Friday, 8 April 2011

Evaluation Q8 Part 1 (Wrong way around)

Evaluation Q8 Part 2

 Before I started this course, it was rare for me to pick up a video camera and film people or surroundings. Since then I believe I am reformed into a recording addict. During this time the road hasn't been easy and i will try to discuss all which went wrong.

 I believe as a group we did well in the limited time we had. We left our planning for our final edit to the last minute which wasn't as detrimental to our outcome as I thought. However, it doesn't mean that we shouldn't have left it. We could have made more ideas to make our opening title sequence even more better and slightly rearrange the concept.

Due to limited equipment there was not much we can do in the time we had been allotted.

Camera Movements

The first two video we had done was mainly shot as a group effort. Each time I started to tell who's best at shooting. Natalie was great because she had the steadiest hand out of all of us. Jazzine was great with organising the order in which things went and livetype. Emily was the most enthusiastic out of all of us being in front of the camera. I don't believe I was great at things but when it came to uploading and trying to find errors and ideas I was your girl. 

Thursday, 7 April 2011

Evaluation Q8 - Progression

Below is video blog about how I feel I've progressed, and below that is a presentation linked to what's being said.


Throughout my time working on my preliminary task, I believe I have made an immense improvement in terms of camera shots, editing, sound and titles in numerous ways.

Firstly, before we began any filming, we needed to plan how, what and where to film. For the preliminary task, we only had one lesson to complete everything therefore we did not spend enough time planning as the majority of the time was used to film and edit. We only planned how we would film the match cut of Vanessa opening the door therefore the match cut scene was filmed perfectly. However, the shots filmed afterwards were not up to scratch as the ideas used were just made up last minute. The scene where Vanessa enters the classroom closing the door behind her, there was a lot of space to her right and the same issue occurred in the two shot of me and Vanessa.

When we moved onto to editing, we used various shots for the match cut but simple shots for the rest. We had spent the majority of our time filming and editing therefore there was not enough time to add sound and titles. We did, however, manage to add in diegetic sounds to the footsteps and door opening. Overall, I think we could have done a much better job if we had more time.

All the mistakes and problems we faced when producing the preliminary task, we took on board to produce a successful thriller opening. We were very careful when filming a particular scene which we would then film again so we would have a back-up. We planned everything beforehand such as who will film/edit on which day. We would occasionally split up to work on both editing and filming at the same time. I believe that everything went very well when producing the thriller, the only problem we faced was the lack of time we had to produce it. This was due to the constant change of the storyline and ideas. Our previous ideas were complicated which would probably be last well over 2 minutes. Due to our organised planning, we had enough time to complete everything, we even added some trasitions between shots. We ended up completing the entire thriller the day before the deadline, we were all very pleased with the outcome. If we had not done the preliminary task beforehand then our final product would not have been in the state it is in now. However, I couldn't have done this without my amazing group: Emily, Jazzine and Vanessa!

EVALUATION QUESTION 8 - My progression

To show what i feel i have learnt in the progression from the preliminary task to the final film, i thought it would be effective to put this journey in the form of a video rather than write it out, as it what better illustrate it. 

Evaluation Q8 (0.5)

Fortunately in when we were asked to do a preliminary task we had the opportunity to do two. Here I will upload all Four of them in order  of the first to the last. First was the card swap which has no sound. Secondly, we uploaded the match cut preliminary film. Penultimately the rough cut of our film was up to be viewed. Before lastly having our final film uploaded.


Question 4&5

I believe that our film would be released as a low-budget independent film because the funding isn't here to acquire a great distributor such as "Universal".

Our Youtube Channel
Firstly, i believe we should take a proactive approach to launch our film. The internet has become a great medium in promoting and distributing media products. Since the arrival of social networking sites and Youtube. Many aspiring directors, actors and artists have used these mediums to promote their products. 

A prime example, "My name is Jerry"( the film. It's an independent film which has used youtube as a promoting medium. Allowing users to watch their content for free; trailers and exclusive interviews with the cast to entice the audience to buy their DVD on their website. 

We have taken similar approach in creating our very own Youtube channel called "StolenIdentity2011",
where we will showcase our trailers and thriller sequence and exclusives. A website would be made with the domain "StolenIdentity2011" which is simple to remember. We will use the website to sell our film.  The audience we would be able to attract  are those who use Youtube and are looking for independent films to view.  

