Monday, 27 April 2009


How does the media product use, develop and challenge forms and conventions?
My media product follows many conventions already established in the media. It follows the post-modern idea and has a few inter-textual references to films already produced (not all of them are of the “teen drama” genre). I think that inter-textual references are important for films aimed at the ‘youth audience’ as it adds humour and familiarity to the text. I also think that I have added some ideas that would not necessarily fit into other genres, which make my film unique. One very obvious thing is that many teen dramas are television series, with very few films made with the same conventions and styles. This means that there is a gap in the market for a film along the same style and conventions of “Skins” and “Shameless”.
In the opening of my film I have used a common story-line for a drama based around teenage characters: with a young man having just moved to a new town and the struggle to fit in with a new group of people. The question of “fitting in” is an issue that comes up a lot within teenage circles, and is something that many teenagers would be able to relate to.
The opening of films aimed at the youth audience (15-25) tend to be one of two styles; fast paced editing with upbeat music and some kind of voiceover, or a slow, drawn-out opening with panning shots and downbeat music. I chose to follow the first pattern as it grabs the attention of the audience and moves the narrative on quickly.
In the introduction of most films contains some form of narrative enigma (otherwise what would be the point, if you could tell the plotline from the first 2 minutes?) and my media product follows this convention. When the dark shots of the girl slumped on the sofa come of screen there is no explanation for why that has happened and this makes the audience want to watch the rest of the film.

How does our media product represent particular social groups?
In my media product there is a distinct contrast between the upper classes of the south of England and the middle classes of the north. Alex and his mother have moved from an upper class section of London to a middle class town Yorkshire. Although not shown in the first 2 minutes of the film, Alex’s mother acts as though she is much more important than the people who she now lives with. Alex, on the other hand, desperately tries to fit in with the new social group, and at times hides his accent. The film follows the conventions that the upper class people are “snobs” and the middle class people are lazy and not interested in anything but having a good time.
This film also highlights the stereotype often linked with teenagers; that they are lazy party animals who get drunk, take drugs and generally cause a menace.

What kind of media institution might distribute our media product and why?
Pathé Distribution
Major independent producer and distributor. Recent releases have included Hunger and Easy Virtue.
I think that Pathé would be a good distribution company to distribute my film as many of the films that it distributes are low-budget, independent films like ‘Displacement’. Pathé Distribution is a well known distributor, and as such would know many of the advertising techniques needed for a successful film launch, but is not too mainstream to turn down all indie films. Another company that could distribute my film is Icon Film Distribution UK. They are slightly less mainstream than Pathé, so there is a better chance of acceptance.

Who would be the audience for your media product?
I think that my media product would appeal to a fairly wide audience. It is mainly aimed towards the youth audience (15-25) as the fast pace of the editing, the loud, upbeat rock music and the young actors would appeal to that age-range. Many issues that are only really relevant to the youth audience are tackled in my media product, so it would be a film that they could relate to. According to common stereotypes, this film would not necessarily draw any attraction from the male gaze, as the female protagonist is not a busty blonde who is sexually available, but would still appeal to a male audience through the violence, humour and sexual activity that is included.
Different regions of England are represented within ‘Displacement’, and so it would have a wide regional appeal. This would also appeal to an American audience as it represents two of the strong English stereotypes that often appear in American pictures.

How would the audience be attracted / addressed?
Having researched and found that most cinemagoers are predominantly from the 15-35 age range, I built up the audience of my product from there. By using the upbeat loud music at the start, the quick editing and the teenage actors, there is immediate appeal to this youth audience. The narrative of this film reaches out to the audience and it is particularly relevant to this particular group, as it deals with issues that are faced in teenage life. The music that I have chosen to go in the background appeals to the youth audience, as it is punk-rock and very fast pace. Sound is very important when determining the audience of a film.
Having the range of accents within the product, it makes the text more recognisable to oversees markets, as the southern accent is most often the one that other countries tend to associate with British citizens.
The quick paced editing is a very popular style for media texts aimed at the youth audience as it grabs and holds the attention, with the need to keep up meaning that they don’t drift away. This is also reflected in the music that I have chosen for the background.

