Links to my Co-Producers' Blogs

Sunday, 20 March 2011

Welcome To My Blog


Welcome to my Blog!



On here you should find everything you need to know about our film, "Oblivious".


My fellow group members were Jem Whitehead and Tom Wardman. Please feel free to click the links and visit their blogs too.


Any comments left will be very much appreciated and I hope you enjoy reading my blog!

Our Final Film Opening - Oblivious

Before viewing our Final Product, please ensure that the annotations are turned off (Click the speech bubble button on the video). Thank you and I hope you enjoy our film.

Thursday, 17 March 2011

Evaluation Question 1

In what ways does your media product use, develop or challenge forms and conventions of real media products? (i.e. of film openings)

We decided to generally stick to the codes and conventions of a typical Slasher film during our film opening. To do this, we all watched a number of film openings, analysed and discussed them. After we decided on our cast, setting and storyline so that it fit into the typical conventions of a Slasher. Having said that, we did decide that, if the film were to be completed, our Final Girl would have appeared to be a typical “Scream Queen”. This would have challenged the typical conventions of the genre and made the rest of the film more exciting and surprising to the audience.

The title of our film, “Oblivious”, is actually a reference to everybody been oblivious to what is really going on. The opening, and the rest of the film all points to the Killer been “Carl”, who is introduced in the opening to the film. In the end, it would have been Carl who revealed the identity of the Killer. The Title enters dramatically at the end of our film opening to try and reach maximum effect. The title follows the scream of our “Scream Queen” and a jump shot to the outside of the house.

The Setting for our film opening is very traditional for Slasher films. We have used Camera angles to make the house where the opening is set, look very isolated and secluded. This is a vey traditional part of the Slasher genre as it implies help and safety is a long way away, and makes the victim even more scared and vulnerable. Examples of this in other films in our genre include the opening scene of “Scream" (Wes Craven, 1996), and the main house in “When a Stranger Calls (West, 2006)” These are just two of many examples of this kind of setting been used in a Slasher film.

To keep the film realistic, we didn’t want to overdo any of the costumes. For this reason, we kept them simple, whilst still trying to tell the audience about the character. For example, we had “Amelia”, a Scream Queen, wearing a short skirt and quite a revealing top. “Carl”, a typical high school male, was wearing jeans, a t-shirt and importantly a belt which we used to signify sexual activity had taken place. These costumes tell the audience about the characters, but aren’t over the top making the film tacky. The killer was dressed in a conventional way; dark clothes, a mask to keep the identity hidden and provide a narrative enigma and armed with a knife.
Props were relatively simple. We wanted the house to be quite ordinary and so didn’t really change much. Important Props that we did use include the wine bottle, signifying the consumption of alcohol (a sin in the Slasher genre world, and another example of our film following the conventions of a typical Slasher). The knife is also an important prop, as it fits in with many other Slasher films such as “Halloween (Carpenter, 1973)”.

Editing is very important for our film as it is the editing that creates the good effect with the increase in pace. Throughout our film we have the pace of shots increasing. During feedback, people told us that they thought the pace of the film was too slow to start with. Whilst we improved that a little bit, by cutting out a couple of shot sequences, we wanted to keep the early steady pace as it helps to create the fast effect towards the end. When the pace starts to increase, it suggests to the audience that something may happen, which is the effect we wanted. To maintain this effect, we only used one transition in the middle of the film opening and that was to show a short period of time passed. Cameral Shots are always important in a film and our film was no different. Because we used few transitions, most of our cuts are jump cuts. We also made use of Dutch angles (a common shot type in Slasher films as they are often used to show that something is not right), close ups, to focus in on something significant (such as the fact that Amelia locks the door, giving the impression that she is safe, but she has left a window open as seen in an earlier shot in the opening) and Extreme long shots and establishing shots at the beginning to set the scene (from watching Slasher film openings we discovered this was something that was very often done).
 
