Friday, 8 April 2011

TASK 8 - PRELIMINARY TASK

During our media lessons, we were given the task of taking pictures of jelly babies, in a particular scenario so that we can edit them together, and make them look like an actual film. This is similar to stop motion, which worked well since we gained a strong understanding of how to form images and shots in a sequence of an actual story. The journey from my preliminary task, to the final film has been a long process, where I have learnt and improved on a number of skills, when filming and editing 'Jacked Daniel.'

When filming my preliminary task, I created a jelly baby animation. This was done by taking a range of shots and angles of Jelly Babies to form a sequence, which actually tells a small story.  I found the animation hard to work with, since my editing skills were not as of high standard as they are now.


Wednesday, 6 April 2011

TASK 7 - WHAT HAVE I LEARNT ABOUT TECHNOLOGIES?

During the process of making my short film, I gained a range of skills which provided me with a strong understanding of media related software, such as Final Cut Pro and LiveType. I learned how to manipulate shots and sounds by combining programs in the creation of my media product.

I explored a maze of technology, from JVC digital , high definition cameras to Youtube. Every aspect of making the film involved technology, which is why programs in the industry are vital.



Software's working together played a major role in finalizing my short film. For example, Final Cut Pro was used edit and adjust the overall project. However, programs such as, LiveType added the last touches, and developed the aspects of text and credits in my thriller. Logic Pro, was used to provide the soundtracks for my project, which is a key feature in any form of media.


Overall, the combination of programs (used on Mac) worked efficiently, in making my film look like an actual product, which could be viewed by thousands of people, rather than a piece of any old junk made on Windows Movie Maker! :)






(LiveType)

TASK 6 - AUDIENCE FEEDBACK


The image above is a montage of words which summarize the overall aspects of my thriller. This task provided me with a better understanding of what my audience thought about my film, and also gave me a chance to explore what specific features and themes stood out in 'Jacked Daniel.'

Overall, the audience feedback was positive. They enjoyed how suspense was built through various shots and angles, which were effective in terms of understanding what was going on as well as creating a dark 'thriller like' atmosphere. 

'Jacked Daniel' was showcased at 'Screen on the Green' in Angel, along with numerous other work from students, most of a high standard. This opportunity helped me realize who my target audience of my thriller was, depending on their response. After the showing, I spoke to a few students and asked them what they thought about my thriller. 

'It was pretty interesting, I liked the range of shots and music used which built a sense of individuality for each scene' - Joseph John Baptiste

'I liked the overall storyline, it was easy to relate to' - Suleiman Mirza

'Could have been a bit longer, but the fact that this was done by one person is fully rated and something to be proud of' - Faysal Khan

'The only thriller, that was funny and scary!' - Maria









Friday, 1 April 2011

TASK 4 & 5 - MEDIA INSTITUTION



The video above is an example of  a grade 'A' opening thriller, which has been a huge success on Youtube, by influencing numerous media students, setting a high standard.

How has the internet been used to launch this movie, to a wider audience?

First of all, the video has been uploaded onto Youtube, which is a worldwide video engine. Youtube has the largest audience in terms of online videos. Therefore, this video would easily be found through the search tool, if someone was looking to watch a thriller film - opening.   

In addition, Youtube allows these videos to feature embedded codes, which can be proccessed onto social network sites such as Facebook, Twitter, Myspace or blogs. This makes it simple for the video to be shared amongst a wider demographic. 

    TASK 3 - TARGET AUDIENCE

    'Jacked Daniel' - My  media product is mainly targeted at an audience of both male and female teenagers, ranging from the ages of 15 - 21, as they can relate to the sequence of events which take place in my thriller. Furthermore, the overall lifestyle of the characters in my thriller appeals to my demographic as most young boys live the same way, eager to prove their status and masculinity.



    Target Audience - Lifestyle

    Adam Deacon, a young man born and raised in East London who has been through struggle in his community and family drama. He loves writing and listening to music, however is always brought down by teachers in college who show no motivation towards him. Adam doesn't work but makes money in the only way possible. 

    People like Adam are one of many who can relate to my thriller, which is important since young people need to feel assured that others understand their situation. Therefore, films are a powerful method of influencing the youth of today.