What have you learnt about technologies from the process of constructing this project?
I have used two main technological systems within the course of this project; iMovie and Blogger. iMovie is the editing software that we used to cut and edit our media products. It’s an Apple based software in which we could import out footage and edit it accordingly. I learnt several new skills whilst using iMovie, the most useful of which being how to add a voiceover to a media text, cut down clips to fit them into a particular sequence and add titles and transitions to make a film look more polished. I also learnt how to export a file from iMovie and burn it onto a disc using iDVD. Blogger is an online blog website that allowed us to store our coursework in a neat and efficient way. It’s accessible from any computer with internet connection, which was greatly beneficial as it allowed us to publish work from home without the worry of remembering to bring it into lessons. I have learnt how to create, edit and publish a blog, including things such as uploading videos and photos on this blog.
Overall I found that these technologies can be very useful in constructing a media product and invaluable in the editing and documenting process. Blogger was particularly time saving, in that I only needed to document something once and it was saved onto the internet.

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

I think that the prelim task was an important of this project, as it enforced the importance of shot variety (to add interest to the product), continuity of shots and interesting narrative. I also found by experimenting with the software during the prelim task I was able to plan a realistic sequence for the main project. I think that I have learnt a lot through out the whole process, about everything from technological knowledge to practical skills with handling the camera, but also the steps that must be taken in order to produce a strong media text. These include the primary research, then the ideas, planning, drafting, rough cuts and the final product. Overall I feel my knowledge of the media industry and productions have been widened considerably, and I have a better understanding of the process of film-making.

What needs to be changed?
There are several things that I think could be changed in my product to make it stronger. Some of these were things that I could have done with more time, but some I didn’t think were possible.
The first thing is the town montage. The shots are obviously taken from a moving vehicle, and so it would make more sense to the narrative to have a shot where the character Alex got onto a bus. However I felt that I would not be able to get a clip of a bus, as one was not readily available. I had originally planned for the montage to look as though he was walking around town, although it wasn’t necessary. In “The Parent Trap” (Disney 1998) there is a montage when Hallie and her mother are walking around London. The shots are similar to mine, quick pans of prominent parts of the setting. This was where I got the idea for that particular sequence, so it’s not necessarily a bad thing that the shots are fast but there was no bus involved.
The shots when Alex was on the bridge taking out his mobile phone are unfortunately over-exposed, as the white balance function of the camera that was using would not work. This could easily be reshot, but due to time constraints I couldn’t for this edit.
I think that the beginning titles could do with some improvement. I think the white title over black background worked well, and linked with “Shameless”, but it would have been more interesting if one of the letters was slightly out of place (which would also tie into the title of the film). I also think that the name of the actor written on the mirror could have been more obvious, possibly added with computer graphics to make it stand out more (a technique used in the titles of “10 Things I Hate About You”).
The male actor’s gestures at the end of the sequence were not suitable for the narrative. He was meant to be shaking his head as though he’s trying to get rid of this premonition he has just seen, but the movement he does is quite weak and looks a bit out of place after such a dramatic flash-forward.

Due to time constraints when working back into my final piece I didn't have enough time to adjust the audio so that the backing music stopped when the three bangs started, and then slowly fades back in. This is annoying as it does create a very dramatic effect. However, and example of how that sequence is meant to go can be seen in "Rough Edit 3". It's the part that comes just after the girl has walked up the road and smiled at Alex.
This clip can be found here

Final Cut - Displacement

The changes that I made to produce my final cut were only small but I think they make a significant difference the the overall product.
First I had to remove the copyrighted song title at the start of the film, which I replaced with a different angle of the itunes logo. I think this adds more interest and also isn't breaking any copyright laws.
Another thing I changed was in response to some of the audience feedback that I got from my other edits. They felt that when Alex was walking down the road there was one too many jump cuts, and so I removed the last one to have a more flowing panning shot. 
The last thing I changed was the voiceover. It wasn't obvious that the previous accent was from southern England, and so I asked a friend of mine from Berkshire to record the voiceover. It is now far more obvious that the character is from London. However, the recording that I got is a little too quiet, and due to time constraints I wasn't able to change the audio, so at times the voiceover is a little lost amongst the background track.


