Wednesday, 30 March 2011

Film opening inspiration!

Now that we have realised our clips look more like a trailer rather than a film opening we have decided to do some more research into film opening sequences.
We came across the film closing for Sherlock Holmes and we were really inspired! We had previously decided that our opening would be quite slow pace, but watching this has made us change our minds! It has a very fast pace and we particularly like how the movement in the clip freezes as the credits appear on screen. We might speed up the pace of our clips, however keep within the art house theme.

They have also included an interesting effect which gives their clips a 'painted' effect. We thought using an idea like this would successfully seperate the flash back clips from the present time clips. We are likely to change the saturation etc. in order to achieve a look simular to this as creating this effect would be too difficult for us.

Filming- Friday 1st April

Today as Alex was better and able to re-join us! We decided to take some more shots at her house including various angles creating match on action.
We managed to complete the 'Amber scenes' (of young Elizabeth) and this time we created some very interesting effects, Including point of view shots!
We also managed to re-film one of the teenage Elizabeth scenes (Alice sitting by the window) We took various shots at different angles and the clips should hopefully look very effective once we put them all together!
After we had finished filming we started to edit the clips on iMovie. We are really impressed by the outcome so far and plan to continue editing in our double lesson on Monday morning!
Now the only flash back we have left to improve is the teenage sleepover scene, we will be filming this on Monday evening after school!

Production logo!

Now that we are coming to the end of our filming, it is time to start drafting our production logo! 
We have all agreed that we want to include an image of an eye within the logo, to come up with some production names we typed 'vision' into the online thesaurus, these are our favourite ideas we found:
  • conception
  • perspective
  • prescience
  • standpoint
We also found pipe dream quite an effective name.

any fantastic notion, hope, or story

 We decide to try creating a production logo on photoshop, however it was far to friendly and did not relate to the genre of our film opening sequence. We drifted away from the image of an eye idea, and created a piece taking the words literally 'pipe' and 'dream' The image included fun colours and child-friendly pictures which contrasts with our film idea and doesn't relate successfully. 

Therefore we went back to the online thesaurus to see if we had missed any other interesting names. 
We found the definition of Foresight and thought 'Foresight productions' was really effective, and we could go back to including the image of an eye. We found an image of an eye on 'free images' this way no copyright would occur.

Together we agreed that the eye itself should be the main focus, so we blacked out certain areas.

We thought this could be made a little more defined and 'creepy' looking. Therefore after playing around with different brushes, Alice managed to cleverly create and eyelash effect. We made the eyelashes white so they would stand out and contrast against the black background. 

We were all really pleased with the outcome and needed to find the perfect font and style for the production names title! Conveniently Alex has a variety of fun fonts on her personal laptop which we could chose from. Alex put together this sample of fonts for our logo...


After a lot of experimenting we finally decided that this was the perfect font for our production logo which will appear at the beginning of our film opening...

Wednesday, 23 March 2011

Extra filming

After finishing all of our footage we captured it and begun to use Final Cut to begin editing, we realised at this point that we didn't have enough footage to experiment with. We would like to go back to our sets and take some extra shots including various different angles which would make the flash backs in our sequence more effective, and would mean we could speed up the pace, which would make the sequence much more thrilling and exciting. 

As Alex has been ill :( , and we are down to tight timing, Alice and myself decided to crack on with any scenes that Alex isn't present in. We focused mainly on the pregnancy scene, filming in Alice's garage. We included various different angles, including low angles and a point of view shot

This filming session was relatively successful and from our experience we have learnt that we will not know how effective the shots our until we see them on the computer, therefore we took a variety just to be on the safe side!! 

Tuesday, 22 March 2011

The Language of Media Literacy: A Glossary of Terms

Audience: The group of consumers for whom the media text was constructed as well as anyone else who is exposed to the text.
Connotation: A description of value, meaning or ideology associated with a media text.
Construct or Construction: As a verb, the process by which a media text is shaped and given meaning. This process is subject to a variety of decisions and is designed to keep the audience interested in the text.

