Thursday, 12 May 2011

Final Cut!

Hello and welcome to my blog, i hope you enjoy it!

Here is the final cut of our production 'Full Moon'

Please note that anywhere it says 'Roadside' this was the working title of our production until a very late change.

Monday, 11 April 2011

HK Prelim

Preliminary Exercise:  Continuity task involving filming and editing a character opening a door, crossing a room and sitting down in a chair opposite another character, with whom she/he then exchanges a couple of lines of dialogue. This task should demonstrate match on action, shot/reverse shot and the 180-degree rule.

Tuesday, 22 March 2011

Evaluation Question 1

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

Inside our production though only lasting just more than 2minutes we have included many codes and conventions of our genre, slasher.
For the production name we chose a short, sharp, snappy title 'Roadside' which is similar to many other slasher films have short titles, such as the film that really defines the slasher genre, Halloween also Scream, Physco and Candyman

From the start we know that our production is going to be horror the idents shown at the very start instantaneously set the mood as we can see with our Flatline Films ident for our production company.

For this we wanted a heart beat sound this made the ident sound very intense and worked really nicely with the two F icons dropping down, then after the heartbeats  Included a Flatline sound which signifys the heart stopping, this foreshadows whats to come in the production, death.

The way we have managed to include so many conventions is that the group did much research into other film openings, this involved deconstruction many openings into great detail, openings we looked at examples are American Werewolf in London, Halloween and Nightmare on Elm Street.

In our filming the first shot we included was a establishing shot, revealing the house and the location of the film establishing shots are very common for an opening sequence a similar shot has been used in Halloween.

We have included Todorovs rule of equilibrium, for example when the girl is with her boyfriend this is the equilibrium and for the audience this seems like a safe place to be and lulls them into a false sense of security and then the disequilibrium is set when the car crash takes place and the equilibrium is disrupted and our character 'Casey' is no longer safe.

Evaluation Question 2

How does your media product represent particular social groups?

There are many stereotypes in films, and particularly the slasher genre.

A prime example would be our female character 'Casey' 

Our girl is conventional character that is known as a 'scream queen'
The term "scream queen" is more specifically used to refer to the "attractive young damsels-in-distress" characters that have appeared in a number of films in the horror genre.
One of the prime examples of a scream queen would be the actor Drew Barrymore playing Casey in the 1996 slasher Scream. 

Scream Queens are always, young, attractive females that are represented as sexually active and because she is sexually active she must be punished (murdered). Scream Queens comply to Laura Mulveys 'Male Gaze' theory

Our male character Sam is also another common architype in horror movies The Killer—With notable exceptions, The killer in the slasher film is usually male. His identity is often, but not always, unknown and/or concealed either by a mask or by creative lighting and camera work. He is often mute and seemingly unstoppable, able to withstand stabbings, falls and shootings by his victims. His background sometimes includes a childhood trauma that explains his choice of victim, weapon and location (the killer can be made out to be pitiable or understood). Slasher villains tend to prefer hand held weapons such as knives, axes, matchetes, and chainsaws as opposed to bombs or guns. As the sub-genre developed, some argue that the real star of a slasher is the killer, not the victims or Final Girl. Throughout most of the franchises, the killer is constant. Freddy KruegerJason Voorhees and Michael Myers are notable examples of this phenomenon.

Evaluation Question 3

What Kind Of Media Institution Might Distribute Your
Media Product and why?
For our film, we are on an incredibly low budget, touching on not even spending a penny. With the whole film costing us less than a tenner to make we really are what is known as 'Indie Filmmakers'  
 'An independent film, or indie film, is a film that is produced mostly outside of a major film studio. The term also refers to art films which differ noticeably from most mass marketed films. In addition to being produced by independent production companies, independent films are often produced and/or distributed by subsidiaries of major studios'
So because of our extremley low budget we would never be distrubuted by such big names as Working Title and Studio Canal. 
Also some companys would never distribute slasher films as it wouldn't fit their image such as you would never see a Disney, Slasher film

Evaluation Question 4

Who Would Be The Audience For Your 
Media Product?
 Our production would be given a BBFC rating of 15+ and the core age range for our target audience would be approximatley 15- 24 as is with most slasher films this is the target audience. As even if the film is an 18 rating it is certain that under 18's will watch the film. Also people older than 24 out of the target audience will watch the film too, but it would be uncommon for anyone older than 35 at least to be interested in a slasher movie.
Men are definatley the main audience of slashers, for men reason's such as the sexual themes and the gore.
Men love slashers because of the scream queens that can be just pure eye candy, with there busty physique and lack of clothing gives a reason to watch. We have included a Scream Queen in our production so this is one example of reaching out to our target audience.

