Wednesday, 28 December 2011


During the holidays, I went with my family to Disney World Florida. There I saw how stunts and Disney films are made and saw some very interesting shows on film.

The stunts showed me why we can't do stunts in our opening sequence as firstly we need a professional and secondly you need time to reherse it and make sure the stunt is perfect.

Another thing that I learnt is that with all Disney films, there is always a sequeal, so there is a finale but it could lead on to another film. This gave me the idea of having a cliff hanger in our opening sequence. We could make something spontanious happen and then have our titles. This could be a way we can build suspense also as the cliff hanger can make the audience wonder a lot about what is going to happen next.

Friday, 23 December 2011


During today's lesson we watched a previous AS Media coursework done by older students from our school. The one we watched today was called Relapse. In the opening sequence, someone had been tied up to a chair and left in a dark, dull place. This was a very good location for the groups purpose as the boiler room under our school gave a sort of 'something bad is going to happen here' mood. At the end of the sequence, their is a point of view shot of a character looking up at another character who is standing up and punches the guy from point of view shot. This looked really good in camera because the light was in the background and so made the punch stand out.

These two aspects of there opening sequence was good and on a whole they did OK. If we had any sort of violence in our opening sequence then the punch from point of view shot could have been a good addition to our film.

Thursday, 22 December 2011

Taken 2008 (Directed by Pierre Morel)

The opening sequence of Taken has a home video of a little girls birthday. She opens a present and then blows out the candle. She is very happy at this point. Once the girl had blown out the candles, the camera cuts to Liam Neeson's character Bryan Mills. This indicates to the audience that he was having the dream and so the girl in the home video whose birthday it was is his daughter. A clever technique I think that Pierre Morel uses is as the video comes to an end, we see flashes of white in the frame. This could indicate that Bryan Mills was waking up. Having this as an opening sequence tells you a lot about the character Bryan Mills. The audience can identify he is going to be a main character, we also can tell that he cares a grate deal about his daughter and finally the audience can identify that the girl is his daughter.

This opening sequence is very unusual and unique, however, this is not the best part of this film. In the film, characters continuously ask what Bryan Mills job is. This then leads to the story about Bryan Mills daughter (Kim played by Maggie Grace) getting kidnapped in France. She is on the phone with her father and she sees her best friend getting kidnapped and so asks her father for. Bryan tells her what to do and his final instruction was to hide under the bed. Kim replied and said now what. Bryan replied with
'The next part is important, they will take you.' This quote arises many questions to the audience as how does Bryan know this is going to happen. This also creates a lot suspense for the audience as they are expecting her to get taken straight away but there is a little dialogue before she actually gets taken.
This is one of the most tense and exhilarating moments of the film and this is the perfect set up to what follows in the film.

These two ideas presented by Pierre Morel I find to very good and very interesting. I hope my group are able to put these ideas in our own opening sequence as this will really get the interest of other viewers.

Monday, 19 December 2011

Fantastic Four - Rise of the Silver Surfer 2007 (Directed by Tim Story)

The opening of the film is very dramatic. The audience first are looking a a planet, then as the camera zoomas in, the planet starts to darken. This shows the audience a change in moods from evrything is good and happy to very dull. The camera then starts to zoom out and the planet gets destroyed. A silver light then comes from around the plant and is making a sort of fizzing sound as it shoots across the galaxy like a shooting star. The light then heads to earth. This made me think if earth was going to suffer the same fate as the other planet. This is a very dramatic scene because it seems as it is about to be the start of a new day for certain places and the audience know that something bad is going to happen as the new day begins creating tension.

The first part of the film is well taught out by the director I think as it does make me as a veiwer want to watch more.

The remainder of the film is about the silver surfer and his duty to serve the craken and it's up to the fantastic four to try stop him. In the end they join alliance to stop the cracken all together.

Friday, 16 December 2011

Props: Dark Hoody

A dark Hoody. This is what shall be worn by our ghost character. We want him to be wearing a hoody because when he dies in our film, he is a teenager. This isn't only worn for the fact that teenagers where them a lot but we also want our ghost character to where this as a costume because the hood can make our character seem anomolous. This isn't supposed to be a rebelious look for our character.

Monday, 12 December 2011


Our opening sequence, Oblivious, is going to have a free flowing montage at the beginning of the film. Through recent research of films like 'The Proposition', I have found that the montage may be a bit boring and so I suggested that we ought to have clips of the film, in between the montage.

