Archive for the ‘ 160MC Developing Meaning ’ Category

5 Blog posts

Development –

Research –

Analysis –

Reflection –

Other –



Today was the day we had to present our character and their cabinet of curiosities. Group 7 met up at 9am and got down to work, finishing certain pages and Vinuri and Luke concentrated on the presentation on prezie. After doing this we went through the presentation and made sure everyone knew what they were saying where.

The Presentation:

I believe the presentation went really well and the mixture of sound clips we had worked well with the text that we had around it. The bad points about the presentation were that some people had more to say than others, this isn’t necessarily a problem because some people (including myself) aren’t able to speak well in front of people in that sort of environment. The other problem was that the video at the end didn’t work and it was all running smoothly up until then and then because we had to use a USB, which took time, I feel that the presentation lost a bit of momentum. All in all, the presentation was good and the group’s team effort for this project was amazing. I won’t name names, but there was one person who we only saw when we had our first meeting and at the presentation today. This person didn’t contribute & didn’t give us a reason why said person wasn’t/didn’t turn up to meetings (the meetings were clearly shown on the Facebook group we created).

SWOT analysis:

Strengths – The presentation was well organised and put together well. The work book shows everything clearly and everything is marked out and given headings so that it is clear to the person reading it what they are read. I think Dan Biddle reading the letter in French was actually quite moving and it worked well within the presentation. The group was great, worked well together and found a way to make some things work. If someone had an idea that they thought would be good we all talked about it and came to a final decision together.

Weaknesses – The one person that only showed up to two of the meetings kind of through us off a bit because we didn’t know if this person was still attending university of if something had happened. I feel that there could’ve been something more with the cabinet, a different item or a more personal one. The cabinet was a good idea & I’m not saying it isn’t but I am saying that there could’ve been something more.

Opportunities – Going on from the previous comment about having something more in the cabinet, it could’ve been something that his mother had left him when he was still a baby, maybe it could’ve been a picture of his mother holding him and it would’ve been the only picture he would’ve had of her.

Threats – The biggest worry was that the YouTube link for the final video wouldn’t work…..and it didn’t. This slowed down the presentation a bit but well done to Luke and Vinuri that got it up and running again.

Cabinet of Curiosities – Creating convincing characters

Knowing everything there is to know about your character makes writing for them much easier and if people start asking questions about your character you’re able to answer them with ease. The questions below really help my group and I to organise our thoughts about our character and to make sure we knew him inside out.

Vital Statistics

  • Name – Jacques O’ Brien
  • Nickname – Jay
  • Reasons for name – French Mother, Irish Father.
  • Age – 17
  • Sex – Male
  • Nationality – French/Irish
  • Disabilities – N/A
  • Glasses/contact lenses – N/A

Personal Appearance

  • Height – 6ft.
  • Build – Slim/toned.
  • Weight – 12st.
  • Complexion – Fair.
  • Colour of hair – Dark brown.
  • Quality of hair – Thick.
  • Usual hairstyle – Unkempt.
  • Colour of eyes – Green.
  • Facial features – Stubble.
  • Distinguished features – Sort of big…ish nose.
  • Scars/birthmarks – Scar on shin.
  • General health – Healthy.
  • Style of dress – Causal, jeans + t-shirt (not overly fashion conscious).
  • Grooming – Well groomed

Early Childhood

  • Birthplace – Dublin.
  • Father’s parenting style/occupation – Supportive, doesn’t like that Jacques surfs – thinks it’s a waste of time but because Jacques loves it he’s fine with it, mechanic.
  • Mother’s parenting style/occupation – Left early in Jacques life, had postnatal depression, moved to her mother’s in France. Photographer.
  • Siblings – N/A
  • Relationships with family members – Close with dad and has a good relationship with aunty.
  • Family feuds – Dad still loves mum but tells Jay she is dead.
  • Financial situation – Comfortable.
  • Happiest memory – Youth surfing championship.
  • Childhood traumas – Leg accident.
  • Childhood even that still affects him – Girl goes up to him when he has his leg accident while surfing, she is now his girlfriend.

