Wednesday, 20 October 2010

The Characters

Main Character - Sean Carter - Ex-Military, wounded in Afghanistan

Wife's name - Grace Carter - Care Worker in a retirement home
We want to create a situation and characters within it that will evoke the audience's sympathy, which will add to the depth and believability of our film.

Sean Carter - Afghanistan veteran who was wounded in the shoulder during his second tour of duty. He can no longer work for the army due to the severity of his injuries, and lives a poor lifestyle with his wife as they attempt to have a baby. However his wife is infertile and their only option to conceive a child is through the expensive £4,000-8,000 IVF treatment. This desperation for money leads him to get involved with the wrong people, who witness him losing at the local gambling shop, and offer him a place at their high-stakes private Texas hold-em poker game.

The Poker Game

This is how we have decided the hand of poker will unfold:

Initial Hands -

Sean Carter - Ace of Spades, Ace of Diamonds
Main Rival - Jack of Spades, Jack of Clubs
Character 3 - 10 of Hearts, 2 of Spades (FOLD)
Character 4 - King of Diamonds, Queen of Diamonds
Character 5 - 6 of Hearts, 6 of Spades


Queen of Hearts, 7 of Clubs, King of Spades

Sean has - Pair of Aces,
Rival - Pair of Jacks
C.4 - Two pair - Queen and King
C.5 - Pair of 6's (FOLD)


Jack of Hearts

Sean has - Pair of Aces
Rival - 3 of a kind - Jacks
C.4 - Two pair - Queen and King (FOLD)


Ace of Hearts

Sean has - 3 of a kind - Aces (Wins)
Rival has 3 of a kind- Jacks

Ancillary Task - Initial Poster Ideas


As well as peripheral reasearch into our own film idea, we have similarly explored the different ways in which we can create our ancillary poster task. We took inspiration from the 2010 film 'Buried' (poster pictured underneath) which we thought uses simple darkness to excellent effect. The darkness connotes mystery and leaves an air of mystery for the audience. It is very suitable for our film as we wish to give little away in the poster and only reveal the activity is poker - with our poster showing a low hanging, dingy lamp lighting up a poker table strewn with cards and chips, and possibly a spatter of blood. We will probably ask one of schools A level photography students take the photo to get a much more proffesional looking photograph consistent with the film we want to create. We would follow the normal conventions of having the movie website at the bottom but not revealing the film title to again enhance the curiosity of the audience.

Further Film Research - 13 Tzameti

Black and white effect creates tense atmosphere, film noir

European, subtitled and cultural differences in film

Sounds are heavily emphasised, there is little dialogue so footsteps, bike bells etc. are given increased volume.

Smoke more visible in the black and white

Blurred focus at times leaves viewer disoriented.

Evocative music - reinforces enigma, off beat.

Meaningless, awkward conversation as the meaning is in the  visual, in this case a slow start

Panning shot of loading guns and spinning cylinders

Series of close-ups - showing nervous men, 360 degree pan showing men with guns

Uses lightbulb as a reference to build tension (when it goes out they shoot) - shots between men and lightbulb increasingly shorter.

Ignores conventions of time - even though all shoot at the same time it shows reaction one after the other.

Close ups of eyes to show intensity and fear

Contrast between men gambling - professional, rich in suits and pawns putting lives on the line.

Tension builds as fewer people remain in competition, feature we will us in poker film. As competition goes on rivalries build and so does intensity builds. Stakes raise and chance of success raises.

In poker stakes will raise and chance of main characters success will be made to look unlikely but will prevail in the end.

Harsh, brash and impatient organisers shout - reinforces illegality.

Main characters left in are often recognisable - 13 has an obese character thus making the audience able to follow it more easily.

Duel like the last leg of poker - shows two shot initially then - other the shoulder shot of both - moves in closer with OTS - pans audience reaction. (Close up/extreme close up could be used to show intensity.

Second duel, mid shot of each then into close ups.

Attention paid to eyes and reaction - like our poker idea, main character in 13 is novice.  Scared, shivering compared to the composed experienced gambler (shooter) yet he still wins., despite disliking activity.

When packing money the character feels guilt but the packer is clinical, little emotion.

Sweat is a clear signal of nerves and fear, accompanied by a slouched walk, fixed eye and facial expression.

Mood Board

This is the mood board that we have created to research into the themes we intend to explore whithin our film. This will create a visual representation of what we aim to show in our film. We used 'Empire' magazine and pictures found on the internet for the mood board on an A3 piece of paper. There are various gambling related pictures,our film's main theme. The IVF treatment link is shown through one of our pictures and again represents one of the central themes in our film. The other pictures and quotes have more subtle implications for example the text 'In a lonely place' indicating our characters isolation not only at the poker table as an in-experienced gambler but also as someone who has the world against him - unable to conceive a child). We also wanted to represent the types of items and people that are typically associated within the world of gambling and gambling films, such as the bottle of alcohol, the briefcase of money (indicating the winnings) and the typical suit-wearing people that engage in the games. Also, our main character is a previous afghanistan veteran who was wounded in combat, which we represented through the pictures of soldiers on the mood board, indicating his military background.

Shooting Script

Camera in the middle of the table. Slight low angle, shows the poker chips and main character is holding cards, possible switch of focus.
We then see close up of cards – Aces
360 degrees panning shot of characters around the table starts and stops on main character
Betting starts, series of shots of players putting chips in (possible other the shoulder, mid shot), folding, looking at hands and showing extreme close ups of the eyes revealing emotion. Try to use this shot to make it clear that our Main character is inexperienced, other characters relaxed – smoking – close up.
Flop revealed – burn card face down with 3 cards face up. Close up of the flop.
Remind the audience of the initial hand and what combination he has now – close up of the eyes and reaction (possible smirk in some characters) Narrator (main character) reveals through audio the combination and new hand – This all establishes the setting neatly with the poker game and characters.
Flashback – using after effects (explosion and time-stop) Main character in army uniform running towards camera which then switches to a 1st person camera shot of the character running – facing the ground then sent flying back by explosion.  Dip to white/black.
Start of next round of betting following flop – and turn revealed (incorporate meta-language check, raise etc.) Betting raised some people fold – increases tension as only 3 of initial 5 remain.
Turn revealed after the burn card – again show reactions – narration over the top throughout – flipping the chips between hand.
Attempt a stop-time effect ‘let’s see what everyone has’ just as he starts to turn over the cards switches back to reality – ‘if only it was that easy’.
Next round of betting following the ‘turn’ – ALL IN – calls other guy only 2/5 left now increase tension. Use other the shoulder shot – become tighter on characters faces to indicate increased intensity.
Flashback – Extreme close up of negative pregnancy test, wife of the main character holding it in one hand shown in mid shot – crying. Main character hugs her picks up IVF treatment bill – close up of the documentation – two shot of husband and wife hugging – main character comforting her – use other the shoulder shot for any dialogue.
Changes between shots becomes quicker to show tension – of eyes – and card as it is revealed shown to leave main character winner. Close up of smile. Piling money into rucksack/suitcase close up of the money – wide angle shot of packing money in. Reluctant loser – he leaves in wide angle shot though door – we then see other gamblers realising he has cheated seeing 5 aces for example.
 The following shot is outside with a fixed wide angle, the main character walks towards the camera, a close up of his sleeve as he takes out with narration over the top and then he is unexpectedly shot or dragged back into the building indicating he has been caught.