This idea wasn't liked due to the fact that the montage may not flow with our scenes and so making the film a bit muddled and so we have decided to make sure our soundtrack emphasises the mood we are trying to portray which is happiness to sadness.

Friday, 9 December 2011

Star Wars IV New Hope - 1977 (Directed By George Lucas)

Star Wars IV is considered to have one of the best opening sequences.

This is because in 1977, people were probably thrilled when a small spaceship in space is getting chased by a much bigger space ship. For people back then, this would have probably been very exciting and most probably new to them. Also, even before the chase part of the film, the phrase 'A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away'. This is a clever phrase to put at a beginning of a new series of films as this phrase does create a sense of excitement. This is then followed by Star Wars and then script setting the scene for the audience. This is so the audience aren't complicated for what is about to come.

As we don't have the technology, we can not do the chase scene with spaceships and so forth. The part I think our group could use from this opening sequence is the script of setting the scene. However for our current idea, we want it to be a bit mysterious for the audeince of what shall happen in the film and so our opening sequence should be confusing and not understood like Star Wars is.

Tuesday, 6 December 2011

Transformers 3: Dark of the moon 2011 Directed by Micheal Bay

In the beginning of the film, there is a voice over of Optimus Prime and he tells a back story of there planet. This leads to the real story of when America sent up a team to the moon. This was very smartly done by Micheal Bay to come up with a story that links to something that actually happened in the past. If we had enough technology then a story that links to the past could be a great idea for a film.

The rest of the film is just a fight for the planet between the autobots and decepticons which leads to the decepticons dieing and the autobots winning.

Apart from the well taught out opening sequence, the rest of the film is mainly fighting and so doesn't really have a story line apart from two robot army's wanting to kill each other.

Saturday, 3 December 2011

Source Code 2011 (Directed by Duncan Jones)

In the opening scene of Source Code, Duncan Jones the director, has decided to include many camera angles and shots of a major city which I believe to be Chicago. The camera cuts many times from the city to a train, indicating to the audience that this train has a part in the film. A final frame of a river leads into a white light and then a close up of Jake Gyllenhaal character Colter Stevens. However, the storyline becomes a bit complicated after the close up. The first complication is that the women opposite him calls him Shaun. The next thing is that Colter Stevens keeps on looking around anxiously, this creates a lot of tension and suspicion around why he acts this way. Furthermore he acts out of character to what the lady across him is saying and then she become suspicious of him. All these sequences lead to an explosion and everyone dies. Then Colters Stevens awakes in a room.

This is very confusing and very complicated but the duration of the film makes everything clear. The plot of the film is that Colter Stevens must stop the train from blowing up and find out who blows it up. But he is dead and so his brain is what does it through a machine which is keeping him alive. The ending of the film is that everyone is safe and Colter Stevens saves everyone. Due to the machine changing the past, people wont know he has saved everyone and so he asks the people controlling his brain to send him back. This time he does everything he has to and more, he sends messages to people in the past and tells them the project was a success so that he could be remembered.

The remainder of the film isn't as good as the beginning of the film as it doesn't create suspense and tension for the audience and it doesn't raise as many questions as the beginning of the film does.

Thursday, 1 December 2011

X-Men Origins: Wolverine 2009 ( Directed by Gavin Hood)

In the opening sequences of this film,a young boy and a older sibling are in a room. Then the boys father enters and there is screaming comin from downstairs. The boy in the bed called Jimmy, anxiously awaits for his fathers return. Then there is a sudden gun shot and Jimmy runs downstairs to find his father dead. Anger surges through him and bone claws come out of his fist. To everyone who has watched X- Men before, they will know that this is Wolverrine when he is younger. He uses his new found power to kill the man who shot his father but, only to find that the man he just killed was his real father. This bit of the film will have the audience in suspense as it is a dramaic scene and also a very informative scene.

Next to come in the film is some credits with clips and images of Jimmy and his Sibling (Victor who is Sabertooth) growing up and there life story. The images and clips show that they are both very old because in the clips and images it shows that they faught in both world wars.

The film is mainly an action packed film, but it is very informative to why Wolverine is the way he is in the X-Men movies and so why I think people need to watch this film.

