Monday, 31 January 2011

Jelly baby brief: PLANNING

We as a group had a brief to use our jelly babies to enter a room share a few lines of dialogue, to do this we had to use a camera to use still images. In our group we decided to use the matrix as our idea.

We drew little tux’s on the jelly babies, so they look ‘cool’. We started with one jelly baby in the room and another entering. After sharing a few lines of dialogue the jelly baby morphed into 3 different ones.  The jelly baby (Neo) the fought and beat the other babies, then he flew away in the sky. We took different shots at different angles. Some of the shots we used were shot reverse shot, over the shoulder and close ups. 

Live type and Sound: SKILLS

In this lesson we learnt how to use two programs one called sound track and the other called live type. Live type allowed us to create idents and titles, which we could add to our film. There are numerous different images and text styles available to create one that fits in with our thriller theme.

Sound track lets us creates sound tracks using different sounds. Sound track has hundreds of sounds, musical instruments, noises and voice that can be layered on top of each other to create a track. Soundtrack has different bars that you put each sound on. You can layer and loop them and bring them in at different times, so the beats match.

Introduction to editing: RESEARCH

After we filmed the shots that we needed we uploaded them on to the hard drive. We edited our clips using final cut pro.

With this software we could cut and piece together our clips. We were able to cut parts of the clips so we only get the parts that we needed. We then pieced each clip together on a timeline, in the order we wanted our film to go in. There are two screens on final cut pro, one allowed us to view the clips the second let us view what was on the timeline.

How is Suspense created in the film you watched in class? Analyse 3 scenes in detail. : RESEARCH

For this analysis, we watched ‘The Stepfather’, the scenes that I found most suspense in was firstly, at the start, during the title sequence, in which, the music was being played, which was deep and traumatic whilst showing edits and close ups of the Stepfather shaving and trimming his facial hair. This made the audience feel really uncomfortable, as shaving is one of those normalities in life, however, it’s those normalities that are twisted which give that dark and suspenseful element about them. As we easily presume he is that dark and twisted character, it’s just finding out more about who he is and what he has done, that entices the audience to keep watching. The speed of the shots slows down during the tracking of the photos of a family, which appears to be a showcase of the victims he’s killed. When he enters the kitchen to make his breakfast, which was another factor concerning the twisting of normality, the music of ‘Silent night’ was played, which attributed to that suspenseful element, as we are finding out more about him but not enough for the audience to know. This ‘freaky’ moment of the song being played, brings a thought to the audience, as we presume he is opposing religion or mocking it in one aspect, as ‘Silent night’ is a song that’s commonly used for celebrations in Christian traditions. Suddenly, heavy depth music is placed on the tilting close up shots of the victims he killed, that suspense is heightened as the audience wonders, ‘what has happened?’
The next scene, was of the reverse shots between Michael and Kelly, as the argue over searching the Stepfather’s room for any criminating evidence, that he’s a murderer. 

Preliminary Match Cut Excercise – FINAL FILM

Well, our initial plan from what we did with the Preliminary match cut storyboards, did change when regarding our final film. At first, we were sorting the settings out, trying to make a chair and table be present in our shots. During that period, we picked up a newspaper that gave us our idea, the headline said, ‘Teacher lead double life as Drug Lord’, we just thought perfect! Because, the classroom would be the most suitable setting to carry out the filming.
So I firstly, filmed the match cut shots of the door being opened from both sides of the lock. Then I made some middle shots introducing the character who was working for this teacher drug lord, I also included a close up from a side angle showing the teacher getting off the phone, thereafter, reverse shots were made from over the shoulder angles, when the two characters were in dialogue. Thereafter, the teacher drug lord announced the death of one of his workers, and a shot was delegated to showing a dead body on the floor, which was really amusing. As the first character attempted to put the blame on him. Thereafter, he shot the teacher drug lord as he was going to shoot him. We inserted a gunshot sound clip to amplify the shot, finally a close up shot was played in showing the hand of the teacher drug lord shaking and eventually stop. We had spent the second half of our lesson, editing the film and cutting and trimming the shots on final cut pro. Overall, we were pleased with what we had accomplished.

