Tuesday, 15 February 2011

Making a soundrack

This a start of an original soundtrack i am in the process of making

Final Ideas for our thriller

We have brainstormed and changed our minds at least a hundred times but I think in the end we have all decided on an opening that is interesting suspenseful and will make the viewer want to watch more of the film. We are feeling confident about the plot now and its just a matter of finding a location and getting the props ready. Then, pitching the idea to the dragons but i am sure they will have nothing but positive feedback on our idea hopefully.

Thriller Audiences

After doing some research on yahoo it came to my attention that the target audience for thrillers are young adults aged 15 - 25 mostly males but it depends on the sub genre. However i decided to do my own research and have created a questionnaire to find out more specifically what people like and want

Adding A Soundtrack

Inspired by The taking of Phelam we chose the Jay-Z song 99 problems as our soundtrack. Since our films idea was basically stolen from that film (intertextuality) it felt right.
Id had previous experience editing music and soundtracks on computers from other projects so it wasn't really difficult to cut the song to fit our film another reason we chose it is the fast tempo suited our film.

Adding A Soundtrack

Inspired by The taking of Phelam we chose the Jay-Z song 99 problems as our soundtrack. Since our films idea was basically stolen from that film (intertextuality) it felt right.
Id had previous experience editing music and soundtracks on computers from other projects so it wasn't really difficult to cut the song to fit our film another reason we chose it is the fast tempo suited our film.

Adding The Title Sequence

Adding a title sequence ,surprisingly took longer than I had anticipated as usually divas (Adekunle) wanted their name to be all over the place and that wasted alot of time, discussing who played what role in the creating of the films.
We realised its important for everyone to participate and have some input on all aspects but give everyone a specific field and role to cover just to stop Adekunle from talking nonsense.

The choice of font was inspired by the fast and the furious poster we analysed in class. The bold font and rough edges show that this is going to be a bold preponderantly male film.

 The animation of the text was very important. It had to match the films tempo and themes it was quick and almost flashed across the screen just like the editing if the titles lingered it would almost slow down the whole tempo of the film which is the opposite of what we wanted to do. Plus it ad to match the soundtrack 

Editing The Final Film

The filming process went well we managed to get every shot we needed especially the match cut that was the main task in the brief we filmed for roughly half an hour and had about 10 minutes of footage that was the easy part.

the hard part was condensing that 10 minutes into 2 minutes of interesting film.
after editing and uploading the shots onto the mac we had this.

That is a screen grab of all the shots we filmed. The next step was putting all of the shots in order of how we wanted it to be shown that's where the animé we made suddenly became useful.
This is the raw footage placed in a timeline ready to be chopped and screwed                

This was the final look the film after all of the editing, Bernard watched our clips in order and told us they all needed to be shorter to match the pace of the music and the film and taking his advice worked really well for our group because it was small thing that made the film a million times better.

Location Scouting

For our practice film we came up with the idea for a dodgy bag exchange. We toyed with the idea of doing it in a local cafe but it just wasn't practical because

  • There was a possibility that the cafe owners would be opposed to us filming in their cafe
  • Unwanted people getting in the way of shots (Extras)
  • We hadn't perfected all of the cameras functions so we wanted to stay as close to the technicians as possible
  • We wouldn't have any dictation to the lighting
So we just decided to film in college. Meaning I had to put my geographical knowledge of the college to use.  The themes of the plot where, Dark, Low key and Isolated and instantly I thought of the space next to common room it ticked all of those boxes 

The Location

Sunday, 13 February 2011


bRAIN STORM of ideas:

In lesson we finally got down to planing our actual film! and there was a serious shortage of ideas, it was like as soon as you got down to it, the ideas went out the window.

But we managed to get somethings out.... Barely
We decided to go along some of these lines:

Us been an all boys group kinda opened up the space for us to be as 'physical and gory as possible'.... Says Bernard. So we decided in terms of genre, that we would go alone these lines......... Our list of potential Sub-Genres or Mixed Genres:
Crime/Thriller <---- The one idea i prefer most!!!!!!!!!

