Welcome to the blog of Rasam Production's Asa Newmarch (The Cinematographer), charting the evolution of the opening to the new feature film "Test Drive", jointly produced with Sam Pollock (The Director) and Rob Shaw (The Producer). You'll be able to see the final cut on YouTube [will be linked on a future day] as well as various short videos and vod/podcasts right here on this blog! Enjoy, and please feel free to comment/add suggestions!

Sunday, 12 December 2010

Mise-en-scene Task

We were given just 5 lessons to: pitch an idea for a 30-60sec opening sequence; form groups having voted on the favourites; storyboard; shoot; edit; present and semiotically deconstruct. Exposition has to be primarily provided through mise-en-scene + shot selection; only 17 words of dialogue were permitted.

Microdrama Task

The task incorporates application of various narrative theories, but is just as importantly this was all about experimenting with the cameras and iMovie for the first time.

Friday, 10 December 2010

How to improve the prelim for the coursework

Despite the good quality of our prelim, there are many aspects of it, which could be improved for the coursework itself. Firstly, the acting was mixed from my perspective, my partner's acting was alright, while mine however wasn't because I feel that the pitch of my voice was too deep. I believe that the quality of the acting is important, due to the fact that the higher the quality, the more people who take it seriously.

Another problem is the fact that we didn't use a tripod to film and because of this, we had a couple of shaky shots and having a tripod would of made the filming much better, since we could of had some still shots.

Finally, the last problem is that there weren't very many hints that our prelim was a Rom-com, since the box of Malteasers was the only thing which showed that our prelim was a Rom-com. There could of been more hints, such as more humor and signs of love.

Friday, 26 November 2010

Deconstruction of Emma for Rom-Com Task

  • The opening lasts 4 minutes and 14 seconds.
  • Non-diagetic classical music plays during the opening titles which could of become diagetic at the wedding scene (possible narrative enigma). Instruments used include, violin, cello and a flute etc. This signifies the time period.
  • Film name and opening titles written in old English font which also signify the time period.
  • A wedding is signified by the character's clothing, the wedding reception, propps and the colour of the flowers.
  • The furniture, costumes and language used all signify the time period the film is set in (19th Century).
  • Narration can be heard over the opening titles and music, which is non-diagetic.
  • Close-up of women hugging to signify their relationship.
  • Exposition of the film's location after the opening titles (between London and Highbury)

Tuesday, 23 November 2010

AN - Deconstruction of The Toolbox Murders

The Toolbox Murders (Dennis Donnelly, 1978)

Banned by the BBFC from 1982 to 2000 in the UK.
Budget: $185,000
Remake released in 2004 and rumored sequel to the remake in the works.
No Box Office grossing, due to being one of the many "video nasties".
Apparently, this film was based on a true story according to the film's epilogue.

  • The opening of the film is eight minutes and fifty-five seconds long.
  • The organ notes which play during the beginning of the film symbolise the film's budget.
  • The music which plays during the first half of the opening signifies tragedy and sadness, along with the film genre, due to the instruments used.
  • The red, Sans Seriff font used for the opening credits symbolises the film genre.
  • A religious speech plays on a car radio, while the car is being driven across a motorway.
  • Different shots are seen of the buildings residing on the highway.
  • At one point, the current scene stops playing and the sound of a car crash is heard, this shows that a flashback is about to take place.
  • Orange tint is used in the flashback to give an olden feel.
  • The flashback takes place where the "present" scene stopped, this signifies that the driver of the car could of be involved in the flashback.
  • The victim's arm movement shows that she is dead, due to the lifeless movement of the arm.
  • When the mysterious figure gets out of the car, there is a narrative enigma, since the face of the figure isn't seen making his identity unknown.
  • Another flashback plays when the figure walks past some flowers, this flashback is parallel to the "present" scene, due to the flowers.
  • The woman's speech in the apartment, makes the viewer think that she and the figure are related.
  • The drill symbolises horror and the fact that the figure is a killer.
  • The woman's smoking, drinking and flirting lead to her demise.
  • The music playing in the background during the killing gives off a comic effect.
  • The clothes of the killer show that he is middle class.
  • Point of view shots are used to show the killing from the killer's perspective.