Livetype and Sound: SKILLS

We were introduced in the ICT suite, to the programme of ‘Livetype’, which allows one to apply titles and text into clips and films. Which, would be essential as we have to be focusing on the first two minutes of the thriller film, which will need this text. The programme seems pretty easy to use, with a variety of effects available, to match whatever theme one is trying to promote, it’s important that we make sure we get the motion/effect that shall be applied to the titles correct, so we can introduce what kind of mood the audience should be in when watching these first two minutes.

Post an analysis of a title sequence which inspires you: RESEARCH

Here I have the shots taken from ‘Blade II’, as I watched; it contains that build-up of tense happenings. As it shows a figure getting ready or more appropriately, equipped to go into some sort of battle, the darkness that surrounds the shots amplify this tension, as the audience are left in the dark about what is going to happen in the rest of the film. In addition, the close ups of weapons provide that satisfying element that has an impact on the audience, as it’s something that indicates that there will be heavy use and conduct of violence, throughout the film. Also, the blood stained title and the ‘razor-sharp’ stylised font, apply more effect to this violent aspect, waiting to be seen. The bold capitalised titles that appear at the starting of the film appear in red, which also, provide more to the ‘bloody’ and violent element. Also, we don’t know much about the main character, as we don’t see much of his face – taking into consideration, his fame is quite high as ‘Wesley Snipes’ is a well-known actor, this knowledge that the audience should have and the idea that his identity is concealed during the title sequence, amplifies this idea of suspense.

Friday, 21 January 2011

Watching documentary: RESEARCH

“All great beginnings are a kind of premonition.” – Thomas Sutcliffe

During this media lesson we watched a documentary, by Peter Sutcliffe, about film openings.

1) When Thomas Sutcliffe says, “Films need to seduce their audience into long term commitment” he means that the opening needs to grab the audience in order for them to watch the whole film.

2) According to the director, Jean Jacques Beineix ‘instant arousal’ y the audience could lead to directors giving all the information to the audience, then there’s nothing left to give.

3) The camera shows a tower block, then goes through a window then an office an so on. It is basically an establishing shot , then a close up repeated until we get see the character, this makes life seem normal, however later in the film something occurs to show that its not as normal as it seems.

4) Kyle Cooper’s Se7en’s title sequence is so effective because it gets the viewer ready for the type of film, it sets the tone. It also foreshadows events which may happen in the film.
5) In a touch of evil, Orson Wells wanted to push the typical opening sequence boundaries. He didn’t want music or credits he wanted to get straight into the film. However Universal Studios added music and rolling credits to it.
6) ‘A favourite trick of Film Noir’ is starting the film with the end, so it goes in a circle so by the end your back at the end
7) The opening sequence of The Shining creates suspense by following the car like a predator. Also there is nothing or anyone about it looks like its somewhere people don't go, this creates tension, it seems like something is going to happen/ go wrong.

RESEARCH: Font analysis

Fonts need to be relavent to the film's story and general emotion they portray to the audience.

The font used in a film can show the audience what type of category (genre) the film would fall into. It is a brief telling of what the nature of the film is and what perhaps it may contain. For example, a horror film may have white titles which fade into the screen and fade out gradually. As this contains a ghostly theme the film opens with, this may indicate to the audience the nature of the film and what type of film it is. Fonts in a title sequence can expose hints about the story that we now won’t need to be told (like the example above, indicating there may be ghosts).

The font in the opening of a film has to be relevant to the theme it is aiming for; this includes the size, shape, colour, animating effect and movement of the font. They have to be associated with the genre/storyboard of the film to give the audience an idea about the films content.

RESEARCH: Response to the "Watching" documentary

The Watching documentary primarily is a detailed film looking into the opening title sequences of thriller films and what makes them interesting/relevent to the audience and story.

It was said by 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 alomost terrible." What Thomas means by this is that the opening of a thriller movie needs to indulge the audience into immediate curiosity. This is so the audience are immediately "pulled" into the film thus causing the audience to keep watching to find out more.


RESEARCH: Structure of Thriller openings

Most thriller films all begin with interesting and exciting beginnings. This is to seduce the audience in the opening of the films to keep them interested and engaged with whats happening on screen.


