Draft of Film Poster

25 Feb

This is a draft on which I will plan my actual film poster. I wanted to keep the poster simple and uncluttered drawing attention to specific small details. In order to do this I decided to keep the back ground white with a few significant images such as the image on the computer screen. The central image draws the viewer in, introduces the main characters, determines aspects of the characters such as the school uniform, sets the location and suggests that the film is a postmodern self-reflexive production. The Pear image is obviously in replacement of the apple icon that you would usually find on the Apple computers. The fact that it has been changed illustrates the referencing of other media technologies and media productions (Intertextuality). The hand writing used as the title of the film symbolizes the planning process developed as the film progresses. The names of the actors are going to be printed on to the keys of the keyboard, again, as a way of the poster suggesting playfulness and postmodernism as it is manipulating and changing original media technologies to show self reflexivity and self referencing within the production. The hands on the poster also symbolize the hands on approach to the planning process of making a short film. They also add more colour to the simple and relatively plain design and make the poster look as if it is from the point of view of the reader. This was aimed as another device to draw the attention of the reader/viewer.

This is the first draft of the actual film poster created with original content. I’d changed the font from the previous draft as i thought it didn’t look very good. However, I still wasn’t happy with the font as I wanted a typewriter font. So changed it again…

Here I have used the typewriter font ‘Courier New’ in bold for the names of the actors and the quatation from critic however the I felt that the size and composition, i.e. across one line, for the quotation wasn’t very aesthetically pleasing as it wasn’t big enough either (There is also a little typing mishap!) so I went back to Adobe Photoshop and re-did the text…

I felt a lot more pleased with the composition of text and the size, font etc in this poster however i decided that it still wasn’t exactly how I wanted it. I felt that the bold for both actors names and the quotation (especially now it was a bigger font) took the attention away from the film title lower down the poster. With this in mind I played around a little more with sizing and positioning but found that the best solution was to use regular text instead of bold for the quotation. This made it less dominating on the page and I think it looks a lot better and more balanced now.

What now?…

After I’d got the composition how I wanted it I started playing around with effects. The first example is black and white as i decreased the saturation to -100 (the original was at 0). I thought that this might look good however when I compared it to high saturation levels (the second example, saturation level 81) it just didn’t stand out or catch the viewers attention enough. The third example is where I ‘inverted’ the colours.  I did think this looked quite unusual and I did like it but not in the context of the film. It could be symbolic of the way we decided to ‘invert’ the camera upon ourselves however I thought it was too dark. I much prefered the highly saturated poster, which was example 2, because it made the  hands and the central image really stand out and I felt it would be more effective at grabbing the audience’s attention. The difference is illustrated below…

Film Review

23 Feb

I’m really pleased with the overall look of my deadline review, I think it looks clean-cut and professional. This is because I used the ‘Empire’ review for paranormal activity as my template. Obviously I changed all of the text and made it my own but the end product looks very similar. Below is a comparison of the Empire professional film review and my own film review to illustrate the similarities and differences…

An example of the similarities and differences within the reviews is the my version of Empire’s ‘LOOKCLOSER’ box against the original.

In differences I have changed the name from ‘LOOKCLOSER’ to ‘CLOSERLOOK’, the positioning of the box is also on the opposite side of the image than on the empire original, this is so it didn’t obscure too much of the picture, it fitted better on the right hand side as no significant part of the poster was hidden. The box its self is a different shape to the original Empire box, again, this was altered so that it would fit in best with the image.

In terms of similarities, I’ve used the same sort of icons like the arrows as a little feature, I have also taken inspiration from the actual points made in the ‘LOOKCLOSER’ box. The first point from the Paranormal Activity review is and the first point on my review is.

I have also annotated all the different aspects of my film review to show that I have included all of the generic qualities and information that a film review contains.

Codes and Conventions of a Film Review

22 Feb

Both of the examples above of a generic film review are taken from the magazine Empire. The reviews are two very different layouts, one being and double page spread and one a single page, however despite their appearance their content in terms of conventions, such as the dominating image, look closer box and basic information box, are very similar. These reviews are what I will use as a template for content and layout when I come to create my own film review. Personally I think that the first film review template, the single page spread, would look more aesthetically pleasing for the main image that I would like to use. If I used the second layout, which includes a more square and dominating picture, then I would have to distort the image that I want to use which I would prefer not to do as I want the image to be a screen shot directly from the film, not to be edited as this wouldn’t fit the generic template as the image being a significant screen shot from the film. For this reason I have chosen to use the first template as my guideline.

[Enter Film Review]

Short Film – Audience

21 Feb

In marketing and advertising, a target audience, or target group is the primary group of people that something is aimed at appealing to. A target audience can be people of a certain age group, gender, marital status, etc.

