Thursday, 1 April 2010


For a full quality version on YouTube copy this URL:

Thursday, 18 March 2010


Steady shot while giving the news.
Framed well at hotel location - included the name.
Appropriate shot distance. Some variety.
Footage fit well with intended purpose.
Mise- en - scene - costumes fit well with piece. Location is very good.
Editing - news - meaning was apparent. BBC titles worked very well.
Images popping up was appropriate.
Not many transitions.
Sound - at beginning with telephone call the diegetic sound behind the call created atmosphere.
Titles fit well.


we liked the news report section. we thought it was very clever making it look like it was actually on television.

there was not many shots to be held steady as most of it was blank screen with credits, the shots that were visual were held steady

weren't many shots to vary your distances as the only shots were continued at the same distance and you didn't explore any different shot angles or anything of that sort

We felt that this was not really a thriller. we felt it was more a crime/political/action film as no thriller conventions were used clearly.

there was not much mis en scene to be selected as there was not much footage. the lighting for the news report was a bit dark but worked well along with the light in the other bit of footage. there was not much location to be incldued except for the clear use of the university arms which we felt was a good choice to film the news scene

there were no transitions between scenes as there was only two scenes where the shot type and angle did not change at all
\sound was used well at the beginning with all the talking but it definitely went on for too long and created the atmosphere of an fbi agent prepping a client of some sort, it did not seem to fit the thriller genre as it is more crime. hence it being called "framed" which is a crime within the law.
however the sound with the pictures suited the pictures. the sound with the news report was not clear at all because of the background sound.

the titles were good and mysterious at the beginning.

Thursday, 11 March 2010

rough cut evaluation

This is what people thought about our rough cut of the sequence.

pro's and con's

Effective beginning as there is no visuals, so you can concentrate on the phone conversation. New scene is realistic.
Shots are very long and close viewers attention
voice overs last to long
credits are very effective
black screen draws attention to conversation
logo is very good
production logo slightly unprofessional
but a good length
mystery with political theme
interesting narrative
costumes are good
location fantastic
characters dont have enough characteristics

we learnt that our opening sequence needs improving.
We also learnt that we have the upperhand on other groups, ours is quite blatently better.

Wednesday, 10 March 2010

Rough Cut

Hello! While i am writing this up luke and oli and putting the final touches into our roughcut due in... half an hour. Our rough cut is our title sequence in order on final cut, it will be good to view online. Once the rough cut has been uploaded we have a number of things left to do. So far our project contains the completely edited phone call, completely edited news report and completely edited 'shifty man' scene. this makes a good foundation for our project and a quality rough cut as this is our filming complete. We do however have things left to do. We have to place our collage in between the phone conversation and filming, we have left this out of our rough cut because we have not as yet gathered all the relevant media ie news reports and pictures of crime scene. Once we have put these in place we will do a final edit of everything to make sure everything is perfect and then make the music. The gaps in the rough cut is where the other media will be placed. Thanks for your time.

Production Logo

Finally... we have created our logo! It has been a long time coming and we have gone classic: 'Long Road Pictures.' It took around a lesson to produce led by Oli with assistance from Andrea. Our label consists of text flying in from the distance, titled long road, the picture of a deserted road is very apt. Here, take a look at some screen prints.

Thursday, 4 March 2010

Editing the news report.

From our footage of the news report, we decided to make it looks official and as realistic as possible. For example adding text: the reporters name, and logos of the news company in this case, BBC news.
I researched into existing news reports, and identified what key features they all have. Focusing on BBC reports, they all have the traditional logo and have the reporters name and position. Also they normally have a "live" sign at the top, followed by the name of where the reporter is. And also how the name of the reporter fades out too.

Monday, 1 March 2010

Filming Weekend

The weekend commencing 29th February 2010 was our filming weekend. We designated the Sunday to film as we had only little filming to do. We could fit this filming into one day because we had made detailed plans beforehand (see past blog posts). We knew what we were filming, the script, who played each role, costume, sound and how long each scene would take.
We had planned to film outside the 'Mitre Pub' in Cambridge because it is a bustling landmark in the center in the city, however when we arrived we realised that the people eating inside would make void the claim that this was a crime scene. Therefore we decided to go film at the 'University Arms Hotel' just by the Grand Arcade in town. This location fitted perfectly with the idea that there had been an assassination and it was a crime scene as we filmed in a desolate car park... implying that the public had been cleared from the area.
The first scene we filmed was the news report. Oliver Theunissen took up the role of the news reporter as he had apt clothes on. Instead of wearing a suit he wore a dark smart coat and a jumper with a collared shirt. He also wore black jeans so that it appeared he was wearing dark trousers. We had prepared a script before hand lasting around 60 seconds, which worked perfectly as it lasted indeed around 60 seconds. The actual filming on the other hand took around 22 mintues. This consisted of Oli replaying his script in about 20 different takes. Nevertheless, we got the scene down before the battery went dead and the prolonged filming actually meant we ended up with a perfect cut. There were mistakes, but the reporter had just arrived at the scene and had little time to prepare the actual report. We placed the camera mid shot so that we could see above waist. The frame of the shot was also perfect, we had the window of the lobby on Oli's left hand side and the name 'University Arms' on the right hand side.
The second scene was of me, Callum leaving the hotel door. In this clip we wanted to imply that this character had maybe played a part in the crime. We wanted the character to wear casual clothes, something that someone would wear everyday, but also something concealing. Therefore I chose to wear an outfit I normally would wear for college but include a big coat with a hood, something that would almost hide my identity while at the same time giving away key characteristics of myself. Luke made a close up to mid shot possible by walking with me as I walk out the hotel door and put my hood up. He films me walking away. We bring in a match on action shot by Luke moving to facing me walking from the door of the hotel and then away down the street.