Storyboard 1

Storyboard 2

Sunday, 26 April 2009


d i s p l a c e m e n t - Screenplay


There were limited props actually used within the action in the introduction for "Displacement".
For Alex, two props were used;
The fruit bowl and apple were used to signify that Alex is actually a very sensible person (also shown when he looks both way before crossing the road) who is taking care of what he eats. The shot of the fruit bowl adds a flash of bright colour to the sequence, and the apple adds some continuity in that it appears in many of the following shots. The sequence shows Alex pick up the apple from the fruit bowl (of oranges, not tomatoes!!), then carry it in his hand as he leave the house, and start to eat it as he walks down the road.
The other prop that Alex uses is a Nokia 6101 mobile phone. As he walks down the street in Ilkley he stops to get out his phone so that he can be stationary when he sees Faith walk past him. The phone is not a particularly popular design, and has no special features, which signifies that he only uses it to keep in touch with people, rather than for MP3 music playing, playing games, or taking photographs.
For Faith, again two props were used;
Faith also uses her mobile telephone in this sequence. The model that she has is a Nokia 6500 Classic. This model does have a built-in MP3 player and extra features like bluetooth. She is seen using this phone when she walks past Alex, making it more obvious that she wants to look at him rather than that she has nothing else to look at, as she looks up from her texting. This signifies that there will be some kind of relationship between them later on in the film.
Faith also had a white Adidas shoulder bag. This is unusual for her overall style, as it doesn't fit in with the gothis genre of clothing, but it shows that she is a little bit different from the other people, and doesn't feel she needs to conform to social trends. The bag also suggests that she is going to meet someone, or to do something, rather than just exploring the town as Alex is doing.


Costume is very important in a teen drama production especially, as the youth audience are very important to consumer markets and are often very involved with clothing and appearance.

Alex Bright
Alex Bright is dressed casually, as though he hasn't thought about what he's wearing as he was in a rush to leave the house. He wears plain blue jeans, a plain black jacket and shoes with black and green patterning. He has an ear piercing in his left ear to signify that he is a rebel, and doesn't want to conform to his social group in London (a very virtuous and conscientious group.)
Faith Davies
Faith is wearing all black, again very casual but, unlike Alex, a much more thought out look. She wears a long, sloganed black t-shirt, a long black cardigan, black leggings and black pumps. The black clothing accentuates her pale skins and dark hair. It also gives her a very gothic look, and this ties in with the social group that she hangs around with. She wears similar clothing in the overdose shots, with a lighter coloured t-shirt.

Locations and Mise-En-Scene.

It was important in the introduction of "Displacment" to establish the vast contrast between Ilkley and London. I think I've managed to represent this in a number of ways through mise-en-scene and location.

This is a still from my film "Displacement". It shows the shot of the Alex's bedroom. The mise-en-scene in this shot is very important as it says a lot about the character. I chose to shoot this in a friend's bedroom, as he is a typical boy and thus he has a typical boy's bedroom. This image shows a football in the corner as a representation of teenage boy activities. We chose to have the room fairly empty, with boxes around to signify that he has recently moved in. He doesn't have a proper bed, just a large beanbag, so this shows that he has moved in so recently that he hasn't assembled his bed yet.

This shot shows the neighbourhood that Alex's house is in. It's a long road, clearly not in the city to contrast with the busy capital that Alex used to live in. The houses are semi-detached, to show that they aren't in as inexpensive a residence as a council estate, but it's still a vast contrast to the sort of house that Alex would have lived in in London.
Also, the road that Alex walks down is straight and downhill. This signifies that things are going to get worse for him, and it's going to be quick. It was very important that we found a street that could signify the decline, and this one was perfect.

When the sequence of shots to show various areas of the town, I felt that it was important to have a shot of the church. This is because it wouldn't be a big part of a city setting, but within more rural areas, the church is often a prominent part of the community. This ties in with the stereotype of a small English country town (many films and television serials presenting small town folk as very religious).

This road I thought was perfect for the end of the films introduction. I like the cover of the trees, and the nearby park and river. It's obvious that this is a fairly main road within this town, but it's nothing like as busy as a road in London is. The sign for a public footpath is a signifier of a more rural environment (as most places in London have public transport like tubes and buses).

Rough Edit 2

This is the second edit of my final piece. I've changed the volume of the "death bangs" which I think works well, and I added the monologue. I have also added the title 'Displacement' to the start of the film. It's in sans serif white text of a white background, which I got from the television series "Skins" and "Shameless".

After Audience Feedback

The backing music goes on after the "death bangs" just for a fraction too long, and people in my media class said that I should try to cut the music off the second that the image changes. They also said that the monolgue needed to be louder, and the backing music should go quieter when Alex is speaking.

Saturday, 25 April 2009

Genre Research

Teen dramas are typically television series in which the focus is on teenage characters. For the first 45 years of television it was relatively un-heard of, but it came into use in the early 1990s. Before that, most series based around teenagers were typically sitcoms, while anything with teens and drama tended to be part of bigger ensembles that include adults and children. Teen dramas often reflect elements of soap operas, allowing the young adult characters to get into challenging situations and face an array of realistic teen issues. However, some teen dramas have elements of science fiction, adventure, fantasy and often have elements of comic relief.

