Posted by: salesianas2010 | 2010.04.24

Audience Feedback

I have made some analysis on the first cut of 2 other groups.

The analysis can be located here and here.

Posted by: salesianas2010 | 2010.04.19


Our media piece criterion was to make the opening two minutes for a film. Initially, we were told that our movie had to be a thriller, but a few days later we were told that it could be of any genre. From then we thought that it might be a good idea to make our film the horror genre because we thought that it might be easier to make our film more effective.

In what ways does your media product use, develop or challenge forms and conventions of real media products?

With our media piece being a horror, we have a lot of key points in the film which aides it to be recognised as a horror. Our film starts off with a character ‘Jack’ running away from a zombie, which is very common in most zombie films for example Zombieland; where zombies are chasing ordinary human beings. The character ‘Jack’ who is running away from the zombies is wearing really torn clothes with lots of blood on it, this shows the audience that he might have been caught in some violence because of the tears his clothes. The characters in the ‘zone’ which is the room where all of the survivors are hiding are very fed up and extremely cautious of their safety especially when ‘Alice’ discovered the blood of ‘Jack’ on the floor and when she interrogates her upon his arrival.

This shows that they have been there a long time because they are paranoid about everything they see. The mise en scène in the survivors room has been deeply thought about, we knew that this location used to be the school office and we knew that it wasn’t the most appealing of rooms so that is what makes it look so effective and hence why we chose it. We have removed all of the tables and cleaning equipment to make it look as if it was an actual hiding location because if someone was being chased by zombies and was on the verge of dying, they would just choose any room that is safe even if it does looks grubby. And we thought especially hard on the places of the chase scenes because we wanted to make the places look as abandoned and as derelict as possible. This is so that the setting connotes the mood and this technique is evident in most horror films.

In the early stages of the project, I analysed the first few minutes of Zombieland which is a recently new zombie horror movie but with a comedic effect to it (the analysis can be found here). The opening few minutes include a few chase scenes with zombies however, in these ones the zombies win and the humans were mostly eaten. We used the idea of a chase scene in our film because we thought that it would make the film seem more action and adventurous and would attract people who like action films. Also, having a chase scene will make the zombies look like more of a threat to humans because the humans are actually running for their lives to escape from them. The chase scene also allows us experiment with a variety of different camera techniques such as using a track and having multiple points of views. Unlike ‘Zombieland’ there is no narration or voice over at the beginning; this allows the viewer to fully concentrate on the action as if they were really there.

An idea that we had in mind and adopted for the theme of the film was to base the story according to a belief from the Mayan calendar that the world would end in 2012 and have the date of the events in the film to be set a few days after the 21st December 2012 which was the claimed date of when the world would end. This is very similar to the idea of the recent film 2012 which is based around the destruction of the world. We have chosen this idea for our film but we have adapted it to become the attack of the world by zombies. In the original clips of the film before we had to cut it out because of time limits we had Alice looking at the calendar, which is on the December page with crosses all the way up to the 30th of December showing the viewer that this is the 10th day of aggression. However since we overshot on our piece we had too much footage and we needed to severely cut down some footage therefore we had to cut down all of the references to the Mayan belief.

How does your media product represent particular social groups?

In our piece, there is only one particular group; it is not genuinely a social group because these are victims who are all there for the same reason. They are all starting become fed up of hiding in this place and become very cautious and paranoid of their safety. They are not essentially the best of friends because they most probably have never met before and are starting to wish all this would end. This is evident when Alice calls Jack an “Idiot” showing they do not deeply trust their fellow group mates and shows that Alice is the leader of the group especially when she grabs Jack by the neck and interrogates him when he enters the room and orders ‘Krish’ to leave the room for his turn. The group is represented as fed up, paranoid and untrusting of each other. Usually, the stereotype is to have a male leader however we challenged this stereotype to have Alice as the leader, this almost makes it look unusual and wrong to have a female interrogating a man and that is the image that we want to portray; a sense of wrongness which is why we had zombies taking over the world.

What kind of media institution might distribute your media product and why?

