Friday, 21 March 2014

Behind the Scenes

The videos below show a short clip of us behind the scenes, talking about how we feel filming went...


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Tuesday, 11 March 2014

Film Poster - 2nd Attempt

The poster below is our final attempt and redraft of our poster, which uses a more general theme across illustrating what our film is about. As the base has been kept the same, with similar colours and a silhouette to portray mystery, we have altered the look of the character and fonts to help fit our preferred genre. Whilst the title has been made bolder and some text is larger, the main change is centered around our image of the anonymous figure. Scratch marks have been added as a form of alternative to the weapon, which we felt was unnecessary. Although a prop on set was of a similar nature, we didn't include a gun in our actual film, therefore felt no need to use it in our poster. Overall, we felt it was a reasonable effort at creating a poster, which was inspired by the likes of Dead Man's Shoes.



Monday, 10 March 2014

Film Poster - 1st Draft

Below is an image of our 1st drafted poster, which is used to advertise the 2 minute intro. We played around with the concepts of horror, using mainly bold black and white text to stand out against a blood red background. The silhouette adds a sense of mystery, whilst creating a sinister look via iconic horror weapons including the gun and hacksaw. Whilst we felt using these was a good idea to portray evil, the weapons themselves don't fit the film and its concept we tried to get across. Therefore, another attempt at a poster will be included to create the feeling and atmosphere we first wanted to emphasise. Similarly, using a slogan both filled up the space so it wasn't too bland and reinforced the creepiness, almost to illustrate what the film is based around. To fit the genre of the poster, dates, names and headings were also used to inform the audience. The last component we altered which felt necessary, was isolating the word "Art" itself to again hint and highlight the film's awareness of the topic.
  
 

Thursday, 6 March 2014

Final Cut - Our Opinion


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Overall, we felt that after filming, editing and watching it though as a finished product, we were happy with the results. We managed to use a variety of shots and quick paced cuts between each shot for effect and the last 2 scenes formed as a match on action. Generally, we were actually surprised at how well some parts had come out, especially regarding the effect of the blood and sound transition, gradually building up and raising the tension. I feel our intention, aiming to scare the audience through atmosphere and realism, did slightly work, with the addition of eerie music and beneficial mise-en-scene. By including titles and an opening logo, our intro looks genuine, but also quite like a real film, which is probably the main reason for it looking good.

Wednesday, 5 March 2014

Prop Setup - Creating the Blood

During the process of making the blood for our film, we used simple ingredients to help thicken and create a realistic texture. The list below shows what we used for our prop/mise-en-scene setup to be successful:

  • Maple Syrup
  • Red, Blue and Yellow food colouring
  • Corn Flour
  • Hot Water
Experimenting with the colouring enabled us to alternate what we wanted it to look like through a variety of dyes, which was the main reason for attempting different mixtures to find a more realistic look. To ensure it was thick enough to stay on the wall and was able to run smoothly, we used a combination of corn flour and hot water to allow the blood to both look good and slide off of the bricks successfully. In one scene, we had a smear of blood after wiping it from my hand onto the wall, which worked well because it was sticky due to the syrup, again effecting the durability and reliability. The only problem concerning this was keeping the consistency of it, with the same look after making it a second/third time. We felt it worked well, both from the killer's perspective and on the dead body, as part of our mise en scene. The video below shows a similar process we went through to create it.



Tuesday, 4 March 2014

Music Analysis


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The piece of music above is our final decision after numerous inspirations and plans to produce a distinct, unique feel which is contemporary to the film itself, matching for effect and to emphasise the eeriness/severity of it. Thanks to Phil (with his amazing guitar skills!) the recording of our music is  similar to that of The Last of Us, with a slight twist. Mainly due to luck, we managed to find a way to play it backwards and in our final cut, sounds very creepy and atmospheric; another detail which helps add to the overall effect. With our aim to create a film based within the Thriller genre, I feel music is a big part of the production and with the way editing is going, it seems hopeful that our work is going to be a success. This music is only a snippet from the whole project, acting as a taster to see what it sounds like without visuals, and what effect it has on the audience.

