Monday, 30 December 2013

Mise-en-scene within the Horror/Thriller genre

The mise-en-scene within the Horror/Thriller contains anything from props to lighting and costumes. usually within the associated genre there is a focus on blunt/sharp weapons in which the villain commonly attacks the prey with. Films including A Nightmare on Elm Street (Freddy Krueger's blade gauntlets) and Texas Chainsaw are just some of the movies which contain violent weaponry and rather sadistic killings. Another feature is the lighting, which normally is low key in order to maintain the tension and scary atmosphere. Todays films, especially within the supernatural subgenre, is used a lot, with films like Paranormal Activity shot mainly I  the dark to surprise the audience when something eventually happens. Moreover, the use of eerie and dark clothing similarly creates a sense of inevitable death, especially when in some scenes one of the characters is being chased. Again this can help contribute to the general mood, as the movie progresses. The last component in my opinion is the most effective: the location. Without knowing an immediate setting, the audience do not get a general feel for the movie; establishing shots help convey where it is set and the character's position. iconic settings like castles, isolated houses and dark streets are some to mention. All of these factors seem to always need to be considered within the Horror/thriller genre because they are conventions which are established in the majority within this genre today thus enabling the viewer to have a small expectation to the aspects the movie will have. Therefore for a better mark and overall effective opening there needs to be some mention of these in order for it to be successful and intend to be set in the correct genre.


 
 

Saturday, 28 December 2013

Sound within the Horror/Thriller genre

In the majority of Horror/Thriller films the sound seems to match the mood and atmosphere, which creates an unnerving, eerie feel. This is used to sometimes emphasize specific characters or objects; Stingers allow the viewer to take notice of a specific person, and his/her relevance towards the scene through sound e.g. a low grumble when a mysterious/evil looking character walks in. There are also other terms such as diegetic (the people in the film can hear the sounds as well as the audience) and diegesis (when the sound matches the narrative structure) which similarly factor in the mood created by the film. Continuity music can flow from one scene into another in order to establish a sense of importance and significance upon the shot; it could be used if the "hero" is chasing the "villain" to emphasize the importance of the situation and could therefore possibly make the audience feel on edge and anxious about the following scene. Other terms such as Emotional Realism helps contrast the feelings within the scene, which is generated through sound. All of the previous terms and key words can help to bring out the meaning of the film, or can be used in a variety of aspects to scare the audience and create tension. The common convention of a horror film is to incorporate some sort of high pitched, disorientating sounds which will help convey the general tone of the film; especially effective at the beginning so people know what to expect later on. It is an aim to try and use most of the subsequent techniques to allow the effectiveness and development of my 2 minute introduction, and since components/conventions which are frequently contained within the similar genres are common today, it would help bring the film into the Horror/Thriller genre, thus creating the mood I set out to establish.


Friday, 27 December 2013

Inspiration - Analysis

Throughout the 6 films that have inspired me in a variety of ways, from conventions to narrative, they all use similar components to engage the audience and help transfer them into the Horror/Thriller genre. Through this I can use them as a baseplate for the 2 minute introduction of the film I will be making. There are some factors that cannot be recreated due to the technology and money/budget, however despite this, most of the shots can be alternated through the use of a cheap camera and steady hands (or a tri-pod) the final product could possibly be effective. The designated target audience is probably from the age of around 15 and over, due to content that may be involved, and going by most films, this is the expected rating of a movie within the similar genre. The only aspect that maybe effect us during film making is the weather and location, which may prove difficult depending on the time of year. Besides this, hopefully with a good enough storyline, effects and acting the film will go to plan and produce a decent piece of work.

Monday, 23 December 2013

Reeker 2 - Inspiration




My final inspiration towards the 2 minute intro. is Reeker because it uses a variety of horror conventions to scare and un-nerve the audience. The most effective part of it, was the twist in storyline at the end (a continuation from the first theme, which expands the nature of the narrative.) There was also a fear factor created by the creepy and unsettling look of Reeker himself, seen to be more like a grim reaper collecting souls, again a common aspect of the Horror/Thriller genre. The components are similar to The Final Destination series of films, except use of an actual figure of death to illustrate a sense of inevitability and doom. However, with this film compared to the rest (excluding Evil Dead) gore seems to be the most emphasized attribute, which leads it more into the horror genre. Despite this, there are a range of ways I could recreate some of the scenes in my film.

Sunday, 22 December 2013

Carrie - Inspiration




One of my last inspirations towards the intro. to my film is Carrie because it focuses on the life of a girl and how she gets revenge on the "bullies" and her mother. The main theme throughout the film is religion, which plays a big part in most horror films, due to it being a common convention. This could be used similarly to The Conjuring because of the supernatural aspects and therefore has the same effect on the audience. I find it is very helpful establishing a theme in the very beginning so the  viewer can dwell on the subject and expect certain things to happen. Very early on in this film, you get a sense that Carrie will eventually get vengeance as her anger gradually builds up; by the end you are almost pleased something has been done to stop the people from hurting her. In my opinion, the film uses a good narrative side to involve the audience and get them on her side because she is being tortured; again a key convention is revenge and those that harm another will eventually die. Some of the components that this movie has could be altered into a different way to fit the specific genre of film I want to focus on. I'd like to create a sense of victimisation so that people can respect the situation the character is in and maybe refer to scenarios in real life, emphasizing the Thriller aspect. The plan is to concentrate around this same genre, however, as yet not finalised, thus having reason for specific inspirations to veer me in the right direction.

