Thursday, 21 May 2009

Art of Title (Keyframes) - 1

1. Costumes and Props - This clip shows the cop and one of the thugs. The cop (foreground) is hard as nails. So I gave him a leather jacket and a beanie hat to hide his face. The rest of his outfit is hidden from view in his shot. The other man (the thug) I put in a shirt and jeans. This gave him a 'bouncer' style look. Which I also gave to the other thug. He is holding a pistol finishing off the thug/aggressive look.

2. Visual Effects - This shot is when my main cop shoots his pistol. I used detonation films to get a gun shot muzzle flash and used AfterEffects to make it look like it was coming out of the gun barrel. A couple of seconds later the bullet fired from the gun flies into the screen. Again, I used AfterEffects to create this effect.

3. Typography - This image is taken from the credits at the very start of the sequence. I added some animation to it. In this the 'Xander Matthews'' moves left and the 'Film' moves right. I used AfterEffects to make all of the titles for my film.

4. Transitions - This is a shot that continues throughout the film. It separates the other shots that are fast and loud. It has an eery silence about it which gives the other shots much more impact. I decided to class it as a transition because I use it as a bridge between the other shots.

5. Lighting - This was the shot where the camera is looking down on the cop badge. It was actually surprisingly hard to get the shot right, as the lighting was often wrong and it took us a few shots to get the writing on the badge in focus. But adjusting the position of the badge and using a coat to create a bit of a shadow, we were able to make the shot work. The rest of the film was shot entirely using natural light.

6. Setting - This shot represents the setting of our piece nicely as is shows the type of location we were filming in. It was a grotty, half run-down car park that looked on it's last legs. I chose the shot because of the dirty steps, and cracked walls that gives the audience the feeling of this depressed, broken atmosphere.

7. Framing - I like the framing of this shot. It took me a while to set it up to get both sides of the wall. I first filmed it with only one side of the wall in view of the camera. However I decided that this shot didn't really represent the urgency of the character as: A. The audience didn't see him running for long enough and B. The fact you couldn't exactly see where he was running to didn't give the audience a big enough sense of urgency. In this shot you can see both sides of the wall to give the impression of it being just another alley-way. It makes them think that there is no escape as they can see the character just continuing to run down the same road/pathway.

8. Camera Movement - This was a very hard tracking shot to film. It involved a lot of tracking fast camera movement. We eventually decided that we would just run with the camera. We had to film it several times to get it right and it didn't turn out perfectly but it definitely wasn't bad. Also, the shakiness of the camera added to the urgency and desperation I was trying to portray, so it turned out rather well.

9. Narration - In the film there was no narration read. However, this clip describes some of the story-line. A lone cop on a bench minding his own business but being confronted by two thugs. Even though there is no actual sound of talking in the film, this is the shot (along with the ones straight after it) that best represents what the people are feeling.

Wednesday, 20 May 2009

Similar Characters - 2






These are similar characters that I have tried to make my main cop like. They are all Ethically driven hard cop type people who strive to make things right. The image of Clive Owen (bottom) sitting on the bench is slightly similar to my main character. 

Tuesday, 19 May 2009

Opening Sequence with commentary... - 3

What kind of media institution might distribute your media product and why?

Who would be the audience for your media product?


Monday, 18 May 2009

Feedback from Jake and Jim - 4

Today Jake and Jim (who have successfully directed and written several television adverts and music videos) came into our class and watched our projects. After watching them they gave us some feedback. They said the following about my video:


They thought that my video shouldn't have mixed credit styles. For example, my video has animated credits and static credits, live action and against-black-background credits. Their thoughts were that I should pick one type/style and use that. They liked the credits I put on the wall. So in future I might use those kind of credits (integrated onto objects from the live footage style).

They liked the cuts from the diagetic sound to silence, along with the credits. This is also my favourite bit of the sequence (between 0:40 and 1:35). The sounds of the feet running, and then the silence goes nicely to make the sequence.

Sunday, 17 May 2009

Technology I used... - 6

Note: Click on the images to read the text!








Thursday, 5 March 2009

What I learnt from the continuity task - 7

Looking back at your preliminary task (the continuity editing task), what do you feel you have learnt in the progression from it to full product?

Finished Film Project:

to...

Finished Continuity Task:

to...
You can see by the images above that there are similarities between them. When making the continuity project I learnt how to keep time when switching shots. This was practiced in Final Cut Express. The cutting of the footage so that it interlinked well with the next section. In the continuity task there was a scene where James is trying to close the door (which is a medium shot of him and shows his whole body) and a shot of Matt H staring on in disbelief and depression at how 'nerdy' he is (which is a close up shot of his face).

This is similar to the shot that I had in my finished Film Opening Project. When the thug stops to intimidate the cop. There is a similar sequence of shots. I used the knowledge that I gained on the continuity task to keep the time and make the sequence look better. 

Invoice Information Clouds



Sunday, 1 March 2009

The characters

Character 1:


Main - Sebastian Fox. An undercover cop for several years, hardened by all the things he is seen. He is very good at what he does and keeps himself to himself. Is very quiet, but unusually clever. Is good with words and has a way of working himself out of situations. At the beginning of the film is in a relationship with a woman whome he cares about very much and would die to protect. He doesn't tollerate anyone who throws their weight around, uses weapons to intimmidate or is impolite. He has a strct moral code which he finds he may have to break in the course of the film. Is working undercover for a terrorist organization run by Max Scarr, the most notorious criminal/terrorist in the city.