Saturday, 26 November 2011

Audience research powerpoint

Audience Research for Project

Wednesday, 23 November 2011

Costume for Dhylan Patel

Dhylan Patel is one of our main characters and he is going be in a black suit throughout our opening sequence. This is because he is going to go to the cemetery to put flowers on the grave of his lost friend. We chose the colour black because it is a dull colour which can symbolise life less. Also it is a very formal colour. Furthermore the black suit can symbolise death and so the colour black links with the mood we are trying to set. 

Monday, 21 November 2011

Story Board

 Story Board for our Montage sequence at the beggining of our opening sequence/

Story Boards for the sequence after our Montage for our opening sequence.

Saturday, 19 November 2011

Shooting Schedule and Shooting Plan

Shooting Schedule

Day 1
Sc: 1

Est. Shot of Cemetery from a low angle shot.
Tilt to Dhylan Patel.
1 Dhylan Patel


Note: Tilt diagonally down and left.
Sc: 2

Dhylan puts flowers on grave.
Camera freely moves from behind tree to see Dhylan.
1 Dhylan Patel

2 Tyler             Johnson

Sc: 3

Over the shoulder shot of Dhylan looking at tree.
1 Dhylan Patel

2 Tyler Johnson
Day 2
Sc: 4

Est. Shot of train station.
Tilt to Dhylan walking into station.
1 Dhylan Patel

Note: Tilt downwards to Dhylan.

Sc: 5

Dhylan and Tyler encounter.
Dhylan has a hard time believing it’s him.
1 Dhylan Patel

2 Tyler Johnson

Sc: 6

Point of view shot of Dhylan.
Tyler is on other platform.
Train goes by, Tyler is gone.
Dhylan leaves train station.
1 Dhylan Patel

2 Tyler Johnson

Trans: Train or Express train.

Shooting Plan
Location 1: Streatham cemetery – overcast weather
Establishing shot of Streatham cemetery – tilt
Long shot of Dhylan walking into cemetery
Close up of Dhylan putting flowers on gravestone
Camera movement from behind tree to long shot of Dhylan
Medium shot of Dhylan at bench
Long shot of Dhylan walking out of cemetery.

Location 2: Wandsworth common train station – overcast weather
Establishing shot of Wandsworth common station – tilt
Medium shot of Dhylan walking into station
Camera cuts to platform, PoV shot of Dhylan seeing Tyler on the other side of the platform
Train goes by, Tyler is gone
Close up of Dhylan looking confused
Dhylan gets on train.

This is my groups shooting schedule and plan. As you can see, we should only need 2 days of shooting. But we do not know which days we shall be shooting yet because we need the weather to be right to set the tone of our opening sequence.

Monday, 14 November 2011

Mood Board

This is my groups mood board. These pictures link with our ideas to our film and why we have made the opening sequence the way that we have. A key image is the image of a gloomy setting. We want our setting to be gloomy as it really helps to set the tone of our opening sequence which is upsetting and sorrow. So a gloomy setting will help do this.

Sunday, 13 November 2011

Screenplay of Montage

Photo 1
Tyler and Dhylan are playing a video game at Tyler’s home. They are both enjoying the game. They are playing in Tyler’s bedroom where the console is. The room is reasonably tidy. There is a small table which has some small snacks and drinks.
Photo 2
Tyler and Dhylan at school and they are laughing. They are both in their own clothes as they are in the schools sixth form. They are wearing their college’s badges. They are sitting at a white table with phones on the table and music is playing.
Photo 3
Tyler and Dhylan are having a picture taken on the street. They both have their arms over each other and are smiling for the camera.
Photo 4
Tyler and Dhylan are coming home from going to the cinema with friends. It is a bit gloomy. Tyler is holding the ticket of the film they just went to see and Dhylan is making faces at Tyler.
Photo 5
An image of a river and its surroundings.
Photo 6
 An image of a newspaper. The newspaper has the headline “Boy drowns at a young age”. An image of the same river is in the newspaper clipping.

This is a copy of our screenplay for our montage to our opening sequence which will happen at the begining of the opening sequence.

Saturday, 12 November 2011


Yesterday, we typed up our screenplayes. The general idea is to have a page per minute and so for each group, there had to be two pages. Our group had two pages so our film should come up near to 2 minutes.
This is our screenpay

Friday, 11 November 2011

Black Rose prop

A black rose isn't a real flower, we would like to artificially have one of these made for our opening sequence.
The reason for this is because when Dhylan (a main character) goes to the cemetery, we would like him to put these flowers on Tyler's grave (other main character). We want a black rose because black symbolises death and a rose is usually a loving flower. So we are trying to express both these things just by using a flower.