“In the UK teen dramas were aimed at older children and teenagers. They were shown after school hours in special variety shows. Presenters would introduce them in between cartoons and other children's programmes such as Grange Hill and Byker Grove. The only exception is the teenage soap opera "Hollyoaks" and older audience aimed teen dramas, such as the groundbreaking "As If" and also "Skins", "Sugar Rush" and "The Inbetweeners" all shown on Channel 4 and E4 with "Hollyoaks" shown at 6:30 pm and Skins, "Sugar Rush" and "The Inbetweeners" shown later at night..” Quoted from Wikipedia.

Target Audience & BBFC

My product is based at a 15 – 25 age group. I’ve attracted this age group by the fast-pace music, the quick editing and the young central protagonist. I think that the overall content of the film would get a 15 rating. By BBFC ratings, this means that the drug content would be “Drug taking may be shown but the film as a whole must not promote or encourage drug misuse.” This is relevant to my product as the story ends with the both of the main characters dying from drug use. The BBFC website also states “No theme is prohibited, provided the treatment is appropriate to 15 year olds” which means that so long as the content is handled appropriately, I could still have such a difficult topic in the film.

Within the first two minutes, no Non-Caucasian characters appear in my film, although would plan to have some later on in the narrative. I didn’t plan to have no ethnic minority characters to appear in the part of my film that I made, but due to the availability of actors, I wasn’t able to include any.
Although my product isn’t targeted at a specific gender group, I think that females would prefer this film. I don’t believe that my product would exclude either gender. The girl in my film is stereotypical of the kind of girl that usually appears as the “out of control” character in teen dramas. The boy in my film is counter typical of the male protagonist of a teen drama. The gender roles in my film are typical of a teen drama, with the girl in control of the boy’s heart, and the boy trying to do whatever he can to get the girl to like him.
Although not specifically focused on socio-economic groupings, my film does have some difference of social class. The main character, Alex, has just moved from London, a very upper-class and expensive place to live, to a small town in the countryside. He finds it very difficult to adapt from the upper-class setting of London to the middle/working-class setting of the new town.
My product does involve many stereotypes that are associated with the British nationality. The overall film is set in two places; typical English countryside, and London, the capital. There’s a mix of stereotypes within the characters themselves, having a southern character representing the upper class Britain, and having a female with a very distinctive Yorkshire accent to represent the north of England.
I believe that fans of the following would be interested in my product; Skins (2007, TV series), Kidulthood (2006, Menhaj Huda) and Cruel Intentions (1999, Roger Kumble). This is because the storylines of the three films are all similar to that of “Displacement” and also the style of my product is a mixture of these three styles, plus Mean Girls (2004, Mark Waters).
The audience that I believe would be most interested in this film would be the 15-25 youth audience, students who would be able to relate to this sort of narrative and identify with the characters (i.e. teenagers / young adults who like to go to parties, take drugs etc.)

Wednesday, 22 April 2009

Production Logo

This is my production logo. It's not the most interesting or engaging logo in the world, but I like the simplicity and bold colours. The 'HB' stand for Helena Beeson, which is my name. It could be easily modified to suit the genre of the film, and I believe that it's a memorable design, due to its simple shape.

Thursday, 16 April 2009


Once I had filmed all of the footage I needed to, I set to editing it on iMovie. I planned to make my introduction very fast pace, with lots of jump-cuts and differing angles to move the action along quickly. This meant that I had to cut each individual take into several pieces, and change the order around. I ended up with over 40 different shots in my 2 minutes.


For editing I used iMovie06. This software had its advantages and disadvantages. It allowed me to cut clips in two so that I could move them about in an interesting order to give a fast pace end result. This software also allowed me to put music onto the film opening, and I could place it at the right point so that it fitted in with the action. I found the music on and downloaded it, then copied it into iMovie. It has a function so that I can adjust the sound levels of the dialogue and background music respectfully, so that I could continue the music beyond the point where the dialogue comes in. I also was able to include an audio voice over with the 'extract audio' function, which meant that I didn’t have to film the dialogue at the same time as the action. However, while importing it had to "Letterbox" each clip, which took along time and made me behind in my editing. This was a severe disadvantage as every moment I could spend editing my piece was crucial.


