Wednesday, 30 April 2014

Editing stages

This screenshot displays the editing of my sound clips. Here it shows me adding an effect to the screams which are heard at the beginning and end of the opening. The effect I put on the clip was an echo to make it sound more haunted and eerie as II wanted to portray it as the voices were in her head, as she was being haunted by them.
This is a screenshot of my timeline, here it shows an additional sound clip on its own line, this is the sound of the little girl saying "why are you touching that?"

These two screenshots show me playing with the different sound effects, to add to the footage. I had to do this because the diegetic sound from the camera, picked up other sounds e.g. people talking and the wind from outside which interfered with the sound track and made it unusable. I then had to add the previous sound from another take.

Tuesday, 29 April 2014

Director's Commentary

I decided to add a directors commentary onto my video to explain all my decisions and reasons behind my choices.

Sunday, 27 April 2014

Rough Cut- Feedback

The overall feedback I received for the rough cut of my thriller was positive, however, there were comment that was raised many times:
  • Make the story a bit more revealing to get a better understanding
  • The sound effects at the beginning were too loud
  • The transitions from the credits didn't flow well 

This is a screenshot of me editing the sound effects for the screaming. I used the pen tool in Final Cut to adjust the sounds and added a gradual fade in and out, as I was told the screaming was uncomfortably loud.

Evaluation 7

Looking back at your preliminary task, what do you feel you have learnt in the progression from it to the full product?

During the early stages of year 12 - I had no experience at all with general media. I had never edited any footage before and for my preliminary task it was the first time. During the planning stage for my preliminary created a story board: That is where I learnt how important and crucial planning all my ideas ahead really is. This was the stage where I first was introduced to the numerous different shots and how to use them. From this task I was able to again confidence with using the different types of shots and techniques used such as the 180 degree rule, match on action, shot/reverse shot, continuity and camera work to build tension, suspense and empathy. These particular shots turned out to be vital in creating my film. I discovered that the use of the different shots had an impact on what needed to be stressed. An example of this is using an extreme close up to show the characters inferiority and the sense of entrapment whereas using an extreme long shot can encapsulate someone’s feeling of alienation and loneliness.

I also learnt how to adjust the lighting of my footage as some scenes were poorly lit due to me not having the lighting equipment at that time. Therefore, I had to fix this because the scenes were consecutive and it wouldn't have looked good thus would impacting the continuity, I fixed this issue with the colour corrector tool on Final Cut.

 However, from looking back at my preliminary task I knew I needed to use the knowledge from working with the different techniques and implicate them into my thriller. Moreover, due to this being a proper film opening, I felt I had to make it look far more professional as in some of my preliminary tasks the footage was quite shaky and didn't flow particularly well. Therefore, to improve on this I had to research in depth how shots and techniques really help to impact the scene and how they needed to be edited, I learnt that this wasn't executed as well in my preliminary tasks.

For my opening thriller I created a shot list to remind myself which shot is which, as my preliminary taught me how much planning and structure is necessary in making a successful video.

In this task we were focussing on continuity, making our different shots flow after each other, smoothly. This is also known as invisible editing. We also tried "match on action" which is when you cut between two shots whilst trying to not let it look like time has passed as they must look like two consecutive shots. This is crucial to the editing process as this is what helps to keep the flow of a scene and this is why there are people in the media industry whose sole purpose is to check the continuity. This video shows the match on action for when the character goes through the door and when she goes up the stairs.

The preliminary task really helped to make me realise how crucial continuity is, when making a film, because a poor execution can damage the films credibility and lose the audience, as poor transitions can take the audience out of the story, thus failing to keep their attention. However, one of my preliminary tasks executed this well as the transitions were smooth and flowed well together. However, the use of a POV shot at the end was fairly shaky and from this I've massively improved and learnt from my mistake.

I learnt how to use 'over the shoulder' shots and tracking shots - On top of that I learnt that the sound track can really affect and change the view of the audience. The sound track built suspense and made the preliminary more tense than what it is without the sound track. I also learnt how to work with the camera and the tripod more, being able to keep the camera steady for a neat outcome. My thriller opening needed effective work and effort in the mise-en-scene as it needs to create a mood and scene so that the audience can relate and connect themselves with the movie more. Where as in my preliminary we did not think about what could have ruined and effected the genre. The lighting was more thought through in my final thriller opening as in the preliminary we used the original lighting with no editing included.

Above is the preliminary task I did prior to my thriller. I found this particular task quite useful in building my knowledge of what shots work best and understanding what makes a good film opening as we did our best to copy the original opening sequence. This task was by far the most beneficial preliminary task I've done due to it fitting the brief of an opening sequence which is what my thriller is as well, an opening to my film. Moreover, I found by partaking in this task I learnt so much about organisation; organising venues to shoot in and organising the actors. I also learnt about editing in a lot more depth as I now had to think about the sound track as well as the film, whereas, in previous tasks sound wasn't an issue. The editing process also helped me to develop my knowledge and confidence with the software Final Cut Express and all its tools.

Saturday, 26 April 2014

Evaluation 6

What have you learnt about technologies from the process of constructing this product? 

