Monday, 21 February 2011

Planning our Film

We had to plan the opening to our film. This was very difficult because we had many ideas and no one could agree. One idea we had was a child being kidnapped while playing in a park and the other idea was a man sleeping and having flashbacks. We had some help from our teachers but, we still couldn't  decide on anything. We finally went with the man sleeping and having flashbacks.

We were then left with the dilemma of what the man would have flashbacks of. We had many debates over this and watched quite a few trailers and spoke to our teachers again. We really wanted to use a little girl, because we all thought that kids in films are scary and would make the audience question the little girl's existence. We finally came up with the idea of a man having flashbacks of kidnapping and killing a little girl.


After uploading the final edit to our film 'Snatcher', I noticed that we improved on everything we said we needed to in the 'Bag Swap' evaluation. This time we did not leave that much space between the actors' heads and the top of the screen. We also managed our time better, because we had everything planned before we went off to tape, so we knew exactly what we wanted. Lastly I think we done better with the editing this time. It could have been better but it was my second time using Final Cut Pro and I am still learning.

We tried muting all the noises made through the camera, but they just would not switch off, so I think if we learn how to do that we could improve our film. On the other hand I learnt how to fade sounds in and out and I think that gave a good final touch to our film. Unfortunately we did not have a lot of time to add titles to it, so the titles are not that good. In our final film we will spend more time on the titles and they will definitely be better.

Thursday, 17 February 2011

Pitching Our Film

Today in lesson we pitched our film to the class and a few teachers.  We had to plan out exactly what we wanted to say and then speak about it and explain our film.  My group did a presentation using a website called Prezi.  This was a good way of showing all our ideas carfully and simply. We had to think in a lot more detail about our film as we had to explain it all over again to a different audience who didn't already know it.  We also did a storyboard today so that when we're filming it we know what shots we want to use.  Using a storyboard aslo makes planning much easier.   For example we know we want to use lots of close ups and over the sholder shots to create more suspence.  Showing our pitch to another audience helped us to see what was good about our ideas, and what needed to be changed.  For example we wanted a dark lighting whilst filming.  However a few people pointed out that it may be difficult for the audience to actually see at all.  Since making the pitch we have changed a few things to do with lighting and thought of ways to make it easier for the audience to see.  Possibly making the background as dark as possible, then having a small light near the camera so there is a small amount of light.

Monday, 14 February 2011

Font Analysis

        Serif Fonts- for examples Times are usually more traditional and more formal, they often have small extra detail to them.  On the other hand there is Sans Serif fonts- such as Arial these fonts tend to be informal and very modern they are known as more 'friendly' fonts.
          The poster that is used for the film 'Rocky' uses the font  Franklin Gothic Heavy.  This font style is large, bold ,very 'in your face' and rather masculine maybe this suggests the type of film.  As the film is about a boxer possibly they were trying to portray the character through the title and the style of the title. 

Planning our Pitch.

In our group today we created a Power Point presentation of our media film pitch.  We had to explain the location, props, filming schedule, costume, risk assesment, target audience, possible production company and our final story line.  So that we are completely ready to film during the half term.  We are trying to go into as much detail as we can so that we can do the filming in one day.  We had to explain to our teacher our idea so that he could help us to improve it even more.  We also had to complete our full storyboard.  In  our next lesson we have to pitch our ideas to the class so we need to be fully prepared and have a good understanding of what we're going to say.  Today we also looked at possible sounds we wanted, we decided that we need a high pitched atmospheric tune in the background, lots of heavy breathing to give off an unsettling vibe and a nursery rhyme.  The sound is not deffinate yet but they are a few ideas.  We now need to spend time working out which types of shots we want to use.

Planning Our Short Film

In our media lesson on Thursday we planned our short film.  We thought about the main story line,  the sub-genre the location, the props we'd need and possible actors.  We had two possible story lines, firstly we had a child being kidnapped and our second story was very vague but had something to do with flash backs  We then had to think about when we were actually going to do the filming as we all seem to be busy with other subjects.  Finally we came to the decision that we would do it over half term as thats when we have lots of free time.  We will try and film it one day so that we can focus on the editing and sound as we find that very difficult.  We made story boards and diagrams of our ideas and tried to get all ideas as clear as possible. 

Wednesday, 9 February 2011

Opening Sequence

I have chosen the opening to the TV series 'True Blood'. This opening is a discrete opening and shows many different scenes of plants, church scenes and people. It pulls you into the episodes and the theme of the series. You get the sense of vampires from not only the name but also the images shown. We have many close ups and extreme close ups in the opening sequence to make the images more disturbing. There is also many quick cuts so that we are confused and also get into the pace of the whole series.

