Tuesday, 23 March 2010

Final Cut Feedback

Marking Criteria:

  • Recording voice clearly
  • Holding a shot steady
  • Framing a shot appropriately
  • Shooting material appropriate to task set
  • Using a variety of shot distances
  • Selecting appropriate mise-en-scene
  • Editing so meaning is apparent to viewer
  • Using varied shot transitions and effects
  • Using sound with images
  • Using titles appropriately

Friday, 12 March 2010

Rough Cut Feedback

Today we presented our rough cut film to our classmates and teachers. We received feedback so that we could make improvements to our film. There was a mixed reception for the film as it generated positive and negative reviews.

Shot at 1:13 was dramatic and effective, it allowed for a different angle as well as being realistic.

The lighting was perfect as it coincides with the plot and needs no editing to improve.

The antagonist was portrayed well and is obvious to the audience what is role is.

However some shots were shaky due to Maz forgetting to take the tripod with him when we filmed.

Another problem was that the protagonist was not clear and seems to be much more of a victim.

The video footage lasts 1.27 and therefore needs 33 seconds to meet the criteria; our video still needs credits and music.

Thursday, 11 March 2010

Rough Cut: Thriller Opening

We have edited parts of the video footage we had took, and have made a rough cut which seems pretty good after viewing it. This Rough Cut only includes the video side of the editing, no music or credits have yet been added. It has been uploaded to Youtube, and can be seen below.

Friday, 5 March 2010

Evaluation Questions

Thriller Evaluation Questions

1. In what ways does your media product use, develop or challenge forms and conventions of real media products?

2. How does your media product represent particular social groups?

3. What kind of media institution might distribute your media product and why?

4. Who would be the audience for your media product?

5. How did you attract/address your audience?

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

7. Looking back to your preliminary task, what do you feel that you have learnt in the progression from it to the full product?

Thursday, 25 February 2010

Finalised Idea

Film Date & Time:
1st Shoot > Friday 26th February 9.00am till 10.30am. (Canceled due to the absence of Maz)

Camera/Tripod Assistant:
Michael & Maz are both responsible for picking up the necessary equipment to create our thriller opening.

Filming Location:
Town/College; both locations are public which means we must take extra care for health and safety as well as any problems such as disturbing the public and the need to ask for permission if needed. We will travel to the locations mostly individually if it cycling or the use of public transport.

We would like to film in the night to add a dark/eery backdrop to our plot however our schedules never match up so we may need to edit the footage's lighting when using final cut to produce the night time atmosphere.

Due to the lack of numbers in our group we are considering the aid of our friends to complete this project. Maz and me will interview possible candidates who can create the atmosphere and feeling we require to make our project huge success. Furthermore we want actors who look the part and can create something unique and different to our thriller. The actors will not be needing to learn a script prerecording as there is minimal if any lines to learn.

Film Crew:
On the day of filming Michael will assume the role of director and cameraman. Maz will be starring in the thriller as well as taking up editor and producer duties.

We do not need the use of any hand held props in our thriller. However we need the use of a bed and bathroom/mirror.

Back-Up Plan:
Our back-up plan if the weather is to disrupt our filming is to postpone all filming until the weather has cleared. Although we could still film in bad weather, because it could add the scary gloomy effect as well as the sound of the wind could increase tension.

Friday, 12 February 2010

Character Review: Protagonist

Liam Neeson plays the role of Bryan Mills an ex-CIA agent who needs to find his daughter who has been taken hostage from a group of Albanian gangsters. He is portrayed as a protagonist in numerous ways, the use of script, costume, lighting and camera shots.

The script places him in the situation where it is obvious to the audience that he is the protagonist, slightly cliched with the man saving daughter from bad men storyline. We also see he is a much darker character than normal with the threats, violence and clothing.

"I don't know who you are. I don't know what you want. If you are looking for ransom, I can tell you I don't have money. But what I do have are a very particular set of skills; skills I have acquired over a very long career. Skills that make me a nightmare for people like you. If you let my daughter go now, that'll be the end of it. I will not look for you, I will not pursue you. But if you don't, I will look for you, I will find you, and I will kill you." In this particular scene you witness the transformation of the protagonist from a loving father into the dangerous CIA agent.

His clothing in the film is smart but business-like showing the seriousness of the plot and character, it also dark which blends with most of the scenes due to the fact of the lighting and atmosphere they display.