Character 2:


Bad Thug - Kirk Smithson (Viewer never finds out name.) A man who is everything Fox isn't, and all he hates. Enjoys intimmidating people and loves to execute people who show fear towards him. Is a hired grunt and is easily distracted. Hired by Max Scarr to assasinate Eli Matterson. Unknown to Fox about the connection, Smithson is killed at the beginning of the film by Fox. This sets off the course of events which leads to Fox being discovered.




Character 3:


Good character - Eli Matterson. A buisnessman who has been handed with a brefcase containing a deadly toxin. He is asked to take the breifcase to a specified location with a aid of a convoy. The two thugs hit the convoy and kill everyone escorting him. This gives him time to make a breif getaway but is followed closely behind by the two thugs. This is when the film starts. He becomes friends with Fox and is seen a bit in the film helping him to bring down Scarr. Below is the only photograph taken of him. It was taken by a terrorist agent trying to discover his identity. He snapped the photograph and tried to run. He was killed but not before he wired the photograph into Scarr's possesion. With this photo he tracked down Matterson, and sent two ment to kill him. (The thugs)




Character 4:


Bad/Good Thug - John Hughes. Quite a tall person. Hughes starts off the film as a hired thug working with Smithson to kill Matterson. He is shot by Fox, but Fox spares him. After the event he is re-hired by Scarr and told to kill Fox. When the opportunity presents itself he shows more compassion than him profile suggests and pays Fox the same respect he showed him by saving his life. He continues to work with Fox to bring down Scarr, is killed near the end of the film by one of Scarr's men.

Evaluation

Some of the shots I included in this film were inspired by; 28 Weeks Later (The short tracking shots), Shoot 'Em Up (The slow zoom of man sitting down) The Usual Suspects (The side track of the feet), James Bond films (The style of music. Guitar heavy and powerful riffs) and some shots that I can't remember where I got them from, but I know some of which were inspired by a program/film that I have seen. (Such as the bullet flying into the screen and the zoom in on the police badge).

I have clear social groups in the film. The first being the man in a suit. He is represented as a buisness man because of his dress, and the breifcase he is carrying confirms this whilst also creating intruigue for the audience by the fact he is holding it in a protective stance. (Arms wrapped around it).

The second social group being the thugs chasing him. I have given them a bouncer type look by placing them in casual trousers, but putting shirts on their top-half therefore giving them that casual/smart look. The actors for those parts were chosen as they are the fastest sprinters. This makes the scene where you see the man in the suit and the thugs chasing him all in one shot have more tension.

The final social group is the cop. He is off duty and looks run-down and scruffy. His leather jacket represents him as being quite tough and the hat he wears so he can hide himself, and give him more of an 'undercover' look. His braveness in the face of danger is represented when one of the thugs comes up to him and cocks his gun. He reveals no trace of fear and stares him in the eyes with a dead pan face.

My target audience for the film are all males. Between the ages of 15 and 50. The film was designed to take the mickey of its own genre. A hard-nut cop who has to make the hardest decision of his life whilst getting involved in a copious number of gunfights along the way. It if a film made just for fun, and for people to enjoy and laugh at, whilst bringing some emotion into the madness. The film industry I would imagion to distribute would be one that focuses just such a genre.

My audience is attracted primerily by the fact that a gun is fired and someone is killed within the first three minutes of the film. Also by the form of editing style making the fast cuts from loud noise to silence and then back to loud noise exciting for those watching. It makes the audience see that something is about to happen and that their thirst for action will be satified soon.

I have very much improved my skills with Final Cut Express and After Effects in the making of the film. I was helped by some and worked some things out for myself in the editing process. When working things out for myself I found I gained a much better insight into how to do it, however from lack of time, sometimes I had to ask someone who knew how to help me.

From the continuity task I learnt a lot. I realised that in the footage on it's own there were some bits that didn't work with the flow of the sequence and I cut out. Such as I found I had a bit of footage which showed the thugs running from right to left rather than vice versa. I got rid of this footage as it completely destroyed the continuity of the sequence.

Friday, 27 February 2009

Wednesday, 25 February 2009

Full Story Line

Sebastian Fox is an undercover cop. One of the toughest nuts in the box. He is working to unhinge a crime organization led by Max Scarr. All seems to be going well, when he is discovered and his life as he knows it goes down the drain. His strong sense for fighting for good conflicts horribly with his concience and self preservation when Scarr forces him to chose between the fate of the city, and the woman he loves.

What would you chose?

My rough cut version of my introduction sequence...

This is the rough cut of my film. I need to add some sound (and get rid of some sound in other parts). I also want to adjust the effects and possibly reorder/change the credits (for example, I want to change the name of the film). So far I have used almost all of my footage. I think it turned out rather well, other than some of the footage being a bit jolty.

The silence is nice in some points too, and I think the simple sound of the feet improves the overall feel. I want to add music/sound to the first fourty seconds or so of the video, and also at the end. I'm also looking to add some more to the very end of the video, to give an outro, to the intro so to speak.

I need to fix the alignment of the credits with the video as well. (For example, on the scene with the stairs, the credits come in a fraction of a second before the black background comes in.

Tuesday, 24 February 2009

Three tips for future filming.

1. Never trust your friends' availability schedule. Some people will always let you down.

2. Feel free to have the ability to deviate from the story-board a bit more. It's only a guideline.

3. Keep a level of realism when planning your shots. However, don't be too restrictive/restraining of your own abilities.

My 'picture'.

