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Angel Bird

Short Film Analysis 2: The Black Hole
When deciding what the second short film I wanted to analyse would be, I thought
about short films I had seen before. Since I had already analysed a short film which
included the same themes as my production, I wanted to analyse one that I liked.
The film I decided on was ‘The Black Hole’ which intrigued me the first time I saw it.

The first thing the audience see is a plain black background with the title, ‘The Black
Hole’ in white, bold, capital letters. The black background is clearly a reference to the
title, but may also connotate the dark undertones of the narrative that is about to
unfold or foreshadows the negative ending. The fact that the white text is in capital
letters and bold attracts the audience’s attention to the title as it is clearly significant
to the whole short film. The director’s intention may have been to signify that the
black hole is the main disruption in the short film. The fact that the text is in white, not
only contrasts to the black background making it stand out, but may also connotate
the innocence and naivety of the main character. The black background starts to
disappear in a circle shape behind the text, symbolising a black hole.
Once the black background has disappeared entirely, it reveals an establishing shot
of an office. This instantly draws the audience in as it is a common place they may
spend time, but they can infer from the title that something out of the ordinary is
going to happen. At this point, the title ‘The Black Hole’ is still visible on the screen,
foreshadowing the impending appearance of a black hole in the office environment.
The camera pans across the office, until a worker is shown with bored look on his
face. The mid shot shows both the worker, who makes a diegetic sighing noise
(telling the audience that he doesn’t want to be there) and the low key lighting of the
office behind him. This helps the audience relate to the character as the dull
atmosphere paired with the fact that they have probably been in his position before,
means they can connect to and empathise with his situation.
A close up of the photocopier buttons after this reveals to the audience what task the
office worker is completing. After this, it returns to the mid shot in which the audience
see him frown and look down at the photocopier. This helps to keep the audience
interested as they know that something has clearly gone wrong and want to continue
watching to find out. The next close up shows the man’s finger pressing the button
on the photocopier multiple times as it makes a diegetic bleeping sound. This
represents the office worker as impatient as the audience can see that he hasn’t
waited for very long before getting frustrated. His frustration is further emphasised by
the cinematography and sound as he kicks the photocopier to try to make it work. A
diegetic whirring noise is heard coming from the photocopier and it cuts to a close up
of a piece of paper with a black circle being printed.

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This creates an enigma code, as the audience are now intrigued as to if the man
deliberately tried to print a circle, or why this happened by mistake. A mid shot of the
office worker taking the piece of paper out of the photocopier reveals more of the
office to the audience. It is revealed that nobody is working at the desks behind him,
possibly signifying the isolation that comes as a result of his job. A close up then
forces the audience to focus back on the man’s face, where it lingers for a few
seconds presenting his confusion at the disruption of the narrative. As an attempt to
repair, he opens the lid of the photocopier to address the problem but sees nothing
wrong. In the background the audience can still hear the droning of diegetic
ambience of an office. This not only makes them focus on the sound effects, but also
further emphasises the repetitive nature of the tasks that the office worker is forced
to undergo every day. When realising there is nothing obviously wrong with the
photocopier, the man looks straight at his watch. This may connote the lack of
attention he pays to his work and workplace as in the shot behind him there is a
clock, telling the audience that instead of noticing this, he is preoccupied with his
desire to leave. This represents him as lazy and inattentive.
In the next part of the scene he lifts his hand to drink out of a plastic cup and then
without looking places it on the surface next to him. This further highlights his lack of
care as he could be placing the cup on important documents. The diegetic
whooshing sound draws the audience’s attention to the fact that the cup has now
disappeared and that he, in fact, placed it on the piece of paper with the black circle.
This intrigues the audience and makes them want to continue watching to see if
there is a supernatural theme to the short film. Before this point the film was very
slow paced, representing the office worker’s day and so the director could place
greater emphasis on the actions of the man. However, after this point, a fairly quick
succession of shots shows the man’s amazement as to where the cup has gone.
One of these shots is a point of view from inside the black hole, showing that it is in
fact this reason that the cup has disappeared.
A mid shot level with the photocopier shows the man hesitating when going to touch
the black hole, inferring to the audience that it may be dangerous and further
emphasised by the diegetic whooshing sound that the black hole makes when his
hand gets near. This may also foreshadow the ending of the short film as the other
time the audience heard the diegetic whoosh sound; the cup was sucked into the
black hole. The next few parts of the scene show the audience the man as he
experiments with putting his hand into the black hole and finding out what happens.
Throughout this process, the audience begin to see his demeanour change. At first
he is hesitant and confused and his facial expressions reflect this, however as time
goes on he realises he can put the paper on a surface and reach through to the
other side. He then experiments with this using a vending machine, but by his facial
expressions the audience knows that he is clearly doing wrong, yet continues
After managing to get a chocolate bar for free out of the vending machine he walks
back to the centre of the office environment and there is a close up on his face as he
smiles at the piece of paper. The audience see him looking around figuring out how
else to use the black hole to his advantage, in a close up, until his eyes fix on
something. An eyeline match then reveals he is looking at an office door with the
words ‘Keep Out’ printed on it. This shows his character to be selfish and uncaring of

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the consequences. A shot from inside the office shows his intention to unlock the
door and go inside. This is by far the darkest shot of the short film so far, revealing
the darker side of the character’s personality to the audience. After making his way
to the safe, there is a long shot as the office worker checks behind him to make sure
nobody is watching as he removes a wad of money from the safe. The diegetic
sound of his breath and smile shows the audience that he now wants is getting
greedy and wants to use the black hole to gain something for himself.
He desperately continues to remove money from the safe, getting more and more
worried. This is presented through his breathing getting heavier. Additionally his
actions progress from reaching his hand tentatively into the safe to half of his body,
inferring that his character is extremely greedy. All of a sudden the shot cuts to an
extreme close up of the tape he has used to fix the piece of paper to the safe moving
slightly. The close up shows his body to be disappearing into the hole just as the
piece of paper falls off- leaving him trapped. The shot then lingers on a long shot of
the safe and the pile of money, so the audience can take in the moral and ending of
the short film. The screen then cuts to black, perhaps showing the man’s point of
view as he is trapped in the black hole forever.

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