Wednesday, 28 November 2012

Practice Story Boarding

In class, we had to make a horror story board of a chase scene to practice making story boards so when we come to making our own story boards we have a better understanding of everything we need to include and the amount of detail we need to go into. Me and my partner thought carefully about how we are going to start and finish out chase scene. Even though we knew what kind of scene we were creating it was good to think about how we could present the chase seen. We also had to think about the shot, duration of the shot and the sound/dialogue. 

This was our first story board. We had to comment on the type of shot and the duration. In the next box we had to think about the sound a dislouge which would be happening throughout the scene. We wanted to make the scene start of intense as it is the most interesting scene in a film. The first shot is a long shot of the girl running away, already connoting to the audience that she is in some kind of trouble and needs help. The scenery such as the woods also creates ominous signs as it will be dark and dangerous. We then put a close up - conveying the girls facial expression displaying how scared she is. The next scene there is another close up of the man weapon he is chasing her with, making the scene more scary as the tension builds from the props. The next shot goes back to a long shot - a lot of music comes in helping make the scene more sinister and scary.
 This was our second sheet of story boarding. We did this exactly the same as the one before as we included drawn images showing what the scene will look like, the duration of the shot and what kind of shot it is and the sound and dialogue. We tried to use as many types of shots as we could, we ended up using a mid shot and close up to display the mans and woman's feelings towards the situation. 
Overall, this practice story board exercise has helped me understand the amount of detail I need to put into my real story board so when it comes to making my final opening sequence I will automatically be able to get straight on and know exactly what I'm doing. The drawn diagrams are easier to look at rather than just words, it also gives me a more advanced insight on how the scene will actually look like, highlighting if the shot will be effective or not. If I was to improve the way I approached this task I will make sure I go into more detail about the type of shot and the duration of it. However, now I have found out this could be a problem in my final storyboard I can make sure I do not make this mistake again.

Tuesday, 27 November 2012

Changes on our title sequence..

As a group we've realised how we are still not familiar with the Bollywood genre and we may struggle to produce a Bollywood inspired film without knowing the full details. We have decided to drop the idea of Bollywood and go forward with our original idea of doing a psychological thriller. I am content about this as I feel we need to focus more on the technical areas as it will improve our overall grade. I also think we would have struggled with doing a Bollywood just because even if we did all the research we would still not have a broad understanding of what it really is as we are not familiar with it in our day to day life. We still would like to go ahead and use our original actors which are Asian as we think this shouldn't effect our title sequence. 

Importance of Story boarding

Today in class we discussed why story boarding was important in our process of making our opening sequences. At first I didn't quite understand the impact a storyboard could have on the coursework.

So why is it important to story board? These are some examples we found out in class:

  • It displays a brief outline of what your finished piece may look like
  • Links planning to filming process
  • Pitching an idea
  • Visualize links between shots, action, graphic matches
  • Timing
  • Revise narrative and sequencing
  • Change to make decisions and revisions
We then went onto looking at a short extract from the person who created the story board for the film The Sixth Sense. Looking at this video improved my understanding of how the story board will help me and my group if we have done our story board well. Things which I have learnt after the video is..
  • After looking and reviewing your story board you can see mistakes you have made
  • How the director needs to tell the story
  • Allows you to think ahead
Overall, I think today's lesson has been successful as I have fully understood why story boarding will help me and my group when it comes to creating our final piece. I think that when I come to make my story board I will understand the amount of detail and effort I need to put in to save things going wrong when filming my opening sequence. I can now start thinking about how my story board may look like and see if what I am creating is effective.

Monday, 26 November 2012

The Art Of Title Sequences

At first, I was confused about this term as I did not fully understand what art was  into a title sequence. I then did some research and found out how important it was..

I started off by looking at Six Feet Under, a film that was made into 2001. I watched the title sequence once before I looked at any information about how the title sequence was made. From my point of view, overall the title sequence was very interesting and extraordinary. I did not fully understand what was going on throughout, however I have learned that isn't much of a problem as you should not include too much of the story line in the sequence as it is only the first two minutes.

What did I notice?

The single clips lasted quite a long time to show the significance of each of the parts. This made the editing quite slow and steady at first. Furthermore, as the title sequence got to 1 minute the pace of the editing increased. The transitions helped make the title run smoothly as they faded in and out lasting around 2-3 seconds. This gives my group something to think about, are we going to include any transitions? if so, where are going to put them?. The font which has been used is sans serif, bold and stands out to the viewer. Me and my group have already spoke about the color of the text as from our previous knowledge on title sequences we have noticed that the color white is frequently used and stands out to the audience. I also think using sans serif font will be effective too as again, it is bolder. 


