Tag Archives: Music

Production Log: The Editing Process

Now that Emelia and I FINALLY have our footage we can begin editing. We have completely scrapped our original opening as we want to have a fresh start in the hope of a much more successful opening! Once again, Emelia and I are editing on Final Cut Pro X. We have used this many times before and so can jump straight in with beginning editing again. Due to the fact that Emelia and I decided to refilm our entire opening, we are even more pushed for time as groups around us are finishing editing before we have even begun!

Firstly, we had to import all of our new footage. We have made a completely new folder on the desktop as well in order to keep all of our version two separate from our version one. We then had to import all of the sound. This time around, we had lots to import and match to clips. The first thing that Emelia and I did was to create a rough cut…

For this, we once again solely focused on the order of the clips so that we could receive feedback on the filming and storyline rather than syncing of sound and fonts! Luckily, people agreed with us that our second go around was better than our first. We were extremely happy with this; however, our rough cut was 3 minutes 12 seconds long and we needed to cut it down to 2 minutes! In order to do so, Emelia and I began by cutting out the footage that was necessary. For example, we have many different shots of Rosie walking up and down the stairs. For actions such as these, the audience do not need a visual example of it in order to understand what is going on. Because of this, we cut out quite a few shots of everyday actions. The next area that we focused upon was the breakfast making part. This took up a large portion of the opening and so we had to fine tune this heavily. However, once cut down, this aspect to the opening did not make perfect sense as the bread seemed to be toasting in a millisecond. This was because the shot of Rosie putting the bread into the toaster was immediately followed by the shot of her taking it out, fully toasted. In order to resolve this I added in a fade in order to display the passing of time. I also did this in-between the shots of Rosie getting the tray where her direction of walking changes immediately. After cutting out many shots, Emelia and I decided to cut down the beginning and ends of many as they were necessarily long. This actually helped with the overall flow of our film opening as the lengths of shots were perfected.

Our next task was to import our two idents. Once imported, Emelia and I moved them onto the timeline of our opening. Of course they went right at the beginning and after one another. However, I added in a fade before the first one and in between the two as this helped with the flow even more. Without the fade, the transition between the two idents was too sudden and too sharp. We then had to create the parts of the film labelling the production company, names of director(s) and names of actors. As well as this, we had to add in the final title sequence! This was fairly easy due to our research into codes and conventions of film openings and fonts. In the end, Emelia and I went with a simple yet slightly gothic looking font; this fit in perfectly with our genre of thriller.

The next task was to add sound. Firstly, Emelia and I added in the diegetic sounds such as the footsteps, heavy breathing, rolling of the blind and footsteps crunching in the leaves. However, we focussed on the syncing of the sound rather than the volume as we believed that we should be worrying about that later with the non diegetic soundtrack layered over the top. When we were happy with the syncing of the diegetic sounds, Emelia and I searched the Final Cut Pro X sound effect menu for exaggerated sounds such as birds singing. We found an array of different birds singing but managed to pick the perfect one. We decided to add this in in the beginning and towards the end of the film opening in an attempt to bring it all together. We then had to add our soundtrack. This was fairly easy, however messed around with all of the other sounds as it, at first, drowned them all out. However, this did not last long as Emelia and I lowered the dynamics of the soundtrack so that you could hear the other sounds easily.

After this, I added in the gradual colour palette. To do this, I used an effect but set it so that it began to intensify at a constant yet steady pace from a certain moment up until the dead body. The blue, negative colour palette is at it’s most intense when the young girl is shown to be looking down at her dead Mother. This displays the emotions that she is feeling and shows that her whole world has just been turned upside down; this also allows the audience to feel empathy towards her as they feel connected through the tone of the ending.

After showing our classmates many times and watching it over and over again ourselves, Emelia and I feel as though our two minute film opening is finished. We are happy with it but believe that with more luck, more experience with the experience and a longer time period it could have been a whole lot better. However, with the endless problems that came my way, I am happy with what I managed to achieve!


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…


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!

Finding Music…

Initially, Emelia and I had planned to compose and perform our own music for the task. However, we had not realised how little time we would have and so have decided to go back on this idea! Instead, we have decided to look for uncopyrighted, free music online. Emelia and I took our time looking for this music as we feel that the soundtrack is a hugely important aspect of a film. Not only does it add layers and depth to the film, but it conveys emotions and allows the audience to connect to the film.

What type of music were we looking for?

Due to the melancholic and sorrowful tone of our film opening, Emelia and I were not looking for a busy, loud and cheerful soundtrack. Rather, we were looking for a simple, soft and calm soundtrack. When watching other films, often in the sad parts the soundtrack involves a piano and little else. Because of this knowledge, and the known effect that this has on the audience, Emelia and I wanted a soundtrack containing a piano solo and little else.

Where to look?