I really enjoy this opening because it does not show you anything to do with the opening of the episode, but it does give you an insight of the series. I would love to do a discrete opening  but it may be too hard for us to do in a limited amount of time.

Here is the opening sequence to 'True Blood'-

Font Analysis

Serif Fonts- An example of this is Courier. This is when the font is more traditional and has the extra detail and the end of each letter.
San Serif Fonts- This is when the font is informal and unlike serif font does not have the extra details. An example of san serif fonts is Arial.

In the 'Rocky' poster the font Franklin Gothic Heavy is used. It is also placed at the top of the poster which makes it catch our eye. The font is big and looks like blocks, it also looks like a very masculine. This relates to the main character to the movie who is a boxer.

Another font  that is like this, is the one used on the James Bond posters. The James Bond font is not like blocks though because it  is italic, but it is not curvy either. It still looks very masculine and Maurice Binder made the font very different from others by adding a gun at the end of the '007'.

"Maurice Binder sets up the whole language of Bond, with the gun barrel motif and the idea that the title sequence could be a mini- movie in itself."- Neville Brody

Thriller Audiences

In 2009 408 films were released, but only 31 of them were thrillers. Action, animation and comedy took up 52% of the Box Office in 2009. I think that it was this high because it attracts different genders. Importantly it also attracts different ages, which makes it more popular. Also animations attract a younger audience which are more likely to go with their parents or guardians to watch.

I think thrillers only had 4% of the box office because they sometimes come under other genres or they are appealed for certain people. Also a big one is the age. Many thrillers are aged wrongly, they are aged 18s instead of 15 which leaves out a big amount of the population. A good thing is looking at the chart above we see that horrors and thrillers are split evenly on the scale and attracts both genres.

Here are 10 films and their age certificates:
  1. The Taking of Pelham 123- 15    
  2. Panic Room- 15
  3. The Shining-  15
  4. Arlington Road- 15
  5. Seven- 18
  6. Collateral- 15
  7. Memento- 15
  8. What Lies Beneath- 15
  9. Psycho- 15 
  10. Pulp Fiction- 18
By looking at these films, most of the films are 15. This tells me that they know that having the film as an 18 is a problem so they make it a 15 to attract more viewers.

Tuesday, 8 February 2011

Editing The Sound Of Our Anamatic Film

After completing the editing of our film we had to move on to the sound editing which we completed on Soundtrack Pro.  We started off by getting rid of all the orginial sound that came with filming, we had to get rid of this as it had some laughing and extra talking in the background.  We then used a tense backing track to show the mood, atmosphere and genre of the film, we then used digetic sound such as a scream to show the audience that something had happened, as you can not see on the screen at the time.  This was the easy part of editing, we wanted the music to sound slightly more professional.  We then realised that you could fade the sound in and out and we did that with each track accept the last one as we wanted this to be a shock to the audience.  I find Finalcut Pro a lot easier than Soundtrack Pro, I have learnt a bit more on how to edit sound but I feel as though I still need more help.

Anamatic Film

Last thursday in our media lesson we used the pictures we took using jelly babies, to create a real film.  We then planned how we were going to act it out and decided on a location which happened to be the boys toilets as we need a small intense area.  We used point of view shots when I was 'alone' in the toilets and Match cuts when myself and Prince we're entering the toilet, this added a large variety of shots to our film.  Unlike last time we managed to not get such a large gap between the actors heads and the top of the screen.  As well as this the filming was not so shakey as we used the tripod more and in some cases we had somewhere to lean the camera.  Once we started editing we found out that we had way too many shots so we had to delete quite a few as we were spoilt for choice.  We did not get the perfect edit, and I believe that this is down to the fact that we need to plan more carefully.

Soundtrack Pro

After filming our scene we had to use Soundtrack Pro to add sounds. We started by getting rid of all the sounds that were taped through the camera, but we needed the parts where Prince and Rosie spoke. We couldn't use the rest of the sounds because we had people talking and laughing in the background. After turning it off we added non-diegetic sound to create a tense mood after Prince leaves. We also added diegetic sounds such as the scream at the end because we wanted to show that something has happened without actually showing it.

