in ways that made the movie flow better. The dissolve transition was useful to make sure that the choppiness was kept at a minimum. There was also an instant where I put an Iris transition when the “hero” was introduced in the trailer. I felt the Iris transition is a useful way to keep the audience guessing but at the same time keep the movie from flowing smoothly. As the beat of the music started to get faster and louder, I started to make the clips go by faster, so it could match the intensity of the music. It would not make sense to have slow moving clips when the music is extremely up beat like in the music I used.
Frustrations, Difficulties, and Solutions:
The hardest part about this project was deciding which clips to use in your trailer. I had to watch the film again in order to find those certain clips. I took notes of the scenes that seemed to reflect my genre for the trailer and then ripped them out while working on the trailer. This project is not something any student can do over night. It takes a lot of time and hard work to find certain things for your trailer. Another difficult area in the project was making sure the music flowed well with the clips. Since, the music I used repeats throughout the six minutes it is played, I did not have too much difficulty cutting the beginning of the song, where it is slower, and the end, where it gets a bit faster. Students who take this course in the future, need to make sure they fully understand what genre they are dealing with and how they are going to take clips from the movie they re-cutting so that it supports their potential genre preference. After that has been grasped, they should then move to the “ripping” part where they begin to combine the clips.
Bernard Dick (2002). “Film, space, and image,” excerpt from Anatomy of Film. Boston: Bedford / St. Martin’s.
Robert Edgar-Hunt, John Marland, and Steven Rawle (2010) The language of film. Lausanne: AVA Academia.
Thomas Sobchak (1975, Summer). Genre film: A classical experience. Literature Film Quarterly, 3(3), 196.