Monday, 31 January 2011

Lurpak Butter Advert

In class, we watched a unique Lurpak butter advert of a man making an omlette. As grey and dull as it seems, the Lurpak butter advert suprisingly had the entire class embracing the advert due to the intricate editing and camera shots used. The advert commences with a camera on a track slowly gliding through the fridge at a low angle making all contents seem large we then see an extreme close up of a pack of eggs which look towering at the low angle we view it from. We are then returned back the fridge only to view the contents from a high angle getting a slight glance of the Lurpak butter. Matchcuts are then used of the man pulling the fridge door open, the light from the outisde of the fridge penetrating, and a big close up of a fridge magnet. This is followed by a mid shot of the man staring into the fridge and a high angle point of view shot staring into the fridge. We are then introduced to our second extreme close up of the mans eyes blinking accentuated with the huge sound of his eyelids opening and shutting. The next shot is a another extreme close up of the man's index finger taping on the fridge door. We then see the man place two eggs onto the bench and go to a low angle shot of the man bringing the egg down to the edge of the bowl instantaneously followed by a close up of the yolk splashing. The camera is then placed below the fork whisking the egg giving a very dynamic camera shot with a submerged feeling everytime the fork enters the egg. We next see a mid shot of the man whisking the egg followed by a big close up of the man pinching salt into the egg and close up shots of the salt plopping into the egg. The next shot is a low angle shot from the inside of the drawer viewing the man pull it open , clear example of intertextuality as this scene has been replicated in a number of thriller films. We next see him cutting into the butter once from a big close up and then a regular close up. The next shots are of the butter being dropped into the frying pan and the cooker being ignited both in slow motion to make simple tasks seem cool and epic. We then view the egg pour into the frying pan and witness it cook from a birds eye view interesting because time is sped up so it highlights the changes made. We then view a low angle shot of cheese being grated and falling towards the camera and as soon as tge epicness of the frying is finished the shots return to simple camera shots of the man sitting down and eating. This advert is accomponied by an elegant opera singer - an intriguing choice of high class music for a simple purchasable item.

Bag Swap III (Final Production)

This is the final production of the Bag Swap, we have incorporated all of the skills we have learnt from the previous lessons into this production, with no further adieu - Enjoy!

Livetype And Soundtrack Pro

In lesson we were introduced to the software Livetype. This software allows the user to create an animated title sequence, begining with simply entering what they wish to be their title. I chose to try and replicate a proffesional  feel to my title so i named it Steel Palm Studios simply because there is a back ground with palm trees that compliments the name.
This is the begining of my title sequence
I began to experiment with different fonts and animatic word sequences (livefonts) to add some personality to the text , however the sequences did not fall efficiently with my text and seemed to look very mediocre so i decided to not include no word animations. I then added a texture to my title sequence and as previously mentioned i used the texture that complimented the name, the texture of palm trees (ink 02). I then adjusted the time frame of when the text makes it entrance to be in sync with the animatic texture. In addition to the animated texture I also used the wave effect to add a magnified feel in the begining of the title sequence, giving it edge.
Near complete title sequence
 Soundtrack Pro
This software allows its user to compose a piece of music, with thousands of sound effects, highly useful when coming to compose a sound piece to accompony the title sequence or to add non digetic sound effects to a scene. When I began creating my piece of music I took into account that this will accompony my title sequence from Livetype so I decided for my first sound to be of the beach, I then included an irrelevant cardboard box opening followed by a ticking sound connoting to the audience that the contents of this cardboard box is a bomb this has many references to my film genre of thrillers.
Screen shot of my soundtrack on Soundtrack Pro
 Finally, I combined the two productions into one by exporting both the text and the sound into Final Cut Pro allowing me to visualise the two together.
This is a screen shot of both the work from Livetype and Soundtrack Pro into one on Final Cut Pro

Bag Swap II

Here is some behind the scene footage of the bag swap II... Edited by Ms Power.

Introduction to editing

Types of editing;

Shot/Reverse shot - A technique most often used in conversations, when we cut from one parson speaking to another, and back again.
Cross Cut - When the editing takes us from one situation to another, usually back and forth, to suggest the two things are linked.
Match Cut - When editing occurs on an action thus making the action appear seamless.
Jump Cut - An edit that is clumsy and takes the audience by suprise.
Transitions - Effects added during editing.
Slow/Fast motion - When the footage is slowed down or sped up.
Ellipsis - When time is condensed through editing.
Flashback/Forward - Time is manipulated through editing.
Sound Bridge - Sound used as an editing device to link two scenes together.

