Thursday, 25 March 2010

Evaluation - Media distribution companies question?

Overture Films, this distribution company would be a company that would distribute our film because they have distributed many thrillers, like Law Abiding Citizen (2009).
Warner Bros. - this distribution company would distribute our film as they also distribute a wide range of genre's like thrillers, like A Nightmare on Elm Street (2010 Pre-production) which is produced by Michael Bay who would also be a good producer for our film as he produces many thrillers such as The Unborn (2009), Friday the 13th (2009) and Friday the 13th Part 2 (2010 - Pre-production).
A Nightmare on Elm Street (2010)

Evaluation - How does your media product represent particular social groups?

Our main character follows the conventions of a psychological thriller, as the character is represented as vulnerable and in some ways unaware of what is going to happen during her dream. This is similar to the professional film 'Physco' by Alfred Hitchcock as during the shower scene in 'Physco' there is shown a young female who is unaware of what is going to happen.

The main character is a young female, we chose it to be a female as we thought that it would make her seem vulnerable towards the audience. We also chose to put her in a floral dress to show that she is an average person in the street, and although you can't see the colour as we made it into black and white, it shows innocence and also again emphasises vulnerablity.

Tuesday, 23 March 2010

Friday, 12 March 2010

Rough Cut Feedback

Camera Work

The camera work is really good due to the variety of shots. The shots of the girl in the bed is really good, however it would of been better as a high angle shot. The 360 degree rotation shot is really good. The first small title would be better placed to the bottom left of the screen as the background is black.

When trying to film the shots of the girl in the bed, we tried to do a high angle shot of Catherine in the bed by placing the tripod onto the bed but it caused the camera to wobble and move when we didn't want it to, and the shot that we have in our opening is the highest that we can get the tripod from the ground. However we also agree with the comment about the first small title being in the wrong place, and for our final we will move it.


-Good use of editing
-Some of the titles are too big also there is too many names
-Good use of black and white to show it's a dream
-Flickering between the location is very good

For the titles we were going to break up the titles and have them flashing upon the screen however we ran out of time and weren't able to do it.


-The music helps create suspense and mystery
-The music needs to be more smooth
-The start of the section in the graveyard feels like there needs to be some speech and background noise in the beginning.

We agree that the sounds needs to be more smooth because it jumps in a lot of different places, for our final thriller opening we would like to re-work our music and spend more time on it. Unfortunately we don't think that we'll be able to recapture the background noise of the graveyard as we are not allowed but on location, so to overcome this we are planning to record other sound effects.

Mise En Scene

-Good use of props


-No Villain

We disagree with this being a convention because we decided to do a psychological thriller which doesn't need a villain as we think that her psychological problems are her villain and we need another actor/actress.

Rough Cut For Thriller Opening

This is our rough cut.

Friday, 5 March 2010

Rough Cut

When we watched our rough cut through we decided that our opening scene of Catherine sleeping is too long. We also decided that Catherine should walk up to her own grave then realise that it is her.

Friday, 26 February 2010


Today we began to start filming for our Thriller, we began by starting off in Chloes house and filming the bedroom scene of Catherine sleeping, we then went to the Churh and began to film the part where the three girls take a short cut, unfortunatly we could not finish the filming as the camera ran out of battery.
We started of with some problems, when we got to our first location we realised that we did not have our shot list with us, so as myself and Rachael began to film Catherine, Tay re-wrote the shot list.
Also when we began to film we realised that we could not use all four of us to act, so we decided that I would take the role of Camera work and that we would have only three actors.

We also look some location photos:

Thursday, 25 February 2010

Test footage

Today, (25th February) we are going to do some test footage, for the types of shots we want to include and how we want the actors to look in that style of shot like their reactions and emotions.
We wanted to use a fish eye lense, however we are going to have to use an effect of a fish eye lense on final cut express after we have filmed the shot.