LOCATION LOCATION LOCATION! Location creates atmosphere/mood and the first location can set the tone for the whole film. 
So we decided if we went along the lines of CRIME/THRILLER a very good setting would be UNDERGROUND STATIONS which takes a chapter out of PELHAM 123 (INTERTEXTUALITY) or a BLOCK

- A HORROR/THRILLER Location, we were thinking of putting it in an eerie location i.e a warehouse, basement, somewhere with lots of space....'Similar to the basement seen in THE STEPFATHER   

The plot for any of our ideas wont be very complicated because its only the opening of the film, so NOT A LOT IS MEANT TO HAPPEN .... REMEMBER THAT :)


Tuesday, 8 February 2011


Excellent prelim I am very impressed. Here is some feedback, I am very happy to go through the film with you in more detail and explain my thoughts behind the points listed below, if any or all of you wish to do this mail me or come to see me. There is one technical fault that I mention below that we must discuss whilst looking at a camera, this is essential before you do any filming.  It will reduce your marks drastically if you repeat this in the final film and that is totally unnecessary as it is literally just the flick of a switch.

Perfect music that is also well edited (at the end), fits in well with the 'swagger' of the actors
(speaking of which, very well acted!) The music is a very good example of an intertextual reference, from Pelham 123 (that we watched in class), that is cool and is more successful in my opinion because of that - this may set up expectations for an audience that have seen that film that you can then either pay off or deny them, this could lead to different sets of viewing pleasures. Are you thinking of using any intertextual references in your film proper? Bear in mind these can be elements of mise en scene, camera, editing or sound...

I like the titles, especially that they are animated, again fits in well with the cool/hip hop swagger. The font is also a good choice, no frilly bits, rough and tough, macho. HOWEVER I do not like the fact you picked a different font for the film title (and I prefer the other one anyway, why have you chosen this one, what do you think it connotes?) You would have to make a very very strong case if you want to use more than one font in your finished piece. Having two different fonts suggests to me that you are uncertain about which to pick and hedging your bets. But what is the effect? It will confuse the audience as to what style of film they are settling down to watch and dilute the style you are trying to create.

Also the animation of the titles is great but do you really want them to appear in front of the faces of your star cast? This is very unconventional, Brad Pitt or Denzel Washington would not look good if they had words coming out of nostrils, ears, armpits or any part of their body. (unless you are thinking of a medical thriler, that might work but then it needs to be planned and precise not just names floating on top of stars faces)

The editing, especially the match cutting is BRILLIANT throughout. You have obviously understood this concept well and carefully orchestrated your shots to achieve this, congratulations you have succeeded.

I believe that you were missing a few 'linking shots', for example when moving between locations it seemed to me that it wasn't exactly clear all of the time what was going on and that was because you were missing the odd wide shot or contextualising angle here or there. Disorientation is good but is this what you intended? It didn't seem like all of the other elements were heading in that direction. Please look at this blog to get some tips on how to build a sense of a real location through framing and editing, it should help. In general get lots of angles and lots of shot sizes of everything you shoot, you will be grateful for these when you are in the edit. Also get some cutaway shots and then if you have a continuity error you will be able to cover it up.


I like the slowness of the final shot before the explosion. This is really suspenseful as you are making the audience wait, wait, wait... BOOM much better that way, well done.

The final and most important thing is YOU HAD THE NEUTRAL DENSITY FILTER ON. And you shouldnt have. That it looks quite dark all of the way through. It is like a pair of sunglasses for the camera and unless you are under a very bright spotlight you do not wear sunglasses indoors. This is extremely important, it does not matter that you made that mistake here, in fact is good as hopefully that will help you to understand exactly what that filter does and why it is so important to have it set on or off in the correct lighting conditions. PLEASE COME TO SEE ME so that I can explain this further and show you where it is on the camera.

Again well done I think this is a very promising start.



Who watches thrillers???

- In 2009 503 films were released and only 31 of them were suspense films

- Animation and Comedy films account for 52% of Box Offices in the Uk, while Thrillers account for a small 4% why this you say?
Well animations and comedy's target a very very wide audience, an animation can target ages 5-40, while thrillers are usually 15+ films and most 15+ cinema goers would most likely go and watch more popular genres such as horror and comedy.
 Also it must be taken into account that a lot of cinema goers are well families usually parents and little children and parents would rather take their child to a child friendly animation i.e Toy Story 3 or a fun comedy like Big Momma's House 2 than a thriller like What lies Beneath.

