Friday, 6 March 2009


Here is our final video.
Hope you enjoy! :)

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Extra argument

Once we'd edited the whole of our sequence, and added music, all we needed to finish was the argument in the part where our protagonist is drinking his beer.
Danielle filmed Ram, and a member from another group, arguing over the "husbands" job loss.
We had more than enough footage, so Ram cut it down in Final Cut Express. She also layered certain parts, to make it sound like the the characters were arguing over each other.


Costume List

We wanted to create the working class look, for Josh, as he was meant to look like he doesn't take care of him self. The first filming session we did went well, so we thought, however, when we watched the footage back, we realised that our protagonist looked too middle to upper class, as he wore a smarter looking jacket and a scarf. This resulted in us filming again. This time we concentrated especially on Josh's working class look. In the end he wore just a plain black jumper, over a plain t-shirt, with scruffy jeans.
The extras i.e. us, and Aaron weren't really in the shots as we were mainly there to add extra voices to the party scene.

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Our protagonist - Josh McManus.
  • Aaron Fletcher,
  • Danielle Langley
  • Harriet Miller,
  • Ram Kaur.

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Props Used In Our Opening Sequence.

-beer bottles and a wine bottle.
-Harriet's shoes

We used these props to essentially make our sequence more realistic, as these are the sorts of objects that you would find in any home. The beer bottle was our protagonists main prop, as it showed that he was resorting to alcohol to forget about his broken home life.
The balloons were added to signify a party atmosphere. Even though we only saw a glimpse of one in the corner of one of our shots. The pillows were scattered everywhere to show the state of the house after the party. The pillows also represented our protagonists state of mind, as they were scattered all over the place.
Harriet's shoe was just added to the shots to portray how untidy the house was after the party had taken place.

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Friday, 27 February 2009

Rough cut

Here's our rough cut that Ram edited in Final Cut. We still need to add sound: some music, and the argument in the background of the first 2 scenes. We still need to add credits and our ident at the beginning.


Permision Slips from Josh and Aaron

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Filming again

As a group, we decided our footage wasn't good enough. The protagonist looked too 'middle class' with his scarf and expensive looking coat.
We also realised there were a lot of props in the shots that were totally unrelated and distracted the audience from what was happening.

Another problem we encountered was that when we filmed it was quite dark.
We thought we could lighten it quite easily on 'Final Cut' but when it came to it, the footage was quite grainy.
Therefore we decided to film again.

I (Harriet) took some photographs of us filming which are on the left.

This time we put a lot of effort into the framing, props and the costumes used.
We got our main Actor to wear a plain blue sweater with a plain white T-shirt underneath. We also made sure there were no unnecessary props in the shots. For example last time there was a television in the background and the very top of the Sofa.

Having said that, we did still encounter some problems while filming. For example: The camcorder didn't have the shoe to attach it onto the tripod, so we attached it with sellotape.
The battery and the spare battery were also very low which meant we had to turn the camcorder off between each shot and we couldn't watch very much of our footage back while on set.

However we got the footage we wanted for in the first place and hopefully it will turn out well!


Tuesday, 24 February 2009

Location for our footage

The location for our footage is Danielle's house. 42 Whitegate Close in Swavesey.
We'll use two rooms for the sequence. This will be the kitchen where our protagonist sits drinking his beer. The second room is the living room, where we will see our protagonist wake up. Ideally we would have liked to film in a more working class looking home and neighborhood.

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Test Footage

Here is our test footage, we've played around with the editing of the party scene. We've decided not to use this footage, as our protagonist looks too middle class. We also tested out the music, and how we're going to introduce it.

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Thursday, 12 February 2009

Shot descriptions

Here is our first shot; which shoes our protagonist a teenage male sitting at his kitchen table with a beer beside him. In the background his parents are arguing about his fathers job loss, not including the protagonist.

Almost in the same shot our character takes a sip from his beer. This will be a very slow movement. Both of these shots will be long duration as this is a typical convention for social realist films.

From there it cuts straight to the party scene where our protagonist is drunk and disorientated. To emphasise his state of mind we'll lost likely use a fish eye lens to create a warped view. There'll be loud unrecognisable music in the background, and people around him. This type of shot is unconventional for a social realist, but we feel it gives more of a unique feel to our sequence.

From the party scene it cuts to black to indicate our protagonist passing out from intoxication. This shot is also unconventional for a social realist film.

Next, we cut to the morning after (which we had to change to during the same night, as it had gotten dark by the time we started filming) Our protagoist wakes up in an unknown place.

He sits up and stumbles out of the room surrounded by people he doesnt know.

