Tuesday, 23 March 2010

Wednesday, 17 March 2010

Evaluation draft deadline mon 22nd 9am, final deadline mon 29th 9am

Thriller Film Opening Sequence Evaluation - 1500-2000 words
PowerPoint uploaded to moodle

1. In what ways does your media product use, develop or challenge conventions of real media products?
What conventions of professional products have you used in your own film? (narrative conventions, character conventions, genre, camerawork, sound, editing, special effects, mise-en-scene? Use screen grabs of your own sequence to illustrate each example where you have followed conventions or gone against (challenged) conventions. Also use images from the films that have influenced you where relevant.

2. How does your media product represent particular social groups? (gender, age, ethnicity etc.)
Compare a character in your sequence to a character in a professional film (use images). If you have included a villain/victim character, does the character follow conventions of characters in professional films. For example, is your villain male? Is your victim female? Therefore how are you representing gender?

3. What kind of media institution would distribute your media product?

Discuss similar professional films and their production companies (use images of the films and logos). Which production Company do you think would distribute your film? (if it was professional and if you had made the full film).

4. Who would be the audience for your media product? (BBFC and target audience) Use images from a similar product with a similar target audience. Remember that target audience is not the same as classification.

5. How did you attract/address your audience?

Refer to Significant moments in your sequence where you have tried to generate a response from the spectator (a close up to encourage identification with a character, music that encourages the spectator to feel suspense, tense, visceral reaction etc.) What techniques have you used to encourage the spectator to want to see the rest of the film? (Clues about narrative, character, etc.) Use screen grabs of your own sequence.

6. What have you learnt about the technologies from the process of constructing your product?

(blog, camera equipment, editing software – Final Cut Express, istopmotion, Garageband etc.) Use screen grabs/photos of all these things. Be very specific about tools/effects/techniques learnt not just ‘I have learnt a lot about the software’

7. Looking back at your preliminary task, what do you feel you have learnt in the progression from it to your final product?
Discuss your second preliminary task that you did in a week before starting Thriller. Discuss what you have learnt since then about construction of micro elements in order to create meaning, how to use different techniques, practical skills etc. How have you built on your knowledge that you learnt from the prelim task? Use screen grabs of your prelim task and your sequence where relevant.

Friday, 12 March 2010

Feedback to editing

We feel that most of the feedback was constructive with the way that we can adjust the soundtrack and blend the two different sounds together so that it's not so out there.
We thought that some of the feedback was unnecessary with the comments from p1-03 'the scream file was cheap' - the scream was in fact real and our soundtrack for some reason doubled the scream, but we like this and think that this make it much more tense.
We are happy with the fact that most people like the way our footage is filmed (low quality and hand held).
With the comments that said our sequence didn't make much sense we are going to cut out our first scene because we used two different boys for the last and first scene, so this is the reason why it is confusing.

Rough cut feedback

Feedback from group P101: Use of handheld camera is good and makes the viewer feel as though they are the eyes of that character. The soundtrack also mixes in well with the plot and adds suspense and tension. The acting and overall storyboard also seems good. With a bit of editing this will be top notch.

p1-02: we enjoyed the first half of the film more due to the tense and eerie nature of the scene. however, we did think that the music in the end part of the scene didn't work as well as the first half and that it should be changed to something a bit more subtle.

p1-03: Didn't make much sense, story line was perplexing. Camera footage was too dark to make much out. Breathing was a bit over the top. Use of the same scream sound file was cheap

P1 - 04: The handheld camera gave a sence of mystery and made the audience feel uncomfortable which is a convention of a thriller. We dont understand why there was a couple at the begining therefore some of the story became un clear. We liked the muffeled voices and the unclear filter gave it a good sense of fear. the soundtrack was good.

Wednesday, 10 March 2010

Rough Cut

Our rough cut is looking good, although our soundtrack does not completely match up how we wanted it to. It does not end at the right time so when we are able to continue editing we will resolve this issue.
When receiving feedback we would like people to focus on:
  • Our style of filming; handheld - whether this is effective or not.
  • The music and whether the change in music works.
  • The colouring of our footage and whether it is clear enough or not.

Soundtrack Progress

Our work in Garage Band creating our soundtrack is going well. We have taken inspiration from the film 'Kidulthood' as the scene in which a girl kills herself, the heavy bass sounding music makes it really intense. The soundtrack uses heavy bass and really loud rapping over the top to create an intense atmosphere. We thought that this style would suit our last scene much better than an eerie sound score. In our scene, the murderer is filing his bag with tools and we wanted a heavy sound score with bass and more rocky sounds to make it more intense and to put the viewer on edge. We are reallt happy with our soundtrack so far as all the timings work well with the image on screen.