In lesson we used the software Final Cut Pro to edit our bag swaps.
This screen shot illustrates me using Final Cut Pro to re-arrange the clips we recorded into a sensible, effective order. In this sequence rather than having all of the clips connected in one long bar I jolted them and overlapped the clips so that they commence more smoothly and look less rigid. When editing we clicked 'I' for in and 'O for out allowing us to crop the unnecessary parts of the clip and keep the parts we need.
This screen shot demonstrates what the production is viewed as on the canvas (top right screen). 
This is the razor tool, it is literally used to cut a clip in half, we used this to seperate the clip and add slow motion to it to accentuate the intensity of the scene.

Sunday, 30 January 2011

My favorite title sequence

Grand Theft Auto;
My most favorite title sequences come from the Grand Theft Auto franchise. Before the release of Playstation 3 and Xbox 360, the Grand Theft Auto franchise used near exact title sequences to introduce their games, a very smooth flowing animatic slideshow displaying the scenery of the game accomponied by the opening credits. However due to the recent fluctuation of technology the Grand Theft Auto franchise has disowned their original title sequence for a far more intermediate, cinematic title sequence as displayed in the most recent - Grand Theft Auto 4.

I have chosen to illustrate the Grand Theft Auto title sequences with Grand Theft Auto: 3 and 4 , simply because Grand Theft Auto 4 is in the same city as 3 and there is a highlighted difference in the way the city and the game is portrayed through the title sequence. Grand Theft Auto 3 seems to be very investigative with its simple piano music wheras Grand Theft Auto 4 seems very out going and intricate due to the very detailed introduction.

Analysis Of Title Sequence

Not alot to say...

Movie: The Stepfather
00:15 - Screen Gems
00:22 - Screen Gems presents
00:29 - List of production companies
00:36 - Change in music
00:52 - Title of film
00:57 - 1st name of actors
01:01 - 2nd name of actors
01:05 - 3rd name of actors
01:14 - 4th name of actors
01:16 - 5th name of actors
01:29 - 6th name of actors
01:56 - 7th name of actors (final actor)
02:13 - Casting
02:25 - Costume
02:30 - Music
02:42 - Production designer
Movie: Marathon Man
00:06 - Paramount Pictures
00:17 - Paramount Pictures presents
00:19 - Production team
00:21 - Director
00:43 - 1st name of actors
00:49 - 2nd name of actors
00:51 - 3rd name of actors
00:53 - 4th name of actors
00:56 - 5th name of actors (final actor)
01:01 - 01:06 - Title of film
01:23 - Co-stars
01:28 - Music
01:32 - Edited
01:34 - Production designer
01:38 - Associate producer
01:41 - Director of photography
02:04 - Screenplay
02:08 - Producer
02:13 - Director

Thursday, 27 January 2011


Absolutely fantastic fantasy thriller.. Having just finished watching it, I must admit I am breath taken. Incredible movie, directed by Peter Jackson in 2009. The film was based on the novel that had been written by Alice Sebold. A terrifying story of a young girl 'Susie Salmon' who had been murdered at the age of 14 by her neighbor. Susie explains her story whilst she's in the world in between heaven and earth. Her ambition is to try and get somebody to discover her lost body, when showing how lives have been affected around her, and the consequences of her death. This movie was incredibly inspiring. The editing that was used to create effects was phenomenal; how fluently the entire story just grew beautifully together.
The camera work in this movie was excellent, I particularly enjoyed the scene where Susies sister Lindsey had broken into the neighbors house and discovered the dreadful secret that the neighbor had in fact killed his sister. However to us as the audience, we know where Susie is and we are anxious for somebody to find her. As Lindsey breaks into the neighbors house, she falls into the basement where Susies body is hidden. There is a perfect shot there to create immaculate suspense when Lindsey is walking up the staircase and the camera is just focusing on her feet looking past the safe in which her sister's body was in. She pauses at the top of the staircase - false plateau - and when the audience is hoping for Lindsey to turn around and check what's in the safe, she turns to carry on moving up the stairs.
Once the neighbor is back in the house and Lindsey is still upstairs in his bedroom having found the journal which proves her sister's murder, Lindsey intended to adjust the floorboards (under which she found the journal) the way she found it. And the silence of the house makes that wood 'bang' the loudest noise, as we have a low angle close up of the 'villain' conveying his power, as dramatic music accompanies his chase.


