Thursday, 24 March 2011

FInal Cut Feedback

- The use of flashback at the beginning gives us a feeling of what the film is going to be like, good editing.
- Editing on the pictures was good and the sound went well with it when the pictures were flicking through.
- Production company's logo is very impressive.
-The repetition of the images+ the increase pace really builds up suspense makes us empathise with protagonist.
- Sound and clips work perfectly together to maintain a tense atmosphere
- Spotlight bit is really good and really liked the use of sound. The special effects used in some of the flashbacks are very good, the sound with the photos at the end is also very good.
- Liked the production company and the sound over it.
- Like the editing between the kidnapped person and the park.
- Lovely memory photos.
- Film production logo animation looks really good.
- Liked the lighting at the beginning with the light moving around the frame.
- The lighting of the hostage room was really creative and works well.
- The sound in time with the images builds up suspense well.
-Really liked the first shot with the production logo, it was really effective and cleverly done.
- The photos that were used near the end started piling up at the end and this was really effective.
- Like the blurry effects to create a sense of flashbacks, the use of photographs really built up emotion.
-Liked the shots to show the relationship between the characters when they are playing football.
- Liked the pictures flash up and gradually get faster as they create tension.

- The ending could be improved.
- It could have a stronger ending as it doesn't really explain why he has been taken.
- The titles at the beginning could stay up longer.
- While the two characters are playing football the camerawork is jerky.
- The swinging of the lamp could be smoother.
- Lighting in the end clips flick from light to dark, this isn't very noticeable but a little distracting.
- Potentially too dark in the captivity section.
- The pictures at the end go on for a little too long and the pauses on the photos are longer on some then others.
-The titles at the end make it look like a trailer.
- Titles were quite small, possibly make them slightly bigger.
- Use a mixture of effects instead of the thunder.
- Have titles and names up on screen for longer right at the beginning.

Tuesday, 22 March 2011

Window Pane

Thriller Pane

Shot one shows our company logo spotlight productions, we chose this one because we liked the idea of the moving logo and we think this one represented this idea well.

Shot two shows the lighting of our thriller, within the captive seen there is very low lighting to create a mysterious effect. It also gives a view of the lighting that is used throughout our thriller. It is very low lighting apart from when there is flashback shown when it suddenly changes to natural, bright lighting to show the contrast between the two sets of shots.

Shot three shows a close up of the weapon in the hands of the enemy this is a very significant prop to our opening sequence as it is used in one of the most important events in our sequence - the killing.

Shot four shows the costume worn by the hostage, a torn, muddy, blood covered shirt, ripped trousers and a hessian sack covering his face this was a strong mise en scene point for our thriller.

Shot five shows an example of camerawork that is used commonly throughout our sequence to signify certain props and aspects of mise en scene. In this case, it is the football which is important to the scene as it brings back happy memories.

Shot six shows piece of camera work we used which was a hand held camera looking at the victim in the bushes this showed that the audience were looking through the point of view of the killer.

Shot seven shows a long shot of the couple playing football, this also reflects the thriller convention of the extraordinary happening in the ordinary world. For example, the extraordinary is a normal scene in this case of a couple playing football compared with the ordinary event of a shot of the captive. 

Shot eight shows a close up of the gun against the face of the victim this also shows the media convention of Voyeurism because the gun is placed against a woman's head. This is often used to show women as commodities to be had. 

Shot nine shows the hostage on his side it shows that he gets emotional when placed in a situation where he is forced to think about his one main weakness, his 'achilles heel'. 

Friday, 18 March 2011

Tuesday, 15 March 2011


Camera work
There are a good use of camera shots such as long shots, medium shots, closed ups and extreme close ups and i think that they are used very well. The long shots to show the scene, and closer up hsots when more detail is needed. I really liked the shot of Tom and Jess walking way @ 0:43 as i think it was framed very well, them walking into the distance getting a bit smaller as the camera stayed static. Also liked the shot @ 1:34 which makes use of a natural boarder with the trees. However at about 1:20 the shot is very shakey as it is panned across the field, which isn't nice to watch. Even though they are still images i think that the last shots work really well in creating suspence and highering the pace making the last shot (kicking football) really dramatic. This builds up the tension and supsence for the full length film to start, which i think work really well.

Thriller conventions
Lots of potential thriller conventions are in your opening sequence which is good. Your thriller is based on a crime, which is a kidknapping, this is one of the main thriller conventions. I think that one of the best ones which you have used is using micros elements to build up suspense. As i said above the still images work wonderful to do this and then the quick shot combined with the sudden noise to finish works very well to create a very dramatic feel.

Friday, 4 March 2011

Preparing for Filming

Meeting at 11:00 at Mepal primary school.

