Team C: Team Project

When considering what aspects of Shakespeare’s King Henry V we wanted to portray in film, we asked ourselves: what must Katherine have felt when she was told she was to meet King Henry and marry him? She might have been happy and indifferent, or upset and dismayed about her situation. We focused on the opposite reactions Katherine may have displayed and how they would be portrayed in film. Lines from within the Chorus and Scene 3 of Act 3, and Scene 2 from Act 5 were used.


To tell the difference between our film adaptations, we used our acting, costumes, editing, and music to best portray Katherine’s emotions. When acting happy, she reacted indifferently, with a smile towards what others had to say. When acting unhappy, she would show despair and sadness. Our costumes also reflected Katherine’s conflicting emotions by using a white dress for her wedding when she was happy, and a black dress with a veil covering her face for her wedding when she was not pleased.


We used a green screen to best recreate the Renaissance times. None of us having made a large film before, we learned a lot about good lighting and creative camera angles. In order to make the green screen work it took us over an hour just to construct our set for the best possible shots! We also used filtering techniques of light and dark to pander to Katherine’s emotions in both adaptations. To finish off our editing, we used different styles of classical music in each adaptation to match the emotions of Katherine, using more uplifting and spirited songs when Katherine was happy, and slower and darker toned songs when Katherine was unhappy.


All-in-all, Team C was a great success!

Team D: Team Project

In our first re-enactment of Act 3: Scene 1 of William Shakespeare’s Much Ado About Nothing, we focused on the dramatic aspects of the situation – despite the play’s comedic nature. Our actors produced serious tones and facial expressions, rarely looking directly at the camera, but instead gazing melodramatically off camera. Rather than a vibrant outdoor setting, our setting was an echoing, grey stairwell, which helped create many unique shots that dramatize Shakespeare’s text. We used several camera shots that hide the character’s facial expressions from view to invoke more curiosity and suspense, while also using close-ups for the sake of less ambiguous facets. The combination of echoing with our melancholy and urgent music emphasizes the subtly suspenseful mood in our depiction of the scene, while the piece at the finale of this film conveys Beatrice’s shock and underlying happiness at discovering Benedick’s romantic interest in her.

In our second re-enactment of Act 3: Scene 1, we chose to take a comedic approach in order to stay true to the nature of the play. Intending this depiction to be less ambivalent than the previous, our group maintained simplicity with straightforward shots, focusing more on dialogue than cinematography. As we also aimed to modernize the piece, we resolved to film in a nearby Denny’s restaurant, which proved to be difficult in its own regard. The loud music, clanging of cutlery, and other conversations took its toll on the sound quality, but in the end this leant to the comedic outcome. Minor ‘slip-ups,’ such as the scripts behind the menus or actors looking directly at the camera, demonstrated an accidental aura of slapstick comedy that we believe actually enhances the film. The scene’s overall light-hearted nature was brought forth through farcical tone, overtly dramatized segments, and cheerful music.

Team B: Team Project



Our team chose to do our film project on Shakespeare’s Much Ado About Nothing, Scene 3, Act 1, Lines 15-115.  The scene includes three characters, Beatrice, Ursula and Hero.  We chose for both interpretations to have Cai Samphire, a male, act the character Beatrice.  Hilary James acted as Ursula and Brydie Thomas played Hero.

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For our first performance we chose to do a time appropriate rendition of the scene.  We shot this version at the Rundle Ruins in downtown Calgary.  Our team felt the location provided an appropriate background to continue with the chosen theme.  In this version, true to how the play was written, Beatrice is a woman.  We felt that a male playing a female role was appropriate with the fact that in Shakespeare’s time, all the roles would have been played by men. Cai as a man being drawn into an intrigue with another man is a way of taking a classic representation of a love story and making it consistent with modern romance. Our choice to have one long camera shot for this interpretation as well is a nod to how the play would have appeared.  We also chose to continue with the time appropriate interpretation by using classical music.


