Thursday, 6 November 2008


Final cut feedback

Today our class viewed our thriller title sequence and left us some feedback on it. We are proud to say that we only received ONE negative comment. Some of the comments were...

- "looks very professional - great clips and editing. Good use of everything."
- "Really good, look like a real opening. Titles are really good. Music matches the action well."
- "Good use of shot types. Appropriate music."
- "Didn't know what was happening."
- "Good music. Good filters on camera shots."
- "Moonlight is amazing - great thriller shot."
- "Eye shot is great - gives really eerie feel."
- "Music is original."

Overall we're very happy with our feedback. Our only negative comment isn't that bad as mystery and ambiguity is very important in our thriller. We didn't want to give too much of the plot away too early, so it is understandable that some people may be unclear about what is exactly happening at certain points. We are thankful to everyone that gave us feedback, everyone was very generous with the positive comments.

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Wednesday, 5 November 2008

final cut

Today we put the finishing touches to the final cut of our thriller title sequence. All that was left to do was apply video filters to a couple of shots, adjust the soundtrack a little so it mirrors the visuals, and obviously check that everything else was completed and we were happy with it. When watching our finished product, our group was quite impressed with what he had achieved in so little time. I think that our planning gave us a considerable advantage, as it helped us make sure we stuck to our deadlines, and got everything we intended to do, finished. Overall, i have probably enjoyed the editing stage of production most, as you're able to play around with effects, speed, filters, etc, on Final Cut, to see what works best with each individual shot. Putting all of the footage together in a sequence is also quite fulfilling as it gives you a sense of what the finished product is going to look like, as well as giving you a greater idea of how to move shots around, in order to achieve the effect you want. This project has helped me familiarise myself with Final Cut, and i now have a greater understanding of what tools to use to create certain effects. In our title sequence, the part i am proudest of is probably the editing, as it gives our film a bit of an edge, and techniques like darkening the shots makes the thriller genre more prominant in our creation.


Monday, 3 November 2008

Draft evaluation questions

1. We have included many typical thriller conventions to convey the genre of our opening sequence, almost immediately. For example, darkness, mystery, and suspense are all conventions of a thriller, and we have included these as much as possible to intrigue the audience and indicate what's to follow in the rest of the film. However, we didn't want to make our thriller opening completely unoriginal, therefore, we tried to include different shots that added diversity and made our film differ from the typical thriller setup. We have also included the theme of voyeurism, (the repeated blinking eye shot), to accentuate the stalking part of the plot. As well as illustrating the actions of the antagonist, and indicating to the audience the details of the protagonists plight, the montage that makes up the title sequence also gives the audience a hint of the main character's identity. For example, we have shown the main character as the villain when he is doing things such as putting up the polaroids of the girls he has an obsession with, but we have also shown him reading a book. This is to humanise his character, in order to make him different to the typical 'bad guy' stereotype employed in most thrillers, and to make him more believable and his problem realistic.

2. Contrary to who the audience may think is the main character in the opening sequence of our thriller, the plot actually centers around the victim, who is a woman, (not shown in the title sequence). The victim is portrayed rather stereotypically, as vulnerable, weak and basically, a damsel in distress. This is explainable since she is being stalked by a madman. Our villain is also conveyed stereotypically at first. He is shown to be mentally unstable, violent, and menacing. However, during the rest of the film his character will be more realistic and he will be portrayed as an actual human being with a problem, rather than a monster with no personality or humanity. The villain does mainly fit in with the media's typical idea of a stalker, which allows his character to be compared with various villains in other thrillers that relate to our own creation, as well as real stalkers that have been publicly exposed in the past.

3. The kind of media institution that may distribute our media product is a film company. Thrillers have proved to be a popular film genre for many years, and are constantly being made by top Hollywood film companies. Therefore, new ideas are in popular demand, making our product ideal for maybe a fledgling, independant film company.

