Thursday, 31 March 2011

EVALUATION: Question 8 Progress from Prelim to final film

I think we have progressed a lot as the preliminary task enabled us to familiarise ourselves with the process of filming and editing. When we first started filming the preliminary we had more or less no idea what we were doing so we ended up improvising. And with some great acting and bucket full of luck we managed to pull it off... just about. The preliminary was like an introduction to film making for us and if we hadn't done it we would have really suffered when producing the final.

We learnt how to take different shots and explored the angles that seemed the best fit for the scene and we made sure to take extra shots just in case for the preliminary, this enabled us to easily get on with our filming.
It became simple; all we had to do was think of an idea and make it work, if looked right we kept the shot, if it didn't we'd try again. our filming skills were greatly improved during the preliminary task this gave us the advantage when it came down to the final film.

The preliminary task was a great way for us to get to grips with the editing program Final Cut Pro. We started off with the basics and started being more creative once we became comfortable with the software. This was most probably one of the most important things we learnt through experience during the preliminary task and it paid off really well in the end.

We didn't make a soundtrack to accompany our preliminary video because we preferred the diegetic sound. But we did manage to get the hang of the soundtrack making program Soundtrack Pro in the end. We were also able to effectively create sound bridges between scenes due to the practice and effort we put in in the preliminary task.

When we made our prelim we did not do any planning whatsoever, the whole film was completely spontaneous improvisation. The only compulsory thing was that there had to be a match-cut in it. So the whole prelim required more or less no planning whatsoever. The lack of planning limited our options and the development of the film. This was a good lesson we learned early because if we didn't  plan for our final film we would not have created such an intricate piece of film. SO we made sure to plan ahead for our final production. We made animatic storyboards which were continuously revised and tweaked till we got the desired response from the audience.

We also had  a tough time securing a suitable location for our projects. The  location had to compliment the storyline and the characters. For the prelim, due to the lack of forethought, we filmed it in a disused classroom which looked like an office, this gave it a more formal  portrayal. The final film was filmed in an old mill which gave it an eerie and slightly malevolent look and feel.

Tuesday, 29 March 2011

EVALUATION: Question 6 Audience Feedback

The feedback we received from the class, was a basket full of of good comments and compliments. Which was very flattering, however we also wanted a few criticisms but fortunately enough we received ONE! it was regarding the lack of sound effects that could accompany the soundtrack, in our film. This was a problem we had while we were editing; we didn't want to take the risk of deviating away from the initial elements of the Psychological genre, we were going for or making everything overly predictable. Apart from that single criticism,the positive comments mentioned were:

  • The location was a excellent place to film.
  • The acting was 'effective'.
  • The soundtrack suited the theme well
  • Lighting was done well.
  • Cinematography was excellent.
  • The film was well executed.

Our film was also shown to over 100 students and teachers at the Screen On The Green cinema (above). As the audience settled down to watch our production there was complete and utter SILENCE. I watched as a member of the audience sat staring at the screen as if in a trance hypnotised by the magic of our film. The best reaction from the audience was the loud gasp they made at the sudden shock as they pieced together in their minds what had just happened on the screen as the victim lay dead staring at the audience.

Here are some more comments from the viewers:

Response to criticism: The diegetic sound of the trains passing over the bridge where the victim lay dead was intentional as it created a sense of realism. The diegetic sound was used as a sound bridge to get the viewer to want to see what happens next, and for this reason the sound of the trains was left in instead of replacing it with a cliche sound track of tense music used in many, many films. 

EVALUATION: Question 6 Audience Feedback

Here is a wordle of the comment received from class peers. The larger text is the most common words which appeared in the comments received from our class mates. The Paper Trail was just written so you can see the title of the film. The words mostly written from feedback was the words "Excellent" and "Good" with various comments showing their personal feelings towards the clip. It is noted that even the comments "peng actors" were received as feedback along with various other positive words. Only one criticism was received and that was that the sound effects could have been more intuitive.