Before we go ahead and start filming, of course we need to make a detailed storyboard on what our title sequence is actually going to look like. To get a more advanced understanding of how the storyboard impacts the real piece I looked at a the designer of Six Feet Under's story board. This is the storyboard and the real piece..

As you can see, not everything from the storyboard was included and there are more stuff added. This tells me that even though I need to make a detailed plan, there is always going to be change throughout.

I then went onto looking at the graphic designer who made this title sequence in more detail..

"Well, I was taught that design is a type of visual communication and storytelling where a single image needs to say something profound immediately, in the simplest form possible. To exercise this type of restraint without being boring is a challenge, but I learned to differentiate smart design from cheap communication — trends that lack substance. And that was my goal for this piece. It’s about death but it doesn’t need to be gross or spooky or horror-driven. Those things have their place but I thought it was more about the bigger picture — that there is a life after death and it is not ugly or morbid but beautiful."

From reading this summary of how the designer moved their idea forward I notice how just because we are making a Thriller it doesn't again, need to much of a story line as it is only the beginning of the film and there is not a lot you can display as a designer in 2 minutes. The designer also went onto saying what type of typography he found interesting and exclusive. Looking into typography is important to me and my group as we need to think carefully into what text we are going to be using throughout the title sequence. I then went onto looking at typography work..

David Carson is an American graphic designer. He is best known for his innovative magazine design, and use of experimental typography. He was the art director for the magazine Ray Gun. Even though we are making a title sequence and not a magazine I thought some of his work may influence and inspire us to create the same kind of effect on the text. When looking at his work I noticed that he created quite a horror effect which will help us as we're going down the physocial route. The editing also reinforces the horror as it is over powered and dominated by words and complication. Examples:

After looking at these examples, I thought it may be a good idea to go back to looking at another title sequence but one that was made on a computer and had no actual people in it. The next one I looked at was a film called 'Catch Me If You Can', a Drama Thriller made in 2002. Even though our Thriller isn't going to be based on drama, it would be good to see how the theme is frequently being reinforced in the opening sequence.

As you can see, the editing of the title sequence is at a very fast pace. This gives me and my group a more advanced insight on what the effect of fast editing actually has on a title sequence. It helps build the tension and suspense in the title sequence. In most of our piece we want to build up the tension by using editing as our main tool and by looking at this title sequence it is clear that the effect can be made with editing. Also, how the text appears on the screen is very interesting as it is unusual. Even though we want our text to be very different to this, it helps us view how varied text can be but still the text is used to create the same impact on any kind of thriller title sequence.

Overall, I feel that I have built on my knowledge and understanding of what the art of title sequences actually is. I did not know that the text has such a big impact on the title sequence. This is something we MUST think about within the group as we need to make sure we are following the basic codes and conventions of the art of a thriller title sequence. Looking at someones personal work and how they developed their ideas into making a successful title sequence has also helped me as I can see all their adjustments and changes they needed to make which shows me that it is okay to change and adjust just as long as it is helping the title sequence. I still think I have more to learn before I start making and adding in any kind of art and effects to my title sequence as I need to make sure everything I include is relevant.

Wednesday, 21 November 2012

Challenges we may face..

How are we going to make our piece look like a Bollywood film?

From analysing a few Bollywood thrillers, it normally conveys the religion and culture through the use of costume and props. This means we will have to make sure our female protagonist is wearing an Indian type dress so that our final piece is effective. However, because it is a thriller we would rather her dress be dark colors helping create a tone and atmosphere in the scene. This means we will have to find an indian style dress in a reasonably dark color.  The props is also something we need to consider and think about but the ideas which we have thought about is using certain objects to show the culture.


In our 2 minute opening sequence we wanted to do a lot of close ups of the protagonist and the props. However, the editing was our main fear as there would be so many different shots. To pull it off we have decided to look at the opening sequence of Se7en. As you can see below, there is fast editing of extreme close ups of images, articles, words. This is similar to our idea as we are hoping to create the same effect as this just over a shorter amount of time. To overcome this problem, we will need to think carefully about each shot, the position angle, close up and see if it is or is not effective as we do not want to make this part of the sequence not up to excellent standards. We also need to make sure the images build up tension, along with the music as we need to follow the basic conventions of a thriller.

