Thursday, 14 June 2012

Sunday, 20 May 2012

This is the most fabulous drawing in the entire world.

As you can tell i'm clearly an artistic genius. Or protege. I don't really know what the word to describe my work is but one thing I do know is that I have talent. I mean this drawing on Paint is just...amazing. The reason I have it posted on my blog (besides a chance to show off my abstract art) is because this beautiful piece is going to be in my animatic for my music video to "Half inlove with Elizabeth" by Mystery Jets. It's not at all what you think. I've finished my storyboard now all I have to do is piece together the video using the very highest of technology Windows Movie Maker and google images. Oh and this fine piece of art.

I expect nothing but praise in the comments.

Monday, 14 May 2012

Case study work.

Case studies
View more presentations from HWillcocks.

I decided after going through my blog that I was going to make my case studys work much more easy to access. The way I had it written up was scattered and messy so I put it all into this slide. There is an explanation at the end of the slide but I wanted to make sure I explained on here as well incase the examiner didn't understand. :)

Thursday, 10 May 2012

Looking back at your prelim project how have you progressed from then to now?

Looking back at my Prelim is weird because I can't believe how much we've changed (editing-wise) in that time. It's a huge step from our soul-selling-for-jaffa-cakes film to Esther. But how did we progress?

Technologies.
There is a massive difference in the amount of technologies used in our Prelim to our Final Project.

Prelim technologies - Sony bloggie (Ralph the camera), the Mac in HRC and Final Cut Pro. We used Ralph to film with (and it was really strange filming our prelim because we weren't used to the cameras. And we filmed our prelim before we needed to and ended up not liking it. So we refilmed another and that's the one about Sarah selling her soul to me for jaffa cakes.), The Mac to edit because it had the editing software Final Cut Pro on it. When they went to HRC (I've explained in my last prezi about why I couldn't go) they were going for a tutorial on how to use the Macs and to edit the whole Prelim together and although I wasn't there they kept me up to date on what was happening and my input still counted.

Final Project technologies - Sony bloggie, the Mac in the Cam Room, Final Cut Pro, Paint, Microsoft Powerpoint, Midi Keyboard, Input device, Microphone and Garageband. Again we used Ralph to film (we owe it all to him! he was FAB), the Mac in the Cam room to edit it all together because it too contained the editing software we needed. We also used the Mac to research for our Satanic Ritual. Final Cut Pro was what we used to edit it all together, we put all the clips together in order and then added effects/rapid cuts/transitions/colour corrections later. Paint was going to be used in the making of our Production sign as we originally wanted it to have moose antlers on it however we changed our minds half way through our production as we felt the antlers were too much and the edited production sign wasn't needed. Microsoft Powerpoint was what we actually used to create our Production sign. We chose the font and the colour of the background and then we converted each slide to HTML so we could use them as pictures. The effects you see on the production logo were on Final Cut Pro and placed over the top so that they'd move. The Midi Keyboard was where we recorded our original music, The input device was what we used to connect up the midi keyboard and the microphone. Garageband was what everything was recorded onto.
This is a picture of what Garageband looks like and how it's used. The blue, green and purple lines at the top are the recorded sound/music. The larger purple line is a close up of whichever line of sound you've chosen so you can be more specific if you choose to cut any of the music.
We used more technologies during our Final project because we wanted to make it look more professional and more advanced than our Prelim. We wanted it to feel like a real film opening whereas our Prelim was just a tester for all the camera angles we could use later.

Cinematography.
We had a wider range of cinematography in our Final Project than our Prelim as it was longer and even though the whole point of our Prelim was to use a variation of camera angles we used twice as much in the death sequence alone.

Camera angles in the Prelim - Long shot, close up, tracking shot, two shot, over-the-shoulder shot and zoom.






Camera angles in our Final - High + low angled shots, close up, extreme close up, tracking shot, panning, mid shot, establishing shot, wide shot and long shot.

We wanted our cinematography to convey what we were representing or trying to represent in our film so we used more of a variation in our Final than we did our Prelim.

Other aspects of our prelim - We broke the 180 degree rule as we didn't know what it was at the time we filmed it. Infact I think it was the lesson after we filmed it that we learned what this term meant and how to use it.

Other aspects of our Final - We used the 180 degree rule because we remembered that it's important to stick to it this time.

Editing.
Our Prelim was the first time we'd ever tried editing so it's awful compared to our final. Our final took us months to edit together so you can see that alot more precision was involved. The prelim was edited together in one day and put on our youtube that same day...so it's not at it's best.
An example of a gap between shots in our Prelim.

Editing used within the Prelim - Plain/Simple cuts, No adding of effects or filters and there's gaps of darkness where the transitions are.
Stop motion blur in Esther
Editing used within our Final - Rapid cuts during the death sequence to build the tension, use of filters in our abstract dream scene such as stop motion blur and bad film and colour correction used in the opening shots because they came out really bright (which doesn't fit in with the conventions of Horror).

You can tell when looking at both our Prelim and our Final that more care was taken during the Final editing process. We wanted our piece draw people in and stand out from everybody else's. We didn't want to do a typical horror and we figured that we could show this through our use of transitions and filters when we edited it all together. By the time we edited our Final Project we were much more confident with Final Cut Pro and had sussed a lot of the technologies (I said a lot of because there were some we just couldn't get) we wanted to use by the time we were editing it together.