Biographical details

  • Education – Standard education.
  • Occupation – Worked in two seasons for 6 months.
  • Successes/achievements – Youth surfing UK champion.
  • Failures – Not making the football team.
  • Obstacles in life – Not having a mum.
  • Special skills – Fluent in French.
  • Talents – Amazing guitarist.
  • Geographical history – N/A.

Personal life

  • Past key relationships – N/A.
  • Marriages/divorces – N/A.
  • Sexual orientation – Straight.
  • Past convictions – N/A.
  • Hobbies – Surfing, playing guitar.
  • Favourite food/drinks – Lasagne, Soufflé, Vimto, Miwadi.
  • Philosophy in life – Carefree.
  • Religion – Christian.

Present situation

  • Marital status – N/A.
  • Quality of marriage – N/A.
  • Children – N/A.
  • Occupation – Works at two seasons.
  • Relationship with work colleagues – Good.
  • Issues at work – N/A.
  • Quality of home life – Good.
  • Typical daily routine – School, home, socialising. (On the weekend – working, surfing).
  • Type of car driven – None.

Secret life

  • Phobias – Claustrophobia and heights.
  • What is the worst thing that could happen? – Memory loss.
  • What is the best thing that could happen? – Professional surfer.
  • Addictive behaviour – N/A.
  • Personal detail most ashamed of – Initial coldness towards aunty.
  • What he would most like to change about himself? – Finds meeting new people difficult.
  • What he wants most from life – To have a mum.
  • Personal goals – To have a family.
  • Personal strengths – Committed/reliable.
  • Sexual transgressions – N/A.
  • Compulsions – N/A.
  • Obsessions – N/A.


We had plot holes with the character and his back story and to help get rid of them we researched quite a few things.

Jacques O’ Brien is French and Irish and for his Mother and Father’s names (especially the Mother’s name) we had to google Irish first names and French first names and surnames. This didn’t take up too much time as we found websites and then picked names that we liked and, for the Father’s name, went well with O’ Brien and, for the Mother’s name, went well with her first name.
We chose: Father – Glen O’ Brien. Mother – Delphine Morel. The reason we decided to make out character French and Irish is because Luke, a member of our group, was Irish and Dan Biddle, another member of our group, could speak French fluently. We thought it would make our character stand out, its not every day you meet an part Irish part French person! We also decided to make our character fluent in French, this was because of two things; 1. Because Dan was fluent and 2. Because several people in the group, including myself, are about to speak another language.

For our moodboard we had to get certain images to describe our character so we searched for the flags of both French and Ireland. 

Jacques was born in Dublin and we had to find a hospital in Dublin, know the name and get a picture of it so it would feel a bit more realistic to us and if we were ever asked about hospitals in Dublin we’d actually be able to answer instead of saying “erm…..I don’t know”. We found a hospital called St James’ Hospital.

We also searched for things that Jacques could be into e.g. football. Because he lived in the Republic of Ireland, we made the national team one of his ‘likes’. We chose football over any other sport because our group member Luke had a football team in his cabinet (Liverpool football team…) so thats why we wanted to incorperate football.

We also searched what religion the majority of the Republic of Ireland are. After a quick search we found out that most of the people in the Republic of Ireland are Christian.

We decided to change plane crash to car crash simply because it was easier to understand and to explain. Car crashes happen every day…plane crashes…not so much. We also made this change because one of our group members, Brett, was in a car crash so having his experience played in our favour. Having a car crash in the story, we decided to get some statisticsIreland Car Acciendents.

Editing styles

We have been given the task to write about two short films and specifically look at the style of editing. The first film/clip is called Porcelain Unicorn and is about a man who, in his past when he was a child, had a confrontation with a Jewish girl who was hiding from the Nazis. The clip then shows the present day and the man is at the house where the Jewish woman lives, debating whether to go in or not and give her a new porcelain unicorn.

