Sunday, 20 March 2011

Evaluation- Q7.

Looking back at your preliminary task what do you feel you have learnt in the progression from it to the full product?
Since completing our media product and the preliminary task I have learnt how hard it is to create a film with no budget while maintaining a sense of realism. From having this low budget we have only been able to shoot a small range of shots where as if we'd of had a budget we would of been able to buy or hire specialist equipment. 
We have also learnt the rule of shot reverse shot which we challenged in the preliminary task and now I understand the idea of it and we've seen without using this method the text wont make sense because it doesn't look as if the two participants are sat facing eachother, I have also learnt that it is an effective way to show binary opposition of two characters which is what we should of done in our film opening coursework task but didn't have time to change.
I have also learnt all of the semiotic terms:
Signifier - A detail we pick out of a text that the audience sees has a significant meaning for example a blonde busty woman is a signifier of your typical 'screamqueen'
Denotation - A description of what you can see or hear e.g. we can denote from the high pitched scream that a female is being killed.
Connotation - What is signifier carries a specific meaning.
Binary opposition - Two opposite charcters shown in a text together which can be shown in shot reverse shot for example a scream queen and a final girl an example of this in a text would be in Notting Hill with Julia Roberts and Hugh Grant.
Polysemic - An idea given that carries many possible meanings although the preferred reading was intended by the producers although an audience may not take it in and instead go for a meaning close to this (contested reading) or the opposite of what the producers wanted to signify (oppositional reading) 
Commutation test - Changing a key item on scream e.g a character clothing choice to see if there is a significant change to the audience reaction for example if James Bond wore a Pink bikini on an advertising poster or billboard it would change the who genre interpretation of the text from an action film to a Gay film.
Narrative enigma - A hidden element within a text to add an element of mystery used to engage the audience or hide a killer in Horror genre films.
Intertextuality - Meanings from another text being tied into a newer one to show a similar meaning or imply the same thing will happen again for example if we'd of had our killer Katie filing her nails at her desk it would have intertexual connotations of the killer in 'A Nightmare on Elms street' 
Verisimilitude - Creating and achieving a sense of realism by what you apply to a text on screen and example of this would be Katies beauticians outfit that she wears in out opening.

Evaluation- Q6.

What have you learnt about technologies from the process of constructing this product?
During the production of our coursework productions we used a series of new technologies ranging from Garage band to the Apple software on the school computers.


From the very beginning, the basics have always become more advanced, for example turning a camera on and to be able to shoot a product based on genre, storyline and for it to actually make sense, does take alot of preparation but the outcomes great if you know how to use the programs available to you.



Apple mac computers had the variety of softwares we used to complete our two minute product. These included iMovie, LiveType and many more. IMovie was the main and most involved application that we used on the mac, it helped us edit clips, uploading the footage, adding transitions and sound effects as well as the soundtrack itself. Once you know what to click at the right time, the software is automatically a very simple friendly way to creating a product.
Blogging was the main source, when it came to research and planning, so we added posts, followed other blog's to look at existing work etc. Also we watched films based on our genre, or key ideas, so this also was included towards adding new posts on our blogs, to explain what we saw and if it effected our product through other ideas, cast, mise en scene etc.
For further research on specific genres, films, working titles, or even actors,IMDBYouTube and  Wikipedia, were the obvious, mosty used sites for this kind of information.


Watching a Horror/Slasher, we can all agree that the more intense the music, the more predictive it makes out that someone is going to get killed or a false scare may occur, so the soundtrack played an important part for our media production. 

To conclude, the softwares, and resources we had available to us we used although obviously if we were a professional production team we would of been open to use more, professional resources if our film wasnt low/no budget (indie production)

Evaluation- Q5.

How did you attract/address your audience?
Our production will attract teens our target audience because some people say 'teens will watch anything involving blood, violence and sex' our opening contains blood and violence but not sexual references because there wasnt enough time to fit everything in in the opening two minutes. We chose our cast specifically to make the audience be able to relate to the charcaters we chose them in the same age group although we felt Katie looked older which was appropraite because we also needed to create a sense of realism (verisimilitude) for example you wouldnt have a teenager playing a manager of a salon origionally we had the actual owner of the salon playing the role of the killer but unfortunatly she was busy on most of the dates on our filming schedual. We also took advantage of the idea of the male gaze using Katie to our advantage to attract our male audience because as everyone knows the powerful women in society are often seen as the most attractive for example Betsy Palmer in Halloween (in her day, see left) and Laurie Metcalf starring in Scream as Mrs Loomis (see left) we also worked really hard on the idents relating the Bricolage productions one to be urban and fresh to attract younger audience types although we see that people outside of our target audience category may view the film such as just general horror lovers.

