Saturday, 3 May 2014

Creative Investigation into Film:Final Essay

Film noir is described as‘an atmosphere of disillusion and sense of foreboding, a dark quality that derived as much from the characters depicted as from the cinematographer’s art.’[1], The Departed (2006) Brick (2006) and Drive (2011), are all films influenced by film noir; whether this be through cinematography, lighting or narrative. Additionally these films are more modernized compared to the noirs of the 1940s – 50s, with updated themes, content, style, visual elements or media not available during the 1940s – 50s[2] (the period noir films were most prominent). Due to the differences these more modern movies are called neo-noir films. Some of the most notable classics films from the noir canon include: The Maltese Falcon (1941) Double Indemnity (1944) and Sunset Blvd. (1950). Noir films can be described as a perspective on human existence and society[3]. The debate on whether film noir is a style or genre of film is what I will be exploring in this study. I believe film noir is a genre of film, although it has a style ubiquitous to itself, the general aura of noir includes common characteristics: motif and tone, social background and artistic/ cultural influences, iconography, mood and characterisation, visual style... paranoia and patterns of narration[4]. These are all aspects one would expect to see in a noir film. With parallels to other film genres like a thriller or horror, noir has its own characteristics, which are clearly recognisable. This is why I believe it to be a genre rather than a style of film.
Drive, directed by Nicolas Winding-Refn is a film that embeds various forms of film noir rooted into it but also it is not fully a noir film. The cinematography ‘plays more like an exercise in turn-of-the-Eighties nostalgia.’[5]Predominately the film acquires a brightly lit visual style throughout, which goes against archetype noir films (Double Indemnity and Sunset Boulevard) – that use low key lighting.The term used to best describe Drive is ‘neo-noir’[6] with its overall display as an updated version of the noir films of the 1940s -1950s. An example of the brightly lit film is the elevator scene, in which Ryan Gosling’s Driver stamps a hit man’s face to the ground. Another scene is where driver goes to a strip club and nearly hammers a bullet into the club owners Cook (James Biberi), forehead. This could be a stylistic approach from Refn who says himself that he is very much a fetish film maker[7]. The film uses bright lighting as part of its style throughout whilst still remaining enigmatic and dark in mood as the film progresses.
The influence of early noir films is clearly evident on neo-noir, an example being the chiaroscuro lighting brought into noir by people like John Alton and John F. Seitz – who did the cinematography for both Sunset Blvd. and Double Indemnity. The more updated narratives in the late 20th and 21st century noir are the main difference in comparison to the noirs of the 1940s -50s. Visual style as seen in Drive, where it is lit most bright often in the most tense scenes, seems more like a conscious choice of Nicolas Refn’s to go against the conventions of earlier noir films, which still shows there is an influence. In reference to film noir as a genre rather than a style, Drive proves this point. With the films highly stylistic luminous lights, it is still recognized as a noir with there being the loss of identity and sexual motivations.

The Departed directed by Martin Scorsese is also a film that is considered a neo-noir. Although like Drive many stylistic conventions from film noir are not followed. The film is also partly a thriller with its highly suspenseful plot, unlike a noir film in which a bad ending for the protagonists is inevitable. The visual style is also more similar to a thriller rather than a noir. Although it has the low-key darkness through lighting, things like chiaroscuro are not used. Chiaroscuro is used in cinematography to indicate extreme low-key and high-contrast lighting to create distinct areas of lightness and darkness in films[8]. This type of lighting uses brighter foregrounds that contrast against dark backgrounds.

Perhaps this could be because The Departed being a remake of the Hong Kong film Infernal Affairs (2002), directed by Andrew Lau and Alan Mak. Visual stylistic comparisons are evident from these stills from both two films. The contrast both stills show with a dark background and lighter foreground, although the contrasts are not as distinct in comparison to typical film noir lighting.

