31/05/2012

New blog!

I made a new blog so that my work for A2 isn't on the same blog as my AS work, so I'll be posting on there from now on. It's pretty, but not as pink as this one because I got bored of being girly. It is glittery though.. Anyway, it's so imaginatively named 'Jess has ANOTHER media blog?' click the underlined/bolded text and it will take you to my new blog. Hopefully. If not, the link is http://jesshasanothermediablog.blogspot.co.uk/ ^-^

09/05/2012

Evaluation - How does your media product represent particular social groups?

Started this earlier, but the year 13's scared me so I ran away. I just realised that I've done all the evaluation questions backwards, but I guess that's okay.

07/05/2012

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

Part One: Conventions of Film Openings.


Inspiration for our film

I've done a prezi on this, but I was working on another evaluation question and suddenly remembered that Donnie Darko was also a huge inspiration for our film, especially the dream sequence and the use of 'Frank'. Who is a slightly terrifying imaginary man in a scary rabbit suit. Esther is Jess' Frank. It's really quite a hard film to explain and everyone interprets it different, but hopefully if you've seen it you'll know what I mean. It's a brilliant film, I'd definitely recommend it.. If not for the great storyline, definitely for Jake Gyllenhaal.
I fell asleep doing work last night. I'm almost done with the evaluation though, I only need to do questions 1 and 2 and then I'll go over any previous blog work that needs improving. It looks sunny, maybe I'll go sit in the garden and do it. I apologise if there are any misplaced lyrics in my work too.. I have a song stuck in my head and it will not leave me alone. Darn you, catchy punk pop songs. 

Evaluation - Looking back at your preliminary task, what do you feel you have learnt in the progression from it to the full product?


I realise this isn't the prettiest looking thing ever, but I got really confused about how to set this task out clearly. I tried to add some pictures and video clips, but they made everything freeze up, so I'll add links to the text tomorrow which you'll be able to click on to see the screen shots/video clips because I am falling asleep at my laptop right now. 



Preliminary Task
Final Draft

Technology
In our preliminary task, the only technology used was the Sony Bloggie and an iMac (including Final Cut Pro) to put together our preliminary task. The use of these technologies was also much simpler to how we used them in our final draft, for example the editing was very simplistic and the camera angles were fairly repetitive.
In contrast to our preliminary task, we used lots of different technology to create our final draft, such as: Sony Bloggie, iMac, Final Cut Pro, Garage Band, a keyboard, social networking sites, MS paint, and a microphone. The use of technology in our final draft was much more detailed than that of our preliminary task particularly with Final Cut Pro.

Mise-En-Scene
We didn’t really think too much about mise-en-scene in our prelim. We thought a little about props (we used a box of jaffa cakes and a laptop), but didn’t go into much detail. There was little thought put into costume either, it was purely coincidence that the costumes of Sarah and Hannah could be perceived in a way which represents their character. We didn’t think too much about setting either, we just used where was available at the time and most practical for us to get to, which happened to be Sarah’s house. Despite the little thought put into the majority of mise-en-scene, we did think about lighting, and made sure to get decent mid key lighting.
Again, contrasting to our prelim, we thought about the use of mise-en-scene in great detail for our film opening. Firstly, we used various props, such as fake blood, a pentagram, candles, a rocking horse, several note books, a bowl, some bones, a mobile phone and a bottle. The detail we put in to the props made the film more realistic. We also paid a lot more attention to the costume and makeup of the characters. For example we tried to represent the characters through the use of costume, although in some cases (with Esther) we purposely did the opposite of what the audience would expect of an evil character to make things more interesting for the viewer. We also used various locations to film rather than have it all one room, which again gave the piece a more realistic quality. As well as this, we concentrated more on the lighting, and tried to use various lighting. We used high key, low key and mid key lighting.

Cinematography
The cinematography in our prelim was very ‘experimental’ as we were just getting used to using the camera. The camera work wasn’t the best at that point, and we unknowingly broke the 180 degree rule too. We also repeated some shots, such as the shot reverse shot and the two shot.
We used more varied camera angles in this, such as extreme close ups, low angle shots, establishing shots and eye level shots. We have definitely learnt a  lot in this area, and I feel you can definitely tell that our camera work has improved since our preliminary task.

Editing
The use of editing was very simple in our preliminary task, as we were only just learning to use Final Cut Pro. The only editing we used was simple cuts to change between shots.
The options Final Cut Pro offers were much more actively used in our final draft than in our coursework, as our skills with Final Cut improved a lot as our coursework drafts progressed. For example we used several of the filters Final Cut has, such as bad film and bad TV to make some shots more appropriate to the psychological horror genre. We also used rapid cutting as well as normal cutting in this, and some other transitions, such as dissolve and fade to black. As well as this, we learnt how to overlay text onto the video, so we added some opening credits to our film.

Sound
We only used the sound picked up by the Bloggie, although it wasn’t very high quality, and needed Sarah and Hannah to speak unnaturally loudly to be heard.
As we found out from our preliminary task that the sound quality on the Bloggie was not too high, we decided to use mostly non-diegetic sound in our opening. We learnt how to record voice overs using a microphone and GarageBand, which featured several times in our coursework. We also learnt how to add music over the top of the film on Final Cut, so we used a piece of music recorded by us in the first scene, and a piece of music found on the creative commons in our final draft.