Friday, 20 December 2013

The Conjuring - Inspiration




This is another inspiration which has made me think about common conventions that can be used in the introduction to my film. Because this film is supposedly based on a true story, it makes the audience rather anxious towards its realism, thus adding extra tension; expectations of the movie will therefore be made to convince the viewer it is going to be scary. Again with other films within the genre, there is a range of shot types that create an unsettling atmosphere, such as the scene with the hung woman on the tree; here the shot reverse shot is used to create tension. There are also sometimes that make you jump whereby a ghost will jump out unexpectedly from nowhere, which is an aspect I think is great in developing the fear factor. This would likely to come under the supernatural side of the Thriller genre, and doesn't purposely fit the exact sub-section (we were thinking more along the lines of a crime or psychological Thriller,) however this does not mean elements from the film can't be used in mine. Overall, in my opinion, this is the scariest film out the previous 3 I have analysed because of the development of the storyline which leads up to a climatic and dramatic sequence of scenes, especially when darkness and shadows are the key concept of the film.



Thursday, 19 December 2013

Silent Hill - Inspiration




This film also uses a variety of techniques similar to that of the others which creates an eerie atmosphere and a general creepy outlook. The monsters have added to the atmosphere and scariness of the film, however despite not having a plan to use these in my film, there is still the majority of conventions which can be used. Such examples include having angled and close up camera shots of the character in order to establish emotions the character is experiencing. With this film, there is also a focus on darkness and the fear of the unknown, which is used for effect whereby the creatures hide in the dark and only come out when the siren goes off, a trigger to allow the audience to know when something bad is going to happen. This is a big inspiration because of the game series which similarly has the same effect on the gamer; not knowing what is next and also because I feel the movies develop a good (although confusing at times) storyline, another aspect which needs to be considered in the process. Overall, I think that through music, imagery of the location and characters within the film, helps to develop the film's tension as it progresses, something I would like to include in my 2 minute introduction.

Wednesday, 18 December 2013

REC - Inspiration




The above trailer is a summary of the first 2 films, which leads up to a climatic scene whereby the next movie will follow from. This is a big inspiration because it uses a variety of atmospheric, conventional scenes which incorporate fear and make the audience feel uncomfortable, similar to the effects created by other horror films. Again the genre isn't the same as what I want to base my film around, however because I am focusing on creating tension, it is not essential. The use of close, claustrophobic spaces is also a key concept in establishing a phobia. I also like the use of the cinematography, as it changes from close ups to first person shots which make you feel involved in the film, as if you were there, again emphasizing the importance of scaring the viewers. All the qualities which this film covers, will be considered and hopefully maintained in the introduction to my film. Due to the short time in which I have to introduce my film, I would like to contain more tension in order to foreshadow the general outlook of the film, so the audience can create a sense of what it is going to happen.

Tuesday, 17 December 2013

Evil Dead - Inspiration




I found this film an inspiration because it uses a variety of horror conventions such as isolation, blood and tension in order to engage the viewer. The music is also rather dramatic but quite creepy which sets the general atmosphere for the film. As mentioned before, my aim is to not focus on the horror genre, but instead use similar aspects in order to create an attractive yet enticing 2 minute introduction. Because it is a short amount of time, not all conventions can be crammed in, however, it is still possible to use some of them, in order for it to be effective. I think this film handles those components very well, especially when the trailer feels very foreboding thus establishing an idea for the kind of techniques that can be incorporated into my film. There a variety of shots which vary from Birds eye views, to establish the location, to close ups of the characters, specifically on Mia with her creepy make up and wide unsettling eyes. Due to the film being a remake, there are expected scares in it, which are similar to that of the original therefore the audience may know what will happen in some scenes, if they have seen the first film, which helps keep the tradition but also uses different ways to make the audience feel anxious. All of these parts from the film help contribute towards a plan and attitude on the way it will be created.

Monday, 16 December 2013

Iconic Horror/Thriller Scenes

For inspiration towards the opening of my 2 minute sequence I have picked 3 of the most iconic scenes from different horror films to see what they have incoprated into the film and the techniques which have been used, for effect on the audience.

The Shining


Here the effect of being stuck in a room and almost isolated suggests fear and gradual tension as Jack tears down the door with an axe. The conventions of a horror film are illustrated via sharp weapons (for the woman, as a form of defence) and a rather psychotic character who's aim is to kill, which generally in most horror films, is common. I don't intend to recreate this scene, but instead create the same atmosphere and fear that is forced upon the audience.

 

Nightmare On Elm Street



This scene is similar to The Shining's use of creating an eerie and uncomfortable atmosphere. Due to the fact that Freddy Krueger can harm you whilst asleep is quite disturbing in some sense and is perfect when considering the concept of fear, especially in the Thriller genre. This helps create a sense of what is needed in order to scare the audience, however it isn't realistic enough to appeal to a target audience watching a Thriller film, but is still important in considering key aspects/conventions within the genre.