After adding the sounds we found out that we can fade the sounds in and out which helped us improve the sound a lot. We faded all the sounds into each other except for the last one because we wanted it to be unexpected. We had a bit of trouble saving the work and importing it onto FinalCut Pro, but after some help we saw how to do it. I was happy that I learned something new, for example fading the sounds in and out, but I still need to learn a bit more about Soundtrack Pro and we need to learn how to import and export without help.

Sunday, 6 February 2011

Filming of the Animatic

On Thursday we used the slide show we made using the jelly babies, to create a real film. We decided on a location and wanted it to be somewhere secluded, so we decided on the toilets. The layout of the girls toilets wasn't suitable for our storyline so we had to use the boy's toilet. We couldn't change the lighting, because they were automatic lights, but we tried to work with it. We also used the mirrors and Rosie's make up as part of our mise en scene.

At the beginning of our film we had a match cut of Prince and Rosie entering the toilets. We also used point of view shots and a cut away to add a variety of shots to our film. When editing we noticed we had too many shots, but that was because we had messed up in quite a few, so we deleted them. We then put the shots together to create a smooth edit for the film.

I think this time we were able to make sure we didn't have a big space between the actor's heads and the top of the screen. Also the shots were not shaky, except for the first shot which was really blurry due to the focus on the camera. Lastly we done a better job at the editing this time round and I hope in the final film we will have the perfect edit.

Saturday, 5 February 2011

Thriller Audience

I took some time out to do some research on who watches thrillers as if I'm going to make a thriller film I think it would be vital for me to know who is going to be my target audience. From the research I have gathered I have come to an conclusion that thrillers are enjoyed by both women and men as by looking at the diagram I can see that women prefer suspenseful films while men like horror , from the digram below you can see that females prefer to watch comedies, romantic film rather then suspenseful thriller films,

Looking at the the films I have been studying in the last few weeks I can see that most of them are certified 18 which shows that thrillers are mainly watched by people who are 18 and over. This can also relate in why thrillers may not be a big hit in the uk as I feel like younger audience like 12 year old and children tend to go to the cinema with there parents more then adults. This may also be the reason why Action, animation and comedy account 52% of the box office in the uk in 2009. As most of these films are watched by women or young children.

In 2009 there where 31 thriller suspense films released which grossed around £42 million pounds while in the same year romantic comedy films grossed around £600 million. I think that thrillers account for a low percentage of the uk box office in these last few years people have been really interested in comedies, romantic and sci fi films. maybe for me as a film make I need to make sure that my film will be able to cross genre and I might need to use a sub genre to get a bigger target audience,

Thursday, 3 February 2011

Anamatic Story Board

 During our lesson we were set a task to create numerous scenes using jelly babies . We would then take the pictures of the jelly babies and then in our next lesson we would film and act these scenes out . We then in our groups put up all our ideas together and came with a plot . This plot was that couple would be making out and after the guy go's the  girl would be kidnapped by a stranger . As well as taking pictures of this we needed to decide what type of shots we would incorporate in these scenes . We decide that there were gonna be a range shots ranging from point of view shots to extreme close ups a many more . Once we did this we choose the best pictures we took and edited them in final cut . We then put all of these together and it ran smoothly . To be honest this task wasn't the hardest of task and it prove little difficulty and we were able to express our creativity and ideas . It was quite easy to embed the jelly babies into our plot . Now I'm looking forward to acting these scenes out . 

Animatic story board

In our lesson we had to create scenes using jelly babies and take pictures of them using still cameras to create story board on what we was going to shoot later on. In my group we decided on the plot of our story which was about a couple who are making love to each other then the male goes leaving the female on her own and then she gets taken away by a stranger. When we took the pictures we used extreme close ups on the digital still camera so we can get a close detail on what is happening. After we took the pictures we then uploaded them onto the computer onto final cut pro we put the stll images in order of the plot.

Wednesday, 2 February 2011

Editing Short film "The Bag Swap"

After we shot our mini film for the bad swap we then later edited it adding extra sound and combining all the clips to make it into a story. We first got all our clips and uploaded it onto the computer, we then reviewed all our clips again onto the big screen so we can see what type of footage we can and could not use. After reviewing the footage we shot I then started to put them together so they can run as a story and I tried to get all the different angles we shot in each scene and tried to make sure that all the scenes flowed well with each other. We was then showed how to add music into our film, I personally found this hard as we was only showed one time how to do it so I got stuck at first but then I discovered how to do it. It took me a while just to play around with the sound at first as I wanted to put in specific types of sound to help create tension in our film but I had to rush it as time was not on our side. We added a clock sound which I think was good as it created that feel of waiting and why are you waiting which I think worked well but we did not get a chance to ad more sounds.