Time Management
We were quite good with time management throughout really. We planned when we would film our preliminary task as soon as we got given the Bloggies, so we couldn’t really improve much. We filmed the prelim even before we started editing as a class, so my group was ready to edit our prelim before some groups had even filmed their prelim.
We were again very good with time management and made sure we started filming as soon as possible so we would have a lot of time to edit and to re-film parts or make any changes. It was good that we were this organised, as our final draft needed an entire new scene, which we decided to add after receiving audience feedback. If we hadn’t been so prepared with filming and started as early as we did, we would have ended up rushing the editing, so I’m very glad we were organised.

Narrative
The narrative was clearly established in our prelim through the use of dialogue, although it was very simple and left very little to the imagination. Let’s just say if that’s how a film started, I would not want to watch the rest of it.
Our narrative was more interestingly established in our final draft, and left quite a lot to the imagination of the viewer, as it brought up some questions and left them unanswered as it was just the opening 3 minutes of the film.

06/05/2012

Evaluation - What have you learnt about technologies from the process of constructing this product?

I have learnt a lot about various technologies through the process of creating our film opening. We used various technologies to construct our product, meaning that it is a form of technological convergence, as we put lots of different technologies together to create a single product.


  • Sony Bloggie (We named ours Ralph) 




The Bloggie was the camera we used to film our film opening with. It's very simple to use, so it wasn't difficult getting used to using it to film with. The bloggie records in 1080p HD, which is a common quality today, so the quality of film recorded was of a high quality. Despite the good quality of film, the Bloggie doesn't have a very high sound quality, meaning that diegetic sound was a slight problem to include in our film opening unless the camera was very close to the person speaking. As a result of this, we used mostly non-diegetic sound (music, voice overs) in our coursework. The data recorded is all stored locally on the Bloggie, which can then be transferred via USB. This was very useful, as if the data was stored on a memory card, we may have had to convert the data into a compatible format to open on to the iMac, which we used for the editing.  

We also used the camera on Sarah's BlackBerry to take a photo which features in the final draft of our film. We could have used the Bloggie, but as we were playing teenage girls in that scene, who were taking a picture of themselves, we thought it would be more appropriate to use a mobile phone instead of a video camera. 

  • Apple iMac


As I'd never properly used a Mac (for an actual task instead of just scrolling down Tumblr when I should have been doing work in year 10/11) before, I've learnt a lot about using them whilst producing our film opening. They're very efficient for what we were using them for (editing our film), although when I tried to open Fireworks on the Mac to create our production company logos, the whole thing froze up. (I'm not sure why this is as I'm not a computer genius, but Harry suggested it was because the memory or RAM on the Macs isn't too good.)  I have learnt that you can't run too many programmes at once on a Mac, as that too will cause it to become unresponsive no matter how much you shout at it demanding it to work.

  • Final Cut Pro
Final Cut Pro (FCP) is the editing software we used to edit our coursework with. FCP has two main tracks, one for video and one for audio, which was useful when putting the non-diegetic voice over and music over the top of our film. I have used FCP in the past, but not in nearly as much depth as we did in our film opening, so I have learnt a lot during the process of constructing our product. For example I now know how to use various editing techniques, such as transitions, filters, and how to put text on the film. I have also learnt how to use the colour correction tool, which was very useful when editing, as a lot of the film we recorded, particularly in my living room was very orange toned. 

  • Garage Band (open on our Mac. Isn't the hat dashing?)
I have never used Garage Band before, and neither had anyone in my group, so we took a while to get used to it, but we managed to record our voice overs and music onto Garage Band, which were then imported into FCP. It was actually very simple to use as much like FCP, it has tracks which the recorded data goes along, and it is very easy to cut or change the order of the sound. We looked at a lot of the effects that Garage Band offers which we thought we could use to make my voice over sound more creepy, although we didn't use them in the end, as a lot of them were very comedic, which was not the effect we were going for. To use Garage Band we also used a microphone to record the sound onto the Mac. The microphone was very sensitive when picking up sound, so it had to be silent whilst we were recording. 

  • Keyboard 
We used a keyboard to record the music in the first scene. I can't play the keyboard, so I didn't use it, but me and Hannah did give Sarah some ideas. We all also researched together how we wanted our music to sound. 



  • MS Paint (because Fireworks wouldn't work on the Mac) 

We used MS Paint to create our production company logo. I already knew how to use Paint, but I did learn that even though it isn't a very 'professional' programme, it still works well. 






  • Social Networking Sites
These social networking sites have helped me and my group during the production of our coursework. For example, YouTube allowed us to upload various different drafts of our work, allowing the public to see our work so far. 

The other sites were used by me (and my group most likely) to gain feedback on these different drafts of our work to know how we could improve. 

Tumblr was the most useful for me, as it is the site I have the most 'followers' on, so I got lots of feedback from there. 



Evaluation - How did you attract/address your audience?

I'm pretty certain that this prezi was possessed. It kept moving on it's own.

Help!

Does anyone know how to embed a video onto a prezi that isn't from YouTube? I only wanted to use a clip of the video and not the whole thing to give an example, so I used an online cutter to cut the video, but if I try embedding it onto prezi it just comes up with 'error'? I can put a link to the video up if I have to, but it'd be better if I could have it on there. Gr.

05/05/2012

Evaluation - Who would be the audience for your media product?

Another prezi as part of my evaluation. I hope this one doesn't give you motion sickness.