 

Psycho



This is probably one of the most iconic scenes within the Horror/Thriller genre, in film. The use of high pitched "squeaks" from violins are used frequently throughout movies today and is one of the most important factors when considering setting a tone for the film. Again the concept of tension is emphasized through short cuts of the murderer and the woman showering, which helps establish an inevitable sense of death. As with most films today, out can usually guess who is going to be killed either through attitude or specific things they do which leads you to the conclusion of them dying, eventually. With this film it makes it more obvious, but in a good way to build up atmosphere and reach a climax. These are similar features I would like to use in the intro of my film in order to foreshadow the general tone of the film.

Friday, 13 December 2013

Resident Evil - Music Inspiration

The Resident Evil music is very inspirational towards the sound I want to try and recreate in our 2 minute intro. It contains a lot of key musical conventions, including violins and build ups in crescendo. The following, I think are some of the best pieces of music within the series, that create an atmosphere and seem quite eerie:

 

Resident Evil


Resident Evil: Apocalypse


Resident Evil: Extinction




Resident Evil: Afterlife



Resident Evil: Retribution




All of these films contain a range of similarities in their music style, which is one of the reasons for it being an inspiration because it allows room for variety. The effect on the audience from un nerving screeches of violins and gradual build up Is much greater than that of something from a guitar, however there is still reason for the use of such instruments because they develop the sound, and seem to emphasize specific components e.g. it would commonly be used during an action shot. There is not much room for enabling the use of the majority of this type of music within a 2 minute introduction, but It helps to understand certain features which allow us to create that atmosphere in the Thriller genre. Although this film may be classed as a horror, it still incorporates the same features and thus very useful.


Thursday, 12 December 2013

Sub-Sections within the Thriller Genre

Due to the inspiration from multiple Thriller films, we have decided to recreate an intro within the same genre. However, in this moment of time, we are still deciding and planning how to successfully achieve an atmospheric film with tension, therefore analysing different subsections within it will help illustrate a wider idea and understanding of the specific one we want to do. Below Is a range of alternate types of Thriller films:

Psychological - Refers to the emotions and conflict amongst specific characters mentally, instead of physically. People within the film, tend to deal with the situation through mental strength, figuring out the issue without any physicality; In some cases a mystery is involved, which needs to be solved in order for the characters to restore equilibrium (Psycho)

Supernatural - Where the film is based around an unworldly element (usually being ghosts and spirits) and are associated with being evil, therefore the characters need to work together in order to remove its presence. In some cases, the protagonist has a second sight or "gift" which enables them to overcome the issue. (Paranormal Activity)

Techno - This is linked with the alternation of technology, where it is used under control of a villain in order to create un-equilibrium and force/takeover mankind, where the human race is replaced with robots and machinery. This is also heavily linked to Sci - Fi, where Aliens and other species are involved. (Terminator)

Crime - The interchange between Crime and the Thriller genre has enabled a more realistic aspect towards most films, therefore creating a bigger impact upon the audience. They tend to aim their attention towards the villain or criminal in order to get a point of view from their outlook and how they perceive certain aspects. Within this genre there is a focus around murders, robberies and general mayhem. (Se7en)

Conspiracy - The genre focuses on a hero who struggles in keeping alive against a group/gang of people, aiming to kill him/her for specified reasons.  They commonly find out more about the "organisation" later on during the film and become more adapted to overwhelming them; with attention to understanding out the reason for such events. (Bourne Series)

Disaster - Pays attention to a group of "survivors" who have managed to stay alive after a massive, global disaster and aim to survive during the majority of the film. Natural Disasters normally play a key role, which includes anything from Earthquakes to Floods. There is also sometimes mention of  Nuclear Fallouts or events that could possibly take place In the future. (2012)

Wednesday, 11 December 2013

Storyboard Brainstorm


Below is a brainstorm depicting elements within the Horror/Thriller genre which have inspired me towards the creation of my 2 minute introduction. We aim to not overflow our intro. with a lot of conventions, but at the same time we want to create tension and atmosphere, which is why I have analysed key components of other inspirations in film in order to obtain more information around the topic
 
 

Monday, 9 December 2013

Game Soundtrack Inspirations

The following are a series of soundtracks from games that have inspired me into recreating a similar type of music in my 2 minute film introduction:

Far Cry 3 - Intro Song


The intro to this film is some what disorientated and creepy but at the same times seems rather sad. The mood that is created from this can help distribute to the audience and foreshadow what the film is generally about. However, similarly I can't help feel almost intrigued as if something was being discovered. The tempo seems to build up to a point where it gradually gets to an establishment through a crescendo, which is what I feel the storyline of the game is about whereby it leads to a climax and therefore is an inspiration towards the opening of my film.

The Last of Us - "Home" Song


I think this is similar to the Far Cry soundtrack whereby the crescendo builds up to a point, but makes me feel a lot sadder and like something of a massive disaster has just happened. This is perfect in recreating the mood I need to emphasize towards the audience that it is supposed to be scary and create tension but at the same time quite realistic in the same sense that what is going on in the film is aimed to be rational as the intended genre is a Thriller. There is still an atmosphere that is created which seems more unsettling and uncomfortable which I think is perfect for an opening hence it being an inspiration.