Tuesday, 9 March 2010

Editing in Progress

So far the editing of our footage is going well. As Hollie and Georgia were more heavily involved with filming the footage, Kiera and myself will be more involved with editing to portion out the roles within our film. As our footage was in MP4 format it was unrecognized by Final Cut Express, causing us a few problems. However, once the footage was rendered correctly the editing process was much easier. The clips shot for footage were all quite long duration, so we did not need to cut and shorten clips too much. The footage was shot horizontally so we needed to rotate the footage to make it the right way up. Once this was sorted the footage was fine.

All that is left is some final tweaks to cuts and transitions, and then to add our soundtrack and our final draft will be complete. I am happy with our sequence as i think it shows the effects how we wanted them to be and has the right atmosphere that we were looking for.

Filming progress

Now that we have completed our filming I think that we were successful. The footage that we recorded was to the affect that we wanted - confusing and tense to the audience. As we did not have access to a camera we had to use a high quality Nokia. This actually helped us because as it obviously had a lower quality than what the camera would have had this made it look much mre realistic in the way that it is someone watching the girls. It made it confusing because it was not clear what was happening at all times, although it may not look good at first glance of our footage this is the affect that we wanted so I feel that using the Nokia was much more successful.

We encountered some problems when we were filming because we wanted to film in the dark but realised we did not have access to any lights to be able to see the footage. This meant that we needed to film when it was gettin dark. We did not realise how quickly it got dark so some of our footage is not clear - since this we have found a way to overcome this issue by changing the brightness and contrast of some of our footage. This has made it much clearer. As Kiera and Fran were unable to help with the filming we found our first idea hard to follow as we only had to female actors. We then figured a way round this by tweaking the story and making it a bit more confusing so that the story is not given away in the title sequence.

We have followed the ideas from the films CloverField and Blair Witch Project. These films both use handheld cameras to give it a much more realistic feel to it. As the main theme of our title sequence is that the girls are being watched, the use of a handheld camera made it much more successful.

Above is footage tht has been taken from the Blair Witch Project. The camera quality is not of a high standard which makes the footage seem much more realistic. I feel that this film was very affective and moved the audience and made them feel unfortable - which is exactly what we are going for in our title sequence.

Catching up.

I think that we have now nearly caught up with the rest of the groups as we filmed on the 7th and have now uploaded our footage and we are now concentrating on editing and cutting it. Also we can now fully concentrate on our editing and blog work. Also we will be working on our soundtrack and sound effects. I think our blog is better this time than it was in children's film as we have more blogs and more in depth work. Also after getting back my children's film grade i know i have to concentrate on my evaluation and getting a higher grade for that. I feel overall this time around our blog work and filming has gone better and should hopefully end up in a better grade.


This is the trailer for the film Cloverfield, we have put this onto our blog because this has a similar effect to how we wanted our footage to come out like, mostly handheld camera work which we feel adds to the tension and suspense of the sequence.

Progress Filming

After not managing our time well as a group, we made some time on Sunday evening to film. However because of our organization we were unable to take a camera out from the college therefore to overcome this problem we used a Nokia mobile, this was a bonus to us as it added to the effect of our film; seeing as we wanted it to be filmed very similarly to 'Blair witch project' and another film, 'cloverfield' which are both filmed hand held all throughout. We went ahead with this style of filming as it seemed much more effective creating a more realistic yet tense atmosphere.

We encountered a couple of problems along the way these being:
-The darkness effected the camera quality as it couldn't focus properly showing only a black screen.
-The variety of shots; we were not able to show a very large variety, this was because of the style in which we filmed it- hand held. However we feel as though we still got the same point across but in a much more realistic way.

We decided when filming to change the order in which our sequence would flow, using what we initially decided to be the very first image on screen to be the last. It would add a sense of confusion and mystery, this is effective as it would make a viewer want to watch on. Also doing the filming all hand held the viewer can then bring themselves into the film creating a connection between the film and themselves.

Uploading our footage

We filmed on the 7th of march, then in our lesson on tuesday the 9th of march we had some problems with rendering the footage as we filmed it in mp4 which went straight to quicktime and it would not let us render it. Georgia then worked out how to render it and our footage rendered without any problems. We now just need to concentrate on editing and keeping our blog work up to a good standard.


Wednesday 10th - Rough cut deadline (allow half an hour to quicktime and upload)
Friday 12th - Feedback lesson and half an hour editing
Tuesday 16th - NOT IN COLLEGE
Wednesday 17th - Editing
Friday 19th - Final cut deadline ( allow half an hour for quicktime and upload )
Monday 22nd - Evaluation draft deadline - 9 am Moodle/email.
*lessons this week spent on putting finishing touches to evaluation*
Monday 29th Final evaluation deadline - 9 am moodle/email.

Friday, 5 March 2010

GarageBand work

I think our idea to work on the soundtrack now is a good idea as it will help us to catch up the work that we have missed. We have spent the time putting together sounds that we think will work well with our idea for filming sequences and putting them together in a rough version of the final soundtrack. This means that when it comes to editing out final sequence when it has been filmed we can just slightly rework the soundtrack to make the timings fit but the main soundtrack will be complete. this will save us time and means that we can use the time after to make it better.

