Many famous directors started out by doing short films, such as Guillermo Del Toro who created a short film called “Mama”. In this essay I will be discussing the short film “I Miss You” and comparing its structure to “Slumdog Millonaire” and it’s technical processes with “The Notebook”.
The short film I have chosen is “I Miss You”. “I Miss You” is a romantic drama about a relationship falling apart and the male in the relationship writing a letter to his former girlfriend. This film is a non-linear format as it recounts moments from the relationship and ends in the present day. This film uses flashback to create the story as it would make less sense for it to be a linear structure. Non-Linear structures are effective as different scenes set at different times can be used to create the narrative and a film can also be made more interesting by using a non-linear narrative.
Another film that uses a non-linear narrative is “Slumdog Millionaire”. Both “Slumdog Millionaire” and “I Miss You” use non-linear narrative to piece together a story and to show how they got to where the are at in the present day. Both films keep you guessing about the next turn the story is going to take and both are narrated by the main character, although “Slumdog Millionaire” is not narrated throughout whereas “I Miss You is narrated the whole way through. The film structure in “I Miss You” is different to the structure of “Slumdog Millionaire” as the scenes do not all add to the the main narrative of the film and aren’t placed in a certain order to link between the present and past whereas in “Slumdog Millionaire” every scene explains how he got a question right on the game show the protagonist participated in. I believe the structures are different due to the two films being fundamentally of a different genre with “I Miss You” being a romantic drama but focusing on the romance side more and “Slumdog Millionaire” focusing more on the drama aspects.
The lighting used in “I Miss You” varies and is used to enhance certain emotions throughout the film. Whenever the couple are together there it is always dark or going dark but some form of light is there such as the sun in one scene, the cinema screen and candles in another scene this is to symbolise their relationship being a shining light in their lives. In the scenes where they have broken up or she is living we don’t see what is causing the light and an effect is used to make the shot grey to show that he is upset and that the light from earlier is gone and the relationship is over. In the final scene his computer screen is lighting up the shot, this is to show he has found his peace with how the relationship ended and that he can be happy again. In comparison the breakup scene in the film “The Notebook” doesn’t use any effects but the scene is set in a street lit only by street lamps so there is still darkness and a feeling of sadness for both characters as there is in “I Miss You”. “The Notebook” also uses similar lighting as “I Miss You” for romantic scenes such as when Noah and Allie are slow dancing in the street the only lights are the street lights which is similar to candles in one scene in “I Miss You”.
The shots used in “I Miss You” are fairly simple but effective throughout with two shots, mid shots and close ups being used frequently, there is never any camera movement. The close up shots are used to show the emotion on the characters face, these shots are used frequently during the opening scene when he first meets the girl and also a the end when they break up as he is showing lots of emotion during these scenes. The mid and two shots are used to show interaction between the couple during both the romantic and break up scenes as it is important to see how they react and if that has any bearing on the outcome of the scenes. After analysing “The Notebook” I noticed similarities in how they were shot with two shots, mid shots and close ups again being prominently used. This is due to the films both being romantic films and the codes and conventions being similar.
Sound is very important in romantic dramas as it sets the tone and helps enhance the feelings of characters as well as making you as a viewer feel a certain emotion. Early in the film “I Miss You” a soundtrack is used that features a piano and violin, this soundtrack enhances the meaning of the male’s words as we can tell he felt the female was special in the way the tone he uses when talking about her. When we get to the final scene of the short film and realise the narration is a letter he is writing to her and different soundtrack is played which is much slower and uses only a piano, also during this scene his narration slows down considerably and he takes multiple pauses in between words.I studied the soundtrack for “The Notebook” and found that similar pieces of music were used, wit ha lot of the soundtrack also featuring pianos and violins.
The mise-en-scene in “I Miss You” and “The Notebook” with both films featuring a scene with a sunset, the context of this scene is similar as both scenes are about a character reminiscing.The purpose of the sunset in both scenes is to give the scene a certain lighting effect that makes the scene itself look beautiful. Both films position their characters in centre shot of a two shot with artificial light lighting the scene frequently, this is done to show that they are in love and a couple.
“The Notebook” and “I Miss You” are two films that focus on a similar concept of a young couple finding about about how relationships work. Both films use flashbacks to build the story and create tension. Both films have breakup scenes but they are presented differently wit h the breakup scene in “I Miss You” having more of a sombre tone than the breakup scene in “The Notebook” which is a verbal fight between the main characters Noah and Ally. I believe the break up scenes differ due to the fact in “I Miss You” the break up scene marks the end of the relationship so is treated as much more sad event whereas in “The Notebook” Noah and Ally get back together later in the film. Both films have very different endings with ” I Miss You” ending with the couple having broken up and the male deciding to delete the letter that he has written for his ex-girlfriend whereas “The Notebook” has a happier yet still sad ending with Noah becoming terminally ill and Ally sleeping in the hospital bed with him where they both die and are found by a nurse.
Overall, comparisons can be drawn between “The Notebook” and “I Miss You” as the fundamentals of both films are the same. At the same time they are differences between the two films which could be put down to a number of reasons such as the time the films were set with “I Miss You” being present day and “The Notebook” being set in the 40s and 50s for the majority of the film.