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EVALUATING CONTINUITY IN FILM PRODUCTION. A STUDY OF HOLLYWOODS CHINA TOWN AND NOLLYWOOD LABISTA
Continuity is the principle of making sure that all details in a film or TV show are consistent from shot to shot and from scene to scene. If a scene upholds the standards of continuity, each shot feels as though it seamlessly flows from the previous shot, reinforcing a sense of realism in the story.
This is a project work in theatre management and it will be focusing on the Role of Continuity in Film Production. Labista as directed by Ifeanyi Oyanbor will serve as case study.
Chinatown, a commercial film produced in 1974 by Robert Evans, directed by Roman Polanski and based upon the academy award-winning film original screenplay by Robert Towne1, is a prime example of a film that may be studied and used in the liberal arts curriculum within engineering education to convey the complexity of the human condition and the human context of engineering choices.
As an art form, film has inherent value in: the richness of the human experience captured in it that is shared by its audience; the pleasure and insight the experience of viewing film brings to the audience; the creative integration of narrative, composition, perspective, and technique commanded by a team of producer(s), director(s), writers, actors, cameramen, film editors, set designers, etc.; the cultural moment it expresses and reveals as it is created and produced; and, its staying power as it is viewed, experienced and interpreted over time. Film enables this artistic and technical collective to transform moving image, creating symbols and exploring themes and myth which mirror other art forms, all of which depend upon technologies (writing, painting, design, musical instruments), although film’s scale and dependence upon complex and costly technologies are unique among artistic productions. Indeed, because the production of a major film is so expensive—some reaching to the $100 million mark and beyond—without the potential for mass appeal, commercial films are rarely produced, though smaller scale independent “art” films are not tied quite as much to this factor. Without sufficient movie goers, (and today without DVD and pay per view cable viewings, product placement ads within the film itself, etc.) large scale commercial films could never be made. Given this requirement of mass media appeal and what it means for production cost (e.g., the need for highly paid “stars” who can bring people to the film, high quality sets and original musical scores, etc.), film inevitably must tap into cultural themes which can attract a large audience. In any case, as with all art, film productions inexorably are an expression not only of the individual artists or groups of artists who create them, but also of culture—historical moment, place, values, worldview, etc. As such, it may be used in the education of engineers and those in other disciplines.
This is not to suggest, of course, that film needs to be justified as a utilitarian tool of any sort, as a device for conveying specific, relevant public messages, or as a vehicle for education in the broadest of sense, and as it applies to engineering education specifically. Nevertheless, as will be discussed, Chinatown and films like Akira Kurosowa’s 1975 film Derzu Uzala and many others which could be cited, can be integrated within a liberal arts curriculum to create new ways of seeing and understanding people and their contexts, and they can be particularly valuable to the liberal arts component of an engineering education curriculum. With regard to engineering education, properly selected films can enable engineering students to explore humanenvironment interactions, the transformative role that engineers and their products and actions have upon people, place and the long-term future of the Earth, and the contextual, human, and ethical dimensions of engineers as professionals, citizens, and individuals.
1.2 RESEARCH METHODOLOGY
In the course of this project work, I intend to sort for materials from the library and from oral interview. The reason why I will be considering oral interview is because very little have been written on continuity and as such the library may not be enough for this research work
1.3 STATEMENT OF PROBLEM
I have set out point out the roles of continuity in Nigerian Home Video since that aspect of production is often ignored.
1.4 JUSTIFICATION OF STUDY
In a society where the Home Video Industry is becoming very popular, it is only fair that effort should be made to ensure quality production and audience satisfaction. But when these efforts are not feasible and obvious mistakes are being noticed every now and then in our Home Video Production, the need to look for way to tackle these problems becomes inevitable. Again this backdrop, the need to x-ray the role of continuity in Home Video Production becomes very important. It is on that basis that I have decided to take up this study.
1.5 DEFINITION OF TERMS
It is important to define some words and terms that will be used in the course of this work so as to fully have a clearer understanding of the context in which they are used in this project.
VIDEO FILM: The Oxford Advanced Learners Dictionary defines Video Film as a “magnetic tape used for recording television pictures and sound”. (1998: 1327) I see video film as a performance that is recorded on a piece of magnetic tape for the purpose of playing it back with the aid of equipment called the video machine.
PRODUCTION: The Oxford Advanced Learners Dictionary defines production as “the process of producing a film or a play” (1998). Continuity Gail of Nigeria (C.G.N), it was formed to expunged non-professional continuity persons from the movie industry. Association of Movie Producers, the association was formed to expunge mediocrity and amateurism from the Home Video Industry. They are also concerned with the artist welfare and monitoring of marketers.
1.6 SCOPE OF STUDY
This project will be limited to looking at the role of continuity in film production. And will be further narrowed to the film LABISTA as directed by Ifeanyi Oyanbor (D.G.N).
While looking at these roles, I will also consider the merits of continuity in film production. Chapter one will serves as the introduction and it will take a look at the research method as well as scope of study and justification of study. Chapter two will focus on the review of relevant literature while the third chapter will border on the steps to take while working on the continuity of a film. Chapter four will look at the roles of continuity as well as the various continuity errors pointing such errors out in the film Labista. Chapter five will by my recommendations and conclusion.
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