If we are unable to get a black rose, then we shall have to use other flowers that are black. But we prefer if it were a black rose.

Tuesday, 8 November 2011

Mise-en-scene for Barton Fink by the Coen Brothers

The Coen brothers are known for there interesting uses of Mise-en-scene.
The first film I analysed with my class today is the film Barton Fink. In the opening sequence we are following a rope being lowered which is a rope for the red curtain in a theatre. We then are looking at a man  holding a play rolled up in his hand and just mesmerised by what seems to be a play he has written being performed. We can tell this because he mouths the last line of the play before the audience start cheering. Then two men come behind this character who is Barton a play writer. We are then taken to a fancy restaurant where Barton is quite reluctant to eat with the people at the table he is taken to as he doesn't like what they are talking about and shows no emotions towards them.
There are a lot of interesting pieces of Mise-en-scene in this opening passage of Barton Fink. When we are watching the rope come down, there is a sign that comes up saying No Smoking, however the people controlling backstage are smoking which creates irony and is something that I find quite amusing.
The next useful and interesting piece of Mise-en-scene is the script held by Barton. It shows how much he cares about his production and it shows that he really gets into his plays.
The costumes used through out this opening sequence were mainly formal and upper classed clothing, only the backstage work men were wearing tatty clothing.
The most important piece of Mise-en-scene is when his producers come to stand behind him after the play finishes. This shows he has the power but the producers pay for his productions.
Finally, the way that the Coen brothers make the character Barton act shows a lot about his character. The script symbolised he thinks greatly about his plays, the way he speaks differently to the others in a slow and none emotional way shows he is his own person and when the producer for his play read out a review on one of his plays, he tried stopping him as he doesn't like boasting. This shows he is a cool, calm character who loves his plays and nothing else.
I would like to use the Coen Brothers style of Mise-en-scene in my groups opening scene as they use Mise-en-scene to give a lot of meaning to background and to characters which makes the film more interesting and symbolic.

Monday, 7 November 2011

Batman Dark Knight 2008 (Directed by Christopher Nolan)

In the opening sequence of the Dark Knight, the first shot is an establishing shot set by Christopher Nolan to set the scene and show the audience where they are which is New York city. From the establishing shot, the camera slowly zooms into the smaller building. This creates tension as the audience are wondering why they are getting closer to the building. Then there is a sudden explosion and a window, which is centered in the frame, has been blown open. We are then introduced to people wearing joker masks. The ending of the last film of Batman had the inspector showing Batman a playing card which was a Joker. The card has now been symbolised in the opening sequence of this film. The Jokers then rob the bank but they end up fighting each other to see who gets to keep all the cash. They all kill eack other and leave two. The stand off against each other, one pointing a gun to the other. This is the part that intreges me the most about this opening sequence, the joker with the gun pointing at him takes two side steps. This to the audience looks disturbing, but then a school bus comes crahing in and takes out the joker with the gun.

This opening sequence has many good ideas for my groups openinng sequece. The bits I enjoy the most is the bursting of the glass and the bus. The bursting of the glass is the part I would like to have in my groups opening sequence as it creates a lot of tension.

Friday, 4 November 2011

Ideas plus Feedback from class

In today's lesson, in our groups, we presented our ideas to our class. After each group, the groups were given feedback. Our groups idea was liked by our class mates but we did have some constructive feedback that we have taken aboard.
Our main concern is how we are going to find a garve stone with the character name we have chosen which is Tyler Johnson and that people that are around in the cemetery may not enjoy us filming there. We have over come the grave stone crisis as we are going to film the grave stone from the back so the name can't be seen. However, our teacher helped us with our second dilema and told us to be very polite in the cemetery as he doesn't want us to make others feel uncomfortable.

Another concern was about our choice of clothing for our ghost, our class thinks we need to make sure we portray him as a ghost and not a average teenager.
We have taken on board all these points and hope to make our opening sequence better based on this feedback.