Audience feedback of final cut

by me emily moore and melsss tell us what you think.. x
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Evaluation- Q4.

Who would be the audience for your media product?

Our production would be given a BBFC rating of 15+ and the core age range for our target audience would be approximatley 15- 24 with the majority of horror and slasher films in this rating. As even if the film is an 18 rating it is certain that under 18's will watch the film. Also people older than 24 out of the target audience will watch the film too
The target audience for our film opening was between the ages of 15-24 both sexes to widen the audience because we thought we would be able to appeal to both sexes due to the storyline. Females because of the feminist spin on the genre and males because of the killers features and males tend to be more attracted to horrors in general because they love the gore and the element of male gaze as there is always a blonde busty female in them althought teens all together are the main viewers of horror and slasher films the secondary audience. Someone who wasn't in the target audeince may also want to watch the film because of intertexual links such as if we'd of had a shot of Katie filing her nails this would have an intertexual link to A nightmare on Elms street. We went for the 15 rating on our production because we knew if had gone for an eighteen we would of had to of used more explicit images and language which we wernt confortable with using linked with school also we couldn't put our rating at a twelve because of the violence used and the language 'Times up b*tch' which wouldnt be appropriate for children at the age of twelve also the soundtrack is quite spooky which was the way we wanted it because of the genre.

Evaluation- Q3.

3. What kind of media institution might distibute your media product and why?
Because obviously we are not professional film makers we have no budget often known as Indie film makers or Independant film makers our film would never be distributed by any major studios in Hollywood especially when we have had no budget finding our own location to film with permission but even outside of the hige distribution companies some distributors wouldn't distribute horror and slasher films especailly with murder and violent connotations. Our production would never be mass marketed and wouldnt make it to cinemas probably, it would be released only on dvd because of the fact there is no money to promote or market the film.

Evaluation- Q2.

How does your media product represent different social groups?
There are many stereotypes in the slasher genre as much as any other genre for example Scream Queens (A woman on screen simply to attract the male gaze just there to be looked at and usually the first to be killed, no real relevance to the stortline)
A classic example of your typical scream queen in horror genre would be Demi Moore starring in Scream or Jamie Lee-Curtis in Halloween. Both of which are renowned now for their work in these films and if we'd of had the opportunity we would of encorporated in our opening. Although in our film we have encoroporated a scream queen in the sense that Colette is blonde she isnt particually done up compared to Katie (the killer) so instead of the usual killing in horror due to a female being sexually active we have made it so Katie kills Colette because she isnt representing women in the way she wants because she isnt glamourous and groomed as she feels women should be and in the way she does wearing a beauticans outfit with a slit down the centre to show her large chest, this is also linked to our target audience as males in the ages of 15-24 lets just say enjoy looking at this and would expect her to be killed which is why we chose to challenge this.
Final Girl (A woman starring in a film that is the opposite of a scream queen, more intelligent and 'geeky' tending to survive the film) Although there isnt a final girl yet we would of liked to incoropoate one but obviously we had a time limit of two minutes because it was only an opening. We either would have gone with your typical final girl being brunette and maybe have glasses to signify intelligence, educated and upper class characteristics of final girl or a countertype of this similarly to what we've done previously and gone for more of a scream queen to shock the audience and challenge its typical conventions of the genre and idea that all blonde woman are thick or just 'slags' as this is the way they're portrayed in horror films.
The Male killer (the man often looking mysterious and quite distant and 'weird' similar to the character Tom in Peeping Tom a quiet character that turns out to be a strange charcater taunted by his father through his childhood causing him to enjoy viewing torture and murders) We wanted our audience to perscieve George as this kind of charcter signified by his shyness around women (when Colette tries to address him when he arrives in the waiting room) we can connote from our text that George is rummaging through the draws looking for something quite frantically to find a photo or images of clients or the owners family, the whole reason as to why his in the salon in the first place to later use it against the killer (Katie) and kill her off.

