Sunday, September 25, 2011

Contagion and Filming

This past Wednesday I saw the movie Contagion in theaters. So often we are consumed by fears of alien invasion or a tremendous cataclysm like 2012 with whole cities falling into the ground that we forget about the real threat of epidemic and I feel as though Contagion showcased this threat well. Whole montages of shots at door handle height with populations displayed in text at the bottom of the frame caused me to shiver as I thought about how quickly a deadly virus could be spread as our population continues to boom. Combine this with the fear mongering of news stations about Swine Flu and you have a psychological that deals with many real world things. One concept of the movie I found interesting was a blogger character who served as a fairly good villain. Alan Krumwiede played by Jude Law spreads misinformation and conspiracy theories on his blog "Truth Serum" as the disease spreads, and also urges his readers to not take a vaccine, a direct jab at Alex Jones and other anti-government bloggers.

Contagion also did a good job at showing very little but also getting the point across. Some examples I liked were a shot of monkeys in a lab immediately followed by hundreds of biohazard body bags being carted away. Later in the movie there is looting and violence as fear consumed the population and u see a shot from an upstairs window looking into another house. You see 2 masked men run in and then flashes of light that were obviously gun shots.

In other news my group filmed our scene in the campus center. It turned out pretty well and we were able to accomplish our scene in under an hour. All 8 of our actors had clothes very similar to the original subjects and followed direction very well. Because it is a wide shot the most difficult thing was timing while having multiple actors in the frame. It was very obvious if one person was on time and another was not so it took many takes to get everything down. The way we rehearsed was to train two actors at a time and build onto the scene in 4 parts. We also had 2 team members outside letting actors know when to go and also blocking off the doors which was another issue. As everyone knows those stairs have a good amount of traffic. I was happy with the way the scene turned out.

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