Monday, 22 February 2010

What is a Call Sheet?

What is a call sheet?
A call sheet is chart issued to the cast and crew of a theatrical or film production, listing the production schedule.

What is included?
Typically, in addition to including a schedule, the call sheet also includes a list of contact information for other members of the cast and crew. Call sheets are often issued at the beginning of the week, because schedules change frequently, and trying to plan further ahead can become quite complicated. As a general rule, when a call sheet is assembled, the scheduler assumes that everyone is available at any time, unless specifically informed otherwise.

We decided to make a call sheet for our production, as it will remind us of the details of making the clip.

Thursday, 11 February 2010

Phone Call Draft

This is the first phone call we have made. We wanted to make it sound as if the two people were in different locations but we forgot that by having two different background noises it would ruin all continuity in the call itself. Here, have a listen.

Awful right? Next time we will record our conversation in the same place as to keep the background noise the same.

how the phone conversation went

We decided to separate the background noise after a preliminary practice of the phone conversation. We found that as there was similar background noise in both voice selections, it could make the audience think the characters are meeting, not in a phone conversation.
Character X - based in the refectory to make it appear as if he was in a cafe.
Character Y - based in the library where it is much quieter.
We did this in these settings because: character Y is much higher up in the group so he sounds in authority, however, character X is less in authority therefore, showing that Y is the boss over X.
To make the conversation sound like its a phone call we added a 3-band equalizer, making the frequency high and the Gain low, this made it appear more muffled, sounding like a phone. The other thing we are adding to make it sound more like a phone conversation is a dial tone or drone, which will aid the viewer to know thy are in separate places.

We found that having separate background noise can make it have little continuity.
The 3-band equalizer muffles the background noise a lot, however, we may have to refilm the section to improve the audio.

Wednesday, 10 February 2010

Target Audience

Our target audience for our thriller is both male and females aged between 15 - 30. We have chosen to utilise this target audience because we believe they are the most interested age group in thrillers. There is no way that our thriller can have a younger target audience for two reasons: 1. The storyline will be difficult to follow for anyone younger than 15 because it is a crime thriller. The complexity of the storyline will also keep people of 25+ interested and not bore them.
The 15 rating is only used for films shown in cinemas. It is given to films that are best suited to those aged 15 or older.

Monday, 8 February 2010

News Reporter Script

This is a draft script for the 'Video Clip 1'. Video Clip 1 is that of a newspaper report by a news journalist just on scene of a murder. The journalist will be holding a peice of paper and a microphone. Although journalists dont generally hold sheets of paper we can justify this case with the fact that he is first on scene and the crime has just happened. As this clip will be used in ou rmedia collage from the title sequence it needs to give certain components of the plot away, let some light on to the storyline.
As it stands I will be acting the part of the Journalist wearing a suit.
A mid shot from the camera should have the background in shot, and I should be centered, the camera focused above the waist. Hopefully we will be setting up some 'Police Crime Scene Tape' behind the reporter to create a stereotypical crime scene.

For the purposes of this script the journalist will be called Z.

Z. I am standing outside the Mitre Pub in Cambridge where police have rushed to the scene of the crime. I arrived only a few minutes ago, almost simultaneously with the 'Police Tape' you see behind me. There is general confusion to what has happened. Apologises to viewers for my lack of preparation, there has been little warning coupled with only a few key facts. The Prime Minister began his stay at the pub in the centre of cambridge which also boasts 5 star bed and breakfast services at 7pm last night after international discussions with foreign representatives from around the world. The only information I have been given is that a phone call was recieved at 6 am this morning by BBC News from a resident who lives nearby that there was extreme emergency service activity at around 5.30 am. An ambulance left the scene at 5.40 am with police escort. There has been no statement released as of yet from the police. More information as it develops, for now, James Stevens from the Mitre in Cambridge.

The Phone Conversation - Update

Today was the first lesson dedicated to filming/producing the planned project. As our title sequence doesn't revolve around actual filmage we devoted todays lesson to recording our phone conversation. We used Callum's Script (see blog post 'Callum's Script' for details). To do this we used my phone which contained the script and then spoke into the camera. Due to time we only managed to record the conversation, not to upload it. We spent so long recording because the conversation needed to be perfect as the phone conversation is an instrumental scene in setting up the storyline. Next lesson (on wednesday) will be devoted to checking the phone conversation, uploading it to garageband, editing the conversation, and then placing it in our final cut project. This should take around 40 minutes to 1 hour to perfect. Depending on time we will then move on to setting out exactly what media we will be using for our collage, and who will be collecting what. The basics for our media are newspaper reports, pictures of inner Cambridge and shifty characters leaving the building and then video clips.


4.10 Friday 25th - 9am Monday 28th
On this weekend we will film the two video clips.
the first outside a well lit public place and the second of a shift man leaving a shadowy doorway.

