Sunday, 27 February 2011

DAY 1: Pick up and booking at Safestore

Well, the day started off at getting to the college to pick up the Camera and other equipment. Once we picked it up, we decided to go down to the Safestore (which isn't far from the college site), we went to Safestore and was shown to the 16'' foot room, we realised it was too small! it could just fit the tri-pod with the camera! so we saw the bigger sizes. As the sizes increased, so did the rental price... which was frustrating, as we initially was going to pay £41 for a week. However, it went up to £54...

At the end, we decided to use the House Mill site. As they would let us use the whole facility, which was more better than what Safestore was offering.

Friday, 25 February 2011


Before we could even think about booking the equipment we had to create a pitch which was presented in front of our peers and Annabel and Andrew.

In our pitch we had to include a brief outline of our film idea. We also included a storyboard in order for it to be visualised. Our storyboard showed what types of shots would be used, and what would be in the shot.

We had to include a risk assessment, which showed if there were any dangers/hazards while filming.


Info about our location.

These are a few things I learnt about our location.

The Three Mills House Mill is right next to the Three Mills studio where programmes like the Bill were filmed. Films such as Lesbian Vampire Killers and Sunshine.

The House Mills is going to be renovated so they can generate electricity and fund themselves.

From the roof you can see the olympic stadium

The Millis still has original features such as trap doors etc.

When the tide comes in the ground floor of the Mill side gets flooded as it is above the River Lea.

The House Mills is over 300 years old.

The history of the mills really interested me, i also liked the fact that instead of knocking it down and getting rid of such a beautiful location they are deciding to restore it, for the public to see it.

Day 2; Filming at Three Mills

We made our way up to Bromley-by-Bow to go to our filming location.

The Three Mills House Mills is where we were using. The mills used to be an old harvesting factory so it still has many old features. This added to mise-en-scene, giving a creepy, old look. The mill still has most of its original beams which definitely added effect.

Beverly the Manager of the House Mills was really friendly. She took us on a tour and then we sat down to discuss where would be the best place to film. The house mills had many props and pieces that would make our piece more interesting. This was useful for us as it meant we wouldn't have to bring anything, we could use what was there. The light coming through the window gave us the silhouette effect we wanted.

We chose to use the first floor, this floor had the type of window we were looking for, also it had an old looking table which we needed for our piece, which was an added bonus.

As we were one man down this meant we wasn't able to film everything. However we did what we could then decided to come back the next day.

Day 1; Equipment & location

On the 23rd February we went to college to pick up all the equipment. From there we took the short trip to safe store on Pentonville Road.

We looked at different sized containers at safe store. The first 16 square ft container was really small, the tripod itself would just about fit in it. We then looked at the two next size up. The largest of them all being the 25 sq ft. However this also seemed to small and all of them either had a step or beam in it which would mean theres less space. To use the containers we would have to pay for a weeks rental, although we would only be using it for 3 days max. For the 25 sq ft it was £54.00 working out to £13.50 per person.

After sitting down and discussing our options we decided on using The Three Mills.

Tuesday, 22 February 2011

Our Group Production Schedule : PLANNING


TUESDAY 22nd FEBRUARY: Deposit payment for Safestore Container.

WEDNESDAY 23rd FEBRUARY: Camera & Equipment pick up at 2.30pm and Shopping for Props In Camden.

THURSDAY 24th FEBRUARY to SATURDAY 26th FEBRUARY : Filming takes place (House Mill or Safestore N1)

TUESDAY 1ST MARCH ONWARDS (Media Lessons): Editing takes place.
3hr 40min Sessions will be utilised for LiveType & Soundtrack Pro.
1hr 40min sessions shall be used for Final Cut Pro Edits

ROUGH-CUT DEADLINE: FRIDAY 18TH MARCH (remember the date Boys!)

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

While watching the thriller 'The Stepfather' we had to take down three moments of suspense.
                              The first scene I selected that I believe portrayed the element of suspense really well, was the point that David brutally murders Mrs. Cutter. I believe the whole setting amplified the suspense, as it took place in her home. From what we could see, from the Mise en scene of the shots, was that it was a sunny day and the house had that undertone of happiness and peace, which was played upon as the diagetic sound and the suspenseful music turned this connotation of normality upside down. In addition, the idea of thinking that there's 'something in the mist, but there isn't', was executed well. When Mrs Cutter looks in to a cupboard door space, however, moments later the cat just leaps out of nowhere and shocks the audience well. Thereafter, the tension was once agin heightened, as a reflection (from a over-the-shoulder angle) of David appeared and he killed Mrs Cutter.