Intertextuality is when we take inspiration from other people's work and use it for our own.
When transferred to the film industry, directors take camera angles, mise en scene and settings from other films and use it in their own. This creates the conventions within genre as most films will borrow techniques. In the thriller genre, lots of techniques are taken from the film 'Phsyco,' a 1960's classic directed by Alfred Hitchcock.

There is a very famous sequence in the film that takes place in a bathroom, where a girl is showering. The bathroom is all white, which is also seen in many other films as it connotes the innocence of the victim. The figure enters the bathroom, and this is seen by the audience through the transparent shower curtain. However the girl is oblivious as her back is turned away from the door. The dramatic irony at this part has a maximum impact of tension.

When the victim is attacked, loud and fast paced music alerts the audience, this is just one of the ways directors use music to forbose the future events in a film. When she is killed she collapses in the bath. As she falls, she takes hold of a shower curtain, and there is a close up on each circle popping out of the rail. This was also seen in the stepfather.

The close up of blood dripping down the plug hole is also particularly thrilling as it emphasises the horrific thing that has just happening without showing too much. This in my opinion is an effective way

And finally, the closeup on the eye, zoomed out to reveal the rest of the scene.


I have also been introduced to a software called 'Livetype' and 'Soundtrack Pro'.
Livetype is to help us create a veriety of fonts to add titles to our movies. This will become a lot more useful when editing our final coursework piece. There are plenty of ways to play arround with the effects that can be done. These effects are submitted to your text at the click of a button and can be edited out to match up whatever theme the movie is. I have included pictures to demonstrate just some of the tools and actions that can be done when using 'Livetype'.
Soundtrack Pro is all about adding sound to footage. This is extremly important to the video for various effects. The purpose of sound is to make it more appealing to the audience and exhadurate events within the film. On soundtrack pro there is a veriety of sounds to choose from; instruments allowing to use guitar, base, piano, and create a 'master piece' of something that will really be EXTREMLY important towards the quality of the film.

BAG SWAP. "Final Project"


I have recently been learning of how to edit videos. After having shot the 'bag swap' video, we needed to develop our skills within the editing suit. To do this we used a program called 'FinalCut Pro'. This is extremly advanced software that helped us put together our movie creating something appealing to the audience and developing new skills.

There are a few examples of editing shots that make the scenes more effective for the viewers:

Shot reverse shot - this shot is most often used in coversations, the camera cuts to each person as they take their turns to speak.
Cross Cut - This is when editing takes us from one place to another linking the two images together, making sure they have something in common.
Match Cut - This is editing that occurs in action for example when we see a person leaning out to open the door, and then we have a close up of the door.

To edit out footage we had to save it to an external hard drive, connect it to the computer and drag our footage into 'final cut'. We then learnt how to crop the videos and organise them across a timeline.

BAG SWAP. "Backstage Scenes"

The Jelly bean final project.

Tuesday, 25 January 2011


In class we have watched a short clip of a briefcase exchange, taken from the movie 'Collateral' that was released in 2004.
The scene is suspenseful due to the gripping background music. There are close-ups of faces to indicate to the audience who important characters in the movie may be. There scene varies between close-ups and medium close-ups.
The match cuts in this clip are done brilliantly when the two characters from their briefcases. We have now been set a task to create our own version of a bag swap.