Thursday, 20 January 2011

RESEARCH: List of sub-genres - which inspires me at the moment and why?

Thrillers vary due to the different elements they impose on the audience and how it makes them feel. The main elements in thriller films include suspense, tension, and excitement. Thrillers include a wide range of sub-genres that employ the effects mentioned above on different levels. For example, one film may focus more on the element of suspense whereas another may focus more on tension. 
Crime thrillers mainly involve ransoms, captivities, heists, revenge, kidnappings and murders to uplift the audience's emotions in an exciting yet tense manner.
Mystery thrillers include investigations which holds suspense throughout. This is because the audience wonders throughout what the "final answer" is (e.g who is the murderer?). This involves the "whodunit" technique as the audience are left wondering throughout the entire movie.
Common elements in psychological thrillers are mind games, psychological themes, stalking, confinement/deathtraps, horror-of-personality and obsession. 
Elements such as conspiracy theories, false accusations, paranoia and sometimes action are common in paranoid thirllers.
Below are the thriller sub-genres that most engage me.
  • Crime Thrillers--------------------------------------------- Taking of Pelham 123
  • Psychological Thrillers------------------------------------- Phone Booth
  • Tech-no Thrillers------------------------------------------ I, Robot
The reason that these are my favourite sub-genres of thrillers vary. This is because of the different ways they create anticipation, anxiety, uncertainty and the general way they engage an audience with what is happening. What I like most about thriller films is the sudden twist in storyline, action or atmosphere that creates a sudden change in emotion. Thrillers seem to give a sense of adrenaline building up, especially in suspense films as there is a lot of emotion the you feel which you just wish to release. This emotion is usually released when we find out what it is that is keeping us so tense. The scene of curiosity and that feeling of wanting to know what happens just creates the feeling that builds up which makes us want to know more thus keeping us engaged with the film. The one which I have to say inspires me the most at the moment is Crime Thrillers. This is because, already being a fan of action films, crime thrillers add that unexpected twist which you don't really get in ordinary action films.

SKILLS: Introduction to camera

In one of our classes, we were shown how to use the camera in which we would be recording our work on, safely and appropriately. We were firstly shown by the media technician how to use the camera, its functions and how to adjust the varied settings to our filming environment and needs. He demonstrated how to put the camera on, insert the SD cards, place the battery on the camera, remove the lens cover etc, what buttons (such as record) were where etc....

The class was then shown a presentation on how to use the camera appropriately and gave us tips on how to use the camera effectively. He showed us how to use the tripod and how to safely place the camera on it correctly. We were all told to have a go at placing the camera on the tripod so we all had knowledge of how to do this correctly without accidentally damaging the equipment. He then showed the different functions the camera had such as manual focus and lighting settings which can be used to enhance our filming. This was done by plugging the camera in to the PC so we can all see the effects of the features shown on the over head projector. Tips were given out to the group stating how and when to use certain techniques. These included the manual focus which we were told when and how to used it, and the light effects as well. He also stated what not to do when filming; this included sudden zoom shots or panning as we did not have enough experience to do it to a professional standard. We were advised to stick to basics. Also the technician stressed to the group how valuable the equipment we were using are, and how not use them. The consequence of the equipment becoming damaged due to carelessness was stressed to the class. The last thing that we were advised not to do was film illegally. This meant the law had to be taken into account when filming so we are not able to film e.g in an unauthorised location (such as railway tracks) or illegal content (such as taking drugs) etc...

RESEARCH: How is suspense created in The Stepfather? Analysis of 3 scenes

The Opening
At the very beginning of the film, it appears as though a father has somewhat had a change of thought and decides to change his appearance. This includes a clean shave, wearing contacts and dying his hair. The reason for this dramatic change of appearance is unknown by the audience thus creating a sense of confusion which can leave the audience immediately unsettled. This is heightened when he turns around after his "transformation" and a wide shot is shown to show this "transformation". Family pictures are then shown in a tracking shot with the tense music still playing. This brings the question to the audience, why is this being shown? The tense music is then faded out and replaced with calm holy music as he gets his breakfast, which then conveys a sense of assurance and peace. This then all appears normal due to his casual approach until the camera tilts at an angle to reveal a dead young boy slumped on the table. This shows guilt and again unsettles the audience about the situation. 