Youtube also provide an advertising service where you can apply to have your channel and website advertise on their webpage. Youtube believe that there audiences:

  • Youtube have many users over 45 just the same as under 18
  • Youtube's users are equal in men and women who use their services.
  • Youtube is accessible 2 hours a week and quote "primetime is all the time".
This benefits small film makers like us, who want their film to be publicised. 

Youtube also do a partnership where users can earn money from  Youtube. However it is currently mainly open to users who produce music videos. Although, it is worth a shot to apply.  A group which has benefitted from a partnership is a group called the "Gregory Brothers" under the Youtube account of "Schmoyoho".

Previously, I done a little post on "Hurtwoodhouse" media. We took inspiration from their channel which was loaded with thriller opening sequences.

Anuvahood Facebook page
As i mentioned before, social networking sites have been a great institution to distribute and get the word out of a  film. A prime example, on Facebook/Twitter the film "Annuvahood" have been actively posting clips and trailers to their film along with their own website: 

To try this approach we would create a special account on facebook like Anuvahood (right)
and create a twitter so we are able to post directly to our followers who are already interested and spread the word about the film. 

Wednesday, 6 April 2011

Evaluation Q2

The representation of our character played by Emily, against the real media products "psycho" and "The Stepfather".
Contains stuttering.

Also available in HD.

Evaluation Q1

Our thriller uses references (intertextuality) from the films "Se7en"  and "The Stepfather (2009)". 

Firstly the use of title over narrative which both films use and so did we. For example, Our first establishing shot which had "Lionsgate film" on it (first picture of Stolen Identity). In "The Stepfather" they use the "screen gems" title over the garage(First picture of "The Stepfather" and "Se7en"). By doing this we are able to cut out the time it takes for the film to start. Therefore we conform to the conventions of real thriller media products. 

The lighting in our opening title sequence is used to show the dark intensity of the film. For example when our character is the garage (third frame on Stolen Identity). Similarly, in "S7en" the picture of the drawing (in frame 6) is highlighted in a poorly lit room. Therefore, we conform to the conventions of real media products. However, in "The Stepfather" they challenge this idealization of a poorly lit room to signify a dark, sinister atmosphere. For example, in frame 6 where he is in the kitchen where it is brightly lit although the contrast of the robe the character is wearing to the white walls shows a binary opposition. Therefore, suggesting a sinister  presence instead of the room being lit poorly. 

Although we mainly conform to the stereotypical thrillers which are presented through media products we try to challenge them. For example, the use of visible props in the scene is very limited (all frames show no iconic prop). In comparison to "Se7en" where they have an extensive use of iconic props which could be of significance to the plot. For example, in in frame 4 of the keyboard. Although stereotypically, a thriller icon would be a weapon, blood  or a mask ect. In "The Stepfather" they use an iconic prop(s) in frame 2 of the sharp objects which indicate the genre of the film. Therefore we tried to challenge the convention of modern thrillers by the limited use of icons. 

We tried to develop the normal convention of thriller films by delaying the identity of the actor. For example in our Stolen Identity frames, the characters face is not shown between 1-7th frame. In order to create suspense and reveal some information to the audience. Similarly, in "Se7en" in all the frames they do not reveal the character at all. Leaving more questions in an audiences head rather than suspenseful because the audience do not know anything. In contrast, "The Stepfather" the character is shown and known. We know who he is and where he lives. From frames 2 - 7 he is reoccurring like his presence. Therefore, we try to incorporate both keeping the character secret and revealing the character to develop both "The Stepfather" and "Se7en"'s conventions.

The Stepfather
Stolen Identity

Evaluation Q6 Part 2

I compiled a mini-show which showed the comments by some of the audience which were present at The Screen On The Green, screening. Which was a phenomenal experience. Where we were able to view our opening title sequences. This was filmed outside on Upper Street N1.

I think our target audience was there amongst all that viewed the footage. Those who enjoy the psychological side of films would have benefited from this viewing. 

EVALUATION QUESTION 4&5 - Media institutions/Distribution

One independent student film that I found was ‘Silence’ which I found on Youtube.

