Thursday, 24 February 2011

Creative Film Making !

Today I oraganised my media folder (Finallyyyy). I sepreated all my work into 3 main categories;
Music, Tv Drama & Thriller Coursework. So anyway as I was going through my papers, I came acorss one of my handouts Annabelle gave. It was called 'Creative Film Making'. I thought I might aswell read it, seen as its just sitting in my folder and besides we are in the process of making a thriller opening, so maybe this might be usefull to read. 
Turns out i was Right ! It was.

There was so much explicit details, that I thought I already knew about. Also the person who wrote this, seem as if their talking directly to you and giving you advice. Thats why I didnt feel as if Im just reading a boring old article.. 
Im definetley going to dicuss what Ive learnt from reading this to my group, as I really think it would help us acheive the best goal in our opening. Here is what the sheet looks like; 

The Structure Of Thriller Openings

In film openings there are 3 basic structures;
* A narrative opening with titles running through
* A discrete title sequence
* Titles over a blank screen,followed by the narrative opening

A narrative opening with the titles running through, is when we are taken straight into the film. Maybe start of with an establishing shot and slowly into the characters, while the opening titles are showing ontop of the image/s. A great example is;

A discrete title sequence is when the titles of the film are seperet from the narrative voice. In contrast to 'Panic room' for instance. An example would be;

 I find this type of opening,very effective. Especially 'seven' becuase its portraying images in a quick flikr, then to a blank screen with titles. This keeps the focus on the titles aswell as the images. 

Title over blank screen,followed by the narrative..
Well its pretty much explained in the title. And the good thing about an opening like this, is that your focused more on the music/sound becuase u dont have no images or scenario's to engage on. Therefore it makes the music/sound significant to the opening.  


Tuesday, 22 February 2011

Intro To LiveType..

In this lesson we were introduced to Live Type. We learned each stages as the technician explained and showed us. He demonstrated all different types of fonts and the adjustments you can do to it; like Change colour, size, overlap one letter over another, what position you want it to appear and much more. It was an engaging lesson to participate in and I simply couldn’t wait till I had the chance to try-it-out myself.

Before being introduced to live type, we were completing the edit of our ‘Gummy bear animatic, in action’ (I think),so Bernard told us to add Titles and sound as appose to what we just learned. I really enjoyed using live type because there were many various features and fonts to use. So you could make the title/credit specific to what you want. This is a great advantage to have when it comes to the real thriller.

Planning our Pitch

The whole idea of the Pitch is to know what your thriller is going to be about and to be able to present it to everyone clearly but not in too much detail .. so it doesn't give away the whole film. 

*The task was to put all the information we have into one creative slideshow!*

As my group already planned the main ideas of our thriller opening in the previous 3 hour lesson, we actually covered most of the points above. Therefore all we done was decided who's going to cover each point and complete a slide on them in our own time. And when we get together, we'll look through them all and put them together and organise it. 

The points im going to cover are;
1) The Title Of Our Movie
2) Planned Location & Location Shots (As its my house)
3) Preliminary Ideas About Sound

Now, although I created my slides abit last minute and emailed it to Max late, we managed to put them together. But just be certain of it and make any changes if needed, me and Max decided to go libary the next morning before lesson! 
(turns out we were allowed to stay in the libary until after break)

Here Im Working On Our Pitch, Setting Up A SlideShow On Powerpoint!
 you can see Bernard giving his 'ususal' lectures at the front. !

Thursday, 10 February 2011

Planning of our opening sequence

Today, we planned the opening sequence of our thriller. We had 3 hours, yes 3 hours to plan... an opening sequence of 2 minutes. However, there is so much to plan that it actually wasn't enough. We had to think about the mise en scène, the sound, the location, the appearence of the title, the type of shots and angle...

Making a start with our plan

Testing how we can write the title of our film :)

Our plan !

Planning our ACTUAL thriller

In today's lesson we had 3 hours to plan our Thriller Openings. 
Yes, i know what your thinking.. Thats sooo much time to plan a 2minute opening. 
But trust me, 3 hours did not seem enough. There are a lot of things you have to consider and share with the group. 

