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English Mini-Assignment Theme | Elements of Fiction/Film Techniques | “In the right circumstances, the underdogs can also be the winner.” | * Theme, Characterization * Lighting, Audio, Setting, Editing |
Thesis: The film version of the multi-award winning novel, Moneyball, is a strong adaptation of the story. The director, Bennett Miller, has succeeded in matching author Michael Lewis’ style by using a great sense of lighting, audio, characterisation, setting and editing to help capture the theme; underdogs can be winners in the right circumstances. Just like the book, the movie symbolized hope, unfairness and to never give up.

List of 10 Passages: 1. ISU Novel Passage: " There was the bias toward what people saw with their own eyes, or thought they had seen... There was a lot you couldn't see when you watched a baseball game.” (Lewis 19)
Elements of Fiction: Setting, Characterization and Conflict between what baseball managers see in baseball players.

Film Adaptation: Billy and Paul (his name is Peter in the movie) are in the garage of the Cleveland Indians baseball team and they are both wearing a suit, and there are cars in the background. (Time: 0:20:39)

Film Techniques:
- Medium-Bright lighting to show enthusiasm
- Over-the-shoulder shots
- Inspirational music in the background to show inspiration of what Paul (Peter) is saying

Analysis/Connection to Thesis: This passage and movie scene relates to the thesis because the thesis is about how underdogs are winner and this passage shows inspiration in Paul’s voice from the lighting and the background audio as he says that the players showing big numbers in their last game doesn’t necessarily mean that they will perform in their next and he also say’s how he thinks that picking up an underdog from college is the best thing to do.

2. ISU Novel Passage: “Over and over the old scouts will say, "The guy has a great body," or, "This guy may be the best body in the draft." And every time they do, Billy will say, "We're not selling jeans here," and deposit yet another highly touted player, beloved by the scouts, onto his shit list.” (Lewis 24)
Elements of Fiction: Theme, Characterization and Conflict between who the Oakland A’s should pick up and who is the perfect choice for their draft pick.

Film Adaptation: Billy, Paul(Peter) and all the other scouts are sitting in a room and talking about who they should pick up for their draft pick. All the scouts want to pick someone to replace the ex-hitter Giambi, but Billy says that they shouldn’t be looking for a replacement, they should look for a player who can average Giambi’s hits and also help out the team in stopping runs. (Time: 0:32:04)
Film Techniques:
- Bright lighting
- Different types of shots to build hype
- Billy talking with passion to show that they are motivated to find their draft pick

Analysis/Connection to Thesis: This passage and movie scene relates to the thesis because the Oakland A’s don’t want to find someone as good as Giambi, they want to find 3 underdogs who can add up to Giambi’s batting average and have a good fielding percentage. This relates because the thesis is that the underdogs can show up and take a win under many circumstances.

3. ISU Novel Passage: “People in both fields operate with beliefs and biases. To the extent you can eliminate both and replace them with data, you gain a clear advantage.” (Lewis 66)
Elements of Fictions: Theme and Characterisation

Film Adaptation: Billy is taking with Paul about how they can help improve the Oakland A’s. Paul talks about how you can get data on players of who can field well, bat well and catch well and use it to have a clear advantage. (Time: 0:46:21)
Film Techniques:
- Dark-Medium lighting
- Over-the-shoulder and two shots
- Music to show passion

Analysis/Connection to Thesis: This passage relates to the thesis because the movie and book is about picking up strong players and good players to fill the positions of the ones who have left to play for another team. This scene helped Billy look at some college players who are fielding and batting well.

4. ISU Novel Passage: “Billy, we are losing. Now you understand why we wanted this to go our way, you and your kid, Paul, are failing to make our team any money.” (Lewis 97)
Elements of Fiction: Theme, Characterisation and also a bit of conflict of how Billy and Paul are starting to make this team fall apart even more.

Film Adaptation: Billy and the lead scout are sitting in the office where you can watch games live telecasted (because Billy doesn’t like going to games because he thinks its bad luck), and the lead scout is talking to him saying how Billy has no success with the team so far this season. (Time 1:02:53)
Film Techniques:
- Medium-Bright lighting
- Two shot and over-the-shoulder shot of Billy and the scout talking
- Low audio (music) to show a bit of sadness and fall of the team

Analysis/Connection to Thesis: Here in this passage/scene, it connects to the thesis because it shows the fall of the underdogs. Usually in a story/movie about sports, the team which is far more superior is always said to win, and this is the case right now as the Yankees were winning in this game, but this soon builds up to the winning of the Oakland A’s therefore connecting it to the Thesis.

5. ISU Novel Passage: “This better work Paul, I’ve put all my trust into you…. Just kidding ya.” (Lewis 104)
Elements of Fiction: Characterisation build up, Theme build up, and Comedy build up.

Film Adaptation: Billy and Paul are on the bleachers during practice and are watching one of the pitchers which they picked up and Billy says to Paul, “This better work, I’m just kidding man.” (A bit different then the book) (Time: 1:11:43)
Film Techniques:
- Bright (sunlight) lighting
- Establishing shot zooming into a two shot
- No audio, just speech

Analysis/Connection to Thesis: This passage and scene is important and has a strong connection to the thesis because it show how Billy really wants this to work and wants the “underdogs” to succeed and make a name out there for the Oakland A’s again. Billy saying that he was kidding, says that he doesn’t want to hurt Paul and make him think that it’s his fault (Paul’s fault).