Thursday, 4 February 2010

Draft Script

Script – phone conversation

By Luke butcher

As our sequence starts, it blends into a telephone conversation. There are two characters discussing what they are going to do to an unknown character.
Phone conversation starts straight away with the first character saying:

Phone conversation fades in…

Character 1: Word from above has gave the go ahead for the operation, Have you located him?

Character 2: Yes, he’s in my sight…

Character 1: Is everything in place for the set up?
Character 1: It needs to be done now.

Slight pause.

Character 2: Everything seems to be in order, just running final diagnostics.
Character 2: Just one thing sir… are we doing the right thing here? Its Just that…

Character 1 interrupts immediately after character 2 says (that)
Character 1: This needs to be done, if im not mistaken you agreed to this, therefore you do exactly as I say when I say.

Character 2: I understand. It will be done.

Location and Video Clip Pictures

We are using this picture of 'the mitre' pub in cambridge as an example to what our crime scene will look like as the journalist reports in front of it. We will put some police 'do not cross tape' up behind the journalist to give the effect that this is a real crime scene. The location we are looking for needs to be somewhere in the city, with a lack of people, but looks as though it is a popular destination and has key features of an old building (preferably a dull colour and intricate brick work).

This picture is an example of what location we will be using for the second video clip. 'The mysterious man'. Hopefully the building will be 'in the shadows', especially the door way. It needs to be on the main street however as the male character will leave the building and walk down the street looking suspicious, it would be better to have people walking past our character.

This is a picture of a news report, to show you what we are looking to overlay on our news report clip.

Callum's Script













ollie's script

The phone call will begin with the drone of a telephone, then the noise of dialling, and after two rings, a man with a hard, deep, authority voice. The man who answers sounds less in authority, but still hard and tense.

1: Do you know the plan?
2: yes, I’ve seen it and nearly everything is place.
1: When are we starting?
2: I don’t know if this is a great idea?
1: Are you questioning my judgement … ?
2: (quickly interrupting) No sir, I just cant handle prison!
1: your one my best men, nothing will happen. (pause) now, when?
2: It’s down to you boss?
1: I want it done as soon as soon as you have all the materials and he is alone.
2: yes sir, what happens when I’ve finished?
1: A car will be waiting for you at the emergency meeting point and will take you to the airport?
2: where am I going?
1: classified.
2: I’m not allowed to know where I’m going! I cant…
1: (interrupts) we can find someone else to do this!
2. No! no, sorry I’m just tense.
1: I know, but just remember in 3 days you will have $1.5 million!
2: yes, (pause) I need to go.
1: I understand, once everything is ready, FRAME HIM!

Once the phone call has clicked off framed appears on the bottom of the screen.

StoryBoard and Shot List

These are the pictures of our shot list, storyboard for the opening sequence and storyboard for each video clip.

Monday, 1 February 2010

Collage Media

In our collage of media we will have different pictures and newspaper reports as well as video clips.

We will include 4-5 Newspaper Front Page shots
4-5 Pictures of the Outside of the building with 'Police Line' Tape
2 Video clips: 1. 'On scene News report' 2. 'Mysterious Man'

Updated Deadlines

Filming starts Monday 8th February
Carries on week beginning 22nd and 1st March
Monday 8th March Filming must be finished.
Wed 10th March: End of Lesson - Rough cut deadline.
Wed 17th March: End of Lesson - Final cut deadline soundtracks credits etc.
22nd March 9am Interim Writing Deadline
Monday 29th March Final Deadline for evaluation.

Credits: Titles/Names

In chronological order from start to finish of title sequence. Inspired by earlier post describing Title Credits by Luke Butcher.
A Callum Adams(Fades in first) 'And' (Fades in second) Ollie Theunissen Production (Fades in 3rd)
A Luke Butcher Film

Mark Callaway
Julian Tristan
Lauren Hue


We are not sure whether to use these credits overlaying the black screen of the phone conversation. One thing we are sure of however is that we want to use the title 'Framed' twice. Firstly when the person speaking on the phone finishes the conversation with the word 'Framed.' And again at the very end of the title sequence as the collage is engulfed with a black screen. In the first occasion the word 'Framed' will be small and in the bottom right of the screen whereas the second time the word will be large and take up the majority of the screen. Both times the credits will fade in to keep with the genre of 'Thriller'.

Thursday, 28 January 2010

Music notes

Use garageband to conduct a sequence that fits with the opening.
Preferably no music, or quiet string/beat music for when the phone
conversation is playing as this helps keep the concerntration on the conversation.
The music must then become louder as action cuts in, and then faded out to low volume
to allow maximum voice volume for the news correspondent.
mainly violin sounded music throughout the opening to let the audience know
the distrssful situation.

Details of Costumes

We will only need two costumes in our title sequence as we only have two scenes.
The first scene: News Report.
We, as a group, were advised to use a more mature looking actor in the role of news reporter to make it appear more legitimate and realistic but we realise this may be hard to organise. To combat this we are planning to act ourselves and use a suit to not only make us appear older than we actually are but also to comply with the stereotypical dress code of British Television Journalists. A black or Grey suit with tie, coupled with a microphone and piece of paper will leave the audience believing that this news reporter is a seasoned professional.
The second scene: Shifty criminal.
This scene consists of a 15 second shot of a shifty man leaving a building. To create the mysterious effect via costume we are planning to use a big coat and dark clothes. We may possible include a hat for him to pull down as he leaves on just use the big coat for him to pull across and do up as he walks away. So, this actor will wear black shoes, black trousers, a big coat and a dark t-shirt.