The rest of our story revolves around this character “Carl” been framed for the killings of other characters. The opening sets this up well, as Carl is the last person, except the killer to see Amelia alive. Carl’s sister is in fact our final girl, and therefore she’s the main target for our killer. The opening of our film makes the audience think that it is Carl who is the killer and who is ringing “Amelia”. If the film was to progress, we would discover that it wasn’t Carl on the phone.

Our film opening suggests our film is a Slasher by been conventional. This is one of the reasons that we chose to stick to most of the conventions of a Slasher movie; we wanted our film to be easily identified as part of the Slasher genre. The setting we have used (an isolated house), the cast (a typical Scream Queen and Jock, as well as a conventional killer) and the props (the knife, alcohol, knives in the background etc.) all point to our film been from the Slasher genre.

Three characters are introduced in our film opening. Carl and Amelia are introduced together as they leave the bedroom, signifying that they have just had sex. This means that from the start, they are portrayed as sinful characters that deserve to be punished and killed. The killer is introduced right at the end, and spends very little time on screen. The longer the killer spends on screen the less scary they become. For that reason, our killer is only introduced on screen very briefly.


Our title, “Oblivious”, enters at the end of our film opening. We decided to do this because it makes it clear that this is the end of our opening to the audience and we felt it ‘rounded off’ the opening effectively. The film title entering at this stage is also seen in the film “Black Christmas (Morgan, 2006)”. The title is a Serif font. This too, is something that we decided on after watching a number of Slasher film openings and researching this topic. Strangely though, one of the biggest films in the genre, Scream (Craven, 1996) uses a sans-serif font, which is quite unusual as the sharper edges on fonts can signify a sharp, and slightly mysterious edge to a film. The names of our group and cast appear near the beginning of the film opening, introducing the group, but they are deliberately out the way before the main action begins to ensure that there is no distraction from the story.

We haven’t included many special effects in our film for the simple reason that, if you over do the special effects then your product loses verisimilitude and the editing, which should remain invisible (the audience should not notice it when they watch it!) becomes obvious to your audience and distracting from what you want them to be focusing on. Our Micro Drama was an excellent and fun opportunity to play about with special effects, and whilst we enjoyed doing this, we made a group decision to move away from that aspect for our Final Product. We did however include some transitions, to show time passing, as well as to move from the outside of the house to the inside and we also included a transition after the killing to back outside the house and the film title.

Evaluation Question 2

How does your media product represent particular social groups?


Our media product, as it is only the beginning to a film, is only representative of a couple of Social Groups. A longer piece of footage may have allowed us to include more social groups, but our task was just the film opening.


There is of course the binary opposition in our film opening with males and females. Each gender can be split into a large number of Social groups, but with only having one male and one female, we have only included two Social groups. Our male character, "Carl", is a typical high school jock. He is represented by dressing like an average teenager, but having quite a cocky and confident personality.
Our female character, "Amelia" is a Scream Queen. This is signified by the way she dresses, and her flirty body language when she answers the phone, and the fact that she is drinking alcohol. A Scream Queen is one of the main character types for a Slasher as well as a Final Girl, who would have been introduced if our product was longer.


The social Class that is represented in our film is middle class. We believed this was quite typical for a Slasher from the openings that we have viewed, for example "Scream (Craven, 1996)" and "Black Christmas (Morgan, 2006)". Middle Class is mainly signified in our film through the house; both the interior and exterior.


Our film does not represent homosexuality. Through watching Film openings, we did not pick up on any signs of same sex relationships and for this reason, and because we wanted to stick to a typical style Slasher film, we decided against including homosexual activity. If the film was to continue however, it may have been something that we could have considered as it would really separate our film from other slashers.


Disability is another area that we didn't see in the Slasher films that we have watched. We thought that this may be seen as quite unethical to have a killer pursuing somebody with a disability by the audience. For this reason, we decided against having people with disabilities in our film opening.