Comments received include all complements such as:
  • Excellent Location and Mise en Scene
  • Good camera shots
  • Good actors
  • Well edited
  • Music very suspenseful
  • Full of tension
  • Lighting was excellent
The one bad comment we received was:
  • Lack of sound effects in music
We are certainly aware of the lack of sound effects in the clip and this was a problem we were discussing on deadline day. As we felt that there was not many sound effects which fitting into our clips we decided to leave it as it was. Had we had more time, this would have been resolved.

EVALUATION: Question 6 Audience Feedback

The feedback we mainly received from the class viewing of 'The Paper Trail', was consistent of good comments and compliments. Which was a little aggravating, as we were looking for at least one bit of criticism... and we found it! it was regarding the lack of sound effects that could accompany the soundtrack, in our film. This was a problem we did have, during the editing process; we didn't want to take the risk of deviating away from the initial elements of the Psychological genre, we were following. Apart from that particular concern,the comments mentioned were as follows:

  • The location was a excellent place to film.
  • The acting was 'effective'.
  • The soundtrack suited the theme well
  • Lighting was done well.
  • Cinematography was excellent.
  • The film was well executed.

On the 5th April, all the AS Media Studies students attended the viewings of all the films at The Screen On The Green Cinema, we were all quite anxious to find out what sort of feedback we would recieve. I managed to film the screen showing our production and well... what you could hear was... PIN DROP SILENCE! Which was exactly what we were trying to aim for with our film. The end result in the aspect of criticism, was the same as the class viewing, hardly any comments regarding faults, at all. We had strongly kept to the strengths of the elements that surround a Psychological Thriller film. For that, We were all very pleased, as we put in a lot of time and effort.

Friday, 25 March 2011

Hazards and Dangers

Three Mills site is an old 18th century building in the process of refurbishmentRefurbishment was still in progress in some areas of the site which made it dangerous for us to be in certain areas of the house. On our first day, the owner of the house, Beverley kindly showed us around the building and advised us which areas were safe and what hazards there are.
Dangerous areas:

The Floor Boards:
This area was deemed too unhygienic to record in. This is because the floor below was just recently flooded a few days before from the lake directly underneath the floor boards. As there are rats in the area and other animals around the habitat, the water is infected with their feces and urine and so the floorboards are too unhygienic to work on. 

The Trap doors:
The building has various trap doors on the floor in various rooms. We were noted which rooms the trap doors were in so we can avoid them. The trap doors lead directly to the river below which was a major hazard when moving around in the building.

The Construction work:
Due to some refurbishments, some areas were left uncompleted which poses a danger when moving around the building.

Dangerous Equipment:
There are many types of dangerous equipment throughout the whole building which poses a risk to us. Most objects are sharp and/or heavy items which are hazardous and also valuable. Care is needed when moving throughout the building as these items (if drop on you) can easily kill you.

CJK - What the letters stand for

Stands for Curry Jerk Kebabs

This was a bad joke that just stuck so we decided to name our production company it.

Planning: Roles

Raihan Malik: Actor - Origami killer AND Editing

Saydul Ahmed: Actor - Victim AND Titles

Mustafa Tufekci: Cameraman/Director AND Soundtrack

Kyle Bremmer-Graham: Risk Assessor/ Technical Manager

Prelim story planning

Creation of titles

We used LiveType to create and personalise our titles and credits.

SKILLS: Using SoundTrack Pro

Here is a screen shot of the soundtrack we made using SoundTrack Pro in our final film. Before we made a real one, we had to make a rough cut one to see what sounds would go where and what the timing is like etc...  This was so the sound is made around the video and not the other way round of adjusting the video to our sound which would cause difficulty. There are various sound clips inserted in the finished piece to give an array of various emotions.

Screen grabs of editing process

We used Final cut Pro for our editing. We inserted fades from Final cut Pro to increase the fluidity of the clips and added effects such as slow motion to some of the clips.

Creation Of Soundtrack

This is a screen grab of the soundtrack we made for our final film. we made this after our rough cut to make sure that it would compliment the clips and not the other way around. We used the program Soundtrack Pro to create our soundtrack.

