Monday, 28 March 2011

Peer Assesment

Level 1
Level 2
Level 3
Level 4
Holding a shot steady, where appropriate

Framing a shot, including and excluding elements as appropriate

Using a variety of short distances as appropriate

Shooting material appropriate to task set

Selecting mis-en-scene including colour, figure, lighting, objects and setting

Editing so that meaning is apparent to the viewer

Using varied shot transitions and other effects selective and appropriately for the task set

Using sound with images and editing appropriately


Using titles appropriately


After watching our class members final pieces we gave feedback, I too received feedback. What others thought I did well was the music; the weird airy sounds corresponded to the story. My peers also liked the cross cut between the cupboard and strangling. There was also good continuity in the shot; some thought the piece flowed well which sustained the belief of the piece. Alternatively, there were many areas that needed improvements. Certain sounds in the music didn’t correspond to the visual piece, for example I used sounds of thunder as I thought it created intense drama and filled the silence. However, this didn’t work well because there was no rain or thunder in the shots. In addition there was a strong contrast of two sounds which was too jarring than effective.

Sunday, 6 March 2011

Filming and Editing

After planning for weeks, filming took place on 20th February. The actual filming itself went surprisingly well, I expected there to be trouble with technology however we found the cameras easy to use, it helped that we used the cameras in our preliminary task so we were experienced with them. Nevertheless, we did encounter problems concerning actors, composition and mis-en-scene. To some extent we did deviate from the original storyboard, during the filming process we found there wasn’t enough detail from the shots which caused us to improvise from scene-to-scene. I think we should have written all the dialogue on the sheets and drawn what was happening in the background of the shot, specifically for mis-en-scene purposes. On the other hand, in terms of shot types and context of the shots we crucially referred to the storyboard. This was important to gain a variety of shot types and help convey the plot line. Therefore although we extended some content in the shots, we did not deviate much from the storyboard. However, during editing I realised we didn’t focus on the timings written on the storyboard so this will be an area I will have to focus on to ensure the title sequence doesn’t exceed 2 minutes.

We encountered numerous problems throughout the day. For example a member of the groups was late (even though we troubleshot for this) and this member was responsible for props, make up and bringing an actor needed for the beginning and end of the sequence. We faced this problem by scheduling the filming for an hour later. Furthering this, they were another hour late so we filmed the scenes where their presence was not essential, which altered our shooting schedule. In addition, it affected the input we could have used when filming because it was one less opinion that could have been used to improve the shots. Another problem we faced was composition. We had to constantly re-film shots because they did not correspond to the storyboard and the top of the actors head were being cut off. Previously, this was a big problem in my preliminary task so I found it important to focus on that area as I didn’t want to repeat the same mistakes.

Based on the filming content, the shots are a major improvement from the ones of the preliminary task. It helped that we received audience feedback on the first task because I focused strongly on that aspect. I think the best shot we have is the tracking, point of view shot of the father walking to the house. It suggested the character was an alcoholic as it was day time, we could see a can of beer in his hand whilst stumbling towards his home, whilst establishing setting also because we can see a home environment. The whole title sequence institutes a back story as it is what the main character experiences as a child and explains why he has become mentally unstable. Although I haven’t planned what non-diagetic music I will use, I know is will be solemn and sombre to portray a tense, serious atmosphere and that the film’s genre is a thriller.

The editing software “Final Cut Pro” was easy to use and I didn’t have any serious problems using it, what I did struggle with however was working to a deadline. As it was extremely close to the deadline I had to use simple fonts, I could have experimented with different style font and placement of them. I tried to make the piece flow as much as I could to avoid jump cuts as this was an issue concerning my preliminary task. Another obstacle was the timing of music, as “Garage Band” worked using beats of ¼ and “Final Cut Pro” used seconds, it took a while to get both in sync

Sunday, 13 February 2011

Risk Assessment

  1. The strangling of the mother needs to be careful so I don’t get hurt, and we have to make sure there is no water around the wire.
  2. Similarly, in the fights scene the father actor has to be to careful when attacking the mother actor.
  3.  The child in the cupboard is an area that we have to watch so no harm is caused.