Dom is bringing:

  • Chair
  • Full suit 
  • Pillow

Tom is bringing:

  • Light
  • Gun
  • Hessen sack
  • White shirt
  • Jeans
  • Worn white shirt
  • Casual clothing (for three different scenes)
  • Pillow

Jess is bringing:

  • Light
  • Casual clothing (for three different scenes)
  • Pillow
  • Camera / Tripod

Amy is bringing:

  • Lucozade bottle 
  • Pillow

Tuesday, 1 March 2011


We've decided within our title sequence we want to include the company name:
'Spotlight Studios' with the appropriate company logo also.

We also want to include the actors real names as appose to the character names to make it seem more professional as this is a common feature shown in existing film productions.
'Dominic Jones' 'Tom Harradine' 'Jessica Howard'
And the directors name too:
'Amy Smith'.

We've decided on a font also (seen in our previous posts) which is from and called pulse.
we thought this is a good font as it is distorted and appears to be a short life line which makes it seem like the reflection of our story line.

Thriller Analysis

The thriller I am going to analyse is 'Vertigo' By 'Alfred Hitchcock'.
Sound, Mise En Scene, Editing, Camera work.
The sound used in the sequence is quite repetitive with a recurring sequence that is changed and built up when a title appears on screen. There is no dialogue, which isn't uncommon. However, often in thrillers the opening credits are sometimes shown in the form of a flashback that use diegetic sounds such as gunshots or sounds that symbolize and revisit a particular memory. But this sequence doesn't use any diegetic sound, just non diegetic music.
 One aspect of Mise En Scene that is stereotypical of the thriller genre is the colors that are used throughout the sequence. They are comprised mainly of Black, White and Dark Red. Examples are shown below.

One piece of camera work that is used a lot in thrillers is the close up on significant features of a character. For example, the examples above show the use of close ups on both the mouth and eye. These two close ups are used a lot as the mouth and eyes of a character give an impression, of what the character is feeling. For example, both the mouth and the eyes twitch a lot in this sequence. This creates a sense of nerves and uneasiness which makes the viewer feel sorry for the character.
Lastly, editing. The editing uses many pans and zooms, focusing on different parts of the character's face. These are often long and try and capture as many aspects of the face as possible. Making the viewer focus in on these aspects individually through the use of close ups.
One interesting use of editing is a spiral effect this is quite extravagant especially for the time that this film was made. I see it as a way of keeping the viewer's attention. These patterns are all based around the reoccurring theme of 'the eye'. With colors circling around a small 'pupil' looking dot in the middle. This reoccurring theme makes the viewer realize early on that a big feature of this film is eyes. Which should lead to the viewer being able to realize that this is a physcological thriller.

Monday, 28 February 2011

Thriller Analysis (Amy)

The thriller opening I chose to analysis was Se7en.

The background music used in the opening of Se7en is very tense, it's quite slow to begin with but the pace quickens towards the end of the sequence. The sound used is non-diagetic as the characters cannot hear the music being played. The music in the sequence ends with lyrics, which makes it more tense as it suddenly stops and words are emphasized in bold letters with the camera panning the page they appear on.

Throughout the opening sequence, it cuts to various different objects such as pictures and books which obviously has some meaning and relates to the story some how. It adds a mysterious edge to the opening, making it tense and wondering what will happen later on in the film. The colouring of the opening sequence was all black, red and white which were strong colours to relate to a thriller as black is dark and edgey and red represents danger and blood. The names which appeared are often shadowed and some of the sequence, for example seeing someone writing on a page, is shadowed too.

There are various different camera angles and movements used during the sequence, like panning over the pages or pictures and writing. The lighting is really dark and typical of a thriller opening. Overall, the mix of music, various different camera angles and shots, and dark lighting make the opening sequence to Se7en a typical tense thriller opening and extremely effective, that leave the viewers intrigued to know what happens on later on in the film.

Pulp fiction opening titles, (Tom)

I chose the thriller: Pulp fiction

The opening to Pulp fiction is different to others, it isn't really shots of the movie and people in it, it starts with two people in a diner and one shouts this is a robbery, then the music starts to play and the credits appear.

Firstly the music used in the piece is a known song called 'Pump it' by black eyed peas but the orginal in the opening is called 'Misirou' written by Dick Dale. The sound is non-diegetic because its not actuall happening or fitting in, the music is quite upbeat and lively, this then gives out a relaxed enviroment which is different from other thrillers because others use the tempo in music to increase tension.

The editing in the opening is very unique and complex, the beggining of the opening tittles there is a bullet and it goes through different ojects whilst slowly making progress across the screen.


Monday, 21 February 2011

Thriller Title Sequence Analysis (Jessica)

Thriller: Psycho 

The backing track used in the opening title sequence of Psycho is a high pitched string piece which creates tension instantly and very well. The pace of the music is quick also making the audience feel tense and feel like they are moving at the same pace as the music. All sound in the opening title sequence of Psycho is Non-Digetic. Towards the end of the opening the track uses and "call and response" style of notes, using the same notes but in a different pitch, this creates a mysterious atmosphere, relating the music back to the direct story line of the film. The use of contrapuntal sound with the pitches of the instruments is very effective and has an impact on the audience which makes them feel tense and alert them into the genre of the film. The track finishes on one long suspended note, creating suspense as it fades into the opening of the film.