The second performance is a modern take on the scene.  We chose the university for this version and used multiple shots at different angles.  The multiple cuts allowed us to play more with the space and have the film become more intimate as we could easily control what was in the shot versus the first version, which was shot outside.  Having Cai portray Beatrice as a male in this version helped distinguish between our two chosen themes.  As well, gender is more of a topic of discussion nowadays and having a male/male dynamic isn’t as taboo as it once was.  We chose to use modern popular music for this version as well to maintain the present-day theme.


Team A: Team Project


Shakespeare’s portrayal of Henry V is concerned with the nature of power and how it influences one’s morality. Henry must grow in his role as king, acting in a way that his newfound leadership demands of him. Our film reflects on Shakespeare’s suggestion that morality becomes obscured in relation to power. The first interpretation of Henry’s actions depicts him as remorseful of his obligatory punishment of the traitors, the second as ruthless and unapologetic. We drew inspiration from mobster movies, like The Godfather, and explored how cinematic elements can influence the viewer’s perception of the same characters.

Henry V: Act II, Scene II

In each interpretation, we altered lines to manipulate characters’ motives and the scene dynamic. In Take A, Henry is disappointed that Scroop and Cambridge are unforgiving toward the criminal. He wishes to show them mercy regardless of their betrayal but is duty-bound. In Take B, however, Henry is dark and ruthless towards the traitors, paralleled to his cold rejection of former companions. Actors also interpreted these script alterations. Henry is visibly sad, emotional and conflicted in Take A while being indifferent in B. Westmorland and Exeter also set a distinct tone for each take.

Altered Text

Altered Text

Altered Lines

We used lighting, costumes, camera-angles, and sound to contrast character-traits and consequently, the mood of each scene. Take A’s lighting is bright and open; Henry is positioned against a glass background. B is contrasted using stark, closed-off paneling with heavy shadows. Costume changes depict characters as light or dark, which also containing visual symbols of their betrayal or virtue. We made use of camera angles to manipulate a power dynamic between Henry and the traitors. Low and high angle shots establish dominance and exchange of power. Melancholic or dangerous soundtracks evoke danger, emotion or a sense of injustice within the viewer.





Team E Blog Post

For our team project we have chosen Act 2, Scene 1 of Henry V. The reason for choosing this particular scene was because everyone of the group except our director had the chance to act, as it is composed of five different roles.


We figured out quickly which versions would work with regard to the content. Our first version is a stakeout detective scene, as a modern screen adaptation. We did not change the text because we wanted to create a film with a modern setting but with the original text. The second version is a Western version for which we have changed the script a reasonable amount. Both adaptations are not supposed to be very dramatic because the scene itself provides more material for a humoristic montage. As group we foregrounded for an example that Bardolph is an old drunkard and created a funny depiction of the quarrel between Nym and Ancient Pistol.


Many of the elements used reflected upon both film adaptations. The props that were used furthered and almost exaggerated the characters that Shakespeare created for example, Bardolph being a drunk with his whisky in the old west version or flask in the stakeout version.


As noted by our director, our choices behind the camera were designed to emulate a TV show than Film. I chose quick cuts and no fancy shots to make the film have a faster feel. I feel that this highlights the verbal battle between Pistol and Nym without needing to alter the dialogue to showcase this. Also the inability of the camera to provide a shallow depth of field meant that we couldn’t put to much focus on the actor’s faces. Also we needed to keep the camera towards the middle in order to deal with the audio recorder.

Team F Blog Post

Shakespeare’s Much Ado About Nothing is a romantic comedy that focuses on the confounding relationships between two Renaissance couples. Despite its lighthearted nature, the play makes use of deceit often. For example, Beatrice and Benedick’s relationship begins with friends deceiving them into thinking they love each other. The focus of our interpretations was then to explore the effect of time period/era on film, specifically the method by which Benedick is made to think Beatrice is in love with him. This in mind, we decided to direct and record both a modern and a 1920’s version of Act II Scene III.

textEveryone has had an experience where a text message is ambiguous, or one in where we misunderstand the tone of a text. Our modern version of the play makes use of technology to fuel misunderstanding and deceit. Rather than overhearing a conversation while walking in a garden, modern day Benedick stumbles upon an unattended message box that happens to detail Beatrice’s undying love for him. Furthermore, instead of Beatrice calling Benedick to dinner in person, she does it through a text message. The alternating shots and voiceovers are then used to highlight contrast between Benedick’s over-interpretation of Beatrice’s messages and the actual tone of her voice.

