Monday, 21 March 2016

Third Draft (Potential Final Draft)

Here is our Third draft for our main task. Below is a list of things that I have changed since the last draft:

  • I have once again decreased the length of the ear ringing noise. It now begins to fade out at roughly 32 seconds. I did this using the exponential fade tool which is found in the 'audio transitions' section
  • At 1:31 I added a film dissolve transition to make the fade into a flashback seem more smooth. The flashback footage is also new to the edit so I added this in too.
  • I wanted to make it obvious to the audience that a flashback was occurring so I added a 'Lumetri Look' to each one. This is a filter that desaturates the shot and makes it more glossy. This therefore helps the audience understand when a flashback is occuring
  • At 2:05 I added a soundbridge. In this case you can hear Jess screaming when Harvey attacks her but it cuts to a close up of Harveys face after the phone call.
  • Finally, I faded the music at the end of the sequence,once again with exponential fade.

Friday, 11 March 2016

Skills Audit

Below is a skills audit I created at the start of the year to show my progress throughout the course. I focused on 10 different skills that I wanted to work on. In some of these skills I have improved massively but there are certainly a few that I need to work on. Within our group I took the lead in the skill of editing and audio. I managed to meet all the deadlines and select appropriate background music for both the Continuity and Main task.

Green= confident
Orange= Fairly confident
Red= not confident at all

Second Draft Main Task

Here is the second draft for our main task 'Through Thick and Thin'. We got lots of feedback from our first draft and I have made some changes after our group looked through it and below are the improvements I have made.

  • Most people who viewed the test screening thought that the 'ear ringing' noise went on for slightly too long at the beginning of our sequence. I took this into account and changed the edit so that the noise begins to fade away at around 40 seconds. I did this using the exponential fade tool.
  • Another piece of feedback we got was that the music came in to suddenly at 56 seconds. So to change this I once again used to exponential fade tool to make the music come in more gradually.
  • The next improvement I made was at 1:22. Unfortunately these 2 shots were very out of focus so I played around with the blur tool in Premiere to make it seem more deliberate and it actually creates quite an eerie atmostphere. Despite this I would still like to do a reshoot.
  • The final change I made was at 1:43. The tilt shot I used showing the church was very shaky and looked unproffessional. However I used the Warp Stabiliser tool which made the shot much smoother and im happy with the result meaning we wont need to reshoot. 

Wednesday, 2 March 2016

'Through Thick and Thin' Age Rating

Our group has decided to rate our movie a 12A. This is due to mild use of blood and violence in the film, seen on Harvey and Jess in many scenes. There is also quite an eerie and scary feel to the sequence which could scare young children. I dont think there is any reason to rate it higher than this because there is no actual violence seen in the film. There also isnt any sexual or drug related content. Having a 12A rating means our target audience has to be over the age of 12 and we should only show it to maturer audiences. I will also add the 12A sign to the beginning of the film.

Changing Harveys Costume

In a previous post I explained what our group wanted Harvey to wear in our sequence.His outfit consisted of a white long sleeve T-shirt with a very loosely done tie. However neither Harvey or any of our group members owned either of those things and unfortunately we left it too late to go out and buy them. This meant we had to quickly think of an alternative outfit for harvey to wear. We decided to go with a dark blue hoodie and jeans. These dark colours still made Harvey look quite menacing but in my opinion he looked a bit too casual and young considering he was playing a man in his 20's. I would have much preferred the original outfit but sometimes you have to compromise and we couldnt afford to delay filming any longer.

Above is what Harveys outfit looked like.

Tuesday, 16 February 2016

First Draft

Here is our first draft for our Main Task. Overall I am really happy with how it looks and feels. I think the shot types are executed well my myself and Mason, The lighting is mostly good throughout and the story is clear even though we are yet to finish filming. However despite this there are still some things I want to improve with the edit:

  • The 'ear ringing' sound that occurs for the 30 seconds of the sequence is too loud and goes on for too long. I can easily lower the volume but I need to work out when the best time to cut the noise is.
  • the scene in which harvey is climbing up using the axe is a lot darker than other shots used. I will have to up the brightness in premiere.
  • Some of the titles have a 3d effect on them and i need to make sure they are at the same tilt or position as the object they are 'written' on.
  • As Harvey moves into the house and the scream goes black, a loud scream is heard. I want to add a muffled effect to this scream so it sounds like its coming from inside the house.
  • Finally the most crucial thing is to make sure we get our flashback filming done.

Saturday, 6 February 2016

Use Of Blood When Filming

In our opening sequence, we wanted the blood to seem authentic and real so we used high quality fake blood that I ordered online. In the first scene Harveys face and hands are covered in blood. We applied it to these places by putting on our fingers and smothering it randomly to give it a more natural look.

This is what Harvey looked like after we applied the fake blood. I was fairly happy with the result as it definitely looked believable and will act as an iconic sign that he has fallen over and injured himself. However it isnt obvious where exactly he has cut himself.