 The Editing within the opening of psycho is done with the strong use of transitions between screens and the use of fades. 


This example shows the use of the grey lines to bring the words into focus, this technique is used throughout the opening sequence, it is very effective to the audience and goes in time with the music also. The colouring in the opening title sequence is all grey, white and red, this sets the time in which the thriller was created.


This is another example of a simple but effective transition, the use of splitting the word psycho into three sections and making them move left and right and different times this creates a very shadowy atmosphere reflecting the genre on the film. The way the transitions come together, could be argued to reflect the story line of the film, how lots of different pieces of information are put together to finally reveal an answer. These transitions are repeated in slight different ways- the use of repetition of the same thing is a common feature of psychological thrillers.

The lighting is all dark throughout the opening title sequence again reflecting on the atmosphere created throughout the film.

There is no variety on the camera angles throughout this opening as it is more of a graphic opening compared to a thriller such as se7en which uses a wider variety of camera angles and camera movements.

Overall, the use of simple transitions and strong sound track come across as very effective, they create a very tense atmosphere instantly alerting the audience into the genre of film they are watching and the mysterious happenings which are going to entail. This opening title sequence is simple but effective and it fore fills all traditional features of a thriller.

Thursday, 17 February 2011

Lesson 17/2/11

Screen shot 2011-02-17 at 11.41.20

This is our first go at playing around with title effects in final cut within our title sequence, we used effects such as earthquake and blur to create a distorted effect :)

Tuesday, 15 February 2011

Lesson 15/2/11

In today's lesson we have finalised some ideas which were still in the air, we decided on the location for our thriller opening such as we chose to film the majority of our opening in soham, such as the snooker hall and park, Dom is going to ask permission for filming in the snooker hall soon. For our dark room we are going to ask permission from Mepal's primary school to borrow a classroom for this. We also decided on the date to film our project. 

We also made our flashback sequence in final cut today:

Screen shot 2011-02-15 at 14.12.07

This way we'll have a head start on our editing as we our filming on the last weekend possible not giving us much time for editing ):

Font Ideas

Screen shot 2011-02-15 at 13.16.46

We liked this font because of the heart pulse through the middle of the writing. We are considering this font for our main title.

Screen shot 2011-02-15 at 13.21.33
We liked this one too as it is distorted and looks scratched and worn.

Screen shot 2011-02-15 at 13.20.34
We're not too keen on this font, it seems quite mysterious to the audience.

Screen shot 2011-02-15 at 13.25.35
We all really liked this font as it fits the distorted mise en scene we were looking to create.

Screen shot 2011-02-15 at 13.27.19
We liked this font but it seems more suitable for a horror and also it is quite difficult to read.

Screen shot 2011-02-15 at 13.28.48
This is a clearer font to read than the above but with a very similar style to it, but we don't like these as much as we do some of our other options.

Friday, 11 February 2011

Our Test Shot Footage

This is our test footage for one of our shots for our thriller. You can see the safety precautions we took during this :)

Safety precautions for our thriller opening

We realised that if we were going to film our captive falling from a chair then we would have to protect his head. We did this by covering his head with various items of clothing and also used a sports mat for the captive to land on so he didn't hurt himself. These pictures also show that we want to tie the captives hands for a full effect. 










More Happy Memory Images






Thursday, 10 February 2011

Our sonic mood board

This is our final sonic moodboard it shows the type of mise en scene we plan to create during our thriller. We also used the images we plan to use in our "happy memories" flash backs of the captive and his girlfriend. We used the sound effects of pool balls smashing to show the dramatic swing of the captives head as he tries to fight off the flash backs he is having.

Areas For Improvement

After watching and analysing our children's film openiong sequence i am able to identify three areas that I think we should improve in order to make our Thriller opening more efficient and to make it look more proffesional. These three areas are Sound, Planning and Composition.

Firstly, Sound.
The sound in our children's film was non-diegetic music. Personally, I don't think it worked too well with the overall feel we were trying to create in our sequence. The actual composition worked quite well but creating the wrong mood and atmosphere. For example, the scene where Bagman enters fully transformed for the first time, the mood that would ideally be created would be tense and dramatic through the use of loud drums and deep, low bassy instruments. As oppose to the one used in our sequence which was a mellow plucking guitar sound.

Secondly, Planning.
We did some general planning for our chiuldren's film but i personally know that my own planning lacked detail and precision and therefore I scored very low marks. But the lack of planning also effected our efficiency when it came to shooting. We had done a storyboard but looking back it could've been in more detail. Thus helping us in greater detail when it came to shooting. Had we storyboarded in greater detail we would've known exactly what we needed to shoot and when.

Tuesday, 8 February 2011

Story Board

Camera Shot List

Our Happy Memory Photos

These are some of the still images we are going to use in our flash back sequence to represent the memories of the captive's past life.