The problems with filming has taught us to be more organised and to leave time for problems to occur. We should have made sure that we would all be able to get to the place for filming on the day at the right time.

Progress of soundtrack.

We have nearly finished our soundtrack for our thriller opening, we have chosen dark and intense sounds to set up the atmosphere of the sequence. We have done as much s we can until our filming is completed because we cannot sync it in to the sequence yet. When we have finished our filming we will complete our soundtrack and then sync it in with the scenes. Until then we can only chose appropriate sounds for our sequence.

Further GarageBand work.

Filming Plan.

As we have traveling issues we now have to film on a weekend, so we have chosen Sunday 7th of march to film. This means we can have the whole day to complete our filming and can take more time and care with our scenes. We then have the whole school week to edit to make sure our work is of a high level so that we can catch up with the other groups. As we cannot film until Sunday we have used the week where we cannot edit to make our soundtrack and catch up with the blog, also we filmed some test footage in college to put on the blog and practice our scenes.

Progress So Far.

So far I think that the project is going well as the group work well together, coming up with separate ideas and combing them to make them stronger. We have had some really good ideas for our filming however we have had some problems filming with getting to locations. The first weekend we planned to film the weather caused problems as we needed it to be dry enough for a fire but the snow prevented this. We rescheduled for a weekday but traveling to our chosen location was impossible for this day. This has put us behind on our filming and left us with a disadvantage as we will have less time to edit. However, if we all put more effort and time in we should be able to catch up.

Tuesday, 2 March 2010

Garageband progress

This is the beginning of our soundtrack, instead of using sounds within garage band itself we have installed a CD specific of thriller sounds to create a much more realistic effect.

Organization update

We were originally meant to film on Sunday evening, however our organization in taking the camera home was a poor effort as we forgot! we have learnt by this mistake but luckily already had a back up plan to do the filming Wednesday evening. We are aware that in order to improve our grade our camerawork needs to improve to a higher standard, therefore we are going to aim to get a large variety of shots and test footage.

As we are unable to edit this lesson we have decided to use our time effectively and start the construction of our sound track.

Friday, 26 February 2010


We are going to have the male character dressed in a large coat. We have chosen to dress this character in this coat because we feel that it will make them look dominating. The fact that they look dominating will make the atmosphere intense because the audience will have a suspicion that they may do harm with the fact they have tools (weapons) and a dominating appearance.

We are going to dress the teenage girls in casual clothing. We have purposely done this to try and get the audience to relate to them rather than the mysterious character. We thought this was much more likely to make the audience relate with the girls because you don't see what the man looks like until further on into the sequence.

Wednesday, 24 February 2010

Test Footage

This is some test footage of our beginning scene of the mysterious man in the garage:

Our test footage shows our first scene of the mysterious character. The books and other items that they place in the bag represents the tools that they will be putting in the bag in the actual scene. We have specifically chosen an extreme close up of the characters eyes to create mystery as the character's identity is still not revealed through this shot, it will also scare the audience as it is intense and it is still unknown as to what is going on. The medium shot where it focuses on the character putting the items in their bag is used to show you the part of the character but not all of them so that the character's identity is still not revealed. This creates a sense of mystery and suspense with the fact that you don't know who they are. The items (tools) will also add mystery because it is not clear at all at this stage why the character is packing tools.

Target Audience

Our target audience is boys and girls late teens [15-18] we have chosen this age group because they are the most interested in watching horror films, also this age group is the age group that will go to the cinema most to watch films. We think that our film will appeal to this target audience because the characters are that age so the audience can relate to the characters. We think that girls may be more attracted to watch the film because the cast has more girls than boys, however we are trying to appeal to both males and females.

Idea's for places to film

This is the main setting for our film opening for the bonfire scenes, we have chosen a forest because it is an isolated setting and at dusk it will look creepy and create tension.

We will be filming in a garage for the beginning scene of the mysterious figure putting tools into the black bag.

Blog of the week review

Why do you think it is blog of the week?
Firstly for the 64 posts within it! This indicates the time and effort they have put into their blog work as a group. The involvement of photos and text connotates the knowledge and use of media each individual has. It makes it seem much clearer and gives a more creative approach; rather than academic. The colour in the images brings the blog to life making it seem more fun to read and not a lecture. The ideas are represented in a very basic way through short and simple points on the other hand detailed. The amount of effort portrayed through the amount of blogs posted proves the have thought very deeply into their project also thinking aside by making back up plans, i.e. camera use.

What can you learn from it?
The work posted within this blog proves that to create a good piece of work the more ideas and opinions involved within the blog is going to make it much more successful, the detail involved in showing ideas is essential to deliver a satisfying section of filming. This is what these posts have proved. By gathering more background details and looking into other successful films it helps to create a much clearer storyline.