For straight men the scream queens appeal to them as above ^ These may also appeal to lesbians aswell.
For straight women and gay men there is not much that is represented for them, an example that may appeal to straight women, and homosexual males in a scene in 'Roadside' is our male actor in the Dressing Gown, the dressing gown is low cropped and reveals alot of actor Ollies chest.
The final girl character would also appeal to lesbians as becuase it makes women look stronger rather than just bimbo's who are just going to be slain.

Social Class

The film would be aimed at more of a lower class audience looking for cheap thrills like the gore aand the sex scenes with not much to think about whereas it wouldnt as much appeal to a higher class audience who would be into more complex films.

Evaluation Question 5

                       How Did You Attract/Address Your Audience?

The boy and girl leaving the bedroom signifies the sexual themes and scenes that will be in the film. This attracts our teenage audience and also the male audience.

Our half naked handsome male character will appeal to females and especially teenage girls between the ages 15- 24 ( our target audience).

The modern technology presented here a Blackberry Smartphone is an example of verisimilitude, which means our younger audience would be able to relate to it.

The soundtrack is very tense and was created to influence the heart rate of our audience.

''The human body responds to real or perceived danger with a 'fight or flight response'-
The brain and body coordinate by releasing large amounts of hormones and biochemicals resulting in an increase in adrenaline (epinephrine) which is a vasoconstrictor that raises blood pressure, and also by releasing another hormone, 
noradrealine (norepinephrine), which keeps your blood pressure up and makes your heart beat faster'

This basically means that the soundtrack is a big factor in any horror films, and how this attracts our audience is that the scary the film, the more it will appeal to horror fans.

Evaluation Question 6

Media wouldnt be media without using technology, in this question i will give a summary of the technologys used throughout the project.

Firstly of course Blogger
I must say i have enjoyed my experience with blogger i found the site very user friendly and a great way to sumbit our coursework. And whacking out a total 85 blogposts throughout this years media studies, its safe to say im no longer a blogging amateur.

iMovie was of paramount importance whilst making our film.
A great tool in iMovie that i didnt mention in the video is that it provided very useful for adding sound effects which came in very handy whilst creating the idents. There is a huge selection of proffessionally made sound effects that are copyright free and ready to use on iMovie that can make a huge difference in your production and really helped make the car crash scene more beleivable.
Live Type was a software that was used to create the idents, at first i found it difficult to use and quite a complex software. But by spending time on it i got my bearings and managed to use it to create what we think are two very proffesional looking idents.

Technology that we think could of drastically improved the quality of our work, woukd be the use of HD camera's. These wouldof made an absolute world of difference and make the production look a lot slicker.

Thursday, 17 March 2011

HK Editing Decisions

We were having some discussions as a group about a certain part of the film and that was the car crash scene, we really are having to try work hard with this scene to make it look convincing.
We were undecided about whether to include a flash of black screen for effect so as we were undecided we decide to draft in some audience feedback. (See clip below)

RH - Soundtrack update

We planned to create our soundtrack using Garage Band however George (Director) was finding it difficult to produce something. We were also hoping that we could use some music from his brothers band but we were unsure if this would be possible and how it would fit in to the genre. Today I was reminded that my parents have a friend who composes music as a career, I gave him a ring and discussed the possibility of getting a piece of music composed for our film or use something they have knocking about. We are hopeful that I can meet with him and compose something to match up with the footage. Despite this being very promising, we are going to continue to persevere at composing something on Garage Band in case this doesn't work out or we need to add in additional sound effects.

Wednesday, 16 March 2011

HK Filming

On Monday we went up to our location for even more re shooting, there were a few shots that needed to be re shot to include more shot variation.

We needed new shot of when our driver Casey first see's the masked villain an extreme long shot was used for this as we dont want the viewer to quite know what was on the side of the road to provide 'narrative enigma'

The second shot we filmed was of a  country roadside, the sign provided anchorage of how rural the location was and we included a blood effect using good  old tomato ketchup to signify the horror and foreshadow the gore to come later in the production.

Another shot we did was a point of view shot from Casey's POV as the killer approaches the crashed car. We included this scene after being told that the killing scene was too tame and this graphic pov of a knife being thrusted into Casey certainly added even more fright!

