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.


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.

View more presentations from HWillcocks.

Yes I cried at this 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.


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

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. :)