Sunday, 30 October 2011

Pitch Sheet for Oblivious

Pitch Sheet

Saturday, 29 October 2011

Ideas (and Feedback)

Today I discussed my groups idea of a montage for an opening sequence of our film which we will call Oblivious to my cousin. The montage needs to set the tone for the film so we want it to show fun and happiness at first but the sadness and envy towards the end of the montage. We have a limited space to show these two contrasting emotions as we are also going to have some filming.
I also told my cousin of how we are going to use the a home video to split up the two emotions of our opening sequence.
My cousin liked our ideas and also really liekd the fact of using a home video, however as we don't know what images we are going to use for our montage he said we should concentrate on getting those images as he believes that the contrast that the images show will have a huge effect on the audience.
Our film is going well so far and we are recieveing good feedback that we can hopefully use to make our opening sequence better.

Thursday, 27 October 2011

Memento Intro 2000 (Directed by Christopher Nolan)

This is the introduction to the film memento. It is a very unusual opening sequence as we are watching what seems to be the occurrence of the film but it is going backwards. This creates a sort of flashback sequence which confuses the audience a little which I think has been deliberately done to confuse the audience. This idea would be useful if my group decide to do a crime film as we will be able to play the crime backwards which leads to uncertainty and confusion about what is happening in the film with the audience and creates suspense which will make the audience want to watch more.

Tuesday, 25 October 2011

Ideas and Feedback

Our film is a phycological thriller about a teenaged boy losing his best friend, but the teenaged boy sees the ghost of his friend that has passed away and the ghost is everywhere he goes.We as a group have finalised that we will be shooting our film in different locations. One will be at the Wandsworth Train Station. Another will be in Streatham cemetery. So far we have written some screenplay for these to parts of our film which will be at the end of our film.
The feedback we received from these options is that they were quite good places to film as the 2 scenes help with the tone of the film.

The first part of our film will be a montage of images and old newspaper articles. We also like to include a home video which we will have to make and put into the film.
The feedback we received about this idea is that the newspapers may take some time to make look very professional and realistic so we may have to start on them straight away. Also, our teacher told us that we need to make sure the audience can distinguish between he home video and our actual footage. He proposed we use a cheap phone camera as it will easily show on the film that the quality of the phone is different to our actual camera and so will show a more of a home video effect.

Monday, 24 October 2011

Screenplay draft

This a draft screenplay of the second part of our opening sequence to our film Oblivious.

In this part of the film, the main character called Dhylan is at a cemetary mourning over the lost of his dear friend callde Tyler. From there Dhylan goes to the train station and here we introduce the ghost of Tyler. Dhylan will notice Tyler on the other platform, but Dhylan doesn't believes it's Tyler, we will then use a train to make Tyler dissapear. This should create suspense and help make our opening sequence interesting and make people ask questions about our film.

Wednesday, 19 October 2011

Law Abiding Citizen 2009 (Directed by F. Gary Gray)

Today I watched the film Law Abiding Citizen and the film struck me straight away. I was struck by the opening scene of the film and also the remainder of the film but the opening sequence struck me more. In the opening sequence of the film, we are introduced to a family off 3. The father of the family is Gerard Butler's character Clyde Shelton and he and his daughter in the film are making a wrist band. Then the audience hear a diegetic sound of constant knocking on the door and Clyde's wife asks him to get that. As soon he opens the door we are put at a point of view shot and a bat is smacked on Clyde's face. The point of view shot is from the perspective of the robbers which makes this frame more intense as it seems as if we as the audience have hit Clyde with a baseball bat. The scene continues and Clyde and his wife get tied up. The robbers then make Clyde watch as they horrifically kill his wife and child and then leave him to lie there. The tying up I think is done by F. Gary Gray to emphasise the fact that Clyde has been left so helpless that all he can do is watch as the robbers kill his wife and child. This dramatic opening sequence could be used in our opening sequence for a crime film again.

Not only did I like the opening sequence of the film, but I also liked the remainder of the film. The part after the opening sequence is the court hearing of this case which involves Clyde. It is hear when we see a bad side to Clyde. We see that the robber doesn't get a sentence and he shakes hands with a lawyer who is played by Jamie Foxx who is called Nick Rice. After the hand shake, we are put in a point of view shot in the perspective of Nick Rice who sees Clyde in the background almost in tears. This is a very emotional part of the film as the audience will feel sorry for Clyde as he has been betrayed by a man who he just asked to help him. This is the turning point of the film and a transition is introduced here.

The transition fades to black and then it reappears 10 years later. This is the part of the film that I enjoy because from this point onwards Clyde has planned ways to kill everyone who has power over the law and who didn't help him in his case over the 10 year transition which we don't see. This film is thrilling and exciting and I would urge everyone to watch it.

