How did you use conventions of real media texts in your production?
MISE EN SCENE
The first scene was based in a morgue. The deceased body is laid on the table, withthe two detectives standing opposite the coroner. This barrier between thedetective characters and the coroner give the audience an immediate image foreach character, along with representing Detective Barnes and Rosalie as a team.We placed implements on the table next to the body, which represents a morgueenvironment, and clearly shows that the body has been examined. We decided tohave high key lighting in this scene, but then later decided to tone the high lightingdown using Final Cut Pro. No spotlight was used, just the main light situated in thisparticular room. The white sheet was placed over the body, as we wanted it tomirror other films of this nature, making it as realistic as possible. The deceasedbody’s head was left uncovered as that was what we wanted the actors to belooking at and focusing on whilst our coroner character spoke.
This board was used in two scenes as we felt it represented a detective’s/investigator’soffice, as they often show their case studies and evidence this way. We pinned some paperand photographs up onto it to represent this. In hindsight it would have been better toinclude much more information and photographs , as this would have looked much morerealistic. As the first scene with the board, we see it behind The Boss’ head. The secondtime we see it centered between Rosalie and Detective Barnes, which shows the audiencethat this is the Detectives’ office and not The Boss’. As we see The Boss’ office later onwhen he’s discussing Rosalie with Detective Barnes. We placed desks and books in theshot, to represent the fact it’s an office. The desks facing opposite each other in this shotrather than next to each other, represents the feud between the two characters. In thisscene we see Rosalie and Detective Barnes yelling at each other about the case, thisopposition of the desks and facing each other tells the audience they are no longer theteam they were.
Early on in the stages of deciding where we should film each scene, Guisboroughwoods was somewhere we definitely wanted to include in our filming. The woodsgives the audience the typical thought seen in many films, if it’s a wood, somethingbad is going to happen. It shows a big open space, where it’s easy for characters toget lost, and it creates the sense of being lost and frightened. In this case, our malecharacter who gets bitten and killed by Rosalie feels as though he is beingwatched, and begins running to get away. This is where the character of Rosalie isdiscovered as the murderer by the audience. As I played the character Rosalie, myhair was very distinctive whilst filming, which is something the audience wouldnotice as they would be looking for anything to tell them who the murderer is. Thisshot portrays the character of Peter as vulnerable as he is being watched andchased by Rosalie. It also gives the audience pleasure as they are watching fromRosalie’s perspective, meaning they know something the other characters in thefilm do not.
The murdering scene was filmed beside a graveyard. In hindsight, it would have been abrilliant shot to include in the film, as the film is about the deceased. Especially as thefemale protagonist is a vampire. To add to our gothic theme, we decided that we shoulduse the raw iron gate in this scene. The character of Peter shakes the gate, whichportrays him as frightened as it’s a dead end and Rosalie is coming up behind him. Thefirst still from the film above is before he faces his killer. The scene was filmed to createsympathy for Peter, as the audience know what is going to occur. The second still fromthe film above, shows the character of Peter turning around to face Rosalie, as Rosalieprepares for the kill. In the background of the shot, the woods are still in sight, whichshows the audience it’s still in the same area. The woods add an eerie atmosphere to thescene.
The interrogation scenes were filmed using a small setting. The room being small addstension as it’s a more intimate set up. The lighting was a very important aspect when filmingthe interrogation scenes, as we were only using a spotlight. This low key lighting was perfectfor this scene, as it created shadows which added to the horror aspect of the film. The tablebarrier was used once again. In the first still of the film above we see Rosalie standing in themiddle, in between the suspect and Detective Barnes. We wanted this to indicate thecharacter was unbiased and wasn’t on either side, as she knows something the other twocharacters do not. The next interrogation scene differs from this one, as Rosalie is nowagain, standing next to her partner, in order for Detective Barnes not to be suspicious of hisfellow detective. Detective Barnes is the dominant speaker for the most part of the film,especially in this scene. This would usually be to show male dominance, but in our film’s case,it was to show Rosalie had something to hide.
The ‘following’ scene where Detective Barnes and The Boss are following Rosalie wasalso filmed outside in Guisborough. Some of the scenes introduce a more urban imagethen we’ve seen previously in the film, as there are shops and houses included in theshots. Although this was the case, the setting was deserted of people, as we wanted itto feel as though it was solely the three characters, and no other people were involved.Here we see Detective Barnes and The Boss exiting the same building Rosalie didearlier in the film. This was our office building, which we wanted to involve as it createda more realistic image as to where the Detective’s worked and were based. As Rosalieis alone whilst she walks, and Detective Barnes and The Boss are acting as a team itdepicts the character of Rosalie being alone in her actions. We didn’t introduce anothervampire into the story as Rosalie’s friend, we wanted to solely focus on the relationshipbetween Rosalie and Detective Barnes, and The Boss’ fondness for Rosalie before hefinds out that she’s the culprit.
