Creative Writing

Broken Bottles


I was struggling to breathe. Sweat poured from my blushed face. My legs were aching but I knew I couldn’t stop. I had to keep going. I had to get home. Fast. Minutes later I arrived in my driveway, my face cherry-red. My unopened letterbox was stuffed with week’s worth of soggy papers. I didn’t have time to even consider bringing them inside, I knew I was already late.
As I approached the front door, I noticed the once bright green paint, peeling away and the brass doorknob had grown cold and rusty. I took a deep breath before opening the door, trying to calm myself before facing the man who’s supposed to care for me the most. The door was stiff and needed to be nudged to open. A loud creak echoed throughout the nearly empty house. I crept down the thin damp hallway, praying not to be noticed. My brother’s door was wide open, I heard bright chirping from his Nintendo console. He lay on his bed with console in hand, fixated on his game. “Nick, do you know if Dad’s still here?” I asked hoping he had gone out to get some more milk or something. No response. Feeling unwanted, I continued to walk down to my room.
My room was at the end of the hallway, only a couple of doors down from my brothers. Without hesitation I forced myself inside, threw my bag down on the floor and shut the door. “Where the hell have you been all afternoon?” boomed a deep, husky voice. My heart stopped. I turned around. Sitting on my bed was a broad, unshaven man holding nearly empty bottle of whisky. I knew what he was about to do. “I stayed after school to catch up on my maths work.” My voice was shaky, I was trying to hold back the tears but could feel them start to race down my hot cheek. 

“You can start telling the truth Laura! No-one that thick would be stupid enough to stay after school.” Whisky wafted along my father’s drunken breath. He stood up, head almost hitting the high ceiling. His stained shirt was made more apparent. I stuttered, I didn’t know what to say.
He dropped his bottle onto the floor. It shattered into pieces on my wooden floor. “You don’t want me to hit you again, don’t ya’ Laura?” He came towards me. I began to panic. I turned to open my door but he just slammed it before I could leave. As I looked back it him his fist was in the air, ready to launch on top of me. Before I could even remember to breath; I felt his bony knuckles lashing down on my fragile face.
The sun poured through the window onto my bruised face. My right eye was still stinging and my eyelids were filled with tears. As I rolled over onto my side, a thought streamed through my head. I knew what I had to do. I couldn’t continue being used as my own father’s punching bag. It was time to do something.
As I walked into the kitchen, I could hear my father was slurring what sounded like swear words at the TV. I quickly made him a ham and cheese sandwich and I quietly rubbed it on the floor under the fridge, where my dad had put the rat poison. The top of the sandwich came out looking a dark blue colour so I turned that side facedown on the plate. As I crept into the lounge, he watched the television as if I was not there. “Here, Dad” I put the plate down on the table in front of him and turned to leave.

“What’s this blue crap? You giving me a mouldy sandwich you little brat!” I scurried back towards him trying not to make eye contact, took the plate and left before he could think about harming me again.
By morning I had another plan. The medicine cabinet in the bathroom was full of all sorts of pills. With the amount that my dad drunk, he wouldn’t even know what hit him. I grabbed three different, unusual shaped bottles and poured about a dozen pills onto the chopping board and begun crushing them. The fridge was filled with all different brands of alcoholic drinks. I couldn’t stand the smell of alcohol. I tried to brush the crushed pills into the bottle but most of it missed and fell onto the floor. My dad was still on the couch slumped in the same seat. He probably hadn’t even moved since he’d sworn at me. The only difference was now my brother was sitting next to him with a bored, emotionless look on his face staring blankly at the screen.
I put the beer down on the same table as I had with the sandwich. My hand was shaking, I just wanted it to be over. My father gestured to me, “Wait.” I was startled, I hadn’t expected him to say anything. My stomach wrenched. Had he worked out what I was trying to do? His wide eyes stared through me. “Don’t cha’ think Nick is old enough for his first bear?” He grinned from ear to ear and looked over at my brother who had sat up on the couch, eager with anticipation. I panicked. I swiftly nodded and walked as fast as I could back into the kitchen to grab a beer out of the fridge and dashed back into the lounge. I put the new bottle down down on the end of the table closest to my brother. My father lazily leant over, picked up the bottle infused with crushed pills and passed it to Nick. Before I could open my quivering mouth, my brother had the drink lifted the bottom lip and sculled down a large mouthful. My heart stopped.