    Here are a few possessions of Adam Deacon:




    These are all aspects of Adam Deacon's Youth.

     

    TASK 2 - SOCIAL GROUPS


    The image above is a still from the opening sequence of my thriller. This shot has strong connotations of a menacing teenager, who is about to cause trouble. The reason I used a medium long shot here, was to portray a sense of danger as the character is standing from a distance.

    Furthermore, this shot fits the typical stereotype of modern teenage social groups from various parts of London who are raised in a society of youth crime. I did this, so that my demographic could relate to aspects of my thriller.



    This is a shot from the film 'Adulthood' which also revolves around the themes of teenage drama and youth crime, taking place in London on a regular basis. As you can see, this still has various similarities compared to the opening shot of my thriller above. For example, the overall vibe of a teenager going through struggle and tension is expressed through the dark lighting in both shots and props such as hoods and hats, which has connotations of an urban youth society. In addition, both shots have a background of brick walls. This provided the audience with a sense of location, that is clearly outside on the street.

    EVALUATION - TASK 1 - COMPARING TITILE SEQUENCES

    In this task, I will be comparing 9 shots from a range of title sequences to 9 stills from my own title sequence, which shows how my opening uses, develops or challenges the forms and conventions of real media products.


    The image above is a screen shot from the opening sequence of Elektra Luxx - As you can see, it is stylish with patterns and non naturalistic motions. The opening of this film revolves around a psychedelic melange of bullets, guns, and art deco ornaments materialized around the nude silhouette of the title character. As 'Elektra' teases the audience with her own bawdy burlesque, she reprises her various adult film roles wearing next to nothing.


    On the other hand, Machete’s title sequence is a colorful parade of sneering villains, vixens, and an arsenal of menacing guns and knives. While the sequence sets the stage for a gory, over-the-top revenge romp, it also succeeds in grounding the entire film in another time and place. As the grainy titles scrape along at 1½ feet per second, the audience is transported back from their reclined seats at present day cineplexes to the nostalgic era of drive-ins and draft houses.



    The image above is a screen grab of ten shots from my opening thriller. As you can see, there are various angles and shot types which clearly represent the themes of a thriller. For example, danger is portrayed through the use of dark lighting. This meets the conventions of a thriller product since it has connotations of typical thriller scenarios. Compared to the screen shots above from other films such as 'Machete' - My opening thriller looks far more basic but realistic. This works well since it gives the audience a better sense/visualization of the actions taking place.











    Friday, 25 March 2011

    What lies Beneath (Supernatural Thriller

    In the first scene the camera is positioned on top of the stairs facing towards the women, as she stops and looks, the audience are not privileged to knowing what she is looking at or what is behind the camera.

    Mid-shot

      Eerie music is played during this scene helping the suspense of the moment.

    Music stops, where then the camera starts to pan towards what the women is apparently staring at.

    As the camera continues to pan, the audience can hear several sound effects such as birds chirping in the background and a low hollow blowing sound.










    Camera panning


     
    The camera finally stops panning where then the sound of the hollow blowing intensifies. 

    Another sound effect is when the women opens a door, the audience are given a creepy creaking sound of the opening door which adds to the intensity of the atmosphere.


    The misty fog which leaks out the gaps of the door also helps the directer achieve his aim of creating a suspenseful environment.










    Close up.



    Close up of the women, we can see her facial expression and in this very moment, we are able to notice that there's something for her to fear, as well as the audience.














    Point of view shot


    Point of View Shot, this camera shot helps the audience empathise with the situation as they wait for something to happen or appear due to the build up of suspense. 
















    Close up
    Long shot


    The scene then leads to cuts in the shots from the close up of the women, to a long shot of the bathroom, the 'close up' of the women allows the audience to see how she is reacting as she walks close to the bathtub.
    The 'Long shot' of the bathroom lets the audience think why the women is acting so strangely, especially as the bathroom seems to be an ordinary everyday bathroom. 





    Over the Shoulder



    This now emphasises the situation, the audience now know that the women has making her way to the bathtub, and due to her facial expression, the audience now know that the build up of suspense has lead to this scene.
    High pitched sound starts to play over the scene.