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 Michael and his girlfriend, investigating the possessions in David's room, when he goes out of the house. But then he makes a swift return back to the property, When David is in the house, the tension mounts. As shots of his journey towards the room, are cleverly portrayed. The high angle shot from behind the stairs (as pictured) was effective. The element of hiding and getting away was effective, too. As there was a close up on hangers dangling, thus leaving a sign behind that they got away. That was nail-biting!

Acquiring the locations

Well, where to start!

We had been in contact with the House Mill, in Bromley-By-Bow (which the venue was going to be our initial location). However, it seemed that we were going to need a Plan B, just incase we don't get the site.

Me and Mustafa took care of this issue, and decided that we would use 'Safestore' on Pentonville Road, as a back up. Considering that it's just walking distance from the Sixth Form College. We would be able to pop in to the college and acquire anything that we would need. Also, we'd be able to leave the camera equipment at college, as we all live far distances from the Sixth Form College.

Now, the House Mill has got back to me and given us the go-ahead! However, so has Safestore!

The differences between the two locations:

House Mill has heritage, as it used to be a wheat producer in the East end, during the 18th century. So it consists of that spooky aspect.

Safestore has a wide range of steel containers, varying in size. This is useful to deploy that claustrophobic tension. As we are doing a Psycological thriller.

Thursday, 17 February 2011

RESEARCH: Watching a Documentary

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's attention in order to make them watch the rest of the film.

2) According to the director, Jean Jacques Beineix ‘instant arousal’ by the audience could lead to directors giving all the information to the audience in the opening, then the rest of the film becomes rather pointless..

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 to 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 from the ending of the film, so the end is the beginning and the beginning is the end..
7) The opening sequence of The Shining creates suspense because the camera's  following the car like a predator. The car is the only one shown, this gives it an eerie feel to it because it seems very obvious that what happens next is about the the people in the car.

Wednesday, 16 February 2011

Adding sound to our prelim

For our prelim we decided not to have a soundtrack. This was because we thought the silence added to the suspense and the dialogue made the film good. As in our piece we had a gun being fired we decided to include the sound of a gunshot. Using soundtrack pro we had to find one that sounded realistic and fitted with our piece. This was hard as theres many different styles to choose from. After finding one we exported it, then imported it on final cut pro. We had to make sure that the timing was on point so when the gun was fired you also heard the shot.

Tuesday, 15 February 2011

Prelim Evaluation

The Prelim film was a very successful piece of work by our group. The acting was spot on, the diegetic sound was all that was needed (excluding the gunshot sound effect). The whole project was just improvising and it worked out really well. It made everyone laugh which was our first intention and we achieved that goal. The whole process of editing was a good way to get us to familiarise ourselves with Final Cut Pro which will be very useful for us in the near future.

Filming Schedule

Our group is going to start filming during the half term. We have already got our booking forms ready to take out the equipment. Were going to have the equipment from the 23rd-1st.

Most of our filming will be filming will take place at the Three Mills, Bromley by Bow.

The equipment that we'll need is:

Video camera
Still camera
Lighting Kit

When we return to college on 1st March we will start editing all the shots we've done. We will also start makingour soundtrack and credits to go along with it.

RESEARCH: Cinema statistics

Statistics from 2009 show that there were 503 films released in the UK alone. Out of the 503 films released in 2009, only 31 films were of the Thriller/Suspense genre which made up 4% of the Box Office. I believe the reason for the unpopularity of the genre is due to the often unrealistic and cheap copies of other much popular films in the genre. Most thriller/suspense films mostly consist of the same calibre making the genre relatively boring and typical. Also age restrictions mean that some of the audience are unable to watch the film.

RESEARCH: Font Styles

There are two different types of fonts:

SERIF: this font is traditionally used for credits and titles in films. It is very formal and looks very professional. This font is mainly used in genres of films which are more serious like thrillers and horror.

