Wednesday, 15 December 2010

Diary Entry 1. 15/12/10

Today we read through our blog to start with and edited in any little details that needed to be added, such as images. We also figured out what the strengths and weaknesses were in our similar media texts.

Art Of The Title

This opening sequence really captures what the films messages are all about. Without inputting too much heart into this opening sequence it manages to only relay the harsh realities of war in the most simplistic and heartless way.
This opening shows all aspects of the transportation of firearms around the world and how easy it is to put audiences in the position of an inanimate object and still make them go on a rollercoaster ride of a journey.
All of the characters shown throughout this clim seem to show gourmless faces withut emotion or responisibility about what they are doing. Especially the child getting shot at the end of the clip; he seems to show a lack of pro-activeness to escaping the firefight. This may show how people (even children) see war as commonplace and a part of everyday life.
Throughout this scene the names of the producers, director and actors appear; in that order. The use of the box the bullet is in being put into blackness allows for these names to be shown more clearly.

Similar Texts That Were Reviewed Highly

Now we will look at similar films that have had good reviews, so we could look at each of these and chose good points and take influences for our film.

Dirty Harry - During the opening cool music while showing Clint Eastwood inspect a murder scene could be a big influence, showing different angles and shoots which we could use in our final shoot.

Silence of the Lambs - Lots of shots in this film when people are talking to one another in a POV style, for one of the characters we do not want to show to the audience giving a mysterious look on the kidnapper.

Se7en - A good and quite unique feature of Se7en is the killer not being revealed until the climax of the film, usually the killer is revealed about 3/4 of the way through in most films. Also throughout the film the audience thinks they are going to find out who the killer is but they never do until he reveals himself.

Taken - An interesting thriller which relays on an vengeful father who is trying to rescue his rebellious daughter. We can take a lot from this film as it is about a kidnapping and a fathers struggle to get his daughter back.†

Our Films Soundtrack

We thought we should have a creepy soundtrack for our detectives entrance, then the music can pick up a bit when we see our damsel in distress running away from the kidnapper.
Some examples of this could be the into theme from 'Get Carter' or 'Dirty Harry'. Both of these themes start off creepy and give realism to the film. When the music crescendo's it kicks off the 'mood' and genre of the film. Both of these were crime thrillers, just like our film.

Tuesday, 14 December 2010

Art Of The Title - Iron Man

 Throughout this opening it really reflects back on the overal theme of the film, technology. The film being based around a highly technologicaly advanced suit.  
The use of having the short clip in the begining of the film with him saying "I am Iron Man", obvioously this is from the timeline of later on in the film, but the way it sets into the opening titles having him turn into an "electroinc" outline of Iron Man poses an enigma for the audience, making them wonder what put him in that situation.
The way in which the camera moves around the pieces of the Iron Man suit with different attributers names appearing kind of disorinate's the viewer but also has them follow the camera making them feel like they are actually moving through and around the suit.
Finally, as the suit progresses from mere pieces into the full suit it shows the progression involvement, for example it starts with people who probably nobody knows, but as the suits becomes recognisable more recognisable names start to appear, such as main characters and directors.


The Dark Knight Opening Sequence

The opening sequence is very interesting and unique. The sequence starts with the institutes involved, the text and logos are darkened to make them more suitable to the film. Once these titles are done we go straight into action without anything else being mentioned, no actors, and no film title. 

The action starts with a slow pan to a building where a small explosion comes from the window, this immediately sets the mood since explosion are generally seen in action films, you wouldn’t expect to see them in the opening sequence of a comedy or a romance. With this one action the genre has been shown to the audience. 

After this we start seeing characters, this sequence features a lot of quick shots but the first slow shot is of a character just stood still on the side of the road holding a mask, this indicates to the audience that he is one of the main characters, it is also an enigma since the audience begins to wonder who he is. Throughout this sequence a lot of shots show the location of the film, the audience can see that the film is set in a very modern city, much like New York.  This opening sequence is very unique since it doesn’t really go through all the expected things, such as actors, who’s involved, film title, it simply goes straight into the film and establishes a main character (Joker) early on, before the actual star of the film (Batman), this shows the importance of the Joker in this film and he’s not just another villain, by having the entire opening sequence just to introduce him is very unique just to introduce a character.


Zombieland art of the title

throughout this opening sequence we see the chaos being shown and what the film is about.....ZOMBIES all the names that are placed in this title sequence happen as a new image comes up or for example when the window is smashed the name appears where the initial break point was.

