Sunday, 26 April 2009


Below you can find our finished evaluation that contains all the relevant information and questions in order to critically assess and evaluate the success of our project.

In what way does your media product use / develop / challenge forms + conventions of real media products? (Laurence)
Before we started our media production we watched several thrillers so that we would get familiar with the basic thriller conventions, and apply these to our production.
We found that in the opening of "The Life of David Gale" there was a part where a female character is running through a cloud of smoke, we have parts in our production that gives off a similar effect. When the protagonist Tom is running along the path , with the camera on the other side, the traffic breaks up the image, which denotes his thoughts splitting up, unsure about where he is going, creating confusion between the viewers.
Generally in thrillers the hero is accustomed to danger, and will let nothing get in their way of 'saving the day' we have used an MI5 agent as our protagonist, this shows immediately that he is used to danger, but then he has a child, this gives him another level; it shows that he has more to loose if he fails.
We have incorporated a wide array of camera angles and cut to these constantly when Tom is running through the streets, we do include some long shots, such as the cctv style shot after he vaults the fence, but this is to create the illusion that he is being watched. These fast cutting shots build up the pace of the production before he finally enters the church, there is a quick point of view shot just before he enters the church that really speeds things up at the last minute.
As well as using lots of fast camera shots to build up the pace, we have created a non diagetic sound track to go over our production, this begins as soon as we see Tom begin to run, layering up heavy beats with fast paced music. This gets faster and faster as he gets closer to the church., to create more of an impact when he finally enters the church, the music cuts dead.
Also in the church we include more shots such as the cctv styled one, one from high up in the church, with railings blocking out part of the shot to show danger, that we cannot see teh full picture.
As Tom runs into the church, the antagonist is praying at the back f the church, without knowing he is there the audience will miss him completely, as does Tom, focused only on his daughter, startling him as he realises he is not alone is the church. As the antagonist walks towards Tom the audience can only see his back, not knowing who he is or what he looks like, he is concealed from the viewers, creating mystery as we don't know if Tom knows who he is or not, and at this point in the production the audience doesn't know whether he is the antagonist or not, but they would suspect so from his dialogue and costume.

How does it represent particular social groups? (Laurence)
Our production includes a variety of different social groups. One of these being a large religious group of Christians, this however can be quite controversial, due to the fact that in our media production we have included Christian extremists, this particular social group has been represented as being very forceful, forcing their religion onto everyone, stopping anyone who tries to interfere with what they are doing, trying to stop the protagonist Tom, who is going to reveal their evil plot, the Christian extremist that we see towards the end of the production is dressed in black from head to toe, having his hood up shows that he is religious but with this being black it shows that they too are corrupt, wearing black almost makes it look as though the character is dying, or imposing death onto another character. The British government, of whom these Christian extremists are working with, are shown to be just as evil, corrupt.

Tom, a young man is shown to be very athletic, running down the streets avoiding passers by, but in the first clip of him running down the streets he nearly knocks a woman over, not looking back caring whether she is alright or not he continues to run, this shows that he's quite an arrogant character, typical for his age.

Also associated with the younger generation are hooded tops, Tom's cloths represent him as a younger character, wearing a hoody along with jeans. Similar to the Christian extremist towards the end of the production Tom has a hood, but he chooses to wear his down unlike the antagonist, showing that he too has strong beliefs, but his are not dark or dangerous.

The reason that Tom is running through the streets and into the church is to save his daughter Ellie, Tom here is represented as a loving, caring father who has come to rescue his daughter. There is no wife or mother featured in our introduction so the audience is lead to wonder weather Tom is a single parent, which gives him an alternative representation, as the mother is generally the parent that looks after and cares for the child stereotypically.

Ellie, the daughter is shown as a very vulnerable young child, laying on the church steps, unconscious, sticking to stereotypes, showing how innocent she is, yet she has been roped into such a religious and political corruption that is threatening her life.

What kind of media institution might distribute your product and why? (Rory)

It is important to consider the vast array of media institutions that now exist and the practicalities and costs involved with each one. Until fairly recently, the methods that could be utilized to distribute films was very limited, cumbersome and highly expensive. One had to produce a movie with the backing of a major movie studio with a distribution contract that subsequently was worth millions in order to get the film to cinemas and then VHS, or DVD. With the advent of widespread and high-speed internet access however, and the ability to produce copies of DVD’s from home without the backing of big finance; distribution within the movie industry has change dramatically.

Although, in an ideal world we, as a group, would love our film to published by a major film studio such as Universal (which incidentally owns the rights to the highly successful Thriller series The Bourne Series) because we feel that would be best placed to market our film at its correct target audience and distribute it to as many people as possible because of its vast financial power and expertise in the field. However, in reality getting our film published and distributed with the backing of a large multinational film studio is highly unlikely if not impossible. Universal Studios would also be able to offer us vastly superior post-production facilities and the technological talent we feel we need to make this film a success. Universal also has the directing talent and scripting ability to be able to direct us to any mistakes that they may prevent our film being a success, or appealing to our target market.

However, as mentioned above, the internet and home authoring offer other equally far-reaching alternatives. Free Video Sharing websites such as YouTube would be ideal in publishing our movie – or short clips of it – and DVD’s of it could easily be created with little expense and sold – in effect, creating our own movie studio. By utilizing YouTube, internet advertising and social networks such as Facebook and MySpace we feel we could, potentially, create a following for our movie. We also feel that with the advent of home video editing much of the editing and post-production could possibly be done at home thus allowing a finished product to be sold to stores – or by ourselves – for much less than blockbusters would normally retail at. Indeed, the idea of creating an independent film studio is an interesting and ever more possible prospect.

Who would be the audience for your media product? (Kim)

The target audience we aimed to appeal to was 16-25 year olds. We felt this age group would be the most appropriate to target our film towards because during our research of the thriller genre and also whilst we were finding inspiration for our own film, we found that films such as James Bond and the Bourne series (both a similar genre to our film) had the most captive audience of 16-25 year olds. We feel that this is because the main character is usually in his mid-late 20s therefore this is why the 20-25 year olds enjoy it, because they can identify with the main character, and the 16-20 year olds aspire to be like the characters such as James Bond and Jason Bourne which is why they enjoy this style of film. Our film is very similar to the genre of Bond and Bourne films and our main character is in his mid-late 20s which is why, for the same reasons I have just stated, we feel our film will appeal most to 16-25 year olds. However, it is likely that our film will appeal to many other ages outside this target group. This is because during our genre research before we started producing our film, we found that the action/thriller genre is very popular with all ages. For example, many children under the age of 16 watch the James Bond and Jason Bourne movies and aspire to be like these characters, and many people over the age of 25 watch and enjoy these movies too. So our film will hopefuly appeal to a broad audience of people but we mainly targeted it at 16-25 year olds. We also feel that our main target group would be males. This is because the majority of main characters in our film are male and also because of the nature of our storyline (terrorist extremism, kidnapping etc.) there would probably be quite a bit of violence which, generally speaking, tends to appeal more to males than females. However, our film does centre rather strongly around the relationship between a father and his young daughter so this may be a likely factor in increasing the female audience for our film.