SANS SERIF: this font is more informal and relaxed. this type of font is mainly used in genres such as comedy etc.

Monday, 14 February 2011

PLANNING: Jelly Babies Brief

Our group was told to use jelly babies and show characters enter a room and share a few lines of dialogue. To do this we had to take still images(snapshots) by using a camera. Our group decided to base our scenario on the film The Matrix.

We drew on costumes on the jelly babies, so we could differentiate between them. We started with one jelly baby in the room and another entering and having a conversation. We used shot reverse shot and over the shoulder shots to show this. Then one of the jelly babies (Agent Smith) splits into 3 separate yet identical ones(Agent Clones). We did these by taking multiple shots of the jelly baby and the ones appearing from behind it. The jelly baby (Neo) then attacks and defeats the other jelly babies, then flies away. During this part we took different shots at different angles and also used close up shots as well as a birds-eye-view shot.

SKILLS: Introduction To Editing

The program we were shown to use for editing our videos is called Final Cut Pro. This program allows us to cut off unnecessary footage from our clips and put all our clips together on a time-line. The time-line helps us make accurate and appropriate cuts to the clips, it shows us where to insert sound for best results and most importantly how long the video is going to be. There are two video players; one shows the clip selected from the library and the other shows the footage on the time-line.

RESEARCH: Cinema Statistics

The statistics from the year 2009 showing all the films from different genres released in theatres in the UK show that; 31 out of 503 films were of the Thriller/Suspense genre and they were only 4% of the Box Office. I Think the reason behind the unpopularity of the genre is due to the age restrictions on the films which reduces the number of the potential target audience. E.g. Families, Children, and even some films given the 18 rating have stopped adolescents.  

Thursday, 10 February 2011

3 parts in 'The Stepfather' which had a suspense moment.

While waathcing the thriller 'The Stepfather' we had to note three moments which showed moments of suspense well.

The first moment I chose was where David visits and kills Mrs. Cutter.  In this clip the mise en scene adds to the suspense. The cat screeches and hids under the table scared by something, however when she looks theres nothing there, the music adds to this, creating a 'false plato'. When the doors shut and we see the mirror this creates suspense as we feel like something is about to happen, the we see Davids reflection behind Mrs.Cutter this is an example of an over the shoulder shot being used very well.

When Michael and his girlfriend are in his bedroom the door is ajar. When the camera focuses on it, it makes it seem as if there being watched however when they check no one is there this puts the auidence at ease. When they open the door David appears out of no where this puts the auidence's hearts in their mouth.

The third clip i chose was where Susan's sister was taking the parasol out of the pool. When bending down suspense is created by the close up of her, so when she turns around and David is there this comes as a shock not only to her but the auidence aswell. The shot used when she sees him is an eyeline shot so we see everything excatly as she does. The weather adds to the suspense. What else they do is make us see her drowning when David pushes her head under the water this is like were drowning with her.

After watching this some aspects that we could take away and integrate into our piece is the music and how its used. And also the camera shot and how they add to the suspense. Also i quite liked the point of view shot as this gives the auidence knowledge.

Wednesday, 9 February 2011

This is the statistics for 2009 of how many films of each genre were released in the UK. Out of the 503 films made only 31 were of the suspense/thriller genre. Only a small percentage of the film market is of a thriller genre. One reason why thriller films may not target a big auidence is due to the age restrictions. If the film is 15/18 it loses alot of people e.g people under the age restriction and families.

Font Analysis: RESEARCH

In our lesson we learnt about font. There are two different types of fonts used, Serif fonts which look like and Sans serif fonts.

Serif fonts are traditionally used as its more formal, whereas Sans serif fonts are more informal, relaxed and seem more modern.

People usually look at fonts and just see the title of a film however if you have a closer look it can tell you quite abit.

The Hangover uses and Ariel font, this is a Sans Serif font, this tells us that the film is modern and that its informal. The writing has lights in it which looks like something you'll see in Las Vegas.

The King's speech is written using Serif fonts. This implies that the film is more serious.  The letters are sharp and strong like how the king is supposed to be for our country. The 'I' is dotted with a crown which also relates to the king.