Evaluation Questions

Evaluation Questions

The following questions must be answered in your evaluation PowerPoint:

1. In what ways does your media product use, develop or challenge forms and conventions of real media products?
2. How does your media product represent particular social groups?
3. What kind of media institution might distribute your media product and why?
4. Who would be the audience for your media product?
5. How did you attract/address your audience?
6. What have you learnt about technologies from the process of constructing the product?
7. Looking back to your preliminary task, what do you feel that you have learnt in the progression from it to the full product?

Tuesday, 9 February 2010


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Shot List

Shot No.1 - Establishing shot, long duration shot of the empty misty garage. Low Key lighting.
Shot No.2 - Close Up shot of the ex's feet, long duration shot slowly panning up the body. He will be wearing black boots and black trousers, continues to pan up the body slowly showing legs and the sound effects carry on whilst pans further up the body showing dark clothing and it pans all the way up to his neck, his face just pout of shot to create mystery. This is where you see him filling a bag with tools from the garage, low key lighting shadowy effects.
Shot No.3 - Medium long shot from behind. Showing the figure in the garage still, in the shadows. Low key eerie lighting. Medium duration.
Shot No.4 - Extreme long shot, through the trees, shot of the girls sitting around the fire chatting, crackly fire sounds.
Shot No.5 - Close up of main girl talking about her ex boyfriend. Just her face is on screen to show that she is the centre of attention and everyone is listening to her.
Shot No.6 - Over the shoulder shot of one of the friends talking about him to her ex boyfriend, just her head and shoulders.
Shot No.7 - Medium shot of main girl thinking about the ex.
Shot No.8 - Short duration shot. Medium long shot of the main girl and her boyfriend when they broke up.
Shot No.9 - Close up of main girl, looking deep in thought slowly zooming in.
Shot No.10 - Medium close up, another flashback showing the main girl and he ex when they were together and happy. Short duration.
Shot No.11 - Long shot of the girl in the woods, through the trees hand held camera work, shaky moving forwards, continues to move closer slowly, still shaky as if someone is walking. POV shot.
Shot No.12 - Medium shot of girl, smoking.
Shot No.13 - Close up of the cigarette end in the grass, after the main girl has thrown it down, long duration shot still hand held, continued - hand close up slowly comes into frame and picks up the cigarette end.
Shot No.14 - Medium long shot of shadowy figure smoking the cigarette end, static camera short duration shot. He cough's.
Shot No.15 - Medium reaction shot of the three girls looking shocked when they hear the cough, shot duration, static camera.
Shot No.16 - extreme close up of mobile phone screen as it rings.
Shot No.17 - Extreme long shot through the trees as the main girl bends down to pick up her phone hand held camera. Long duration.
Shot No.18 - Long shot of girl on the phone static camera, forward track as she speaks on the phone crackly static noise in the background as the phone has bad signal. Continues side pan follows girl as the walks away to get signal long duration.
Shot No.19 - Long sot from behind dark, shadowy hand held camera moving forward, following girl as she walks, talking on phone.
Shot No.20 - Medium shot of girl on phone long duration. Camera slowly moving suddenly grabs girl around the mouth. Shot freezes on this frame.

Classification of our film

We have decided from looking at the criteria of the certificate that our film is rated at a 15.
Our film contains strong violence so therefore it cannot be rated lower than a 15.
Above is the web link of the criteria of a 15 certificate.

Wednesday, 3 February 2010

Thriller Project Timings & Deadlines

11th Jan to 15th Jan: Thriller introduction.

18th Jan to 22nd Jan: Analysis of real and student examples/ Production logos.

25th Jan to 29th Jan: Planning and delivery of pitches.

1st Feb to 5th Feb: Storyboarding, shot lists and other planning.

Cameras are available from Friday 5th Feb at 4.10pm until shooting deadline of 9am Monday 8th March. Students can have 2 overnights or one weekend to film. There are three weekend slots available ( 6th & 7th Feb, 27th & 28th Feb and 6th & 7th March).

8th Feb to 12th Feb: Filming.

15th Feb to 19th Feb: HALF TERM. NO CAMERAS OUT.

22nd Feb to 26th Feb: Filming and editing.

1st March to 5th March: Filming and editing.

8th March to 12th March: 8th March Shooting deadline. 2nd lesson of this week is Rough Cut Deadline. Third lesson of week, rough cut feedback.

15th March to 19th March: End of second lesson of the week is Final Cut Deadline. Last lesson of the week, feedback on final cuts and re-introduction to Evaluation questions.

22nd March to 26th March: 9am 22nd March is Interim writing deadline. Lessons this week are for feedback on interim drafts and revisions/writing.

9am 29th March: Final writing deadline.

