Monday, 28 November 2011

Research into Location for our Main Task

We decided by researching into our location where we will film, it will give us a better advantage. We took photographs and some videos of what we may decide to chose using a digital camera, which will help when we actually use the video camera to record our opening scene. 

Firstly we decided on taking a photograph of the side angle of the house, as a way of building up to the opening of the door in our opening scene.

Secondly, we decided to see how effective the low angle shot would be for our opening two minutes. Below this photograph is an interpretation video of a low angle shot, moving upwards and towards the front door of the house.

Video Interpretation:

Finally, we took an interpretation of an 'establishing shot' of the house, in case we decide to use this as the opening to our Main Task piece.

Thursday, 24 November 2011

Second Decontruction - 'Memento'

'Memento' - Opening Scene

Duration: opening 2 minutes

'Memento' opening scene opens with an establising shot, with a still close up of an unknown persons hand holding a photograph of a women. The use of non-digetic sounds of classical music tensions the atomsphere within the audience, making them feel that a loved one has passed away. The use of titles is simple but effective. The white text appearing on the screen has uses of connoations such as; light, goodness, innocence and purity. The colour white could also be considered as the color of perfection; meaning that the women in the photograph was perfect to this unknown person.

The frame moves to the unknown person shaking the photograph in a vigorous manner before quickly snapping the photograph up to look at the women again, pausing yet again to stare at the photograph for some time. Due to the close up shot, it makes the audience feel as if they are the unknown person looking at the photograph, which makes the audience feel sympathetic towards he or she.

This whole opening scene is continuity, so therefore there are no edits made which could ruin the unhappy, tenison atomsphere. As the scene contiunes, the photograph of the women still gets vigorously shaken, however the pauses of staring at the photograph get shorter and shorter.

As the scene progresses through, the unknown person shakes the photograph, where it starts to fade. The person does this a second and a third time, until gradually the image in the photograph starts to disapper. The non-digetic sound of classical music becomes more dramatic and upsetting. By the image in the photograph slowly disappering, it makes the audience feel that the unknown person is trying to erase all memories of this women.

The scene ends with the image of the photograph gone and a still close up shot of the unknown persons hand holding the blank photograph.

'Memento' - Opening Scene Clip

Tuesday, 22 November 2011

First Deconstruction - 'The Silence of The Lambs'

'The Silence of The Lambs' Opening Scene

Duration: opening 2 minutes

'The Silence of The Lambs' opening scene opens with an establising shot of a forest with the heavy fog in the background, with the non-diegetic sound of classical music works well with the mise-en-scene. This shot is held for 10 seconds with bold titles of the actors names. Due to the film being a Psychological Thriller, the actors names are spelt backwards, which creates confusion with the audience as normally titles are spelt the correct way round. Also with the bold black backwards titles it connects with the eery atmosphere of the dark forest and fog, which will create tension while the audience watch this opening scene.

From this, the camera pans across the forest until it pans downwards, creating a high angle shot of the forest from a birds eye view. As this is happening, the bold black backwards titles are still in the shot. The camera holds for a few seconds showing the mise-en-scene. From the camera shot we can see a faded shadow of a person emerging from the fog, as the person moves quickly from the fog we establish it's a young women.

The camera again pans down, giving us a long shot of the young women climbing up the muddy hill, by using a rope which is already there to pull herself up. By the women pulling herself up with the rope, it creates a connoation of an army circuit training routine to the audience. The camera keeps paning downwards showing the young women climb up the muddy hill. As well as having the non-diegtic sound of classical music, we could also hear some diegetic sound of birds singing and, branches and twigs being snapped by the young womens foot once she's over the hill.

The frame moves to a medium shot of the young women, panting for breath on top of the hill. The frame moves to a meduim shot of her running through another part of the forest, opening up to a long shot of her running, as well as the mise-en-scene of the forest. While she is running, the bold black backwards titles are continuing to show. The camera slows gracefully down so we can see the young women run through a large area of the fog. This frame quickly jumps to a close-up shot of the young womens face continuing running, showing some branches of the forest background.

Finally at the end of the opening scene, a tracking shot is used to show the young women running extremely fast through the woods. The use of the tracking shot makes the audience feel part of the shot, as they are actually running with the young women while watching this scene.

The Silence of The Lambs - Opening Scene:

Tuesday, 15 November 2011

Genre for Main Task

We have decided to do PSYCHOLOGICAL THRILLER because we feel that we can be as imaginative as we want. We also think that we can make the first 2 minutes and opening titles very creative. With editing, we can make the 2 minutes look very proffesional and quite haunting.

Brief for the Main Task

Brief: The opening and titles of a new fiction flim, lasting a maximun of two minutes.