One of the most challenging tasks we faced when filming was getting Jess's head wound to splatter across the floor. We ended up mixing our fake blood with Ketchup to make it look more thick and gruesome. We then used a paintbrush to splatter the blood across the 'carpet' which was infact a duvet cover. The picture on the left shows the end result which I am very happy with.

Friday, 5 February 2016

Audience Theories

Stuart Halls Theory
Hall believes there are three ways in which audiences read media texts:

Dominant reading- This is when the reader fully accepts what they are reading and the audience will read it the way the author wanted them to.

The negotitated reading- the reader partly believes what they are seeing and accepts it to a certain extent but sometimes changes it to more suit their own feelings an interests.

The oppositional reading- the readers social position allows them to reject the reading. This could be due to them not relating to the text or not being interested.

Hypodermic needle theory
This theory suggests that the mass media could influence a very large group of people directly by ‘shooting’ or ‘injecting’ them with appropriate messages designed to trigger a response.
 this theory (a bullet and a needle) suggest a powerful  flow of information from the sender to the receiver. The hypodermic needle model suggests that media messages are injected straight into a passive audience which is immediately influenced by the message. The theory also suggests that the audience are powerless to resist the messages the authors are creating.People end up thinking what they are told because there is no other source of information.

Personally, i believe in Stuart Halls theory as I think that each and every person views media differently. There is no doubt that the media influences everybody but I think some people are influenced far more than others. The argument that violent games like GTA are making young boys more aggressive and dangerous is absurd in my opinion.I play these games almost everyday and I feel no way inclined to go out and cause havoc in my local town. I think someone would have to have previous problems or physcological issues to be influenced so easily by these games.

Tuesday, 2 February 2016

Finding The Right Background Music

After looking on various copyright free websites online I have finally found the perfect track for our piece. I wanted the music to be fairly simplistic and have a folk feel to it and i think this song has both in abundance.  It fits the dark mysterious tone perfectly but will also work with the happy flashback scenes within our title sequence.

Copyright Law/ Royalty free music

What is copyright?
Copyright gives the creators of some types of media rights to control how they're used and distributed. Music, books, video and software can all be covered by copyright law.
The law that made copyright in the UK is called the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988.
Having your product copyrighted means it cannot be used by other people without your permission.

How does this relate to our Media work?
In our title sequence we want background music to run throughout its duration. Unfortunately we dont have the resources to create our own music to a high standard. This means that we will have to find either Royalty Free Music or music that is not copyrighted and free for anyone to use.

What is royalty free music?
In a nutshell Royalty Free Music refers to a type of music licensing that allows the purchaser to pay for the music license only once and to use the music for as long as desired. For example you purchase a Royalty Free Music license for our title sequence.

I have been looking around Youtube to find some music that is free for everyone to use. A post will follow as to what ive found.

Research Powerpoint And My Response

How Has This Influenced Our Title Sequence?

Looking at the response to question 1 our group decided that we must definitely reveal our protagonist during our title sequence as its obvious thats what the audience would want to see. We planned to do this anyway but we may reveal him sooner judging by the feedback.

The feedback we got from question 2 helped us understand how long our sequence should be before the audience begin to lose interest. We want it to be engaging throughout so we will definitely aim for it to be no longer than a minute and a half.

The Third question revealed that the majority of the audience would like to see a male protagonist, which is what we were going for originally so luckily we don't have to change our initial plot line. We chose a male character because it fits the conventions of a thriller.

The main protagonist in thrillers often has some kind of mental illness and we wanted to find out which one the audience would find most interesting to see in our sequence. The most popular was Schizophrenia. We will try and add in some hallucinations or flashbacks for our main character to have after looking at this feedback.

Our next question asked people which title sequence they found most memorable out of the list we gave. The most popular choice was James Bond. We will take this into account and watch and analyse some James Bond title sequences to see if there are any elements we can take inspiration from and add into ours.

In our final question we asked our target audience what makes them watch a thriller and the most common answers were

  • The suspense and tension created
  • the soundtrack
  • gripping
  • creative narrative
From this feedback we can now adapt our title sequence to have more suspense and tension by choosing the right soundtrack and setting. E.g a wooded area. Furthermore we need to cast good actors and make the sure the script is of high quality. This is will make the piece much more immersive.


Here is a list of props we need for our Main Task. As our idea is fairly basic in terms of scenery and story telling, not many props are needed.

Bike- This will be shown on the floor in the opening shot of the sequence as Harvey has just fallen off it. The use of this prop tells the audience that he was meant to be going somewhere but has unfortunately crashed.

Fake Blood- This will be used throughout our sequence. It will firstly be seen all over Harveys shirt and hands. It will then be seen dripping from his body as he walks through various places. Finally it will be used to show Jess's dead body in the final shot.

Knife- The knife is crucial to the plot of our sequence. Harvey will pick it up at the start of the sequence and have it in his hand until the very end, meaning it will be shown in almost every shot. The knife signifies that he is out to kill someone but the audience are left wondering who.