4. The audience we have aimed our thriller sequence for is 15+, male and female, with an interest in the thriller genre. As our film contains violence and most likely bad language, it would be deemed unsuitable viewing for anyone under the age of 15. The content and plot of our thriller makes it aimed more at teenagers/adults, and predominantly those of the male gender.

5. We addressed our audience by making the genre of our film clear from the start. We also included an intricate plot that appeals more to adults rather than children as a child may not understand what's happening and may be distressed by the content. The use of violence and suspense conveys the thriller genre, therefore addressing an audience that has an interest in this particular film type.

6. Since embarking on this project, i have increased my knowledge about Final Cut. For example, i have learnt how to use features such as video filters, adjusting the speed of footage and adding effects to clips. I have also learnt how to use GarageBand to create soundtracks with many layers as I hadn't used the programme much before this project. Lastly, i have learnt about the significance of factors such as sound, lighting and mise-en-scene that all add up to the effect of your final product. I have realised that each of these factors needs to be addressed separately, in order to make sure they all combine well to make the desired shot work.

7. The main thing i have learnt in the progression from the preliminary task to the full product is the importance of time-keeping. It is common to underestimate the amount of time you will need to complete tasks such as making titles, filming enough footage and editing each bit of footage to your exact specification. Planning is incredibly important during projects like this as it helps you to be able to get on with your main task, having already prepared props, costumes, locations, etc. Also, i have realised the significance of taking your time over things such as filming and editing. It is very important to make sure you have enough footage, so you can select the very best of it to include in your final product. And issues such as avoiding a 'shaky camera shot' is very important, as you need to make sure your product looks as professional as possible, making sure that flaws like the aforementioned doesn't lose you vital marks.



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

Our project was about a girl being stalked, we used fast images which could relate to stalkings; for exapmle cameras, also we thought since nowadays the internet is very well developed that the stalker would probably have used the internet to look things up about her, so we used the computer aswell

2. How does your media product represent particular social groups?

Our project has not a wide range of social classes in many ways. Firstly the girl who is being stalked since she is the victim the audience will place her in the vulnerable group. where as the stalker he is not innocent so people will place him in the antagonist group.

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

I think ...

4. Who would be the audience for your media product?

I think everyone could view our film because the content is suitable for everybody. It does not have any unsuitable language or violence.

5. How did you attract/address your audience?

We attracted our audience by using quick fast shots to make the audience feel tense and get more into the project, because they want to find out what it is about; They want to see the end.

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

I have learnt new ways of putting in the tittles, i learnt how to blur the text, how to slow down the footage, and how to use garageband and finalcut.

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

I thought that as we had more lessons and got to learn more about final cut and garage band, our projects got better and also we found out we had to use the tri pod to decrease shakey footage and not just hold it with our hands.



The video clip of your rough cut is not working. Try posting it again.


Friday, 24 October 2008


Thursday, 23 October 2008

Cristina's (:

I think we have worked really well on editing our shots on rough cut. We have made some good effects to our shots, that fits well with our sequence. For example, the 'cross dissolve' effect we used with a couple of shots that linked well together. The effect that changes speed and darkness, has worked particularly well. For example, we have a shot of my eye that we have made faster so my eye is flickering. Also, we have made the shot darker, to create a suspicious effect to our thriller sequence. Filming my eye was quite difficult to keep a straight face, which explains why my eye is slightly closed at times. But, when editing the shot, we realized that this worked quite well anyway with the effect we are trying to create. Overall, i feel that the speed of our shots has worked really well, because it creates tension and suspicion to our sequence, which was the effect we wanted.

I was quite pleased with a shot i filmed by myself. This one was a sort of birds eye shot, as i stood on a surface high up to film the shot directly facing down. Taking part in the shots, was quite enjoyable. Especially when typing and cutting out letters from magazines/newspapers for our title to come together.


