Sunday, 29 April 2012


1.)The opening sequence of a film is significant for numerous reason for example, it establishes genre, presents actors names and can introduce the main characters of the film. We began with mind mapping ideas as to what genre film we wanted to produce for instance our first idea was to involve ninjas. However, we came to the conclusion that this wouldn't be very appropriate as we wanted to make it more realistic and appeal to a wider target audience. Therefore after some consideration and planning we changed the narrative to a theft of some important information kept in a high security building.
We then did research into what genre it would become apart off and we decided it would be an action/adventure film. We started by looking on YouTube for various openings for instance St Trinians was one of the first we looked at. This is because it is of a similar genre.
We also discovered various aspects of information from different websites for instance,
"Action film is a film genre where one or more heroes is thrust into a series of challenges that require physical feats, extended fights and frenetic chases. They tend to feature a resourceful character struggling against incredible odds, which may involve life-threatening situations, an evil villain, and/or being pursued, with victory achieved at the end after difficult physical efforts and violence Story and character development are generally secondary to explosions, fist fights, gun play and car chases" . We also looked at similar films of that genre, to give us an idea of how other directors had interpreted it so we could gain inspiration when we were creating ours. For example,

The Thomas Crown Affair                                              Mission Impossible

By researching this, it gave us a clear idea of the codes and conventions you would typically find in this genre film, therefore we could incorporate them into our film. Which we did, because our film is based around a mission between 2 girls for their boss (the villian) to obtain secret information. As they lose it, they will have to travel the world, facing various struggles to retrieve it back. Specifically in the opening however, we developed the plot because it is an introduction to how they got the stage of losing the memory stick as the main part of the film is developed into them travelling the world, so we thought it would be a good introduction and would establish the situation from the beginning.
We have used various shots in our opening for different reasons. For instance, we have used long shots to mainly establish the scene so the audience can can get a clear idea of the main features of the plot and settings. However we have also used close ups to show attention to details for instance,

Film version

Storyboard version

In these images it shows both an example of the storyboard and actual footage. This is a close up done purposefully to show what is happening on the computer screen as the information is downloading, therefore it shows the audience. It is also done to create suspense on this particular bit with the downloading bar gradually going up. Between some shots we have also, used movement such as panning. This is purposefully done to follow the movement of the characters so the audience can follow them as the scene progresses. In addition some of the camera positions can represent dominance in our film for instance, at the very beginning (shown in the screen shot below). As the characters are coming out of their bosses office, it shows that he is more dominant and as their conversation progresses with how they need the money for hair extensions/ books as they're walking down the stairs, it shows them becoming more inferior.
     It has a continuity style because we have made sure that the characters are wearing the same clothes, same hair,  unless there is a clear costume change, as it is all shot on the same day. We have mostly made it at a normal pace, with a couple of edits that make it appear faster, for instancing going to different settings can indicate a short passing of time. In addition we have added non-diagetic sound all throughout our opening. This is because it makes the shots fit together better, without it consisting of silence or irrelevant background noise constantly and it makes it appear more fast paced than it actually is (which relates to an action film). At some points however, we adjusted the sounds volume, depending on the scene as we didn't want it playing loudly over conversations as they are key aspects because they tell the audience important information about the characters/narrative.
      The font in our titles were just an average size (however we did make what we added slightly bigger than the rest). This is because they had to fit in with our theme of the sequence as we had individual passports showing up straight after each other therefore we couldn't have it too big or small as it would either not fit in or the audience wouldn't have been able to read it. It was also black writing to fit in with the theme and also it added slight emphasis to the persons name and 'starring.' We also stuck to this theme when doing the title of our film 'The Needs.' It has a white background with black writing. Also it had a picture of the USB logo to relate to the memory stick within the film which adds to establishing a plot too.
      The iconography in our film is not really recognised to it's full extent in just the first 2 minutes, but we have added some visual conventions to hint at the narrative and future events. For instance, the secret mission scene is usually found in an action film because she is breaking in (to a high tech security building) and retrieving secret information which then leads on to future events of them travelling the world to get it back when they lose it.
2.)We have represented particular social groups in our film, specifically with the 2 main characters. We started by doing character profiles for each character to represent the main aspects about their personalities.
This is the first one for Sasha we added her likes/dislikes and job into it so we could represent this in our film. For instance in the script she says, "I need some new hair extensions." This reflects her personality as she is currently finishing a beauty course and it shows that she really cares about her appearance. However we could represent this in her clothing as she had to wear all black in order to be disguised for the  In addition it is showing how young people are in desperate need of money, as she is willing to commit crime in order to earn her money. She doesn't really conform to the typical 'dumb blonde' stereotypes apart from the fact that both had to get rid of the memory stick therefore lose it.