Although there are no ethnic minorities seen in our film opening, including characters from different cultures was something that we would have been interested in doing later in the film. Slasher film characters are predominantly white, although ethnic minorities are also seen (Phil and Maureen, Scream 2). 








On the left here, is Megan Claydon, the Scream Queen in our film, "Oblivious".


On the right is Sarah Michelle Gellar, who plays "Cici" in "Scream 2 (Craven, 1997)".




Comparisons could be made between the two actresses and they play the same role in their respective films, The Scream Queen.


Please find below a vodcast about the Social Groups represented in our film:


Evaluation Question 3

What kind of media institution might distribute your media product and why?

 
Considering we made our film on a next to nothing budget, it would be absolutely ridiculous to think that a company such as Warner Bros. or Universal Studios, major companies in the media industry, would distribute our film.
A more realistic film company to distribute our film would be Working Title Films, although this company is still well beyond what we could expect.

To distribute our film, we would need to look for a company that takes projects on from young and new film makers, who have worked with a very low, if any budget at all. This is our first production, and therefore we need a company who is willing and used to dealing with people in our situation.

From looking on the internet, I think I have found an example of the sort of company that may distribute our film. Caravan Film is a low budget, Independent, British Company. On their homepage, they describe themselves as:

“Caravan Film is a London, UK based independent film production company, artistically helmed by award winning feature and documentary filmmakers Leon & David Flamholc. We're always looking for new people to work and collaborate with: producers, directors, writers and people with new ideas about film.”

From reading just that short passage, you can get the idea as to why this would be a useful company to distribute our film. They look for new people to become part of the industry and are a UK company, which helps because it means we wouldn’t have t travel abroad to get the film distributed. Therefore, even though we have a very small budget and are very unlikely to make big money when the film is so low profile, Caravan Film is the sort of company who may take this kind of project on. For these reasons, I think this would be a good place for us to start our film careers.

Evaluation Question 4

 Who would be the audience for your media product?

Our media product would have two different categories of target audience; a core target audience and a secondary target audience.

Our Core Target Audience would be people between the ages of 15 and 24. From Research into the genre we have discovered that this is the most common age group for Slasher films, as they combine fear, action and terror, whilst allowing the audience to “get involved with the film” (this is mainly down to the predictability of Slasher films, so the audience knows what is going to happen). The film been available to 15 year olds is important to us, and has been throughout the making of our film. For the film to be classified as a 15 by BBFC, there are certain guidelines that must be adhered to, and certain areas and actions that are prohibited. We have followed these guidelines to ensure that our film could be classified as a 15.

Our secondary audience is people aged between 25 and 35. We wanted an extended, but not as key target audience because obviously you want your product to appeal to as many people as possible. However, it would be very hard to have a large core target audience as different age groups prefer different things. The purpose of the Secondary Target Audience is that the product would hopefully appeal to quite a large number of people from that group, although we would primarily target our core audience for the majority of our fans. For this reason, we have a Coe target audience of people aged between 15 and 24, and a secondary target audience of 25-35 year olds.

We found in our research that the Slasher genre is becoming increasingly popular amongst females, so much so that the balance is starting to even out between the number of male fans, and female fans. For this reason, our production is targeted at not only males, but females as well.

Because our cast (from our opening at least, if the film was to develop it would be possible that people from different cultures and religions may be cast into the film) are all White and British, we think that our core target audience would be white, British people. This isn’t to say that people from different cultures and ethnicities wouldn’t enjoy our production, it simply means that we think the film would appeal more to this kind of person due to the cast and actors that we have used.

Although we have not included anybody in our Film with a disability, we would hope that people with a disability would be interested in our film. The exclusion of anybody with a disability was mainly down to the storyline we chose, meaning it would have been very hard to fit a character with a disability in. We would hope, however, that anybody with a disability who is within our Target Audience would still be interested in watching our film.

Target Audience Profile

Evaluation Question 5

How did you attract/address your Audience?

