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, 26 February 2011

ALL - Vodcast Six: Changes

In this vodcast we discuss the recent changes to our opening 2 mins of our feature length slasher film "Wrenched" and the audience feedback we received to make these changes. We also talk about the feedback we got on our second Rough Cut and our re-shoot which will be happening next week.

ALL - Fifth Podcast: The First Evaluation Question

Here, we discuss the first question within the Evaluation of the coursework, worth 20% of the final mark. (Now with pictures)

Wednesday, 16 February 2011

AN - Deconstruction of Spirited Away (Practice Evaluation Task)

Spirited Away (2001, Hayao Miyazaki)

Budget: 1,900,000,000 Yen
UK Box Office Takings: £542,530
US Box Office Takings: $10,049,886

  • The company idents appear, Optimum Releasing (Distributor) and Studio Ghibli (Production)
  • Production and distribution companies appear together all at once to form the opening credits.
  • Piano playing in the background (Non-diagetic)
  • Close up of a bunch of flowers with a message written in Japanese.
  • High angle shot of a girl lying down on the back seat of a car.
  • Equilibrium - family driving to a new town they've just moved to.
  • Regular family conversation taking place.
  • No opening credits, since it seems that they would get in the way of the action.
  • Film title appears in big, white font.
  • Dis-equilibrium - family get lost and end up in an abandoned town, but they then decide to explore it and due to a turn of events, the parents are turned into pigs, this symbolises the parent's greed.

Thursday, 10 February 2011

RS - New Working Title + New Narrative

Firstly we have changed our working title to "Wrenched" the reason for this is because a wrench is used as the weapon in our film. The name has not been used before (we cannot see any with the same name on IMDB) and it fits in better to our narrative than our previous workting title.

After recieving feedback on our rough cut and sample footages we came to the decision to alter the narrative/synopsis of the film to make it a bit more understandable, the mise en scene work better and maybe tweak a few problems we had.

I have also got persmission to use Jem Whitehead's band The Feedback music, this music will be played on the radio/cd player that the man in the garage will be listening to. 

The ideas we have come up with for the new narrative are:

· Fade into a shot of a rural location, possibly on a high hill (To anchor the location)
· Fade into a long shot of a house, with a garage to the side of it. Rock music playing quietly in the background, signifying it is coming from the garage and someone is in there.
· POV shot tracking up to the house, music getting slightly louder
· The POV shot gets close up to the house; you then hear a car engine “failing” noise coming from the garage. The camera pans around to look at the garage door.
· Close up of a wrench being slammed onto a work surface
· Man working on the car shouting “god dammit” signifying he is frustrated with the car not working. The music is now full volume linking to the man’s emotions.
· CU and LA of someone’s feet walking around in the garage (the shot will be under the car)
· CU of a dirty oily hand opening the car bonnet
· The man picks up a half empty, dirty mug of coffee, he spits the coffee out because it is too cold, and slams it onto the work surface.
· Possibly a couple of shots with the man in the boiler suits hands over the bonnet, or his head under the bonnet at work.
· We will experiment with a few more shots for coverage and then decide on what else to add the day after.
· The music then cuts (the girl has turned off the music)
· The man hits his head against the bonnet of the car, because he is surprised to hear the music stop, so he looks up from the engine, but hits his head in the process.
· The man says something such as “Bloody hell, you made me jump there lass” We want the man to have a Yorkshire accent, because the stereotypical Yorkshire man is a dirty, smelly farmer.
· There will be a shot reverse sequence; however we will conceal the identity of the man for narrative enigma signifying he is the killer.
· The Girl replies with “Sorry for making you jump like that, are you okay? I just wanted to know if you wanted another cup of tea. My step-dad called and he wanted to say he will be another 15 or so mins”
· The man replies with “Ahhh smashing lass, yeah that would be grand. Do you mind if I nip to the loo to wash my hands?” This then cuts to a CU of the man’s dirty/oily hands.
· She replies with “Yeah, that’s fine, its right at the top of the stairs, I’ll just be in the kitchen”
· We see someone pick up the wrench when they exit the room, however we don’t see who has taken it for narrative enigma.
· It fades into a high angle shot of the girl filling the kettle with water and then her putting it onto the stand, then an ECU of the kettle light turning on.
· CU of the man’s hands being washed and steam from the tap (links to the kettle boiling)
· Cut shot back to the kitchen, and the girl is laying out a mug and dropping the spoon into the mug with coffee on it, foreshadowing something.
· Cut back to the man in the bathroom which is empty, we hear a quiet sound of a draw opening in the background
· Cut shot to into the hallway, a POV shot of someone opening the door slowly and we see the man’s arms.
· Cut shot again to inside the room and a drawer opening, we see the item in the drawers, women’s underwear.
· CU of clean hands rummaging through the drawer.
· Cut back to the girl in the kitchen, camera close to the kettle so we can see that it has nearly boiled. The girl is in the background putting the coffee away.
· Cut back to the bedroom, a hand picks up a pair of knickers, the shot stays with the knickers out of shot (as if being brought up to the man’s face) we hear a loud sniffing noise.
· Cut back into the hall with the door being slowly and carefully closed
· The man goes back into the bathroom to wash his hands, he reaches for a towel, and we see a masked figure in the mirror stood behind him.
· CU of hand holding the wrench, and it being flung towards the head.
· ECU of the kettles light going out and the kettle finishing.
· We hear a loud crash on the floor.
· The shot stays in the kitchen and we hear someone running down the stairs
· And finally a loud scream

