Friday, 27 April 2012

Main Task: Completed Film

Evaluation: Question 1

In what ways does your media product use, develop or challenge forms and conventions of real media products?

Here is a link to a powerpoint presentation I prepared for this question:

Evaluation: Question 2

How does your media product represent particular social groups?

Evaluation: Question 3

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

Evaluation: Questions 4 & 5

Who would be the audience for your media product? How did you attract/address your audience?

In order to gain feedback from our target market, our group wanted to ask for other students opinions on our finished film. We recorded, edited and posted this whole video using just an iPhone so we could have opinions in a naturalistic way from teenagers the same age as our target audience.

Evaluation: Question 6

What have you learnt about technologies from the process of constructing this product?


In the process of constructing our product, our group has learnt many things in able to produce a professional piece of work. By using a digital HD camera, we managed to produce a better quality film to capture every aspect in the frame clearly which made our film look very professional. We experimented with non- HD cameras too and noticed a clear difference in quality with the HD camera.

Our group also learnt that using a tripod for still images and panning proved a lot better than hand-holding the camera because there were no shakes or unsteady filming with a tripod because a tripod allows the camera to be completely still which was necessary when filming certain scenes such as shots in the woods and for the characters in the car to indicate the car had stopped. Also, a tripod can be leveled and altered to suit a particular shot which our group found very useful because it allowed us to use a range of different shots such as panning up, staying on eye level and filming from the ground. These shots were very successful in our piece.


When editing our film, our group used Final Cut Pro designed for Mac computers. It was helpful software because it enabled us to use many different transitions, add titles and collate our piece together professionally. Each group member participated in editing parts of our film. We found the software easy to use and found quick ways to cut clips we did not need.


For each piece of work that contributed to the main task, we had to display this work on a blog which helped keep our work organised and clearly showed the planning and research we produced to help us in our main task. Each member of the group has a personal blog which all our work is uploaded to in order to keep our work stored in one place. On the blog we uploaded posts relevant to our film including research on the BBFC, other relevant films and an animatic version of our storyboard that we had to produce to help with our planning of the scenes. Originally, the storyboard was on paper but to show our knowledge of new technology, we converted the storyboard to an animatic version which was clear to understand through only images.

Evaluation: Question 7

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

I feel that the preliminary task was a good chance to learn about and experiment with the camera in advance before using it to film our main task. Before the preliminary, I had not used a digital HD camera before and needed to discover how to capture successfully. The task also enabled us to experiment with different tools on ‘Final Cut Pro’ and work with simple editing to merge a sequence of clips together. Also, the objective of the preliminary was to work on the continuity of shots and scenes before the main task, so that we knew how to construct a film professionally, making sure that the film flowed. Once we focused on perfecting the continuity and produced a short clip, we learnt how to import our product, edit and cut with tools and effects. This helped prepare us for our upcoming task to familiarise ourselves with the software as well as experiment with camera shots that we thought would look successful in our piece. This was useful when it came to our main task because we knew what to expect.

In the preliminary, we had used the camera and tripod and worked with final cut pro which broadened our knowledge on the technology we’d be using. However, there were aspects of the film that we did not consider when completing the preliminary task such as working with voice-overs, sound effects & music and titles. Because there was little time to experiment with these features, we did not use them in our preliminary and therefore had to experiment with them during our main task. When filming the main task, we had not taken the camera and tripod out to discover new locations before therefore this also added extra time to finding suitable locations and using the camera to experiment with shots we could capture.

After looking back at our preliminary task, we realised that our clip had good continuity and therefore assumed we would get the continuity accurate in the main task. However, when we imported and watched through our footage, we realised that we were not as careful in filming as we should have been with our continuity and so some shots did not flow together. As we were short for time, we could not re-film –also due to the fact that the mise en- scène would be different- because of the weather and other possible changes in surroundings. This is something we would take in to account in the future.

Thursday, 8 March 2012

Main Task: Sypnopsis of our Film

Here is the sypnopsis to our film considering we have completed our filming and have made a clear storyline.