Borderlands 2 - "Short Change Hero"


This song compared to the previous 2, feels like its telling more of a story, rather than creating tension and a unnerving atmosphere. Despite this there is also a sense sadness and despair through similar events and like The Last of Us builds up, as by the end you feel a message is almost bought out. Again through the orchestral music it seems like a horror convention is put in place in order to discomfort the audience. I feel with this song, we are left up in the air by the end, on purpose which I feel is a great aspect when wanting to recreate a similar piece of music. Finally the sound of lightening at the beginning could foreshadow that of a key component later on, similarly used in contrast to Far Cry.


Sunday, 8 December 2013

Key Terminology - The 4 Main Components


Within the 2 minute introduction of my film, there must be four concepts which should be incorporated into the film into order to achieve a minimum grade of a C or above. The terminology below explains what they are and examples of how it can be used properly:











Friday, 6 December 2013

Key Terminology - Basic Shot Types

The list of shot types and terminology below can help to establish a base plan of the components that should be incorporated into my 2 minute introduction. The following can help to understand what each shot means and how it can be used effectively:


The above are a variety of basic shots which help to establish a different perspective towards the audience. Whilst close ups are used to illustrate a facial expression and more detail, wide shots can be seen as a way of showing off the scenery and look of the location

Thursday, 5 December 2013

Ideas on how to make a good introduction to a film


There are a variety of ways in which introductions of films are effective and engage the audience, through storyline and special effects, these are not the only conventions established. Other ideas include:
  • A good script/storyboard (or as previously mentioned, narrative)
  • Decent/Satisfactory acting
  • Avoiding repetition of specific words or phrases
  • Concepts which make the film different and more unique to others e.g. aspects that aren't similar to current movies
  • The 3 key components: the 180 degree rule, rule of thirds and match on action shots
  • A range of different types of shots e.g. Close Ups, Long Shots, Establishing Shots etc.
For the 2 minute introduction of my film, I will be focusing on the Horror/Thriller genre therefore, I will need to use similar conventions, which are used in every day movies today such as: isolation, tension and red/white (scary) text. However, in doing this, there should be a precaution taken and care not to recreate or re-invent past films within the genre.


 
 

Wednesday, 4 December 2013

Target Audience


Within the 2 minute introduction of my film, I will try and aim for the Thriller genre, however during planning there needs to be a specific remit for the target audience. The intended type of viewer I will aim for is those who are older, preferably from the age of 16 and over due to the content and style of narration. Through the survey I have found out ideas as to the types of films people enjoy and watch the most. In my opinion, currently I think that the most popular genre of film, and that an audience would enjoy the most, is Horror, Thriller and Action, which is something I will also try and establish when creating my film. Some of the most popular films within this genre, from the past 10 years include titles such as I am Legend, Hannibal and The Blair Witch Project which all use similar conventions which both develop the storyline and create atmosphere. I intend also to incorporate the majority of these features in order to engage the audience and make it fit the proposed genre.
 
 
 
 

Tuesday, 3 December 2013

Inspirations for my Film Introduction: Part 3



The opening credits from Drag Me To Hell incorporate key horror conventions, which are similar to the 2 previously analysed films, create atmosphere and immediate tension; grabbing the audience straight away and enabling you to fully experience the fright, fear and scares of "horror." Although this is less of a thriller film, which is the genre I intend to aim for, it still uses a variety of climatic scenes and a sense of realism. However, despite this, it is a very atmospheric film, which aims to make you feel un nerved and uncomfortable. For me the best part of the movie is its twisted plot and general structure of how the main character's life seems to get worse and worse as the film progresses, which is why it has inspired me towards the creation of a 2 minute introduction. There are high pitched squeaks from violins and reference to the films narrative from the very beginning, which is something I will try and embody upon the establishment and planning of the intro. All of this helps to entice the viewer and make it more intriguing, but also watchable. Again the titles themselves are bold and easy to read, another component that should be considered when developing a horror/thriller film.


Monday, 2 December 2013

Inspirations for my Film Introduction: Part 2





The film Shutter Island has inspired me towards the planning and creation of a 2 minute film introduction because it uses key similar horror conventions to that of World War Z and is identical to the sort of intro I would like to produce. With Red text which creates an eerie feel, the  beginning seems to almost summarise the plot of the film, developing the story immediately at the start, which not only helps the viewer establish specific aspects towards the movie, but also set the general mood towards the majority of the film. It is likewise much the same as Se7en, due to the music and text on background therefore helpful when approaching certain ways in which I can recreate a Thriller movie. All of this contributes en route to the start of my planning thus making it a priority and relevant to the pre production of my introduction scene.

Friday, 29 November 2013

Horror Genre

Early Horror History:
  • Since the 1980s the horror genre has grown, from its slow beginning, to the expanding nature which is now probably one of the most popular genres within film today
  • The main aim of horror was to scare the audience and make them fear supernatural elements such as ghosts, vampires, zombies etc. which portrays a real life scenario in the given situation; through startling the viewer and making them feel uncomfortable, unnerved and terrified
  • One of the first films to have been produced was called La Carvene Maudite (known as The Accursed Cave) by Georges Melies
  • In 1910 the film Frankenstein was made by Edison studios, soon to be following their future success of films such as Quasimodo and The Hunchback of Notre Dame
  • Later in the 1920s the first vampire based film to be made was an alternative of Bram Stoker's Dracula, called Nosferatu
  • Hollywood also used horror conventions in their films during this era, which films such as Phantom of the Opera and Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde used