RH - Late change in storyline

After gaining feedback from our 4th rough cut it came apparent that we must re-shoot once more. One of several issues with this is that time is against our side. Also our main actress Megan cannot re-shoot. This means we have to use POV shots.

The main issue we have had is that we just haven't shot enough coverage. I will be going back up to our location and take loads of coverage of our killer approaching the car. We have also decided to change the way our 'Scream Queen' Casey gets murdered. This links into the change in storyline.

Basically we have tried to connote that 'Sam' has something to do with the murder.However we leave this as a narrative enigma as he will now be killed. 'Sam' is on the phone and slams the door. As he turns around the killer will be standing in the hall way with a knife holding a phone to his face signifying that 'Sam' was just on the phone to him. This is our preferred reading.

As 'Casey' drives closer to the doom we will see a shot of a sign post with some blood dripping down off the sign. When she crashes her car we will cut to shots of the killer approaching the car. 'Casey' will slowly start to come around after the crash. She will reach for her phone to ring 'Sam'. She will then look out the window to see 'Sam's' phone on the ground ringing. This will cause panic. We prior to this will have seen the killer approaching the car. We then will see a shot of the killer on top of the car. This provides intertextuality to 'Halloween'. Suddenly the killers hand will reach in and grab 'Casey' then his head will drop down and he will provide the fatal blow.

Sunday, 13 March 2011

RH - Soundtrack recorded

Today I went up to record our soundtrack with a professional musician/composer who is a family friend. It is an original soundtrack. We went through the footage talking about when we wanted to add suspense and I told him what I was trying signify with the shots that have been included. It went really well. He was using some advanced software that we don't have use of in school which is an advantage. We were also in a studio which gave superb sound quality. We recorded the sound for each shot/scene and then mashed it together. Although we have recorded this, we still have to re-shoot which means we will have to edit our footage in keeping with the soundtrack which will be a challenge.

Sunday, 6 March 2011

GG - Changes to be made from feedback

After gathering a lot of feedback from our 3rd rough cut we have decided to change the following:

  • The opening drags on for too long, we are going to cut some of the shots from inside the house. 
  • Recorded some more diegetic sound. The characters don't talk enough which makes the viewer think that maybe they aren't in a relationship and that she is a prostitute. Also add some laughter to show they are close and comfortable around each other. 
  • In the killing scene, we need more point of view shots from the killer. 
  • The car is traveling across the country road and a very slow pace, so we need to either speed it up or re-shoot the shots. 
  • More cut shots need to be added in.
  • Cut down the shots of the killer approaching the car to make it happen quicker, its drags on for too long. 

Friday, 4 March 2011

GG - Re shooting a few shots

Today i went up with my mum and shot a couple of shots that we were missing. 
We had to get a shot of the murderer stabbing the 'scream queen' from a point of view shot. I got my mum to hold the camera whilst a dressed as the killer.
I also had to get a shot of the car driving towards the car crash set, without the killer in the road. This was needed to be put in after the mid shot of the scream queen saying 'what?' in the car. 
I also got more shots of the car traveling along the country road. I didn't think we had enough variation/amount of shots of the car moving. They were a success amongst the group and we are using nearly all of the shots taken. 

HK Editing Decisions

We were having some discussions as a group about a certain part of the film and that was the car crash scene, we really are having to try work hard with this scene to make it look convincing.
We were undecided about whether to include a flash of black screen for effect so as we were undecided we decide to draft some audience feedback.

GG - Rough cut 3 feedback

I posted our rough cut onto Facebook to receive some feedback. The feedback we have got from it is from people aged between (15-25) this being our target audience. We plan to use this when making our final cut of our production.

Thursday, 3 March 2011

HK Maroaders Ident

HK Flatline Film Ident

Please note this clip is supposed to end at 0.06 seconds rather than 14. we will edit this down in iMovie.

ALL - Roadside 3rd rough cut

This is our 3rd rough cut and close to completion in terms of camera shots, although there will be some still to add. This rough cut is still without the soundtrack and idents however the idents can be found on the blog.