Wednesday, 26 February 2014

Logo Analysis

The logos below are our final product of what is going to be used during the introduction to our 2 minute film. We plan to use these as a form of alternate concept, which we created ourselves, in order to hopefully obtain higher marks, through a more professional look and also for effect during the beginning to make it seem similar to an actual film. We feel that adding these in will make the film better, because it also adds to the time frame during editing, allowing us to rearrange shots that weren't necessarily going to be used and change anything that we don't agree with. In theory, we want these at the start, before more text appears on screen showing who is involved within the film, and want it to be different from the popular titles like Universal, Lionsgate etc. that other productions may use.

Budget

During the making of our film we required a few props to set the atmosphere and also make it fit the Thriller genre. The list below shows the types of objects we bought, which were both easy to aquire and not too expensive:

Masks (5): £10
Syrup/Dye: £7-£10

The majority of the equipment we were planning to use, we already had, such as the weapons,clothing and location itself (mainly thanks to Joe) therfore not creating a dilmea in monetary problems. The fact that this was not an issue enabled us to start shooting when we wanted and made it much less stressful.
However...

If this was to be a Hollywood production, the budget would probably be centred around a sum of £10-£20 million, excluding any special effects and cameras involved, showing how simple it can be to create a small independent, without spending too much money compared to what a big American studio would use.

Thursday, 20 February 2014

First Cut of Sequence

                               The first rough cut of our sequence is displayed above, which actually contains the majority of what we are going to use in the final piece. It went surprisingly well after putting the clips into final cut, because we wasn't expecting to have so much footage, which can be easily cut down and altered. Most of the shots were planned and looked how we wanted them to, after also adding in some we thought of at the time of shooting. The only aspect we need to change, is probably going to be where each piece of film is placed and how it can match the killer's movement, but apart from that, we are pleased with the progress. This is only the first cut of our film, so it doesn't look too effective, but we hope to change that by the end, as the clips aren't in order yet. This first piece has helped us see what a version of our production looks like and how we can change it to our preferd style. The sound in our rough cut isn't going to be the final product either (especially at the beginning with the high pitched voice) so ignoring that factor, the rest will probably be used.

Tuesday, 18 February 2014

Production Photographs

Below are a few of the production photographs which we used in the making of our film, including props and mise-en-scene.










Monday, 17 February 2014

Design Company Research

The work of design companies includes everything from minor details such as production of the film, up to its title and viewing to the audience. The 3 main factors concern Production, Distribution and Exhibition, which in turn determines the success/failure of the film, and without a design company, much of this would not be possible. The company I found the most intriguing was White Rabbit Design Company, who also focus on TV and advertising. Their founder (Steve Hardie) has been involved with Star Wars VI, as a production assistant and part of the art unit in some Hammer Horror films. His vast experience in film/TV has enabled the growth of the company to become well known and therefore more popular when collaborating with other companies/productions. The companies' work has also covered genres in photography, architecture and graphics which makes up the general base of a design company and its subdivisions included within it. All of these factors are what are included within a design company, which contributes towards different parts of the work they do.


Along with analysis of White Rabbit, below are some of a large amount of titles, from www.artofthetitle.com which I find interesting and create a certain feeling/emotion towards them, similar to something a company would include in their production:



Friday, 14 February 2014

Music Choices

Our music for the Intro will be mainly diegetic (has an on screen source that the characters and audience can hear) to emphasise the situation and effect on the people watching. Since our preferred genre is a Thriller, tension could be built with climactic music. Our main ideas were centred around a piece similar to The Last of Us; simple through the use of an acoustic guitar, but effective. This gives the film a slight creepy edge, which will probably be used either at the start or whilst the titles are appearing; we haven't quite decided what is the best option, so we will discuss it on the day of shooting. However, the majority will base itself around footsteps, breathing, and natural sounds, which are key in creating suspense, and since it is only the first 2 minutes, it implies the film itself is of a similar nature, therefore hopefully maintaining to capture our target audience (18 and over/Adult)

The composition process regarding the creation of music mainly follows these steps:
  • Any form of inspiration
  • Recording
  • Uploading and Analysing
  • Laying sown the soundtrack
  • Editing through programme
Much of the process uses complex programming and units that we would not be able to use, therefore our form of music is planned to be much easier and accessible; quicker and with less time spent to create a piece, which could be used to edit the film instead.

