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RESEARCH INTO SIMILAR

PRODUCTS
By Joseph Lee

‘WOMEN IN BLACK’ AND
‘BUTTERFLY EFFECT’.

For my first two movies that I researched, I looked into
‘Women In Black’ and ‘Butterfly Effect’.

1. HOW CAN I REVIEW THE CHARACTERS
IN SIMILAR PRODUCTS LIKE 'BUTTERFLY
EFFECT' AND 'WOMAN IN BLACK'.

In both of these films there are great varieties of character
types utilized. We can deduce these character types due to
their stereotypical representation, using make-up clothing and
props.
A prime example of this would be in 'Butterfly effect' Evan's
best friend, Thumper, is a Goth. We know this due to his dark
attire, black eye liner, lipstick and abnormal haircut.

For main characters (in this case, protagonists), by looking into
what makes them appealing to the audience and how the
audience want to know more about them, we can learn how to
emulate this for other characters.
In 'Women in Black' the protagonist Arthur, has a close
relationship with his son and expresses much sadness towards
the early death of his wife.
This emotional connection with the protagonist, not only
makes the audience want to learn more about Arthur's
character, but it also adds to his likeability.

DANIEL RADCLIFF AND AUDIENCE
FACTORS.

It is fair to say that having A-list actor Daniel Radcliff on board of the
project stirred up a lot of excitement and anticipation towards the
film.

Due to Radcliff’s world renowned position in the critically acclaimed
‘Harry Potter’ franchise, much was put to the test in ‘Woman in
black’. Not only did this previous fame aid the promotion of the new
film, but it also marked a diversification in Radcliff's career to be
breaking away from the one role which had dominated his career
and to an extent life for many years.

However despite the publicity boost ‘Woman in black’ gained from
having Radcliff part of the cast was overshadowed by many stating
Radcliff could never break away from his ‘Harry Potter’ persona.
Although after the release of ‘Woman in black’ many changed their
minds.

HOW CAN THIS HELP IMPROVE MY
CHARACTER?

In summary, by opening up a character with emotional
connections or stereotypes reveals a great deal about a
character and adds additional depth to the characters
themselves. And attracts additional interest from the audience
towards the characters.

Linking this idea to my film would be very much achievable as
the use of stereotypes will be utilized by myself when taking
into consideration character creation.

For example, one of our characters (Sean) is the stereotypical
‘loud mouth’ and is very loud and boisterous. We hope that
much like in ‘Butterfly effect’ this addition to a character will
bring an attachment with the audience and bring in another
layer of depth needed in primary character architecture.

2. HOW CAN I REVIEW THE NARRATIVE OF SIMILAR PRODUCTS
LIKE 'BUTTERFLY EFFECT' AND 'WOMEN IN BLACK'.

Enigmas audiences find appealing... (Women in Black examples)
 Who is the murderer?
- ‘Women in black
 Who is the villain?
- Women in black
 What is the villain's motive?
-Vengeance on all who stood by as her child died.

TODOROV’S THEORY OF
NARRATIVE.

‘Woman In Black’

-Complication: Children are murdered and Arthur must go into a
haunted house.
-Delay: Arthur must find the valid documents to complete his job
and work out the mystery of the killings.
-Resolution: Arthur and his son are re-united with their
wife/mother in death.

‘Butterfly Effect’

-Complication: Evan can’t use his power to help his friends and
love interest.
-Delay: Evan attempts to re-visit different realities of his life
-Resolution: Evan kills himself in his mother’s womb in order to
save the ones he loves.

HOW DID TODOROV’S THEORY HELP
MY CREATION OF A NARRATIVE?
Using Todorov's theory of equilibrium and narrative, we can
deduce that this style of story telling is very effective and
would be wise to adopt into my narrative.
 Our narrative
-Complication: A friend of the group is abducted by an ominous
figure.
-Delay: Protagonist struggles for a resolution has he looses his
mind

-Resolution: Protagonist is taken by the shadow man.

3. HOW CAN I REVIEW THE LOCATIONS OF
SIMILAR PRODUCTS LIKE 'BUTTERFLY
EFFECT'.

Women in black three most used locations:

- Haunted house- Crucial to the plot due to the enigma presenting itself in
this location. This is also where the majority of the plot takes place with the
antagonist being ever present in this location.
- Village- This is used to show how the antagonist has effected other people
(side characters) and how the protagonist will react to this.
- Mr Daily's house- Used as an ostensible place of safety. However this facade
is removed when one of the characters is possessed.