Apart from these problems I think everything we have come up with is realistic and will help make our final piece effective. Even though we are open to changing and developing our idea we still are content with what we already have come up with.

Tuesday, 20 November 2012

Our Narrative

This is a bullet point list of the narrative for our final piece:
  • Opens with an establishing long shot of the female protagonist, centralised in the frame. Setting - in a dark room, low key lighting. 
  • Close up of her pouring the drink, body language should show signs of anxiety distress
  • Tilt up from her hands to an extreme close up of her eyes
  • Cut to white background and a non diagetic sound effect to establish a flashback
  • In the flash back the audience see's a point of view shot of the protagonist when she was told by a teacher her brother had gone missing. Approximately, this should last up to 3-5 seconds.
  • The whispering of the word "missing" is then repeated when the audience views a close up of the protagonist back in the room.
  • Titles will start to appear in different corners of the frame.
  • The non diagetic sound will start to play other the top of this.
  • The protagonist starts to act distressed and agitated this is shown through the close ups of her fidgeting with her hair and scratching her head. 
  • The atmosphere in the room builds as she starts to go through old papers and articles of her brothers disappearance.
  • The pace of the editing will increase through a series of close ups and extreme close ups of the props and the protagonist. She will be circling, underlining and ripping parts of old photos, newspaper and articles.This should last around 35-50 seconds.
  • The title then will appear on the screen. The sound would have built up throughout the scene until a loud noticeable note. This should last for around 3 seconds.
  •  The male antagonist will be firstly introduced with a medium shot of him stood infront of a mirror, doing up his tie. (Attempting to look "normal").
  • He will then turn towards and walk out of the front door picking up a brief case and shouting (positively) "Bye!" -  7-10 seconds.
  • Will then cut to an extreme long shot, of him leaving the house to establish the difference in location. Lighting should be brighter to help the scenes contrast the previous scene.

Sunday, 18 November 2012

Bollywood Thriller Survey

Me and my group decided that it would be a good idea to make a small survey so that we could ask our target audience about Bollywood thrillers and see if there's anything important we need to make sure we include or things that we shouldn't include. However, from making this survey and looking at the results it is clear that making a Bollywood thriller is good as our target audience are reasonably keen on Bollywood inspired films. We made sure that we got 50 responses at the least as we wanted to have accurate results. 

The questions we asked our target audience were all relevant to the idea that we have in mind. The first question we asked was "Would you be interested in watching a Bollywood style thriller?" The reason we asked this question was because we wanted to know if people were interested in watching Bollywood films/Bollywood thrillers. It makes us as group more confident with doing the idea of Bollywood as 61% of the audience said that they would watch a Bollywood thriller, it helps us as a group because we now know that the majority of the audience would enjoy watching the thriller that we are preparing to make. 

The next question we asked was: "Have you seen any Bollywood inspired films? (b) If yes, please name the film" The reason why we asked this question is because we wanted to know how popular Bollywood was and to see if the audience have seen any Bollywood films. The most popular film which the audience gave as an example was Slumdog Millionaire. Even though this isn't a thriller it would still be handy to look at how the director pulled off the Bollywood features throughout and within the film. 

Carrying on from our last question we then asked "Do you think that typical Bollywood aspects such as music help make a film authentic?" - The reason why we decided to ask this question is because we wanted to see if we needed to include a lot of Bollywood aspects to help make the film realistic. As 71% said that it helps make the film look authentic it shows us that as a group we need to make sure there are several aspects of Bollywood to help make the opening sequence appear like a Bollywood film. 

We then wanted to find out things which they would expect to see in a Bollywood film. We asked this question we need to know what we need to include and what we shouldn't include. The question we asked was "What would you expect to see in a Bollywood thriller?" - We gave examples of what the audience may think to help them out. The most popular answer was religion. This tells us we may need to look into the religion and try and include the religion in ways such as the mise-en-scene and props. The second most popular answer was romance. Even though our story line does not consist of any romance, it means we are going against the usual stereotype of a Bollywood film which will make it interesting for the audience.

Before this point we were still unsure of what key theme to choose. Obsession? Romance? These were two themes which we found it hard to choose between.  However, we did then decide on Obsession but if the survey told us differently we would have reconsidered the theme and could have changed it. The question we asked was "What key themes would you enjoy to see in a Bollywood thriller?" Obsession overall got 68% of the vote which made us more happy with doing that theme because we now know what the audience would like to see. 