Mise-en-scene.
In our Prelim we didn't focus much on the mise-en-scene and put alot of our concentration into getting the cinematography right. We didn't think about how the colour of our costumes, the lighting, the make up, the props, the setting etc would effect anything within our Prelim because it was a task based on camera angles. We took a different view of this in our Final.

Mise-en-scene used in our Prelim - No artificial lighting was used. It was all natural, the colour of our clothes weren't taken into account however they do actually match what we're trying to convey, We used one prop and that was the jaffa cakes.

Mise-en-scene used in our Final - Mostly artificial lighting or colour correction, Plenty more props such as the pentagram and the book, we put alot of thought into the lighting especially during the death sequence and we used more than one location.

Mise-en-scene was a huge priority for us in our Final. We thought carefully about costume and lighting as those were the aspects that were quite important to our production. We saw Jess in lots of dark clothing to show how she was corrupted by
Esther (who is also seen in dark clothing near the end to show that she is showing her true colours) and Sarah wore flowery clothing and dresses to represent her innocence and naivety to Jess's mental disability. The lighting during the death scene was homely and warm so it signified a sense of normality in Sarah's life and in no way give away what happens next.



Sound.
There was no consideration of sound in our Prelim. We didn't see it as relevant (much like mise-en-scene) because the point of the task was to show 5 camera angles. However we did use a conversation to show this. Our Final Project has a lot more use of sound and music played a huge impact in our opening.

Sound used in our prelim - only dialogue picked up by Ralph, we didn't think of the quality of the audio on our camera and  we made up what we were going to say on the spot.

Sound used in our Final - Use of voice overs in dream scene, created and used original music in the death sequence, we adjusted sound levels of the room (such as the TV) to suit the shot, scripted dialogue that we'd all thought out together.

Esther would have been nothing if it weren't for our use of sound and music. The voice overs were used to keep in with the conventions of a Psychological Thriller in our dream scene and a horror as we used effects to make them sound creepy, we composed our own tensious music to go behind the death scene and found some on a creative commons website for the dream, we took into consideration other devices making sounds in each shot so that they didn't distract from the goings on and scripted alot of our dialogue so it was clear and concise. Unlike our Prelim where everything was rushed and decided on the spot. It didn't matter too much what we spoke about as long as we got it on film.

THE END. :)

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


Monday, 7 May 2012

How does your media product represent particular social groups?



An apology for lateness.

So I made a promise to myself today that i'd get all my media work done. It seems that if you don't sleep the night before because sleeping round your best friend's house makes you uneasy then you fall asleep in the day while getting your media notebook to do the coursework. Then you wake up with a spliting headache and want to throw things around the room. Le sigh. This is my life.

I will however be getting all my current works in progress (yes I have actually had a good start on them) all up on Wednesday and today depending on the ones I finish in these next few hours. Tommorow is my day off because I have my drama exam. So it's not really a day off. A day off from Media? Yes. A day off from school? No.

Just thought i'd let whoever is interested know and apologize for my lateness. There is probably tonnes of grammatical errors in this post and most of it probably doesn't make sense. Oh well.

Wednesday, 2 May 2012

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

For our project we were asked to create a 2-3 minute opening to a film of any genre of our choice. We chose the genre of Horror because we're (Me, Jess and Sarah) all huge fans of t.v programmes and films within the Horror/Sci-fi genre such as Supernatural. There were many inspirations behind our film but Supernatural was one of our biggest influences.This was shown through our use of the Satanic ritual as Supernatural is focused around the idea of demons and Satanism is often brought up because of this (Satan himself is also brought up in this programme but that's irrelevent). We wanted to do something quite dark and mysterious as we wanted the storyline to be interpreted differently for individuals watching. This is why we haven't actually established whether my character Esther is real or not because we wanted to leave it to the audience's imagination.

We wanted our project to be original so we tried not to conform to the stereotypes that we see used in most Horror film openings - hence our idea of Esther's reality/non-reality not being established. However there are still some aspects of our film that would usually be shown to signify Horror within a typical Horror Film. How many times have I used the word Horror in that paragraph? It doesn't sound like a real word anymore.

Props we used that are often associated with Horror - Candles, Mirrors/Broken Mirrors, A rocking horse, Old books or a book and the Pentagram.

Candles.
I know it sounds silly but candles are often used within Horror Films. Usually this is to give the characters within the film a sense of security as the lights have all mysteriously gone out and they can't find any other source of light. This may also be used to trick certain members of the audience into thinking everything will be okay because of old/current fears of the dark that individuals within the audience may have and the light symbolises security to them. But as is the case in most Horror films we (should) know that it's not safe when the candles come out because that means someone or something has shut off the power in order to sneak up on a character or to seperate the character from their friends because one of them/or the character themself decides to be heroic and try to figure out what's turned the lights out. However in our opening we challenge (I suppose) this use of Candles by having the Villain Jess use them rather than the Victim because it is a part of her Satanic Ritual.








