Thursday, 27 January 2011

Inspirational Title Sequence

I have chosen to analyse the title sequence for the psychological thriller film 'Se7en'.
The music throughout the sequence is high pitched, edgy, uncomfortable and distorted whilst the fonts used  are small, uneven and almost looks hand written.
All the visuals are fast paced and every shot is an extreme close-up were we see every detail through the main characters point of view.
As the sequence progresses, music quickens in pace which makes the audience feel as though tension is building.
The title sequence to this film is inspirational to me since it allows the audience to slowly establish the type of person the main character is, this is revealed to us through extreme close up, point of view shots.

Tuesday, 25 January 2011

Editing Practice Film 1 - Bag Swap

Planning for Practice film 1

LiveType and Soundtrack

Livetype is a program which allows you to create animated title sequences for your footage. Unlike final cutpro, Livetype offers a lot more ways with which you can experiment with your text. Of course it sticks with the basic things such as being able to choose colour, size, font etc, however Livetype also offers thing such as being able to change attributes of each title or character including the size, drop shadow, outline, extrusion, glow, opacity and tracking of the text. Through Livetype you can create exactly the  title sequence you have in mind for  your thriller film and combined with the right music make the prefect opening of a thriller film. Here o briefly annotated LifeType: 
When it comes to editing our sound, the program we used was Soundtrack Pro. This program allows us to compose and edited our audio applications. Once you understand and get the hang of using soundtrack its pretty straight forward and great as it makes your sounds origional and can have  a massive effect on your production.

Monday, 24 January 2011

Introduction to editing skills

When editing different clips the program we use is called FinalCutPro. The great thing about it is that it's pretty straight forward, you import your files and they end up on the left or right hand side of the screen. You can then view your videos individually and begin editing it. When editing you get a variety of options from the tool box, such as the razorblade tool for cropping your footage, adding different effects such as fade in/out.

Of course there are many more editing options on final cutpro and youtube is a great source when looking for new things you might want to do for your own creation. For example:

I created a few annotations explaning a bit more about FinalCutPro:

To Ivet

I am loving the movie analysis of WLB that you have made - it's great.


Friday, 21 January 2011

Introduction to cameras: Skills

Introduction to cameras: Skills

We had an introduction to cameras and how to operate them as well as the Dos and Don’ts.

Some Basic things that we learn which however play an important role in the outcome of your production is for instance trying to have your camera as much on the Tripod as possible. A Tripod itself is the stand the camera uses for support as usually has 3 legs. This stands provides support and stability therefore making your shots smoother. Also it makes taking shots such as a panning shot quick and easy with a great outcome. 

Another basic skill that we learnt which still plays a big part in the outcome of our production is to never use the Zoom button when filming, the only time we can use it is to focus a shot and then film.

Consequently, because we use the Manual setting instead of Auto setting we had to focus each and every shot before we start filming. The reason being is that with the manual setting you have to adjust everything yourself, unlike with the Auto option where the camera Lens focuses by itself, and finds people with the face detection. However the good thing about using the Manual setting is that at the very least you’ll  know how light and shadow interact on film or digital media so if you did decide to work in auto mode you’d be sure of getting it right as sometimes it can be a bit tricky with the lighting. 

In the end we got to put the skills we learnt into practise by creating a small video footage ourselves, which allowed us to experiment around with the different options and at the same time remind ourselves of all the camera shots such as over the shoulder, mid shot etc.

Camera Shots that we used:
  • Pan
  • Long Shot
  • Medium Close Up
  • Over the Shoulder Shot

Analysis of a title sequence which inspires me

Wednesday, 19 January 2011


Intertextuality is a term used to describe visual referencing between films. Put simpler, its when films “borrow” from one another with either camera angles or aspects of mise en scene.  A film which has become an icon for directors to borrow methods from without actually copying it is of course Psycho directed by Alfred Hitchcock.

An example of a film which is influenced by Psycho to create a suspenseful scene without actually copying Psycho is a scene in Fatal Attraction. In this scene, straight away one major similarity apparent between the two films is the male taking on the role of the more powerful one who is after the female the one portrayed as being weaker. Similarly, the mise en scene is taking from Psycho once again, with the famous bath scene, however the difference in Fatal Attraction, is that the woman doesn’t actually die in the bathroom, but only seems to fall and carry on, the bathroom is not where the scene revolves around, however is present in order to create suspense as she falls on the floor and we begin to think he will catch her. Consequently, the close up of the woman as she’s on the bathroom floor is similar to the close up of the woman in the shower in Psycho, one because of the close up itself, and two because they both have a plane white background behind them at that very moment. Also the costumes used are similar as both women are in dressing gowns which created suspense, as dressing gowns have connotations of sleep and privacy and having a man disturb that creates drama and worry as it’s not the way it should be.