The final scene was filmed outside to continue the scene when The Boss and DetectiveBarnes are following Rosalie. We chose to film it next to a memorial burial, which iswhere Rosalie is standing when the two male characters look shocked to see her. Thisburial is a representation of death once again, and was to symbolize Rosalie’s burial, orcoffin. We were going to involve extra dialogue from Rosalie explaining that she wasburied there, to influence the vampire theme. This still from the film above shows onceagain the change in team, that was once between Rosalie and Detective Barnes, but isnow between Barnes and The Boss. We decided to cut the scene where Rosalie runsfor Detective Barnes with the intention of killing him. The ending clip is now Rosaliegiving away the intent of killing Barnes and The Boss. We have left it for the audienceto decide whether Rosalie succeeds with this, or whether she fails.
The camera shots included in our film are…Over the shoulder shots – When the focus is on the character speaking, butalso involving the character being spoken to. Seeing it from a character’sperspective.Extreme long shots – Effective when you want to emphasize thebackground and environment the character is against.Long shots – Involving the whole character’s body from head to toe. Goodwhen you still want the character’s surroundings as part of the shot.Medium shots– More subtle actions made by the characters can be seen.Close ups – A good way of engaging the audience with the characteremotionally, as all their actions and emotions are clear.Shot reverse shot – Where one character is shown looking at anothercharacter, then that character is shown looking back at the firstcharacter.Tilt shot – Good for when you want to film something that is above orbelow eyelevel.High angled shot – The camera looks down on the subject.Medium long shot – When you still want to see the character’s emotionsbut involve more of their body in the shot.
When the camera shots are used in the film…OVER THE SHOULDEREXTREME LONG SHOTS
We looked at many theorists, and theory ideas and concepts before beginning toplan our film and the concept of that. We looked at the Russian theorist, TzvetanTodorov, who suggests that many narratives follow a three part structure. Thatthey begin with an equilibrium where everything is balanced. Progress assomething comes along to disrupt that equilibrium, and finally to reach aresolution when equilibrium is restored. We also researched into theorist VladimirPropp’s character roles theory, which assisted when deciding on our character’sroles. We also looked at Barthes’ five codes. When deciding on a plot and idea forour film, we began with the idea of the zombie concept. We had started toresearch into zombie films, and began piecing together a plot. We then decided,for a zombie film to succeed you need a lot of characters involved, which wouldmean a lot of actors being willing to help us. We thought this might not succeed asan idea, then came the idea of a vampire and detective theme. We thought thiswas a more feasible idea, so we began writing our ideas. We researched intovampire films, such as ‘Dracula’ and the ‘Twilight’ franchise. We liked the idea ofalso having the detective theme, so we researched into films and TV series such as‘Life on Mars’ and ‘Sherlock Holmes.’ We then began to think about characters.We decided we wanted a male and female protagonist, to remove thestereotypical view of a male detective. We wanted our character of Rosalie to beas strong, if not a stronger character than that of the male protagonist, in thiscase, Detective Barnes. We did however want the stereotypical character of ‘TheBoss’ in our film, this suited the plot we felt. The other characters in the film haveminor parts, especially the character of the coroner and the suspects, who appearin one scene each. We established there should be two suspects, who get
interrogated. This adds more of a realistic feel to the plot. Peter, who is the ex-boyfriend of our female protagonist, Rosalie, appears in two scenes. This gives theaudience a good incline into his character and what business he had with Rosalie.There are two characters who the audience can feel sympathy for, one beingPeter, and the other being Detective Barnes. We felt this would appeal to theaudience, as it creates emotion for them. When we decided on thisvampire/detective theme, we changed our mind on which time period we shouldhave it, as this would have a huge bearing on costume, and the script. The periodof the 1960’s was our first choice, as it would be more understandable why wewanted our film to be in black and white. We then focused more on the costumeconcept and felt the 1980’s were a better time period to choose. But still wantingour film to be in black and white, we had to decide on why this would be the case.As the theme is based on the vampire idea, the concept of the film being in blackand white would be a perfect idea to bring out a more gothic theme to our film,which was also mentioned in audience feedback. The black clothing worn by thetwo protagonists assisted with this idea also, so altogether it worked well and wasa realistic idea and approach. My expectations of what the film would be like, andwhat it was like differed hugely. We included a soliloquy from the characterDetective Barnes, when he begins to suspect his fellow detective as the culprit. Asoliloquy is a brilliant way of engaging with the audience, as the character istalking directly to the audience and not to another character in the film. He shareshis thoughts with them, which appeals to audiences as they then share somethingwith a character, that no other character knows. We also include a voice over,which is put over our flashback scene. It’s a good way of showing a scene whilst
a character is also speaking. This way we can show the flashback of Rosalie’spast with Peter , whilst she explains to Detective Barnes and The Boss. Thegenres of ‘Stake Out’ are horror and mystery. The ensure we chose the correctgenre for the sort of film we wanted to produce, we researched into differentgenres., which was also important because of our target audience, which is 15 –40 year olds.