Mirrors/broken mirrors.
This may be an obvious one but Mirrors are one of the most common props used in Horror Films. There is even a horror film called Mirrors about a girl who was possessed finding a way to rid herself of the demon by encasing it in a Mirror. In this film the Mirror is used as a way of containing somebody else's soul (like the Bloody Mary legend) though they can be used as a metaphorical or literal way of reflecting a character's soul (who's looking into the Mirror) or revealing what is inside their soul to the audience. Though you cannot see what Jess see's when she looks into the mirror because the scene shot isn't angled towards the mirror it is safe to presume that she can see something horrific/frightening about herself or maybe even Esther looking back at her. :OOO


A rocking horse.
Though we didn't intentionally add the rocking horse to our film as a way of signifying horror it is another common prop used within horror films. I think we just liked the creepy sound it made so we decided to use it but let's pretend that it was intentional. I think the use of the Rocking Horse in horror films could be used for three things:
  •  As a sense of security for audience members/the characters like the candles as it reminds them of childhood when you were told by your parents that monsters weren't real or could perhaps remind people of a time when you could just call and your parents would come rushing in to reassure you that everything is okay.
  • It could have the opposite effect and be used to horrify the audience that something so innocent and pure could be part or involved in something so terrifying. That in turn spoils this idea of innocence and youth and for some may become a subconscience reminder of horror for both adults and children when they see a rocking horse in real life.

An old book/old books in general.
I wasn't sure if this prop could be considered as stereotypical of most horror films but horror films that usually have an aspect of the supernatural tend to include a magical agent of some kind. The magical agent usually takes on the form of a book. In our film opening we can see Jess reading a SATANIC RITUAL  (effects on the words satanic ritual are courtesy of Harry) from an old book that kills off her best friend.

(Note this is not the book we used during filming. This is a book I found on google images.)

The pentagram.
Pentagrams are associated with black magic and Satanism which is why they’re used in most horror films with storylines linked to religion. So it was the perfect prop for our film. Though ours is made from cello tape it still had a massive impact on our setting as it not only added to the realism of Jess being a normal girl (apart from her satanic personality) who can't afford an expensive set up for her witchy rendezvous but also gave our scene more of a paranormal/eerie feel to it which was what we wanted. Much like most of the horror films pentagrams are featured in our pentagram was used for a sinister ritual rather than any other purpose so instead of challenging conventions of real media products we have used them within our piece pentagram-wise.

Another aspect of our film that challenges the conventions of real media products are the characters themselves. Our main character is Jess. A 16 year old girl who looks harmless but turns out to be a crazed, satanic killer. By using Jess as our main character we have challenged the conventions of most horror films because it is out of the ordinary for the killer to be played by a teenage girl when generally the killer would be played by a grown man who's out for revenge after a freak accident or in some cases young children who have been taken over by the devil. Films such as 'The Omen' for example.


Similarly the character of Esther within our film challenges the coventions of real media products because she is also young and seemingly harmless. Even the way her character comes across is quite naive and innocent (well she acts innocent) which goes against the usual conventions of horror. Whereas most villain's are potrayed as vicious and blood thirsty, Esther is potrayed as someone who is trying to look out for her friend rather than to corrupt her. This is shown when she says: "We can't afford accidents Jess. Do you want to get caught?" which suggests she is genuinely concerned for Jess even if she has led her astray.




Lighting.
We used a variation of lighting in both scene's of our final project. The death scene at the beginning shows two different settings so we had to use two different lighting schemes (?). For the Satanic ritual scene we used minimal lighting, the only lighting we did use was from the candles surrounding the pentagram (we have done a health and safety post on the candles so don't worry!) because we wanted the atmosphere that Jess was in to represent her inner darkness or the darkness of what she was doing which is used quite often in horror films. As mentioned above in my paragraph about candles people find security in light...so having a scene in the darkness is like a signifier that something bad is going to happen. For the death scene we wanted the lighting to be more naturalistic so we tried to make the scene look really home-ly. We didn't make the room too bright as we still wanted to show it was night but we kept the kitchen light on to reflect into the living room where Sarah was sitting. We also had brief flashes of light coming from the television to establish normality as she's sitting at home watching television like an average girl would. I would have said that we've challenged the conventions of real media products through our use of lighting in the Death scene because most use dim/dark lighting as (like the Satanic ritual scene) the darkness is signifying the evil in the film and in our Death scene we've used warm lighting (i'm not sure if this makes sense so I will try and find another word to describe the type of lighting we used later) that doesn't tell the audience that anything is going to happen so when it does (had the scene not been accompanied with flashes of Jess's satanic ritual) it's unexpected.
The scene where we've challenged the conventions of real horror films the most is in the dream sequence. Our dream sequence involves a lot of natural light because it was filmed at Cedars Park but we added artificial, high-key lighting during the editing process to give it an unnatural glow. The reason we did this was not only because we wanted to show it was a dream but we wanted to show Jess's memories of her and Sarah as really happy as their friendship was a high point in her life (shown through high saturation) and almost to show the purity of her life before she met Esther. Everything was bright and shiny and then Esther appeared and her innocence began to fade. Another shot during the dream sequence we also used to show this idea of Jess's innocence fading is when Esther and Jess are mimicking each other's movements. We tried to show this by having Esther completely immersed in darkness whereas Jess still has patches of light surrounding her to show that Esther is manipulating/perishing Jess's mind but she still has some sense left in her. An example of this is when Jess throws Esther out of the room as an attempt to recapture some of her sanity. It challenges conventions of horror because dream sequences usually have low-key lighting and are dominated by darkness as if the dream is a warning of the things yet to come.


