Tuesday, 27 December 2011

What do you need to establish environment?
We have decided to use a crane shot of the pentagram to establish the environment in which the ritual is performed. We decided to do this to immediately set the tone for that particular scene. For the scene with the death, we decided to begin it with a long shot, showing the character on the sofa, with pretty much the whole room in view. This is to establish the setting, and to establish normality, in contrast to the other scene.

When do you show establishing information?
We show it within the first to clips. The scene with the death is spliced (once again, not sure if that's the word, might not be. It's a nice word, though, isn't it?) in between shots of the ritual, so we establish setting, tone and two characters straight away.

When do characters move and how do you show it?
The character who dies gets up off the sofa and walks into the kitchen. We shot this in a variety of ways, such as a tracking shot and from different angles. We will decide which one to use when it comes to editing, based on which one looks better. The character performing the ritual doesn't move very much, she just leans to get the book.

Whose POV is this from?
It's not from a person's point of view. It's just a camera watching things happen, like a stalker.

What are the significant eyelines and when do they change?
The girl performing the ritual's eyeline is constantly down, looking at her book. It doesn't change, I don't think. The girl who dies has an eratic eyeline, going everywhere, because she's not focusing on anything in particular, until she dies. Then her eyes are looking just off-camera, but at one point she looks directly at the camera, to break the fourth wall and freak he audience out.

When/why does the camera move?
It moves a lot in the death scene, cutting to different angles. It also tracks the girl who is going to die, to allow enough time for credits and to get the character from the living room to the kitchen. There is no real camera movement in the ritual scene.

What kind of coverage do you need?
We filmed the death scene from a lot of different angles, so that we could choose from a variety of shots to use to make it seem more interesting. The movement from living room to kitchen only got filmed a couple of times, because it's not as significant. The ritual will also be filmed from different angles, to also give a lot of space for editing.

General information on the film.

The themes of our film are rituals, death, demons, Satanism (which doesn't help my 'I swear I'm not a Satanist' argument made in previous posts...) and murder. The mood is quite calm at the beginning, but as it progresses, it gets more tense and more dark. The scene with the victim should be filmed indoors, in a house with normal lighting. It should take place early morning/late at night, so the curtains should be drawn and only artificial light should be used. This should give the feeling of normality and casual existence. The ritual scene should ideally take place outside, but practically dictates we need to film it inside, in a darkened space, preferably black. It should be dimly lit, with candles and possibly other, subtle, artificial lighting. This should give the effect of being quite creepy, and unnatural, as that's what rituals should be like. The props used are a rug and a bottle of water for the death scene, which also adds to the normality, and the clothes worn are natural, normal clothing (pyjamas). The props used in the ritual scene are more unnatural: a lot of candles, a bowl, a pentagram (made of paper) and skulls, and the clothing is a dark cloak over dark clothing. This adds to the feel of evil.The character that is killed keeps her phone and not much else around her. The character performing the ritual keeps her bowl, her skulls and her candles around her.

I do not know what colour palette means.

Shooting Schedule.

Our schedule isn't terribly detailed and only lasts a few days, because we only have two sets and two scenes we need to film.

December 22nd: death/blood/carpet scene. 
December 29th: pentagram/ritual scene
January 1st - January 10th: re-filming/corrections as needed.

We hope to finish by January 10th at the latest, so we can get to editing as soon as possible.

I like italics. Italics are cool. But underlines aren't. Underlines are just awkward and pointless and irrelevant. This cool story was brought to you by Sarah Byard. 

EDIT: There has been much more filming since then, and lots more scenes filmed, most we didn't use:
February 15th: Scene involving Jess/Sarah - was not used.
February 16th: Scene involving Hannah/Jess - used in first draft, not second.
March 25th: Dream filming - used.

Roles and Responsibilities

Director: Hannah. This means that Hannah is in charge of what appears on the screen. She positions the people, and is basically in charge on set.
Producer: Sarah.
Editor: Sarah. This means that I am in charge of editing the piece post-filming.
Director of cinematography: Hannah. This is a fancy phrase for cameraman, I've been told.