We have been introduced to the camera that we will be using to film our thriller openings. The JVC GY-HM100. We had to listen to a short introduction; how to treat the camera properly to make sure that we do not damage it, and receive the full potential. Here is the list of things that I have taken away with me from this lesson:
  • Use the tripod to secure the camera - this is so that if you want to get a nice steady shot of the action that may be taking place, it's best not to shoot the scene with a flimsy camera. If you use a tripod, the scene will be more steady.
  • Close the lens when the camera is not in use - It is important to close the lens when the camera is not in use because the lens can be easily scratched and people may touch it with their fingers in which case you will see your work in editing with finger prints on it.
  • Focus before filming - This is important, it is always best to find the shot that you want to take before hand, set it up, press record and then move onto the '5,4,3,2,1,ACTION' theory, before starting any real action that you want in your scene.
  • Make sure to have permission to film in the place where you are filming - some places may not be permitted to take footage therefore it is important that you ask for permission to film in the area that you want. ie. tube station, it is important to ask if you are allowed to film in the tube station.
  • Don't vandalise - if you need a wall of graffiti, don't spray paint the walls, make sure to ask for permission to use a wall that has already got a legal graffiti design on it.
  • Always use an umbrella above the camera not yourself when you are filming - it is important to not let the camera get wet, the repairs for damages could be expensive.
  • Return the camera on time - It is important to bring equipment back in time, so all students who are permitted to using the camera get to have a chance at filming.
  • Using the microphone - I there is diegetic sound in your shot, it is best to ask for a microphone that can be attached to the top of the camera, this way you will get good quality sound.
  • Make sure to always put the camera and tripod back in their cases - This is important for obvious reasons; so that the camera and tripod are both safe, so they do not get scratched and will get less dusty.
  • The battery life on the camera lasts up to 2hrs - this is important to keep in mind when you're filming, so that you can be prepared to bring the camera back and charge the battery for your next shoot.


We have studied title sequences in lesson and have worked to accomplish a time line. The time line helps us to develop our knowledge of the start and end times of the film opening. This is useful for us because it will influence our own strategy for our thriller movie openings.
We have watched the opening to movie 'Marathon Man' (1976). And observed a title sequence of 'The Stepfather' to be able to compare what the two have in common, and to find out if there is a clear strategy to this. It seems that within the analysis of both introductions the first thing they are introduced to is the production company. 'Marathon Man' production and distribution company was 'Paramount Presents'. A film title only comes up on the screen on average of a minute within the movie. Even before the title we are introduced to a few main characters and may have already seen some action. The information that comes up on a typical introduction are:
  • Production
  • Director
  • Casting
  • Title
  • Music
  • Editing
  • Production Designer
  • Associated Producers
  • Director of Photography 


    A clockwork orange was originally a short novel written by Anthony Burgess, and later on made into a very brilliant thriller film that was directed by Stanley Kubrick in 1971. The movie stars Malcolm McDowell as main character Alex DeLarge. A story about a teenager who unfortunately enjoys rape, ultra-violence and classical music. After and intrusion with his gang of 'droogs' Alex was sent to prison and later on subjected to a brainwashing technique to 'cure' his behavior. The film set to thriller themes of mortality, free will and psychology. Personally I thought the movie was absolutely grotesque and yet extremely cleverly presented with a great amount of suspense. The movie had particularly cought my eye because the main character was speaking to us to explain what he's thinking. As people, we tend to be slightly nosey. If there is no action happening we would consider it a boring movie. However in a clockwork orange Kubrick decided to have a voice over of the main character Alex. This was so that the audience wouldn't get lost in the action and it will give us an insite to what on earth goes on in Alex's brain when he is committing vial crimes. This makes the movie easy to follow. Here is a trailer for more insite to the movie:
    My favorite part of the film was in fact the opening scene. Which is why I thought of this as a title sequence that really inspires me.
    We learn of the production comapany's, the name of the actual movie within the first 45seconds of the film against a red screen. Red is know to be a color for alerting violence and rage, accompanied by tension packed music foreshadowing the dangers coming up later in the movie. After those 45seconds are through and all the writing disappears of the screen we get a close up of our main character Alex. Which later on moves on to a wide shot of Alex and his 'droogs', which are the next most significant characters. We are then moved out even further into a long shot where the mise en scene foreshadows their 'interests'. The room or as Alex calls it 'club' is filled with female, naked, manikins, which shows they treat women like objects (they use the manikins as coffee or more likely 'milk' tables). This also improvises on the rape that progresses later on in the film. We then hear Alex's voice as the 'voice over' of the scene to explain where they are (location), who he is with (names) and the importance of the characters around him.  As he finished the first scene "...with a bit of the... ultra-violence" the music becomes more dramatic to bring in more tension and excite the audience about the action to come. Here is a video that I have attached of the opening sequence:

    Sunday, 23 January 2011

    Black Swan.