As a noun, a fictional or documentary text that appears to be "natural" or a "reflection of reality" but is, in fact, shaped and given meaning through the process already described.
Critical: A reflective position on the meaning, biases or value messages of a text. Critical Viewing is the ability to use critical thinking skills to view, question, analyze and understand issues presented overtly and covertly in movies, videos, television and other visual media.
Deconstruct: To take apart, analyze, or break down a media text into its component parts in order to understandhow and why it was created.
Demographics: Recognizable characteristics of media consumers such as age, gender, education and income level.
Denotation: A description of a media text indicating its common sense, obvious meaning.
Docudrama: A filmed dramatization based on fact that combines documentary and fictional elements. In the production process, "based on" allows the creators of the text wide creative latitude. At its best, a docudrama can be a skillful representation of a real person or event.
Genre: A category of media texts characterized by a particular style, form or content.
Ideology: How we as individuals understand the world in which we live. This understanding involves an interaction between our individual psychology and the social structures that surround us. Mediating between these are the individual processes of communication, as well as the technological processes of the mass media.
Industry: The agencies and institutions involved with the production of media texts. The term is also used in a more narrow sense to describe the commercial production of media texts for the purpose of making a profit.
Jolts: Moments in a media text that are generated by a broad comedy, a violent act, movement within a frame, a loud noise, rapid editing, a profanity or a sexually explicit representation—all of which are calculated to engage an audience's excitement.
Mass Media: Media Education The process by which individuals learn the technical production skills associated with creating media texts. Traditionally, it has not included the intellectual processes of critical consumption or deconstruction; however, modern interpretations often include these processes.
Media Literacy: The process of understanding and using the mass media in an assertive and non-passive way. This includes an informed and critical understanding of the nature of the media, the techniques used by them and the impact of these techniques.
Medium: The singular form of "media." This term usually describes individual forms such as radio, television, film etc.
Media: The plural form of "medium." This term has come to mean all the industrial forms of mass communication combined.
Narrative: The telling of a plot or story. In a media text, narrative is the coherent sequencing of events across time and space.
Negotiate: The process by which members of the audience individually or collectively interpret, deconstruct and find meaning within a media text.
Oppositional: A critical position that is in opposition to the values and ideology intended by the creators of a media text.
Production: The industrial process of creating media texts as well as the people who are engaged in this process.
Production Values: Describes the quality of a media production—which is generally proportional to the money and technology expended on it.
Psychographics: A more sophisticated form of demographics that includes information about the psychological and sociological characteristics of media consumers, such as attitudes, values, emotional responses and ideological beliefs.
Representation: The process by which a constructed media text stands for, symbolizes, describes or represents people, places, events or ideas that are real and have an existence outside the text.
Technology: The machinery, tools and materials required to produce a media text. In media literacy terms, technology greatly impacts upon the construction and connotation of a text.
Text: The individual results of media production: a movie, a TV episode, a book, an issue of a magazine or newspaper, an advertisement, an album, a CD, etc.

Media Glossary
This slideshare was made by Rob McMinn, with our exam nearing it is important that we start to revise and look back on what we have covered so far! The information above shows all media terminology we will need to know!

Monday, 14 March 2011

Filming- Monday 14th March

Today we filmed, and re-filmed, our final scenes of our film opening sequence!

Firstly we headed over to Alex's house to film both Teenage Elizabeth scenes.Our Friend (another) Alice kindly took part in the teen sleepover scene, so that I could be on filming duty! 

Both Alice's and Alex wore pyjama's for the sleepover scene: 

We tried many different camera angles for this flash back and eventually successfully focused on teen Elizabeth (Alice) whilst Alex and the Alice were out of focus in the background!
I think this scene was successfully shot and we were happy with the final outcome!

We then moved onto the second teen Elizabeth scene downstairs in Alex's house. We filmed by the window which had previously appeared in one of our young Elizabeth scenes. We thought having recurring scenery would help our flash backs link. We successfully captured teen Elizabeth (Alice) sat on the window sill showing emotion.

After completing all teen Elizabeth scenes, we headed back to Alice's garage to re-film the pregnant and the snatching baby scene, seeing as after capturing these on the school computers we realised they were not as effective as they could be. 

As Alice's Dad is away at work we decided Alex could step in as Fritzl, seeing as only her arms would be in frame and she has taken on the role in previous scenes. 
We first re-filmed the baby snatching scene. This time we decided that Elizabeth should be asleep whilst Josef Fritzl takes the baby from her. We positioned the camera on the floor to create an interesting angle. 

Secondly, we re-filmed the pregnant scene. This time Alice sat on the floor, this helped us to capture her tummy more and shows that she is pregnant more clearly than the previous shots we took. 

I feel very pleased to have all of the filming done! Now all we need to do is edit our shots and put the film opening sequence together! 

Thursday, 10 March 2011

Filming- Monday 7th March.

Seeing as we have a double media lesson on Monday mornings, our teacher agreed to let us stay at home so we could use Alice's garage to film our Cellar scenes.
We had wanted to film all of these scenes, including flashbacks and Pregnant Elizabeth, on the same day so the lighting and camera angles would be the same at times we needed them to be.