Lighting: Sarah. This means if the lighting's bad, I have to fix it.
Craft services: Jess.
Make up: Jess. This means she's in charge of everyone's make up.
Costume: Jess. This means she has to sort out the costumes and whatnot.
Prop wrangler: Hannah. Hannah has to go get us props.
Transport manager: Hannah. She also has to take us everywhere.
Cast: Jess, Sarah, Hannah. We have to be in it.
Location manager: Jess. We're using her house, so it made sense.
Continuity editor: Sarah. Love me some continuity, so I'm in charge of making sure it makes sense, flows properly, and nothing is out of place.
Set dresser: Jess. She makes up the set and makes it look good.

Inspiration for our film opening...

As you'd expect from our group, Supernatural had a big influence in what we did. Take a look at this and just look at how great Bobby is you'll see where the inspiration for the pentagram and how the scene should look and feel. Then, there's this, which was an excuse to watch Jensen Ackles and his beautiful face and listen to that beautiful voice inspired our Latin piece that Jess is going to say. We definitely didn't get terrified that we were going to actually summon a demon and so decided to recite an exorcism just in case, no way...

The Rite is also an inspiration, for me at least. Once again, this is about exorcism and not summoning, but it does set a tone which we could try to achieve. 

I love the flashing images and the way nothing stays on the screen for too long in the opening credits for Se7en and thought maybe that would look good in our film.

Costumes and Props.

((At some point, I will probably make a master list of every post related to the coursework, but for now, it'll just sit here, because I haven't done them all yet. Also, I'll be updating this post as I get more pictures of costumes/props.))

Is this a prop or not? I'm uncertain. Although we placed it there specifically, so I'm guessing so. This is a rug. It is used for my death. As stated before in an earlier post, we got permission and all that jazz.

I've already written about this as well. It's the cut we used. Once again, did not actually stick a knife in myself, we used wax and fake blood that we made using washing up liquid and food colouring with a little bit of cornflower/cornflour/however you spell it.

This is what I wear to die. It's pyjamas, because I'm meant to be just chilling in my house before I die. I'm just thankful for old Sainsbury's tops that could be covered in blood and nobody would care. Got to love my mother. We covered my top in fake blood, otherwise it would just look weird that I randomly drop to the floor and die.

I've explained all the health and safety involved in this before, so I won't again. This is a pentagram, two skulls and about 50 candles. This is to set the mood for the ritual, as you'd hardly do it in broad daylight around a rainbow.

This is a bottle of water. I carry it from the kitchen and then drop it on the floor as I die.

More set pictures.

This is a set we intend to use for another scene in our film opening. We set it up how it would look when we're done with it, so you can see what we're planning on doing and yell at us if it's wrong.

We originally were going to designate this as the set for the ritual scene; however, this didn't work out because as we were setting it up to take a finished picture of it, we remembered that nature existed and that wind blows out candles pretty easily. Good thing we realised then, otherwise we'd have been buggered for filming. Also, you may notice that the floor is wet. This is another force of nature that would end our filming, so outdoors went out the window (see what I did thur hur hur hur)

This is what it would've looked like. Just for the lols, we left it out there and went back at night (we decided it needed to be dark, so night time was the best thing to do. This also proved to be a task, because we realised that Ralph wouldn't be able to see anything because it would be dark...) to see what it would've looked like. It would have looked awesome and so so creepy, but alas, it was not to be. Maybe God saw what we were doing and decided to put a stop to it.

'Elf and safety. Nice cup of water to extinguish any fires that could occur from the candles. We used a lot of candles, but apparently we're so good with fire that we didn't set anything alight. 

