Tag Archives: AS Level

More Sound…?

As well as a soundtrack, Emelia and I planned to include the nursery rhyme ‘Teddy Bears’ Picnic’. However, we could not find this specific nursery rhyme anywhere on the internet. Because of this, we knew that we would have to make this music ourselves. Because of this, we booked out one of the music rooms at school and some recording equipment from our media teachers. We then asked one of our peers whether or not he could play it for us whilst we recorded… he said that he would be happy to help! We sent him this in advance…

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Oliver was happy to help and so we began recording. As a practice we asked Oliver to play a piece off the top of his head so that we could find the perfect spot to record from. In the background you can hear Emelia and I moving the recorder around as we found listened for the correct place to have it when recording ‘Teddy Bears’ Picnic’. Here is the practice piece…

After this, we asked Oliver to play ‘Teddy Bears’ Picnic’ as it is usually played. We asked him to do this as we planned to incorporate an original version towards the beginning of our opening in contrast to a slower version towards the end. Here is the normal version…

We then asked Oliver to play a more minor version. I suggested that he play an octave or two higher as often in horror films nursery rhymes are played in a much higher key as this sounds eery and mysterious. Emelia and I planned to use this piece towards the end as the girl finds her dead Mother’s body…

In the end, Emelia and I decided against using ‘Teddy Bears’ Picnic’ in our film opening. We imported the pieces into Final Cut Pro X and edited them into our opening. However, they did not sound right and didn’t fit with the flow of our film opening and so we decided not to include them. On the other hand, had we not tried it out we would have always been wondering whether or not it was going to work!

Rough Cut Version 2…

Now that Emelia and I had all of our footage, we could once again begin the editing process. The first thing that Emelia and I aimed to do was to create another rough cut so that we could show the class and our teachers our new footage. Emelia and I put the various clips together into an order that we deemed suitable. Our rough cut includes no sound, no music, no idents and no title. Because of this, it was quite hard for our classmates to give constructive criticism that we did not already know. However, they noticed the brighter lighting and focus on sticking to rules such as the 180 Degree Rule. Our first rough cut is over one minute longer than our film opening has to be and so Emelia and I have a lot of work to do. Here is our first rough cut of our second version opening…!

Production Log – 14th of January

Last night I, once again, charged up all of the equipment and asked my Dad to clear my SD cards. I also messaged Tom to check that he was still okay to come and film. In a panic last night, I checked the equipment bag to find a partially broken sound recorder and thought that it had been me that broke it! Luckily, my teacher already knew about this and so knew that it wasn’t me! I also could not find the audio cable and thought that I hadn’t checked carefully enough when given the equipment that I had everything, however when telling my sister in a panic, she checked and found it in the front pouch! This morning, I checked all of the equipment once again and began to set it up as filming would take place at my house. I then messaged Emelia, who could no longer come and help film, to run through the new storyline. It then dauned on me that we no longer had a mother figure as my mum had to go to Yorkshire last night… I messaged my close friend about it and she offered to come and play the role, I was so relieved! It also then dauned on me that I would have to teach Tom how to use the sound recorder as I would be busy filming with the camera and couldn’t really do both! At around 10am, Rosie and Tom arrived ready to film. This time around, Rosie was wearing a onesie and had her hair in the same style as before. After a quick introduction to Tom on how to work the sound recorder, I collected various toys and teddies from my room and placed them in the spare room so that it would look more like a young girls bedroom! We were now ready to start filming. After a few shots of Rosie in bed, I noticed that the recordings were not saving onto the SD cards. Luckily, my dad had cleared three more and so I could use these. We then filmed the inside part of the film opening, trying my best to stick to rules and theories such as the 180 degree rule. We then checked that the sound was recording before we went any further, luckily it was! Just before we began the filming of the outside scene, my friend Sally arrived. She let me do her hair and makeup and we packed up a bag of equipment, makeup, clothes and dressing gowns! I then asked Rosie if she could wear her Wellington Boots, but she had forgotten them and so I lent her mine… they fit her perfectly! I am happy with this as they are pink and so fit in with the stereotype for a young girl. After this, I grabbed my bike for our last shot and Sally, Tom, Rosie and I began our walk to a field. It was then when Sally told me about an open field that is surrounded by forest in Woodhall Spa. This sounded perfect and so we made our way to this field. After a really long walk, we had finally got to the field and it was perfect! Here, Sally put on her dressing gown and took off her shoes. We then filmed various shots including establishing shots, close ups and long shots. It was then time to do the final shot. This took a few attempts to get right as I couldn’t hack the smooth movement of the wheel. However, in the end I got a shot that I was happy with. We then filmed some sounds such as leaves crunching and birds cawing to add in in post production. On our long walk home, we stopped off in a sweet shop and I bought Rosie some sweets to say thank you for being so patient and confident! I am really grateful of Tom, Rosie and Sally for coming to help as without them I’d have been rather stuck! In our next lesson, Emelia and I will once again try and upload the sound and footage onto a MacBook and begin the editing process. We will have to be quick and efficient with this as we are fairly behind everyone else!