How did you attract / address your audience? (Kim)

In our film we tried to address our audience in a number of ways. One of the first things we did was to appoint a young male lead. In our film we would have ideally liked to have had our character portrayed as a mid-late twenty year old whereas the actor in our film is slightly younger. However, the effect we wanted still stands. We wanted a young lead because we wanted our audience to be able to identify and aspire to him.

Our film was inspired by the Bond and Bourne films which are typically action/thrillers, and tend to appeal more to the male audience. However, we wanted our film to appeal to a wider audience which is why we decided to focus on the father/daughter relationship as a subplot. We felt this would draw on a slightly older audience because they would be able to relate to the parental theme and it would also widen our female audience because our storyline would not just be relentless action and violence.

We tried to create a storyline that would challenge current conventions and also world views. When people in the Western world talk about terrorism the Muslim religion is what immediately springs to mind. So, instead of basing our film on MI5 agents trying to protect the government/country from outside threats and terrorists from foreign countries, we would reverse this and make 'inside' Christian followers the terrorists and the threat to the country. We felt that this would make our film quite controversial and slightly different and more edgy than the other action/thriller films already available. We felt that this would help to attract our audience because people like to break away from the mould after a time and watch something that is new and interesting and causes them to think. We feel our film does this, especially with the current issues of terrorism in Iraq and Afghanistan, because we are challenging people to see that these Muslim extremists are not the only religious extremists in the world. In some ways we are almost challenging our audience to see the other side of the coin and show Christians from the point of view of these Muslim extremists (although our storyline does not reflect this as in terms of its denotation the plot is not about clashes between the Western and Eastern world.)

Another way in which we tried to attract our audience was by putting what would chronologically be near the end of our film, as the opening sequence. We felt that this would involve our audience straight away, especially because of the fast paced editing (which will grab our audience's attention) and it would also give our audience enough information for them to start asking questions but not enough to answer those questions. This would hopefully encourage them to watch the rest of the film in order to find out what happens.

Have you learn about technology through producing your media product? (Charlotte)

While producing our media product we have learnt a lot about the technology used to produce a piece of film, we have also learnt key IT skills through blogging, and how to transfer different types of media from tape to production.

The software that we used were; Imovie HD and Garage Band, where we learnt how to create music that we could mix with our action, we then exported this file as an mp3 into Itunes to fit it in with our action. In the time that we were producing our media we had a chance to learn more about Imovie HD and how we can add effects, such as black and white to our production. While doing this we also learnt how to change the pace with our slow motion titles to create our action- thriller atmosphere and how to fit everything together with editing the shots and placing it all into chronological order and removing the outtakes.

The hardware that we used was; the camera, computer and the Microphone for our voice over which took us a while to work out how to record onto Imovie and add it to the correct place in our film. We each had a chance to film a part of our production and had to learn how to use our camera to gain the shots that we chosen in our storyboard. We also had to learn how to zoom in and out slowly into certain features on the church and use many other objects such as a computer trolley for our tracking shots. We had to lean how to retrieve lost edited scenes that had been deleted by accident when our computer crashed for a brief while.

Looking back at your prelim, what do you feel that you have learnt? (Charlotte)

We have progressed since our preliminary task and left the school grounds to create a new atmosphere for our main task, this taught us how to time-keep and to be more organised. We had to plan where and when we would meet and that we were able to film from certain times, which we had issues with on our first task. Unfortunately we were unable to find adult actors however as a group were able to make decisions on how we could overcome this, without too many arguments. During our preliminary task filming we had many issues with where we could film and that we could not change the area we filmed in to make it the same each day, however we learnt from this and were able to film all of the action in one day. The clock on the church could have been an issue because it would show a completely different time in some shots, but we over came this problem and chose shots that fitted to show slight time progression. Time was very important to our piece as it builds up the pace and suspense and it is there through the whole of our opening because our protagonist has very little time to save his daughter.

As a group I think our editing skills have improved much more since our preliminary task as a result of our time management; giving us longer to edit and work on sound and editing together. We also learnt much more about the equipment and how we can gain almost perfect edits for our piece however we had one obvious jumpy edit in our piece but were unable to resolve it. Whilst editing we had chance to play around with the software and were adventurous enough to add slow motion parts to our piece.

In conclusion I think that we have learnt a fair few things since our preliminary task and now are know a lot more about time keeping, team work and the equipment.

Friday, 17 April 2009

Questionnaire - Results & Analysis

Over the Easter break Rory transferred our media production onto DVDs so that we could each have a copy of our film and present it to our target audience. Each person had a questionnaire to ask at least 5 different people from our target group what they thought of our film.
We carried out our post-production questionnaire as audience and efficacy research to try and understand whether all of the methods and techniques that we used both throughout the filming and casting process as well as in post-production were effective in attracting our target audience of 17-25 year olds. In this post we will assess the results and attempt to assess our production’s effectiveness.

After collecting our results – we analyzed, and below, along with graphs, we present these findings below.
Our Sample Size: 20 Persons, all between 11-49, 50% Male/Female Ratio.

Our results were, on the whole, encouraging. For example, our first question clearly shows that 16 our 20 people agreed with the idea that the film was of Action or Thriller Genre, this pleases us as this was originally the genre we were aiming for.

Similarly, the majority of interviewees described the use of the Black & White technique as very or somewhat effective (17-3) which again is encouraging. The overall affirmation of the moderate success of our production is continued through the results of the rest of our survey with questions such as Are the Titles Appropriate?

Interestingly, the question Do you feel this film would appeal to you were it to be in cinemas? Was a more closely run race (12-8) which suggests our film may have a narrower target audience and able to less people than more originally anticipated and aimed for.

Perhaps more difficult to interpret were the written responses to the more open questions we chose to include in our questionnaire. Encouragingly, more people chose to comment on the strong or close seeming relationship between the two main characters of Tom & Elle, this shows we have been able, at least to some extent, to successfully craft a strong character bond between the two characters. “Care, Love, Affection” “I think that there is a strong relationship between the man and woman”

Unfortunately, there were also some less encouraging signs with regard to the more open questions. For example some people felt that the character placement, i.e. believability “Could have been better” and similarly this interviewee also felt that the film would not appeal to him/her at the cinemas – potentially this is a correlation between believability and appeal toward some sectors of the public.

Overall, however, we feel that as a group we have been able to create a fairly realistic and believable piece of film and we feel that this is confirmed in the results of our questionnaire and general attitude of our interviewees. In the coming day’s we’ll also be posting our Evaluation on how we felt our production went overall.
- Rory

Monday, 6 April 2009

Main Task- Analysis

Our finished main task contains a soundtrack which resembles the time ticking away and the pace of the protagonist with the fast beat. This creates an atmosphere of action and suspense, where the audience would be unaware of what is to happen. The soundtrack fits in sync with the action on screen, for example when the titles come into the show the music slows down with the action. This gives the audience a chance to focus on the names of actors/actresses, to establish them with a specific character throughout the film.

