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.

Sunday, 10 January 2016

Bourne Identity Opening Sequence

The scene begins with a surgeon removing bullets from the back of a wounded man lying down on a table inside the cabin of a boat, he had been previously found floating in the water and pulled aboard.The opening shot of the man in the water is haunting and immediately makes the audience curious as to how he got there. This is through the use of dark colours and minimal movement in the mise en scene.

 Low key lighting is used to put more emphasis on the man and to give more attention to the intricate work that the surgeon is doing. The camera cuts between a medium shot of the surgeon leaning over the man and close up shots of the surgical equipment, this is to show the surgeon’s reactions and to show more of the environment. The room in which the surgery is taking place is quite small and worn cabin room, not a fully safe environment for doing work, adding more suspense for the audience. The surgeon is wearing a woollen jumper while performing the procedure, this further suggests the work must be done and there is no time to spare changing clothes. The camera is used in a hand-held manner to express the tension of the scene and the nervousness of the surgeon. The removing of the bullets themselves is shown to make the audience more uncomfortable and on-edge, this is a convention of most thrillers.

The music is this scene uses a high amount of minor notes, a  violin is used for the main melody, and this combination is often used in thriller films as it creates suspense. Thunder and Lightning occurs throughout the sequence, this is a common technique used to enhance the tension or mood of the scene, in this case it is making the surgeon seem like an antagonist, however it also shows he brought the man in from harsh storm into a warm environment. The colours used in the scenes outside of the cabin are very cold, colours like blue, black and white are used, however inside the cabin warm colours such as reds, oranges and yellows are used to suggest safety. The surgeon finds a small device in the man’s hip, to show its importance to the audience many close ups of it are used and focus remains on it for a few shots, it is revealed to be a micro projector showing an unknown code. The use of clues and hints of the scene are vital to an opening sequence. 

Although there are no titles used in this scene, it is still a powerful opening sequence and it is useful to understand why.

Saturday, 9 January 2016

The Walking Dead Opening Sequence

The titles themselves are  generic and just placed within each shot, the surnames of the cast and crew is in bold. We generally get one title per shot. The title, 'The Walking Dead' is placed at the end in capitals in the middle of the screen to show that this is the title of the series. It has a post-apocalyptic tone to it with the use of dark green in the background and the title being scratched at. The general feel to the titles have both a horror and post-apocalyptic sense to them, appearing dark, broken and dead.

This sequence uses many shots, most of which emphasizing on the sense of desertion and dark atmosphere. A lot of the shots are on fast forward, seemingly again showing the lack of activity in each shot. The fast paced shots fit well with the music placed and add to the excitement created altogether. Generally, the shots are very similar in that they all focus on an abandoned site or object. Some shots focus on individual items, whereas others focus on a place or setting. The individual objects are probably important within the show and have a deeper meaning.

Editing is very well done in this title sequence. Each shot fades into the next, some of which creating a parallel with the last shot. Each shot has a good transition into the next and is fast paced which fits with the music used. It all fits together well to create an exciting sequence through the use of the many different shots and the fast music. The editing comes together smoothly with the many different shots and the use of non-diegetic sound.

Again, this sequence relies completely on non-diegetic sound. This is normal for title sequences, though. The music used is suitable for the content and shots used. It's fast paced and exciting. It also has a sense of mysteriousness to it. It's used to to set the tone of the series.


We gain little narrative from this sequence. All we know is that, where the shots are taken, civilisation is gone. We get a quick shot of a creature's eye, making the audience wonder what that is and what it has to do with the series. Unlike most post-apocalyptic title sequences, the developers do not use the sequence to tell the story of the apocalypse. This is probably due to the fact that this is a TV series, and so telling the story of the apocalypse at the beginning of every episode could become tiresome for viewers.

Shutter Island Opening Sequence

The opening begins with a non-diegetic eerie theme tune that is a synchronous sound, it goes along with the dark and creepy shots that are shown helping to immerse the audience instantly, and it also creates a sense of mystery that entices the viewer. Suspense is created by the constantly rising then decreasing volume generating a sense of impending doom that can make the viewer feel frightened.

The use of establishing shots gives the audience a sense of context, because the shots consist of a shady place that looks like a prison it also makes the viewer question the reason for the shots shown keeping them interested in the film, I think that the last establishing shot at 0:51 also creates a sense of no escape. Close up are used on certain areas, in particular at 0:13. Here a hand is shown lifting a tile off the floor. The audience is given a detailed close up of the hand but it raises questions such as “who is this person?” and “Why are they lifting the tile?” it makes the audience think as to why they are only getting close ups and not the full picture, provoking their curiosity.

The opening credits is paced slowly. Each shot changes using a dissolve transition to black, this represents a sense of darkness to the overall film as black is often portrayed as an evil colour, the dissolve transitions create a fluid motion through each shot that makes the sequence feel continuous, this helps to engross the viewer by making them anticipate the next shot.