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Pictures taken at the end of a fairly long day of filming… Sally wore 3 coats in order to try and warm up after lying in the icy grass with no shoes, socks or coat! Tom is holding the sound equipment after a day of playing the role of the sound man and Rosie obviously fairly relieved to be finished… and fairly excited to be going to the sweet shop!

Costume Change…

In our original film opening, Emelia and I made a silly mistake when filming. We had Rosie wearing a dress because we wanted to target the stereotypes; however, our first shot includes Rosie waking up and so it did not make sense for Rosie to be waking up already fully dressed! Because of this, we decided to change what Rosie would be wearing in the film opening. Because the film opening is based in the morning, we thought that it would make most sense for Rosie to wake up in her pyjamas.We also wanted to keep it childish and innocent as this makes the ending to the opening even more shocking. At first, we wanted Rosie to wear pink, fluffy pyjamas in attempt to stick to certain stereotypes. However, we didn’t want our film to seem too cliché and so let Rosie pick her favourite pyjamas as this would make her feel more comfortable which we hoped would come across in her acting! The pyjamas that Rosie chose was in fact a onesie. Although this was not what we had initially expected, we were happy with her choice as the onesie actually made her look younger. It is also very common for young children to wear onesies as pyjamas and so we supported her idea. The onesie is blue with snowflakes all over it. This links directly to our colour scheme and the aimed warmth of the film opening! When coming over to film, Rosie had forgotten her Wellington Boots. Luckily, I have some pink/red ones that actually fit her. The pink boots allow us to include the stereotypes that we were previously going to include with the pyjamas. I am happy with how her outfit fits together…

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In our original film, Rosie’s hair stayed in the two pigtails throughout; this helped the continuity of the opening as her hair remained in one position and so we decided to do this again. Rosie also remembered to bring the two purple ribbons and so I tied these in two bows in her hair. The ribbon highlights her innocence which allows the ending to seem even more shocking! We are happy with the costume and hair for Rosie’s character as it adds naïvety and innocence which clashes with the ending; therefore making the audience feel on edge and uncomfortable.

New Location…

Due to the limited time frame, Emelia and I do not have enough time to organise a fixed new location. Although my friend Hattie, whose house we had initially wanted to film at, offered her house to be the location, she could not do a day that Emelia and I could. Because of this, and the problem that we experienced before where we felt too awkward and so rushed our filming, Emelia and I decided to film at my house. It is fairly open, has many windows and would mean that we are in complete control of what is happening. My house is also a 10-15 minute walk away from Tom and Rosie’s house and has a bus directly from Emelia’s house to mine and so is not difficult to get to. Although my house may not have the country house interior decor that we had originally hoped for, we have a fairly large garden and can easily access a field. I intend to use a spare room in my house as Rosie’s bedroom in the opening as this room looks onto the garden and could easily be decorated with toys and teddies to look like a young girl’s bedroom. Here is a video to show the planned route for Rosie when filming…

