Thursday, 28 April 2011

Evaluation - Question 1: Forms & Conventions of Real Media Products and Our Title Sequence (Part Two)

In addition to 'The Stepfather', another film that inspired us when creating our thriller was 'What Lies Beneath'. This is a psychological thriller (as is ours), so after watching this film we naturally gained ideas about the titles and ways of introducing our character from it that would fit the conventional thriller style.

The images on the left and right are the names of our thriller and 'What Lies Beneath' taken from the opening titles of each. Both use a white font, and an animated effect, which makes the text move slightly, grabbing the audience's eye and showing the importance of this title (as it is the name of the film) and to differentiate it from the other titles.
This can be seen in the video below.


The opening shots of our main character, and of the female character in 'What Lies Beneath' are also very similar. Both are shown with a high angle/birds eye close up of their face, and their eyes opening. The difference between ours and 'What Lies Beneath' is that in our thriller the character opens his eyes slowly and looks confused, whereas in 'W.L.B.' the woman opens her eyes quickly and sits up, and appears scared/startled. 

Here is a video I created in Final Cut Pro using clips of our thriller and 'What Lies Beneath' to visually show these similarities, first with the film titles and then the opening shots of the characters.

Tuesday, 26 April 2011

Evaluation - Question 8: Improvements Made From Our Preliminary Task (Part Two)

The video below shows two clips we created, one from our prelim and the other from our final opening, both using close ups. The first clip is a panning shot followed by a close up of the characters face. The panning was hard to control and create smoothly, so we decided not to use many panning shots in our real thriller. The second clip is also a close up of the characters face, but slightly closer so the whole face is not seen, which directs the audience's attention to the characters eyes.
In the first clip, the focus of the camera changes as the shot pans upwards. This was not deliberate, but we thought it looked good so we decided to use that shot when editing the Prelim. As a result of this, when we were filming our real opening, we decided to create a similar change in focus, but this time did it manually by using the focus wheel on the camera, rather than just relying on the auto-focus to change it self. We added this to show the hazy/confused feeling that the character feels as he is just waking up. This is shown in the second half of the video below.

This video shows one shot from our Prelim and one from our final opening. Both are low-angle shots, and supposed to be from the other character's point of view. This kind of shot shows the character's vulnerability by showing the other character's power over them as they are looking down. The first shot (from the prelim) looks boring, as the camera is static, and no effects were added, whereas in the second shot, we added a desaturation filter to take the colour out and a light ray filter to make it look blurry/distorted. Also, the camera is moving/shaking from side to side to show the character's fear.

The third video shows two match cuts from out prelim and final opening. I think that both of these are edited well, and look seamless. The only improvements we made with the final clip is the setting and shot composition, as the character moves from the centre of the screen (taking up all the space) to the standing up shot, where they occupy a much smaller proportion of the frame, showing their surroundings.

Friday, 8 April 2011


Sometime today my second part of Evaluation - Question 8 was DELETED from the blog. This was a VERY LONG AND DETAILED POST which included 3 videos of clips from our prelim and final movie, and analysis of the editing, mise en scene, and camera in these clips.

This morning I had 39 posts, now I have 37, which means that 2 of my posts have been deleted today.

Ben Bezzina

Evaluation Question1: In what ways does your media project, develop or challenge forms and conventions of real media products?

Whilst creating our thriller opening we followed the conventional running order of the title sequence. 

Firstly we started with the ident, the ident shows the production company with their personal logo. Like shown in 'The Stepfather and 'Victim'. Both of these idents have a similar, colour scheme; idents make be designed considering the connotations, connotations which reflect the film that's about to be screened, here the colour scheme and shape of the logo for 'Screen Gems" connotes blood being splattered, which is reflective of a thriller genre. The ident is the first impression so it's clever to hint a theme to the rest of the film.

Once the ident has been shown the production company is shown again, in step father they showed the company on top an establishing shot of a suburban house, this informs the audience of the first location. Whereas in our one we done it on top of trees, we decided we wanted to be a little more discrete and leave the audience guessing the location.