Tuesday, 2 February 2010

Planning for filming

  • Props - We need a bag of tools for the very beginning of our opening sequence. The tools play a big part as they set the up the character's personality as the person is in black and they have a bag of tools. The tools represent that the person with them will play the villain.
    Cigarettes will play a part in our opening sequence as there is a key moment when one of the girls is smoking - she throws her finished cigarette into the wilderness. The villain then picks up the cigarette which emphasizes how possessive the ex-boyfriend is when he goes to smoke it. This one prop creates a lot of tension because he coughs which makes the girls aware that there is something or someone there.

  • Costume - Black for the villain (ex boyfriend). The colour black represents mystery and danger which is perfect for this character. He is also going to be wearing a big black puffy coat - this will add to the sense of mystery because you will not see their face when they are being mysterious anyway so the fact they are wearing a big coat will make them look more dominate adding to their 'scariness' perhaps.
    Stereotypical teenage fashion for the other girls. We have chosen to have normal causal clothing for the girls because this means that the audience are more likely to relate to the girls which will make them resent the villain more (you cannot see the villain's face so the audience will find it very hard to relate to him). With them wearing normal clothing this will make the opening sequence feel much more real.
  • Lighting (design/ effect and equipment?) - Natural lighting from the fire, Low Key lighting. We have decided to use natural lighting as this will make the setting be much more believable. We are going to film in the dark (night time) so the only light we will really have will be from the fire that the girls will be sitting around. This will give the effect of it being real as the girls are actually there and that is what's happening.
  • Make up/ hair - Casual hair and make up. We have chosen to have casual hair and make up because even the villain in our piece is a teenage boy - the fact that even the villain has casual hair makes it much more mysterious in a way because it explores the fact that people can look completely normal but still be evil and people don't know about it.
  • List of equipment - Camera, Tripod. We are not using a wide range of equipment because for most of our piece we are going to use hand held camera work. We have decided that this technique will be affective because the person holding the camera will be the villain which emphasizes the possessiveness of the character because it will be point of view shot.
    We may not use a tripod a great deal because the main theme of camera work will be as if they are being watched. But we will use a tripod for certain shots where they need to be still. For example, in the shot where the ex-boyfriend is coming up behind the main girl when she is trying to get signal on her phone. This will have to be a still shot because it is no longer in point of view.
  • Times and dates you want to film and a back up plan - Weeknight in the week beginning 8th. We have decided to film during the week because this is better for us all as a group. Back up plan: the weekend. We have chosen the weekend to be our back up plan. This will not be as easy because some of the group members have work commitments etc.
  • Locations (maps? permission? and photos) - We are going to be filming in Papworth forest, hollies garage. There is no permission needed for these places because the forest is public and Hollie is in our group and she has already got permission from her parents.
  • Actors (Photos and suitability for character roles) - Georgia, Hollie and Kiera playing the three teenage girls, with is suitable as they will be basically playing themselves. Fran is playing the ex boyfriend, this is suitable as she is filming the fire scene.
  • Production roles - assign a role to each member of the group. (Camera person, directors, producer, production co-coordinator - provide definitions of each role and each person's suitability for that role - experience? skills?
  • Camera Person, The main person responsible for the filming and camera work - Mainly Fran but the whole group will share filming responsibilities, Fran is suitable for this as she is the most experienced at using the camera.
  • Directors,responsibility of directing the film - Hollie and Georgia are the most suited to this as they most creative abilities. Hollie and Georgia also know the area well where we are filming so they will know the ins and outs and how to get the best affect. This is to our advantage that we know the area because we will know the right places to go to get the
  • Producer, this is someone who creates the scenes and the conditions for making movies - Kiera and Fran will be suitable for this as they are quite familiar with the software.
  • Production Co-ordinator, they make sure all necessary equipment and materials are on site at the right time and the actors and actresses are all in the right place. The whole group will be responsible for this as if there are more people things are less likely to go wrong.
  • Sound - We will have a soundtrack to our film opening along with diegetic sounds and ambient sounds. We will make a soundtrack that will link to the images on the screen that will create tension and suspense. There will be quite a lot of dialogue as that is key to the story.
  • Test Shots/ Footage - We are going to test out the shots we have decided to do in places just like the atmosphere we are using, this way we will be able to see what works well and what may look fairly unprofessional. Seeing as our shots aren't all about movement they should be reasonably easy to shoot.

Friday, 29 January 2010

Inspirations from watching other title sequences

Heat: The titles were white on a black background which made it very contrasting - creating a isolate atmosphere straight away. The way the titles then fade out so the screen is left black looks very affective because it makes it seem eerie.
We thought this was a good idea because it creates a clear atmosphere before any action happens. This prepares the audience and gives them something to expect in a way.

"Don't look now": In this title sequence the setting is very dull and grey - the little girl is wearing a bright red coat. The fact that the setting is so dull and the little girl is wearing a bright red coat automatically makes the red coat a significant thing to the audience.

