Wednesday, 4 May 2011

Final Film Opening

Evaluation of final media product

Overall, I am pleased with the outcome of our media product as we managed to include a vast majority of features that we were aiming for. However, as always in most evaluations, the thing that would have given us the best chance in improving out film opening is time.
If we were to have had more time, we would have continued to edit our film to perfection including adding more shots for variety. This would have made our film opening more stimulating and enjoyable.
Another thing I personally think we could improve is the music choice. I was happy with the piano piece initially as I think it fits in well with the running along the beach, however I think it runs on for too long. If we were to cut down the length of the piano piece, we would have had to find another piece of music to fill in the space as silence would not fit the sequence and diegetic sounds would not be enough to suffice the action on screen. I would have chosen another ambient piece of music to introduce the disturbance in the equilibrium in place of the piano piece to display the characteristics of the genre to the viewer earlier on than when Charlie physically disappears behind the beach hut. I would introduce this quietly after the siblings finish running across the sand dunes. This would have been an ideal place for this as it would build up suspense to the shot where Charlie goes missing. The main reason for this is that I think the piano piece is boring and drags on for too long, enough to put the viewer off of watching it and losing interest.
Another thing I think we could have done to improve our film opening is adding more visual effects such as changing the lighting of the shots to enhance the colours and make it more eye catching. In addition to this, we could have also added effects such as blurring and slow motion on the disappearance of Charlie to intensify it.
The fade to white we used for the disappearance of Charlie could have been a different colour to suit the emotion. I associate the fade to white with angels and deaths in film, or when people have dreams. Therefore the event of the disappearance does not seem to fit as it is a very different occurrence. We could have used a black or red fade to show the danger and the dark disturbance of the disappearance which may have proven to be more relevant.

Evaluation Question 7

Evaluation Question 6

Evaluation Question 5

Evaluation Question 4

Evaluation Question 3

Evaluation Question 2

How does your media product represent particular social groups?

First half of evaluation question 2

Second half of evaluation question 2

Sunday, 1 May 2011


Editing took us quite a long time as we couldn’t decide what music to put in. We originally wanted something with church music and a choir, however we decided that it would not fit as it would be too heavy and disturbing. Therefore we used a piano piece which is more mellow and light-hearted for the family walk on the beach.
We filmed the on the camera from start to finish in the order of our film opening so it was easy to pick out the files and use them in the right order instead of having to search for them and put them in the order we wanted. I found the program ‘Adobe Premier Pro’ easy to use so it was not too difficult putting the files in the right places and cutting them where necessary.
After we had put all of the clips together, we then had to add the music and sound effects. We had chosen the piano piece which was easy enough to add in on its own separate layer and we introduced it in where we wanted and faded it out when the kidnapping approached to then be able to introduce the ambience and the sound effects. Adding these sounds once we had found them was not difficult. I played the sequence and decided where they should go and then inserted them. To check they were in the correct place, I played the sequence back again and changed the position if I thought it was slightly out. Once I had decided that it was position correctly, I then faded them in and out where necessary and also increased or decreased the level of sound in order for them to fit in with the other music.
Editing all went smoothly and there were no problems or errors. The only thing I found difficult was trying to level out the sounds so they all fitted together nicely and one sound did not drown out the other. I watched what we had put together over and over again to ensure there was nothing wrong and make sure everything went together well. Adding the titles was the last thing that there was to do. I already knew what font that I was going to use so all I had to do was decided where to put them and how big they were going to be. This was also easy as the programme has a separate option box for the titles which made it very simple. 

Saturday, 30 April 2011

Little bit of a problem!

When we sat down to transfer the footage onto our computers from the camera and start editing, we discovered a problem! It turned out that we managed to film all of the shots with no sound! We decided that this was not going to work and arranged to go out again and record dialogue, sound effects and diegetic sounds with the hope that we would be able to edit it in accurately. Once we had recorded the sounds we transferred them over to the program that we are working on, we got to work. Just to our luck, we were able to voice over the parts where there was dialogue and also add in the sound effects of the car doors slamming and others such as walking and driving across the gravel. Thankfully, we did not have too much dialogue to record as we had planned to have the phone call to the police silent anyway for effect. Editing the part where both parents are calling Charlie's name was also not too difficult as our actors managed to shout the name more or less exactly the same again.