We wanted to choose a relatively low budget production company because we have unknown actors. We wanted to choose Icon films our production company because they are independent and they produce some films in the U.K such as Looking for Eric and they have produced some horror/thriller films such as Paranormal Activity. They distributed both independant and big budget films in the U.K and U.S.A. Hopefully the introduction to a zombie film would be a success because they don’t often produce zombie films. They have a big passion in making films and they often include a moral or a meaning inside the film. We believe that our film has a moral because it deals with the ethical issues of a person turning into a zombie like ‘Are they still alive?’ ‘Can they be saved?’ and ‘Will they infect other human beings?’. We hope that Film4 would distribute our film because they now give grants to independant film makers to produce their film, which means in return our film will be shown on Film4 channel on British television. More on our choice of companies can be found here.

Who would be the audience for your media product and how did you attract/address your audience?

We were trying to aim the film to older teenagers with a male skew because they would be more likely to view a zombie film because they would be in for the thrill of the film. People of this age generally have a greater interest of these kind of films compared to people in their Middle Ages and little children because they would enjoy the suspense of horror films. Therefore it is appropriate for our certificate to be U.K 15.

I believe that we have succeeded in making this fit in with our target audience because the first few minutes of our film has a chase scene which makes it feel full of action and makes the film seem more action and adventurous which would attract a younger audience because they would be in for the thrills and spills of the film. Also the use of actors which are the same age of them increases their interest because they would have the same sort of interests and it is something they can relate to because most people of this age usually only tend to hang out with people in the same year as them because they are at school together and in the same classes with all of their friends. I beleive that these two are the biggest things which will attract our age range.  Click here to see further research about our target audience.

What have you learnt about technologies from constructing this product?

Most of the members of our group including me own a digital video camera and are familiar with the concept and the user interface of the camcorder and video editing software which is good for our production because we don’t need to familiarise ourselves with the application of the devices and software used. We wanted to pay special attention to the positioning of the camera and whose point of view it was portraying, therefore in our storyboard we made sure that we briefly included a point of view shot from many of the main characters, this enables the viewer to visualise the vision that many characters in the film are gaining. We successfully used the track at one point so that the camera can follow the path that the characters are running in. The track worked very well and was extra smooth in following the character while they are running. We used a low angle to follow both the characters and the zombies and used a canted angle to record the zombies because it gives a sense of uncertainty to the viewer. For a couple of our point of view shots, we used a custom made helmet-cam provided by G.W Thomas  which enables us to attach a small camcorder to the side of the helmet to represent the character’s P.O.V and it shows the audience how it would feel like if they were in one of the characters shoes. This technique has been used to represent the viewpoint of Jack, the zombies and Alice. We use it to show the P.O.V of Jack looking down to check on his hand and suddenly one of the zombies puts his hand through the fence, this is very sudden and will hopefully create a sense of fear for the audience and encourage them to jump. In most zombie films; when they want to portray the point of view of a zombie they would often blur the video to make it slightly distorted, in our piece added a shade of red over our original video clip. The red colour is also fitting for the zombies because it is the colour of blood which is what they’re after. We also used was the earthquake effect at the very end when Jack is dying; this is used to show that he is having strange visions and that he is about to die. In our original clips before we had to cut it out we have a small conversation in the survivors’ room where we used the shot/reverse shot technique where the clip flows between the two camera angles, however the sound was really poor on those clips and it would have helped to use a microphone to enable the viewer to hear the conversation better. We used iMovie ’08 to edit our film together, this software is not my favourite and I world much prefer to use a more advanced and sophisticated video-editing programme. Having a Macintosh myself I was able to aide the group in any problems that we were facing which was Mac format related which enabled us to work faster. Music and sound creating is not my strong point and we didn’t have much non-diegetic sound in the piece. There was only a few sound effects and title music at the beginning which were created using GarageBand 2 mainly by Kabir Lota using multiple preset tracks which were overlapped. We used ones such as an alarm and a high pitched tone. The alarm signifies to the audience that there is danger nearby and the high pitched tone is very common in most horror films and creates a sense of insecurity. Click here to see our comments on the sound that we have created and used.

Looking back at your preliminary task, what do you feel you have learnt in the progression from it to the full product?

Our group consisted of only 2 people when making our preliminary film but there was not as many pre-production tasks to complete. Now we have 4 people in our group. This gives us the advantage to divide the work equally and broaden our horizon on ideas. We used a wide variety of methods of communications to discuss the planning. Our preliminary exercise was quite effective and showed our knowledge of the utilisation of devices but it lacked planning and thought about genre, narrative and mise-en scène. Therefore for our final piece we knew our priorities and we wanted to make sure that our film had a specific target audience and narrative. I have learnt that the different camera angles combined with the mise-en-scène plays a big part in telling the story and the decision on which angle to use can change how the story is conveyed to the audience.

