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Analyse How Two or Three Production Techniques Helped Developed Your Opinion of a Main Character or Individual in Shawshank Redemption

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In �The Shawshank Redemption’ directed by Frank Darabont the production techniques helped develop my opinion of the main character Andy. The three techniques used are, camera shots, music, and lighting. These techniques helped me become confident in Andy’s personality and my opinion of him. When we first met Andy he is a quiet man, giving off the impression that he is cold blooded, keeping to himself mostly and not bothered by those outside of his comfort zone. Others however feel that Andy is a snob, despite the fact that he did not speak to anybody during the first couple of months of his tenure at the prison. With these techniques, we can see that Andy is not like this at all. His true personality is uncovered and unleashed.

Different camera shots are used to convey slightly different expressions of characters and therefore we can conclude their personalities. Close up shot can show the audience the characters facial expressions and see whether they are overjoyed, worried, nervous, or upset. While, mid shot of a full shot showing a group of characters can show how a character reacts when surround by others, because the facial expressions maybe distorted, one cannot make out what the characters emotion is, this could be used to an advantage when portraying a character hiding secrets. High angles and low angles also convey different meanings. For instance, the prisoners are often shot from high angles, sometimes even birds eye views, to convey their powerless and alone and low angled shots emphasis power which an important character has. Two characters especially, Andy and Red are shot in close-ups and alone to emphasis that they are different from the other prisoners. When Andy first enters Shawshank, he walks through a huge stone archway. As he does, the camera pans up the stone from the entrance all the way to the top of the building. The prison effectively “swallows” Andy. The camera tilt upward shows the daunting height of the prison. The cold granite wall reminds the viewers of Andy’s trial, with the words, “icy and remorseless” from the court judge still ringing in our ears. Andy’s lack of facial expression and odd manner, portrayed by the skillful use of camera shots, shows what people may think of him when they first see him. Red said; “I could see why some of the boys took him for snobby. He had a quiet way about him, a walk and a talk that just wasn’t normal around here. He strolled, like a man in a park without a care in the world. Like he had on an invisible coat that would shield him from this place. Yeah, I think it would be fair to say I liked Andy fro the start.” When Fat-ass died, his death provides a catalyst through which we can see Andy’s compassion. Remember, on the morning on which we learn of Fat-ass’s death, Andy is the only one who asks what his real name was. Remember, Heywood tells Andy it makes no difference what his name was. The close up shot of Andy’s facial expressions when Heywood makes that rude remark shows that Andy did care for the man who died. After Andy has been released from solitary, depressed, he asks Heywood for six feet of rope; the film intends that we fear Andy will kill himself, and that feeling is heightened because Brooks did hang himself. Brook’s suicide makes the possibility that Andy will kill himself seem all the more likely. The camera angle, mid shot of the men talking about Andy, when Heywood tells the boys that he gave Andy a six feet length of rope, the mid shot and then the close up of Red’s face shows his facial expression of horror that he could loose his close friend. Then Red says; вЂ?No not Andy.’ As if he is saying that Andy would never do such a thing, then another fellow inmate says; вЂ?I don’t know, every man has his breaking point.’ This was followed by a long silence, and again another close up shot of Red’s face portraying a worried look.

Music is another production technique, which is used throughout this film to convey expressions and personalities of characters. The opera aria that Andy plays, it is Sull’ Aria, a duettino between Susannah and the Countess in Mozart’s The Marriage of Figaro. Sull’ Aria translates as “to Romeo”. This aria takes place in the opera’s third act and despite Susannah (the Countess’s maid) and the Countess herself as they plot revenge against the Count who keeps making advances toward the already engaged Susannah. I believe this song was used for two reasons; firstly, this is a classical piece with romantic overtones. As Andy is shown as a romantic character, even his choosing of this song reinforces this portrayal, this song is clearly appropriate. In addition, it is a song of cunning and of laying the grounds for an escape from oppression, as Susannah will never have to ward of the Count again if their plan works. This makes the aria’s inclusion even more meaningful to the overall film and Andy’s character. When Andy plays вЂ?The Marriage of Figaro’ on the loud speakers it shows the audience his personality that he does not keep all the music to himself, but he lets all the prison inmates hear the beautiful music. Again it shows Andy’s compassion for others, Andy is not a selfish man, which some conclude when they first met him. As well as his compassionate nature, Andy had to have a lot of courage to face Warden Norton and the guards. “Andy was given two weeks in the вЂ?Hole’ for that stunt.”

Lighting is a major part of a film. This film’s exterior shots there would be some natural lighting. However, even with sunny skies, the prisoner’s still look drab and colorless. Part of this is due to the blue/grey costuming and make-up design, but a large part of it is also due to the fact that the prisoners are always shot from the shadow side of their faces. They are never shown with the sun beaming directly on their faces until Andy plays �The Marriage of Figaro’ for them. In that shot, the camera sweeps over the heads of the prisoners

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