We also saw an example of previous media student and their own media production and how that was influenced by Psycho but at the same time kept original. The mise en scene was similar in the sense that it was in a shower and main props such as the knife were used, this mise en scene is great at creating suspense because the person in the shower is unaware as to what is happening around him,while at the same time we see the girl on the other side making her way closer and closer to him until she pull out a knife, which builds up anticipation as to what will happen next. The way the students managed to make their film different thought was by changing the roles around and having the male as the victim rather than the female.

Thursday, 13 January 2011

Intertextuality - Definition

Intertextuality is a term to describe the visual referencing between films.
Quite literally,  films 'borrow' from each other, and you may recognise certain camera angles, aspects of mise en scene, snippets of sound or methods of editing in some films that you have seen in others.

Which aspects of the film 'Psycho' have been used in the films; What Lies Beneath, The Stepfather and Succubus (Student Thriller)

What Lies Beneath
'What Lies Beneath' effectively makes use of the bathroom setting which is also seen within the film Psycho, furthermore, 'What lies Beneath' effectively borrows the running shower head aspect from the film Psycho and lastly, a lot of slow movement is used in both films in order to make us feel on edge, anxious and fearful.

The Stepfather 
The film 'The Stepfather' utilizes the rip of the shower curtain off of the rail and also pans out slowly from the fallen victim in the bathtub, both these ideas are first seen within Psycho.

Succubus (Student Thriller) 
The Student Thriller uses a variety of techniques that are also shown in the film Psycho.
The shower scene idea is the most obvious of all, however, lots of similar camera angles are used in each film, characters movement slows in pace as tension begins to build in each, moreover, in both Psycho and Succubus, there is minimal use of non-diegetic sound; this creates more of a sense of realism.
However, in the build up to the violent shower attack, the Succubus inputs ominous/erie music although there are no added on sounds in the film Psycho.

How is suspense created during the briefcase exchange scene in the film 'Collateral'

During the start of the film Collateral, Felix is walking through an airport whilst carrying a briefcase, he then bumps into a stranger also carrying a similar looking briefcase, when the two collide both briefcases are dropped and each one falls into the hands of the wrong person.
This moment feels very suspenseful since it begins in slow motion which lets the audience know that the film is building up to something big, in addition, the sound of their footsteps getting nearer also increases the level of suspense because the audience almost feels as though something is coming towards them.

To add to this, once each briefcase is dropped, the distance between felix and the stranger becomes much closer, therefore, we feel more uncomfortable, thus making the feeling of suspense even more evident.

Sunday, 9 January 2011

How is suspense created in Collateral

Example 1. Opening Scene

A great suspenseful scene in right at the beginning of the film during the bag swap. Having everyone apart from the two main characters blurred is the directs way of informing the audience that its those two particular individuals that they have to focus their attention on, also the slow motion up until the 0:24th second, builds up the tension even further because we know something will happen any minute to disturb the calmness of the scene. Similarly, the two man’s footsteps are non diegeticly made to stand out from all other sounds in order to build up the tension even further. And it does, straight after the close up of Tom Cruise, which in itself builds tension because of the sunglasses prop which in a way hides a part of his identity, making him a peculiar character, straight after that close up comes the collision between the two man, which almost brings the audience’s attention back to the film as everything begins going at normal speed and the busy environment is out of the shot, we know its that particular moment that the director tried to build up. After the bags are exchanged, the diegetic sound goes to non diegetic as up beat music is played and we now know that the key moment as happened and the film can now develop from there.

Example 2.  When Vince and Max visit the first individual and he falls onto Max’s car
From the moment Max parks the car in the ally way we have a series of Cross Cutting from the taxi to Vince as he walks down the corridor looking for the right flat.  The use of cross cutting is a great technique to build up tension because we have the calm atmosphere in the car as Max does every day things like eat a sandwich while he waits and listen to calming piano music, in contrast to Vince who is walking down the corridor with echoing of loud television from the different apartments playing. And once more just before the climax of the scene we have a close up of Vince’s face, and the next shot follows with a bird view of the car as it gets closer and closer to it combined with the calming music from within the car, until the audience is shocked as the body crashes in the car and once again everyone’s shocked back into what is actually going on in this scene and the seriousness of it.