6. ISU Novel Passage: “Darnell Coles. Cecil Espy. Erik Erickson. Garry Harris. Billy Beane. One of the scouts turns to another and says: I'll take the three black kids [Coles, Harris, Espy]. They'll dust the white kids. And Espy will dust everyone, even Coles. Coles is a sprinter who has already signed a football scholarship to play wide receiver at UCLA. That's how fast Espy is: the scouts are certain that even Coles can't keep up with him. Gillick drops his hand. Five born athletes lift up and push off. They're at full tilt after just a few steps. It's all over inside of seven seconds. Billy Beane has made all the others look slow.” (Lewis 5)
Elements of Fiction: Theme, Characterisation, Conflict and Point of View. This passage creates a theme with the many characters in the story and creates a conflict of who will win the race between the boys and everyone has their own point of view of who will win.

Film Adaptation: All the boys are lined up and the scouts were all betting on who would win and none of them believed in Billy and he was counted as a “underdog”. (Time: 0:13:08)
Film Techniques:
- Bright lighting
- Establishing shot and close up shots
- Music building up the tension

Analysis/Connection to Thesis: This passage/scene connects to the thesis because Billy knew what it felt like to be an underdog winning the race. All the scouts had their votes on all the other boys because they looked faster, but looks are deceiving and Billy Beane proved the scouts wrong and this relates since he was an underdog coming out on top.

7. ISU Novel Passage: “Oakland had set out to do what no other team had done in the 102-year history of the league: win their twentieth game in a row. By the top of the seventh inning, up 11-5 against the Kansas City Royals, with Tim Hudson still pitching, the game seemed all but over.” (Lewis 159)
Elements of Fiction: Theme, Characterisation, and Conflict.

Film Adaptation: In the film, the Oakland A’s were on a 19-win streak, headed for the 20th which would break the record in all time baseball and they were up 11-0 and were sure to have the win in the bag, but then the opposing team made a comeback but one of the underdogs Oakland has picked up hit a home run and had took the game home to break the biggest win streak in baseball history. (Time: 1:40:03)
Film Techniques:
- Bright-dark lighting to represent hope and sadness when the opposing team made a comeback
- Establishing, Close-up, Two shot and Over-the-shoulder shots
- No music because the opposing team made a comeback and everyone was silent

Analysis/Connection to Thesis: This passage connects to the thesis because as expected the Oakland A’s had picked up underdogs and under these baseball circumstances, they had come out to be winners of the game and had broken the biggest win streak in baseball history.

8. ISU Novel Passage: "No matter how successful you are; change is always good. There can never be a status quo. When you have no money you can't afford long-term solutions, only short-term ones. You have to always be upgrading. Otherwise you're fucked." (Lewis 140)
Elements of Fiction: Theme, Characterisation, and Point of view. (Time: 1:17:21)

Film Adaptation: In the film, Billy is saying out his five simple rules when you have a low amount of money. This was one of the rules he said and it connects to the thesis in a big way (will relate back to this in the analysis).
Film Techniques:
- Medium-Dark lighting
- Close-up shot and medium shot of Billy
- No music as he is just simply speaking

Analysis/Connection to Thesis: This scene/passage relates to the thesis because as said before, Billy is talking about how they have a low amount of money and this is the big reason of why they need to acquire underdogs since they don’t have enough money to buy the big players. This is the reasoning of the whole underdogs winning a season situation (because the team is low on money).

9. ISU Novel Passage: "The day you say you have to do something, you're screwed. Because you are going to make a bad deal. You can always recover from the player you didn't sign. You may never recover from the player you signed at the wrong price." (Lewis 140)
Elements of Fiction: Theme and Conflict.

Film Adaptation: In the movie, Billy is talking about his 5 rules when you’re on a low amount of money. This was one of the rules he said. (Time: 1:19:37)
Film Techniques:
- Medium-Dark lighting
- Close-up shot and medium shot of Billy
- No music as he is just simply speaking

Analysis/Connection to Thesis: This connects to the thesis perfectly because it’s basically saying that you can buy a player who is very expensive because he/she may have done well previously but it doesn’t mean they average to do good every game, so you have to watch out who you buy cause there could be a underdog/someone who is recognized in the community who can be better then a player who is worth more.

10. ISU Novel Passage: "Luke Anderson," says Billy, easing off. "We like Anderson. We think he's going to be in the big leagues. But I'd like to deal with you because Sabes doesn't have any money.” (Lewis 145)
Elements of Fiction: Theme, conflict, and Point of view.

Film Adaptation: In the film, Billy is talking on the phone and he asks Paul which player they want and Paul whispered to Billy “Anderson” and so Billy called the team which acquired Anderson and made a deal with them. Anderson was new and coming baseball player in the league, but was worth quite a lot. (Time: 1:30:26)
Film Techniques:
- Bright lighting
- Medium shot and two shot
- No music or audio, just speech from the two characters

Analysis/Connection to Thesis: This is connected to the thesis because baseball is all about good trades and looking towards the future. Paul had seen in his stats that Anderson was a good player and a young player who would strive to do good. The thesis sis about underdogs and Anderson was an underdog who would help contribute to a win later in the story.…...

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