RH - Our Narrative

In our film opening
 'Roadside' the basic synopsis is that there is a couple (Sam and Casey) Casey leaves Sam's house and is driving home before she swerves to avoid a masked man in the road and she crashes. The masked man then approaches the car and murders her using a knife.
In our opening our preferred reading is that Casey's boyfriend Sam has something to do with the murder. You can connote that Sam looks sinister and says a chilling farewell to his girlfriend and slams the door. In our opening we have tried to signify that Sam is the killer. This would develop in the film as he was the prime suspect for the murder. As the film goes on the murders become more frequent and seem to have a specific link. Sam, eager to prove his innocence finds himself at the scene of the murders which raises people's eyebrows although he is the best chance of stopping the killer. Casey's father who has connections with the police believes he is responsible and will do anything to stop him.

When we see Sam and Casey coming down the stairs Casey takes her arm off Sam. When Casey is driving she is on her phone. It will surface that she was breaking up with Sam.This is another piece of evidence that pins Sam to the murder as people believe he had a motive.

GG - The Boom Microphone

We have decided to use the Boom Microphone in our production, there are many advantages to use using it.Firstly we film outside for a part of our production, we realised that when we just used the microphone already on the camera we got noise from the wind. This made the quality of the sound very poorAlso when we filmed our 'scream queen' screaming, because the camera was so close this also came out poorly. In our new opening scene we are going to include more dialect between the two characters as they walk down the stairs. By using the Boom Microphone the audience will be able to easily hear what they are saying.
The advantages of using the Boom Microphone are;

  • Better sound quality.
  • It doesn't matter how far away the camera is to the sound, the microphone will pick up all the sound because you can hold it close to it. 
The disadvantages to using the Boom Microphone are;
  • It is time consuming using it on set. Plus because we film at night we have limited hours for filming. 
  • The equipment is very expensive, we have to be very careful when using it. 
Me and Roam have both been shown how to use. This will help us on set when we come to using it because we can set it up quickly and efficiently. 
 A link to how to use a boom microphone

The dead cat. For blocking out noise of the wind when filming outside

HK Sound

After shooting more footage we found that we need to add some sound effects into our editing, for when megan is driving we are looking for a radio sound effect so we have two options. 1 to try and record our own radio sound by using the boom microphone equipment as this helps to pick out more sound and is a higher sound quality.

or 2 to try find a sound effect in iMovie or across the internet that is royalty free.

Another sound that we need to record is dialogue from when our characters are walking down the stairs

GG - 2nd Rough Cut feedback

After gathering feedback from our second rough cut we were told that we needed to improve:
  • Speed up the car footage, because it looks as if the car is driving to 'leisurely' and not quick enough. 
  • Change the order of the shots when the villain is walking up to the car. With a point of view shot of the villain 'stabbing' the 'scream queen.' 
  • The use of a 'Boom Microphone' so the sounds of the car unlocking and the 'scream queens' scream so they sound a lot better. 
  • Add a few more shots to make it longer. For example shots of Megan turning on the radio and of a road sign. 
We still have to add the idents and the soundtrack to our production. 

We still have to re-shoot our opening shots which we are doing tonight (Tues 1st March.) We are also going to get a few more shots of the final 'stabbing' as well tonight. 

Wednesday, 2 March 2011

HK idents

The idents that have taken much work, are finally complete!

Firstly i gathered some research on idents from other years coursework from Ilkley Grammar School to gain inspiration then i brought my ideas to life.

The first ident created was for our distribution company ' Maroaders' I created the ident for Maroaders in a software called Live Type,  this was the first time i had used this software.

For the background i chose a smokey grey effect, which comes across quite chilling and is very fitting for the horror genre, i added a moving graphic. This graphic is supposed to represent  the blades of a Marauders sword but instead we called the company 'Maroaders' as a play on words with our title 'Roadside'

For the sound of our idents i exported the Livetype file into quicktime then put it into iMovie.

After adding the sound to the ident it was shaping up to looking very professional, after finishing we uploaded the file to You Tube and then shared the You Tube link onto Facebook and received some audience feedback.

From the feedback we had received most said the same thing and the sound was not fitting to the horror genre, so i took this on board and changed the sound effects and now we have our final ident which with the new sound was much better than the original.

Then for Flatline Films  again made on Live Type then exported it to iMovie to add the sound.
For this we wanted a heart beat sound this made the ident sound very intense and worked really nicely with the two F icons dropping down, then after the heartbeats I included a Flatline sound which signifys the heart stopping, this foreshadows whats to come in the production, death.

HK Deconstruction:American Werewolf in London, John Landis (1981)

Release Date: 21 August 1981 (USA)



$10milOpening Weekend Box Office$3,786,512 

The setting is in the hillside, looks very isolated and alone, bitter and cold. This could reflect the characters personalities or the themes of the film.