The way the spacial editing is used creates an edgy feel to the piece because the movement from inside and outside links. For example - when the mother scratches her nose is it then cuts to the little girl outside also scratching her nose. Because there are so many snippets like this when the red appears on the picture it makes it much more clear to the audience what may have happened (along with all the hints with the little girl playing by the water).
We thought although this was an old film giving the audience little clues throughout the opening sequence is a good idea because it keeps the audience on their seat guessing what might happen.

Carlito's Way: In this opening sequence they had very loud and over emphasized orchestral music. In a way we did not like this but as the whole opening sequence was in slow motion it fitted the action well and did make it much more intense. As the whole sequence was in slow motion, when the main character (the man who is being rushed through hospital) speaks over the top of the action this makes it have a different feel because there is slow motion and then the ma is talking quite fast paced. It gives you a feel that although he may be in agony he is still up beat and confident which gives us a sense of his character.

Wednesday, 27 January 2010

Action points

Before we go out and film our opening sequence for our thriller we still have lots of things to do to make it work.
  • We need to do a storyboard, scene by scene - leaving us with a clear structure of our opening sequence.
  • We need to do a shot list - this will have all of the shots we are going to use in our opening sequence, why and where.
  • We need to make a script so that we are clear what people are saying and where. There may not be a lot of speaking in our opening sequence but there still needs to be a script.
  • We need to make sure the location (Papworth woods and Hollies;s garage) are suitable for what we want our opening sequence to look like.

Has the feedback make us consider things that we hadn't before?

The feedback has made me think about if we had long flashbacks then this may look cheesy with the way that it made be seen obviously romantic - perhaps making it look fake. We had not thought about this before the pitch so with this it had made use see how having long flashbacks in our opening may ruin the atmosphere as it may not seem believable.

With the feedback that spoke about suspense it made us consider the way that we could slow some action down (for example making the ex walk much slower up to the girl) as this would create suspense.

What we are going to do after we have recieived the feedback

With the idea that the flashbacks we have in the opening sequence being short I think we should follow this through. I think this because there is a risk, if the flashback is longer that it may be cheesy. An example for us to follow was give, this being that in 'The Road' there are flashbacks of a husband and wife together playing the piano and their hands meet as they are playing the piano. This shows that they are together and in love but does not make it cheesy as it is not anything that seems too over the top. I think we will take this idea on but changing the setting - perhaps with them playing the card game 'snap' and their hands meet that way. This would show that they are young because they are just having a laugh playing 'snap' as it is not really a serious card game. It would also show that they are together without them having to obviously kiss as this may look cheesy. Other feedback to go with the flashback scenes included not having any diagetic sound. I think this would be much more affective than having the characters speaking because this may ruin the atmosphere and if the flashback's are going to be really quick then there would not be enough time to have any diagetic sound that would give the audience any information.

We were given the idea that when the ex boyfriend is creeping up on the girl when she is trying to get signal on her phone to make the ex walk very slowly. This would create suspense as the audience have the information that something bad is going to happen, but the girl character herself does not have a clue. I think this would work and we should make the ex walk very slow behind the girl because it would make it look like he really does not want her to see him before he can capture her. This tells the audience that she would have a very bad reaction, suggesting that he may take her. Suspense is also a very conventional aspect to thriller films so this would be following convention and would make the title sequence much more exciting to watch as there is some mystery in the fact that the audience do not quite know what is going to happen to the girl.

We were not sure about whether we should have a point of view shot to show that the ex is watching the girls camping. But from getting feedback and suggesting this I think we should definitely do this as this is a convention of thriller films so we would be following convention. It would also make it completely clear to the audience that the ex is posessive and really wants her back in the way that he is not meant to be there so he is having to spy on her. to be even close to her. I think this would add much more suspense too with the fact that the audience know that someone is watching the girls but the girls have no idea.

Feedback recieved from the pitch

Once pitching our idea to the group this is the feedback that we received:
  • We could create a lot of suspense with our opening sequence (when the ex boyfriend is approaching the girl on the phone) he could approach slowly so the audience knows something that a character in the film does not.
  • With the flash backs where happier times are shown when the girlfriend and boyfriend were together we could make them really short - almost just snippets. This would not run the risk of the flash back looking cheesy.
  • There are a lot of point of view shots in our piece which is conventional to a thriller meaning that it is likely to work.

Tuesday, 26 January 2010

Our idea for our thriller sequence

Idea For Entire Film

Our first scene is of a dark figure in a garage filling a bag with tools. Then it will cut to three girls in a forest sitting around a bonfire talking about one of their ex boyfriends, then it will show a flashback of when they broke up, next it will cut back to her looking deep in thought about how happy they actually were, then it will show a flash back of them together when they were getting on well before they broke up. The next scene will be point of view shot from the person watching them as if they are hiding in the trees. Then the girls are smoking around the fire, and the main girl flicks her fag butt away into the trees and the person who is watching them picks it up and takes a drag and coughs and the girls hear it. This causes the girls to become on edge.Then when the main girl gets a phone call and she answers it and can't hear very well so she walks of to try and get better signal as she does this the person watching her follows her and then it cuts to a shot in front of her trying to hear on the phone and the person who was watching them is walking behind her on the phone also, and suddenly he grabs her round the mouth and then it cuts to the titles.