    Last night I saw the golden globe nominated film, Black Swan.
    I wasn't expecting anything too serious and intense from the trailers mostly advertising it as being about a ballerina's struggle to becoming a successful dancer. But it then became more of a thriller with the entire audience gasping in shock and sometimes even from disturbing sights such as Nina- the main character played by Natalie Portman. Having to pull out a black feather form her back that is scarred with an odd rash.
    In my opinion, this is what I thought the film was about, but it is one of those films (such as INCEPTION) that leaves gaps for the audience to fill in with their own choice of how they would like it to end.
    What happened in the film is that Nina is picked as the Swan Queen, which is the biggest part she could get. But this specific dancer must be able to play two characters that are absolutely opposite, the white swan which is sweet and innocent and gentle and then the black swan, that is evil, passionate and seductive. Yet Nina can only seem to perfect the white swan act, and then fail to show what the director wants to see in the black swan character. And when the director tries to show her what passion hes talking about, nina takes it too seriously and seems to allow this passion to take over her mind. Throughout the film, she seems to become more and more obsessed with the perfection of the black swan and through that she begins to hallucinate, to the point when she doesn't even know whats real or not. And yet as the audience, we

    don't know that they are hallucinations and that all of the gory scenes and swan transformation scenes were all in her mind until right at the end.
    Over all, I really enjoyed watching this film even though it made my skin crawl, made me cringe, made me laugh and made me cry, Natalie Portman definitely deserved that golden globe award for this part.
    Highly recommended.

    (Below is both my favourite scene and the trailer)

    Camera Introduction & Bag Swap I

    Rules and regulations of the cameras;
    • Do not touch the lense of the camera
    • When not filming close the lense
    • Never film in the rain unless you have an umbrella to protect them
    • Never film at dangerous or illegal locations
    • Never commit illegal activities when filming
    Camera angles ( the basic of the basic )
    Camera angles are significant in any film regardless of  genre, they assist in establishing which characters are in power to reflecting a characters emotions allowing the audience to read between the lines of any situation.

    Low/High angle shots: These can show power relationships with the viewer either looked up at people or objects, or situated above and looking down. These shots are typically used when the villain is present and the producers want to highlight the superiority the villain harbours.
    Point of view shots: The present action shown from the viewpoint of a character, this can encourage the viewer to empathise with a certain situation. Regularly viewed and most effective in thriller/horror movies because it gives the viewer that uncomfortable seat in the heart of the action allowing them to feel engaged in the movie and boost the level of suspense in the scene.

    Camera movement
    Self explanitory - This section will roll over the main ways in which a camera can move;
    Panning: With a panning shot, the basise of the camera stays still but the camera moves left or right. The movement is horizontal and might be up to 360 degrees. Pans can be used to introduce a particular setting, as a camera slowly reveals part of a room.
    Tracking: A tracking shot occurs when the camera base moves sideways to follow the action. The camera is moved on a dolly or a set of rails. This enables the programme maker to show moving action through out scenes.
    Tilting: When tilting, the camera base remains static, while the camera moves vertically, up or down. A classic use of a tilt would be up or down a usually female characters body to show sexual attraction.
    Handheld (My personal favorite): Handheld camerawork can also be used to follow action or to show events from a characters point of view. Programme makers sometimes exploit the shaky nature of handheld camerawork to make the viewer feel uneasy or to communicate distress etc.
    Here is possibly the best example of a handheld camera in action. This is the trailer of the 2008 American Disaster movie - Cloverfield.

    Bag Swap I (introduction);
    As well as learning how to operate the cameras and running over the camera shots we were also given the task of creating our own bag swap as seen in the opening of the movie Collateral.

    Saturday, 22 January 2011


    The definition of the word intertextuality is;
    'The whole network of relations, conventions and expectations by which the text is defined; the relationship between texts'
    Intertextuality plays a huge role in the media world with many great conventions re-enacted and manipulated to incorporate the same essence of the original. It is difficult for a film producer in this day and age to successfully create a plot that already has not been thought of without crossing lines with other producers, so in theory the entire media industry is run on intertextuality, some more recocognisable than others; 
    The famous shower scene from the 1960's horror movie Psycho

     This famous scene has become an icon to many filmakers in the thriller/horror department with many conventions mirrored into their own pieces of work. In relation to my case studies, the movie The Stepfather has noticably been inspired by this famous scene as they also had a replica of the bathroom , similar camera shots and recognisable traits such as when David is stabbed in his neck he collapses back pulling down the shower curtain and staring motionless into the camera.

    Thursday, 20 January 2011

    How is suspense created in the film you watched in class.

    The Stepfather.
    What happens in the scene and what makes it suspenseful?
    As we know suspense is the building blocks to any thriller and here are my three most suspenseful moments in The Stepfather and how it is achieved.