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Static Image and Commentary

 
 My static image portrays the idea of someone who is struggling in the situation he has been put in and his life would be easier without the things restricting him and holding him back. Because of Lennie, George’s life is difficult and he is constantly struggling to keep up with the problems that he causes.

I have shown this by the use of visual elements and colours used. The man in the picture walking uphill symbolises George’s struggle and hard work that he puts in to try earn a living for himself but because of the ball and chain, which is a symbol for Lennie, he is being held back from reaching his full potential and he has to work even harder to make a living. The orange clothing that the man is wearing symbolises the constant endurance and strength that George puts into his work and having to worry about Lennie. By making the sky a darker blue and making the grass more brown to look as if it is dead portrays that Georges opinion on the effects Lennie has on his life is negativity. The missing puzzle piece symbolise the fact that although George believes his life would be easier without Lennie, without him there would always be a part of him missing as Lennie is Georges only true friend. I chose to make the colour of the text brown as it is a natural, earthy and honest colour which goes with the quote as the quote is a very honest statement.

My image is unified because I have tried to keep the static image simple without over complicating it. The man is big and in the middle making him the focal point with everything happening around him which links to the story as George is trying to live a normal life but he has many things happening around him which prevents him from doing so. The jigsaw puzzle helps to spilt the image up and to fill the space where it would otherwise look empty. Off to the side of the image, I have placed the missing puzzle piece so to make use of the space provided as well as not cluttering everything together.  

The quote  that I have chosen is from George where he tells Lennie “my life would be so much easier without you.” This is relevant because it works with my concept of someone struggling with the situation that they have been placed in. It also helps portray that sometimes we find ourselves constantly making decisions for other people and putting our own needs and wants behind making our own lives harder than what they would be if we only worried about ourselves

Drama | Term 2

21/4/2015

LI: to prepare rehearse your work for the speech exam 

SC: your work is prepared and you a rehearsing to improve the presentation standard, you understand the exam requirements 

22/4/2015

LI: to prepare rehearse your work for the speech exam 

SC: your work is prepared and you a rehearsing to improve the presentation standard, you understand the exam requirements 

23/4/2015

LI: to prepare rehearse your work for the speech exam 

SC: your work is prepared and you a rehearsing to improve the presentation standard, you understand the exam requirements 

28/4/2015

LI: to prepare rehearse your work for the speech exam 

SC: your work is prepared and you a rehearsing to improve the presentation standard, you understand the exam requirements 

11/5/2015

LI: to present features work, identify features, select extract from performance

SC: you have an idea of the features, sleet your extract 

12/5/2015

LI: to plan your melodrama performance 

SC: you have planned a performance which contains the features 

Economics | Term 2 Goals

Last term I achieved many of the goals that I set for myself but I could still push myself to maintain achieving excellence. On both tests last term, I got 27 marks so although I am happy with this, I would like to work harder and keep myself on track to get more marks when doing a similar test twice rather than staying the same. This term I would like to ask more questions when I do not understand something and instead on focussing on the things that I know how to do, try focus on the things that I don’t know how to do so I can learn and understand more of the work. I would also like to get my homework done as soon as I can to get it out of the way rather than leaving it to the last minute. Although this term is going to be very busy for me, I want to focus more on school than outside activities.

Media Studies | Directors Commentary 

The Lovely Bones

http://youtu.be/vLse2tPFEWU

Background:

Based on a BOOK of the same name, school girl murdered by neighbour and she then, as a ghost, watches her family struggle after her loss as the town tries to solver her disappearance and murder

Camera Work:

Close ups on Susie and Harvey are used thoroughly throughout the scene and the rest of the movie to show us more detail of their different facial expressions and their emotions. The use of close ups also help to reassure the audience that they are the two main protagonists and antagonists that are focused on in the film. Low angles are used thoroughly on the character Harvey to emphasise his authority throughout the film until his final moments when high angle shots are used to show his loss of authority before he falls off a cliff. The opposite techniques are used on Susie, using high angle shots to show her weakness and innocence until the end when her soul is lifted which then uses a low angle shot. Close ups are used on objects around the dug out including the bottle opener which is focussed on to foreshadow later in the film when we discover that this was the weapon Harvey used to murder Susie. A bobble head dog is knocked with a bottle when Harvey is picking them up to offer Susie a drink and so the dogs head is bobbing in close ups throughout the scene, this symbolises Susie being knocked out of her comfort zone and not feeling comfortable in the position that she has been put in. Hand held cameras are used as a way to make the cameras move in a way that feels natural and the audience feels like they are involved in the scene and are going through the same situation as the characters.