Overall, this survey has helped me and my group an extreme amount as it has shown us what we should include more of such as religion through the use of costume and props, even dialogue. It has also shown us what films we should look at and try to be inspired from which may help us in our coursework piece. I think me and my group have done well with thinking up and making this survey as we have gathered all the answers we needed. 

Thursday, 15 November 2012

Development of Story line

Me and my group discussed our ideas of having an unrequited love theme but we thought it would be too cliche and un-original. As we are doing a psychological thriller we decided to keep the same obsessive theme in the story but change the way we showed it. Firstly, we are using one proganist and one (maybe two) antagonist. The relationship between the characters will come across very misleading as they are brother and sister but because of there past and what has happened the stereotypical relationship of a brother and sister is ruined. 

A summary of the story line  The brother went missing a long time ago and the sister who was slightly younger was so upset and depressed that her brother has gone missing that she has become mentally ill over the fact he has gone. However, he then comes back but, because she is mentally ill she doesn't understand the fact he has returned and been found so she ignores his return by ripping up news paper articles of "boy ages ** found!" - We are then going to show the brother, looking very casual and smart (looking rather normal) to convey the juxtaposition between both their lives. It also highlights her obsessivness over him and how she couldn't deal with the matter. 

Order of clips shown:
Even though we haven't talked about a shot list, and what kind of shots we want to appear/when etc. We have decided the order of how the opening sequence will go.

  • First shot will be introducing the title of the film company
  • Will then go onto a shots of the protagonist, looking stressed and mentally unstable
  • Title will appear very fast and bluntly
  • The antagonist will then be shot, looking smart and doing day to day things so the two shots are contrasting a lot but the title of the movie will split them up
Me and my group still have a lot of things to think about such as the:
  • Costume?
  • Lighting?
  • Camera shots
  • Editing
  • Title colors
  • Title of film
  • ETC

Discuss the ways social status is represented in the extract from Merlin.

In the extract from Merlin, class and status are represented in many ways as the extract displays and differentiates between upper and lower class. Firstly, the protagonist is introduced to the audience with several wide shots whilst the camera is panning. The panning and wide shots happen when Merlin walks in and out of the castle which emphasise Merlins class and lower status as he is compared to the enormous setting; The castle and the market, conveying to the audience he does not have much importance as he looks small. Also, when Merlin is looking through private belongings in the castle his screen time is shortened as there are only close ups of the belongings which reinforce Merlins lower class and feebleness in the extract because of his lack of screen time. The sound also helps reinforce the social status of each of the characters. Firstly, when we are introduced to Merlin the sound is diagetic and is quite mysterious connoting he shouldn’t be at the castle which means he isn’t upper class enough to enter the castle. However, when the women is introduced the camera slowly zooms into her which gives her a slower introduction to her character indicating she is upper class. The low angle shot of her also denotes she is dominant as the audience are looking up to her which conveys her social status. This combined with the peaceful and soothing non diagetic sound helps emphasise her importance. Additionally, the mise-en-scene also makes it apparent to the viewer that Merlin is of low social status as he is wearing old ragged clothing iconic for working class. The colours of the costume are also symbolic of the simplicity of working and lower class. On the other hand, the prevalence suggests otherwise as he is given a large amount of screen time denoting his importance throughout the extract. Whereas, the colours of the woman’s clothing which is purple symbolises power, luxury and ambition. It indicates the woman’s wealth and extravagance signifying her high social status.

As Merlin walks out of the castle grounds, there is a sudden jump cut to the market establishing Merlin amongst his peers who are also lower class. The contrast between the current and previous setting gives the audience a more advanced insight on the separation between the two of the classes. The antagonist, Arthur is in soft focus when firstly introduced, whereas, Merlin continues to walk towards the camera establishing a close up of him revealing that although he is lower class but he is the dominant character. This allows a connection between the viewer and Merlin as they sympathise with him. The dialogue juxtaposes with the close up of Merlin as it represents Arthur as the more powerful character because his tone is  patronising towards Merlin. Furthermore, the mid shot of Arthurs fellow knights reveals to the audience that they are mocking Merlin as each of the knights have a sarcastic facial expression whilst turning to each other for approval. This and the fact they are wearing body armour conveys their relevance and significance because of their higher social status. Merlin then goes onto challenge Arthur to a fight, the close up of Merlin dropping the props which have been used such as the medieval weapon signify the danger he is in as he has never had the chance to train for a fight because of his  lower class and has been brought up with only skills for manual labour.

