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Monday, 28 February 2011

The last house on the left

I recently watched a The Last House on the Left. The film was made in 2009 and was directed by Dennis Iliadis and written by Carl Ellsworth and Adam Alleca. It is a remake of the 1972 film of the same name. The film is based on the parents (Goldwyn and Potter) of Mari Collingwood (Paxton), who get revenge on a group of strangers that have taken shelter at their home during a thunderstorm. The Collingwoods discover that the strangers have raped and shot their daughter and left her for die.

The film is a drama thriller and really works well in building suspense and giving the viewer an unsuspected shock. The plot of the film is very sadistic and brutal however it was very cleverly directed to keep the viewer interested. It contains some very vulgar and shocking images but overall it was a very interesting film.

here's the trailor to this film

Sunday, 20 February 2011

Pitch. :Planning

As a group we all decided to present our pitch we didn't want to use the normal, boring Microsoft Power point but instead something more different and exciting to catch all the audiences attention. To do this we was going to do a pitch presentation using a Prezi.

A Prezi is instead of a normal computer software its an online based presentation software to present something to the audience using a large canvas instead of multiple slides. But as this was our first time using a Prezi we had to learn h

The Butterfly Effect

The Butterfly Effect is a psychological thriller made in 2004. It was written and directed by Eric Bress and J. Mackye Gruber. It stars Ashton Kutcher and Amy Smart. The title of this film refers to the butterfly effect, a popular metaphor for the principle in chaos theory that in any dynamic system, small initial differences may over time lead to large unforseen consequences. The film is based on a man (Evan Treborn) who finds he has the ability to travel back in time to inhabit his former self and change the present.  The film draws heavily on flashbacks of the cast's lives at age 5, 7 and 13, and presents several alternate present day outcomes as Evan attempts to change the past, before settling on a final outcome.

The film begins with the ending of the film, which I found very interesting this would create suspense and build on the tension in the viewers mind. To show the transformation in time from Evan being 13 to 20 they use the notepad which I think they done very cleverly. They went from him writing into the journal to him finishing his exam paper through this they didn’t just show the transformation into the present but suggested that the journal would have the power to transform back into time and then to the present. When he begins to change his past by reading the journal, they create a sense that he is escaping the present through the journal they create this effect by the writing starting to shake and moving out of place. This is repeated every time he goes back into the past apart from the last time when he uses a homemade video. What I also found very interesting was when he came back from the past and his nose began to bleed all the outside noise seemed to be drowned out but the viewer was still able to hear it.

I really enjoyed this film because it really was able to catch my attention and seemed to build on its tension throughout the film so I couldn’t get bored. It was very interesting to find watch and really did make you think. Me and my group are creating a psychological/criminal thriller opening and from watching this film I now have a more wide understanding of this sub-genre and will be able to create a more sufficient title sequence.

Thursday, 17 February 2011

How we made our Pitch : PLANNING

My group and i decided that to present our pitch we didn't want to use the conventional PowerPoint of Posters and such but rather something more innovative and something that can engage the audience of our pitch. This quest for difference and imaginative idea telling led us to make a Prezi Presentation.

Prezi is a online based presentation software that allows the user to tell a story or present something using a single tool that uses a single canvas instead of traditional slides. Things such as text, images, videos and others are placed on the massive canvas and grouped together in frames, this can then create a sort of timed animation for the users liking.

Tuesday, 15 February 2011

Creating a prezi

To present the pitch of our movie to our media teachers and the rest of our class we decided to use a prezi. This was our first time producing a prezi so we all had to learn how to use it so we would be able to create a successful presentation. Through this we were able to present our pitch in an exciting and informative way. To create a prezi we had to make an account and then awaited a confirmation message so we can begin to make our prezi. It was both fun and confusing at times but we got there in the end, and this experience will be very helpful in the future when giving a presentation.

Newspaper Exersize - Introduction To Editing :Skills

In this lesson the task set was to film someone reading a newspaper in a really unusual thrilling and exciting way, as this was the first time we was going to actually use a camera we thought it was going to be diffucult with not only using the camera but having to make such a boring thing of reading a newspaper so thrilling and exciting. But however everything went good as we had a variety of good camera shots and angles, truthfully we didnt create an exciting video but we did make a really good thrilling clip.