Harvey- For the present day scenes harvey will be wearing a long sleeve white shirt with a very loosely done black tie,covered in blood.This is to tell the audience he is a working man. However in the flashback scenes he will be wearing much more casual and bright clothing, such as a blue T shirt and jeans. This shows he is having fun and seems casual

Jess- Jess is barely seen within the Present day scenes but i want to her to wear just everyday clothes so she is wearing black and jeans and a white t shirt, which represents her innocence within the plot. In the flashback scenes she will, like Harvey, be wearing casual bright clothes to reiterate her happiness. This could be with a flowerly dress or skirt.

Filming Locations

Here are some pictures of the locations we are filming in for our Main Task, they are all outside and are supposed to be fairly isolated and scary looking, especially in the dark.

Monday, 1 February 2016

Film Idea

Our group came to the realisation that our title sequence has quite a deep narrative and could end up seeming like a movie trailer instead of an actual opening sequence.However our group decided that our title sequence would seem like its own narrative but actually link in with the rest of the film. Obviously the sequence ends with Harvey killing Jess but if the film was to continue Harvey would end up enjoying killing her and move on to kill her family and many others, all whilst the police try and hunt him down. The film would certainly not get any less exciting and tense after the opening sequence.

Hopefully this has made the plot of the whole film more clear. The addition of flashbacks will also help our sequence seem less like a trailer.


Here is our groups animatic. Aashna did the drawing and description alongside Mason giving details and helping out. My job was to edit the drawings together and put the background music in. I think the animatic is fairly successful in the way of showing the basic plot and shot use of our film. However i think that there could be more analysis of these shot types and why we are using them.

Saturday, 30 January 2016

Shot List/ Plot Outline

Here is the shot list that that my group created. I wrote most of it as I was the one who came up with our idea and had the most vivid image of it my head. Our group will meet and make any adjustments or additions that Mason and Aashna would like to put forward. I will go through the shot list in detail with Mason in particular so she knows what she is doing with confidence as DOP. I am very happy with the shot list as i think it conveys the dark mysterious tone we are trying to create.We want all of the close ups used to to show harveys emotions and feelings but all the medium/ long shots will show the journey he is making.

Friday, 29 January 2016

Equipment List

Nikon d3200- This will be our primary camera when shooting our film. We use this camera because its really great quality from a handheld and with the right settings it can shoot some really professional looking shots. Its also really easy to move around and can attach to tripods and stabilisers without any hassle.

GoPro Hero- We will use the GoPro whenever we want to get some unorthodox shots that we would be able to get with a larger camera. For instance we can attach it to our actors head and have it facing him as he runs.

Tripod- This will be used for most of our medium and long shots. It helps produce smooth stable still shots as well as having the ability to pan horizontally and vertically.

Gorilla Pod- Similar to a tripod expect you can bend and manipulate its legs to grip onto different surfaces and objects. This will help us get a better variety of shots and some more creative and interesting angles. To add to this we can use the pod as a handheld device to prevent any shakiness when shooting any moving shots.

Steadicam- this handheld device attaches to our dslr and completely stabilises the camera. This results in us being able to move with the camera quickly without any shakiness.

Story board

This storyboard was drawn and analysed by Aashna with me and Mason helping out and telling her what to draw.

Saturday, 23 January 2016

Nightcrawler Review

This is one of the most unique and chilling films I have ever seen. It is driven by amazing acting and a layered story line. Jake Gyllenhaal plays Lou Bloom, a man at rock-bottom living in Los Angeles, selling scrap metal to get money before eventually turning to the nightcrawling business. He teams up with Rick (Riz Ahmed), a young man desperate to make money to keep a roof over his head, who helps navigate Lou's routes as a nightcrawler and learns of numerous police codes to help Lou decipher the police scanner jargon. Together, the two make for an amateur nightcrawling team, turning profit by selling the footage – expertly shot, analyzed, and even occasionally manipulated by Lou – to Nina (Rene Russo), the station manager of a severely failing news station that is in dire need to get views
There is a reason this Thriller & Drama opened on Halloween. His character is ambitious to a fault & highly intelligent. He interacts most often with Rene Russo & a man he calls his intern. If you thought Julius Caesar was ambitious or Alexander the Great, this character must have the same motivation to succeed minus the goal of conquering the world. Needless to say he is driven. Russo is also ambitious, so they make a good team. The difference is how far each is willing to cross the lines of morality, legality & humanity.
The movie is original in every sense. There has never been a movie similar in the character or the situation. To say it was gripping would be literal. The movie is tense & intense. Every move seems known to Gylenhall but not to anyone else. If you like entrepreneurs, this movie will appeal to that in one aspect. Overall, it is definitely a Thriller full of danger & chills. It is Gylenhall versus the world, he is a character that does whatever it takes.

See this movie for the originality. See it if you enjoy thrillers. See it because he gives the best acting performance of his life in a character with many sides. See it for fun. See it for a cool fast car. This is easily the best of the best.