Monday, 30 April 2012

Our final project!

Feedback on our Final Draft analysis.

A couple of weeks ago we had our Media showcase evening! It didn't all go to plan but overall the evening was good and it was nice to see everybody else's final projects as well because we've/I’ve been so engrossed in my coursework that I/we didn't get much of a chance to see what everybody else was doing. I'd like to add that everything was great as well. I'm very proud of my Media Class. :) This was also a brilliant opportunity for us to get some feedback on all our hard work so we forced (we didn't really force them...) everybody in the audience to fill out a questionnaire so that we could analyse the results. It sounds easy...but after we received 56 answered questionnaires’ back we quickly realised it isn't. However we still managed to do it and as Sarah rightly put - we persevered! So here goes:
After we divided the questionnaires into 3 piles and tallied our data, we combined all of our results and discovered that our film was most enjoyed by/received the most positive comments from females of around 0-20. This could be due to the fact that our group consists only of 0-20 females so we made a film that would appeal to us and that target audience.

Did you think the choice of settings in the video were appropriate?
Positive answers: 51
Neutral answers: 4
Negative answers: 1
Example Comments:
  • The location suited our genre of film
  • Very good choice and variation of settings
  • Could have used more settings
From the feedback we received from this question it was agreed overall that we chose good settings. People said that the genre of the film matched the settings we chose especially within the dream sequence as it gave our film some depth and helped explain that it was a psychological thriller. Someone said the settings we used made our film more believable (then went on to give us 10/10...not that i'm bragging). We didn't receive much feedback on the setting during the death sequence but previous questionnaire's (initial research on our first draft) said that they thought the attic worked well with the theme of Satanism.



How successful was the video in satisfying the conventions of the genre?
Positive answers: 53
Neutral answers: 3
Negative answers: 0
Example Comments:
  • Yes the notion of reality is questioned
  • Brilliant (N'awww)
  • Good use of music
From the feedback we received here it shows that our video was successful in satisfying the conventions of Horror for more than half of the audience. We got alot of one/two word answers that said things such as: "Yes, spooky." or "Very, eerie." which we counted as positive comments. The comment on our opening questioning the notion of reality was a big success for us as that was what we were aiming to show during our dream sequence as we wanted to show that our film was a Pyschological Thriller but not give too much away of the plot that could later occur if this was a real film.

How successful is the editing?
Positive answers: 53
Neutral answers: 2
Negative answers: 1
Example Comments:
  • Very good transitions between shots
  • Fast clean cuts
  • Good use of filters in the dream sequence
This feedback shows me/us that people thought the dream sequence was edited really well and they liked the variation of filters/effects we used. Another comment we received was that the rapid cuts in the beginning really built up the tension especially with the music behind which was what we were aiming for. Most of the comments said that the transitions were smooth within our piece and though there was one negative answer I can't find what they said in my pile of questionnaire's. If I do I will post what they said below this post.

How successful were the choice and execution of camera angles and movement?
Positive answers: 52
Neutral answers: 3
Negative answers: 1
Example Comments:
  • Liked the flash back to the past
  • Thought shots where Sarah died were the best (...i'm sure they didn't mean it how it came out...)
  • Some of the shots were shaky
The feedback shows that people didn't have much of an issue with our camerawork. They did say there were some moments where the camera was shaky and things became blurred but overall the camera angles were really effective. The shot where the shakiness is most noticeable is after my character and Jess's character have fought about Sarah's death and she kicks me out because as the camera approaches Jess lying in her bed the camera wobbled and shook. Someone said they really liked the above shot of Jess when she looks up at the camera after having killed her best friend as it was creepy.

Was a clear narrative established?
Positive answers: 48
Neutral answers: 7
Negative anwers: 1
Example Comments:
  • Yeah because you can see that Sarah dies because Jess's imaginary friend told her to kill her
  • Not quite
  • Great storyline and very clear.
There was some confusion over our storyline however most claimed they were able to follow it. Feedback we received from the questionnaire and other forms of research showed that people preferred our dream sequence in the Second Draft to the conversation scene in the First Draft as the plot became more clear and it fit in more with our Pyschological thriller genre. Some people wrote that the storyline still didn't make sense but most said they understood.

Which section of the film was most successful and why?
Positive answers: 51
Neutral answers: 4
Negative answers: 1
Example Comments:
  • The bit with the fountain
  • The beginning where the girl was dying
  • The satanic bit
Most of the feedback we received said that there faviroute moments were within the Satanic Ritual when Jess was speaking and some said they liked the dream sequence. There wasn't much between the answers we received as some people simply answered: "All of it." which didn't actually help us with our analysis. People liked watching Jess's plot unfolding and seeing how all of this was affecting Jess so it's safe to say that Jess was everybody's faviroute character. I don't have the negative comment in my questionnaire's but i'll check it over in the morning and add that to the bottom if I find it.

What could we do to improve?
Positive answers: 14
Neutral answers: 31
Negative answers: 8
Example Comments:
  • Not much (a very productive comment)
  • Make the story clearer
  • Use different lighting
Many of the questionnaire's we got back had people trying to avoid answering this question because they didn't want to hurt our feelings or just weren't sure what we could do. From the few honestly answered questionnaire's we got back we had plenty of different points people said we could improve. Some were about the storyline, others were about the camera angles and there was one about the lighting but mostly people told us we did a good job and everything was fabulous.