The Production company that this film is produced by is called 'Lycanthrope Productions' This is an example of subtextuality as Lycanthrope is latin for Werewolf.

The titles appear in a San Serif font which is manly used in horror films, as appose to a serif font which is used in more light hearted films such as rom coms and childrens films.
There is a long shot of a car driving through the remote areas with its headlights on, this shot is similar to shots we have used for our production 'Roadside' which is set in a similar location to the opening of this film.
As the car stops the music stops, this helps to build tension.

The music 'Blue Moon' can be linked to a werewolf film as everyone knows the connection between Werewolfs and moons so the choice of track has been specifically chosen for this film
Use of mise en scene has been used with the driver of the truck is dressed in somewhat stereo typical farmer clothes, tweed, wellys and a hat.

Finally use of match on action has been used as the 2 men walk towards the village as darkness falls.

Saturday, 19 February 2011

RH - Roam and Alex comparing coursework ideas.

This is a podcast of Roam Hamilton and Alex McCluskey comparing our coursework idea's. 

Wednesday, 16 February 2011

RH - Re-shoot analysis

Unfortunately Producer Harry Knight was not able to be on location due to work.

Our actors Megan and Tom on set!
Crew on set after successful re-shoot
Tonight we re-shot our scenes in the countryside which involve a car crash. The re-shoot went very well and we took a lot more shot variation than last time out. Instead of having two shots which are on screen for a very long time we will now have five or six shots which are very shot takes. We also got some more driving footage so we have more to play with in terms of editing. We had to use a different actor to play our killer, but we are extremely pleased with his performance and everything went smoothly. We were very inventive with some shots which should provide plenty of variation when it comes to editing.We will re-shoot our opening shots in different location (house in the countryside) either on Friday or over the weekend, we plan to upload this footage tomorrow and make a rough cut with the opening that we already have so we can pass on the footage to a composer, this will then help us compose a soundtrack to a rough version of what the film will look like. 

Thursday, 10 February 2011

RH - More rough cut feedback via Facebook

We have re-shot the second part of our opening and currently in the process of editing that footage. We are yet to re-shoot the first part of our opening, I have gathered more feedback so we fully understand what we need to do to make our text make sense.
Here is a link to our rough cut on YouTube

Wednesday, 9 February 2011

RH - Change in cast

We have had to change our cast for our film as our re-shoot schedule cannot be met by one of our original cast members therefore Tom Pickersgill has been cast in replacement of James Crowther. He will play the role of the killer.

GG - Soundtrack

Today I am going to look at making a soundtrack for our opening set of shots. We are going to use the software Garage Band. Seeming as i use to use this software when i was younger i opted to do it. We have also asked my bothers band (The Swing Movement) if they could compose a song for us, for when the 'scream queen' is driving along the countrysideWe plan to have her listening to the radio but also have a song playing quietly in the background to add to the tension. 
A link to The Swing Movement's myspace

Tuesday, 8 February 2011

RH - In detail deconstruction of our rough cut

Firstly we were told to fade into our opening shot instead of just going straight into the film. After our panning shot we should also shoot cut shots getting closer and closer o the house and then cut into the house. When our couple (Sam and Casey) come down the stairs they should be talking because in our rough cut it was they were on screen for too long without dialog. Also when the couple come out side we were advised to provide extra lighting because it appears to be pitch black. Also in our rough cut there was a sound when the door opens, we were told to exclude this from our final cut. Also are shots are too long, we need shorter takes, this just requires shot variation.

Secondly we need to record our sound separate to our footage e.g. when she unlocks her car, we need to record the sound made by the car, for this we will use the boom mic.Also we were advised to add a radio voice over during our driving shots, we would do this to provided a bit of exposition. In our rough cut we revealed the killer a long time before the car crash which removes all suspense and tension from the audience. We shouldn't show the killer at all apart from the actual murder. When the car crashes we should cut back to the killer to show the audience what has caused the crash. Next we will have the car crashed with the sound of the horn going off, we again will record this separately to the footage using the boom mic. In our final cut we will try get the shadow of our killer on the side of our car without the killer himself being on screen. This will provide tension and suspense for the audience.

Finally when the killer does come on screen we must use really short takes from 3 or 4 different camera angles, this will firstly provide coverage and secondly if the killer is on screen for too long the entire effect will diminish. Lastly the actual murder. Once again a very short take is needed, as if it is on screen for too long it will look very poor as we cannot produce a 'Hollywood' style murder.