Three teenagers are on their way to Brighton, as a friendly trip to escape for the weekend. One of these characters, Nina, owns a car therefore drives the other 2 to their destination. However, on their way, one of the characters is in desperate need of a service station for the restroom, but instead decides to use a side of the road which is in the middle of nowhere. This character, Harry, exits and then returns back to the car, only to find that the car will not start. Nina realises she has not re-fueled her petrol tank and the characters are stuck. Harry searches his pockets for his phone but it cannot be found and so he tells the others he has lost his phone. As he says this, the characters recieve a 'text message' from Harry which is impossible because he does not have his phone.

This is where the mystery comes in as we do not know how the text message has been sent since Harry could not have sent it.

(Further sypnopsis for the full film)
The other characters run 'Out of Service' on their mobiles and there is no one around to help therefore they adapt to their surroundings and stay in that location for the night.One by one, each character goes missing as they search around for help. We are eventually left with one character at the end who battles for survival, ending up alone and terrified of what lies ahead.

Main Task: Filming Update

Over the last week, our group has finally completed our filming for our opening 2 minutes of a fiction film. It took longer than we thought to complete our filming, however it is now finished.

The only problem we experienced in our filming was having all actors available.One of our chosen actors could not be available for the filming and there was not enough time to find another, therefore we only used 3 actors.
The filming was successful as we gathered many shots and the weather remained consistent and appropiate for the type of film we are producing. Some of our plans changed, relating to our storyboard which we will mention in our evaluation. The stage we are at now is our editing, we have already started our editing and will continue until we have produced the final film.

Thursday, 1 March 2012

Main Task: Where will our film appear?

As further research, we have discussed where we think our film should be displayed once finished. We do not believe that it should be shown in big theatres or in a box office as it is more of an independent film, therefore it would be ideal to show our film on either MTV or channel 4. This is because independent films are quite low budget and occasionally displayed on these channels as they are not very well known. Also, MTV or channel 4 would be idealistic because of the target audience who usually view these programmes. As we have chosen to rate our film as a 15, agreeing with the BBFC, MTV and channel 4 would allow us to display this film because of the strong language and mature themes involved. Compared to a channel such as BBC, channel 4 and MTV contain teen programmes and films that would suit our audience range, therefore these channels would be successful for our film.

Sunday, 19 February 2012

Main Task: Filming Progress

This week, our group has started and almost completed our filming for the opening 2 minutues of a film.

13th February - We arrived at our location and discovered it was unavailable to film in, therefore our group moved to a similiar location to begin filming. The weather remained consistent, however it involved light rain which we resolved around, using it to create more of a dreary atmosphere. We did not manage to complete all of our filming in this day, but we filmed the scenes with the characters and car, since this was the only day that our characters were available for.

14th February - Our group needed to film the beginning establishing and long shots of our location (the woods) and so we used this day to find the shots we needed such as panning of the woods. We found many different areas that we used for our location shots which was useful and successful in creating a mystery.

However, we realise we will need to film more shots because there were shots that we have missed, therefore we will find a suitable day during the week to complete our filming.

Monday, 6 February 2012

Main Task: Dates for Filming

The dates we have chosen for filming:

13th-14th February- We will be filming over the course of two days, aiming to film most of our opening in one day, to keep the consistency of the surroundings and the weather. We hope to be finished by the end of half term, allowing us plenty of time to edit.

Main Task: Media Pitch

As part of our Research and Planning, our group organized a pitch to give an overview of our film and the planning involved. Here is the link to a presentation we used as our guide.

Wednesday, 1 February 2012

Main Task: Script

After choosing the actors for our film, we have already set a basic script for our characters to follow. However, we wanted the script to be quite natural therefore the characters will use the script as a rough guide for them to continue with an 'on script improvisation' meaning they will be able to perform naturally, adding in their own dialogue when necessary.

Monday, 30 January 2012

Media Storyboard Animatic

This is our video animatic of our completed storyboard.

British Board of Film Classification

The British Board of Film Classification is funded by the film industry to classify all films into categories, suiting a range of different audiences in films, videos and even video games.
To help us select our film certificate, we visited the BBFC website to view the guidelines that our film should follow for a specific audience.

U - Universal - Suitable for all audiences and families consisting of children above the age of 4.

PG - Parental Guidance - Parents are advised to consider letting their children watch this film and if so, may watch unaccompanied. It may contain mild violence, references to drugs and mild language.

