The plot of our main task film is based around a stalker and a man being stalked in an eerie woodland location. The man is then stumbled upon by walkers who are lost on a walk through the countryside. The film starts with very brief fast clips of the stalked man running through the woods and establishing shots of the location giving the audience an understanding of the surroundings. The film then proceeds onto the two walkers, lost, wondering where to get help for directions. They decide to follow the tracks up to a barn where the stalked man is being held by the stalker. The opening to the film ends when the two walkers hear screaming and are confronted by the stalker .
In what ways does your media product use, develop or challenge forms and conventions of real media products?
The sounds effect we used in our film were all sounds imported from the programme called iMovie. A frequent sound effect we used was called ‘Drone’, this is an eerie continuous sound used for the scenes with tension and anxiety, this helps to generate these things during the film. We also edited our film on iMovie. We sped up the beginning scenes of the man running to signify the start of something and slowed down the sections of the film when tension was arising. We also merged together clips with significant relevance so the shot involved plays on the mind of the audience and the scene becomes more engaging. We used plenty of editing techniques to make the film flow and become engaging. We used a Sony Handycam to film our main task and with the shots we had learned in lesson we constructed an opening to a film using these shots. We included such shots as high angle, low angle, long shot and establishing shot to open our film. Using these shots it enabled us to keep the stalked man’s face anonymous and build the plots story line. Also using the establishing shots allowed the audience to understand the story and what is going on. When filming our fast shots we used point of view shots and close ups to allow the audience to feel as if they were behind the camera and the close ups play significant importance to the item being focused on.
Another piece of technology we used during the shooting of our film was a tri-pod. This enabled us to film from heights, angles which provided a flexible scope of filming as we could capture the scene with a relevant camera shot. The tri-pod also allowed steady shots when needed, eg. When the two walkers are walking towards the camera the audience can clearly see the story unfolding and there is no disruption with camera work. Also when filming the anonymous sections of the film the tri-pod was advantageously useful, the tri-pod acting as a crane, held at height, looked down onto the running man preventing the audience from seeing his appearance. More over the tri-pod is convenient when filming a panning shot, the camera remains steady and it can be rotated during filming, twisting the camera along with the moving object.
How does your media product represent particular social groups?
Alex Stanley plays the role of the stalker in our film and supports the typical stalker with his appearance in the film. Alex wears old worn out boots, old trousers and a thick coat preventing his identity. Alex’s acting was cynical, threatening and ominous. He used his imposing and appearance figure to overpower his helpless victim. The anonymous appearance which is carried out throughout the film is stereotypical in thriller films, as the film directors do not want to reveal the identity of the stalker as it will decrease the tension and mystery surrounding the character.
Nick plays the role of the victim and is dressed as a normal stereo-typical man suiting the environment he is surrounded by .This provided the sense of innocence. During the scene of Nick tied to the chair he is looked upon as helpless, stranded and innocent. These characteristics are common in thrillers with the victims often seeming helpless when captured by the villain.
The Walkers The walkers, Adrian Swart and Adam Mughal, are perceived as two very normal in every day life walkers who come across the situation of the stalker and victim in the house. They are both wearing hiking clothes which are stereotypical of every day walkers and look as if they are genuine characters on a walk through the woodlands surrounding the stalkers barn.
Will was originally part of our first acting crew to film at Craneligh, however when the second time to film came around, Will could not make the final shoot. This was a situation where we could either change the whole plot of the film or reproduce the part of Will with another actor. We decided in the end that I should step in at late notice to refilm the section with me acting this time. We discussed that this would be time consuming and push the other sections we had to film to the limit but this was the best option. After filming and editing the clip we found we produced a better clip than last time due to different camera shots that we discovered would look more sophisticated.
Film Comparisons The film Sleeping With the Enemy has many comparisons to our film. Julia Roberts played the victim who was being stalked by her estranged husband. Although the victim is female unlike our victim, we thought this is very stereo typical of stalker films and using two males would make our film unique. Once her estranged husband finds her he tires to kill her, something which was perceived in our film before the walkers intervened. They also use familiar camera shots, in particular close ups when the film is coming to en end, the plot starts to get tense so close ups emphasis that effect.
Who would be the audience for your media product?
I researched similar films to our media product and found the following films were a correct estimate for which audience we would target our media product to. The films I researched were:
Fatal Attraction Rated: 18 Sleeping With The Enemy Rated: 15 Single White Female Rated: 18 After I had researched my three films and what they contained to be rated, I believe our film to be rated a 15. Although two out of the three films I found were rated 18, these two films carried heavy scenes, such as murder, blood and swearing. Because our film lacked any of the above I thought this would be too old to set our rating. Sleeping With The Enemy was more suited to our film, containing only brief periods of aggressiveness and intent to harm victims. Also I used: http :// www.bbfc.co.uk/classification/guidelines/12a12 , This website informed me about the specifications for their rating procedure and this information helped me label my final piece with a rating. I figured out that rating 12 would be too moderate because the content would be inappropriate to show to children below the age of 15 due to the threatening behavior and weapons involved which could influence young watchers.