Killing the Neighbour
In this scene, the old woman hears a knock at the door. While she goes outside to see who it is, there appears to be nobody there, or is there? This creates suspense as there is a sense of curiosity and confusion, as we heard the door knock but no-one is there. Why? The camera then suddenly cuts to a point of view shot inside the house. This gives the audience the impression that someone is inside the house and the elderly woman is being watched by an anonymous person, (or perhaps thing). As the elderly woman walks back inside, the audience is suddenly shocked by a cat jumping across the camera. This is known as a false plateau because the audience is expecting something to happen, but are shocked by something which they don't expect (in this case the cat). A false plateau is effective as it does what the audience expects, which is to expect something to happen which may scare them. After this happens, the audience may feel that it was the cat the whole time which can reassure the audience into their comfort zone. This makes the audience vulnerable to another quick sudden shock as they are reassured that everything is OK and that nothing is wrong. This is the perfect time to bring on another shock, and that is the stepfather suddenly grabbing the old woman. The audience is then frightened as they did not expect this happen and this creates a higher feeling of suspense than if the false plateau was not used. This also creates a second of confusion and uncertainty as the audience believed the point of view shot looking at the woman from within the house was the cat. But then the audience suddenly realise after a quick second that it was initially the stepfather to begin with. When the woman is thrown down the stairs, a point of view/low angle camera shot is seen looking up at the David from the floor. A high angle/point of view shot of the old woman is then seen giving the audience an insight into what David is seeing and his power over the woman. The high angle shot emphasises this. We then see the stepfather suffocate the woman with a plastic bag. Here, an extreme close up of the woman's facial expressions as she tries to save herself is used where we see her final moments. This ECU was used here to get the audience involved deeply into the action and see the horror on the woman's face which shows extreme fear and suspense. This emotion can be reflected onto the audience.

Searching Through Davids Possessions
While David goes out to pick up the children from school, Micheal and his girlfriend use this opportunity to search through David's possessions to hopefully gather some information on Micheal's suspicions. As soon as David leaves, the couple go upstairs to snoop around after coming straight out of the pool which David last saw them in when he left. After getting a phone call from his fiance, David returns home after a few minutes and notices Micheal and the girlfriend are not in the pool. Music begins to build up in tempo creating an element of suspense as the audience are unsure if Micheal and his girlfriend are going to get caught. There is a point of view shot of the girlfriend looking at the door, in which changes to a point of view shot of David suddenly opening the door. This too creates suspense as the audience feel they would be caught out as a POV is shown of Micheal's girlfriend looking at the door followed directly by the door opening. This makes the audience feel (as it was directly after one-another) uncertain if they are going to get caught as the audience do not believe they had enough time to hide. Next a POV of David looking at the hanger moving creates another element of suspense as the audience feel the couple are indefinitely caught out and there is no way of evasion from David. After David suddenly checks in an abrupt manner where the music suddenly heightens, we then see that no one is there. After looking out the window in another POV camera shot, David then sees Micheal and his girlfriend back in the pool somehow. This element of suspense is different from the two above. This is because this suspense was a mere sense of uncertainty and near miss of the couple evading David's detection. The suspense here is the type a person would get if they had just had an encounter which has result in them fractionally avoiding the worst possible outcome. This sense of suspense adds fear into mixture as the audience are totally unaware if they were going to get caught or not up until the last second as there is no clue leading up to the matter. This is a heart-pounding type of suspense that can be conveyed in a film. This is because the event/issue drags on and the audience are left to wonder what the outcome would be up until the final second.
The music amplifies as this happens. This surprises the audience as it takes them out of that reassured "bubble" they were placed in thanks to the holy music and suddenly throws them into a pool of uncertainty, creating suspense in its own original way. We are then shown more dead bodies around the untidy house, confusing the audience and raising questions as to how this may have happened.
I believe that the inclusion of the stressed dog shows that this was a forced act by the stepfather as he has a relaxed approach while the dog is the opposite. We are then presented with the murder objects in the sink, and as "the stepfather" begins to walk to the door, a flash back appears to a perhaps point of view shot of him charging at the daughter.

