Research How did we carry out our research? We started our research on title design and title sequences of films with similar genres to the ones outlined in our brief. We researched films with a thriller and horror genre and started to discuss what we found to Films Openings That we Studied. be common themes in each. We then had a group discussion on concept development to report what ideas we had from viewing certain openings and techniques we could possibly apply to our opening. From our • Saw (Wan,2004) research in these respects we found certain techniques that would be good to include in our opening that included things like enigmatic codes appropriate costume and Mise en scene that revealed a characters • The Amityville Horror (Douglas, 2005) role, personality or a certain feel the director wants to show, suspense and obscurity of objects or • Donnie Darko ( Kelly, 2001) characters, we found these attributes in films such as se7en, The girl with the Dragon Tattoo and Law • The Ring (Verbinski, 2002) Abiding Citizen. • The Texas Chainsaw Massacre After researching many openings we did some independent research about title design as an (Harper,1974) art form and certain title designers that have made an impact on modern day sequences. • Seven (Fincher,1995) Then we made a preliminary task video experimenting with certain camera angles and • Memento (Nolan,2000) techniques. We learnt a lot form this exercise and it helped us to understand what issues were attached • The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo with shooting a video such as continuity and the weather. (Fincher, 2007) We had another group concept development where we finalised some small ideas into a • Face/Off (Woo,1997) storyline that we thought we could use to house some useful techniques we had discovered in our research • Blade Runner (Scott,1982) After this development we looked very closely at a title sequence each to find out what techniques are accompanied with things such as music length of clip and lighting. This was so we could • Cape Fear (Scorsese, 1991) apply our idea and storyline to these findings to ensure our piece is going to be as effective as possible. • The Usual Suspects (Singer,1995) WE carried out a survey on serveymonkey.com which proved very useful. This will be explained • Brick (Johnson, 2005) in later slides. • Inception (Nolan,2010) How will our Secondary research link to our personal opening? • Identity (Mangold,2003) In our opening we will be using a soundtrack that is similar to that of Brick that is quite eerie and • Drag Me to Hell (Raimi,2009) uneasy, creating suspense for our audience. We will be having a symbol link throughout the opening that is • Limitless (Burger,2011) representative of the religious clan (shown in the costume slide) this will be on a religious book in the second scene, the map markings will be linked to this shape and also it will be tattooed onto the • Ghost Ship (Beck,2002) antagonists hand. The titles will be revealed motion tracked to macros objects, this was inspiration we • The Strangers (Bertino,2008) found from our personal research on title design. There will be fast paced montage edit in the style of Kyle • No Country For Old Men (Coen Bros Cooper who we researched and liked his work after analysing the title sequence from Se7en (Fincher,1995). (2007) WE also liked the idea of a disturbed feeling or slightly psychotic approach. This was found when • Shooter (Fuqua,2007) researching The Amityville Horror and also in Memento when the character photographs the dead victim. • Law Abiding Citizen (Grey,2009) We are going to include this disturbed feel to out opening making the antagonist either film the event on a video recorder or take a photo of the dead body and sending it to the police in an envelope. Almost leaving • To Kill A Mockingbird (Mulligan, 1962) clues much like at the start of Brick. The body on the floor will be in a mangled position, quite unnatural and • Zombieland (Fleischer,2009) strange which makes the audience uneasy. We found this technique also in the title sequence of Brick.
Treatment Our film is a horror / thriller hybrid set in the 1990’s, with our main character in the opening sequence being the antagonist, a mentally unstable man in his mid-20s, who is part of a small, psychotic, secret religious group who organise killings of people who have committed sins, their symbol is presented throughout the sequence providing visual links to the organisation. The opening sequence will include him killing a young woman by a street lamp on a dark road, leaving several religious symbols as a mark of his organisation. There will be a shot of the antagonist standing over the dead body, his identity is sealed as his face is obscured by the minimal lighting and shadow cast over his face. The woman is a symbol of light whilst the antagonist is represented as dark and domineering. The title sequence will follow with several macro shots with motion tracked titles to objects along the antagonists work station. Maps and enigmatic objects will be shown, revealing some of the plans and previous attacks from the clan. It will show previous and planned murders, and snapshots of the victims will be put in envelopes by the murderer, to be opened by police later on showing the organisation to be shady and slightly psychotic.
