Friday, 26 March 2010

Evaluation of G321 Foundation Portfolio Project- The opening two minutes of a new film.

In our film near the beginning, though not directly at the start, we employ a shot type that is commonly used in horror movies, such as The Blair Witch Project (1999), where a character is being filmed by a shaky hand held camera from behind as they are chased. In our film it is from the point of view of the thing that is chasing the camera, which we cannot see. This shot type creates a heightened sense of tension for the viewer as it is difficult to see exactly what is going on and the lack of knowledge leads to the audience wanting to know more.

We also use a bridging sound of a scream which is commonly used in many horror movies to show that although the viewer does not see what happens to the character it suggests something very bad. We also used a lot more shot types that are not only used in horror, but many film genres. The types we used were longs shots, close-up, extreme close-ups, zooms and match on action.

At the start our film seems to follow a similar storyline to most ‘slasher’/ horror movies. It starts with a typical teenage girl being chased by something terrible and unseen being however, due to our films psychological nature, if the movie was to be made it would attempt to go beyond the more common typical murderer or evil creature killing for fun and into the deeper, darker side to the human mind, exploring what pushes people to the edge and what happens to people once they die.

Technically we represented youth as uncaring and stupid, not affected by peoples death unless it directly affects them i.e. they knew the person who died. The uncaring and ‘common’ side is shown by Toni’s character, Mildred, who has a colloquial dialect that represents the area she is from and also hints towards a lack of education. She is made to seem unaffected and even a little attention seeking through her interview with the radio presenter, hinting that youth only care about what they can get out of any situation and will jump at the chance for five minutes in the limelight. However we changed our characters from being the typical sexy, skimpily dressed, brainless bimbos that usually appear in horror movies. We decided to make our characters look more realistic and therefore more human, making it easier for the audience to relate to them.

Youth as a whole is represented as typically jean as trainer wearing, with not a great deal of fashion sense, only wearing what’s comfortable. In the first two minutes we include a stereotype of the typical ‘chav’, which is commonly used in English media nowadays. The ‘chav’, Mildred, is shown through the mise-en-scene of the big, puffed out ‘hoodie’ style coat and trainers. The attitude, of being a bit slow and uncaring, is also typical of the ‘chav’ stereo type.

Possible production companies for the movie could be the obvious such as Universal, Paramount and Fox. Fox has previously produced movies of a psychological nature, such as The Silence of the Lambs (1991) and Fight Club(1999) so it would be a good company to chose. Also Spyglass Entertainment has produced The Sixth Sense(1999), a movie that has a similar style to ours, and so it would make sense to chose them, however because the movies are so similar it might put the production company off.

The movie industry has often follows patterns in the genre’s of movies they produce, for the last few years it has followed the supernatural trend of Vampires but that has recently changed and now Hollywood is following the trend of Angels, however this should not affect production of a different style of movie much. Often there is only so much of one style of movie an audience can watch and for a long time horror movies have been popular, whether they are in style or not, because the accommodate the need for violence and fear that an individual might not get from their everyday lives.

Our target audience will be that of the adults/ older teenagers, as the movie will be rather graphically violent it will not be viewable below the age of 18 any way but its psychological nature will make it harder for younger audiences to understand anyway.

The movie will also be geared towards a more unisex audience, without tipping the balance towards females by putting lots of handsome men in, or tipping the balance towards the male audience by putting lots of good looking women in. Although our movie appears to be mainly female dominant because the first few minutes contains only females, it will not be like that throughout the movie and more males would be introduced to the cast later on,, the female ratio would also become less especially since the character of Tammy dies straight away and the character of Mildred would not be included in the rest of the film as she would be superfluous and was only needed for the beginning to create a sense of realism in our film.

With our movie’s promotion we would take a page out of the book of movies such as Transformers (2007) and Cloverfield (2008) and release a short clip of one of the most surprising scenes. This is a great way to hook the audience’s attention and get them anticipating our movie. We would also look into the idea of an Internet campaign, because the audience we are targeting are very familiar with technology and are a large part of the technological age.

From Cloverfield of the statue of liberty's head.

From making our short film opening I have learnt a lot about media technologies at are employed in the film industries. I have learnt that in order to track movement without making the camera shake film makers often use a harness attached to a camera man that prevents shaking or they use a dolly, a camera attached to a set of tracks, to move the camera long distances and/ or frame a shot. We have learnt a lot about camera’s and I now know that although a movie can be filmed on a camcorder the quality would be terrible and make the movie hard to watch, so although a small, cheap camcorder was fine for our coursework if we wanted to make a movie that was visually pleasing and perhaps Hollywood standard we’d have to invest in some high quality cameras and microphones, because the sound is also not of a terribly high standard, however that is not so say that it is entirely impossible as The Blair Witch Project was filmed with camcorder style cameras and that made profits of millions which is highly surprising considering it only cost less than a million to make.

Our group also used an editing software package by Adobe, which was a little simple but for a movie not requiring much effects, like ours, it was perfect and allowed us to work with a new type of software we had never used before, providing us with a wider range of knowledge and experience of editing. For our title sequence we used a font style taken from the Internet, so not found as a default on the computer which could perhaps be a problem and we would have to contact the creator and probably pay royalties if we were to publish our movie.

We then edited it by adding the blood like red colour seeping down on the editing package Sony Vegas 7, which is slightly more advanced than Adobe. From the filming process we learnt the importance of a tripod to create still frames, but we learnt also that without them, if you add a rough walking movement to track action, it creates a visually interesting shot that instills a sense of confusion in the audience.

Our project change often throughout the editing and filming process, our growing familiarity with the camera allowed decisions such as the shaky camera shot to happen. At first it was rather difficult to have someone tracking the action in that way while actually keeping the camera steady enough to follow the character through the woods, but as we became more familiar we learnt that smaller movements could create a similar effect that was concentrated on the character. Growing familiarity with the editing software also allowed for us to add overlays and fades in multiple places as well as adding sound and controlling if a clip was slow, normal or fast motion. At the beginning this would all have been impossible as we were completely new to the editing package, but we stuck with it and played around until we could find exactly what we wanted for the scene, even though it might not have always been what we had planned, but in the end it usually worked out better for it.

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