Jelly Baby Video

The End of Our Filming

Well, we're at the end of our film... and Kyle's dead!!!

Screen shot of editing our film

These are screen shots of the editing process when making our film in final cut pro.

 In this screen grab you can see that we have incorporated effects, fade in which makes it look more film like and more smoother so its not jumping from clip to clip. The red arrows show the section which we are going to delete.


Filming: Day 3

Day 3 felt more relaxing as we met up at 10am on a Friday morning knowing we had done most of the work the day before. We started in a more relaxing manner and got something to eat at first. We then went into Three Mills and had a think about all the clips we recorded and if we had enough. This is when we decided the outside location of Three Mills was a great area to record the final pieces of our film in. About 100 meters away is a low lying Tube bridge for the London Underground trains passing over the river. This combined with the river and enclosed location with few people passing meant it was a choice for our last scene. It was here which we recorded our last clips with surprisingly no interruptions from people walking around the area. After finishing filming, we headed back to Three Mills and thanked the owner Beverley for her help and kindly donated money.

Filming: Day 2

The second day was much better as Saydul was able to attend to make the origamis which allowed us to fully begin recording. This was the most intensive day of filming. Once we were all in Three Mills, we sat down and conversed with each other regarding the film, what should/shouldn't be done and how we were going to do it. This day was when we done most of the recording. We managed to record all the main shots we needed in a short space of time. As we had turned up early to the location and had recorded the majority of clips needed, we began to become creative and see what can be added to the film in terms of effective camera shots. This is where we recorded clips which were not initially in the plan and have come to great use in the final film. As we felt that enough had been done for the day, we decided it would be best to come back tomorrow (as we were tired from the early start) and record maybe one or two more clips which we might think of after some rest. The reassured the owner of Three Mills we will return as the room we were recording had not been put back to has it was.

Influences for our film

Our film The Paper trail was influenced by the playstation 3 game Heavy Rain.

This is an example of intertextuality which is used a lot within the media industry. The film used the  origami calling card just like what they have in the game. In the game you solve the mystery by playing a cop which means you see what happens through their eyes, however in our one we would show it from the killers point of view.

Other examples of movies based on games include Dead or Alive and tekken both a action fighting game/film.

Filming: Day 1

On Wednesday 23rd February me, Raihan Malik and Kyle Graham met up at Bromley-by-bow station to begin our recording in Three Mills down the road. After unforeseen circumstances Saydul Ahmed was unable to attend. Before we got down to any recording, we had a thorough tour of the whole building and let aware of the dangers of some rooms and their trap doors. This tour allowed us to see exactly what room we wanted to record in and as the building was large, he had a huge choice. We then sat down with the owner Beverley and told her exactly our plans and what rooms we'd be using along with our films storyboard and storyline. Once shown and aware of where we were and were not allowed to go, we headed to our chosen room to record. As our film was based on origamis we needed them to begin recording. However, the only person who knew how to make the origamis was Saydul who was unable to attend. This therefore set us back as we could not fully begin to record freely without the origamis. Instead we began to improvise and record shots which did not need the origamis on screen such as footsteps or POV out the window. After spending roughly 2 hours 30 minutes moving objects into position and recording, we decided nothing more could be done today so we took the equipment and went home to continue recording tomorrow. 

Top rated thriller movies: RESEARCH

This is a list of the top rated thriller movies, it was conducted by the internet movie database. 