We then see a close up of his confused, disorientated expression. (We're still not sure about this shot, as we dont think it fits as well with our overall piece... it's still being debated!)

We then cut to outside the house. Sharp cuts are also a convention of social realist films. It's very quiet and empty creating an eerie atmosphere. Again, this will be a long duration shot.

Then we see our protagonist walk out of the door onto the path. This will be a very slow movement to catch the confused look on our characters face.

The shot is then changed to a mid shot of our protagonist on the path.

From there it cuts to seeing him run down the street. When editing, we'll freeze the shot to emphasise the speed in which he's running and his loss of self control.

As our sequnce is a pre title sequence, we'd next show the titles.



This is where we began filming our first 2 shots. This was very easy to film, as the action of drinking beer from a bottle was very natural for our actor. (The camera bag was moved, and Rams reflection wasnt in the window)
After the first 2 shots we did the party scene inside using the fish eye lens. We got Josh; our actor to hold the camera facing him, and to walk around in a drunken manner. This shot was very successful.
From there we went outside to film the "morning after" As it went dark we were unable to make it the morning after, so we changed it to part way through the night when the party's over the protagonist leaves the party house. This is where we set up for that scene. There were safety issues, as we had to stand partly on the road to get the whole door in. Whilst Ram and Danielle shot, Harriet looked out for passing cars.

After that shot we moved onto the path to do the clip where our character runs down the street. This was difficult to achieve, as it was so dark we couldnt see him runnig very far. We later edited this on final cut to brighten the sequence.

Here's us all filming that shot!
The filming was very successful even though we were having a problem with how dark it had gotten. Later we realised that our worries were for nothing, as we were able to edit the brightness using the colour corrector in Final Cut.

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This is our storyboard. We used this for our animatic, and for reference when we were filming. (Please excuse the drawings, they're only rough and Ram is no artist.)


Friday, 6 February 2009

Snow day!!

It's another day with lots of snow, so unfortunately i am the only one from my group in!
Ram did come in for a bit but she had to leave half way through otherwise she wouldn't be able to get home!
We do not have anything to do until we film and i can't do that on my own, so i have decided to use my time effectively and watch some social realist opening sequences.


Wednesday, 4 February 2009


This is the type of shot we need for the first scene. (Obviously not an overweight woman eating a cake) This is just an example of the type of shot we need.
The way we're planning on shooting it, it'll be a lot stronger than this, and have more of a social realist feel.

For the party scene, we want to show the disorientation and confusion of our protagonist. By having a close up, and maybe using a fish eye lens, it'll be uncomfortable for the audience to be so close. They'll show the discomfort of the protagonist.


Update on filming

This lesson we have decided to film during media and after school next Monday.
Obviously if it is still snowing we will have to postpone.

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Class Feedback

In class today we went around the classroom in our groups to analyze other groups blogs. Individually we had to suggest one positive and one improvement each which we should make to the blogs.

This is the feedback we got from the other groups, about our blog-

  • Good descriptive writing
  • Nice animatic
  • '"I like the production company, but 'Twin' and 'Production' should be in different places"
  • Shows development of ideas well
  • Lots of information
  • Good research
  • Good mood boards

  • Not enough pictures
  • Mixed up, not in order
  • Random videos with no comments
  • Work not spread out amongst group members
  • Terrible logo needs attention... (This comes from a group that doesn't even have an ident)
  • Requires more comprehensive notes...Try to put some feelings into them-Too impersonal.
  • Lack of images

We understand it is essential to receive feedback as it shows us how well we are doing and gives us constructive criticism which is really useful to improve our blog. Later this lesson or in the near future we are going to put these improvements into action and hopefully overall improve our blog.
Our new group is formed out of two thriller groups. Me (Harriet) and Danielle are from thriller group p2-38 and Ram is from P2-40. I like to think that because this is our second project and blog, we will have made significant improvements and learned from our mistakes since last time, therefore i hope this blog is better than our last thriller blog.


Monday, 2 February 2009

Sound ideas

This is a clip from "Brick" 2005 Rian Johnson.
The sound from this clip, is similar to what we're trying to achieve, as we want minimal sound, and to have the main focus on the very acute, unnecessary sounds we wouldn't normally hear if music was put over it. The emphasis from this clip is of the ambient noise in the background, and on the vital dialogue between Brendan & Emily.

This is another clip from "Brick." Although this clip isn't from the actual film, the music is, which is very melodic and calm. If we decide to put music in our final piece, it'll be very similar to this, but probably less noticeable; more in the background.