The use of jump cuts during the fight increase the intensity and allows the viewer to recognise that Arthur is currently winning, emphasising  how he has been brought up to fight whilst remaining courageous. The upbeat non diagetic sound also helps increase the pace and is parallel to the duel and makes the fight seem humorous as Arthur is easily winning. This reinforces the difference between upper and lower class. The scene then cuts to a point of view shot of Merlins teacher who witnesses the fight from the window. The low key lighting and the costume of the old man express his low social status to the viewer and his similarity to Merlin. The shot reverse shot reveals the teachers disappointment as we see him walk out of the room in distress connoting his fatherly role towards Merlin which convey his equal social status. It then cuts back to the fight, still portraying Merlin as weak through the use of fast pace editing of him falling over. Merlins body gestures such as raising his hands also reinforce the fact that he is losing as he is struggling to keep his body stable. The extreme close up Merlins eye, changing colour signifies Merlins use of magic towards the end of the fight and makes it evident that he is now winning. Merlin’s magic helps make him more relevant and important in society which indicates that if you have some kind of strength, upper and lower class become irrelevant. However, the mid wide angle shot reveals Arthurs guards holding Merlin, reestablishing his high social status as he has protection. The over the shoulder shot of Merlin and Arthur after the fight create slight confusion in the scene as the director has represented their social status as equal.

The scene then goes onto a shot reverse shot of Merlin and his teacher at eyeline match denoting and reinforcing their equality of social status. Whereas, the dialogue contrasts with this as the teacher is raising his voice to Merlin, creating a hostile mood and atmosphere within the scene. It also displays the teachers power over Merlin which portrays him as slightly higher in society. Additionally, the dialogue of Merlin when he says “I’m just a nobody and always will be” indicates his awareness of his low social status. There is then a close up of the teachers face displaying his sympathy for Merlin and this combined with the end shot on the teacher reinforces how he is more dominant than Merlin.

Overall, doing this essay has helped me expand my knowledge as I am frequently using the technical terms which help them be memorable. However, I did struggle with this essay as I found the extract hard to understand. I tried to focus on sound and editing they were both in my targets from my previous essay. 

Tuesday, 13 November 2012

Rachels Research On Bollywood Conventions

Below is Rachel's research on Bollywood conventions:

Bollywood Conventions

Due to the fact that we are strongly considering making our coursework with a Bollywood inspired theme, or style, I decided to do some extra research on the typical conventions of a Bollywood film to see how they differed to traditional Hollywood. This is to see what codes and conventions we may need to include in our product to make it realistic. 

Bollywood Codes and Conventions
  • Dominance of one or two actors (Usually a male and female)
  • Using other forms of performance art such as playing an instrument, singing and dancing
  • The presence of a religious figure that all the characters believe in, such as a God or Deity
  • Romance is the main plot or subplot in the story (This might include love triangles)
  • Large studio sets with elaborate design and decoration
  • Films are usually set in Mumbai, India (However, some popular Bollywood films have been set in western cities such as New York City, and London
  • Authentic and elaborate costumes, such as traditional clothing (i.e. saris and dresses)
  • Other key themes include; melodrama, obsession, and kidnappings.
There are also some traditional gestures and symbols used in Bollywood films such as:

  • Seeing someone tug on their ears – When someone tugs on their ears it is usually seen as an apology and the quivalent of saying sorry.

  • Seeing someone touch another person’s feet - According to Hindu theology feet are the most polluted part of the body because they are the closet body part to the ground. So when a person touches someone else's feet it is a sign of great respect because they are honoured and touching their feet is a privilege.

  • Someone waving their hands over another person’s head - Usually a person will do this to a bride. They will wave their hands over the bride and then make fists of their hands and crack their knuckles on each side of their own head. Whoever does this takes on any evil that may be sent toward the bride.

  • A woman wearing red dye in her parting - This red dye is called vermillion and when a woman wears it in her parting, it signifies that she is married and her husband is still alive.

  • Kohl is placed on someone’s cheek - When someone looks strikingly beautiful it is assumed that they will attract a lot of jealousy. Therefore, a black dot (kohl) is placed on their face as a blemish to ward off jealousy of a person's perfection.
  • When someone presses their palms together - When two characters first meet, one of them will press their palms together and say “Namaste.” This is equivalent to the American/English handshake because it shows the possession of manners. However, it holds a higher level of respect than shaking hands.
Evaluation Of Rachel's Research

Overall, Rachel has done an advanced piece of research which will help us with our coursework. After looking at and reading through Rachel's research I have definitely achieved a wider understanding into the codes and conventions of Bollywood films which we will need to use in our coursework piece. Reading through Rachel's research it has shown us that we will have to consider carefully which conventions to include as we don't want to make our piece too unique and original as it will become to distant for the audiences expectations. However, we need to include enough conventions so that the Bollywood within the piece is noticed and considered by the audience.