Music Composition

The music is important factor of the production because it will help to convey the genre and theme. It has to be appropriate, if any lyrics are used they have to resemble the plot or the characters, if they don’t it will mislead the audience and will not attract them to watch the rest of the film. The main uses for music in a title sequence is to create mood and atmosphere, for example the music in “Jaws” every time the shark appears, the music is now iconic and every time it was used in the film, tension grew as the audience were aware the shark would attack. Music is used for signals about time and place, in “The Talented Mr Ripley” we know the film is set in the 60’s because jazz music is used and that was of a time when it was very popular and fashionable- especially as the jazz music was American, we know the setting is in America.  Whereas in “300” we hear Arab sounding flutes which brings up images of the Middle East. The final use of music is to introduce the character. “James Bond” is known for being sexy and exciting because the music that is associated with him is suave and smooth. The music of the characters creates atmosphere, for example “Indiana Jones” has adventurous sounding music whereas the “Rocky” theme song is inspirational.

Examples from Previous Student.

Watching previous productions in order to prepare for filming ensured that we do not make the same mistakes that they did and it helped to give ideas we could use for our pieces.

PIECE ONE- This production used close up shots well (similar to the title sequence of the TV drama “Dexter”) so the audience are forced to watch the main female character and focus on her specific actions which gives information about the plot. I liked the way in which the title of the film appeared, it was very blunt and simply flashed on the screen “Dead Revenge,” and this could mimic her blunt personality. There was good mis-en-scene used, through the close up shots we could tell she was a woman and she was applying lipstick and by what she wore, establishing character well. However, the text was not constant because the font changed halfway through the sequence and so didn’t establish genre properly.

PIECE TWO- Genre was well established as music was used which emotive, it was a slow paced song with violins and when shown with the visual piece we knew the film will be an emotional thriller. Although it was effective, it could have been more mysterious because it was too slow which made it seem like a drama. Camera was used well, especially the point of view shot when the character was opening the door portraying a disturbed mind frame. We will use this camera shot in our title sequence to portray the father’s drunken state. Nevertheless the camera shots could have varied in the park as only long shots were used. They could have used a close up, medium, high angle, low angle, or wide shots. In editing, there was good cross-cutting between the voodoo doll and the character denoting there was a relationship between the two. However the overall title sequence was too much like a trailer as it showed the best bits of the film, instead of wetting the audience’s appetite, it exposed the storyline in 2 minutes.  Another improvement was the tacky transitions which were overused and false. It made the sequence jarring and didn’t convey the horror genre well and is didn’t suspend the audiences disbelief.

Revisiting the Preliminary Task.

Now that it has been a couple weeks since we filmed our preliminary task, I can now revisit it and see what specifically went well and what needs to be improved so I don’t make the same mistakes for my final productions. I think the mis-en-scene was particularly effective as it was an area we focused on strongly. Our location conveyed the plot successfully because it had naturally occurring mis-en-scene elements that helped to convey themes, for example we filmed near garages so there was graffiti on the doors of the garage which denoted a rough environment. Therefore, we are filming our final production in an environment that the character would actually live in: a family home. In addition to this mis-en-scene would already be established to create verisimilitude, the only other props we would have to include would be ones used in the plot line and ones which give information about character. However, my use of jump cuts was not relevant to the story and therefore it was not used successfully. Furthering this, to avoid it happening again we will film more scenes and use cut on action. Also, I didn’t use music in my title sequence when it could have been used to emphasise genre and themes. So to avoid this, I will experiment with music on the software “Garage Band.” Lighting was not a factor that I focused on and this weakened my preliminary task, to include it in the title sequence I will film at specific times of the day and use extra artificial light when needed. The task had bad composition and so to avoid this I will follow the storyboard accurately.