Wednesday, 22 October 2008

First editing session

Today we started editing our footage. We began by selecting the footage we definately wanted to use, i.e. the more effective and professional shots. We then started to build up our timeline, adding shots that mainly went with what our storyboard instructed. However, we did make a few creative decisions about changes to our storyboard, such as the opening couple of shots. We had intended for our opening shot to be a sink overflowing, but when looking back at what we had captured of this, we decided that it would be more effective to begin with a shot of the moon, followed by a deserted street, and then a photograph being developed, before the fast-paced shots and music starts. We also included some of the shots we filmed but hadn't planned, which meant that original shots were shifted about a bit. When cutting our footage, and putting them on the timeline, we started to get ideas about different effects we might put on certain shots, and played around with the effects tool on Final Cut. We then noted our effects ideas on our storyboards for next week when we begin polishing our final product. We were happy to note that we had plenty of footage to choose from, thanks to our effective time management during filming week. Our preparation definately gave us an advantage, as because our sequence is mainly made up of lots of fast-paced shots, we needed to film a lot of different shots in the limited time we were given. We are definitly on schedule with our editing, and our rough cut will be posted tomorrow!



The mention of what we was going to call our film caused quite a debate in our group, and quite a few methods for selecting one were tried. Having thought up quite a few suitable names for our thriller the night before, i had a choice of names that i posed to the group. Some of these were....

- Target
- Flash
- Exposure
- Shutter
- Polaroid
- Invasion
- Capture

I particularly favoured the names that related to camera terms, (exposure, shutter, flash, polaroid), as i felt they didn't give too much of our plot away, but were appropriate and catchy. The rest of the group suggested a few other names that they liked, but we all stuck to our one favourite when it came down to choosing just one. My favourite name was exposure. This is because the three definitions of the term that relates to our film are...

- The amount of radiant energy needed to expose a photographic film. (a camera is vital to our plot as it is a stalkers favourite tool.)
- Revelation, especially of crime or guilt. (our film is about a crime)
- The condition of being subjected to a source of risk. (our main character is seriously at risk)

So, that is why i thought 'Exposure' was highly suitable for the title of our film. However, as we are working in groups, all other members are entitled to their say on such decisions and so we decided the fairest way of choosing our title, was for us each to write our chosen title on a piece of paper, and then to get someone to choose a one of the bits of paper, and see which is our title.
As it happens, Christina's choice of title was chosen. Her favourite was 'Capture', and i am happy with this choice as it does reflect some of the themes incorporated in our film.


Filming week

Having planned in advance what shots we were going to film when and what props we would need on certain days, we started our first session of filming knowing exactly what we wanted to achieve by the end of the lesson. Our first shot was of an overflowing sink, which as you can imagine, involved a lot of water, therefore was quite an eventful shoot. Hovever, we did manage to shoot all of the shots we had planned for that day, and even started on some of the shots we had planned to film next lesson. The next two lessons, we spent filming and achieved everything we had set out to do in each session, making us right on schedule. We also made sure we captured all our footage after each session, including the shots Aiko filmed when she took the camera home with her. As we finished filming our intended shots on the third and final lesson, we filmed a couple more shots that we spontaneously thought of, that fitted with the theme of our film.
At friday lunchtime, our group asked to use the photography dark room to film a couple more shots in. This turned out to be a great location for filming, as it has appopriate lighting for a thriller. Plus, as our film is about a stalker, it was very appropriate to be filming in a room for developing photographs as that is what our main character does.
Our preparation definately paid off, as when it came to editing our footage, we realised we had even more footage to work with than what we thought, giving us a lot more choice when it came to selecting the best shots to include in our thriller sequence.


Thursday, 16 October 2008

How the filming went

For an effect we wanted to have a sink flooding with water; but since with the circumstances we had, we had to use the toilets in our school. Since we wanted to flood the sink we made a lot of mess, so we made sure we cleared up afterwards by mopping the floor. It was hard to block the sink, because we did not have a plug; We had to use apples to block the sink. Also for better effects we made the water overflow ourselves to make it look like the water was overflowing; By using our hands and pushing the water out.
We filmed everything we wanted to film; So we are on schedule