04/05/2012

EVALUATION SPAM!

Expect all of evaluation tasks to be posted within the next three days. I completed all my coursework for other subjects this week, so the next three days are all dedicated to media! Although I will take a break to watch tonight's episode of Supernatural because I wouldn't miss an opportunity to look at Dean, Sam and Cas' faces for anything.

Evaluation - What kind of media institution might distribute your media product and why?

The IT technician came into our media class and put a prezi he made up on the board. It was fabulous so I tried to set it out how he did to make my prezis more interesting.

01/05/2012

Final Storyboard (video)

I've previously posted a video of us speaking about our storyboard, but as we changed the second scene of our opening after we received feedback from the public we needed to do redraft the storyboard before filming.




I realise the video flips the storyboard over so the drawings and text aren't very clear, so I'll post some pictures up too so you can see it more clearly.

I apologise for Luke and Livvy in the background.. I think Luke was pretending part of the microphone stand was a fishing rod. He was trying to catch Ben.

27/04/2012

Final Coursework Draft

Our final draft! I've posted the previous drafts before, but I'll put links to the videos below in case you missed them. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z04M1oMP9Lc&feature=plcp 1st draft http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vXeH1F8NYEY&feature=plcp 2nd draft http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2sIFRJpqQHI&feature=plcp 3rd draft http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LB6MfTMtWFM&feature=plcp 4th draft

20/04/2012

Final Draft Reactions

A prezi with our final draft reactions.

19/04/2012

It's our media thing at school today, we wrote a speech. I get the least to say because I'm awkward and I'd probably mess a big paragraph up.. I'M SCARED. 

13/04/2012

We are health and safety professionals.

Health and Safety, yay.




  1. The blood: The blood used was fake, so don't worry. We didn't murder anyone so we could use their blood. That would be gross. We didn't put anything dangerous in the blood either, me and my brilliant mother researched how to make realistic fake blood which is safe and doesn't stain. We used red food colouring, green washing up liquid and corn flour to make the blood. The carpet we used was an old one which was being thrown away anyway, so my mum got it down from the attic for us to use.
  2. The candles: We used candles in the ritual scene. The candles were either in sturdy candle holders, so they wouldn't fall over and set anything alight, or little tea lights which were in metal cases, so  the hot wax wouldn't drip everywhere. We also had several buckets of water at the ready just in case anything did set on fire, which it didn't. 
  3. The attic: We had a safe, sturdy ladder which comes down from the hatch to make sure we all got up there safely. We also closed the hatch whilst we were up there to make sure that we didn't accidentally fall down the hole. In our filming diary you can also see us picking up and putting away anything that might be 'dangerous', such as drawing pins. An adult was aware when we were up there.
  4. The ritual: So we aren't really sure if this counts as health and safety seeing as it most likely isn't real, but we didn't use an actual Satanic verse in our film, because you know, we don't want to be summoning any demons... Instead I read The Book Of Lucifer during an editing session and took parts from that and made them into a short verse for the voice over.
  5. Filming at Cedars Park: The well seen in the film is cemented in and covered up, so there's no danger of anyone falling in. The 'danger' sign we used was filmed at a distance and zoomed in, so we weren't actually near the wall that was considered 'dangerous'. The forest we filmed in was part of cedars park, and had clear pathways, so nobody got lost when filming. We also filmed in daylight and we all stayed together at all times, so there was no danger of anyone getting abducted or anything. Our parents also knew where we were when we were filming there/at the cross. 

05/04/2012

WE ARE ALL HERE. POSTING. ON THIS BLOG. WEEY.
So today we are in the mac room. With Macintosh the sassy gay Mac. We've been here since 9 and it's now half 1 and we are COLD and HUNGRY and TIRED and LIVING OFF SUGAR but the coursework is done. Finally. We re-recorded the voiceovers (Jess's scream "I got to scream, it was great" - Satanic ritual, the fun that brought about. WE ARE GLAMOROUS SATANISTS XOXOXOX) and put more distortion on the dream and Hannah mugged off Sir at every opportunity. So yes, we are done. And we are now looking at 6 foot dinosaurs. I want one very badly. And everybody died from a pandemic. Oh, and we added some transitions to the dream, such as dither dissolve and fade in/fade out transition.


We also re-did the storyboard. IT TOOK 5EVER. NO ME GUSTA. But it is now done. It's all neat now and my art is FABULOUS, Hannah does not understand good art. But she does sing good, angelic almost. I want her to sing lullabies to me every night and send me into a peaceful slumber.


TL;DR: Our coursework is done and we did lots of courseworky-things. *Insert media terminology here* *Insert slow-mo high five here* *Insert clever things that make us sound like fabulous media students here*


(Side note: Sir did something nice for us and Hannah bitched about it)