Most Popular Horror Films of all time:

Dracula - 1931                                          The Evil Dead - 1981                
The Bride of Frankenstein - 1935             The Thing - 1982
Psycho - 1960                                            A Nightmare on Elm Street
The Curse of the Werewolf - 1961            It - 1990
Night of the Living Dead - 1968               Candyman - 1992
The Exorcist - 1973                                   Scream - 1996
The Texas Chainsaw Massacre - 1974      The Blair Witch Project - 1999
Carrie - 1976                                              28 Days Later - 2002
Halloween - 1978                                       Saw - 2004
Friday the 13th - 1980                                Paranormal Activity - 2007

Highest Grossing Horror TV programmes:
The following are some of the most popular horror TV programmes, beginning from the 80's -
  • The Walking Dead: From 2010 - Present
  • True Blood: 2008 - Present
  • Supernatural: 2005 - Present 
  • The Twilight Zone: From 1959 - 1964
  • Tales from the Darkside: From 1984 - 1988
  • Tales from the Crypt: 1989 - 1996

Future for Horror:

Recently there has been a common element in remakes and reboots of classic horror films, including the likes of Evil Dead, Carrie, Maniac and many more from the 2000s. However this is not just the future for horror because there are still a good selection of films we are yet to see that are coming out in 2014, such as Paranormal Activity: The Chosen Ones and Resident Evil 6; mainly the sequels to some of the popular franchises.

Thursday, 28 November 2013

Inspirations for my Film Introduction


           

The opening sequence of World War Z is very useful when wanting to recreate a 2 minute introduction, within a similar genre, because its helps establish key conventions and components of the film, which not only develop the story, but are also enticing the audience to watch. Through high pitched disorientated sounds, and some uncomfortable images (similar to the one shown of the dead Dolphins) these help to depict the illustration of an inevitable bad event (almost the beginning of a climax), whereby it seems to get progressively worse from everyday natural pictures of people, to a more unsettling interpretation of death and unhappiness. However, it is not only the narrative that is structured and well presented, but also the segments of editing that help to draw in a viewer. I find that the effects used of the gradual reveal of letters help to almost split up parts of the introduction, as if like a story and eventually by the end, bring it together into one, which helps present an idea of disequilibrium (unbalance, where an issue is raised) from the start of the film, eventually leading back into equilibrium and restoring or resolving the problem by the final scene. In my perception, this will help towards the production of my intro because of the similarity in genres, which both have many conventions but at the same time aim to retain an audience, thus proving that the quality of the film must be equal/related to that of World War Z in order to provide a certain attraction and also emphasises the need/use of certain editing and cinematography techniques.

Wednesday, 27 November 2013

Production of a Film (Expanded)

Pre Production:
  • Pre production of a film focuses on the start of developing a film, step by step whereby a production office is established, the storyboard is created and a planned budget is drafted
  • Storyboards help to visualize the creative side of developing a film, through the use of programs such as photoshop
  • The producer will hire a crew, determined by the budget, which in turn will establish the size of the crew; most Hollywood films hire around 200-300 people, whereas a low budget, independent  will be made by less than 10 people
  • The Crew mainly consists of: The Director, Production Manager (manages the budget and schedule,) Assistant Director, Location Manager, Director of Photography, Sound Designer, Costume designer, Storyboard Artist and Choreographer (coordinates the movement of dance, mainly in musicals)
Production:
  • The first stage is video production, where crew will be put on stage such as the Script Supervisor and Assistant Director
  • The Actors will arrive on set through their specific "Call Time"and start to shoot; since the construction of the costumes, props and lighting can sometimes take hours, or even days to design, they are created in advance
  • Whilst everything is set up by the Crew, the actors are prepared whilst learning their script and enrolment within the scene; during filming there are as many takes as the Director thinks is necessary
  • During the process of filming, the Assistant Director may call out and give specific orders as to the timings of the shots and when to start or stop; whilst he/she calls out a clapper is used to synchronise the sound thus enabling them to start shooting
  • At the end of the shooting in that given day, the Director returns to the office and analyses the results
Post Production:
  • This is the process whereby the video is gathered and collected by the Film Editor and adapted to suit the needs given by the Director
  • Everything from the music to dialogue and sound effects are edited at this point making sure there are no faults or issues with the film
  • After any computer graphic effects are put in digitally, the sound components are established into "Stems" before the film is finally finished

Monday, 25 November 2013

TV in Film

BBC -
  • BBC films is a film making sidearm to the main corporation, which has produced/co produced a range of successful British hits including Jane Eyre, Billy Elliot and Nativity
  • It has co produced approximately 8 films a year, working with a variety of UK distributers
  • Since 2007, it has become a main department of the BBC, rather than an independent 
  • The company itself has been going pre 1990s
  • BBC vision is now know as "Television" from the beginning of 2013

Sky - 
  • Sky Movies is a prescription channel opened by Sky Television in 1989, which currently has around 5 million subscribers through cable, internet and satellite TV
  • In 2005 it launched a mobile service through Vodaphone and is said to be one of the world's largest movie services
  • In the late 1980s, Sky Movies released it's first film: Dirty Dancing and had signed deals with the likes of Warner Bros. 20th Century Fox and Columbia Pictures
  • From 1991, it started to broadcast 24 hours a day
  • When Sky Movies collaborated with British Satellite Broadcasting (BSB), it's first film to be shown was Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade
  • The launch of Sky Digital in the late 1990s saw the new release of Sky Premiere and Sky Movies Gold
  • More recently, in early 2013, Sky Movies Disney was released, which replaced the former Disney Cinemagic 
  • It's original production set up was similar to BBC's and Film 4's via film funding