Evaluation- Q1.

1. In what ways does your media product use, develop or challenge forms and conventions of real media products?
  • Titles and credits (idents)
  • Establishing shot (often with blue tint for horror genre films)
  • Sound track, digetic or non digetic.
  • Tracking shots.
  • Mise-en-scene to provide anchorage of genre and the idea of the film.
  • Following one specific main character (protagonist)
Forms and conventions are what the audience expect from a horror film when they view one. The idea of horror is to scare the viewer which most teens enjoy. In your average horror you'll have a soundtrack that will physologically lower your heart rate and the change very fast to confuse the body psychologically. Usually in horrors the killer is male because they signify strength and masculinity by clothing choices and other choices such as facial hair would signify masculinity and rough a likely killer in a horror film although in our production Waxed we have chosen to have a female killer because we wanted to put a feminist spin on our take on the horror genre not only for a change but to show how rediculous and powerful choices can be but also to show how rediculous clothing, makeup footwear choice can signify gender for example why does a skirt signify femininity? Why can men wear skirts and not be laughed or pointed at?
Judith Butlers theory on the idea that we decide that we show the world we are male and female by the way we dress and that gender doesnt exist it is something we perform we as people are taught to be male or female from a young age.
We decided for the titles to go for a white text to signify seriousness although we went against the idea of Serif font because we wanted to show that a font choice cant make a huge difference to a production and we didnt want to give to much away as the titles are at the beginning of the opening we hoped this wouldnt form an oppositional reading for the viewers but we thought with the sound track over it that would provide sufficiant anchorage involving high strings like Psycho. We have low and high notes throughout the opening which we hoped would signify binary oposition to the audience of the two customers in the salon althoguh we should of gone for the shot reverse shot when the two were talking to eahother to show binary oppositon better.
The slightly low angled shot of our killer is a countertype of your normal horror film signifying womens power and a feminist spin on the genre later anchored by the dialogue at the end 'Time up b*itch' showing strength usually a male representative which is what the whole idea of the production is about.
We went with the idea in the end of narrative enigma of the killer, a usual convention in horror, even though we wanted the audience not to know who the killer was it was hard to do this from the coverage we'd taken because George was shown although we tried to make him seem mysterious for example the high strings music when hw was approaching the salon and when he was rooting through the draws in the upstairs of the salon although the opposiotional reading looked like he was getting nervous and looking for a weapon which was polysemic.
We also decided to have a blonde scream queen and we wanted her to come across a quite ditzy, and although she didnt have a large chest her legs were constantly on screen and we used the towel coming of her in the sunbed to signify the Katie was killing her because she was sexually active. We wanted to bring in the male gaze that would attract our target audience being males and females 15-24 and we thought we needed to do this because some people might say its a womans film because of the feminist spin on genre.
We wanted Katie to appear as a mysterious character and represent violence so the close up of her slamming the scissors into the pot on the desk is used to connotes violence. We feel that the salon setting has achieved verisimilitude obviously because it is where beauty treatments take place unlike or origional idea of a home salon. If we applied the communtation test and had katie wearing jeans and t-shirt she wouldnt seem professional and we wouldnt be creating a sense of realism.

Final cut

SD- In our final cut we have used fast paced editing to fit with out target audience (being 15-24 and above) for eaxmple we have done fast paced editing when there is the false scare of Colettes scream to go with the mood and how we want the audience to feel aswell as George (customer 2) because of target audience we had to used faced paced editing but found from audience feedback that when we used it for most of the opening that they didnt understand what was going on also Dave said that in parts (such as when George was in the draw in the opening) that because it was good fast paced editing we should of made it longer but we didnt have time to go back to the location to get more coverage because from what we did take the shots didnt fit together properly and we need verisimilitude for our opening to be sucessful.

Final cut with everything- WAXED. from sophie dixon on Vimeo.

New Ident - Production

New ident - Distribution

Saturday, 19 March 2011

Idents completed :)

SD-We have completed orur idents for Bricolage productions and Illusion distribtion company which we have now changed from Boredshore. We went for an urban ident for the Bricolage production one with a wall in the background we tried to go for a street ident with the modern soundtrack from Garage band. The illusion distribution ident is also quite new with a lava style background and simple white text over the top the sound track we added to this we went for a bubble noise to make the orange background to look more like lava which we thought was quite cool. We are really happy with both of the idents and was easier for us to make them because they didn't have to be linked to our film opening giving us a wider range of options to work with.