Wednesday, 15 October 2008


When I took the camcorder out I had to do a couple of shots that were in different places such as cambridge town which involved public vehicles and the public, this was difficult because it started raining meaning I could not shoot the scene for the good of the burrowed cam corder. The other place I had to shoot at was at my house as I had the props that I needed. This was a success! My shooting at my own home was a succes because not only I had the props my uncle was happy to prticipate and be the mystery stalker of our thriller opening, as we did not have to see his face.
However, it could've been better if I had a much older looking table but apart from that what I had in mind I got to do. The scenes that I have shot may look confusing as the mystery guy was reading a book, I thought that this was a good idea because it gives the character more personality and it makes it more realistic so that its not all the same, like the guy works in the day time as a 'stalker' then at night at a certain time he reads a book. My favourite bit of the shots that i have made are the lighting, you can't see the mystery guy and you can only see the book and everything else is dark.
Moving on to the other shots I have done, I struggled shooting the digital clock as I was thinking of the numbers to be in red LED light, and the one I had at home was a circle clock that had the digits in black which didn't show in the dark, also I wanted it the clock to say the time on an hour but my one you have to push the green button for it to speak out. Although it wasn't a success I still shot that bit, also the street outside my house at night with some of the lamp post on as if the guy was looking out his window. To understand the shots I have made you will have to watch untraceable which is about people watching this guy kill people over the net and the more people watched the more he'd kill, and this guy was a real nutcase as you can tell but the fact was that he lived in a normal house, in a normal village.


Monday, 13 October 2008

Filming plan.

Toilets - shots... 1, 2, 29,
Photography roomP - shots... 31, 32, 24,
Media Room - Shots... 3, 6, 5, 4, 10, 17, 27, 30,
Cambridge city centre - Shots... 33, 34, 35, 36, 38, 39, 25,
House - shots... 19, 21, 22,
Classroom - shots... 8, 9, 11, 13, 14, 16, 26, 28,
Final cut - shots... 37, 7, 12, 15, 18, 20, 23,

Tuesday: 19, 21, 22, 25, 33, 34, 35, 36, 38, 39,
Wednesday: 1, 2, 29, 3, 6, 5, 4, 10, 17, 27, 30
Thursday: 8, 9, 11, 13, 14, 16, 26, 28, 24, 31, 32,
While editing: 37, 7, 12, 15, 18, 20, 23

Props needed:
Tuesday: alarm clock, lamp, book, table, newspaper, car, cigarette, lighter.
Wednesday: keyboard, polaroids, computer, polaroid camera, headphones, computer mouse, wire.
Thursday: drawer, scissors, pretend gun, gloves, wires, computer chip, cd's, newspapers, polaroids, bottle, dark room light, developing tray, camera.


Our idea

The idea

As our animatic was described as unclear, i thought i should explain what our film is about and the relevance of the shots in our opening sequence.
The main theme of our film is stalking. It will have the basic plot of man stalking a range of girls, embellished with a series of twists to make the film more interesting. Ambiguity is a key factor in our film, we want to keep the audience guessing throughout the main duration of the film, whilst still keeping them hooked and wanting to know more. Hopefully, our opening title sequence to demonstrate this as we are using a montage of clips to reveal a little of the plot, creating suspense, without giving away too much. We've used the thriller 'Se7en' as our predominant inspiration, as we felt the title sequence for that particualar film was similar to what we wish to achieve in our own. We liked the fast pace of it and the ability it has to keep the audience gripped and in suspense.
In our own opening sequence, we decided to start it off slow, with a wide shot of a leaking tap. We then agreed to put a red tint over this particular shot to make the genre of the film more apparant at the start. After another shot of the leak, this time flowing towards a foot, we then decided to make it more racy and add a series of fast shots of different objects. The music we had made on Garage band reflected the pace of the sequence well. We decided to use objects such as polaroids, a computer and gloves, as they are all things that a stalker may use when watching his prey. Written titles will be incorporated into our sequence in between the different shots of objects. To accentuate the theme of stalking into our opening sequence, i came up with the idea of filming different clips of someone cutting out letters from a newspaper/magazine. At first it wont be entirely obvious what is happening, but the last shot in our sequence will be of all the letters the person has cut out, spelling out the title of our film.
We decided to use only non-digetic sound in our sequence as we thought it would look more professional this way. The main sound will obviously be the soundtrack we have created on Garageband.
So basically, that is our idea.