Friday, 22 November 2013

Film 4 Research


  • Film Four is a British television channel, promoted by Channel 4 which was originally launched in 1998, available currently on Virgin Media, BT and Sky
  • Channel 4's budget was cut from £30 million to £10 due to losses in profit, however it restored Film Four as a subsidiary to Channel 4 in order to invest in more films
  • When the channel became free to watch in 2006, its availability rose from 300,000 up to around 18 million households in the UK, which for the first time, included advert breaks; presently it remains as the only free of charge film television program 
  • It does not only focus on blockbusters, but also Hollywood films; Film Four also premiere a variety of genre specific sets of films, centred around the same director 
  • Under UK broadcasting, Film Four was able to screen the most unedited set of films when it was a subscription channel, loosing the majority of these features when it became free, and now allows adult material after 9pm (watershed)  
  • In 2013, Film Four backed films received 35 nominations at the British Independent Film Awards (BIFAs) including the best British Independent film and best director
  • Alternatives such as Film Four World, Film Four +1 and Film Four Extreme were cancelled and instead replaced with Film Four Weekly in 2003
  • Films co-produced with Film Four include titles such as This is England, Four Lions, Kill List and Slumdog Millionaire
  • They have worked with actors such as Steve Coogan (The Look of Love), Olivia Colman (Tyrannosaur) and Martin McDonagh (Seven Psychopaths)
  • They have also produced a large number of short films including Believe, Jonah and the most recent, Flytopia

 

Wednesday, 20 November 2013

Studio Canal (Optimum Releasing)


  • Studio Canal (previously known as Optimum Releasing/Home Entertainment) is a British film distributer known to have released a variety of genres ranging from Anime to Foreign Language Films
  • The company was originally founded in 1999, their name changing in 2011 to the now known Studio Canal UK
  • Formerly known as Optimum, the company aimed to produce modern independent films
  • They were named under four companies: Optimum Releasing, Optimum Home Entertainment, Optimum Classic and Optimum World
  • They have released over 200 films a year and are one of the most famous distributers in the UK independent market and co production companies
  • Their last films under the name Optimum was Kill List, The Guard and Whiskey Galore
  • At the moment they have released titles such as In Fear, Rush and The Broken Circle Breakdown; currently distributing in 2014 with films such as Robocop and Non-Stop
  • They own one of the most popular libraries in the world, and have a range of titles from over 5,000
  • Films under the new title include The Awakening, Don't be Afraid of the Dark and Tinker Tailor, Soldier Spy
  • Some classic Optimum films like The Third Man, The Planist and The Lady Killers were made during the early industry

Wednesday, 13 November 2013

Survey Results

The images below, show the results of my film audience analysis, which I have used in order to find out information around movies and how their qualities enable a larger viewing. As a result, this is very helpful when wanting to get an idea as to the type of elements within a film that people find attractive and can therefore be used towards my plan in the 2 minute intro.





 

Tuesday, 12 November 2013

Audience Survey Analysis


The Survey below has been carried out in Survey Monkey, and is a copy of the types of questions that I will ask upon a range of people. In order for me to get an idea as to the concepts of film I can include within my 2 minute introduction, I have used this as a form of data as to the preferences and elements within film.
 

1. What genre of film do you prefer

 


 2. In your opinion, what makes a good film (e.g. special effects, visuals etc.) and why?

 

 
3. What conventions would you expect to see in a horror film (e.g. Blood, gore, isolation etc.) and how would it be effective towards the audience?
 

 
 
 

4. Would the budget of a film effect its success and popularity, why?

 

5. Why is story line and plot within film so important when developing the characters

 

 

6. What makes a good introduction to a film
 

 
 

Monday, 11 November 2013

Conventions of a Horror film

The main idea for my 2 minute introduction of a film is based around the horror genre. Researching stereotypes and conventions used in these types of film can help me establish elements that I can also use. Within horror films there seem to be a variety of the conventions, which are typically used to thrill and set atmosphere. The following are similalry used, commonly:

Dramatic high pitched music - Usually associated with making the audience feel un-nerved and frightened, but at the same time, sets the atmsophere, enabling the tone to seem more climatic, as the film reaches the end. Violins are the common instrument used to create a disorientated feel and can help relate to the story in some films, however it is mainly used as a way to scare.

Blood and gore - Especially used within the Saw series, this convention is more likely used as a form of realism after a fatal injury, thus making the viewer feel sick and unhinged by some of the fatalties that the horror films have. However, this convention is not really original because it is only recently that this has been popular; since the horror films began, blood was used less frequently.

Location - This is also used as a factor in order to scare the audience and once again set the atmosphere in which most locations seem to be isolated. Darkness is also used towards a fear of the unknown and unexpected as to what may happen next. It makes the audience feel like they are the character within the film and feel emmersed within the fake reality therefore causing a similar feeling of fear and desperation.

