Monday, 14 February 2011

@ Phil - IOR post - scribd

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  1. Interim Online Review 15/02/2011

    Hi Chris,

    Your story premise recalls two particular movies - one of which is infamous:

    Peeping Tom (the infamous one!)

    And Theatre of Blood (a camp bloodthirsty romp!)

    Peeping Tom is about a photographer whose camera comes complete with a spike, which skewers its subjects as it takes their photograph, and Theatre of Blood is about an actor revenging himself upon the critics that ruined his career - both great movies in their way.

    I like the melodrama and bonkers-ness of your premise, though I don't think it's quite working yet as a satisfying structure. I think you may need to consider going more 'non-linear' with this. At the moment a man is tied to the tracks and is killed by a train in act 3. So what. There isn't any suspense here or any tension. This is also due to the fact that the story's pov belongs to the sword-swallower - not the guy tied to the tracks - when, to put the audience in his position would put the audience in peril. You might consider a much more 'intercut' structure, where in the oncoming train is cut into the action throughout to create the urgency. You have a complex back-story to weave into the action too; you have to establish the critic and the sword-swallower and their antagonism. Again - a more bold, non-linear style, in which you cut up the sequence of events and reveal the sword-swallower's dastardly plan more intriguingly.

    I've got to say it though; I'm not entirely convinced about the use of the train; after all, if you're going to kill someone by running them over with a train, why would you need a sword anyway? I suggest you download those 2 movies I suggested and give them a watch anyway - they may help you fix the tone of your story.

    So I like the embittered sword-swallower idea, who is killing of his rivals and critics. I like the idea he takes photographs of his victims, but the train doesn't feel wholly necessary yet...

  2. Re. your written assignments:

    Yes, the Uncanny essay - at last - has some actual theoretical content - which means it's already vastly improved.

    Your Unit 4 essay - yes, look at The Birds, fine - but you're introduction is waffly. Cut straight to it, Chris. "This assignment will examine the relationship between editing and story in Alfred Hitchcock's 1963 film, The Birds... bosh" Don't dither around with generalities. Be sure too to identify specific moments in the film and define/contextualise the editing; so, the bird attack at the end, with Tippi Hedren in the attic is an example of 'montage editing' - to discuss this scene in any meaningful way, you'll need to discuss 'montage editing' more generally, so that the reader understands your terms and definitions...