As a group we struggled with sound the most as it caused some conflicts and for a long period we could not find the sounds that we were looking for. Some of the sounds we originally wished for could not be put into our finished piece, e.g the bell sounds for the church, however this was cleverly replaced with the ticking sound.

Another issue with our sound was the voice overs because they were difficult to complete in lessons with background noise and one of the voices is still slightly quiet however this could show the mysteriousness of our dark character.

The first sound of the birds sets a quiet scene, suddenly a thunder clap comes in as the protagonist runs which grabs the audience's attention and gets them straight into the action, creating suspense from the beginning. A strong beat is then introduced as the action speeds up with some diegetic ambient sounds in the background to create a sense of realism. As the protagonist heads nearer to the Church the pace of the non diegetic sound speeds up; building up the suspense. As the protagonist reaches his destination all non diegetic sound ends so that the speech can be heard clearly and set the scene from the rest of the film.

This is the first time I have seen everything together in perfect sync and the sound really fits the drama in this opening.


Main Task Completed

We have now completely finished editing our main task; which can be viewed here.

You can also view a higher quality version from our skydrive; here.

As detailed in the editing sections of our blog we kept in mind that at all times during our production certain rules had to be adhered to. We have already mentioned how we twice broke the 180 degree rule - both times deliberately - in order to create a sense of disorientation in the first instance and to demonstrate to the audience the vastness of the church and the Christianity it symbolised in the second.

We also consciously chose to produce the entire thing in wide screen in order to add to the cinematic and filmic qualities of the production and draw the audience's eyes and attention close in on the action. Additionally, we chose to create a black and white production as we felt that this effect would deliberately create a sense of tension and intrigue (not only into the reason for black and white film but also to the general plot of the film) as few films are shot in black and white nowadays and thus the our film would immediately stand out from the crowd to hopefully appeal to our target audience.

We also thought we should ensure that editing through the shots of the main character running should be fast paced and varied in order to keep the audience's attention for any length of time and create a sense of speed, excitement and confusion whilst conveying the character's adrenaline rush.


During the editing process we encountered both technical difficulties as well as having to deal with disagreements within the group but we feel that overall we have created a good main production piece and hope that our target audience will feel the same way as we do.

Over the coming weeks we'll be posting an analysis of questionnaire results as well as a full evaluation of our entire group activity and how we felt it went as well as an analysis of our final product.

- Rory

Why we chose to make our film opening black and white:

As well as the reasons Rory has stated above as to why the film is in black and white we also chose to do it because this opening sequence isn't actually chronologically the start of the film. It is a flash forward in time and we felt that by showing the opening in black and white, it would sub-consciously connote to the audience that this sequence isn't actually the start of the film. So if we were to have gone on filming, the rest of our film after this opening would have been in colour to show that this is now present time.


Thursday, 2 April 2009


As we approach the completion of our editing and post-production we have now begun to think about the response and impact we wish to have on our prospective audience.

Essentially, our questionnaire's purpose is to investigate whether we have used the correct techniques and ideas in order to appeal to our target audience and fufil the conventions of the thriller genre. We have scuplted both open and closed questions in order to fufil this purpose.

Click here to view our full questionnaire.

A sample of questions is used below;

What do you think the target audience is for this film?
Up to 10 11-16 17-21 22-29 30-49 50

This is an example of the a closed question which is used to obtain a short and definate answer for analysis. This question is used simply to ascertain whether the interviewees believe the film fits the target audience (16-25).

Describe, briefly, the relationships between the character, in your opinion

This second question is much more open; and provides an opporunity to gather more open suggestions and opinions that would help us more with the subtle ideas and concepts surronding the relationships of our characters.

We will be gathering results for our questionnaire shortly and posting graphs and analysis too!

- Rory

Wednesday, 1 April 2009

Sound Editing

We have now started developing our film's soundtrack. We were struggling to find an approprite melody to fit the mood of our opening sequence, as on the apple macs in school a lot of the tracks are inaccessible. So we have had to use a macbook with the garage band application on it, supplied by Laurence. All the tracks are available on this so we have had much more success in creating our soundtrack.

We have been experimenting with incorporating both diegetic/ambient sound from our original filming, and non-diegetic sound into our film as we feel it gives it a more authentic overall finish.
We want to create a soundtrack that builds tension and supense in our audience so we want it to be quite upbeat in order to create a sense of urgency. However, the problem we are having is that all of the fast upbeat tracks on the apple macs sound too 'happy' and don't give us the sinister atmosphere we want to create. So we are going to experiment by creating our soundtrack with percussive instruments added to the drum beat which we hope will make it sound 'busier' and more erratic which will create a more electric and tense atmosphere.


Tuesday, 24 March 2009

Continued Main Task Editing 2

Today we have continued to edit our final production, and we have reached the end of cutting down the clips, creating good transisitios that link clearly with eachother, compared to the origional transitions that were very jumpy, not linking together. The new transistions make the production flow better. We used cuts in the mainbody of the film; in the opening we applied a fade, fading from black to the main film, its a very quick fade.

We have changed our opening scene to a small montage of different church clips, we have focused on a shot with a flock of birds flying from the top of the birds. But after producing this opening sequence Kim and I came up with an idea to start with a shot of plain black, with ambiant sounds overlaying this of birds twittering, the shot then cuts directly to teh church, with birds flyin goff the tower as soon as the cut is made.

We have also started to think about the titles, we have decided that we will have them slightly fading into shot, but with using a quick fade. We have thought about using a sepia colour, or a grey for teh colourings of these titles, not wanting to use colour as these will be to bright and draw the users attention away fromt eh content of the film.

We discovered however, that the dialogue in our filmed clips isnt clear enough, or loud to have a good sound quality when viewed, so to get around this we have recorded a voice over using a USB Studio Condensor to overlay the new dialogue onto the clips where the dialogue didn't come out well.

Next lesson we will focus on the sound of the piece, starting to edit the non diagetic music around the eiding of the clips.


Monday, 23 March 2009

Continued Main Task Editing

Today we have continued to edit our main task, cutting the clips and applying a black and white effect. We have cut these clips to a more precise timing, getting them to link as smoothly as we can. We have edited the footage of when our main character Tom enters the church, discovering his daughter, Ellie, lying on the floor of the church.

We have tryed to increase the speed of teh editing as he rushes through the door, showing how fast his mind is working, along with his heart beating. We have tryed hard, and have succeeded to not break teh 180 degree rule, showing that Tom is keeping a very focused mind, not panicking like the MI5 agent that he is, taking control of the situation.

We have added a wide variety of shot angles to the church seen, experimenting with different shot types and angles. Including a shot taken through the railings of a small tower featured in the church. In this shot through the railings, the railings and the characters are slightly out of focus, int his shot the character that is seen at the back of the church is out of shot, framed by thte railings we see that the two characters have a close relationship, and this high angle shot amplifies the couples vunerability.

Obviously, it is important to consider that shots must be edited so meaning can be conveyed to the audience, as such we knew it would be important to ensure that our shots lead from one another so as not to damage continuity, more importantly we ensured that we broke the 180 degree rule as few times as possible as this simply looks wrong; and disrupts the atmosphere the film is trying to create. However, for our particular production we did feel it would increase the film's impact if the 180 degree rule was broken as this would increase the sense of confusion and bewilderment in the audience and suggest that the main character's movements are frantic and urgent.