The second character profile screen shot represents Annabelle's characters personality traits. We have created the characters so they work together but are practically the opposite. For example, Annabelle states, 'i need to buy books.' This shows that she is less self conscious about her appearance and cares more for education. Her clothes just represented her as a normal teenage however as she wears glasses it can represent intelligence (as she is at university).

This is a screen shot of Annabelle taken from our opening. We represented her as her character profile with her image, as she is wearing regular clothes to make her fit in with everyone else, therefore doesn't look suspicious. In addition, she is wearing her hair up and glasses, which represent the characters personality in the actual film, similar to the character profile as she cares for education and is intelligent.

This is a screen shot of Sasha within the film therefore she looks different to her character profile. In this, her clothing doesn't represent her personality as she is dressed in all black for the specific reson that she has just completed a secret mission. However, it shows she has her hair down and done (with extensions) which represents that she does care for her appearence. In addition this refers to her character profile as she is taking a beauty course.

As we have almost challenged major stereotypes, it would be a good idea to continue with this throughout the film for continuity purposes. However, there has to be some elements where their personalities conform to what society thinks young people are like, or it wouldn't appear that realistic.

3.) We did research into possible distributors that would be suitable to distribute our film. A possible contender was Sony Pictures, which have distributed films such as the 21 Jump Street and The Vow. From their official website however, , it appears that the films they distribute are of a larger budget and are hits at the box office, which is what you would want when you have created a film. However, we would need lots of financial support and training which they are less likely to offer this so we decided this wouldn't be right for our film.

Further into our research we found Pathe! who play a large part in the UK film distribution. They became one of the main contenders as they offered the majority of what we needed for instance as well as distributing, they also help to develop and produce the films. In addition they play a large part within the media industry and are good at getting films into the cinema and making them successful, with a recent example being Slumdog Millionaire. Therefore they would be able to do a blanket release.

We discovered in our research that Guerilla it used to be a production company but in 1999 changed it's purpose to just distributing British and Irish films withing the UK and Ireland. The distributor we have chosen is Guerilla Films. This is because,

This is a section of the list of the films that Guerilla have distributed.

"We have raised production and finishing funds, from private investors, for low budget British pictures in the past, and this is something we intend doing more of in the future." - . This means that it would probably help with funding and giving support with the film which is what we needed and also one of it's main focuses is British films. In addition it also has associations with TV channels such as channel 4 which also it a positive for us. Not only this, but they have links with Odeon cinemas, which will make sure that our film is shown in many cinemas throughout the country.  

An example of a film we did some research on because it is similar to ours is Mission Impossible which was distributed by Paramount Pictures. This shows major contrast to the distribution company we chose mainly because it is more American based, therefore wouldn't really be a possibility. Also, it's main focus is distributing major Hollywood blockbusters for instance their most recent is Titanic 3D, which has had one of the high box office sales in history.

4.)Both genders will enjoy the film however, I do think it is mainly targeted at males (probably about 70% of the audience will be males). This is because of the aspects of violence and action in the film as they are usually the gender to enjoy things similar to that. Our main target audience, is 12A as I did research into certificate, the screen shots is of the guidelines that you have to keep to for this certificate taken from as they are set by the British Board of Film Classification. We chose to do a 12A it will include probably contain subtle use of strong language but will only be used a couple of times throughout the whole film. Also, as our film is based around a mission to obtain some secret information (action/adventure) there will be aspects of violence. It was also chosen because we wanted to make sure younger people had the opportunity to go see it as they may enjoy the narrative. This means that they can go with parental guidance if they want to.
As it is a British film it will mainly be appealing to more people in the British population as, even though it's not necessarily a relateable narrative, they may be able to relate to the characters included. The fact they have to travel the world to retrieve the memory stick back it will then widen the target audience and be more appealing to people in different countries.
It doesn't necessarily target anyone specific with habits and lifestyle as it is about stealing information. However with media consumption, the audience would have plenty of opportunities to see the film as technology can make it easier for this not just going to the cinema, even though that is an option. There will be ways they can see it on DVD (possible Blu-Ray) and also make it available for digital download, therefore audiences can download it onto things like their phone/computer (from places like iTunes) so they don't have to go to the cinema. This make it more convenient for some people. Also, this almost ensures the film makes a larger profit because audiences are most likely to watch it repeatedly as DVD/ download release is usually after cinema release. However, there is always the issue of people using piracy to watch it also.
This link is to our questionnaire that we made to gain feedback from people (not specific, could be anyone). We asked them a variety of questions that included to do with themselves, such as age, gender and about our film as we included our treatment. This means we could gain a variety of different feedback about it and make any amendments that were needed.