Analysis of examples of political, psychological, action and crime thrillers

There are four main sub-genres used within the thriller genre. There are of course others but the main ones that are used are: Political, psychological, action and crime thrillers.

  • A political thriller is a thriller that is set against the backdrop of political power struggle. They usually involve various plots, designed to give political power to someone, while his opponents try to stop him from getting it. They can involve national or international political plots. An example is the film, Munich.
  • An Action thriller can be defined, In which the work often features a race against the clock, contains lots of violence, and an obvious antagonist (which is can be known as the "bad guy") . These films usually contain large amounts of guns, explosions, and a large set for the action to take place. These films often have elements of mystery and crime which contributes to making a sub-genre of action and a thriller. An example of this genre is, The Bourne Trilogy.
  • A Psychological thriller can be defined as; the conflict between the main characters is ether mental or emotional, rather than physical. A good example of this type of thriller could be the film Fatal attraction, as it shows there are emotional issues between the characters.
  • A Crime thriller is a hybrid of both crime films and thrillers, that follow a successful or failed crime and what happens after it. Crime thrillers normally focus on action rather than psycological, and can be linked to action thrillers. Examples of these can be : Inside man, Seven or Reservoir dogs.

Thriller Mise-en-scene

An important scene that will have to be taken in to consideration will be that of the news report. We are not sure whether to go for a English approach to television journalism or an American one. We are leaning towards and English version however as we ourselves are British and we have British patriotism!
Although this is of a Student American journalist it is a good example of the kind of clothes they wear. The female reporter often wears casual clothes whereas the television journalism we are used to is that of smart clothes for both women and men, usually suits. The American Journalist is also very blunt and to the point... very stereotypical American.
In contrast this is an example of a British Television Journalist: Both the anchor and the on scene journalist are very professionally dressed and the language is very intimate and detailed. Such details about the World Trade Center's that you possibly would not see in Rash American Reports.

Another scene which mise-en-scene will be considered is in the phone call. In this case, less is more, with just a black screen for the audience to look at. As the phone call unfolds the audience will sit in a pitch black cinema. The whole idea of this is that when in a real conversation with someone you can't see their face can you? By imitating this on the big screen we are creating the idea that the audience are helpless, and making the characters even more mysterious! The conversation itself will be very blunt and not give away too many details as not to give away plot line. Once the phone call has been recorded and uploaded we create a muffled effect as if the characters are talking in fear of being heard talking or of the phone call being tapped. Throughtout the conversation there will be white credits of the actors on screen fading in and out, as to comply with the stereotypical mysterious thriller genre. As the conversation reaches its peak and the dirty gossip is spoken the title will appear on screen. This title will not be big as to not make the product look over the top or silly. It will fade in as the character says the word 'framed' (script to be detailed at a later date). Therefore we are creating continuity. The phone call will end abruptly and will be left with the dial tone, as music is slowly merged in.

The transition between phone call and media collage
This tranisition is extremely important as to grab the audience's attention and engage them with the content on screen. As the phone call finishes the dial tone will kick in and then the music will merge with this. The black screen will not be changed and the media such as photos and newspaper reports and video clips will fall on to the screen, creating quality continuity and a smooth unheard of transition in the student world. Not having any cuts in our title sequence will be easy to achieve but have a very professional effect on the audience.

More about mise-en-scene later.

Prop List

Our filming has been planned so it just covers the specifications required to get top grades, we don't want to elaborate in fear of making the final product look cheap and taccy. Don't threat however, we will satisfy an A grade with other elements of our title sequence. The props we will require are simply and easy to find.
  • Firstly we will need Ollie's HD camera to film, we have chosen to use this camera rather than a Media Department supplied camera because 1.It is a better quality and make a film smoother and less pixelated in the final cut. 2. We will not have any restrictions on when we can film and our out of college filming won't be rushed. This is all subject to whether the camera is compatable with the Mac's we shall use for editing. Although this technically isnt a prop I thought it would be a good idea to include it in the list as it will spell out to you, as the marker, intricate details of our plan.
  • Another piece of equipment we will be bringing from home is my digital camera, we would prefer to use a home camera because it would allow us to take it home and upload the photos to email and then send them in to our macs at colleege. It will minimise stages in which we take and upload photos ultimately cutting time and meaning we can get other things done.
  • The first prop we will need for actual filming is a microphone. In the scene where there is a news report the reporter will require a microphone to speak in to to make the scene look realistic. I am pondering on whether to give the actor, who is yet to be identified, a piece of A4 paper so it appears that the event is so recent he is first on scene and hasn't had time to revise what he is planning to say. I can supply a microphone from home which may be able to plug in to Oli's camera meaning the report will truly sound realistic. If we can't find a suitable microphone from home we will ask around college.
  • Other props come under the other post detailing costumes.