In the beggining while we was planning everything we thought of all the different kind of angles we could use, we also had a number of shots that we were required to do for the newspaper movie we was going to make. The ones we were required to make was a POV shot, an over the shoulder shot and an ECU shot.
In the beggining we panned the souroundings to show the kind of environment to the viewers. Following this we had over the shoulder shot of Edit reading the newspaper and then a high angle shot of her to give an idea of her being vulnerable, It also gave the kind of idea that Edit is being watched. To exaggerate Edit being watched even more we used some hand-held camera shots to give an effect of uneasiness as of the shaky camera filming.
After this Edit walked up the stairs to see what was going on we used a match on match action with her feet climbing up the stairs which we believe came out as one of the best shots while we was editing the film. Then our whole clip ends with the newspaper being stolen from the anonymous person without Edit realising, but we don't show the newspaper being taken which draws lots of questions from the audience of who the anonymous person was.

Our Storyboard for Final Thriller Opening : PLANNING

Starting to Story Board for Final Thriller Opening : PLANNING

In todays lessons my group and i began to plan a shot by shot storyboard, this is all part of our plan to highly plan everything so we minimise the time needed to film to maximise the time we have in the editing suite. We planned how we would start our film with an establishing shot and also looking at the mise en scene in every scene.

I will be uploading images of our story board in another post very soon.

Our Group Pitch : PLANNING

Our Group Production Schedule : PLANNING

TUESDAY: February 8th - Planning
FRIDAY: February 11th - Planning / Pitch
TUESDAY: February 15th - Planning
FRIDAY: February 18th - Planning
TUESDAY: March 1st - Planning
FRIDAY: March 4th - Filming
TUESDAY: March 8th - Editing (final cut)
FRIDAY: March 11th - Editing (final cut and live type)
TUESDAY: March 15th - Sound (soundtrack pro)
TUESDAY: March 22nd - Make changes from peer responses


Monday, 14 February 2011

Evalution Of Prelim Film

In my group we were required to create two preliminary films, the reason behind this was because unfortunately the first one that we filmed was inadequate and unsuccessful and as a group we all came upto a conclusion saying we can create a much better film so we went on part two and created our second one.
The film we had thought of was about a sci-fi type of person that travels back from the future into the present time and tells the main character in the film about how she's going to die soon. We all decided to create a sci-fi thriller as we thought it would not only be fun but we could make it thrilling.

I believe that the second attempt we had on the film was a successful one and managed to cover everything such as having an anticipation to what's going to happen so making the audience more engaged into the film and also building a great amount of suspense. We used a close up shot in the film of the main character who is acted by Stephanie where we took a close up of her feet in which i think that went out very well as it gave the audience thoughts of where she's going and why.
Also in the second attempt we done we had changed the filming room so there was more light shown into the video recordings so it was more efficient for the film. In one of our previous lessons the technician had taught us how to use the dissolve effect on 'Final Cut' so by using that effect in the film we could make the mysterious woman appear.

As expected there was some difficulties in the filming and making of our film, one of them was where as mentioned before of our first filming's lighting being inadequate and so as a result when we uploaded them clips onto the apple computers and use them with Final Cut we had seen the dark clips and were dissapointed after all the hard work we had put into the filming.So therefore we had to take a re-take of the film to create a better version.
Now for the sound part of using Soundtrack Pro, the problem that had occurred was that the sound was not in line with the film and was a little off and the worser problem was that we had no more time to do another re-film, so timing was a big issue with us as we didn't create no titles for the video but we did have a lot of time playing around with it trying out different fonts and colours etc.. so we could use this experience on our preliminary film.

In conclusion to all of this I found this lesson and task set very useful because as said 'we learn from our mistakes' so we shouldn't make the mistakes of lighting again with the filming so it should save us a lot of time. This has also given the group more experience with the use of the camera and helped us expand our minds of thinking of better creative idea's.

Sunday, 13 February 2011

My Response To The 'Watching' Documentary :Research

Whilst watching the movie, i think that the beggining needs to be more interesting so it'll catch the viewers attention and make them carry on watching. Thomas Sutcliffe mentions that "Films need to seduce their audience into long term commitment. While there are many types of seduction, the temptation to go for instant arousal is almost irresistible." By mentioning this Thomas Sutcliffe wanted to give the idea that the beggining must attract the audiences attention. By saying 'instant arousal' he means starting the film with something big.