With all the technology available to us these days, we had a variety of ways to try and get audience feedback. Obviously, our priority for Feedback was from people within our Core target audience, and then our secondary target audience. We wanted to try a range of ideas to get feedback, below are the ways we worked to recieve feedback:
  • Facebook (Social Networking Site)
  • You Tube (Video Sharing Website)
  • Asking Media Studies Students within our Core Target Audience.
  • Asking non-Media Studies students for feedback.
  • Asking family members within our Target Audience for Feedback (for example, my 20 year old brother)
So after recieving feedback, we needed to put it into practice. There were little things that were changed, for example editing the footage for better continuity. However there were a few big areas that we changed due to feedback:
  • We completely changed our idea following Rough Cut One
  • We removed a scene where the killer's mask appears outside the window following feedback on Rough Cut two.
  • One bit of feedback that we did recieve on the second rough cut was to speed up the pace. People often suggested that we speed up the pace of shots and action at the beginning, but we decided against this for reasons mentioned in the Podcast below.
To hear a more in depth view on the above, find my Podcast below. 

Here is my Podcast:






Evaluation Question 6

What have you learnt about technologies from the process of constructing this product?

When looking back on our Micro drama, it seems strange how far I, and my group, have come in a short space of time. The difference between the micro drama and our final product is quite obvious. To tackle this question, I have split the areas of development into three parts: Editing, Technical and Genre Understanding. I have created a mind map for each of these areas to show how I think I have improved over the period between our Micro Drama and our Final Product. 

Here is our Micro Drama video:

Here is our Final Product video:



The three mind maps can be found below:

Mind Map - Technical, Editing and genre understanding





Evaluation Question 7

Looking back at your preliminary task (the continuity editing task), what do you feel you have learnt in the progression from it to full product?


Obviously we knew that as a group and as individuals we had seriously improved over the project. It is not, however, until I looked back at the preliminary task that I realised just how much we have improved. From the simple things such as making sure there is no background noise and making sure the camera is steady, to the more difficult aspects such as making sure the mise-en-scene is correct and exciting and that the range of camera shots and continuity is brilliant. In every possible aspect, our Final Product improves on our preliminary task.


The main areas that I feel have been improved between our preliminary task and our final product are:

  1. Camera work. Throughout our preliminary task the camera is shaking and wobbling. This makes it obvious that you are watching something and is quite distracting.
  2. Camera shots. Although this wasn't the aim of the preliminary task, the camera shots were very similar. The final product however has a wide variety of camera angles, and they are all deliberate unlike in the preliminary task!
  3. Continuity. Throughout the process from preliminary task to final product, there has been an obvious improvement at each stage in the standard of editing. Editing includes continuity and the use of realistic and effective special effects
  4. Using the camera still. The camera shaking is obvious throughout the Preliminary task. However, in the final product we had thought carefully about this and use still camera shots except for POV (Point of View) shots.
  5. Mise-en-scene. In the preliminary task, we used no mise-en-scene. Our knowledge about mise-en-scene and our ideas of how to adapt it and improve it. This is really clear in our final product.
  6. Focusing the camera on Key parts. In the preliminary task, we missed out on an action by not having the camera placed correctly. In the final products we learnt to focus on the important parts of our film.
  7. General Genre Understanding. Throughout the project general genre understanding has improved significantly. Through watching slashers, reading about them and teaching in classes, our whole knowledge on this subject has improved enormously.
  8. General Media skills. Analysing. Researching. Camera work and editing. The list could go on about how we have improved. Skills that are helpful for other subjects as well as improving our media skills for this project and the future.
  9. Sound. Sound is a big part of the Slasher genre and we have learnt this over the course. Music and sound effects are vital to the success of the film.We have learnt how to use sound tools on the computers and how to create a good soundtrack.
  10. Using Equipment and Computer Programs. During the project we have been forced to learn how to use the different programs on the computer's and to use the pieces of equipment such as the camera's, tripods and voice recorders. This has been hugely beneficial as it has made us learn rather than passing the responsibility to others.
These are just the main things that have improved dramatically over the course. There have also been other skills improve and the course has been brilliant for developing us as film makers. Below, in the annotated videos, are comments on the good and bad things, and general comments on each video.