There are various sites on the internet that allows you to listen to and download music. However, Emelia and I had to make sure that the songs we were finding were definitely free to use. Because of this, we used some well known websites for this. These include…

Screen Shot 2017-02-13 at 02.13.46.png

  • Freeplay Music… http://www.freeplaymusic.com

Screen Shot 2017-02-13 at 02.14.31.png

  • Jamendo Music… https://www.jamendo.com/search

Screen Shot 2017-02-13 at 02.16.00.png

Plus many more. However, the website that Emelia and I found most useful was Audio Network (https://www.audionetwork.com)…

Screen Shot 2017-02-13 at 02.19.18.png

We found this website the most useful as the search filters were extremely specific. Emelia and I found ourselves listening to songs from all categories.

Final choice for soundtrack… 

When searching in the ambient/instrumental/piano section… I found ‘Empty’ by Helen Jane Long. This song was perfect! It contained a sombre piano melody that Emelia and I could imagine fitting perfectly well within our two minute film opening. It is also fairly quiet which is perfect because it means that when playing, the audience will also be able to hear the diegetic sounds such as the footsteps and leaves crunching. However, audio network only gave us the option to buy the song. When telling one of our teachers about this at school, he told us about Audio Network LGFL; this is for schools and schoolwork only. Luckily for us, our chosen song was also on this version of Audio Network and so we could download it to use in our media project for free! Emelia and I are happy with this soundtrack and feel as though it will help us to set the correct tone for our audience.


My (very) Varied Music Taste

If someone were to ask me what type of music I liked I wouldn’t be able to pick just one or two genres. My taste is hugely varied as I like pretty much all types of music. Here is a link to a moodboard of my all-time favourite artists…


The moodboard includes singers such as: Royal Blood; My Chemical Romance; Chris Brown; Blur; Tove Lo; Little Mix; Adam Ant; Rihanna; David Bowie; The Vaccines; Everything Everything; Fleetwood Mac; S Club 7; MØ; plus many more. There is a huge range from Etta James to The Vengaboys but all of these artists are some of my favourites.

When I was younger whenever I was asked what I wanted to be when I was older, I said a rapper. I was obsessed with artists such as: Eminem; The Black Eyed Peas; and Jay Z. Nicki Minaj was one of my idols as she was a famous female rapper and because of this I learnt all of the words to songs of hers including Super Bass and Right Thru Me. Although I am less determined to become a rapper now, I still like to listen to artists such as: Chris Brown; JME; Skepta; and Nicki Minaj. People are often surprised when they find out that I can rap one of Eminem’s songs… Rap God.

S Club 7, My Chemical Romance and The Black Eyed Peas are all bands that I was pretty obsessed with. However, these three bands split up. When they did this broke my heart.

Older artists such as David Bowie, Blur, Etta James, Pulp, Fleetwood Mac and Adam Ant were introduced to me by my parents. Songs written by these artists are some of my all time favourites. These include: I’d Rather Go Blind by Etta James; Song 2 by Blur; Starman, Life on Mars? and Space Oddity by David Bowie; Stand And Deliver by Adam Ant; Disco 2000, Common People and Live Bed Show by Pulp. Fleetwood Mac’s song, Go Your Own Way is also one of my favourite songs.

Some artists such as: The Vengaboys; Taylor Swift and Miley Cyrus have produced some of my favourite songs. People often describe these artists as their guilty pleasure; however, when these songs are played at parties everyone joins in. The Vengaboys have written songs such as ‘Vengabus’ and ‘Boom Boom Boom Boom’ which are songs known by almost everyone. Taylor Swift’s song ‘Love Story’ is most probably my all time favourite song as I used to be obsessed with the music video and still am. Following this closely is another of Taylor Swift’s songs… ‘You Belong With Me’. I love the song and I used to think I was Taylor Swift as in the music video she had long blonde hair, large glasses, a green bedroom and played the clarinet… just like me! I started to like Miley Cyrus through the Disney created star, Hannah Montana. I used to love the songs from Hannah Montana; however, songs such as ‘The Climb’ from the Hannah Montana Movie are so catchy and known by almost everyone still today.

Artists including: Tove Lo, Justin Bieber, Craig David; MØ; Astrid S; and FKA Twigs have recently scaled the charts with their most recent music. The songs are catchy and really good for when you’re feeling all upbeat and excited!

Royal Blood, Little Mix, Rihanna, The Vaccines, Everything Everything, Coldplay, Taylor Swift and Arctic Monkeys are examples of artists that I have always liked. Every single one of their songs I have downloaded and frequently listen to.

I think that having a varied taste in music is a good thing because this means that I know and enjoy a wide variety of music. Because of this, I can join in with people singing, dancing or having fun at parties to more music.

Music Through The Decades…

I made an Infographic as a different way to present my post rather than one large block of writing. I decided to write it about music through the decades from the 1940’s until the 2000’s and how it has changed.

Here is a link to my Infograph…