However, different directors have different views such as Jean Jacques Beiniex thinks that there are risks to an 'instant arousal'. Jean thinks that the viewers should accept that they have to wait for satisfaction. He also thinks that if you start the beggining really interesting and entertaining and then you start to introduce the film, the audience that is watching would be disinterested and wont enjoy the film as much. The begining of a film should never have too much information. As stated "A good beginning must make the audience feel that it doesn't know nearly enough yet, and at the same time make sure it doesn't know too little." Alfred Hitchcock once said that it would be alot better if the audience knew more about the character, this leads to the audience in watching the rest of the movie.

Critic Stanly Kauffm describes the opening of an establishing shot. The movie, Panic Room begins off with showing us New York City followed by people and buildings and then Jodie Foster and Kristen Stewart who are the main important characters in the film.
The title sequence for the film 'Se7en' was very effective, this was because of all the wierd images and the unsettling music, also the cutting of hands. In the opening the titles are small, handwritten and so therefore it looks like film is broken. Also the opening has a psychotic feeling and tone, so the audience gets more interested, and some of the images are clear foreshadowing of what is to come in the film. Orson Wells who is the director of Citizen Cane craved to achieve the feeling of being in the movie, and give you a feeling of forgetting that your watching a film such a in his "A Touch Of Evil". He didnt want any titles in the beggining but Universal Studios thought otherwise. They were being too catious and decided to add titles to the opening and 'blunted' Orson Welles orginality.

A vast amount of directors create fantastic openings by using the trick of 'Film Noir'. This is basically when you start the beggining of the movie with the ending. For example films such as Pulp Fiction, Memento and Casino. The film casino begins off with Robert Di Niro walking towards his car, then after he gets into his car the vehicle blows up. I believe that this was such an amazing opening to the film and that it draws the audiences attention straight away and leaves them with questions to why it happened, this makes the audience want to watch the rest of the film.
Another film with a great opening is the film 'The Shining'. There is a build up of suspence in the beggining due to the camera work and also mise en scene. We are shown that the camera is following the vehicle like a predator. This gives us, the audience that the car is heading in a bad direction. This leaves the audience wanting to know what is going to happen and where the car is going to.

Thriller Audiences :Research

The genre of thriller is basically in the niche market, this basically means that the genre dosent have a large appeal, we usually find that the genre is cut off from a large amount of the cinema population.

A factor of why thriller movies dont make as much big money of the box office is because the audience of thriller movies tends to be mainly men or teenage boys, so mainly the gender of male.

The reason behind why i think that thrillers only had 4% of the box office was because they come under other types of genresor they are appealed for a particular type of people.
Also a big factor is age, many thrillers are aged wrongly. They are meant to be aged 15 but instead are aged 18 so this leaves out a big amount of the human population.
A good thing from looking at the picture to the left is that we can see that horrors and thrillers are split evenly on the gender scale and attract both males and females.

Font Analysis :Research

Fonts are very important and are used everywhere such as in films, posters, leaflets and so on. Every font can have a different style, size or colour and each factor is vital for every film in this case depending on what kind of film it is.

There is two types of fonts:

Serif Fonts - This type of font is usually used in more serious type fims, old films and romantic type films generally tend to use this type of font more.
Examples are ‘courier’ & Times New Roman

Sans Serif Fonts - This type of font is usually recognised as more friendly and modern, also less formal. Films such as comedies would use this type of font.
Examples are ‘Arial’ & ‘Calibri’

Font Analysis Of A Font That Appeals To Me

The Hangover is a comedy film and it uses the type of font of sans serif, this gives the audience an idea that it is a more modern film and also a more informal type of film. So i feel that the font of this film is very appealing because i think it fits the purpose of the type of film extremely well. Overall i think that the font is simple, yet very effective.

Friday, 11 February 2011

Pitch : REVIEW


In media we had to present our ideas to the class. We decided to use a prezi to present our ideas, because it seemed like a fun way to present our ideas, however this did prove difficult to use, as it tended to zoom out and reveal our other ideas before we actually said them. We explained our ideas to the class and we got interesting feedback. Nevertheless, I think our presentation was good despite our failure once again to properly plan. For our actual thriller, we definetly need to work on our planning.

