A&P Frame by Frame with a Bad Boys action scene

Discussion in 'Lifestyle' started by Creator, Aug 29, 2008.

  1. Creator

    Creator The Creator Has a Master Plan

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    Spent a few hours dissecting a 40 second action scene from Bad Boys 1. I'm doing the car chase next, then Die Hard and then Heat. This is a lot of fun and a great way to learn. Check it out and let me know what you think

    http://www.nicholasjrobinson.com/blog/?p=333
     
  2. Creator

    Creator The Creator Has a Master Plan

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    I'll post the first 11 frames here to give you an idea.

    This is the scene:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mOwBJUl4F_Y


    Say what you will about Michael Bay, the guy knows action and how to blow things up. We are going to examine, frame by frame, the above scene. I was going to do it all at once, but after spending 2 hours on 30 seconds I realized I’ll have to break this up.

    We will start with the pre action sequence action sequence where Will Smith has been shot and Martin Lawrence and the woman (What’s her name?) have to get him out.

    Note: I say ‘we’ all the time because that’s how I tend to write. I was 14 when Bad Boys came out so, unfortunately, had nothing to do with its production.

    In this 43 second scene we cut between Smith / smaller explosions in the hanger / Martin Lawrence / woman in the Porsche saying a variation of ‘get in the car’ .
    Before we look at each cut, lets check out the two major camera setups. I can’t draw to save my life, but this gives an idea of whats going on.

    [​IMG]
    This is the setup for when the car enters. There are 4 camera angles used, marked 1,2,3,4 in order of appearance. Note that at the end of the interior sequence (shots 23 and 24) cameras 4 and 3 are used again. 3 is used for when they drag Smith into the car, and camera 4 is used when the car reversed out. The same follow pan is used for the cars exit as was used for its entrance.

    [​IMG]
    This is the basic setup for the shots of Smith, Lawrence and the woman (S, L and W respectively. Yes that is an S and not a 5!) Note that there is one other shot, frame 18, that is a fourth setup not diagramed here.

    2
    [​IMG]
    The rescue (soon to be chase) car rolls in, past fire. We know right away that this is a hostile environment.
    This is a close up, static camera but the car moving toward camera so it becomes an extreme close up.

    3
    [​IMG]
    Then shot 3 jump cuts BACK so it almost seems like we are repeating that action of the car coming into the hanger.

    4
    [​IMG]
    We CUT on the flame to shot 4 which is a wide shot with a pan of the car entering. It seems like the car is about to come to a stop then we cut to shot 5 where the car rolls a little bit longer before coming to a stop. This is the first time we see Smith.

    5
    [​IMG]
    This is a very disorienting sequence with lots of seemingly sloppy jump cuts where actions are repeated (The car is about to stop, but then it’s back in motion and stops again). This disorienting style is used throughout this ‘rescue’ scene and the following race scene. Used in this manner it is not a mistake, but a way to visually disorient the viewer to heighten the action. Often this does work, but as we will see it doesn’t always.

    6.
    [​IMG]

    A small fire ball reinforces that this is not a great place to hang out. The explosions raise the stakes. If they don’t get Smith in that car and the crew out of that hanger they are all going to die
    .
    Shot:
    Static camera, looking straight on down the pipe. The explosion builds towards us, hinting at what is to come (Bigger explosions). Note the explosion does not have a chance to reach it’s peak, in fact we only get the first half second. This is hinting and promising but not yet fulfilling which builds anticipation.

    7.
    [​IMG]
    We just saw it visually, now they tell us. Martin Lawrence opens the passenger door (Note the woman is in back) “Mike, lets go!”
    Shot:
    Medium close up which start with Lawrence’s head framed by the rolled down window of the car. The frame is completed when he swings the door open, revealing his full face with the fire behind him. Static camera.

