Friday, 8 April 2011

Q8 - Looking back preliminary task, what do you feel you have learned in the progression from it to the progression from it to the full product?

After 4 months of studying how to make a film, I have learned a lot. At the start, I didn't even know how to correctly handle a camera...

I remember the day when we finally had the induction lesson on the camera; I was looking towards that lesson for ages.

Our first task was to create a preliminary film, following the scenario that was given to us by our teacher. The scenarios were really simple/boring, therefore our objective was to try and make it interesting by using a wide range of shots and a creativity. Our group was given "Bag Swap". As a group, we really thought we were really lucky at the time, because other groups had scenarios like "reading a newspaper"... But when it got to the planning/filming, we really found it simplistic and it was actually quite hard to try and remember to use all the shot types asked.

As this was our very first film ever, for us all in the group, it wasn't bad at all. We have managed to use several shot types, such as close-ups and mid-shots. Today, when I look at it, I realise how much we have improved, as a group.

Here is an example of how much I have improved my camera skills. On the preliminary task, here on the left, we can clearly see that the character is walking up the stairs. However, the top of her head is cut off. In our real film, the filming is neater as you can see that the top of her head isn't cut off.

This is only one example of how much we have improved. Along the course, we have learned how to use Soundtrack pro and Final Cut Pro with ease and confidence.

During the preliminary task, we have learned a bit more about audience and how to target our film to a particular audience, using stereotypes or Mise En Scene for example. I think that we have made the right decisions in our real film. The main character is a teenage girl and the soundtrack used is popular to teenagers. Therefore, our target audience (which is teenagers aged 15+) is, in some ways, part of the film.

In the process of making our real film, our group had to go through several challenges. First, one of our group member had personal problems and ended up being misunderstood by most of the group. A lack of trust towards him gained us. After talking to our teachers, a radical decision was made; it was best for him to quit the group. I didn't want it to end up like this, however I think it was necessary in order to conserve the well-being of the group. We couldn't work properly anymore.

This was at the start of making our real thriller. After this little "incident", we managed to get over it and carry on preparing our blog. I cannot believe how much planning we have done for... 2 mins of film! This is incredible, and I cannot imagine how much work you have to do for a 2hr film...

Overall, the experience of filming / planning was really good. I loved it! Media is one of my favourite subject, and this experience allowed me to improve my skills in Filming (camera), Editing (using several editing programs, including soundtrack pro and final cut), and how to work in a group. I can't wait to make my second film!

Our opening sequence was a success! Well done guys :-D

Q2 - How does your media product represent particular social groups?

In our thriller, the main character is a 16-year-old teenager girl who listens to mainstream music. She spends her time chatting to her friends and reading fashion magazines. In order to represent our character, we used stereotypes of a typical teenager girl. 

What Lies Beneath and The Return both use stereotypes of women, as they are both shown as vulnerable.

The Return
What Lies Beneath

Question Four & Five

Thursday, 7 April 2011

Question Six.

In order to find out what others thought about The Return, and to collect constructive criticism, so that we could improve our film making next time. Our thriller opening was shown to my media class, and they all wrote down their opinions of it. With this information, I was able to create a wordcloud on


On the 5th of April, all of As media went to the Screen on the Green to watch all the thriller openings. After watching The Return, I asked some of my friends a few questions about their personal opinions of it. 

Question one: What did you enjoy most about The Return, and why?
Albana: I liked that it was in black and white, because it made it interesting, it showed that it was a dream, and it made me want to continue watching it after it changed into colour.
Rahwa: I liked the soundtrack, because it was the instrumental version of a song that i know and really like. This made me interested, because I knew that people like me were the intended target audience.

Question two: What did you enjoy the least about The Return, and why?
Albana: At the start of the clip, some of the shots were too fast, like the panning, which meant that I couldn't see the mise en scene properly.
Rahwa: I didn't like that it was in black and white for most of it, because it made me feel quite sleepy and I also found it very dark.

Question three: What were your opinions on the story line of The Return?
Albana: I found it really interesting, but a little confusing at times- I wasn't sure what the storyline was until it was explained to me after.
Rahwa: I really loved it! I found it really creepy and interesting, and I wanted to find out what will happen to the girl, and if she is really dead or if she will die.

Question four: Do you think The Return was suitable for its target audience of teenagers? Why or why not?
Albana: Yes, because the character was a teen girl, so the audience would be able to relate to her. However, I think that it would only be suitable for older teenagers, as the storyline is quite confusing.
Rahwa: Definately, as the character is probably a lot like the target audience, as she is young and likes typical teenage things, such as magazines and makeup. The music and mise en scene also adds to this, as the song is a popular song.

