Stage 3 Production Stage 3 is the production stage in which we show how we got to our final product, why we decided on specific ideas and how we used our knowledge and understanding of media technologies to make our product.
The idea, our use of shots, camera movement, mise en scene, and our representation of certain roles in our sequence.
The Idea We wanted to play around with narrative structure mainly to create a large amount of confusion and disorientation among our audience at the beginning of the sequence. The overall idea of our film was that their have been a series of murders in the area, all committed by the same person. However for our film we only focus on one attempted murder. This victim is our protagonist who is the only character we see in the opening sequence. As the film develops the audience see how our main character was captured and throughout his time in captivity we learn about all the other murder’s that have been previously committed in the area. What we also understand is that all his previous murder’s have come down to this particular moment when the protagonist is in captivity and why this murder is so important.
The Eye We used the eye as a way of introducing clear visuals of our protagonist. The audience first sees the eye shut (influence from the Blair Witch Project and Psycho) we then jump to the exterior shots, but once the eye is seen open we begin to reveal more about our protagonists appearance and his location. We felt that through eyes you can tell lots about character moods and feelings. So whilst the eye was shut you still could not see anything about our protagonist, which we thought kept the audience concentrated on shot, using the ellipse effect as we withheld information from the audience, however when the full close up of the open eye is revealed we let the audience inside and they are able to see our protagonist’s reality for the first time.
Use of exterior shots The idea behind the use of exterior shots is that we wanted to show the audience the exact places where murders have previously been committed by the villain in our movie, (this is clearly shown later on is the film though flashbacks) I think by showing these shots it tells you more about out murderer in the film, and that he's professional, he knows what he's doing and the abduction that this audience watch is not a one off but in fact murder’s are frequent in this area. Its just understanding why certain people are murdered and why our protagonist was in his situation.
How we revealed the protagonist We wanted to frighten our audience, we knew what we were up against producing a thriller/horror and we knew what we needed to make the audience experience when watching the movie. We felt we had to have something which would take immediate effect on our audience, and make them relate to the character. We also sort of imagined how we would feel watching for the first time, we would see the character, appreciate his situation and feel we could easily be in the same situation. We deliberately made the setting dark for this period so the audience were brought into the moment and were fully focused on the screen by the atmosphere conveyed. We tried to keep our audience in a state of awareness heightened by the relation felt towards the main protagonist.
Use of drum to introduce protagonist The drum is the disturbance in the water, the end to the melodious rhythm of the beat and the moving past of the exterior images, and what we wanted to capture was a disturbance in the soundtrack was replicated by a disturbance in the narrative. We felt this was the point to reveal our character in the storyline, because this showed the first signs in the sequence that something was not right, and sets the tone for the story. We thought the drum noise was harsh, abrupt and very disruptive to the opening sequence, and this was the entire point of the idea.
Close up of protagonist We use a Ken-Burns effect to get closer toward the eye as the eye is a key feature in our opening sequence. Also by showing the protagonist in a close up at extreme close us the audience can Cleary see his vulnerability and how he is in a desperate condition through the character's non verbal communication This idea was influenced by the Gangs of New York opening sequence.
Faster camera movements When the alarm goes off, everything changes, from setting to mise en scene, sound and editing. We wanted to change the style of storyline, and open up the storyline of the movie to further twists. In many ways we did it based on the audience feelings, we deliberately lead them to believe that something was going to happen, and that it would be a short sharp end. Music increases in pace, more about the setting is revealed, shots are sped up, its all a bit awkward due to this change of pace, there's creation of suspense as if he going to die but instead the alarm goes off and he wakes up in bed, almost dissipating the tense atmosphere of the previous scene, but bringing us into a new twist in the storyline.
Representation of Protagonist We used specific object like alcohol, cigarettes and clothing on the floor to show he lives a wild and lazy lifestyle. However he dresses up in a nice suit and lives in an apartment which is almost better than the norm of someone that age. This gives the indication that he's earned his money and is just living life to its full, not holding back. Through the mise en scene we wanted the audience to understand why he was waking up at 6:30 pm and through these object you get the impression that he had a heavy night.