The titles that will be included in our sequence

We intend to include titles and the beginning of our opening, to introduce the people involved with the making of this sequence. The titles will appear as the first section of the sequence starts, dissolving onto the black background and then dissolving out aswell. The titles will consist of all the different jobs that helped to make the film, which include: Production company, Actors in the film, editors, sound producers and director of the sequence. The titles are intended to appear in that order listed above, which will come in one after the other.
The names of the people involved are intended to appear underneath the titles, except from the actors their names will just appear with no title. Researching into different opening sequences, the majority of them have their titles at the beginning with parts or their narrative in the background, with the titles flowing continuously.
I found this by looking at the website : , which had examples such as Sherlock Holmes, that used newspapers and articles to add effect to their titles. Also i saw an example of the film Snake Eyes, which used actual footage of the film, not using a separate scene to show the titles. We decided to use the method of using a separate scene for out title sequence, to keep the effect of mystery and suspense as we don't want to reveal much of the narrative of what could be the film itself, as a real production most probably wouldn't do.

Pitch Feedback from Andrea

Your idea is really good and an original approach in the context of this project. I think it is really important that you script the conversation that you hear at the beginning.
Also you need to consider what you are going to do to make the news reports look good. We can work together to do some test footage to use for the news casts. We could use colour mattes and scrolling text as a mock news ticker for example.
You also need to consider how you are going to create the other objects such as the newspaper reports.

Great work so far.

Research other similar films

Our opening is sub genre; crime thriller, and as there is little examples which explore crime thriller, our ideas are hard to base on examples as crime often ends pushing into horror thriller.
See below examples which are similar to ours and similar to our sub genre.

Malcolm X uses the idea that we wish to use. The phone call will be backed by a black screen/still picture where credits come in. This enables the audience to concentrate on the phone conversation. This then cuts to music with action. This is similar to how Malcolm X is narrating while it cuts to action.

Cleaner has a opening which uses the villain as the narrator, who states grim things in crime scenes. The opening is set with dark lighting and low angle mysterious shots but is lightened by Samuel L Jackson's voice. The opening is also set with contrapuntal music which lightens the dark setting.

Things to bare in mind:
  • Possible contrapuntal music
  • Dark setting
  • Little action during part we want audience to concentrate on.
  • Narrator telling story when action is being played.
  • Mise en scene - Lighting, dark gloomy to put across the dull mood. - Costume, for example suit for news correspondent. - Sound i.e contrapuntal or dark
  • Be careful not to make opening move to horror.
  • verity of camera angles/shots which put across the darkness.
  • use transitions which wont make it look tacky, i.e no dissolves. possible mainly fade in/out
  • alter the news broadcast to have strip at bottom

Blog advice from Andrea

Your blog is designed to evidence the research and planning you have done before you start filming your thriller.
A blog in the 'excellent' category could include some of the following detail:

1. Analysis of student thriller
2. More than one detailed analysis of real thriller openings
3. Practise soundtrack for your thriller
4. Practise soundtrack for Taking Lives intro
5. Production company logo
6. Definition of thriller, outline of different sub-genres and hybrids
7. Analysis of examples of political, psychological, action thriller and crime thriller
8. Initial ideas post
9. Final idea post - for pitch
10. Influences and the thriller generic conventions you intend to explore
11. Mood board
12. Research into other films of similar sub-genres
13. Props list - with illustrations
14. Details of costumes - with illustrations
15. Location report - where you intend to film, if it is a public place then you need to consider the logistics of filming there. If it is private property you must seek permission from the owner.
16. Complete shot list
17. Completed storyboard
18. Test footage with a full explanation as to the technique you were testing and how successful the test was.
19. Details of when you intend to film (dates, times and places), who is responsible for bringing what props etc, what actors are needed and who is in charge of ensuring the actors are informed of times and locations.
20. Practise titles, consider the job titles and the names you wish to include. Do some research into titles. Look at Saul Bass as an industry expert in title sequences.

Wednesday, 27 January 2010

the check list.

  • tick each bullet point of as we do it. boys, when you read this if there is anything wrong stick it in at the bottom and we will rectify it next lesson. this plan is extremely detailed because it lists every single thing we need to do, meaning that when it comes to doing it we can literally just check of a list
  • We are going to split our opening sequence into three parts: the phone conversation and the collage of information about the murder and the music
  • the phone conversation
  • script a phone conversation, make it around 30 seconds long, start with a ring tone, ring twice, pick up talk for 25 seconds then the dead phone line as one person cuts off. DONE
  • record the phone conversation, then upload to mac.
  • when uploaded onto the final cut put the conversation on top of a black screen, experiment with using credits above the call, all credits fade in and out as it is a mysterious thriller, no definite sharp movements
  • transition - as the phone beeps for 5 seconds as the other person has hung up quiet music will move in and take over from the sound of the phone
  • Without a change of background (the black background stays there adding continuity) the media starts to fly in.
Getting the photos and manipulating a collage
  • we will use my camera (callums) to take photos of the location... the mitre, lots of photos around the 'crime scene' use somewhere that doesnt have people inside (obviously not an active crimescene) i will upload these to my home computer and send them in to school where we will upload to photoshop and edit these to make them darker and more brownish (as though they belong to a newspaper) finally upload to finalcut
  • Make newspaper reports (use real newspaper titles so we can mirror the newspaper saves inventing a whole template ourselves), front page accounts of the murder, and subtitle will detail the accused, someone in power, a minister etc. make these at home , 1 each, then make the screen full screen, take a screen print, and send in to school. upload these to photoshop then later put in to final cut.
  • Use oli's sony HD camera to film two scenes: (firstly chek compatibility with media crew)
  • the first is a newspaper report from the crime scene, use someone in a suit that looks mature. script his 15 second shot he will show the crime scene give basic background info... 'we have no confirmed information on what went on the house , we do know however a murder took place throughout the night of the 24th'... (along them lines) he will say who died and the witness that saw someone leaving the building. the camera angle will be held steady by one of us just as a film crew would at a crime scene. upload this short simple precise clip to final cut and attempt to layer 'bbc news' and 'date and time' to the shot to create the look of a proper bbc news report... use andrea to help with this.
  • the second clip that needs filming is that of the action shot. this clip will be around 15 seconds (the reason for having 2 short bursts is because they are merely film clips as part of a bigger collage, we need to keep changing the media to keep the audience on their toes, the first long bit of filming will be the start of the actual film, that is what distinguishes the title sequence from film) the clip will be of a creepy man, preferably in dark clothes... keeping with the thriller mise en scene stereotypes and possibly a big coat. he will step out of a door of a house, look straight down the lens of the camera and walk away pulling on a hat or pulling his coat closed, looking secretive. by adding in this secondary scene it allows us to fit in with the criteria of 'video' by having different angles and distances. the framing will consist of the crime scene in the background for the news report and the a wierd back passage for the secondary clip)
  • by not including any media that the public would not see normally (the murder weapon, the crime scene with the chalk around the body etc) the audience will have the exact view as they would if it happened in real life, and things will slowly be revealed to them through the actual film.