Kingsman Review

Kingsman is a nod to the old spy thrillers, with its crazy gadgets, beautiful women, crazy bad guys... but turning it on its head in the best way possible.
I simply could not take my eyes off the screen. First we get some back story, a brief introduction to the Kingsman and how they kick-ass while wearing a suit (totally useless in real life fights, with all ties that can be pulled and pants that prevent any high kicking, but extremely awesome in movie fights). Than we meet Eggsy, a down on his luck kid that shows a hidden potential, and how he wants to turn his life around. He gets chosen and bam! Training. I just love training scenes.
This film wouldn't work if we didn't connect with Eggsy, but Taron Egerton does a fine job. Not only him, but Colin Firth is great as the "Mr. Miyagi". I've never seen him as an action hero, but he takes part in the best fight scenes in recent memory. Part of the credit though goes to Matthew Vaughn and his great directing. The way he plays with the camera, not using all that "shaky cam" that is all the rage these days, but actually immersing the audience and showing the important parts makes the punches all the more enjoyable.
Also, Kudos for Samuel L. Jackson for the role of the megalomaniac villain, and all the supporting cast like Mark Strong.
And last, but not least, the story is amazing. The script is simple in the beginning, with the underdog story we all know and love. There is nothing wrong with going for the known archetypes, you just have to do it well. And this movie nails it, while also creating something new. The ending of this movie is just delightfully surprising. A great way of twisting the spy genre.

Overall this film is very unique and refreshing. Definitely one of my favourite movies.

San Andreas Review

This is a classical Hollywood movie, thin plot and a lot of effects. However, this time, I quite liked it. The plot, although thin, is not altogether bad, it holds together even though are quite a few unbelievable moments. Maybe this is what I like about the movie. It is really a good old fashioned disaster movie.
When I first saw the trailer for this movie I was afraid that it was going to be a big apocalypse at the beginning and then it was going to be a "slow" search for Ray's daughter. It is nothing of the kind. It has a decent build-up of suspense up to quite a few more or less spectacular earth quake scenes … and then it continues. I was pretty happy that there was a decent build up from the start but I was even happier that the initial earth wrecking event was actually not the big event.
As I wrote at the beginning, the plot is pretty thin. The special effects are not however. At least, I liked them. Not surprisingly houses are falling over like there was no tomorrow (which for a lot of people there are not) but it is done quite well. I also liked the scenes where the earth wobbles when Ray and his wife flies over it in his chopper. I found that quite cool. There are a few moments that are, well let us say not too well thought through. For instance the classical collapsing building that falls in the just the right pace for the heroes to do their job. Then we have when Ray and his wife speeds through the waters of Los Angeles after the quake, which are riddled with trash. The amount of trash in the water would have rendered their propeller useless after a few hundred meters.

I have to say that I this one was a really enjoyable movie. One of the few lately that I have watched. It is a quite good, classical, disaster movie with a good build up, really good effects and a good and happy ending (for the main characters at last) and I am a sucker for happy endings.

Friday, 22 January 2016

Sherlock Holmes Review

Sherlock Holmes sees our favourite detective arrive just in time to save the latest victim of a string of ritualistic murders lead by Lord Blackwood, the only villain not mentioned in the original books by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. Blackwood who, after being hung manages to resurrected makes a plot that becomes a threat to all of England. Using all his knowledge and cunning Holmes must find and stop Blackwood before it's too late.
Downey Jr is simply fantastic in this movie and one which introduced me to his talents and the whole world of Sherlock Holmes. Watching Downey, it's easy to forget that he is actually American with his superb attempt at the English accent that could put Englishmen to shame. Downey brings a certain charm and charisma that is very different to the Victorian man the public remember. However, I do have one problem and that's with his pronunciation. As I've already said, Downey is American to play Holmes, at some points I do have to rewind it back and listen again with the subtitles on to work out what he's saying.
Jude Law also brings Watson bang up to date. Gone is the fat baffled man we usually think of, to be replaced by one who can and will get stuck into anything he encounters. In this, we see Watson about to get married to his love interest Mary and it is quite clear that Holmes is finding it hard to let go of his best friend and work colleague.
Jude and Robert's chemistry is phenomenal in this movie, with hints of bromance  throughout; it's enough to make the all audience feel comfortable without getting too much like Brokeback Mountain.
The Canadian actor Rachel McAdams, best known for her work in Mean Girls, The Notebook and Time Travellers wife, is also brilliant, making her character charming, dangerous and quite sexy at the same time. Men want her and women want to be her and looking at her co-star Robert Downey Jr who wouldn't? She probably had the hardest job as she had very little to go on for a character that had been in the original books.
The best scene involves Holmes fighting in a low end bar to vent out his frustrations using slow motion camera movements where Holmes details exactly how he would beat his opponent with bone crunching results , literally.

The film is also shot beautifully throughout with satisfying slow motion and fast paced action scenes. I highly recommend this movie.