Everything was picture perfect at the point where I was at my filming location, I had all of my actors and crew in position, and had just hit record. I was sitting on a skateboard, being gently rolled forwards. I had the camera in my hand which was looking at Max (my main character). The rolling motion creating a slow zoom, rather than just using the cameras digital zoom.

It was cold and the weather was perfect for what I wanted to achieve. The location gave the grotty feel I was looking for. The camera worked perfectly and afterwards the results were brilliant.

Wednesday, 11 February 2009

Credits I'm going to use

The following are the credits (hopefully in order) that I'm going to use for my introduction sequence.

David Cage (Actor)
Birth of Ending (Name of film)
Pippa Heath (Actor)
Donnie Kruger (Actor)
Oliver Waston (Actor)
Blinky Jones (Actor)
Casting by Max Phillips C.S.A. (Casting)
Music by Leon Light-Lopez (Music)
Costume Designer Matthew McAndrews (Costume)
Production Designer Josh Hamilton (Production Design)
Edited by Alexander Matthews.(Editing - Note, says 'Edited', not 'Editor')
Director of Photography Christopher Lite (Photography Director)
Executive Producer Tom Piper (Production)
Dean Walker Co-producer (Production - Note, name and job swap sides)
Produced by Andrew Reefe (Production)
Directed by Xander Whitcombe (Director)

Saturday, 7 February 2009

Animatic

This is the animatic I made out of the storyboard I drew. Due to a lack of time (in which I lost the first version of my animatic) I didn't have time to put sound or credits on it. I planned it to start with my Long Road logo and my production company logo. I was then going to place credits on the screen representing how they would appear in the actual sequence. I plan to still do this at some point in the coming weeks.

Wednesday, 4 February 2009

Mood Board

This is the mood board I created for my film opening sequence.

Gun Prop and Street samples

Below are two pictures I just took of one of the pistols I will be using in the sequence. *Note: It's not real.*





There are some street samples that I want. The top one is just the sort of thing I was looking for. Now I just need to find a street like that with a bench...



Props...

I am looking for a dark figure for my main character. Ideal for this would be a leather jacket/Matrix style trench coat. Dark jeans (possibly black) and black shoes. I will also need a battered wallet, and something that represents a police badge.

For the injured buisness man, I will be needing a suit. I also need to be able to tear up that suit. He may also have a breifcase (to add more mystery to it). As the camera will be slightly far away I won't be putting any blood on him, but just in case I change my mind, the mixture would be: Golden syrup, red food colouring and water.

For the two 'chasers' they should be dressed dark, but fassionably. They should also have a hint of smartness about them, such as a shirt on.

For three of the characters I will also be needing guns. I have two already, and possibly a third, so this shouldn't be a problem.

Issues with filming my sequence:

Nuisances:

- Getting ill would cause me to miss more time from the project.
- Keeping my crew/actors happy and motivated while filming.
- Organising groups of people is suprisingly hard. This may mean that when I come to shoot, I encounter problems.

Minor Concerns:

- How well the people in my crew can act will significantly affect the outcome and overall look of my film.
- The lack of cameras may result in not being able to film as much, or for as long as I would like.
- Weather conditions (such as recent snow) may cause college to be shut for further periods of time, causing us to fall behind.
- When I film, weather conditions on the day/night might change how the film looks when filmed.

Possible major issues:

3 Major Issues:

1: I have to use a gun in a public place. This may be seen as being anti-social or even illegal.

Possible solutions:
- Green screen the man with the gun onto the street.
- Put up signs/posters around different locations (in the vicinity) warning people that filming is in progress.
- Having someone warning people entering the area that filming is in progress and not to be alarmed.
- Use camera shots to suggest a gun , but never actually see it.
- Film the bits with a gun in a far more secluded location.

2: As I'm trying to make the setting of the sequence at night, I need to find a way for the lighting to be correct.

Possible solutions:
- I could film at dawn or dusk and adjust the light levels in editing to make it seem darker. *Dave could probably help me with this.*
- I could film at night and then use a large torch to make the whole area brighter.
- I could green screen the street, however this may look slightly tacky.
- I could find a bench (my setting) that is under a lamp post, so that the scene is lit by the setting.

3: I hope to find a good location to film my sequence. However, it's going to be hard to find exactly what I'm looking for. I fear if I don't, the sequence will look bad.

Possible solutions:
- Green screen the street (again, this would probably look tacky).
- Scout heavily around Cambridge and close areas. *Ask people who live in Cambridge if they know of anywhere such as where I'm looking for*
- Film somewhere that looks similar and then edit in the street.

Saturday, 31 January 2009

Feedback from Tim

About my blog:

You have a very strong blog. You have clearly put a lot of time and effort into making it. The use of pictures and video helps by separating out all the text, which, while there is a lot, is all relevant and important to the subject. It is clearly set out and easy to read on a plain background, and is headed clearly stating what each paragraph is about, unlike osme people who may just put "homework".

Well done.

Wednesday, 28 January 2009

Key Frames and Film Stills

Today we drew up some Film stills. These were taken from or Key Frames sheet of paper.

The Key Frames sheet was drawn the day before. It consisted of nine of the most important shots that we would be having in our title sequence. It made us think more carefully about the more important features of our sequence by making us draw them out. This helps as it is easy for someone to say that an idea is 'in my head', however when you come to write it down it often becomes apparent how sketchy that idea was. Putting detail to your ideas is vital as it really lets you explore your own ideas as well as someone elses (if you're helping in their production).

Drawing key frames gets you to put your sequence in order and really work out when and where all these ideas are going.