Thankyou to all the people who answered our questionnaire's! We appreciate it so much! You will all be mentioned in our speeches when we receive oscars for best actress, best director and best media project (I kid, I kid.)

Average Score out of 10: 9







Friday, 27 April 2012

Final project storyboard explanation.

This is our final storyboard for our project. We filmed this last week some time in our free period. Unfortunately it was other people's free period as well and they also wanted to work on their Media. Ignore Luke and Livvy in the background. I couldn't as I was there and could feel them behind me but you can try to. I'm sorry that this video is so long. We had to explain what each individual shot meant in our Dream Sequence and that took quite a while.

P.S Don't listen to us when it says there is still time for a coke. There's never time for a coke when that sign comes up.

Sunday, 15 April 2012

Our final video diary.

I filmed some of this one and i'm very proud of that. I'm not really allowed to film as I drop Ralph all the time but they let me and I was happy! :)

Here is our youtube channel for the Examiner.

http://www.youtube.com/user/CatsInSpace2011
http://www.youtube.com/user/CatsInSpace2011
http://www.youtube.com/user/CatsInSpace2011

IT'S BRILLIANT. WE OWE ALL OUR SUCCESS TO RALPH OUR GROUP CAMERA.

Inital Research that I posted late because i'm forgetful.

I only got around to asking 9 people but the answers I got were quite interesting + definately had an impact on our film. We wanted to make sure we took all the answers we got into account before we started filming and though we know our film won't please everyone, we know we tried our best. :)



I'd like to thank Jamie Southwould, Jemimah Tidy, George Williams, Lee Mahoney, James Hayes, Lindsay Willcocks, Daniel Todd, Robert Willcocks + Katrina Willcocks for their answers. :')

My 2nd film opening analysis.

Orphan
View more presentations from HWillcocks.

Yes I cried at this film...how dare they kill a pigeon!?

Storyboard of our final draft.



Saturday, 7 April 2012

Vladimir Propp's 31 functions

Vladimir Propp was a Russian literary critic and Scholar who studied/analyzed basic plot components of Russian fairytales/folk tales. With his findings he came up with his 31 functions that he claimed most folk tales and fairytales mimic. You will have already seen this on both Sarah and Jess's blogs but I thought it was better if we all do it so you (the examiner or whoever is reading) can see what we as a group discussed would happen had we continued with the film from each of our perspectives.

Our story would've followed these functions -
  • Interdiction - A warning addressed to 'the Hero' against some action. Jess isn't neccessarily 'The Hero' but this does match up with our dream sequence where we hear her best friend (Sarah) ask her what's going on and Jess replies by saying she can't tell her, warning her not to pry.
  • Violation of Interdiction - The interdiction is violated (I think the name is pretty self explainatory) This isn't shown in the actual opening/film though it is apparent that Sarah has ignored Jess's warning as the opening is centered around the concequences of whatever Jess and Sarah have done ("You promised me you wouldn't tell her.")
  • Trickery - The villain attempts to deceieve the victim to take possession of victim or victim's belongings. The Villian (Hannah, so me.) is deceiving/tricking Jess into killing people by convincing her that she's trying to help. (In our first draft my character says "Jess i'm trying to help you." and would more than likely continue to do so throughout the rest of the film.)
  • Complicity - The victim is taken in/falls for deception. Jess can be considered as 'The victim' with this idea as my character convinces Jess to go along with my plans. (In the dream sequence we hear Jess say: "Fine i'll do it." in response to my character saying: "I need you to do this for me.")
  • Beginning Counter-action - The hero now decides to act in a way that will resolve the problem or lack. Although this isn't shown in our opening two minutes we agreed that later on their probably would be 'A hero' who tries/succeeds to stop Jess/Hannah killing people. We also discussed Jess's character becoming 'The Hero' and trying to stop herself from killing people by rebelling against my character in some form (will be explained in another function) though by showing Sarah finding out what was happening and that resulting in her death suggests she did try to stop her and foreshadows someone else trying.
  • Hero's reaction - Hero reacts to actions of future donor. As I mentioned above Jess would probably return to her senses in some way and try to stop herself from hurting anyone else under my characters influence. We discussed the possibility of Jess going to prison because she turned herself in or something of that dramatic nature as her way of stopping it.
  • Receipt of magical agent - Hero acquires use of a magical agent. In the opening sequence Jess is using some kind of magical book that contains a Satanic Ritual. It is likely she received it from my character.
  • Struggle - Hero and Villain join in direct combat. This wouldn't neccessarily mean my character and whoever the hero turned out to be actually fighting but later on in the film we would have shown some kind of struggle between the one's doing the killing and the one's trying to stop it. Perhaps the struggle would occur between Jess in the form of 'The Hero' and Esther as Jess tries to stop herself from being manipulated by my character by turning herself in.
  • Victory - Villain is defeated. While discussing how we would end our film we came up with the idea that Jess (after having been arrested) realising that Esther was in her head the entire time (as it's a Psycholoical thriller. Well it was supposed to be...) and the only way to escape from her and the influence she has over Jess's character would be that she kills herself. It's a very depressing ending to a very depressing film. We sound sadistic. We're not usually. I promise. :)
  • Unfounded claims - False hero presents unfounded claims. The Police or detective or whoever is involved in solving the murders (though they probably wouldn't be shown) would take credit for catching Jess and everyone would believe it as Jess isn't around (mentally or physically depending on the ending) to prove them wrong.

