While planning the series, obvious answers occured. How long should the videos be? Which filmmakers? How many films max? I knew I wanted a big filmmaker near the end, to make sure you guys weren’t falling asleep. I dabbled between Martin Scorsese and Ridley Scott, and decided on Ridley Scott. With 19 films, all spread out over different genres, taming [the films of] Ridley Scott was both a nightmare and a blessing at the same time. Read why after the jump!
When you think about it, Ridley Scott is a very obvious choice. Once he claimed that the key to success is to “do what you haven’t done”. I love that quote, because not only does it reflect on his inspiring career, but also on [the films of] thusfar. Just look at the grounds we covered. We’ve got existentialism, minimalism, surrealism, hyperrealism and a bunch of other -isms in the bag, and there’s still 3 episodes to go. To me, that was the final push to make [the films of] Ridley Scott.
The video starts with this title card. I used an effect in Final Cut to make shadowy figures appear within the title. Along with the music, it creates this calmth and it’s very subtle really, but everyone knows Scott likes himself a bit of action, so I hoped people would watch the opening with that in mind. I like how that creates a sort of tension.
The music is an instrumental version of Burn My Shadow by Unkle. I’d used it on an unfinished video from last year and decided it would work really well with this one.
This shot is pretty epic but the synchronized impact in the sound gives it incredible depth.
Something I have rarely discussed is rhyme in images in my videos. It’s something I do instinctively but when we talked about it at film school I started to pay attention to it a little more. You’ll see a lot of rhyming in this one, like this shot of an archer next to Robin Hood.
There’s “lens flare rhyme” here, which I think I’ve never done before.
Here’s another one, there’s a lot of flashing and light in the bottom left corner in the previous shot and I found this close of Sigourney Weaver’s character in Alien, fortunately with a broken piece of equipment behind her so that there’s a flashing light on her helmet.
Scott’s films have incredible scope, so there’s a lot of these big wides scattered throughout the video. Fun fact: [the films of] Danny Boyle also opens with an Unkle-song, also to establish scope.
We must prepare. This is where we’ll make our stand.
A lot of Ridley Scott’s films are about uprising / rebellion (Gladiator, Blade Runner, 1492, Kingdom of Heaven, Robin Hood) and this quote displays that pretty well.
Hit a wall here with the sound design, I couldn’t find good swishes or impacts to fully establish the enormity of this display so I used some rear channel material from both Kingdom of Heaven and Robin Hood.
I’m actually really proud of this edit. Crowe’s character has some dialogue but I use this shot of him not talking, which could look really weird but because it’s in quick succession, you barely notice. The music is She’s Long Gone by The Black Keys. Shamelessly sped up.
This wipe is either really cheesy or really cool. I haven’t decided yet.
OMG VIOLENCE. No, I didn’t censor this out. You might remember me censoring out some stuff before in [the films of] Wes Anderson and Guy Ritchie, but I didn’t make a seperate version for YouTube this time. Why? It actually has something to do with the location of the violence on the screen. If you look at the shot prior and the shot where the violence occurs, you’ll notice the points of interest are far apart:
And because the violence takes place briefly and before your eyes have had time to fully understand what’s going on, all you see is Washington’s character shooting someone, not a bullet penetrating his head and spouting blood everywhere. It means you don’t see the violence explicitly, which is why I kept it in.
The boss, mr. Rutger Hauer himself!
For some reason I love this bit.
Our world is a lot simpler to put to an end than you might think.
Remind you of something? That’s right, this quote is in Cinema 2008 as well!
Knights of Cydonia by Muse kicks in. A very western-sounding song (even the brilliant music video is a western) so I put this shot underneath the intro, which looks very western.
I’m pretty sure Mr. Scott has a helicopter fetish so I put lots of them in here for him.
You and I must fight for our rights
No coincidence here, Moore’s character in G.I. Jane has to fight for her rights. I don’t get why people don’t like that film by the way, I thought it was cool.
You and I must fight to survive
Another not-so-subtle link here, this is a shot of Maximus’s first Gladiator battle in Gladiator, in which he has to fight alongside another slave.
More rhyming! This is movement rhyme
The font is Old Style. It works great with the historic feel of Scott’s movies, and it also looks pretty epic.
The shot… just.. the shot.. wow.
Hope you guys have all seen Thelma & Louise..
Is this too scary? I dabbled a bit with this shot because in a glimpse it just looks like his face is all messed up, but it’s obviously a mask.. I don’t know.
The first hint for this episode as that the filmmaker made my favorite film of 2010, which is.. Robin Hood! I know, not an obvious choice, but I love the hell out of this movie. It’s just crafted wonderfully, there’s fantastic performances and it looks gorgeous. It even beat Inception for me, can you believe that?
I love this edit: this person is falling in slow-motion, but also moving quite a lot so it’s synchronized with the guitar, which is quite low but going up and down. Hard to explain, really.
Woohoo! This shot made me go crazy in the cinema. I just had to end it with this.
And so there you have it! Most of you were requesting bigger filmmakers, ‘legendary’ filmmakers or ones with a bigger filmography, well, you almost don’t get it any better than this. You kind of do but you’ll see in December.
Watching all of Ridley Scott’s films was a totally new experience. I can’t believe I had never seen Gladiator, Alien and Blade Runner but am very glad now that I have. Juggling 19 films around is really tricky and I can’t recommend it to anyone (there will probably be loads of people saying I used too much of this and too little of that), but it was definitely the most rewarding and challenging episode yet. I really had to push myself through multiple walls to get this done and I couldn’t rely on a formula at all, so what you’re looking at is completely from scratch.
Sir Ridley Scott deserved nothing less, really: you can’t capture his essence, and definitely not in 3 minutes. That’s because he keeps challenging himself, he keeps pushing himself to new limits and giving us new experiences. For a retrospective video I had to rely less on his persona and more on memories / iconic shots he’s made over the years, because even after an extensive Scott-a-thon I’m still not in the clear about his style or character. But that’s what’s so great about him: he’s a total mystery, and I think that’s what makes his films so exciting.
Well, I’m much, much more familiar with next month’s director’s work and it won’t be too hard to catch this director’s iconic style. It will very much fit a holiday near the release of the video. Happy guessing!