Details of Filming day, times, places etc

We intend to film on Friday the 26th February, from 2.40 till around 7.30 as we need it to be mid evening so that the lighting in the film is beginning to get dark. We are filming our project in Sawston, in a graveyard and Chloe's house for the bedroom scene.
Everyone is responsible for their own outfits, but have to follow the costume plan from the blog.
Our whole group are the only actors in the film so we have organised to meet at 2.40 in our media room to collect our camera and tripod, then will all get the Citi 7 bus to our location.We will all be responsible for making sure that we are on time to the meeting point and making sure that we have all the costumes and props needed for our film.

Tuesday, 23 February 2010

Location Report 2

Both of these locations are in Sawston. We have decided to do it in Sawston, because then it would be more convenient to shoot the shots in the bed.

Example of Call sheet

Roles for Group

Location Seeker - Tay
Cinematographer - Chloe
Editor - Rachael
Sound composer - Everyone
Director - Catherine

Friday, 12 February 2010

Brian dePalma

Brian de palma, is well known for his suspense in thriller films. His films tend to fall into the catergories of psychological thrillers and his other commercial films.
He has often produced "De Palma" films one after the other before going on to direct a different genre, but would always return to his familiar territory. Because of their subject matter and graphic violence De Palma's films are often at the center of controversy with the Motion Picture Association of America, film critics and the viewing public.
De Palma is known for quoting and referencing other director's work throughout his career. Michelangelo Antonioni's Blowup and Francis Ford Coppola's The Conversation plots were used for the basis of Blow Out. The Untouchables' finale shoot out in the train station is a clear borrow from the Odessa Steps sequence in Sergei Eisenstein's The Battleship Potemkin. The main plot from Rear Window was used for Body Double while Vertigo was used as the basis for Obsession. Dressed to Kill was a note-for-note homage to Hitchcock's Psycho, including such moments as the surprise death of the lead actress and the exposition scene by the psychiatrist at the end.

Alfred Hitchcock

Sir Alfred Joseph Hitchcock, an English filmmaker and producer who pioneered many techniques in the suspense and psychological thriller genres. Successful career in his native United Kingdom in both silent films and early talkies, Hitchcock moved to Hollywood. In 1956 he became an
American citizen while retaining his British citizenship.
Hitchcock directed more than fifty feature films in a career spanning six decades. Often regarded as the greatest British filmmaker, he came first in a 2007 poll of film critics in Britain's Daily Telegraphnewspaper, which said: "Unquestionably the greatest filmmaker to emerge from these islands, Hitchcock did more than any director to shape modern cinema, which would be utterly different without him. His flair was for narrative, cruelly withholding crucial information (from his characters and from us) and engaging the emotions of the audience like no one else."

North By Northwest

North by Northwest is a 1959 American suspense film directed by Alfred Hitchcock, starring Cary Grant, Eva Marie Saint and James Mason, and featuring Leo G.Carroll and Martin Landau. The screenplay was written by Ernest Lehman, who wanted to write "the Hitchcock picture to end all Hitchcock pictures".North by Northwest is a tale of mistaken identity, with an innocent man pursued across the United States by agents of a mysterious organization who want to stop his interference in their plans to smuggle out microfilm containing government secrets (a classic MacGuffin). Author and journalist Nick Clooney praised Lehman's original story and sophisticated dialogue, calling the film "certainly Alfred Hitchcock's most stylish thriller, if not his best". This is one of several Hitchcock movies with a music score by Bernard Herrmann and features a memorable opening title sequence by graphic designer Saul Bass. This film is generally cited as the first to feature extended use of kinetic typography in its opening credits.
The world premiere took place at the San Sebastian International Film Festival.

Thursday, 11 February 2010

Planning - dates and location

We have booked our camera for the weekend beginning the 26th February, however we have had to change our location of Burwell, as our group aren't able to access Burwell for the whole weekend, so we intend to change our location of the graveyard scene to a Cambridge graveyard as it is easier for our whole group to be able to go. We will begin our filming on the fridays lesson on the 26th as we need to get to the graveyard in time for it to be mid evening so that the lighting is the correct darkness to film in.
We will still film the house seen at Chloe's house in Sawston as it is easier for our group to go there as two members live there.