Here are a list of things we had to think of:
* The Idea Of Our Opening
* The Title- font, size, layout/position
* Mise en Scene
* The sound
* Camera shot-types and angels

So here we started of with the idea..
And as you can see, our plan just kept growing..
Now, At This Point We Covered Most Areas; The Idea,Title,Setting,Mise en Scene

the final production of our plan !
We asked Annabel to photocopy it for,so we each have a copy.. But it never came out exactly how we pictured. Single A4 Sheets,Black&White. 
So It Wasnt As Pretty Like This One.

During this time, we had planned out almost everything we need to know about our film. There shouldn't be no confusion the next time we review it. 

Our Gummy Bear Animatic In Action

Please leave a comment if you wish.. 

Gummy bear animatic in action 2/2

1 week ago, in Bernard's lesson we were set the task to create the actual production of our gummy bear animatic we did the previous lesson. It was quite simple and fast to be honest, because we had everything planned out, we knew exactly what was going to happen.

Again, this was a great experience as it gives us more knowledge and understanding of filming and editing. Which builds our confidence and skills for the real thriller !!

What the film is about ?

Sharmin, the main character walks into the room questioning why Hanifah is not ready yet. She then notices how Hanifah is still 'sleeping'. After calling her name several times, theres no answer. A cup drops out of Hanifah's hand and as Sharmin bends down to see what she had drank. She is astonished by what she smells.
Sharmin then runs to the water fountain and runs back with a cup full of water, senselessley she chucks the whole cup of water on her face! There is yet NO sign of movement from Hanifah.
Slowly Sharmin drops down on her knees and cries upon Hanifah's hand.

Below is the final video edited with sounds and credit..  Hope u enjoy it !

Leave a comment if u wish..

Friday, 4 February 2011

The filming of "The Death" + Outtakes

Hey! During our last lesson, we've been busy filming our second trial project. We did the storyboard using Gelly Babies, now we had to do it for real...

The Death behind the scene...

I think it went pretty well, and we certainly improved from our first filming. We knew what we were doing, but we also stayed flexible on the angles and dialogue we wanted to add. I think we had some great scenes, such as the match-cut of Sharmin, going through the door and we had a nice tracking shot of her running to get some water (Although we filmed this sequence around 15 times!).

However, "The Death" isn't available just yet; we just finished the video editing. During our next lesson, we will add sound effects and credits, so stay tuned!

But in the mean time, I have a little present for you! The outtakes of "The Death" ! Have fun. The explanation is below...

  1. Hanifah, who is meant to be dead (Sorry Hanifah), is having a chat with a friends. (And doing her hair, as usual!)
  2. I do not know why we have this to be honest, as Robert was filming this sequence, but Sharmin seems to be having a laugh :P
  3. While we nearly nailed the filming of this sequence, a guy walks in the shot!! Unexpected, and very weird. We had to wait for about 5 mins for him to go away!!! Thank you very much if you're reading this :-P
  4. No comment on that one! Sorry Sharmin... ;)
  5. While Sharmin is playing her role, Hanifah bursts out laughing!
  6. I was trying to set the angle and zoom right for this shot, but I didn't realise it was still filming! While Sharmin is giving me ideas for the shot, I have noticed that the camera was recording. "Oh shit!" as I said... 
  7. I think I didn't give Sharmin a good "warning" of when I was going to start filming, she was a bit surprised. I think that's why she is laughing!
  8. While Sharmin is acting, Hanifah comes back from the death (again?!) and laughs at Sharmin, not knowing what to do... Nice one!
  9. Oh god... We filmed this sequence about 15 times to get it right!!! Sharmin had to run to the water fountain, but to get the scene more "energetic", we decided to follow Robert's advice: Sharmin had to hit the table. However, as we did it 15 times... Well, she had to hit the table 15 times! When she reaches the wated fountain, she was meant to drop the cup, to emphasise her panic. However, the cup felt in the sink! It flopped. She had to hit the table, another time... ! Well done Sharmin, and sorry!
  10. Once she had the cup, she had to run back and throw some water on Hanifah. However, it looked a bit... well, fake!
  11. I was taking a while to set the camera up, and I didn't warn Sharmin properly when I started filming. Surprise surprise!