Wednesday, 12 February 2014

Casting

The list below shows who will be casting in our film, titled: The Art of Evil

        
Director - Joe                                                                                          Producer - Cam
                                       Executive Producers - Phil, Joe & Cam

Editor - Phil (mainly) and Cam                                                   Cinematographer - Joe

                                       Starring - Phil (The Body) & Cam (Killer)

Screenplay - Phil, Joe & Cam                                                                 Soundtrack - Phil


                                 In our Selfie = Joe (Left), Phil (Centre) and Cam (Right)

Monday, 10 February 2014

Shooting Schedule

  • We plan to base our shooting around the weekend of 15th/16th of February, in Joe's Garage, as we feel this location is both easy to access and creates the tension and atmosphere
  • The cast will consist of Joe, myself (Cam) and Phil (this will be discussed further in a later post) as we are all involved someway, whether it is being in the film itself, or shooting
  • Since the whole film will take place inside a garage, there is no worry of weather conditions, thus making it easier to plan a specific date
  • We also have made plans to paint Joe's garage, so that we can use the props/mise-en-scene more effectively; another convention to the genre's colour theme
  • The arranged times consist of shooting between late morning (11:00 am) to around 4 or 5 O'Clock in order for more takes and less issues relating editing at a later date


Sunday, 9 February 2014

Importance/Function of Trailers

Trailers are important in displaying to the audience a short montage of clips from the film, which persuade them to watch it and anticipate its arrival in cinemas. I feel these are similar to the function of adverts, which attempt to bribe the viewer into buying their product. They project a small amount of what the film is about and illustrate or emphasize a point. With each genre, trailers aim to achieve various things. For example, an Action film would typically show guns, violence, explosions etc. to engage the audience, however a Horror/Thriller would build up the atmosphere and tension, before cutting to leave the viewer with a cliff-hanger/open story. Before the preview is shown, a green screen showing the licensing and age rating appears; standard in the trailer conventions. They usually last for around 2 minutes, which companies focus on, to bring in everything they can regarding storyline and effect. Without trailers people wouldn't know about the film's plot (less aware when they are coming out), as they seem to give a small taster around the movie. In this manner, people would know what to expect when actually watching the whole film, and not bother wasting their time with something they don't like; almost giving the audience full control over what they view. This is a very effective way for the Director/Company in exhibiting the film, before its actual release, making a small snippet of money/recognition beforehand.

 

Friday, 7 February 2014

Alternative Genre - Focus on Thriller

As mentioned in the majority of the blog, my aimed genre was ranged from being either a Horror film, which used a variety of conventions from gore, to isolation and sharp weapons or a Thriller, which concentrated more on the realism and focus of sustaining tension and an atmosphere. We have since decided that the Thriller genre is best suited to what we want to concentrate on doing, as it will hopefully/is planned to use props and items, as well as various camera angles/shots to emphasize the dramatic scene, bit also add a feel of anxiety as each shot is shown. By referring to the storyboard, the use of a tilt, gradually up the body, whilst cuts are used between the victim and killer, almost show the e progression of the film, as if it were to reach a pinnacle or key point which develops meaning. However, we are still focusing slightly on the Horror side, because blood effects and weapons will be used, just not as much as planned beforehand. We feel this will benefit us more because there is a much easier process of  creating a Thriller film, through both location and narrative, rather than focusing more on the supernatural side which is Horror. Because it is only the beginning (2 minutes) we want to convey the message relatively quick so the audience can establish immediately what the film is about. We aim to achieve this via setting and therefore have a planned location which is both rather unsettling, but also easy to access. Timing and environment, I feel are key aspects when making a film, especially when it is only 2 minutes long, so we didn't want to spend too long on these components. There is also the editing side, which is probably going to take a while to make it look effective, thus the reason for keeping to a planned schedule and managing to keep with what we planned to complete within the given timings. These components will be featured in a later post, regarding the shooting script. Out idea for the film is called: The Art of Evil and is mostly based around the concept of the title itself, which is planned to be revealed during the opening.