1) The camera we will be using is the Canon MV 920 E. It has a built in microphone and the audio output is stereo. The lens shutter speed is 1/6-1/2000 with a 800x digital zoom and a 25x optical zoom. The minimum focal length is 2.60 and the maximum focal length is 65. The focus type is automatic but can be manual if chosen. It also has a motorized zoom adjustment. It has a lithium ion rechargeable battery charged with a power adaptor and is available to connect with USB, Audio Video Interface, Fire Wire, Composite Video Input, Composite Output and Component Video. For speech it has a microphone and for playback it has a headphone jack.
The following software can be connected with the camera:
Canon Photostitch
Canon Imagebrowser
Drivers & Utilities
Canon Zoombrowser EX
It uses a mini DV tape for playback. The image format is JPEG, it has special effects such as Art, Black & White, Sepia, Mosaic, Ball, Cube, Wave, Colour Mask and Mirror. There is a built-in image stabilizer and is available in widescreen. By using either normal movie mode or digital photo mode you can choose from shooting programs such as spotlight, portrait mode, night mode, fireworks, sport mode, sunset, beach or snow. This camera was effective and of a high enough quality to ensure a well-filmed product.


I had several problems with casting due to the availability of some actors. My first choice was a boy called Barnes Grant Muller, who has dark hair, is good looking and is a good actor. However, due to work load, he was unable to be in the film. I asked several people to be in the film, but each declined. Then I came across the following actors.

Lawrence Mellor
- I chose Lawrence because he has experience acting (he was also in Coma, a film by SAMYOUWILL productions) and is a countertype to the typical dark hair, blue eyes protagonist of many teen dramas. As he was available for filming, he was the actor who was in the final text.
Lawrence is counter typical of the usual male protagonist in a teen drama. The typical male protagonist has dark hair, is classically good looking with a toned body. The character is usually unsure of himself, whereas 'Alex' is self confident. However, when he does move to the countryside, Alex does become unsure of himself, and so fits into that stereotype. Typical characters who fit the male protagonist in a teen drama include Skins characters Freddie (Luke Pasqualino) and Chris (Joseph Dempsie).

Holly Stephenson
- Holly was my first and only choice to play the part of the Faith. She has acting experience (she studies Drama for A Level, and was also in “Coma”) and is the perfect build for the character. She is slight and pale, which means she could easily seem like the typical girl to go off the rails and take drugs.

Holly is stereotypical of the usual female protagonist in a teen drama. The typical female protagonist has dark hair and pale skin, usually slim and shorter than the other characters. The character is usually very self confident, and is able to control everybody around her. Typical characters who fit the female protagonist in a teen drama include Skins character Michelle (April Pearson) and Kidulthood character Becky (Jaime Winstone).

Thursday, 2 April 2009

Final Synopsis

Displacement is..

Mean Girls meets Skins

Wednesday, 1 April 2009

Group Scenario.

My Group
Originally I was going to be in a group with Holly Davy and Saskia Adams, but due to "creative differences" we decided to split into 3 seperate groups. I wanted to do this because I thought that I would do better in this task by having full creative control of the filming and editing, and we had different ideas of which would make a better introduction.

Outline of Idea
The film I am making the introduction for is based around a young boy, Alex Bright. He has moved from London to a quiet town in the North of England, the first time he has seen the countryside. In his life in London, he was one of the "good crowd," always getting his homework in on time and eating sensibly etc. He was the rebel of his old friendship group (signified by his earring) but when he moves to this new town he is quiet and timid and unsure of himself. He tries to take up his previous rebellious role by falling in with a bad crowd. In this crowd is a girl named Faith Davies, whom he falls deeply and uncontrollably in love with. He starts going to various house parties that get out of control, involving too much alcohol and illegal drugs. When Faith dies of an accidental overdose, Alex is caught wondering if it's all been worth it. He kills himself at the end of the film.

Media Terminology

Shot Types
Establishing Shot
– Gives anchorage to the setting, period of time, culture or physical location in which a text is set.
Extreme close up – To show the emotions that are occurring on the characters faces and to highlight small but important details.
Close up – Gives an object specific meaning, shows emotion on a face, and usually only one character so that it can make the character seem isolated.
Mid Shot – a shot from the waist up of the subject to get more detail on the expression and register the emotion, butt doesn’t over-emphasise.
Long Shot – Presents the setting in which the scene takes place in simple details. Sometimes includes characters.
Extreme Long Shot – To show a broad scale of the surroundings, and to give anchorage to the setting.