Bloopers.

This is us demonstrating the fabulous media students we are. The song is Kids - MGMT (Instrumental). Fab.

Sarah you beautiful being, this video really does show off our talent for media. :') Please ignore my singing when Jess is waving the candle. That day we made everything into a musical. And why not? Everything's happier in musicals.

Oh and crumpets is our key word for if we forget our lines. We're not just yelling crumpets for fun.

Over the Easter Holidays...

So this week our group has been in a total of 2 days (Wednesday 4th + Thursday 5th). If we're being technical then me and Jess were in for three days but two of those days were spent in Drama standing on a box yelling: "Fight, fight, fight." as that scene took us forever to finish. Our lovely Sarah however came in on the Wednesday and stayed till 3 working on the Second Draft on our coursework. She's great. We love her. If you go to her blog i'm sure there's a post explaining what she did but all I know is that she worked on distorting our abstract scene and making sure all the credits came on in time with the music (I know that doesn't seem like much but if you knew how long it takes to render these things then you'd understand that it's much more work than you think...). On the Thursday we all came in together and stayed from 9 till 2. I felt a bit useless on this day as there wasn't much for me to do but I stayed anyway and did my best to draw what was meant to be Jess but kind of looks like a bunch of random smudges. I wasn't just drawing for the sake of it though. We spent Thursday drawing/mapping out the whole storyboard for our entire Second Draft and it took 5eva. We then planned to film it but there were other people in the Mac Room with us and they kept playing their music outloud (they're an A2 group working on a music video) and we decided that we'll film the Storyboard and explain all of the shots, the mise-en-scene, why we chose where to film, what we're trying to represent through our use of abstract images etc on Tuesday. So be expecting that to be up on either Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday. I'll make sure it gets up by Thursday the latest. So yeah...we also finished distorting our second scene! It was very exciting to see it all done because that means that now all we have to do is finish the blog-post side of our coursework and we're pretty much done. I shouldn't get ahead of myself though...this does depend on if we feel there's nothing more we can add or change. Fingers crossed it all works out!

p.s I shall post another BRILLIANT thing that Sarah edited together on Wednesday because she's FABULOUS and deserves recognition on my blog.

A celebration of our finished first draft!

Firstly i'll begin with our First Draft being completed! It did take us a while to finish but we've finally got it done to our liking. Though after a discussion with our Media Teacher we've decided that for our Second Draft we're going to colour correct the shots of Sarah dying to make them more pale and frightening rather than yellow and warm. We were going for this sense of security and homeliness when we filmed but while watching over the final product of our First Draft we all agreed that it looked mismatched to our themes of Death and Satanism. We're chuffed with the music. I feel like the music was a great success as it does build the tension which was what we were going for and the pace suits the timing of Sarah dying and Jess reading the ritual really well. We've also decided that we're going to be re-recording the voice-over of Jess reading the Ritual after receiving Feeback that Jess's voice was as frightening as a Kitten. Well...not in those exact words.



The big thing change that we intend of making to our second draft is...(drum roll)...we're planning on scrapping our current second half (the discussion between me and Jess in which she viciously attacks me and throws me out of the room...) and replacing it with something more abstract. This wasn't a spur of the moment decision though. While watching the whole draft through and discussing the pro's and con's with our Media Teacher we noted how the Second Scene just didn't seem right within our piece. We either needed to re-film the scene so that it establishes more normality in Jess's life because of the sudden change over from this dramatic death scene to a conversation in her bedroom a month later or to film a new scene that fits in more with our film genre (a Psychological thriller). From the two options we were given the one that made the most sense and we felt would be more interesting was obviously the second one and that was why we chose to film a new second scene. I'm going to add that as I said in the title of this post...I am a very bad Media student as this decision was made about two weeks ago and we've done pretty much all of the filming and most of the editing for that scene now. I will post it above later for reference. I'm sorry. :)

I'm a bad media student and haven't posted in a while.

In light of this revelation I decided i'm going to update on everything that's been happening since the last time I posted (Sunday 25th March - quite a long time ago.) And I may be posting things that happened before my last post as i've also just realised that I haven't kept my blog up to date on what we've been doing/adding to our coursework. So this mini post is my way of apologizing and explaining why there may be a sudden increase in my posts today/this week.

As an extra added bonus i'm going to tag an old video to the bottom of this post -

Since it seems that my blog is mainly video orientated. I'll try to be more creative in my other posts. Though that seems unlikely as all our work is on Youtube and such. Again...i'm sorry. :)

Thursday, 5 April 2012

WE ARE ALL HERE. POSTING. ON THIS BLOG. WEEY.
So today we are in the mac room. With Macintosh the sassy gay Mac. We've been here since 9 and it's now half 1 and we are COLD and HUNGRY and TIRED and LIVING OFF SUGAR but the coursework is done. Finally. We re-recorded the voiceovers (Jess's scream "I got to scream, it was great" - Satanic ritual, the fun that brought about. WE ARE GLAMOROUS SATANISTS XOXOXOX) and put more distortion on the dream and Hannah mugged off Sir at every opportunity. So yes, we are done. And we are now looking at 6 foot dinosaurs. I want one very badly. And everybody died from a pandemic. Oh, and we added some transitions to the dream, such as dither dissolve and fade in/fade out transition.