Film Openings

There are four different type of openings for films. They are discrete openings, narrative openings, title over a blank screen and stylized editing.

Discrete openings are openings that show you the titles and clips that probably have nothing to do with the next scene but it gives the audience a hint of what the movie will be about. For example 'Arlington Road' shows images of white picket fences, dogs and children. We get the image of a homely neighborhood, but using the colours black, white, yellow and red and the music, we get the complete opposite feeling. We then know something about the film but we still want to find out exactly what is going to happen.

Narrative openings is when the film starts with an actual scene and the titles appear during the scene. The audience usually meet the main characters in this scene. For example 'Panic Room' starts with an establishing shot of the city, across the buildings are the titles in big 3D letters. We then have a zoom into the crowd and we are shown the main characters.

Titles over a blank screen is clearly what it says. This is used in the film 'Dead Calm'. This type of opening requires the music to do all the work. In 'Dead Calm' the music causes tension and gives us the feeling of doom. The music also pulls you into the movie. With this opening you are able to do something interesting with the font like 'Dead Calm' has titles moving towards the screen.

The last and newest way to open a film is through stylised editing. This is when the editing is the main feature. In 'Taking of Pelham 123' the screen starts of small but then expands. It also starts with an establishing shot which leads into different shots and very fast show of the streets. It slows down at certain points and on certain character letting us know they are either the main characters or who we have to look out for in the opening scene. It then jumps back and forth from the offices and the train station. The titles are shown very discretely so that we don't get distracted from the actual film.

Out of these openings I really enjoyed 'Arlington Road' but I think it will be very hard to do an opening like this but i wouldn't mind trying.

Camera Skills: Introduction

Before we was able to interact with the cameras we was given a safety lesson in which we was taught all the basic key point's we needed to control the cameras. 

These are some point's we learned. 
  • Not to leave the cameras unsupervised
  • How to put in the memory card and how to take it out
  • How to put the camera on focus 
  • How to put the battery in and out
  • adjusting the camera onto a tripod
  • How to record
  • only use the camera with a media card
We was then given a small brief and was asked to film it. In my group our brief was a bag swap we had to film it in a thrilling exciting way. We first created a plan and we wrote down all the scenes we was going to use and the different shot's we was going to have in our film. After making our plot and deciding who was going to play which roles we then set out to film. At first it was kinda hard as we had to get as many shots as possible from different directions, our location was also hard to film in as we had people walking up and down while we was filming so we had to really concentrate to make sure we did not loose focus. We also had difficulties with the tripod as sometimes it was hard to get remove the camera from it. It the end we pulled through and we got difffrent shots and angles in our film we used point of view shot's, over the should shot's and extreame close ups. After an hour and 30 minutes we decided we got all the footage we needed and we finished making our film and decided to take it into the next stage editing.

Livetype and Sound

When we filmed the 'Bag Swap' we were shown how to use Livetype and how to add sounds to our scene. Livetype is used to add titles to your scene. We could do this through FinalCut Pro, but Livetype has different fonts and features. We could make the titles scroll or have each letter in a different font. Due to time we weren't actually able to add titles, but I hope in our next filming we will be able to add some.

FinalCut Pro gave us the option to add sounds, but there was not as many as Sountrack Pro. On Soundtrack Pro we found many sounds such as heartbeats, clocks, screams and there were also many beats which were helpful for non-diegetic music. We were able to add a couple of sounds but we couldn't figure out how to switch of the sounds that had been recorded, so you can hear noises in the background which sound very unprofessional. I hope that when we film our next scene we are able to add fonts, sounds and get rid of the recorded sounds if they are not needed.

Tuesday, 1 February 2011

Animatic Film

In class we had to create a scene using still images. The scene had to be a plan of an actual scene we are going to shoot. To do this we used a still camera and jelly babies. We decided that one of the actors, 'jelly babies', will be kidnapped so we had to show this as clearly as possible using the jelly babies. We wanted to keep the genre thriller because it will be helpful with our final film. We took many shots such as an over-the shoulder-shot and wide shots.

After this was done we transferred the photos onto final cut pro and edited them into the correct order and how we want our scene to be. This was quite easy compare to an actual film. The scene was then uploaded onto the blog using handbrake for everyone to see. I enjoyed making the scene and I hope our scene comes out just as well and the making of the scene is just as fun.