30/03/2012

Vladimir Propp's 31 Functions

Vladimir Propp, a scholar and literary critic, analysed fairy tales and broke them up into 31 different functions. As our coursework is only the opening 2-3 minutes of a film, it does not include every convention, although we discussed as a group which of Propp's conventions our film would include if we were to make the whole thing. 
  • Interdiction: It is shown in the dream scene that Jess warns Sarah not to ask or wonder what is going on. "I can't tell you." 
  • Violation of interdiction: The first scene (Sarah's death) clearly shows that she had ignored Jess' warning, therefore getting killed. 
  • Trickery: Hannah manipulates Jess throughout the film, convincing her that she needs to kill people. This is made apparent in the second scene (Jess and Hannah talking), when Hannah says "Do you want to get caught?".
  • Complicity: Jess goes along with Hannah's plans. 
  • Beginning to counter-action: This is not shown in our coursework, although we discussed that there would be a hero later on in the film who stops Jess/Hannah killing people. Though this function isn't fully shown in our opening, the fact that Sarah found out and tried to stop Jess could foreshadow this counter-action.
  • Receipt of a magical agent: In our opening Jess has already received a book from Hannah, which is magical. Well, it just contains a Satanic ritual which allows her to kill people.  
  • Struggle: This would appear later on in the film. (I think) We decided that Jess would act as the 'hero' in the end, as she would kill herself, getting rid of Hannah and ending the killings. This struggle could be foreshadowed by a part we have in the dream scene, where Jess is seen running through the forest (her mind), trying to escape, and Hannah saying 'don't leave Jess'.
  • Victory: Jess getting arrested at the end, leaving her alone in a cell with Hannah, realising that Hannah isn't 'real', and is just in her head. Jess eventually kills herself whilst in prison, which ends the murders. 
  • Unfounded claims: The police take the credit for ending the murders, as they arrested Jess, although it was Jess who 'got rid' of Hannah.
We also looked at Vladimir Propp's 8 character types which he found in the stories he analysed. 
  • The Villain: Hannah. 
  • The Victim: The people who get killed/Jess. 
  • The Hero: We weren't really sure, but Jess would be the closest thing to a 'hero' as she was the one who destroyed the villain and stopped the killings. 
  • The False Hero: The police. 
On a highly irrelevant side note:
"VLADIMIR, I MADE YOU A ROLL." 
"FOOOOOOOOOD." 
I need to post this video... I can quote the whole thing word for word, I'm not even joking. This was the highlight of year 9..

Oh, the video has been removed. Just going to cry now, yep okay bye.

25/03/2012

WHY IS 'COPYRIGHT' A THING?

I'm still sitting in bed listening to music, and Fainting Spells by Crystal Castles came on and I was like THIS WOULD BE GREAT FOR OUR DREAM SCENE. Maybe we can find something similar to use or try make something like that on Garage Band.. Never used that before in my life though. COULD BE A DISASTER.

24/03/2012

First Draft Reactions


Can I just say that finding 10 people to answer 5 simple questions for you is a huge pain. NOBODY WANTED TO BE HELPFUL.

23/03/2012

Social Networking

I have used various different social networking sites to get people's opinions on our work, such as Tumblr, Twitter, Facebook, DailyBooth and YouTube. They were all useful to me other than YouTube, but that's probably because I never post videos on my personal channel and I have about 6 subscribers.


Tumblr was definitely the most successful, as the majority of my answers so far were from my followers on there. I think it may have been the most successful as people have the option to be anonymous, which is what the majority of my answers were. I don't really understand why they all chose not to show me who they were, as nobody left any really harsh comments, but there you go.


Twitter wasn't very successful, probably due to the 140 character limit on messages. Also because the majority of my followers on there are people I know in real life, who probably just follow me to laugh at how unfortunate I am and most likely don't like me very much.


Facebook wasn't very successful either, possibly because my friends on there are people I know in real life, and again, none of them like me very much. I don't use Facebook very much anymore anyway, as 95% of the people I have as friends on there are either illiterate and annoying, sharing photos of themselves 24 hours a day in desperation for a few 'likes', or family members who will question my motives whenever I post something. Seriously, I'd post a link to our first draft of our opening and get bombarded with inbox messages from my 'adult' cousins like 'WHAT IS THIS JESS?? IS THIS REAL LIFE?? IS THAT REAL BLOOD?? ARE YOU A SATANIST?? AREN'T YOU SO GROWN UP NOW! HOW IS EVERYONE?? DO YOU HAVE A BOYFRIEND/GIRLFRIEND YET?????? YOU'RE SO SKINNY! DON'T WORRY, YOU'LL FILL OUT ONE DAY!!!!!111!!11!!' Just no. My dad's side of my family are so annoying. And they all tell me I'll get fat one day and I know for a fact that I will not. If you're reading this nan, please stop buying me everything 4 sizes bigger than what I am, it will NEVER EVER fit me. I've gone off task here, haven't I? Oops.


DailyBooth was fairly useful, as I have an answer from there.


I'm off to try and get more answers now, bye!

Editing 06/Second Draft Filming

We finished our first draft on Tuesday/Thursday! We recorded the music which was to be played over the first scene in our film and we also tried to colour correct the parts with Sarah in to make it look a bit less yellow toned. We weren't entirely sure how to colour correct, but we gave it a shot anyway; Hopefully we will have learned by the time it comes to editing together our second draft... Is it really sad if I watch some YouTube videos on how to do it? Maybe I'll be able to learn some other helpful things too, as we're planning on doing some editing which may/may not be really challenging for us seeing as we are not ~MAC PROS~.


This is the clip, if you could leave a comment telling us what you think of it either on here or on the comment section of the video it would be GREATLY appreciated.





We've already thought of some improvements that need to be made in our second draft, such as: Having the opening credits appear on screen in time with the music, to use colour correct more effectively, to build on my character more and to inform the viewer of the narrative.