Mise en Scene
 The colour and lighting is mostly black and white with hints of red shown by the text at the start of the opening (From 0:00 to 0:13), the contrast of the black and white is used to represent a battle between a lawful force and an evil one. The red text may be used to signify blood and can foreshadow murder, a recurring theme in thrillers, by foreshadowing potential death, the audience is kept interested to find out what happens next. Not many props are used in the opening scene but the most noticeable are the gun under the shoe at 0:31 and the lighting of the match at 0:48, I think that the gun may signify that this film is not a physical battle but a mental one, this can be more intriguing to certain audience members as it is a battle of wits that makes the viewer think more often and even question the viewers on morals on decisions made throughout the film. The lighting of the match may be used to again show the battle between the light and darkness that could be a significant theme throughout the film, the lighting of the match may also puzzle the audience and encourages them to watch on to find out any further significance of the match. There is little body language shown in this scene, the most notable is a close up shot of a tile being lifted up by a hand at 0:13, here the hand movement is steady to show that the character knows what they are doing and has a clear goal, this makes the viewer want to find out what their motive is.

the notes in the video are not my own.

Friday, 8 January 2016

Momento Opening Sequence

Camera work-
At the opening of the clip the camera is at a extreme close up of a hand with a Polaroid picture of a man lying dead on the ground with blood spattered everywhere. The extreme close up creates an intimacy with the picture and blocks our view of anything else making us focus directly at the picture and what is in it. The stillness of the entire shot is incredibly unnerving and was most likely used for that exact purpose. Most of the opening is in close up, either of the Polaroid, the blood spattered wall, the bullet, the glasses and the dead man’s head. This furthers the idea of the audience’s intimacy in the murder.


The key prop in the scene is the Polaroid picture. By focusing on the picture for such a long time it is clear that the picture and its contents, a dead man, are incredibly important to the plot. The picture relates to the title of 'Memento' as pictures are usually seen as mementos of events, and the dead man is clearly a very important character in the narrative, as is the holder of the photograph. The glasses of the dead man stand out against the blood spattered tiles in the location, as this holds connotations of intelligence but also of innocence. This makes it appear to the audience as if the man was an innocent victim. This is contrasted against the young looking murderer, who looks incredibly upset.

In the opening scene the audience is presented with non-diegetic strings tone that is used up until the point where the camera flashes. Over the course of the opening, this tone builds up as more and more instruments join in and this builds up a sense of expectation, something that is always expected of thrillers. The nature of the strings creates an incredibly melancholy feel to the clip and this works as an unsettling contrast to the violent imagery seen in the shot. This could suggest the killer feels guilty and ashamed of what he has done. The strings also get gradually higher in pitch which also works to increase the sense of expectation, but also to heighten the emotion of the scene. Other sounds that Nolan uses to add effect are the Polaroid being shaken, the camera noises, the bullet rattling across the floor, the grabbing of the gun and the man shouting “What?!”. These are all used together to create an unsettling atmosphere with built up tension throughout. Each of these sounds stands out because of the way they contrast the background music. This makes the sounds more clear and obvious to the audience setting them on edge during the opening sequence. The consistent sound of the Polaroid being shaken is incredibly unnerving because it feels so constant. The scraping of the bullet is unnerving because of the high pitched screech it creates as it moves across the ground. Finally, the unexpected loud bang of the gun shot is shocking and because it seems louder, thanks to the quiet background music at that moment, it adds a thrill factor to the clip. 

The most distinctive piece of editing that is used in the opening of the film is that it is in reverse. This creates a rather surreal experience for the viewer but forces them to stay focused on what is happening in order to understand it. Despite being a short opening, this scene gives important information for the viewer. The scene makes it evident that Polaroid pictures are important to the plot of the storyline; it also will make the audience pay more attention when they see another Polaroid later on in the film. Every single cut is simple and quick to give off a sense of tension to the audience. It could suggest emphasis on the brutality of this scene with short sharp and simple cuts.

Wednesday, 6 January 2016

Main Task Final Idea Choice

In our main task, we were asked to make an opening title sequence relative to the thriller genre. Our group discussed many different ideas over a half an hour period. Most of the ideas we discussed sounded great at first but after further discussion we often realised that they would be too difficult to pull off with the resources and equipment that we have. One of the ideas I put across was a crazed, physcotic man moving through fields, alleyways and streets to kill his ex wife or girlfriend. However at some places he vistits he has flash backs of good memories with his wife. The sequence ends with him killing and the screen will be splattered with blood before the title appears.
My group seemed to like this idea and we discussed how hard it would be to accomplish. Although some aspects will be challenging, we decided to follow through with this idea. I am really excited about this peice as it will push us but i think the end result could be truly fantastic.

A storyboard, script and shot list will follow this post shortly along with further research into the thriller genre.

Continuity Task- Did we meet the criteria?

Our criteria for making our continuity task was as follows:

Preliminary exercise: Continuity task involving filming and editing a character opening a door, crossing a room and sitting down in a chair opposite another character, with whom she/he then exchanges a couple of lines of dialogue. This task should demonstrate match on action, shot/reverse shot and the 180-degree rule. 

Did We Meet This Criteria?

I think we certainly succeeded in matching the criteria and producing a high quality premilinary task. We wanted to make sure that the film showed that we fully understand match on action, so we used it a lot during the opening of the sequence.
Here is a medium wide angle shot of harvey walking along the pavement.

It then switches to the same style shot as harvey turns the corner,except this time from the other side of corner,giving the impression of fluidity and continuity.

Later on in the continuity task we demonstrated our ability to execute a shot/ reverse shot:

Here is a close up shot of  Jess talking to harvey over dinner

This then cuts/reverses to Harvey, showing that the two characters are looking at each other.

These screenshots also show our use of the 180 degree rule, which is shown during the conversation as the camera simply rotates on the same axis when the shot switches between the characters.