Below is my Preliminary task (please ensure annotations are switched ON): 



Below is my Final Product (please ensure annotations are switched ON):

Wednesday, 16 March 2011

'Dumped' Footage - Our Mise-en-scene Task

Although we did this quite along time ago (before we began planning for our final products), it was not yet on my blog. I think this shows how far we have come as film makers, so here it is:

ALL - Third Rough Cut

 This is our third rough cut and includes our soundtrack and our Company Idents:



Although the actual footage is all of our group's work, the video commentary was done by Jem Whitehead.

All - First Rough Cut

We thought that this first Rough Cut had been put on the Blog along time ago. It wasn't though, so here it is: 

ALL - Vodcast 1

Below is our group Vodcast 1:


Untitled from Jem Whitehead on Vimeo.

Wednesday, 23 February 2011

WS - Changes made in reaction to Feedback

Whilst most of the feedback we recieved on our second rough cut was very positive, as expected there were little areas that people thought could be improved. We have listened to, and discussed all feedback. Some of the feedback has directly effected our final Production, whilst other bits of feedback have been discussed and we have decided to not act upon it.

The most obvious effect of feedback is that we have eliminated a short passage of the production. This is where Amelia goes to the window and sees the Killer's mask on the window. The reason we have eliminated this is because many people who have viewed our second film believe that this is the killer. This was not the intention. It was meant to simply be a mask hanging on the window to scare the Amelia, and wasn't meant to look like the person was actually there. It has also caused confusion amongst the audience. We are not too disappointed about this because this was a gamble we took when filming because an idea for a false scare with a cat didn't work. Eliminating this scene also means the time of our film, including Company Idents fits into two minutes and thirty seconds.


We have also deleted another shot on the advic of one of our teachers. The shot is just before Carl leaves the house and makes that short scene flow much better.


Our final scene, from when Amelia enters the bathroom until the end, took a lot of consideration and thought. During editing we sought a lot of advic on how our audience thought it worked best. The people we recieved advice from were in our Media Studies group and are, therefore, in our Core Target Audience. From them we recieved advice such as whether or not to use transitions (which in the end, we didn't), whether the scene flowed at a good pace for them, whether the camera shots worked effectively or not, and most importantly, did they feel that the scene overall was scary and an effective ending to our film opening. Views on this can also be seen on the below link.


Feedback that we considered, but decided against acting upon included views that we could show more of the killer. The main reason we decided against that is because we wanted to keep the killers idetity as an enigma. Very little is seen of the killer, deliberately, because we believe that the more time the killer spends on screen, the less scary they become. This view was backed up when we asked people in our target audience. For these reasons, we didn't change our production to accomodate this feedback advice.

JW - BBFC Rating - Our Decision

’15′

Suitable only for 15 years and over

No one younger than 15 may see a ‘15’ film in a cinema. No one younger than 15 may rent or buy a ‘15’ rated video work.

Discrimination

The work as a whole must not endorse discriminatory language or behaviour.

Drugs

Drug taking may be shown but the film as a whole must not promote or encourage drug misuse. The misuse of easily accessible and highly dangerous substances (for example, aerosols or solvents) is unlikely to be acceptable.

Horror

Strong threat and menace are permitted unless sadistic or sexualised.

Imitable behaviour

Dangerous behaviour (for example, hanging, suicide and self-harming) should not dwell on detail which could be copied. Easily accessible weapons should not be glamorised.

Language

There may be frequent use of strong language (for example, ‘fuck’). The strongest  terms (for example, ‘cunt’) may be acceptable if justified by the context. Aggressive or repeated use of the strongest language is unlikely to be acceptable.