    1) when Mrs Cutters is murdered;
    David searches America's Most Wanted to stumble across the image of him as pointed out by Mrs Cutter. The sound of an aggressive boom initiates the next scene, automatically stating to the audience that she is now his target. The doorbell is rung accomponied with eerie music and when the door is answered the camera switches to a long shot from the inside of her house indicating that her home harbours an intruder. The sound tones down as the door shuts, the visceral effect comes into play with the audience assuming David will predictably jump out at "any minute". Instead false plateau is used and her cat pounces in front of the camera shocking the audience. Dramatic irony then takes its toll as Mrs Cuters follows her cat deeper into her house, the suspense is accentuated with the return of the eerie music. We then see a point of view shot of her cat hissing at Mrs Cutters marking the peak of suspense in the scene because the viewers know false plateau only reguarly occurs once in a scene, bracing the audience and setting a tenseful mood. David's reflection is then viewed in the mirror and the music blasts as she is attacked.
    2) When Michaels father is murdered;
    The scene commences with Michael's father entering their home and initially going to say farewell to his children. The normality of the scene is quickly abolished when David enters the kitchen to answer the phone and tells his girlfriend that he has not arrived creating a tenseful scene accomponied by a dark non digetic tone. Additional suspense is created when the camera switches to the point of view of Michael's father drawing closer to the kitchen. As he enters the camera pans revealing that David is out of sight, by this point the chilly music had come to a halt commencing the visceral effect as the viewers wait for David to strike. The father's unanswered questions are finally answered followed by a sudden close up of David and Michael's father being pumelled in the head with a glass vase. The final suspense in this scene is of Michael coming near to catching David suffocating his father, however Michael turns around before he goes to the bottom of the basement.
    3) Jackie being drowned by david;
    This suspeseful scene is inroduced with David reading an email regarding his identity. David then reached for the house phone and cancels jackie's subscription, highly suspenseful because in relation to the title sequence of The Stepfather we see that the murdered family has their newspaper subscription cancelled connoting to the audience that she is going to be murdered as the family in the begining. This is reinforced when the crosscut takes us to the lady in her house. The occuring thunderstorm in the scene also accentuates the tenseful mood. When she enters her backgarden dramatic music begins to play to accentuate the intence weather, the point of view shot also makes the scene more suspenceful as the audience feel that they are in her shoes. Whilst Jackie is pulling in the garden umbrella from the swimming pool the camera zooms out to reveal David startling the audience before he drowns her.

    How am I influenced from these scenes?
    I wish to incorporate reverse false plateau in my own thriller opening. Making the audience think theyhave figured everything out and brace for something that comes far sooner than expected, catching the audience of guard and enthralling them to continue watching.

    Bag swap. Final project!

    Wednesday, 19 January 2011

    My favorite Thrillers.

    I thought it would be best to publish a blog about my favorite thriller films to show the typical type of thriller films that I specifically enjoy.

    1. The shining. 
    I loved 'The shining' as it was a very simple idea that was cleverly filmed in a way that created a disturbing atmosphere and a lot of suspense. T

    his was made in 1980 and even has a iconic line that everyone uses, but it is now usually used to mock the film more than anything. But that doesn't contradict to how good this film was and was reviewed.  
    One of my favorite parts in this film was the twins that kept on showing up in the hotel, it made me feel as though there may be some sort of chilling ghosts still here, haunting the man. Other than him just becoming insane. There was one scene that always caught my attention that builds up a huge amount of suspense, which was the little boy riding his tricycle through the hotel hallways. Through this they film it as though they are following the boys bike, and with the suspenseful music following after, it creates the audience to become fearful for the child's safety. Which is on of the things that made this film so good. 

    2. PUSH 
    I really enjoyed PUSH (with Chris Evans and Dakota Fanning) as it was very creative and had one of my favorite sub genre's, Romance and super natural. The film about a group of people who naturally form a super power and there is a corporation that is trying to destroy them or make them under their control. In my opinion, PUSH was very under rated. As not many people have seen it because of the bad advertisements and lack of support of money to keep it in cinemas. And so it was put from cinema and then straight away to DVD's.
    PUSH has a lot of action in it with a lot of chase scene's and in the chase scenes, you build up a lot of suspense in your mind, as the audience. Wanting the bad guy to lose.
    What made this film so much better than others is the actual ending, leaving the audience hungry for more with such a huge, suspenseful cliff hanger.