Silence is an award winning short film and currently has 58,846 views, only having been uploaded a year ago.  To distribute our independant  film, we also tried a similar approach. We uploaded our film onto Youtube onto a personal channel we made for our film called ‘StolenIdentity11.’  It currently has 56 views and 4 comments.  

Our film on youtube
Our film has also been uploaded on Vimeo. By putting our film on Youtube, it will allows us to interact with our audience, and create a bigger audience, as Youtube is 4th largest website on the internet, you can watch videos from all over the global. It is also the second largest search engine in the world, right behind google – which they have a partnership. We will also be able to generate an audience through social networking sites such as Twitter, Facebook, Blogs etc by posting and sharing the link to our film on Youtube enabling people to share these links with their friends, and it can go on and on. Through the use these sites will be able to gather a conscious audience, as this sites allow members to stay update with recent events and allows them to get involved by interacting with people about that event, for example ‘Trend Topics’ on Twitter.

Since we will be receiving DVD copies of our film, this will help us distribute our independent movie also. We could possibly make copies of our film and give them to family and friends. Maybe even sale them!  One way we can attract a buying audience is by making posters/flyers, and distributing them around college.

We could also make a website for our independent movie. One independent student film that did this was a film called ‘My name is Jerry.’  Here's a link to there website:
A print screen of the web page

The website is another source of marketing which would allows our audience to view information about out film.

We also thought about getting a Youtube Partnership. However to become a Youtube partner holds a lot of qualifications, some of these are that we have a lot of subscribers and upload original videos regularly. On the other hand a Youtube partnership allows you to ‘analyze your audience’ and you can also earn money through advertisements being shown before your video. Nevertheless, it is very unlikely that we will be accepted for a Youtube partnership, but it is a good form of distribution.

One way of distribution that is more likely for us, is to enter our independent film for an award. A lot of student independent films have entered for student award competitions, and some have won. By winning, popularity of the film grows, making the distribution grow also.    

Evaluation Q6 Part 1

In Mondays lesson. We were able to watch everyone in our class's thriller openings. After watching we were given papers to write words for each others films. Once we collected the papers we had to create a word cloud ( of all the reoccurring words. As we didn't have enough time to produce and put on blogger, Emily volunteered to put it up for us so we can take and evaluate from it. 

The Word Cloud

Clearly, "Good" was the most occurring word which was said. Although the word "good" is an average word and as much as it is positive, it is slightly negative meaning there must have been more we could have been able to do. 

The next reoccurring word was "sound" meaning that our sound track and effects were great and everyone could notice the intensity and the atmosphere helped created by the "sound". The word "sound" can accompany the words "tension" and "suspense" as the audience could suggest what the mood which was imposed.

The next words were"well" and "shots" together they make "shot-well" which we I am proud to be commented on. Highlighting our shots mean that we attempted and executed the shots well. By the mention of "shots" could indicate the variety of shots we used were noticed. Which is great however we also wanted to make the footage seamless. 

The next was "interesting". Which I take as a compliment. The word "interesting" could connote difference. Which shows how we stood out from most. "Interesting" could regard our concept or our visual effects.

EVALUATION QUESTION 6: Audience feedback

Here is the feedback I got from fellow media students after they watched our thriller:

Tuesday, 5 April 2011

Evaluation Q4 & Q5 - How to attract/address audience & what institution might distribute our product and why

As our film is low budget, the most common way we would distribute is online.  Although we did have a cinematic screening of it, I think it would be very rare for this to happen again.  Adding to that, we will be getting a DVD release of 200 copies, and this would be a good way to distribute our products to our family and friends.  Other ways could be via youtube, facebook, twitter, etc, pretty much social networking sites.

I had previously visted the youtube channel 'Hurtwood House Media' and I've previously blogged about two of the student thriller films that had really caught my eye - 'Presence' and 'Redemption'.  They haven't won any awards or anything but they were still very interesting and eye-catching.  In terms of how to address and attract our audience, this could be one of the ways.  Our thriller opening has already been uploaded onto a website called 'vimeo', but my group have also created a youtube account called 'stolenidentity2011' (the name of our film) and we've uploaded our video onto there.  So far we have 49 views and 4 comments, but we hope for this to change before the friday deadline - we will be keeping track of the growing views/comments.  Within a few minutes of promoting via twitter, we've managed to get a few people's feedback, this proves that uploading onto youtube is a good way of attracting and addressing our audience.