    Low-angel shot



    High pitched sound continues to play, however camera goes into a low-angle shot, the camera also appears from underneath the water inside the bathtub, this makes the audience feel as if they are looking through another persons  point of view. But who?












    Over the shoulder shot




    Again, this type of shot emphasises the situation, however the audience now see that there is nothing inside the bathtub, so who was looking up? Adds to the mystery of the scene.














    Women unplugs the bath, the scene goes quiet except the sound being made by the unplugged bathtub, the audience can believe the suspense is over, the camera then pans to the right and we are lead to a 'over the shoulder' and 'two-shot' which will make the audience jump as they finally witness what the suspense was building up for.
    A high pitched bang sound plays when it pans to the ghost in the reflection.






     
    Close up of reaction


    Scene cuts away to another room which shows
    the man jumping out of bed to investigate the scene.







    Over the shoulder


    During this shot, the high pitched sound continuous to play, also, when the man looks at the bathtub, a loud noise is instantly played, probably representing the sudden realization of what has just happened.










    Two shot/Close up
    A sudden change in music changes the atmosphere of the scene,
    the sound becomes more calm and relaxing as the scene of suspense
    finally comes to an end.









    Cutaway - shot



    The final seconds of the scene cuts away to the bathroom plughole, all sounds are gone except the breathing of the women, however these final moments tell the audience that the threat is over and so is the scene.

    Sound '2

    To emphasis the idea of suspense or fast pace action, every director would have to play with the idea of sound such as explosions which would add to the dramatic effects of action thrillers, or high pitched violin noises which will help create a suspenseful environment.

    Soundtrack Pro

    We were taught how to use soundtrack pro which we will use for our film editing.


      
    Here is an example of the sounds we are able to use in soundtrack pro, there are a number of different types of sounds which once clicked on, different ways which the sound is heard will open up for us to pick. 

    In my example I have clicked onto the explosions, here you can see there are many different ways the 'explosions' will sound.



    The empty Grey box is where videos will be dragged into so we can watch the film play while adding sounds and sound effects to it so we can add sounds at the correct time and moment of a film.

    The ways in which Hitchcock's 'Psycho' has influenced Movies

    Psycho's infamous scene of the girl getting murdered in the shower, has had a mighty impact on the rest of slasher films. It was a huge hit when it was released, and even to this day film makers have gained inspiration from that particular scene and have even incorporated aspects of it in their own slasher movies.
    We watched a clip from 'What Lies Beneath' in class and noticed that the director chose to include a bath and a running shower. The director clearly took liking to the bathroom setting, and I too agree that it is an iconic setting to shoot a murder scene.

    'The Watching' Documentary

    1) The seduction is used to tempt audiences and keep their attention. It could either slowly introduce drama and keep the suspense rising or could have continuous drama. If it were to be full of action and drama, it would need to begin from the start of the movie. Also, there needs to be an instant impact, with lots of drama so people watch the whole of the movie and not keep them bored.

    Thomas Sutcliffe: "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."

    2) The risks of 'instant arousal' mainly involve answering the questions in the mind of the viewers. The problem is that they are sometimes never answered and then it is asked what comes next. The audience may expect more drama if all of the action is crammed into the first part of the movie, therefore it is wiser to start slowly and have the drama later on, so that the audience can feel a sense of satisfaction.

    3) Audiences hope to have their moneys worth. A deal must be struck to draw the rules of engagement. A good beginning would include making a judgement of how much information is given in the opening. You don't want them to walk away from the film, feeling that they know what will happen in the rest of the movie or leaving them confused. You must set enough information to foreshadow the future events, only making rules on how much you give away.

    4) Kauffmann describes  'the classic opening' as an establishing shot of a place, e.g new york city (cityscape), close up of a building, then the camera window in the room to the private office and meet the receptionist and finally the important character at the desk can be seen. This makes it rational and establishes normality. This includes a normal person in the building and is in an everyday routine, but then afterwards it changes to the dramatic plot which contrasts the normality. The point of this opening to make it clear of location and introduces the characters on set.

    5) The title sequence to tee film 'Se7en' creates a first impression that wakes everyone up to whats going to happen. It tells a story and foreshadows things that were going to happen. It is suggested that the opening is more influential than the film itself. It introduces us to the main character who is psychotic and has an obsessive nature.