Example 3. Near the end of the film around 1hour and 30 minutes in, When Vince finds himself in Annie’s work building and he brakes down the door only to find out he’s got the wrong room as she’s on another floor

Here the tension is build through the cross cutting between Max and Annie as he explains to her that Vince is in the building on his way to kill her. The fact that at the same time we see Vince making his way in the building heading toward a door, and we know Annie is also in the building however the director purposely doesn’t share the information of which room she’s in, we as the audience expect her to be in the room that Vince is heading towards. The use of eerie music getting louder and louder as Vince gets closer to the room, with the camera following him from behind allowing ony the gun to be seen, build up tension as the audience are now aware he is about to find her and kill her. The music becomes louder and louder to a point when he breaks in but before that we have a quick cross cut to Annie fooling the audience that she’s in the room he’s about to go in, only to realise she’s not there as he breaks in, and at that moment the music stops and the audience no know that she’s actually in another room.

Friday, 7 January 2011

Three examples of a suspenseful moment in 'Collateral'

Example 1: Hospital chase 

During the hospital scene when Vincent chases after Felix, music increases in pace and camera movement begins to get faster, this creates a great feeling of suspense since the audience has no indication as to what will happen next, we are held in suspense all the way up until Felix throws the briefcase he is holding, off of a bridge.

Example 2: The build up just before Vincent, shoots the man he is interogating, in the head 

This scene is made suspenseful because of how the only sounds on set are the actors voices, this makes the scene feel very real and makes the audience focus only on what is being said, in addition, the feeling of suspense is also enforced by the moments of silence between speech, furthermore the close ups of the characters faces brings us closer to the action and thus amplifies the feeling of suspense even more.

Example 3: When Felix attempts to pass by the security guards as Vincent 

Low angle shots of the security guards make them seem larger and thus more threatening, this immediately increases suspense because it makes us seem smaller and more vulnerable, therefore, we feel slightly more anxious.
Moreover, Non-diegetic music is introduced as Felix stammers and stutters as he lies to the security guards, this dialogue combined with the tense music produces a very effective suspenseful atmosphere.

Monday, 3 January 2011

Detailed analysis of Thriller Clip

The thriller clip we watched in class was "Deja vu". The clip is 5 mins and 27 seconds long. Within those 5 minutes, the audience sees a lot. The micro features such as mise en scene, sound, editing and camera make the clip very interesting.

It starts off with gentle music, slow paced, the camera is showing us people having fun. Navy people going onto a boat. The editing is slow paced. The titles are appearing during the clip instead of on a blank screen in the beginning.

For the first 3 minutes everything is slow paced, music, camera, editing. Then we see a little girl drop her doll in the water, after this everything becomes fast. We hear a band playing music, then on the radio the beach boys song comes on "Don't Worry Baby", this relaxes the audience. Makes them feel reassured.

Everything seems to be like a normal day, people having fun enjoying themselves. But then the man looks into the mirror, we see the camera look inside and sees what seems to be a bomb. We then hear the beeping of it as it's about to explode. Then the editing shows us a wide shot of the boat exploding. It changes angles every second showing us a different angle of the explosion.

Sunday, 2 January 2011

Detailed analysis of Thriller Clip

One of the thriller clips we looked at in class was the 2006 film, Déjà vu, directed by Tony Scott, produced by Jerry Bruckheimer.  The reason I picked Déjà vu out of all the other thriller’s we looked was because I found it managed to contained a lot of what makes a good thriller within the first 3 minutes of it, and therefore inspire me with ideas for when it comes to us making our own title sequence of a thriller.

The music itself is the first thing we hear and seems to be following what happens on set, for instance the different keys played on the piano as the title sequences comes on. Also the way the titles are presented very much relates to the film as a whole, because latter on we see that the “Snow White”, the program which the film revolves around also operates the way the title are presented with the white squares almost like targets.

In that sense, perhaps 3 different examples of foreshadowing are presents within the first 3 to 4 minutes of the opening of the film, one being the way the titles are shown representing the program, another one being the little girl dropping her doll off the boat, which foreshadows latter on everyone jumping out because of the explosion.

A key thing which makes a good thriller is of course the music being played, the fact that before the 4:15 minute, there’s a mixture of a pop song combined with the band music from the sheep, in itself created a bit of a disruption and chaos as you seem to not know exactly what is happening because you are being destructed, right up until the 4:15  minute when it changed completely to Don’t Worry Baby, and the audience seem to have a moment of relaxation, this technique is known as false sense of security, and is often used in thrillers especially those with a sub genre of horror in order to shock the audience when the real danger kick in, however here its used to highlight the innocents of the characters, by having a calm background music mixed in with shots of the different passengers mainly those of young children or older people, to highlight the innocents and unfairness that is about to happen. This same song is later on heard one more time and that’s right at the end of the film, which against makes the audience subconsciously thinking back to the beginning and all the different events that took place throughout the film and where everyone ended up being. This is what any good thriller aims to do, created a breath taking plot that grabs the audience from the start and leaves them thinking about the film even after its finished.

That is why Déjà vu inspires me, because it uses the camera work and music to create the mood it wants to and builds up suspense in order to make it a great thriller.