The clips in this are edited so they are no more than a few seconds long. I think the longest clip is when the man gives her a new porcelain unicorn. This gives the entire sequence a consistant pace because you are never left with something for more than a few seconds. The shots at the beginning are the shortest, this is to symbolise the man’s worry and that he is unsure about knocking on the door of this house. As the scene moves onto a flashback of his youth the clever camera angle of the boy’s foot as his foot touched the floor when it says “Germany 1943” keeps the speed of the scene flowing and leads you into the room. If this was edited slowly I doubt it would have half as effective as it was edited like this. I like this style of editing, it creates tension throughout without the actors having to do much, espescially the typical ‘gasp’ in some teen movies.




Taking all the feedback we had received from the previous two weeks into account, we decided to keep things a bit simpler. No plane crash, no life of crime, no Galapagos. We liked the idea of a car crash and Jacques’s father dying as a results of the crash. We didn’t go back to the drawing board completely but we did need to make a few drastic changes to make out story more believable and realistic.

Our character’s name would still be Jacques O Brien, he was still 17 and he was still part French and part Irish. Part of the back story was that he live in Dublin with his Father and his Father had always told him that his Mother died when he was very young. His Father was driving Jacques somewhere and then they had a car crash. Jacques would wake up from a coma in hospital a month later and would have amnesia and would have to piece his life back together from the bag he had with him the day of the crash. The bag would then be his cabinet. He would find out that his Mother was still alive and had been living in France and then he would go out to France looking for her or she would come to Ireland to look after him after the crash.

The feedback that we got from this was:
1. Why would he have a bag with him?
2. They would’ve identified Jacques at the hospital so they would have already called his next of kin to look after him afterwards.
3.Would it be better to have the character as a hitch hiker? And maybe he had some sort of relation to the driver that died in the crash?
4. If the accident is symbolic then put more emphasis on it.
5. The story needs to have more focus.

We have a lot to discuss and talk about after that feedback. We need to solidify our ideas and cover all the plot holes that we have. We met during the week and came up with, what we thought was a solid idea.

Jacques O’ Brien is a 17 year old boy that lives in Dublin with his Father, Glen. His father had always told Jacques that his mother, Delphine, had died when he was very young but the reality was that she couldn’t hack being a mother, Delphine had depression after she gave birth to Jacques and as a result she left her husband and newly born son to move to France where her mother lived. Delphine was still in contact with Glen and he would send her photos of Jacques. When Jacques was about 15 he had a surfing accident and hurt his leg and a girl called Becks helped him and calmed him down. Jacques and Becks then became close friends and then they fell in love. Jacques aunty, Glen’s sister, was a mother figure to Jacques his whole life and Jacques and his father would go to his aunty’s house at least once a week to have dinner.  One night, they were on their way to her house when Glen crashed the car; Glen died and Jacques was badly hurt and when he was rushed to hospital he slipped into a coma. Jacques next of kin was called, which was his aunty. A few weeks had past and Jacques was still in a coma but he was getting better. When Jacques came out the coma he had amnesia and couldn’t remember certain things. This is where his wallet, which was his cabinet, came into play. Inside he would find: train tickets, driver’s licence, a picture of him and his girlfriend (Becks), bank cards, a guitar plectrum and money. With the help of his wallet, his aunty and Becks he was able to remember some parts of his life but not all he  still couldn’t remember Becks or the affection he once had for her. While he was going through his father’s possessions with his aunty he found letters from his mother addressed to his father, it was then that Jacques found out that his mother was still alive and living in France. Jacques found his mother’s address from one of the letters she sent to Jacques father and planned to go there to finally meet her. His girlfriend ould go with Jacques to meet his mother because she wanted to help him and be there for him, even though he doesn’t remember her. They arrive and Jacques meets his mother for the first time and their meeting is emotional for them both and for Becks. Jacques’ mother explains everything and shows him all the things that his father had been send her over the years. On the way back to the UK Jacques and Becks were getting off the plane when Jacques falls over and Becks goes to help him, it is then that he remembers who she is and how much he loves her.

