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Main Task: Opening Sequence

Preliminary Task

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Final Post

This project is now finished. I really enjoyed the whole process even though it has been really time consuming! I am really pleased with our final opening sequence.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Navigating around my blog

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Question 7: Looking back at your preliminary task, what do you feel you have learnt in the progression from it to the full product?

Brief


With the preliminary task we worked through every aspect of production; planning, filming, editing and evaluating. This gave me an insight into what the project was going to be about; especially as I had never done Media before.





Planning
The preliminary task outlined the importance of planning. We looked at different locations and how viable they would be, we needed to draw up story boards, shot list and wrote up shot logs. All of these provided extremely useful on our shoot.
Our main shoot was obviously much more complicated and so our storyboard had to be much more detailed and precise. The Preliminary Task gave us a taster of the need to storyboard to ensure a good narrative flow.
It also highlighted why we needed a shooting schedule, as this enabled us to film more efficiently. Our main shoot we had many more shoots and time was of the essence.


Story board: Planning the narrative structure of our sequence
Shooting schedule: Useful on set, helps to increase efficiency and film in minimum time.

Filming




We learnt about all aspects of filming. Here is our group describing how each piece of hardware is used.

Allocation of roles
The actual filming process was also something new to me, so the Preliminary task helped give me an insight into how everything worked and interacted. When filming we were allocated roles this helped to organise the shot and make it run smoothly and efficiently. When filming our main sequence, we realized the need for us all to experience all aspects of filming; logging the shots, setting up the shot, filming and sound, so we were not allocated roles on this day. Both worked well because we were a small group. However, in reality, the stratergy we adopted originally would be typical of any production company.
The Preliminary Task also allowed us to make mistakes, which could then be avoided on the real shoot. 


Filming process
Our preliminary exercise was helpful when filming because it had helped us familiarise ourselves with the equipment. We were able to practice a good range of shots 

  • Mid shots
  • CU 
  • Over the shoulder shots
  • Tracking shots etc...
This was useful when we were filming as it acted as a base. However, at the same time it was limited in what it had to offer as the real shot was a lot more complicated than the preliminary task and a lot more problems arose. 

Filming the sequence as a whole
The PReliminary task highlighted some obvious mistakes. As in our task there is a clear jump when Tom sits down. This is because we did not film it from when he walks in and sits down, we just filmed it from when he was sitting down. The preliminary task highlighted the need to start filming the bit before you actually want. This gives you more scope when editing.



Editing
When shooting, we use a clapper board to separate the shots. This proved helpful when capturing as it allowed us to see the beginning of the shot we needed. 








Shot Log 
We did not use time codes when doing our shot log for our Preliminary Exercise. When we did our main shoot we realized the importance of recording time codes on the shot long; we were recording a much longer sequence often with more than one or two takes. The time codes allowed us to save time by fast forwarding to the exact place we wanted.
Editing effects
The Preliminary Exercise did not give us an insight into editing effects. We used dissolves and fades in our sequence which we did not practice in our Preliminary Exercise. The PReliminary exercise was extremely basic. However, it was useful as it gave us a basic understanding of the key concepts of media editing (e.g capturing, using the razor tool, lining up the sequence on the time line, using different tracks etc...)


Evaluation
The evaluation of the exercise was useful as it allowed me to get a feel for what is needed in an evaluation and the level of detail. It also forced me to look more closely at our sequence and pick up on faults which could have easily been avoided.





Question 6: What have you learnt about technologies from the process of constructing this product?

This project has given me an insight into Media in general and all the aspects of it; from research and planning to filming and editing.

Pre Production

The planning of our shoot was extremely helpful, it gave us a clear indication of what needed to be done and roughly the time it should take.

Story boarding
Our story board was extremely detailed making the whole process easier and more manageable.




















Planning allowed us prempt our mistake - allowing us to avoid some of them.




Production
Hardware
Lighting
We were orinally going to shoot the kitchen section at night, at around 5 o clock, when Alex’s character was returning home from work. But we thought about the limitations of this and decided to shoot him in the morning at 8 o clock. This meant that lighting did not restrict our filming. We could film throughout the day and not worry about changes in lighting effecting our sequence.













However, lighting also proved to a problem. We found it difficult to get the lighting right for the shed scene. On our practice shoot, we thought natural light would work best as it was meant to be morning time. However, after capturing and putting our sequence together we realized that this would not work. The lighting had to be much darker and there had to be a stronger contrast. When we re-shot we used a pag light to achieve this contrast in light. I learnt about the importance of lighting to represent a certain genre – dark is linked with horror. After this mistake i was able to learn how through the use of different technologies different feels can be achieved. After using the pag light  we achieved a much better and more accurate representation of a horror movie.
Orignial Lighting
 


Camera
We got to grips with the hardware equipment during our preliminary exercise. Here is us showing you how to use it:

VIDEOO USING EQUIPMENT

On our practice shoot we experimented a great deal. We wanted to give our self a lot of material to choose from.
We tried:
  • zooms
  •  CUs from different angles
  • different shots which were not originally storyboarded.
This worked well, some of the shots used in our final sequence were not initially story boarded but look good in our final piece and really add to it.

On Shoot


I learnt a lot more about the whole filming process and the difficulty of different shots. When recording a tracking shot I found it quite hard because it was difficult to maintain a steady pace while following the actor on screen. CU and still shots were much easier as once they had been set up, no movement of the camera was involved so there was less room for error.

When shooting we used the automatic setting on the camera, this sometimes meant that some of our shots were out of focus for a couple of seconds. If possible I would like to learn how to use the manual settings to allow this focusing issue to be avoided.


