Monday, 26 March 2012

Inital Reactions.

I have done the surveys, it's just going to take me an age to actually input all the information. So, I'll give you a brief overview of the results:
 Here is a picture to prove I actually did do them, and didn't make up results.
Right, so basically the main age group that answered was 15-25. The most popular film genres were horror and action. The majority of the people liked the idea of rituals in films, although there were a couple that were put off by it because it kind of disturbed them. The majority of people liked the pitch of our idea, but most of them were on the condition that it was done well. One person didn't like the idea, because they wanted to be awkward  they really, really didn't like rituals in films.

Sunday, 25 March 2012

Coursework Update.



We have decided to replace the conversation with Hannah and Jess with a shorter argument between the two of them, and then a dream where Jess feels all guilty and stuff. But a weird dream like, abstract and all that. We thought that would be more dramatic and interesting than their conversation that's in the first draft, plus it gives more of an insight into Jess's character. We went out today and filmed everything that we need. Because all of the images in the dream have some form of meaning, and aren't just random to fill time, I thought I'd describe what they mean. The pictures aren't in order because blogspot hates me.

I have a feeling this is going to be a long post.

 We included two memory shots in our dream sequence. There is this one, the long shot of Jess and me on the log and the mid shot of Jess and me playing around with a guitar. Both of these shots have high key lighting and are highly saturated so that it is clear to the audience that it is not happening in the time of the film, and that it is part of a memory or dream. These two shots give some context to the opening, because it shows that my character and Jess's were friends and spent a lot of time together, making her killing my character more dramatic.

 The two shots above and below depict a well and Esther standing by the same well. The inspiration for the well came from The Ring, although the use of a well in our opening holds a different meaning. It represents Jess being lost or trapped by Esther, like being trapped in a well. It also shows there's more to what is happening than meets the eye, because you can only see the top part of the well and not the part that goes underground. The intercut shots of Esther represent that she has control over Jess, and is the one keeping her trapped at the bottom of her metaphorical well.

 Welcome to the inside of Jess's mind. Although they may be hard to make out, the plants in the shot are stinging nettles and other sharp, thorny looking plants, representing that Jess's mind is being taken over by weeds. The lighting is quite bright, although there are some shadows, which were used to represent the darkness that is overtaking Jess's mind. The arch represents the exit to Jess's mind, and in another shot, Esther is standing in front of it, blocking Jess's exit, showing that Esther is controlling her.

 This shot shows Jess's face and then pans down to show bloody hands, representing that Jess feels she had my character's blood on her hands. Which she does. Because she killed her.

 There are a lot of nature shots in our dream sequence. We chose a park location for the majority of our clips, because nature traditionally is used to represent life and friendship and beauty etc, which probably stems from the Bible or something, I don't know, but these are key themes to our film. The idea that Jess and my character's friendship was good is represented by the high key lighting of the trees, but nature dies, as did their friendship. Well, their friendship didn't die, I did, but you know what I mean. We have it quite near the beginning, because we use more positive clips in the beginning of the dream because then the bad clips reflect that things are going badly for Jess and that Esther's popping up everywhere, even in her dreams.

 I really like these clips. There's two of them, and they show Esther and Jess mimicking each other. The low key lighting and stop motion blur effect represent Hannah making things unclear for Jess, and fogging up her brain. It also shows Esther control Jess, like puppet and master. The inspiration for this clip actually came from mine and Hannah's drama GCSE. In Hannah's play, there was a scene where a girl playing Ian Brady was standing on a chair over our friend Livvy, who was playing Myra Hindley, and was manipulating imaginary strings over Livvy to make her move like a puppet, whilst the others in the group held up boards. It was so effective, and the music they used was so good and argh okay I'm going to stop fangirling now. But anyway, that was our inspiration for this clip.

 Butterflies traditionally signify beauty and innocence and freedom, so we thought it fitting that we show one in our dream sequence, to represent Jess's innocence flying away. It also shows that Jess realises the freedom in her mind is slipping away, and that she is a prisoner to her own mind.

This wall is crumbling, which represents the walls of Jess's mind crumbling around her. There's a blurry effect on it to give the same effect as the scene with Esther and Jess mimicking each other.

There are other clips, but their meanings are more obvious, such as a DANGER sign.

Tuesday, 20 March 2012

Our first draft is finished!

Today we finished our first draft! We recorded the music and put that onto our timeline, which was all we really needed to do! It's up on our YouTube channel: (where you can also find all the filming diaries etc.)

Tuesday, 13 March 2012

I feel I haven't made a coursework related post in a while, and seeing as we edited today, I thought I could remedy this. Today has been a very good day, editing wise, and our first draft is more or less complete. The only thing it needs (that we can think of) at the moment is the music, which I have finished, just not recorded. It's taken me so long, but I'm out of practise and it's such tedious work that my patience runs out very quickly with it! But now that it's finished, and my keyboard can stop fearing for its life, all we need to do is get it recorded (which may not be such a simple task, I'm a perfectionist and I'll do it 8935349674783684 times before I think it's right...) and put onto the timeline.