We also want to change a few shots, such as the pentagram shot, as looking back on it, we think that the camera angle could have been slightly more interesting. As well as this, we'd like to make the production company and studio company logos more interesting and appropriate for the film, and we're also thinking about thinking of a more appropriate name for the film. We decided on 'Esther' at first, as that is what Hannah's character is called (because Esther means 'secret' or 'hidden', which is appropriate because she is a figment of my character's imagination) and she is the 'cause' of the film. We did like the name at first, but when the class watched it, a lot of people asked us 'what an Esther was', so we thought that we should probably change it to something they would understand.


Today Hannah and Sarah came to mine to film part of our second draft. It went well, and we think we have established the narrative and my character more effectively this time around. We're filming again on Sunday so I'll do a blog post on that when I'm get home.


I LEARNT A VALUABLE LESSON TODAY: DON'T EVER PUT CRUSHED UP RED LIPSTICK ON YOUR HANDS TO SYMBOLISE 'BLOOD ON YOUR HANDS' WHEN YOU RUN OUT OF RED FOOD COLOURING TO MAKE FAKE BLOOD, BECAUSE IT DOESN'T COME OFF AND YOU HAVE TO POUR GENEROUS AMOUNTS OF WHITE SPIRIT (at least 10 miles away from any open flames, of course..) ALL OVER YOUR HANDS TO GET IT OFF.

21/03/2012

WHY IS 'SECTION B' A THING?

I am supposed to be writing an essay right now, or at least be doing something productive, but SECTION B IS THE DEVIL IN ESSAY FORM AND I'VE ONLY WRITTEN 4 LINES IN 2 HOURS. I'm a bit clueless, I hope I'm better at it in the actual exam. 


08/03/2012

WhySoSerious? Marketing Campaign.

The 'WhySoSerious?' campaign in 2007/2008 was an online based game for The Dark Knight film, in which thousands of players took part. The players were contacted via e-mail or phone calls, making the game more realistic as it did not need you to be sat staring at a computer screen to take part in it. 

Once a player signed up to the game, they would receive a voice message through a phone call from The Joker, again, making the game seem very realistic. The players were also made to choose to support either Harvey Dent or The Joker to take part in the various activities that would allow them to see new things for the film, such as trailers. The website had various links for players to click on to discover new things too, such as a 'personality test'. 

The main part of the campaign was when the players were contacted by Harvey Dent or The Joker and were asked to take to the streets and protest against the other group of people. Part of this 'protest' involved the players dressing up as either character, which created a lot of impact, as both characters are very bold looking and iconic, which is even more effective when there are hundreds of other people all dressed the same. 

*I'll probably put this into a prezi over the weekend to make it a bit more interesting for the examiners. I KNOW THEY LIKE THEIR INTERACTIVE BLOGS. I'll also put the videos on there too.

07/03/2012

Editing 05

First draft is almost finished! We just have to add a clip of my street as an establishing shot at the beginning, then record the music to put over the top.


Today we re-designed our studio name logo thing (I'm sure there's probably a technical term for that?) because we thought the original one was too bright in comparison to the rest of the film, which is mostly dark. Whilst doing this, we tried, and failed, to use chroma key (I think..) as we wanted our studio name to have a transparent background. We were going to do this to change the background colour to green, and then use chroma key to take away the green, and hopefully making the background transparent. This didn't really work though, and I'm not exactly a technical genius, so I'm not sure why it didn't work. BUT, we overcame this problem by lowering the saturation and upping the contrast to make the background darker so it fitted in with the rest of the film.


*Edit. OH YES, I remember now! We edited our filming diaries in our free periods, so we can prove that we have actually been doing some filming. They should be up on our YouTube channel soon, when they're up I'll post them on here too so it's easier for you to see what we've done.

22/02/2012

FILMING DIARY



This is our first filming diary EVER, for the Ritual scene which was filmed in my attic. I like how quiet I am compared to Sarah and Hannah. Apart from in the last part where I decide I'm untameable and I blow out ALL the candles. I don't actually scream like that, by the way, I'm a lovely person really. I think. Also, don't mind the fact I was in my dressing gown at the start, due to the costume I had to wear (shorts and t-shirt to fit underneath my cloak), I was very cold and my dressing gown was all fluffy and warm.


ENJOY!

STORYBOARD





OUR STORYBOARD EXPLAINED! Unfortunately I am not the best speaker in the world, but hopefully you'll understand it. And we realise you can't read the writing on the bottom of the pictures, we did try to flip the camera on the mac, but we couldn't figure out how.

21/02/2012

MUSIC FIRST DRAFT



This is the first draft for the music we'll have in our film. ISN'T IT BEAUTIFUL? As explained by Sarah on our YouTube channel, it's a bit disjointed, but it's just a first draft. We plan on putting some strings in underneath to help create the tense atmosphere we're going for in our film.


If you could let us know what you think, with a comment it'd be FABULOUS. Also, you should tell Sarah that she is a musical genius as she was the one who recorded this.

We recorded this music with a keyboard we plugged in to the Mac so we could record it straight on to Garage Band. Garage Band turned out to be really useful when we did this, as it allowed us to record the music in segments and edit them together on the mac. The only bad thing about this was that when we put all the segments togehter, they sounded a little disjointed. We will work on fixing this for our second draft.

Editing 04

We edited today! It was spent mostly going through the hundreds of clips we filmed during the half term and deciding which ones were good enough to use. We also learnt how to crop the film (with the help of Harry and Sir), which was great. We needed to crop the film slightly as a photo on the wall was visible in one scene, and it was taken down in another. It's lucky we noticed it really, we don't want any continuity errors! That would be a VERY BAD THING.

