Thursday, 17 February 2011

Introduction to Editing.

Film editing is the process of film making. Creating all of the clips and shots that you have taken and place them into sequences and creating a finished motion picture. A film editor is a person who practices film editing by assembling the footage. However, the job of an editor isn't simply to mechanically put pieces of the film together, cut off film slates, or edit dialogue scenes. A film editor must creatively work with the layers of images, story, dialogue, music, pacing as well as the actors performance to effectively "re-image" and even rewrite the film to craft a a cohesive whole. Editors usually play a dynamic role in the making of a film.

Editing techniques:
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 class, we began to edit our bag swap scene. We were taught how to use the editing programme; Final cut Pro.  Each of us gave in our  own ideas and thoughts on how we could make our bag swap scene the very best. 

Creating a load of cuts and editing techniques to create an intense scene and make the audience be on the edge of their seat. We used one editing technique that made us feel as though it left the audience wanting more, which is using a slow motion to capture the moment of the two giving each other the 'look' between the bag swap between the two.

Evaluation Of Prelim Film

I feel that the final preliminary film came out rather good, taking into consideration we was short of a person which brings me to my first like of the preliminary which is the improvisation of acting out two characters by using shot reverse shot and a removal of a jacket. I also liked the reminiscent sound of gunshots and bullets falling to the floor connoting to the audience the cause of death without it being revealed, however the three gunshots do not sync with the different camera shots of the victim due to last minute editing. The music in my opinion also did not fall well with the scenario as well as the ticking sound which came out of no where and masked the dialogue. I particularly liked the fake blood on our victim as it looked very convincing with not too much and not too little creating a realistic crime scene. Overall, I feel that the preliminary was delivered efficiantly with the one short team and the time we had to prepare such a detailed preliminary.

Preliminary Match Cut Exercise - Final Film

Here is the final production of the preliminary match cut exercise. With no further Adieu Enjoy!


Preliminary Match Cut Excercis Planning Storyboard/Animatic

Here is the script of the preliminary Jelly Baby murder scene. Partially difficult to deliver as I was playing two characters at once with minimum breathing space.
 Following the script is the final Preliminary match cut production which we as a group got a little carried away with the mise en scene but led to an effective and believable crime scene.

Thriller Audiences

As illustrated by the graph above we can see that thrillers fall more towards a female audience than a male. With this being said I am contemplating whether or not to follow through with my Grand Theft Auto inspired thriller as it sways more to the male's crime/action side. Research has also shown that the age of the audience most likely to view thriller's are late teens and young adults as the age rating in most cases are 15 plus.

The Structure Of Thriller Openings

A narrative opening

As seen in The Stepfather, a narrative opening is an opening that has titles running throughout it. This was also illustrated in my favorite title sequence Grand Theft Auto 4.
A Discrete title sequence

As seen in the opening of Seven. A discrete opening is a title sequence that is heavy on editing and very graphic, proven well by seven because the title sequence is of a man shaving skin from his fingers. Very enticing to a stereotypical psychological thriller audience as it ticks many characteristics they serve.

Titles over a blank screen

Bluntly as the title states this opening sequence from the movie Donnie Darko puts its title over a blank screen. Putting far more viewer concentration on the makers than the other thriller openings. These openings are usually immediate, at the beginning of the movie. They also commence more subtle and care free.
Stylized editing
The fourth and final structure of a thriller opening is stylized editing. Very unique, stylized openings seem very much like the ending of a film as the credits accompany clips from the film as shown in the film Mezrine.   

Tuesday, 15 February 2011

What NOT To Include In The Video

Our teacher explained to us in class that some props and storylines are overused,

Try to avoid:


This is extremly cliche in student films as it is an obvious route to go down. Mise en scene can be thought about a bit more to make it look more realistic as a film.

Stalking. In the city, there are lots of backstreets which could look like a great opportunity to film some following action. However, as this has been done so many times our teacher advised us not to do this.


The fake guns we will have to use will look exactly that, fake. Also, taking weapons out into the public is dangerous, illegal and against the college's policy.