Thursday, 17 March 2011

Narrative in opening

SD- We have decided we needed more narrative of The killer Katie in the opening shots so we have now got a shot of her looking down at a knife while she uses it to open a letter but you cant see much of her face anymore so we think it provides a better narrative and gives more anchorage to the idea of her being not innocence in the film. Also there is thick red text on the front of the letter that signifies blood 


We have also got rid of the zooming in when the establishing shot is on screen to make it more like Halloween and we will be adding a blue tint to these shots although we are keeping the sunbed shots the same.
Thinking about it as we have binary opposites with Colette and George the customers, we should of had shot reverse shot in the sequence to show this more clearly which if we had time now to re-shoot we definatly would. Although we are glad with Katie's character as her beauticians outfit provides verisimilitude. 
We still havnt done our sound track although we know we want something like in Psycho. High pitched strings on the establishing shot  would add intertexuality to our film making it like Halloween.

Tuesday, 15 March 2011

Editing Update

SD- We have recently changed our opening and from our audience feedback we received, we have decided to take out the shot of Katie (the killer) walking up the stairs our audience thought it would be more mysterious and that the shot was unnecessary just taking up time in the opening.


They also said that they thought we should try and fit the kettle part back in because it built up tension nicely so we have recorded Katie telling her customer she's 'just going to put the kettle on' we have now re added the kettle shots and shown the new cut to some people and they agree it fits and has worked out nicely.


We still need to add the idents to our opening and tittles as well as the sound track we've been working on recently which is high pitched notes similar to Psycho and increasing depth in parts to add tension we have also been thinking about the sound when Katie axes Colette in the tanning booth because we need to make it sound realistic to achieve verisimilitude.

Friday, 4 March 2011

Ideas for soundtrack throughout

SD - There are a number of places in the opening that we have identified when we definatly want sound these include the following.


  • Establishing shots of the salon should be quite high pitched like in Psycho.
  • Low strings when George is approaching the salon.
  • Creepy music before Katie slams the scissors into the pot on the desk in the downstairs of the salon.
  • No sound when Katie is looking at the mirror seeing Colette and George.
  • A revelation in sound when George finds the book in the draw quoting 'The good and the bad' to show its relevance and intertexuality to the text.
  • Lots of scary and creepy music every time George is on screen to suggest he's no innocent in it either to make the audience think who is the killer waiting for anchorage to be applied later in the text.
  • Something again like Psycho when Katie's hand is approaching the handle of the sun bed.
  • Sound that will jolt the audience when the title WAXED appears on screen.
  • The sound of Katie axing Colette in the sunbed needs to big and a flesh cutting sound.

Thursday, 3 March 2011

Changes to the opening - Editing.

SD- We have made a number of changes to our opening:

1. We have decided to have Colettes scream repeating to when George slams the draw to make it look like he does it for a reason showing he could also be suspicous.
2. We have had to take the kettle bit out although it built up the tension at no point did katie mention the kettle so it was unsignificant to the text unless we can record katie asking her for a coffee or tea and we are able to put the diolgue over the top.
3. We moved the shot of Georges 'confused face' to when he hears the scream to make it more relevant.
4. We are currently working on a Psycho like soundtrack for parts of the opening when there is no dialogue.
5. We have scrapped the idea of using the final shot of the leg and blood sticking out of the sunbed because the blood looked unrealistic and we couldn't decide on an appropriate transition that would look good replacing it with a simple black screen and the title WAXED in red bold letters signifying blood.

Soundtrack issues.

We have had the idea to put the high notes on the piano over the top of the scenes to make George seem more erey when he is approaching the salon also we are going to copy Colette's scream earlier and put it in when George is rooting around in the draws in the upstairs of the salon to show he's getting nervous and looking for a weapon to use on The killer later on.