In our pitch I mentioned how our sequence would have some generic conventions of neo noir in it. This is the type of thing i was referring to.


Filming problems

Due to the heavy snow, we were unable to shoot for our opening today, as college was closed and we couldn't collect the camera and appropriate equipment. College is also closed tomorrow, so we'll decide when to shoot at our next lesson which will be wednesday. We definetly want to get the footage shot sooner rather than later.


Friday, 30 January 2009

Final animatic

This is our final animatic that Ram finished in final cut, we also added our ident to the beginning, to represent our group and production name. We don't have any sound for the argument because we couldn't get the portable microphone that allowed us to record outside. However if we had been able to add sound today we would have had the recording of voices shouting to represent the protagonists parents shouting. The music for the party scene is very rough, and it would probably sound very different when we actually film it. On the last scene where the protagonist runs down the street, we'll freeze the shot, to show a blurry still image of the character in mid run. This will emphasise the speed he's running and the fact he's running away from his life, and going out of control

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What we're up to.

Friday 30th Jan....

Deadline for our animatic, and we have done everything but added some dialog, which would be the arguing of our protagonist's parents. However, as we can't find the portable microphone, to take outside the class room, rather than inside with the rest of the class in the background. so we are going to leave that for now, until our actual title sequence. Then we should be able to use it.


Planning for filming

On Monday we plan to start filming our opening sequence. We will get the bus to one of our members-Danielle's house and start to film our sequence. We have limited time of which we are all available together, so we hope to film all of it.
We thought carefully about who our actors should be and in the end we decided to take some of our friends who do performance studies or similar, to be actors in the sequence and hope they will be able to portray our characters effectively.

We are aiming to leave quite early, in order to get the outside shots while it is still light, we will then film the indoor shots when it is dark. However we understand the weather can be unpredictable and if there are problems with the light we hope to be able to alter this on 'Final Cut' or return to film again at a later time.


Wednesday, 28 January 2009

Pitch Feedback

Last lesson, we gave our film pitch, which included our two mood boards, film synopsis and analysis of two films in our chosen genre.
We got a lot of positive and constructive feedback. Most of the feeback was to do with the particular shot where out protagonist will be drunk. We know that this shot is deliberately breaking convention, but we've chosen to do that, as it makes our piece more unique.

- To make the background party music distorted and warped, to emphasise the characters intoxication.
- To maybe add some point of view shots when our protagonist is drunk, to indicate his disorientation, and to make the audience feel present.

These were the main points that we recieved, and whilst filming and editing, we'll try to apply these ideas to improve our sequence. Some of the ideas, may be too much, and going away further from the social realist drama conventions; obviously if this is the case, and the shots and sound doesnt work, we'll scrap that part.

We're very pleased with our feedback, and we got a positive opinion on our film extract.


Monday, 26 January 2009

This Is England Analysis.

This Is England
(Shane Meadows, 2007)

In the opening sequence there is no actual introduction of the main characters from the film. Therefor, we have no protagonist to identify with. However, the sequence gives us the idea that the film is about events and trends in Britain, during the 1980’s. This is indicated by all of the clips in the sequence being news headlines and clips of this era. The clips include landmark events that happened during 1983, for example, you have the video clips from the Falkland Islands, and the war that was going on there. There are clips of street riots, and parades of people holding the Union Jack flags, Margaret Thatcher, aerobics and Roland Rat.

Towards the beginning of the opening sequence there are documentary like clips of a housing estate, where most of the windows are smashed and boarded up, and graffiti on the brick walls of the garages with smashes car windows. This also gives us an indication that the This Is England is about the working class and the state of England in the 8o's.

The music throughout the sequence is played by a group from the eighties called Toots and Maytals. There are some clips during the sequence of this particular group live on, what seems like Top Of The Pops.


Friday, 23 January 2009


5th - 9th Jan: Opening sequence conventions discussion/ analysis and blogs.
12th - 16th Jan: Production company logo and pitch planning.
19th - 23rd Jan: Pitches and storyboards.
26th - 30th Jan: Animatics and planning/ shooting.
2nd - 6th Feb: Planning and shooting.
9th - 13th Feb: Shooting and editing to roughcut (ROUGHCUT DEADLINE END OF LAST LESSON).
16th - 20th Feb: HALF TERM
23rd - 27th Feb: Final edits/ Post-production.
2nd - 6th Mar: FINAL PRACTICAL DEADLINE END OF FIRST LESSON and feedback for evaluation.
9th - 13th Mar: Feedback on writing in lessons.



Here is our animatic.
This is only rough, as it has no sound yet, and will obviously look better once shot. Its also very short, so we'll increase the length.