Thursday, 21 January 2016

Fast Five Review

The fifth instalment in the Fast and Furious franchise is by far the best so far. Of course it won’t win best picture at the Oscars but its 2hr 10 minutes of thoroughly enjoyable chaos.
Fast Five ditches the street racing that made its name in favor for being a heist film. In this particular case, we pick up right from where we left off, with Dom being busted out of his prison bus. They then flee to Rio where they take on a heist that goes haywire and eventually leads to the penultimate heist of the film. In the meantime, ruthless Agent Hobbs, who specializes in tracking and capturing people, arrives to catch out trio of outlaws. The film does a good job of not wasting any time and most of the serious moments are kept to a minimum in favour of heist scenes or action. And in the action department, the film delivers fantastically. Far bigger, louder, and more exciting than any F&F film before it, action junkies should find themselves thrilled by the impressive stunts and testosterone filled mix of car and foot action.
Now, don't get me wrong, this is still an F&F film. This means that the script is still pretty laughable and the acting is less convincing than Saul Goodman. However, with that said, it's still a bit improved here. Vin Diesel still can't play up emotion very well, making his attempts at the more serious scenes here a bit comedic. Paul Walker doesn't fare much better and, unfortunately, even as a main character he is shunned out to Vin Diesel and Dwayne Johnson. As action stars though, these three do a great job. In particular, the eventual confrontation between Diesel and Johnson is fantastic, with it being a brutal, WWE-esque rumble. The climactic scene alone is worth the price of an Odeon ticket. Though laughable, it's still an exciting, eye-popping scene that will leave you a little blown away

And for fans, you'll certainly enjoy the film, with a well-rounded cast from throughout the entire series coming together to pull off the impossible. It's definitely surprising to see that the fifth film in the series is the best, but I suppose that it's merely the evolution of F&F. With enough money, talent, and by pulling out all the stops, the franchise has finally made the most on the over-the-top aspects that they had always seemed to go for. Needless to say, action fans like myself will enjoy this immensely.

Wednesday, 20 January 2016

Inside Out Review

Growing up can be a bumpy road, and it's no exception for Riley, who is uprooted from her Midwest life when her father starts a new job in San Francisco. Like all of us, Riley is guided by her emotions - Joy, Fear, Anger, Disgust and Sadness. The emotions live in Headquarters, the control centre inside Riley's mind, where they help get her through everyday life. As Riley and her emotions struggle to adjust to a new life in San Francisco, turmoil ensues in Headquarters. Although Joy, Riley's main and most important emotion, tries to keep things positive, the emotions fight on how best to navigate a new city, house and school.
After a lot long wait (for me, since Toy Story 3) we got another awesome Pixar movie. The story is really, really good. I can easily say that this movie is for both, parents and children. For parents because it has somethings that kids won't understand, like growing up and the problems that come with it, but also genuinely funny moments.
The voice actors did great. Amy Poehler (Joy), Phyllis Smith (Sadness), Bill Hader (Fear) and Lewis Black (Anger). They were just perfect and I cant picture anyone else doing them so well. Sound effects are good as well, specifically the noises of her memories entering the brain. Animations are just so gorgeous to look at. Pete Docter did a great job as writer and director. He is one of the best directors and writers for animated movies. He wrote Monsters Inc., Toy Story and Wall-e. These are some of my childhood favourites.

Well, this movie is great. I love seeing new Disney movies, even at this age as I get a certain sense of nostalgia. But this one was genuinely enjoyable and my parents loved it too. The best Pixar movie in a very long time.

Tuesday, 19 January 2016

Dark Knight Rises Review

Not being a huge fan of superhero movies, I didn't have much expectations for Batman Begins. However viewing the Christopher Nolan production, I was pleasantly shocked. Then after my huge expectations for, "The Dark Knight", Christopher Nolan blew my expectations to the dust. Will the same happen with the 3rd and last film, "The Dark Knight Rises"? Quite simply, Yes! My big expectations were once again, blown away. What a production! This is a true cinematic experience, to behold. The movie exceeded my expectations in terms of action, and entertainment. The editing, sound, score, visuals, direction and action are all top notch.
The film contains a fine cast of talented actors. Christian Bale, of course still makes a great Batman. Michael Cain is fantastic, as he always is. He gives such a powerful performance, he really ought to be considered for an Oscar nomination. Tom Hardy as Bane is utterly terrifying, at times, and completely ominous. Everyone is so great, the dynamic scenes between the actors are so well done, so well written, and so well directed. The Dark Knight Rises is emotionally perfect and amazing to view.
At a running time of almost 3 hours, the film never becomes dull, which is pretty rare. The movie's action sequences are spectacularly well created and very intense. The dialogue between the characters are intelligent and believable. The movie's soundtrack is terrific and really fits many of the movie's scenes. Nolan creates a grand, dirty, engrossing world, and his action sequences just show it all off.

In conclusion, this film is a gorgeous reminder that great writing and direction can enhance any movie-going experience, even superhero movies, which are usually thought of as mindless entertainment. I cannot recommend this film any more than I have, I just have to say everyone and anyone should see it. 