First Attempt Of Preliminary Match Cut Exercise: Research

In this lesson there was a big muddle of missing group members so therefore as a result my group 42 and group 41 had to join up together.

The idea that we had was to use a sci-fi themed thriller, the reason for this was becuase our group member tahmid had an idea of a specific shot that he thought would look really good so we thought of going for his idea, the main issue was to perform his idea well to successfully make it as good as we can.

As a group we had all decided to go for Tahmid's idea and as we could all make sure we get all the type of shots that we need such as close shots or P.O.V shots. We all thought that the film would look more thrilling if it was more gritty and overall darker, therefore the we made the location of the film more dim and darker but later we found out this wasn't the best of idea's

The factor we made of minimizing the light in our film was a bad idea, because when we had saw the video it was too dark and so it wasnt clear or visible so you couldnt see the characters clearly or see the expressions they were making. But as we had created the film really quickly meant that we had enough time to create another film but making that into a better version.

Livetype & Soundtrack Pro: Skills

In the lesson we began our work with camera's we were given a lesson on how to use successfully use Livetype & Soundtrack Pro by the technician. The technician mainly showed the class the basics of both softwares so it helped us to understand it and use it more.

In Livetype i believe it was not too hard to use and we were taught things such as how to add titles to the film we made. Other things that we were taught was how to title effects, add colours and also how to edit the size and fonts of the titles we create. After using it for a while and getting more used to it i think it was a really good software to use and was easy to get used to once you knew the basics.

Soundtrack Pro
In soundtrack pro we were taught how to add sounds to the video that we had made. The way we did that was by picking a sound and dragging it to the destination of the part of the film i wanted it on the timeline. So overall i think this software is a really cool software to use with a vast range of sounds to use. As we would be mainly focusing on a thriller type of movie the sounds i most probably would use most is going to be things such as screams, scratches, screeches etc.

Thursday, 10 February 2011

Evaluation of Prelim Film

We created two preliminary films, this was because the first one was unsuccessful and we believed we could do a better job so we produced a new one. Our film was based on a person appearing from the future and telling our main character that she would die soon. We decided to create a sci-fi thriller because we thought it would be both fun but we would be able to make it look professional and thrilling at the same time.
I believe that our second try to complete our preliminary film was very successful, it contained both suspense and anticipation to what will happen next. We used a lot of different shots to create a sense of thrill. For example when we used a close up of our main character’s (Steph) feet, I think this worked very well because it created suspense to wear she was going and why. On our second try we changed the room in where we was filming so this time there was enough light and our film worked very well. I found that when we edited our short film is when it really started to come together and looked very professional. The technician taught us how to use some effects on Final Cut like a ‘dissolve’. We ended up using that effect to make the mysterious woman appear
However, when filming and editing our film we did come across some difficulties. For example in our first try we didn’t realise how dark the clips were coming out on the camera, so when it came to uploading them onto Final Cut we was shocked to find out that they was so dark. We then completed our first preliminary film with the shots we had but after this we went out and reshot our film. When we came onto creating our sound everything went so well until we exported our soundtrack into Final Cut and found out that it wasn’t in time with the film. We didn’t know how to fix this error because in Soundtrack Pro it was in time with film and we didn’t have enough time to remake it. Also we didn’t have enough time to create our titles however we did spend time on Live type trying out different fonts and effects which we could use for our preliminary film.
From this experience I have learned a lot of new skills and I’m sure they will help me in our final film. From our mistakes we will now know to set more time aside for our music so if we do come across a problem we will have time to fix it. Also we would definitely need to create more time so we can produce titles for our final film. Besides that we need to check the lighting of our setting so we don’t make the same mistake and have to reshoot everything again.
In conclusion I found this exercise very helpful because we won’t make the same mistakes again and if we do we will know how to fix them. Also through this our group have come up with more creative ideas of shots and editing for out final movie.

Wednesday, 9 February 2011

Editing preliminary (sound): SKILLS

To finalize our film we also had to include sound we done this using Soundtrack Pro, we done this so our film would be more interesting and realistic. We started off by importing out film into Soundtrack Pro and we continued by listening to some music and sound effects that might be useful in our short movie. We then choose to have a funky tune which still worked effectivly to ensure that our audience would enjoy our film. When we completed our sound we exported in back into Final Cut however we unfortunately had some technical difficulties which lead to our film and sound being out of time, this really confused us because in soundtrack pro everything was in time. We decided to leave it as it was but in our final film we will take more care with our sound and also set more time aside to complete it so we want come across this problems and if by any chance we do we will gave more time to fix it.

