Monthly Archives: November 2009

The Scream…

 

Think hostel but in terms of a dorm room. It is a dark and gloomy night at American University. Students are starting up, sharpening their pencils for finals. Christmas decorations are surrounding the hallways. It is a time when students are restless and oblivious. Their minds are in their books and papers in the hallways and study rooms. The library is packed full of caffeinated, Starbucks induced students.

The safety at AU is one that every parent can count on. The blue lights surround the entire university. Public safety officers have eyes in the back of their heads. Crazy students are involved all throughout campus. No one is ever alone or afraid.

Two students, JOHN JAMES and SALLY SANDERS were slipped tranquillizers into their lattes while in the library. John stumbles back to his dorm room in Centennial.

Later John wakes up handcuffed to his desk chair, with a bag over his head and sees a man entering a room; it is his professor. He examines books and things on his desk while John asks to be let go. The professor takes a drill and begins torturing John by drilling him to the desk. After he is done, the professor sits down and tells John his unfulfilled dream of being a surgeon. John begs to be let go. He then frees John from his chair and tells him that he can go. John gets up but falls over as he tries to escape. The professor then murders him by cutting his throat.

Across campus, Sally is reported missing to the public safety officers. Public safety is proven unhelpful as they do not believe anything suspicious is going on. The professor had kidnapped Sally and takes her to where John’s body is.

Upon traveling to where John is. Sally questions what has happened to her and who the professor is taking her to see. She does not know that John is her former boyfriend. When she gets to the scene of John’s body….

 

THE SCREAM!

 

the-scream

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The Odessa Steps Sequence

The clip above is not only the most famous scene in The Battleship Potempkin, but it also sufficiently exemplifies the entire Soviet montage genre.  The Odessa Steps sequence perfectly embodies the main concepts of the genre, as it is known for its severe cuts and editing techniques.  As the chaos at Odessa Steps is emphasized by the dramatic editing that cuts from one shot to another quickly and without transitions (in order to evoke a particular response from the audience), the scene represents the editing of the Soviet montage genre.  Below is a shot breakdown of a series of shots in the middle of the scene.

Number…Abbreviation…Timing…Angle/Movement…Description

1. ECU…1 second…Static…Extreme close-up of a civilian’s face (person has wide eyes and looks very scared).

2. CU-ECU…2 seconds…Static (but subject moves toward the camera, filling the screen)… Civilian from previous shot walks toward the camera with his hands on his head, looking both distraught and disheveled.

3. WS…4 seconds…Static…Civilians are running down the Odessa Steps, looking frightened and freaking out.  Random people are shot by the Tsar’s men and fall down.

4. MS… 0.5 second…Static…Shot lasts for the blink of an eye as the editing of the Soviet Montage genre is showcased.  Shows women going up stairs.

5. MS… 5 seconds… Static…Women are running up the stairs in distress, but then turn around suddenly and start running back down.  An elderly woman paces herself going down the stairs.

6. MS… 1 second… Static, high angle shot… Man is shown covered with blood as he dies on the steps.

7. WS… 2 seconds… Static… The elderly woman is walking down the stairs again, as everyone around her runs.

8. EWS… 4 seconds… Static… Civilians are running down the steps and jumping over the dead bodies that are strewn across the stairs.

9. MWS… 4 seconds… Static… Woman carries a dead child in her arms as she walks up the stairs slowly, then turns around to face the camera.

10. EWS… 5 seconds… Static… Civilians are running down the steps as even more dead bodies are in their way.

11. WS… 2 seconds… Static… Civilians are hiding against a wall, one begins to stand up.

12.  MS… 1 second… Static… Clip shows the same civilian from the previous shot standing up again.

13.  CU…1.5 seconds…Static… The civilian adjusts her headpiece and yells something.

14.  MWS… 3 seconds… Static… Man carries an injured boy in his arms as he walks up the steps.  The boy’s limbs dangle awkwardly.

15.  MS… 3 seconds… Static… The woman with the headpiece waves her arms forward as she says something again.

Although the shots alternate in their type, the movement stays static throughout the scene, cutting from one static shot to the next.  As the subjects are depicted in their moments of distress, the quick change of shots reflects this to make the audience afraid for the civilians.

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