Monday, 12 November 2012

Bollywood Thriller Survey

We decided that we should make another survey to find out the public's opinions on Bollywood thrillers. This will help us and we can see what to include in our title sequence and things to avoid.

Development of Our Ideas

Idea one: From previous research on thrillers in general me and my group have become very keen on the idea of making a Bollywood thriller which will have a key theme of "Obsession". Now we have briefly decided on what type of cultural thriller we are going to make and the theme we then thought of possibilities of story lines  We thought of a theme of "Unrequited Love" as we think it would fit in with the main theme of obsession. Love and romance is also something that appeared frequently when looking at and reviewing the conventions of Bollywood, because of this we thought it would be a good idea to include a slight theme of love as it is what the audience would expect. The story line which we thought may go with this idea is: a man who's love for a Women has never been understood and has distorted his thoughts leading him on to act sporadically. A story line such as this we also believed would look great if some kind of flashback could take place.

Idea two: Another possible idea based on a similar story line is that a male antagonist is having hallucinations and believes their lover is cheating on them, driving them insane. This plot may go down well with thriller fans however if we were to aim it at the Bollywood market this could be seen to be bending the conventions too far.

Problems with doing Bollywood?
As we looked into Bollywood further to develop a more advanced understanding we noticed that we had a slightly dilemma. We found out that Bollywood is iconic of Indian culture featuring dance and music. This may be a problem as the upbeat music may not fit into the dark tone and mood we want to create in the opening of our thriller. However, we looked into different types of Indian music which is more slow and mysterious and will help providing the correct tone. This is the only huge problem we can find  which shows us that the pros outweigh the cons. Below is an example of the type of music we could use: 

Overall, I think me and my group are making good progress with developing our ideas as we all have agreed on the main theme which leads us onto thinking about our story line. Highlighting errors that may bring our coursework mark down helps us notice what we need to do to change the problem resulting in our coursework piece being successful.

Representation Of Gender

In class today we looked at an extract from Doctor Who which we have previously seen. Instead of analysing the whole extract we had to analyse one shot. In our group we got given a shot of a computer generated image. At first, I struggled to pick out the significance as I am not used to analysing extracts which have characters that are fictional and extraordinary. Anyhow, me and my group went on to picking each of the important parts of the shot. We got given a question which was: How is gender represented in this extract?

This is the paragraph we wrote: Within the extract masculinity is represented in atypical way. This is shown through the use of a medium shot. Within the shot we can see the whole of his body which emphasises how weak and fragile he is - this contradicts the stereotype of a typical male. Additionally the cage is symbolic of being trapped and reinforces his lack of masculinity he has a lack of control. The extremity of the cgi exaggerated his age conveying his venerability. 

We then got given feed back from the whole class which helped as we could all see how we could develop and improve our paragraph. Overall, doing this has helped me as I now know how to analyse fictional characters in extracts and also has built up on my knowledge on how to answer a gender question.

Friday, 9 November 2012

Improving My Skills..

From my previous essay I received two targets which were:

  • Be more detailed in your analysis of editing - pace and style.
  • Be more detailed in your analysis of sound.
I have decided to look at two extracts and pick out the types of editing and analyse the sound further. I think this will help me when I come to writing my next essay as I will have a more advanced knowledge on how to write about editing and sound.

The first clip that I am analysing is Child's Play (I have only analysed up to 5 minutes)

Sound - The sound from this extract changes dramatically as in the first half of the extract, the sound which is used is mostly diagetic sound of the characters talking. However, the sound of doors slamming is non diagetic sound as it has been added in to make more of an effect. In the second half, the non diagetic sound comes in which is very parallel in the scene as the character is feeling sad and exhausted at the time and the slow music reinforces the characters mood. The ambient sounds in the background such as the noise of traffic and cars outside of the apartment help make the scene look realistic. The scene then goes onto a sudden contrast to what it was like before, as suddenly sharp non diagetic noises start to come in resulting in a dramatic change in the mood and tone of the film. This already creates an ominous tone in the scene connoting something bad may happen to the character as the sharp sounds are very negative. The sound then carries on and is very breathtaking as the sound is very violent which again is parallel because a fight is currently happening in the scene. Whilst, the diagetic sound of the character screaming help reinforce the violence and pain as the sound of her screaming is exaggerated.