This character does not really compare with our protagonist but this is due to the fact that the thriller is only based on the opening of the film and as we are not allowed to expand on the storyline.

Character Review: Antagonist

Kevin Spacey plays the character of John Doe in Se7en; the antagonist. He is a relatively unknown character and the audience knows little about his appearance and state of mind until the last 30 minutes where he reveals himself and his disturbing ways. The plot is based on the seven deadly sins.

The writers of the film show our antagonist with secrecy and have concealed his physical appearance til the later stages of the film, however they have written this character in way that you can feel his presence from the very first murder. This makes the audience feel they know the villain.

"Wanting people to listen, you can't just tap them on the shoulder anymore. You have to hit them with a sledgehammer, and then you'll notice you've got their strict attention." When they find who the murderer is the audience would have already discovered how provoking the characters minds is but this is due to the excessive insanity his words are. From the quote above you can see his mind is set on evil and that he has no care for the world.

From the picture below you see the appearance of John Doe an unexpectedly weak but normal looking man. When I witnessed this I was surprised but when you see the interrogation from Mills and Somerset (the protagonists) you realise that these two oppostites (the disturbing mind and weak looking man) seem to be appropriate.

John Doe compared to our character is rather similar in the way that he will not be completely revealed in the opening of our thriller but you will feel the strong presence that the 'Se7en' villain so easily depicts. However our character will not be so disturbing but this is due to the fact (again) that we are unable to expand our projects into a full thriller.

Thursday, 11 February 2010

Test Shot Review

We took one lesson to complete some test shots so we could see what works and what doesn't. However these were filmed in the day and in a different location from which we want to film. This means that some shots may seem better than they actually are. We decided to try different shots for each scene to see if there was a better way of picturing the story in a thriller way.

We tried handheld shots to add a sense of reality and physical movement to the film, and we felt that this was quite successful; this lead us to believe that the film could be entirely filmed like that but we still are undecided as it could make the film seem tacky and unprofessional.

A problem that we faced when filming was the progression of continuity as you can see from a number of shots there is a difference in some of them; Carl appears in some shots and disappears, then there are different people in the background and cars etc. This needs to be sorted out and carefully searched for when filming the final cut.

Furthermore we found out that sound is a big problem depending on the weather conditions, we filmed on a windy day meaning that all you could hear was the gusts, we decided to add our own music to add a suspenseful feeling towards the test.

We created two videos; a video with our entire filming and a second video that has been edited into some sort of chronological order.

Tuesday, 9 February 2010

Top Tips For Filming

1. Be Clear Of The Short Length You Want To Achieve.
2. Keep The Camera As Steady - Tripod.
3. All Ways Capture Extra Footage.
4. Take Shot List.
5. Capture A Variety Of Shots.
6. Keep Continuity
7. Have A Back-Up Plan.
8. Make Sure The Tape Is In The Right Place.

Health & Safety:

- Be Aware Of Surroundings.
- Get Consent.
- Don't Film In A Dangerous Place.
- Don't Do Any Thing That A Passer-By Might Be Offended By.
- Be Respectful To The Public.
- No Children In The Film.

Friday, 5 February 2010

Thriller Storyboard & Shotlist

Shot 1: Establishing Shot

Shot 2: Long Shot (Over The Shoulder)

Shot 3: Mid Shot

Shot 4: Reaction Shot

Shot 5: Shot Reverse Shot

Shot 6: Shot Reverse Shot

Shot 7: Match On Action Shot

Shot 8: Close Up Shot

Shot 9: Reaction Shot

Shot 10: Mid Shot

Shot 11: Close Up/Flashback

Shot 12: Credits

Thursday, 4 February 2010

Mise-En-Scene of a Thriller

- The setting for our thriller is in 3 locations, a street, a location for a night out possibly pub, club etc and a bedroom/bathroom. All locations will be filmed in the night except from the bedroom/bathroom scene.

- In our thriller there are not many props needed, maybe a balaclava, for the antagonist, however this is because the thriller is mainly based on the psychological side and there is no brutal acts of violence with guns and weapons etc.

- As the protagonist is returning from a night out this means he will be in smart-casual where as the antagonist will be dressed in dark clothes blending with the setting to add an eery effect.

- Usually thrillers have a dark lighting scheme, with mainly shadows and minimal lighting. however we have contemplated of using black/white for the first few shots and then a change into colour when the morning comes.