Angle Types
Low Angle
– Used to make a subject appear bigger, stronger and more powerful, or to make an audience feel smaller and more vulnerable.
Mid Angle – Just to show the basic actions, to not distract the audience, and to not make much of an impact on the scene.
High Angle ­– To make the subject seem frail, weak and small, or to make the audience feel more powerful. Also gives the audience a sense of scale.
Dutch Tilt – When the angle is nearly mid angle, but is off to one side just slightly, to give the audience a feeling that something’s not quite right in the scene.

Conglomerate – A media conglomerate describes companies that own large numbers of companies in various mass media such as television, radio, publishing, movies and the internet
Major – a major film studio is a movie production and distribution company that releases a substantial number of films annually and consistently commands a significant share of box office revenues in a given market
Indie – Short for independent, a film that is produced outside of the Hollywood studio system, produced and funded by an independent company. An indie film will break the rules of traditional narrative and experiment with new and different ways of telling stories - to create meaning in a non-realistic way.
Cross Media – is when promotional material relevant to film marketing can be communicated by any mass media such as e-mails, letters, web pages, or other recruiting sources. This method can be verly successful for publishers because the marketing increases the ad’s profit from a single advertiser.
Convergence – Convergence is to use various media platforms to create new experiences, new forms of media and content that connect us socially. Convergence is very popular. For the consumer it means more features in less space, while for the media conglomerates it means remaining competitive in the struggle for market dominance.Synergy – synergy is the promotion and sale of a product (and all its versions) throughout the various subsidiaries of a media conglomerate e.g. films, soundtracks or video games. These products can help advertise the film itself and thus help to increase the film's sales.

Initial Analysis of a Film Opening.

Highschool Musical 2 (2007, Directed by Kenny Ortega)
- The premiere was seen by a total of 17.3 million viewers in the United States—almost 10 million more than its predecessor — making it, at the time of its airing, the highest-rated Disney Channel Movie.
- attracted 16 million viewers, the most-watched made-for-cable movie ever (the previous record was held by TNT's January 21, 2001 airing of Crossfire Trail, which brought in 12.5 million viewers)
- Sequel, has a large fan base from the first film. There are links to the first film in the settings shown, the music played and the basketball in the gym, linking to a major theme from it.
- Close up of school clock with over-exaggerated ticking sound. Time says 3.05 to signify the end of school.
- Music links in with genre of film and links to the finale song from the first film so is familiar to the fan base already established.
- Title of film gives anchorage to genre “musical”. Also provides anchorage that it’s a sequel.
- Titles shown in shape and colour of a beach, to signify the beach and the summer. This reflects that the film is set over summer vacation.
- No titles appear over the opening sequence, other than the actors names. This is because the youth audience it’s based at would be impatient and eager to get to the action.
- Set in the day time. Using the commutation test, if it had been set at night, it would appear much more sinister.
- Names of actors come up in white serif font to not distract attention from the action.
- Pans slowly through various locations in the school, all settings of songs from the first film (e.g. the gym “Getcha Head in the Game”, the stage “Breaking Free” and the cafeteria “Stick to the Status Quo”)
- In obtrusive editing.
- Not much exposition to story of film yet.
- The accent of the teacher provides anchorage for setting [set in America].
- Further anchorage to the time of year, the teacher talks about the “shimmering lights of summer”
- Skull in school classroom is inter-textual reference to ‘Hamlet’.
- Over sized clock emphasizes students are more interested in the time than there teacher.
- Student fidgeting connotes excitement and anticipation (for the end of the school year).
- Clock gets bigger shows time is important.
- Reluctantly moves from the clock to the teacher, signifies that the students should be listening to her but are more interested in the time.
- The basketball reflects a major theme of both films 1 & 2. Also connotes racial stereotype, African-American character holding the ball.
- High angle shot to enforce that the students aren’t in control of the situation.
- The ticking of the clock get louder as it gets bigger, the noise drowning out what the teacher is saying. Also builds suspense, we don’t know what will happen when the ticking stops.
- The students start to chant the word summer over and over again, to signify the eagerness for the year to finish.
- Sudden release of tension as the chanting and ticking stops (and the bell goes off) in contrast with the calm opening of the film.

Rough Cut 3

The main thing that I changed for this cut is the audio levels. In the previous cut the monologue was very quiet so I lowered the volume of the backing music and raised the volume level of the dialogue.

I also added some more clips to the town montage as people thought that it shouldn't jump from down in the park to a shot of Alex walking down the road.