Drive is certainly influenced by the early noir films with its main character in a loss of identity and although subtle, the sexual motivations involved between Driver and Irene (Carey Mulligan) are evident. Also Irene acts as a damsel in distress[9] throughout, although raising her son alone, she is helped significantly by men, mainly Driver. The character Blanche (Christina Hendricks) also acts as a femme fatale, in the bank robbery scene she already was aware that it was a set up and of Standard’s (Oscar Isaac) inevitable death.

This is also seen in Double Indemnity, directed by Billy Wilder where Phyllis (Barbara Stanwyck) acts as a femme fatale, entering into an affair with Walter(Fred MacMurray)and later trying to kill him. Then she acts as a damsel in distress additionally with her longing for the affection of Walter whilst still being in a relationship with her husband.

Although there is the inclusion of the romantic undertone between Driver and Irene the film is still dark in its mood and tone – like Standard’s unjustified death. Along with Driver being an anti-hero self-excluded from others, committing very violent acts, these acts are to help Standard, Irene and their son Benecio (Kaden Leos). An alternative interpretation could be that Driver is more sexually motivated and that is why he helps so much. This links to the typical noir male characters like Captain Jacobi who is sexually motivated to help Brigid in The Maltese Falcon and Walter who is sexually motivated to help Phyllis in Double Indemnity.This highlights the characterization influences from early film noir into neo-noir.

The theme of identity is included and is a huge part of the narrative. This combined with the dark aura of the film, is what defines it as a noir, similar to Drive, rather than visual conventions of film noir. The differences with cinematography between Double Indemnity and The Departed are clear in these two stills. The use of telephone communication as props in both shots also links into the theme of identity as both characters only show one side of their various personalities they present throughout the film when behind a telephone/ recorder.

Identity acts as a theme embedded heavily through the narrative with each protagonist lying to the other two about who they really are. Additionally fake identities they have created have become so much a part of them that they lose their own identities. An example of this is whenCostigan expresses ‘I want my identity back’.This use of the phone seems to be a re-occurring motif in these noirs – also featured in Brick.Scenes in which characters are on the phone they are often either them investigating something or in Walter’s case from Double Indemnity, confessing something. This links with the typical hard-boiled detective being an archetype character featured especially in many classic film noirs.

The defining aspect that enables The Departed to be a neo-noir is the narrative – an area research professor Steve Neale also discusses with these characteristics being omnipresent in noir films. The narrative of The Departedis similar to all the films looked at in this study. The multiple storylines and events that occur through narrative in all films is something also ubiquitous in noir. The Departed follows all three protagonists: Costigan, (Leonardo Di-Caprio) Sullivan (Matt Damon) and Costello (Jack Nicholson) and their individual stories that follow each of these characters ends up connecting to the overall plot of the film – all 3 main characters creating personas which they convey to one another of being criminals but all 3 secretly informing each other to the police.

Looking at The Departed as a neo-noir – the characterization with the women of the film would suggest otherwise. Gwen (Kristen Dalton), who plays Costello’s girlfriend is partly what you would expect in her being passive and submissive. She always just follows orders from Costello. Although like the other female character in the film Madolyn (Vera Farmiga) she poses no threat to any of the male protagonists. This goes against the typical characterization of a femme fatale character within noir. Madolyn, unlike Gwen has some power in the fact that she is able to leave Sullivan whilst being pregnant with his child. This inclusion within the narrative could also show the more equal rights between men and women now, compared to 60 years ago, in which women do not have to rely on men. This could also explain how both Brigid (Mary Astor) from The Maltese Falcon and Phyllis from Double Indemnity are quite submissive in-terms of needing help from men to achieve their motives in each film. One aspect that is often associated with the femme fatale is sexual seduction – which could be argued to be included in The Departed with Madolyn when she sleeps with Costigan. Another argument is that this sexual liason was out of general attraction, rather than for Madolyn to gain anything from Costigan, which she does not try to do.