The Film Stills asked us to take our three favourite stills from the Key Frames sheet, and draw them up bigger and in greater detail. Doing this was harder than I thought it would be as I had to pay close attention to matching what was on the Key Frames sheet to the Film Stills sheet. Buildings and scenery had to be in the right places, and to scale. The scale part was often difficult and making things look good is even harder. I makes you think a lot more about the detail of the scenery and what sort of atmosphere was set by your Mood Board that you should reflect in your introduction sequence.

Sunday, 25 January 2009

Introduction Sequence Fonts

I have been looking at DVDs for similar films. I was looking to try and emulate the sort of style used in the film Children of Men, with an addition of the classic confusion and panic used in the opening scenes of Fight Club and Shoot 'em Up. I would be looking for fonts that resemble these sort of films.

Mood Board Pictures


















Making Machinima and Using MovieStorm

Below is the short MovieStorm movie I made. It consists of an attempted murder (even though the theme isn't exactly original). It turned out rather well, however due to the computer slowing to almost a halt it made editing difficult. It became so slow that even the simplest of actions was made near impossible.

However, aside from the slowness the program was easy to use and nothing was made too complicated. The characters generally good at following commands and I only had to fix some mistakes that they made a couple of times. However, sometimes the characters would put their limbs through themselves and such glitches occured rather often. Others included people running through walls and limbs being stretches extensively.

The camera angle editor is very easy to master and efficient. It allowed to very easily get some good camera shots that looked proffesional. Along with the number of miniature animations available to control your characters with the film actually turned out rather well.

Friday, 23 January 2009

MovieStorm Machinima

Essentials

Eye catching and intriguing imagery.
Institutional detail (production company, distributors etc.)
Makes you want to watch rest of the film.
Good relevant soundtrack
Don't give away too much story.
Build up tension
Title of the film itself
General Credits

Tuesday, 20 January 2009

Professional Title Sequence Production

The below post is about a local home movie style title sequence company. However, many of the bigger companies can be found at 'Art of the Title' website. This contains hundreds of professionally made title sequences. These are often made with very complicated AfterEffects style programs.

The links through the website demonstrates a variety of professional companies that specialise in making film title sequences. Some of the websites for these companies are often too complicated for their own good.

Monday, 19 January 2009

Title Sequence Production

http://www.amberfilm.co.uk/title-sequence.htm

Above is a link to the website for 'Amber Film'. It is an introduction sequence design company. After the filming and editing process is complete, the film makers can go the them 'to create an eye catching title sequence.'

They can make animated sequences, and have a green screen for CGI and special effects. As well as introductory credits, they also do outro credits.

They have some very nice equipment such as a fully high-definition camera (with several HD add-ons) and a 'Super Range Optical Image Stabiliser'.

Order of titles:

Lord of War:

Nicolas Cage (Actor)
Lord of War (Name of film)
Jared Leto (Actor)
Bridget Moynahan (Actor)
Ian Holm (Actor)
Eamonn Walker (Actor)
Sammi Rotibi Eugene Lazarev (Two actors names)
Jean-Pierre Nshanian Shake Toukhmanian (Two actors names)
and Ethan Hawke (and Actor)
Casting by Mindy Marin C.S.A. (Casting)
Music by Antonio Pinto (Music)
Costume Designer Elisabetta Beraldo (Costume)
Edited by Zach Staenberg A.C.E. (Editing - Note, says 'Edited', not 'Editor')
Production Designer Jean Vincent Puzos (Production Design)
Director of Photography Amir Mokri (Photography Director)
Executive Producer Ronaldo Vasconcellos (Production)
Douglas E-Hansen Co-producer (Production - Note, name and job swap sides)
Executive Producers Fabrice Gianfermi Bradley Cramp Gary Hamilton (Production)
Exectutive Producers Christopher Eberts Andreas Schmid Michael Mendelsohn James D. Stern (Production)
Producers Nicolas Cage Norm Golightly (Prodution)
Producers Andy Grosch Chris Roberts (Production)
Produced by Philippe Rousselet Andrew Niccol (Production)

City of God:

Miramax Films Presents (Production company name)
A Film By Fernando Meirelles
Alexandre Rodrigues (Actor)
Leandro Firmino (Actor)
Phellipe Haagensen Sue Jorge Alice Braga (Three actors names)
City Of God (Film name - Note, far less credits)

Comparison between Lord of War and City of God titles.



Above is the intro to Lord of War. Below, due to embedding being disabled, is the link to City of God.

http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=u1zXXeQCBq4

The Lord of War intro follows the life of a bullet. From construction to finally being fired. Where as City of God concentrates more on a animated style of sequence. There is lots of CGI used in the making of the Lord of War intro. Which contrasts the entirely animated City of God sequence.

Both of the sequences have quite happy music as well, creating a sense of tension as the audience know that they are about to watch quite a violent film (which in the cases of both films, is true). They use the music to completely contradict the ethics and theme of the film. To make the audience think. Or to bring out the fact that what they are about to see is only for entertainment and is not real.

The titles from Lord of War are very simple in themselves. They are simply fading in and out white text. This is so the audience is not distracted by them too much so they can watch the sequence that is being played. The intricate sequence is always from the same perspective as well, almost as if the audience were the eyes of the bullet. This makes it all the more shocking when it is fired, and this innanimate object that has been the central role of the film so far is fired and kills someone.