We shall continue to edit the footage in our lesson time.

- Laurence

Monday, 16 March 2009

Progress Diary - Main Task Editing

Over the week we have began our editing by placing our clips in sequence and cutting various errors or unneeded footage. After the initial editing, we have now begun to work on a much more precise basis; and have begun to add black & white and letterbox effects to add a more polished finish. We will continue to edit over the next two weeks; and our looking to add our titles once the sequence has been finalised.

We have also had debates about how the music should be presented, half of the group vote for heavier music and the other want some emotion into the film. These heated discussions have put the group element of the word "group-work" under some sort of strain; however we are determined to resolve any disputes.

We are also aware that it may be very difficult for the production of music to move forward until the editing of the film has been finalised as we desire for the music to fit perfectly with the action of screen; both complementing and emphasising what one sees. Therefore music production is currently somewhat stunted whilst video work is ongoing.

Finally, we would like to comment on the the ongoing schedule; after completing filming one week ahead of schedule; we have devoted this time toward editing the final project; giving us extra time and a possible edge over the competition. We are currently aiming to have post-production finished by 28th March 2009 in preparation for interviews and assessment.

- Charlotte & Rory

Sunday, 8 March 2009

Progress Diary - Main Task Filming

Here Kim and I are filming the close up shots of the exterior of the church, focusing in on shots of the clock, and other aspects of the church.
We filmed a wide range of these shots, filming different angles and using different zooms.
We experimented in trying new filming techniques, such as the one shown in the photos , balancing the tripod on a skateboard, allowing us to move the tripod quickly down the straight path at the front of the church. Moving down the path as the actor moves up the path, amplifying the speed at which he is running, we managed to do this by pushng the skateboard, whilst balancing the tripod, keeping the camerea as straight as possible.

This weekend (7th and 8th March) we were able to film our final production. Unfortunately it did not go exactly as we had hoped with a major setback being that our actor was unable to make it to our first filming session. With our group not having any other time to film our production as a whole and also because we had only asked the vicar for permission to film this weekend, we were unable to use our original actor and Rory had to step in.

This will undoubtedly detract from the overall finish of our final production as the 30 year old main character we had envisaged is now being played by a 17 year old!

However, we were still able to carry out all the shots we had planned on the storyboard (although we didnt follow the storyboard exactly) and everything else ran relatively smoothly.

We also had a few costume changes at the last minute as we were originally going to have the main character dressed in a shirt, tie and black trousers which would reinforce the MI5 agent image we were going to put across. However, we decided that because he is on the run from MI5 he would be more likely to be dressed in civilian clothing in order to blend in more with the general public. So we changed his costume to a more casual looking pair of jeans and a hooded top. In the next few weeks we will be editing our footage together. Updates will follow.

We've also attached some photos of us during the filming process.

- Kim and Laurence

Main Task - Storyboard


Here I have attached the storyboard that we will be using to film our footage that will be used for our final production; following the storyboard allowing us to get the right shots, angles, mise en scene and sound into our scenes.

- How you created it?

I have created this storyboard in word, producing a table for each shot, showing the sound, shot types and angles, the camera movement, mise en scene, how long the shot will last for, the transitions to the next shot and i have also added in a picture reference.
For the picture reference I took photos of Rory in a location that we thought was suitable, as well as providing me with images for the storyboard this also allowed our group to have a look at the locations that we feel may suit our production.
I then edited these photos in photoshop, exporting them to word where i inserted them into the tables, giving us a clear storyboard to be able to easily shoot the desired shots for our production.

- What it consists of?

The storyboard consists of a description of the shots that we wish to film for our production, photos showing the location and content of the shot. The camera angles, shot types, camera movements are listed int eh descriptions, allowing the camerea man / woman to get a rough idea of what to film. The sounds are also listed, both diagetic and non diagetic to allow us to put the correct sounds to the right shot.

- Analysis of Shots

The camera then cuts to the main character as he runs through a field, the slight low angles establishes the character as a very important character, showing that he has meaning and an objective, having him trip over and continue running shows that the character has been through a lot but just keeps on going, will not be stopped by a minor obstacle. This also shows that the character is in good shape, a hard worker. In this shot the character enters the shot from the left of the screen running from left to right, in our research into films we found that the protagonist usually runs enters the screen from left to right, so we are going to include this in our production. Here there are very faint ambient sounds of cars, and the rustling of the characters feet as he moves through the grass. The non diagetic sound track also kicks in here, having a fast pace beat as the character runs.

The next shot is of a worms eye view as the character quickly moves up a grassy verge, as he moves up the verge the camera slowly starts to fall behind him, giving the impression that the character is moving at a faster pace, the grass brushing up against the camera lens as it tracks the character, this creates the impression that this is a predator sneaking through the grass, as though the protagonist is being hunted.

The diagetic ambient sounds from the previous shots here continue, linking the two shots together, but the sound of the rustling grass is amplified, making it seem that the audience are the ones creeping through the grass, hunting the protagonist. This makes it seem that everyone is against this character, even the entire audience, isolating him.

The non diagetic soundtrack is continued through this shot, gradually getting louder, but in this shot it is not overpowering the digetic sounds which helps the viewers to feel as though they are the hunters of the protagonist.

This cuts to a shot of the protagonist vaulting over a fence. This will be an extreme close up of the characters feet and hands as they make contact with the wood of the fence, this is the only diagetic sound that is featured in this shot, as it is a quick shot not allowing any time for anything more. This creates a beat that matches that of the non diagetic soundtrack, as the soundtrack gets faster this makes it seem as though this character's pace is increasing. This is a very quick shot, which helps to increase the pace of the overall production. Jumping over the fence symbolises all of the obstacles that this character has had to overcome, showing how determined and also agile he is.

Cutting to a shot that overlooks the area that the character has vaulted, we see him finish his vault and continue to run, but this time on roads, into a more urban environment, creating more places for potential problems and a more populated area, meaning the character will be being watched. The angle and stillness of this clip, a high angle long shot, amplifies the fact that people are watching, giving a CCTV style to the shot, someone tracking his movements, knowing just where he is. The diagetic sound is this clip is kept to a minimum, showing just how venerable the protagonist is at this point. The non diagetic soundtrack, this keeps building up its sound, but not yet fully layered, or at its fullest volume, continues to keep the pace of the shot up however, but this is quite a long shot, contrasting to the previous very quick shot. The character leaves the shot from the top right hand corner, sticking to the 180 degree rule, the character continues to run from left to right, showing that he is still thinking the same, even though his environment has been altered.

This cuts to a shot of the character running around a tight corner changing direction, the camera breaks the 180 degree rule as he is now running from right to left this quick break shows that the character's mind is starting to change, almost as if he is unsure of what the outcome will be, will his daughter be safe, or will he even find her? The viewers see the character run towards them, then the camera pans to the left, following the protagonist as he runs away from the camera, now with his back to the audience. His footsteps also show this as they are heard diagetically through the non diagetic soundtrack that hasn't yet reached its full volume. These diagetic footsteps get louder as he runs towards the audience, then fainter as he runs away. This almost puts the audience in the protagonists position, showing how his daughters footsteps can suddenly be so loud and then fade, as she is taken away.