The portrayal of women in noir film is an interesting observance. Comparing The Maltese Falcon to Brick there is over a 70 year gap between the two films, yet there are similarities that can be drawn from both films. Looking at two main female characters from both films, Laura (Nora Zehetner) from Brick and Brigid from The Maltese Falcon, both play the role of a femme fatale. Both of them as femme fatales are motivated by expensive possessions (heroin and an extravagant statuette) for them to gain.

Additionally the two characters could be said to seduce men in both their films respectively, although it can be argued they do have genuine feelings towards the men they are in relationships with. The same comparisons go for Phyllis from Double Indemnity. Drive also has a femme fatale character,
Blanche,who does not seduce men but is part of the plan that is executed in which Standard gets shot at the bank robbery. On the other hand, she is not the one who orchestrates the plan; she just goes along with it, as she is in the control of men. Irene in the film is not really controlled by men but more relies on them, an example would be Driver helping protecting her and her son. The women in Drive are more helpless rather than femme fatales. This merges into the damsel in distress character, mostly associated with fairytales, also finds itself within noir.

The female gaze is another aspect that is prevalent in noir films. As theorist Jonathan Shroeder states, “to gaze implies more than to look at – it signifies a psychological relationship of power, in which the gazer is superior to the object of the gaze” (1998). This quote definitely has legitimacy in relating to films in this study. You can see the various stills in which female characters are subjected to the male gaze here:‘men act, women appear[10]. The gaze seems more subtle in noir films with more of the voyeurism intended to be delivered by the audience, with male actors not necessarily gazing at the women. Additionally women are not necessarily dressed in a sexually revealing and sexual way. The gaze more comes from us as the audience gazing at the women through how the camera positions the audience. It can be argued that the gaze comes from the conscious decision to cast young attractive women like: Carey Mulligan and Christina Hendricks from Drive, Vera Farmiga from The Departed and Emile de Ravin, Meagan Good from Brick.Nicolas Refn states in an interview on how he hired Christina Hendricks after seeing pictures of her and saying how beautiful she was[11]. Although, the only scene in which a male gaze could be featured is the strip club scene. Even here though the nude girls are shot often in long shot, not drawingmuch attention to them but rather to Driver and Cook. Although, in Drive the women are more submissive, and it could be argued that there it does not conform to Laura Mulvey’s male gaze theory as many others do. Blanche and Irene are not really shot in a voyeuristic way in which the viewer should look at them as sexual objects.

1. The Maltese Falcon, Dir. John Huston, Warner Brothers, 1941

2. Double Indemnity, Dir. Billy Wilder, Paramount Pictures, 1944

3. Sunset Blvd. Dir. Billy Wilder, Paramount Pictures, 1950

4. The Departed, Dir. Martin Scorsese, Warner Brothers, Plan B Entertainment, InitialEntertainment Group, Vertigo Entertainment (in association with) Media Asia Films, 2006

5. Brick, Dir. Rian Johnson, Bergman Lustig Productions, 2006

6.Drive, Dir. Nicolas Winding-Refn, Bold Films, OddLot Entertainment, Marc Platt Productions, Motel Movies, 2011

[1]Neale, Steve (2000) Genre and Hollywood, Routledge (Taylor & Francis Group), 151, 2 – 4
[3]Neale, Steve (2000) Genre and Hollywood, Routledge (Taylor & Francis Group), 153, 23  - 24
[4]Walker, Michael (1992) Film Noir: Introduction, Cameron, Ian, ed. Studio Vista, 8-38.
[9]Dyer, Richard ed. (1977), Gays and Film, London: British Film Institute
[10]Berger, John (1972) Ways of Seeing, British Broadcasting Company &Penguin Books Ltd

Friday, 2 May 2014


My creative realization essay involved me researching the hypothesis of film noir being a genre of film rather than a style. The research that took place involved me looking at older 1940 and 50s noir films and comparing them to more modern neo-noir films, noticing the similarities and differences in both of them. Style was carried through but so were other things like characterization and iconography – which are areas one would expect to see in a film genre. I selected six key primary texts, half being influential classic noirs: Double Indemnity, Sunset Blvd. and The Maltese Falcon,and the other half being neo-noir films: The Departed, Drive and Brick. Through the influences from these older noir films that are embedded into more modern ones like loss of identity, similar narrative patterns with motif and tone – this is what made me decide film noir to be more a genre rather than style. I also took into account the typical cinematography of film noir with its dark low-key lighting and the chiaroscuro technique used. Along with the characteristics that make up film noir like narrative patterns, themes of identity loss and dark tone, and archetype characters.