- What Genre likes what Thriller???
This diagram shows us what demographic in terms of sex, that genres target. It shows men are more interested in crime, action and scifi, while women are more interested in romance, period and suspense and both are equally interested in horror. The fact suspense pushes towards female more, it could be said that women are more targeted for thrillers films, although it could also be argued that most thriller films are cross genres so there could be action-thrillers, sci-fi- thrillers and even crime thrillers.
Making it almost impossible to say a certain Gender is more interested in thrillers.

- After looking at many Age ratings in almost Different Thrillers i can conclude that most thrillers are generally targeted at older audiences rather than younger ones.

Evaluation of Prelim Film

This was by far, our best attempt at making something as a group, considering our earlier effort with the card game was a total BUST!

- For starters we finally finished the task on time, we managed to agree on a setting and on ideas quite quickly and we worked as a team way more efficiently.
- Each of us have gotten really good at a different aspect of making films, kinda like me and shazray come up with the ideas, Aykuts the guy behind the cameras and stuff and Jajeet helps with editing.

- There wasn't really any bad points other than the fact that we weren't all present at the filming of the film, although with a 3 man team at that specific point we worked quite well!
- Limitations, well first of all our filming was limited to the confines of the college, so we weren't able to go out to film in other places and we had to make due with the crowded college, filled with other media students who were filming at the same time.
- Then there was the lighting, which wasn''t really in our favor because we had no control over it, security guards would throw a fit even if we touched the switch.

With that said i think our final film will be so much better because we would have control over all the limitations such as lighting and setting, plus for the exercise we had to cut some parts short due to the limit in time we had, but when the final project comes to we'll have a few weeks to film and edit, in contrast to the 3-4 hours we had to film and edit that short sequence... And the fruits of our labour....

Putting the film together

Firstly, we had to put the pictures from our storyboard into final cut pro. We made a short movie with out any effects to show how we thought our actual film would come out.  
We chose specific shots to make the short movie. This we our outline/plan for the movie we were planning to make. This helped us in filming the film as we knew what shots to take and where we was going to shoot the movie. 

Storyboarding pictures


After we finished with final cut pro, we thought all that was left was just to add the sound track and titles using sound track pro and Live type pro.

First up was the sound track.
The combined effort of me and shazray we decided instead of using a default sound track we wanted to put a song as our soundtrack instead so off we went to YOUTUBE found the song '99 problems' ----> Hopped too 'Listentoyoutube.com' Downloaded it and popped it on soundtrack Pro.
 After putting it on soundtrack pro we cut parts of the sound, to play according to certain parts of the film...

For Live Type it was a bit different... We started off messing around with the fonts and effects to see which one best suited our film... Although after ages and us exhausting our options, we came to the conclusion we didn't want any 'Fancy' titles rather we wanted it simplistic.
And someone suggested we try going back to final cut pro, because creating a simplistic title there would be far easier that creating one using Live Type.

There we created the titles and popped them along the time line, in a specific order we chose, and arranging the opening credits to the roles done.

'Watching' Film Documentary : RESEARCH

During lesson we watched a documentary on films and film openings.

The documentary made one message clear... You have to 'seduce the audience... 'If your first page doesn't give you a hard on said the veteran director Sam Fuller, you should throw the damn thing away'.
I agree with what he says here because if you don't find your own film, great it would be very difficult for anyone else too.

Also film director John Schlesinger said 'I think a good Sharp shot is sometimes a good idea' and then goes to talk about 'The believers' opening that in his own words 'shakes up the audience' and 'tells them there in for a ride'

Although Director Jean Jacques Beineix thinks of it differently, rather he claims the idea of instant arousal is a 'risk'. That although instant arousal may engage the audience, it would very hard to maintain... A film that keeps the audience at the edge of their seat through out every single moment is truly rare.
Rather he says its good to build the suspense slowly and not jump into the idea of 'instant arousal'. The documentary then goes on to show a 3min video opening to the film 'Diva (1981)' the opening was very slowly built although it did have a bit of mystery/suspense to it.

http://www.imdb.com/video/screenplay/vi3517291289/ (Hard to find the vid) so heres the URL

Another thing we were shown was the classical start to a thriller film, Stanley Kauffmann's of a classic opening was a massive establishing shot of a big city, a classic example would be Manhattan, New York, where there are lots of tilts, high angels over and around huge buildings until i goes into a window or some sort of private office or ally.