Our 1920’s version was more true to Shakespeare’s original stage directions in that a hiding Benedick happens upon a conversation between Leonato and Don Pedro. Diction and idioms were changed to suit the time period, and Claudio and Leonato’s lines were combined in order to streamline the script. This allowed for more fluidity, cutting back and forth between two characters instead of three. Don Pedro and Leonato’s deceit through word of mouth serves as a sharp contrast to our modern version’s use of technology to deceive.


Daniel, Lawrence (Dan), Carly, Andre, Zhen (Jennifer) 

Team Pilgrim Blog Post

By Manasi, Jay, Amanda, Sabrina, Jasmine and Ampee

Our two films are both set in the modern era, however they differ in their main communication to the audience. Our group decided to choose Act 1 Scene 5 from Romeo and Juliet, lines 91 to 108 with some lines taken from different scenes.

Our close reading of the passage

Our close reading of the passage

The first film we worked on was set at the University of Calgary and the love story was between students. We chose this because it is relatable to ourselves, as well as warrants more comedy into the story. Since we only had one male actor, we decided to make Romeo and Juliet lesbians in this scene. The rivalry between U of C and Mount Royal mirrors the rivalry between the Montagues and the Capulets. The stigma of two women being together is also played upon. We added extra characters of friends for Romeo and Juliet to help with the comedy and set up essential plot points, such as Romeo being at U of C to meet Rosaline and the friend noticing the rival school logos.  We used continuity editing (link) to best portray a sequential story. We also took multiple shots from different angles to present different perspective to the audience. The camera was omniscient, and the camera directs where exactly we wanted the audience to look.

For comedic effect we decided to use slow motion to introduce Juliet as well as Romeo reaching out to her. Generally, this film uses a lot of physical/slapstick comedy. We also incorporated improvisation into both films. Both editors used iMovie to construct both films.

The use of black and white effects for drama

The use of black and white effects for drama

For the second film we used more visual storytelling than the first one, such as the use of black and white, limited speech as well as soundtrack to guide the audience. Where there is talking it is mostly in voiceover, a way to tell the story without character interaction. For this story we decided to have most of the scene over Tinder texting, as this also relates a lot to the lives of university students and how we meet people in recent times. This film is more similar to a feature film style, rather than in the first film, as there is a not conclusion to the conflict.

Romeo and Juliet texting

Romeo and Juliet texting

Our two film styles reveal how the same scene can be reproduced through time, and even integrate technology into it. It is our belief that Shakespeare wanted to show the magical realism of falling in love. Falling in love is a universal feeling, and expressions of love has remained throughout the ages, however forums of love have changed to become more inclusive (such as welcoming lesbian love as well as online dating).

Team Danger Zone, Project Blog Post

For the group film project, we decided to focus on the interactions between Romeo, Benvolio and Mercutio in scenes Act 1, Scene 1 and Act 2, Scene 4. We found these scenes other than a few lines to be completely transferable in a modern day scenario. It is essentially guys just getting together to talk about girls. Maybe a bit more emotional than usual, but overall regular guy talk. (Or so they say)

Because of this we decided to make one of our film takes a complete modernization of the text with a focus on the teenage aspect of the characters. Since they were written as 16 year olds, how would they sound as 16 year olds today? We also decided to add the technology of today in this version as it has taken over as such a prominent means of communication, especially amongst that generation.

Off to rehearsals!

Off to rehearsals!

Somewhat keeping with this theme of the age of the characters, and that Romeo and Juliet is so commonly taught to this age group in school, we then made our second film take as teenagers trying to act the scenes almost verbatim from Shakespeare’s play. They themselves are trying to relate and understand Shakespeare’s words as they were originally written.

