Thursday, December 18, 2008

Feedback for Practical

The flickering effect applied to the video and titles is very effective. Excellent decision to focus on the use of more subtle shots of empty hallways as is much more powerful. the soundtrack is very effective and works extrmely well with the imagery and effects. The use of pans detracts a little from the effect of the static, what seem more considered shots and you still have unwanted sound and imagery on the end of your sequence. Well done for producing a very effective and successful sequence. Well done.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

FInal Thriller :)

Here it is, in its complete form.

due to the fact that we had to change the quality of the clip so we could upload it to our blog the reverse sequence at the end does not look as good as it should. sorry about this, hopefully you will get to see it in its entire glory at some point. for the mean time... enjoy!

we accidently forgot to cut the last bit of film so it is meant to finish after 1:16 the rest after this is only experimental footage. thanks

Friday, December 12, 2008

Extra shots

For the extra shots Ram was told to shoot empty streets & roads. The only time she could shoot empty roads & streets were in the morning. She shot some footage, but it was too dark, and the footage was useless.

We're now going to re-edit what we have, James & Ryan will film the empty roads and streets in Bottisham, to see if we can get anything more successful.


Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Title ideas

Here are some of the title ideas we've come up with so far:
We've tried to have it as one word, similar to "Elephant" which will make the title more memorable and have more of an impact.

After a while as our protagonist is a witness of the shooting, we were trying to think of things that the police may ask her during questioning. Our best idea was "Start at the beginning"
Here are the others we came up with.

-Shit happens
-Start at the beginning


Ideas for titles which we'll be showing in our sequence

In time order:
Stickmen Productions presents

A Film by James Heath

Produced by Ram Kaur & Ryan Breeze

Music by Ryan Breeze

Cinematography by Ryan Breeze & James Heath

Documentation by Ram Kaur

Introducing Lisette Cooke

(Film title) Start at the beginning


Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Second shoot ideas

We were given some advice from Nick, who suggested that we stick to the isolated lonely shots, rather than the busier parts of our protagonists day. Such as her getting ready in the morning and and the shot of the toast popping up.
So we will re-shoot more isolated, poetic scenes later in the week. :)

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Ryan has been experimenting with music and has decided to choose a melodic piano set. Nothing has been made final, as we're still playing around with it to see what genre and piece of music will fit our title sequence well.
Ram suggested that we should create something like a nursery rhyme, similar to the title scene of "Elephant" (2004 Gus Van Sant) which uses a well known piano piece called "Moonlight" by Beethoven. (Video below) This will create a creepily calm feeling with all the chaos of the shooting still going on.
Another idea we had for sound was the use of a radio show. This would start when the alarm goes off in the first shot and would continue throughout the sequence. We had two main ideas for this: 1. Using a radio show that was just like the morning news, either with a happy news story to create irony or a news story about a similar event. 2. Recording our own news report about the shooting and using that on the sequence. If we were to do this we would have to use our own news report because we have to make our own sound and using a clip from a radio show would not count.


Friday, December 5, 2008

Extra shots we need

Whilst editing, we realised we need some extra shots, as our existing ones aren't very good, or that we don't have it at all.

We'll shoot again on Saturday, using Ryan's camera.
We need to shoot:
- more home activity
-walking between home and school
-going into a classroom
-protagonist going down stairs after corridor scene


Deadlines and grade boundaries


1. End of the last lesson of w/c 24th November: ANIMATIC DEADLINE.
2. End of the last lesson of w/c 8th December: ROUGHCUT DEADLINE.
3. End of 1st/ 2nd lesson of w/c 15th December: FINAL CUT DEADLINE.

At the moment because of the pace we're working at we all think that we'll definitely meet these deadlines.

Grade boundaries for video only:

Level 1
0-23 marks
The work for the main task is possibly incomplete. There is minimal evidence in the work of the creative use of any relevant technical skills such as:

Level 2
24-35 marks
There is evidence of a basic level of ability in the creative use of some of the following technical skills:

Level 3
35- 47 marks
There is evidence of profinciency in the creative use of many of the follwing technical skills:

Level 4
48-60 marks
There is evidence of excellence in the creative use of most of the following technical skills:
-holding a shot steady, where appropriate
-framing a shot, including and excluding elements as appropriate.
-using a variety of shot distances as appropriate.
-shooting material appropriate to the task set.
-selecting mise- en- scene including colour, figure, lighting, objects and setting.
-editing so that meaning is apparent to the viewer
-using varied shot transitions and other effects selectively and appropriately for the task set.
-using sound with images and editing appropriately for the task set
-Using titles appropriately.