Teenagers and Sexual content - Only recently introduced into the horror genre, this convention is sometimes used to shock the characters into a realtiy of the situation and add to the sense of isolation and desertion. Characters that are not aware in films seem to be the first to get killed and therefore could be considered the starting point of a series of murders, in order to get their fellow friends to work together and establish a survival plan. Commonly used in films like Wrong Turn and The Cabin in the Woods, this convention is not major when wanting to scare the audience.

Props - Usually associated with knives, weapons and generally anything that can be used to harm someone, are the props used in a series of horror films; the murderer/"Villain" usually wield something more powerful to overwhelm the characters and make their death seem inevitable.

Characters/Plot - Normally in paranormal films, there most commonly seems to be a child who is the prey to the ghosts and therefore could make the audience feel more concerned. The characters usually scream and make their presence heard by a bloodcurdling cry, and raises the question at the start of the film on whether or not the chracters will overcome the villain, or if they will succomb to it.

 


Sunday, 3 November 2013

Narrative in film

Narration and storyline are keys components in a film which make up the baseline of a movie. Usually the audience are expected to watch due to a good narrative; almost like conventions whereby the important factors within that genre should be incorporated into a film e.g. in action films explosions, guns and violence is the main theme. However, it is know in some films that the storyline is too confusing or doesn't make sense (take Inception for example) which is also why it is important to explain clearly what the aim of the topic is in the film, so the audience don't get bored.

Some film's storyline seem a bit monotonous, as if it had been done before; sometimes it is just a variation on a theme. The problem here could be that big blockbuster movies mean cheap budget films don't have new ideas, because they are made up from elements the "bigger" film already has. In addition, if a plot is to be made into a film, the rise in action should take place relatively near to the beginning, so that the atmosphere/tension is created instantly, thus allowing it to slowly evolve, otherwise eventually the viewer will become inattentive.

A storyline usually starts at equilibrium where everything Is normal, before chaos happens and creates a state of unbalance. At the middle/centre of the film, there is disequbilirum, before there is a resolution or answer to the problem. Before ending a state of new equilibrium is created. This is Tvetan Todorav's theory of narrative within a film, and is associated to a majority of movies, however more recently there is a factor effecting this, which is ending on a cliff-hanger; some horror films (paranormal) are related to this, typically done to create an opening for a sequel.

Finally, it is also the characters in a film, which develop the storyline; their actions may lead to consequences and create the start of narrative expansion. People in films are usually the reason for the outbreak of a tragedy, for example in the majority of zombie films, the infection usually spreads due to a lack of security or clumsiness  within a facility or key setting. The base of a story is commonly created via Binary oppositions (good vs. evil, man vs. alien etc.) therefore without this, there is no plot, and thus no progression in the film; it is  rather pointless and leads to a non conclusive end.

Narrative Theorists:
Levi Strauss - Binary Oppositions (Good vs. Evil)
Vladmir Prop - 7 Spheres of Action (structural features to a character e.g. a hero restores equilibrium, whilst a villain disrupts it
Tvetan Todorav - 3 stages of narrative (equilibrium, state of disequilibrium, state of new equilibrium)
Barthes - Narrative Codes (Visual codes, similar to an enigma's)


Tuesday, 29 October 2013

Music in opening sequences

Music is used in films for a variety of reasons. However in the opening titles, it is used differently, to create atmosphere and set the general tone of the film. Here are some reasons why it is good to use music in an opening sequence:
  1. As previously mentioned, in can set the atmosphere. If watching a horror, it creates immediate tension and sets the tone of the film, which can lead up to a climax. Music generally differs from genre to genre, so in a action film it would be more upbeat to match what is going on in the scene, however a drama would have more emotional music to reach out to the audience.
  2. It also can be used to create an idea of what the film is going to be about, or what the concepts of the film are going to be. For example, within the majority of the James Bond films, the music matches the on screen images to develop an idea of what the film may be based around.
  3. Finally, it helps to also intensify the mood and establish the types of aspects  within the film; in turn this may draw the audience in and create the idea that through music, the film is going to be enjoyable
 

Friday, 25 October 2013

Film Opening: Part 3

Se7en (1995)

Strengths:

The introduction of the film portrays a variety of different pieces of work, in which an assumed criminal/murderer is seen to be completing their "project." There is a Plain white text set against the discoloured and almost grainy background, thus enabling the audience to see first what companies produced the film, before continuing on to show the main characters in it; done on purpose to connote their importance. The text itself however is rather shaky, unstable and distorted in a way that makes you as the viewer fell distressed and unhinged, so forth creating a sense that this film is going to be of a similar nature, that of distress. Similarly, the music adds to the tension because the first sound to be heard is that of thunder and lightening (instantly connoting a sense of danger;) a key weather element in horror/thriller films to set the atmosphere, carried out equivalently in order to illustrate that this film is going to be dark and ominous throughout. However, the editing is also used effectively, to skip between names of the cast/crew and the development of the work in the background; the constant reference back to this illustrates a good narrative. Such components like cross cutting and fade outs give relevance to the story and make it seem like it is developing through the opening scenes, giving the audience an idea of what the film might be about. Furthermore, the eerie, unnatural, anamorphic music develops throughout this intro in such a way that it seems the noises in the background have a narration themselves as they seem to get worse and more menacing. Added for effect is also the shot types, which are mainly close ups, enabling the viewer to get a clear subject on the essence of the mystery character's work, again elevating the story. Finally there is a mix of colours ranging from mainly black and whites, to the more sinister red which develops the conventional horror themes within the opening sequence.

