Links To My Co-Producers Blogs

Monday, 20 December 2010

JW - Initial Coursework Ideas - 'Oblivious'

Our working title: 'Oblivious'
After researching the name 'Oblivious' on imdb, I found out that there are two short films under the name and a TV show that ran in 2001.
One short film was released in 2001 and directed by Ozgur Uyanik (given a 4.1 rating on imdb). The second one was released in 2010 and directed by Tomasz Zadurowicz, it does not have a rating on imdb.
We have now decided that this will be our working title given that there are no exact matches on imdb or other aspects of media (music, TV series, radio stations etc.) that go under this name. Although, there has been several films under the name of 'Oblivion', this is similar to our name but not as close as too cause a confusion.
My group for the coursework consists of Tom, Will and myself. All three of our pitches were for a slasher, so we decided that we would try and combine our three ideas. This way we could develop our idea to it's utmost potential and also could adapt our final idea to suit each of it's creators.
Our final, initial idea is;
- a boy and a girl are alone in a modern household.
- there are strong implications that the two are sexually active and have consumed reasonable amounts of alcohol (this is obviously a sin!)
- the boy then abruptly departs, leaving the girl alone in quite a dark house.
- the girl turns everything off, lights, music etc. and decides to go to bed.
- the music turns it self back on (seemingly) and gets stuck in a 'loop'
- this obviously freaks the girl out, she then hears a loud bang/knock on the door, she looks through the window to see who/what is there, using various shot types, a masked face/villain suddenly appears.
- this sends the girl into shock and she stumbles backwards, falling over a table or chair and bangs her head, hard on the floor.
- she will be then be 'blurring in and out of conciousness' using effects and a POV shot.
- the hooded, masked villain who scared her initially, slowly approaches.
- he gets closer with every 'blink' as the girl remains to keep conciousness but she is petrified by fear.
- the villain is then stood directly over her, holding a long, glistening knife.
- the scene ends as a knife comes crashing down towards the girls chest.
- it will then cut to black.

This is the basic, finalised idea for our coursework, however I'm sure adaptations will be made to make the film better and so that it can be more easily done.

Sunday, 19 December 2010

JW - Deconstruction of 'Buried Alive'

- Directed by Robert Kurtzman in 2007.
- No budget or box office figures are given. I'd presume that it had a relativley small budget, it does appear to be quite an 'indie' movie given that I had never heard of it before so it must of had no particularly large advertising campaign. Plus, no mainstream actors are involved in this film.

Opening Scene (Ends after 4mins 30secs approx) - Very little actually happens in this opening scene, our main focus is on a woman in the bath. Given the nature of shots (panning up and down as she shaves her legs) it is quite clear that she is sexually active. This is often interpreted as a 'sin' in horror/slasher movies, so she may die quite quickly in this film, however she may also be the 'final girl'. This would be taking a different approach to the traditional way slasher movies are set out; the traditional 'scream queen', being the final girl.
The beginning of this scene is quite clever, at first you get the impression that what's happening is actually reality, there are no clear signs that what's going on is a dream. This changes however, when a very clear aspect of editing is used. using the blurriness of looking at something through water, the character who firstly appeared to be drowning the girl, changes and it becomes a different man. You can not think however, that this may be foreshadowing what might happen later on in the film.
Not much else happens in the opening scene that I can deconstruct, the music is very 'stereotypically' associated with horror; creepy piano notes. Little editing, mise-en-scene or camera shots are used that can be particularly deconstructed.

Tuesday, 14 December 2010

JW - Deconstruction of 'A Nightmare on Elm Street'

- Directed by Wes Craven in 1984
- Had a budget of $1.8mil and made $10.8mil in the USA, (No UK figures given)

Opening Credits/Establishing Scene (ends after 1min 6secs) - This scene shows us all the company idents, but also half the screen is very well done. It implies lots of narrative enigma, but to fans of the horror/slasher genre they will know what's going on. It is of course Freddy Krueger creating/building his infamous 'claw'. Mise-en-scene used in this scene is very relevant, the famous red jumper that Freddy wears, and also the wide variety of obscure props. The location is also vital, although most of it is hidden, from various clues (water pipes, variety of monitors) we gather it could be some sort of boiler or gas chamber area. Yet again, fans of horror/slasher will know it's the boiler room. This entire scene is also shot using a considerably smaller screen than the rest of the film, this is done for two reasons I believe. One, because the opening credits etc. are also present and need some screen space. But also, to invoke the idea that this has already happened, or perhaps is supernatural. Hence why they use a smaller screen, it gives the impression that it is not normal, and therefore may not be of true reality.

Opening Scene - The opening shot of this is very significant, the close up of the lady, infront of a glistening white backround. This is a clear indicator, that is a dream. Also, the location the woman is in compared to her dress. She is in a white, upper-class night gown. For her to be running through what appears to be a large boiling area, would be quite obscene. So the idea of this being a dream becomes quite clear. The music also contributes to this idea, it is quite supernatural and almost sounds like something from a fairy tale, yet again adding to the sense of this being a dream. A fake scare is used (the goat/sheep), a very common piece used in cinema, creates an initial shock factor and increases the heart rate of the audience, it also invokes a false sense of security. Lots of POV (Point Of View) shots are used in this scene, to give the impression that someone is watching/stalking the soon to be victim. This is yet again, a very common method used in cinema, gives a real first person view to the film. Narrative enigma, is possibly the most important of this opening scene. Who is watching/chasing/stalking this person? What did she do? Is it real? These all of course, are answered in due course in the film. The idea of religion (God vs the Devil) is slightly represented in this scene, towards the end. The girl, hugs the cross, in a bid to save herself from the terror. This gives the idea that the bad guy is a representation of the devil, and perhaps supernatural.

