Friday, May 16, 2014

Films on Paper Composition Homework

Taking  a film class with Justin Copeland, a seasoned Hollywood storyboard artist. Its been a great class so far, and has really got me thinking about all the choices we have as filmmakers and storyboard artists. In this assignment we had to pick a film, thumbnail it out, and analyze how the composition supports the story.

I picked The Godfather. Yuuuup. I also HAD to pick the scene where Michael Corleone calmly shoots Solazzo and McClusky point blank in the face. I liked this scene because there was a ton of tension and suspense leading up to the shoot out. For one thing, we don't know if the gun is actually going to be planted there, and when it is, the audience is like "OH GOD, is he actually going to do it?!". Its amazing how calm he is until the end. What I noticed composition wise is that it starts out pretty loose and as the tension builds the shots get tighter and tighter until we have an extreme closeup of Michael's face where you can just feel the tension about to snap.

I think the subtext of this scene is that despite his reluctance to get involved in the family business up until this point, this scene proves Michael is actually a ruthless, cold, and calculating killer capable of doing just about anything for the family.


  1. Booyah! Gordon Willis FTW! Would be interesting to see how (if it does) it compares to how the scene is written in the novel or the screenplay (which I"m sure is avail online).

  2. Oh gurl!! Now you got me curious! I just read the original screenplay from 1971 and the its actually pretty darn close to the movie, although I believe some things were improvised on set that actually make it BETTER! Just gives me the chills reading this stuff and picturing the scene! And yes Gordon Willis FTW! Thank you for bringing his name to my attention! Bravo!

  3. I will never call another DP's name again. Dang..he passed away two days ago :( Bummer. That's interesting about the screenplay! Keep it coming! :)