Decision To Start Again…

Emelia and I were hugely grateful for the various comments made when we showed our original rough cut to our classmates. However, we have together come to the decision to refilm. We have come to this decision for various reasons. Some of these include…

  • Firstly, we have decided to refilm the entire opening as we previously made some critical mistakes, such as breaking the 180 Degree Rule, that we can not include in our final product. Although we could simply refilm these specific parts of the opening, this is not an option for us as our original location is no longer available!
  • We also believe that the original location was a bit too dark and our lighting needed improvement in order for our film to seem legitimate and professional. In order to get over this issue, we plan to film in a much more open house with many more windows!
  • Due to problems with the SD cards, Emelia and I previously had to resort to filming much of the opening on my phone. Although this was not a huge issue, we feel as though our opening could be a whole lot better with improved quality and continuity. Many of our original shots were blurry and not in focus. This could have been due to the fact that we were inexperienced with the equipment, but could also be because of our pushed time limit and inclination to rush. In order to get over this problem, I shall invest in new SD cards and make sure that they are ready for filming the night before.
  • When watching our original footage, Emelia and I noticed that in many you could actually see us! These pieces of footage can not be used and so we have decided that when refilming, we need to be fully aware of shiny and reflective surfaces!
  • Emelia and I had not originally filmed the outdoors scene and so believed that if we were to refilm and do it all on the same day, the continuity of our opening would be a whole lot better.
  • Due to problems with equipment, Emelia and I had no sound for our original footage. Recreating the sounds needed in post production may have worked, but it would have included many hours of effort for an end product that would not fit perfectly in sync. Because of this, we feel as though it would be much better to have another go at filming the whole opening and having sound that fits perfectly with what is happening in the picture!

Overall, Emelia and I have chosen to refilm because we feel as though we could achieve a much better film. We had higher expectations for our opening and would like to meet these as best as we can. Some of the problems that we have encountered are impossible to rectify without refilming that certain shot. However, due to the lack of access to our previous location, the continuity of our opening would be a whole lot better if Emelia and I were to simply refilm the entire opening. Something that Emelia and I have to consider first, before rushing ahead, is what we are going to change…

Research Into Fonts

Emelia and I decided to research into what sort of fonts are often used in film production. Here is a short blog post that Emelia wrote about the fonts often seen in horror film openings and why we chose the fonts that we did…

“We decided to research what fonts would be best suited for the opening title sequence of our film. We feel as though this is really important because it can be the reason for a film looking professional or not. For example we wouldn’t want to use Comic Sans as this would just look completely unprofessional.

We started our research by looking at other films title sequences and seeing what type of font they were using. We noticed that a lot of thriller films often use square looking letters that are only slightly noticeably tall and thin. We decided to use a font like this for our credits. We chose to have the credits quite small and in the centre of the screen because it looked much more dramatic and realistic that way.

For the idents we used much bolder fonts because we felt like they could seem more creative than the credits. For Lucent Pictures we just chose a large square looking font because it is similar to what other idents of that genre are like, for example Ghost House and Blumhouse. However for our Orchid House Productions ident we thought that the font could look a bit more eccentric because the ident itself was much more colourful than the rest of the film. So for this one we used a curly font to make it look much more extravagant and I think it matched quite well with the pink glow of the orchid.”