Tuesday, 18 October 2011

Development of Ideas and Feedback

In our groups we brained stormed and finalised our ideas for our opening sequences. In our group, we decided to have a montage of happy images of the two friends hanging around. This was to be then followed by one of our main characters going to the cemetery to put flowers on the grave. We developed the idea of the flower and said we would like to use a Black rose and if we can't find a Black rose then any Black flower will do. We decided this because black symbolises death and so the prop will have a meaning to our film. Also we are going to have a scene at the train station where our character will see his friends ghost. We decided to do this because we can easily make the ghost disappear by a train going by and also to show the audience that the film is going to be a Psychological thriller.

Feedback we received was mainly about why are we going to include one of our characters just putting flowers on the death bed of the dead character. We were asked to maybe introduce a plot or something during this period to make the opening sequence more mysterious and tense.

Monday, 17 October 2011


For our opening sequences we could do a parallel edit. To do this we need to people who have different lives or two seperate things happening at the same time but them both come to a climax where the parallei edit finishes. This is a good idea if we had two totally different people who live two different lives meeting for the first time and creating something new. We can't put this sort of edit into our current idea but this sort of filming could be used in another idea if we were to do so.

Saturday, 15 October 2011

George of the Jungle

Today, on TV, George of the Jungle was showing. It had been a while since I last watched George of the Jungle so the film was sort of new to me. When I started watching it, I wondered why I liked the film. Other than the slogan 'Watch out for that tree', the plot or storyline of the film wasn't worth watching. However I did like the idea of the narrator in the film. It made this film unique and different and that is something my groups opening sequence needs to be. If we can make an interesting opening sequence with good use of a narrative role for our opening sequence. People may like the film. Although this idea does have it's downfall as it could be seen to be too childish, but it's only an idea.

Friday, 14 October 2011

Thor 2011 (Directed by Kenneth Branagh)

During the opening sequence of Thor, the first thing we see as an audience is the black night sky. This shot indicates the time of day to the audience which is needed to be done so the film isn't made confusing. The camera then pans down to a vechile in the what seems to be a dessert. It is the only vechile that the sudience can see so we can also say the director Kenneth Branagh has purposly done this to create a sense of isolation or loneliness. We are then introduced to some characters, usually when we meet characters in the begging of a film, they are the main characters and so the people we meet at the begginning of Thor are main characters to the film. After meeting the main characters, a strange mist appears in the background and the main characters go check it out. This creates suspense and tension as the sudience don't know what they are going to see. The are in a van and then they suddenly hit someone. This part of the film is very important as this is the point when questions start running through the audiences mind like who is the person they have just hit? Why did he come out of the mist? These questions are what make this opening sequence interesting and so if my grouo could replicate this sort of scenario into our opening sequence, then I think we will have a good opening sequence.

Wednesday, 12 October 2011

Preliminary Task Video

This is the video that we did in our group for our preliminary task. This video shows that we have mastered the 180 degree rule and the rule of continuity. There is also a shot reverse shot in the short video that we needed to show for our preliminary task.

Tuesday, 11 October 2011

Things to consider for my opening sequence

For my opening sequence to stand out, I must do something that looks like a real film rather than producing a film that looks like a piece of A-Level coursework. By doing some background research on what critics like to see in films and notes from my teacher, there are certain things that make a film look good. My teacher has given me a list of things that my group should consider to put in our films. He likes the idea of having some footage of big forms of transport like planes and trains as they look good in films. Also my teacher likes the idea of the opening sequence showing a contrast between two things like a bright mood and a dull mood.

In my own research I found that critics are very interested in the background story of a film or the story line of a film. The film could have all the special effects in the world but if the film doesn't have a good story line than people aren't going to enjoy it as much as a film with less special effects but a good story line.

So in my group, we need to establish a story line or a background story that will make our film interesting.

Monday, 10 October 2011

Collateral 2004 (Directed by Micheal Mann)

In the opening 45 seconds of the movie, we are able to establish one of the films main characters.

As you can see, Tom Cruise's character Vincent is the main character. We can tell this because throughout this scene, Vincent is the man in focus. Even in the busy airport, Micheal Mann has used a shallow depth of field to focus on him during this busy time. During this opening scene, we can hear the diegetic sound of Vincents footsteps which makes him seem more bigger or powerful than everyone else. The way Vincent is dressed shows that he is a mysterious man as he is wearing a grey suit with sunglasses on which hide his face a bit creating a sense of mystery.