Thursday, 3 February 2011

Gummy Bear Animatic 1/2

As we are getting closer to our ACTUAL thriller opening, we are taking part in a number of task that would help us get use to filming and learn more techniques and skills each time !!
This lesson we weren't told to write a plan on a storyboard, Instead we had to make an Animatic using Gummy bears. So we had to position each gummy bear as if something is happening and take a still photo. And the next lesson we have we were going to make a film and have actors acting rather then gummy bears!

Below are some (not all) snapshots the animatic..

After we had finished taking pictures, we then moved into the Editing Suit to put all of our pictures together to make the ANIMATIC
So we looked over all our pictures, chose the best ones, and moved them into Final Cut Pro.
In order to make the animatic run fast, we had to shorten the time each pictures is going to take.

Outtakes Of 'The Bag Swap'

As this was our first experience of filming, since the start of the course, there happened to be many shots we found funny when looking back at them. Below are some videos....

Video1: Throughout the whole filming process, it was really hard to stay in role and not laugh.
Video2: How can Max be filming, and not realise that he's filming Hanifah on the side doing her hair.
When we all saw this, it was really hard to stop laughing !!
Video3:You can tell how 'hard' he tried not to laugh. 

Overall I think this was a great experience in filming. We considered all the mistakes we made as a good thing. 
'' Practice makes Perfect ''


Every film has to have an audience, otherwise whats the point?Right. Theres no point in making a film just for yourself to watch. 
In this case when your in the process of making a film or even a opening sequence, you always have to think of what type of audience its going to be aimed at. For instance you cant have a romantic/sexual film and have an audience of Under 7 year olds !!

In 2009, UK produced 31 thrillers and altogether approximately 323 films of different genres. 
Personally i though there would have been more thriller movies released, as I think that's a popular genre.
However some thriller movies are categorised under a different group for example Action/Action thriller. 

''Action, animation and comedy account fro 52% of Box Office in the UK in 2009''
i think they are popular because of their target audience. A significant amount of children are into Animation and comedy. The picture above shows what gender is more likely to watch a film in this genre..

* Romantic = Females
* Comedy = Female&Males
* Action = Males 

The StepFather- 15
The Shining- 15
Enemy Of State- 15
Fatal Attraction- 18
Collateral- 15

The Art Of The Title Sequence

We discovered the website 'Art of the title sequence' which contained various types of clips and movie sequences.

Our task was to choose a title sequence that appeals to me and copy it onto my blog to write a short analysis on it... 

Some areas i had to comment on were;
* The style of the titles it self
* What the title says
* What it is about this title sequence that appeals to me
* The lack of images 

The aspect that grabs my attention the most is the sound used. i think its very effective and sharp. It definitely goes well with the theme of the film. In fact it actually makes me want to watch the whole film. 

The colours are very bold and straight forward. The two standard colours combined together brings a more dramatic, scary climax. 
Another point I have noticed when watching the opening was the quick snap shots and cuts of the images. Its like a quick flash. 

the title 'Dawn OF THE DEAD' is focused in the middle of the screen. And the point when it 'Splashes' gives it a more ''chilling'' affect like its blood being thrown at you. 


'' Fonts convey emotions without actually having to say the words ''

When watching any film opening or trailer, you have the appearance of the title or sometimes even the characters name. 

More often when you come across the title, the font that its written in is likely to link with the type of film your about to watch.. 

A Title in this type of font means your more likely to watch a masculine film.


There are two types of font:
-> Serif Fonts such as 'Times, Courier' 
they are more traditional and often slightly more formal. they also contain a extra little detail at the end of every letter.