12A- 12 and over - Used in cinemas only. No-one younger than 12 may see this film unless accompanied by an adult. Although, it is advised that younger children do not see this film due to the content. Moderate language can be involved and it can involve mature themes.

12 - 12 and over - This is only for video works on DVD's and games. Anyone under the age of 12 will not be allowed to rent or buy a '12' rated video work.

15 - 15 and over - No-one younger than 15 may see, rent or buy a '15' film. Film under this category may contain use of drugs, violence, strong language and sexual scenes, therefore this is not suitable for anyone under the age of 15.

18 - 18 and over - Only adults are able to see this film. You must be 18 and over to view this film, rent it and buy it due to the strong content it contains. Films with an '18' rating contain a lot of sexual activity and would not be suitable for a younger audience.

By looking at these classifications, our group decided to rate our film as a '15'. This is because our film is aimed at an audience of 15 and over because out film is a 'Teen Horror'. This will allow us to contain drug use, frightening scenes and strong language. Considering this content, we decided to use a 15 as this would give a wider audience range and make more profit.

Thursday, 26 January 2012

Main Task - Film Title

The important aspect we needed to consider for our main task was the title of the film, once we had finalised our ideas and come up with a fixed storyline. It needed to be suitable and creative to fit in with our theme. After discussing with the group, we suggested the title 'OUT OF SERVICE' as it relates to the social media, which is what we are portraying in our film. Since our film is a Teen Horror, it was important that the characters were involved with social networking on their phones, as this is a necessity for teenagers in today's society. Teenagers seem to be dependent on their phones, therefore in our film, we are showing that the characters rely on their phones too much and are in trouble when they need to make urgent contact with help when their phones are out of service - hence the title of our film.
I think this is a successful title as it gives an immediate idea as to what the film is about, and we feel that it is better than a one word title.

Main Task - Research and Planning

Here is evidence of our are our first initial ideas and development for a teen horror film. We gathered our thoughts together to start idealising our storyline and came up with several different ideas.

Analysing 'Jennifer's Body' Opening

Trailer to Jennifer's Body -

The scene starts off as what we can tell is outside, as we are looking at the outside of a house, from the garden. The lighting is very dark to represent night time, as the sky is dark and we see a light through one of the windows of the house. The whole mise-en-scene is very dark to also suggest the genre of film we are looking at, which is presumably a horror film.

As soon as the scene starts, the camera pans around a tree, only briefly to view a long/wide shot of the house, suggesting the location of this clip is based around, and maybe in the house. The camera then quickly moves towards the house, using a hand-held camera to show someone walking towards the house, maybe from someone’s point of view. The camera is moving very rapidly towards the house, waiting to reveal what is inside, building up tension along the way. But, before the person actually gets to the window, the camera straight cuts to an extreme close up of someone’s lips.

We can see this character’s lips, teeth and hair, which this character appears to be placing in their mouth. We have no proof that this character is either a woman or a man, girl or boy, but judging by the length of their hair, it could may well be a woman. The camera then uses a straight cut to cut back to the character walking towards the window, and this time we see through the window.
As the camera tilts over the window sill, we look into a room which is pink, suggesting further that this is a girl/woman’s room.

The camera cuts to a basket, and tilts upwards whilst the title ‘Jennifer’s Body’ slowly dissolves onto the screen, in pink. The camera seems to be tracking instead of tilting, as the camera stops midway to start tilting down a little, to view the full body of the character we have been curious about. The audience would assume this is ‘Jennifer’ as straight after the title disappears, we view
a body of a young girl that may well be ‘Jennifer.’ This is a long shot and we can see a bit of her bedroom in the background, pink lights and a picture board. The pink contrasts with outside, as it is dark outside, whereas inside, the pink shows the innocence of the character.

A straight cut to a mid shot/almost close up of the TV which shows what the character is watching, but is almost random as it brightens the mood just a little for a horror film. It is associated with gym and work out training which we can tell the character is not very interested in, as she is lying down, distracted by a book instead of getting up and acting out what is on the TV. The TV is there for a distraction so that if something happens, like in a horror film, it wouldn’t be as scary.