What kind of media institutions might distribute your product and why?
What does a production company do? A production company is responsible for supervising the filming from concept to completion. The company may also be directly responsible for raising of funds for the production. They also chose the cast and the production crew (Directors etc.) and overall make sure the running of the film is smooth and try to correct any errors made. Our production company is called ‘AAAN Productions’ which stands for each letter of my groups first names. It was an easy way to find a name for our production company and everyone was happy with the naming. I created a logo for our production company which will be presented on advertisements etc. This will make customers recognize the logo and hopefully become well known.
What is a distributor?
‘ A film distributor is a company or individual responsible for releasing films to the public either theatrically or for home viewing (DVD, Download, Television etc.). A distributor may do this directly (if the distributor owns the theaters or distribution networks) or through theatrical exhibitors and other sub-distributors.’
Distributors are known as wholesalers, distributors buy in quantity from several manufacturers and warehouse the goods for sale to retailers. Although their prices are higher than a manufacturer’s, they can supply retailers with small orders from a variety of manufacturers. They are responsible for the advertising and marketing of the film. Also the release of the film and getting the film to the customers.
Well known distributors include: Sony Pictures, Universal Pictures, Warner Bros., Optimum Releasing and Paramount.
Who would distribute it and why?
Entertainment Film Distributors
is the UK’s leading independent distributor. The company was founded in 1978 and has showed continuing growth and success since that time distributing a wide range of product and building a significant film library. Highlights for the company have been the release of The Lord of the Rings Trilogy, one of the most thrilling epic adventures in motion picture history, which at its culmination garnered a fantastic seventeen Academy Awards®. In fact, since the millennium the company’s releases have totaled a remarkable thirty-eight Oscar wins and twenty-two BAFTAs ,encompassing a diverse range of genres ,including Traffic, Gosford Park, Million Dollar Baby, Brokeback Mountain, and The Departed, which earned Martin Scorsese his first Oscar for Achievement in Direction.
Entertainment Film Distributors operates both in the UK and the Republic of Ireland and distributes in theatrical, DVD rental and retail fields as well as licensing a substantial catalogue in both Pay-TV and Free-TV sectors.
Option Two Paramount Pictures Corporation is a global producer and distributor of filmed entertainment, with robust and multi-faceted divisions across all areas including digital, home entertainment, network and cable television distribution, studio operations, and consumer products and recreation. A unit of the leading global entertainment content company, Viacom, Paramount is part of a family of prominent and respected brands including MTV Networks and BET Networks. Paramount consists of several film labels including, the legendary Paramount Pictures; leading youth brand, MTV Films; the preeminent family entertainment label, Nickelodeon Movies; and specialty film labels, Paramount Vantage and Paramount Classics. In addition, the Studio will continue to release a number of films under the DW label. Paramount also has established distribution deals with iconic comic book creator, Marvel Entertainment and renowned animated film producer, DreamWorks Animation. Paramount Pictures Corporation
Momentum Pictures (also known as Alliance Films UK), an Alliance Films company, is one of the leading independent motion picture distributors in the UK and Ireland and releases approximately 20 theatrical films a year, with several STV releases.
Momentum's most successful theatrical releases include Amélie, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, Lost in Translation, Control, Racing Stripes, Downfall, The Young Victoria, Defiance, Milk and Lesbian Vampire Killers.
Momentum often take on and distribute low budget films, eg.
White Lightnin‘, 44 Inch Chest and Lesbian Vampire Killers.
Lesbian Vampire Killers is an example of a low budget film.
Decision: Momentum Pictures
Momentum Pictures would be the right option to choose for our distributor. Momentum Pictures often have chosen to distribute low budget films and these films have a financially strong return in gross profit. Because this is our first film to release we would have to use a low budget to produce our film, Momentum Pictures appear to be the best option in distributing our film. They will help with any issues during our film which will be crucial because of our inexperience in the business.
If all procedures run correctly the film has a good chance of being successful. The studio is also based in London which provides easy access to the studio therefore can implement more time into the film distribution to make sure its runs smoothly.
The funding for our project will come through the form of our distributors, Momentum Pictures. They will provide sufficient finds to develop, produce and distribute our film and provide the foundations for our film.
Although our film wont requite huge finance invested, we want to make sure we have covered all the necessary sections of releasing our film.
The money will also be invested in high quality expensive equipment such as cameras, tri-pods and editing software.
The opening sequence of credits appear like this:
Media Final Task, A3N Productions
Indicates reason for film and our production company’s name.