We decided not to let God's disapproval of our film get us down, and moved our location indoors. When we film, I'll probably take another picture, because these two aren't so great. But yeah, this is what it's going to look like. We used two black blankets to cover the floor, and the wall, so it didn't look like a house, because we didn't want it to look like a house (a ritual looks less threatening if it's done by a staircase...). It's black and everything to look dark and mysterious and creepy. When we film it, we'll use more than just candlelight (there's a light up the stairs that will light it properly - I think we tried it out - without making it seem too light). Just fyi, that pentagram took so, so long, as it is made of paper. Cut up paper. Cut up tiny pieces of paper.

'Elf and safety - the candles were not on the blanket, because that is just asking to set the house on fire. They were an appropriate distance away, as blankets are quite flammable. My dad used to be a fireman, so I'm pretty experienced in fire safety, and I'm sure he'll take a look at this picture and let us know anything else we can do to ensure our safety. Don't worry, we won't be setting fire to anything any time soon.

The only problem we might encounter here is lighting and possibly camera angles, as this is also not a very large space. It's big enough, and it's right by the stairs which is great for the crane shot, but we may have to re-locate to a larger space. Probably not though, it's big enough for our purpose (that really doesn't look right, I don't know why. Purpose. You know when a word just doesn't seem right? Hmm. Purpose.)

EDIT: We are now not using the rituals settings. In a video diary, we explain where we are when we filmed that.

Saturday, 24 December 2011

Here are some pictures of our set and prosthetics (prosthetics? I don't know what word I mean. It's probably not that...) for our coursework:
Jess's living room (+Hannah)

Another angle. We couldn't remove the Christmas tree, it was huge.

This is the rug where I die. We gained permission from Jess's mum to use this rug (it was got out of the loft especially so that we could destroy it because they were throwing it away anyway), as it was going to get bloody.

This is the kitchen where I failed to get a bottle of water about 20 times because I couldn't shut the fridge...

This is the kitchen again. 

This is the cut we used in the scene. It's pretty cool. We didn't actually cut me, don't worry. It's special wax that Jess's mum has that make wounds. And that's not real blood. It's washing up liquid (which smells absolutely wonderful, by the way) mixed with food colouring (which we thought was meant to taste like nothing. It did not. We put it on spaghetti and nearly died because it tasted so bad... [For health and safety reasons, I should probably add that we did not literally nearly die. But we slightly wished we had after that. Food colouring is not nice, at all]).

We decided to use the living room and kitchen because it is a normal place where you expect this character to be, as she is just a normal person. The only problem that we really encountered was with the kitchen and knowing which angles to use, because we initially intended for me to get a glass out, but it was too cramped and so I had move further down towards the fridge. Also, we had to deal with the kitchen being around the corner and having to decide whether to do a tracking shot, or whether to let me leave the frame and start another one in the kitchen.

Monday, 19 December 2011

Oh, and, we made a YouTube channel for our group.

Preliminary Exercise

So me and Jess went to HRC today and learned how to become technical geniuses. Here is our preliminary exercise. We just need to convert it again because the quality is kind of poor, but yes. Here it is.

Tuesday, 13 December 2011

Slumdog Millionaire.

I've decided to venture into the world of prezi.com.
I'm not very good with this website. Then again, I'm not very good with any website, or anything to do with computers. However, I hope it is vaguely understandle.

Saturday, 10 December 2011

Chatroom: Some More Questions.

1. What category of British film is it and why?
Chatroom is a category B British film because it has an almost entirely British cast and crew, with the exception of the Japanese director, Hideo Nakata, and the Japanese composer, Kenji Kawai.

2) Find and analyse and explain how the film was marketed in terms of trailers, posters, billboards, media interviews. When were they released and how?

3) How many cinemas was the film shown in in the UK? How many screenings were there? How long was it shown for?
Chatroom was shown in a broad range of cinema chains, such as Cineworld and Odeon. There is no place which states exactly how many cinemas it was shown in, but it was shown across those two chains. From what I remember when it came out, it was only on like one or two screens, and it wasn't on very long. It was also shown at Cannes on the 12th May, 2010, but was not received very well.