Editing - The first thing that I noticed was the shot reverse shot between the boy and the doll. This creates quite a fast pace in the scene as it is very hurried. This also denotes his anger towards the doll as the pace of the editing is so fast that the scene all of a sudden has a dramatic effect. Eye line match is also used between the mother and the boy which conveys the equal status between them and how they both view each other. When the mother returns home home in the scene, the shots are quite fast which contrasts with her body language and the sound in the scene. The editing, towards the end of the scene also reveals the drama within the scene as the camera is moving really quick from shots of close ups to her face to her body which creates an aggressive and exaggerated  tone in the scene.

The next film I am going to look at and analyse is Tombstone 1993 - I decided to do a slightly older movie as when it comes to creating my coursework I may want it to be old fashioned. 

The film clip -

Sound - In the beginning (the first 60 seconds of this extract) there are two different types of non diagetic sound which has been added in for two different effects. Firstly, there is a man talking, much like a narrator describing things to the audience. The second type of non diagetic sound was soothing music quietly playing in the background of the man talking. Both of these non diagetic sounds help make the beginning very calm as each of the different types of sound are very slow. However, the second half of the extract juxtaposes with this. Foley sound then comes into the scene as a gun shot is shown which helps make the scene become dramatic faster. After this, the non diagetic sound continues but is much faster, louder and has a more sharp edge to it. The music is very parallel as it fits in with the mood and tone as the scene is too dramatic and chaotic. It is important that they use the music to reinforce the tone in the scene as it helps make the scene more effective. The sound then suddenly stops which exaggerates what is happening in the scene as a sudden cut and contrast is made. The music then carries on, repeating the breathtaking tone which has already been created. Contrapuntal sound is then shown as in the scene a couple is getting married but the non diagetic sound is very ominous connoting something bad may happen in the scene very soon. 

Editing - The editing of this is very significant but because I am still not familiar with all the editing terms I cannot go into full detail. Firstly, the editing between the shots in the first 90 seconds are very fast as each shot last around 2 seconds. Even though this normally makes a scene dramatic and chaotic, in this it has actually helped make the scene soothing and peaceful as each of the shots are in slow motion. It then goes onto a scene with people eating but suddenly cuts to a close up of a horse running. This editing style is important because it creates a very sinister effect on the scene because it goes from normal to dramatic so suddenly connoting something negative may happen as ominous signs start to appear. There is also a shot reverse shot which again, helps out with the exaggerated effect in the scene. The shot reverse shot is of people looking worried which also reinforces the danger which may occur. 

Overall, I think by analysing and looking closely at these two very different extracts I have added to my knowledge on sound and editing,  Before doing this I had a brief understanding of what sound and editing did within a scene and what effect it had. However, I now have memorised some definitions which will help me in my exam and coursework. I still think I have a lot of progress to make as in these two technical terms as I have not gone into full detail as there is still definitions and meanings I have to learn. 

The 'Grammar' of Television and Film..

I have decided to build on my knowledge of the technical terms in Media. I have decided to start of with looking at Manipulating time as I am not familiar with this term and I thought it would be a good idea to try and make sure I have brief understanding so that I can then progress into further learning of what it is. Below I have listed definitions and examples of each type.

Long take: The long take, or long shot, is when a long sequence of film is made without stopping the camera. The effect can be used to evoke a huge array of emotions. This clever tool in the filmmakers toolbox has actually been used for quite a number of years, but it was so revolutionary at the outset that it took some getting used to before it really took off in the mainstream. .

Slow motion: Action which takes place on the screen at a slower rate than the rate at which the action took place before the camera. This is used: a) to make a fast action visible; b) to make a familiar action strange; c) to emphasise a dramatic moment. It can have a lyric and romantic quality or it can amplify violence. From experience I have found out that slow motion shots are used a lot in films as it helps create a dramatic effect resulting in the audience engaging into what they are watching. I think it may be a good idea to use a slow motion effect if I decide to add any kind of drama into my coursework piece as I think in every extract I have looked at it has been used successfully.

Freeze-frame: This gives the image the appearance of a still photograph. Clearly not a naturalistic device. Below is an example of what freeze frame looks like when it is shot. Again, this may be good to use in my coursework piece as it is very interesting and weird which engages the reader.