 This shot on the left, is a screen grab from our first sequence. For a second the camera goes out of focus. I would like to learn how to use manual settings so that we can avoid this. In our main sequence we did not use out of focus shots.





Tripod


The whole filming process allowed me to learn about the fragility of some of the hardware equipment. When filming a high angle shot of the keys on the stairs the Tripod got damaged, to the put where it was no longer useable. This highlighted the need to look after the hardware properly because we were being cautious and it still got damaged. We used our initiative however, and used called another group who lived near by, and borrowed their tripod. This allowed us to carry on the shoot as normal.

I learnt a lot from this project and feel much more confident if I had to use the hardware again. For anyone doing Media, I would advise them to practice using the camera and equipment prior to the shoot (The Preliminary Exercise helped me to familiarize myself with the equipment).

Editing





When I began editing I knew nothing about the software or how to use it. I had never done Media before. Luckily the others in my group showed me how to do all aspects of editing. I found this very helpful and I appreciated the patients of my group members. I am now much more familiar with all aspects of editing from capturing the footage to adding music and sound effects. With editing it is something that takes time and patients, there are always things to improve and work on. There are also many different effects which can be used such as a dissolve and fades. The editing time allowed us as a group to experiment and explore the many different creative possibilities and choose the one that worked the best. I enjoyed working as a team as everyone’s input was valid and taken into account.

Question 5: How did you attract address your audience?

Address


  • Direct reach 
When researching ideas for our film we focused our research on genre.
We looked into different types and the audiences that a particular genre would attract. We chose horror as well felt that this would allow us to access a large percentage of cinema viewers. Horrors are popular with males aged 15+ and teenagers and young men are the one group of  the  most frequent cinema goers.
Conformed to audieces expectations
We also conformed to expectations of our audience. We used typical genre signifiers throughout our opening sequence. This would allow our audience to automatically connect with the genre of our film. We also developed conventions of real media products with the introduction of the character suffering from OCD. This idea is not completely typical.
  • Narrative twist - to excit and interest the viewer
In our opening sequence we wanted to use a series of narrative twists and shocks to draw the audience in. The sequence begins with what seems like an average man, doing his day to day morning activates. Everything at first seems very normal, but there are subtle clues that things aren’t as normal as they seem; the radio playing in the background, the repetition of 4 ect…

We also have the rewind shot through the house, we wanted this to disorientate the audience, and automatically make the audience question what was happening – this would grab the audiences attention and allow them to interact with the film.
  • Build up of suspense
We also use the idea of the build up of suspense; the build up of enigma. The first section there is a sense that something strange is going on. We are then taken to the shed and the reveal of the girl is slow at first and mysterious. Her identity is held back initially, this attracts the audience as it draws them in, they want to know more. The fast paced editing at the end also attracts the audience, they feel involved with the film.

  • Something different
The relevance of the film is also of particular importance. This film is a horror and will be full of blood and gore as typical horrors are. However, our film also addresses other issues; mental illnesses and OCD. This makes the film mentally stimulating and interesting as well as entertaining.

Addressing the audience

We carried out an audience feedback session to see how well our film would be interpurted. We wanted outside advice on the clarity of the piece, how well it worked, what worked well and what needed to be improved.
In order to attract this audience we set up a facebook page, inviting people from our school to come one lunch time to give feedback.









 

This session proved extremely insightful. It gave us an idea of what the audience thought about our piece.
  • The marks out of 10 ranged from 7-10. This suggests that it was well interpurated.
  •  Everyone got a juist of what the plot was about and what was happening and made the connection between the man and the girl in the shed  Meaning it was easy to understand
  • it also provided us with something we hadnt thought about previously. When asked what our target market was many said male aged 15+. This gives us the oppurtinity to expand our reach to a new more diverse secondary audience.
  • The audience feedback session also allowed us to connect more directly with our audience. This will be extremely useful when we come to makert and distrubte our film.




Question 4: Who would be the audience for your media product?

Audience


We initally constructed an audience profile. We wanted to have a key focus when producing our media product and this allowed us to have one.

Audience profile





























The genre, horror, means that our core audience will be men because men favour horror films. The secondary audience will be typically females, girlfriends of the core audience, perhaps.

The film is a low budget horror, so this dictates the type of audience. The distributors are a small firm and as a result our film would not be distributed to large commercial cinemas to be viewed by mass audience. Instead the film would be played at small cinemas, specializing in low budget UK produced films, such as the Phoenix theatre in Finchley. The audience is therefore targeted more directly; a local, niche audience.

However, after carrying out an audience feedback session, we have now established a strong possiblity that perhaps a larger secondary audience could be reached; teenagers.

Question 3: What kind of media institution might distribute your media product and why?

Production

When we were planning our film we looked into different types of Production Companies; we looked at the big names like Warner Brothers, Paramount Pictures, Universal.

We also looked into smaller, Uk based production companies:

Production

We then created a logo:
Green Tree Productions



DBB 
We choose DBB to distribute our film. They too specialise in low budget UK Film and are in partnership with Green Tree Productions (they specialise in horror distrubution).





Distribution

  • Small independent Cinemas
Our film is low budget, and so would be screen in small independent cinemas such as the phoenix theatre in Finchley. This would address our main target audience.

Phoenix Theatre Website:  http://www.phoenixcinema.co.uk

  • The Web
The Web is also a great way to access a larger audience. We would post our film on sites such as youtube.
Fixation Youtube address: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wVGGKv89PZY
This would enable our film to gain great publicity.
Paranormal Activity gained huge amounts of publicity this way.



Paranormals viral campaign was huge. This was one of the main reasons for its sucess. We hotpe to have a strong viral campaign.
  • Film Festival
We would also display our film at film festivals such as The London Film Festival. This would allow other people interested in film to see our work and our potential.