Question five: How do you think the shot types and camera angles were?
Albana: I think most of them were good, such as the over the shoulder shot, but I think some shots were not very professional, such as the zooming in and panning
Rahwa: I think there was a very wide range of camera shot types used, which made it very interesting

Question Three.

The target audience for our film, The Return is teenagers, especially girls, aged 15 and over. However, some adults may also be interested in watching The Return, as it is a psychological thriller.

Poppy is a 16 year old girl, who is studying for her GCSEs in secondary school. She loves spending time with her friends on weekends, chatting on facebook, shopping, read and going to the cinema. Her favourite shops are Topshop and Zara. She especially enjoys watching films about girls like her, romantic comedies, movies that keep her on the edge of her seat and ones that she can chat about and discuss with her friends.
   This is the contents of her handbag: 


Q3 - Who would be the audience for your media product?

 The target audience of our thriller would be teenagers, aged 15+. In order to illustrate our audience, I have created an illustration of the typical target audience member, with a little lifestyle summary.

Sean, 18-year-old, is a student at George Monoux College. He loves to watch thriller and horror films, especially the ones with a twist.  Always on Facebook, Sean is connected 24/7 with his friends. But when he puts his phone down, it’s to watch a film. He loves going to the cinema, with or without his friends. His passion for films made him more aware of the newest releases but also, independent films.

In his bag, we can find... 

A Vue Cinema card

An iPod

A smartphone, with an Internet plan

An Odeon cinema card

Question Eight

'' Looking back at your preliminary task, what do you feel you have learned in the progression from it to the full product? ''

Wow, It really does seem as if we just started the media course and our preliminary tasks were set just the other day or so.. This shows that time has passed significantly!!! When we were first given the task to make a normal/boring activity into a suspenseful clip, I thought to myself that it was going to be impossible to make. 
Just to make it clear this task was called 'The Bag Swap' and to summarize quickly what this involved us to do was to include two characters switching over a bag. Simple as that. But seen as we are media students we had to make this 'Idea' into something interesting that involved a deal of suspense and tension, so the audience will actually be in gaged. 

As this was our first filming task, myself and my group members found it slightly difficult to adjust the camera the way we want it, for example the close-up quality-making sure it is not blurry and that the audience can tell what we are filming and also the lighting on the camera.. I wasn't quite experienced when it came down to filming and handling the camera, so I was slow getting to grips with it but eventually at the end I managed to shoot full on scene's for our thriller. Which made me feel great and much more experienced !! 

''Infact, the whole progession from the start of the course uptill now has been a great success. I started off not knowing how to handle camera's or get a perfect shot or even how to edit a single scene THEN end up creating a 2 min thriller opening, which obviously includes all the editing and titles # the main things I wasn't clear of at the beginning.'' 

Here Are Some Pictures From The Preliminary Task 'The Bag Swap'  And From Our Thriller Opening 'The Return' 

The Beggining Of The Bag Swap..

Obviously now that I am more familiar with the whole filming process, I notice now that this shot has too much spacing showing before the actuall scene startss, which is very poor Mise en Scene. 
Taking this screen shot and comparing it to the beggining of 'The Return' you can see a clear difference! As the shot is perfectly angled and partly shows the room.

The Return Opening Shot..
As you can tell much more better and well planned out.

Firstly I didn't purposly crop the top bit of this shot.. This is how it was filmed in the first place and I just print screened it.
Now you can see how poor the filming was, we didn't notice that the actors head is cut off when filming and when we did, it was a awfull quick zoom out.. Which by the way looked slightly bad in the film.

A HUGE difference now.. It is a much tighter shot of the character and the Mise en Scene! We're not cutting out the face of the character or showing any excess background. 
I guess one point that made our final opening more successful than the preliminary task was the timing & planning. For the preliminary task we literally had one hour/half to do all the filming and come back to put them together and make a sequence. However for our final opening we had a more relaxed timetable.. We had a rough plan ( although it did change freqently as well as our storyline ), and we were also able to film out side of college time, whether it was the weekend or holiday. 
Overall the whole filming process was a wonderful experience, although we went through a lot of ups and down, but at the end of everything, we managed to make our thriller opening a success! 

The MAIN Things I Have Learnt In The Progession ..

* How To Use The Camera.. 
-Camera Shots, Angles, Movement
* The Mise En Scene..
- Like I Mentioned Before At First There Was Alot Of Excess Scenary Compared To The Final Opening (much tighter)
* Working With Other People In Groups..
- It was nice to get to know my group members, I believe I have built good relationship with each of them. But at first no one knew what the other person is like! 
* Edit and Sound !!
- At first I would have never thought that I will understand how to Edit something using final cut or add a soundtrack. But this is one of the biggest point I have gained a lot of experience from. And now I can finally say that I Know how to use each of the programmes.