Camera Shots:

Close up shots used – especially on Susie to show suspense and tension building up throughout the scene. Close ups of Harvey opening the bottle with a bottle opener to foreshadow the weapon that he used to kill her. Close ups of bobble head dog, calendar

Camera Angles:

High angles on Harvey, low angles on Susie to show he has authority over her

Camera Movement:

Hand held camera used so it naturally moves slightly enough to cause a feeling of unease. At the end grass shot the camera pans up to show the situation being lifted away. When picking up glass bottle, the camera turns around giving it an airy feeling. Camera pans in to Susie’s face to show her fear and how scared she is about the situation and also by using primarily close ups, the ROOM they are in feels smaller giving it a claustrophobic atmosphere

Lighting:

Filters – None

There are no filters in this scene as it makes it feel more natural and realistic. The audience has done this so we are able to imagine ourselves in that space underground. We are then able to create a real image in our head of what it would be like. There are also no filters to show that there are no imperfections. Being an underground space there will be imperfections from nature and other things like that. Harvey has done so well at hiding the imperfections in this underground space, just like he has done so well at hiding his own perfections in his life. He is deemed to have this perfect life. This is why the director has used absolutely no filter in the underground space as Harvey has worked so much on covering up his personal imperfections that a ‘filter’ would spoil the chance to show how ‘perfect’ he really is.

Dark:

Example – Dim Lighting (the whole ROOM in this scene is dim lit)

The whole scene in this ROOM is dim lit to make it feel creepy and mysterious. Being unable to see certain things in a space makes it uncomfortable because you are unsure of your surroundings. It is candle lit to give a faint glow. This effect of light causes shadows, which are able to shadow different emotions of different people. Shadows are also used to emphasize certain things. In this case the shadows emphasize Harvey and how creepy he really is. The lack of light shows that things are being hidden. This symbolizes Harvey hiding certain emotions. This technique creates effect as it adds to the feeling of the ROOM. It does this by making you feel cautious and unaware. The technique is dim lighting and it affects the audience because it then makes them feel like they have to watch closely. The invites the audience in and allows them to make judgments. The director has done this so that rather than just watching as viewers you are able to experience something. The dim lighting adds to the films genre as its dramatic and mysterious. The technique also adds to the film by making it feel special. This technique is being used to create a secret sort of mood also. It’s like being in a tent with a troch at nighttime. You can only see the parts of the tent that you shine the torch on. This relates as you can only see the parts of the underground room where the candles are lit. You then feel alone because even though there are things outside around you, you are trapped in this space. This also relates to Susie. The dim light gives of a discreet eerie sort of effect, which is unpleasant and uncomfortable. This has helped the audience to create views about the sequence, film, characters and genre. The lighting works together to create the mood of the room. They also work together to create that type of setting, quite a secret secluded area. These techniques all work together to gain an audience response and make them feel apart of the film rather than a viewer.

 Light:

Example – Candlelight (what you can see in the ROOM has been lit by candle)

Very little light is used in this scene. The only light that has been used is candlelight. The candlelight has been used to make the space feel secluded. The light that the candle gives off is orange. This colour represents enthusiasm, stimulation, attraction, success and determination. These things are all from Harvey’s point of view. He was the designer of this ROOM, which is why he has set it up this way. The technique here is light. This shade of light helps the audience to understand how Harvey is feeling. This type of light stimulates Harvey, which is why it is the only dominant bold colour that fills the room throughout the scene. This technique adds meaning to the film as we are able to see a side of Harvey’s character that leads up to quite a few important moments in the film. Watching this scene will give us insight into later on in the film. This technique is also being used to describe to the audience how some people are able to feel attraction and success with actions such as Harvey’s. The director’s intention here is also to remind us that we are vulnerable as well. Just because it is a fictional movie doesn’t mean that something couldn’t happen. This allows us to expand our knowledge and understanding about the sequence, film, character and genre. The director also intended the audience to picture candlelight and what significant reference it has to them. We are then able to place our own thoughts into this section of the film. The setting is developed by candlelight, as that is what brings the room together. The director has allowed just enough light to create the right sorts of tones and moos without being to over the top. The director gains audience responses here as they are able to contrast candlelight and relate it to mood and tone during this scene.

