Wednesday, 30 March 2011

EVALUATION: Question 2- Media representation of social groups

How does your media product represent particular social groups?

Our opening sequence has many similiarities with the movie 'Captivity' starring Elisha Cuthburt as they both involve a girl waking up in the middle or a room not knowing where she is. For example, we dressed Francessca in simliar clothing to Elisha which is simplistic but highlights her vulnerability, as she has just woken and we dont know if she was in those clothes the whole time. Also, the two girls look alike, as they both are blond and attractive which could suggest that they will draw in the male audience of the movie. Furthermore, the mise en scene is very alike as is the lighting and contrast which instantly sets the tone of the movie for the audience. Also, the surroundings are similar as they both are waking up in a grotty, damp, looking room which conveys a sense of mystery as to how they got there.

The social group that we are aiming at within our movie is teenagers 15+. I think it would appeal to both females and males but more so males as they prefer thrillers to women. I chose this movie to compare still image shots against our own because clearly it has many similarites that relate to our opening and they both are aiming for the same social group.

Tuesday, 29 March 2011

EVALUATION: Question 1- Comparison of 9 shots against 'Cube'

In what ways does you media product use, develop or challenge forms and conventions of real media products?

I chose to compare our thirller opening with the film 'Cube' as it is similiar to ours in ways but has a very different storyline.

They both start with titals over a blank screen, displaying the most important names from the very beginning. I think this is effective as the audience have no distractions with images behind the titles as it draws their attenion striaght to the text on screen. This demonstrates that our titles are quite conventional as most movies begin in this way.

 Here, they are both waking up in usual rooms, however, the man is spread on a floor and we have chosen to have Francessca lying on a pillow and sheets. This shows our use of challenging the form of a traditional movie opening as she has comfort rather than nothing at all.

Here, we have both used an extrem close up of the eye area. Yet, in our scene she covers her eyes to show her gradual awakening. Whereas, in 'Cube'  the eye is instantly staring down the camera veiw which is much more menacing than our gradual awakening. This displays our similarities to other movies, conventionally.

They are both discovering their new surroundings here. They each are shot at differnt angles suggesting various things for their characters within the movie. For example, he is shot at a low angle to imply that he has a much more dominant role in th movie than Francessca does in ours. However, the Mise En Scene here is completly diverse from ur which is simplistic and plain so that the audience can keep their focus on Francessca at all times. Whereas, the 'Cube' have quite an extravegant setting which deters our attention away from the main character. Which aslso leaves the audience wondering more about what will happen next in the movive as it keeps us guessing.

In this shot they are both looking around the room. They are both shot at different angles as she is caught in mid shot but he is in a close up. The expression on both their faces display a sense of mystery as they both show that 'something' has caught thier eye. However, as all conventional thriller movies do, that something is not revealed until last minute.

Here we see  what they are looking at. Similarly, they both touch the photos on the wall to see if its real as they are in shock and still dazed from waking up somewhere unusual. However, they are in differnt shot types, as we have her hand blurred to show her vision being impared. Yet, his is caught in a long angle mid shot which restricts the audiences veiw a little. But with our shot we tried to show the shot from our characters point of veiw.

  In the last shot, they are both displayed in mid shot to allow the audience to familiarise with the setting as well as the characters do. Which is a convention used in most thrillers as it builds tension fro the audience.

Friday, 25 March 2011

FINAL EDIT - Provocation

After seven days of editing, here is our finished product. We've taken the teachers feedback on board and made corrections. We are quite pleased with the outcome and hope that the atmosphere is successfully portrayed to the audience.

Wednesday, 23 March 2011

Sixth Day of Editing - Soundtrack Pro

Today, we worked on finalising our soundtrack for the sequence. We tried to build tension through the music composed. Especially, the moment when she notices the CCTV. However, we had trouble finding a suitable sound clip to emphasise Francesca's growing anger when she tears the pictures down.

Monday, 21 March 2011

Fifth Day of Editing - Soundtrack Pro

Today, we started to construct our soundtrack for our thriller opening. We also added in some sound effects to enhance our sequence and make it much more believable. The sounds that we have chosen are quite soft to start with and then gradually, as Francesca realises the CCTV, the music anticipates. We have chosen to do this in order to create a menacing tonal atomosphere to the audience. However, we have not finished it all, as we still need to fit the soundtrack onto Final Cut and change the titles font/ speed for our final edit.

Sunday, 20 March 2011

Inspiration for Soundtrack

The most difficult part of creating our thriller video in my opinion is the soundtrack as we have decided to make it from scratch using Soundtrack Pro. However, Eda and I have decided on the tone and atmosphere we would like to create which is, a tension building ambience for the audience. Yet, we are not sure which instruments and sound effects that we could use to portray this. Therefore, we have each decided to extra research into the different types of sound we could use within our opening.

I've noticed that most Thrillers have used a piano based soundtrack or have used a tingly effect in the background to build tension in the beginning. I particularly liked the soundtrack for 'What Lies Beneath' at the opening sequence because it grows and gradually begins to anticipate. I definatley think that this has given me some inspiration as to what sounds to use on our own thriller opening.

Saturday, 19 March 2011

Rough Cut Analysis

We've finished our rough cut of our thiller opening, Provocation. We received some good feedback from our teachers and they told us what modifications we should make in order to improve it, such as adding more sound effects, decreasing the speed of the titles, changing the font of the titles to something that looks more professional and suitable for the opening, and adding a soundtrack. But other than that, they seemed to really like the thriller opening.

Our opening has elements of intertexuality with the film 'Captivity'. Our mise en scene portrayed our idea very well; the setting being a garage, candid photos of Francesca on the wall, blood (red food colouring) and strands of Francesca's hair (hair extensions) on her hand. We have a wide variety of shots, such as birds eye view, extreme close up, high angle shot, over the shoulder shot, etc. I think the lighting is just right, dark but not too dark which is an element of scary, which is what we aimed for.