- There will only be two main actors, the protagonist and antagonist. the protagonist will be a normal person and at first you feel that he's the victim of an unplanned attack as you feel he is a member of the general public.

Revised Schedule

8th-12th February > Filming

22nd-26th February > Filming & Editing

1st-5th March > Filming & Editing

8th March > Deadline Filming

11th March > Rough Cut Deadline

18th March > Final Cut Deadline

Tuesday, 2 February 2010

'Why "Thrillers" Thrive' Review

The difference between a horror and a thriller film is how the story is portrayed by the characters on the screen, 'we have to project ourselves into their consciousness'. We feel that in a thriller we are in the scene feeling involved in every car chase, shoot-out and aggressive arguments.

Furthermore thrillers have a sense of reality where as horrors have entirely surreal scenarios of beastliness and horrible events that only exist in the most perverse of peoples imaginations.

However in a thriller it is easier to twist a viewers imagination into believing part of the action when it is viewed in a cinematic view rather than at a theatre. This is because on a screen the producers can capture more emotional and revealing shots e.g a point of view shot during intense action to make the viewer feel that they are the person that is in grave danger therefore maximizing the thrill. Where as in a theatre the viewer is only able to see snippets of the action as it is impossible to make the match on action shots seem as realistic as you can in a cinematic view.

Moreover you cannot use the different shot types that a cinematic film can use to increase the feeling of reality and thrill.

In this case horrors life on the silver screen is meeting its near end and is unable to conjure new and modern ideas where as the thriller strives in creating suspenseful and radical ideas that have a major sense of reality, keeping it's viewer "on the edge" with the ability to spontaneously turn the film inside out and upside down.

Will thrillers die out? We feel that it is less likely for a thriller to die out as it is for a horror as the thriller film tends to have numerous ideas and variety in how to portray an scenario many times, however horrors are unable to regenerate these as often and become tedious with the lack of imagination furthermore the predictability of the following scenes.

Thursday, 28 January 2010

Pitch Feedback

After we presented our pitch to the class, we asked for some feedback from our fellow peers and teacher. We were asked a mixed variety of questions relevant to the film, however we did not receive many suggestions on how to improve our project. Here are some of the questions we were asked:

Q) Will we be acting in the film?
A) Unfortunately as we are a small group of three where the third Carl has some attendance issues, we would be looking to find someone to aid us in our filming, a friend possibly.

Q) What kind of music will be used?
A) We will pace the music with the speed of the visuals, so if it fast then the music will be fast and vice versa. Furthermore to keep it related to the thriller genre the music will be dark and eery.

Q) How long will the duration of your shooting be?
A) We are looking to film for about 15 minutes, unedited, then plan to edit it to make it fit and match correctly to our criteria of two minutes. Most of the camerawork will take place outside of college but the editing will be used in college lesson time as the resources we have at our hands is far greater than our personal resources.

Q) What costume will we use?
A) With the narrative of our thriller involving the main protagonist exiting from a night out we will dress him in smart-casual attire and the antagonist in the obvious choice of balaclava and dark clothing.

Q) What credit style do we want to produce? Font, colour etc?
A) Our first idea was to blend in the credits with the actual visuals of the thriller introduction, but this required a lot of advanced editing, so we want to use a visual then credit style, with our action than the credits rolling, the idea we want to use is to have the protagonist waking up from a dream/nightmare and than a flashback leading to the credits however this will depend on the time we have and the resources available. The font is still undecided but we will evaluate our camerawork and the lighting to help select the appropriate font/colour. Furthermore we need to analyse the speed of our visuals to match to the speed of our credits.

Tuesday, 26 January 2010

Film Pitch

Narrative Ideas
- Protagonist is walking down the street after a night out, he turns around because of an eery presence; he feels as if he's being followed, (boom) he gets mugged by the mystery protagonist. Cliffhanger. Credits.

- Protagonist wakes up from a dream/nightmare, the morning after; his dream/nightmare is replayed but it's not a dream it's reality, the screen flashes. Credits (Flashbacks of places, signs etc).

- Combination of the two narrative ideas where the protagonist is mugged and immediately wakes up in his room, the next day he visits the places which give him flashbacks.

Character/Actor Ideas
- Protagonist > Male > Common > No information on personal life.
- Antagonist > Mystery > Evil or Good.

Location Chosen & Why
- Urban Street > Location where protagonist is walking along after his night out.
- Alley Way > Location of quick shot of the mugging.
- Bedroom > Location where he wakes up.