Saturday, 5 February 2011

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

The first scene that creates suspense in the film 'The Stepfather' is the opening sequence where the Stepfather is shown as a normal person; having a shower, colouring his hair, shaving and making breakfast in his kitchen and then the tilt shows that he is very far from being normal.  This made the audience feel really uncomfortable, as we realise how casually he seemed to behave when he was changing his appearance, especially how casually he behaves when he's walking past the dead bodies of his former family. The song 'Silent night' is playing in the background. the non-diegetic sound adds to the normality of the scene up until the camera tilts and then the song comes across as very dark and twisted.

The second scene which creates suspense is when the stepfather goes to the old woman's house where he murders her by pushing her down the stairs. Suspense is created when the doorbell rings and the old woman goes to open it but there is no one there. however the fact that no one was there creates suspense in itself because we're thinking something is going to happen to that woman. Then the cat jumps out of nowhere. this is called a false plato. after we realise it was just a cat the audience relaxes and is relieved only to be shocked by the stepfather coming out of nowhere and trying to kill her. The suspense is created by the cat and the over the shoulder shots used when the old woman goes to open the door.

The third scene that creates suspense is when the sister-in-law is trying to get the umbrella out of the pool. the diegetic sound adds an eerie aspect to the scene also helped with the fact that its raining and the pool's lit up. This makes the audience think that something is definitely going to happen. she gets on her knees to pull the umbrella out when out of nowhere the stepfather comes out and drowns her. The sound, setting and the time of day all help create suspense in this scene.

Thursday, 3 February 2011

RESEARCH: List Of Thriller Sub-Genres; Which inspires you at the moment and why?

Thriller Sub-genres in brief

A thriller can be portrayed in many different types of media, a movie, play etc. However, most films tend to intertwine the initial elements of a Thriller with other genres to match the nature of the storyline.

Examples of Thriller Sub-Genres:

Action-Adventure Thriller:
Treasure hunt, search for a lost archeological site, the world's lost meteorite, a mystery lost to time-action-adventure brings back our childhood fantasies of being the adventurer. This is also one of the hardest sub-genres of thriller to write because of the amount of action required.

Serial Killer Thriller:
This is an extremely popular subgenre of thriller. In this subgenre, a serial killer is terrorizing a group of people with horrific violence. The detective's goal is to stop the killer before he takes his next victim.

Techno Thriller:
When people talk about thriller, the first thing they usually think of is a techno thriller like Tom Clancy's books. In techno-thrillers, the technology drives the plot, whether it's new military technology for a submarine or forensics. 

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 aspect of mental and emotional relations are explored, instead of physical violence.

Disaster Thriller:
Any kind of disaster that can affect lots of people e.g. a dam bursting, a tornado sweeping through Los Angeles, a luxury cruise liner sinking.

My favourite and most inspirational thriller is an action packed psychological crime thriller called 'Law Abiding Citizen' because it grabbed my attention from the very beginning and gives an in-depth insight into the mind of a criminal mastermind who decides to take justice into his own hands.

SKILLS: Soundtrack Pro

Soundtrack Pro is a program that allows you to create soundtracks that can be shaped to whatever the user desires, whether its a simple sound effect e.g. Gunshot, explosion, or music that sets the mood for films or even a beat to go on a song. Soundtrack Pro has a vast collection of sounds that the user can tailor together to create a unique and personal soundtrack for any and every occasion. Soundtrack Pro has features such as 'Multi-track Editing Enhancements', 'Multi-take Editor', 'Frequency Selection Tool', 'Music and Sound Effects Clip Library'.

Soundtrack Pro provides over 1000 sound effects (SFX), music beds, transitions,
and more... (Apple)

SKILLS: LiveType

LiveType is a program that allows you to create and personalise text. We were introduced to this program because we would have to create and insert text in our videos. e.g. titles, actors names etc. LiveType allows you to personalise your texts by using a wide range of fonts, effects and textures. We were given a brief tutorial on the basics of using the program.

Tuesday, 1 February 2011

Structure of openings: RESEARCH

When watching film openings, there are 3 basic styles used, however ther is one more which is becoming more popular with directors.

The fisrt structure is a narrative opening, with titles running throughout.
An example of this is 'The Stepfather'