We distributed it on different social networking websites such as Twitter and Facebook. This was a quick and easy way where we would get our feedback from a variety of people. As most people who are friends/followers would taker part including our peers, as our certificate is a 12A therefore will appeal to most teenagers.

This is a link to all our questionnaire results however, here is a sample of them shown in the image. The specific questions that helped us to do our target audience was to do with their age, and opinions on whether they would go to see and also their opinions on certificate.
In our treatment of the first two minute film states
"Audience- Our film is targeted at persons age 12 upwards , the rating is 12A due to some of the language that will be used and the nature of the film. It is aimed at both males and females that enjoy watching action adventure films and mild crime films"
Which is what we concluded from our questionnaire results.

 5.)I think we have reached our target audience. This is because in the pre production I decided on the certificate classification of a 12A. This widens the target audience and gives the opportunity for more people to watch the film. As action films generally do appeal to males more we believe the narrative instantly gets their attention as it's to do with thieves.However, the possibility minority of female interest could relate to mainly because of the characters within our film. This is because even though it is not normally a realistic plot, they may be able to relate because they are of same gender and going through similar student situations (no money and in need of new things).  From our questionnaire results, we didn't really get any ratings below 6, which is a positive because it means that we have got a good enough plot that will be entertaining for the population.

This screen shot shows that I have distributed our main task via social networking websites, specifically Twitter and Facebook, in an attempt to get people to watch it and give us feedback.
Unfortunately, we didn't gain exceptional amounts of feedback from this with the limited amount of time we had.

This is the feedback we gained from Facebook. Overall it was all positive comments that we gained for our main task, with comments such as, "good" and "great." This means that people will have enjoyed the opening and hopefully have gained interest in the film. In addition the people who gave us feedback are all of similar to age range to us which lands in the target audience. From this, it could have appealed because of the similar age characters in the film.
To improve we feel and from our feedback that we could have included a few more codes and conventions of a typical action film and we could have improved a few of the shots. This is because it wasn't exactly too clear about what was going on in parts for instance, with the laser, that could have been improved to make it show up better. We didn't realise that it didn't show up as well as we thought until we watched it back in the editing process so it was too late to change it.

6.)In pre production/ production we had to figure out the different aspects we would need in order to film our piece. For instance, we had to decide whether we would need any special lightning, which we didn't because it was either dark, in lightly lit room anyway or we had outside scenes which already had sunlight. In addition we would need to decide the technology needed in the film as it is almost based around technology. Therefore we made plans for specific lessons where these would be needed. It was mainly phones, computers that were included in our piece as they were a necessity due to the information being downloaded onto a memory stick and the phone conversations. During pre production we didn't use any technology really apart from computers to do planning and research. We used various websites such as Google questionnaires and social networking websites (Facebook and Twitter) to gain feedback of our initial ideas to ensure they were interesting and suited our target audience.

Image of a tripod
similar to the one we used.
However, in production we used a tripod, to ensure that the shots looked professional, didn't move about all the time and able to shoot things like panning/tilting correctly. Also, a DV camera to record our 2 minute opening.

Example of a plan we made, includes both what we are filming and the things we need (pre production).

Post production we had to ensure that we had all the filming we did uploaded onto a computer to continue into editing. We used Final Cut Express software to edit our piece which was because we thought it was the best software to edit on and wasn't difficult to use once I had learnt the basics. This enabled me to put shots together, cut down parts that were not needed, add sound and transitions.

Image of a camera similar to ours
what we used to film with.