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Production Log – 28th of December

Today is the day! Last night I charged up all of the equipment and checked it all over to make sure that it was all working. I then wiped my SD card so that we could have the full storage space just for our film opening. By this morning, all of the equipment was charged up and ready to go. At around 11am, I made my way to Tom Scullion’s house with all of the equipment, the storyboards, chargers, ribbon for Rosie’s hair plus much more. By the time I arrived, Emelia had also just arrived. We then went through with Rosie’s mum exactly what it was that we needed Rosie to do. After this, we asked Rosie to pick out a couple of her favourite toys and to find her Wellington Boots. We then set off for Tom’s Grandma’s house. Upon arrival, we could tell that Rosie was not going to be shy with her acting! After we had set up all of the equipment, we watched through our animated storyboards. We then decorated the designated room with all of Rosie’s favourite toys so that the room would look more like a young girl’s bedroom. After this, I did Rosie’s hair for her into two high bunchies and tied them off with a ribbon. Not only did this hairstyle exaggerate the stereotype for a young girl, but it kept her hair in place throughout filming. We were now ready to begin filming. At first, I was on camera whilst Emelia did sound. We also asked Tom to do the clapperboard. After filming Rosie getting out of bed, looking out of the window, playing with her toys (very awkwardly) and exiting the room from many angles we moved onto the stairs. The staircase at Tom’s Grandma’s house was fairly spacious which allowed us to film from various angles. It was at this point when the storage on the SD card showed to be full. Confused as to why this was, considering I thought I had wiped the card the night before, we turned to using my iPhone on a tripod. After filming various actions in the kitchen and back upstairs again, Emelia noticed that the light on the sound recorder hadn’t been coming on. Although this worried us, the recorder displayed on the screen that it was recording and so we carried on. After filming Rosie looking around the house for her mother, it was time to go outside. For this shot, Emelia and I wanted to use the dolly. After initial confusion when setting it up, we were once again ready to film Rosie. Firstly we filmed her walking out into the garden and then cut to her walking in a field. Although the continuity of this wasn’t fantastic, it was the best that we could do considering the circumstances with the location! It was after this when Emelia and I noticed that hardly any time had passed. We were rushing our filming as the atmosphere was extremely awkward filming at our friend’s Grandma’s house. Emelia and I felt slightly uncomfortable and also guilty for being loud and filming around her house and so decided to finish here with intentions to film the outside scenes another day. In our next lesson, Emelia and I will upload our footage and sound and will start editing!

Makeup and Hair Practice…

To make sure that I am ready for filming, I have decided to briefly practice the hair and makeup on myself. I am no pro in makeup or hair and hardly ever do much with my hair and makeup on a daily basis; therefore, don’t expect a miracle! For makeup, I decided to go for a natural look. However, from watching makeup tutorials for research, I found out that in order to make someone seem older you must define their features. For example, use contouring and highlighting to define cheekbones and the arch of the nose. This step is critical as our actress is not age appropriate and so we will need to focus on this aspect of mise en scene. Although the Mum is meant to have been sleeping, I feel as though the enhanced features such as cheekbones and eyelashes will establish the role of the character better. I asked many of my friends and family about what hairstyle they would expect on a Mum at nighttime. From this, the majority said a low and messy bun with pieces of hair falling out. On the real day, Sally will be able to help me with hair and makeup as she is much more skilled when it comes t this field! Here is footage of my practice…

Due to the lighting in my bedroom, when watching the video you can hardly notice any changes! However, when looking at myself after in natural light I looked a whole lot more defined and I must admit, slightly older than I had before! I used highlight and contour powder in order to define the nose and cheekbones. I then applied white eye liner in the lower waterline in order to make my eye shape larger and then added mascara after curling my eyelashes. The emphasis on the eyelashes adds femininity to my face which I hope will allow my character in the film to seem much more role appropriate. For the real thing, I would mess up the hair more in order to fit the events that take place! Also, for the real thing I would add a pale white powder to the face in order to make the skin seem icy cold and dead…

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I would also use colour correcting concealers in the shades of blue, purple, orange and yellow in order to add tone to the face. If placed in the correct places, adding these colours to the face could help with creating a believable dead body!

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On the day of filming, my friend will help me with hair and makeup in order to make it seem much more believable! Although you can not tell from the video provided, due to lighting, I am happy with how my practice went as I managed to make myself seem slightly older and more defined!