Continuity editing

Whilst editing James decided to use the technique we were taught earlier on in the course "match on action."
He used it on the part where our protagonist was walking into the school building. It gives a good effect, as it creates the feeling that someones watching her everywhere she goes.
We tested out this technique on other parts of the opening, but it didn't look right, so we left it on that part only.
We're still in the middle of editing and are currently looking at what type of music to have and how we're going to show our titles, and whether or not we'll use affects.


Thursday, December 4, 2008

Filming part 1

For our first time filming we went to St. Ivo school in St. Ives to film our high school shootings. We were there for 2 hours making sure, the shots were up to all our standards.

Here's what we did, and the processes we went through.

First we set up the camera and tripod outside the main block entrance, to shoot Lisette, our protagonist walking into "school" For this we used a mid shot pan to follow her along the path and up the stairs of the building. The placing of the camera here wasn't successful as the tripod and our shadows were in the way. We couldn't have done it in the other direction as the sun would've been in the shot and it would have gotten too bright.

So instead we moved the camera (with the camera off the tripod of course!) to around the corner of the building opposite. Here our shadows weren't seen and the shot was more successful. We used a mid shot pan again, but when Lisette walked up the stairs it become a low angle.
This is James having lots of fun with Rams mittens and Ryan setting up the camera for the second take of this shot. We took several takes of each shot trying it in different places and using different angles, until we were all satisfied with the end product.

Here's where Lisette started walking, when it came to editing we realised she was walking for too long, and cut it down so she started a lot further up. This shortened her walk, but still gave the same impact we were looking for.

After, we tried again from another position, this time at a high angle pan. We were very careful whilst filming on this wall and took extra precaution in case we fell. This is what the end "walk to school" scene looked like.

From there our protagonist had to enter the building. At first we had trouble shooting this as the camera and cameraman kept getting caught in the doors reflection when it opened, so we stayed in the same place but opened the other door. It was also inconvenient as this was the main entrance to this building and many people were going in and out often. This took up some extra time having to be patient and wait for students and teachers to go through.

(Obviously you can see Ram and James' reflection at this point, but I moved out of the way, and the other door was opened and didn't get in the shot.)

Once in the building we used a mid shot to show her coming through the door and into the building. We filmed from just inside the door to make it look as if, the audience would be observing her.

Once we finished the walking shots, we went into another building to film the actual "shootings" For this we used a long empty corridor to give an eerie atmosphere. It was also dimly lit, with a light at the end of the corridor, again creating a feeling of it being unnatural and creepy. We used a mid shot, and the tripod to avoid shaking.
After a lot of deliberating and trying and re-trying shots we finally finished and were happy with our results. From there we went to Ram's house to shoot the "home" scenes of our protagonist getting ready for the day. We were unable to shoot the protagonist leaving the house at that point as it'd gone dark, but we'll either shoot another time with Ryan's camera or cut that part out.

In our next media lesson we started editing, putting our scenes into the right order and cutting them down to the appropriate size. After this we'll start applying affects and music.
(NOTE: even though Ram was in only one of these photos doesn't mean she didn't do anything, as she was the one taking them! :)


Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Changes made to opening from animatic feedback

Changing the narrative from the killer to a student at the school, witnessing the killings.

What'll happen: keeping the same normal daily routine, but in a girls perspective. She arrives at school and then people are getting shot. She reacts by running away and seeing the killer go by. The killers face is never seen throughout the whole thing.


Animatic feedback

From the feedback we received there was a lot of positive response for the Ryan's radio idea. We won't be able to use the clip we used in our animatic however, so if we are to have a radio in our sequence we will have to record our own clip. People suggested that we have a report of the shooting on the radio playing, they also thought the radio should continue throughout the sequence if we were to have it. Also that we should maybe shot it as a news feed, or on CCTV cameras. People weren't enthusiastic that our thriller started with the climax, as they didnt think the rest of the film would have much potential. It was suggested that the music was a bit too sympathetic and that if you were to identify with the killer it may take away the thriller element.