But, as the audience is focusing on what is on the TV, thinking that they are safe from any horror scenes yet, the camera straight cuts to the side view of the character on the bed, also looking at another character through the window which we can also see, realising that this is the character who’s footsteps we were originally following outside. The effect of the dramatic straight cut from
the TV is to make the audience jump, after thinking that the brightness of the TV could prevent something happening so suddenly, which proves the audience wrong. It contrasted from the type of programme we were watching, to the type of film we are viewing. It was unexpected, although the character on the bed did not jump, implying that she had not seen the character outside, and
building up more tension.

Since we have seen the character through the window, there is a close up of the character to see almost a reaction face, as she is looking in through the window. She has a blank expression on her face which makes us question is she bad or good? We cannot tell as she is neither smiling nor aggressively frowning. She continues to wait until the other character recognises her.

However, the character ‘Jennifer’ still does not realise there is a character outside, and we know this because the camera cuts to a close up of the character on the bed, who is still looking down at the book. The camera is at a high angle, looking down on the character to make her look weak and helpless, judging by the paleness of her face. Jennifer then dramatically opens her eyes which suggest she has probably sensed that someone is watching her, or maybe she has seen the person right in front of her. This is where the camera pauses for a while whilst a character uses an over voice to explain what is happening. The effect of leaving the camera paused on the character represents that this is the main character, everything is focused on her and it was maybe a flashback or a point in time where everything changes.

Analysing 'The Roommate' Opening

Unfortunately I cannot find a link to link you to the opening of this film at this current moment as it is only a recent film. It is called 'The Roommate' and is a teen horror film which I will be analysing the opening few minutes only. However, here is a trailer of the film to give you an idea of what it is about.

As soon as the scene starts, in the background we can hear the non diegetic sound of music - an upbeat song to help set the mood as it is fun and exciting. It is not depressing and slow like a usual opening to a horror film. We then see a sun rising above a city followed by an establishing shot of the city, which is unusual for a horror film. After shots of the city, we see long
shots of the beach and signs to help us realise this is set Los Angeles. A sign representing 'University of Southern California' gives us the idea that the film is set in and around events at a University. This is a positive start to the film and gives no ideas that this is a horror movie yet as it so far depicts a chick flick. As with teen horrors, they start positive and end in the style of a horror film.

Then comes the diegetic sounds of cars and voices as the character immediately introduces herself to another character in the shot. We assume this is the main character as the focus is completely on her. As well as the close ups of characters and non diegetic music, the titles appear on the screen displaying the actors involved in the film. They are simple and small but easy to read in the left quartile of the screen to remind the audience of the actors involved. Every professional film has the titles of the actors and producers & directors at the beginning or the end of the film, mainly both.
Whilst the music remains playing, the camera tracks backwards whilst the character walks forward into the corridors of the University. This demonstrates more of a teenage movie as the music is still continually playing in the background whilst the character moves in sync with the music. The mise-en-scene shows a dreary background with grey and brown hallways to show that the University might not be a pleasant place to be in, indicating that the film will come with mystery later on.

The lighting is only natural and coming through the windows, which shows quite a dark atmosphere in corners or the room and highlights the drab furniture that comes with the University. This is usual for a horror film as dark and natural lighting represents a dark story suggesting that life is not all bright and colourful. The following mid shot of the character allows the audience to see she is wearing a plain white top. It then becomes more of a typical teenage movie as the character appears outside with many people passing, still hearing the music and representing the busy everyday lives of teenagers at University.

However, when back in her room, she is sitting quietly on the bed, reading and waiting until someone knocks on the door. This is mysterious as we do not know who is at the door. Could it be her roommate? When she answers the door, we see disappointment cross her face when she sees two girls who invite her to a party. Instead of agreeing to go, she decided she wanted to wait for her roommate, suggesting excitement about wanting to meet her new roommate. But then, she is easily encouraged to go to the party, leaving the room dark, empty and unwelcoming for her new roommate, who later is revealed as a mentally confused character. When more is revealed further on in the film, it brings more mystery and horror as we discover the true events of the life of a teenager.

This opening was interesting, because it barely portrayed a teen horror as the opening was styled like a chick flick. This can be misleading and distance the audience away from a horror, shocking them when horrific events are revealed. It is a very successful and modern film