That kind of introduction is very different to the unspecific classic title sequence that is in City of God. It is a series of images that have been strongly tinted orange (a generally happy colour) which correlates to the grey, depressing atmosphere in the Lord of War sequence. The ending is very similar however. As in Lord of War, the sequence and music ends on a gunshot. Suggesting that the music player has been killed. And to bring the audience back down to earth, involving them more in the film.

Feedback from Others

James:

-Dramatic
-Good plot idea
-Character name thought out well
-Heat style film - Has to make a choice
-Main character like character from fictional comic book
-Needs work and more thought

Tim:

-It is loved

Sunday, 18 January 2009

Pitches

Film Brief 1 - Sebastian Fox is an undercover cop. When discovered, he is threatened and has choose between the woman he loves, and the fate of the city.

Film Brief 2 - Caroline Pearson is a single mother. When walking in the woods with her son, he is abducted by spirits. She fights to get him back.

Film Breif 3 - Michael Biffet witnesses a murder. He could indentify the killer, but threats have made him keep quiet. His honour is questioned when it happens again.

Film Breif 4 - In 1940, Richard Hawk is recruited into the army to fight. He suffers from extreme fear, and must fight his own battle with himself.

Friday, 16 January 2009

My Animated Long Road Sequence



Above is the sequence I made in After Effects. It is an animated logo that is usable at the beginning of the films I make. I have an effect on it where the words 'sixth form college' fly down quickly into the logo and when crashing down, they make the words 'LONG ROAD' shudder and jump (supposedly with the impact). I did this by changing the orientation and position of the words on the screen momentarily. They then fall back slightly out of position.

Thursday, 15 January 2009

AS Thriller Opening Analysis

This is a student made AS thriller introduction.

The sequence starts with several tracking and panning shots revealing pipe-work and industry like equipment. The first shot is a track from right to left. This movement suggests that something bad is going to happen soon in the film. The shots are well though out and have nice locations, but are sometimes ruined by the camera being a bit shaky. However, they set the scene nicely.

It then cuts to a lower body shot of a man wearing a trench coat. The audience does not yet know whether this individual is a good or bad guy, he walks off to the left, must be bad. More credits start to appear on screen. It cuts to a nice slanted shot of him going up some stairs. However it breaks the 180 degree rule by spinning that far. It is possible that he had to walk that way to go up the stairs, but since the audience weren't show him turning, it is still broken.

The camera then tracks back down the stairs to reveal an injured man (obviously wounded by the trench coat wearing baddie). A slow motion shot follows of the bad guy walking away from the camera. The fact we haven't seen his face in this long suggests further that he is evil, and not to be trusted.

More slow motion shots (which by now have been over-used in my oppinion) of the injured man trying to run somewhere the audience isn't sure of yet. The music climaxes in nostalgia as he runs, creating a seemingly sad atmosphere. However the mistake they made is asking the audience to feel sorry for someone they have never seen before. Something that just doesn't happen. The audience have never heard this man speak, yet the music depicts it as being the saddest moment in the film. However, it still shows a man struggling for his life well.

Then it cuts to a nice shot (I'm assuming it's supposed to be first-person of the man walking) looking at the ceiling. The credit is in a nice, readable position.

The rest of the sequence goes on in much the same way, with utter over-use of slow motion, and repeated camera shots with not much happening, then finally ending with a very fake death at the front of the building.

In all the film was okay, and have some nice ideas. However, it was weighed down with repetition and not much happening, along with a copious use of slow motion.

T2-61

I was impressed with the amount of planning that was put in by the group. They had tried out different styles of giving the impression of CCTV footage, and had pasted these attempt onto their blog.

They had also done some location scouting for the area that they'd be filming in, and had a couple of ideas about different camera shots for some of the more complicated techniques they were trying to use for the film.

They wrote out a full props, costumes and locations list in great detail. It's good to see this amount of planning and it is clear that they took time to find the locations and decide how it would be filmed. They even also took a screen shot of the sound-track from Garage Band closer to the end of production.

They had a full animatic which gave a good idea of what the sequence would look like, and showed that they thought of several of the title ideas quite early on, making the planning more impressive.

They had analyzed a sequence from the film Panic Room (sound and camera-work), and had also analyzed the introduction sequence from Enemy of the State. The latter consists of a breif history and run through of the film with a very detailed essay on the sequence.

As for the sequence (and rough-cut), it wasn't really up to the standards set by the planning. They had planned to have a CCTV camera, but on filming they shot the scene to-be on standing level. It's things like this that can ruin immersion. How many CCTV cameras are at shoulder height?

Also there is a random addition of heavy base (in the finished sequence) at the start which just simply doesn't fit. It makes the sequence seem far more student-made. When the main theme comes in it seems more unrelated as well because of this.

Another immersion issue (which would only really be a problem to very pedantic people) is that when the over-the-shoulder camera is showing the CCTV footage, it is simply a video being played on Quicktime. This is not that important, but they could have found a way to simply blur the outside so it wasn't so obvious.

The camera shots, while okay, are not great. They seem to promote that it is a student made film and don't carry the complexity of real film camera shots. Also, in the planning stage of the scene, they had a shot directly on the characters phone. This was a better shot than the one they actually used in the sequence.

Aside from it's faults however, it is a good introduction sequence, and with a few tweaks could be made very good.

Wednesday, 14 January 2009

Metro Golden Mayer Logo

Due to the logo I showed in my last post being uncompromisingly simple, I have decided to write about this logo instead. Metro Golden Mayer have one of the most famous logos ever created. Shown below this iconic ident was used for many of the older James Bond films.