Sunday, 6 February 2011

ALL - Stills from Sample Footage 3

The Mask

The Boiler Suit

ALL - Vodcast Five: Feedback on our Rough Cut

Here is a link to our company blog. www.rasamproductions.blogspot.com

In this vodcast we discussed the feedback we recieved for our rough cut and changes according to the feedback. 

ALL - Fourth Podcast - Feedback on our Rough Cut

In this Podcast we talk about the feedback we received on our first Rough Cut.

Friday, 4 February 2011

RS - Coursework Changes

Due to a long discussion with each other and our media teacher we have come to the decision to change most of our synopsis. From our feedback we needed to give a better reason as to why the man would go to the house in the first place, also why the girl would kill the man, and to hide her identity using narrative enigma in the process. We will keep the same characters and the same twist but just tweak the narrative a bit to make it portray to the audience a bit easier.

  • The man will be working on the girls car in her garage 
  • He will come into the house and ask if he can wash his hands because he has just fixed the car
  • There will be a sequence of shots when the man is in the bathroom washing his hands
  • A masked figure will come behind him (the girl in disguise) and stab him with a knife
  • The girls boyfriend will arrive and see a mask on the floor, picking it up and asking what it was, the blame is pointed at him.
  • This will be similar to the Scream (Wes Craven, 1996) twist in which it gets blamed on different people, and we don't find out the truth until later on in the film, after the opening 2 mins.

We thought that we would have to make the man look more menacing, and therefore make the audience  believe he is the killer. We will change his costume, so he will be wearing a boiler suit, the reason for this is to make him seem like a hideous creature, crazy, and wanting to kill this defenceless girl. He will also have oily rags, and be a bit animalistic. Boiler suits have been used in films such as Halloween (John Carpenter, 1978), the killer Michael Myers wears the boiler suit to mask his identity but also to make him seem a bit more creepy. We will also add fake blood (after he has been stabbed) and oil to the boiler suit to signify he has been working on the car.

RS - Coursework Update 2

After screening our opening to the class we recieved some feedback (a Youtube video will be published in the next few days, showing the feedback recieved in the lesson) the feedback consisted of making it more obvious as to why the man goes upstairs in the first place. Maybe changing the costume of the man a bit, to make him look a bit more menacing. They also told us to think a bit more about the ending because it is not "quite there" yet. In tomorrows lesson we will brainstorm a few ideas as what to do and then produce another rough cut to screen and get further feedback on.

Therefore we will need to secure another date/weekend for further re-shooting, on this day we will also create a "behind the scenes" and a vodcast and podcast. These can all be viewed on my Youtube channel. They will be added to the relevent playlists, when they have been uploaded to Youtube.

Sam and I are away on a Geography trip on Monday(7th)  and Tuesday (8th) which will leave Asa alone for two lessons, therefore we need to think of something we can set for him to do, but also something we can do whilst on the trip to make sure we do not fall behind, this could be thinking deeper into soundtrack ideas, or further company ident.

Here is the footage for our feedback we received:

Tuesday, 1 February 2011

RS - Coursework Reshooting + Update

Due to camera technical errors we will have to film a couple of shots once again to them being broken when we upload them onto the Macs at school. This will take place on Saturday/Sunday because it is the only days we can meet up together. On either Saturday/Sunday we will also be doing our weekly Pod/Vodcasts so they will be up by next Monday.

We also seem to have a problem with our second company ident, the footage is fine, however sound does not seem to be working on it, we will need to talk to the schools Media Technician to see if he can help us get it to work.