Animatic Feedback

after showing our class our animatic, we received both positive and negative feedback on it...

- "good, eerie music... but a little out of time in some places."
- "need to clean up frames."
- "good selection of shot types."
- "Good link from music to shots."
- "Music was very good."
- "didn't really understand the story."
- "It looks like you ran out of time to re-size your frames but...
- "it's edited really quickly, so much so that some of the frames go by too quickly to be able to see what is in them (especially the written titles)".
- "the mise-en-scene seems clear and appropriate, and the music is suitably eerie for a thriller."
- "some of the frames could use a little bit more detail for clarification."
- "good selection of shots."
- "music went with the theme of the pictures."
- "the storyboard was good."

Overall, we were fairly happy with the feedback as it was relatively positive, and the negative comments will help when improving our thriller. Faults in our animatic such as frames not being re-seized, are mainly due to the fact that we were last to take pictures of our storyboard. This meant that we had the least time to construct our animatic on final cut and edit it to look more presentable. As our thriller opening sequence is very fast-paced, we had a lot of shots to storyboard and eventually film. We are prepared to alter things such as the length of some shots that go too quickly and making some of the shots clearer so the plot is more understandable. Making the animatic has shown us that we need to plan our time better in order to film all our shots acurately and have time to edit it well.


Thursday, 9 October 2008


Thursday, 2 October 2008

Credits List - thriller opening sequence

A Newbie Production presents

A Black door film

James McAvoy

Scarlett Johansson

Paul Walker

Costume design by Joanna Johnston

Art Direction by David Lubin

Production design by J.Dennis Washington

Casting by Mindy Marin

Film editing by Neil Travis

Cinematography by Oliver Wood

Original music by Mark Isham

Produced by Frank Marshall

Directed by Baz Luhrmann

Title -

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Wednesday, 1 October 2008

analysis of conventions of a thriller in Seven

The opening title sequence of Seven is very mysterious and ambiguous. The actions and the setting of the place lead the audience to believe that we are watching a criminal at work. The images the clips show such as the guy with metal stuck through his head, give you an idea of what will be in the film. Furthermore the flashes of the film in between certain parts of the titles keeps the audience hooked and wanting to know more. Unlike in the opening sequence of Memento, seven is fast paced and contains a lot more variation in footage, keeping the audience entertained and knowing more about the film, while withholding the plot. The eerie music that accompanies the opening, adds suspense and thrill and emphasises the content of the film. The music is fast-paced which goes very well with the footage. the font of the title credits looks handwritten which makes the whole opening sequence look mysterious and connects to the genre of the film. the opening uses a lot of sound effects to go with what the man is doing. The sound effects are quite creepy in places, which has an effect on the audience, startling them and making them apprehensive about the rest of the film. the footage at the start shows a lot of gadgets and tools, the music goes with these as it is almost sci-fi like in places and almost paints an image of someone working in a place like a mental institution. overall, the opening sequence of Seven is very eye-catching and fast-paced. this persuades the audience to watch more. In particular, we thought the music and the editing was the best part as it is unique and it holds your attention, making you want to find out what happens next.


Friday, 26 September 2008


Monday, 15 September 2008

Analysis of students work

The first impression of this piece, was that it was very good. The story line was quite clear, but we think it could have different meanings. All the way through it had steady shots and a variety of shot distances. Because of this, it also had appropriate shooting material for the task. The lighting was good in changing, according to the mood and atmosphere of the shot. For example, when something good happened, the music fitted with the bright lighting.

The shot transitions and other effects were selectively used, for example when they were dancing, the figures over laped. Titles were used effectively through-out the clip. Therefore, it was easy to follow what was happening.