the music

  • the music will exist in the background and will start quietly from the phone conversation and get louder and louder ending with an orchestrated score. the production of the music will be done after filming and take around 1-2 lessons as another person edits the clips.

the editing

  • once we have everything placed in order on final cut we will then get down to intricate details, layering the media (photos and videos) on top of each other to creat a collage effect and then tying that in with the phone conversation.
  • finally we will layer the music
  • this will hopefully be completed by the first draft deadline, andrea will then check the project and give us room for improvement.

if we get time we will create our film company logo in lesson rather than outside of lesson

if this goes to plan we will be left with a quality project boys...

Music note - We need to make sure music is not a last minute thing as music plays a big role in increasing suspense and tention, portraying feelings of the actor to the audience. ensure music fits to the scene, if neccesary. #

Possible narration idea - framed guy narrating, only suggestion.

ensure the tranitions are not tacky!

video criteria

The basics to include in our opening:
  • Holding a shot steady
  • Framing a shot
  • using a variety of shot distances
  • shooting material to the task set
  • selecting mise en scene including: colour, figure, lighting, objects and setting
  • editing so that meaning is apparent to the viewer
  • using varied shot transitions and other effects.
  • using sound with images and editing it appropriately
  • using titles appropriately

Monday, 25 January 2010

Idea for thriller opening sequence

I brainstormed a few ideas at home and asked around my family to what they thought. This is my most appreciated peice:

The film opens with a black background and a muffled phone conversation. The conversation details the plan of framing someone for a murder, but at the same time not giving too much of the story away. I have chosen to keep the blackground plain black so that the audience isnt distracted and can fully focus on the conversation. I believe the audience will appreciate such editing as they are mature enough to understand when to listen and don't need pictures or video to keep them occupied. as the conversation comes to an end a orchestrated score will build. Pictures will be thrown around the screen on top of each other such as newspaper reports, pictures and video clips of the crime.

Over this the credits will be displayed using different transitions such as push slides and dissolve.

Pitch - Mood Board

This mood board shows the basis of what will be included in our title sequence. For a more detailed analysis and explanation check our previous blog post titled 'Thriller Pitch'.

production logo practise

We chose 3 specific layers to create our logo, using photoshop. we based our influences on such institutions for example universal studios, cpt productions and Warner Brothers productions.
Then we imported the logo into final cut, and added a fade animation to put across a professional institutional logo.

practise soundtrack

This is the a practise soundtrack we made for the opening sequence to: Taking Lives.
We used the application Garageband to produce our soundtrack, and based the sounds on the film. For example using certain music types to influence a mood to the viewer.

Thriller Pitch

As group T1-29 we have pondered over different opening sequences for our Thriller project. The chosen genre is a 'Crime Thriller'. The essence of crime thriller is a hybrid type of both crime films and thrillers that offers a suspenseful account of a successful or failed crime or crimes. These films often focus on the criminal(s) rather than a policeman. Crime thrillers usually emphasize action over psychological aspects. Central topics of these films include murders, robberies, chases, shootouts, and double-crosses are central ingredients. However, because we are only creating an opening sequence to the film our project will not include all of the listed conventions.

So, our title sequence will begin a phone conversation, shadowed by nothing but a black screen. As the conversation evolves the two characters will introduce the two antagonists who plan to frame the protagonist. Such conversations can be seen in the 'Intro' to 50 Cent's album 'The Massacre'. At the end of the conversation the phone will go cut out and the audience will be left with the stereotypical background 'fuzz' of an unhooked phone. I like the idea of the black screen with a phone conversation as the lack of pictures will mean the audience are fully focused on the phone conversation rather than other material. Due to the audience being 15+ they will be taken in by the phone conversation and won't need pictures or videos to keep them occupied, as younger children would. An orchestrated score will climax after a slow build up, merged from the fuzz of the unhooked phone. Pictures will then bombard the screen dictating the crime that has happened. Pictures will include newspaper reports, pictures of the characters, video reports off journalists at the 'crime scene' etc.