We also had 2 hours during our free periods which we spent filming a video of us explaining our storyboard, which I should have up here within the next few days. Excuse my hair though, it did not want to co-operate with me today.  We then went into the hall to use the piano, and Sarah, being the musical genius she is started making a piece of music we'll use as non-diegetic sound in our film. I did try to help, but unfortunately, I am not musical genius, so I couldn't really explain what I thought it should sound like very well. Sarah did a great job though! It isn't finished yet and it's split in to little segments, but we have a rough idea of what we want. I'll post a YouTube video of it now. 

19/02/2012

We filmed again today, this time at Sarah's house. Just a short scene between me and Hannah. We're concentrating on editing our coursework and doing the soundtrack/production company signs and logos at the moment as it's important we complete our first draft as soon as possible so we have time to sort out anything that may need re-doing, but we have been making filming diaries which we will upload to our YouTube channel as soon as we can.

17/02/2012

YOUTUBE

This is our YouTube channel. I've posted videos from there on here before, but here's the link in case you missed them. http://www.youtube.com/user/CatsInSpace2011/videos We also have some filming diaries to go up there, but at the moment we're concentrating on editing our coursework, so we'll have them up at a later date.

16/02/2012

We filmed today, well technically it was yesterday, but I haven't been to bed yet therefore it is still Wednesday..

Anyway, Sarah and Hannah came over to film an extra scene in my attic in which Sarah's character (my best friend, who I later indirectly murder) stumbles upon all my Satanic things, realising that my character is either insane or evil. Or perhaps both...

I don't want to give any more away on the scene, because it won't be as exciting when you watch it, but I should add that everything was safe and that nobody got a bottle thrown at them.

13/02/2012

Film Research - Hard Candy

Can I just say before I start that Hard Candy is a great film and if you haven't seen it you should run down to the nearest shop and BUY IT. Obviously don't go running into a Favourite Chicken to look for it if that's the closest shop to you... You know what I meant. Also Ellen Page is a fabulous actress and I love her. Okay I'm done now. In the opening, two characters, a young female, and slightly older male, are shown having a conversation online. They then meet up in a local cafe style shop called 'Nighthawks'. It is made clear that the characters have never met before, and have only spoken online. The first minute and a half of the film is a close up of a computer screen, showing two people having a conversation over the internet. The camera pans down the screen, and then to the left. It is made clear from this shot that one is a man, from the user name 'Lensman319' and that the other person is female, with the user name 'thonggrrrl14'. The user names could also hint the character's ages. For example the man could be 31 years old, whilst the girl is 14, although the 'mature' conversation could contrast this. The sound in the first scene positions the viewer, telling them that they are seeing through the eyes of the girl, as they can hear her typing. The next shot is a close up of somebody cutting a slice of cake with a fork. This tells the viewer that one of the characters, presumably the girl, as the previous scene was from her point of view, was at 'Nighthawks', the place where the characters decided to meet up. The shot then changes to a medium close up from the side, showing the girl eating the cake. As this shot is from the side, it could give the viewer the impression that she is being 'watched', probably by the man she is waiting to meet. The camera pans slightly to the right in this shot, giving the impression that whoever is 'watching' her is trying to see her from the front. We can also tell from this shot that she is in her teens, most likely 14 or 15 years old. The next shot is a medium close up of a man, probably in his late 20's, early 30's. It's also slightly low angled, making him appear taller, which could represent his importance or his dominance. It then cuts to another medium close up of the girl, but this time from the back. It gives the viewer the impression that the man is standing behind her. As she turns around in response to him speaking, the camera zooms in on her, showing her reaction. It is then made clear that they were the people who were talking in the first scene, as they are heard addressing each other by their names. He is heard talking, but not seen in the next 3 shots, as they are all close ups/medium close ups of the girl. They are all shot from a slightly high angle, giving the impression that although the man isn't in the shot, he is very much in control. From the opening, it is clear that the main focus is the girl, Hayley, as she has the most screen time. In the opening, the use of editing is mostly very subtle, with just quick simple cuts to the next shot, which made the film look realistic. Differently to this, the transition from the computer scene to the scene in 'Nighthawks' was broken up by the use of the 'fade to black' transition. The use of this transition was very good and effective, as it separated the scenes without distracting from the action. It gave the effect of time passing and didn't look tacky or unprofessional, which can sometimes happen when transitions are too overused. The use of mise-en-scene in the opening informed the viewer very well of what the 'situation' was in the film. For example, when the characters were speaking online to each other, the use of their user names already gave us some insight to the characters, without actually seeing either of them. The 'speech' also gave the viewer an idea of the situation, as it informed them that the two characters are strangers, but have obviously spoken a lot online before. The 'flirtyness' of the conversation is quite uncomfortable to watch, as we assume from the user names that there is a large age gap between the two. Also the way that the conversation is online is unnerving to watch, as if feels very secret and private, like we are seeing something we shouldn't. This works very well to engage the viewer, as it makes them want to see what happens in the rest of the film. The use of the cake is very symbolic, as cake is seen as something 'tempting' or 'desirable' by the majority of people, although it is bad for them. This could be parallel to the relationship between the characters, as the man may know that it is wrong to approach a 14 year old girl in such a way, but can't help himself. The costume of the characters also works very well when giving us background information on the characters. Hayley is dressed casually, in a red hoodie, which makes her seem more childish, in contrast to Jeff, who is in a suit and glasses, which makes him seem a lot more professional and mature. The contrast in style also gives us the impression that Jeff could easily take advantage of Hayley, as his costume makes him appear very intelligent. Despite this, the colour of Hayley's hoodie, red, is commonly associated with anger, or danger. This could subtly show that she is not the sweet and innocent young girl she appears to be. The titles, credits, and studio names lasted just over 2 minutes. (I skipped this when I was analysing the opening so I could have more than 50 seconds of actual film to write about) The colour scheme used was very simple, black, white and red. The font was easily readable, although it had a 'smudge' effect as it left the screen. The main two cast members were on the screen for around 3 seconds each, and were in the middle of the shot, showing the viewer that they will be the main characters. Other than the production company and studio company logos, they were the first things on the screen. The rest of the opening credits is the names and jobs of the main crew. It's a little hard to explain the style of the opening credits, so here's a few pictures.