Three girls, Main girl- Georgia Phillips
Friend 1 - Hollie Upton
Friend 2 - Kiera Roseberry

Ex Boyfriend, Josh Jones/Andrew Fox

Stalker (Ex BF) Played By Francesca Hazel


In Papworth Forest and Hollies Garage.

Low Key, mostly filmed at night with light from the bonfire.

Phone x2


Ex Boyfriend in Black
Girls in Stereotypical teenage fashion

The main colour theme of the film will be dark colours to convey mystery.

Pitch of an idea for thriller sequence

By Next Lesson:
  • Idea for entire film: Narrative, Character, Atmosphere, Sub Genre and Title
Sequence: -Narrative
-References to the rest of the film(Key Events, Characters flaws etc)
-Mise-En-Scene, setting, lighting, props, costume, colour etc.
-Edting (Special Effects)

Tuesday, 19 January 2010

Personal Response

The Orphan starts off seeming like an innocent film which makes you feel sympathy towards Ester as she is an orphan and different to all the other girls that she is at the orphanage with. When the mother starts to realise something may be wrong with Ester, the beginning of the film makes you think that it is not true what she is believing.

You find out why the Mum and Dad want to orphan a child through a dream sequence where you see the Mum bleeding and losing a child but it shown in a very gory way, emphasising that it is infavt a dream sequence.

Many things happen in the film that are signals to the viewer that Ester is not right, and is in fact evil. The scene where Max and his little sister have hurt a pigeon by accident and they are trying to save it and Ester comes along and throws a rock on the pigeon making sure it dies; she claims that 'it should be put out of it misery' but it shows that she is not right

The best bit of the film is when the ending is revealed. Ester is actually a dwarf woman, not a child, who tries to make a move on the Dad. When the Dad rejects Ester she murders him. This was our favourite bit of the film because it is so unexpected and this bit of the film has the most tension.

Marking of negative.

We thought that this opening thriller scene deserved a level 3.
We thought the camera work done well but occasionally was not steady this is one of the reasons why we didn't give the opening a level 4, although we thought the mise - en - scene was done well as the objects and costume were appropriate.

Now we have seen the marking criteria for the opening sequence we now know how to make our opening sequence to get the highest mark:
We will use mise-en-scene appropriately and follow the generic conventions of a thriller e.g a villain may wear dark color's or something covering their faces to create mystery.
We will make sure that the musical score creates tension at the right points and links in with the images at that point.We will also make sure that the meaning of the piece is apparent to the viewers.

Marking 'The Reckoning'

We thought this piece deserved to be given a level 4.
  • The sound score and images were edited to an excellent level, as they went together perfectly in the way that when the action speeded up, the music did too.
  • The mise - en - scene was chosen really well, as most of the background and characters were in black and white apart from the main characters tie, which stood out as it was a bright red colour, symbolising danger.
From being informed on the marking scheme for this thriller project we now know how to make our opening sequence to the best it can be
We are going to do this by:
  • Thinking about our mise-en-scene fitting with conventions of thrilers. For example, if we have a character in our piece that is going to play the villan we may dress them in black or red as these are both colours that represent danger or evil.
  • We will make sure that our sound (the musical score) matches with our images and editing. For example, if there are lots of short duration shots and the sequence is moving fast we will make the musical score faster and perhaps louder to add tension.
  • We will try and make sure that the meaning of our piece is apparent to the viewer through our editing, also that we use a variety of shots. Although, if we want to create a certain effect we may not have to use this all the time as using the same shot more often can be more effective in some cases.

Monday, 18 January 2010

Analysis of Human Factor

The fact that the opening sequence of Human Factor is animated gives it a sense that it may not be as intense as other thrillers that Saul Bass has created, such as Vertigo. There is a black for a longer period of time than usual which creates a sense of mystery in the way that the music is playing but as there are no graphics or images on the screen you do not know what is going on.

When the images on the screen do appear the background is continuously red, this gives us a sense of danger. The sense of danger and mystery is added to when the image of a phone hanging off the hook appears. As the viewer you feel on edge as you do not know why the phone is hanging off the hook, but as the background is red it immediately makes you think that something bad has happened or is about to occur.

The musical score is in a way jolly music as it is a guitar, often in conventional thrillers more orchestral music is played as this usually adds to the tension. But because this contrasts this convention it still gives the same affect because the red background and the phone hanging off the hook makes you know as the viewer that something may be wrong, making the music not so happy after all.