This is for similar reasons to the gun explanation, however, it is safe to use them like the kitchen sink scene in the opening of 'The 'Stepfather' as they are in a controlled and private environment.

Monday, 14 February 2011

Thriller Audiences

The movie industry as a whole is targeted towards a younger market. This is because they have the time and money to go to the cinema and watch films. However thrillers differ, aiming towards young adults and over (18 plus), as typically, they like a mental challenge. Also, the gore and psycological thrill can be a lot to handle. This is why so many thrillers are rated highly.

The Shining - 18
What lies Beneath - 15
Se7en - 18
Psycho - 15
The Stepfather - 15
Arlington Road - 15
Phone Booth - 15

These are just a few thriller ratings. As you can tell they are quite high, showing that violence is synonymous with thrillers.

Thrillers in general are viewed slightly more by women, however you could argue that men are a

In the suspense/thriller genre, 31 films were released in 2009, this is only 4% of the total films released in that year as there was a total of XX films released that year. Compared to action, comedy and animation genres, which accounted for 52% of box office takings, thrillers have a smaller niche. This is because they are open to a wider demographic of ages and gender, whereas thrillers have a very specific market as they are not as easy to watch.

Watching Documentry

The Watching Documentary shows the ins and outs of most iconic thriller opening. It also teaches us how to get a good opening.

'A good beginning must make the audience feel that it doesn't know nearly enough yet, and at the same time make sure that it doesn't know too little' This is because the audience needs to be drawn in and given enough information to keep them wanting more. If they do not know enough they will start to feel bored and un interested.

'Instant Arousal' is when the opening has an immediate and lasting effect on the audience. This can be a good thing as it gains the attention so early in the film, however, Director Jean Jacques Beineix makes the good point that it is har to follow a strong opening.

The 'classic opening' is a series of shots that establishes a character, what they do. For example, a shot of a city, , then a building, which tilts up to the top of the building, then a shot of a window, then the character inside the room.

Wednesday, 9 February 2011



Here is an example of a script that we worked on before editing the 'Jelly Baby Prelim'..


Here is how we put together our jelly baby prelim! Enjoy!


Before filming the jelly baby prelim, here is a video wonderfully put together by Poppy Power for more of an insite of our team work backstage!


This video is highly inspirational, lovely match cuts, mise en scene and camera angles, and even though it is a butter commercial.. it is still suspenseful!!


In 2009, 503 films were released in the UK. Only 4% of which were Suspense/Thriller films.

Action, animation and comedy movies count for 52% of the UK box office. This is due to a wide range of audience. Thrillers however are more selective with age restrictions, this narrows down an extremely large amount of audience. Gender also plays a bit role, because according to statistics, women are more likely to watch a thriller movie.


The 'WATCHING' Documentary is an excellent guide to more information about thriller film title sequences:

01) Thomas Sutcliffe: "Films need to seduce their audience into long term commitment. While there are many types of seduction, the temptation to go for instant arousal is almost irresistible"
Explanation: The audience should be committed to sitting and watching a movie for two hours. The movie must be persuasive; the audience need to be drawn in by the opening to make this commitment of watching the full movie.
02) According to Director Jean Jacques Beineix the risks of 'instant arousal' are the question of 'what am I going to do next?' If the movie is dramatic and fast immediately, then what will keep the audience interested enough to watch the rest of the film?
03) "A good begining must make the audience feel that it doesn't know nearly enough yet, and at the same time make sure that it doesn't know too little" The key aspect in thrillers is to create suspense, this can be done through mise en scene, this way you can control how predictable the movie is going to be.
04) According to Stanley Kauffmann the classic opening begins with an establishing shot, then moving on to a close up of the building, then to the window, through the window we move forward towards the desk. The audience need to know where the action is taking place, it's the typical organisation of the world. We then move on to where we meet the main character this is still all part of the movement, and slowly enticing your audience.
05) Kyle Cooper's title sequence to the opening scene of 'Se7en' is so effective because it is not boring. You are already practically watching the movie in between each of the titles, but it's almost like little tasters building up for the big climax. When you are watching a movie, seeing a small part of foreshadow for the rest of the film keeps the audience interested.
06) Orson Welles wanted to achieve gripping and shocking reaction from the audience before giving the audience a break in the movie 'The touch of Evil'. He did not want to add any titles to it because he wanted to move straight into the action but Universal Studios had put titles on it anyway.
07) "A favourite trick of Film Noir" is when the audience sees what happens at the end of the movie, and only after the opening start with 'what happened from the begining'
08) The opening in the film 'The Shinning' creates suspense by getting an establishing shot of the location, and then slowly moving on to a helicopter high angle shot following a car through an isolated area. The helicopter follows the car like a predator which creates suspense and excitement of not knowing what is going on towards the audience.


