Wednesday, 23 January 2013

Animatic Storyboard

Below is our animatic storyboard. I found doing the animatic storyboard very helpful as it helped me and my group visualise and see what if the timing worked, the shots looked good and if all the transitions fitted in well. As a group we did face some challenges and some parts of the storyboard did not suit and match what atmosphere we were trying to create. This was not a large problem as we discussed and tried out different shots. I am very pleased about making the animatic and I feel like as a group we are frequently progressing.


Sunday, 20 January 2013

How our group handled filming

Today me, Rachel and Callum filmed three quarters of our opening sequence. I found today very experiential and challenging for several reasons such as; throughout filming we decided to change and adjust the storyboard as some of the shots we took looked poor and we thought of ways to make them better. Another part of filming I found challenging was the timing. The amount of filming which we had to do was shortened into a time period which means we lacked in experimenting as we did not have the time to take a lot of different shots then compare afterwards. We made sure we kept revising the storyboard as we went though the filming to make sure we are using the technical areas in the correct way. I am content though that we have filmed our main part of the title sequence and as a group I think we worked well and hard which will show in the outcome of our opening sequence.

Sunday, 13 January 2013

Shooting Schedule

This is our shooting schedule; as a group we thought it was important to list the location, times, props etc before we start filming. This will help us as we can clearly see what we need and what we need to do when making our opening sequence.

Thursday, 10 January 2013

Deadlines and Updated Roles

Long term aims

  • To plan effectively and meet deadlines
  • To share roles and responsibilities to allow the project to move forwards
  • To ensure all decisions and revisions are recorded for blogs

2013 deadlines

  • Storyboard and animatic presentation: 15th January
  • Filming: January 28th
  • Post production: Rough cut, February 15th Friday 4 pm
  • Final deadline: March 8th
  • Individual evaluations: March 29th 4pm

I am listing these as a reminder for the main deadlines. This allows me and my group to know if we are up to date and to allow the project to move forward  It is important for the project to keep on going so that we do not fall behind in any of the coursework. We have decided to split the split the group and give each other roles so that the project can move as quickly as possible:

  • Callum will be doing the animatic storyboard
  • Myself and Rachel are in charge of the costume, props, location etc.

Sunday, 6 January 2013

Representation of Age - How should I represent the age of my character?

As in class we have never focused on the representation of age I have decided to look into it as I am using a girl aged 16 in my coursework piece and it would be helpful to see how young people are represented. It will also give me a detailed insight on how age can be represented and if it is effective or not. I am also going to be focusing on location and mise-en-scene and see what affect the location has on the characters as I want to make sure when me and my group decide where we exactly want our piece to take place it needs to be effective and make the coursework piece authentic. I have only done a short summary focusing on how age is being represented so that I have a wider understanding on the effective way to represent different age groups. Overall, I am content with what I have found out as it will help me when making my coursework piece as I understand now that different age groups can be represented differently. I now know that young people are represented in a positive and innocent way as they do not have much experience in the working world. This will help me when coming to thinking about costume of my character because it may be good and effective if we try and make our protagonist look innocent in the costume.

Short summary of the extract:

The extract opens in a wide, long shot which introduces some middle aged man. Each of the men are represented in a positive way as it is evident they are working and earning a living; this is displayed through the props such as the shovels and large forks they are using. It is also inferred through the costume such as the  checkered t-shirts and large, over sized coats to keep them warm, connoting the work is mainly outside. The sound such as the non diagetic music creates a light hearted, soothing tone as it is slow country music, which also links to the costume. It is also significant that all of the characters are men as it is representing them as strong and independent  There is a straight cut to, two young characters; a male and female. Each of the characters are wearing clean, comfortable clothes which is contrasted with the characters which are previously displayed. They both almost look out of place because of the mise-en-scene and it also connotes their current lifestyle is reasonably easy as they have the time to lounge around and displays their lack of experience as their clothes are tidy and spotless. When the old man arrives he is shot at a low angle, connoting the dominance and power he has within the scene, however, because he is marginalised it implies he  does not have much importance. The two juxtaposing ideas will engage the reader as it is unclear if the age is being represented in a positive or negative way. The use of the mise-en-scene such as the costume demonstrate his wealth as he is wearing a suit, connoting he is upper class in society  This is representing his old age in a good way due to the fact he cares about the way he presents himself in public. The location also plays a part in how the representation of middle and old age is. Both the middle aged man and the old aged man have a drink in a rich room; the large windows and bookcases are iconic of the wealthy lifestyle. At the end of the extract the young girl and middle aged man have a heated debate and the man is portrayed as the more powerful one. This is through the use of the high angle up to him, and the low angle pointing down at her, representing her as weak, naive and vulnerable. 