    6) He wanted to make people forget they are watching the film, without any titles, no editing, no cuts whatsoever, and use the fluidity of the camera. However universal studios made titles for it.7) 'A favourite trick of Film Noir' means that the dramatic event at the end will be shown first. It will start the movie at the end so we can go back in time and watch the build up, looking ahead to see what is to come.

    More Time?

    If I had more time I think I would of been able to come up with a more structured Opening Sequence, not just me but alongside my group members but again we had been put in a sticky situation so in that moment in time we just had to think of anything that came to mind. Perhaps in other projects and if it's organized well I'm sure it will come out good

    FINAL EDIT - 'JACKED DANIEL'

    This is the final edit of my opening thriller... Enjoy!


    video

    Experince

    The experience that I've gained from this is that I should never limit myself on what can be done, I should think bigger and think about the end results can bring. This has also helped me with my teamwork abilities and I'm sure that in future projects i am guaranteed to deliver good results :)

    Finally Finished

    We finally finished our project, i feel as if more could be done. But due to our circumstances we had no way, we had 3 members in our original group but one of our members left so we was stranded. We later then joined up with another group in our class and started our project but with a short space of time we felt that our abilities was not used to it's fullest.

    CONCLUSION

    Overall, my short film gets a strong message across and works well in leaving the audience asking questions on what will happen next, as this is an opening of a thriller. The fact that my group has been shifted left, right and center has affected our team work rate and caused separation but in conclusion, I have directed, edited and filmed an opening thriller alone which has been a worthwhile experience, as I have learned various skills in terms of media technology and how to create a short film, independently.

    Music

    When we had filmed everything that we needed to the video looked very empty without the sound, The good thing about the track that we inserted into the opening scene is that is has the effect on making the audience feel as if this a romantic opening scene but then the piano gives away the sense of that. We also thought of sampling a well known thriller soundtrack but this process would take quite a while like the famous dead silence soundtrack:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kcqPq5189VQ

    FINAL CUT PRO - EDITING SOFTWARE

    Final Cut Pro, is a professional non-linear editing software application developed by Macromedia Inc. and then Apple Inc. Final Cut Pro 7 runs on Mac personal computers powered by Mac OS X version 10.5.6 or later and using Intel processors. It is a module of the Final Cut Studio product. The software allows users to log and capture video onto a hard drive (internal or external), where it can be edited, processed, and output to a wide variety of formats.


    Final Edit The Basement

    video

    EDITING THE FOOTAGE

    In my editing session, I started to put my footage together, I began to choose which clips I liked best and the ones I could use as back up. After this, I put my clips in order and placed them on the time line of 'Final Cut Pro' so that our clip could flow smoothly. I decided use a black screen for our titles to appear on, which was inspired by the thriller film 'Seven'.

    SOUNDTRACK

    The music in a film plays a very big part. The music emphasis an action. This also suggests the genre and sets the mood for the film before it is fully watched. Automatically when we hear a scary sound in a film we automatically think that something scary is bound to take place.

    I used three different soundtracks for my short film which are very modern, in terms of sound technology but suit the overall vibe of danger and threat, with the support of heavy drums and low bass synths.

    TREATMENT

    A treatment is a narrative version of the story in a script, presented in story format, describing the main action with little or no dialogue. Many writers use treatments as a way of fleshing out their stories in narrative format to map out the flow of the action across the major scenes in the script before they start work on the dialogue. This way the writer can be sure that the story flows correctly before they commence the actually script. Most treatments are no more than 2-5 pages.

    Soundtrack Creation

    This is a screen grab of when i was using Soundtrack Pro, I went to the urban section so the style was very modern but kind of creepy as well with the help of the piano playing throughout it. There was a minor malfunction with soundtrack pro, it would not let me view the video while the track was playing so I decided to play it from final cut pro and time it for myself. It was very difficult but i managed to do in time with the video. The instrumental that i used which i though would be useful was called 'Lo Rider'

    'WATCHING' - DOCUMENTARY

    1) The seduction is used to tempt audiences and keep their attention. It could either slowly introduce drama and keep the suspense rising or could have continuous drama. If it were to be full of action and drama, it would need to begin from the start of the movie. Also, there needs to be an instant impact, with lots of drama so people watch the whole of the movie and not keep them bored.