A Nightmare on Elm Street (2010) wallpaper

Sunday, 12 December 2010

JW - Deconstruction of '5ive Girls'

-Directed by Warren P. Sonoda in 2006.
-Had a budget of  $3mil, no box office figures given.

Opening Scene - (Ends after 4mins 42secs)
This is one of the more interesting opening scenes to a horror film that I've seen, this is mainly due to the fact that I would describe this type of film as a more religious horror then a straight out horror. The fright and tension is mainly created by using the religious 'fights' between the Devil and God/Jesus, but they usually invoke the Devil taking over or possessing characters, and this creates the fright factor, as I've seen in many films, (most recently, 'Devil' - John Erick Dowdle, 2010).
The establishing shot in this opening is quick to anchor that this movie will have a religious theme - the giant white cross on the building connotes Christianity and it could possibly signify goodness or heaven from the colour of it, granted that white is so often associated with goodness - the opposite of black. The mise-en-scene in this opening is quite striking, the costumes first of all reveal a lot about the characters. The reverend or 'father' is portrayed and recognised due to his clothes, and he is clearly a teacher to the pupils. The costumes of the students connote a religious school. The music in this is very suspenseful, it builds up slowly to the dramatic conclusion of the scene and this adds lots more intensity to it. Little substantial editing is used, but the special effects are quite dramatic. The bizarre substance that creeps up 'Elizabeth's' face and them appear to jump off it seem very realistic.
This film does seem slightly more indie then most horror films, it's budget isn't particularly large. I intend to watch it all and give my opinion on it, although it's got a low rating on imdb (4.6).

JW - Our Prelim Task - Our Production

All - Microdrama Video

Just realised I hadn't put out 'microdrama' on here from the start of the year.
So without further ado, here it is.

Tuesday, 7 December 2010

JW - Deconstruction of 'Idle Hands'

-Directed by Rodman Flender in 1999
-Had a budget of $20mil and made $4mil in the USA boxoffice, no UK figures given.
-To see the imdb page for this, click here

Opening Credits: (End after 1 min 34 secs). Main colour is red, clear signifier of blood, lots of blood and gore in opening credits. What appears to be a skinned head or something similar, screaming in agony. Definite horror feel, although music gives slightly different feel. Quite fast tempo and a modern feel, more of a suspense/thriller feel from the music. However, creepy piano music (similar to that of The Exorcist (William Friedkin, 1973), which is one of the most famous horror movie soundtracks ever). The actor names are very significant, shown in bold white lettering which is a strong contrast to the dull red of the backround.

Opening Scene: (End after 7 mins 14 secs). The first thing that struck me about the opening scene is the large amount of 'fake scares', there is at least three in the opening scene. I think this is done to add to the slight 'comedic' area of this film, due to the fact that is generally classed a 'horror/comedy'. Something happens that first appears to be something terrible (such as the screech of a cat), it then adds to the comedic effect when it's something silly. However, these could've also been used to lull the characters and the audience into a false sense of security, so when the real actual scares, our heart is already racing and we might not expect it quite as much.
The second thing that struck is the references (possibly deliberate, possibly accidental) to other classic horror movies, such as the pumpkin as the first shot (possible reference to Halloween) and the lamppost outside the family house (possible reference to the infamous lamppost outside the house of The Exorcist). These could've been used to add to the fact this is sort of a more spoof movie rather than a true horror, and also it engulfs classic horror movie fans. The mise-en-scene if the first scene is quite standard, it seems just like a typical American house that take Halloween very seriously (due to the large amount of decorations in the establishing shot), there is nothing particularly special about the couple (despite the fact they're quite elderly, this age group isn't traditionally used as victims in horror films). There is little sound in the opening scene, the focus more is on the scene being quite quiet. This way when noise does crop up, it is a lot more alarming to the audience and this adds to the 'shock' affect. Little editing is used, nothing that is particularly noticeable, it's mainly continuity editing.

Monday, 6 December 2010

JW - My Pre-lim Task

My Pre-lim task

Preliminary exercise: Continuity task involving filming and editing a character opening a door,crossing a room and sitting down in a chair opposite another character, with whom she/he then exchanges a couple of lines of dialogue. This task should demonstrate match on action,shot/reverse shot and the 180-degree rule. 

Match-on action: A match on action, a technique used in film editing, is a cut that connects two different views of the same action at the same moment in the movement. By carefully matching the movement across the two shots, filmmakers make it seem that the motion continues uninterrupted.

Shot/reverse shot: Shot reverse shot is a film technique where one character is shown looking at another character (often off-screen), and then the other character is shown looking back at the first character. Since the characters are shown facing in opposite directions, the viewer assumes that they are looking at each other.

180-degree rule: The 180° rule is a basic guideline in film making that states that two characters (or other elements) in the same scene should always have the same left/right relationship to each other. If the camera passes over the imaginary axis connecting the two subjects, it is called crossing the line.