The film doesn’t conform to one genre, nor does it try to. It takes us from thriller to social drama, to action, to musical and documentary all tied together with a mixture of blatant in-your-face humour. As well as a humour that demands, let’s say, a certain acquired taste therefore the film has the potential to be received by a variety of audiences in a variety of ways. The “in-joke” nature of the film appeals to a niche audience of people who possess a knowledge of the media world. In general I’d say that teenagers and fellow students and teachers would enjoy the film the most. However, due to the array of different entities, arguably, the film provides something to satisfy a wide pallet of preferred tastes.

Ratings (British Board of  Film Classification)

Rating information taken from the BBFC website

(http://www.bbfc.co.uk/downloads/pub/Guidelines/BBFC%20Classification%20Guidelines%202009.pdf)

Discrimination

Discriminatory language or behaviour must not be endorsed by the work as a whole. Aggressive discriminatory language or behaviour is unlikely to be acceptable unless clearly condemned.

There is no discriminatory language within our production.

Drugs

Any misuse of drugs must be infrequent and should not be glamorised or give instructional detail.

No misuse of drugs is mentioned throughout the production.

Horror

Moderate physical and psychological threat may be permitted, provided disturbing sequences are not frequent or sustained.

Very small ‘Threat’ at the start, more of a parody of thriller films no disturbing sequences involved.

Imitable behaviour

Dangerous behaviour (for example, hanging, suicide and self-harming) should not dwell on detail which could be copied, or appear pain or harm free.  Easily accessible weapons should not be glamorised.

The killing of one of the characters with the use of a gun is seen however this is not graphic and is contradicted in the following scene. 

Language

Moderate language is allowed. The use of strong language (for example, ‘fuck’) must be infrequent.

No potentially offensive language is used at all.

Nudity

Nudity is allowed, but in a sexual context must be brief and discreet.

No nudity is used apart from in the credits, this is just of a comical nature.

Sex

Sexual activity may be briefly and discreetly portrayed. Sex references should not go beyond what is suitable for young teenagers. Frequent crude references are unlikely to be acceptable.

No sexual references.

Theme

Mature themes are acceptable, but their treatment must be suitable for young teenagers.

Violence

Moderate violence is allowed but should not dwell on detail. There should be no emphasis on injuries or blood, but occasional gory moments may be permitted if justified by the context. Sexual violence may only be implied or briefly and discreetly indicated, and must have a strong contextual justification.

Again the gun is used however this is in the use of an experimental genre subplot and in undermined in the following scene.

Deadline Deleted Scenes

20 Feb

Due to the time constrainst on our specifications we had to disguard some of our scenes and trim a lot of them down in order to get our film closer to the 5 minute mark. Although we didn’t want to get rid of any of the scenes unfortunately we had no choice and had to delete scenes that the sequence would still make sense without. I think that this was a shame considering the amount of time that we spent on each of the scenes. However, here are a few of them.

Filming Diary

15 Feb

Today is Monday the 10th of January (our first day filming) and our aim is to film all the scenes within our script that we can film just using us four /five main characters : Edward, Bevan, Phoebe, myself and Oli who is playing Ed’s role in the majority of the short film. However setting up took a lot longer than we had anticipated. We only managed to film one small scene which was a little bit of a set back and a reality shock that maybe we wouldn’t be able to film everything in one week just using the hours we had free after school. With this in mind we decided that the most time efficient thing to do would be to edit as we went along which would mean that we could use the second week we left ourselves for editing we could use for filming too becuase we’d be editing parallel to the filming.

 From now on, as we limited ourself to using a school classroom we can only film during school opening hours. This means that from now on we will be spending and extra two and a quarter hours filmimg after school till 6pm everyday untill our filming is complete.

Typical Filming Set Up.
Equipment
 

Canon Legria FS200Jessops Tripod TP323

Jessops Tripod TP323

Bevan's T-Bone EM500 Small Diaphragm Condenser Mics

 

It was clear from the start  that we would have to be really carefull with filming. We realised that it took a lot of time to film a relatively short task and therefore we need to be more organised and focused whilst filming. We also found trouble with lighting positioning as this would often reflect off certain surfaces such as the white board which is used in some shots and off the computer monitors which are surrounding us. Microphone stands and wires were also an issue as we had to be really careful that they did not apear in shot.

Wed 12th – Plan to film the Jazz band scene and Scene 4

We had four hours to film today from 2 – 6 however it took 50 minutes to completely set up and make sure that our actors and the set was dressed appropriately, this included moving large pieces of equipment such as the Drum Kit and the double bass. We also had to move all of the chairs and tables out of site so that our table was the central focus in the room and that we had enough space around us for the band set up, microphones, camera and lights. We didn’t get as much done today as we’d hoped due to issues surrounding tracking/ panning shots. We had many failed attempts but finally managed to get the desired effect.

