Research- Edgar Wright and the Cornetto Trilogy

Admittedly, I had never heard of Edgar Wright until both Cassie and Ryan (he’s not even in our team and is literally a sixth member I swear).

Edgar Wright is the pioneer in visual comedy- many of his movies are classics and his style and ways of achieving laughs make him iconic in the industry. Comparing his work to American comedy of similar standard (for example Paul vs The World’s End), even with the same actors, just doesn’t have the same flow.

Cassie showed me this video which explained why this was and I thought it was very helpful in showing the different in comedy and Visual comedy.

The transitions a easter eggs is something we wanted to explore. Cassie pointed out a few things to us while watching the movies. (YouTube, 2016).

The first thing was the easter eggs or hidden things throughout the movie. In Hot Fuzz the detective sits behind a whiteboard with a spider diagram listing characteristics that are relevant to him. Also in Hot Fuzz, the twins (played by Bill Bailey) the twins read books by the same author- or so it seems. One reads a book by Ian Banks, whereas the second reads a book by Ian M Banks, showing subtle changes of character.

In Shaun of the Dead, the whole plot itself is summarised by Ed at the start of the film. Wright foreshadows the movie to us with out us really noticing, until the end.

The foreshadowing scene itself.

Bloody Mary first thing – The first zombie they encounter is Mary who they impale.
Bite at The Kings Head –  Philip gets bit by a zombie in the neck.
Couple at The Little Princess – They save Liz and her mates at her apartment.
Stagger back here – They arrive at the Winchester for safety.
Back at the bar for shots – They are in a rush to find shot gun shell behind the bar when over run by zombies.

In our own animation we could maybe foreshadow this plot- maybe through the book the character is reading. Titles like “how to steal a bulb,” “finding en-light-enment” and “lights for dummies” spring to mind.

Edgar Wright also has a characteristic and comical way of moving things in and out of frame, such as the cake in Hot Fuzz and the phone in Scott Pilgrim vs The World. We could probably play with this in ours as the woman find the bulb- could it swing into frame, like on a cord?

hotfuzz.jpg

Cake appearing from off camera. (Hot Fuzz, 2007).

The reappearing phone occurs in most of Wright’s films, including Hot Fuzz and Shaun of the Dead.

Edgar Wright takes advantage of the shot by shot progression- to give a set tone to his work. In Hot Fuzz this is seen in the Prisoner Line Ups, giving a very Sin City look and feel to the scene.

In Scott Pilgrim this is used a lot to replicate the comic like feel in most movies. I thought the end battle showed this pretty well.

 

Lighting cues are another thing used by Wright- explained in the video at the top of the post. One that stands out the most for me is that in Hot Fuzz. The flash of light on the hallions glasses is reminiscent of a Police search light. We could use this in our own animation- particularly the scene at the end. Could the nurse discovering the mum have a similar looking lighting effect as the door opens.

References

YouTube. (2016). Edgar Wright – How to Do Visual Comedy. [online] Available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3FOzD4Sfgag [Accessed 3 Apr. 2016].

Shaun of the Dead. (2004). [film] United States: Edgar Wright and Simon Pegg.

Hot Fuzz. (2007). [film] United States: Edgar Wright.

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