Props We may use an old fashioned camera to firstly allow the audience to identify with the time era and also to allow the antagonist to take a photo of the murder victim before sending it off to the police. This leaving of codes is similar to that of the film Brick. We will be using a fake gun in our opening at the beginning. The antagonist will be placing the gun into his chest pocket and the gun will be shining against the street lamp. The gun wont be fired but provides the visual link for the audience from the gunshot to this character. Another possible alternative for the antagonist to place evidence or clues
Costume The costume used for the antagonist will present him to be tall, dark and mysterious, with a dark hat overshadowing his face, leaving his identity unknown which immediately creates enigma codes that enshroud his character. A long dark cloak or black suit could be used to make him mysterious and look professional. The same effect would be given if he were to wear a suit therefore the decision will be based upon practicality. He will be wearing black gloves and will have some kind of tattoo that represents the religious clan he belongs to. According to our audience research the public believed we should have the antagonist wearing a mask however this is not the desired effect we want to give off and therefore have decided to go against this finding The victim of the murders costume will portray her to be innocent and seem to have done nothing to deserve being killed, therefore creating further enigma as to why the mysterious man has murdered her. She will wear light coloured, every day clothes to make her look like an innocent civilian. There will be a clear contract between innocence and evil/darkness in the opening however we will be trying to mask the antagonists identity more than showing him as evil .We will do this also by showing limited features much like the opening Brick we analysed ‘dismemberment’. The girl will be in very plain clothes that represent innocence and light. (Right) This is the symbol that represents the religious clan
Location For our murder scene we wanted somewhere that was very quiet and quite rural so we look around the streets stemming off Sandhurst Road. We found some good locations with which had characteristics that we were looking for and we tested lighting and experimented with shadows as our audience research showed they wanted it shot at night .We found it hard to shoot at night Reccie because of limited light and therefore a lot of noise in the image however it was important as it is probable we will be shooting at night for our actual opening.Here we tested a figure under a street lamp We then moved further down the road We changed the exposure and liked the We found a very secluded path way thaton a road, we thought this was to open. however this was too light. darkened mysterious effect. was exactly what we have been looking for Then we tested with figures in the middle of Here we tested with lighting and shadows We again tested with lighting and exposure. Moving down the road we found this street wide angles. Which we liked. with a figure under the street lamp. winding street with single street lamp.We then did a Bokeh of the street lamps Then we changes certain settings to get Here is another shot if the street lamp in Trying an over the shoulder shot of a figurewhich gave an artistic effect different colourings of the Bokeh. landscape which looks good. with street lamps.
Characters and Actors Our Antagonist will be played by Daniel Qureshi. Dan is in our year at the same school and is a friends of ours. This works well as there will be good cooperation and communication on the days of shooting helping us to stick to our time plan and make sure we finish on time. Also good communication will ensure he fully understands the feeling we want to give off in the sequence and act as best possible to achieve it. His darker skin tone and dark hair will also help to provide the look we are after. Dan is also of slim build helping to achieve the sly mysterious look we are after. This choice also supports our audience preference of having the antagonist as a male.Antagonist – Dan Qureshi Our murder victim character will be played by Charlie Martin. Charlie is a friend of ours who attends Tunbridge Wells Grammar School for Girls. Again, good cooperation and communication is key to this activity and we can achieve this well when using Charlie as we know her well. She has blonde hair and a pale skin colour which helps to represent her as innocent in the situation. She will be on the floor in a mangled position for the entire duration of her role and therefore is chosen because of aesthetic meaning rather than acting skill. As she would represent the image we are trying to give off fantastically. This choice also supports our audience preference of having the protagonist as a female.Protagonist - Charlie Martin
tory Board The first shot will be of a Second, a slow paced montage1 2 1 landscape at night, this could 2 edit of a woman in an odd be any location as the tree line position on a road at night. The will be a silhouette. Then a gun main shot here will be a birds shot will sound. This will be a eye view of the woman static shot of about 7-10 revealing many religious seconds leaving the audience symbols in an organised circle stunned and puzzled over around her in chalk. where and why the gun shot sounded.3 4 3 The third major shot will be a pan up from the woman on the floor 4 After this another scene follows which will be in the second minute to reveal a man behind her of the opening. There will be a pan standing under a street lamp. He across a work station which will be will be silhouetted and hidden in the antagonists. The pan will shadows. Concealing his identity consist of strange objects, very and creating enigma. He will be macro, much like To Kill A dressed smartly in a suit and will Mocking Bird. These will have have a top hat as well. titles motion tracked to them integrating the text into the video.5 6 5 During the montage edit there will be a shot of the antagonist 6 In the sixth frame we have a series of shots of the antagonist putting planning more murders and either tape or a letter into an plotting onto a map. There will envelope. This will then be turned several photos and pieces of string over and the antagonist will linking the murders. This will continue to write a police construct an image that is the inspectors name on the front. This shame shape as the religious is almost disturbing to the groups symbol. audience because of such strange activity.
Lighting The lighting for our production is very minimalist but extremely important. WE will be renting a set of 3 light for the spot fill and back lights. As we are shooting outside at night with only a single street lamp it is important that we have enough light to ensure we keep enough detail of our actors. When we did our location reccie we had a slight problem as our pictures were producing a lot of noise in the images. This was due to little information given to the camera to produce the image. Therefore as we can turn down brightness in post production and more light is necessary. How we use the lighting is important as we must try to conceal the character identity. When shooting the shots of the antagonist we want to conceal his identity. This effect was used in the opening of The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo that we studied. To use this effect we must have a strong backlight and fill light and little to non spot light In the scene shot inside. We must use all three lights effectively to ensure all the close ups of objects are well lit to show their shapes and intricate detail. This was inspired from To Kill A Mocking Bird that we studied. We must also keep this scene quite dark to portray the image of the antagonist as being secretive, crafty and devious.
