Shot Deconstruction – Witcher 2077
Hello in this entry I will be conducting a film deconstruction analysis to help progress through my world builders project, hopefully this analysis will help me improve on the final product and push the effectiveness of the shots allocated to me. Before I start the analysis I will tell you the story I’m adapting. I am doing the first chapter in the first book from the Witcher series, the passage comprises of a young Ciri riding on the back of a horse with another rider and they are riding way from from a black rider as the city around her is being destroyed by a foreign army. They eventually get shot down and she is pinned by the dead rider next to her. The black Rider approaches her and before she is killed by him she wakes up, revealing it was all a nightmare. The book is set in a fantasy setting, but we have decided to adapt it to a cyberpunk setting, creating a more interesting artistic challenge.
I will be performing my analysis on the trailer for the upcoming video game Cyberpunk 2077. Analyzing more accomplished filmmakers has its merits, but the time restrictions of a trailer are more relevant to my project, considering I have to convey an emotion and story in a very short time frame.
This trailer is similar to my project in many aspects stetting, story elements and even that most of the action take space in a frozen moment in time. The problem with having a frozen moment and minimal animation is that the story and action has to be created with he camera, making this analysis even more relevant, as capturing what works in this trailer can exponentially improve my sequence. Most of the shots have very dynamic camera movement with pans, zooms and quick cuts,this builds tension and and effectively reveals the whole scene and context in below 2 minutes. Another aspect that I have is the strong rim lights and very effective use of camera blur to separate the characters from the background. The last element that is very effective with the shots, is that they do not reveal the whole scene, through clever camera positioning they hide elements that they reveal in later shots, this builds tension and and mystery.
My first shot shows the threat (the black rider) aiming his gun at the protagonist (Ciri) and shooting an energy charge at her. Similar to the special forces guy that is behind the woman he seems like an alien force due to his face being covered, and his intentions of harm are clear by focusing the camera on his weapon. There are two shots one focusing on his weapon and the woman, indicating what his action is, and the next is focusing on his face showing his stoic expression. This is a similar fell I want to have for my shot, showing the black riders intentions and also focusing on his helmet showing how alien he is.
I originally had a profile shot of the black rider panning from the tip of his gun until he is in the centre of the frame, although effective at conveying the action it could be more stoic and dynamic. I have opted after this analysis to have a mid shot of the black rider, with camera moving along his gun toward his helmet, and having the reflection of the explosion on his visor. This shot along with the Cyberpunk shot, clearly conveys the action that is about to happen and makes him look alien and detached.
My second shot is an establishing shot (wide shot) revealing the outcome of him shooting at Ciri. There is no equivalent to this in the cyberpunk trailer,but the reveal of the officer being behind her has a similar role. The use of an element in front of the camera covering the guy is clever but I believe it doesn’t work as well in the context of my shot. This is because there aren’t many elements in the scene that I could use to hide parts of the shot, instead I have opted to use a camera move to reveal the whole scene.
My original shot was a slow panning wide shot of the biker getting of his bike on the top right of the frame and the crashed bike with Ciri at the bottom left. After the analysis I have opted to have a camera pan to the left to have only the rider in frame to having the crash site in frame.
This analysis has greatly improved the way I have a approached my shots and I believe I can more effectively communicate story and emotion in a short time.
CD Project Red,. (2013). Cyberpunk 2077 Teaser Trailer. Retrieved from https://youtu.be/P99qJGrPNLs
Guide to Film Analysis in the Classroom (1st ed.). Retrieved from http://www.adelaidefestivalcentre.com.au/media/3750/film-analysis-in-classroom.pdf/media/3750/film-analysis-in-classroom.pdf
Sapkowski, A. (2009). Blood of elves. New York: Orbit.