Top Rated "Thriller" Titles

1.8.9Pulp Fiction (1994)453,115
2.8.9Inception (2010)312,393
3.8.8The Dark Knight (2008)507,204
4.8.8Goodfellas (1990)249,505
5.8.8Fight Club (1999)418,818
6.8.7Rear Window (1954)128,352
7.8.7Psycho (1960)155,954
8.8.7The Usual Suspects (1995)286,711
9.8.7The Silence of the Lambs (1991)268,093
10.8.6Se7en (1995)306,628
11.8.6Memento (2000)299,900
12.8.6Leon (1994)221,239
13.8.6North by Northwest (1959)100,174
14.8.6Double Indemnity (1944)40,325
15.8.6M (1931)43,271
16.8.5Taxi Driver (1976)170,569
17.8.5Vertigo (1958)98,815
18.8.5Terminator 2: Judgment Day (1991)258,042
19.8.5Alien (1979)194,440
20.8.5The Lives of Others (2006)83,801
21.8.5The Third Man (1949)54,322
22.8.5Black Swan (2010)85,958
23.8.5Elite Squad 2 (2010)4,479
24.8.5The Departed (2006)288,694
25.8.5Aliens (1986)181,936
26.8.4Chinatown (1974)84,996
27.8.4L.A. Confidential (1997)175,642
28.8.4Reservoir Dogs (1992)229,296
29.8.4Witness for the Prosecution (1957)19,804
30.8.4The Prestige (2006)232,010
31.8.4Rebecca (1940)37,897
32.8.3Yojimbo (1961)31,551
33.8.3Oldboy (2003)107,851
34.8.3The Wages of Fear (1953)15,443
35.8.3Touch of Evil (1958)34,873
36.8.3Safety Last! (1923)5,963
37.8.3Les Diaboliques (1955)16,122
38.8.3Sin City (2005)274,640
39.8.3Die Hard (1988)196,972
40.8.3Hotel Rwanda (2004)100,577
41.8.3Strangers on a Train (1951)37,278
42.8.3Batman Begins (2005)291,823
43.8.3Le Trou (1960)3,462
44.8.3Jaws (1975)149,133
45.8.3Woman of the Dunes (1964)4,874
46.8.3Fargo (1996)176,370
47.8.3Blade Runner (1982)197,154
48.8.3Notorious (1946)33,655
49.8.3Heat (1995)156,855
50.8.2No Country for Old Men (2007)216,904

RESEARCH: Chosen Font

After minutes of research we found a font we liked that suited our film and downloaded it. The font was called, BIRTH OF A HERO. The font suits perfectly into the thriller aspect we are going for.

Here is the link of the font we used:
Font name: BIRTH OF A HERO

Creating the titles - Livetype

We created our titles and credits in live type. We used the font called 'Birth of a hero'. We added effects such as fade in and fade out to make our credits look even more professional.

Birth Of A Hero

RESEARCH: Storyline influence

Our main influence to base our film on came from a video game released in 2010 called Heavy Rain. The bases of the game focuses on a serial killer who creates origamis which represents his victims. We decided to take the main element of the game, which is the origamis and create a clip we want in our own way.  We are not the first to create a film based on a video game. Others include major hits such as Resident Evil and even Silent Hill. What this tells me is that the video game industry is progressing in terms of story lines (much like a film). This shows how media has converged with the other sub-aspects of the industry to create new and fresh media mediums. Although risky, we found out that basing the film on such a game is a good gamble as Heavy Rain is a global hit in the gaming world. Only big hit games such as Resident Evil and Silent Hill have has movies made out of them due to their success in the gaming world.

Creating our soundtrack - screenshots

This is screen shots from when we were creating the soundtrack to accompany our piece of film. We put the video into soundtrack pro so we could get the timings right.

Structure of Opening with Examples: RESEARCH

There are various examples of openings, in to introducing the film.
Typically, it will be the first 20 second or more segment that introduces, the production companies and the Director of the Film.

Some like this one, of the film, 'Bullit'. Have the font on top of the images and shots of the film. This creates the sense of action and anticipation. Usually, it doesn't give away a lot about the film from observations. However, this sort of approach really does depend on what sort of genre the film is embodying.

For instance, if a horror film was to be the case. A black out background, with the font or logos would be more effective, in portraying the tension and suspense in to the audience, as they won't know what to expect. Also, the sound will accompany well with this structure.

Creation of Titles. Include Screengrabs: SKILLS

This is the Title of our film, we've kept the font of 'Birth Of a Hero', it worked really
well in portraying the twist of innocence, as that's what the font connotes.

This is our company production logo.

Below, are screengrabs of the creation of the titles and credits that are to be inserted into the