I think the opening of this film was very effective, as it hooked the viewer from the start, despite how uncomfortable the scene was. It introduced us quickly to the main characters, and gave us some background information on them without actually telling us. 

The opening isn't really like what we have planned, as we want ours to be very fast paced and this one was quite slow, so ours will be quite different to most films of it's genre, which I for one would like if I was seeing the film. Although the openings our very different, we aim to show a clear 'villain' and 'victim' in the first scene of our opening, although it will have a twist which is hinted at in the opening, but would be revealed later on in the film.

Film Research - Dark Water (American Version)

In the opening of Dark Water, there is a flashback to the past, in which Dahlia (a little girl) is seen being the last one left at school because her mum was late picking her up again. It then cuts back to present day, showing Dahlia as an adult staring out of a window.

Camera angles that have been used in the opening two/three minutes of the film are mostly wide or eye level shots. A lot of the shots appear to be filmed from a low/medium height, essentially a point of view shot, giving the impression that the focus of the shot is being seen through a child's eyes, suggesting that there is an important child in the film, or the main character is a child. The use of wide shots at this eye level also help develop the narrative, as the wide shots used show a lot empty space, which could show that the child in the film is very alone. The wide shots used in the opening also give a sense of mystery, as the viewer would want to know why such a small child is all alone in a large area. Eye level shots have also been used frequently in the opening, all focusing on the child, leaving the one adult in the shot only partially seen, which again connotes that the main focus of the film is a child. There is little camera movement in the opening, as the majority of the time when the shot changes it is from the use of placing jump cuts in the editing process. However, there are a few panning shots used, just to show more of the location. As the camera angles suggest, the main focus of the opening is a little girl. 

Editing hasn't been used very widely in the opening of the film, as every time the shot changes the transition used was a normal cut. Despite the fact only one transition has been used in the opening, it still works very well in terms of engaging the viewer, as it does not distract the viewer from the character or storyline in any way, which more adventurous editing techniques might do. It also adds a more realistic effect to the film, which in a way could be perceived by the viewer as scarier, as it gives the impression that it is real life and not a film. A small piece of text was also edited onto the film saying 'SEATTLE 1974', informing the viewer of the time period and location the film could be set in. Another piece of text comes up on screen about a minute later saying 'NEW YORK CITY, 2005', showing that the clip before it was set in the past, and it is now back to present day. This hooks the reader, as they would want to know what the significance of showing footage from the past is and hope to find out later on in the film.

Mise-en-scene is used effectively in the opening two minutes, setting the mood of the film and introducing one of the main features. For example, the way both locations shown in the opening were filmed in the pouring rain could suggest that water is a main focus of the film, although it's something that could be overlooked by the majority of viewers. The lighting used is moderate, although the darkness of the setting, sky and props used makes it seem quite dark, which could suggest the film its self could be 'dark'. The costume used for the characters also follows the trend of darkness, as they are predominately dressed in dark colours such as brown and grey, but never black, which shows that although they are dressed darkly, they are not evil, as black is usually associated with evil. When the film changes back to present day, a woman is shown looking out of a window. Her makeup is very minimum and understated, although there has been some attempt to draw emphasis to her eyes. I'm not sure whether this was intentional or if I'm just picking up on it because I'm some sort of makeup fiend, but the use of a very small amount of white eye shadow around her eyes gives quite a wide eyed look, which could represent innocence, informing the viewer that she is not a 'bad' character. Her eyebrows are also filled in very darkly, yet not harshly, which contrast her pale complexion. Teamed with the very faintly tinted red lips, this gives a slight 'Snow White' look to the character, also giving off the idea of innocence. 

The sound used in the opening is varied between diegetic and non-diegetic sound. There is the sound of a bell ringing in the distance, followed by the faint sound of children running and shouting which suggests that it is the end of a school day. The sound of rain is heard constantly throughout both scenes of the opening, and is much louder than any of the other sounds, which could suggest the importance of rain or water in the film. There is also music being played when the little girl Dahlia is shown standing/sitting on her own. It's very slow, with some high pitched notes, and the occasional very low pitched one. The high pitched notes seem very innocent, whilst the lower ones sound quite dark and mysterious. This contrast in pitch could represent the little girl, suggesting that whilst she looks very cute and innocent, there is something strange or unusual about her, or in her life. The lower pitched notes also linger for a long time, suggesting that there is no escape from this unusual thing. 