Wednesday, 7 December 2011

Digital Screen Network.

The Digital Screen Network is a network created by the UK Film Council and the Arts Council England to help independent films, restored classics, foreign language films and documentaries get into the cinemas.  It does this by equipping cinemas with digital projection technology. This means that film makers can make a digital copy of their film (costing a lot less than to make a print) to give to cinemas, meaning they can make more copies and have more of a chance of their film being seen.
My Week With Marilyn (at Enfield Cineworld):
Wednesday 7th/Thursday 8th December: 12.30, 14.50, 20.10

After Thursday 8th, it's only shown once a day, at 14.40. It's not even on Tuesday 13th.
I'm guessing this film wasn't very good, then.

Thursday, 24 November 2011

I noticed something the other day when I was watching my case study film (Chatroom) and I thought I'd make a post about it. This is probably one of those irrelevant posts that nobody cares about, so feel free to completely disregard it.

I was thinking about that whole category thing for British films, which made me want to watch it again, and I was thinking about which category Chatroom would go into. It's nearly entirely British, but it has a Japanese director, Hideo Nakata. I'm guessing it goes in like B or something like that. But it also got me thinking about the film and how having a director from a different country and culture can influence how the film is made. Chatroom is a very British film; it has a British cast, it uses London as its setting and they film on location and nearly everybody involved was British.

But, there are certain things that reallllllly stand out as being incredibly Japanese-style.

For instance, in this picture, where they're sitting in their newly decorated room, there's a lot of Japanese influence. You can't hear it (obviously, it's a picture...), but the song when they open up their new room is I Left My Heart In Tokyo, and there's all the bunnies and I don't know it just reminds me of those scarily happy Japanese girls that are all jumpy and screamy and stuff (think Battle Royale, that girl on the video, she's scary...)

If you look from 3:35 - 4:00 (be warned, it's kind of graphic and I guess kind of triggering), the part that's cut in between him putting lotion on his scars is really reminiscent of a scene from A Tale of Two Sisters (I'd find it, but I can't remember which part of the film it's in and I don't want to watch the whole film to find it, because that film scares me :')), which is a Japanese film. And just the way it's just harshly cut in. After 4:00, there's a clip of a girl jumping out of a window, but that's not really that Japanese-y, just there's a Japanese girl in it...

If you go from 8:25, you see some scarily peaceful woman sitting in a really eerie room. This is like the epitome of the Japanese influence in this film. The whole clinically white, yet with a blue tint, thing they've got going on pops up all over Japanese films (especially in Ringu, also by Hideo Nakata) and there's always a creepy little girl in it with black hair and a really pale face. The woman in the room is like them, but with short hair. She even has the slow and peaceful voice. I'm not explaining myself very well, but if you like Japanese horror films, you'll know what I mean.


Friday, 11 November 2011

After watching two films and one whole mini-series, I have finally decided to do something productive with my Friday evening. Here is a list of key terms that I will constantly be updating (not forgetting about and then trying to frantically compile a whole year's worth of terms next year, obviously...) as the year goes on.

  • Lighting: high key/low key
  • Costume
  • Props
  • Set/location
  • Charactors/actors
  • Production design
  • Make-up
  • Body movement/gestures
  • Dominance
  • Camera proxemics
  • Colour: dominance/symbolism
  • Diegetic (meant to be in the scene eg. dialogue)
  • Non-diegetic (not meant to be in the scene eg. soundtrack)
  • Pace/tempo
  • Instrumentation
  • Volume
  • Transitions: rapid cut, fade in/out, dissolve, cutting on the action, action match, eyeline match, intercutting
  • 180 degrees rule
  • Rule of thirds
  • Shots: extreme long, long, full, close-up, medium, extreme close-up, wide, weather.
  • Angles: bird's eye view, high angle, eye level shot, low angel, oblique angle, over the shoulder shot, point of view.
  • Camera movement: pan, tilt, dolly or track, crane, steadicam, hand-held, zoom in, reverse zoom, snorricam, zolly (dolly and zoom - zooming in at the same rate as a dolly moving away).
  • Framing
  • Shot/Reverse shot.