Scream 'do you like scary movies`

Scream 1996

Who could forget the iconic opening scene of scream where ghost face is on the phone to a female character asking her if she wants to play a game , a game which if answered wrong could mean death. The scene starts with non diogetic screaming which is represnative of what film is most likely to be about and as this happens we see the title of the film Scream as the screaming starts to come to an end we hear the transition from screaming to the sound of a phone ringing.                  

 in the opening scene there is not much sound which may add to the tension as to what we as the viewer is expecting to happen, the only real sounds that we hear are the diogetic phone being rung and the popcorn popping. Popcorn is usually associated with films which also may suggest what this film is about, the viewer discovers this more as the female character played by Drew Barrymore and the man on the fun start to discuss classic horror films which shows what Scream is about, by playing on the rules of a horror film, films that are quoted are Halloween and A Nightmare on Elm Street.
    In itself this film opening could be seen as its own simple horror film as it has all the traits of one it also shows a hidden meaning, which is that what will the youths of today do when they are exposed to the amount of horror films that are out there, scream is a perfect example of this as the killer is a human being not some unforeseen force such as Paranormal activities which would also mean that this could happen and example of a film which follows the concept of the killers only being human would be the British film Eden Lake.
another aspect of the film would be the fact that you don't really know the people around you and what they could be capable of, for example in this opening sequence the person on the phone is watching Drew Barrymore.
  an interesting thing about the opening to Scream is that the picture is not required to understand what is going on in the film as its mainly just dialogue, also when there is a shot of outside you can hear birds noises and the fact that there is nothing outside that we can really see, anything living anyway this then would represent that the female character is isolated, also this is stated by the man on the phone when he says 'the police would be to late as we are in the middle of nowhere ` so as i said before you can understand what is happening without the picture, we know the female character is scared as we can hear her crying and screaming 'leave me alone`

Monday, 13 December 2010

Art of the Title

Dirty Harry contact sheet

If we are going to make an opening based around a thriller/crime genre it would be best to look at similar film openings, this opening is of Dirty Harry a 1971 crime thriller starting Clint Eastwood.

This is a good opening to link to as we decided to have a police officer looking at a crime on a roof, and in Dirty Harry its similar.
This sequence is slow paced and shows a man aiming a rifle at a woman in a swimming pool across two buildings. The music is very eerie, but goes well under the circumstances, as he them shoots the women. Then the scene changes to Inspector Harry Callahan walking up some stairs and inspecting the scene, he then notices the building where the shooter could possibly be, he then walks around that roof top of the other building (during this the camera tracks and pans around showing us all of San Francisco), all while this is happening the credits are being shown to us in simple yellow and black writing.
The music in this scene is very effective as it represents the two characters very well, the eerie music is playing while we see the shooter, and then the cool-calm music is playing when we see Clint Eastwood, whose character is cool and calm for most of the movie.
We could use this technique in our sequence, when showing the inspector we could play either calm music, heroic music, or empathising music, and a creepy dangerous score when showing the villain.

During this sequence the credits appear in this order;

• Warner Bros, a Kinney Company
• Clint Eastwood
• In a Malpaso Company Production
• Dirty Harry
• Co-Starring Harry Guardino Reni Santoi
• Andy Robinson John Larch
• Featuring John Mitchum Lyn Edgington Mae Mercer Ruth Kobart Woodrow Parfrey
• Josef Sommer Maurice S. Argent William Paterson Jo De Winter James Nolan Graig G. Kelly
• And John Vernon as “The Mayor”
• Director of Photography Bruce Surtees
• Art Direction Dale Hennesy Film Editor Carl Pingitore Sound By William Randall Set Decorator Robert DeVestel
• Assistant to the Producer George Fargo Unit Production Manager Jim Henderling Dialogue Supervisor Scott Hale Make Up Supervisor Gordon Bau S.M.A Supervising Hair Stylist Jean Burt Reily C.H.S
• Assistant Director Robert Rubin Wardrobe Glenn Wright
• Filmed In Panavision Technicolor
• Music Lalo Schifrin
• Associate Producer Carl Pingitore
• Executive Producer Robert Daley
• Screenplay by Harry Julian Fink & R.M. Fink and Dean Riesner Story by Harry Julian Fink & R.M. Fink
• Produced and Directed by Don Siegel

As we have a much smaller production team, we will not use as many titles like this one, but we will include the main ones, like the comapany, production, film title, actors and actresses, writers, music, and the director.