Wednesday, 5 February 2014

Video-Game Title Inspiration



The video above shows how games generally have evolved into a much more diverse genre, becoming more like films. I feel that realism is a key aspect towards making a film, which is the main reason we have chosen a Thriller for our film introduction. Games like Tomb Raider, The Last of Us and Battlefield 4 all incorporate a similar realistic tone, which in turn make the player feel as if they were in the situation. These types of games link to the Thriller genre through this aspect alone, and therefore I feel needs a form of research so that our titles in the intro can be both effective but meaningful, creating the atmosphere of tension as the text is displayed and the film comes to an end; our planned intention is to create a climax. This video helps create the idea that the titles should link in with the film itself so that the audience don't get confused and mislead. Through rather bold, informative text, the titles establish a mood of the general film, which is why we need to use the correct style to link the juxtaposition of visuals and text, to fix our target audience. In my opinion, the game that fixes the most towards what we want to construct is Resident Evil's due to its bold, red letters and sinister look.

Tuesday, 4 February 2014

Storyboard - Plan

The animated storyboard below shows a basic routine of our planned plot for the 2 minute introduction.

Monday, 3 February 2014

Film Introduction Part 3: The Others




I feel that the introduction to this film, is similar to that of Drag Me to Hell due to the story like narration, which for me, immediately creates that eerie almost unsettling atmosphere, foreshadowing that the film itself maybe creepy and disorientated. Here the use of white bold text upon a moving background can help both give audience the significance of the names, but also the backstory of the film. This is mostly common in the Horror/Thriller genre and therefore is something to be considered towards the making of my 2 minute sequence. The use of a non-diegetic voiceover in the background is also effective in portraying the narrative like scenario; both un-nerving and of mystery. The title itself suggest that the "Other" are not of social norm and could be expected/illustrated as unsettling and scary or weird; implying a sense of danger. It also feels like a child's story, with strings and flute related music and an increasing tempo which is almost suspicious as it progresses. There is also clever editing after the drawing of the picture turns into real life; an added component used to engage the audience further to make it seem the story is indeed not a fairy-tale, but real life, emphasizing the Thriller aspect. The Mise-en-Scene focused around the story in the background also reinforces the narrative structure and influences the audience's outlook on the film's topic. All of the micro aspects within this 2 minute intro are relative towards creating effect and first impressions on a viewer, therefore I feel are considered the most important when creating meaning. I would like to recreate something of  a similar nature regarding key components which both create meaning and are effective concerning the story-side of the film.


Friday, 31 January 2014

Film Introduction Part 2: The Silence of the Lambs




The introduction to this film is again similar in portraying key conventions which can help to establish the atmosphere of the it immediately and get a feel for what movie may be based around. Isolated settings are generally key in creating suspence and gradually building up the tension; forests in the horror genre are common, as are elements such as eerie music. This aspect has additionally been used to emphasize the potential danger the woman may be in and nicely links in with the titles. The text displayed over the background image give the audience clear and easy description of the cast/producer etc., which the colour connotes a sense of awareness and importance, but also feels sinister and foreboding. These components almost create the base of the film and can be used to develop the meaning and tone/mood of the movie itself by gradually revealing parts of the story. The Silence of the Lambs introduction seems more subtle as if the story builds up to something big later on. This has inspired me towards the intro to my film to focus more on the increase of unease and instead concentrate on the more thriller aspects of mystery.