The Narrative Opening: This has title's running throughout. Examples of these are: The Shinning and The Stepfather.

The Discrete Title Sequence: When we get shots in between opening sceenes that have been especially designed to for the opening of the movie. Examples are: Se7ev and Arlington Road.

Stylised Edit Opening : These take a very long time in post-production because the editing is so stylised. Films such as 'Mezrine' and 'Pelham 123'.

Credits Over Blank Screen: Some movies beggin with the credits rolling over a blanc screen. It often has sound effects or even soundtrack to introduce the film. After, the credits tend to roll over the film. Examples of this: 'Donnie Darko' and 'Dead Calm'.


Neville Brody; the designer of album covers, film titles and in magazines such as 'The Face' has explained that what makes a good film font is "Fonts that convey an emotion without actually having to say the words."
The title sequence is a crucial part of film, giving away a clue of what the movie is about.
For instance:

ROCKY - Franklin Gothic Heavy

The style of the title "ROCKY" reflects upon elements within the movie. The text is 'big', 'bold', 'broad', 'simple' imitating upon the main character "Rocky the boxer". The style of the movie is sans-serif 'punching' out the title. This is more commonly used in comedies, action movies, and anything else that is ordinary - day to day life for most people. It is a more friendly informal text. This can supposedly echo the type of social class that the movie will be based on. 


Pearl Harbor is the complete opposite style of lettering to Rocky. It is of a Serif font, it is 'bold' to an extent but has been displayed in a more subtle way. Serif fonts are an 'old fashioned' way of writing, giving the audience more of an insite to the time period that the movie was set in. The letters are more 'formal' conveying their importance. The letters also reflect upon the characters, in this case the pilots. They stand tall which makes them look all the more relevant and important.

Monday, 7 February 2011

Structure Of Openings

There are four different types of opening:

Discrete Title Sequence
When the titles come up between clips during the opening.
Narrative Opening Sequence
This is when the sequence gets straight to the story by establishing setting, location and possible characters.

Credits Over a Blank Screen
This ensures that the credits have the full attention of the audience.

In class, we watched two openings to analyse the structure of a thriller opening. The first we analysed was for 'Marathon Man', which is an XX opening.

The title starts with the paramount ident. After the production companies, the important names involved in the film come up. The title comes around 1.01 and lasts for seven seconds.

The titles in both openings were of production companies, the director(s), producer (s), Editors and main actors. When we come to add titles, we will have to add names under these titles.

Friday, 4 February 2011

Font Analysis

The font of a film is important in setting the scene for the whole film. In films, the font can tell you what genre the film is, for example serif fonts (fonts with little flicks like the one I'm typing in now) are usually associated with more serious genre's such as crime. However, sans serif fonts, without the serif's connotes simple, casual films, like comedies.

In my research for thrillers, I noticed that thriller topographies can range from thick, capital, sans serif fonts, like 'phone booth' to skinny serif fonts like 'The Stepfather'.

Although sans serif connotes simplicity, the capital letters make it look more serious and thought about. A good example of this is the typography for 'phone booth,' a well known thriller. The two tone of colour combined with the 'cracked glass effect' coming out from underneath the words. This combined with the solid block colours connotes that the film will be an action thriller.

The Stepfather's bright blood red typology connotes violence, making the typography look 'thrilling' relating to the film. Both styles show how typography can indicate which sub-genre a film is.