Saul Bass industry

Saul Bass was an American graphic designer and Academy Award-winning filmmaker, but he is best known for his design on animated motion picture title sequences.
He worked for some of Hollywood's greatest filmmakers, including most notably Alfred Hitchcock, Otto Preminger, Stanley Kubrick and Martin Scorsese. Amongst his most famous title sequences are the animated paper cut-out of a heroin addict's arm for Preminger's The Man with the Golden Arm, the text racing up and down what eventually becomes a high-angle shot of the United Nations building in Alfred Hitchcock's North by Northwest, and the disjointed text that raced together and was pulled apart for Psycho (1960).

Anatomy of a Murder (1959) is an American trial court drama film directed by Otto Preminger and written by Wendell Mayes based on the best-selling novel of the same name written by Michigan Supreme Court Justice John D. Voelker under the pen name Robert Traver. Traver based the novel on a 1952 murder case in which he was the defense attorney. The picture stars James Stewart, George C. Scott, Lee Remick, Ben Gazzara, Arthur O'Connell, Eve Arden, Kathryn Grant, Brooks West (Arden's real-life husband), Orson Bean, and Murray Hamilton. The judge was played by Joseph N. Welch, a real-life lawyer famous for standing up to Joseph McCarthy during an anti-Communist hearing.
The film was inspired by both a book and actual events. It is famous as one of the first mainstream Hollywood films to talk frankly about sex and rape.

Photography from Anatomy of Murder

Opening titles from Anatomy of Murder

Camera work practice

We got put into different groups, and I was the director/editor for our group, this meant I was supervising the group and helping the camera man choose the angles and shots in the sequence.
In editing we used some effects to create distortion to our video like, an additive effect which blurred and mixed the shots to make it distorted. We also made the whole of the sequence blurred to make it seem suspenseful as you can't quite see what is going on. Another editing technique we used was to speed up some of the shots to make it fast paced and distorted.
I think that our task went quite well, our group worked well together all putting in input about ideas of what to do and how to lay it out.

Camera Work Practice.

Firstly we got put into different group, then we were set rolls in which we do not normally do.
I was set as actor, so I had to play a victim who was tied up to a chair.
Firstly we had trouble in finding a location, but then we found a nice in-closed space, that had a nice background. Whilst filming we had difficulties in do a high angle shot as the area we were in was quite small, but then we found an extra chair to stand on.
Then after when we uploaded the footage onto Final Cut Express, I realised that there are people from our group in the background, so I had to change the contrast darker to try and hide the people. I also had to speed part of the high angle 360 degrees shot as this gave it more of an effect. I then also added an earthquake filter to give it more of a distort look.
I feel like the final piece of work went pretty well.

Friday, 5 February 2010

Shot list

1. Establishing shot - high angled - road in Burwell next to grave yard
2. Pan upwards - from shoes to pan upward to face of main character - street
3. Track backward - group of 4 girls walking forwards towards camera - street
4. Mid shot/long shot - dark and scary, next to the graveyard group about to walk into it
5. Long shot - main road houses are visible, characters are unsure of going through graveyard
6. Match on action - track forward following the group into the graveyard
7. Match on action - girls facing camera, track backwards
8. Pan upwards - on a gravestone up into the sky
9. Over the shoulder shot - keeping camera on same position as the shot 8, we will do an over the shoulder shot using the background grave as a shoulder with the girls walking.
10. long shot - track back, girls walking towards the camera still smiling having fun.
11. High angle shot from tree. Main character slightly in front, maybe on the phone.
12. Track forward, following main character as she's walking forward.
13. Mid shot - main character turns around asking a questions, hangs up call
14. Reaction shot - Catherine face, still a mid shot looking scared, worried.
15. Point of view shot - from exactly where Catherine is standing picture of no one else with her.
16. Collection of random shots for example close up on gravestones, dark shadowy areas, church, gravel, Catherine's face looking frantic, words for example R.I.P beloved daughter.
17. Collection of long shots, for example Catherine running, looking for people. Over her shoulder, searching frantically.
18. Mid shot - Catherine's back to the camera then she turns just her head to look over her shoulder and then opens her mouth as if she is meant to scream.
19. Close up - Catherine's eyes closed and sleepy.
20. Birds eye shot. - Catherine is fidgeting while flash forwards happens. (Also we are going to repeat this throughout the flash back)
21 Close up - Catherine open eyes wide, breathing hard.

