Wednesday, 7 December 2011

'Full time' Narrative

The conventional '3 Act Structure' that is used in film construction, has been specially adapted to fit our own film opening; it is difficult to use this structure in our film opening as we do not have a conventional climax.
However we structured our film opening sequentially and clear changes of pace are made between transitions of environment.

Our proposed film embodies multiple genres as we have chosen a blend of thriller/action with a hint of sport-related mystery in the narrative.
The thriller/action genre is one chosen by many groups for a number of reasons; first of all many groups find it to be an easy genre to film as it tends to focus more on the directorial and editing aspects of film production, for example: camera shots, angles, lighting, sound, video editing etc.
Resulting in less emphasis needing to be made on plot and story which is in my opinion the most time consuming aspect of the film making process.

Sunday, 4 December 2011

preliminary task (Nov 2010) evaluation.


In October 2011 I completed my preliminary task with my media group; we followed the mark scheme that was assigned and tried to incorporate the necessary camera shots, angles and the video manipulation and editing techniques that we were unfamiliar with.

This particular preliminary task - which was completed in November of last year - was similar to our groups in a number aspects.
Firstly the film is that of a 'thriller/action' genre that we - amoung many other media groups in the past - had chosen; consequently the camera shots and angles were limited by the popular choice of filming inside buildings or in confined and limiting space.
Secondly, and emphasing the genre further, the script of this prelim video was kept minimal and the audience were immediately placed in a situation of conflict and climaxing with a cliff hanger;
However this group was kean to show parts of the filming process through the use of bloopers and comical outtakes - this would never happen in a feature thriller as the filmakers are determined to never leave the genre they have chosen.

Finally the editing in this film was minimal and though this is sometimes a choice by the director to enphasise the sluggish/low budget genre of the film, in this case there was little consideration to advanced shot sequencing and the typography and choice of font was changed from the default setting; I know this because the font in our piece was the same.
In conclusion this prelim task was indentical to ours in parts but unlike ours there was very little if any at all consideration for emphasing genre through the use of props, costume and editing.

Wednesday, 30 November 2011

Film Language And Semiotics.

Film is a means of communication and any means of communication has a language. The language of film communicates in many ways, through costume, casting, dialogue, music, sets, editing, camerawork - a combination of signs specific to the techniques of film making, drawing on our own experiences and knowledge of the world.

Semiotics is the study of signs and their operation in codes. It is applicable to language itself and to any cultural phenomena, from film to fashion. In semiotic terminology, messages and meanings are coded or encoded in cultural products, to be decoded by audiences.

Ideologies are able to operate through discourse. Discourse theory requires us to grasp the fact that we do not merely use language as a neutral medium of exchange in which to conduct or reflect on our social life.
Our social life is the language in which we conduct it. Through discourse, the relations between groups and classes are constantly being re-negotiated.

Thursday, 24 November 2011

ipod board - youtube clip(nappynoo22)

I found this video while researching 'camera lenses' its a great stop motion piece that may be a creative away of displaying the opening titles in our film opening.
To be honest this phone works better than mine at the moment.

Tuesday, 15 November 2011

Film opening storyboard - first draft - sheet 1

This is the first storyboard draft of our film opening, "full time".
In this draft I have chosen a simple sketch format that can be changed easily; it can be seen that in this first sheet I have left some aspects of the edit open to later development.
In this case I have not made any finalisations regarding the opening credits as I am not in charge of title design.

I hope to upload the further 2 sheets in the new future...
If you have any suggestions or feedback, leave a comment or email me at

Friday, 4 November 2011

Marking criteria for the evaluation.

Candidates will evaluate their work electronically. This MUST contain an element of audience feedback and may be either integrated with the presentation of the research and planning material or may be presented separately. Where candidates have worked in a group, the evaluation may be presented individually or collectively but the teacher must allocate a mark according the contribution/level of understanding demonstrated by the individual candidate. The questions that must be addressed in the evaluation are:


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

• How does your media product represent particular social groups?