Friday, November 28, 2008


This is our animatic, this's not what the final thing will look like, but the overall idea. Hope you enjoy!! :)


Wednesday, November 26, 2008


We have just finished doing the story board for our thriller opening. We have 16 different shots in the opening and have tried to use a broad range of shot types. Ram has also spoken to St. Ivo school in St. Ives and we have permission to shoot our opening there. We are now working on the animatic of our sequence and will have it uploaded shortly.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Ram & James' homework

Rams homework:
"How is mood and atmosphere created through the use of mis- en- scene in the opening credits of "Donnie Darko"

In the opening credits the general mood created is one of tension and eerieness. The sun hasn't risen yet, so the "lighting" is very low. The audiences first sight of life is of something in the middle of the road, this's intriguing and makes the viewer look forward to see this object clearer.

The road is empty and there's no cars, again making the viewer think it's late at night, this also creates an eerie silence. The person in the middle of the road is very still, and the viewer gets an uncomfortable feeling when the view is increased, as if you don't want to see it clearer. When the viewer is able to realise its a teenage boy, the curiosity turns into confusion, as the character very casually rides back home, as if this situation is normal. The fact he rides a bike, instead of driving a car, supports the idea of him being childlike. When Donnie yawns, and rubs his eyes, he looks very playful, vulnerable, and childish, this makes his character relatable.

Donnie is in his pyjamas with messy hair, making it evident to the audience that he didn't intend on waking up there, this creates further intrigue. On his journey home, he rides past lots of trees, and is on a long road, this makes the journey seem longer than it is. A change in mood, and atmosphere is contrasted well with the beginning part, as when you go past the sign to his town of "Middlesex", the setting goes from being dark, quiet and eerie, to busy, bright and cheerful. At this point it takes the story to "everyday life" with joggers going by, people in their cars, and outside their homes, doing everyday things.

James' homework:
"How is mood and atmosphere created through the use of sound and editing in the opening credits of 'Saw'"

The title sequence for saw is very short. I will be looking at editing and sound. Both are very simple in the sequence but create a very eerie effect. After the sponsors of the film are shown, the actual titles start. Three different titles fade in and out. They appear slightly wavy which is to give the effect it is under water. After the last title fades a glowing blue object with a key attached starts floating down the screen. this is quite typical of thrillers as it is showing something that will be important later in the film and makes the viewer question what it is. This makes the audience become intrigued and encourages them to watch further.

The only sound in the sequence is the sound of gently running water. This creates a very eerie feel. After this the title of the film appears. It fades in and out in the same way the other titles do. This again creates an eerie atmosphere, that intrigues the audience.


homework ryan

In the film 'speed' the opening sequence is simply the camera slowly moving down an elevator shaft, whilst the titles roll this would have been done by tracking system. On the right there are floor numbers; this is really clever because it acts like a count down to when the film will start, building suspense. When the floor numbers reach P4 the camera pans down to a low angle shot of a door making the word ‘caution’ seem more dramatic than what it actual is. Then a man enters and there’s a point of view shot, which would have been made by using a dolly. This was used whilst the man was walking down towards another guy (villain). The camera follows the guy who came through the door to the villain already there without showing his face. This is good as it gives a sense of mystery and added suspense. Whilst they’re talking there’s a lot of over the shoulder shots of the villain to prevent you from seeing his face then the shot changes to a close of a bag where the villain is getting a document out. He then stabs the other guy after that shot we then see the villain’s face and it’s the end of the sequence.

This is a good opening sequence because it has good suspense building techniques because it uses over the shoulder and point of view shots, which are conventional to thriller films. It also uses a wide range of camera movements so that the camera is never static to make the audience uneasy.


Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Brainstorming part 1

Possible locations: Bottisham's barn, Cambridge, St. Ives, Parkers piece, London, Grand arcade, Grafton Centre, Lion Yard, Churches, cemetery, school.

Possible themes: Action thriller, horror thriller, comedy thriller, supernatural thriller,

Possible protagonists: Police officer who's also a killer, crazy mad man who lives in a barn, loner character feels rejected, takes it out on school, detective investigating high school shootings, another main character.

Possible storyline: assassinate political figure, high school shootings.

FINAL IDEA: high school shootings, main character: detective, killer. Antagonist: killers best friend, who throughout film seems good, and helpful, but turns out to be accomplice. Location: high school, st. ivo, in st. ives, or bottisham village college.


Hello :)

Hello, we are James, Ram and Ryan. We are going to make a thriller title sequence, are you excited? We are!
James is the round faced, long haired one commonly found wearing a hat.
Ram is the girl.
Ryan is the one with ET fingers.


Tuesday, October 14, 2008