Thursday, 10 November 2011

Good day.

Is there anything I really need to know/need to do from today's lesson that I missed due to physiotherapy/cripplingly painful migraine that forced me to sit in a dark silent room for hours and made me want to kill myself?

Tuesday, 8 November 2011


Hello :) So a little while ago, we had to do a collage of things that represented us to demonstrate Ferdinand de Saussure's theory of semiotics. Here is said collage:

  • 1 and 22: So I was unaware that pentagrams are Satanic symbols until the other day, and then I thought back to this and thought 'oh no, they're going to think I'm a devil worshipper' (not that there's anything wrong with that, you know, some people do love them a bit of Satan). I have not accepted Lucifer as my lord and saviour (although I can see his point), honestly, I just really like Supernatural. Which brings us nicely to 2, 16, 26, 17. I literally live and breathe Supernatural, so it seemed only fitting to add some nice pictures of some pretty men from it. I was going to make up some massive thing about how I relate to 2 and Sam/Dean's brother relationship with my own sister, but that'd just be untrue. I just find them attractive.
  • 3 (flowery dress): I wear a lot of flowery dresses, and when people see them they're always like 'oh, Sarah, I saw this dress you'd really like!' and people just associate it with me.
  • 4 and 28 (tickets): I go to gigs and musicals a lot; they're like my favourite places ever to be and I try to go as often as I can.
  • 5: This is my niece, Katie. I put her on here because she means absolutely everything to me and I love her so much. She's the most amazing little girl and I would do anything for her. She's in the middle because she's the most important thing in my life and I will always bend over backwards to see her or to anything for her. 
  • 6 and 29: I'm really into films, and Danny Boyle and Stanley Kubrick are two of my favourite directors ever because their films are just immense.
  • 7: Love me a bit of Kerrang!
  • 8: I'm a massive supporter of gay rights because, well, it would be hypocritical if I weren't. 
  • 9: I constantly listen to my iPod and I love music, so I put them there. You can't see them because of the lighting, but there's also music notes on there because I play instruments and just generally love music. These signify that I am a very musical person and involve myself in music. (I could make another link to my social awkwardness here, but I think we've heard enough about that and I think it's very apparent).
  • 10 and 15: Harry Potter is my childhood. It came out when I was like 3, so I've grown up with it and it symbolises, to me, being young and growing up.
  • 11: This isn't because I'm fat and like cake, honest, this is like one of those weird family quirk things. This is Colin and he's a caterpillar cake (that's actually what it's called, I didn't name it like the sad fat child I was), and every year, my mum would buy me and my sister one on our birthday and now it's tradition that everyone gets a Colin on their birthday. It's weird, I know, but there's my family for you, I guess!
  • 12: This is a train ticket. I get on trains a lot. Especially to London. I really miss those old travelcards. They were only two pounds, and now I have to pay like £7 to get into London, which is just ridiculous and is why I never go there any more /rant.
  • 13: This is the symbol for The Black Parade, an album by My Chemical Romance. They are my favourite band of all time and they were the first gig I ever went to and I just love them.
  • 14: That's the Eleanor Cross memorial thing that sits awkwardly in Waltham Cross, which is where I (unfortunately) live.
  • 18: That's the symbol for Tumblr, where I basically live my life. I guess it also signifies my social awkwardness because, in reality, I can't talk to people I don't know without having a complete mental breakdown, but on there, it's different because I can think for ages about what I'm going to say before I actually say it, so my brain doesn't melt during conversation.
  • 19: You can't read it, but it says Camden Town, and it's off a leaflet they give you up in Camden. I love Camden so much because they just accept anyone up there and it's just mental so I like it. Plus, they do some good Chinese in the market, even if it does give you food poisoning.
This is taking so long.
  •  20: That's a library. I've loved reading ever since I was able to read and my book collection is basically a library because it's so big. I love books. I would marry books if I could, they're so much better than people. I guess this also signifies my social awkwardness, because I'd rather sit at home with my books and read about fictional people, who I like better than real people, than actually go out and have to experience social interaction.
  • 21: That's a place called Potters; it's a leisure resort in Norfolk. Sounds lame, but I go there every year with my dad and Annie. It's just full of memories for me, and I've met some great people there.
  • 23: That's the symbol for Jigsaw, the performing arts school I go to. Love me a bit of performing arts. I used to want to do it for a living, then I realised that I have no talents whatsoever.
  • 24: Shakespeare is just a massive babe.
  • 25: In year 11, I lived in the Starbucks next to my friend's house. It just reminds me of all the good times we had before we started year 12 and now we don't see each other /emotion.
  • 27: Corey Taylor is a flawless human being.
  • 30: A Clockwork Orange - I know that's the film poster, but it's just an amazing book that I love. The film's good, but not as good as the book. I just love it. I tried to learn nadsat once... Didn't go so well.
WE DID IT, GUYS. We got through my totally uninteresting collage about my completely uninteresting self! Succeed. Good day.