The visual style was something that held a lot of significance in the argument in whether film noir is a genre or a style. The use of low-key lighting was explored within the study through my 20 key frames. I decided to have half of the shots fully composed through natural lighting and the other done through artificial lighting and then colour graded to appear more like a noir film. This was to experiment with how significant the key frames visual style is in regards to the accompanying screenplay that the frames were inspired through. Additionally I wanted to see how much the visual style was significant in enabling the story to be a neo-noir. Through the use of both primary and secondary texts this research all agreed with my hypothesis of film noir being a genre. These clear characteristics through things like narrative and characterization showed there was more  unique as just stylistic features within noir. I then used typical noir elements I found like themes of identity within the narrative of the screenplay and then visualized this into the 20 key frames. I also tied identity into the mis-en-scene with the engineer character wearing the same work wear throughout even when unemployed and then with his new role as a hacker. This was done to convey his identity loss with him in still trying to hang on to his initial persona as the engineer. I used photoshop in adjusting the already used artificial light and colour graded half the pictures to give them the traditional noir style. I then just brought out more of the colours used in the other natural light shots so they appeared more real life documentary style.

I also went in to detail with researching characterization in noir films. Common characters like hard boiled detectives that were found in older films, like Double Indemnity and The Maltese Falcon transferred into all the neo-noir films in my study. This then gave inspiration in the use of the engineer then acting as a detective and finding out Laura’s role in stealing money from him and her general operation motives. The role of women was something I extensively focused on with appearance attractive women often cast in roles involving being a threat to men. I then used the threat along with the sexual aspect I also found within my research in constructing the character of Laura – casting an attractive and curvy women to match the typical noir female. The only negative was the original girl I had cast was not able to be present on shoot day and I replaced her with another girl who was not blonde, which is the hair colour quite a few femme fatale characters within my primary texts had. I was able to capture the role of Laura visually through having the actor wear a black dress that brought attention to her body. This was to also explore the theory of the male gaze that I found was subtly included in both classic and modern noir films. Although not through dressing sexually revealing, the gaze more appears through the choice in casting attractive women and furthermore ‘dolling them up’. This was what I also was able to achieve in my key frames, although I could have used some more make-up on the female actor to emphasize more of the male gaze. I also captured the character of Laura through quite a few close ups and mid shots to get a mix of her body and face in shot to enforce the cameras POV from a man.

The narrative was another key part within my study that I considered. The narrative of the 5 minute film is based around the ideas of early noir with themes of identity loss, and a femme fatale being a mans lover whilst deceiving him. The modern neo-noirs aspects arise from having the engineer character as a computer engineer; and the technological crime of hacking bank databases being involved. I also examined the use of the melancholic mood that often follows the protagonist, creating a narrative in which a negative resolution is inevitable. A lot of the dialogue was informed by the mood often set in noir and I wanted to capture the hopelessness characters often feel through dialogue. I also used canted angles to represent a characters distorted state of mind, which also links to the melancholic mood I was trying to set. Additionally canted angles were also used to foreshadow negative events through them representing characters unstableness which eventually leads them to making disorientated decisions. An example is key frame 14 when the engineer decides to join Laura’s line of work and the canted angle is used to foreshadow a disorientated ending. The choice in having a linear narrative was more of a choice informed by neo-noir films within the study, which seemed to depart from the older non-linear flashback type noir films.