Editing preliminary: SKILLS

To complete our short film we edited it on Final Cut Pro to make it look more professional and sufficient. We started off by importing around 30 clips from the SD memory card onto our video drive and Final Cut. I really enjoy taking part in editing and working with Final Cut, and want to continue learning new techniques and effects to make my final film even better.
 When editing we completed our film by selecting clips and cutting them to an appropriate amount and then dragging them into their space on the timeline. We tried to use a lot of match cut action to make our film look more professional and make it more interesting for the viewer, an example of this is Step walks into the room, and we have match cut from Mid shot onto a close up of her feat. We have done this to create suspense. This was quite difficult to accomplish because if the clips were to have a gap in-between them, a blank screen would appear and would make our film look unprofessional.
We then added a cross dissolve, to give out the effect that our character appears out of nowhere, so this made the character seem mysterious and interesting. In our first preliminary exercise we used a dissolve called 'additive dissolve' which included a flash of light while she appears. But in our second try we decided that it didn't look as effective as a ‘cr0ss dissolve’, so we chose to use that instead.

Tuesday, 8 February 2011

Preliminary Match Cut Exercise (first try): RESEARCH

For our Preliminary Exercise, my group and group 41 combined together because at the start of the lesson both of our groups were missing members.

We then went straight onto editing our film. Even though the film flowed and looked extremely well when watching it we realised that at moments it was very dark and at times even barely visible. The technician then explained that our current film was excellent but the lighting ruined it and it would look so much better if the lighting was successful. When we completed editing our film we had enough time to spare so we could create a new and better version of our film. So we then found a new room that our group could use which contained more light and would make our film more enjoyable.
Our idea was to create a short sci-fi thriller. We decided on this because we all agreed that it would be interesting and fascinating to both create and watch. It would also ensure that we met all our shot criteria, for example a point of view shot. We thought that our film would look good if it had dark and rough feel to it, so decided that we need to make our film location dark to succeed this effect. However we later on found that this made our film unsuccessful and we had to re-do it. The fact that we decided to minimize the light in our film made it unsuccessful and ineffective because you couldn’t see some of the characters expressions and emotions. But when planning it we wanted the lack of light to create a sense of secrecy and tension. 

A Thrilling Read

In the beggining mine and group member Tahmid's idea was to have the scene taken inside the college lift, this would be a thrilling weird yet interesting idea which would also bring lots of question to the reason of why we chose the scene. But unfortunately this idea could not be used because  the lifts were only available to disabled persons. We were therefore left to think of a new idea.

We then thought of using the candi staircase, which was surrounded by glass sheets being able to see the environment outside which makes our newspaper reader who is played by Edit more exposed.

The first shot that we had taken was an establishing shot which then panned across to show our actor Edit, who is reading the newspaper so by doing this it sets the scene. By all of these things we are implementing in the film it leads the audience to ask such questions as to why she is reading a newspaper in such a place and also if she's alone of other people lurking around.

The following shot was an over the shoulder shot. After this shot we take a high angle shot so this is taken by going to the top of the stairs and filming downwards onto Edit reading the paper, so it makes it as if she's vulnerable.

We all admitted that if we had planned the whole filming from the beggining properly then the film would have been a lot better. But we still believe we done very well in what we had recorded and produced as it was our first filming excercise, and as our first idea was to film it in the lift we had done very well by having to think of this idea in a very short space of time. I believe the next time we create a film that we should spend more time planning and thinking of what kind of camera shots to take as this would help a lot by making the film more interesting and better.

Why our first Preliminary Exercise went wrong : REVIEW

Our first prelim went wrong because we filmed it in the dark. At first, it didn't look too bad in the camera, we thought it would make it look more scary, but in the end it was just too dark to lighten, it looked ridiculous, you couldn't even see anything! We made it better by filming in the light though, and thankfully we got it finished... well apart from sound or titles but it is still a great clip! This is probably the shortest blog I've done, just wanted to have a little say! :)

Saturday, 5 February 2011

Thriller Audiences : RESEARCH

The Thriller Genre is really just a niche market; this means that it does not have a mass appeal, what we tend to find is that thriller films genre is cut off from a huge chunk of the people cinema going population.