We have chosen this title sequence because in to many past projects students have tried to hard to create a thriller with assets not up to standard leaving the finished project looking tacky and cheap. In our project the majority of work will be done on the Mac's meaning the film won't be shaky and the pictures will fall into shot precise and accurate (as it is controlled by the Mac). We realised doing to much leaves the project looking awful in our 'Children's film' project. We will only need one actor - if we choose to include a journalists report of the incident. This will probably be me, Callum or it could be Ollie or Luke, depending on who would rather film than act. The location will exist on the computer and, if needed we will have one location outside the so called 'crime scene'. This shot will be very easy to film as we will use a tripod and the shot will be stationary - cutting out all shakiness and making the scene simply but effective and successful. The most prominant effect used in the title sequence will be that of pictures giving the audience outline of the crime committed and characters in the film. Still pictures won't give much away and the accompanying music will add an element of mystery. To capture these pictures we will use a decent camera and take shots of the crime scene, the location (centre of cambridge), and some characters - things that will exist in the film. Some of our photos will come from the internet and others will be made ourselves, like the newspaper reports. These pictures and video clips will fall on to the screen, on top of each other to make a sort of collage but each photo landing on top of the other. The final photo will be that of the name of the film. A possible idea for the title is that of an existing name, so the picture can be a building with the name on it rather than a self processed name on Final Cut or Photoshop. The credits will run while the photos are being shown and will begin in the phone conversation.

Our title sequence will finish with the pictures fading out and the music dying down, leaving the rest of the film up to the director.

Sunday, 24 January 2010


We have alreadly thought of the possiblities of thriller sub-genre, we are going to do, between political thriller, crime thriller and psychological thriller.
We decided this because the openings of these sub-genres for exaple 1408, Malcom X and One missed call, all show moderatly simple, yet successful openings. Over complicating an opening without hollywood equitment, will make the opening look tachy.
I came up with a possibility of doing a rooftop chase using free running. This was inspired by The Bourne trilogy, a psychological thriller which uses forgotton identity/amnesia, the main thriller convention, where the openings cut straight into action, which seems to be succseesful.
advantage: can turn out to be a successful piece due to examples.
diadvantage: can be extreamly hard to present, due to lack of equitment, possibly over-complicating the opening.

"Why do thrillers thrive?"

Task: read article; "why do thrillers thrive?" and sumerise in bulletpoints why thrillers are succeessful and enjoyed by audiences linking reason back to the quote.

  • The article claims we go to the pictures as we see exciting life, 'reflected on the screen'.
  • It states that because we 'don't experience' exciting lives, we 'must have these shake ups' of 'emotional disterbances' to be able to feel empathy - putting yourself in the actors shoes, imagining that you are playing the role, and making dicitions possibly what the actor may not do.
  • Because these experiences are too dangerous, we experience 'them artificially, where a screen is the best medium for this'.
  • As we sit in our 'armchair' feeling the empathy of the protagonist, we subconciously spot danger and often feel tense through the 'stuggle and turmoil' of the protagonist which is a main attraction for the thriller audience and mainly why people enjoy thrillers so much; the need to feel tense and be made to jump.
  • Although we, as the audience feel tense subconciously, we also, subconciously know that there is the limit of danger that is enclosed withing the 16:9 screen. 'let me illustrate exibition slideshow' showed two collums begin to fall over actors, and 'just before it reached them, it hung in suspense' where the audience became restless, as the danger was real, the 'security was undermined', the audience felt uncomfortable about the safty of the actors.
  • finnally, thrillers thrive due to the audience being able to relate to the actors, for example; people know that the main plot is that heroes always persevere and win over the villains, however, even still knowing this we represse that thought and concerntraight on the safety of the hero and development of the hero in the plot.

Wednesday, 20 January 2010

Analysis of 'Empire of Dirt'

'Empire of Dirt' is an opening sequence created for a groups Media Studies Thriller Project. Out of all the attempts I have seen this has been the best one for a number of reasons. The first and major reason is that of over exaggeration. Over exaggerating the plot line is a regular occurance for directors as they believe the 'more that is happening, the better their grade will be.' However, by giving away to much of your plot line by, for example, having a rooftop chase scene or a kidnap and then the result: it transforms what was supposed to be a title sequence into a trailer. This is not the only problem, many groups try to hard and because they are attempting to re-enact something from Hollywood movies the result is taccy and messy because they don't have the appropriate skills or equipment. This is the reason I enjoyed the opening sequence to 'Empire of Dirt'. They gave little away by having the chain scene with appropriate music in background and the most they gave away was of a gagged person rocking. The blurred writing and the fast moving clips meant the viewer was disorientated in their thinking and the plot line remained a mystery.

A classic way to start a thriller film is with a black screen and someone talking. It could give a sinister effect or an innocent effect. Either way if the director pulls it of it can complement the film greatly, again, because of the mystery it creates. As someone reads to you it is up to your animation to make a picture. Even if the narrator isn't attempting to create a picture your creative side will automatically pull together what they are saying and 'think' of something.

Although the opening sequence was simply they pulled it of with effective decision making and ordering of clips, which would lead me to giving this attempt an A.

Why Do Thrillers Thrive?

