As this is a resubmission, all posts dated before October 2010 refer to the original submission. Substantial additional research and re-filming has been done since then.

Wednesday, 24 February 2010

Mine & Megan's Film Opening Idea

Me and Megan have decided to do a stalker film. Below is a rough synopsis;

The film will start off in the male stalkers bedroom. Through mise-en-scene we will connote the fact that he is stalking a female. We can achieve this by having various pictures of the girl on his wall, none of which she would be looking directly at the camera. To further signify the fact that he is stalking her the pictures could be of her walking down the street, walking with her friends, sat somewhere like a train station or possibly some of her actually in her house. Pictures taken of her in her bathroom or bedroom could signify that the male stalker is so obsessed that he breaks into her house. This gives the film a more sinister edge.
The camera would pan the stalkers room, again using mise-en-scene to connote that he is male. We can do this by making sure the room is simple or by posters on his wall. Focus on an Xbox or another gaming console and the games associated with them e.g. Call of Duty or Halo. 
The camera would also focus on a diary, either lying open on the desk or in the hands of the stalker. The diary contains everything that the girl he is stalking does. Information about what she did and at what time e.g Went for a coffee with Charlotte at 13:28 or walked the dog at 18:00 for 15 minutes. It could also include what she was wearing. There will also be a shot of a bracelet. This is going to be the girls and we are going to connote that he has stolen it from her later on via  the girls boyfriend. 

The basic plot is that the girl leaves her boyfriends house to go to a party. The girl will be walking through an alley, hearing twigs snapping behind her but not actually seeing any one there, she will then receive a call from an unknown number. After going through this alley she will go over a bridge which then leads to another alley way. This is where the stalker will jump out from behind and attack her. 
Throughout the whole of the film the audience will never see the stalkers face.

My Initial Ideas For Film Openings [DRAFT]

Idea 1)
One of my ideas was to do a psychological thriller. It would be like Secret Window, David Koepp (2004) meets Fight Club, David Fincher (1999). 
The main character would be a schizophrenic male who would murder people  yet not knowing that it was him like in the Secret Window. 

Idea 2)
My second idea is very much the same to idea 1 but the main character believes he has made a new friend, not realising that the 'friend' is in fact a figment of his imagination due to him being schizophrenic. There was a plot similar to this featured on Hollyoaks
The scene starts at 1:30 where the character Newt is talking to his other persona Eli. Eli is trying to persuade him to place a bomb. 

I wouldn't be featuring a bomb as this would not only be extremely hard and near possible to replicate but it doesn't appeal to me as a storyline. 
In my film the main character would go around with his other persona and be persuaded to murder people and maybe eventually himself.

General Codes & Conventions of Film Openings [draft]

Normally in the first two minutes of a film, either before or after the action has begun and characters have been shown, there will be the film distributors. For example Warner Bros. Pictures or Studio Canal. This would normally be followed by the director and the main actors and actresses featured. Some film title sequences are adapted to suit the film genre as in the case with The Matrix


  • Most horror film openings that i have looked at feature non diegetic music. For example in 'Halloween', John Carpenter (1979) they have used a mixture of both long notes and short notes. This makes the audiences heart beat irregularly and therefore creates the feeling of tension and unease. Additionally the credits fade from yellow to orange to red; possibly signifying fire but also to represent the flickering from the pumpkin light. When the house is seen for the first time on Halloween, we notice that there is a blue tint. The blue tint is used often in horror films as well as in the sci-fi genre. Blue can signify the supernatural and is a cold, chilling colour. 
  • In Bride of Chucky, Ronnie Yu (1998) the blue tint has again been used. Additionally in the title sequence the music and serif font used are 'creepy'.


  • Typical features of the romantic genre films include; 



Microdrama & Narrative Theory [Draft]

The task was to create a micro-drama that included Vladimir Propp's Seven character types;

  • Hero
  • Villain
  • False hero
  • Dispatcher
  • Princess/Father
  • Donor
  • Magical object

Omniscient narrator: The omniscient narrator has a full knowledge of the story's events and of the motives and unspoken thoughts of the various characters. He or she will also be capable of describing events happening simultaneously in different places.

Linear narrative: Linear narrative is a story line, which is shown in chronological order.

Non-linear narrative: When events are portrayed out of chronological order. It is often used to mimic the structure and recall of human memory but has been applied for other reasons as well.

Megan's Presentation: Love Actually

  • Directed by Richard Curtis in 2003
  • Distributors were Working Title, Studio Canal and Universal
  • The film won 2 golden globes
  • Love Actually got 10 out of 18 nominations
  • This is a typical type of movie for the companies involved
  • Famous actors/actresses; Hugh Grant, Kiera Knightley and Colin Firth
  • The budget was $30 million
  • Begins in Heathrow airport - Well known/Landmark 
  • Conventionally starts as romantic genre
  • The audience doesn't know who the central protagonist is
  • Bill Nighy uses a significant amount of profanities, possibly to attract the male audience
  • There are a range of ethnicities, ages and genders at the airport however no one is portrayed as being homosexual
  • The airport music is quiet non diegetic music - It's also sad and emotional. Especially the reference to the 9/11 bombings
  • Hybrid genre 
  • Bill Nighy - Rom-com

