I saw The King's Speech (2010) for the first time tonight. I thought it was a very good film. What caught my eye in particular was the way it was directed by Tom Hooper. The film has a very photographic quality to is and some nice set pieces; From the opening shot the Hooper has an unconventional way of framing his his subject and after listening to his directors commentary you realise it was all done to serve the story and not just to be different.
|The various textures and colours on the brick wall provide a contrast to the minimal performance of Collin Firth as well as reflect the proverbial 'brick wall' the character is facing given his speech impediment.|
During any dialogue exchange with Lionel Louge (Jeffery Rush) Hooper does not use the convectional method of framing the characters. The convectional method being the 'line of action' in which characters are frames with the same 'eye line' when talking usually framed off centre on opposite sides of the screen with enough space for the character to look into. Instead he he frames the characters off centre but does not put them on opposite sides of the screen. This approach was taken to reflect the unorthodox approach of his speech therapy as well as the man himself. The character of Lionel Louge appears odd in the sense that he does not conforms to the norms and values associated with addressing royalty that the King does.
|A perfect example of the way unconventional way director Tom Hooper frames his characters.|
The way that the characters are frames gives each shot a more personal and photographic feel. Hooper also sais that another one of the reasons this was done was because a lot of the film takes place in Lionel Louge's therapy room, being quite small he needed to come up with a way to frame it in different ways so the scene did not become stale.
|Director Tom Hooper frames Jeffery Rush, playing Lionel Louge, off centre but breaks the line of action for effect many times during the film. This is done to reflect the unconventional approach Lionel Louge has to speech therapy.|
One of the things the director pointed out that i took not of was Jeffery Rush's performance. Most notably his body language. He said he trained as an actor in Paris as were taught to use their entire body to get across a character. When you watch the film notice the little things he does such as rub his thumb and for finger together, subtly pats down his jacket in place or balances on the balls of his feet for a moment
On of the things I notice in student animations is that they have great modelling, textures, light. etc but they miss the little character nuances that really bring a character to life. This is where studying live action film comes in handy.
The sketches below were copied from a book on the fundamentals for animation. I found images from the book online so thought I would take advantage as I have not put paper to pencil in a while. You can find them here: Preston Blair Lessons: Fundamentals of Animation Drawing
|Yes that is who you thin it is in the bottom left.|
|Just in case you missed him.|