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Here is our ident. We hope you like it. :)

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City Of God Opening Sequence


Wednesday, 21 January 2009

mood board- refined ideas

Here is the second mood board. These ideas are more refined, as we now know what our opening is containing. We've involved things to do with drug & alcohol abuse, and also domestic violence, such as arguing.


'She's the man' Opening sequence analysis

The opening sequence of ‘She’s the man (2006)’ is a romantic teen comedy. The opening sequence very much focuses on a group of teenagers playing soccer on the beach. This strongly suggests that the rest of the film is going to be about soccer. The sequence also flickers between real life and cartoon stills. This could be read as the scenario of the movie being exaggerated, like a typical teen romantic comedy. The names of the actors and titles also come up with the cartoon animations. The title of the film ‘She’s the man’ first comes up as ‘He’s the man’ and then an animated ‘S’ gets put in front of it. This could be read as a switch between a girl and a boy, which is what the film is about as well as soccer.
The diagetic music in the background is very ‘pop’ sounding. This is stereotypically the genre of music teenage girls like to listen too; therefore we can tell the film is aimed at a youth and probably female audience. The setting is also on a beach full of teenagers and a happy environment which suggests the film is going to be quite light-hearted.
Even in the opening sequence we can tell the film is going to follow convention. This is because at the end of the opening sequence we see a boy and a girl both kiss. From this we can tell the movie is going to be based on a heterosexual romance. Having seen the film myself, I know that the film follows other conventions throughout the film. For example the main character has a makeover to turn her into a boy. It also provides stereotypical characters and is very comedic.
However from the title sequence, we can tell that the film is going to challenge some conventions, as the main girl is playing soccer well with boys, which is stereotypically something the boy, ‘Jock character’ would do.


Tuesday, 20 January 2009

Idea- synopsis

Parents are arguing in another room, while the male protagonist is in the kitchen, so he hears the argument about his fathers job loss due to the recession. The character isn't phased by the argument or the job loss, and silently sips a beer/ alcoholic drink. The movement is slow, and very unresponsive. This will be a mid shot, of the character, who'll be sitting at the kitchen table. By him overhearing the conversation/ argument, rather than being told himself, this will emphasise his isolation from his family.

From there it will cut to the protagonist who's at a crowded house party, his vision is skewed, to emphasise his intoxication. The camera is facing him, and wobbles, the same time he does. He wanders around the house, and eventually passes out. This is where it fades to black, to indicate him passing out.

After around 15 seconds, he wakes up, hungover and cranky, surrounded by other drunken people, who he doesnt know. There is then a close up of the character lying down, and in the process of gettin up. He gets up, and then sits up. This shot is slow, and silent. From there, there'll be a close up of him, to show the puzzlement in his face.

We then see the front door of the house from the outside. A few seconds later, the protagonist leaves the house and shits the door behind him. We don't see his face at this point. He then walks down the path of the house and onto the street path. After a few seconds of walking, he pelts it down the road. This shot will be frozen, and held. Then the title, and extra titles will show.

For the rest of the film we see our protagonist deteriorate more, as the situation with family gets worse. He then gets involved in drugs, and from there its a downward spiral.
After the party, they meet a member of the opposite sex, who recognises him from that night, she/ he gets the protagonist into drugs, and involves him/her into a new group of people, who are bad influences.



- St. ives, under bridge, maybe dark?
- council estates in st. ives
- st. ives town centre (outside woolworths) main area
- inside house.. party?

- Credit crunch, to show how it effects the working class.
- house party, effects of drugs & alcohol, on teenagers
- young character gets involves in gangs/ drugs/ alcohol/ partying due to neglecting parents.

Shot ideas:
- shot of drunk character who's vision is blurred, camera is facing him/her at a mid shot, showing us what he's seeing whilst facing him.

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Initial mood board

This is our mood board. We've decided to do a British social realist drama, we've based our ideas around three main films: "Billy Elliot" "kidulthood" & "This is England" We like the type of location, as its very realistic. The type of characters we'd have is a "typical" teenager, around 16/17 years old. They would be involved in crime such as gang violence, drugs and underage sex. There would be no authority figures, and uncaring families, so the young children would be free to do what they want.

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analysis of film opening

What information does the sequence give you about the film?
How does it do this?

In the opening sequence of Kidulthood (Menhaj Huda, 2006) there’s many sections that give away a particular amount of information for the film to come. The first, and most obvious would be right at the start, before anything appears on screen, there’s non diagetic sound of school children playing, shouting and laughing. This sound turns into diagetic sound, as we then see the establishing shot of the playground. This indicates that the children or “kids” will have to unwillingly grow up and mature. Such as children acting like adults, or going through adult like situations, which is what actually happens throughout the film.