We also re-did the storyboard. IT TOOK 5EVER. NO ME GUSTA. But it is now done. It's all neat now and my art is FABULOUS, Hannah does not understand good art. But she does sing good, angelic almost. I want her to sing lullabies to me every night and send me into a peaceful slumber.


TL;DR: Our coursework is done and we did lots of courseworky-things. *Insert media terminology here* *Insert slow-mo high five here* *Insert clever things that make us sound like fabulous media students here*


(Side note: Sir did something nice for us and Hannah bitched about it)




P.S I did not bitch about it. :)

Wednesday, 7 March 2012

My attempt at analysing the 'Why so serious?' campaign.

http://prezi.com/cuz0swviys0l/the-dark-knight-why-so-serious-campaign/

Our first ever filming diary! (Sort of)

I added sort of at the end because this video diary comes from the first time we ever filmed and at that time we didn't really know that we had to do video diarys and constantly keep our blogs updated. But fortunately for us i'm the most annoying person when handed a camera. I HAVE TO FILM EVERYTHING. And that is what I did. So yesterday we put together a compliation of clips that could suffice as a video diary of the many things I filmed. You're welcome. :)

Friday, 24 February 2012

This is my third post today. I'm such a good media student.

Our first filming diary.
This was scene/diary was really fun to make. You can tell that we didn't realise how much work we'd actually be putting into this project until we actually started doing it because we were very naive when we first started this and thought we could get it all done in two/three days...you can't...it's impossible. And no we were not making fun of sir or the examiner during our Health and Safety despite how it may seem. It's dry humour according to sir. :)
TOODAH. ENJOY.

THE BEST THING EVER.


 These are the videos explaining our (what we hope will be final) storyboard. We realise now that you can't see the drawings or the writing very well but hopefully you'll understand as we explain each shot pretty thorougly. Also as to not make me and Jess look pointless in this video (as Sarah usually does the explaining as she's good at that sort of thing) we all took it turn to speak. Why do I keep smiling awkwardly? I love how Jess looks mostly so unamused. We filmed this video on the Mac's at School (our group mac that we use to edit...it doesn't have a name like Ralph but is equally important...) So yeah...this is our storyboard for a film that we haven't named yet but we're working on it. I hope you like it?

For Sarah + Jess.

Since i'm off today (with the world's most annoying headache...which is being made worse, if that's possible, because paracetemol is useless and has done nothing to ease the pain) I decided i'd have a go at doing a first draft of our "Padamoose Productions" sign with moose antlers. Please don't judge me for these awful edits...


As you can tell I have no editing ability what-so-ever however i'd like to give a special thanks to paint for being the simplest yet most amazing programme ever created. If it weren't for you paint i'd have never been able to (crapply) edit these together. Even if they are only first drafts it means alot. :) So yeah...I hope you like them? If you guys (Jess + Sarah + whoever is reading) let me know what you think, keeping in mind that i'm sick and have very low self esteem, in the comment section...

Wednesday, 22 February 2012

The adventures of Ralph: editing our final piece together post. 2

This is the start of what we hope will be the song that plays during the beginning sequence of our film opening (courtsey of Sarah and a piano). We were working on this on Tuesday because Sarah found a song (Midnight Syndicate - grisly reminder) that would've been perfect for our project had it not been copywright/right...I can't spell...but yeah it would've been that if we'd used it so we came up with the decision to make our own song. We're a very fortunate/lucky group as we have Sarah who is a musical genius and knows how to work this strange device known as a Piano. So together (+ Livvy) we crowded around the piano in the hall and started (if i'm honest) pressing keys until we found a general idea of the sound we wanted. Then Sarah started noting down some keys and this is what she has come up with so far. She's brilliant. :) So yeah...here's for you to take a look at examiner (+ anyone who views our blog. And sir though he will more than likely write a witty/sarcastic comment as this is something i've realised he enjoys doing on my blog...when he's not being serious...) and I hope you like it.

p.s I just realised I named this post the adventures of Ralph when actually Ralph wasn't what was used to record the sound of Sarah playing the piano (I don't think). Ralph didn't play much of a part in this at all...

Saturday, 18 February 2012

Preliminary Analysis.

(I know my blog is quite boring as it isn't very interactive...at all but that's because i'm not very good with techy things like this. Our Media Teacher has even given us tutorials on how to use our blogs and I still can't seem to get the hang of it so I apologize for my lack of slide shows and exciting bits and bobs. However I do know how to get a youtube video up...so here goes...)



What camera angle has been used in each shot and what has gone well/needs improving?
The first shot we see is a long shot of me closing the front door and walking down the hall way towards the camera. This then switches to a close up of my feet passing by. I liked these shots because they open the scene by building up the tension. You don't know where i'm going or who i'm going to or what is going to happen etc which is quite...mysterious...though i'm not sure i've used the right word to describe what I meant. Infact I think the last few sentences i've written don't make any sense. I'm sorry about that. :) The camera then cuts to a mid/tracking shot of me as I enter the room. The camera follows me to the bed and the shot becomes a two shot of me and Sarah. Next we have a shot-reverse-shot with close-ups of  me and Sarah talking (about Jaffa cakes). Another (awkward) cut and the shot changes to an over-the-shoulder shot of Sarah as I tell her that i'll be needing her soul in order for her to get her Jaffa cakes. The next shot is a zooming in close up of Sarah's reaction to this news. As you can tell this was not what she had in mind when she summoned me. We then chose to use a high angle shot of me and Sarah making the deal. We then used another two shot that tracks me as I leave. The final shot is a mid-shot of Sarah enjoying her deal (the Jaffa cakes).