What Certificate Would You Be And Why?
- 15 because the opening sequence may follow a story line that will involve

Style Of Your Titles
We had an initial idea of using flashbacks in our title credits as it relates to our narrative ideas of memory flashbacks and remembrance.

Music/Shot Information
- Dark and eery music
- Reaction shot of the protagonist when he is woke
- Shot reverse shot when the man is picking up pace showing the reaction of the man and a shot over the mans shoulder showing what is behind him that giving the man the eery feeling.

Thursday, 21 January 2010

Sound and Garageband

Sound Terms:

- We see the source of the sound.

Dialogue - Tone/Accent/Phrases

Background Noises - eg. TV and Radio

Ambient Sound
- Natural Sound.

- Sound that is added in sound effects

- Character Motives

Asynchronus Sound
- Contradicts the image

Sound Bridge - Smooths the gap between scenes

The picture above is the soundtrack that we have made for the Identity Clip.

Tuesday, 19 January 2010

Analysing Past Student Project

The Last breath:

This clip is very good and i enjoyed watching it, it consist of continous use of different shots and well blended camera effects, along with the great camera movement and the shot reverse shot increases tension and creates suspense. The use of the shots being switched from different angles shows that it is very professional. The shots are really steady and includes the appropriate elements. Mise-en-scene is used in camera work, which is greatly used. I think the story is expressed very well with the effective editing, the blend of sound and filming is very good especially showing the radio and shower with the intruder.

Analysing Past Student Project


The clip shown above meets most of the criteria for a Level 4 video. It has a steady shots with minimum shaking, it also frames many appropriate elements like the keys under the mat and the locking of the door. There are also a mixture of camera shots and angles, such as long shots, zoomed in shots and shot reverse shots. There is constant music in the background and minimum sound effects from other diegetic sounds. The video has appropriate aspects for a thriller as well as aspects of mise-en-scene specific to a thriller, like the lighting is dark and sinister creating an atmosphere of suspense and eeriness.

Marking Criteria for Video

Top Level - Level 4 - 48/60 marks
  • Demonstrate an excellence in the following:
  • Holding a shot steady
  • Framing a shot - excluding/including elements as appropriate
  • Using a variety of shot distances
  • Shooting material appropriate to the task set
  • Selecting mis-en-scene
  • Editing so meaning is apparent to viewer
  • Using varied shot transitions/effects
  • Using sound with images
  • Using titles appropriately
On top of this to achieve the best grade:

Set location/settings, music to set genre, themes and narrative structure should be clear !

Thursday, 14 January 2010

Vantage Point: Analysis Political Sub-Genre

Vantage Point is a movie that is based on 8 people who have been put in the place where they can see a lot of things that other people didn't and this is an advantage for the government as they need to know some things that only these people know. This helps the film create a mysterious and dramatic atmosphere, the clip shows a lot of suspense for both the viewer and the characters within the film too.
The conventions are things such as:
  • The terrorist type of thing going on with the powerful people being the government trying to get information from the vantage pointers.
  • The shift of power from the presidents and government is low and shifts to the people with information.
  • This power is prevented by terrorists and is mixed in with the conventions
  • Theres the terrorists which are ranked below the vantage pointers.

Memento: Analysis Psychological Sub-Genre

Memento is set around a man who has a rare mental condition where he cannot create "new memories" , this helps the film create its mysterious and dramatic atmosphere.

At first the danger is solely placed on the protagonist (Leonard Shelby) mentally due to the fact he has no recollection of short term memory creates a disadvantage in finding his wife's killer.

In Memento Leonards own mental condition and the character of Teddy who is actually John Edward Gemmell.

Tuesday, 12 January 2010

Classic Thriller: Vertigo

Conventions in "Vertigo" by Alfred Hitchcock (1958):

- Music: The music used in the background of the film is up tempo at first mainly because there is a chase in progress, gradually it changes its speed and slows down to show the suspense when the jump is in progress however when the character is hanging for his life it changes again to music with a feeling of peril and possible disaster.

- Characters: The three characters involved in the clip are all individuals, firstly a criminal - mainly from the fact a policeman is in the progress of chasing him. Then a policeman and a smartly dressed character - possibly a detective.

- Location: The location of the clip is on a rooftop, the background scenery is dark and at height - connection to the name of the film.