Rough cuts and podcasts

Throughout our filming we have been struggling to upload rough cuts and vodcasts etc. We don't know what the problem is but we are going to try another computer to upload it on because we think it might be the computer. Hopefully it will work because if not we don't know what we'll do :/

Wednesday, 16 February 2011

Final shooting

Lastnight we reshot our film opening for the last time, it went really well and we got plenty of coverage so we should be able to edit it to a really high standard. Unfortunatly, Colette or victim could not be filmed so i had to fill in for her which wasnt a problem in the end because we only needed a point of view shot and some shots of her legs. The weather wasn't great but we managed to keep the camera dry by putting it under an umberella. We got around 80 shots so we have so much to edit and decide on what we want to do with it.

Tuesday, 15 February 2011

Editing decissions

OPENING SHOTS:
- We wanted a very high angle shot to make the male customer look vulnerable and make the audience think that he's the victim.
- When we re-shoot we will get all the church bells to give anchorage of the time and edit it into the first shots
- We have made a variation of shots in the opening without it looking too much although variation shots is good for our target audience (15-20) that get bored easily.
- We had to think about re-shooting in the day due to blurriness.

SOUND:
- We need to think about what sound affects we want throughout because we realized when editing we need to record screams and other sound to make it more action packed.

SHOTS:
Re- shoot Colette getting into the sunbed.
- Speak to Colette about the outfit for the sun bed because it doesnt work filming her legs getting into the sunbed.
- Re-shoot outside shot George going into the salon.
- Psycho did extreme long shot shoot one of these as our establishing shot.
- Take as little tracking/ panning shots as possible we have cut down our tracking shots so our target audience dont get bored.
- Psycho Norman Bates/ Katie playing this role is sat behind the desk which we have edited so her face isnt seen (narrative enigma) to hide the killer (more narrative shots needed)
- Re shoot george speaking to katie to make it flow more easily
- Get a magazine or newspaper with some sort of murder story or weapon been found to mirror what will later happen.
- We could get a shot of katie filing her nails or using scissors to signify that shes the killer 
- Edited a few shots to cutaway shots to vary the variety of shots.
- The shot of the candle flickering edited to quite short and then theres a shot of a single candle after.
- We will need to re shoot our film more to vary shots and make the transitions from shot to shot smoother.

Monday, 14 February 2011

BBFC Information

Source: http://www.bbfc.co.uk/classification/guidelines/15-2

Suitable only for 15 years and over

No one younger than 15 may see a ‘15’ film in a cinema. No one younger than 15 may rent or buy a ‘15’ rated video work.

Discrimination

The work as a whole must not endorse discriminatory language or behaviour.

Drugs

Drug taking may be shown but the film as a whole must not promote or encourage drug misuse. The misuse of easily accessible and highly dangerous substances (for example, aerosols or solvents) is unlikely to be acceptable.

Horror

Strong threat and menace are permitted unless sadistic or sexualised.

Imitable behaviour

Dangerous behaviour (for example, hanging, suicide and self-harming) should not dwell on detail which could be copied. Easily accessible weapons should not be glamorised.

Language

There may be frequent use of strong language (for example, ‘fuck’). The strongest  terms (for example, ‘cunt’) may be acceptable if justified by the context. Aggressive or repeated use of the strongest language is unlikely to be acceptable.

Nudity

Nudity may be allowed in a sexual context but without strong detail. There are no constraints on nudity in a non-sexual or educational context.

Sex

Sexual activity may be portrayed without strong detail. There may be strong verbal references to sexual behaviour, but the strongest references are unlikely  to be acceptable unless justified by context. Works whose primary purpose is sexual arousal or stimulation are unlikely to be acceptable.

Theme

No theme is prohibited, provided the treatment is appropriate for 15 year olds.

Violence

Violence may be strong but should not dwell on the infliction of pain or injury. The strongest gory images are unlikely to be acceptable. Strong sadistic or sexualised violence is also unlikely to be acceptable. There may be detailed verbal references to sexual violence but any portrayal of sexual violence must be discreet and have a strong contextual justification.

Audience types

Core audience: We are certifying out film as a fifteen due to violent conduct although there are no sexual references in the opening. So the audience viewers will be 15-24.
Secondary audience: People who may still be potential audience even though they do not fit within the 15-24 age gap they may just be general horror film fans or have an inertextual reason for viewing (Links to other films being for an older audience) or crosses between texts/two or more other films such as someone filing their nails like Freddie Cruger in A Nightmare on Elm street or have an actor/actress prefernence as their reason to view. Finally character names that relate intertexually to other films such as Laurie in Psycho which has been recycled in other horrors.

