Monday, 15 February 2010

Essay - Film I shall be analysing "Ginger snaps"

The film I have chosen to analyse is a brilliant teen horror film based on the metaphorical notions of puberty. This is a film based on two Sisters who look out for each other, one of whom is becoming a Werewolf. The use of sexual erotism and teenage angst helps drive the tension of the film as Ginger slowly transforms into a wild beast. The camera work is classic of horror films, the storyline keeps you on edge and interested and the editing really draws you into the movie.


Sleep well!



  1. Interim Online Review 16/02/2010

    Hey Chris,

    Your blog demonstrates a welcome flurry of activity and a level of creative engagement that reassures me - as, if I'm being honest - sometimes I think your 'other life' outside of your studies has too great an impact on your ability to truly invest in your degree. You sometimes appear so tried and 'behind the beat' that I worry about you! BUT, lots to comment on here; your character designs (and associated analysis of character types) are encouraging, but please be aware that there are conventions re. getting a character design ready for modelling and animation; please visit the following site for a clear example of the 'discipline' of character design - and how you must be able to reproduce your character in different views while also keeping them proportional and constant. I'll be looking for this rigor from your submission; it is one thing to 'imagine' a character and illustrate that idea - it is quite another to 'design' - which necessitates refinement and consistency.

    Regarding your story, the barbell remains under-resolved, but it seems to me that if you were to make the pie-throwing actor into a beefcake-style character (the bully), then the pastry chef would have justification to go into a Rocky style gym-bunny montage...


    The training montage is a cliche of sports films and 'under-dog-makes-good' style stories and I think you should knowingly deploy the cliche for good comic effect...

    The other issue that is unresolved is the character of pie-thrower; pie-throwers tend to be clowns or comedy entertainers - answer me this, who is the pie-thrower? Yes, he's the villain, but, logically, what kind of show is he in and why?

    Your story has good potential, but needs further refinement - both in terms of its 3 act structure, art direction and finesse. You need to demonstrate that you can craft your work into something recognisably professional and convincing. I think this really means that you have to invest much more time in your project work. Put more simply still, you need to impress me and convince me that you've got the necessary grit and gumption to make it in, what is, an incredibly unforgiving industry...

    Re. the written assignment, please see the following post for general info - and, Chris - you REALLY need to take my advice onboard when it comes to your essays, which, for the most part, have been pretty underwhelming. Again - time to hit the ball right out of the park.

  2. “1,500 word written assignment that analyses critically one film in terms of the relationship between story and structure; you should consider camera movement, editing, and the order of scenes”

    While the essay questions asks you to analyse one film in terms of the relationship between story and structure, you are nonetheless expected to contextualise your analysis – and that means you have to widen your frame of reference to include discussion of other, related films and associated ideas – and also the ‘time-line’ within which your case-study sits.

    So, for example, if you are focusing on a scene in a contemporary film which makes dramatic use of montage editing and quick-fire juxtaposition of imagery (the fight scenes in Gladiator, the beach landings in Saving Private Ryan, the bird attacks in The Birds…) no discussion of this scene would be complete without you first demonstrating your knowledge of the wider context for your analysis – i.e., the ‘invisible editing’ approach as championed by W.D. Griffith, and the alternate ‘Eisensteinian’ collisions adopted by Russian filmmakers (and now absorbed into the grammar of mainstream movies). In order to further demonstrate your appreciation for the ‘time-line’ of editing and its conventions, you should make reference to key sequences in key films – ‘The Odessa Steps sequence’ from Sergei Eistenstein’s Battleship Potemkin (as in scene in the Cutting Edge documentary, but also viewable here in full

    Also – if further proof were needed of the influence of this scene, watch

    The Cutting Edge documentary, as shown on Monday 15th Feb, is viewable on YouTube at

    If you choose to quote from any of the ‘talking head’ sections (Ridley Scott, Walter Murch etc.), in support of your discussion, ensure you put the documentary’s original details in your bibliography (as opposed to the You Tube url). For official title and release date etc. visit

    Put simply, whatever film you choose to discuss, you will need to link it to its ‘ancestors’ and also, where appropriate, to its ‘children’ – i.e., what influenced it/what it influenced.