Teaser Trailer

Here is a quick teaser trailer I made for our Main task. I used this opportunity to go down to our main shooting location and do some test shots to see if we could film just before it gets dark without it looking grainy and unprofessional. Thankfully most of the shots came out great and they really create an eerie atmosphere. It was also a good chance for me to try and get to grips with my new camera stabiliser. Some shots seem really smooth but some are still quite shaky. I will keep practising and hopefully be more prepared for when we begin filming.

Monday, 18 January 2016

Deadpool Review

Deadpool isn’t just a stereotypical action movie. It’s a romantic love story, a comedy full of sexual innuendos, a gory horror and a stereotypical action movie. It contains every action flick cliché — the slow-motion cars flipping, explosions left and right, unreal fight scenes and that one-handed superhero landing that’s gotta be hell on the knees — and it’s aware of that. It’s a conventional action movie that makes fun of that fact. The movie’s self-awareness is especially showcased in the breaking of the fourth wall scenes, a characteristic that anyone who has read the comics knows Deadpool is notorious for.
But the best thing about the movie was that I could completely relate to Wade Wilson more than any other hero that Marvel has given us a movie about; he’s someone that the average person can identify with. He gets bored during taxi rides, forgets whether he left the stove on, screams the F-word repeatedly during stressful situations and understands that pizza makes everything better. With Dead pool, we no longer have to relate to superheroes who are invincible (I’m looking at you, Superman).
The only reservation I have about recommending this movie is its R rating. I wouldn’t recommend Deadpool if you’ve got hang-ups about a few sex scenes, some bloody gore and cursing — especially cursing. This film earns a well-deserved R rating for foul language — even a sailor could learn a few creative curses. But, other than that, I would recommend this movie to anyone and everyone. Marvel pro tip: stay till the very end of the credits. Trust me — everyone will judge you if you walk out before the lights turn on.

Sunday, 17 January 2016

The revenant review

The Revenant is a brilliant modern day interpretation of a western – a mad, enduring and crazy tale. It is very bloody, very violent and full of  powerful emotional moments.
Given the demands placed on the actors, it would have been surprising if at least some of them hadn't been in as much a state as Fitzgerald, the surly and psychotic fur trapper played by Tom Hardy, very very well may I add. The film is set in 1823 in the frozen American wastelands. The film opens with an extremely gory scene in which the fur trappers are attacked in their camp by Native American warriors with flaming arrows, Knives and tomahawks. This is all filmed so well and fluidly with no real jump cuts that you get the feeling that this is how it really was for those guys, making it seem even more gruesome. We see dozens of characters in frame and in focus all at the same time. Someone here is being scalped, someone there is being stabbed. A trapper is running to the boat, another is writhing on the ground in agony.

Later on comes one of the most extraordinary and horrifying scenes I have ever seen in a film, in which trapper Hugh Glass (Leonardo DiCaprio) is attacked by a bear. The attack lasts for what seems to be an eternity and is shot in such a realistic and close-up way that you could be watching it from a real life documentary. The bear licks him, rips his back open and leaves him all but dead all in the most goriest fashion.

Dicaprios performance in the Revenant really shows his versatility as an actor.  Watching him crawl and groan for 180 minutes made me forget he was the same man who played the teen heartthrob jack in Titanic. Even watching him you could see that this must have been one of the most challenging roles he has played purely because of the conditions he was surrounded by 24/7. He grunted more than he spoke and every scene was so physically demanding. He deserves every acting award there is.

Despite his performance, the real star of the film is the camera. Almost every scene opened with a beautiful establishing shot of the frozen valleys or the icey lakes. I almost expected David Attenboroughs voice to appear over the soundtrack. Every close up seemed so crisp and clean but most importantly it just made it seem so real and raw. The most amazing thing is that every scene was shot using natural lighting, an incredible feat by director Alejandro González Iñárritu.