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

• Who would be the audience for your media product?

• How did you attract/address your audience?

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

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

Thursday, 3 November 2011

Opening credits - order of titles (resourced from james turner)

(this extract has been taken from James Turners blog.

The Most Common Order of Opening Credits:
1. Name of the Studio - Name of the studio that is distributing the film and may or may not have produced it.
2. Name of the Production Company - Name of the production company that actually made the film.
3. Director/Producer Production - Director's first credit.
4. Starring - Big name actors appering in the film.
5. Film Title - The name of the film.
6. Featuring - Featured actors.
7. Casting - Casting director.
8. Music/Original Score - Composer of music.
9. Production Design - Production designer.
10. Editor - Edited by.
11. Producer/Executive Producer - Producers, co-producers, executive producers. Often, though, the name of the producer will be the next-to-last opening credit, just before the director's name is shown.
12. Written by - Screenplay writers.
13. Director - Director. The Directors Guild of America permits a film to list only one director, even when it is known that two or more worked on it.

The items required for media construction.

-Holding shot steady (camera)
-framing shot (camera)
-varied shot distances (camera direction)
-appropriate material for task
-mise en scene (camera direction)
-edit meaning to viewer
-varied shot transitions (captions)
-use of sound with images
-using titles appropriately (titles or typography)
-contribution (where relevant)

Wednesday, 2 November 2011

Construction of film opening.

One of the key aspects in the making of any film is the direction or construction; which involves researching genre, audience and appropriate materiel planning the various camera angles and shots and finally editing those shots to best suit the chosen genre.

In the case of our film opening we have assigned roles to separate individuals and have taken a joint managing approach in order to each have an equal opinion on a final decision.
It was my personal responsibility to produce the story boarding help develop the concept in other words i developed the strong and with group feedback made decisions on the choice of camera angles and shots we would be using.
This was on my part the first stage of construction.

Monday, 31 October 2011


This is my first fully edited short film showing highlights of my trip to Croatia, Bosnia & Herzegovina and Montenegro over the half term week.
While was in the former Yugoslavia I was exposed to a variety of enviroments both natural and man-made but unfortunately the confines of my camera meant that my video footage is made up of short clips at a max length of 10 seconds.
I think this suited me because my video was intended to be no longer than two and a half minutes and that was a short amount of time to show case an entire holiday; in the end there were no intsresting features of the audio so I opted to remove the audio and replace it with a soundtrack of my choice.

If I could have increased the length of this video I would have used a larger amount of my initial footage and would have also used more adventurous film editing techniques rather than the standard shortening or lengthening clips such as the cable car clip in this video.
Because this was my first time using imovie editing software I had a habit of spending large periods of time simply finding out how to use the software; I gained experience in learning the complexity of specific tools and I came to the conclusion that sound was the easiest aspect of the video to change.

Though this video task was more centered on film editing, I do want to incorporate light and sound more equally in future edited pieces.

conventioal thriller poster

The conventions of modern day thrillers has not advanced in style in recent times.

These same conventions can be seen in multile film posters including 'Gothika', 'the number 23', 'the resident' and many more; the main similarity between these posters is the huge emphasis they present on the face.

Because thrillers focus on human situations typically concerning crime it is not suprising that emphasis on the face is used order for the audience to make an intial judgement on the character.

Wednesday, 19 October 2011

The Bell Tower Scene - Vertigo Movie (1958) - HD

As we are planning for our film opening to constitute a thriller, I have been analysing some of the most memorable films of the genre to date.
'Vertigo' is a prime example of a thriller as it primarily questions physical and mental conceptions; also as this film can almost be blamed for defining the modern-day genre itself it holds to a large number of the basic conventions attributed to the style.

