Tag Archives: Media Studies

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!

DSC_0058.jpg

DSC_0059-3.jpg

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!

Advertisements

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…

Creating our Fourth Ident: Orchid

Due to the failure of our first two idents, Emelia and I had to come up with a new idea. Ideally, we wanted to do at least one ident as an animation because this would show more skill and would give our film opening a variety. Our previous idea of a dandelion did not work as it was too hard to draw and so this time around we had to think of something more simple. By using an animated and a non-animated ident, Emelia and I are displaying skill across the graphic side to the project. It was clear to us, however, that this ident would be more challenging for us to create as the software, Motion, was completely new to us and had a reputation as a tricky software anyway! Firstly, Emelia and I had to come up with a completely new idea for an ident. We wanted to stick to something simple and similar to the delicate and nature of the dandelion. Emelia and I found it fairly challenging to come up with something that would be both easy to draw yet aesthetically pleasing and delicate. When sat in my living room thinking about what we could do, I looked across the room and had an idea. This is what I saw…

16667322_696665187181472_2140167853_o.jpgIt was from here that Emelia and I decided to base our second and last ident upon an orchid. We felt as though an orchid is aesthetically pleasing and although may not be quite as simple to draw as we had originally hoped, would be possible when tracing. Our next step was to find an orchid photograph that we could trace. After a brief search on Google Images, Emelia and I found this image…17312654-Romantic-floral-vector-card-with-orchid-flowers-Stock-Vector-orchid-drawing-wedding.jpg

Emelia and I decided to go with this image as we liked the shape and layout of the orchid. However, we would not need to also trace the dotted background and writing. Once we had downloaded the image, we imported it into Pixelmatr. We used Pixelmatr at GCSE and so things came back to us fairly quickly as we used the software. In attempt to make the tracing of the orchid an easier and more efficient process, Emelia and I were given a graphic tablet to trace over the orchid. This, at first, proved to be a whole lot easier than using the mouse as it allowed you to move freely. However, for the thicker lines on the orchid it, surprisingly, proved to be easier for us to simply zoom in and use the mouse to trace over. We then added colour to our orchid. We chose to go with a fairly simple, yet elegant colour scheme and decided to keep it fresh and simple. After we had completed our own version of the orchid drawing, Emelia and I exported the drawing into Motion.

Now that our drawing was in Motion, Emelia and I could start animating our ident. Our ultimate aim was to keep it simple and so we wanted to add a glow or blur to the drawing. We sampled both of these and felt as though the glow fit in better with what we were trying to achieve. We decided to have this glow in a fairly bright pink colour. Although this may seem fairly random, the colour matches the inside parts of the orchid and so draws the whole thing together. The pink colour is also fairly striking and so may capture the attention of the audience. By using keynotes, we were able to alter when the glow came in, left and the intensity of it throughout. Emelia and I played around with this for a while but settled on the glow coming in and leaving fairly quickly as we felt it brought the ident to life. Next, Emelia and I had to think of a name and feature it in our ident. Ideally, we wanted a name that links directly to the ident alike other famous idents such as Universal and Lionsgate. The name “Orchid Productions” seemed a bit too short and plain and so Emelia and I settled on “Orchid House Productions” for the name of our second ident. We also thought that an elegant font would best suit the nature of the ident. Emelia and I thought that it looked best for our title to come in with the glowing to leave with it also. In order to achieve this, we had to use keynotes once again. These were the most difficult aspects to the software in my opinion. Once again, Emelia and I have decided to use the soundtrack from the opening over the top of the ident in order to bring it all together. Here is our second and last ident…

Considering how difficult Emelia and I found the Motion software and the tight time limit we had, I am happy with our animated ident. If we had more time, Emelia and I have agreed that the glow should be more subtle and the timings of the glow and titles would need more attention, but overall I am happy with the two idents.

 

Rough Ideas for Idents…

It was now time for Emelia and I to begin designing and creating a set of idents for our film opening. Ideally, Emelia and I would like to animate one ident, using the software Motion, and to film one in real life. We would like to do a mix of the two as we feel that it will display more method and skill.