    Thomas Sutcliffe: "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."

    2) The risks of 'instant arousal' mainly involve answering the questions in the mind of the viewers. The problem is that they are sometimes never answered and then it is asked what comes next. The audience may expect more drama if all of the action is crammed into the first part of the movie, therefore it is wiser to start slowly and have the drama later on, so that the audience can feel a sense of satisfaction.

    3) Audiences hope to have their moneys worth. A deal must be struck to draw the rules of engagement. A good beginning would include making a judgement of how much information is given in the opening. You don't want them to walk away from the film, feeling that they know what will happen in the rest of the movie or leaving them confused. You must set enough information to foreshadow the future events, only making rules on how much you give away.

    4) Kauffmann describes  'the classic opening' as an establishing shot of a place, e.g new york city (cityscape), close up of a building, then the camera window in the room to the private office and meet the receptionist and finally the important character at the desk can be seen. This makes it rational and establishes normality. This includes a normal person in the building and is in an everyday routine, but then afterwards it changes to the dramatic plot which contrasts the normality. The point of this opening to make it clear of location and introduces the characters on set.

    5) The title sequence to tee film 'Se7en' creates a first impression that wakes everyone up to whats going to happen. It tells a story and foreshadows things that were going to happen. It is suggested that the opening is more influential than the film itself. It introduces us to the main character who is psychotic and has an obsessive nature.

    6) He wanted to make people forget they are watching the film, without any titles, no editing, no cuts whatsoever, and use the fluidity of the camera. However universal studios made titles for it.7) 'A favourite trick of Film Noir' means that the dramatic event at the end will be shown first. It will start the movie at the end so we can go back in time and watch the build up, looking ahead to see what is to come.

    8) The screen is 'full of omens'. It remains fixed on the travelling object to show that they are travelling in the wrong direction and looks like a predator is following them. A birds eye view is used, as if camera is like a hawk watching its prey. The music getting deeper, translating that its dangerous. They are driving into an isolated area in the middle of nowhere, driving towards darkness. (e.g mountains are in darkness, meaning that they are travelling in the wrong place.)

    INFLUENCES AND DEMOGRAPHIC

    The main influences of my thriller are films such as 'Adulthood' and 'Menace to the Society' since they have similar motifs which run through. Furthermore, my thriller is targeted at the same audience who are a young demographic. This is because they can relate to the events which take place in my thriller, and can take note on how to change for the best, since my short film represents struggle in young society.

    OPENING THIRILLER - STORYLINE

    The storyline of my opening thriller revolves around the idea of a teenager, dressed to the stereotype of a thug, who gets robbed and beaten up by another boy in his local area. This works well as the opening shot of my main character 'Daniel' (Atta Milashari) misleads the audience into thinking, he is about to cause trouble. However, he ends up getting physically abused by another peer on a similar level.

    The moral of my thriller is that. some may dress in a threatening manor such as hoods and hats, but this does not mean they are actually, who they appear to be.

    Location

     We recorded here to get the tension, this show's that it's not very spacious and as far as the audience can see there is one door that is catching there attention at this moment in time.
     Not a very clear shot but this is the basement door slightly opened, this was key in our opening sequence to show curiosity.
    This shot was to show Me and Netitia having a casual conversation which then leads me to bringing her down to the basement

    New Story

    Due to our late group changes we decided to leave our ideas and create a new one, this was short notice so we had to come up with a plan asap. In doing so we decided to have a young college girl being lured into that basement and being raped thus our film title being called "The Basement', the actors that were involved in this was Me And Netitia and we filmed in our local college, Sitora was our camera woman. We gave a very brief pitch to our teacher so we wouldn't have to do the storyboard etc all over again to waste time.

    INDIVIDUAL ENTRY - MUAZZIN AZIZ

    Due to the fact of too much time being wasted and not enough footage being recorded, I decided to make the opening thriller by myself separately, without a group since I felt that there was no commitment from others. Therefore, I have directed, filmed and edited my own short film. (Opening thriller)

    FONTS




    Denotation; The image you actually see and what is immediately apparent, compared to the assumptions that an individual reader may make about it. It can also be a first level of signification. First level of significance is the identification and definition of elements of a text or picture, e.g. This is yellow, it is a banana, it is big etc. Denotation reading is common for most people.