In our final piece we spent too much time planning on different ideas for our project before we settled on this one, we ran through many different ideas of what our horror project will be in the initial stages of our project; these were raised over many long discussions during planning classes. I think that we have spent a little bit too much time focussing on the idea and meaning behind our film rather than working on the various pre-production tasks which put us slightly behind in the blog work but ahead in the filmmaking section. We were the first ones to rent out the camera and the first group to start the recording of the film. With lots of hard worked hours spent on editing we got all of our tasks and the film complete last minute. I think that we should have spent a little bit more time in class focussing on the tasks for the blogs that we had to complete so we didn’t have to rush like mad to complete the blogs towards the end of the project.

Overall, I think that we have succeeded in making a decent and professional opening to a film. Compared to my preliminary task; we have spent much more time planning on the storyline of our film and the techniques that we are going to use in our piece rather than making some ideas up as we go along. I believe that we have thought and planned every detail carefully especially the mise-en-scène. I have also felt that throughout this project I work better as part of a group and that we all get the work done more efficiently in our sessions and that we all divide the work up evenly and accordingly to our strengths and weaknesses. I also think that we have spent much more time thinking about which camera angle and P.O.V works best and why they would work and what are the connotations of the methods that we have chosen and how certain aspects of our production will be portrayed to the viewer such as the P.O.V of zombies, and the camera technique used while Jack was dying. This helped us to produce a better quality piece because it shows that we have thought hard about the actions that we have taken and shows that we know about all of the techniques and camera angles and that we know the connotations and meaning of their portrayal. Click here to see the evaluation of my preliminary task.

Posted by: salesianas2010 | 2010.03.26

Production Diary / 9 /

Here is information on our progress of the A3 group according to the 26th.Mar.2010 Including reviews of the first cut.

Today we have made the final touches to our first cut and then we rendered it and gave it to Mr. D. Allison and Mr. G. W. Thomas. I made a decent contribution to the first cut and I aided our group in getting familiar with the user interface of the Macs and the utilisation of iMovie ’08. I believe that I have made some relevant suggestions to the decisions that we had to make such as which scenes to delete and keep as so did all of the members in the group. Our main choices that we had to make were which scenes to delete to make the piece shorter. Initially, we had 4 minutes in our rough cut and after our trimming we had 3. So then we needed to think carefully of what scenes to delete. After a long group discussion we decided to cut all reference to the 2012 Mayan belief and the 2012 Summer Olympic Games which we were aspiring to base our film upon. After that we cut out any parts which don’t tell the story such as a shot of Egbert when he says “How many were there?”, which we cut to show Kevin walking because it saves time. After all of the trimming and cutting our opening to the film to about 2:25 minutes.

Thank you for reading my posts on the progression of our production.

Posted by: salesianas2010 | 2010.03.24

Production Diary / 8 /

Here is information on our progress of the A3 group according to the 24th.Mar.2010 Including a review on the progress towards our first cut.

The editing is all going well and we have progressed from our rough cut to a nearly complete first cut. Unfortunately, because of time restrictions, we had to cut out all reference to the (2012) scenario because it wouldn’t fit in with the time of our film. We also had to cut out the shot/reverse shot on the dialogue, this is a shame because using this technique in our piece shows the moderator that we are able to do apply this technique to a conversation. We have compiled some audio clips from GarageBand to make the non-diegetic opening to our film. We were going to include some non-diegetic music at the end of the piece which was downloaded from a copyright free website but we deleted it because we wanted to keep all of the viewer’s attention to what’s happening to the film. We have stayed behind until 20h00 so we have enough time to progress with our work together.

I will keep you posted throughout on the latest progress that we have made.

Posted by: salesianas2010 | 2010.03.14

Production Diary / 7 /

Here is information on our progress of the A3 group according to the 14th.Mar.2010 Including a review on the progress towards our first cut.

We have looked over all of our clips and made a rough cut of our film. We have noticed that we need a clip of ‘Jack’s face when he climbs the fence to show the expressions on his face. Also we need to reshoot the shot of Zombie Michael when he is killed because he gets up a few seconds after he has been killed. So we are aiming to reshoot on the 16./17.March.2010. We have also realised that we actually have 4 minutes of filming instead of 2 on our rough cut; we hope that after cutting down the individual clips of the rough cut the total length will be near 2 minutes.

I will keep you posted throughout on the latest progress that we have made.

