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!

Saturday, 29 January 2011

ALL- Meet the Group

Asa Newmarch
Nickname: Ace of Spades
Role: Cinematographer
Favourite Film: Inception
Famous Quote(s): "Where is she?" "Where have you been?"
Hobbies: Gaming, Watching Anime, Surfing the web 
Favourite TV Show: FullMetal Alchemist 
Subjects Taken: Media Studies, ICT, Buisness Studies
Idol: Guillermo del Toro

Sam Pollock
Nickname: Cherub
Role: Director
Favourite Film: LOTR FOTR
Famous Quote(s): "The game" "1-0"
Hobbies: Football, Cricket, Facebook
Favourite TV Show: The Simpsons
Subjects Taken: Media Studies, ICT, Geography and English Literature + Language
Idol: Steven Gerrard

Rob Shaw
Nickname: Stanley
Role: Producer
Favourite Film: Tron Legacy
Famous Quote(s): "Stella!!!!" "Dingham"
Hobbies: Gaming, Blogging, Guitar
Favourite TV Show: Mythbusters
Subjects Taken: Media Studies, Geography, English Literature + Language, ICT
Idol: Matt Bellamy

The Group

ALL-Third Vodcast- Mise-en-scene+ Genre + Target Audience

This is the third Vodcast in which we discuss the Mise en Scene, The Genre and target audience for our film opening. Apologies for the camera angle not being perfect at times and cutting Asa off at certain moments. Here is a link to the BBFC 15 rating guidelines as I said in the video.

ALL - Third Podcast - Feedback

In this Podcast we talk about the feedback we received on our sample footage.

Friday, 28 January 2011

RS - Company Ident Feedback

I uploaded our Ident Draft to Youtube and then onto Facebook to get some feedback on it. After reading the comments we have decided to have a brainstorm of fonts, and try and choose the one that we think works the best. I will then re-upload the draft with the new font and post to Facebook again to see if it gets the same/similar comments or if their opinion has changes. We will also think about making different to the Doctor Who opening, so it will make our Ident unique.

Thursday, 27 January 2011

RS - Rough Cut Feedback

Here is the evidence of feedback we recieved on the Rough Cut. I uploaded the rough cut to Youtube and then to Facebook for feedback on it. After discussing the feedback we have decided to re take a few shots, such as making sure the car is still in the drive at the end of the film! (we moved the car after a while and didn't remember to move it back). Re take the shot when the girl turns around to find her boyfriend, because of the lighting not being good enough. Create some coverage by taking a CU of the article in the newspaper, therefore the audience know why the man has gone to the house in the first place (we got feedback saying it was unclear why he had gone). And we will consider slowing the footage down slightly because Olivia's (the girl in the film) movements seemed slower than the males in the footage, so it seemed a little odd. We would have to consider how much time we have left for the 2:30 limit, and come up with a solution.

SP - Second Company Ident Draft

Here is the second company ident draft, it was created on LiveType and then sound was added using Imovie. We added a few sound effects to the Ident to make it a bit more interesting and to fit in with the text moving toward the screen.

SP - First Company Ident Draft

Here is the first draft of our Distribution company Ident "Rasam Productions". Sam Pollock created this using Livetype. However it is a first draft so it has not got any sound on it yet.

Wednesday, 26 January 2011

RS - Soundtrack

As a group we are currently brainstorming ideas to be used for our soundtrack. We will use GarageBand on the Macs at school to create our soundtrack. We are thinking of having long keyboard notes and we will try and make it similar to Halloween and Nightmare on Elm Street because the soundtracks aren't very complex and they both also create suspense and make your heart beat change due to the tension.

RS - Female Killers in Horror Movies

I have done some research into the female killers in horror movies on the internet to show that there are examples of them and they do work well. They are even on some of the most influential horror films of all time.

Mrs Pamela Voorhees Friday the 13th (Original) (Sean S. Cunningham, 1980)

Tiffany from Bride of Chucky (Ronny Yu, 1998)
Samara from The Ring (Gore Verbinski, 2002)

Debbie Salt from Scream 2 (Wes Craven, 1997)

Using these female killers as evidence that it works and isn't always just male killers. We have used aspects of these killers and implemented them into our film for greater effect.

RS - Target Audience

Our aim is to make our film a rating of 15 (BBFC Rating). The reasoning for this is because of the actors ages, sexual references, strong language and bloody violence. However we don't see the man getting stabbed therefore it is not as violent as an 18 rating film. The girl is wearing revealing clothes which backs up the reasoning behind the 15 rating. We expect the majority of the audience to be male, because of the sexual themes in it but also the ammount of gore.

