Actor Types

Three Actor Types in a Little Bit of Heaving

Whoopi Goldberg plays the character of God in this film. I believe she acts with “personality style”. While she is not really the character she is playing, she is comfortable and natural with the role. In a scene when she meets Marley, another character, she conducts her lines with humor and knowledge. In the last scene Whoopi, playing God, is celebrating with another character with wine and music. Her character is definitely a act, but she acts with a natural appearing personality.

Kate Hudson, plays Marley. She is a wild card actor. She interacts with multiple characters in this film and adapts the appropriate language with the other cast members. She is energetic and sassy with her bestfriend. In the beginning of the film she expresses her lack of boundaries on what to say or do. By the end of the film her demeanor is quite different. She comes understanding with father and patient with her mother. In the scene where realizes she is in love with her doctor she is convincing of her personality growth.

Kathy Bates plays the mother of Marley in the film. Kathy is a star actor. Kathy has played major roles in several films, for example, Fried Green Tomatoes, Misery and Titanic. She has struggled with multiple forms of cancer. She battled cervical cancer, breast cancer and lymphedema in her arms (

Kathy Bates is also a wild card actor.  The is able to fit many different character personalities. “Kathy Bates is well-known for her versatility in films ranging from children’s movies, (“Fred Claus“), to adult romance (“P.S. I Love You“). She is most notable for her Oscar-winning portrayal of Annie in Stephen King‘s Misery, marking the second victory for an actress in a horror film (after Ruth Gordon in 1968’s Rosemary’s Baby)”, (


Goodykoontz, B., & Jacobs, C. P. (2014). Film: From watching to seeing (2nd ed.). San

Week Three – Sounds

Sound is a key element used in film. There are three main categories of sound that is used in film.

One category of sound is dialogue. This is the voice of a character used to explain what is happening in the story. Dialogue better helps the audience understand what is going on and why. This can be used as a conversation tool between multiple characters or by the character alone. Another form of dialogue is voice-over. This is a narration for a character when it may be difficult for the audience to completely follow what is happening in the scene.

Sounds effects help the audience connect with realism of the scene. The recording studio may not allow proper sounds desired so improvises are made to reflect the sound desired. An example is the sound of rain falling produced by the sound of salt falling on tin foil. Another method is if the editor adds an echo to simulate the image of empty room or long hallway. Most sound effects created are recorded at a separate time from the shot recorded and then input in to the scene at a later time.

Music is an important element that really helps form the mood desired for the scene that is occurring. When the scene is joyful upbeat music is recorded. To convey a dramatic moment the music have have emphasized beats. And during intense scenes the music typically gets louder and the beat is faster. The music sound played in the background is the Score. This usually is all instrumental without any lyrics. The soundtrack music is usually a selection of songs that are normally popular. The soundtrack is relevant with the emotions intended to created by the editor.

In  “Little Bit of Heaven” the characters consistently use dialogue to help the audience understand what the scene is about. When Marley and her best friend, Sarah, talk with each other they are care free and uncandid. The way they speak with each other really shows how close of friends they are.

Kate Hudson, Lucy Punch - A Little Bit of Heaven

Marley and her doctor, Julian, form a personal relationship and reflect a comic and loving dialogue.

In this clip below, the sound effect is added to emphasize the match lighting. There is not any background noise and the attention is drawn to the current character in the scene. There is a line in this clip that gives the film’s title ” A Little Bit of Heaven”.

The song “Together We’re Stonger” is the theme song on the sound track for the film. The lyrics go together with the storyline. The song has an inspirational emotion that is successfull in the editor creating the feeling desired by the audience.


Goodykoontz, B., & Jacobs, C. P. (2014). Film: From watching to seeing (2nd ed.). San Diego, CA: Bridgepoint Education, Inc.

Week 2 Blog

The mise en scene in the film, “A Little Bit of Heaven”, utilized the three types of lighting, being traditional three-point, high-key and low-key. Each different type emits a different emotion for the viewer to experience. If the lighting had not had this angle, the correct mood would not have been captured.

In this scene above the actors appear comfortable in Marley’s home. Because this shot is taken indoors, without natural light, the center of the picture has a slight shadow, this draws the viewer’s attention to the actors at the right and left of the screen.The background lighting is brighter than the light on the actors conveying a pleasant mood. The light shines off the the actors faces showing their engagement and interest in the moment of the scene.

In this scene high-key lighting is used. There is minimal need for additional camera lighting. This effect creates a bright and cheerful tone. I do believe this is the best choice for this part, it is successful at delivering a joyful mood. The goal during this part of the film was to portray a spiritual effect. Everything connected to the actors is bright; from their own bodies, clothing, wine they’re drinking and the couch they are sitting on. They only object that casts a shadow are the trees in the background.

In this scene, Marley’s sister, Rosemarie, is filmed with low-key lighting. The background is very dark, lighting up the actor. There is a deep shadow on her neck creating a sharp effect. This is a sad scene and the dark lighting helped to create a feeling of sorrow and a ominous effect. The light here definitely implies a dramatic time.


Goodykoontz, B., & Jacobs, C. P. (2014). Film: From watching to seeing (2nd ed.). San Diego, CA: Bridgepoint Education, Inc.sec.5.1

Week 1 Film Blog

“A Little Bit of Heaven”

Written By: Gren Wells

Cast: Kate Hudson, Gael Garcia Bernal, Kathy Bates, Whoopi Goldberg, Treat Jilliams, Lucy Punch


A Little Bit of Heaven is a film about a vivacious and energetic woman named Marley, who finds out she has late stage colon cancer. Marley has group of very close friends who she spends time with, and tries to maintain her positive personality, in spite of her terminal disease. An article from explains, “While under anesthesia, God appears to Marley as played by Whoopi Goldberg. In her dream, Marley makes three wishes: money, to fly and a third that is later revealed”, (

The film is written in chronological order, beginning from when Marley first notices her health is changing. Then the story progresses into Marley using humor to avoid her fear and her loved ones fear of her death to come. Marley pushes a lot of people away the farther the cancer progresses. Marley becomes irritable and lashes out at the people that she cares about. Before Marley passes away, she makes peace with everyone and is no longer afraid to die, because she has found love.

This film starts at the beginning of the story. The order of the movie portrays the customers to be energetic and have no fears in the beginning. The more sick Marley becomes, the more everyone she cares about falls apart. It is very possible to connect with these characters, they make you laugh in the beginning, and cry in the end.

I do not think the film would have worked as well if the story did not start from the beginning. It helped to relate with the characters before they became fearful, and maintained engagement and concern as fears began to grow.


Goodykoontz, B., & Jacobs, C. P. (2014). Film: From watching to seeing (2nd ed.). San Diego, CA: Bridgepoint Education, Inc.sec.3.4