I believe that the producers would have had to do a certain amount of risk
assessment and pay to hire the haunted house, off of the owners as it is not
public property. As well as renting out the venue for the house, the
producers had to create an overgrown effect, so plant placement was
something to consider.

As far as renting out private property goes, this could be an option, however
due to the low budget cost of my production this would most likely not be a
viable option. However this location is important to look at due to it's gothic
features and perfect horror esc feeling the audience and protagonist draw
from it. However an overgrown and abandoned effect seen above, could be
easily utilized for an effective way of giving depth to a location.

4. HOW CAN I REVIEW HOW SIMILAR PRODUCTS
ARE PRODUCED AND PUT TOGETHER TO APPEAL
TO A TARGET AUDIENCE?

Props, costumes, hair and makeup in 'Butterfly Effect‘

-The kitchen knife (Evan 7)
This shows how Evan is not a normal seven year old and fore-shadow
violence to come.
-The cigarette (Evan 13)
This shows how Evan is somewhat of a rebel or be badly behaved. This
also could show how he has grown with confidence.
-The pool Cue (Thumper)
This shows how Thumper’s ‘no nonsense’ attitude is portrayed.
-Leather Jacket (Tommy 7)
This shows how Tommy is a rogue, maverick or troublemaker, even from
an early age.
-Goth make-up and clothing (Thumper)
This shows Thumper’s subculture style and bodacious attitude and style.

INSTITUTIONAL FACTORS IN
‘BUTTERFLY EFFECT’ (ALTERNATE
ENDINGS)

The alternate endings for ‘Butterfly effect’ caused a lot of
divide within the films audience over which as preferable.

There were a total of four different endings to the film shot,
one was chosen for the theatrical release, the other for the
director’s cut of the film and the other two side lined as
deleted scenes.

The theatrical ending was that Evan altered the past so
that he and his love interest never were intertwined thus
saving her from the pain of their history. He later met her
on the street but walked on. This ending seemed to be a
happy medium and not too harsh on the audience to bear
witness to. I believe this was chosen as it effectively ends
the narrative and leaves no questions in the audience’s
mind about the resolve of conflict.

In addition to this, the ending was far more socially
acceptable than the directors cut.

THE DIRECTOR’S CUT ENDING

The directors cut ending of Butterfly effect was a less
conventional and stranger ending to the film which involved
Evan committing suicide from his mothers womb (by self
strangulation with his umbilical chord).
Thus erasing his whole existence and allowing for his mother
and people around him to have enjoyed a life without
suffering all together.

One of the main reasons this ending was confined to the
directors cut of the film would be because this ending was
not only highly shocking to a mainstream audience but also
ethically and morally questionable due to the idea of a self
termination from an unborn baby is a highly sensitive topic.

Therefore it was left out of theatrical release to avoid
outrage, moral panic and to ‘leave a bad taste in the viewers
mouths’.

OVERVIEW



Various different shots are used in the two products, ranging from oblique shots for a sinister and weird vibe, to
extreme long shots for establishing shots.
Special effects in 'Butterfly Effect' include that of an explosion to show a crucial element of the plot. This was
added in post production as a real explosion would be too costly and dangerous (especially around child actors).
Musical soundtracks and sound are extremely important in both productions as they reveal the mood of the
situations. For example in 'Women in Black' a daunting soundtrack plays when the protagonist enters the main
location (Haunted house).
And likewise in 'Butterfly Effect' when the protagonist is being chased by hospital workers, the frantic
soundtrack reveals the urgency and importance of the moment.
Foley is used to create more realistic sounds in both productions, to add realism. In 'Butterfly Effect' the sound
of shaking bars are used in the prison to indicate the hostility of prison inmates. Additionally in 'Women in Black'
the sound of sludge is used to show the gruesome nature of Arthur Kipp's position in the quick sand/ mud.
All of these areas are useful, as they enrich the audience's experience and add another layer of detail and
realism into the production as a whole. The collective experience and view from the audiences position would be
seriously degraded if not for these micro-elements due to a lack of detail and immersion.
When considering my personal production, it is important to give all of the above elements considerable
thought and meticulous planning is needed to achieve a high production level and a successful production.

HOW HAS THIS INFLUENCED ME?


I have taken many elements from these two films in the way
of mise-en-scene and character development.
A prime example of this would be my secondary protagonist
‘Sean’, is a loudmouth and is highly extraverted compared to
his best friend ‘Darren’ who is quieter and more reflective.
As well as character development, I have worked on many
props that will be used, such as cigarettes and alcohol (props
only).