Tag Archives: Coursework

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!

Production Log – 4th of January

Today, Emelia and I had intentions to start editing our 2 minute film opening. However, we faced various problems…

Firstly, we managed to upload our footage successfully. However, it took a very long time because we had to use DropBox in order to get the majority of the footage off of my phone. Because of this, we had to download each shot individually, one by one. We then attempted to upload our sound recordings. However, we could not find our recordings anywhere on the memory card… In the end, our sound had not recorded due to there being no space on the sound recorder. Although this was a major downfall, Emelia and I thought that we could re make the sound effects in post production due to the lack of them. However, when trying to do so and matching it up to the actions on the screen, Emelia and I noticed that we would need to film again. On the other hand, we did not want to waste our media lessons up until the weekend and so decided to make a rough cut using the footage that we had. Later on that evening, I messaged Tom asking whether or not he and Rosie were free in the upcoming weekend. Unfortunately, due to the late notice, neither of them are free. On top of this, we have just been told that Tom’s Grandma has gone on holiday to Australia for five months and so we will not be able to film at her house in the future meaning that we will have to re shoot the whole film! However, determined not to waste time, Emelia and I have booked out the equipment for the weekend and plan to get as much footage of nature, frost and fields as we can…

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!

Survey Monkey

Emelia and I wanted to look further into what audiences expect from a thriller film. To do so, we felt the most efficient thing to do would be to create a survey and send it out amongst our friends, family, teachers and peers. After writing up our own survey, I discovered a website called Survey Monkey. This would be much more efficient as it was easy to create, looked fairly professional, would allow us to share the link easily and would also allow us to analyse the results easily.

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Survey Monkey was founded in 1999 by Chris and Ryan Finley. It has had over 25 million users and has processed a revenue of 113 million USD. When coming across survey monkey at first I was slightly confused, but quickly got the hang of it. I created the survey titled ‘Thriller Film Opening’ on the twenty sixth of November. Now, 5 days later, we have had 51 responses. In order to receive these responses, I sent the link of https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/KK6TXZC to my friends, teachers and family. By doing so we have received a variety of responses and can now improve our film opening from this.

The questions included in the survey are:

  • What age group are you from? – I decided to have this question to begin with as I felt it could display what age range our target audience should be. The target age could alter various aspects of our opening.
  • What is the most important aspect of a thriller film for you? – I felt as if this question would show Emelia and I what to focus on and what the majority of people do not find hugely important.
  • What type of storyline would you expect to see in a thriller? – This response to this question will help us to edit our storyline so that it is what people would expect for a thriller, therefore helping us to make it seem as realistic as possible.
  • What emotions do you expect to feel when watching a thriller? – I feel as though the emotions felt when watching a film are hugely important as they help the audience to feel involved and allows them to connect to thew film. Also, the results from the survey will show Emelia and I which emotions to target when creating our film opening.
  • What features would you expect the antagonist (villain) to have? – The response to this question will help Emelia and I when it comes to the aesthetic planning of our film opening. We can dress and reveal our villain in a way that is expected of a thriller film.
  • What features would you expect the protagonist (main character) to have? – This question is very similar to the previous question in that we can base our costumes and choice of character from the response. I decided to have the same answer choices as the previous question because I think this will help us to differ between the two as the answers may be different.
  • Who would seem to be most vulnerable? – Emelia and I would like our opening to display a vulnerable character and so by asking this question, hopefully we will be able to portray this vulnerability through our opening.
  • Where would you most likely expect a thriller film to be set? – By asking this question, Emelia and I are once again looking into what mise en scene the audience expect from a thriller film. We shall base the location of our film opening from these results in an attempt to fit our opening into the genre as best we can.
  • What sort of colours would you expect to see in a thriller film? – Emelia and I will base the colour palette of our film from this response in order to make it seem as realistic as possible.
  • For the opening to a thriller, what would you expect? – This question is aimed to display what people expect the most of a thriller opening. It will allow Emelia and I to decide what aspect to focus on.

Originally I had a few more questions lined up for the survey. However, Survey Monkey only allows non paying users 10 questions per survey. Because of this I had to decide which questions would give Emelia and I the most helpful responses.

Here are the responses, expectations and opinions of 51 people…

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From question 1, Emelia and I can see that over a half of the people who took our survey on thriller films were in the age group of 16-20 years old. From this, we can work out that this will be our target audience. We can also see that the elder generation should not be included in our target audience as they were the minority from our results.

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From question 2 Emelia and I can infer that, for the majority of people, the storyline is the most important aspect. From this, we now know to focus more on our storyline rather than our music for example. This question also shows us that the location, atmosphere and suspense is seen to be important aspects of a thriller film. We shall focus on these as well in an attempt to make our opening as realistic as possible.

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From our results from question 3, Emelia and I can infer that most people expect some sort of crime, perhaps a murder, to be the main plot for a thriller film. Emelia and I will include a murder in our opening and from this feedback are happy to see that this is the sort of thing that audiences expect. Interestingly, this question also shows that the audience expect the film to be realistic and based on true events rather than fairly mythical involving monsters, ghosts and zombies.

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The response for this question is varied yet shows a clear answer. Most people expect to feel fear, tension, shock, distrust and anticipation when watching a thriller. Emelia and I will use these results in order to create a tension and tone that will hopefully make the audience feel these emotions.

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Emelia and I will base the mise en scene of the antagonist character in our film from these results. We shall use a tall, broad, adult, male wearing dark clothes. Hopefully, our character will come across as cunning and sincere throughout the opening. By following the expectations shown here, hopefully Emelia and I will be able to create a believable character.

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Similarly to question 5, Emelia and I plan to use these results to base our protagonist character upon. The results show that most people expect the main character to be tall, caring, approachable, an adult and wearing everyday clothes. However, the responses for this question, compared to question 5, are fairly balanced.

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From the responses to this question, Emelia and I can clearly see that every person, par one, who took part in the survey believes that a female character would seem to be most vulnerable. This does not surprise me as often in thriller films the most vulnerable character is a female. The question also shows us that a toddler or child would pose as the most vulnerable character. Emelia and I will bear this in mind when casting our young actress.

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Our results from question 8 show that out of the given options, the most expected location for a thriller film would be in an isolated and rural area. This could combine with the second most popular option, a farm house. Bearing this in mind, Emelia and I are going to ask one of our good friends, Hattie, if we could use her farm as a location for our film.

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Emelia and I were unsure upon which colour palette would be best for our film opening. From this response, we are still stuck between cold colours and dark colours. However, we could combine the two throughout the opening in order to make it seem as realistic as possible.

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Our last question was fairly focused upon our specific task in hand. It has shown us that most people expect to see some sort of shocking event in the opening of a thriller film. They also expect to be introduced to the main characters and location. As well as this, our last question shows that most of our target audience prefer simplicity over complexity when watching the opening to a thriller film. Emelia and I will use these results and bear them in mind when fine tuning our plot.

Overall, I have found our survey on Survey Monkey hugely informative and helpful when looking further into expectations of a thriller opening. Emelia and I can now use these results when fine tuning our plot, filming our opening and creating mood using editing in order to create a 2 minute film opening that fits within the thriller genre as best as it can.