Posted by: salesianas2010 | 2010.03.07

Production Diary / 6 /

Here is information on our progress of the A3 group according to the 07th.Mar.2010

Our 2 filming days have been successful. Two of the actors had not shown up, but James kindly volunteered himself to act as a zombie. The fact that we were down on overall cast wasn’t much of a problem because we knew that something like this was going to happen so we asked a lot of people to act knowing that some might not be able to make it in very short notice. Missing actor Praveen was busy while missing actor Aimee was ill. There were 2 main things which I noticed throughout the filming process. Number one was that we were always a little behind timetable meaning that next time we should always allow for a big leeway even though we thought we did. But in the end we all got it with not too much delay in time. The second thing which I noticed is as we are about to shoot the specific scene that is on our storyboard, we notice that there is a much better angle of capturing the scene. This is most probably because when writing our storyboards, we weren’t at the exact location, whereas when we are at the location, it becomes so much easier to see where a better place to film is because there is a better visualisation of a film. This might mean that next time we should visit the locations and inspect it thoroughly before we start writing our storyboard. Overall I think we have shot everything we need so far. Obviously when we have a look through it in class we will be able to look for any mistakes and plan a day to reshoot if we need to.

Here are some pictures of the filming of our production:

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I will keep you posted throughout on the latest progress that we have made.

Posted by: salesianas2010 | 2010.03.05

Production Diary / 5 /

Here is information on our progress of the A3 group according to the 05th.Mar.2010

It is the day before day 1 of 2 filming days. We have chosen to make the Salesian cleaning office the survivors’ hideout location. We have told all of the actors to wear clothes that they don’t mind applying some fake blood that the group have purchased collectively. All of our equipment is ready for filming including the track that we are planning to use to near Chertsey Station to smoothly follow the characters in the chase scene. We will be following this script that we have made and running events throughout the day according to this timetable. The weather forecast is set to be cold but mostly sunny for the weekend with a maximum temperature of 7°C on day 1 and 5°C on day 2. Day 2 will be inside in the Salesian cleaning office so continuity of the weather wouldn’t matter so much, which is an advantage. We all hope God willing that the next 2 days will be a success.

I will keep you posted throughout on the latest progress that we have made.

Posted by: salesianas2010 | 2010.02.23

Production Diary / 4 /

Here is information on our progress of the A3 group according to the 23th.Feb.2010

We have securely agreed on an idea that we can all happy to work on and we think this idea will be effective. The idea is as follows; a character is running away from zombies and he returns back to a base where all of the survivors are hiding, soon after the character returns, he dies in the bathroom and the survivors are very paranoid. We chose to use a variety of locations for the chase scene such as the alleyway behind the old Safeway (Addlestone), Chertsey Railway Station/Floral HouseSt. John’s way into the back of the hall where he’ll enter the hiding area. The inside of the hiding area will be either C2 Saleisan Highfield Rd. Site, or the cleaning office in Salesian School. We feel that a chase scene will make the film seem more action and adventurous and will attract more young adults and people who love action films.

I will keep you posted throughout on the latest progress that we have made.

Posted by: salesianas2010 | 2010.02.12

Production Diary / 3 /

Here is information on our progress of the A3 group according to the 12th.Feb.2010

We are unable to obtain access to film in the ranch so we have abandoned our idea about the dream sequence and we have had to re-plan.

We are thinking of maybe having a party scene with lots of little children inside a house (maybe James’s?) and one of the children walking outside into the garden and then a parent walking following shortly to see what is wrong with the child. When the child turns around, the parent realises that he is actually a zombie and there’s lots of blood on the child’s face. This idea was brought up by Kevin and was approved by James but disapproved by Kabir and I for it being a bit too ‘cheesy’ and meaningless.

I will keep you posted throughout on the latest progress and ideas that we have made.

Posted by: salesianas2010 | 2010.02.09

Production Diary / 2 /

Here is information on our progress of the A3 group according to the 09th.Feb.2010

Our new idea is that a human (Kevin as actor), would go to a W.C and enter a cubicle, when he looks down, he sees blood flowing across the floor. And when he washes his hands, he looks in the mirror behind him and maybe a zombie will appear behind him? And then we will cut to the dream and awakening scenes that I mentioned on the 04th.Feb.2010. We are still working on this idea and we might have to reconsider if we are not granted access to the locations that we need.

I will keep you posted throughout on the latest progress that we have made.

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