The Thriller audience often mainly consists of men and teenage boys; they are the main consumers of this Genre. This is a big reason why thrillers do not make big money at the box office.

Below is a diagram showing genres that are associated with different genders:

Thriller Films are most often than not certified with a 15 or 18 rating, this is because it may contain scenes that maybe shocking to some people also because of possible sexual scenes. The Fact that only these age range can watch the films is why thriller films accounted for only 4% out of all the box office takings in 2009 in the UK.

The Box Office statistics from 2009 show that in the UK 503 films were made and released, however only 31 of which were thrillers all of which made a combined total of £42,578,104. The 3 biggest thrillers of 2009 were, Angels & Demons, Knowing and Harry Brown.

The most popular and commercially successful films come from the Action, Animation and Comedy Genres. This is because they have a massive target audience such as families, kids, teenagers and adults. These movies are usually rated PG or PG-13 meaning most people can go and watch it.   

Livetype and Sound : RESEARCH

When we began our Practical work with the cameras, we were taught how to use Livetype and also Soundtrack Pro, I felt that back then it would be inadequate to blog on it without really using them on something proper such as the Preliminary Match Cut Exercise, now that it’s done I feel this is the right time to blog about these two software’s.   


Livetype allows us to add titles to our film, and I found it to be an excellent programme to use and also very easy to find my ways around things. I learned to use it various amounts of title effects, colour and also learned how to manipulate such things as the size and layout of where to put letters. I used live LiveType on our Preliminary Match Cut Film; this was to enhance our film visuals as I feel having titles can add to the atmosphere and tone of any film, short or feature length.

Soundtrack Pro:

I used soundtrack pro and I think that it is a programme that does its job very well, the sounds that are available are vast, and there is so much to choose from. When using it to edit my groups Preliminary Match Cut film, we used a sort of funky but yet still effective sound to ensure a good thrill while watching our film.

Evaluation of Final Preliminary Match Cut Exercise Final Film : RESEARCH

This was our second attempt at the Preliminary Match Cut Exercise, the previous had everything required for a good grade except for the fact that it was just too dark.

We started and finished filming the 2nd attempt in the same lesson as it was a 3 hour 15 minute lesson, which meant we had enough time to reshoot. We stuck to my idea about a thriller based on the Sci-Fi sub-genre. The idea was basically about two people who meet in a special time chamber room, one person then appears out of thin air, and claims to be from the future, this then continues onto dialogue, that is where our intended thrill for the audience really comes from.

We changed our setting and room that we filmed in from before, this was partly because of timing issues and also the fact that the new room had plenty of light, we was adamant we would not make that lighting mistake again.

All the shots that we did where the same, as we felt our shots and angles and also mise en scene where excellent in the previous film so there was no need to change them. An example of good shots we used was when one of our characters heard of the bad news that she would be dyeing, immediately after we cut to a close-up of her eyes to show her emotion of hearing such terrible news.

To get the feel of a Sci-Fi thriller I had the idea to make the 2nd character just appear out of nowhere, at first the group where sceptical, saying that it was too difficult and that it couldn’t be done, but I felt it was a pretty simple effect I could do in editing and looking at the final film as a group we are all impressed with how it looks. We achieved the effect by putting a clip of the chair empty alongside a clip with the person in the chair, we then added a transitional fade effect, to make this effect seem more real, we kept our 1st actor in the clip at all times but she had to stay completely still, she did and I have to give her credit for that.

After filming and then going into post production with the editing, we had to move onto titles and sound. This process was our biggest challenge as nothing would work for us, for example we did the soundtrack for our Prelim but once we imported it onto final cut pro it wasn’t in sync with the sound, the teachers and technicians were perplexed too, in the end we decided as a group that leaving a soundtrack that didn’t play along with our film would take away from our hard work, so we decided to not put in the soundtrack.


Preliminary Match Cut Exersise FINAL FILM : Practice of Camera Skills

This is our final preliminary match cut film, we did do sound and also titles but we had synchronization problems which we felt would hinder the effect of our film and so we decided to leave it out.