Flashback: A break in the chronology of a narrative in which events from the past are disclosed to the viewer. Formerly indicated conventionally with refocus or ripple dissolves. Below is an example of a flash back from the Lion King which is a cartoon film. Even though the film has been animated it creates the same effect.

Overall, by looking at different types of Manipulating time it has helped me notice and understand why film makers decide to use these kind of effects. Even though I have not into too much detail on each one and I still have more to look at I feel that I have built on my knowledge as I did not know what any of this was before. This will help me and my group when we come to making our coursework because we can decide if we would like to choose to do any of these editing styles to create an effect on our piece. It will also help me in the exam as I can now identify why the film maker has decided to use this and what effect is may have on the atmosphere in a film. I feel that I have completed this well as my knowledge has now expanded slightly. 

Thursday, 8 November 2012

Initial Brainstorm

 We listed thriller sub-genres, and hybrids on the right, and themes and ideas on the left

The two ideas which me and my group thought would be good idea to do are Bollywood and the theme of obsession. Each of these stood out to us in the brainstorm. If we decided to do a theme of obsession we thought that we might make our coursework have a sub-genre of psychological thriller as it would fit in. The reason why we were fond of these ideas is because they are both original and we thought it might give our coursework an interesting twist. Although, If we then decide to choose both of these ideas, as a group we would need to make sure that in our piece there was enough familiarity for the audience so that our coursework would not become to unlikable.  Doing this task helps me and my group pick out specific ideas helping us decide on what we should do. I think me and my group have completed the brainstorm well as we have thought up a lot of good ideas which we will benefit from when picking what we are going to make. 

Sunday, 4 November 2012

Learning Progess: Media Studies

In Media Studies I feel that I have progressed since starting the course. So far I have built up a wide understanding on the key concepts of Genre and why it is important, how to analyse a media text breifly and how to pick out the specific areas of camera and sound. I have also written two essays so far: One on Binary Opposition, focusing on a Titanic extract and one on a Primeval extract.

When I first looked at Genre at the beginning of the course I struggled to understand the definition as Genre is so varied. However, because I then went into researching about the Thriller Genre I had a more specific topic which helped me learn better. I feel that I have a wider knowledge on Genre since taking part in the course as I have done several bits of resarch which gave me an adanced understanding and knowledge on what the Thriller Genre is and how it has changed over the years. The research parts I completed were: Analysis of the opening of thriller films and the history of the Thriller Genre. Both of the researches I have completed helped me gain a better understanding of Genre in general and the Thriller Genre. Secondly, I have learnt that any kind of media text can be analysed as what the writer or director has included in the piece was put there for a reason. The reason may be to engage the audience or to give them a more advanced insight on the storyline and how a character may feel. I have looked at several different media texts and extracts and focused on the camera to see how the director is representing something or someone. Learning different types of camera angles and positions also helped me notice and pick out them myself. I also found out how important the sound is within a text as sound is used to create a mood or tone. This has taught me that when I make the opening of my film, me and my group will need to think cafrefully about the sound to see if it is relevent and if it is creating the correct mood or tone we want to acheive. I feel fairly confident analysing the sound and camera of any type of media text. However, I still think I have a lot to improve upon as I am new with the terms that I have currently been learning and the ones that I am still learning are hard to memorise as I am not familiar with them. Thirdly, I have learnt how to structure a Media essay. When I wrote my first essay on Binary Opposition focusing on the Titanic extract I did not understand that the essay is supposed to all be techinal analysis. I wrote the essay very descripitively which gave me a lower mark as I recived a C-. After receiving my targets and how I should improve I then went onto writing my second essay which was on an extract from a TV series: Primeval. Focusing on my targets I then recieved a Level 3 which was an improvment to my first attempt. I still need to learn more technincal terms and signs for Media so that when I write my report it will be to the best of my ability.

Overall, I am content with the amount I have progressed over the last six weeks of Media Studies. Even though I feel as if I have a wide kntowldge on what I have previously spoke about I still feel as if I have a lot to improve upon and I will look into what further progress I will need to make. The area which I have struggled most with in the last six weeks would be signs. I am still not completely confident with using the different types of signs in my reports which I have been writing as I am not sure of the definitions. I will revise and try and improve my confidence when using the different signs.

Targets so far:
Revise Semiotics: Indexical, Iconic, Symbolic signs