The title of the film or opening credits do not come up in the first two minutes, but the before the film starts the production company logo is shown. 'Touchstone Pictures' fades out of a black background, along with the logo, which looks like a shadowy sphere with some weird shiny light coming from it (not very technical, I know, but I really couldn't think of a better way to describe it). It stays on screen for around 8 seconds before cutting to black. It takes up the majority of screen space. It's centred. The font or colours used don't particularly stand out against the black background, although it does work well, as it gives quite a mysterious, eerie effect, much like the opening of the film. 

I think it is an effective opening; although nothing really happens, it does introduce us to some of the main themes of the film, and a main character. It also sets the scene for the film effectively, we know it's set in America in 2005, and we can assume that it will be quite an eerie film.

This opening isn't very similar to what we've planned for ours, as this one starts of very slowly and not much happens in the first two minutes. We want ours to be more fast paced and to start straight away with a death, which will (hopefully) hook the viewer and make them want to see more. Similarly to this one, we will introduce one (or two) of the main characters, and also introduce the main theme of our film. 

09/02/2012

MARXIST THEORIST - Mikhail Bakhtin and his theory of 'the carnivalesque'.

The term carnivalesque was created by Marxist theorist Mikhail Bakhin, which is used to refer to a literary mode that liberates and subverts assumptions made by the dominant style or atmosphere through humor or chaos. This means that people would do something the opposite of what an audience would expect for the sake of humor or chaos. This is the opposite to Barthes' theory of Mythologies, in which somebody would do what an audience would expect.

08/02/2012

Editing 03

Our coursework is coming along well now, we have around the first 40 seconds of film completed. The first draft should be done very soon! There are a few things that need work on this draft, such as sound. We need some kind of non-diegetic sound to go over the top of the film. We have decided to start working on this after we have filmed the next scene in the half term. We think we may record our own, as we want it to be very minimalistic as loud, complicated music might distract the audience from the narrative. Sarah can play the piano/keyboard, so we will most likely use a keyboard and record the sound onto Garage Band to edit it on there. We also recorded my voice over using garage band. It was hard to do at first, as the microphone we used was very sensitive, so we had to record it a few times as it picked up minor sounds, like somebody moving their chair in the room. As I have the voice of a 10 year old boy, I didn't sound particularly intimidating or creepy in the voice over, which was the tone we were aiming for. To try and make me sound scarier, we looked through some of the filters or sound effects on Garage Band, although we ended up using none of them as they didn't give the effect we wanted. We will leave the voice over for the first draft, to see what people think of it, and then if it recieves negative feedback I'll have to practice sounding scary for when we re-record it.

After filming the second half of our coursework piece, which we planned on adding on to the end of our first part as it wasn't long enough, we realised that we'd given away one of the main 'twists' to the film in the opening two minutes. Which is never good. So we couldn't use any of the clips we filmed last week, so we decided to record my voice over and start thinking about a soundtrack for the first half of the piece.

We're working on a new idea for the second half, so we'll be filming sometimg during the half term as school doesn't provide many locations suitable for filming.

07/02/2012

I READ THE BOOK OF LUCIFER

I'm in the mac room editing RIGHT NOW.  Sarah and Hannah are making me sound like a 10 year old fat boy, so I decided to ~further my research~ by reading The Book Of Lucifer. I decided to read this online whilst they were looking at effects for my voice over as our coursework piece involves me performing a Satanic ritual, so I thought it might be helpful for me to know more about what we were doing. I read The Book Of Lucifer by Ben Shakur online on http://netaimstuff.tripod.com/sitebuildercontent/sitebuilderfiles/lucifer.pdf . I can't say I've developed any skills I'm going to use, because I'm definitely not going to be re-writing the book in my own blood to get into a 'secret society' who still worship the book today. That probably wouldn't look good on my CV. 'I WORSHIP SATAN. I CAN WRITE IN MY OWN BLOOD AND PERFORM EVIL RITUALS. YOUR WIFE IS HAVING AN AFFAIR YOU SAY? WELL NO PROBLEM. I'LL CURSE HER AND HER NEW MAN.' Yeah, I didn't think so.

02/02/2012

THE RUNAWAYS - CASE STUDY



It's not finished yet but here.

28/01/2012

CHATROOM - CASE STUDY



This is the updated version of my Chatroom case study prezi. I still need to add more onto it about marketing, but I'm tired and I still feel the size of a small planet from all that pizza I ate. We're filming tomorrow, so I probably won't get a chance to finish it then, but it'll be posted sometime before the 1st of February along with the start of my case study on The Runaways.

Chatroom - Category B

Chatroom almost has an entirely British cast, although Kenji Kawai, the composer, and Hideo Nakata, the director, are both Japanese, making Chatroom a category B British film. I think that the use of having a director of a very different culture works really well in British films, as directors often influence certain aspects of the film slightly, including set design and costume/make-up, which in my opinion makes the film more visually interesting in certain cases.

27/01/2012

The two films I'm doing for my case study are Chatroom and The Runaways. To make it easier for me to look at for the exam, I'm going to add information to the existing prezi on each film, so all the information is in one presentation. I'll repost them whenever I add something new though to show that I am actually doing the research.

25/01/2012

Ruby Film Productions


Ruby Film Productions produced Chatroom, the British film I've chosen for my case study.