New treatment

TREATMENT

EM: Ideas and plans.

PLANS- 


- Find out if actress can film during the evening.
- Get images for casting
- Describe ideal characters
- Think about characters form existing movies e.g Psycho 
- Describe scream queen and others
- Create scripts for actors/actresses 
- Research on male gaze theory


Psycho meets Halloween


- Establishing shot of the house
- Potentially do a shot of them being stalked from outside.
- Trees near the house, stalking, point of view shot from behind the tree
- Male enters the salon
- Close up of the beauticians hand while she's writing down his appointment (we never see her face until the very end
- Medium shot of male character walking up the stairs
- Comes into the waiting room where we see customer 2

- Close up of beautician stabbing putting scissors into a scissor holder
- Medium shot of her coming up the stairs
- Over the shoulder shot of her on the side looking at the mirror with th reflection of the two customers
- Beautician offers tea/cake to male customer which is used as an excuse to use a knife to stab the victim
- She asks for first customer
- Takes her into the massage/waxing room
- She accidentaly hurts the customer and then offers 6 minutes in the tanning bed
- In the mean time, male customer goes outside to take a phone call
- Beautician sets the timer on the tanning bed for the customer
- While the customer is in the tanning bed we hear an axe scraping on the floor contrasted with the non-digetic music, e.g organ
- Beautician then slowly enters the room  and opens the tanning bed door 
- Point of view shot from the victim and killer says "Times up!" This is the first time we see her face
- There is then a black out, and then we see a leg hanging out of the tanning bed with blood dripping down
- The male customer hears the scream and pauses in shock

Sunday, 13 February 2011

EM- Film Opening Research - General Codes and Conventions of Film Openings

In looking at a range of various film openings, there are various elements which are applied. 


Firstly, the camera shots/angles which are used play a big part in setting the tone of the film. I have noticed that in horror films the camera angles are either high angles, panning shots or point of view shots. For instance in Halloween, a point of view shot is used which is focused on a sub-urban house. To give a dramatic effect the camera is not still but it is shaking in order to build up tension and suspense but also to show the vulnerability of the victims inside the house. Shots like these are used to create narrative enigma for the audience as they do not see the killers face straight away. Also, another example of a point of view shot is in Jennifer's Body. Like Halloween, there is a point of view shot of the supposed "killer" which shows the house in the opening scene. Due to this trend, point of view shots are used to set the scene and to provide details on the background, social status and the overall feel of the neighborhood.


Secondly, sound also contributes to the film openings as it not only provides anchorage for the genre, but it sets the mood for the first opening minutes. For instance, in 5ive Girls, there is a diagetic sound of an organ which sets the tone of film as it provides a haunting and oppressive tone. However, sound can also portray the time period as we see in Hell Night. Diagetic sound is being played from a radio and it is typical rock music sung by a woman, and this therefore signifies the time period. In the opening sequence for Halloween, the non-diagetic music is fast paced with a combination of slow string notes which brings an eeriness. 


Thirdly, I have seen throughout various slasher films that they each have a tint to the lens. This blue tint is used to signify that it is night time in most of the films. Most of these have blue tints such as  Bride of Chucky, Peeping Tom and Halloween. However, some use red or orange tints to signify danger such as A Nightmare  On Elm Street. 

EM- Film Opening Conventions

We normally expect film openings to set the entire tone of the film. However, there are dynamic choices which we normally see and expect and there are factors which we do not expect.


In the opening sequence there is normally an establishing shot to signify the time period and location. In some cases, the opening sequence is just of the location and we are not introduced to any characters. However, in most cases the audience sees the victim but the identity of the killer is hidden. This identity is kept hidden by use of tracking shots and point of view shots. In the film opening, there is not immediate action which takes place, but there is a build up and a tension that rises to keep the audience in suspense.


In film openings, we are normally given exposition which sometimes provides the time period/date and the place. On the other hand, this exposition does not always have to be the place or time, but through the dialogue. In the opening, through this dialogue we are introduced to the characters  and therefore we can pre-judge. Exposition can also be used to provide anchorage such as in Halloween the words 'Hall