Printscreen of our views and likes so far

Printscreen of comments so far - (all positive feedback)

 My group also spoke about trying to get a youtube partnership.  'YouTube Partnership is a program that lets you share the revenue generated through videos that you create, upload and share on YouTube.'  As our deadline is on our friday which is just 3 days away, it would be quite unrealistic to try and get this youtube partnership up and running, but I believe if we had more time left, this would be an option that would be highly considered.  It's just a very fast way to broadcast videos via youtube (budget or non-budget).  Adding to that, I've heard a few stories about getting payed whilst having a Youtube Partnership depending on how many suscribers your channel had.  If this is true, this could also be a good way to earn some money whilst promoting.

 (Partnership is mispelt)

Similarly, 'My Name is Jerry' is an independently produced dramatic comedy starring actor Doug Jones.  Again, I think if we had the time needed we could probably distribute it onto a website like this.  However, ours was a media project for coursework and taking it this level may be a little 'extreme'.  Nonetheless, if we were thinking that far ahead, this would be a great idea.

                                      Printscreen of 'My name is Jerry'

Adding to that, I came across a website called 'First Light', ( to see other short thriller films created. 
'First Light provide opportunities for young people to work with industry professionals on high quality, youth led digital media projects.'  I watched a horror film called 'The Rag Doll Girl' which was the best horror nominee of the Film Light awards of 2009.  Using First Light gave them a chance to use their small budget to their best ability, and posting it on vimeo also gave them a chance to broaden their views.  We followed up their idea by being creative and making our own youtube account as well as our video being uploaded onto vimeo.  The link for the video is below as it wasn't allowing me to post it straight onto the blog.

                                      Printscreen of 'The Rag Doll Girl'

Evaluation Q6 part 2 - Cinematic screening response

Today was the day all media students had been waiting for - the screening of our films!  It was a very fun and enjoyable experience for everyone, as we got the chance to see what other students thriller openings look like, and also what effect it had on us.  When our thriller opening was shown, one of the responses of the audience that really made me proud was how silent everybody was.  During some other openings, there was a lot of laughter, and as it is supposed to be a thriller, there should be thrilling, not laughter.  I was very pleased when nobody laughed during ours.  Below are a few pictures, a few video responses on our film, and I also recorded myself responding to the responses I recieved. 

A picture of our film in the cinematic screening

The cinema where we watched our films

My video response

Friends video responses

Monday, 4 April 2011

EVALUATION QUESTION 3 - Audience for media product

For our evaluation on question 3 - audience for media product, we decided to make our own an animation on a YouTube application, showing what a day in the life of our target audience would be like. Instead of using a written montage with still images, we thought this animation idea would be more effective in showing a more clear illustration of who are audience is, also it's more creative :). 

Sunday, 3 April 2011

Evaluation Q2 - Representations of social groups

Main character from 'The Orphan'
      In films, particually thriller/horror films, if there is a fued between two people, it's stereotypical for a male to portray the role as the 'villian' and a female to portray the role as a 'victim'.  For example, if there is a killer involved, it's a very high chance that the killer will be a male.  We challenged this stereotype of representations by making the 'baddie' a female charcter.  This is different to many other films, especially the one we're focused on 'The Stepfather'.  However, there has been quite a few films that have used a female villians such as 'The Orphan', 'Kill Bill', the student thriller 'Succubus', and the upcoming film 'Sucker Punch'.  Adding on to that, in our title sequence, the villian's face wasn't revealed until the end of the sequence, which is another representation of a distinctive yet secretive 'baddie'.  Again, it was different and it was a risk-take, but it allowed us to think differently and explore our creativity. 
5 characters in the lift in film 'Devil'
     Despite the differences, both thriller openings have one thing in common: the representation of the false identity they begin with.  With thriller films, it's very common for one character to be 'undercover', or in other words not reveal who they really are, and one example of this is the 2010 thriller film Devil.  The film is about 5 people being stuck in a lift, and one of them is the devil.  I've blogged about this before, but the person who turns out to be the devil is totally unexpected, and wasn't who they said they were at the start of the film.  Similarly, in 'The Stepfather', the step-family are being lied to and are not aware of the step-father's real identity.  At both the start and the end of the film, he changes his appearance, which then allows him to look for somebody to fall into his trap.  The representation of false identities is automatically effective as it creates tension, suspense, curiousity, and interest.

