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Best way to emphasize a surprise?

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Robert Storm
Best way to emphasize a surprise?
on Apr 15, 2008 at 5:40:44 am

A group of friends and I are making a short film, in which one of the characters is [apparently] mutilated by some menacing [CG] creature.
I was wondering how I should shoot this to show the viewer the creature, and imply that it kills the character. The character is walking through a poorly lit construction sight at night, with a flashlight, when this happens to him.
I'm not sure if the character should turn a corner into the creature, or turn around after hearing the creature, or what, exactly, should happen (its still pretty rough). And I'm not sure what camera moves would be appropriate...but that's why I'm posting here.
The goal here is mainly to startle the viewer, since this will be his or her first view of the creature.

Thanks guys, I'd really appreciate your suggestions!
Robert Storm




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todd mcmullen
Re: Best way to emphasize a surprise?
on Apr 16, 2008 at 1:26:32 pm

Reference other films. The reveal of the mutants in I am legend was interesting. and
when we see drac hanging upside down in Bram stokers Dracula was very effective.

hth

Todd McMullen
Flip Flop Films
Austin
http://www.toddmcmullen.com


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Rennie Klymyk
Re: Best way to emphasize a surprise?
on May 6, 2008 at 8:16:41 am

I liked one of the scenes from Alien when the actor gets dripped on and looks slowly upward. When he sees the alien it secures him and lifts him up out of frame (or am I just having a nightmere here?)

"everything is broken" ......Bob Dylan


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Ryan Mast
Re: Best way to emphasize a surprise?
on May 10, 2008 at 7:18:38 pm

Check out some Shyamalan films. Signs and Lady In The Water are particularly good with controlling the suspense & appearance of monsters.

Ah, Alien... also a great source of monster inspiration. Part of what makes the appearance of the creature so terrifying is the pacing. The movie is, on the whole, very slowly paced. It provides a great contrast to the appearance of the face-huggers and the xenomorph -- it moves very rapidly. The abrupt & dramatic change of pace heightens the energy and scariness of the moments. In the air shaft, we only get a brief flash of the alien -- and the rest is left to sound effects and our imagination.

Don't underestimate the power of sound. Get a genuinely frightening real creature sound in there, like a tiger or elephant or something, and try tweaking and sweetening it so it sounds a little otherworldly.



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