Wednesday, 2 November 2011

So I'm not going to be in Media next Thursday.
Everybody's gutted, I know.

Wednesday, 19 October 2011

Ferdinand de Saussure: Semiotics.

This is Ferdinand de Saussure.
Just look at that beautiful moustache.
Hi. Here is some information on the theorist Ferdinand de Saussure, and his theory on semiotics, or signs and signifiers.

Who was Ferdinand de Saussure?

Ferdinand de Saussure was a Swiss man with a very impressive moustache and a hard name to spell. However, that's not all he's known for. He was a linguist and a philosopher who is considered the father of 20th century linguistics. One of his most famous theories was that of semiotics and semiology, which I'll go into more depth in the next part.

What is semiotics?
Semiotics is the study of signs (signs as in symbols and symbolism, if that makes any sense). For example, if you see this image, you immediately think of peace and hippies, because that is a symbol people have come to associate with those things. In semiotics, the physical object that we see is called the signifier, what the signifier implies is what has been signified. Ferdinand Saussure stated that there is no necessary connection between the signifier and what it signifies, which sets him apart from other philosophers, who assumed there must have been some connection. He stated that no words are meaningful; they are all signifiers, which link to the signified meaning in the brain to make the sign. Another example of signs and signifiers would be if you see two taps; one has a red top and one has a blue top. When seeing this, what would you assume? The red one is hot and the blue one is cold. And why is this? Because you see it, you link it with what your brain already knows, and so we assume that these taps follow convention and don't turn the red one on full blast.

It sounds a lot more confusing than it actually is, I'm just extremely bad with words...

Thursday, 15 September 2011

Right, so, I mentioned this film opening in the last blog and I thought I'd let you know a bit more about it. Well, not the film, because we haven't worked that bit out yet, but the other things. Our production company is called Padamoose Productions, any hardcore Supernatural fans will understand why. Jess and I are both massive Supernatural fans, so that's how that one was born. Our studio company is called Gillett Studios, because my best friend is called Thomas Gillett, and his work was on the wall, so inspiration struck. It's pronounced gill-et, not jill-et, like the razor. Pronounce it wrong, and I will get very upset. Also, if you could not question Padamoose, we'll get on fine.

And onto the actual film, it's a psychological thriller.

That's literally all we know right now. We haven't worked out a plot, yet. We're great, I know.

Thursday, 8 September 2011

I'm Sarah and this is my Media blog.
I guess this is where I post about the opening to a film I'm making with Hannah and Jess and other Media relating things.
Or I could post about completely irrelevant subjects, like cake or Supernatural.
Guess you'll just have to wait and see.