Weaknesses:

Although the shots of this mystery character are used to develop the story, there is no mention of him/her and a reason behind why they are doing the task that is carried out. There is not really a development with the scenes because it is all focused on one main room; to progress further a thriller would normally contain scenes of the murder itself being carried out, which helps create an un nerving and unsettling mood thus adding to the tension and atmosphere created at the beginning and therefore foreseeing the film to be first class. Again the use of the texts effects are great to create an enfeebling atmosphere, however at most occurrences it isn't clear enough, and if used correctly to rank the importance of the cast/crew within the film, wouldn't give the same effect towards the audience in contrast to if it was clear. Conclusively, the colour had the same effect in the sense that it is rather bland and distasteful; there is no changes to make it stand out. Despite being used effectively in the thriller genre, there is a lack of symbolic colours such as red to catch the audience's eye, hence adding to the previously mentioned proposed and potential tension.


Thursday, 24 October 2013

Film Opening: Part 2

Dredd (2012)

Strengths:

The opening of the film depicts an old movie countdown, relative to the 50s, which could possibly refer to the previous film, "Judge Dredd" therefore massing a larger audience due to it being pre sold through the old film, and other distributed merchandise e.g. comics. After this point, bold, red text is displayed on a black background, which can easily be seen (stands out) thus connoting the companies' importance in the development of the film, and immediately makes its self present. There is also a non diegetic voice over shots of a wasteland which adds to the narration of the story, as it progresses, enabling the audience to understand further without any confusion. As previously mentioned, the images illustrated of this "wasteland" are that of detail and relevance to what the character is saying, before zooming on the deserted city is used. In addition, there is a wide shot depicted at the beginning again to reinforce the storyline and create tension as the camera slowly reveals more. subsequently, a space ship is seen to fly past one of the tall, superior buildings, adding a touch of sci-fi and so creating a sense that this film is going to be action based /futuristic. There is also cross cutting used between scenes after shots of the assumed main character gets "suited up" are seen which adds mystery and an impression that he has authority over others due to his items of clothing and sturdy weapon. Before the title itself Is shown, a pan of the setting is used to afresh the image of the city and a tall, distinguished building proceeding to exert further tension upon the audience. The final strength of this opening is the attractive, resolute but sudden title, which has a 3d effect and make itself well known to the audience; a dramatic start to the film.

Weaknesses:

The first immediate impression of this film, isn't what is expected due to the image of an old movie countdown, which doesn't really set the tone, instead of jumping straight into titles. Due to this people may be put off the film, and rather think of it as tedious. The opening titles however seem to sway away from  the action genre, alternately it seems more of a horror convention to have these bold red titles against a matt black background, thus confusing the audience and maybe leading them onto to something different; a false impression. The first image of the film, is more colourless and boring, preferably not enticing the audience but instead veering them away. The shot of the distant city isn't really clear enough; the landscape seems too distant even when it is zoomed in. Furthermore, the voice speaking in monotone in the background is that which is monotonous, emotionless and almost drone like (robotic,) however the worst feature is that there is no mention of the character as to who he is, or what he does; rather the assumed aspect of his role in the film.


Wednesday, 23 October 2013

Film Opening: Part 1

Day of the Dead (1985)

Strengths:

The very instant the film begins, an image of a claustrophobic room is shown, connoting a sense of tension and enclosed fear, immediately setting a rather uncomfortable atmosphere. The music is also quite foreboding and sets nicely with the scene; it is quite dramatic and is used in order to give a sense of importance to the shot. In addition, there is a bold piece of  white text labelling the companies who made the film, therefore making the audience aware of their presence as they too are paramount. A variety of camera shots ranging from shot reverse shots of the female character to the calendar and close ups are also used to show facial expressions and relevance to the object she is looking at. After an admirable use of pieces of  props (and maybe some editing) in which hands are seen to be grasping the character (again referring back to the tension raised) intercutting is used to move onto a next scene where the previous one seems to be unreal/ a dream. Beyond this point dialogue is the main focus, which is almost dramatic, before more text appears on screen. Following this a pan of the helicopter in the sky and a birds eye view of the city is shown, so that the audience can gather information as to the whereabouts of the character, thus adding to the narrative of the story and developing it so it makes more sense.

Weaknesses:

Although the opening credits are bold and stand out, they still seem to be elusive in contrast to the overwhelming grey background. Instead the colour could be red, connoting danger and making it more conventional to a horror film and clearer. Furthermore, the fact that the film starts off in a mildly bland, grey room suggests that the film isn't going to be very good; connotations of the colour symbolise neutrality and is quite dull/boring thus suggesting the film is going to be of a similar nature. There are also a repetitive state of shot revers shots from the facial expression of the woman to the calendar, when there isn't an explained meaning behind why she is looking at it; the audience have to guess its significance. The general pace of it is quite slow and monotonous, surplus to the unnecessary change in music reverting it too a less foreboding/ominous atmosphere. However, the worst feature about the opening title is that it does not mention the name of the film itself, hence again having the viewer guess.