Showing the Protagonist waking up We wanted our opening sequence to show that their could be a full film after it and this is just the beginning of the narrative. We had this idea that we could just cross cut to the actor just being thrown into the woods somewhere but collectively we felt that this was not realistic enough, and that we would lose the attention of the audience at this point. Through our character waking up we were allowed to show more about the character, we wanted our opening sequence to also give an indication of what the main character is actually like, what kind of person he is. This gave up full ability to show this to create juxtaposition with the next scene through match on action.
Repetition of first shot of protagonist We did this because we felt that it would interrupt the present wake up scene which doesn’t involve violence, and bring the audience back to the harsh reality that he will bring himself, somehow, into that position again and the audience are nervously waiting for it to happen. As this shot was effectively a flashback of something that the audience have seen but not properly experienced, we decided to show it in black and white so it seems significantly unclear but recognizable because of it shock. The shot was also linked with the lyrics, once the vocals called “closer” the audience the got closer to the protagonist by seeing him in this situation.
Mise en scene of torture scene These are just two shots of the torture scene, we used several props to make it a realistic as possible, this included a shovel, ladders, steel chair, chains, old rugs, boards and brick wall and floor. We felt that these objects would give it a more cold, realistic feel. We also though that by using normal household objects we could relate this to real life, and the reality that a murderer could be anyone, as long as they feel the need to do this.
Lighting In our torture scene we used lighting as effectively as possible to create this horror/ thriller genre. In the garage there were too windows facing each other, we made the protagonist sit in front of the left window and covered it with a thick board so no light came through behind the protagonist. We deliberately filmed this scene in the day time so that we could control the natural lighting coming through the window on the right hand side as is shone on our protagonist. We controlled the lighting by using different objects so we got it the way we wanted, We used a translucent flack and opaque clothing to adjust the amount of light we wanted.
Reasons for the name unknown We chose the name “Unknown simply as we wanted our audience to be confused with what was going on and that the murderer was completely unknown. We also like this idea that our protagonist would get a call from an unknown number, adding to the thriller genre make it seem quite spooky making it fit with the thriller horror genre.
Visual Changes Exterior shots For all the exterior shot we added a bit of grain and made it more of a brownie color to add to the disorientation and thriller/ horror genre. WE also thought this would unsettle the natural equilibrium of the movie, and the shots coming through. We felt this would underline the feeling that something had happened at these locations, which were locations people would normally be in, increasing the reality of the movie.
Visual change Interior scene For the interior scene grain was also used through out, but also at certain times the color was slightly to a more red. This was to amplify the questions of what had happened before and to be foreboding for the future of the character as his exit of the apartment was tainted red.
Visual Changes Torture scene For the torture scene one thing we wanted to achieve was that the audience would have full attention on what was happening, and therefore we used graining and a taint of red to upset the natural equilibrium of the images shown.
Sound bridge We use a sound bridge through an alarm clock to emphasis the change in scene and the contrast between the tense and slightly frightening tone. It brings into contrast the difference in scene and highlights the twist in the storyline, and how it changes the atmosphere, and shifts our attention in the movie from impending death to a new aspect. Why is our protagonist, who in the previous scene was about to meet an early death, getting out of bed?
Sound The problem we had was that the track we wanted to use was only 49 seconds and we needed it to be 1 minute 38 seconds to get all our shots in. So have to put the track in logic to make it work. Original track by artist Final remixed track
Sound Logic Solutions What we needed to do was find the right sized loop in the song, which was a 6 bar loop. Once we found the loop worked cross fades to make sure the loops fitted together well. In the screenshot below you can see that on track 1 is the original track, and bigger red loop is for the melody the smaller one is for the drum. In the second track you can see in blue are 8 of the red loops but just cross faded together. For the drum what we did was cut the drum sound out of the original track and dropped it new mix which is in blue in the correct beat so it flows well. Once this was done we kept hearing a digital pop sound, to avoid this we just did a fade to mute.
Sound This screen shot shows the volume fade on the drum to avoid the digital pop we talked about in the previous slide. Volume fade on the drum
Sound The screen shot below shows the volume lines (the lines in yellow) showing how track 1 is the original track and it is mutes as it has no yellow volume lines, track 2 which is the 8, 6 bar loops cross faded together and how the sound is at a consistent pace. Finally track 3 with is the drum and the yellow volume lines show exactly when the drum is heard in beat.
Titles For the titles of our opening sequence we thought we would get a better affect by doing it in Adobe Premier Pro as the title options in iMovie 11 were very limited, and were designed only for homemade movies, which we didn’t want to come across as a having made.