To be honest, in my past years of schooling I have always feared projects that involve technological work. When I took a look at the syllabus at the beginning of the semester this project seemed to jump off of the paper and strike me in the face. I was scared. I’m always one of those people that is worried that the computer is going to crash, or that no matter how hard I try, something is going to go wrong. This project was not only fun, but I also believe that it has really built up my confidence for future projects. I know I can handle them, even if technology is involved. And now looking back on the past few weeks of working on this project and having two research papers, it is obvious to me that I really enjoyed working on this the most, rather than just having to type for hours on end.
I chose to do this project on The Hangover. The answer of why to me is extremely simple. It is a classic “funny” movie, and I actually went back and watched it before I started the project. In my eyes, The Hangover can be classified into a “crude humor” genre. It received a restricted rating and is basically all about drugs, alcohol, and sex. It portrays this in a very immature way that causes the audience to uncontrollably erupt with laughter, and nothing in the movie seems to be taken very seriously. It is the true definition of a comedy. However, in the picture the main characters are not by any means bad people, but are simply in the wrong place at the wrong time. I aimed to alter this dimension in my re-creation. When I considered using this film for my project, I realized it would be a good choice, because I could incorporate the funny aspects of the film, and use them to alter the plotline and genre, essentially making it my own. After hours of work, I succeeded in creating “Really Bad Dudes”, an action packed thriller in which Alan, Phil, Doug, and Stu (the major characters in The Hangover) appear to be rampaging maniacs who simply getting themselves into trouble for the hell of it. They are indeed “bad people”, and don’t have a good bone in their bodies. They act only on impulse. When watching the trailer, it’s obvious that they don’t care at all about the damage they are causing, and it seems just like a way of life to them. My re-creation attempts to portray all of these crazy
problems that these men have, and how it is always getting them into trouble. This genre that I aimed to establish in my edition of the film should hopefully seem awfully like the Jackass TV and movie series. People are acting stupid, crazy, and idiotic for no common purpose. The idea of a crashed car seems like a lot of fun to them.
There are many ways by which I went about changing up the original movie. It all had to do with editing, and it’s “the physical joining together—the ‘cutting and pasting’—of pictures and sounds [that] editing is all about” (Klinge, McConkey, “Introduction to Film Structure”, page 159). Constantly stopping and creating subclips is and audio tracks are the definition of editing. The concept of closure was also an integral part of this project, because a lot of the time the audience is expected to “close the gaps” and to figure out what is meant by the clips when it is not directly given to them. To create an urgent and fast-paced message, I incorporated the song “Kick Start my Heart” my Motley Crue, which is a classic heavy rock anthem that has been used to get people “pumped up” for decades. My clips were cut purposely short to create a feel that is rushed and overly dramatic, producing fast cuts. I built suspense by incorporating short blank white title slides that leave the audience waiting on the edge of their seat for more. Not many transitions were used because I didn’t want to “overdo it”, but some were incorporated between the title slides introducing the characters and their corresponding clips. Also, title slides had bright lettering for the sole purpose of standing out to the viewer and further grabbing their attention. Most of the camera angles were close shots, because I wanted the audience to feel personally close to the action and extreme clips of disorder. Looking back, I have realized that this project was looking for a montage, or “a defined series of shots arranged in a particular order, for a particular purpose” (Dick, “Film Space and Image, Chapter 3). The entire trailer was shot in a first person point of view, to add to the “personal” appeal and effect.
Looking back on this project, I do admit that although it was fun, I was frustrated at times by some of the technical difficulties I faced. I couldn’t get my audio clips to work for a while, and it was out of sync very often. Also, time was a factor for me, mainly because the week that this was due I had two other projects and a test, so I had to get started early. Some advice that I would offer to others in the future would be to get started early, and not be afraid to ask for help, because there are always a lot of people who are more than willing to help you. Also, save often and make sure to set aside a period of time to work on this, because it will take a while.
The purpose of this project was to establish new meaning a film of choice. In essence, “shots in film tend to acquire meaning when they are juxtaposed with other shots and structured into an editing sequence” (Giannetti, Understanding Movies, Page 142). I learned a great deal in my attempts to satisfy the demands of this project, and I found it a great way to spend my time. It didn’t really seem like homework at all!