The research into visual style, narrative and characterization have been the three aspects that have helped me to define film noir firmly as a genre, rather than just a style. The ubiquitous conventions of film noir mixed with its own visual style was something I attempted to get across in my 20 key frames. Due to some lack of planning, the frames did not communicate as clear and congruent a story as I wanted it to. Although, the visual style was effectively conveyed visually and there was a good mix of the classic and neo-noir elements embedded in. The characterisation was well visualised with the characters clearly being influenced by past noir characters and the actors that played these roles also appear believable. Overall there was a clear communication of film noir being established as a genre, but I could have shown this more effectively within the key frames. This could have been done through more creativity and attention to detail through mis-en-scene.

Wednesday, 9 April 2014

20 Key Frames

Letter labelled ‘urgent’ that the engineer is staring, this is to show a significance within the letters content. He is dressed in work wear (white shirt and black tie with black trousers). Pictured in natural light to make it look more like documentary than film noir – exploration of whether film noir is a visual style or genre. The absence of his face in shot and his use of the same uniform foreshadows his identity loss. Diegetic sound would be present from the rustling of the letter in the engineer’s hands. Photoshop was used to bring out more of the colours from the natural lighting to make the shot as real as possible. The choice of black door surrounded by white background was to foreshadow the abandonment of the engineers existing morality. Foreshadowing was informed by all primary texts which use the device often.

This shot involves the character finally seeing the content, I chose not to show his facial expression due to the typical male noir characters which often try and put up a bravado of masculinity instead of revealing true emotions. The use of simplistic mis-en-scene shows the lack of depth and meaning in the engineers life, who only really identifies with his job which he has now found out he has lost. This was actually a different actor used for the same character due to conflicting schedules, so I  gave him the same costume and used photoshop to add facial hair onto the actor to make him appear the same throughout.

This was used to convey how long the engineer has been out drinking.
Nature is also used here, with the tree in the background showing lack of life, with no branches is like a metaphor for the engineers life - living without actually existing. The use of the shirt being more wrinkled with the tie and shirt looking ruffled up was to re-enforce the engineers mental instability from his alcohol intake. The engineer is completely tired and roughed up from being out all night drinking on his own.
This shot was also used to convey the male gaze with both the viewer and the engineer character gazing at Laura through how the camera is used, this is why I had the actor wear clothes that complemented her curves. The engineer characters views Laura waving at him but does not yet recognize her due to his current mental state. Inclusion of dialogue like hi would be present here, along with diegetic sound  of Laura's footsteps as if she was wearing high heels - a piece of costume that also encourages the male gaze subtly.

The engineer after going on a lonely all night drinking debacle finds himself located on a random street, his strange stance and body posture represent his mental instability in comparison to the character Laura who stands straight and upright in contrast. Pathetic fallacy is reversed similar to Sunset Blvd. in which the nice sunny weather is ironic in its inclusion whilst the engineer is in a state of melancholy. A vague body shot used on Laura to show her body frame to highlight the vague inclusion of the male gaze within noir films. I edited the shadows to make them look more life like, rather than stylistic as shadows are often used in the stylistic lighting within film noir.

This shots shows the engineer being comforted and with the engineer in white and Laura dressed in black this is to foreshadow Laura's evilness, whilst she now presently upholds the role as a helper. I also edited a jacket that was accidentally in the shot with photoshop. I made sure when enhancing colours, that there was no contrast between foreground and background colours. This was so that in no way these documentary type shots appeared completely different to the other noir inspired shots. The use of levels also conveys Laura being in control of the male protagonist, often seen within the role of the femme fatale.

The constant colour motif of blue surrounding these shots was to represent the cold dark world the engineer is in and to represent the inevitable negative resolution of the narrative. The choice in the low angle is to convey the shift of power from Laura to the engineer as she asks him to join her workforce in a similar computer role as he contemplates his decision, as she knows that he is a vital part of her plan.

A close up of Laura is used to once again bring attention to her features and the camera is used to place the viewer into the role of being the gazer. Laura is trying to get him to team up with her as she notice his contemplation. 

