Monday, 29 March 2010

Dolly Shot

I performed this shot by placing the camera on a chair which I lifted up to my chest - to focus primarily on the face of the individual and the environment.

Tuesday, 23 March 2010

My Dolly Shot Mechanism

This is a customised chair which can now be used to perform dolly shots:

Here are a few examples of it in use:

The use of the dolly shot in this scene works very well; it provides fluidity and runs smoothly.

The success of this shot has influenced me to create my own dolly shot mechanism...

Thursday, 18 March 2010

Prelim Task Evaluation

Our film is supposed to demonstrate conventions of a British crime thriller, so in order to do this we needed to create a brief storyline. We adapted the idea of 'owing somebody money' from various T.V programmes that we have seen and, primarily, films that we thought we could relate to in terms of the chosen genre.
In order to make it seem realistic (which was one of our main objectives) we wore suits, smart shoes and put on a cockney accent. -This represented the social group that we were trying to convey - members of the 'mob'. We also made the environment that we were filming in simple, (A table, candlesticks, photo frame, picture frame, a glass of water and a gun) because we wanted to draw the viewer's attention to the conversation that was taking place.
An independent media institution like Film4 would most likely distribute our media product because it's not high budget, and it will continue Film4's talent at producing British cinema.

The audience for the film would most likely be people who are of ages 16-35, as a lot of crime films relate to an audience of 18 years and over. It's hard to determine an accurate type of audience as this was only a short preliminary task.
We tried to attract the audience in many ways; firstly by including a dramatic tune in the introduction -From when I open the door to when i sit down-, we did this to create tension.
We prolonged the establishment of the identity of the the person (me) who walks through the door to engage the audience so they feel they want to find out who it is. We did this by tracking my feet as I walked to the chair, then the camera pedestals upwards to reveal my face, which is then followed by dialogue which relieves some of tension we tried to build up.
We tried to address the audience by using certain camera shots and movements which makes it look like the actor is addressing someone behind the camera. In my case, we tried to make it look as if I was always looking at Conor when i spoke a line. For example at '00.29' on the video, we used a low-angle medium shot of me which then tilts upwards as i get up from the chair. This method of filming that particular part of the scene represents a hierarchy between the two characters which attracts the audience's attention as it makes the film more interesting to watch.

During the construction of the film, I have learnt a lot about the technologies we have used. For example, I have improved my use of 'iMovie', making it easier for me and group to fully edit the film. This includes audio, transitions, colour, cropping and many more.
I have also learnt how to add effects when using the filming camera, such as the fireworks effect which delays the camera's reaction to the surroundings - which could be used to convey confusion or injury to the head.
The construction process as a whole was tricky at times (sticking to the 180 degree rule, not having enough space to perform some of our originally desired camera movements and trying to find specific sounds on 'iMovie'. For example, the editing software doesn't include a gun-shot sound, which would have been perfect for the ending when I get shot.
But these setbacks were overcome; the problem of not having enough space was frustrating, but we changed a few of the shots and movements and it did, eventually, work very well.
The problem of not finding a gun-shot sound on 'iMovie' was solved by using the sound of metal clashing together - which was provided by the software. This sounded very much like a gun-shot when we edited it in.

The audience feedback I received was from my parents, they said they loved it but the one weakness to it is the lack of camera steadiness from 00:22 to 00:28, which is true.
We will make turn this weakness into a strength on our main task by moving the camera with wheels beneath to make it run smoothly.
Overall, the process was very enjoyable and has improved my knowledge on how to construct a short film.

Plot for Main Task

Rick has had an early retirement from his days of being a gangster. primarily due to the fact that he 'accidently' killed someone from his own team. he receives a call from one of his previous colleages, Mikey tell him that he's coming down to his house to sort out unfinished business. Mikey is a Psychotic gansters and is looking for revenge for the death of his friend. Rick, afraid that something bad is about to happen, packs his bags and leaves his home. He is stopped by mikey at the door and is told that he has to do one last job. to kill a man. Mikey hands him a photo of the target, to ricks suprise it is a photo of himself.mikey visciously attacks Rick with a Knife leaving him wounded and left-for-dead in his own bathroom. Will Rick survive?

*This is the fisrt draft of our plot, small alterations may be made during the editing proccess of the film*


Original Storyboard for Main Task

Wednesday, 10 March 2010

Jack, Connor, Elias and I have finished filming our preliminary task.
We filmed it at Jack's house because of ease of access and it was a suitable environment to film in.
We bordered off the part of his kitchen with the appliances in because they did not fit in with the tone of the scene. We did this by simply hanging up a dark blanket.
Our chosen genre is British Crime Thriller, so in order to get the effect of this, we chose to wear suits. I also put on a Cockney accent; the aim of this was to make it seem more believable.
To set the scene we put a small glass on the table, a trio of candlesticks on one stand, a photo of a woman and a gun.

The obvious weakness of our film is the age of the actors; Conor and I are only 17, yet it would be much better for us to have older people to act. For instance, 20-30 years old.
Another problem we faced while filming was having to hold the camera steady. We were fine with the help of the tripod, but when it came to moving the camera we faced a problem: It was hard to hold it steady. We tried looking for a skateboard but Jack didn't have one at his house, so this was a very hard obstacle to overcome.

We are now at the editing stage of the process and we are finding it relatively simple.

Tuesday, 2 March 2010


Monday, 1 March 2010

Preliminary task

As a group we decided to choose Crime Thriller as our genre, taking into consideration that it will be particularly challenging.

Two of my favourite British Crime Thriller films:

Sexy Beast (2000)
Dir. Jonathan Glazer

(Picture) - Ben Kingsley's menacing and brutal performance of gangster Don Logan.

Ben Kingsley
Ray Winstone
Ian McShane
Amanda Redman
James Fox

My favourite scene in this film is when Don refuses to put his cigarette out on the plane, It's perfectly acted, and it gives him an excuse to go back to Gal - unfinished business.

"You happy with that? I'm happy with that. I'll smoke it outside. Open the door. I hope this crashes. Open the fucking door!"

Get Carter (1971)

Dir. Mike Hodges
The film's underlying theme of revenge is portrayed by Carter's (Micheal Caine) progression in finding his brother's killer. Through this, the audience finds themselves on his side. The long lasting chase scenes (which are not necessarily fast-paced) are riveting and rewarding.

"You know, I'd almost forgotten what your eyes looked like. Still the same. Pissholes in the snow."