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Bullet Boy Filmmaking Review

Categories: Filmmaking

The importance of media cannot be vindicated. It is a powerful part of our lives through which we communicate to one another: nationally, internationally and locally. Media comes in many forms including: T.V, magazines, Internet, book, radio, newspapers, billboards, leaflets and posters. Media is anything that has the possibility to provide information and is seen by millions of people a day.

Films are seen as motions. Films are a sequence of sounds and moving pictures that try to put a story across to viewers.

Films come in many genres. These include: action, adventure, comedy, drama and horror etc.

Films also carry series of viewing shots to give points across to viewers. One camera shot used is ‘extreme close up’. This could be used in film to show emotion on a characters face. Another camera shot used is ‘establishing shot’. This could be used in film to show a fraction of an environment.

Finally, to create a film, many roles must be intact.

The following roles are needed:

  • Writer- The person who writes the film.
  • Producer- Person who raises the money to create the film.
  • Director- Directs the cast.
  • Cast- The actors who take part.
  • Editor- The person who performs editing over the whole film in consultation with the director.
  • Art director- The person who oversees the artists and craftsmen who build the sets
  • Director of photography- the principal creative artist on a movie set. A director is usually the driving artistic source behind the filming process, and communicates to actors the way that he/she would like a particular scene played.

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    A director’s duties might also include casting, script editing, shot selection, shot composition, and editing.

  • Line producer- The person responsible for managing everyone and any issues that may occur on set
  • Executive producer- not involved in any technical aspects of the filmmaking process, but who is still responsible for the overall production.

The purpose of this essay is to review the film ‘Bullet Boy’ going through every element e.g. characters, culture, script, background etc. In my opinion, the genre of ‘Bullet Boy’ is crime/gangster, as well as a drama film.

Directed by Saul Dibb, Bullet Boy is an outstanding 2003 movie. As a debut film, it was a best seller. It is said that Dibb created this film and used the characters he did because of tales he heard during research. It stars legend Ashley Walters aka Asher D from the garage So Solid Crew. Ashley was released from prison for gun crime consequently to when the film was to be made starring him. Watching the film helped me to acknowledge the street culture, meanwhile the anti-gun moral was expressed.

It has all characteristics that are relevant to the 21st century life of a teenager such as drugs, guns, gangs, prison and sexual intercourse. It has been specified at the age rating 15. I believe that this is quite limited. To get the message across that CHILDREN should not get involved with gangs and criminal activity, I think it should be shown to a lower age of 12 and above. The towering level of realism can be a positive authority to many young teens before it’s too late and they either end up dead, wanted or in prison.

Bullet Boy tells the story of two brothers growing up in an uncontrolled environment. Ricky has just been released from prison, meanwhile he still has younger brother Curtis looking up to him. The film expresses the strength of friendship, love, honesty and trustworthiness. Ricky wants a new start, however is diverted because of his faithfulness to best friend Wisdom. Ricky feels as if he is in a boxed room. No room to move. Almost immediately after hitting the streets of Hackney, Ricky along with Wisdom is caught up in an altercation between 2 thugs over a damaged wing mirror. Unfortunately, Ricky’s ways of persuasion are drenched when they both go their separate ways after a heated, violent and threatening argument.

Mum, Leon and girlfriend Shea try to keep Ricky away from ‘beef’ however, he isn’t given the opportunity when Wisdom relights the fire by shooting his new enemies dog over so called ‘disrespect’. As best friend, Ricky doesn’t want to be labelled as ‘fake’ or ‘washed’ therefore offers company in dangerous moves, consequently making him known to the opposition as a target too. Living in a boxed room with younger brother Curtis, allows Curtis to come across fidgety and suspecting behaviour. He comes across a firearm in Ricky’s draw.

Baiting himself up when in the company of best friend Rio, he tells Rio about the gun. Thinking he is older than he is, Rio insists they go to the local park and play with it, pretending to shoot each other whilst making disperse noises with their mouths. Consequently, an accident occurs. Rio is shot in the shoulder by Curtis and no option but to inform mother Beverly about where the gun came from.

Thankfully, Rio survives and mother Beverly realizes that having Ricky around is a disadvantage to Curtis’s stage in life. Going to Wisdoms house, Ricky discovers his body, blood pools on the wall and furniture. Wisdom has been shot and killed. The way the film ends is predictable. Ricky is alone. No family. No girlfriend. No future. Once again wanting to change his ways, Ricky sets off to the train station to a new scene. However, before his journey takes of, he is met at the platform by a series of thugs, his and Wisdoms enemies. Ricky is then killed and the film ends. After watching the film, it becomes clear that the relationship between Curtis and Rio, mirrored that of Ricky and wisdom.

There are 4 main characters in Bullet Boy. The main character is Ricky. He loves little bro Curtis and wants to change for him. Beverly is Ricky and Curtis’s mother. She has little to survive on and is determined that Curtis turns to religion for guidance and help. Curtis is Ricky’s younger brother. He looks up to Ricky, is clever and has a funny sense of humour. Finally, we have Wisdom. He isn’t the present meaning of his name. He drags Ricky back into the slums and is immature as well as selfish. These characters have very significant roles as Dibb shows the movie through all of their perspectives.

Ashley Walters who plays Ricky gives a stunning performance as a ‘piggy in the middle’ type person. His script reflects real life and I think has changed his image of a thug to sort of like a youth worker. Luke Fraser who plays Curtis gives a realistic performance of particularly younger brothers, being a slight imitation of their older brothers. If not, having an interest of what they do and how they do it. This appeals to children his age. His professionalism at the age of 13 is amazing.