There are shots of the main character, which then move onto the next ones, this is so the audience knows who to focus their attention on. There are also several still shots of the boys playing football, which is a child & adult game. For that particular shot the time is slowed down, this would show that the normal time for a child to transition from child to adult, may be warped, and not normal.

The shots flicker from the playground to a drill. There’s only close ups and extreme close ups of the drill and its parts. This emphasises what the character’s doing and makes the audience question that it may be morally wrong or illegal somehow.
One of the characters is handing out invites to his party; this is a typical thing for teenagers to do. He also mentions that his parents are away, which shows he’s rebelling, which is also a stereotypical trait of a teenager.

Adult authority is undermined by the children, as when the teacher is telling them to get inside, the protagonist merely looks at him, and the teacher grimaces and turns away. This emphasises the control they have over the authority figures in their life.

The group of boys start talking about sex, this shows that they’re already breaking the law by having underage sex, which is something you’re supposed to do when you’re “adult” enough. They also talk about girls in graphic terms, which’s similar to men, adults would think that young children shouldn’t be talking about things like that. This indicates that the characters sexual relationships will have a big role to play in the rest of the film.

The “bullies” of the film are purposely embarrassing their “victims.”
It flicks back and forth from the boys, to the girls, separating the sexes, which is what young children tend to do. There’s no satisfaction from seeing their embarrassment, it doesn’t achieve anything, which highlight the childlike trivial issues they’re fighting about.

Rap music is also used in parts, which is generally associated with violence and gangs. This indicates what stereotypical characters will be shown in the film. It also shows that they’re in a rough, working class neighbourhood

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Friday, 16 January 2009

Definitions and conventions of the five given genres

Social realist: a film that generally depicts culture to the given area. Usually in a suburban area with working class characters. Often uses handheld cameras, to give a documentary feel. The narrative is usually someone fighting to improve their life, which focus on current events. Often inexperienced actors are used. Natural sound and lighting is used. Examples: Malcolm X, Land of Freedom, Milk.

Teenage romantic comedy: Humorous scenes, relatable but often far fetched. Exaggerated scenarios, often based around prom night with very stereotypical characters. Usually based on heterosexual relationships, and generally a happy ending. Examples: High School Musical, Never Been Kissed, Mean Girls.

Crime caper with an ensemble cast: There's usually a leader of a group. storyline is based around sophisticated crime. Consequences of criminal actions arent seen in the film. Usually set in cities. Audience get a sense of subconcious relief by watching characters break free of society's rules. Identification encouraged with the criminals. Examples: Layer Cake, Oceans Eleven, Snatch.

Supernatural thriller: Usually to do with the paranormal and supernatural. Generally a hero or heroine, who has to save someone or retrive something. Sometimes having to find the "answer" to something. Examples: Minority Report, Donnie Darko

Adventure (Children): The characters are constantly placed in danger, usually trying to find something or someone, often involves magic or the supernatural. Usually have to face a fear, something that is explained earlier in the fim. Examples: Harry Potter, Lord of the Rings, Chronicles of Narnia.

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Sound and editing for our production sequence

After looking through sound effects CD's we wanted a calming, almost childlike sound.
We decided to use a music box, which made it seem very innocent, and went well with our production sequence.

We also added some animation to the words "twin" and "production"
using key frame, we made the words come out from the frame.
We also faded in the words, making "twin" come first and "productions" very shortly after.

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Hey :)

We forgot to mention who's in our group.
There's Ram, she's the one with black hair
Then there's Harriet, she's small and blonde
and, there's Danielle, who's got blonde curly hair.

For this project we'll be making a film opening for a certain genre. We'll be doing all the planning and development on here.

We hope you enjoy what we create!

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Ideas for layout of "twin productions"

For the layout of our production sequence we decided to have two plain people, similar to the small images on the front of toilet doors.
They'd be blank, with no faces
and have same colours, but one of their heads would be the same colour as the others body.
Twin productions would be over the top, in a formal font, in a neutral colour of white or black.
The background would also be neutral.

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Production ideas

We thought carefully about the name our company was going to have as it represents us as a group.
We wanted to come up with a realistic name to fit in with our natural Social Realist drama.
We came up with a number of ideas which are written below-
  • Stop productions
  • Twin productions
  • Quad productions
  • Gemini productions
  • Virgo productions
  • Open films
  • Jingle productions

In the end we decided to use "Twin Productions." 

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