Wednesday, 19 January 2011

SKILLS: LiveType

LiveType is a program on the Apple Macs that allows you to create and modify text for use on videos "and such" (courtesy of Saydul Ahmed). We were shown in class a brieft tutorial of what the program does and how to use it. We were shown this because we would use the program to create and insert text in our videos such as titles, names etc... LiveType allows the user to make and personalise texts by using a wide range of fonts, styles, effects and textures. We were given a brief tutorial on the basics of using the program. If needed we can even download extra content not currently on the program if we cannot find a font or animation we liked.

Tuesday, 18 January 2011

SKILLS: Introduction to editing

Final Cut Pro is the program we used to edit our film after filming our newspaper thriller clip. Having practiced on the program before while editing the Bait Tutorial clips, we were familiar with the functions of the software and how to do basics such as cut clips/trim clips etc... The whole purpose of editing films is to cut out unwanted footage (which there always is a lot of) and put the clips we do want together into a smooth playing watchable film. We were able to trim clips which were long and bore the audience, and cut them down into short and watchable clips. Some clips had to be long as we did not have sufficient footage to use an alternative clip. We had to make sure the clips were arranged in order (thus telling/showing the story) and to also make sure continuity was perfect. Bad continuity ruins the effect or atmosphere the film disperses, (in this case, suspense) so we had make sure there was no sudden variations from one clip to another in terms of scenery, actions, props, characters etc..  

We experimented with the "Change speed" tool which allowed us to speed up some clips to save time. The "Change speed" tool was an idea we implemented while recording but while editing, it looked unprofessional and illogical which is why we opted to leave the clips as they were. As we did not have sufficient footage, there was slight continuity issues. For example, time was spent waiting for the right moment where the wind blew the newspaper catching the attention of character.
In the next clip, it is noticeable that the wind has completely stopped. This added a sense of unrealism as it is noticeable the two clips were filmed at different times of the day, thus ruining the effect of suspense.

Due to our initial idea not working out as we had hoped due to time issues, we redone our whole end film in a rush to quickly get the work done, ditching our initial finished piece. This benefited us in a way as we learned preparation and planning is a major part of film making in every aspect, from filming to editing. Our end product was still an acceptable piece work, and with the added knowledge of the importance of planning, we learnt a valuable lesson.

SKILLS: Introduction to camera

We were given a tutorial on how to use the camera safely and appropriately. The media technician gave us a presentation on how to use the camera appropriately and gave us tips on how to use the camera effectively. The technician also introduced us to the different components the camera has such as the battery, the memory card and also how to mount and dismount the camera from a tripod. He also showed us how to adjust the focus settings on the camera and how to adjust the lens when filming when there is low/high lighting. We all had a go at trying out the camera as well as inserting and removing the different components. We had to be very careful because the technician couldn't stress enough how valuable and fragile the equipment is.

RESEARCH: What interests me about intertextuality?

Intertextuality is a common idea that is used throughout media. It is when an idea or aspect is taken from one thing and placed into another. Intertextuality is the shaping of texts' meanings by other texts. It can refer to an author’s borrowing and transformation of a prior text or to a reader’s referencing of one text in reading another. 

While observing thriller movies intextuality is a common element in films and how they have been used to make the film more successful.

Psycho is an example of intextuality; the famous shower scene is common in many late 20th century and 21st century films. It is the scene where a woman is violently stabbed in the shower and then clings onto the shower curtain as she collapses ripped the curtain off of its hooks. You then see a her blood flowing down the drain.

It was notable that The Stepfather used this element near the end, where David was stabbed in the neck with a piece of the broken mirror and fell into the shower pulling the curtains down with him. Intertextuality is used here as the scene is replicated from the film Psycho.

Intertextuality is also used in the film Fatal Attraction when the man is chasing the woman in the house. This resembles a scene from The Stepfather because the same idea is used e.g. when David chases Susan through the house in an attempt to kill her.