The protagonist almost pushes out these negative thoughts that he may not find his daughter as he gets back on track, running again from left to right, running down a busy path, dodging various pedestrians; one of these people that he nearly bangs into is a woman talking on a mobile phone, this shows how everyone is communicating with each other, except him, no one is telling him about his daughter, it is as though he has been isolated from everyone else. The other lady that he almost bangs into raises her hands in the air as he runs past, this shows that everything has suddenly become more violent, as if she is surrendering to him, feeling threatened. As if the protagonist has almost become the villain. As this shot ends the protagonist is right to the edge of the right hand side of the screen, creating a chlostrophobic feel, as the audience has no idea what he is running towards, what's in his path. At this point the non diagetic soundtrack is at its fullest volume, and is fully layered, although some ambient sounds can still be heard, such as the faint sound of his footsteps, this shows that he is still thinking about his objective of reaching his daughter. This shot then cuts to one from the other side of the road, this makes it seem like he is again being watched, as he ducks in and out of shop doorways to avoid banging into people. The same diagetic and non diagetic sounds continue to this shot, but there is a louder diagetic sound of the traffic that is passing through inbetween character and camera. This creates a barrier from what seems like a villain watching him, making the character safer. The camera is in a fixed position, panning and zooming to track the character, creating the feel that there is no need for the villains, or watchers to follow him, almost as if he is running into a trap.

This next shot pans and tracks the protagonist as he continues running down the street, but here he turns a corner, holding onto a pole as he swings himself around the corner, almost loosing his footing, keeping up his speed as he sprints up the path towards a church. As he almost looses his footing, it's as if he is not welcome in this place, as it tries to push him back, but he is so determined to find his daughter this doesn't bother him.

The diagetic sound is at a minimum, with the non diagetic sound overpowering the scene, only the faint ambient sounds of him running up the church path can be heard, but these fade out towards the end of the clip, this is to build up to when the character opens the church door.

As the protagonist opens the church door the camera will use a point of view shot, this creates the feeling that nothing is being hidden from the viewer, this is only a very small clip, as he opens the door the scene cuts to another shot. Here the viewer only sees what Tom sees, meaning that nothing is hidden from the viewer.

Tom rushes into the church shouting "Ellie, Ellie!" as he enters the church the music stops abruptly, showing how quiet and peaceful the church is. The candles are all lit showing that he is not alone. He stumbles as he walks, he's not secure about being in the church.
There is now only diagetic sounds, the echos of his footsteps and the creak of the floorboards, these sounds create a lot of tension towards the viewer. The camera shot moves, tracking him as if he is being watched from behind.

This next shot reveals that he is in fact being watched, by a hooded figure praying at the back of the church. The camera tilts down as Tom runs to his daughter, focused only on her, not realising he is not alone. This is quite a quick shot so that you don't see much of the antagonist behind, building mystery.

Thew next show shows Tom kneeling down to help his daughter, this shot is filmed through a ledge in the top of the church, giving the feeling that he is being watched from all angles. He is being shot through some railings, indicating that he cannot see the full picture, only focusing on his daughter and not for the danger that is lurking behind him.

This danger startles him as the camera is behind the hooded figure as he walks towards Tom and his daughter, down through the centre of the church. In this shot he is higher than the kneeling protagonist, showing that he is dominant, overpowering Tom. More mystery comes out as the antagonist says, "so, is this the secret you re willing to die for?" The shot then fades to black. Enticing the audience to want to know what secret, and who is the figured man.


Tuesday, 3 March 2009


As a group we have thought of many different churches that we could use for our main filming location. We first looked at our local Church Of England in Wootton Bassett and have spoken with the Reverend, who has agreed to us film there when we wish to if the church is not in use. All there is left to do is to find a date that we are able to film with our leading actor, however he is a busy man and it s hard to find time, meaning that we may have to change our lead role. I researched other locations such as; Oxford Cathedral, Lacock Abbey and Lyneham Church however we believed that Bassett was our best location for filming.

For the outside locations we will make use of our local high street, which is shown in our concept board images, however we may have issues with filming pedestrians in the street because we do not gain permission from the people in the street and have not get warmed the police that we are filming in the high street. Also we plan for our protagonist to run in front of a car, however we may need to change this shot because it may not be safe.

-Charlotte Matthews

Monday, 2 March 2009

Planning Stage - Script

Daytime, Cloudy, Open Field. A disheveled suited man running, worriedly, towards trees and the outskirts of an unknown town.

As we follow him, he runs through the streets, worried; panicky & confused.

Making his way to the church, he stumbles in, exhausted.

Tom runs into the Church. Stops and looks around. Sees his daughter Elle and starts running towards her.

(Half whispering and out of breath)

He runs to her and cradles her.

What have they done to you?
(In horror and angry)

A figure steps out of the shadows behind Tom – we don’t see his face.

So this is the secret you are going to die for…

Church door slams shut.

We feel the above script is very effective because it incorporates very few small lines of punch and energetic dialogue that serve to both reveal and explain some the preceding action as well as throw up yet more questions about the plot and setting itself.

We felt that it would be best to keep dialogue to a minimum if we were to maximize the potential of our film and its plot; too much dialogue would ruin the tense atmosphere that the opening sequence has worked hard to build up, and giving away too much vital narrative information this earlier on (chronologically not by narrative) or revealing too much about the conservative Christian cult.

We also felt that the symbolic act of running toward his child and cradling her is a very powerful storytelling tool which shows immediately to the audience the strong relationship between the two characters and moves to bring them closer together within in the audience’s minds.
Finally, we felt that the script is the best way to break the “musical silence” that had so far occupied the non-diegetic music slot. This diegetic speech allows a transition to the more traditional feel of a movie.

Progress Update - Planning Stage

As our production planning continues, we continue to work to towards producing scripts, storyboards and other guides to help us film our production smoothly, and with as few problems as possible.

In our 2 hour lesson today, we finalised our script and worked on a rough version of our storyboard (0verall responsibility for which rests with Laurence) because we felt panning such as this was important enough to be planned as a group as then passed to laurence for finalisation and tidying-up.

We also delegated costume ideas to Laurence, and location scouting and approval to Charlotte. Kim was to be responsible for storyboarding input and actor scouting.

As we continue to develop our ideas we will update the blog with further information regarding the following key areas.
  • Script
  • Storyboard
  • Costumes
  • Actors
  • Scouting

We have already completed our preliminary scouting for locations, and have settled on our local church as the preliminary location for our opening sequence and the surrounding streets of the town. More information will be forthcoming.