    8.
    [​IMG]
    Smith rolling around on the floor engulfed in flame.
    Shot:
    Medium shot, waist up, static. What makes this frame is the flame in the immediate foreground and in the background, behind Smith. This adds to the hostility and danger of the scene. It also makes the frame visually interesting.

    8a (Only called 8A instead of 9 because I missed this one on my first pass!)

    [​IMG]

    Backseat woman repeats that they need to get out of there “shi* Mike, just get in the car, get in the car”. In the background - FLAMES, confirming for the third time this is a dangerous environment.
    Shot:
    Medium close up of the woman. We see here a Bay signature of the slight camera move. Camera is most likely locked on sticks, but when she turns her head back to look at the danger the camera tilts down slightly. This small motion adds a discomfort and sense of urgency. It’s also motivated because she moves her head so it the tilt is not jarring. In fact unless you look for it you won’t notice.

    9.
    [​IMG]
    A barrel of gas rolls toward an open flame. The situation is getting worse, not better.
    Shot:
    Medium shot, pan with the barrel as it rolls. Elements in the foreground add depth.

    10.
    [​IMG]
    The gas barrel explodes! This explosion significantly bigger than the fireball in shot 6.
    In fact, this one is so big that it kills some guy…

    11.
    [​IMG]
    Shot:
    Medium wide shot that wastes no time in giving us a full explosion. The first frame of this shot already has a fair amount of orange since the explosion has started before we cut to it. Lots of debris flying.
    What really makes this frame is it’s conclusion - the guy falling down from top center. Freeze frame he is clearly wearing a burn suit but you can’t tell when he’s in motion. He is also on fire which distracts from the suit and adds visually to the scene. He does not complete the fall (land) so it keeps the energy moving to the next shot. The explosion does not complete before the cut either. The frame is almost entirely filled with orange flame - so much so that most of the scaffolding we could see when this frame was first introduced is now hidden.
    Choosing a medium wide shot allows for this explosion to be a lot bigger than it is in reality since it fills out to both edges of the frame. Camera right frame is the most filled so we get the sense there is a lot more of this explosion. This is a standard trick to make it seem like you have more extras than you do in a scene, and works just as well at making an explosion seem bigger.
     
    Last edited: Aug 29, 2008
  3. fatass

    fatass New Member

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    what the. you spent your time disecting a movie?
     
  4. Creator

    Creator The Creator Has a Master Plan

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    Fuck yah I did.
     
  5. aCab

    aCab New Member

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    Wow, and I thought OT was a waste of time. :mamoru:

    Wish I had the drive to disect that man. Guess its your thing.
     
  6. Creator

    Creator The Creator Has a Master Plan

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    Slow day at work yesterday and I just got deep into it. It's a LOT of fun once you get rolling. I learned so much from doing it. Far from a waste of time.
     
  7. OlafBeserka

    OlafBeserka girls pee pee when they see me OT Supporter

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    i just watched the clip. I love that movie hahaha
     
  8. White Stormy

    White Stormy Take that, subspace!

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    dude. no one cares. I doubt Michael Bay was even responsible for the cuts you're jizzing about. He probably just set up 100000 cameras and hired a good editor.
     
  9. Creator

    Creator The Creator Has a Master Plan

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    :rolleyes:

    Yah filmmaking is just slapping some cameras down and hoping for the best!!!!!1
     
  10. redna

    redna New Member

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    Hmm.. I don't remember all of the cussing. I guess I've only watched it on TBS.
     
  11. Creator

    Creator The Creator Has a Master Plan

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    I know ive seen it so many times on TV i forgot how much they swore too.
     
  12. Creator

    Creator The Creator Has a Master Plan

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    Posted the first 11 shots
     
  13. Jonny Chimpo

    Jonny Chimpo OT Supporter

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    "The Future of Hollywood"

    :bowrofl:
     
  14. White Stormy

    White Stormy Take that, subspace!

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    I guess you haven't seen Pearl Harbor?
     

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