Nudity

Nudity may be allowed in a sexual context but without strong detail. There are no constraints on nudity in a non-sexual or educational context.

Sex

Sexual activity may be portrayed without strong detail. There may be strong verbal references to sexual behaviour, but the strongest references are unlikely  to be acceptable unless justified by context. Works whose primary purpose is sexual arousal or stimulation are unlikely to be acceptable.

Theme

No theme is prohibited, provided the treatment is appropriate for 15 year olds.

Violence

Violence may be strong but should not dwell on the infliction of pain or injury. The strongest gory images are unlikely to be acceptable. Strong sadistic or sexualised violence is also unlikely to be acceptable. There may be detailed verbal references to sexual violence but any portrayal of sexual violence must be discreet and have a strong contextual justification.

TW - Overall Summary Of Research And Planning

I have learnt many things from my R+P, such as an ideal setting, common props and conventions, amongst other strategies.


To begin with, I have learnt through reading about Gothic Cinema in the book entitled; 'A New Heritage Of Horror' I have learnt that using establishing type shots that give the audience a real feel for the surroundings, as if they are in the setting themselves, helps to set the tone of the film and fully offer an eerie feeling as the film reaches it's climax, in order to fully engage the audience.


I have also learnt through deconstructing film openings, that props, in the form of a knife commonly, is key to a horror/slasher film. It is the most used prop to use as a murder weapon as it shows the killer having more power and sets them apart from their victims, for example; if they used a gun then all they would have to do is pull the trigger whereas with a knife, the killers have to plan their murders, showing they are skilled in that area. Although this prop and the mask (see below) are the most important props, further info on mise-en-scene we will be using can be found on the linked post.


Further evidence of this can be seen in the films; Scream and Halloween (both films hugely successful, with many sequels/ homages) where a knife is used by the killer, not another weapon.


Another key convention that can also be seen in the film Scream is the use of the 'Final Girl' concept, where said girl prevails over the killer at the end of the film. This has become increasingly common in modern slashers as it opens up a whole new audience of that of teen girls/young female adults who may not be familiarised with this genre until this new concept. Although in our film opening there is a definitive victim, known as the 'Scream Queen' we would have planned for a final girl to have prevailed at the end of our production. Further character info can be found in this link where we highlight each character we need and the characteristics they must have.


Another key convention is the use of a mask. This can again be seen in the films Scream and Halloween, as well as extremely modern slashers such as The Strangers. This hides the killer's identity, although it is usually revealed at the end of the film to provide a climax. We have used a mask in our film to hide our killer's identity, to incorporate yet another common convention to our film.


We have found that 'false scares' are also commonly used, and prove to be quite popular when further suspense is needed to keep the audience guessing. Many of these can be seen in the Paranormal Activity films . We have not used a false scare in our Rough Cut although this may change and there may yet be one in our finalised production.

Thanks to key horror films such as A Nightmare On Elm Street and Halloween, we have discovered that the ideal location would be a very isolated, rural scene. This was hard to achieve due to where our houses were situated, although as seen in the rough cut we have tried to use significant camera shots at the beginning of our film to give the best impression possible of a lonely location.



We have also chosen our target audience to be in the age range of 15-24 in order to have a wider group of possible viewers. We also hope that if this was a full production, the use of a final girl would help bring female viewers to our production. 
   
Another key part of a horror film is a very eerie soundtrack to provide suspense and act as tension in the eyes of the viewer. Iconic soundtracks have been known from Halloween and Saw (See Podcast for Details).


These points are regarded as the most important parts of a successful horror film in our opinion, and the majority are incorporated into our film opening, entitled 'Oblivious' - see below for second rough cut.