The decision has been made and the engineer is now part of Laura's new line of business.The use of the handshake which is often associated with masculinity was a conscious choice made to convey Laura's ability take on masculine mannerisms, something a femme fatale often can do.

The engineer later arrives at his new job, Laura's office. The use of more detailed scenery represents the contrast in characters with the engineer who is much more simple and straightforward in comparison to Laura who is more in depth with multiple conveyed personalities. This shot completely contrasts key frame 2 which shows the simple scenery within the engineers house. The shift in colour schemes with orange and red as quite significant colours represent the more evil underworld the engineer is now delving into.

The first of the film noir inspired colour grading. This shot shows the engineers cynical interest as to what type of business Laura is running. I edited the security camera out of shot as I felt it added nothing to the mis-en-scene that related to my study. I also used artificial chiaroscuro type lighting into this shot and all the rest, through bringing out more of a contrast within foreground and background light and darkness within shots. 

Laura is telling the engineer partly the truth in her real role in this new business, involving hacking banks. I consistently made the engineers clothing appear lighter and Laura's to appear darker to show the contrast between the two, and to show the females lack of morality which is often with femme fatales. I once again adjusted mid-tones to bring out both light and darkness through background and foreground. The use of an almost hyper-real white lightness at the back of the engineers head representing the last bit of morality that remains before he gives his soul to Laura, by agreeing to become the bank hacker.

Another shot of the engineer contemplating his decision, the canted angle represents the engineers distortion with the transition from computer engineer to potential bank hacker. The use of the low angle combined with the slanted glass roof represents the environment closing in on the engineer and the inevitable negative resolution for him. 

This shot follows key frame 9, transitioning from business hand shake to a more a romantic undertone handhold between the two characters. This subtly suggests the beginning of their personal and business relationship. I also edited out a jacket accidentally left in shot just to maintain the attention detail carried through consistently within shots. The depth of field employed within this shot was to express that the engineer is now fully embedded within his new role. as an exit in no longer present for him.

The transition within the narrative is shown in which the engineer sees Laura's laptop and finds she has been taking more income from the profits made, through the hacking of the banks. The  original plan was a 50/50 split between the two. The femme fatale here like in other films within my primary texts often get too greedy, like Brigid in The Maltese Falcon.

The engineer confronts Laura and demands for her to reimburse him the money he is owed, she denies all accusations. This shot was quite difficult to edit with photoshop, I had to use the clone stamp tool to turn the board completely black, originally it had a lot of pictures on it. The foreground is now becoming darker like the background to represent the engineers identity being even more lost and Laura's world of evil overshadowing him.

The engineer creeps behind Laura later on and places his hands on her neck, the force of the grip along with it being on the neck - a sensual part of the body, creates a strange anger/ sexual tension undertone mood within the shoot. Laura is found in the middle of writing an alibi to the police explaining how the engineer forced her to partake in the hacking of bank databases.

The engineer spins Laura around so he can look at her whilst he chokes her, almost in a strange sadistic way, this shows the full loss of his identity and morality along with submission to the evil environment he finds himself within. The choice of the canted angle also represents his unstable state of mind. The white board within the background also involved me editing out the pictures that were on it, I felt like they drew attention away from the actual strangling.
The concluding shot showing the femme fatales demise, whilst the male gaze applying even though she has died. I also completely blacked out the area behind Laura's head to convey whilst an evil character has died, evil will follow the engineer. It also corresponds to the previous shot, showing the inevitable negative resolution from the very beginning.

Risk Assessment

Friday, 28 March 2014

20 Key Frames Layout

Documentary style, natural lighting:

1. Canted angle over the shoulder close-up of letter labeled ‘urgent’ that the engineer is staring at. He is dressed in work wear (white shirt and black tie with black trousers)

2. Mid angle Close-up of the letter labeled ‘urgent’ opened in the engineer’s hands.

3. Text saying '6 hours later'.

4. Low angle close-up of engineer looking roughed up  still wearing the same uniform.

5. Medium angle over the shoulder close up shot of woman now in focus as she waves to the engineer whilst smiling, she is dressed in a casual type of dress which complements her curvy body type.