Produced by Adam Mughal, Nick Stevens, Alex Stanley and Adrian Swart.
This credit introduces the team who worked on the film.
Finding The Unknown
After the brief introduction, a short transition, fading to black is then faded into the title for our film.
Firstly we chose ‘Sideways Drift’ however after
discussing which title effect looked better, we decided
to use ‘Regular Drift’ as this helped our credits looks more
How did you attract/address your audience?
Targeting The Audience
We aimed our media product towards a male dominated audience due to the heavily involved action shots throughout the film and the threatening violent behavior would deter most of the female gender. It would also be targeted towards the elder generation (15+) due to the adult content. The film features scenes with weapons, so the target audience needed to be increased to prevent the young audiences to be influenced by the behavior they witnessed. Also the story line of a stalker thriller will attract the audiences of middle aged men who enjoy watching this genre. I think many people will be attracted with the unique plot because it is something new and different from the rest of the thriller films.
Films Relating To Our Thriller
Texas Chainsaw Massacre
Although Texas Chainsaw Massacre is considered a horror there is strong correlation between the two films. In our film two walkers are lost and they decide to find help, this leads them up to the stalkers barn where he is keeping Nick Stevens held. This is familiar in Texas Chainsaw Massacre, a group of friends passing through town are stalked and hunted down by a deformed killer with a chainsaw.
The location of our main task is very conventional of a thriller because of the ambiguous and eerie forest its set in. The surroundings also fit into this as it looks desolate and abandoned. Also because the barn is through the forests its gives the impression to the audience that the barn is away from neighbors or surrounding villages, this makes the story more cynical and haunting.
In our film we included some camera shots which is typical
in thriller films. The audience can see something whilst the
actor can not, this creates suspension and engages the
audience to see what happens next.
What have you learnt about technologies from the process of creating this product?
During the production of our thriller I have learnt many things about technologies from the process. Firstly we learnt how to use the cameras and certain types of shots. From practicing with the camera, I learnt how to use it in specific situations.
Also from learning the camera shots it was fairly simple to piece the two together to make a short section of video. We tried out as many different camera shots as possible to make sure we were confident in most camera shots and when they would be needed so we could use them whilst filming our preliminary and main task. Also when we reached our main task location we also had a tester with the cameras getting us used to the new environment and looking for good camera locations to film from. I learnt to assess the situation and run it through without filming to see if where the camera was set if the shot if it would be a good shot or not.
I also learnt to piece together clips instead of having one long clip which would get boring, to split the section up and record from different angles and shot or even using two camera to break the clips up. If the clips are too long they become boring and the audience do not become engaged, so using plenty of different shots keeps the audience interested in your film. Towards the end after experience with the camera I learnt that using a tri-pod was convenient and it stabilizes the shot however leaving the camera on a tri-pod and filming created a still image which didn’t flow. To counteract this I started using the camera on a tri-pod but handling the tri-pod just to make sure the shot didn’t look boring and dead. This proved effective as you could see the shots were not completely still and this added continuity in the shots. The only shot we found
hard was the tracking shot, this was because as we were moving with the
handheld camera the shots ended up very shaky and it didn’t
look very professional.
We also got very familiar with the editing side of the process of production and this was very key that we learned how to use the programme correctly because this helps gloss and finish off the movie. We learnt many things whilst using iMovie due to experience on the programme and this developed our editing skills which we invested into our project. There were many techniques to learn such as trimming clips, adjusting audio, creating titles, transitions, Ken Burns, sound effects and many more. Once we had a basic understanding of these effects we could start putting them into practice when editing our media projects. When editing clips we learnt as a group that even if we had a great looking shot it may not be specific or relevant to the story line therefore will need altering or deleting, we also learnt that we must use effects such as transition to break the short film up and also transitions can be used to take focus of one situation and putting it onto another.
Learning how to grab audio from one clip and putting it over another was used in our main task. We recorded two takes , on take one we found that the video was better than take two, however the audio on take two was clearer and crisper. We used our skills to crop the audio from take two and placed it over take one to develop a better more clearer clip.
In our main task shooting we found a problem with one of the clips, whilst using two cameras, one camera had picked up the other camera on the right of the actors in shot. This was a problem because we needed this shot to be included in the film but couldn’t have Alex shooting in the corner. So to erase these errors we used an effect we had learnt called Ken Burns.
Ken Burns Effect This screenshot shows Alex on the far right in the way of the clip we needed to include in our film. To remove Alex we used an effect called Ken Burns. This will eliminate Alex which will leave the two walkers in the shot which is what our desired shot was. This screenshot shows how we selected where we wanted the shot’s boundaries of vision and the yellow line signifies the direction in which the screen pans out.
Here is what we began with, the shot of Alex filming on the right and the two walkers. We had to cut Alex out so we could continue to use the clip. This is the finished clip of Alex eliminated and this leaves Adrian and I in the shot. It has made the screen slightly smaller and also pans away whilst its playing. We then put this into our Main Task.