What interests me about the use of intertextuality is that directors use the same ideas from other films, show it in their own way but yet still resembles the initial idea they took the scene from.

Thriller Sub-genres: RESEARCH

There are many different thriller sub genres. These have elements of other genres. Altogether there are 13 different thriller sub genres.

Some sub genres include:

- Supernatural thriller. An example of a film with this genre is 'Fallen'
- Action thriller. An example being 'Die hard'
- Crime thriller. 'Sin city'

At the moment i am inspired by supernatural thrillers. I like the way it mixes supernatural elements, such as having a power or out of the world lexperiences with the theme of thriller.

Introduction to camera: SKILLS

During the camera skills lesson we were taught how to use the camera safely and professionally. The media technician gave us a powerpoint presentation on how to use the cameras.

He taught us how to use it, how to insert the battery and memory cards and how to safely place it on the tripod. We also got to try it out for ourselves. However we were all careful, as we didn't want to damage the expensive equipment. It was also very important that when placing the camera on the tripod we locked it into place as this could result in the camera falling off and getting damaged.

The technician also taught us how to adjust the settings on the camera depending on where we were filming for example we learnt how to adjust the lighting if there was too much/little light.

What interests me about intertextuality in films: RESEARCH

Intertextuality is a common idea that is used throughout media. Its when one idea or aspect is taken from something and placed into another. When looking at thriller movies intextuality is very interesting as you can see common elements in the films and how they have been used to make there film more successful.

A famous example of intertextuality is Psycho, the famous shower scene, where the woman is stabbed in the shower, then pulls the curtains down. This element was also in the stepfather where David is stabbed in the neck falling into the shower pulling the curtains down with him.

Another example is from the film Fatal attraction where the woman is chased through the house by the man. This also resembles a scene from The Stepfather where David chases Susan through the house in an attempt to kill her.

What  interests me most about intertextuality is how directors take and edit an idea but don't completely change it so it fits in, and adds effect to their film.

List of Thriller sub-genres - which inspires you at the moment and why? : RESEARCH

Thriller Sub-genres in brief
A thriller can be portrayed in various medias, a movie, play etc. however, most films tend to submerge the initial elements of a Thriller with other themes, in order to comply with the storyline, as some may have a storyline, which consists of a different element and nature but can work with the genre of thriller.

Here are the some examples of Thrillers:

Crime Thriller: offers a suspenseful insight of the nature of crimes. Often the audience are introduced to the account of the criminal rather than a policeman.

Religious Thriller: the initial plot is connected to certain aspects of religious iconography, such as religous objects, like scriptures. Which raises the philosophical element of suspense, as it focuses on the questions surrounding the religious iconography.

Mystery Thriller: Films inwhich there is a mystery or an investigation to be sold, the idea of suspense dwells around the idea of solving it.

Psychological Thriller:  the element of mental and emotional relations are exploited, rather than violence.

My most favoured thriller film should have to be of the crime thriller, 'Scarface' (1983).
It has that crime thriller principle of exploring views from the criminal's eyes to see how things revolve around him.

Monday, 17 January 2011

RESEARCH: Analysis of a Title Sequence


When the clip begins, the audience are firstly shown the Columbia Pictures logo which slowly zooms into the screen. Columbia Pictures is the company which has distributed and released the film hence why it is right at the opening of the title sequence. A car horn is then heard while the shot is still zooming into the screen as we are presented with a view of New York City. Here is where text appears showing the distributor Columbia Pictures and Metro Goldwyn-Mayer Pictures. Other names appear such as Relativity Media, Scott Free and Escape Artists at 0:37 seconds in. These are the producers of the film therefore they appear relatively early on in the title sequence. The directors name Tony Scott is then the first name to appear along with the main actors name Denzel Washington and John Travolta with music being played on when the names appear. These were being shown while fast images of New York City urban life were on screen along with hip-hop music. After a short delay, the full name of the film Taking of Pelham 123 is then shown 1:17 seconds into the opening sequence.

Its not until about 30 seconds later where more names appear showing less import actors names in the film while showing the three important characters of the film as trains go by (showing the characters surroundings) and music continues.