ALL - Company Idents

We have created two Company Idents:
  • Hawk Eye Distributions
  • Jagged Edge Productions

ALL - Second Rough Cut - Oblivious

Friday, 18 February 2011

WS - Plot Overview - Oblivious

To fully understand how and why what happens in our opening happens, we needed to see and decide how the film as a whole would unfold and develop. Below is an overview of what we planned would happen if we were to make this into a whole film:

  • Carl, the boyfriend in the opening scene, is been set up for the killings of many males and females throughout the rest of the film. This is the reason why the killer is using Carl's phone to call Amelia. Although we don't see this, it is not Carl on the other end of the phone, although it is supposed to seem like it is him.
  • The reason Amelia, the Scream Queen in our opening, is killed is to implicate Carl in all the other killings. From watching Slasher films such as Scream, we realised that there is often at least one person who all the evidence points towards been the killer. In our film this person is Carl (in Scream for example, there is Cotton Weary, Sidney's father etc). Another reason for Amelia been killed is of course the fact that she is a Scream Queen and has been participating in sinful acts such as drinking alcohol and having sex.
  • We decided to make our killer like a psychopath who, after watching and enjoying Slasher films, has decided to make his very own film. The reason we decided that they would be a psychopath is that it gives you no limits to how far they are willing to go. They show no mercy or conscience, which is much scarier than having a killer who feels bad for what they are doing!
  • If the film was to develop further, a Final Girl would be introduced. The Final Girl would actually be Carl's sister. However, we thought that if this did happen, we would have used a typical Scream Queen type actress to portray her. The reasons for this would be to make the audience feel like she was going to be killed at any moment, but just managed to escape at the last minute, providing high levels of tension. This would also allow us to incorporate Counter-Types into our film. Carl's sister would believe that Carl is actually innocent.
  • We also decided that our film would end with Carl and his sister confronting the real killer, after they are trapped by the man. A fight between them would ensue before the killer would eventually be killed. Of course it would not be simple to kill the killer, as it always takes a huge number of stab wounds, falls, gunshots, bangs to the head and a lot more to kill a Slasher film killer!
We believe that the above storyline would have provided us with enough to make a full film, given the chance. We are also confident that we could have made this film exciting and quite a typical Slasher, with enough opportunities for conventions of the genre such as false scares, killings with strange and dangerous weapons, and of course, lots of punishment for those that commit sins!

Monday, 14 February 2011

ALL - Podcast Number 4



In this Podcast we discussed: 
  • Company Idents
  • New Cast
  • Upcoming Filming
  • Target Audience
  • Changes made in reaction to feedback



Sunday, 13 February 2011

WS - Filming Review - Thursday 10 February

Last Thursday we re-filmed our project. We are yet to edit it, but hopefully we have everything we need to make our film the best it can be. We shot more shots than we believed necessary, and re-shot most scenes. We also took into account feedback we recieved from our original rough cut, such as avoiding the use of panning shots. 

Obviously, throughout filming you are goinng to encounter problems that you have to overcome. The biggest problem, and the most frustrating was that the cat we were going to try and use for a false scare was not too happy about being used and kept running away before we could film the shots. After attempting to get this shot a number of times it became apparent that this was not going to work. We quickly decided on an alternate scare, where we stuck the killers mask behind some curtains. When 'Amelia' draws back the curtains the mask is on the window and provides a scare that way. This may be badly done as it was quite difficult to do but hopefully it will be good for us to use in our film. We do however think that coming up with this idea on the spot when under pressure shows that our group are confident and are willing to take on challenging shots/ideas.

The second problem for us was that we had to film the killing scenes ahead of some other scenes with 'Amelia' downstairs. 'Amelia' washes her face in the killing scenes, which could have been problematic as the Actresses make-up could have, but fortunately did not, run. This could have been quite bad for continuity but fortunately this was not the case.

We didn't have any other problems of note fortunately, and the filming appears to be a success. If any further problems are discovered during filming, then I will update the blog again.

Wednesday, 9 February 2011

JW - Filming and Acting Update

Firstly, we have now had to change our cast.
The role of 
Amelia will now be played by 'Megan Claydon' instead of 'Mary Newton'.
This has been done due to Mary living a very busy life and struggling to find time to fit in filming, and with the deadline coming up, we need to film soon.