Evaluation of 1st Try of Preliminary Match Cut Exercise : RESEARCH

For this Preliminary Match Cut Exercise, my group, 42, and group 41 joined because at the beginning of the lesson both our groups only had half of our members needed.
My idea was to do a short sci-fi themed thriller, I had this idea because, and in my head I could imagine a particular shot that would look very good if it was performed well.

As a group we decided to do the short film based on my idea, because it was a good one that we could to ensure we met all our shot criteria such as needing to have a P.O.V shot and etc. We decided that we should bring a sort of dark and gritty feel to our film, so we made our film location very dim, this however would later come back to haunt us, the point of having this lack of light in our film was to connote a sense of eeriness, mystery & impending danger. 

We completed all our filming with plenty of time to spare, and headed straight down to the editing suite. When we finished editing our film we believed it to be very good but also so dark at some points it was barely visible. Our teacher explained that the concept of our current film was so good that the lighting didn't do it justice. The fact that we had completed our film and edited so quickly meant that we had more than enough time to do another one with better handling of the light.

Friday, 4 February 2011

Editing of Preliminary Exercise : SKILLS


To finish our film and make out short film look more together, we edited it in Final Cut Pro. We imported about 30 clips of the video from the SD memory card into the program. We then copied and pasted the clips into the video drive, so we could save it it case we needed to do further editing. I'm still finding it hard to work with Final Cut Pro, I find it confusing and complicated, but hopefully I will get the hang of it.

 We edited by taking clips and dragging them into the timeline. We used match cut action to make our actions seem effortless, for example me coming into the room. (We used a cutaway of my hand opening the door handle, followed by the same action from a different angle) Sometimes this was difficult thing to do, because if the clips had a space in between them, an undesirable blank screen was in between the shots, which makes it look unprofessional.

We added a cross dissolve, because we wanted out character to appear out of nowhere, so this made it seem like she materialised out of thin air. There was a dissolve called 'Additive Dissolve' which made a flash of light appear on the clip while she dissolves in, but it didn't look as effective as the simple one, so we kept it at that.

Thursday, 3 February 2011

Structure of thriller openings: RESEARCH

Arlington Road contact sheetThere are 4 types of main ways thriller opening can be structured. The first one I will talk about is a discrete title sequence. This type of title sequences are separately edited sequences that stand apart from the film opening. They are stylised and heavily edited, and they support nearly all of the opening credits and film title. Two examples of films that use a discrete title sequence to open their thrillers are ‘Arlington Road’ (1999) and 'Se7en’ (1995). I think they both work very well in creating a sense of suspense while giving hints of what the film could be based about. Also both films have a very interesting choice of font, both films create suspense through their fonts.  I think discrete title sequences work very well because they are very settle when giving out indications of what the film may concern but just enough information is given to keep the viewer wanting to find out more.
Some movies begin with titles rolling over a blank screen, often with sound effects or a sound track, before introducing images. The titles frequently continue to roll over the images. This is another type of thriller opening which can work very effectively to create suspense and anxiety. A film that used this type of opening is ‘Dead Calm’ (1989), its title sequence begins with all the credits and title of the film being introduced and then the film moves on from the blank screen to a train. I think this transition worked very well in this film because it created a sense of suspense. I personally really like this way of opening a thriller because it creates nervousness inside the viewer and makes them very fascinated in what will happen next.

In some film openings the narrative starts immediately. We are introduced to locations, settings then characters. The key enigma may even be introduced. Also while the narrative is being introduced there will be titles running over it. An example of a film that used this opening very well is the ‘Panic Room’ (2002). I think their opening worked so efficiently because of the choice of font and shots displayed, they both worked so well together. The opening of this film clearly introduces the setting of where the film is set, and then a couple of minutes into the opening the main characters are introduced. I think this structure of opening is very likable by audience because it quickly gets the viewer into the film and doesn’t waste any time, but still keeps the viewer wanting more.
Another structure of a title sequence is stylized editing. This will take the longest time in post production and needs to be very well planned to work successfully. Most film openings stand out when their editing is so stylised, and makes the viewer more interested. An excellent example of stylized editing is used in ‘The taking of pelham 123’ (2009), this opening really does stand out, it fast speed and quick change in shots really creates a thrilling and exciting title scene. This structure of a film opening is very interesting and exhilarating and would definitely keep the viewer interested.