Analysis of good sound examples

The example of good sounds we were given yesterday was from the film Walle. This film has no speaking parts in the first 20minutes and the whole film does have a lot of dialog at all compared to other pixar films. Walle is one of my favourite films and I knew it was basically all about sound but I didn’t think other people agreed with me.

The two films I have chosen to write about is one Pixar short film called Day & Night and one Ukrainian Cartoon, which doesn’t have any speaking in it so it is all done on sound & music.

The first film I want to talk about is Day & Night

This short film by Pixar is about two characters that are opposites, they are drawn in 2D but within them you are about to see a 3D world that reflects the emotions of the characters. At first the characters don’t get along so they begin to fight and then once Night sees what Day has to offer (a girl on the beach) they stop fighting and show each other what the other has to offer e.g. Day – Rainbow, girls on the beach and radio. Night – fireworks, Vagas and films.

There is no talking in this short which make the music and sounds the element that the film is based around. The sounds depicted the characters emotions as well as contributing to the visual aid of what attractions they have during their times of the day. The sequence at the beginning is where Day wakes up and needs the toilet, instead of using the image of a toilet Pixar used the image of a waterfall which was one of the things that really interested me about this short film. Using the waterfall is enough of a symbolic reference to a toilet and then Day’s facial expression says the rest. Its a clever way of visually saying that nature is calling without saying a word. The other bit that really caught my attention was when Day and Night get angry at each other, you hear Night laughing – which is portrayed by ducks, Day gets angry – you hear wasps, Night gets angry – you hear crows and then when they start to fight you hear dogs barking. This is a really clever concept, this to me means that they maybe ‘human’ but they fight like animals in the wild when they are angry and the sounds of the animals add to this effect.

The second film is also a short film, only about 18 minutes long, and it is a Ukrainian cartoon. This is one of the cartoons I watched when I was young (and still watch now) and what I remember about them the most is their music because there is no dialog in these cartoons the music and sound had to be, and was, briliantly composed so the audience would understand what was going on. It doesn’t have an Enlish name so I’ll try my best to translate the name: When the Kozaks defeated the Pirates. A bit of background knowledge – These cartoons where made (this one was made in 1973) when Ukraine was under USSR rule so therefore it was illigal to speak, write, read, produce and communicate in Ukrainian. These cartoon were therefore “Russian” cartoons and that is why the title sequence is in Russian and not Ukrainian.
(I hope you can see the video, if not here is the link Kozak cartoon)

This cartoon is about three Kozaks (Cossaks). In this particular cartoon the girls are kidnapped by Pirates and the Kozaks have to go after the Pirates to get the girls back. The Pirates stop off in various countries to steal various things (the countries they went to were: Greece, Egypt and India). The Kozaks go to where the Pirates are keeping the girls and trick them into going down a sharft and then the Kozaks bring the girls back home.

As there is not dialog in this cartoon music is key in keeping the pace going and to aid the audience in knowing whats going on. When the Pirates are in the scene the music is very fast and a bit like organised mess, a lot of trumpets and fast whistling as they steal things. This keeps the pace up and also creates tension and gives us a sense of worry from the girls that were kidnapped and the countries that were being robbed. When the Kozaks are in the scene the music is completely different, it is more relaxed and calming compared to the Pirates music. It shows that the Pirates don’t waste time, they think they must do things as fast as possible but the Kozaks take the laid back approach and they still get the job done. There is actually a political message with the music. As I’ve mentioned, when the Kozak cartoons were made Ukrainians basically weren’t allowed to be Ukrainians. Whenever the Kozaks are in the scene the music is Ukrainian, whenever the Pirates (or badies) are in the scene is music is Russian. Therefore it is a symbol of Ukraine’s oppression and pokes fun at the Russians for once.