Week 4 Blog: Acting and Acting Styles

I have chosen the movie, “The Green Mile” for this week’s blog. I have enjoyed this movie when watching it in the past. This movie is about the guards that work on Death Row at a penitentiary and learn that one of the inmates was convicted of raping and murdering a child. They also come to find out that this vary same inmate has a special gift. This film is placed in the 1930’s area. The three actors I will be focusing on from this movie are Tom Hanks, Michael Clarke Duncan, and David Morse. They are the main characters in the movie. All three have a classification for their types of acting I will be focusing on.

Tom Hanks played the role of a guard on The Green Mile named Paul Edgercomb. Tom Hanks played the star role of this film. “A star is a distinctive screen persona, who is well–known and popular with the moviegoing public, often to the point that some avid movie fans become deeply curious about the actor’s private life…” (Goodykoontz & Jacobs, 2011, section 3.4). I have loved other movies that Tom Hanks has played in and feel that he fits the actor type of a star splendidly. Some of my other favorite film I can remember him playing in are Forrest Gump, Apollo 13, Saving Private Ryan and Cast Away are just a few of them.

Michael Clarke Duncan was the inmate on Death Row in the movie named John Coffey. I would consider Michael’s role as an Impersonator actor style for this part. This is because he was acting in a manner and behaving as the character might have. He was not creating the character for this role. He is mostly well known for this movie as being nominated for an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor. When looking at other films he was in, I would best caricaturize him as a character actor.

David Morse was another guard on The Green Mile called Brutus “Brutal” Howell. He was known as the brutal guard that was mean to the inmates on The Green Mile. Has been in many movies and is caricaturize as a character actor, for this film and others. This is because he doesn’t play many star roles and is very good at adapting to the needs of the script and director. He also is very versatile in playing a wide variety of roles.


Goodykoontz, B., & Jacobs, C. P. (2011). Film: From watching to seeing. San Diego, CA: Bridgepoint Education, Inc.

It Was A Kindness You Done – The Green Mile (4/5) Movie CLIP (1999) HD. (n.d.). YouTube. Retrieved May 23, 2014, from http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=083OMBnPA3c

The Green Mile (1999) Official Trailer – Tom Hanks Movie HD. (n.d.). YouTube. Retrieved May 23, 2014, from http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ki4haFrqSrw



Week 3 Blog – Categories and Functions of Sound

When watching a movie now these days many of us probably would not give much thought to how important sound is for creating the overall atmosphere of the movie. There are three basic categories when it comes to sound and the sensation it creates for the audience during a film. These basic categories are dialogue, sound effects, and music. We will be focusing on the movie The Great Gatsby (2013) when comparing the sound categories.

The Great Gatsby (2013) Trailer

Today a director would not think of making a movie without dialogue. Dialogue is when characters in the movie are talking and communicating with one another. The dialogue can also help the audience feel as if they were in the time period of the film based on how the characters speak with one another. This is true for the movie “The Great Gatsby”. The characters used a dialogue that made the audience feel as they themselves were in the 1920’s. It helped establish the time frame the movie was focusing on.

When listening to a movie, sound effects help the audience experience the action or drama within a given scene. Like with The Great Gatsby, the director used sound effects to make the vehicle in the scene feel as though they were going faster than they might have been when filming. Wayne Pashley said in his interview, “Yes, we recorded about 15 or so vintage vehicles, from Rolls Royces through to a hero vehicle in the film which is called the Duesenberg Straight 8” (Farley, 2013). These are just a few sound effects that help give the audience an atmosphere of the 1920’s.

The Great Gatsby (2013) Great Music Is Timeless Featurette

The music in movie helps play a crucial part of the whole movie experience. It is important for directors to know when musical cues, silence, and specific music should be played, where the audience can get the whole picture that was created for them to enjoy. “Louis Armstrong was just hitting his stride and all that big band material was very new. So with that same concept, he took what Gatsby would be experiencing today in modern music, and put it in this film. The great thing he did though was not just throw in a Jay Z rap. He combined it with extraordinary material from the Bryan Ferry Jazz Orchestra. And now you got things like Take 5 and all those sorts of tunes back then, intermixed into Jay Z, Will.I.Am, Fergie, the XX and so on…. It’s a great strength of the film” (Farley, 2013). This mix up of music within the movie The Great Gatsby is what gave it such life and intrigue.

The sounds that made this movie a delight to watch definitely captured the genre of the movie. They instilled the drama and romance of the genre. I feel that if the jazz aspect of the music was taken away from the movie you would not get the feeling of being in the 1920’s and living a lavish life. When most watch a movie from a particular time frame they expect certain music will be present within that movie.


Farley, S. (2013). Interview with Wayne Pashley – The Great Gatsby. Designing Sound. Retrieved May 16, 2014, from http://designingsound.org/2013/07/interview-with-wayne-pashley-the-great-gatsby/

GREAT GATSBY Trailer (2012) Movie HD. (2012, May 22). YouTube. Retrieved May 16, 2014, from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rARN6agiW7o

The Great Gatsby (2013) Great Music Is Timeless Featurette [HD]. (n.d.). YouTube. Retrieved May 16, 2014, from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BoHMPuPjbM4

Week 2 Blog: Lighting

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (2011)

Genre: Crime, Drama, Mystery

Identify the type of lighting used in the film.

