Thursday, 29 April 2010

Production and Distribution Logos {DRAFT}

It is uncommon for a film to start without the production and distribution logos being shown before the film. These are a simple way of advertising of the company for the contribution of creating the movie.
Well known hollywood production companies such as Universal

In our own production, we came up with a production company and a distributor, in which we created our own logos. We tried various methods of creating these production titles, with programs such as Flash, iMovie, and finally LiveType, which we found was easiest to use and most effective.

The idea behind our logo was to make a simple text logo, to suit the genre and avoid a tacky look. For our production logo, we chose the name Jameth productions, a mix between names, which makes it less likely to be copyright. The text used is called Gouldy Old Style, which is a serif font, which signifies the genre of thriller. The animation on text is called Elastica, which is a simple shuffle of the text, zooming in and then back out in a jumbled order. The background is black, with an animation of a build up of shapes, which appears behind the text. We like the simplicity of this and feel it is effective for our production logo.

The distributor is called Twisted Media, which we decided upon from the rope being twisted, and could relate to the genre of Psychological thrillers having a twist. For this logo we have gone with just text. Editing the shadowing of each letter to be different than the one next to it, by changing opacity, scale and offset. We feel this creates a bit more of an interesting look to the text, and with the animation, looks as though it has actually been twisted. The animation is called Quick Twist, and it simply twists the text as it comes onto the screen. The colour scheme is black, red and white. The red signifies a danger to the film, and the black and white contrast it to make it stand out.

For a sound track to the logos, we have used two very short soundtracks, using the same instrument as the main sound track, it signifies the production companies fit the genre of the film. The sound also slowly decreases, to easily blend into the soundtrack of the film, which reduces the blunt cut from one soundtrack to another. The soundtrack was created in Garageband, using only Reflective Strings, with a variety of high pitched and low pitched single notes which signify the genre of the film.

Wednesday, 28 April 2010


Psychological Thriller Soundtracks:
For this genre, the soundtrack tends to be slow, which builds up the tension. Through use of low strings and some high pitched strings, or a rhythm that upsets the viewers heart rate, which causes them to feel tense.

Our soundtrack:
For developing our soundtrack, we have to have an idea in what we want it to sound like.
We have decided that is should start off slow, whilst the car pulls in, which builds up tension. To do this we shall have a sequence of one low note which is prolonged. Throughout the main parts of the filming the soundtrack will just build up the general tension, and the ending with the fast editing sequence, quick, high pitched notes shall play, to upset the heart rate of the viewer and create a dramatic atmosphere for the film, until he sits up in bed, when the soundtrack shall die down.

To create our soundtrack we used Garage Band. A piece of software in which you can just pre-recorded sounds on the software to create compositions.
Here is a screen shot of part of producing the soundtrack. We chose to do the whole piece in Reflective Strings, using different pitches to create tension.

In addition to our soundtrack, we added sounds from the Imovie Media library over the sections of the protagonist hanging.
These were to emphasise the thrilling scene of the body hanging. Particular sounds we included were footsteps, heartbeat, clock ticking and there is one where in the actual shooting of the scene a police siren could be heard in the background.

Second Cut

So after the first lot of feedback, we set about making our changes to the production.
With re-shoots, deleting scenes and editing new sequences, we have produced our second cut.
What we still need to do before we finalise our production is:

  • Re-shoot the office scene
  • Create an advanced soundtrack, working on the one we have now to create some more tension.
  • Record the answer machine properly. 

Brief Feedback:
  • "Ending sequence helps it make more sense and looks better" - Emmie Bryett
  • "Good removal of burnt toast, leaves space for more important stuff" - Emma Graveling
  • "Change of the sound track to make it more varied" - Joel Colbourne
  • "Narrative is easier to follow" - Steph Meares
  • "Sound effects with wash in could help signify the dream" - Dave Burrowes 

Monday, 26 April 2010

First Rough Cut

After our first shoots, we edited the footage and put together our first cut.
There are areas in which we still have to film, and others that need to be improved.

We received feedback from our class and from the year 13 class.
However, with our class, we used a boom mike to record the sound unfortunately it wasn't plugged in properly so we cannot hear anything said. But we feel the feedback that was given from the year 13 was good enough for us to improve on.

Here is a video of the feedback given from the year 13's who watched our first cut.

Changes we've decided to make:

  • Delete the toast scene - we felt it was unnecessary, as the idea of foreshadowing was not really seen from the viewers, and we could do with the extra time to keep in the 2 minute limit.
  • Longer wash in effect to the scenes - to increase the idea of a dream
  • New final sequence. Fast takes and quick editing of varied angles of protagonist hanging - this is to create tension and to clearly signify the hanging.
  • Re-shoot the evicted scene, as it takes too long for him to exit and can be replaced by shorter takes and quicker editing.
  • Re-shooting the ending where he sits up in bed, as would be more effective from a straight angle so he sits up to camera, rather from a side view.