Thursday, 30 January 2014

Film Introduction: Memento




The introduction to the film Memento uses a variety of conventional sounds and use of mise en scene to give significance to the genre. A focus around guns and drugs is bold in the opening, bringing it into the Crime/Thriller category. Here the opening credits use distorted sounds and eerie music to build up the tension. The faded black text upon a white background helps the viewer to easily read the titles, but also establish a sense that the film is going to inevitably be quite dark and atmospheric; the material (ash-like) of the text is effective in creating a dark and sinister look. There is also clever cuts between the titles themselves and a related story in the background which later reveals itself to be significant towards the events happening. During the opening titles of the film, there are various key components which I find could be used effectively for the 2 minute introduction of my film, thus the reason for me analysing it and finding parts which may inspire me or help create any ideas. With the mirror like effect and strange music, Memento immediately feels rather creepy and un-nerving, whilst later on during the intro. the editing is used to create a backward motion event whereby a murder is displayed in reverse. This could similarly indicate a relation to the film's narrative and again helps to give meaning for the audience. Most parts have fast forward elements; a feel of time in this film seems important.

Wednesday, 29 January 2014

Storyboard - Draft


The image below is a draft of my storyboard plan for the 2 minute introduction to a film. The features include the script and main plot/pitch of the intro.


 

Tuesday, 28 January 2014

Preliminary Task


Below is a video showing a 50 second film clip of our preliminary task, which incorporates the 3 key aspects: Match on Action, Rule of Thirds and Shot Reverse Shots. It is based around the story of a lost Rudolph trying to find his way back home to Santa.



video






Monday, 27 January 2014

Theorists - Roland Barthes

Action and Enigma Codes:

  • Barthes' interest in narrative derived from the concept of the use of visual codes
  • Enigma codes are images/sequences that control how much we know in the story, engaging and holding audience interest. They present puzzles which demand to be solved
  • Action Codes are those images/sequences that work as a form of visual shorthand making complex ideas immediately apparent and carrying the story forward
  • The following are some of the key components of this theory:
Restricted/Unrestricted Narration:
How much information do you release to the audience

Ellipsis:
The compression of time within a film

Casualty:
The 'because' of the story

 

Sunday, 26 January 2014

Theorists - Tvetan Todorov

States/Changes of Equilibrium:

  • As a rule, conventional narrative has 5 stages, though this can be rudimentary broken down into 3 stages
  • The text below displays the 5 key features of a film's storyline:
The Beginning - Where the story starts out as the audience can gradually establish where the film is set and its characters involved (state of equilibrium)

Disruption - Where the Villain creates a dilemma and enables the hero/s of the story to act upon it (usually harming innocent people and therefore grabbing the attention of specific people, for a particular purpose)

Middle - Where the story is unbalanced and the hero is fighting off enemies as he/she tries to find out a solution to the problem at hand (state of disequilibrium)

Resolution - The part of the story which finds the hero/s revealing a way/s in which the villain can be destroyed

End - Everything is back to normal and they can go back to their everyday lives (mostly ending with a unexpected cliff-hanger: State of new equilibrium )

Equilibrium: A state of balance, normality in which the characters find themselves at the beginning

 

Thursday, 23 January 2014

Theorists - Vladmir Propp

7 Spheres of Action:

  • Prop's study of Russian Folk tales has been applied to film in order to suggest that while narratives may appear very different, there is a shared character structural feature
  • The examples below include the 7 alternate modes of character within film:
Hero: Individual(s) who's quest is to restore the equilibrium
Villain: Individual(s) who's task is to disrupt equilibrium
Donor: Individual(s) who gives the hero(s) something, usually being advice, information or an object
Helper: Individual(s) who aids the hero(s) with their set task
Princess/Prince: Individual(s) which need help, protecting and saving
Dispatcher: Individual(s) who send the hero(s) on their quest
False Hero: Individual(s) who set out to undermine the hero's quest by pretending to aid them. Often un-masked at the end of the film
 
 


Wednesday, 22 January 2014

Theorists - Levi Strauss

Binary Oppositions:

  • Claude Levi Strauss focused on how meaning is created within a film's narrative
  • He argued that Binary Oppositions create meaning and further the storyline via these oppositions clashing with one another
  • These take many different forms and are very genre dependent. The following are just some examples a variety of films have in their storyline:
Man vs. Woman - Mr & Mrs Smith
Hero vs. Villain - The Dark Knight
West vs. East - Hurt Locker
Science vs. Nature - The Happening
Young vs. Old - Harry Brown
Human vs. Alien - Alien/s
 