 It was mainly successful using a DV camera because we was able to shoot our film quickly and of good quality picture. The Google questionnaires was also a good website to use because it was easy to produce and shows your results in a table which is a good way to present the feedback instead of us having to create it (making it also less time consuming). In addition Final Cut express was successful because without it, we wouldn't have been able to edit our opening together and add various aspects to it to make it look more professional and realistic. In addition it helped us add our title sequence which we couldn't have filmed it, therefore with the software we were able to import the images we had created and edit them in.

Screen shot showing the laser
part in our opening.

This shows our attempts at editing a
laser in.

We did have some difficulties too however. For instance, we included a laser in our piece, which we had trouble getting it to show up on the camera properly. We did manage to get a shot where it showed on the camera although it could have been a lot better. In the editing process we did try to get around this, by editing the laser in, however it didn't really work because it when moving from the different shots the laser ended up at a different angle all the time. Therefore, it was difficult and time consuming to get it in the correct position at every second needed so we felt it was not needed in the film. Also, in the editing process, we did then decide that it would look better if we didn't edit it in, as it was effective enough with the faint line (and the showing of the laser on the wall) would look better anyway.
In addition to the another difficulty I faced when filming was when were filming in a dark room.

This image shows an example of
where the camera went out of
As there was a minimal amount of light entering the room for our scene, the camera constantly kept going out of focus when filming. This meant that I had to use manual focus as oppose to auto focus to fix this. In addition we were initially going to use Photoshop for our production company logo, but we found this difficult to use for what we wanted, therefore used Microsoft Word as an alternative, which was a lot better.
Our Production Logo.
In the image you can see how we used different fonts and effects/borders/image to create it.From doing this however, I have learnt about many new websites/ technologies that will possible help me in future. I have learnt more about DV cameras (especially by having to adjust the focus) and also about how to produce a good questionnaire on Google Questionnaires. Also, I have learnt all about blogging and how to use blogger, specifically about how to upload photos, link websites and also embed videos from YouTube.

7.) For our preliminary task we had to do a 30 second continuity piece, consisting of the filming and editing a scenario of a character opening a door, walking into and across the room. Then introduce another character who they then share a couple of lines of dialogue with. As oppose to this task which includes filming and editing up to 2 minutes of a new fiction film, including a title sequence.

Our preliminary task helped a lot when doing this task. This is because we knew the basics now of how to use things like a camera and editing software. In addition to this, we knew now what a film had to consist of. For example, they have to have a continuity style in order to make it more realistic, therefore needed the same clothes (if same day) and also needed to film at the same time of day (if that's what it is in the film) with the same weather. This ensures that your film doesn't skip different things like day to night straight away, when you're suppose to be representing the same time of day in your film. Also, we knew how to present conversations better as there are several in our 2 minute task, which do include shot reverse shots, keeping to the 180 degree rule, which was one of the key aspects we had to include in our preliminary task. In addition to this, we also continued using Final Cut Express in our main task now.

This shows us in the editing process of our main
task in the software Final Cut Express.

This is because it worked well in our preliminary task and now I knew how to use it. Therefore it was a lot easier when it came to editing even though I used more tools and effects this time such as adding sound and adjusting the sound depending on which part it was in.
These images show the shot reverse shot we used
in our 2 minute opening, keeping to the 180

These screen shots are from our preliminary task which
also show shot reverse shots and 180 rule.

This shows how we have progressed and got better at filming but also using similar shot reverse shot methods when in conversation.

 I believe I have got a lot better at editing as we were now able to use the basics of Final Cut Express easily and built upon our knowledge of how to add sound and adjust it, add different transitions, cut out unwanted parts in the middle of shots and import pictures. This is the reason our 2 minute opening was made successfully. In addition to this, I got better at being able to film the scenes. This is because I had already used a similar camera and tripod in the preliminary task, therefore It was easier to shoot it and include things like panning.
      We pretty much kept the same methods as we did before just expanded on them. This is because we have gained more knowledge and know how to use the technology better. Also this was a more ambitious task so we had to include more depth to it for instance, represent the characters backgrounds/personalities better. Also, there were aspects such as the title sequence and phone conversations which we hadn't filmed before. Not only this but our methods changed slightly when filming because we thought more in depth about each shot as the majority needs to represent something for example, close ups to show detail and extreme long shots/long shots to establish the scene.

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