The logo may have been created by the lion being sat in front of a green screen. Then filmed for a long period of time. After this the footage would be put onto a computer and an editor would have selected the legendary snippet that you see in the finished logo. The editor would have then colour-keyed out the green background, replacing it with black.

Before all of this however the static part of the logo would have been designed (and most probably finished). The clearly virtual film reel may have been made my simply editing and manipulating shapes and colours to get the finished look of the reel. The first plan would have been sketched and copied of this design.

You can see a lot of pre-thought went into the making of this logo, as, just below the lion there is some sort of mask. Very unnoticeable but a very nice touch. It is not something that would have just been thrown in as an after-thought.

Around the top of the circle that contains the lion are words. They may have been placed on when making the film reel, or they could have been typed and curved around the dome afterwards.

Tuesday, 13 January 2009

Filmways logo Analysis

The Filmways logo can be found here:



There is no animation whatsoever. It simply flashes onto the screen, remains there for approximately four seconds, and then fades out. Its design is simple, but effective. Taking into account all the marvelous, but instantly forgettable trademark logos, this isn't one of them. 

It consists of several seemingly interlinked lines making a square shape with two rounded corners (a blue square, not easy to forget) with the name 'Filmways Home Video' underneath it. These words aren't exactly fancy, and the only difference is the 's' at the end of 'Filmways'. Similar to the 'f' in several flash drives.

The image above that logo (on my last post) is possibly a remade version of the logo to make it seem more modern. However, in my opinion it's too much  like the 'Universal' logo. I can't find a video of what that logo looked like when animated however.

Monday, 12 January 2009

Blade Runner Production




Blade Runner was seemingly produced by 'Filmways'. This production company was founded by Martin Ransohoff in 1960. Since then it has grown and purchased several other smaller companies, such as 'American International Pictures'.

Along with Bud Yorkin, Jerry Perenchio owns the rights to Blade Runner, as his bond completion company took ownership of the film when it went over its budget. The production company helped it become one of the first ever DVDs. Unfortunately, due to bad quality, the copies stopped selling. For many years, Perenchio refused to allow any new DVD edition of Blade Runner, including a planned 2001 Special Edition, to be issued.

There is very little information on the actual production companies that made it. I struggled to find much. Sorry, I'm not entirely positive the Filmways was the proper production company, but it is displayed as such on several websites. As for the actual company, there is very little.

Continuity Task



This is our first attempt at filming and editing a continuity video. Unfortunately, it didn't go so well. This turned out to be rather bad, and there were several mistakes. Hopefully we learned from the experience and will be able to improve the next one we make.

Sunday, 11 January 2009

Inspiration Week Application

Unfortunately, moodle is not allowing me to log in. However I have completed the application form and will paste it here. Thanks.

I would love to have the opportunity to attend Inspiration Week. I see media as a definite future for me. I am taking a Creative and Media Diploma which covers three of my A-level slots. As a result I think that it is a sure thing that I will go into the media industry in later life. Which direction within media to go in, I myself am not to sure of yet. However I am looking for ways to learn more about technuiques to do with any kind of media. I see Inspiration Week as being a brilliant opportunity to learn more. I am taking a Creative and Media Diploma which covers three of my A-level slots. I think that it is a sure thing that I will go into the media industry in later life.

I am especially keen to learn about methods of directing, producing and scriptwriting. These two topics are in the industry I am looking to go towards already, such as film/television show production and filming. I am a fast and eager learner when it comes to topics I like (e.g. anything to do with media). I will pay attention and do what is asked of me to gain the maximum amount of benefit from the week. I am always looking for new ways to enter the media buisness and this seems like a good start.

I am eager to get as much work experience as I can in the media industry, every time getting more and more efficient. I attempted to go to an Advertising studio as my High-school, sadly, just when it seemed it was all sorted they withdrew due to complications. After this I am looking for more opportunities to get such experience as I would have done there. I find interest in every one of the topics studied on Media week and honestly think that I could make great progress and expand my knowledge of the areas considerably if I attend. Thank you.

Alexander Whitcombe

Friday, 9 January 2009

Blade Runner Introduction Sequence

The intro above is Blade Runner (Note, this is not the real Blade Runner introduction sequence, but a student made alternative version of it). The introduction to this film does well to set the scene of a bleak future. It uses several shots looking down at various pavements/roads. The weather if terrible, setting a bleak atmosphere for the film.

The audience is given an example of this being futuristic as the credits roll on. They are composed as LCD lights, such as the ones seen in Las Vegas. These are seen to be (especially when the film was released) very modernised. However when introduced with the setting they seem dark and depressing.

Adding to this, the credits leave sight by flickering and dying, demonstrating a breaking world. Which is to show that this dystopian world could very easily come to be like this dingy city we see in the film. This gives the audience another sence of depth and a connection to this future.

The music enters as the first credit reaches almost centre screen. It is dark music, adding to the depressing nature of the sequence. A low drum beat, to, yeat again create tension.

Movie Introduction Sequence task

I start the first few shots by trying to give the audience of a feeling of a living breathing city. I recreate the hustle and bustle of a city by having the first shot showing a busy street with several people walking in it. This immediately sets the scene of the film.

I decided very near the beginning of the production that I was going to use this music as I was looking to have a classic cop show type look to it. Which I think turned out quite well. The music fits nicely.

Using the beat of the music as a timing indication (to keep with by busy theme) I cut to several high shots of the city, setting the location. I didn't want to use the Statue of Liberty as a setting as I felt that this was a little too obvious, and for that reason, a bit tacky.

