Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Do You Have the Crazy?

Only a couple of weeks away from shooting my first narrative short, I have become increasing interested in studying recent independent films that look to be in the same style I want to shoot in. I came across this film, “The Signal,” about a year ago while watching trailers online, and was reasonably excited to see it. Of course, as many indie films, it was not playing in any location that was relatively near my location; so begins the long, enervating wait for the DVD release.

Long story short, I watched it last night and I liked what I saw.

The story breaks down like this: One night a weird signal interrupts all of the TV’s and phones and radios. The signal seems to interrupt synapses and brain wave patterns so that anyone who listens to or watches the signal for a period of time will start doing things that they normally wouldn’t do. And since this is a horror film, everybody starts slaughtering their fellow human beings on a massive scale. As my favorite line in the movie goes, “They just decided to start killing each other.”

There’s a little more to it than that, but I don’t want to get into individual characters and storylines. What I was looking for was story telling technique, editing, sound manipulation, the overall mise en scene of the production. What I got was a very similar feel to another one of my favorite indie films, “Primer.” You don’t have a grasp of what’s going on for the longest time, but the feelings and intensity of the characters just drew you in. And like “Primer”, it was shot as if you were there in the room with the characters. The signal was so strong when a TV was turned on that I had to turn the base down on my subwoofer because it was shaking things off of my desk. I was into it; I was along for the bloody ride.

I’ll revisit this again in a couple of months when I have a final cut of my short to show and we can see if I got what I set out to get.


yoggoth said...

That sounds somewhat similar to the idea behind Snowcrash.

My ears tingle when I read the word enervate. It has the opposite meaning of innervate, but they are pronounced the same. Isn't that cool?

ninquelote said...

Your command of the English Language sempiternal.

It does sort of have the same idea as Snowcrash but with crowbars and homemade spears made from kitchen knives taped to broom handles, instead of, you know, samurai swords and nuclear bombs.