“So how goes your dating life?”

We edited the script to keep the focus on the character’s age and interest in girls. We added music that also was reflective of the age group and the teenage romantic drama/comedies of today. Finally, we specifically filmed the use of technology as a means of communication especially in today’s dating scene.


Team D: Julian, Devin, Christine, Lety, Chelsea, Aja

Team A+ Romeo & Juliet Act 1 Scene1


For our first version of act 1, scene 1, we selected a ‘battle of the bands’ parody sequence which demonstrates in an overdramatized, satirical way, that the feud between the Capulets and the Montagues is based on almost nothing.  The feud between the two bands: one a stereotypical Taylor Swift pop band; the other a rock star heavy metal trio, is rooted in insignificant tension because these two bands would not be in competition for the same fans and have no real reason for their hatred and anger toward each other. This interpretation supports the idea that the actions taken by the Capulets and the Montagues against each other are far too violent and consequential for such trivial reasoning. The play barely speaks as to why the two houses are hostile towards each other in the first place and our purposefully silly battling montage highlights the energy that is wasted by both sides for no real purpose or reward. Our take on the dialogue, although adapted to our theme with a modern musical twist, stays true to Shakespeare’s original framework as it retains the witty pun-filled banter of Sampson and Gregory.

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When brainstorming ideas for our second version of act one, scene one, we drew inspiration from the rivalry between the Montagues and the Capulets and how this animosity between the houses reminded us of the rivalry between the Griffindor house and the Slytherin house in the Harry Potter series. The wands used in Harry Potter parallel well to the swords used in the traditional interpretation of Romeo and Juliet. The conflict between Griffindor and Slytherin is one that many of us are familiar with, and adds a more modern twist to Romeo and Juliet. Our Harry Potter version of the scene also contrasts considerably with our Battle of the bands version. While our Rockstar interpretation is satirical, this version is more serious and does not make light of the dangerous conflict between the two parties involved. Our style and camera work also differed from our first version. We filmed it outdoors, making use of longer landscape and tracking shots, in contrast to the fast cuts typical in music videos. The musical score we used was drastically different as well. Whereas the music was overtly a major element in our first version, in our second, it was used more subtly under the action and dialogue to enhance the tension in the scene. We also used music to transition between our two interpretations.

Team C: Hamlet – Act 1 Scene 3

After interpreting Act 1 Scene 3 of Hamlet, we all decided to do two different interpretations of the scene focusing on the aspect or theme of Polonius’ family dynamic. The first interpretation is set in modern times where we see Polonius’ children a little bit indifferent and emotionally isolated towards their Father. We decided to portray Polonius as the typical business man who is mostly focused on his personal affairs over the feelings or events going on in his children’s life, unless it could affect his reputation or personal gain. In a sense, this interpretation gives Polonius an emotionally negligent air. As a result of this character representation, the audience gets to view the stronger relationship Laertes has with his young and very naive sister, Ophelia. As Laertes leaves, he expresses a deep concern for Ophelia’s romantic involvement with Hamlet and gives her advice on how to avoid getting hurt by him. The difference between his counsel and that of his father’s is that Laertes breaks the truth of hamlet to her in a tone that expresses concern, whereas Polonius is more stern and ridicules Ophelia for her feelings. Another aspect of this interpretation is that Polonius lacks empathy and compassion towards the fact that his only son is leaving and it could very well be the last time he ever sees his son.

In the second interpretation, we decided to focus on a better and more emotionally supportive relationship between Polonius and his children. Here, Ophelia is less whimsical and doesn’t have such a prominent air of naivety and Polonius is much more supportive and comforting, compared to his representation in the first. To add to the close family dynamic, we chose to film this scene around a campfire which to us made the scene feel very home-like and loving. Even the point where Laertes is parting ways with his family, Polonius seems more interested in how Laertes will fare in France over being mostly concerned about his reputation. With These interpretations, we really weigh on the value of tone and setting describing how characters are really feeling towards each other.

By: Ebany, Asha, Declan, Therese, Breann, Adrian, and Rehana