Wednesday, 21 April 2010

Title Name

Originally wanting to use Phantasmagoria as the film title, as we felt it had a relevance to the film, and could appeal to an older audience who know what the word means, however there is numerous films that have used this name, and one is coming out later this year, which means we cannot use it.

[IMDB page for films titled Phantasmagoria]

Film sleeve for the 2010 Phantasmagoria

So our second choice was The Snared. As it's meaning is related to the noose, which then signifies a hanging, letting the audience know before that the film contains such scenes. It also is related to being trapped, which links with the state in which the character feels in his mind.
There has been no films with the title The Snared, so there is no worry of copyright issues.
[IMDB page for films titled The Snared]

Tuesday, 20 April 2010

The Hardware & Digital Media {DRAFT}

The key to a successful shoot, is to get to know the equipment before filming. This saves time, and problems, which often take place during the shoot when the cinematographer doesn't know what they are doing.
A few easy areas to consider include:

Manual Focus
Unlike auto focus, in which the camera itself focus' on what it thinks is the main subject, manual focus leaves the decision up to the cinematographer, giving them ultimate control on areas of focus. This is very effective in extreme close-up shots and can be used creatively to shift from one area of the frame to another, switching the focus from something in the foreground to something in the background.

Exposure controls the amount of light that is let into the camera. Too much light, and the image will appear washed out, and details will not be seen. Too little light, and the image will appear too dark, and again, details will not be seen. It is important to get the correct exposure for the conditions in which you are filming in.
This technique is useful when filming in daylight, and wanting it to look like dusk, as it is difficult to make filming at night look lighter, so the camera picks up images. In contrast, it can increase the brightness of scenes, such as windows or white rooms, which could be used to give a dreamy effect.

White balance
White balance effects the colour casting of the image, an incorrect white balance can make an image have a blue, orange or green tinge to it. Auto white balance (AWB) will try and read the colour temperature of what you are trying to film, but sometimes may get it incorrect. For certain situations, the camcorder has individual settings for different locations. Such as a daylight setting, or a cloudy setting for filming outside.
White balance can be used to create effects, such as tints, to your filming. These can go against the correct white balance setting, for example, setting a blue tint to create a 'cold' scene which can look more creative.

Program (P) Settings

Portrait, sports, spotlight, night, etc are pre-set setting which may change the way the camcorder films. Sports is used for when filming fast moving subjects, it reduces blur by having the setting at a higher shutter speed, and sets the exposure accordingly. Portrait setting increases a high shutter speed and a opens up the aperture to create a short depth of feild, allowing focus on a close up.

Special Equipment

A Camera Dolly is a piece of equipment which holds the camera, and allows a smooth movement of the camera whilst filming. Mainly used for the tracking shot, the Camera Dolly has wheels which allows it to move as a unit, as well as being on an extendable and moveable beam.

Production Schedule

Props, Mise-en-Scene, SFX, Costume

Scene 1 - The Hanging
Location: Woods - Panorama Woods, Ilkley
Props: Rope, Torches, dog? Car.
Mise-en-Scene: Nothing much - just a wooded area.
Costume: Police outfits?
SFX: Key detail in editing to make it look like the man is hanging, without actually having to hang him.

Scene 2 - Burnt Toast
Location: Kitchen 
Props: Toaster + Burnt Toast. - Could do sequence of making breakfast therefore coverage shots taken of kettle and coffee making
Mise-en-Scene: Kitchen counter. Protagonist is not seen in this scene.
SFX: None. Sequence may need to be sped up if takes too long.

Scene 3 - Mothers Wake
Props: Photo Album, Bottle of Vodka, Sympathy Card.
Mise-en-Scene: Lounge
Costume: Formal wear.
SFX: None. 

Scene 4 - Fired
Props: Office box, Pens, Mug, Photo Frame.
Mise-en-Scene: Office - Desk, Computer, Big Chair.
Costume: Shirt, worn unsmart with sleeves rolled up and top button undone and untucked - to show his lack in care in appearance now he has been sacked.
SFX: None.

Scene 5 - Mugged
Props: None that can really be seen. Phone and wallet are handed over.
Mise-en-Scene: Dark alleyway, Streetlighting.
Costume: Hoodies and Trackies. Protagonist in casual wear.
SFX: Editing to make it look like he's been beaten up.

Scene 6 - Car Stolen
Props: Car
Mise-en-Scene: Quiet street.
Costume: Hoodie
SFX: Sugar glass which breaks easily.

Scene 7 - Evicted
Props: Suitcase
Mise-en-Scene: Stairway of a flat - other flat doors in view.
Costume: Casual, doesn't really care for his appearance.
SFX: None

Scene 8 - Wake Up
Props: None.
Mise-en-Scene: Bedroom- Bed, Duvet etc.
Costume: Topless - signify he's been asleep.
SFX: None.

Saturday, 3 April 2010


Within our media production, there is no dialogue in the filming, so a script was not necessary, but we created a screenplay for the actions which take place throughout each scene.

Screen Play Snared