This part of the scene is completely different to when we get introduced to Jamie Foxx's character Max. When we meet Max, he is doing a crossword puzzle in a busy taxi business. We can tell he is a main character because the camera stays on him for quite a while. It is very noisy during this scene and so Max goes into his cab, when the door closes, the audience hears hardly anything as the sounds all become silent once the door closes. This could symbolise that the character Max feels isolated or the character could prefer being on his own rather in a loud and busy surrounding. We then realise that the character Max has an ambition as he has a picture of a island that he kisses and keeps in his taxi. This could be his home island and so giving him a reason for working.

These two different scenes in the opening sequence of Collateral show great contrast. In one scene we see a powerful mysterious character and on the other hand we have a isolated or peaceful character who feels comfortable when he is behind the wheels of his taxi. I think the director has done this not only to introduce the two main characters but also show how different there lives are to one another. This idea could be used in our opening sequence to help show a great contrast between two characters.

Sunday, 9 October 2011

Preliminary Task

On Thursday and Friday, me and my group completed our Preliminary task during our Media Studies periods. Basically our Preliminary task is a video that shows 3 main skills and we have to apply them to our film. The skills are; Continuity (we are going to show this through a door opening and closing again and we have to make the shots match), 180 degree rule (we are going to do this by keeping all the cameras on the same side) and finally we have to show we have mastered the skill shot reverse shot (we will show this skill during our conversation). The remainder of the filming can be as elaborate as we wanted as we were not getting marked on the content of the film but we were getting marked on the 3 skills I listed.
So on Thursday, in our groups, we developed ideas in our groups for the Preliminary task. We had to come up with our idea quickly as the rest of our double lesson was going to be on us shooting all the footage needed to make the film. Our group were quite quick in making up our minds. Our idea was to have a pan of a student walking to lesson late and trying to get in for the lesson in time. At the very beginning we see a short bit of the lesson the student is supposed to be in. After the student gets to his lesson, he has to open a door and it is here where we show our continuity skills. When the student enters he gets told of and gets told to sit down and carry on with the work. Then he has a conversation with a friend and it is here where we show the shot reverse shot needed for our preliminary task. Finally, the 180 degree rule should have been used throughout the film and it was.
Here are our notes.

So the following day we made edited our film. The film will be up on my blog once one off my group members uploads it to You Tube.

There was a slight problem during editing that our teacher picked up upon. We wanted to have a cut from the student walking to lesson and a student in lesson. The student in lesson would be writing a text message and the student late to lesson will received the message and start running to lesson, but during filming we forgot an establishing shot of the student writing the message which our teacher picked up upon. So we couldn't use our phone idea but its a lesson well learnt now.

Saturday, 8 October 2011

Ideas and Feedback

In today's lesson, we made more ideas on our films. Today we taught of our main character seeing the ghost of his friend in a classroom. The scenario would be he would be doing work, then he sees the ghost and then he asks his friends if they can see the ghost and they reply with the no.

We talked about this idea in the class and our feedback was mainly about why would our character see the ghost out of the blue. They said there is no connection from the montage which we presented to them a couple of lessons ago, to the sequence we discussed today.

Thursday, 6 October 2011

Jaws opening sequence

Jaws opening sequence is considered to one of the best. This is because we are introduced into the film with everything normal, but at the end we find a terrifying beast in the sea. I think this is done very well by Steven Speilberg as the music adds to the effect of the attack as it makes the audience feel tenser. Also the point of view shot used if very effective as it tells the audience that there is something in the water. This is definitely something I can use to help my group create our opening scene based on the music and camera angles used.

Wednesday, 5 October 2011

Ideas (People)

For our opening sequence, we have decided to have a man or teenager to be the main character that keeps on seeing things that no one else can see. Today, I have seen a man who acted in the way that I think emphasised that the person was a bit crazy. For our opening sequence to work, our character must be a bit awkward or crazy. This man that I saw was walking with a sort of limp, his mouth was slightly open and he never smiled at anyone who walked past him or around him. He wouldn't make eye contact with anyone and he always had his hands in his pockets. This sort of character can strike an audience with many questions about the character and so this is why I think this sort of character should be used in our opening sequence.