    THRILLER AUDIENCES: RESEARCH

    The audience of a film are vital, since they are the people who decide whether my thriller is a success or not. Therefore, I have done some research on who my thriller should be targeted at.



    Based on information observed from 2009's Cinema, out of the 503 films released,  only a total of 31 were Thrillers. Thrillers can be stereotypically seen as an males genre of film, this is down to the inclusion of action and crime. Although, Thrillers do also consist of other ingredients such as Suspense, which is as proved from the 2009 report seen as a females favorite aspect of a film to go and watch, compared to males.

    Thriller audiences vary from early teenage years (15) to a  slightly maturer demographic (18), which is obviously down to the content of its inclusion. This may consist of the level of violence, sexual nature and strong language.

    LIVETYPE: SKILLS

    LiveType is a program on Mac which provides you with the opportunity to manipulate text and titles to add on Final Cut Pro. Although there are numerous fonts, effects and animations available on LiveType, I decided to keep my credits and text basic so that the audience focus more on the actual film rather than the graphology. 


    Here is a screen shot of LiveType:

    SOUND: SKILLS

    Sound plays a major role in any form of media, which is why I decided to add music to my film to create a strong vibe of action and scenario. I used a program called Reason 4 to produce the instrumentals and Logic Pro to master the sound. Although these software are not provided by the college, I took advantage of my home studio to manipulate the perfect soundtracks.

    Here is a screen shot of Logic Pro:



    Here is a screen shot of Reason 4:

    INTRODUCTION TO EDITING: SKILLS

    During our media lessons, we were shown how to edit and manipulate movies using Final Cut Pro. I learned how to put various clips together and render them smoothly. This was done through a range of transitions between scenes such as 'Cross fades' and 'Dissolves.'


    Here is a screen shot of Final Cut Pro, whilst I was editing my short film.

    Friday, 4 March 2011

    Camera Shots

    These are some of the main camera shots.


    This is a shot that show's the audience where the film is based, using famous skyscrapers/monuments make it easier for the audience to recognize.


    This basically show's the average human eye level, this makes the audience feel as they are actually involved in the film.


    A low angle show that the person standing up is strong and in power not forgetting intimidating, it's also useful because nowadays hero's are always put in situation and it makes the audience feel for them.

    Change Of Plan

    Due to my group only having 2 people, it would be really hard for us to film and find other students to fil with us. So our teacher decided we should another group that are also low on people in student which is group 38, we also decided to stick with their plan due to them already having their storyboard/plans laid out already. I will be blogging their story onto mine so at least there is a slight hint of us being together so there isn't no sense of confusion. So the new group is:

    • Netitia
    • Sitora
    • Mish
    • Me
    • Muazzin

    Tuesday, 15 February 2011

    Thriller Audience

    Thriller movies nowadays are generally rated 15 or 18, it depends on really who had directed it and the sub genre. Many famous directors who do all sorts of films will often make the impression to the audience of when a film is about to be released the audience can judge what they are in for due to seeing what the director has done in his/her past. If they have done/thriller movies and they are known to be notorious to make it a very twisted film (Saw) then personally it's rated 18+. And Thriller movies that are aimed at females are most likely to be 15/18 rated movie whereas males are 18+, it's not biased or anything but it would not be suitable for a woman to go into a cinema and see a film thats not suited for them.

    Monday, 14 February 2011

    Pitch

    This is the sheet we was given to give us a rough idea on pitching our film opening.

    Livetype: Skills

    Livetype is a program where you can create animations to add with you video along with titles, templates, objects and textures.

    When using livetype you need to know it presents 4 window's which are:
    1. The Canvas
    2. The Timeline
    3. The Inspector
    4. The Media Browser
    The Canvas shows all the items you have added after you have added them on the timeline, where it is inserted it's transparent so you can add your own video behind it. The Timeline is where you add your text,objects etc. The inspector is used to make changes through five tabs:
    1. Tracking and Alignment
    2. Text Properties
    3. Attribute Properties
    4. Style Properties
    5. Timing Properties