During the process of creating my media product, I managed to gain experience and knowledge of what goes into the production of  a film by using the many different technologies. The main tools I used consisted of the Macs and the software programme Final Cut Exppress and Garage Band. Unfortunately for me, the last time I used the Mac was in year 9 so I started of a tad rusty in terms of using Garage Band and I was a complete novice to Final Cut, however, I started to feel really comfortable after using the different tools and software in the many different tasks. Nonetheless, there were times when I got stuck and wasn't sure what to do, but thankfully I was able to turn to the How-to-guides on youtube to figure it out. The programme Final Cut was vital for the creation of my media product because without it, my film wouldn't have looked half as good nor professional.

From using Final Cut I was able to edit my footage by adding special effects to it; such as the light rays I used when my main character was enduring a flashback, to show the that she was transcending into a dream-like state. I also used After Effects to create the credits, this was sometimes frustrating as I had a few difficulties with this as I kept changing my mind on whether I wanted the credits to overlay the film or be placed on a black page, to be more abstract.

The left shot shows the original clip and the right one shows it after I used the colour correction tool.

 There was a limited amount of editing involved in my preliminary. In contrary to my final thriller opening as I had many different editing techniques involved such as, zooms, fade in fade out, cross fades etc. I felt far more confident using the equipment, software's and websites  this time around as I was fully informed about what they are, what they did and how to use it.

Tripod: The tripod was useful and essential to the filming of my production, preliminary and thriller opening because it helped to stabilise shots that needed to be static, helping to make it look more professional. My skills with the tripod definitely improved because the first time I used it, I didn't realise that i could have extend the legs therefore I was carrying the tripod when I wasn't to get a higher angle

Camera: I used a Sony Handycam camera to film all my preliminary videos and my final thriller. Due to this being a fairly simplistic camera I didn't have to worry much about how to use it as it was fairly straight forward. However a disadvantage of this camera was the focussing, as other cameras you're able to change your focus by twisting the lens, this camera didn't have this feature and during the editing phase of my production I noticed that there was a part of my film that lost focus. Another issue I had with the cameras was that the batteries kept dying which interrupted the filming process and delayed the schedule.

Blogger: I had used Blogger fairly briefly before starting my media course but nowhere near in as much depth. I enjoyed changing the layouts and I learnt very quickly how to embed different features such as pictures and videos on my blog which once I knew how to do allowed me to become more creative and productive with it.

Google: I used Google for all of my research on genre and sub-genres, theorists, and conventions. I did a lot of in-depth research to find out about thrillers that have been released, producers and distributors.

Final Cut Express: Final Cut Express is the software I used to edit my thriller opening. I was a compete novice with using this particular software, however through the many different tasks we did, I soon become accustomed to it.

Youtube: This website was definitely important in the upcoming stages of planning for my thriller; as I used it to research other thrillers from the same genre as my film. This site was also helpful for the publication of my thriller as I tried to upload my thriller straight onto Blogger and it just wasn't working so I quickly resolved the issue and uploaded it to Youtube then embedded the code to my blog.

After Effects: I used After Effects to create my titles for my opening. I found it fairly simple to use as I wanted to make my titles simplistic. I only added an animation on the movie title because I wanted to make it stand out, I downloaded the font from it was called "28 Days Later" and then added the emotion of "Office lights" onto it.

Art of The Title: Art of the Title was used in the planing and research stage; I used this site to get a better understanding on how professional film openings begin. This site helped with the placement of the titles and also an idea of font styles as I watched film openings from films from the psychological genre as I wanted to see what effects they used. This was really beneficial for me as it inspired me to create my credits in a similar fashion.

Was my opening successful?

My thriller was successful because I believe that I have fulfilled the task, to the best of my ability. My thriller is clearly a psychological thriller through the conventions I used such as the abstract storyline and intense start which builds up suspense. I think the soundtrack worked well with the video as it wasn't to cliche and over exaggerated, it was fairly subtle as it allowed the visual to narrate the story, rather than the other way round. Moreover, through the array of different shots I've used to engage my audience and present my narrative with the use of match on action to ensure the continuity of the film was spot on and flowed well, making it easier for the audience to follow. In preparation for my thriller, I watched many film opening to ensure my titles were correct, I made sure they were bold and clear for the audience to see. I truly believe that I have improved massively since my preliminary project in every way from filming and using different angles and shots to editing and using different softwares and effects. I also think I have a better appreciation for the producers and editors of films as I now know that this is isn't as easy as I'd originally though, I also think this has made me view media and its institutions in a different light. As an actress myself, I've only looked at the actors and directors of films and programmes and never really thought about the all the people behind the scenes and how important they really are to the production of a film. I have gained a lot of confidence in using editing software like Final Cut and using different sites and programmes, I believe that I'm far more knowledgeable in the media of films and I think this project has really opened my eyes to the vast array of film genres out there. I'm happy to say that I really have dramatically improved over this course and I hope to keep learning and improving.

Evaluation 5

How did you attract/address your audience? 

 My intention for my thriller opening was to really capture the audience and make them think, my thriller was fairly simplistic through it only really following one character and my narrative was non-existent. Therefore, I had to rely on grasping the audiences attention through my camera work due to the different shots and angles, costumes and sound effects.

Below is a video response from a person that fits the criteria of my target audience, explaining why this thriller attracted her.

The feedback I received helped me to see where I could improve and what worked well in my opening. By making these improvements, I will be able yo attract an even bigger audience perhaps branching out to an even older audience, as the narrative is quite a sophisticated and confusing one. My main aim of my opening was to engage the audience and build up enough suspense to leave them wanting more.

 Below is my thriller opening annotated with my intentions for each scene and how I felt it attracted my audience.