I liked the shot-reverse-shot's that we used as they were the easiest to work into our conversation and fit in with the scene well although me and Sarah both struggled to keep straight faces during the close ups and later complained about how awful we look in them. I thought the high angle shot looked quite effective with this idea of me being a demon or something like a demon that makes things (like Jaffa cakes) appear out of nowhere but at the same time I didn't like the high angled shot as you can't really see what's going on other than Jaffa cake's falling from the sky though I think you have a pretty good idea of what is going on. My faviroute shot was the final shot of Sarah digging into the Jaffa cake (for obvious reasons) but also because the zooming in adds a comical effect to our scene to show that we're not seriously satanic and we don't actually worship demons. I felt the need to mention this as once you see our Final Project you'll have the completely wrong impression of us. I didn't like the tracking shot because the camera moves quite quickly as I walk and it becomes a bit hazy and looks like we're trying to use the tracking shots as fillers.


What have you learnt about what you need to do to the sound to make it more effective?
Before we started our actual filming we did rehearsal shots of what we wanted to do and say and discovered that Ralph (if you do not know who Ralph is by now then you haven't paid much attention to my blog. Ralph is our group camera and will often be referred to as Ralph on our blogs.) does have trouble picking up sound but we worked around that by not using long shots when either of us is speaking and talking really loudly. Generally though Ralph doesn't have many issues sound-related.


Did you consider mise-en-scene? What do you need to do in your final piece to make sure it is better?
When we were filming our Preliminary mise-en-scene wasn't one of our main priorities. We felt that because it was our first project that was meant as a practice of our Camera skills that costume and prop weren't as important as the actual shot themselves. In our Final Project you'll see that we've put alot of our focus into mise-en-scene especially with Jess's character. As Jess pointed out on her blog if we look back at the Preliminary the colours of me and Sarah's clothes works well (though we didn't consider this at the time) with this idea of me (wearing mostly black) being an evil demon and Sarah (wearing a floral dress) being an innocent, ordinary girl who perhaps could be perceived as quite naive as Jess point's out on her blog about her selling her soul to me...for a box of Jaffa Cakes. Our only prop (pointed out by Sarah on her blog) was the box of Jaffa Cakes Sarah loaned to us for filming.

How did you edit it together? What were the issues you faced? 
Sarah and Jess edited our Preliminary together at HRC as I was ill on the day we were supposed to go (it seems like i'm making excuses but honestly i'm not...) They used final cut pro which they learned how to use while editing this piece together. One of the issues they mention on their blogs is that our clips (once cut and edited together) weren't very long and we're currently facing this issue with our Final project but we're working on it. There's more about the issues on their blogs as I wasn't there...

How have you used lighting? Were there any issues you faced?
We used natural lighting for this piece as it was filmed during the day (in the afternoon to be precise). We didn't have any issues with the lighting for this piece as the room we used had a big window on one side that let in alot of light. If we'd have had any issues we would've used some artifical lighting but we didn't so therefore we didn't use artifical lighting...obviously. We do have this issue of lighting in our Coursework piece as alot of it was filmed in the dark (to go with the themes).

How have you used a shot-reverse shot?
We used shot-reverse-shot to show the discussion between me and Sarah over why she'd summoned me. Our shot-reverse-shot consisted of close ups of both of our faces (internally cringing).

How have you used a match on action or action match?
We tried to do action match when I was walking through the hallway and into the room but it didn't really work out. Jess explains what went wrong on her blog (as I wasn't really sure what these terms meant until I checked with the two of them) but as she explains we could've done it more effectively by having Sarah and me both eating something. Sarah something innocent like her Jaffa Cakes and me eating something demonic like (not Roast Potatos...there's nothing sinister about a Roast Potato. Or Potato's in general. Maybe something like...an arm...ew).

Have you kept to the 180 degree rule? Where have you broken it? Why? Was it intentional or was it accidntal? What do you need to consider to avoid this in the future? 
We have broken the 180 degree rule when Jess filmed the high angle shot of me and Sarah from the other side of me. We know now that this was wrong as at the time we didn't know of such a thing called the 180 degree rule. Sir then taught us this rule. We broke it because Jess had to stand on the bed to get the high angled shot of the two of us. In our coursework we won't be breaking this rule.

Are there any continuity errors in your prelim? How could these be avoided?
I don't think so...but i'll have a look over it again once i'm done writing my analysis. I'm terrible at noticing things like that though so we gave the job of continuity editer/spotter to Sarah because I miss the most obvious things...now i've taken Media i've got alot better at noticing continuity errors. I wouldn't say i'm good at it...as explained in previous sentences but there's definately been improvement. And i'm chuffed with that.

Anything else you want to say about your prelim.
IT'S AMAZING. THERE'S JAFFA CAKES FALLING FROM THE SKY. WBEGFHWBDHVFERGYFJ. :3