6. High angle mid shot of the engineer being comforted by Laura – who places her hand on his shoulder whilst he directly looks at her in a state of melancholy.

7. Close-up of Laura as she faces the engineer with one of her hands out to indicate that she is proposing the engineer with an idea.

8. Low angle mid shot of engineers face as he appears hesitant and unsure.

9. Medium angle master shot of the engineer and Laura shaking hands, Laura appears more prominent in the shot through proximity. This is to foreshadow the power Laura obtains over the engineer.

10. High angle medium close up of the engineer entering Laura’s office, he appears neutral, the engineer with a black shirt and trousers.

 Film noir style, chiaroscuro, artificial lighting:

 11. Medium angle mid  of the engineer viewing Laura’s computer as he sees the hacking database.

12. Medium angle mid 
depth of field shot of engineer pointing to the computer screen appearing angry and simultaneously intrigued.

13. Medium angle mid long shot of Laura whispering to the engineer by his ear.

14. Low angle mid long shot of engineer pacing from one side to another appearing hesitant.

15. High mid angle master mid shot of engineer and Laura holding hands gazing at one another smiling.

16. Canted angle over the shoulder shot of engineer viewing Laura’s computer in shock, with shallow focus on the computer screen.

17. Mid angle mid long shot of engineer pointing at computer screen whilst he stares furiously at Laura who is parallel to him.

18. Mid angle mid shot of engineer with a firm one armed grip of Laura's neck which he grasps violently whilst she is writing an alibi on a piece of paper .

19. Low angle mid shot of engineer who has hands now firmly placed on the front of Laura's neck who is now facing in his direction.

20. High canted angle close up of Laura now lying dead on a chair.

Tuesday, 25 March 2014

Film Treatment - Existence

*Warning Spoilers Contained*
The film begins with a pan down of the engineer entering his house and noticing a letter labelled 'urgent' on the floor – close up is used for this, which he opens. After viewing the letter he becomes distraught after seeing that he has got sacked from his job as a computer engineer. The engineer then embarks on an all night alcohol debacle – this is to be represented through constant zoom ins and outs on his face. Half of the film will be in documentary style, half will be in tradition film noir style.

Pan down from a road sign to the engineer looking extremely roughed up from all night drinking as he begins to make his way home. Slow motion POV shots will be used to convey his drunken disrupted state. Shallow focus shot of a woman walking into focus comes into view, this is Laura. Laura engages the engineer in conversation, although he is reluctant to talk at first, then remembers Laura from their time at university – over the shoulder shots to be used to show their conversation. After learning of the engineer's current state of unemployment Laura proposes a new kind of job. Hacking banks to steal money from them. The engineer is hesitant at first then accepts the role.

The engineer and Laura start work straight away, and as the job starts both parties find success in their 'unique business'.  Mis-en-scene in The happiness spreads as the two begin a relationship with one another. The engineer then randomly one day notices files left open on Lauren's laptop that show how she divides the money between both her and him. The figures in the amount of money Laura has obtained are incongruent to the amount she has told the engineer. The engineer immediately confronts her on this and demands her to give him the money he is owed. She refuses and after that each character vows to take the other down by informing the bank being extorted on one another. The two characters also make death threats to each other, foreshadowing the future. 

Although the two characters have stated on informing each other, neither has done so A large amount of high and low angles are to be used in conveying characters positions of power. He embarks on independently finding the hackers who have been extorting his employers. The engineer pays a visit to the office of Laura in broad daylight, entering from the back of the building to an un-armed Laura - who is compiling an alibi against the engineer. She is shocked when he appears, intimately touching her neck behind her and he places his hand around her neck. He then asks her to turn around to face him, and then strangles her tp death whilst sadistically staring at her – this will be shown through a canted angle to represent both characters inevitable negative fates.