Friday, 29 April 2011

Research for the Titles

I researched different fonts to try and decide which one would suit our film opening the most. At first I wanted to use an old fashioned handwriting type font such as ‘Lucida Handwriting’
However, I decided this did not fit as it looked too old as our media product is modern, therefore I looked for some more with a less old fashioned style.

Calbiri (Body)
Arial black
Microsoft Sans Serif

The fonts above seemed more relevant to our film opening as they are modern and bold, outlining the serious event that occurs in the film. I did not want anything such as ‘Curlz MT’ due to the fact that this portrays fun and happiness, something that may be used on a party invitation as opposed to a film opening involving a kidnapping.
I used the programme ‘Abobe Premiere Pro’ to edit the film opening and insert the titles, therefore I used one of the fonts from there. It is similar to the ones above with the simple, bold appearance. I coloured the titles white, ensuring only one came up on every shot to make sure they were nicely spread out and not clustered together. I left the title of the film until the end for impact and emphasis. The colour of this was red to connect to the danger aspect and to the red coat that Charlie wears. 

Thursday, 28 April 2011


(.) pause
(1) 1 second pause

1. Father: Everyone strapped in and ready to go?
2. Both children: Yeah
Son: Dad (.) what beach we going to?
3. Father: urm (.) I think Southbourne’s gunna’ be the quickest
4. Daughter: Daddy can you put the radio on? (5)

Radio comes on
5. Radio plays and then fades out as car tyre’s pull up in Car Park in shot 10.
11.Doors slam shut and the entire family walk away.

Quietly new piano music starts to play

Music continues to play and builds gradually. Diegetic beach sounds heard in the background
(shots 12-17)

15. Son can be heard laughing
16. Shots flow and family continues
18-19. Daughter giggles as she runs and hides from her family

Shot 20-25 music builds and other diegetic sounds of the beach and talking can no longer be heard, the only sound is the music¬- edited in. At this point the family realise the daughter is missing

25. Mother: Charlie! Charlie! (Voice is exhausted and strained)
26-29 No sound- silence( this will be edited so it doesn’t affect the actual shooting)
(Parents are calling for help)
28-29. Father calls the police but there is no sound, this is to emphasise the devastation and the unknown of what has happened

30-34. Music plays out

(This is what we have planned for the actors to say in our opening, however we are well aware that this is not exactly what the end result will be!)

Wednesday, 27 April 2011


We were lucky enough to find our cast very easily! My partner’s family were willing to act in our film opening which saved us a lot of time and hassle. They live just down the road from the beach where we wanted to film which made things very easy. They were also willing to drive us to the filming destinations as well as co-operate in filming at their house when leaving for the beach.
The family consists of a Mother (Becky), Father (Phil), Son (Alex) and Daughter (Charlie). They are a typical modern middle-class family which is ideal for our film opening as it matches the plan and story line. They are also quite confident which was very good as they acted well which gives our film opening a professional appearance.

We dressed the family in clothes that we had chosen in order to fit our storyboard and plan as it is important to portray the message in our media product. It was essential for Charlie to wear the red coat and dress for her innocent look. We also dressed her in white socks and black school shoes to add to her innocent appearance as well as her pig tails that we tied up with red ribbons.

The coat that we had for Charlie is one that I borrowed from a friend’s sister. It was size 8-9 which is a couple of years younger than Charlie’s actual age, however we managed to squeeze her into it and pull of the character looking young and innocent. 