We go to the cinema to watch documents of our lives, things we experience ourselves. These can be ones thqat we would never have the chance of experiencing personally or frequent occurunces with a difference... a 'Thrill'. People yurn for thrills because the world in which we live in is so that we rarely experience a shock or unexpected event. Therefore we get these kicks artificially, 'through a window' at the cinema. As we sit in our seats feeling secure it allows us as the audience to become the character, usually the protagonist, who is in peril. Cinemas are so popular, not only with thrillers, becuase our armchairs give us a sense of security, which allows us to engage in the film. Without this security we wouldn't be able to become the character and interact with the plot line. You would think this would mean that the audience were seeking truly seeking thrills in their day to day lives, however this is not the case, show in 'the exhibition slideshow,' with use of an unexpected falling pillar. So even when good editing manipulates the mind of the viewer in to thinking there is a danger the link between character and viewer will be so strong they will truly believe they are in peril. Such manipulation techniques would be to show a shot of the protagonist falling into shark infested waters. Showing the character swim frantically to the edge, but get dragged back in. Although you may not see the shark and the character together at the same time the urge to believe what we are seeing is so strong that we truly believe it is happening. I myself no that when a connection between the protagonist and I is so strong I truly believe they are in immediate peril.

So, thrillers thrive because of the demand of the audience. The public demand for thrillers to make them jump, keep them thinking but most of all add some suspense into their lives.

Monday, 18 January 2010

thriller 08

The opening uses the stereotype of the damsel in distress with blonde hair and blue eyes, who is vulnerable to the killer with the mask. the lighting is predominantly dark to create a dull, scary atmosphere. suspense is built when the killer follows the vulnerable girl into the bathroom leaving the audience on the edge of their seat. The location also builds suspense due to the convention of people believing they are safe in their home, only to be fooled. These conventions are what make this thriller opening successful.

LongRoad Film Thriller Conventions

The first we are analysing for thriller conventions is 'Stolen' by P1-02. The short opening sequence is set in a dark room with a gagged girl tied up.
Mise en Scene is that of a thriller due to the shadowy background and tense music. The darkness gives a fear of the unknown that thriller audiences love to see. With most thrillers the location is an abandoned place as seen in this opening sequence. Although this is obviously only a school classroom the torn up material and candlelight give the impression of an abandoned building. The damsel in distress idea is shown with the tied up girl, a key convention of thriller.
We believe that this opening sequence is a successful one as it demonstrates key features of Thriller films. One problem that could be exampled however is that the content of the opening sequence is high and could be a give away of the plot line.

Thursday, 14 January 2010

1408 - the thriller conventions

the film 1408 was written in 2007 and the opening sequence gives us a good indication that it is indeed a thriller.

as he drives in the car he is surrounded by the dark forest and it rains with lighting this mise en scene is classic thriller because it immediately alerts the audience that it will be dark and possibly scary.
The location; a quite 'off track' hotel, makes the atmosphere dark/sinister.
The eiree dim lighting and atmosphere helps build suspense; the audience expect danger

Wednesday, 13 January 2010

Vertigo - Thriller Conventions

Vertigo uses:
suspense - When the cop in the suit was looking down the suspense built as the audience feels scared for him.
fears and flaws,
objectification of women,
damsel in distress


Shooting Deadline - End of lesson Wednesday 24th February
Rough Cut Deadline - End of lesson Monday 1st March
Final Cut Deadline - End of lesson Monday 8th March
Draft of Evaluation Interim - 15th March
Final Evaluation - 9am March 22nd

Thriller Conventions

Music - Sound - Silence
Edge of Seat

Complex Narratives
Non Linear/Linear - Non Linear doesn't tie in with the traditional 'nuclear' film
Speeding up or Slowing down time
Different Perspectives - Characters

Fear of The Unknown

Protagonist - In Danger (Protagonist is Good Guy, Antagonist is Bad Guy)
Flawed Hero - Usually title of the film
Fear/Flaw which is exploited by villain

Doppelganger - Someone with two identical identities
Stolen/Mistaken Identity
No Identity/Amnesia - Bourne Trilogy

Abondoned Building
Familiar Places - False Sense of Security

Enigma - A puzzle of mysery that is resolved at the end
Web of Intrigue - Draws you in
Revealed Narrative Closure/Narrative Closure

Film Noir/Neo Noir - Neo Noir = Sin City

Damsel in Distress

Objectification of Women - Use of camera work and clothes (Vulnerable)
Voyeurism - Pleasure of Looking

Thursday, 7 January 2010

Monday, 4 January 2010

Key Terms

Establishing shot.
In film and television, an establishing shot sets up, or "establishes", a scene's setting and/or its participants. Typically it is a shot at the beginning (or, occasionally, end) of a scene indicating where, and sometimes when, the remainder of the scene takes place. A good example of establishing shot is
Close Up.
A close up is a zoomed in shot of a person or object. A good example of a close up is
Match On Action.
Is cutting during action to another angle. A good example of match on action is in this trailer for the bourne identity.
Reaction Shot.
A reaction shot is a close up of an emotional reaction from a character.
Long Shot.
A long shot is exactly what is says on the tin... a long shot of the characters. A good example of this is in
Over The Shoulder.
An over the shoulder shot is one from the point of view of a shoulder, usually looking at another character in a conversation. A good example of this is in the clip

Tuesday, 15 December 2009