As the music starts to heat up I return to the first shot (A bit further down the time-line) and lower in the words 'AnarchyFlow Presents'. AnarchyFlow being the name of my made up company. It comes down from the top of the shot in a classic (slightly cheesy) old cop style film. To add some variety, the words then shoot off to the left.

I then move to one of my favourie shots of the intro. It is a shot between two buildings with the sun creating a glow on the camera lense. This is the only point that I change the colour of the text. It turns black, so it can be more easily read by the viewer against the light backdrop. I used James and Dave's company names as my production company names. As the sunlight comes in it illuminates the words more adding a nice effect.

Then as the music reaches a short break, I snap to a long shot again, there are no credits in this, to create tension. The camera pans just passed a sky-scraper in a very cliché way.

Then just as the music reaches its most dramatic, it cuts to a shot on street level looking up at the sky and a building. I chose this shot so as it looks like the audience is looking up at the text which then comes onto the screen. The text is the title of the film, so it creates the effect of the people looking up in awe at the film.

I add to the dramatic effect by having that swept away by the name of my leading role, which seemingly pushes the title off the screen (in an ever so dramatic fasion).

It then cuts back to a different shot, also on ground level, inside a building. It shows people opening a rotating door, adding to the business and hastey atmosphere that I've tried to create. The second name of my actors is in the bottom left corner moving erratically then finally sliding into place to the left of the screen.

Then, possibly my favourite shot, is of a city street (consisting of mainly cars). It pans to the left revealing more of the buildings and street. As it pans, the credit stays in generally the same position on the screen.

Then it cuts to a simple pan shot with static text. This was to lower the hype again, as most films don't start to dramatically, the credits usually slow down before they end if the have been as dramatic as so they need to do so. So when the film starts (slowly) they aren't let down by the build up of tension failing them.

The final shot is a slanted shot of a skyscraper. I placed the credits slanted as well, so it seems that they are sitting on the building, again, they remain still. The music ends and the image fades out.

Thursday, 8 January 2009

Movie Introduction Scene

video

This is a recreated introduction sequence using stock footage to make and introduction sequence to a film. 

Monday, 15 December 2008

Frame by frame Thunderbirds introduction

Here is a frame by frame/shot by shot analysis of the thunderbirds introduction sequence.

The introduction shot is that of the number plate on thunderbird 5 (the space stations). A non-diagetic voice loudly and clearly states the number. The shot then zooms out to reveal thunderbird five, floating in space. This is to give the audience the feeling of importance and wealth. We now know that these people have a space station. They are powerful and rich. Several instuments are then introduced to create a loud suspension note, which gives the audience a feeling and sense of danger.

This same tenchnique continues over the five different thunderbirds. Each time the voice continues to count down to 0. This is reminiscent of a launch pad countdown, such as one for a space rocket. When the count reaches 0 for a rocket, it launches. Which is exciting for the audience. So therefore this builds tension with the audience as the voice counts down. The audience are waiting to see what will happen at the count of 0 (or in this case, 1).

Sure enough, when the count reaches 1 (with a shot on thunderbird 1), the scene pauses. It doesn't cut away like the other shots. This time it holds the shot on thunderbird 1, and it starts to take off. (Confirming the audience's suspicions of such an occurrence taking place. When the ship is fully out of shot, only the smoke remains, giving the audience the impression of their ability to make a quick exit. That image then fades to black and is replaced by a lightning bolt and the famous thunderbids logo moving quickly towards the camera giving the audience a sense of movement/momentum. The same non-diagetic voice states 'Thunderbirds are go.' As the word 'go' is said the letters change from red, to green. This is a reference to traffic lights. Now that the letters are green all hell can break loose.

The music kicks in and the scene flashes up several different shots from the show. All of which demonstrate consant danger, excitement and bravery of the characters which draws the watcher in to the show even more. The fast paced music is timed well with the fast paced cuts. These range from explosions and crashesto the aircraft simply landing and taking off. They are mixed together well as the music represents even the less exciting to be dramatic and tense. The clips are often cut to the beat of the music, making the video more pleasurable to watch.Whenever there is an explosion in the video, they have edited the sound of that in too. This being the only diagetic sound in the introduction. All other sound (for example when Brains is welding something) other than the music has been muted to add maximum dramatic effect.

The 'montage' has no continuity, it it just to give the audience an example of the excitement they can expect from the upcoming episode. After ending, the thunderbirds logo returns onto the screen, it is, again, red. As if to signal to the audience that the action is going to calm down for a few seconds. The music is different and represents a more heroic approach rather than dramatic. The logo holds in the center of the screen. This is clever as it keeps the audience interested whilst bringing up the copyright logo. The audiences attention is never really drawn away from the logo however.

The action is continued when another lightning bold destroys the logo and the heroic music kicks in properly. The scene cuts to a backdrop image with a blank outline (containing a single set colour) of a character. The character then appears in this outline to 'fill the seat' of his position. This technique gives the audience time to focus on both the character and the vehicle of which he flies. These shots each last a total of about four or five seconds. The list of characters that appear in this fasion are:

Thunderbird 1 and 'Scott Tracey'.
Thunderbird 5 and 'John Tracey'.
Thunderbird 5 and 'Virgil Tracey'.
Thunderbird 4 and 'Gordon Tracey'.
Thunderbird 3 and 'Alan Tracey'.
Brains standing in front of a laboratory.
Lady Penelope in front of her car and mansion.