We started by filming the opening and closing of the sequence, because although flashbacks are shown between, it is still the same time of day. Therefore the lighting and camera angle needed to be the exact same.
We decided that having the televesion as the only source of light was not bright enough, therefore we added a small desk lamp above the television. This created eerie shadows which were really effective!

We next filmed the close up of the Alice/Elizabeth's eyes. When previously filming this scene we found it tricky to focus, however we managed to find a way to focus and we can now see great detail of the eyes, which is actually quite scary!

After filming the present day shots, it was time to progress on our flash backs! We firstly re-filmed the pregnant baby scene, to make it more interesting. Rather than Elizabeth just rubbing her belly, she is shown sticking up the pictures which we see above the television (whilst holding her baby bump, still focussing on her being pregnant).
Alice's Dad then got involved and played the role of Joseph Fritzl. We used an old toy of Alice's and bundled it up in blankets to create the baby. During this scene Fritzl snatches one of Elizabeth's babies 'an upstairs baby' and Alice and her Dad performed this well. 

Filming these scenes took a lot of time, we took plenty of shots of each scene testing different timings, light and angles. We decided that we would film the last two scenes (teenage Elizabeth) on Friday 11th March.
I feel we progressed well today and we are very close to finishing! We have a double Media lesson on Wednesday (9th March) and we plan to upload the clips we have filmed so far and start editing!!

Monday, 7 March 2011

Filming- Friday 4th March.

Today was our first day of filming! Our first task was to choose an appropriate costume for Alice (Playing Teenage and Adult Elizabeth). Alice's mum kindly leant her some old jumpers which she paired with an old pair of jeans!

We also Added light make up to her face to give her a very pale effect. Black eye-liner was also added beneath the eyes creating dark circles, seeing as Elizabeth had not seen daylight for 24 years. Adding talcum powder to her lips gave a pale cracked effect and finished the look off! 

We used cardboard to block out any natural light:

We then set up the Television and also stuck up the pictures we had previously drawn...

One of Alex's family friends Amber kindly took on the role of playing young Elizabeth! We headed over to Alex's house where Amber would be comfortable filming and shot the scenes which she is present in. 


We firstly filmed in Alex's kitchen in front of the fire place which was the perfect position, showing the 'homely' effect we were hoping for. We were really impressed with Amber's patience and skills considering she has not done any acting previous to this! 
Alex took on the part of Joseph Fritzl for these shots as only her arm would be in frame!

We then moved onto our second scene including young Elizabeth in Alex's living room! We needed to create a shadow of Alex projecting on the wall and we found creating this very hard. Eventually we found a bright desk lamp which worked really well! 

Overall we were very happy with the outcome of these shots! We then headed back to Alice's garage (Fritzl's cellar) to take some test shots!

We did manage to take a few shots of the Cellar scenes, however getting the lighting correct took a lot of time, so we plan to progress with this on Monday (7th March) morning and perhaps after school. 
The pregnancy flash back turned out reasonably well, Alice created a baby bump by using a hoody and placing it beneath another old cardigan (change of clothing, different dates) 

We progressed well on our first day of filming! And now that we have sorted out lighting and camera angles, we should be able to film quickly and smoothly! 

Thursday, 3 March 2011

First day of production!

This week we started to set up the secenes for our film opening sequence!
We are using Alice's garage for the 'cellar scenes' and seeing as the majority of filming will take place in Alice's garage we needed to have a clear out.
We created space, and now the space we are using closely resembles a dark cellar!



Whilst researching the Fritzl event we discovered that Elizabeth had hung child's drawings around the Cellar, so we decided that we would do the same to create a similar effect! 

Alice also managed to find an appropriate German news report which relates to the event and burnt it onto a DVD so we will be able to use this as planned! Now we need to get the Old television down in order to play the report.

The news report:

Now that we have successfully set up the set for the cellar our next step is to start filming, after a long evening we decided we will start filming on Friday (4th March).
We have made some slight changes to our filming schedule which shouldn't effect us a huge amount!
To finish this week we will film after school on Friday evening (4th March). We have also agreed with our teacher to take our double lesson on Monday morning (7th March) off and stay at home and film so that we can use Alice's garage. We will also film on the Friday evening of that week (11th March). If we haven't finished by this time, we still have the following week to film! 
The first day of production was successful and i'm looking to getting on with the filming! 

Tuesday, 1 March 2011

Mood Board.

During lessons this week we made mood boards, I included various images which inspired us and relate to the event.