Protagonist in Our Coursework and Costume

Originally, we decided to a Bollywood Thriller which is why she chose to use a Indian actor. However, we then found it too complex to progress the idea of a Bollywood thriller so we changed the idea to a psychological Thriller. Furthermore, we still would like to use the same actor as we think the looks of Cindy Sidhu meet what we are looking for. We wanted to find someone who has dark hair as the low key lighting which we will have in the scene will make her face look dark, creating a dark mood in the room. Even though we have decided our actor there is still major things which we need to think about such as the costume. As a group we have discussed her clothing and how we want it to be mainly dark colours but we do not want the scene to look to dark that it is unclear to see. I am content with the actor we have chosen and I think me and my group have chose well and thought strongly about what type of girl we need. Below is an image of our female actor:


What will our protagonist be wearing?
As a group we think the costume has a huge impact into the atmosphere of our opening sequence. Because it is a thriller, we have already decided to make the opening look very ominous and sinister. This is why we think our protagonist should be wearing dark coloured clothing, however, we want to make the girl look feminine by dressing her in a skirt. The reason why we want her to look feminine is because her body gestures will look very violent and masculine and we wanted to create juxtaposition to make our opening sequence more interesting. 
This is an example of what our protagonist will be wearing:
Each of these items are dark but we wanted to try and add some form of color
 so that it wasn't too black.

The Importance Of Location and Characters

I have decided to analyse an extract from the TV series Spooks to help improve my understanding of the key media concepts. I have decided to split the extract into location and characters and throughout comment on ethnicity. I did this because I think it will help me when coming to my coursework as the location and the representation of characters have a huge impact on what my coursework piece will be like. I have decided to focus the representation on ethnicity as that is the original question for the extract. By doing this I have recapped on all the main Media terms and language which will help me when I come to making my coursework as I will know what affect each of the camera, sound, editing and mise-en-scene have on the extract. I also decided to do ethnicity as in my coursework piece I am using an Indian girl and it was helpful for me to see how a middle aged Indian man is being portrayed to be like. Overall, doing this has helped me a lot as when I come to filming I can clearly see what I should and shouldn't include because of the possible effects.

The extract opens with a wide, high angle shot, introducing the location. The wide shot lets the audience notice the rich environment contrasted with the ominous low key lighting which fundamentally creates a dark mood, resulting in a sinister tone being created. The low key lighting in the room is displayed throughout the scene, this has a negative effect on the atmosphere. The ambient sound comes in dramatically but because of the supposedly natural noises which are being made it helps make the scene look authentic and realistic to the audience. The shadows which are in the background of the walls are iconic of the Gothic genre, reiterating the hostile mood and gloomy atmosphere. However, the large window which lets in the light is symbolic of the hope within the extract and because of the setting such as the enormous window it again, reinforces the idea of the setting being rich. Even though the window is open it is unclear of what is outside, and where they are which reinforces the ominous signs as it is uncertain of their location.

We are firstly introduced to a middle aged Indian business man which is stereotypical. He is introduced whilst the camera is panning at a medium shot. This helps the audience notice his costume; a dark business suit which already displays him as a stereotype. The ethnicity of the man at the beginning of the extract is being represented in a negative way, this may be because of the setting and the ominous signs which are frequently displayed. Furthermore, the dialogue and the speech he makes is very demanding and harsh. Also, his body language is very firm and the use of the recurring low angle shots make him appear dominant within the scene. The continuous slow paced editing of him walking and speaking make him the main focus in the extract, representing his ethnicity as powerful, he is also centralised in the screen the majority of the time which also helps with his significance within the extract. The hidden, undercover man is also important in the extract as even though it is unclear what ethnicity he is due to the costume he is wearing it is evident he works for the Indian man which connotes the Indian man is high in his business. Even though, the firm accusations which the Indian man is speaking out, the ethnicity is represented in a wealthy but dangerous way. The props which the hidden man is holding are things like guns and knifes which are very unsafe. The use of the undercover man being hidden also makes the other two characters; the English women and black man look like they're in danger. Furthermore, the English women is represented in two ways. We are firstly introduced to her with a high angle shot, of her tied up sitting down in a chair. This already displays that she is being held hostage and has no power over the two men which have taken charge. The recurring shot reverse shot from her to the Indian man display her distraught feelings she has to the situation she is in as she feels helpless and weak. However, the sound such as the dialogue represents her ethnicity in a stereotypical way as she is bold, and sticking up for herself; she uses strong language. The mise-en-scene such as the costume also represents her ethnicity in a stereotypical as she is also wearing a business type suit, connoting she has a well payed job. The fact that the English women is being trapped does display her as weak but because of the dialogue and costume she is portrayed in a more stereotypical way and it is implied to the audience that if she wasn't tied up she would be able to escape easily. Also, the is never centralised which again, reinforces the idea of her being dis included and less important within the scene. In addition to this, the black man is represented in an atypical way. Even though the black man is in the same position as the English girl he does not talk or stand up for either of them; his dialogue and screen time is short compared to the English girl which is representing his ethnicity as not only weak but less important than the others in this situation. 

Overall, the ethnicity in the extract has been represented and constructed in many ways. The Indian man is represented in a stereotypical way - this is mainly through the use of mise-en-scene, screen time, centralisation and camera shots. It is evident to the audience that he is wealthy and because he has people working for him he also comes across as high class. The English women is represented in two ways; because of the mise-en-scene and dialogue she is portrayed as strong and fearful which is a positive representation of the English culture. However, the situation which she is currently in is negative which is why the high angle shots reoccur so that she looks helpless and weak. The black man is represented in a complete atypical as even though his looks, look strong and dominant all of the - sound, editing, camera juxtapose the stereotypical representation as he is portrayed as less important and weak. Also, each of the characters are being represented as higher class as they all have business clothes on which connotes they are all high up in society which link in with the rich and wealthy location.