Jazz Band Set Up

Thurs 13th – Filming after school in the media room again.

We played around with light more than the previous filming evening. We tried various effects such as the use of a subtle torch-light to help light the characters’ faces effectively especially in shots such as close-ups of the face and over the shoulder shots which were mid shots of the opposite character. This was because after editing our first scene on Tuesday we realised that the lighting wasn’t very good.

Fri 14th – Filming documentary style interview 7-8pm.

Today Phoebe and I went to her grandad’s house to film. We had this done in no time as we set up the equipment really easily as we only had a camera and a tripod and a single microphone to worry about rather then lights and mics as well. We also found a way that we could make it look like he was talking to a reporter off screen with a microphone so that he could read his lines off the script. We got this done in three takes so i feel it was successful, phoebe’s Grandad did exactly as we asked him and read the scrip exactly how I had imagined it so that made filming a lot quicker.

 Sat 15th Gunfight scene, 2-5pm, Phoebe’s farm barn.

Unfortuantely i couldn’t be present for the filming of this scene as I was working all day and couldn’t get the day off!

Filming the gun scene in the barn

However this extract is taken from Phoebe’s blog and explains the events of the day “After spending a few hours wondering around freezing costume shops, toy shops and antique shops searching for fake guns, we finally went back to my house where we used a gun that was there. It was all legal and everything. We filmed in one of the farms barns, which was very industrial and had great lighting – looked exactly how we wanted! Costume was effective – Bev played the gagster type and Ed played the victim.”

 Tues 18th – Thurs 20th was more filming in the media room of the planning process scenes.

Tues 25th – The character decision scene, 5-7pm, the infinity curve in Lincoln Uni.

Today we all ventured to Lincoln after school to get to the Unis Infinity Curve located in the University of Lincoln’s Media department. Phoebe and I drove in as I had to take the equipment in the car while the others had to settle fo the bus. The filming went well as it was all one shot and very simple we just kept the camera in one steady place kept it filmig and didn’t touch it again to make sure that the composition of each shot was exactly the same.

Filming at the Infinity Curve

Wed 26th  – Another media room planning scene, 4-6pm.

Tues 1st – Today we filmed more of the planning scene and the itroduction to the musical scene, 4-6pm, the media room.

 We didn’t have much time to film the musical scene after we had filmed some more standard planning scenes therfore although we had drawn out a storyboard for the scene and knew exactly what we needed to do the quality wasn’t very good and we had made simple continuity errors such as having the mics visible in the shot.

Wed 2nd  – Musical scene, 4-6pm, the media room.

Today we refilmed what we had done the previous day. This was to try and correct the continuity errors and misplaced light.

Thurs 3rd – Planning scene, 4-6pm, the media room.

Wed 9th – Today I drove to Lincoln to buy our High School Musical esque musical parody. For this task I splashed out in primark as they had some navy blue hoodies both in the Mens and Womens section that matched really well and looked a lot like the HSM style hoody wear.

HSM style hoodie

Thurs 10th planning scene, 4-6pm, the media room.

Today I was informed that the team decided in my absence that there wasn’t enought time for the musical scene to be shot and edited before the deadline so unfortunately that was taken out of the equation. I was really disappointed about this as is was the part of the short film that I was most excited and enthusiastic about filming. We had also put a lot of effort into the sound and planning for the section and I was really looking forward to the change in generic filming etc it would have been fun and it was also one of the parts on our rough edit feedback that people were most excited about seeing. However I guess polishing the film to perfection, getting sound right and filming the last few bits and peices here and there were bigger priorities in getting the film completed so for the next few days till our film deadline of Tuesday the 15th, that’s exactly what we did!!

Barton Fink

8 Feb

Barton Fink is a postmodern film directed and written by the Coen brothers (Joel and Ethan) starring John Turturro and John Goodman . It’s 1941 and New York playwrite Barton Fink moves to Hollywood to persue his writing career. His task is to write a wrestling picture for Wallace Beery from Capital Pictures. However, staying in the eerie Hotel Earle, Barton’s obsession with writing about “theatre of the common man” distracts him, along with his unfarmiliar surroundings, from writing the “Big men in tights” production that is demanded of him. Barton suffers a nasty bout of writers block and looks to his noisy neighbour, the seemily “common man” travelling insurance salesman, Charlie Meadows (John Goodman), for help along with glorified screenwrite, Mayhew. However a bizzare sequence of events only distress and distract Fink further.

As a postmodern production the film doesn’t conform to the norms of a generic mainstream Hollywood film. Instead the film is littered with intertextuality from various films and symbolic representations that leave the audience asking thought provoking questions throughout.