Director Of Shawshank Redemption

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The first week of film was very stressful as we had so much preparation to do. The murder scene dark to symbolise the dark hideous act of murder, which would create the uncertainty as to who actually committed the crime. The passionate music was added to show the contrast of the violent act of murder and the irony that there was romance but it was tainted in deception and lies.

This challenges the audience as to who is actually guilty. The courtroom was bright white to create the strong contrast from the darkness of the opening scene, to show there was no where for Andy to hide.

The bright white courtroom also created the feeling of a stage spotlight on Andy. I decided on a moving shot of the jury was used to show that they were all individuals and to make the audience feel like the jury also because through the film we have to decide if Andy is guilty and if he deserved his punishment.

The murder scenes and the courtroom scenes were intertwined using a flashback technique to emphasise and remind the audience how horrific the crime was, showing how the past affects the present. Andy will always be haunted by these memories.

The scene when Andy entered the prison and his first night as a prisoner pleased me; it turned out exactly the way I wanted.

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I think it is important for the audience to be aware of the harshness of a prison environment, a high moving shot gives an immense impression of a concrete building cut off from society, contrasting with everything outside the prison gates which were colourful and full of life whilst everything on the other side looked colourless and almost dead. I used a birds eye view shot to show hundreds of men shuffling in the same direction, showing how they were all institutionalised.

Shawshank Shuffle 2019

A tilting shot of the men entering the prison through its high and imposing gates was a final reminder that when the doors closed behind them was a symbol of their destiny. The powerful contrast between the silence and the noise of the name calling was made to show the prisoners experience, first hand. The audience’s first impressions of the warden were paramount. He was wearing a dark suit with a silver cross and clutched a bible, suggested he was a dark man but had religious beliefs. But when he spoke he sounded hard and cold as though hiding behind his religion.

It felt right that the prisoners should have been seen as animals, being deprived of their dignity, while being hosed down and deloused naked, to make the audience feel uncomfortable. The first night was shown as the reality of it all with the lights gradually going out and only seeing shadows and silhouettes, everyone the same, criminals. The audience were to feel sorry for the new prisoners and to show that I added silence and darkness which made the heartless attack on the prisoner even more horrifying as he was only a scared human being.

I think this is possibly my favourite scene. The scene when Andy meets the sisters and how they treated him was a difficult scene to shoot in many ways. It has some disturbing content that I had to think seriously about editing out. I did however feel it was crucial to show the brutality. That is why I decided to only hint what was happening to Andy, instead of actually showing the violence, I used a camera shot which slowly takes the audience away from the scene to show that there is nothing that they could do to help Andy just merely feel sympathy for him.

This would subsequently make his innocence even more poignant. This seemed to fit in more with my overall vision for the film, by letting the audiences’ imagination take over and visualise the torment Andy would have to go through. Prison life is survival of fittest as they turn on each other to feel a sense of superiority. Using Morgan Freeman’s character Red as the voice over was an integral part of this film, which was meant to express the thoughts and feelings of the audience.

Prison life wasn’t easy and Andy overcame all these things and never lost hope of one day being free once again. This scene was the one were Tommy was killed, it wasn’t my favourite to shoot but it has a huge impact on the film. It’s always hard when you know a character has to die. The scene needed a lot of takes to try and make it as realistic as possible; we shot it in a dimly lit area with shadows to give the audience a sense of anxiety and suspicion. The yard would have been a place for the men to get away from the guards for a time.

This was the purpose for the Warden taking Tommy there. It felt best that the Warden started with good news to relieve Tommy of worry, gave him a cigarette to manipulate Tommy into thinking the Warden wanted to create a calm atmosphere. That would suggest that there was an understanding between the two of them. A close up the Wardens and Tommy’s face was used to highlight that Tommy was being sincere unlike the Warden who wasn’t. The Last scene concludes with the Warden looking up into night and nodding, as Tommy gazes up, the guard advances from the darkness and shoots him three times.

A close up the Warden stubbing out his cigarette demonstrates how effortlessly he could extinguish someone’s life. A Long shot of the Warden giving his final look at Tommy’s corpse was effective so the audience would feel intimidated by the callous Warden and a sense filled with dread for Andy’s future. I was thrilled with the scene of Andy’s escape, particularly with the fusion of flashbacks and the voiceovers by Freeman. The two of them working together gives us a perception into the thought process behind Andy’s plan.

He doesn’t mention it to anyone, as discreet and as fastidious as he is. What makes Andy’s plan so brilliant is that, even the viewer doesn’t know he has escaped until, you see the empty cell, because his last night is just like any other. When the Warden arrives, the cell has been torn apart. As the thrown stone echoes down the tunnel, it’s crucial because that is the precise moment when the Warden, Red and the guard realise Andy’s escape route. I felt the images of the escape tool in the press were symbolic of Andy’s victory.

Captivating the audience was simple, using tense music, which exhibits the magnitude of Andy’s escape, gives us an insight into what he had to encounter and how intelligent and exact his plan was. It was difficult thinking about what was going to happen on the night of Andy’s escape, and then I had this idea about the weather. Having a thunder and lighting storm which would make the scene more dramatic and exciting, it also gave a vivid backdrop. It shows nature at its most violent mirroring Andy’s escape.

Finally after a lot of consideration I decided that Andy would exit the 500 yards of sewage with the voiceover giving an insight into how atrocious it was. A high angle shot moving away from Andy meant that it gave the impression of him thanking God for his freedom as he elevates his hands. It is almost like he is leaving his past behind him, Andy the convicted murderer, going forth into the future as Andy, the successful escapee. The rain symbolizes his body and mind being cleansed of his sins. The Warden’s words “It’s a miracle” echoed to show that it actually was a miracle.

The final scene were Andy and Red reunite, I think is the happiest in the whole movie. It was important that this music reflected Red’s happiness. In the corn field he felt the sun in his face, the breeze in his hair, all these things most men take for granted. The long shot shows the big oak tree where Andy met his first love. The last shot of the vibrant blue ocean, the golden sandy beach, more than met Red’s first expectations, with Andy and Red being the only two living souls on the beach. The majority of scenes and music in this scene were tense and dark until the last scene, where it in total contrast became vibrant, colourful and warm.

I had several ideas for an alternative ending. When the Warden found out that Andy had set up an off shore bank accountant for himself and then got all his privileges and bricked up the library. The Warden then threw him into the hole where he spent the of his, slowly going insane. My chosen ending meant that justice had prevailed and after all the horrors both men eventually got their freedom. I feel that this film shows us that no matter what happens you have to have hope and faith that in the end you will be free.

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Director Of Shawshank Redemption. (2019, Dec 07). Retrieved from

Director Of Shawshank Redemption
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