    Bag swap- filming.

    In the lesson that we were taught on how to use the cameras, we were then told to create a simple scene that included a 'bag swap'. I thought that this would be a good opportunity to create a video blog during this lesson and then edit it at home. And so click on the video below to watch my video on how we got on whilst filming the 'Bag swap' sequence. . . :) 

    Tuesday, 18 January 2011

    Camera Introduction.

    Camera safety rules

    The following below are the rules when operating a camera.

    1. Never film at dangerous or illegal locations. Areas with traffic or railways as this can risk your safety
    2. Never commit illegal activities when filming e.g. vadalism or tresspassing as this can cause you to have to re film your entire coursework.
    3. Do not touch the lens of the camera as this can effect the quality when recording takes place and this is the most expensive part of the camera so this rule is crucial!
    4. Always return equipment on time to the college as there is a limited amount of camera's approximately 15 in the college and other groups would need to borrow them. So make sure you return it back at 9:00 am on the next school day. 

    Title sequence analysis.

    Title Timeline: 
    15 seconds – Film Starts
    22 seconds – ScreenGems Presents
    29 seconds – Maverick Films/Imprint Entertainment, Granada Presents
    52 seconds –  The STEPFATHER (Title)
    57 seconds – First Actor
    1 minute 1 second – Second Actor
    1 minute 5 seconds – Third Actor
    2 minutes 13 seconds – Casting By
    2 minutes 25 seconds – Costume Designer
    2 minutes 30 seconds – Music By
    2 minutes 42 seconds – Edited By
    2 minutes 49 seconds – Production Designer

    Film Title Introduction:
    The film title, ‘Stepfather’, was not very eye catching due to it being in the bottom left hand corner with a faded colour as the title. Which may have been purposefully done to suspect a sort of 'under cover' feeling. As if something or someone is trying to hide their identity.
    The Title is introduced precisely at 52 seconds, in the Bottom left corner near the beginning of the title sequence.

    Production and distribution companies:
    -ScreenGem Presents

    -Maverick Films
    -Imprint Entertainment
    -Granada Presents

    Information that is Included in the title sequence:
    -Casting By
    -Costume Designer
    -Music Supervisor
    -Edited By
    -Production Designer

    Title Sequences- Se7en

    One specific title sequence that has inspired me for my film opening is the opening scene for 'Seven', Although we have not studied it in class, I personally have seen it and has counted it as one of my top 5 thriller films.

    In 'Seven' the music and the clips, straight away draws the viewers into a disturbing atmosphere with quick cuts and film over lapping each other. It is as if the director was attempting to get the viewers into the mind of the psycologically disturbed character that is seen later on, seen in the opening title sequence, both peeling his finger skin off as well as cuts of him writing in what seems to be a diary, which can be made to seem normal but then there are cuts of him sewing the pieces of paper together, it then does a scroll down a shelf that is filled with the exact same amount of books, made the same way.
    Through out this opening title sequence, we do not see any faces that would seem relevant as a real character but at the same time, the way that the filming is presented, it tells the viewer that this film is going to be sub-genre'd as a Thriller/psycological. As the images that are seen would straight away present the person as a man who is mentally disturbed in some way.

    The music and sounds that go with the opening titles is also a gripping, yet disturbing effect. With the rippling sound effects in the beginning that sounds like metal if it could rip. Or records being scratched at some points, as well as even an 'out of signal' radio sounds. They are all very abnormal sound effects that can create an intense and serious opening scene.
    Throughout the credits you always hear a sort of echoing scratchy sound that follows after every new sound effect that enters.

    From this opening, I could easily create a similar replica to this scene. Using the same sort of angles and effects, making such simple camera angles and shots but complicating it with effects and sound in the background.
    Over all, I like this opening title sequence because of its simple filming, yet the editing and sound effect that are later on added, created it to be so tormenting and disturbing in such a simple way.