This, second quick montage, lets us see the characters in a steryotipically heroic (or in Brains' case, nerdy) light. It is a quick way of introducing the audience to the characters. Though, not particularly very sophistocated, it is a nice and effective way of making the characters likeable.

The final shot is an extreme long shot of a compound exploding. The explosion is very extravagent and colourful. Que the advertising technique. Just before the explosion the words 'Filmed in Videcolor' come on to the screen. Therefore permenantly staining the audiences mind with Videocolor being associated with large and very cool explosions.

There are several different versions of this video on YouTube. So this is the one I have reviewed:

Sunday, 14 December 2008

Lego animation success.

There are several animations on YouTube that, despite not being particularly good, have several thousands of hits. An example of a couple is:



The video has nearly 258,000 hits. Its publicity is helped by the tags, battle, war and fight. These are popular search topics considering humans obsession with wars and trying to kill each other. Therefore, having such words in tabs will give one more hits from people who probably weren't really looking for anything to do with lego, but decided to click on it as it looked interesting.



This second video, despite being quite amateurish, has nearly 860,000 hits. However, it has no random tags attatched to it. This being said, the tags: 'Legion' and 'Confederacy' might bring up quite a few hits. As well as 'Animation' being another poular tag.

Other poular tags include such things as 'Short film' or 'funny'. Also, yes, I did even find on with 'Paris Hilton' as a tag. It had many, many views.

Tuesday, 2 December 2008

Link between shows...

One possible link between 'Holby Blue' and 'A Very Peculiar Practice' is that they were both filmed partially at universities. One in Brunel, the other in Birmingham.

Coverage and Cutaways

Coverage:

Coverage is the number of camera shots and angles that you have in a particular scene. When filming a scene for a film or television show, it is important to get as much coverage as possible. The more coverage you have, the more impressive the scene will look after editing. If the editor has a much wider range of angles and shots to work with then the more work he/she can do with them. This is especially important when shooting something you can only do once. For example, a very large explosion. A lack of coverage would mean that you may not get enough angles to fully portray the event, and the angles themselves may not be very good. It is always easier to pick out the best ones after the scene has been shot, rather than before.

Cutaways:

Cutaways are when a continuous scene is taking place, and is interrupted by the camera cutting away from the main scene to flash to someone (or something) else. The camera generally flashes to someone who is being affected by what is goin on in the continuous shot. It is to show how they are reacting to the continuous scene. Although seemingly not entirely necessary when used most of the time, they allow for the editor and director to make a longer sequence of footage. When necessary they are most commenly used to inform the audience that the character in the cutaway has seen something that is important to the story. For example, if two characters kiss, and the partner of one of those characters observes this. It would show that character watching. This is so the audience knows what is going on. Cutaways are generally followed by a return to the initial shot.

Sunday, 30 November 2008

Links...

Blind Boys of Alabama covered the theme song to the The Wire and Steve Earle is doing the next cover. I can't find five links though...

Alternative Tube Maps

The only link I could find was http://www.petercooper.co.uk/archives/001169.html
it contains a few alternative maps and links.

Question...

'3. If 'The Grove Family' were to be at Ongar, what would you expect to find at West Ruislip?'

'I love Lucy' would be a good candidate as it is also a soap opera that was first broadcast in the 50s.

Lego - Prison Break

This is a lego reconstruction of the intro. scene from the TV drama 'Prison Break'.

Omar Little

'Omar Devone Little' lives by a strict set of rules. He has never attacked/robbed/assaulted anyone who wasn't in the drug trade. Therefore, in his eyes, anyone who didn't deserve it. He is the only one in the series know to not swear. His Grandmother Josephine was a hardy and strict woman, who was largely responsible for his strict moral code. She raised him after he was orphaned. He is very skilled at surveilance and shooting, and is known for being rather stuck up.

Wednesday, 26 November 2008

Underground Television Shows

Today we had the task of making a map of the underground which linked together as many television shows as possible. We did this by placing names of television dramas in place of the stations, at each intersection we had to think about linking one genre of television shows to another. We had to sort through as many shows as possible placing all of them at the different stations until we had an entire map of the underground replaced with a linking network of television dramas.

We encountered some problems, such as the confusion about which show we would have at King's Cross station. This had to interlink six different genres of show into one. It took a while for us to choose what drama to put there. Then we had to sort out all of the other links to the other television shows. We had to be careful we didn't label a line with any genre that was too vague or we wouldn't have been able to put anything from that genre anywhere else, which created several problems for us when choosing what to name the different lines.

I was set the task of finding as many Crime Dramas as I could (I was asked for about sixty). Then, when finished I had to sort as many as I could into sub-catagories. The rest of the class generally worked well with each other and there was plenty communication between everyone. We managed to work out some of the map and what shows to put there. The biggest problem was getting everybody to work together properly as a team. In the end however, we managed everything pretty well.

Tuesday, 25 November 2008

King's Cross

The television show 'House M.D.' can be linked to about six different genres of drama:
Medical - As it is a medical show when it comes down to it.
Romantic - Not many dramas that aren't to do with Romance.
Religion - It often shows the sides of doubt and belief elements to do with religion, it is a strong topic in the show.
Comedy - It's sharp with and endless sarcasm points it towards the comedic side of the underground.
Heavy/Drama - The show can in itself be quite dark and depressing ranging from such matters as being unable to adopt a baby to death and despair.
Detective - On several occasions the show (involving the main characters House and Wilson) has been compared to Sherlock Holmes (Involving the characters Holmes and Watson). It is very much to do with being a detective type as it is a show about 'Medical mysteries'.