Tuesday, 2 November 2010

Micro drama lessons

In the micro drama lessons we had, we learned about when to use the right camera angles at the right time, in order for a good shot. Besides that, we also learned that, you need to follow a story board, so that the filming of the product, goes well and you know how everything is suppose to happen in it, along with following a script in order to understand what to say and do in the film.

Filming multiple shots is another important thing we learned from these lessons because by filming more than one shot of a single scene, these shots can then be edited together, if one shots had a problem of some sort. Editing is another major thing we learned because it is an important aspect in media, so that things you don't want the audience to see in your production aren't shown. We learned how to use Imovie, in order to learn how to edit our films.

Tuesday, 12 October 2010

My Top 5 Favourite Films

5. Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade (George Lucas, 1989)

Besides being my fifth favourite film of all time, this film is also my favourite Indiana Jones film because it has some epic moments, such as the fight scene on the tank and the story is good and enjoyable.


UK Box Office: £15m (approximately £15,088,350.74)
US Box Office: $197m (approximately $197,171,806)
4. Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back (George Lucas 1980)

I agree with all the positive reviews for this film, it's a classic. The story is memorable, the action is enjoyable and the film itself has loads of memorable moments, such as "that" moment near the end.


$18,000,000 UK Box Office: £5.5m (approximately £5,689,498.12) US Box Office: $209m (approximately $209,398,025) 

3. Aliens (James Camereon, 1986)

While I did like Avatar, I personally enjoyed James Cameron's early film, Aliens much more. It is action packed, including a few scares, the plot is great and the special effects were really good for their time.


UK Box Office: £3m (approximately £3,129,330.45)
US Box Office: $85m (approxiamately $85,160,248)

2. Inception (Christopher Nolan, 2010)

Besides being my second favourite of all time, I believe this film to be a modern classic because the plot is very complex, yet engaging, the acting is very good, with solid performances from an all star cast, including Leonardo Dicaprio and the special effects are brilliant, yet mind blowing.


$160,000,000 UK Box Office: £35m (approximately £35,264,403)
US Box Office: $288m (approximately $288,405,376)

1. The Dark Knight (Christopher Nolan, 2008)

Personally, this is my favourite film of all time. Like with Inception, I consider this film a modern classic because it pushes the boundries of Superhero films, due to it's engaging performances, such as Heath Ledger's portray of The Joker, instead of making him look like a criminal prankster, Heath Ledger made him look like a psychopath. Besides that, the story was quite complex, unusual for what you would usually see in your average Superhero movie and of course, the action is thrilling.
Budget: $185,000,000
UK Box Office: £48.6m (approximately £48,685,166)US Box Office: $533m (approximately $533,345,358)

Monday, 11 October 2010

My coursework task

Your mission is to carry out the following brief:

Preliminary exercise: Continuity task involving filming and editing a character opening a door, crossing a room and sitting down in a chair opposite another character, with whom she/he then exchanges a couple of lines of dialogue. This 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.

The coursework is worth 50% of the AS (same at A2) and the marking (detailed later) is divided into 3 sections:


The work is marked based on observations of your approach and level of organisation, but its the DVD and the blog which are marked.


Before you start filming your production, the evaluation needs to be in mind. If you begin blogging now, it will save you a lot of stress for May, the final deadline for this piece of coursework. During this piece of coursework, you must answer these important questions:

  • In what ways does your media product use, develop or challenge forms and conventions of real media products? 
  • How does your media product represent particular social groups?
  • What kind of media institution might distribute your media product and why? 
  • Who would be the audience for your media product? 
  • How did you attract/address your audience? 
  • What have you learnt about technologies from the process of constructing this product? 
  • Looking back at your preliminary task, what do you feel you have learnt in the progression from it to the full product?

When all the work is being marked, a paragraph has to be written for the exam board justifying the marks. The grid embedded below summarises the criteria that has to be followed, and so you're advised to occasionally re-read this and ask yourself where you think you'll fall within the marking scheme!
For each section there are key components of the work which has to be assessed as being one of the following:

If you think you're currently at the 'minimal' or 'basic' level for any of these, ask yourself what you can do to jump up to at least proficient.