Sound:

Diegetic

Example – “Thank you but I really must be going now Mr. Harvey

 The effect that this tone in her voice creates is helplessness. Mr. Harvey immediately shuts down Susie about her request to leave. This makes her feel helpless as the tone in her voice tells us she is scared and in desperate need of escaping the situation. It creates creepy feel to the tone of his voice as from the audience’s point of view you can then put yourself in Susie’s position. We are then able to picture what is around us as the tone draws us closer into the situation. This creates the mood of feeling helpless which creates suspense for the rest of this scene, almost as if we are awaiting our own fate. This technique adds to the meaning of the film as we see her progress through the film feeling helpless and alone which is how she feels now. The genre of this film is drama. This technique gives it the required dramatic feel that a drama movie should contain. This use of diegetic sound allows us to connect with the characters brining us one step closer into her feeling and thoughts. The director intended the audience to think that the film was realistic. In our modern day lives rape and murder is horrifically common. The director wanted us as viewers to gain insight into how careful we need to be. This has now enabled us to understand the sequence, film, character and genre. This technique is also combined with pitch and pace to show us the thoughts in Susie’s mind. The faster she says her dialogue implying the faster she wishes she can get out of there and away from that man. The type of pitch she says it in implies the complete opposite of what she is really feeling. She delivers her dialogue calmly but inside she feels trapped. All these different techniques combine to create the mood and atmosphere of this underground prison. All of these techniques collate together to gain a response from the audience, which is to get out of the situation she is in, any way she can.

Non-Diegetic

Example – Soundtrack and Atmospheric Sound 

In this scene we hear a clear example of atmospheric sound. This at the very start of the scene is almost unnoticeable. As the suspense increases so does the soundtrack until it gradually starts to build and over power other elements in the scene. A technique of the soundtrack would be the style of music used. It is a soft eerie tone until it increases to a loud sharp screech at the end of the scene. The effect that this type of music creates is loneliness. It is an empty music. It is not warm or inviting, it’s a cold tone to contrast with the candles light within the room to make it feel light and warm. This technique combines to create effects of fear and worry as the atmospheric sound builds. This technique affects the audience because it makes them feel alone. This way we are able to relate to the character and understand how she feels. From Harvey’s point of view this music is thrilling and inviting and it symbolizes joy, which is what he feels form this situation. The director has used this sound to create suspense and produce a vibe, which is unpleasant. This technique adds meaning to the film because from this music we are able to see Harvey’s thoughts and Susie’s. Harvey’s portray to us that this is what he is fixated and thrives on. Susie’s thoughts are very different, as she feels trapped and alone. From whichever way you analyze this from you will get a different answer from each character as one is the victim in this particular situation. This technique adds to the genre of this film, as the sound effects are thrilling and intense. The director intended the audience to feel alone in this scene. Almost as if they couldn’t escape watching it. Like they were drawn into the film with no way to escape. This then enables us to understand what the director wanted us to think about the sequence, film, genre and character. The director wanted us to feel trapped. The information communicated between techniques is that with diegetic dialogue it would be good. But with atmospheric sound, it adds a whole other mood into the scene. These techniques work together to portray two different characters. A passionate one and a helpless one. The use are used to convey the moos of being underground where the sound makes it feel dark and empty even though it’s full of things. The director gains an audience response by us as viewers sinking deeper and deeper into the underground until we cant escape as that’s how Susie feels.

Mise en scene:

Mise en scene is used to emphasise the tone of the scene with the use of costumes, props, colours and setting. The two characters are wearing standard late 1970s outfits which also help to remind the audience of the setting and the time period the film is set. Both characters start the scene wearing thick coats as well as Susie wearing a Pom Pom hat which helps to show the audience that they had just come from being outside and that the weather is cold. The props seen throughout scene are heavily focused on with extreme close ups as the dog bobble head is used as a symbol for Susie and the bottle opener is focused on to foreshadow the weapon Harvey uses to kill Susie. The orange lighting from the candles symbolises Harvey’s various emotions towards wanting to kill Susie such as his enthusiasm, fascination, creativity, determination, attraction, success, encouragement, and stimulation. The scene is set in Harvey’s underground dug out in the middle of the park during the late 1970’s.