We know that there is an audience available for this genre because we have seen the success of films such as Halloween (John Carpenter, 1978). Scream (Wes Craven, 1996). And Nightmare on Elm Street (Wes Craven, 1984). Using these three as examples we know that our film fits into this genre and has a similar audience to these, teenagers from around 15-25, both male and female.

ALL - Deconstruction Round-up

After watching our 20 film openings we have pulled a range of ideas from several different films together, we have put together "The Top 5 best ideas we have picked up":

  1. POV shot used from the original Halloween (John Carpenter, 1978): This is the shot when Michael is a child and goes into the house to kill his older sister. We see the knife in the foreground and the girl in the background about to be stabbed by him.

2. The narrative enigma used at the beginning of Nightmare on Elm Street (Wes Craven, 1984). This sequence of shots is amazing for us, when Freddy is constructing his glove contraption, we don't see above his shoulders once which is the idea we implemented into our film opening.

3. The false scare after the opening of Scream (Wes Craven, 1996) The Jock boyfriend, makes his girlfriend jump by putting his hand on her shoulder, the audience think that it is the killers hand on her shoulder but it is his instead, a useful twist.

4. The mise en scene in the opening of The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (Tobe Hooper, 1974). This uses it to a good extent, it makes you wonder what has happened to the corpse and also what the flashing in the back ground.

5. Dutch angles used in the opening of My Bloody Valentine (George Mihalka, 1981). The whole aspect of not knowing who the people are, mixed with the narrative enigma of not being able to see their faces makes this opening very successful. 

RS - Deconstruction of Friday the 13th (2009)

Friday the 13th (Marcus Nispel, 2009)

Remake of the 1980 classic with the same 
Budget: $19m
US Box Office: $65m
UK Box Office: £2m
Only has an IMDB rating of 5.6/10 but the original has 6.3/10

  • Second shot anchors the location as there is a sign with "Camp Crystal Lake".
  • Woman screaming in pain/fear signifies the genre.
  •  Very dark shots with lightning in the background so you only see things for a very short period and credits pop up every few seconds so the shots are very short, typical for the genre.
  • Raining like most horror films.
  • Jasons mother gets be-headed foreshadowing things to happen later on.
  • Time period is anchored by text at the bottom of the screen and a transition is used to signify the scene changing along with text to acompany it and tell the next time period.
  • Black and white effects have been used to show its a flashback.
  • The womans head on the floor anchors the genre of the film.
  • This is the reasoning for why Jason goes on the rampage, it can be foreshadowed when he looks down at his mother or watches her get beheaded.
  • The necklace he picks up is a family heirloom which is important later in the film.
  • The mother saying "Jason our special boy" can anchor on who the boy is.

Techniques we can use

  • This film is a bit too high budget to get ideas from, such as the bit when the woman gets beheaded.
  • However we could use the aspect of using clothing to represent the scream queen.

RS - Deconstruction of Silent Hill

Silent Hill (Christopher Gans, 2006)

Budget: $50m
US Box Office: $45m
UK Box Office: £4m
The film is based on the highly sucessful game franchise

  • Starts off with a woman in her pyjamas shouting for Sharon, and makes the audience believe it is her daughter (polysemic)
  • Very dark scene, outside the family house
  • A man appears behind her on a balcony shouting for Sharon too, we expect him to be her dad
  • Woman runs around and finds a teddy bear on the floor and lifts it up to her face to inspect it, we guess it belongs to Sharon, she also shouts for her again and runs off
  • They both continue to run and look for her in the woods and surrounding area
  • Diagetic sound of crickets and insects in the wood
  • The woman runs under a bridge with diagetic sound of cars going past above her
  • Cut shot of the cars wheels above and then a CU of the womans face, she realises the danger above and shouts louder, running once again
  • Camera pans to a cliffs edge in which the woman runs towards and she looks down to a huge chasm, shouting once again to see if she has fallen
  • She finally notices Sharon above her to the side in some kind of trance or possessed. Her eyes are black, it looks as though the devil or some creature is inside her
  • Sharon sees something in the chasm and the camera moves down into it showing some weird CG effects and then moves back to Sharon who has now dropped to the floor in pain, screaming
  • She screams "Silent hill!"
  • The parents finally reach her and hold her in their arms trying to comfort her saying "we are here now" "it will be okay" "you will be fine now" before finally zooming out and "Silent Hill" is on the screen signifying the end of the opening
Techniques we could use from this opening:

  • I think the majority of this film opening is a bit too high budget for us so it would not be easy to replecate some of the major factors within it, like the special effects used in it
  • However the parts before that with the dark scenery and the props to signify a girls toy could be used

RS - Deconstruction of It

Stephen King's It (Tommy Lee Wallace, 1990)

Budget: Non given
Box Office: Non given

Due to originally being a two-part mini series made for TV.