- Rory

Wednesday, 25 February 2009

Progress Update - Pitch

We have now completed our pitch and delivered it to the class; backed up with the powerpoint presentation we provided commentary about each aspect of our final production. These aspects included the audience, who we are going to aim our film at and also the BBFC rating that it will receive. The plot, which Rory has written a detailed explanation to that below already. The stars that we will use in our film, why we would use them, what they would bring to the production. What film studio we would have our film produced by and why, what would they offer, making our production better. What inspired us to come up with the ideas, this is also helped by the mood board with pictures and words. We also had the 5 photos from the concept board that I took of Rory at the end of the powerpoint, we made these photos black and white, as we would like to do our film in black and white. As well as being on the powerpoint, we placed the 5 photos onto a sheet and analysed them, showing why we picked these shots and what they connote.

Below is this information, and also how well we feel that we communicated our message.


The Presentation - As A Whole


Our film will have a BBFC rating of 15 because whilst it will contain infrequent use of strong language, there will be scenes of moderate to strong violence. Our main plot is based on MI5 planning to overthrow the government so there is lots of force, terrorisation and torture of targets and victims. Also the themes within our film are fairly current and hard-hitting – terrorism in the form of Christian extremism. So, for these reasons our film will be rated as a 15.

Our film will be aimed at a broad range of people. The main character is in his mid 30s and is male so people, especially men, in this age group are likely to be one type of audience for our film. The film is based around MI5 and the main character (an MI5 agent on the run) could be compared to the likes of Jason Bourne/modern James Bond in his role in the film. This would appeal to most groups of people because the subject of MI5 is mysterious and a world that people are curious about. That is why films of this nature are usually very popular and successful. However, there is a lot of violence and sinister themes in our film so it would be most likely that males will be the main audience rather than females. However, our film also focuses on the relationship between a father and his young daughter so this will most probably increase the female audience too.

As well as this our film contains a strong religious theme so religious groups of people may also be a possible audience for our film.
- Kim


I have already detailed my plot below; and I felt that the explanation of this to the group went well; because our plot was fairly complicated I felt that reading the plot synopsis to the group would be a good way to introduce them to the plot. I complimented this with a deeper explanation of the intricacies of our opening sequence.


In our film there are several main characters. Below is a list of the actors we would ideally want to play each character and why:

CLIVE OWEN: To play the main character Tom Scott – an MI5 agent on the run. He is a British actor which enforces the setting of our film in England. He is currently a very popular and successful actor so this would be likely to increase our films chances of success at the Box Office! There was a lot of talk about him becoming the next James Bond and seeing as this character has many similarities to the modern James Bond we feel that our audience would enjoy seeing him in this role. He is not particularly associated with violent films which will also make it easier for our audience to believe the fatherly role he would play in this film.

MADS MIKKELSEN: To play the sinister mastermind behind the Christian extremist plot to overthrow the British Government and impose Christianity on the masses. Whilst he is not a British actor he is widely renowned for his sinister and threatening portrayal of Le Chiffre – James Bond’s main rival in Casino Royale. We wanted a very convincing and sinister ‘baddy’ and we felt he would most definitely do the job.

ELLE FANNING: To play Katie Scott – Tom Scott’s daughter who is kidnapped and used to buy James’ silence about the national secret he uncovers. We wanted a young actress as the daughter in our film is only going to be 7 years old. Elle has already starred in several Hollywood films: Déjà Vu, Babel and The Curious Case of Benjamin Button. This will mean she is quite well known even though she is not a British actress.
- Kim

Inspiration & Mood Board

In the presentation of our task I created a mood board (picture above) to show our inspiration for our film and the general elements that are present in other thriller films. In the mood board I have added some darker images with horror elements in to show different types of thriller and that the darkness in thrillers adds suspense because it hides information; which is what we want in our thriller. So we have thought of presenting it in black and white to show the sinister subject and to make it similar to film noir, with shadowing. Our film was inspired by the Bourne films, Hitchcock films, Bond films, Da Vinci Code, Life of David Gale and Steven Spielberg films which are action thrillers. The title of our film was inspired by the saying "One man's terrorist is another man's freedom fighter".

- Charlotte Matthews

Concept Board

At the end of the presentation I showed the 5 photos that I took of Rory playing our character, and of teh setting that we think that we will use. Converting these photos to black and white as this is our desired medium for our final production, attatching these to the final slides of pur presentation as well as printing them out and sticking them to a sheet allowing us to analyse them. Listing the connotations of the images, I will attatch an image of the concept board later.

Photos of The Concept Board are at the beginning of this blog post.

- Laurence

- Laurence, Charlotte, Kim & Rory

Monday, 23 February 2009

Progress Update

Today we put together our pitch for our main task, collating all of the documents using the website Sky-drive allowing us to store the documents on the internet, and this lets all of us access the same files.

Yesterday Rory, Kim and I went into the High Street armed with a camera, we took around 80 photos, all linking to our final production, the full 80 photos can be viewed on our Sky-drive.

Today we chose 5 of the best of these photos that we will present in our pitch tomorrow on our concept board. These photos show Rory running through a graveyard, a crowded street and through fields. I took these photos using a DSLR camera, allowing me to take quick shots of Rory as he runs.

We met up during the half term holidays to discuss our final production, we came up with the story line, we discussed how we would prepare for our pitch, i would produce the concept board, looking into the different film studios, and creating the general powerpoint presentation that would run in the background while we are delivering our pitch.

Charlotte was to produce the storyboard, Kim was looking into actors and audience, while Rory was typing up the full story line, as he has written below.

- Laurence

Friday, 20 February 2009

Main Task - Plot & Title REVEALED!

Our Main Task, we have decided, will be completely unrelated to our preliminary in terms of plot because we feel that trying to extend the narrative of the preliminary would be difficult, time-consuming and too complex under the time-constraints we’ve been given. Instead we as a group have elected to branch into a completely different narrative arch; one that will be explained and expanded on below.

The Title of our full movie is:
“One Man’s Terrorist…”
We chose this phrase from the maxim “One man’s terrorist is another man’s freedom fighter” because we thought it embodied and emphasized the main aspects of the narrative in that it expresses the difficulty in defining a terrorist; the ambiguity of the idea and the subjectiveness of its accusation.

We, as a group also feel that it is an ambiguous title in itself and one that will immediately get the audience thinking and draw them in. It has somewhat of a hidden or fuller meaning other than its obvious denotation which again increases its effectiveness and intelligence.

Secrets, lies and government deception are something that is all too often revealed in the media these days. But when an MI5 operative discovers a secret so great that it threatens the stability of the country and the lives of the many including his own family; he is forced to go on the run in an attempt to stop the hideous plot he so unwittingly discovered.

He, of course, does not go unnoticed by those who he has exposed; a mysterious group of Christian Extremists within MI5 and realizing the gravity of this discovery hatch a plan to neutralize him using his young daughter as bait.

“One Man’s Terrorist…” combines intense action, drama and suspense into one neat 2 hour package that ultimately never lets you off the edge of your seat.

Plot Explanation – Detail of Opening Sequence (To Be Filmed)
The Film’s opening sequence is one that is, interesting, fast-paced and sobering. We decided that chronologically the film’s opening would be near the end of the narrative as will feel this would allow us to open the film with fast-paced action without the risk of cliché as well as leave the audience wanting explanation of the action right from the beginning. It would allow us to capture the audience’s imagination and attention almost immediately.