There is another gap where more names are shown 28 seconds later. The films creators such as the costume designer and music creator names etc then appear one after another while the film begins to have a few dialogues in between.

We are then presented with more images of New York City and their Subways where more important names are shown. These include the creators and developers of the film such as the co-producer and editors 2:55 seconds in. This is then followed by the executive producers names then a slight gap, with the producers names as the last title heading before the film begins to develop into a story at 4.03.

Music was more intensified every time a name had appeared on screen with a deep guitar sound being played at first. Then when names of others appear on screen, the music was quite then suddenly erupted as cut-aways of the city were shown. The music then intensified again while executive producers names where shown near the end.

The way in which they organised their title sequence seemed irregular. This is because they showed the title of the film midway, when in other films they are usually shown nearly right at the beginning or right at the end. To have the producers names appear last seemed irregular as the producers are important people in the production of the film, and the most important information is usually shown at the beginning such as the distributor (Columbia Pictures) and the studios (Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, Relativity Media, Scott Free, Productions and Escape Artists).

Monday, 10 January 2011

RESEARCH: Analysis of a Title Sequence (Taking of Pelham 123)

The very first thing that is shown is the Columbia pictures ident. This is because this company is the main company supporting and producing the film. After the ident other production and distribution companies’ names were displayed including Metro Goldwyn-Mayer pictures and a film by Tony Scott. These were being shown while the film was playing, it showed people getting on and off the trains, these people are just regular everyday commuters and have no significant role in the film. The font and colour used for the writing shown big, bold, black, capitals makes the names of the companies stand out for easier recognition by the audience. The music in the background is fast paced to match the speed of the writing as it appears on screen this also sets the pace for the opening of the film.
The title of the film is shown at 1 minute 15 seconds. After this Denzel Washington and John Travolta's names are shown as they are the most famous and the leading actors in the movie. Their names appear separately; this is to convey to the audience their importance in the movie. However later on in the 4 minute sequence the names of the other actors/actresses is shown in groups and in smaller writing in contrast to Denzel’s and John’s.
There is some dialogue in the background; this is followed by the names of more people who were involved in the creation and production of the movie such as the editor, designer of photography and the executive producers.

Thursday, 6 January 2011

RESEARCH: Analysis of a title sequence

The title sequence that my group looked at was The taking of Pelham 123, released 2009.

The beginning of the opening started with the Columbia pictures ident. Other production and distribution companies names followed, such as Metro Goldwyn-Mayer pictures and a film by Tony Scott. As this was being shown on the screen the beginning of the film was playing. It showed commuters getting on and off the train. The music in the background is fast paced this fits in with the way the words come up on the screen.

The title name came up at 1 minute 15 seconds. Following this is Denzel Washington and John Travolta's name as they are the two most famous and lead actors in the movie.There names appear seperatly, however later on in the 4 minute sequence more actors names are shown. They are grouped and are in smaller writing compared to Denzel's and John's.

We get some dialogue in the background, this is followed by more people who were involved in the movie such as the editor, designer of photography and the producers.

Wednesday, 5 January 2011

RESEARCH: Intertextuality

Definition of intertextuality:
Intertextuality is the shaping of texts' meanings by other texts. It can include an author’s borrowing and transformation of a prior text or to a reader’s referencing of one text in reading another. (Wikipedia)

Intertextuality is used in all types of media in order to draw on the knowledge of the audience so that they are mentally involved with the situation in a film. Many films use certain aspects and scenarios of other films but they are shown in a different way.
In the thriller ‘The Stepfather’ intertextuality is used to keep the audience engaged and aware of what is going on. In the scene where Susan stabs David in the neck with a piece of glass, David falls back into the bathtub pulling down the shower curtains in the process. The camera is directly focused on the shower curtain being pulled of the hooks. This is taken from another thriller film called ‘Psycho’. The scenario is very different because in the original scene from the psycho the victim is a woman and she dies in the bathtub and she drags the shower curtain as she falls.

Another example of intertextuality in ‘The Stepfather’ is when David is chasing Susan around the house. This is aspect was taken from the film ‘Fatal Attraction’ when Michael Douglas chases the woman around the house.