  • Begins with an old theater, with the writing all wonky perhaps forshadowing something
  • Lightning in the background signifying a storm coming for foreshadowing things to happen
  • Clothes on washing line blowing in the wind of the storm coming
  • CU of cups/pots full of water and rain pouring into them
  • Girl on her tricycle peddling down the road and singing "incy wincy spider" which is ironic because the clown in the film lives in a drain
  • Her mother is taking the washing down and brining it inside, she sees her daughter and asks her to hurry because of the storm
  • The girl walks towards the front door but sees her doll in the middle of the path up to the door and stops to pick it up
  • She looks at it, but then hears laughing from behind the washing line, she stops and looks over to see the clown looking right at her.
  • The clown moves in for the kill
  • The mother walks out the door to get more washing to find her daughter has gone missing
  • The tricycle is just left on the path and she lets out a big scream ending the scene
 Techniques we can use from this opening:

  • We could get a character to say/sing something linked with what the film is about like "It" this could add a bit of humour to the film. The man could possibly sing the Top Gear tune seeing as our film is all about a man buying a car.

Tuesday, 25 January 2011

SP - Deconstruction of Saw 5

Saw 5 (David Hackl, 2008)

Budget: $11 million
UK Box Office Takings: $56 million
US Box Office Takings:  $6 million

  • It is raining heavily and there is non-diegetic sound of thunder in the background
  • The opening shot is of a door lit up by a light and the camera slowly starts zooming in on it 
  • We see a sign on the door that says trespassers will be prosecuted which signifies someone who has done something wrong is going to be punished in this building
  • Extreme long shot of a dark room with someone tied up 
  • Mid shot as the camera pans over one side of the persons body and we see he has a series of tatoos on his chest
  • Man suddenly awakes and thre is a close up of him to show his emotion of finding himself unable to move.
  • Lights come on to add anchorage of the setting 
  • High angle of body signifies his lonliness 
  • A TV turns on in the corner of the room and a man wearing mask apperas. This is narrative enigma as we never see his face
  • He has a very deep, one toned voice which adds tension
  • Another light is turned on to discover an axe that will swing above his body
  • Close up of clock shows how long he has got until the axe his kill him
  • Close up of device that will cut off his hands but freen him from being killed by the  axe
  • Quick paced shots as the axe starts swinging above his body 
  • Close up of hands being crushed in device
  • High angle shot as the axe cuts his body in half 
  • Cut away shots as blood hits the walls 
  •  Final shot is a POV shot of the victim looking at a door and there is an eye looking back at him through the hole

    RS - Denconstruction of My Bloody Valentine

    My Bloody Valentine (George Mihalka, 1981)

    Budget: $2 million
    US Box Office takings: None
    Remake released in 2009
    • First shot is at a dutch angle, and the two people in the shot are wearing helmets for narrative enigma so we don't know who they are.
    • The two people are both holding picaxes, foreshadowing things to come.
    • Both fully clothed and nothing is exposed
    • The next few shots are all using dutch angle
    • Non-diagetic sound is used in the soundtrack because you can't see it in the film.
    • Diagetic sound is also used when one of the people move the objects in the way of the path, they make a noise replicating the movement. You can also hear the people breathing in their masks
    • They both stop next to a wall and one of the two begins to look around and see if anyone is watching them, foreshadowing actions to happen.
    • The other person is undressing, revealing a red heart tatoo above her breasts, again foreshadowing blood, death and also romance.
    • The person takes off her helmet revealing a typical "scream queen" stereotype underneath, we expect her to be killed because of this, and the fact she is sexually active with only her bra on.
    • The other person gets close the woman and then slams his picaxe into the wall behind her, at first it looks as though it is going to hit her. This is just a false scare.
    • The woman then starts un dressing the man, reiterating the face that she is sexually active
    • We begin to hear a heart beat getting louder and louder as the two people rub each other and feel each other
    • The other persons helmet stays on, and theres an ECU of the womans tatoo and his hands shaking next to it, signifying he is going mental because of her and the tatoo
    • The other person then rams the woman into the picaxe that had been in the wall behind her, in anger. This ends the scene.
      Techniques we can use from the opening: 

      • We could use the dutch angle shots that this opening adopts, because it adds to the whole confused aspect, we are not really sure what they are doing, or who they are, until they stop and the woman takes off her helmet
      • The narrative enigma aspect is great, because we have no idea who these people are, there is no clear anchorage as to who they are, until the "scream queen" reveals herself.