Following on is their mother Beverly, played by Claire Perkins from soap ‘Family Affairs’. She acts as the mum, playing a caring, hard-working woman who just wants the utmost for her sons. Disappointed that her son hasn’t changed, she does what almost every mother would do and disowns son Ricky to succeed youngest son Curtis.

Finally is Leon Black as Wisdom. Leon has featured in numerous television sitcoms and dramas including: The Bill, London’s Burning, Casualty, The Real McCoy and Desmonds He plays an astonishing part reflecting real life. In this case, he is many street clauses. In the most positive way, he would be described as ‘hard’, ‘gangster’ and ‘strapped’. In a negative way, he would be described as ‘dumb’, ‘a pussyhole’, and ‘a shook-head’. His name ‘Wisdom’ is very sarcastic as he is far from wise. His actor is selfish, clumsy and restricting Other characters include Shea (Ricky’s Girlfriend) and Leon (The family friend also a pastor) both carrying out significant parts to the film, showing the reality to life.

Bullet Boy is the making of a brilliant and realistic script. The culture is common. The script contains a variety of slang words for interpretations. One slang word used is ‘bluud’. This is the slang meaning of friend. Other relations to this are ‘bredrin’ and ‘fam’. Another slang homonym word used is ‘later’. We may all see this word used as ‘I will see you later’ or ‘I will call you later’ for example. However, in this case it is used single-handedly to show a sign of dismissal. One final slang word used is ‘dough’. In Standard English, ‘dough’ is a pastry used to produce certain foods. Once again, in this case, it is used to replace the word ‘money’.

What’s more, in relation to the script, each line tells us something about the characters. Ricky says ‘How many men go to jail and have their mum pick them up?’. This shows that Ricky may be embarrassed about the idea of his mum picking him up. He also says ‘you don’t want me around Curtis no more? You should have said that when I bought him his trainers’. Ricky uses a phrase of sarcasm to get his mum to react and think about her decision.

Curtis says ‘you’ll find it hard to get a job with a criminal record.’ This shows that he has been taught well about the consequences of criminal behaviour and interaction. He also says to Ricky ‘can I have a cheeseburger?’ He says this to wind Ricky up about work options. This shows that he has a funny side as well as a sensible side.

Beverly says to Ricky ‘you’re looking different.’ This shows the length of departure they’ve had since he went inside. It also shows a sign of repulsion and disbelief, as he is no longer the son that she brought up. She also says ‘I need to give Curtis a chance’. This shows that her anticipation has failed her. She is stressed and under-pressure in her environment with Ricky.

The film was shot in Hackney, North London and had many set changes. The first location we were introduced to was the claustrophobic young offenders institution. Other outside locations were: busy streets, playing fields, a car park and a railway station concluding the film. Inside locations included: the family home, Shea and Wisdoms flat, a Nightclub, Curtis’s classroom, a ice rink, a Hospital and a Church. Amazingly, from April 05 to March 06, the crime rate in Hackney fell by 5.3%.

Another location is the ice rink. Here Ricky spends time with his little brother and girlfriend. They renew experiences and enjoy the threesome company. Emotions change and we see Ricky’s affectionate side. The atmosphere here is laughter, cheerful and relaxed.

Another location is in the train station. This is the start and end of Ricky’s new life. He is on his way to another place to get away from the trouble he is in and has caused upon his family, but sadly, after being followed some where along the line, he is approached, screwed and at the attempt of fleeing, they fire a hail of bullets, killing him I guess instantly. Crime doesn’t pay.

There are effective camera shots in the film. An example of a ‘two shot’ is when Curtis and Rio go to the fields with the gun in hand. The effectiveness of the shot is used to show where they are. The environment. Another powerful shot is the ‘over the shoulder’ shot. This is used during sexual intercourse between Ricky and Shea to show neediness and affection. There is also a long shot that shows the deceased body of Ricky on the platform. It shows the hideousness of bait murder victims. It may be gruesome, however the scene and prospect is enough to dissuade teens from violence.

The group called ‘massive attack’ owned by label ‘EMI’ composed the soundtrack for Bullet Boy. The music is of major communication to the film. Music is used to create new themes, co-ordinating with different scenes. The effectiveness may be highlighted. The music is slow, relaxing and peaceful. The song makes me imagine a flashback of the whole film in simple clip views. E.g. dead bodies, prison cell, police raid and Leon hugging Beverly etc.

Also, for example, the slowness of the lyrics make the appearance seem scary, viewer tired and emotional. We also hear rap music by the group ‘N.E.R.D.’ when Ricky visits the new enemy of which I can only describe as the owner of the damaged car: black with long hair and a gangster. Once inside his house, we here loud rap music and see him bopping to it. The soundtracks used have rhythm for specific purposes.

In conclusion to this essay, I think this film is important of getting a message across to teenagers as well as the younger age range. Education doesn’t start at the first year of secondary school. The reality of the film enlightens me the most, looking in comparison at my hometown. The interrogation and labelling of black youths is clear, which I can say for myself is true. The black community must work as a team and destroy the names and opinions of others. The main creation of gangs I think is peer pressure. Can you live up to your family, friend and area reputation? Guns aren’t a joke. Knives aren’t a joke. But death is real. Be your own person. We need leaders. They could be you?

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Bullet Boy Filmmaking Review. (2020, Jun 01). Retrieved from http://studymoose.com/bullet-boy-filmmaking-review-essay

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