I really like our opening considering the fact that two members of our group dropped out and were not involved in the post-production. I think the soundtrack will be the hardest thing to do as it is one of the most significant elements of a thriller opening since it sets the tone of the film and prepares the audience for the suspense that is to come, it also brings the whole opening together. Hopefully the audience will get the foreboding tone will reflect on the audience, creating a suspenseful atmosphere.

Analysis of Rough Cut- Provocation

Overall, I'm pleased with the outcome so far of our opening sequence. However, in hearing feedback from our teachers we have realised there are still quite a few finishing touches needed to perfect the sequence. Such as:

  • The titles are running too fast therefore, we need to slow them down
  • We want to change the font of the titles at the end
  • We need to add in sound effects
  • Also, add in a soundtrack

On the other hand, I am happy with the effects and range of shots that we have encorporated within our sequence. I'm hoping that the audience feedback is positive, as the ambience I would like our opening to portray is a creepy, meanacing and threatening tone.
Therefore, over the next week we will be trying to perfect our opening through the helpful feedback we have gotten from our teachers.

Friday, 18 March 2011

ROUGH CUT - Provocation

Here is our rough cut for our thriller opening with titles and without a soundtrack. However we do have some non-diegetic sound towards the end.

Thursday, 17 March 2011

Fourth Day of Editing

Today we were working specifically on the CCTV footage to try and make it look as realistic as possible. However, we had difficulty with the image itself. Such as, the viewfinder, the time code and the record symbol. We had most trouble with the record symbol as it would not go red as we had de-saturated the whole image. In the end we discovered how to do it and applied it to all CCTV footage. Also, we continued working on the titles. Furthermore, we applied a TV Static effect to the end of our sequence to show that Francesca had damaged the camera which we hope will shock the audience as its so sudden.

Thursday, 10 March 2011

Ideas for soundtrack: RESEARCH

I have been looking at suspenseful film soundtracks on YouTube for inspiration for our thriller opening soundtrack. There are many different types to choose from, but I was particularly looking for a slow, anticipating, discordant soundtrack. Here are a few that match these criteria:

This is the soundtrack from Takashi Shimizu's 'The Grudge'. It is very dissonant and it is very suspenseful. The beginning section really creates tension and is quite chilling. It then builds up and becomes more orchestral. I think it is quite suitable for our thriller opening.

This is the soundtrack from M. Night Shyamalan's thriller 'The Happening', I really like this soundtrack, it starts off soft, with a piano riff that plays throughout the whole soundtrack, it then builds up to a climax and becomes orchestral like the first one, which is quit suitable for our thriller opening, which gets more and more anticipating as it goes.

This is the soundtrack from Gore Verbinski's 'The Ring'. By beginning soft and calm, then ending loud and more orchestral, the composer, Hans Zimmer, makes the soundtrack more intense. The meandering motifs with a harp build the suspense and make it more thrilling.

I have noticed that most of the thriller film soundtracks begin soft and then build up to a climax, becoming more orchestral and loud. This is a good technique as it creates suspense and is chilling, a good way to keep the audience on the end of their seats. I think that it would be a good convention to add to our thriller soundtrack. 

Tuesday, 8 March 2011

Third Day of Editing - Final Cut Pro

Today we added our title to the sequence and changed the beginning in order to create more suspense. We used effects such as Cross Dissolve. We also experimented with the clips so it could flow better. We've had quite a productive day as we have completed the editing of the clips, but we still have to finish the titles and do the soundtrack.

Friday, 4 March 2011

Second Day of Editing - Livetype

Today, along with the editing on Final Cut, we began to construct our opening title to our sequence. We experimented with the speed and font. We are pleased with the outcome so far as we think it fits with the content of the film. The font used is a Serif font as we think it looks more clean cut and sophisticated as it instantly captivates the audience.

Second Day of Editing -Final Cut Pro

Today we started to add the effects to our sequence. We chose to use a CCTV frame to represent Francesca being watched, and to do this we got help from the media technician who briefly explained how to add the frame. Additionally, we briefly filmed a shot of the sky for the end of our opening, as it was a clear day.

Tuesday, 1 March 2011

RESEARCH: Opening of "Dexter" compared to "The Stepfather"

"Dexter" is the perfect example of how to produce a psychological thriller opening. I love the use of extreme close up's on certain parts of his body, utensils, food and everything in shot. This shows us that he has a different veiw of the world than others; which instatly gives us the hint of his perculier way of thinking. As within the opening of 'The Step Father' there is a close up of him shaving his skin and cutting himself which creates an unsettling tone for the audience and builds tension. Similarly, they both establish thier morning routines in weird and creepy ways to intrigue the audience which instantly draws us in. The music used in "Dexter" is both digetic and non digetic to create an uneasy atmosphere for the audience. For example, there are many digetic sounds of the pan cooking food and the clanging of the utensils. Then there are also non-digetic sounds including the tingling music in the background which almost sounds like clockwork to signify a daily routine in Dexter's life. The discomforting sounds match the ECU's on screen and help to construst his warped view of the world excellently to the aduience. As does "The Stepfather", which allurs the audience and makes us feel in a daze as if we are really submerged into thier distorted perspective. The constant use of ECU's throughout this sequence inspired me to think about how to develop our scene further by using ECU's to build tension within our 2 min sequence.

First Day of Editing

During the first editing session we had a problem with the flow of the shots. However, we managed to resolve the problem. We were worried that the lighting was too dark so we altered the lighting to make it brighter as it would show up too dark on the big screen. Also, we were concerned about the focus not being correct but when we got to the editing suite we saw that the focus was not a problem.