Saturday, 11 December 2010

Researching Film Openings

Lord Of War:
Lord of War (2005) is one of my personal favourite film openings. The whole sequence is following the 'life of a bullet. A complete POV shot from above the bullet. From the manufacturing of the bullet, through to the distribution of the bullet, then being loaded and evetually being fired into a young boy. This scene perfectly sets up the story of an arms dealer. It is a very iconic scene and portrtays many themes and facts about war. I also think it puts the rest of the film to shame. Another great factor of this opening sequence is the perfect use of the non-digetic soundtrack. Although 'For what its worth' by Buffalo Springfield is a song from the sixties it fits in perfectly with the 'behind the scenes' parts of war (the life of a bullet). This soundtrack is particularly good as it was a song fondly playing during the time of the Vietnam War making the audience possibly reminiss to those times of War, this may be a bit cliche but i think it works. It is a very dreary song for the best part and only nearing the end picks up and has a rocky vibe, this is much like the 'actual' life of a bullet; it starts off like any other, gets boxed up, but when it gets put in a gun it is a very dangerous object and the music reflects this.
As i mentioned earlier the camera starts with a sweeping pan shot into a long line of metal which then gets stamped into a circular piece of metal ready to be made into a bullet (the manufacturing). This transforms the audience into feeling like bullets are just like an everyday object and are a part of life. In reality they are what is pulling the world apart. We are then sent down a escalator of bullets, just like a line of men signing up to go to war. The bullet then slide around and around in a cone until we land in a box, the same sort of thing happens with men being put into battalions in a war scenario. Next an interesting technique is used. We are shut inside a box and the screen goes black. This allows time for an elipsis and for the box of bullets to move off to war. Next we find ourselves being opened by a captain of some importance as we are being smuggled onto a large vessel, showing that it isnt just shady characters that dabble in these underground activities. After this we find ourselves being transported again via the use of blackness. During this blackness, it allows some of the names of the people involved in making the film. The blackness draws your attention to whoevers name appears. Again we are opened up to show a dramtic change in scenery, a technique used to show to the audience that bullets are a valuable camodity, however destructive; and are in use all over the world.
Next we are sent into a manic CG roll making the audience very dizzy indeed. This is unfortunately where the clip loses its sense of realism and is very clear to see that the bullet isnt actually on the ground. I dont think this effect was needed in the opening sequence, it Unfortunately just after this sequence of dizziness we are being loaded into the bullet's metaphorical coffin (a gun chamber). This traps the audience and makes them feel uncomfortable. We are then feeling an increasing level in tension as the other bullets are fired off to their deaths above. Finally we are looking down the barrel of a gun until we are fired through the warzone into a child, a tragic possibility of war. This also sets up major themes for the rest of the film and shows the darker side of arms dealing.

Wednesday, 8 December 2010

Marketing Strategies by Similar Films In Relation To Ours

Taken was a big budget Hollywood made film. Unsurprisingly Taken managed to distribute very well.
TV: In Britain Taken managed to air an advert on television screens on nearly every channel. If we are going to market our film to the wider audience a television advert is a must. We would need to put our advert at the right time, for instance after the 9.00 watershed to attract older audiences. We could also put our advert after particular programs that predominantly for teenagers. Things such as Heroes or Lost.

RADIO: Taken was also reviewed on some Radio stations. One being the Radio Five Live; an interesting choice considering the audience who listens are mostly older and it has been proved that less older people are going to the cinema than before. The marketing crew behind Taken obviously wanted to reach out to the more risky audiences.

FILM TRAILERS: Many film trailers were introduced before many other 15 age rated action films such as Cloverfield (2008) but unfortunately couldn't be shown before 12 age rated action films which most films were in 2008. I believe Taken had achieved the correct age rating as it is just about passable for a 15 considering it has some very strong violence, drug use and sexual discrimination. It is just unfortunate that the action films introduced in 2008 were mostly 12's, this meant Taken had to rely on other forms of distribution as a form of enlightening and enticing an audience. When we distribute our film it might be wise to consider the age rating of our film. If we can achieve a 12 age rated film then we can screen our film to the wider younger audience, but we will have to cut down some of the harder content; this will unfortunately lose some of the interest to our film. To not achieve a 15 age rating would mean losing one half of our target audience, the 15-17 girls who could relate to the abducted girl in our film.