This film mostly consists of low-lighting, along with a few scenes that have some high-key lighting. “A low–key lighting design looks dark overall by comparison” (Goodykoontz & Jacobs, 2011, section 4.4). The light helps give the audience a feel for what is happening I the movie. The clip below helps show you how low-lighting is impotent in order to give the viewer a feel meant for drama throw out this scene.

What are the benefits of the style of lighting used?

When the cinematographer uses low-lighting it helps capture the setting for the entire movie. Low-lighting is mainly used in drama-mystery films. This give the audience a more in-depth understanding of how important or sad, each scene in the film might be. The few scenes that consist of high-key lighting helps the audience know that this part of the film is important to the overall plot of the movie.

How did this technique contribute to the theme?

The lighting technique used in the film helped the viewer grasp the morality of each scene within the movie. These light technique also help enhance the mood and feel the director is trying to achieve for the film by creating a drama-mystery.

How was the lighting technique suited to the genre of the film?

The film is a drama-mystery genre and low-lighting is the primary lighting source that give the audience a feel of mystery. Also Goodykoontz and Jacobs (2011) stated, “Low–key lighting is often used for intense dramatic scenes, horror films, mystery thrillers, and the like” (section 4.4). Given these points you can see how important low-key lighting is to this genre.

Compare how the scene would play if different choices had been made.

I feel that if the cinematographer had not used low-key lighting throw out most of the movie the audience would not have gotten the effect of a drama-mystery film. Had the cinematographer chosen a different light source the overall effects for the movie would change? The audience would be confused of what was going on during the movie because the lighting is a key aspect used to help set the mood for each scene throw out the whole film.

Clip#1 from Girl with the Dragon Tattoo: “Blomkvist Meets Salander” (HD). (2011, December 19). YouTube. Retrieved May 8, 2014, from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7SLXQz6qJOg
Goodykoontz, B., & Jacobs, C. P. (2011). Film: From watching to seeing. San Diego, CA: Bridgepoint Education, Inc.
THE GIRL WITH THE DRAGON TATTOO – OFFICIAL 8 Minute Trailer – In Theaters 12/21. (2011, December 6). YouTube. Retrieved May 8, 2014, from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X7awaM0UmYI

Week 1 Blog: Narrative/Storytelling

Title: The Wolf of Wall Street

Writer: Terence Winter (screenplay), Jordan Belfort (book)

Director: Martin Scorsese

Year: 2013

Actors: Leonardo DiCaprio, Jonah Hill, Margot Robbie

Story: The film is based on Jordan Belfort’s real life story, played by Leonardo DiCaprio. Belfort founded and ran Stratton Oakmont until he was arrested in 1998 and charged with 10 counts of money laundering and security fraud. The film depicts his rise and fall as a wealthy stock-broker, while living in the lime light and showing his involvement in corruption and fraud.

Plot: The film starts out in 1987, when Jordan Belfort stated working at an established Wall Street firm in a low-level position. His boss at the firm introduces him to a life style of escorts and cocaine. After he becomes a certified stockbroker the firm he was working at goes bankrupt, which causes him to loses his job.

His wife Teresa encourages him to take a job dealing in penny stocks in Long Island. Belfort got the job by impressing the boss with his pitching styles. He was successful with penny stocks and earned an incredible amount of money because of the high commissions earned from penny stock. Belfort became friends with a salesman Donnie Azoff and they decided to open a business together, with some of their friends. This new firm was a pump and dump scam and named Stratton Oakmont. Shortly after their firm grew in the hundreds after an article published in Forbes.

Belfort became addicted to cocaine, Quaaludes, prostitutes and an over-the-top lifestyle. Belfort meet a woman named Naomi Lapaglia during one of his parties and started an affair with her. Soon after he divorces his wife Teresa and marries Naomi. They have a daughter together. During all of this FBI Agent Patrick Denham and the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission stated to investigate Belford’s company Stratton Oakmont.

With the investigation going on Belfort opens a Swiss bank account to protect his new instant fortune from securing an IPO of Steve Madden Ltd. He had to use friend to smuggle his cash to Switzerland for him. Belfort’s father attempts to get him to step down as CEO to escape all the legal penalties we was facing from law enforcement.

Belfort and his wife take a trip to Italy on their yacht, and then learn that the person on his Swiss Bank account died. So he decides to sail the yacht to Monaco so they could drive to Switzerland. On the way there the yacht capsized from a storm. They were rescued and sent to Geneva on a plane and during the trip a seagull destroyed the engine. After these two trimetric accidents he decided to sober up.

Finally the FBI Agent Denham arrested Belfort. He then turned on his colleagues to get some leniency for the crimes he committed. Belfort would not cooperate with the FBI on collecting evidence from his colleagues and was arrested in a FBI raid of Stratton Oakmont. With his testimony he was sentenced to 36 months in prison.


Chronology: This film was told in chronological order. The film followed Jordan Belfort life from his start on Wall Street to his arrest by focusing on his life so the audience could live through his eyes. With Belfort narrating the move himself the story fell realistic, as if you were there with him.

If the film hand not fallowed a chronological order the ending would not have had the same impact on the audience. Along with that if Belfort himself was not narrating the movie; one might not get the same feeling of being with him during this time in his life. This would change the whole effect of the film on the audience.


The Wolf of Wall Street (2013) – IMDb. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0993846/

The Wolf of Wall Street Official Trailer #2 (2013) – Leonardo DiCaprio Movie HD [Video file]. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pabEtIERlic