Friday, 15 January 2016

Spectre Review

Spectre Review
The latest instalment in the 007 franchise is everything you ex'spectre' from a Bond film, but falls short of its predecessor in a variety of ways.
The long awaited follow up to the brilliant ‘Skyfall’ is the start of a new path for bond. Compared to the gritty and dark prequels, Spectre is a walk in the park, a love letter to the classy films of the past. Sam Mendes’ attempt of mixing a new Bond with old Bond ingredients is admirable, but it’s almost like he tried too hard. He has tried to blend the best of Brosnan with the Class of Connery and it simply doesn’t blend. From its vodka martinis to its exploding buildings, the whole film is like a YouTube playlist of moments drawn from earlier entries in the series.Remember Pierce Brosnan hurtling down the Thames in a speedboat in The World is Not Enough? Well, Craig does that in Spectre. And remember both Sean Connery and Roger Moore having brutal punch-ups on luxury trains in From Russia with Love, Live and Let Die, and The Spy Who Loved Me? Here’s another one to add to the collection. In fact I’m now pretty sure you could now make a feature film titled ‘Bond on Trains’ Despite this, there are many genuinely funny moments to reminisce about on the car journey home, but nothing will stick longer than a couple of days.
The opening sequence of the film is fantastic. Set in Mexico City on The Day Of The Dead, Bond is hunting down a long haired Mexican in a rather nice tuxedo, but all goes downhill very quickly and 5 minutes later Bond is having a bust up whilst hovering over thousands of people on a fairly uncontrollable helicopter. Seeing a helicopter do a loop the loop is certainly thrilling to watch and you can’t help but gasp at all the hits bond is taking before finishing his enemy and cleaning up the mess. The suspenseful action and beautiful colours of Mexico City mix together for probably the best scene in the film.
 Throughout the film you notice that Craig is more comfortable than ever in the main role, and he has trademarked his own distinct take on the character. I think he has certainly earned the right to be considered one of the best bonds ever. He oozes class in such a discreet way that you wonder how he does it. Nothing impresses him, nothing scares him. If he likes something he will smile for a spilt second and all the women in the cinema will sigh. Speaking of women, his chemistry with the newest Bond girl Monacca Belluci is refreshingly strong. She seems to like him, and he definitely likes her. When seeing them sleep together you feel like it’s because they are in love, not because its 007 tradition.
 The only major disappointment in Spectre is its villains. Dave Bautista’s Mr Hinx is a brick wall in a three-piece suit and a modern day Jaws, who I wish I’d seen more of before bond kicked him out onto the train track. While Christoph Waltz’s Franz Oberhauser is barely seen for the film’s first 90 minutes. And when he does appear, Waltz acts with none of the madness and power that Javier Bardem had in Skyfall. Oberhauser is built up to be an all-powerful super villain. In person, he is, frankly, a bit soft. Maybe it’s impossible to be a genuinely terrifying criminal mastermind while you’re wearing loafers with no socks, but his global surveillance plan doesn’t seem to far-fetched from the near future.

James Bond will of course return, maybe not as Daniel Craig, but as someone hopefully very similar. Hopefully Mendes will learn from his few mistakes in Spectre and bring Bond back to his best in the next instalment, however far away it may be.

Notes and improvements will follow this post.

Thursday, 14 January 2016

Casting For Our Main Task

As a group we have decided to cast Harvey Kirchgaesser as the main role. This is because he gave us a really good performance in the continuity task (shown below) and we know he will do the same for our main task. Although it is quite a challenging role we think he will thrive on looking intimidating on screen. Our next choice is Jess keyes as his ex wife and victim. This is a fairly minor role but is very crucial to the piece. We want the audience to sympathise with her character so she must act quite innocent and angellic.

Wednesday, 13 January 2016

Summary of Title Sequences

-What common conventions did you find?
- What was a shock?
-How will this inspire/influence you?

When researching a variety of opening title sequences, I found many common similarities between them. Most thrillers sequences have many close up shots edited together at a fairly fast pace to create a chaotic or manic tone. I have also noticed that almost all the title sequences I analysed have very low lighting or are set in a dark setting. This makes the sequence more ominous and mysterious. The reason for this is that thrillers often have a dark and suspenseful story line, so the director will want to set the tone immediately in the opening scene. One title sequence that really stood out to me was 'American Psycho' purely because of its simplicity and effectiveness. The whole title sequence is on a white background with nothinng else in the mise en scene except occasional drops of what seems to blood on the canvas. This creates quite a disturbing tone as the audience is unaware of where the blood comes from and what event are occuring off screen.However it is revealed at the end of the sequence that what we thought was blood is in fact a sauce for a meal. This is a perfect example of how directors can manipulate the mind of their audience and make a title sequence enticing.

I have also learnt that title sequences can have a story going on within them. I noticed that i became more drawn to sequences which had a variety of scenes going on. For instance the Peaky Blinders title sequence shows a man going through a bustling city with lots going on around him. I found thsis much more exciting and entertaining than other title sequences. This certainly inspired our groups own title sequence, as ours also contains a man walking through different locations as titles appear on screen. The Peaky Blinders titles sequence also inspired us with its choice of music. Whilst the music is calm and laidback, the mise en scene is full of chaos and action. This juxta position creates a kind of twisted and sinister tone which we really want to achieve in our piece.

Generally, analysing these title sequences has inspired me and our group massively and our final piece will be a very high quality because of it.

Tuesday, 12 January 2016

Peaky Blinders Title Sequence

I chose to analyse the title sequence of the popular tv series ‘Peaky Blinders’ because it is similar to what I want our title sequence to be. Instead of focusing on the titles alone, it focuses on the journey the main character is having throughout the city of Birmingham. Although our piece won’t be on this scale I want there to be an enticing story within our title sequence so the audience is immediately intrigued. Analysing this sequence has helped me understand the most effective shots to use when we film our sequence.

The title sequence starts out with a man on a horse going down an old dirt road while the locals begin the leave their houses. Medium and long shots are used to follow the character whilst still showing the chaos and bustle of the city around him.