Tuesday, 26 April 2011


The weather for out filming day was perfect, it was not windy and the sun was shining. However it was not too hot for our actors to wear the costume we had decided on. The actors we used are my partners’ family which worked well as they were willing to help out wherever possible. They also agreed to be filmed at their house and were willing to drive around to get to the destinations we wanted to film at. The surrounding area of their house was perfect for our film as we were able to shoot the car traveling to the beach as the roads were not busy, meaning we were able to take several shots of the car coming up and down the road. This was to our advantage as we were able to take several shots of the same place in order to have a good amount of shots to choose from, making it easier to edit together. The beach was not too busy and was the perfect condition for filming. It did not take too long to get all of the footage together as all of the things we had in mind to film were all at the same beach. We were also lucky enough to come across a police car with two police officers present. They were kind enough to stand and talk whilst we filmed them and then drive away with the sirens on for us to include in our opening.

Saturday, 23 April 2011

Sound research

We watched clips on youtube of films with the same genre to see the sound effects used to create suspense and to represent different emotions. We recognised that ghost like sounds and ‘rush’ sound were used to create this which helped us know what to look for.
Originally, we were going to have church music and choirs for the sound when the family is walking along the beach, however we decided this was too sinister and didn’t fit. Therefore we decided to use a piano based piece of music which is more light-hearted and represents a happier feel for when the siblings are running across the sand.  
We knew that we would need ambience type music and other sound effects to emphasise the kidnapping and to represent the emotions of fear and horror, therefore we had to find them. Being that most of the songs are copyrighted and protected, we looked on internet sites that offered free sound effects, royalty free. The main two sites we looked at were ‘freeSFX’: and ‘freesound’:  where we got the ambience music and the small sound effects such as the ‘ghost noise’ for the rush of suspense when Charlie disappears round the corner. We also needed to find a siren sound effect for when the police car drives away as we did not manage to capture it when filming. These sound sites proved to be very helpful and accommodated us for everything we needed. 

Friday, 18 March 2011

Preparation for shooting day...

We have decided on a date to shoot, therefore we are acting upon things in preparation for a smooth filming day.
The girl who will appear in our film opening will be wearing a red coat and white tights with black shoes and ribbons in her hair. This represents the innocent look as well as the danger that is anticipated. We will be purchasing these items from a charity shop or a low cost store to save money. The idea of the charity shop also contributes to a less modern type of clothing. We are hoping to find a worn in coat that looks as though it has been worn by the girl a lot and is not shiny or glossy as this would disrupt the mood of the film. The white tights and the black shoes represent the stereotypical look of the girl as young, happy and innocent.

We had a practise day, making sure we are clear on how to use all of the equipment properly and planning out how we are going to use it for each shot. We made sure all of the equipment we need fits together properly and works well to save the expected panic on the morning of filming!
We have also written out a filming schedule so we know what we are filming and at what times in order to be able to fit everything in without rushing.
We have planned to record the sounds for our film opening separately to the actual filming. The sounds we need of the waves and the beach atmosphere will not be as clear and as loud as we need through the microphone on the camera. Therefore, we will record these sounds separately, closer to the sea to capture the clear sound of the waves and then add this in when we edit. 
The choir music we need will also be recorded separately to our filming schedule. We will record this at a church to capture the echoing sound of the music which will also be added to our film opening through editing.

Monday, 7 March 2011

Film Opening Plan

Me and Emma have chosen to combine two of the film themes and make a film involving both aspects…these aspects are:
·         Independent movie - featuring a young protagonist
·         Art house – appealing to adult audiences

We have decided to combine the above film features as we recognised a link between them which we thought would work well. Our film will be about a kidnapping/disappearance of a little girl from a wealthy family. With the beach being the setting, on an evening walk with the family, the little girl will disappear without a trace. Our aim is to create a mysterious/confused effect and we will do this with the use of music (both diegetic and non-diegetic), camera angles and effects.
The little girl will be wearing a red coat with the rest of the family dressed in pastel colours. This will help to show the presence of danger in the art house effect without being too obvious. Our idea is to include the constant, subtle diegetic sound of the sea as a background noise with the mumbled dialogue of the family and distinctive laughter of the girl whilst playing. We may include echo effects to her laughter to emphasise the art house effect.
We will use establishing shots of the family walking down the beach to capture the mood and tranquillity with over the shoulder shots of the parents looking out onto the children playing ahead of them. We will then contrast these shots with extreme close ups of the parents faces when the girl goes missing to emphasise the disturbance and horror of the situation.