POSTERS: This old fashioned method of communicating with an audience goes way back and is still one of the most competed for ways of distribution and... These posters are such a major part of our life that most of the time we forget they are even there. Film distributers take this as a good thing and that film posters attract audiences by sublimminal messaging. For instance if someone see's enough of one film then that person is going to think that this film is obviously worth watching. This is definately a good idea to distribute our film as it makes our audiences think 'wow, that film is good enough to own a space on a billboard; it must be worth watching'. It makes our film look important although it will be hard to be able to own a billboard space and still achieve some of our other distribution methods.
WEBSITE: Taken has its own website. Another essential distribution method for audience members that would like to interact with the film in question and learn more about it. These sorts of distribution methods are very cheap to set up, enable fans of the film to create their own reviews and user created videos, further spreading the word of the film. I had after some deep searching found Taken's own website which was full of extra content. It was interesting how this website was multilingual. This would have been made like this to encorperate Taken's french audience. They have a french audience as parts of the film was filmed in France in which the french audience could relate. This is a definate approved form of distribution for our film as it allows fans and interested audiences alike to get more info about our film for a cheap price.

Taken Advert
Uploaded by hamster1992. - Full seasons and entire episodes online.

Similar Media Texts

We thought our film will be a harrowing story of redemption and misinterpretations. I think our film is a bit like the film Taken mixed with Sin City. A cocktail of crime movies carefully mixed together with an underlying story of a resentful relationship between a father and a daughter.

Takens target audience was in the range between 15-34. More women were younger who watched this film, possibly to relate to the 17 girl who gets abducted. Another thing, the actress who is abducted in Taken also starred in Lost a very popular series with teenagers which would possibly be why the younger audiences are attracted to Taken.
Older audiences might watch this film because Liam Neeson stars in it. Audiences who enjoyed watching films from Neeson's past such as Batman Begins and Shindlers List which were predominantly older films might have swayed older audiences to watch Taken. Considering our film has some similarities with Taken, and there is also a younger girl who gets abducted, i wouldn't be surprised to receive similar audiences. Taken was a big budget Hollywood made film. Unsurprisingly Taken managed to distribute very well. An example of this was a radio interview on BBC Radio 5 Live, not particularly the most well known of radio stations. They obviously wanted to reach out to the wider and older audience. Taken also has its own website to attract people from around the world. Taken is an interesting film as it is filmed internationally. Both in America and in France. This should in theory attract people from France as well.

Another film that recently came out was The Disappearance of Alice Creed which starred new acting sensation Gemma Arterton. Sher s kidnapped and held for a ransom of 2 million pounds. This story of deceit and torture and eventually revenge had a great hit with art house films and british film festivals alike. The Disappearance of Alice Creed was promoted very well in newspapers such as the guardian and also caught attention when it was brought up on radio 4. These might be a few ideas to consider if we need to distribute our film. The Disappearance of Alice Creed also has its own website.

25Word Synopsis And USP

A harrowing story of a detective's struggle to rescue his daughter. Can he follow the breadcrumbs to unlock the riddle of his daughters secret life.

We thought our USP would be the indifference and quarrels of normal life turn into something more. He has to put himself in his daughters shoes and try to relate to some of he things she has said in the past that didn't make sense. For once the Dad and detective is wrong and has to stop teaching and start learning.

Wednesday, 1 December 2010

Our Production Sequences

We decided in our title sequences to have one professional tittle sequence and a slick cool production sequence for our smaller production company.
 Our first ideas for our smaller production title sequence started off as having an angry animal appear. We though having an animal from the feline family, we thought the eyes would give a cool glare effect if we faded them in from black.  In the end we decided the simplest feline fiend, was the cat so we could use their small creepy eyes while including an angry meow, but when looking at the different sounds we could use from Soundtrack Pro, we found there were none, expect for a tiger roar, which fitted aptly. We looked at different names for this, pitching different ideas from, angry cat productions, feral cat productions, wild cat productions, but as the angry cat meow sound from Soundtrack Pro wasn't available we had to compromise and use the tiger roar, hence we picked angry tiger productions.
As we wanted a more professional look for the bigger film company, we wanted a smart business like word, some ideas included, professional films, industrial films, contemporary films, office blocks, but in the end we all chose and were happy with Imperial films. As we wanted a smart business like look, we wanted a picture of London buildings, then we thought of having Big Ben and the House of Parliament, as it is the most recognizable building in London. We decided a black and white drawing of the building would be more smart than a simple picture of the building. The sound we chose for this was a grandfather clock sounded like Big Ben.