Friday, 8 January 2010

Preliminary Task

Thursday, 7 January 2010

What would be expected from a thriller ? - Maz

If I personally wanted to be thrilled, then I would like to see part of the story then slowly be led into thinking one thing would happen, when unexpected i would be thrilled by something very intense.
So there should be many factors to a thriller such as the following:

The set would be very dark or some kind of scary or thrilling type of lighting and/or the scene being very quick. The location must be relative to the thrilling, for example the continuous dark atmosphere in "The number 23" with Jim Carrey, and the small things like the wall that had all writing over it.

These random little scene are thrilling, as the audience is thinking "what is going on" !
The characters also have to be thrilling like Jim Carrey having all writing all over his face was freaky to the audience.

The dialogue of the thrillers characters has to be different, but dependent on the movies genre and settings, in the number 23, he says everything as if he is being thrilled by it, and is slowly going crazy, for example he looks at the clock and if it says 23, his expression changed completely and he is very paranoid.

There are other ways to thrill the audience too, with simple props such as a knife or a very old book, with suspenseful music whilst it being shown, like in the movie, number 23, both of these props are used, to have a thrilling influence to the viewer.

Thriller scene in Taken

Maz's Analysis of Thriller:

In this scene starting when Liam Neeson is on the phone with his daughter, trying to find out what is going on with his daughter, it is very suspensefull and the sound effects are very tense for the viewer as they are getting ready to expect the unexpected. When Liam Neeson's daughter says, "They're taking Amanda" her reaction is as if she is very scared and has almost lost hope, the music beats and she starts breathing deeply.
The editing of the shot reverse and reaction shots are perfectly timed and relevant to the situation they are both in. The shot reverse shot is constant between herself her father and the kidnappers, it switches very quick continuously to show the way she's thinking what's going on, her heart starts beating faster and quick music kicks in.
When Liam Neeson tells her what to do then eventually tells her: "There going to take you" and just before the rest of the instructions she does a deep breath and cries. This particular part of the scene contains many shot reverse and reaction shots ! It is suspenseful for the viewer when she feels relieved they have gone, then she is suddenly thrilled and so are the audience when she is captured under the bed and she screams really loud, the sound is probably edited and increased in volume to show the tenseness of the scene and how suspenseful it is about to get. There is minimum diegetic lighting and the lights are all mainly off, which shows that something bad is going to happen.
All these factors represent that this is a thrilling scene and show that this film is only going to get into the story of the kidnapping more and more, which encourages the viewer to continue watching it. Especially in this scene there is a lot of parallel editing, which personally caught my attention and interest.

Tuesday, 5 January 2010

Preliminary Task: Youtube Film Shots.

Establishing Shot:

An Establishing Shot sets up a scene's location and/or its characters. Normally it is at the start (but sometimes used at the end) of a scene indicating where the rest of the duration of the scene takes place.

As you can see from the clip above, an establishing shot is used to set the location, which in this case is outer space, then it enters the planets atmosphere and slowly lands on the surface of the planet.

Close-Up Shot:

A Close-Up Shot is used to show a character or prop with the utmost detail and does not include the broader scene, they use this to show that what they have zoomed into, emphasizes importance,

00:24 seconds into the clip above is a perfect example of a close up shot, as you can see Tom Cruises face is very closely zoomed into showing that he is of importance, specifically it is used to show the tense atmosphere building up in the scene.

Match On Action Shot:

A Match On Action Shot is when you cut during an action to another camera angle but showing the action from the same point in time that you left it from the previous shot. This is important to continue the flow of the scene.

01:14 seconds into the clip above you can see that the two brothers (Brennan and Dale) pick up their father in the bedroom and the action cuts to them taking him onto the landing.

Reaction Shot:

A Reaction Shot is a shot which cuts away from the main scene in order to show the reaction of a character.

01:02 seconds into the clip above you can see a simple example of a reaction shot, Jackie Chan is singing War by Edwin Starr next to Chris Tucker on the car then the clip cuts to Chris Tucker's face showing the disgust towards the appalling singing.

Long Shot:

A Long Shot shows characters in the same location, this informs the audience of the characters positions relative both to one another and to their surroundings.

As you can see from the opening from the clip above a long shot is used in the Band of Brothers trailer showing the sergeant in relation to his troops, a long shot can be used to show who has the power status between two or more characters.

Preliminary Task Story Board:

Tuesday, 15 December 2009