    Regarding the ‘language of editing etc.’ the following site is useful – if ugly!

    I suggest you use it only as a starting point for focusing your research parameters – not as the fount of all knowledge (it isn’t!).

    Something that keeps coming up is how to cite websites using the Harvard Method:


  3. Stylistically, many students’ essays still lack the required formality and tone for a University level written assignment. Many of you write as if you’re ‘chatting’ to your reader or writing a blog entry. This is inappropriate and you need to cultivate a more appropriate style if your discussions are to be authoritative and properly presented. Below are some suggestions re. use of language; take note and use!

    Use good, formal English and grammar,

    Use objective language: e.g. rather than 'I find it difficult to identify ...'

    'It is often difficult to identify...'
    'It can be seen that...
    'There are a number of...'

    Adopt a cautious academic style; avoid conclusive statements: e.g. use may, might, it seems that, appears to, possibly, probably, seemingly, the evidence suggests that, it could be argued that, research indicates...

    Avoid assumptions and generalisations: e.g. everyone can see, everybody knows, public opinion is...

    If you make a statement, always present evidence to support it.

    Within your essay you will be hoping to demonstrate or prove something. You will have a point of view that you wish to convey to your reader. In other words, your essay should 'say' something.

    You should support what you wish to say with a reasoned argument and evidence.

    A reasoned argument consists of a series of logical steps you make in order to lead to a point where you can form some sort of judgement on the issue you have been examining, or come to some sort of conclusion.

    Paragraphs are organised in order to build your argument in a series of logical steps

    A typical paragraph is concerned with a single step in your argument

    The first sentence of a paragraph is the topic sentence. It clearly states which step in your argument you intend to deal with in this paragraph

    Subsequent sentences explain, define and expand upon the topic sentence

    Evidence is offered

    Evidence is commented on

    A conclusion may be reached

    Try to make each paragraph arise out of the previous paragraph and lead into the subsequent one

    Below are some useful ‘linking’ words and phrases that suit the formal tone of an academic assignment – get used to using them to structure clear, articulate and confident sounding sentences.

    To indicate timescales:
    when, while, after, before, then

    To draw conclusions:
    because, if, although, so that, therefore

    To offer an alternative view:
    however, alternatively, although, nevertheless, while
    To support a point:
    or, similarly, incidentally

    To add more to a point:
    also, moreover, furthermore, again, further, what is more, in addition, then
    besides, as well
    either, not only, but also, similarly, correspondingly, in the same way, indeed
    with respect to, regarding

    To put an idea in a different way:
    in other words, rather, or, in that case
    in view of this, with this in mind
    to look at this another way

    To introduce and use examples:
    for instance, for example, namely, an example of this is
    such as, as follows, including
    especially, particularly, notably

    To introduce an alternative viewpoint:
    by contrast, another way of viewing this is, alternatively, again,
rather, another possibility is..
    conversely, in comparison, on the contrary, although, though

    To return to emphasise an earlier point:
    however, nonetheless, despite, in spite of
    while.. may be true
    although, though, at the same time, although.. may have a good point

    To show the results of the argument:
    therefore, accordingly, as a result
    so, it can be seen that
    resulting from this, consequently, now
    because of this, hence, for this reason, owing to, this suggests
 that, it follows that
    in other words, in that case, that implies

    To sum up or conclude:
    therefore, in conclusion, to conclude, on the whole
    to summarise, to sum up, in brief, overall, thus

  4. The cake thrower himself is the "evil" looking actor, his "sidekick" is a clown who receives the punchline of the cake throwing. The show they are in is a typical pantomime, where the bad guy creates havoc on the rest of the characters. I didnt want to focus on the play they are in too much as I felt it confused to story too much. However there will be some thought considered into this.

    Thank you for the informative info! I'll take heed from it!


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