‘the hobbyist’ textual analysis

This short film is extremely different to the ones I have previously watched. Again, it is a mockumentary, and it follows the creator of a unique new invention – which appears to be a ‘remote control human.’

Narrative:

During this extremely short film (at only 2min 39secs), a pretend cameraman follows the creator as he shows off what his new innovative contraption can master. The inventor is also seen talking to a pretend interviewer, which appears to be on one side of the camera.

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At the beginning, the creator is portrayed with a large remote control, explaining what brought him to inventing it and how long it took him. In front of the camera – it is evident you can see that he is controlling something – it just isn’t revealed yet. I believe this adds to the humour as there is build-up and enigma codes as to what he has created. When it is exposed that it is infact just a human being, the audience would find it extremely humourous.

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Over the shoulder shot where it is revealed that he is actually controlling a man.

Another feature I like about the short film was the portrayal of the inventor losing control of the remote control man (which is very common in remote control helicopters/planes as they are so difficult to guide.) One was shown due to the invention’s shoe coming off – which disabled his ability to control it. Another aspect was the creator attempting to display his remote control human’s skills by placing it on a bike – this however only ended in disaster as this happened…

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Editing:

I quite liked how this short film resembled a ‘follow me around’ sort of documentary rather well, as it balanced between long takes (documentaries do not tend to utilise quick cuts etc.) and interviews with the person the documentary is based on.

However, when filming my short film (mockumentary or not) I would hopefully utilise and show off more camera skills/angles & editing techniques.

I tried to search for various short films that wouldn’t be too difficult for me to attempt, with no difficult special effects or extravagant locations. This film especially abides to this statement, as it is just a simple idea which focuses on a funny protagonist and script.

‘the majestic plastic bag’ textual analysis

I thoroughly enjoyed watching this short film repeatedly, it will never get old!

This mockumentary style film is a pastiche and homage to the many amazing Planet Earth documentaries, commonly presented by David Attenborough. It follows the simple journey of a plastic bag blowing in the wind, a common site in many cities/urban areas.

Possibly one of my favourite features of the film is the voiceover, the deep voice (similar to David¬†Attenborough’s) uses a lot of complex vocabulary to describe the simple actions of the plastic bag – adding to the comedic effect.

Narrative:

The film begins with the panning shot of a city skyline, which the narrator refers to as a ‘jungle’ – mimicking the skyscrapers. It also portrays a typical American supermarket, where the plastic bag begins it’s journey.

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Cinematography:

After the introduction, and the panning shots of the location. A title is revealed in an extremely regal font, to represent the somewhat upper class narration voice. The background image of the bag flowing carelessly in the wind is attempting to mimic and playfully mock the picturesque backgrounds often seen on these natural history programmes. The top titles is rather similar to that of Planet Earth, again representing the imitation and parody of the programme.

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Sound/Music:

During the entire short film, a score is used, with calming music, mainly created with string instruments – for a relaxing feel. This genre of music is very similar to that of Planet Earth,¬†it also adds to the amusement, as both the tone of the music and narrator’s voice change dramatically to imply impending danger for the plastic bag (eg. an encounter with a ‘teacup Yorkie.’) The climatic key change in the score over dramatises the situation, especially as the narrator states the Yorkie has “superior size.”

The key change continues to increase and becomes more dramatic as the plastic bag becomes closer to it’s ‘home’ – the Pacific ocean. The upbeat music exemplifies the finale of the short film and brings it to a promising ending.

During the score, the visuals tie in rather successfully as the large panning shots of vast green areas (still in the suburbs) mimic the exact shots that would be used in a nature documentary. This adds to the amusement as the audience would be so used to seeing picturesque jungles, or perhaps the boundless plains of the Arctic – however they are shown a somber looking bridge, next to a discoloured river filled with various rubbish. The contrast is hilarious.

How will it inspire me?

This mockumentary film could possibly inspire me to utilise this genre, as it is something I have never explored before – and would be enjoyable to film and produce.

This was probably my favourite short film to analyse so far, as I found it really compelling whilst humourous at the same time. It has made me want to create something somewhat similar, as if you produce a successful documentary, it could potentially be as funny as ‘The Majestic Plastic Bag.’