After presenting the companies and associations, it's conventional of title sequences to show the stars therefore we followed this convention. We decided to put the star name on a cinematic view of the setting, as it's clear and the audience can read the name without difficulty and also it situates a location.

After the stars are shown then comes the names of the casting directors and music, then title. In 'The Stepfather', they show these names whilst the main character is carrying out he's routine, this introduces us to the character and hints a narrative. Wherear we mainly edited the titles upon footage of the surrounds, we done this intentionally therefore, we would leave the audience in suspense and be a little more discrete. The way we edited our title sequence suits our sub genre 'psychological', as it's leaving the audience anticipating and thinking about what's going on in our location.

The title: 

We used 'What lies Beneath' for inspiration for our title, as the title is reflective of what's about to happen, the effect they used associated with water, and in the opening the women opens her eyes from being under water. Our title we wanted to reflect the internal state of our main character and the editing rather than the visual aspect, there for we added a flickering effect to represent our main characters blurred memory and the flashbacks in the editing.

We used this shot from 'What lies Beneath' as inspiration for our thriller opening, at first we could only see her eyes, this left the audience wonder for a split second, who could that be? the fact the audience are left waiting for the reveal, makes them use there heads, and also shock them when they find out the character.

Momento was the largest inspiration for our narrative as it's a psychological thriller, and we also was influenced by there choice of editing skills, for example whilst telling the past, they would use a black and white filter we also done this in the flashbacks to separate the past from the present, also to represent our characters memory being in 'black and white' simple dark hazy memories.

Evaluation - Question 8: Improvements from Prelim to now

We have mad many improvements from our prelim to our final opening. One being the sound. We put a lot more thought and effort into the sound and took more time comparing different sounds to see what would be more effective.

As well as sound, our mise en scene was more realistic. We thought about the representation of the characters this time round and what would make them more effective.

The editing of our prelim was not as clean cut as our final thriller. This was because we was not as experienced because it was early on in the project. Having the experience is key to make the opening successful because it will look more professional.

Our location added to the effect and made it more successful than our prelim. For our prelim, we used a almost deserted staircase in college. It was not the best place we could have had it and we know now that the location can really effect the outcome of your film.

Overall, our final opening was a lot more successful than our prelim because we took more time to really think think about the elements and we were all more experienced with the technologies required.

Evaluation - Question 7: Technologies used

Other elements we used that are not featured in my short documentary are:

The cameras: Video and Still, they played a key part when we were planning and, obviously, when we were filming the footage.

Final Cut Pro, Soundtrack Pro and Livetype is what made our opening real. We used these to edit all footage, create music and the titles.

Thursday, 7 April 2011

Evaluation - Question 2: Representation In Our Thriller

In our title sequence, there are only two characters. These characters are represented in contrasting stereotypical ways. As it is a Psychological thriller, we wanted to create an atmosphere where the audience did not know what was really going on (or what had happened, in this case). Throughout most of the opening, the audience is lead to believe that the main character is the victim, by the way he is portrayed on screen.

The opening shot of the main character shows a bloody hand. At first, the audience think that this is perhaps a corpse but then the hand moves, and the character is revealed. He is shown lying on his back, as if he was the victim of an attack.

The female character is portrayed as a stereotypical ‘victim’. The clothes she is wearing show that she is a young, feminine and vulnerable. Also, the amount of fake blood we used was deliberate to show that she was the real victim, and to differentiate her character with the main one.

In the screenshot above, we see the main character standing over the body of the dead girl just before both he and the audience realise that he is in fact the one who murdered her. This is the turning point where we finally see the main character in the opposite role; standing over the victim with a gun aimed at them. The low-angle medium close-up of the murderer from the victim’s point of view makes him look very powerful and intimidating, in a stark contrast to how the same character was shown at the start of the opening, lying on his back slowly opening his eyes.


There are a number of similarities between the main character in our opening and the main character of the film ‘Memento’, which is one of the films that inspired us when we were making our thriller. The first similarity between the two characters is the aspect of memory loss and confusion. When our character wakes in the forest, he doesn’t know where he is or remember what happened, which is the same situation as Leonard (pictured below) in ‘Memento’ who does not have any short term memory. He finds this very confusing, and struggles to find out what he has done in the past.