As the title sequence comes to end you see that the other end of the phone is also off the hook, this almost confirms to the viewer that something is not right. The images used in this title sequence are all very negative. The extreme close up of the phone at the start of the title sequence adds to the atmosphere of mystery as you do not even know what the object is, as the image becomes clear you feel more relaxed as it is just a phone, but the camera focuses on the phone chord for most of the opening sequence making it clear that no-one is on the phone, and as it is off the hook something is not right perhaps.

The Man With The Golden Arm title sequence by Saul Bass

The Man With The Golden Arm - Otto Preminger
Title sequence - Saul Bass

The title sequence is simple, made entirely of a plan black background, with white lines across the frame creating a cut out effect. The white against black makes a dramatic impact, perhaps giving the impression of a dramatic film.
It creates an eerie effect, giving the sequence a tense mood from the beginning. Also, at first the lines appear to be random, with no sense or pattern to them, creating a confusing design that may confuse the audience and hints that the rest of the film may be strange and confusing.
Right at the end of the sequence the lines blend to make an arm, showing that the lines are actually symbolising veins within someones arm, giving hints towards a character in the film whose arm is involved, generally connotated with the idea of injecting drugs into the veins.
This instantly creates a darker mood and gives the impression that the whole film will have a slightly darker atmosphere.
The soundscore for this sequence is highly contrasted to the images as it is quite an up beat jazzy piece. However, this could be quite ironic as it shows the way that a heroin addict feels as though they are happy and feels great when they are on the drugs, when in reality it is ruining them.

Friday, 15 January 2010

Dark Knight - Analysis

How does it follow generic conventions?
The masks that they are wearing makes the atmosphere much more mysterious, also you cannot see the expressions on their faces which adds to the mystery - leaving the audience question if the characters are actually evil or if they are being forced to carry out the crime. Clowns are generically used as scary images.
Violence is a generic convention of an action film, in the opening of the dark knight a lot of gun crime is carried out which is one of the main conventions of violence.
Right from the beginning the characters are put into a dangerous environment with the fact that they are at the top of a tall office building - this creates suspense and this sets up an expectation for the rest of the film.
The musical score is fast pace, this is a generic convention in the way that it creates suspense and tension.

How does it make you feel? How does it achieve this? (techniques).
The musical score being fast paced makes you feel tense and on edge as you cannot guess what is going to happen next. It makes you feel as if something big is going to happen throughout making you feel slightly excited.
The masks (clown faces) make you feel scared as the clown faces are creepy. Also with the fact that you cannot see their facial expressions means you cannot really relate to the characters - this makes you feel much more on edge.
The violence in the opening makes you feel sympathy towards the characters in the bank as they are shown being innocent. It makes you relate to the characters in the bank much more as the characters with the masks on you cannot see their expressions.

Dark Night Opening Scene

Wednesday, 13 January 2010

Research on Vertigo

Vertigo by Hitchcock

close up of woman's face, introduces a character, makes it intense.
then moves to an extreme close up of different parts of her face, starting with lips, then moving to eyes, builds suspense
zooms in even closer to one eye, and eye opens wide suddenly implying fear.
as the camera zooms in, strange shapes appear, rounded shapes with black holes in the middle, spinning out and getting larger creating the effect that they are spinning out from the eye and coming towards the viewer. as the background becomes black it gives a sense of falling into darkness, making you feel dizzy - linked to the feeling of vertigo.
the shapes come from the characters eyes and shrink back into her eye towards the end, giving the idea that it is something going on inside her head, maybe implying that her mind is confused, perhaps slightly crazy.

Analysis of Cape Fear

Cape Fear (scorsese)

loud music
-tense atmosphere/certain sounds appear when figures appear
-mystery/distorted image
-drowning /death/suffocation- this links with 'cape' being water/a lake
(perhaps part of the narrative- DANGER)
the bird
-predator from low angle- a hunter

the eye
-vulnerable part of the body/horror/fear is shown within the eye
-musical score/disturbing/suspene
-the pitch of the music is low
-the pace of the music increases slightly with the combination of images

Tuesday, 12 January 2010

Conventions and examples of thrillers.

Thriller has different conventions to the conventions of a children's film.
It is important to look at conventions because you use them as a guideline for your own project, however you can go against convention. To go against convention the piece has to be very strong and be justified otherwise it will not work.
Conventions of a thriller:
- Enigmas (mystery) for spectator.
- Suspense is key to making a thriller work.
- Low key lighting.
- Often oblique/ canted angles. Distorted images may be used to add to the mystery.
- There is usually always a protagonist (main character/ hero) and an antagonist (a villan or force working against the hero).

Exmaples of thrillers:
-Bourne Identity.
- Momento.

Sub genres and examples:
- Action thriller (James Bond films).
- Conspiracy thriller (JFK).
- Disaster thriller (Stormy weather).
- Spy thriller (Mission impossible).
- Psychological thriller (The good son).
- Crime thriller (seven).