The Film opens with a smartly dressed, but now disheveled, man running through fields as fast as possible. He seems to being running from someone/something; but this is not made immediately obvious to the audience. Camera Shots are pacy with fast cuts and peculiar shots and framing. The Camera is often jerky which replicates a sense of confusion and disorientation, which conveys to the audience the character’s onscreen emotions. As the camera follows the action, it continues this pattern and it revealed that in reality there is no one chasing him which simultaneously smashes the audience’s perception of regularity and the expected as well as tell the audience that this film isn’t what should be expected.

The Opening Sequence progresses as we see the “chase scene” progress through an unknown town (at this point in the narrative) and whilst running and bumping into various strangers the titles roll, interspersed with various action shots. All the while complimented with non-diegetic fast-paced music and drum beats that increase the tension. It is not for several minutes from the beginning of the opening that audience is shown the destination of his journey. It is, however, finally revealed. We see him run up a path at first to a destination hidden but then revealed to be a place of worship, a church.

At this point in the film, the audience is completely unaware as to why he is running toward a church or the how the gravity of what is about to be revealed is connected to him.

As he passes into the church we quickly cut to a long shot down the aisle with pews neatly framed, and see what appears to be a dead child in the foreground of the shot. At first the shot is out of focus but the music by this point as abruptly come to an end and diegetic footsteps are all that is heard as the body slowly comes into focus concurrent with the man slowly stepping gently towards it. As he kneels down, the door, not out of shot slams shut with some drama and tension; its sound is ominous, loud and significant to the end of the filmed extract.

Plot Extended
Narratively this fits somewhere in toward the end of the film, but as explained previously, we have chosen to have this as our opening because it contains both action and intrigue.

If we were to continue our filming, we would then cut to credits before opening on the narrative beginning of the film. We feel this approach both disorientates the audience and we have chosen to purposely break the narrative rules laid down by theorists like Propp, but we also deliberately decided not to venture down the path of including anything that could be viewed as supernatural of “the fantastic” (in reference to the literary theories of Todorov) because we felt that for the film to be taken seriously it would have to remain firmly grounded to reality.

In Conclusion…
Over the next few days the other members of the group will be adding their additions of the pitch to the blog, responsibilities detailed in a previous post and we will post an update on how we felt our presentation went within a week.

- Rory

Wednesday, 18 February 2009

Main Task - Planning Stage & Pitch

During Our Half-Term break; we have been tasked with planning the Pitch for our main task and film project, and as the first step on this somewhat daunting task we, today, had a meeting to discuss the possible plots of our film and the artistic direction that we felt would be appropriate.

The Pitch
Essentially, our task is to present a series of facts, research, concepts and mood boards combined with a multimedia presentation and speech elements to convince our classmates of the viability of our film and ram home the points we believe it emphasizes and techniques it demonstrates.

During the course of the meeting we discussed the following:
  • Plot - We decided upon our basic plot for the opening as well as the over-arching narrative of the film. This will be revealed in due course when one of our team has created the relevant synopsis with references to relative theorists.
  • Inspiration - We were aware that this was an important aspect of our project and as such tried to actively note anywhere from which we had gained inspiration and noted anything that gave us ideas - Again this will be revealed in a relative blog entry.
  • We briefly discussed other aspects our main task but decided that the bulk of this would be drafted by individuals and then scrutinised by the group at a later date, areas that were included in this were; Audience, Stars & Studios.
  • We also discussed further meetings for the Concept board aspect of our project and have set a date for this and delegated overall responsibility to a group member.

We have decided that the following people will be responsible for these aspects of the initial pitch:

  • Rory: Blog Updates, Plot Synopsis, Concept Board
  • Kim: Audience & Appropriation, Actors
  • Laurence: Studio Research, Powerpoint Pitch, Concept Board Creation
  • Charlotte: Mood Board, Inspiration

We have been given a deadline of the return to school, 23rd Feb '09, to complete this section of the coursework and currently we feel confident that we will reach this target. We will update the blog within the next few days as the various components of the pitch are completed.

- Rory

Sunday, 15 February 2009

Preliminary Task - Production

As detailed previously, we have been filming and editing our Preliminary Task for around a week now. Having had our timetable (An updated version of which will be posted in the coming days) disrupted due to the heavy snows a few weeks, we have managed to complete our preliminary Project only a week late, which we feel is an admirable achievement and one which we are proud of.

We have uploaded our Preliminary task for the examiner to see. We would like you to note the following;

  • The deliberate use of Black & White effects create a darker and more intriguing atmosphere which we feel works well with the initial plot of the film; as well as the feeling that is trying to be conveyed to the audience.

  • The 16:9 aspect ratio again highlights the classic feel of the piece and communicates to the audience the very traditional yet hidden feeling of the film.

  • We have also experimented with the deliberate breaking of the 180 Degree rule; because we felt that this would both confuse the audience and also serve to demonstrate the switch of power half way through the scene when it becomes clear that the power lies with the sit ted character rather than the standing character (as it was first portrayed).

  • We also paid careful attention to the 30 Degree Rule with the opening shots of the scene alternating but with each shot at a 30 or more degree tilt so as to keep to convention and not immediately jar the audience's feel toward the film.

  • Also, we were careful not to over use the same perspective or shot type as we were aware that audience's would quickly lose interest.

  • We also consciously decided that the cloaked character's face would not be seen throughout the scene because we felt this would increase the audience's sense of both mystery as well as fear of the character; but also serve to accentuate the power that he (initially) yields.

  • Also, note the use of non-diegetic sound that is amplified on the soundtrack whenever the standing character is on screen, this again connotes an air of hostility ans suspicion about the character.

  • Finally, we also switched the types of shot we used to portray the sitted character throughout the scene as the character transitioned from being controlled to being in control.

Overall, as a group, we feel that this was a very good initial piece of work and we have learnt a lot from it both in terms or technique, method as well as which mistakes not to repeat.

  • For example, on one of our raw shots (not included in final edit) one of the camera crew could be seen in the corner, clearly this is the sort of thing one should check before filming a take.

  • The camera was at one point not completely level with the horizon because of a mistake with the tri-pod, although we did notice this part way through filming; this is something we should check at the beginning so that footage is not filmed and then subsequently found to be unusable.

  • The first time we went to edit; we accidentally deleted one of the clips from the mac; this caused considerable problems; as the entire camera tape had to be re-imported into iMovie. Although this was a "beginner's mistake" it won't be something that is repeated.

In summary, the group feel that the prelim. was a good opportunity to experiment with techniques and learnt the ins and outs of film production.