Looking back at your preliminary task, what do you feel you have learnt from the progression from it to the full product?
We filmed our preliminary task in a warehouse in Weybridge, and some footage located on Grenside Avenue. We enjoyed filming our preliminary and found it very fun trying out the camera and tri-pods. We filmed our preliminary in a total of 2.5 hours.
Our first day of filming was sketchy due to our inexperience however after our first day we became comfortable with the equipment and started to include more camera shots.
We had storyboard written up however it was very brief and sometimes lacked direction so whilst we were filming we altered the main chunk of filming because we thought of better ways to do different things.
Preliminary Shots In this shot, Nick is being watched using a high angle shot, whilst being filmed the shot has a stiff feel because the tri-pod wasn’t moving in time with Nick and was slightly jittering towards the end. This shot is of Nick running from the scene, as he sprints out of the warehouse the shot is from behind him, and whilst he is running along the road the camera switches angle however the timing wasn’t accurate and the clip loses momentum. This shot shows the confrontation between Nick and I, this shot used shot reverse shot, which worked quite well because the audience saw the reactions of the two characters.
Main Task Shots This shot shows the psycho, Alex, taking the axe from underneath the cupboard. We placed the camera underneath focusing on the axe and when Alex reaches down to reach the axe, the shot is effective and engaging. This is a panning shot of when Nick is sprinting through the forest. This is a well worked shot because the pan is smooth and the clip becomes an action shot because the camera is following Nick sprinting towards the barn. This shot, from outside the window, is Nick tied up in captivity. The effectiveness of filming from outside the window is so that the audience feel like they are actually watching him which keeps them interested in the scene.
Preliminary Editing After the skills we had previously learnt, we started editing on our Preliminary Task. We first of decided what was to be used and what was to be used, so we had a group of clips that were good and could go straight into our film. We only briefly edited our preliminary due to lack of experience with the programme, although we had tried it out, there were more in depth effect which would gloss the film however we were not able to use these. We used sound effects and transitions to develop our film further but were limited to using these often as it would spoil the effect of them in the film.
Main Task Editing We found when editing our main task compared to our preliminary, that we could really dictate the effect we wanted to give from sections of our film, and this was due to the experience and using cameras and editing software. We had developed an understanding of where effects would fit best and used this many times in our main task. Because we focused our film on a stalker thriller we edited in quite a few jump cuts in the beginning to throw the audience straight into the action. We made sure there was emphasis on the jump cuts to engage the audience and make the action start away rather than slowly progressing the film until a climax . As you can see below editing of the sound we found a strong point, we managed to select the most appropriate sections of sound so that the whole film came together to present a typical thriller atmosphere. We managed to select an opening backing track to our film, we then overlapped a ‘Drone’ sound and faded out the backing track. Whilst this happens the film has a transition from the opening credits to the beginning of the film. We thought this was very effective and drew the audience into the film.
After viewing our finished product we realized that there
many fixed shots which didn’t create an atmosphere
and would bore audiences watching it. However using a
skill we had developed, ‘Ken Burns’ effect we managed
to add some effect to these shots so we didn’t have to discard them.
Ken Burns effect allowed the shot to pan out and pan in
making the shot look more alive and developed.
We decided that we wanted the shot to pan away so therefore,
when implementing the effect we dragged the shot away from
the original shot. Before it was a still shot which wasn't
engaging or exciting, however adding this effect made it
look like that was how we filmed the section. This editing
technique adds the effect of the environment expanding out
and shows the audience the full picture of the location
and its surroundings.
We learnt many things during our time between preliminary task and main task, most of all developed greater amount of media skills which was then invested into our main task. The first steps in production like story boards and mind maps were greatly improved regarding detail and this helped us start off our main task without any errors because we had got the story board spot on. We did however need to change this slightly but this was expected.
Editing got easier as we advanced into our last project and this was because of the preliminary task and the practice we had been given. We were able analyze and see where we went wrong in the preliminary editing wise and correct those mistakes this time round. An example would be the long clips of the same shot without breaking it up with transitions, this is what we made sure to include in our main task. At home I have iMovie and this helped me greatly with using the software because I was used to operating and editing so this gave me confidence and experience when using the programme. When the main task was completed we looked back over our preliminary just to make sure that we had not repeated any mistakes in our main task.
Regarding camera work, it is evident to see the improvement in camera shots used during our main task have improved greatly compared to our preliminary task. The shots appear to be more specific and appropriate for the situation involved and the type of shots used were engaging because they created tension. We also broke up, unlike our preliminary task, long clips with plenty of different shots to keep audiences involved and interested. Because of our greater knowledge in media as we progressed, it allowed us to film more sophisticated shots.