-> Sans Serif Font such as 'Ariel, Comic Sans, Verdana' 
these fonts are less formal and ''friendly'' of course there modern too.

Wednesday, 2 February 2011

Editing The Bag Swap.

Following filming our short sequence, we then had to edit our clips, in order to create a flowing and professional looking clip. Because we had 48 clips to edit, we had a little bit of trouble deciding on which clips to use, which means that we now have a lot of out-takes. We used the Apple program Final Cut Pro and after lots of tough deliberation, we finally decided on 7 clips to use.

I think that, after edited the clips together, our short scene was very successful, because our group worked very well together and we each gave equal contributions. I think that i has given us some well needed experience in:

Planning what to film and different shot types
Following a plan when filming
Editing using the Mac computers
Using the camera and tripod equipment safely and to it's full potential.

Filming The Bag Swap.

In Annabel's lesson, we proceeded to film our short clip. Max and Sharmin were the actors, whilst I took the role of setting up the tripod and filming. To be honest, we didn't really write much down when planning, during the previous lesson, and that became clear when we began to film.

To begin with, we filmed in the basement corridor of the college (as we were limited to within college grounds). We chose this location as it is very dark, and therefore in keeping with the thriller theme. However, after shooting about four shots, we realised that although it was dark, its small size was very limiting and uninteresting, so therefore not the best location to film our bag swap clip.

We decided to move to the staircase, so although it was well lit, due to the large windows, suspense was still created, due to the bright light levels, which created an air of mystery. The stairs were also a very good location for shooting different types of shot, which made our clip very interesting, for example the point of view shots, when Max and Sharmin were walking up and down the stairs, and i was able to shoot low and high angle shots.

Things that I think went particularly well:

Using the tripod to create steady shots, and for panning
The different use and wide variety of shot types, especially over the shoulder and point of view shots.
The use of zooming to create suspense.

Things that didn't go as well as they could have gone:
We shot too much- we got slightly carried away when filming and ended up with a grand total of 48 shots when we were asked for 12!
Safely balancing the tripod on the stairs, it was quite risky, so somebody had to hold it, which made it awkward, because it meant that there was a risk of reflection in the window.

The Bag Swap Clip.

Before we begin filming our thriller opening, we must try to get as much experience with directing, editing and using cameras as is possible, so that everyone in our group is 100% comfortable with the tasks that lay ahead of us.

In Bernard's single lesson we were given as short, uninteresting film to shoot about two people swapping a bag. Our task was to make the short scene as interesting as possible, and in keeping with the thriller theme. We were given a storyboard with 12 or so frames on it, and we had to plan our short film on it, to film in the following lesson.

We planned to use a wide range of short types, to make it as interesting as possible. Some of these shot types included: 

Over the shoulder shot
Extreme close up
Mid shot
Point of view shot.

To contribute to making the scene part of the thriller genre, we also planned to film our scene in a dark location, to give it an air of mystery and suspense.

Camera Skills.

Before we begin to film our actual thriller film opening, we have to learn how to use the cameras properly, and gain confidence in using them. this is so that when we come to filming our real thriller openings we can make them as best as they possibly can be. The media technician Micky showed our class the basic skills of using the video cameras. 

We were shown:

How to insert the two memory cards
How to adjust light levels
How to change focus, in order to variate between soft and hard focus
How to safely remove the battery and turn the camera off
How to safely attach the camera to the tripod
How to use the tripod for panning and other things.

Micky also advised us on different camera techniques, so that our films would looks as professional as possible. He advised us to not follow the actors with the camera as they travelled across the scene, to take a few takes of each shot, in order to gain optimum results and finally to use a wide variation of shot types to make the film as interesting as possible.

Thriller Sub-Genres.

'Thriller' is a broad genre, which uses suspense, excitement tension to create a fast paced atmosphere. There are many smaller sub-genres of thriller, that incorporate other genres. Some sub-genres of thrillers include:

                                                    Conspiracy thriller

                                                    Crime thriller

                                                    Disaster thriller

                                                Supernatural thriller

                                               Psychological thriller.