We also made a couple of changes to our clips. We realised that the transition between the door clip and the horse clip was too rough, but no transition would do, so we swapped it round for the clip with the pentagram. There was also another reason for this. Jess is in first and second clip of her scene, but not in the pentagram clip, so we thought we'd swap them over to make more sense.

Friday, 9 March 2012

I just changed my blog background. It now reminds me of the front cover of American Psycho.
This pleases me greatly.

I've started drawing up a score for our music, because it's easier for me to play it when it's written down in this format, rather than having the notes written in front of me in letter form. Bear in mind that I haven't had to write/read sheet music for a few years, so there may be a couple of technical mistakes in the technical stuff at the very beginning. I'll finish the rest of it later, because drawing out a score is very intricate work and I just haven't got the patience to do the rest. I'd probably end up losing my temper and ripping it to shreds, so I thought I'd quit whilst I was ahead!

Thursday, 8 March 2012

When we were doing that 'Why So Serious?' research and homework, I started looking at The Dark Knight Rises marketing campaign (which has turned into a non-thing really, it started up but then fizzled into nothing), and it made me realise how much The Dark Knight really did capitalise on Heath Ledger's death, and it really, really, really annoyed me and nobody wanted to listen to me rage about this, so I'm going to rage about it here (whilst making it media-related by adding research and vaguely making it a general research into that trilogy of films).

Right, so if you look at the trailers for all three of the films: (Batman Begins) (The Dark Knight) (The Dark Knight Rises)

The focus of the first trailer is, obviousy, Batman. This is so that it can establish that Christian Bale (I don't care how much of a diva he is, I love him) is Batman and the background story. The Scarecrow and Ra's al Ghul, the villains of the film, are not really the main focuses of the trailer, and are shown briefly. It's not even explicitly shown that Ra's is a villain. This also true of the third trailer. The main focus of this one is Bruce Wayne's journey, and makes a huge deal about it being the end of the series. Bane is only shown for like two seconds, and Selina Kyle isn't shown at all. But, then you look at the second trailer (for The Dark Knight), and the villain/Batman ratio is evened out somewhat. This trailer features the main villain far more prominently, and the whole trailer is really about him. The Joker is definitely the selling point of the trailer. This can also be seen in the posters. I won't post them here, as it'll take up too much space, but the posters for the first and third film more prominently feature Batman, with the villain not really getting his/her own poster. But, for the second film, The Joker practically dominates the posters, and all the other merchandise. The Joker was absolutely EVERYWHERE just before the film came out; on the TV, on posters, on merchandise, people were quoting him, and it was just insane. But did this happen for any of the other villains? No. It did not. The Joker was made so big by the marketing of the film that he has two memes in his honour: 'why so serious?' and 'it's simple: we kill the ____'.

Now I know that The Joker is the best character ever, but why else would they do this?


I will never not be angry at how Warner Brothers capitalised on Heath Ledger's death to sell their film. His death, as is public knowledge, was the result of a mental breakdown due to preparing for his role in the film. As I said in a powerpoint somewhere down there, a scandal like that can make or break a film. Warner Brothers subtly changed their marketing to make sure his death wouldn't prevent people from seeing the film, but would in fact make people more interested in seeing it. Before he died, their marketing was not actually focused on The Joker, as the 'Why So Serious?' campaign was not originally intended to focus so much on him, but was changed after. They selfishly used the loss of a human life to make money, and it makes me sick. It's actually kind of ironic how they subtly forced his death upon everyone to sell tickets, seeing as Heath Ledger wasn't really a guy to bask in the limelight and share his personal life with everybody. And since when is it right to reduce a human life down to nothing more than selling tickets?



Today, our coursework actually began to look like it should. We finally put down all our clips onto the timeline, which meant that we could put on the credits. We picked out our font and I think it looks pretty good to be honest! We also fixed the problem we had with our last attempt at uploading our coursework so far. It turns out, there were gaps in our timeline where we hadn't put the clips properly together, but we discovered this and then fixed it. Hopefully. Here it is.

Obviously, there are still things that need to be smoothed over, like some of the transitions and the length of the pentagram clip I think needs to be longer, and the music. The music will be easier to do now that we have all the clips down, so I'll get onto that this weekend and then it'll all be good!

Productive day has been productive.

Wednesday, 7 March 2012

I tried to use Prezi today, but it wouldn't save anything and told me my Firewall was doing bad things. I don't know what my Firewall is doing and why it is bad, but I have given up on Prezi, because it clearly doesn't like me.
Marketing: 'Why So Serious?'
View more PowerPoint from Sarah Byard

Here is my write up of the 'Why So Serious?' campaign, in comparison to the campaign on Friendster which Anchorman did. I do realise that I rant a bit about Warner Brothers using Heath Ledger, but I tried to keep it on topic!

Thursday, 1 March 2012

After Tuesday's editing session (in which we put down most of our other clips, added the voiceover and production titles), we were feeling pretty good about our coursework piece so far, so we decided to put what we had so far on our YouTube channel (CatsInSpace2011). Unfortunately, God has struck us down once again for using Satanism in our piece, and made the video not work. I didn't take it down, because now I get to write a blog post about how YouTube sucks, yay! I probably shouldn't bash a Google owned website on another Google owned website, but oh well. So yes, to sum up: Google sucks, and our film is coming along nicely.