The first thing that Emelia and I thought about was how to link our idents into our chosen genre, thriller. Due to this being our genre, we thought that an ident involving an aesthetically pleasing, simple event would fit nicely. We also tried to incorporate some sort of event that would forebode a bad thing happening in the upcoming film. The first ident idea that we came up with was of a simple dandelion. We would animate this particular ident and have the seeds blowing in the wind over our chosen title. Our next idea for an animated ident involved a forest of trees with one falling down in the centre to reveal the title. We then began to think of more simple ideas, we came up with the idea of a door being slammed shut in a dark film; this would be easy to film. We then branched off this simple idea and came up with the idea of some candles flickering in the dark and then blowing out to reveal the title; this has a simple yet slightly sinister tone to it and we can imagine it being fairly aesthetic. Emelia and I then tried to think of ideas for an ident that links to our chosen genre of a thriller. We wanted to film a pair of eyes and then would add an effect to make the screen flicker to reveal eyes with the colour completely washed out and then flicker back to normal. We then had the idea to have a rocking chair in a simple and dingy room that would gradually gain pace; this could be either animated or filmed and so gives us some leeway. Here are our first six rough ideas for an ident… 16667218_696549787193012_1002824851_o.jpgEmelia and I plan to use two or three idents in our end product and so our next stage was to  pick out our favourite three. In the end, we picked the dandelion, eyes and candles. We chose these three as we believe that they will best suit our storyline and pace of the film. We also feel as though they are possible to create in our limited time frame. Now that we have our three favourites, Emelia and I need to plan how to film them and what to call them. For the dandelion ident we have thought about the name “Covet Productions”. The word covet means to yearn to possess something, especially something belonging to another. We liked how it sounded and although it does not link directly to the dandelion on the ident, it could link to our storyline. We liked the sound of “Flicker Pictures” for our ident based on the eyes. This would directly link to the actions occurring in the ident and sounds rather catchy. Here are our three final chosen idents… 16651346_696561747191816_1007018293_o.jpg

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.

Unknown.png

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…

1)

Screen Shot 2016-12-11 at 20.42.51.png

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.

2) Screen Shot 2016-12-11 at 20.45.33.png

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.

3) Screen Shot 2016-12-11 at 20.45.43.png

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.

4) Screen Shot 2016-12-11 at 20.46.15.png

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.

5) Screen Shot 2016-12-11 at 20.47.05.png

Screen Shot 2016-12-11 at 20.47.10.png

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.

6)

Screen Shot 2016-12-11 at 20.47.21.pngScreen Shot 2016-12-11 at 20.47.27.png

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.

7) Screen Shot 2016-12-11 at 20.47.47.png

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.

8)Screen Shot 2016-12-11 at 20.47.52.png

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.

9)Screen Shot 2016-12-11 at 20.47.56.png

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.

10) Screen Shot 2016-12-11 at 20.47.59.png

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.

Media Studies AS Course Outline

AS Media Studies consists of 50% coursework and 50% exam. The summer results vary from an A to an E. The exam board we are studying is OCR. On this blog I will publish everything including: research; planning; organisation; evaluation and my independent interests in media. I will set these out in a multi-media form, exploring different ways to display my studies and discoveries. The final post will be my final piece that all of my planning is leading up to.

For the exam half of the course there are two sections. Section A is about ‘Textual Analysis and Representation’. In this half of the exam we will be shown a 4/5 minute extract from a TV Drama 4 times. From these viewings we have to analyse: representation; categories; ability/disability; class/status; sexuality; power; and regional identity. From now until Christmas we will be learning about this and how to use the correct terminology. Section B is to do with ‘Institutions and Audiences’. This section gives one question about the film industry from which we have to interpret marketing, exhibition, distribution and production. For this half of the exam we will research our own case studies.

Our coursework is a foundation portfolio in Media. This blog will display the multimedia portfolio. It will also display in detail my research and planning, main exercise and evaluation. In the evaluation there will be 7 questions to answer. I shall do a post per each question and attempt to display them in 7 different ways. We shall be doing this from Christmas to Easter.