- Rory

Preliminary Task - Presentation

On Friday 13th Feb we presented our prelim. task to our class. It was recieved well and as a group we are proud of what we achieved in the short amount of time we had to complete the task.
We feel it has been very useful in terms of a practice run before attempting our main task as it has allowed us to identify potential problems that may occur when it comes to producing our main task. It has also highlighted areas where we could improve, which will make things easier in the long-run once we have filmed our main task. For example, we wasted a lot of time re-taking shots that we didnt even need during the preliminary task. Whilst in some cases this was good because we were able to select the best parts of each shot and then edit them together to get a much better all round finish, it was mainly a big waste of time both during and after filming when it came to the editing. As time is not something we will have a lot of, it is important that we use as much of it as effectively as possible during the main task.
Another thing highlighted to us was the importance of a clear and detailed storyboard. Whilst we didn't stick to the storyboard exactly due to various reasons, we always felt like we knew what the next move was so this helped us to keep on target and not delay even more time by discussing what we should be doing next.
This was also the first real chance we got to see how are group would work together, and in my opinion everyone worked extremely positively and effectively which I hope is reflected in our preliminary task. Everyone was given a chance to use the camera and we always made sure that we came to a compromise if there was a disagreement in the group about how we should film a certain shot. After filming, Charlotte and me focused on the editing and splicing of shots together into a sequence, whilst Rory and Laurence focused on the soundtrack. I felt that the work was shared out very evenly and everyone put an equal amount of effort into producing this preliminary task.

- Kim Rayner

Thursday, 12 February 2009

Prelimary Task - Progress Diary

On the 11th of Febuary we began our main editing task; creating the basic storyline set up ready to be cut. This was quite a complicated task because we had filmed so many shots from different angles and left the camera running while we disscused shots,. We believed it would be helpful when we came to choosing the best shots however it also caused us to have to look at every clip and then deleate the un-needed ones; which wasted time. Soon we over came that problem and edited as usual; spliting the clips and creating the sequence.

Today we finalised the editing however we had to over come the problem with the software we were using, as it crashed causing our clips to be placed in the trash. Eventually we solved the problem and got our clips back into place, finishing the sequence.

Finially we changed the colours on the film to make it black and white, in the style of film noir. Also the sound was completed and we are ready to present our triller to the class tomorrow.

-Charlotte Matthews

Monday, 9 February 2009

Preliminary Task - Storyboard

In this scene two Mobsters confront each other.

We had quite a few initial ideas for this task, we all agreed that we wanted a confrontational scene with the mob as our main focus. We came up with lots of ideas for settings such as park benches, a church confession box, stepping into a pulled up black car, but we decided that we would use an office building as our location.

We knew we wanted a confrontational scene, but we had to decide what the confrontation was about, topics that we considered were drugs, a drugs raid gone wrong, or drug smuggling; mob leaders, arguing about who will become the the leader in charge of the mob organisation; murder, members of the organisation committing very serious crimes such as murder. For our final idea we almost merged most of our ideas together. With the synopsis being shown in charlottes post.

I have attached images of the storyboard that i have produced, outlining camera shots, angles and movements; sound, dialogue, diagetic and non diagetic and ambient sounds; mise-en-scene showing objects around the locations, and the costumes of the characters. we followed the storyboard today whilst filming and will continue to do so tomorrow.
Using high angle shots to connote Bates' feelings, showing he is powerless, towering over him; Bates' confused and muddled mind is amplified through the mixture of shot types and constant cuts during the first clip showing he is in distress and worried.

Whereas Johnson is shown as a very powerful figure, not seeing his face until the end, using low angles shots, showing how in control he is, slamming the photos down on Baits' desk, threatening him.

However the break of the 360 degree rule in shot 9 shows Baits turning the situation around, threatening Johnson's authority as he pulls a gun out. This switches the two characters positions on the screen putting Baits on the left hand of the screen confusing the viewer. This breaking of the rule amplifies Baits being the protagonist of the scene, with protagonists typically approaching from the left.

Using a typical film Noir convention, with the antagonist breaking a lamp as he dies, amplifying his face, but i have turned this around in the storyboard, breaking the lamp to remove the light from Baits' face, creating a silhouette of his face, as though he doesn't know who he is, not being a killer.

During filming the location of the scene was very important, as we wanted our scene to be in the style of film Noir we were looking for venetian blinds, but we had to settle with vertical blinds, although this would give us the same effect. We found the perfect office, with the setup almost identical to what we had in mind, but the office was only approachable from then right, whereas in the storyboard Johnson approached from the left, but this created a good effect, as typically antagonists approach from the right.

Filming the over the shoulder shots did cause complications as the desk was fixed, and there wasn't a lot of space behind, but we got around this by holding the camera by hand, this created quite a shakey effect, not being fixed, which amplifies Baits' distress as Johnson walks in which created a look that we found effective.

But other than these minor setbacks the storyboard was followed very closely and filming was successful.

- Laurence Sturla

Preliminary Task - Progress Diary

Today we began our filming in the office setting that we had chosen beforehand and were given permission to film for two lessons, however this was not possible as the owner of the office needed it for our second lesson. This has caused our filming to fall behind schedule meaning that we will have to film next lesson and concentrate on some of the editing for the rest of this lesson. So far we have the first few shots of our storyboard filmed, ready to be edited. We have roughtly used about eight minutes of tape so far; which should edit down to a few seconds of our opening, before dialogue.

- Charlotte Matthews

Sunday, 8 February 2009

Preliminary Task - Script and Backstory

Backstory: Two members of a highly successful but treacherous drug trafficking organisation have been involved in a drugs trade that went hideously wrong. The first man we come to focus on in the clip (Bates) is sat working at his desk when a very distressed and angered second character enters the room (Johnson). He flings some photos of what appears to be murdered women onto Bates' desk and we learn that they were the hostages taken during the trade. Seemingly not according to plan, the hostages were brutally killed by Bates and other fellow members of the organisation and Johnson has come to demand why. This is because he is in charge of keeping the illegal organisation's activities as far away from the public eye and authorities as possible; but the murder of these hostages will undoubtedly have put the organisation directly underneath the public spotlight.

(Not much of this is given away in the short clip we plan to film as the 4 lines of dialogue we include are quite cryptic and not very revealing. However this is how we want it because we want to withold information to hook the audience's interest.)

In the final few seconds of the clip, Bates completely unexpectedly pulls a gun from underneath his desk and shoots Johnson. This is because unknown to Johnson (and the audience) the organisation's leader has ordered Johnson's murder because he is becoming a burden and threat to the organisation's progress.


Johnson - (Quietly but with authority) This wasn't supposed to happen...

Bates - (Calmly) I had no choice.

Johnson - (Angered and slamming fist on the table) There is always a choice! (Pause) You were supposed to stick to the plan.

Bates - (Menacingly) This was the plan ... (Brings out a gun and shoots Johnson dead.)

Over the next few days we will provide a storyboard of the way in which we intend to film our clip, and then hopefully we will have fully completed the filming and editing of our preliminary task by the end of this week.

- Kim Rayner

Preliminary Task - Planning

We have decided that we want to film our preliminary task in black and white (inspired by the Film Noir work we completed). However, our brief film clip is going to be set in modern day rather than the 1950s era of Film Noir, but we do still plan to try and recreate certain conventions of this 'style' of film.
As a group we have so far planned the script and basic plot structure that our prelim task is going to be based on. We brainstormed several ideas but the main idea that we all agreed on I will outline later on. We chose this idea because we felt it had a strong sense of mystery and suspense as well as an unexpected plot twist, which we felt captured the essence of a thriller very effectively in the short clip we have been asked to film.

- Kim Rayner