Tuesday, 31 March 2009

Rough Edit 1

This is my first rough edit. I think that this is very close to how I want the film to end up. I think there are some things that I need to change, and I will put it to an audience to work out what needs editing. I do plan to have a monologue over the film to explain the narrative a bit more, but this edit was a quick one and I haven't added the monologue yet.

After Audience Feedback
After showing this edit to several people in my media class and in the rest of my year group, I found that the feedback was quite complimentary. They liked the fast pace of the music, and the quick editing (In particular the part with the zip). One thing that came up a lot was that the three "death bangs" when the shots of Faith come up were too quiet and could be much more dramatic if they were louder.

Monday, 30 March 2009

Codes and Conventions of Film Openings

In every film opening that I have studied, the production and distribution logos of the companies that have contributed to the production of the film will always come before any other titles. Sometimes these have been edited in a way that reflects the narrative of the film (E.g. 300, the Warner Bros logo was shaped like a shield and edited to look worn and dirty. This reflects the story because it is about Roman soldiers.
The first shot of a film will either be an establishing shot or the titles on a separate background. If the latter, the titles often reflect the narrative of the film. This is apparent in the film “Scream” where the titles are shown in a Sans Serif font, changing from white to blood red after the sounds of a scream and the slash of a knife.
The establishing shot idea is shown in the film “10 Things I Hate About You.” The first shot is a panning shot of the town in which the action is set. Establishing shots are often extreme- to mid-long shots. This means that anchorage of the setting can be easily established, and the narrative can begin quicker.Some films will try to involve intertextual references in the first few minutes. An example of this is “Scream.” The genre of this film is horror, and so the films that it makes reference to are in the same bracket. Whilst on the phone, the character shown at the start of the film is talking about the different scary movies she has seen. Several films are named, like “Halloween” and “Nightmare on Elm Street.”

Tuesday, 24 March 2009

Experimenting with The Equipment.

In order to experiment with the Camera and Tripod so that I could understand them more, I filmed an interview with my friend Ash Caton, in the run up to a stand up comedy gig that he was doing at the weekend. This was helpful to help me work out which angles gave which impressions, and to find out how to use the zoom to a good effect.

Monday, 23 March 2009

Music and Sounds

After looking through the websites listed below, I found the track that I plan to use for my film. It is called "Let's Party" and I got it from the Punk-Rock section of It is of the correct tempo and style that I need for the genre of film I am producing. It was also free to download and copyright free.
I think I will have the music playing all the way through the text apart from the black shots as it will make that section more dramatic.
The track that I have chosen is very conventional to the "teen drama" genre, as it is music that is most listened to by teenagers. It's fast pace and so keeps up with the fast editing that I will include in the text, and it will attract the audiences attention.

Tuesday, 17 March 2009

Websites for copyright-free music.
This site has a vast range of sound effects and music tracks. It also provides numerous other links to similar free music websites.
This website has a vast catalogue of copyright free music, but it has to be paid for, unlike the previous site where the clips and music are free. This site provides sounds to the four terrestrial television channels, and therefore is a reliable source.
This website is designed mostly for students to access sound clips, which can support a variety of programs, including iMovie. It does have a wide range of genres, but not that many clips under each heading.
The tracks on this website have to be paid for but it has a wide range of genres which include many different tracks.
This site has a vast range of sound clips and music. They come in a wide range of formats and are available for free download.
This is a site that has a mixture of music available from itunes. It includes copyrighted music as well as copyright free.

The class List.

Run-down of my shot sequence.

Shot 1 : A medium close-up of an ipod dock. A hand moves into the shot to put an ipod on and diegetic (non-copyrighted) music starts playing. This music carries on throughout the sequence.
Shot 2 : A medium long shot of a boy walking past a bookshelf. One of the books has the title of the film printed on the spine. He is dressed casually.
Shot 3 : After a jump-cut, there is a close up of the boy brushing his teeth in the mirror. His face is not shown yet. When he bends down the producers name is written into the mirror.
Shot 4 : Close-up of the boys shoulder as he's putting on a jacket. This signifies that he is going out. His face is still not shown. 
Shot 5 : Close-up of the boys hand grabbing a banana out of a fruit bowl. This shows that he is in a rush and wants to get out of the house quickly. 
Shot 6 : Mid-shot of boy leaving the house. He walks out of the front door and shuts it behind him. He doesn't have a bag or anything, he is just leaving to explore.
Shot 7 : Medium long-shot of the boy walking out of his house and walking down the lane. Pans out from the door up to the horizon.
Shot 8, 9 & 10 : Low angle shots of prominent parts of the town (All Saints school, Library, Riverside Park. These give the impression that he is exploring this town for the first time.
Shot 11 : Medium close up of the boy's face. Dialogue starts over this shot. He's walking down a fairly remote street, in contrast to the city he used to live in.
Shot 12 : A tracking shot of three girls walking past him. the one in the middle smiles at the boy, she is the female protagonist in the film.
Shot 13 : Medium close-up of the boys face. He smiles to himself that the girl has smiled at him. 
Shot 14 : Flashback scene. Brief shot of the same girl dead from an overdose. It's during a party. She is slumped against a sofa with her eyes open.
Shot 15 : The boy stops in the street. His face is no longer smiling. He then shakes his head and continues walking forward. (This is because he's telling his story in hindsight and so he knows what's going to happen to this girl.)