Alex's Presentation: The Matrix

  • The Matrix was released in 1999
  • The directors were the wachowski brothers
  • The directors had no experience and additionally they also wrote it. 
  • The titles at the beginning are tweaked to fit the film
  • The first scene features a counter type: the woman is extremely strong which makes the police men appear significantly weaker. This is a counter type as woman are normally portrayed as being weak whilst men are seen as being strong and tough
  • The female is also used on the front cover of the dvd, most likely to attract the male audience (male gaze)
  • The female is portrayed as being an outlaw or vigilante, again this is another counter type
  • The film is targeted at the 'youth audience'
  • 45% of the audience were female (at the cinema)
  • The genre is action/sci-fi (hybrid genre?)
  • Gross = USA $173 million compared to in the UK £16 million
  • The distributors were Warner Bros. Pictures and Roadshow Entertainment
  • A film similar to this would be 'Island' 

Tuesday, 23 February 2010

Robbie's Presentation: Gladiator

  • Hybrid genre - historical action
  • Main actor is Russell Crowe
  • Dreamworks
  • Directed by Ridley Scott in 2000
  • $103 million budget
  • Opening weekend in the UK: £3.55 Million compared to in the USA $34.8 million
  • Gladiator had 5 Oscar wins
  • Additionally it received 45 wins and 79 nominations
  • Wide range of shots are used; Point-of-view, close-ups and various angles
  • Straight cuts were used - no transitions
  • Close up of his hand - Wedding ring
  • Soldiers on horseback and burnt down forest connotes a possible war going on
  • Music: Almost like a humming noise. Sad and depressing
  • No women are featured. This can be seen as being stereotypical as women are not seen as strong and can't fight
  • Rated a 15 
  • Wide age range 15 to 54 (?)
  • Violent context signifies that the film is aimed mainly on the male audience

Assessment Criteria

The coursework is worth 50%
The marking is split into the following three areas;
Research and Planning: 20%
Production: 60%
Evaluation: 20%

25482314 G321 Simplified Marking Criteria as 1 Sheet (1)

Monday, 22 February 2010

Film Opening Exemplar Analysis: Fools Gold

Fool's Gold

This was not the complete power-point as i wrote down additional notes. 
These will be added soon. 

Wednesday, 3 February 2010

Prelim and The Coursework Task

            Sweding is where you take a film, for example Jurassic Park, and using little or no money obviously imitate it. Be Kind Rewind is a film made specifically about sweding but in a humorous way.  

My group consisted of Megan Claydon, George Scaife and Robbie Miller and we chose to swede the film Day Breakers
We had a shortlist of films; Day Breakers, Mean Girls and John Tucker Must Die.
Although we chose Day Breakers only one of the four members of our group has seen it which  made it slightly more complicated, especially as it hasn't been released on DVD yet. Day Breakers appeared to be interesting and different to the other films and as George had some good ideas, we decided that it would most likely be the best one to do. Our group watched trailers for the film and researched it on the internet as well as having George to explain certain parts or anything we didn't quite follow. Luckily the film was easy to pick up and it was fairly straightforward to follow the plot once we knew what it was generally about.
We decided on who we were going to use quickly, which meant we could go on to film almost instantly. We finished filming the first scene that day however after the first day of filming i was ill and so wasn't involved with the rest of the swede or editing. 

Swede Synopsis:
Our swede begins with a girl sitting at a school desk staring at the suicide note that she has just written and crying loudly and quite obviously fakely. The note reads; I can't stand this any longer... Living but never growing old! What are we blessed for... I'M ALREADY DEAD!
The girl is a vampire and does not want to carry on never being able to grow old. She decides to expose her to sunlight thus killing herself. The camera follows her as she walks down the corridor, down the school stairs and steps outside. As the sunlight hits her, the girl screams and the title sequence appears. Through out that section of the swede, the camera flashes back to the suicide note so the audience can read it.
Following this are some sweded scenes taken from the film. For example characters explaining what they like about being a vampire and talking about how they may soon all die out as they are running out of human blood. There is then a scene when a vampire is holding up a 'sign' reading 'Starving Need Blood' and then proceeds to growl at a random passer by. 
There is a scene where a vampire is attacking a human and therefore infecting her which leads to the last scene where a vampire is asking for more blood in his drink. When the female refuses he goes on to hit her over the head with a plastic drinks bottle. 

There were no signifiers that the girl at the beginning of the swede was a vampire. If we were to redo it we would have used props such as vampire teeth and paled her face in an obvious way. 
There was also quite a large amount of background noise during the vampire 'interviews' making it slightly hard to hear what the characters were saying. However as this was a swede this wasn't a major issue. 

We decided to use the same song as from the film trailer;
Placebo - Running up that hill.
If this was our real coursework then we would not have been able to use the song due to copyright laws. 

The Real Daybreakers Trailer:

Our sweded version of Daybreakers:

The pre-lim task was to include a shot of somebody putting their hand on a door handle then using match-on-action show the person going through the door. This shot of the door handle is shown at 0:20 until 0:23. 

Our swede received some mixed reviews. Some people thought that it was too serious and the beginning has no comedy aspects to it whilst some thought the opposite, especially about the ending. 

Task 2 - Not Finished Yet

The last 5 movies i have seen;
  1. She's The Man
  2. The Hangover
  3. Couple's Retreat
  4. Blue Crush
  5. Star Trek :')
The last movie i paid to go see in the cinema was St Trinians 2: The Legend of Fritton's Gold

My favourite two film genres are Romantic Comedies (Rom-com) and Action. 

My all time favourite five films, in no order;
  1. Grease
  2. John Tucker Must Die
  3. Mean Girls
  4. Anchorman
  5. ,
Mean Girls would probably be my favourite film out of the five. The whole film is pretty much quotable and the jokes never seem to get old no matter how many times you see it. 

Sweding a film opening

1) Mean Girls

2) The Proposal

3) John Tucker Must Die

4) Hancock

5) The Hangover