Below are four shots I thought were effective for the representation of identity changes:

The Stepfather before changing his appearance

The Stepfather after appearance change

The female villian before changing her appearance
Female villian after appearance has changed

Evaluation Q1 - Challenging forms and conventions of real media products

    For the opening of 'Stolen Identity', we used two different ways (combined) to present the titles.  I believe me and my group challenged thriller conventions by using both title over narratives and discrete titles, as most thriller films decide to do one or the other.  One film that also challenged the thriller conventions, as well as inspiring us, is 'Se7en'.  The thriller film 'The Stepfather' also inspired us, and we used similar fonts, as they're plain and both sans serif.  We chose to use the convention of a basic font, as it creates a sense of formality whilst watching the opening, as well as the transitions (fade in/out) of the fonts creating a slower pace to the opening itself.
Knife used in our film
     Even though 'Se7en' had a contribution to our titles, I believe the opening sequence was more based on 'The Stepfather'.  Both 'The Stepfather' and 'Stolen Identity' use conventional props, for example the big kitchen knife.  'The Stepfather' had more sharp objects used, which is good as sharp objects are a convention of a thriller.  Showing these objects, especially during the opening of a film, is good for creating curiosity as well as suspense, which will make the viewers want to watch the rest of the film.
     Dark atmosphere/settings can also be seen as a convention of a thriller.  Although our title sequence opens with an establishing in broad daylight, the majority of it is spent inside a very dark garage, which was good for creating suspense.  'The Stepfather' didn't really have a dark setting, but I believe the use of the non-digetic music made it seem dark.  Adding to that, 'The Stepfather' started off with non-digetic music (silent night carol) but then changed to digetic music (the toaster).  We used digetic sound effects such as the heels walking on the concrete and sounds of the garage door opening and closing.  Non-digetic music is a MUST-HAVE convention because without the eerie and scary sounds, there would be no suspenseful moments.
     Both 'The Stepfather' and 'Stolen Identity' present the main characters in a very similar way, as they're not holding the same identity that they were at the beginning.  This creates a sense of curiousity, which leads to the viewer gaining interest.  In 'The Stepfather' the viewers want to know why he's changing his appearance and the story behind it, and in 'Stolen Identity' the audience want to know the same thing.  A mysterious storyline is automatically created.  Adding to that, most thriller films use a male killer or villian, but we decided to challenge that convention by making the villian female.  It allowed us to be creative and different, as well as standing out to the 'typical female victim' films.
Below are the title stills of 'The Stepfather' and 'Stolen Identity'

EVALUATION QUESTION 2 - Reprsenations of social groups

The represenation of a killer in
The Stepfather
Stereotypically in thrillers, if there is a killer, the killer is male. We challenged this stereotype by making the killer in our film a female. This contrast to the stereotypical representation of killers, like the one used in ‘The Stepfather.’ That’s the difference in the representation of the main characters with these films. Also in our film we didn't show the killers face until the end of the sequence, this allowed us to bring up another representation of a killer as being secretive. Another difference. I think our use of this representation allowed to be more creative and step out of the box. Although our film is not the only thriller film that use a female killer (e.g. Kill Bill – which I mentioned a few blogs before), we’re one on the few, so it should help us stand out from the big majority of thriller films with killers. 
The represenation of a killer in
Stolen Identity
      The similarity each film shares is the representation that the main character is not who the audience think they are. Commonly with thriller films, at least one character is not who either the audience think they are or someone within the movie think they are. With The Stepfather it is the step-family is to them is not who is actually is. At the beginning of the movie he undergoes a change in appearance, so that he can set out to deceive other person of he true identity. Similarly, our film incorporated the same thing. In the opening we see her suspiously changing her appearance, to potentially deceive someone of her true identity. This representation I believe is effective because it arouses suspiousion and anticipation within the audience, bring it more closely to being a successful thriller film.