Evaulation of Preliminary Task

Evaluation of Preliminary Task – “A Platypus Tale”
For our AS Media Course, our first task was to do a Preliminary Task. The brief included continuity filming and editing a character opening a door, crossing a room and sitting down in a chair opposite another character, who exchanges some lines of dialogue. In the task we also had to demonstrate match on action shot/reverse shot and the 180 degree rule.  
For our Preliminary Task we experimented with a variety of shots which we wanted to use such as ‘mid-shot’, ‘long shot’ and ‘two shot’. Also using ‘close ups’ when a character was speaking. To make sure our shots looked professional we used the camera tri-pod, however we only used the tri-pod once throughout the task, and this was when the characters exchange some lines of dialogue while filming shot/reserve shot. For the rest of our filming it was ‘hand-held’ which resulted in making most parts of our Preliminary Task look unprofessional. For example; our task opened with an establishing shot of Agent T performing a cart-wheel and a rolley-polley and then finally standing up and winking at the camera. By filming our establishing shot ‘hand-held’ this didn’t create an outstanding effected of Agent T stunts like we wanted it to. Throughout the task we used different movements such as ‘panning’, when Agent T walked across the room and sat down. We used ‘panning’, ‘mid-shots’ and ‘long shots’ to make the audience feel like they were a part of the clip, therefore they felt they could connect with the scenario.
Our mise-en-scene throughout the Preliminary Task was more negative than positive. The positive points of the mise-en-scene in the task were props in the scene. Before each shot was taken we made sure that no bright objects or anything big was moved out of the way, to ensure that our audience was focused on the character and not the extra objects behind.  Also our use of costumes was quite effective in the task. Due to having a MI5 Theme we researched and watched different Action Movies, to collect some ideas for costumes. We noticed that many of the characters in the Action Movies such as James Bond and Mission Impossible were dressed in all black. By wearing all black it mimicked ‘spices’ or ‘agents’ which was in line with our genre/action, and also made us stay in characters throughout filming. We decided to use black costumes for our task, which created a great James Bond/Mission Impossible Action theme and an action tone for the audience as they understood straight away that we were MI5 Agents.
There were a number of negative points in the Preliminary Task which effected the final processing of the task. Firstly there were some lighting issues involved, such as the establishing shot of Agent T cart-wheeling in. Due to using natural lighting, you couldn’t see the characters face when she performed the stunts, until she stood up and winked at the camera. Unfortunately when Agent T performed the stunts, it created a continuity error because the action wasn’t shown on the camera fully.
This created some confusion as the audience didn’t understand why the character had entered like this. Secondly we filmed our task at different times, which resulted in having a different setting for the film, as we were in different locations. Filming in different locations represented in different lighting and scene, which also created some counituny issues.
Besides this, sound was extremely important in the Preliminary Task. In the establishing shot you can hear the background noise of children in classrooms when Agent T performs her stunts, for future reference we would need to film in a location that is quiet depending on if we chose to do that. Overall when filming for our Main Task we should chose more carefully the locations and think about specific times of filming, so this issue does not happen again.  Apart from this negative point, the use of sound was quite effective. Firstly, in the establishing shot of Agent T physically winking at the camera, in the editing process we added the sound of a cartoon wink, which worked well and created a cartoon image effect. Secondly, we managed to import music onto Final Cut Pro and edited the music into the specific scene we wanted to use if for. We imported Perry the Platypus Theme Tune song into the Final Cut Pro timeline. After doing this, in our main task we will be sure not to use songs that have already been used, which will avoid copyright. While doing this, we found out by expanding the clip it made the shot slower.  As a result, we decided to expand Perry the Platypus entrance into slow motion, which added humour and the audience thoroughly enjoyed watching the scene. Thirdly, once our clip had finished we added text which made the task look professional. Altogether adding music and expanding shots to create a slow motion montage was good practise as we could use this for our Main Task. 
As stated in the introduction, our brief had to include ‘shot/reverse shot, match on action and 180 degree angle’. Unfortunately when editing some of our footage had deleted so our storyline didn’t make sense. To make our storyline make sense, we had to delete the ‘shot/reverse shot’. This made the audience not believe that Agent T was having a conversation with Agent B and Agent K, as this was not believable enough.  Also, the 180 degree angle that we used didn’t look professional as we hadn’t used the camera tri-pod. On the whole, for our Main Task we must stick to the brief and also record the main objectives twice, just to double check that we have an extra copy of the footage. Apart from this, the ‘match on action’ worked well and the audience couldn’t notice the edits.
Overall I feel that the Preliminary Task was average and that it could have been a lot better. However, I feel extremely happy with the comedic side of the task.  The mistakes we made in our Preliminary we will learn for the Main task, and create a fantastic Media piece.

A Platypus Tale - Preliminary Task Video