Secondly, final filming will now be taking place on Wednesday the 9th and Thursday the 10th oh February. We intend to get all shots done then, including both of our company idents.

JW - Soundtrack Update

Due to our recent change in idea, we now have no need to use my band (The Feedback).
However, we still need a creepy and chilling soundtrack to go along with the story, I have now finished writing one and now intend to record and hopefully receive some audience feedback (time allowing).
It could be posted on here within the next week.

JW - Updates to our Production - Based On Feedback

After receiving some vital points from our fellow classmates and media teacher, we have decided to alter our production slightly and re-shoot - a date for this has not yet been decided.
Although our basic storyline remains the same, we have decided to add in several key elements:


  • Carl will be leaving Amelia after they've just 'been' with each other, instead of just sitting on the couch
  • Amelia will receive a phone call from our soon to be killer
  • the killer will have also have already killed Carl after he leaves, adding to the slasher aspect
  • we will include a much larger variety of shots, as well as less panning shots

JW - Our Final Treatment

A Treatment For Our Coursework

JW - Initial Feedback

We received some initial feedback on the first 45 seconds of our clip from Asa Newmarch who is currently working on his production; 'Test Drive'.
Since little has been done to our project, (sound, editing etc.) there was little to report back on. However, he did inform us that on a few occasions - you here the director calling 'action'. We now intend to edit this out.

Monday, 7 February 2011

WS - Audience Feedback

After completing filming about a week and a half ago, we have edited the footage into a rough cut. Having done this, and recieved feedback, a number of problems have been spotted. In reaction to feedback, we have decided to change our idea and re-write a new story, although some aspects may be carried through. This may seem like an over-reaction, but we see it as necessary to incorporate the feedback, which the whole groub agrees with.

The main points we have picked up on through Audience Feedback are:
  • Not to use shots with jerky movements (such as our panning shots). This loses us marks. We were advised that, if we want to attempt panning shots, to also shoot a still shot in case the shot goes wrong.
  • Try and get Close Ups and Extreme Close Ups on key things (such as holding hands, unlocked doors etc.)
  • Use shorter takes as they are more common in Slasher films, as well as helping the actors (long takes can be hard for amateur actors)
  • Get the Boyfriend character out the way quicker. This would be beneficial as it gives us longer to build up the tension with the girl alone, whilst still having the signs of sexual activity.
  • More variety in camera shots/angles/distances. Vary our shot types more to make the production more interesting on screen and to also give subtle signs to the audience (for example; close up on key objects and long shots to set the scene - establishing shots).
  • Maybe make use of a phonecall to build suspension. We also knows this works in Slasher films from watching films such as "When A Stranger Calls" and "Scream".
We will now look at ways to improve our idea based mainly, but not entirely on Audience Feedback. We will post again when we have improved ideas and when we have a new date for filming.

Monday, 31 January 2011

WS - Update on Filming - 'Oblivious'

Although last week I blogged that we had finished filming, I did state that this was assuming we had every shot and all the shots were done correctly and to a decent standard. Unfortunately, we feel this is not the case. While we are happy with the majority of shots that we filmed, we aren't happy with three or four shots, so we will be setting a new date for filming again. The main shots in question are the opening shot, when we are outside the house and getting the establishing shot, and the stabbing of the girl at the end. We feel both shots could be much better than they are, and we want them to reach our high standards. We may also decide to re-shoot others before we go back out to film, although we are undecided on these as of now. 


As well as re-shooting some shots, we also need to film our Company Idents which we have now decided to record on camera before editing. We need to take a shot of an eye blinking and of a sharp knife. In some ways we are quite happy for having to re-shoot as it means we can hopefully improve our footage, show drafting and gives us the oppurtunity to shoot for our Idents.


A date will be posted when we decide to shoot again.