The changed appearance in The Stepfather

The changed appearance in Stolen Identity

Evaluation Q6 part 1 - Word Cloud

Our word cloud
     In monday's lesson with Bernard, we watched each group's thriller film in class and had to give feedback to them.  We wrote feedback for each group on a piece of paper, which was then handed back to the groups at the end of the lesson.  With the feedback on the piece of papers, we had to construct a 'word cloud' on which words appeared the most.  Because there wasn't enough time for us to do it at the end of the lesson, I decided to take the papers home and then upload it onto blogger and tag the whole group.  They are a range of adjectives and nouns in our word cloud, and the words that were used the most were the largest.  The smaller the word, the less it was used, and the biggest words on our word cloud, I'd say are 'sound' and 'good'.  'Shots' and 'well' are the second biggest, and 'interesting and camera' are the third biggest.
     The feedback we recieved from our film was average.  Most students thought it was quite good, and one of the negative things that was repeated quite alot was that the lighting was too dark in some scenes.  When we had finished editing our film, and watched it on final cut pro and blogger, it didn't seem that dark, and hopefully, it won't be too dark in the screening of the film. 
     'Good' and 'sound' being our biggest words made me pleased.  Although 'good' is just a basic word, it still means that the viewers enjoyed it to some extent.  Sound is also really important not just for a thriller film, but a film in general.  Thrillers rely on sound to create suspense, and based on the feedback, I would say that the sound was very effective and had a high level of suspense.
    Two more words that left me very satisfied were 'interesting' and 'camera'.  The opening of any film must keep your viewers interested, so they will watch the whole film, and even though some students were confused as to what was going on, several of them said they were very interested, and that they would like to watch the rest of the film to find out what was going to happen.  Adding to that, a lot of the students liked our different camera shots used, so we could see that the sound, images, and text all together was working well.
    Two more days until the screening of our film - I'm very excited to watch it on the big screen, but I'm also interested in more feedback.

Saturday, 2 April 2011

EVALUATION QUESTION 1 - Forms and conventions of thirllers

'Stolen Identity' title sequence stills

'The Stepfather' title sequence stills

 I already covered codes and conventions in the ‘planning’ sections of my blogs, so I can just start this blog off with how we have used, developed or challenged those codes and conventions in our own film.

For our title sequence we used both titles over narrative and discrete titles, which seemed to work well together. We think we challenged thriller conventions by using both title structures, because most commonly they only use one type. One other thriller movie though that also challenged this conventions and used both was ‘Se7en.’ The font of our titles is conventional. In the pictures of the ‘Stolen Identity’ and ‘Stepfather’ title sequences, we can see that both these titles are share a similar level of formality, and are both sans serif. We chose to use with this convention of a plain/simple font because we believe it is effective in raising a serious/intent atmosphere when watching the movie, and also the conventional fades of the fonts keeps the pace slow.
     The music – although you wasn’t able to hear it by just looking at the pictures – is non-diegtic. For ‘The Stepfather’ the music starts of non-diegtic but then it changes to diegtic. We only included diegtic sound effects, i.e. footsteps. Both title sequences in the non – deigtic music is conventional. They both create tension and are eerie, which is a convention in thriller movies. Which helps add suspense.
     Both titles sequences use conventional icons. Although we can’t see it yet because it comes up later in the movie, ‘The Stepfather’ uses a big kitchen knife, and as you can see from our title sequence stills we also use a big kitchen knife. However The Stepfather uses sharp objects, which is close enough to the kitchen knife, and sharp objects are still conventional of thriller. We used this conventional because we believed it would contributed much in adding suspense.
     Another thriller convention is dark settings. We used this convention in the dark setting of our garage. The Stepfather also used this convention in their opening titles sequence but they developed this convention by only representing their dark through the colour of the titles. The dark setting in our film is effective because it helps create tension.
     Mystery was conveyed in our opening by how we didn’t let the audience see her face until the end of the sequence. Mystery in the stepfather was created because the audience get to questions why he is changing his appearance. The conventional use of mystery is effective because it engages the audience, gets them involved by allowing them to be inquisitive, and it also builds anticipation and suspense.
     Both opening titles aequences where slow paced, which is conventional, and also hold the same representation of the main character – that their not who the audience think they are. Both characters change their appearance. This representation in conventional, and allows the audience to gain interest. However our film chanellges the representation of the killer. Conventionally, like in The Stepfather, the killer is a male, but we’ve made the killer a girl. We decided to challenge this convention because I believed it allows us to be more playful and it is effective because it allows the film to look a little bit different and stand out.