I have taken these conventions from a resource in the cherwell shared area, Some of these conventions are as follows:

A crime at the core of the narrative (often murder, but not necessarily).
A complex narrative structure, with false paths, clues and resolutions.
A narrative pattern of establishing enigmas which the viewer expects to be resolved.
A protagonist who is systematically dis-empowered and drawn into a complex web of intrigue by the antagonist.
Extraordinary events happening in ordinary situations.
Themes of identity.
Themes of mirroring.
Themes of voyeurism.
Protagonist with a ‘flaw’ which is exploited by the antagonist.
Titles often reflect an aspect of the pro/antagonist’s psychological state.
There is often a scene near the end of the film in which the protagonist is in peril.
Mise en scene which echoes/ mirrors the protagonist’s plight.

The Shadowtainted - Part 1 (full storyboard)

Before Greengrass and Bourne’s hand-held fury, there was this. Joe Carnahan and Jason Patric, and one of the most visceral, violent and blue foot chases you’ll ever see. The rest of the film is tame compared to this; you'll not see many film openings that establish themselves as well as this, it is as gritty as it is haunting.

For our film opening we are planning to do some sort of thriller/noir, we chose this genre as it relied more heavily on directing and editing, rather than acting.
My role was to produce a storyboard and to pitch an ideal script for our film opening.
I am planning to upload further film openings in the genre and style we our planning to emulate.

Tuesday, 11 October 2011

Spooks extract - sound

Though sound is used subtly in this extract it can have a significent impact on the viewing audience in the same way that it displays the atmosphere in room without focusing on the light or camera angles.
For example the constant undertone murmor of non-diegetic instantly gives an impression of the dark atmosphere without referring to the spoken dialogue.

The constant echo gives a clue that they are in an enclosed room this is a choice by the director to ensure that the viwer understands the danger of the situation; other uses of non-diegetic sound include what sounds to be a lightning strike when the camera zooms in on the photo of the victim.
For someone who is only listening to the clip, this noise will seem disorientating and alien.

Thursday, 6 October 2011

Cherwell Media Prelim Task - 2011/12

the lion king (1994) - opening

the openining to the lion king is one of the most famous and remorable film openings in history as it drowns the viewing audience in a festival of visual effects and sound culminating in the extravagance one might expect from the end of a film rather than the begining.

as this sequence, like the whole film is animated it is difficult to talk about the camera and lighting; however it is still well directed in order to create such an atmosphere.
the sequence biulds up slowly in action and light this is effective as the scene opens with a sun rise and as more light is added more life emerges and harmonises.

because animated films have more possibility, in many ways it was more difficult to watch this scene and discuss camera and light choices by the director.

Reservoir Dogs (1992) - Opening Scene

Reservoir Dogs is an American crime film that focuses on a group of men prior to and after a botched diamond heist, the cast are made up of household names including the acting, writing and directing debut of Quentin Tarantino.
Like in most of Tarantino's movies, there is violence embedded in the script and he tries his upmost to emphasise the importance of every character.
this is apparent in the opening sequence while they are sitting around a table and the
camera pans around the table to show all the characters but shoots in an 'over the shoulder'
format in order to retain the mystery surrounding each character.

i think this is an interesting scene to anylyse as it emphasises subtle eotions very well in all male enviroment where emotions are not deamed to relevant.

The Matrix Opening

opening to the matrix (1999)

in this opening sequence editing and visual effects are used to great effect in emphasising the sci-fi aspect of the film.
this opening sequence has been recognised as one of the greatest openings to an action film in history; though this is a bold statement in some ways i would agree as it uses all the elements necessary for the building of tension and the effects of combat, i am referring to the well co-ordinated camera movement and slow motion impacts that were pioneered by the film.

media studies preliminary task 2011/12

in the youtube video panel on the right hand side of the blog is a link to my preliminary task video.
the video is a short compilation of the editing and filmaking skills that i have learnt in the past four weeks and it shows multiple camera angles being used.

watch and enjoy!