 

Thursday, 16 January 2014

Exam Revision - TV Drama

                   C - Class: Clothing, Cars, Jewellery, Brands
                   A - Age: Old and Weak/ Young and Strong
                   G - Gender: Beauty and Relationships (female) or Physique and Power (Male)
                   E - Ethnicity: Representation of darker skinned men/women or Asian
                   D - Disability: How they are represented (their abilities)             
                   S - Sexuality: How it is constructed (Reference to Gender)
 
4 Minute Extract: Technical Aspects and Representation
 
1. Discuss: Analyse and articulate why
2. Construct: Technical Codes                    Representation + Reaction = Full Understanding
3. Representations: Class, Age Gender etc.
 
P - Point                                                                                                Camera Shots
E - Evidence                                      3 - 4 varied points                     Editing
E - Explanation                                                                                     Sound
                                                                                                              Mise - en - Scene

Denotation: The common sense/obvious meaning                         
Connotation: The associated meaning that link/relate to signs        
Semiotics: Signs (deciphers what is being represented)

Representation:
  • To look like or resemble
  • To stand in for something

Monday, 6 January 2014

Editing within the Horror/Thriller genre

Similar to the effects of which cinematography has on the audience, is alike to that of editing. The main focus and emphasis on specific key components is used via this to interlink scenes and create a continuous flow within the film, which prevents any disruption towards the audience watching. The list below details a range of editing techniques:
  • Shot Reverse Shot - Used commonly in conversation scenes to give perspective of a character and therefore allows the audience to feel immersed in the film
  • Continuity Editing - Enables a smooth transition and flow of shots between scenes developing meaning and continuation, especially within action shots or chase scenes
  • Establishing Shot - Allows the viewer to see where the film is set and general background surrounding the characters; associated with a "bird's eye view" or shot from above
  • Jump Cut - Leaves out specific parts of action to "jump" or skip to another shot; maybe for relevance in the story
  • Match on Action - A cut which joins 2 separate shots together, having similar elements, helping to create a strong continuation
  • Transitions - These occur between each scene in order to move it forward: dissolve, fade and wipe
  • Sequence Shot - A longer take which continues for an extended period of time, where there is only one shot without editing
All of the above editing techniques can be used in a variety of genres varying from an action film to a Sci-Fi, however they can still be used similarly within the Horror/Thriller genre to establish an atmosphere and tension.

Thursday, 2 January 2014

Cinematography within the Horror/Thriller genre

As expected within any film, there is a variety of shots ranging from Close Ups, for dramatic facial expressions to establishing shots which help convey the setting and location for the audience. It is common for the horror genre to include a few other types in order to emphasize tension and fear:

  • Birds Eye View - Usually associated with the establishing shot, this helps to illustrate the setting whether it is an isolated forest or a creep, abandoned house the tone of the film can generally be set through this type of shot
  • Wide Shots - Useful for showing an enlarged image of the location and sometimes used when the "villain" can be seen in the distance, whilst the character upfront remains unaware
  • Point of View - Films such as Doom have established this shot (in this films case to act as though it were a videogame) to portray the events happening through the eyes of the character, making the audience feel as if they were immersed within the movies' environment
  • Pan - Paranormal Activity has seen to use a few of these, when the camera moves from left to right showing the room, whereby the pan is used, when the entity suddenly appears the next time the shot is shown; useful for making you jump
  • Tracking Shot - Also used in a lot of action films, this is sometimes used in a chase scene, which can emphasise tension through anxiety of whether the character will get caught (or for the horror genre, be killed)
  • Zoom - The final piece of cinematography is a zoom, which is useful in projecting a distressed or surprised look on a character's face whether it be them dying or hiding from inevitable death

All of these different types of shots (or at least most of them) can be included within the 2 minute introduction of my film in order to raise awareness of its tone and atmosphere. The few we attain to include will be the shots which establish a location and add detail to the character to get a sense of what the story's about and who is in the film (their role.)