Monday, 2 March 2009

Ideas for Film Opening Task.

Idea the First.
"The Door" is a thriller / slasher movie aimed at a 18 - 35 youth audience. The BBFC rating would be an 18 due to graphic horror.
It opens on a boy, aged 17/18, moderately good-looking,  getting ready for school. He lives in a middle-class house in England. This is shown by an establishing shot of rolling hills on a murky day. Varying shots and angles are used in order to show the different stages of getting ready. Diegetic music is used in the opening sequence from the ipod station in his room. In one shot the boy is walking back from the bathroom and he passes a fairly nondescript door. The shot lingers on the door for just a fraction too long, so it gives the audience some idea that this door is relevant to the overall storyline.
Titles are worked into the mise-en-scene, written on posters or books (Intertextual reference "School of Rock")
This boy has only just moved to the area, and it is his first day of school. He is still exploring the town and getting to know his surroundings. He walks into the school confused and lost as it's an unfamiliar setting. He waits at the office to talk to the head of year about his scheduale and stuff. (Intertextual reference "10 Things I hate about You")
This light-hearted opening leaves narrative enigma as to why this film has been classed as a thriller film. There are no apparent sinister leanings.

Idea the Second.
This idea is more of a teen high school drama genre, and would have a lower BBFC rating as it wouldn't contain any graphic horror or violence.
Similar to the first idea, the film would open with a boy getting ready for school. This sequence would last much shorter than for "The Door", and would also include him leaving the house and walking around the town (possibly Leeds). He would be telling a story by voice-over, as though what he's thinking, rather than what he's saying. 
The film starts with the boy having moved to a new town, unsure of himself. He was always seen as a bit weird at his last school, but his Mum got a new job in Yorkshire. He used to live in London, where he hung around with a friendly crowd who never got into much trouble. In this school he makes friends with the wrong crowd, who do drugs and party every night. He falls in love with a girl, and does more and more stupid things in order to impress her. In the end she takes an accidental overdose at a party, gets rushed to hospital and dies.

Tuesday, 24 February 2009

Prelim Task and Micro-Drama

Preliminary Task

For the preliminary task, we were split into groups where we made short films. We were asked to produce a sequence of someone going through a door to a room where another person is sitting, and then exchanging a few lines of dialogue with them. We decided that we would add a little more depth to this piece by starting it in a seperate setting. The main character gets told that the secondary character needs help, and then goes in search of him. This task got us to understand the use of match-on-action, and also helped us to learn more about camera control, editing and sound. This is my personal edit of the sequence.


This is the micro-drama that was set earlier in the year. It was to get us used to the idea of the Narrative theory and apply the Vladmir Propp, Todorov and Levi Strauss ideas into practice. We planned the narrative around the idea of "fairytale," using these ideas including Propps character archetypes (Villian, Hero etc.) and Todorovs narrative structure. It also gave us a chance to learn how to use the iMovie software. It is a linear-narrative which means it isnt jumping in time and each part follows in chronological order.

I am unsure as to why the video of our micro drama will not upload onto my blog, but a copy of the same film can be found at

And so it begins.. Coursework Task

The brief set for our AS coursework production is as follows:

Preliminary Exercise: Continuity task involving filming and editing a character opening a door opposite another character, with whom he/she then exchanges a couple of lines of dialogue. The task should demonstrate match on action, shot/reverse shot and the 180-degree rule.

Main task: the titles and opening of a new fiction film, to last a maximum of two minutes.

All video and audio material must be original, produced by the candidate(s), with the exception of music or audio effects from a copyright-free source.