The location of the setting appears on the screen in an old English looking font written in white to contrast with the background as the music begins to play and continues to play as the man on the horse carries on travelling. The music is slow and in the style of country and western,which contrasts the time and setting but is still very effective because it makes the man seem powerful.

We  hear diegetic noises like like the horse galloping, the locals talking and miners working. The use lots of longs shots to this is a good way to establish the setting they are in which is Birmingham, England 1919, post WW1.

Once the man on the horse has reached his destination the screen fades to black and the title appears on screen. This is a technique used in many opening sequences because it makes it obvious to the audience that this is the title as its the only thing in the frame. The title is white with dirt stains on some letters, this links in to the dirty streets of the city he is travelling through.

Monday, 11 January 2016

Black Swan Opening Sequence

The titles begin with a dark back drop which juxtaposes with the white, capital letters of the writing. The writing is in serif font which is slim and tall and looks very feminine.  The words fade slowly in and out, and words such as ‘presents’ are written smaller than company names. The title ‘Black Swan’ then appears in the centre of the frame, bigger and bolder compared to the previous writing, however it is still in serif font. Overall, the whole title sequence is very simple and sets a slow pace to the start of the film. 
The clip opens with a black backdrop, and white, capital letters in serif font slowly fading in and out of the screen appearing for around 5 seconds. The title ‘Black Swan’ then appears more centralised, bigger and bolder. We then see a Long shot of Nina centralised on a dark stage which gives the impression she is an important character. One spotlight shines on her, and we see a close up shot of her feet as she starts to dance. This is followed by a medium shot whilst she sits on the floor, and finally a long shot to show a man walking onto the stage towards her. a close up of her face is used to show her facial expression, which is scared and square-on to the camera. The camera spins around them as they dance which connotes how twisted the film becomes, we then see a medium shot of the man as he spins and changes costume, she does the same and turns into the white swan. This scene fades into a black backdrop, and then fades into the second scene.

Classical swan lake music plays quietly in the background as the titles appear, and as the title ‘Black Swan’ appears, we hear a very quiet evil laugh. Perhaps to foreshadow the evil that corrupts Nina throughout the film. The music then increases in volume when Nina starts dancing. When the man walks on the music quietens and becomes tenser as we are unsure who this man is. You hear Nina’s breathing which connotes her fear, as well as non-diegetic sound of a swan flapping its wings, occurring as they dance. There are sound effects as he changes costume, and the music becomes louder, more dramatic and increases pace. The music stays loud when she changes but slows and starts to fade as she walks away from the camera.

The clip starts by showing only a black stage and a single spotlight throughout the entire first scene. This shows her importance in the film. At the beginning of the clip we see Nina in a white ballet dress that reaches below her knees. The colour white connotes her purity and innocence. She is also wearing ballet shoes and wears her hair gelled into a bun, this gives the audience an insight of her character that seems very professional. The man in the first scene wears black which connotes danger or mystery. He then changes into wearing a black feathery costume with a large nose and horns which may be seen as monstrous and scary. On the other hand Nina changes into wearing a white, feathery, tutu as the white swan supporting the idea of Nina being a pure character

American Psycho Opening Sequence

The sequence begins with a plain white screen and black text appears in capital letters, informing us of the production company.  It does not begin with a scene from the film like many title sequences usually do.  This does not give much away and therefore creates suspense, fitting to the thriller genre of the film.

The text fades away and a red droplet falls in time with music.  You immediately think the droplets are blood, connoting death and violence, relating to the plot.  The plain white background allows the audience to focus on the credits and droplets of blood as the colours contrast against each other.As more important credits are shown, the pace of the music quickens and the drops keep in time with it, so more than one appears on the screen.  This faster pace builds tension for the audience, possibly hinting at a chaotic plot or character.

Two droplets then splatter onto the white background, and the title of the film appears in the same font, with the second word in bold.  This again hints at the plot and genre of the film.The red droplets change to a red substance running, still resembling blood and adding to the tense atmosphere created by the faster music.  This then cuts to the substance being drawn over a white surface, seeming to go against the idea that it is blood.  However, the audience is still unsure what it is, therefore keeping the suspense.

A hand holding a large knife is lifted swiftly upwards on the screen as the name 'Christian Bale' appears, the star of the film.  This suggests he is the antagonist and murderer.  The knife is then slammed down to cut meat that looks like flesh, and a loud thud is heard which contrasts against the orchestral music and startles the audience.  Again, this feeds into the idea of the thriller genre and foreshadows the audience will experience more shocks.What seemed like blood and flesh now changes to show food, like raspberries.  This makes the audience backtrack and feel like they have let their imaginations go wild, linking to the ambiguous ending of the film.

I find this a very effective title sequence as its simplicity makes it almost unnerving and the juice looking like blood really plays with the audience’s minds and manipulates the whole tone of the sequence. You could argue that its showing that the main character sees blood and violence in even the most normal of things and the director is testing the fact that maybe everyone does by fooling the audience.