    Intertextuality is films 'borrowing' ideas from other films. Some thrillers may have a lot in common considering that each one may use similar or even the same camera angles, editing techniques, aspects of mise en scene or even sound. It is "the visual referencing between films."
    Psycho was a classic thriller movie, directed by Alfred Hitchcock who was also the creator of the 'bomb theory'. The most classic scene of thriller films in the white tile bathroom, where the victim in psycho was stabbed to death. There is a link between 'What lies beneath' and 'Psycho' considering that in both movies the damsel in distress is a woman who is in the bath. Maybe they consist of different story-lines behind, but the principle of the scene is the same white bathroom where the women are powerless.
    Props used for the mise en scene in 'Psycho' in the scene of the killing is a knife. This is the main prop used. This same prop is also used in another great, inspirational thriller 'Fatal Attraction'. The prop is held and used in the same way. This is what intertextuality is all about. Capturing that moment that has made every other thriller so successful and managing to rebuild that moment properly in your own film.


     After having watched 'The Stepfather' (thriller released in 2009), I have been inspired to more very thrilling ideas. Below I have listed three scenes, that I personally found contained the most thrilling elements.

    Scene 1: The Shower scene = change of identity; introduction to murder.
    The movie begins, with a very subtle day-to-day lifestyle routine. We are introduced to the main character very early on in the film. As in every thriller, within the first few minutes of the movie, we are aware of certain clues that indicate that there is something extremely false within this situation. We get hints of the main character trying to change his identity; dying his hair, cutting off his beard and having a 'clean-shave', as well as even changing his eye contact lenses to a different colour. The music used in the background is 'spooky', and introduces to the audience that even though this is a normal 'clean cut' situation, there is a history behind this figure.
    The character goes on to the kitchen, and the atmosphere changes, it becomes a lot lighter in the room and the 'stepfather' puts on a cd that plays 'jolly Christmas music'. What seems to the audience, a normal routine of a cup of coffee and toast... Soon turns to bloody knives in the sink and a tilted deadly shot of the 'gloomy' living room, where his entire family lies brutally murdered. With the stepfathers extremely calm reaction to the view, we realise that there is something terribly wrong with this character. In my opinion this was an extarodinary use of 'False Plateau', the audience really would not have expected to see such cruel mentality or physical views of murdered bodies.

    Scene 2: Stepfather entered the room and grabs game remote control off fiance's son.
    In this perticular scene is the first time that we can see the stepfather being aggressive towards his 'new family'. When Susan (the mum) tells her son Sean to turn down the volume and Sean doesn't obey, the stepfather repeats Susans words but Sean still doesn't listen. Then we can see the Stepfathers anger as he walks towards Sean, with darkness behind him indicating that he is up to something evil. He grabs the remote control and places his hand firmly around Seans neck. This was a great shot of aggression that wasn't perticularly expected by the audience. I suppose because of the bomb theory, that the audience knows the truth behind this evil character where as the family don't know about it yet. The sound in that shot had become a silence except for very quiet computer game, and the deep breathing of the victim Sean. 
    The editin gin that scene had also been briliant involving jump cuts for procise action.

    Scene 3: Mrs. Cutter get's murdered.
    A scene made up of tense music, loud heartbeat and audience's suspicion that something is going to happen. Mrs. Cutter who seems to have heard some gossip about David (the stepfather), however he could not risk anybody finding out, therefore before Mrs. Cutter let a lot of people who she supposedly 'fell down the stairs'. In the beginning of the scene whilst Mrs. Cutter is standing on her porch we as the audeince get a sense of normality, with an exception of when David drives by exchanging a look with the old lady. This is an automatic warning to the audience of what to expect. Later on as Mrs. Cutter enters her house we have yet again another 'jumpy' scene of False Plateau, as we are fooled as an audience by the jump of a cat.
    As the audience relaxes and the tension settles down, of course this would be the scene where the real killer appears and suffocates Mrs. Cutter to create an ending to a horrific scene, there is some excellent camera shots in that scene, for instance we have a very clear point of view shot from Mrs. Cutter when David is suffocating her which allows the audience to understand the way that Mrs. Cutter is feeling.

    The aspects of the film that have definetly influenced my own film...
    • Suspense such as deep breathing, being able to hear the heart beat of a person in danger.
    • The lighting of the film was extremely good; when the bad guy was being bad the lighting around him was dark and gloomy; indicating to the audience that he is feeling anger or frustration, where as the good trustworthy people are always surrounded by light to emphasize on the goodness of the character.
    • There is a clear sense of reality and shots of what has happened - keeping the other characters 'in the dark'.
    • This movie has also really inspired me to really think about my mise en scene, everything that has been captured in the shot, with a background story to why it's there and what the purpose of it is in my movie.