Watching Documentary Research

According to Thomas Sutcliffe a good opening is meant to seduce the audience a film has to make love to the audience seducing and arousing them slowly. Its important not to go for instant arousal because it creates an expectation that is almost impossible to maintain for the duration of the film.

Thomas Sutcliffe "film needs to seduce their audience into a long term commitment. While the temptation to go for instant arousal is irresistible"

I think that what he's saying is true its hard 

Friday, 4 February 2011

Inspirational Title sequences

To me i think the best title sequence of all time is the star wars title sequence
personally i have never seen or have any intention to see any of the star wars films. However its famous title sequence is so unique and famous i can automatically recognise star wars when i see the introduction levatating through space and it sets up the theme of an intergalactic film nicely.

Another good title sequence is the one they used in seven. I have never watched Seven before but the title sequence somehow engaged my attention maing me want to watch the rest of the flm, now that is my goal for when our group makes our beggining to a thriller, the main priority is to make the audience want to continue watching just because they are left with so many questions and so much interest.
The thing that eroused my interest in Seven was the eeriness of the font and the obscure shots of this person or thing cutting the tips of their fingers off and sewing book pages together it all just made me want to know what was going to happen next. I even went home and researched the film because i was so intrigued.

Wednesday, 2 February 2011



On Monday 24th January's lesson, the glass gathered in groups to talk about a films title font. We discovered that depending on a films genre the type of font differs. For example, a comedy film uses chunky and bubbly fonts that are brightly coloured. Possibly to resemble that the film in question will be funny, lighthearted, over the top and colourful.
        Whereas, a horror film would use use letters with pointed edges, and mainly the colour of the title would be blood red. Possibly to symbolise that this is a sinister film, the blood red colouring could symbolise the deaths of many characters and the sharp points on the letters could resemble the weapons used to kill or could resemble the feeling of danger.


As in this poster the font used is chunky and funny looking, the BIG's lettering is bigger than the Mama's House, possibly to make fun of the chubby character on the left. The letters are coloured in bright red on a blue background, possibly to make it stand out, and also to match the characters dress colour.

As we can see with this poster part of the title is written in red and the other written in white, to make it standout from the black background. The K in the title has a distinct sharp point, possibly to symbolise the danger of the two sinister looking characters in the front.


To conclude this lesson has taught me that no any random font can e used for a films title, depending on the genre and plot of the film. The font also has to incorporate the films themes as this is the first thing audiences shall see of a film. So it should aim to make the audiences guess what ever genre and what kind of film it will be. 

Putting the film together

This was the coming together of the film before any sound or fancy effects it was a priority to arrange the separate clips into 1 film.

This is a screenshot of all the raw clips that where on the memory card after filming (mistakes and outtakes included).

 Some screen grabs of the final product

This was a screen shot of when we where editing the sound and inputting tracks and sound effects

Tuesday, 1 February 2011

Making a animatic

In our media lesson, we were asked to make a story board. We were suprised when we were asked to make a story board with 'Jelly Babies'. The plot of the story was for two characters to be sitting in a room and having a converstaion. In our group we decided that we had to make the plot interesting, and something different we decided to do a film of a bag swap. The interesting thing was that there is a bomb in the bag so this adds to the twist. In our next lesson we are going to actually film this plot and carry out what we planned.  

Analysis of title sequences

1. Titles over a blank screen - A technique where the titles are shown over a blank screen the effect of this is a slow build up but focus and more credit goes to the cast in my opinion this would only be a useful way to open a film if the cast is full of well known celebrities as the viewer has no alternative to watching and paying attention. Donny Darko starts like this.

2. A narrative opening with titles running through - In this method the film has actually started while the titles are running this is a way to introduce the film better because honestly no-one really pays attention to titles anyway they do this in the stepfather.

3. Discreet title sequence - this is where a special sequence is created it may or may not have any relevance to the plot of the film but sets the tone of the film up nicely. They do this in the film Seven

 4. A narrative opening - where a narrator talks for the opening of the movie

I think that in our group we should do a narrative opening with the titles running through because as we will have a small time restriction its better to spend that time intriguing the audience rather than boring them with names and a blank screen