Tuesday, 4 October 2011

Development of Location Ideas

The reason for why we chose the cemetery is because one of our characters is dead and so we would like to have a part of our opening sequence at the cemetery where the other main character will put flowers down for his dead friend.
We chose to film at the train station because we taught we could portray the ghost character dissapearing and appearing on the platform easily and use the train to do this. This will enable us to show the audience the character is a ghost.

Monday, 3 October 2011

Opening Sequence Analysis of THE BONE COLLECTOR 1999 ( Directed by Philip Noyce)

The opening sequence of the bone collector has a short montage. In this montage we see images, Major headlines, phrases and pictures. During the montage, the camera is tracking and panning over these phrases and pictures. During the montage, Philip Noyce had chosen to have a high pitched violin backing track. This made the montage seem very mysterious and made the audience more tense and in suspense.
After the montage, the camera pans across New York city. This could have also been an establishing shot as the pan showed us where the film is set.
After the pan, Denzil Washington's character appears. The camera follows Denzil Washington's character  and focuses on him when he appears which indicates to the audience that he is a main character in the film. We find that he has to go inside what seems to be a cave. His performance when he walks showed some authourity as he walked with no hesitation. Also he is walking in the front which showed leadership. Furthermore, the camera angle on Denzil Washington's character is a low angle shot which makes him seem mighty compared to the others. When Denzil Washington's character gets to the end of the tunnel, something drops from on top of him, the noise of the thing splitting the cord above Denzil Washington's character made that bit seem life like.
Finally, after Denzil Washington's character gets hit, it goes black and then suddenly opens to a birds eye view shot of Denzil Washington's character in a hospital bed. The point of view shot adds to the effect of Denzil Washington's character seeming weak. Also, there isn't any non-diegetic sounds whilst Denzil Washington's character is in the hospital bed, all we can hear is the heart beat monitor that Denzil Washington's character is hooled up to. This is in complete contrast to how Denzil Washington's character was like before he got hurt. I think this contrast was smartly shown by Philip Noyce and I would love to use this idea for my groups opening sequence.

Saturday, 1 October 2011

Analysis of IDENTITY 2003 (Dircted by James Mangold)

The opening sequence of Identity is very mysterious as it consist of a montage of newspapers, criminals, crime scene notes and pictures. From this montage we are able to identify the genre of the film as some sort of crime investigation movie. The mystery is added because of the dark setting, the opening sequence has a dark background making it difficult to see things which adds to the mystery.
The opening sequence uses a lot of camera movements. The camera pans across the pictures and crime notes, there are tilted frames of the images and a lot of tracking during the opening sequence of the film.
During  the opening sequence we are focused on the investigator of this crime scene. This shows that this person could be a main character to the film.
Finally this opening sequence had some good diegetic sounds to add to the effect of the film as we could hear thunder in the background of the film. This makes the audience feel more tense and in suspense rather than the scene being in daylight and if it were sunny outside. This mood wouldn't fit with the mysterious montage.

Friday, 30 September 2011


Today we put more ideas into our initial ideas. We taught about suitable locations for our film to be set. We came up with a train station, a park where characters will play football and a cemetery.

Our feedback consisted of our class mates explaining that we have to be clear about what train station as some are busy and some are not and also our teacher suggested that at the park we don't have the characters playing football. Only because in America where film is at its prime, they aren't interested in football or soccer and so our film won't sell in America.

Thursday, 29 September 2011

Today I visited the southfields community centre to learn how to edit films using imovie. It was a great experience and I learnt a lot about how to use the software to its best potential so I can make a good opening sequence with my group.

Wednesday, 28 September 2011

Training Day Power Point

Sunday, 25 September 2011

Development of Ideas

In our groups. We again brained stormed more ideas. As we had some criticism about the age of ghost character for our main idea of a psychological thriller, we decided to make the age of the ghost character the same age as our other main character who will keep on seeing the ghost.

Today we also established we will be opening our film with a montage, the montage will include images of the our two main characters being friends and the montage may include a home video of some sort.

Thursday, 22 September 2011


Today I've brained stormed ideas in a group for the opening scene of our film.

Our main idea is to make a Psychological thriller where a brother or man keeps on seeing a kid which no one else can see. We also would like to have a montage at the beginning.

We did have some feed back on how we might find it difficult to find an child that would like to be in this film and who will act according to what we want him to do, but we are still in the process of hopefully finding someone to fill that space.