Costumes:

Standard late 1970’s clothing, glasses, etc. Susie wears a home made bobble hat, coats

Props:

Glass bottles, bottle opener (close up used to foreshadow it being used to kill salmon) bobble head dog (symbolises Susie being taken out of her comfort zone), glasses

Colours: 

Dark, pale. Grass outside at the end is very dark as its late at night, Orange represents enthusiasm, fascination, happiness, creativity, determination, attraction, success, encouragement, and stimulation (all things from Harvey’s POV)

Setting:

Underground dug out, late 1973

Editing:

Montage:

During the struggle at the end a montage of quick changing shots build suspense and tension between the fighting characters

Special effects:

None

Transitions:

pace speeds up between shots to build suspense especially at end when Susie is trying to escape

Of Mice and Men | Essay 1

Describe at least ONE character or individual you could relate to in the written text(s). Explain why being able to relate to the character or individual was important to the text(s) as a whole.

In life, we all have to look after our friends around us but there always comes a time that we need to start making decisions for ourselves. In the novella Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck, George was a very relatable character as always stuck up for his friend Lennie, he has dreams and goals for his life and that he always says things how they are.

When first approaching the ranch, the two men were questioned and George stuck up for Lennie by lying about his disability. George told them that “Him and me was both born in Auburn. I knowed his Aunt Clara. She took him when he was a baby and raised him up. When his Aunt Clara died, Lennie just come along with me out workin’. Got kinda used to each other after a little while.” Steinbeck wanted to show the audience that George cared about Lennie and didn’t want anyone to judge him for being disabled and was willing to stick up for him. When Lennie accidentally kills Curley’s wife, George knows that the consequences for Lennie won’t be good and while everyone is wanting to shoot him, George tries to stop them by suggesting “couldn’ we maybe bring him in an’ they’ll lock him up? He’s nuts, Slim. He never find this to be mean.” This shows how much George cared and that he was willing to do anything for his friend even after knowing the bad things that he had done.

One of the first things that we learn about George is how he has goals and dreams that he looks to achieve one day. In the first chapter, George talks about the life that he dreams of living stating that “we got a future. We got somebody that to talk to this gives a damn about us.” From this the reader learns that George dreams about living somewhere where he can be happy and have people that accept him without having to feel like he has to spend his life worrying about Lennie. Towards the end of the novel, George shares his dreams one last time with Lennie, reminding him about the rabbits and tells Lennie to “look down there acrost the river, like you can almost see the place.” Steinbeck wanted to emphasise that George had been envisioning what the place they were going to live at would look like and that although he didn’t show it as much, he also dreamed about living in solitude on a rabbit farm. We also learnt how much George cared about Lennie and how much he wanted to share his dreams together.  

Like many people, George has a very blunt personality and is not afraid to tell people things how they truly are. When talking about himself and about Lennie, George mentions “guys like us got no fambly. They make a little stake an’ then they blow it. They ain’t got nobody in the worl’ that gives a hoot in hell about ’em.” This tells the reader how George feels about not having anyone close around him and that he isn’t afraid of the truth about his life. Steinbeck also wanted to show that sometimes being blunt can have a negative effect on your life as you don’t always see the good in everything. Although George cares about Lennie, he is always reminding him how much easier life would be without him. “When I think of the swell time I could have without you, I go nuts. I never get no peace.” This shows that George is relatable as like many others, he is willing to tell his friends exactly what he is thinking and will always let you know how he is feeling.

In the novella Of Mice and Men written by John Steinbeck, we learn that George is an important and relatable character to the readers. George is relatable by the way that he cares for his friends and is willing to do anything to protect them, he shares dreams and goals about where he wants to go in his life and how he has a blunt personality. Steinbeck wrote George as a relatable character so that the readers can learn and understand his goals and values more than if he was not a relatable character. 

Analysis of Performance 

Our use of techniques are effective as we use stance and vocal and facial expression to show that we are teenagers that like to go out party. My character is supposed to be unlikeable so I have used facial expressions and movement to mock his friends which could be seen as him being cocky and annoying. The mood of the scene is chilled and laid back which comes across as I am leaning against a wall and Jack is sitting on a chair and put dialog has no real emphasis as we are trying to recreating what could be a real life conversation between a group of guys. We are using most of the techniques fairly well but some of our movement, gestures and pathways still don’t feel natural and that I am doing them because I feel I have to, not because they are natural. Next time, we have to try make the scene flow together and feel more natural rather than rigid and moving because we feel we have to.