'Fonts convey an emotion without having to say the words' - Neville Brody.

Thursday, 3 February 2011


Serif fonts - Serif fonts are generally more traditional and often slightly more formal than Sans serif fonts.
Sans Serif fonts - Sans Serif fonts are generally more informal, more modern and more 'friendly'

Font analysis;
On this poster of the movie Pearl Harbor we can see that the Palatino text is very regimental and high standing, reflecting the social class of the main characters of the film. The text is also very old fashioned, telling us of the time period the film is set in. This font is a San Serif and as mentioned , are more formal.
On this poster of the movie Rocky we can see that the text Franklin Gothic Heavy is used which is very big and bold mirroring the boxer Rocky, it punches at its audience. Also this type of text is very informal as it is a Sans Serif telling us of the people in the film, that they come from a working class/poor background.

Bag Swap

Livetype and Sound

Livetype is a software that allows us to create titles for the thriller opening. We learnt how to edit the aesthetics of the typography (colour, font) as well as the movement that they can come into. Some of the effects were not 'thrilling' so we quickly learnt what kind of effects we will be able to use for a thriller.

Sound-track pro is another software that we will eventually use to add music and sound effects to the opening sequence. There are a mix up of different sounds from different genres and instruments that can be edited together to create a thrilling soundtrack. There are also pre-made soundtracks however, in my opinion, if we made on ourselves it would be more unique and be tailored to the

To edit the sounds together, you click onto the sound once and it will automatically be put into a babar. This is when we can edit different pieces of music over eachother with effects. This  is  also where you can adjust the length and tempo of the soundtracks.

As well as this we listened to the different sound effects that can be easily incorporated into the film opening. Sounds such as screaming and gun shots.

Intro to Editing

In class, we learnt the basics of editing. We learnt how to

Final prelim

Bag Swap Evaluation.

The music of the bag swap is fast

Final Prelim

Tuesday, 1 February 2011

Intro to camera skills

In class we got to experiment with the cameras for the first time. Before we got to use the cameras we had to go through the safety rules.

We learnt about the safety rules we should follow when on location. These were:

  • To never take the cameras into dangerous places.
  • To never film illegal activities.
  • Only film in damp conditions with an umbrella.
  • Not run with the camera.
  • Ask for permission when filming in private places.

Then we learnt about filming rules.

  • How to set up  and take apart the tripod.
  • Put the memory card in.
  • Always have a memory card when filming.
  • Film all the clips on one memory card.
  • Allow about 5 seconds of tape before filming action.
  • Ask for permission when filming out of college hours and return camera at 9 o'clock the next day.
Finally, we learnt about different types of shots we can use when filming our thrillers:

        High angle.

    Inspiring title sequence

    I chose to analyse the opening sequence to the film seven. The film is a phsycological thriller, which is evident from the start. As I'd never seen this film I did not know what to expect from the beginning. The music is creepy and slow. And the volume flickers. The tone is similar to a work shop, which ties in with the visible aspects of the opening.

    The typography of the titles is sans serif, which connotes informality and simplicity. The colour white against the dark backgrounds make it stand out, showing that the titles are important to the film as they are not hidden away. The most important names, and the title of the film are made even more visible as they are layed out on a black screen, in between the action shots. Whilst the other words go along with the action in strategically placed angles and places. The words flicker, suggesting mental instability. Director Kyle Cooper has given away this much just from typography.

    The action shots are  a series of close ups of a man doing different kinds of things. The close - ups make sure we do not know who the person is. This engages the audience as they want to know who he is and why he does these things.

    There are disturbing images, including pictures deformed body parts and the man shaving skin from his fingers. The audience is then repulsed by his actions. Then there are less gruesome images that give away things about the film, crossing out words in a newspaper. Although these shots are not particularly 'thrilling' it is evident that the character is obsesive as everything he does is un naturally precise.

    The director, Kyle Cooper, shows us that typography and fast cuts of different images can be used in a thrilling way. The sequence gives away just enough togrip the audience without giving away too much or becoming boring. So in my opinion, this is a great opening that we can use as inspiration for our own.