26th January – Dan’s Friday Creative Tips of Wonder!

26th January – Dan’s Friday Creative Tips of Wonder!

 

In this week’s instalment, we delve into a new three-part documentary series airing on Channel 4, telling the story of the ‘Miners Strike 1984: Battle of Britain’. One of our regular Director of Photography freelancers, Paul Daly, played a crucial role as a camera and lighting assistant in this production. Following that, we explore the mind of 200 IQ director Stanley Kubrick, unravelling the concealed horrors in his acclaimed film “The Shining.” Lastly, our focus shifts to Edgar Wright’s “Baby Driver,” where we dissect how his utilisation of colour and costume, contributes to the creation of captivating and unforgettable characters.

Miners Strike 1984: Battle of Britain

 

One of our regular Director of Photography freelancers, Paul Daly, has recently been working as a camera and lighting assistant on a very powerful miners’ strike documentary. The three-part documentary series, which will be broadcast on Channel 4 on Thursday nights at 9 pm had its first episode aired yesterday. The documentary series tells the story of the 1984/85 miners’ strike that opened a great wound in the soul of the nation. It divided communities, transformed the way we are policed and reshaped the country with consequences that are still being dealt with today.

Packed with raw, emotional testimony and an explosive archive, this landmark series of three powerful, stand-alone stories looks at the events of the strike through the eyes of those directly involved on the front line, on all sides. The series has tracked down a wide range of people who were filmed during that tumultuous year – both striking miners and those who continued to work, as well as their families, and many are telling their stories for the first time. It’s set to be a highly revealing and thought-provoking series that is sure not to be missed!

More information about the programme can be found here.

The Invisible Horror of The Shining

 

Arguably one of the greatest horror films of all time. Stanley Kubrick’s inspired film adaptation of Stephen King’s ‘The Shining’ leaves viewers with plenty to think about long after the film has finished.

But what is it about this film that makes it so brilliantly terrifying?

Released in 1980, ‘The Shining’ is a psychological thriller that explores the haunting isolation of the Overlook Hotel and the unravelling sanity of its caretaker, Jack Torrance (Jack Nicholson). Beneath the surface of the more obvious visual scares, lies an invisible horror that seeps into the viewer’s subconscious, creating an unsettling, lingering unease that is largely down to its masterful use of film score editing, in particular, a technique called ‘Mickey Mousing’.

‘Mickey Mousing’ was made famous by Disney in the late 1920s and refers to when onscreen motion is synchronised to the music. Throughout ‘The Shining’ this is used repeatedly to illuminate the invisible, ominous presence of the Hotel. The music acts as a stylistic metaphor for the house and its increasing influence on Jack Torrance’s mind, skillfully creating an intense atmosphere that poetically mixes visuals and audio to dramatically intensify the horror of the onscreen visuals and the actor’s performances. A video by ‘kaptainkristian’ delves deeper into this and highlights the brilliance of the movie and why it is still widely regarded as one of the greatest horror films of all time. I hope this may intrigue you to see the film if you haven’t already or give you a fresh perspective on your next viewing!

 

Baby Driver – Colour Coded Characters

 

‘Baby Driver’, directed by Edgar Wright, is a stylish and action-packed film known for its unique use of music and choreography. Beyond this, the film uses a distinct colour palette to enhance characterisation and narrative elements. Its use of colour adds depth to the characters and helps convey emotions and themes throughout the story. For example, the main character Baby, played by Ansel Elgort, often wears monochrome outfits throughout the film. His signature look consists of a black leather jacket, white t-shirt, and sunglasses. This deliberate monochrome styling reflects Baby’s reserved and cool demeanour, but also helps to emphasise his dual personality being ‘black & white.’ These colours allow the character to stand out in the vibrant and chaotic world around him, emphasising his calm and collected nature, even in high-stakes situations.

Another example is Debora, played by Lily James, a waitress with a sweet and innocent personality. Her wardrobe consists of pastel colours, such as soft pinks and blues. These colours not only enhance her overall aesthetic, but also symbolise her purity and optimism. The pastel palette helps differentiate her character from the more intense and morally ambiguous individuals in Baby’s world.

A video by Daniel Netzel explores Edgar Wright’s brilliant use of colour and costume to enhance characterisation in Baby Driver. He showcases how this technique, when applied correctly, can strengthen the narrative and help build complex interesting characters within film.

 

 

 

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