Story boards

Thursday, 4 February 2010

Psychological thriller

Psychological thriller is a specific sub-genre of the wide-ranging thriller genre. However, this genre often incorporates elements from the mystery and drama genre in addition to the typical traits of the thriller genre. Also, occasionally this genre will border into the also wide-ranging horror genre.
for example:

Political Thriller

Political thrillers shows a political power struggle. They show a high authority set of characters that usually show their power through disasters in the country that they're trying to get around but other people get int he way making it harder for them.
An example of a political thriller is:

Action Thriller

This are the conventions that action thrillers can use:
-fear of the unknown
-music to build up the tension
-subtle deaths
-flawed hero
-explosive stunt
-building up of suspense.

For example:
The usual suspects
-enigma of villain
-unconventional camera work
-music is mysterious
-police sirens link to crime
-dark shadowy lighting
-concealment of villain identity.

Crime thriller

Crime thrillers tend to focus on one big crime with many small crime's, or there is a chain of many continuous crime's throughout.
They include scenes of robberies and murders.

Examples of crime thrillers are:
Taking of Pelham 123
Public Enemies

Prop list

For our thriller project the props that we are going to need are:
-A smoke machine, to create a misty and eerie effect to the graveyard scene, and it would also make the audience more uncomfortable as they would expect something to happen.
-Extension cable so that we can use the smoke machine in the graveyard.


Focus refers to the degree of sharpness or distinctness of an image (or an element of an image such as a person, object, etc.); as a verb, it refers to the manipulation or adjustment of the lens to create a sharper image; terms related are deep focus, shallow focus (very common in close-ups), soft focus, and rack focusing.

For our thriller opening we are intending to do a shot were we pan up a gravestone and then focus onto the girls walking past the gravestone. We want to be panning up the gravestone which should be in focus, with the girls out of focus into the background. Then the camera would stop panning and focus onto the girls.

To do this shot we will have to do a practice shot at school, because we are unsure whether the cameras are good enough to do the focusing. So after testing, asking the teachers and technicians, we found that we will be unable to do the shots because the resources at our college are very limited, because of this restriction we decided that we should do an over the shoulder shot instead of changing the focus.

Tuesday, 2 February 2010


Smart but casual clothing
Light colours, for the flashback scene. As although it is in black and white filter, we want to show the group of girls as light and cheery while walking down the street. Costumes to be modern and contemporary to help the audience identify the age of the characters.

Main character:
Floral Dress, Black tights, black shoes.

Other characters:
1: Light blue high wasted shorts, white vest top, black boots, blazer.
2: Tights, red skirt, white vest with two blue anchors as detail, black boots.
3: Navy jeans, vest top, flat pump shoes.

Final Idea

We chose to do Idea 1, as we thought that this would be able to include a lot of thriller conventions into our sequence.
In our sequence we intend to use:
A series of point of view shots and close ups to show the young girls fragile state of mind.
A fish eye lense would be used to distort the camera, and also add to the effect that the girl was psychologically mental.

During the flash forward dream we intend to use low level non diegetic eerie music, to create a mysterious and suspenseful atmosphere to the scene.
Our location of the graveyard would add to the atmosphere as it is a very unnerving place to be, and it would also make the audience feel slightly uncomfortable, because it is a psychological thriller the audience gets into the mind of the main character therefore also experiencing her problems.