Audience Research- Methodology Methodology: Through the time that we have spent as a group, there has been aspects of our film opening that we have been able to agree on without any doubts, such as that the first scene should consist of one of the murders that the serial killer would commit, however, there has been other aspects that we have been unable to agree on, and these are the aspects that we included in our survey so that we could come to a conclusion on that certain production decision. These topics included: Location, time of the day that the events would take place at, the antagonist’s appearance, gender of the characters, colour, narrative (motive for murders) and music/sound. We also included questions concerning the details of those filling the survey out, to see if they are the prime target audience of our project of 15-24 year olds, as people in that group’s opinion does not matter less, but may have a bigger effect on how we go about developing our project. The results of the survey were then to be analyzed by the members of our group, and came to ‘concrete’ conclusions concerning the aspects which we were originally at ends about. We believed our survey was effective and simple enough to provide us with a good idea on the unanswered questions before.
Results Question 1: 73.7% of the people who filled out the survey were shown to be male. Question 2: 88.2% of the people who filled out the survey were shown to belong to the age group of 16-20 year olds while half of the remaining group belonged to the 21-24 age group, showing that most of the people who filled out our survey belonged to our target audience, thus the rest of the results would be more effective than if the survey was filled out by a different age group. Question 3: 47.4% of votes on this question stated that it is very important for our opening to be shot a night time in the dark. No other option gained more votes than this in this question. Question 4: The only item of clothing that was shown to have a major importance for the antagonist to be wearing in our opening, was a mask, the other items of clothing were simply voted to have a reasonable importance. Question 5: Our results show that the antagonist should be a male while the protagonist should be a female. Question 6: By a substantial amount of votes, the most favoured location for our opening was a dark and lonely road with a single lamp post as a source of light. Question 7: Concerning the antagonist’s appearance, the majority of the votes showed that their identity should be semi-concealed. Question 8: Individual answers generally stated that the culprit of the crimes in the opening should wear dark colours, while many also said that the victim should having a white (and blonde) appearance (clothing and hair), which would create a effective juxtaposition between good and evil. Question 9: The majority of our results state that the reason for the murder should be that the killer is mentally unstable, but many also said there should be a religious motive. Question 10: The majority of votes stated that the music for the murder scene should consist of a piano tune.
Evaluation After a group discussion, we decided that we will comply with what the survey suggests in most cases, but in some situation such as the motive for the killer, we will change some of the ideas, in this case, the killer will be both mentally unstable as well as a religious motive rather than one or the other. He will be part of a religious organisation planning murders with a psychotic feel. We have decided that we will use a piece of music for the score that features mainly piano sounds, although there may be other instruments used in small amounts in the piece of music that we finally decide on. We have decided not to use a mask for the antagonist’s costume but are choosing a long coat and suit, but his entire identity will not be concealed, e.g. the audience will be able to see the skin colour of the murderer etc. This will be covered in the lighting. As a group, we had already decided that shooting our film opening at night time would be more appropriate to create a higher feel of suspense for the audience, with the survey results only supporting this decision, we feel very comfortable in making this decision. The survey confirmed our decision to set the movie opening in a dark and lonely road, with one source of light which would create a large fear of the unknown, as the culprit could lurk in the darkness. The survey suggests that the majority of the audience would rather see a female playing the role of the victim while a male should play the role of the antagonist.
Time Scales We will be filming the production of our opening sequence from DD/MM to DD/MM, ensuring we can successfully include all aspects we planned on having to achieve our desired outcome, including costume, props, location, soundtrack, camera techniques etc. This is enough time to organise actors prepare cameras, rent equipment and finalise exactly what we are doing. We are scheduled to film all of the first scene at Sandown Road Tunbridge Wells as discussed in the location reccie slide and all of the indoor scene can be set anywhere. Preferably Dan Qureshi’s house as this is on Sandown Road. This is because all of the internal shots are very macro and dont need major scenery or planning. The post production of our sequence will occur in school ours with final touches to video such as motion tracking and title typography design in adobe after effect software. The main bulk of editing and sorting clips will be done on the school computers in Adobe Premier and should start on DD/MM and be completed by DD/MM
Sound Track The soundtrack we will use in our final production will create an eerie feel to the sequence, with dramatic effect, perhaps using a piano or stringed instrument playing slowly which will increase enigma and suspense, similar to ‘Brick’ (Johnson, 2006), which uses a slow guitar and bottles to mimic the music used in old western films, creating a rise in tension amongst audiences as they expect something odd or interesting to happen. This could be used when the dead body is shown, similar to Brick as the music plays then a twist is created, in our case this would be the antagonist at the scene of the crime or the religious symbol aspect. We could use this technique in our final production, creating the music ourselves. An alternative could be a discordant, strange soundtrack which would match the actions on screen as being unusual. This could be similar to conventional horror film soundtrack, which is discordant and increases tension the longer it goes on. Another possibility would be an effect showing the music to change in the second scene to a scratchy sound track much like Se7en (Fincher, 1995). To create a mindless chaotic feel, contrasting with the quite slow paced sound track in the previous scene.