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Watching other students' film openings

Remember to watch and select relevant examples, embed into your individual blog and comment on what works well, what could be improved, how it relates to your project.

You can watch these ones from Long Road College:
Long Road YouTube Channel and again two years ago
And from Latymer school
Latymer YouTube Channel

And of course many more with an advanced serch on YouTube or Vimeo.

Booking equipment over Christmas

I still need a few slips back. I will put a list up tomorrow.

So far, group 4 and group 2 will be sharing one camcorder. The tripod has also been booked. I'll confirmed tomorrow which one they are taking. We seem to be having a few problems uploading from the Canon at the moment... I'll try to finish sort it all out tomorrow morning.

The groups are responsible for the equipment over the holidays and for ensuring they swap at some point. If you belong to the other groups and are behind with shooting, talk to me or email before the end of lunch tomorrow.

A few updates and lessons learnt:
- when you have finished shooting, upload as soon as possible;
- when you have finished with the equipment, return it safely, sign off the yellow sheet, put cameras to charge.

- I have converted group 3's footage and opened a new FCE project (I experted 2 short clips from your chase sequence so you could embed that into your blog tomorrow morning; won't take 5 minutes) - all saved in Josh's folder.

- I have deleted a lot of stuff from different cameras but everything is backed up on the Media drive. Look in the Misc folder if you're looking for footage or photos. You will also find them in iPhoto's library.

- I have saved some footage in David's folder. Put it on a USB tomorrow to be able to use it from home.

Anything else, please contact me.

And catch up on these blogs!!!

We'll start editing after Christmas.

Learn from students' work

Look at other students' blogs and evaluate!

Write a couple of bullet points about the ways in which this will help you improve your blog. Set yourself a clear TO DO list.

Yasmin from Latymer


Copy of email - equipment issues and home learning

Dear all,

I am sorry to have to email you again but there are several issues which must be addressed.

1. Being very busy last week with A2 deadline, I simply assumed that reply slips had been handed in to Mr Molloy. Unfortunately, it looks like some of you still need to be nagged and reminded, and I really hope that it is the last time. We are asking you all to behave in a grown up and responsible way in this subject and you need to rise to that challenge. You really shouldn't have been off-site without having brought back the slip.

Furthermore, I was livid when I found out that some students did not turn up for their afternoon lessons on Thursday. You will not be allowed to use lesson time off-site in the future until I have it from your teachers that you have apologized and caught up. If you haven't managed that in a mature way, I will follow up next week with phone calls home and may invite parents in.

2. I explained in the letter that any borrowed equipment must be looked after then brought back charged or left charging. Imagine my upset once again when the camcorders were needed on Friday and both had been left with very little battery remaining, and the Sony seems to be slightly damaged on top. As of Friday afternoon, one camera box (no 4, I believe) was missing and the flip camera has not been returned, nor the tripod. THIS IS UNACCEPTABLE. Follow the routines in place or you will have to use your own equipment.
Furthermore, you need to take the whole box when borrowing something - bring your own bag to carry equiment.

3. Blogs need regurlar updating and some research work must be done for tomorrow, including tasks set last week and not yet completed. The rest must be completed by Wednesday to give me a chance to increase your Progress Checks grades on Thursday if I think it is deserved.

Home learning:
- All results from audience research so far must be published. Include Certificate you'd like to go for and why. Visit the BBFC site for guidelines.
- All storyboards must be posted, in any shape you like for now
- I linked one exemplar blog and asked you to read through it and reflect a little on what you've learnt from it - post on individual blog (see earlier post)
- you need one more (at least) detailed film opening analysis, preferably of a thriller that you are using as inspiration (either for plot, character type, setting, style etc) - individual blog
- Watch lots of students' film openings from other centres and select 2 or 3 which you can learn from for your own work, link them to your blog and make notes on: good points / even better if. You will find loads of examples from the Latymer school YouTube channel, but you may also look at Long Road Sixth Form and others - individual blog
- Group meetings minutes MUST APPEAR ON GROUP BLOGS
- If you've been off-site, you must write updates on your blogs of what has been achieved, what went wrong and what you've learnt along the way. You will accompany that with extracts of what you shot (this can be done in class and / or Wednesday lunchtime sessions) and behind the scenes photos.

It is a lot but we've told you from the start it would be hard work. There should be more activity than ever on your blogs at the moment and instead, the reverse seems to be happening.

That's it. I apologize for the bulk email but some things must be said.

Finally, I understand that group 3 are filming tomorrow. As I said earlier, reply slips must be brought in without fail for this to happen, and the missing equipment brought back (particularly the tripod).

No one else is booked to be out. Let me know if you've organised something.

All the groups who have been out so far will need to upload their footage by the end of lunchtime. In future, aim to upload straight away so that other groups have plenty of memory space to shoot their own footage.

Group 1: Manan, David, Devki, Shreyaa
Group 2: Raju, Omar, Robert, Ashwin
Group 3: Harshiv, Matthew, Josh, Keval
Group 4: Khushel, Yasmin, Nimesh, Viraj

Weekend (11 and 12.12.10 .12.10) - no one booked

Monday 13.12.10 / pm: please find me at the beginning of lunch in the pod
Group 3 booked -(camcorder 2 - Canon + microphone + ?)

Thursday 16.12.10 / am:
Group 3 off-site - shoot (camcorder 2 - Canon + microphone + ?) IS THIS STILL HAPPENING? If yes, I need to see you between Monday and Thursday.
Group 2 off-site - shoot (camcorder 1 - Sony)


Trip to Channel 4, anyone?

Dear all,

I have justy received this message from Ms S. Patel and I'm sure some of you will be interested. If you are, you need to see Ms Patel on Monday at lunchtime in T2.

Ms P wrote: "I have a great opportunity to take a small number of media-hungry students to Channel 4 in January/February. Do you know of any that may be interested in this? The applications need to be in by 20th December. I can help them with it next week."

Act quickly if you want to be involved!


Blog example - Go through this very carefully. Due in Monday 13.12.10

You need to realize how much work you need to put in so I would like you to look at this blog.
The student was not working on a Thriller but all the steps are there.

After looking through it, you need to write a post about what you thought was good about it, which posts were particularly effective etc. Finally you need to give yourself 3 targets / tasks you will fulfill by next Monday 13th December.

NEXT STEPS: To research who would distribute your film. Please look at the evaluation below to start thinking about it.

Victoria's AS blog - evaluation question 3


Thursday 9.12.11 - due in whether you're in the lesson or not

You must have identified a clear target audience by then and you must show the steps you've taken to identify it and to test your ideas against this specified audience. This doesn't mean just an endless series of questionnaires. Use the range of techniques discussed in class including interviews, preferably with your target audience, and the tools available through Web 2.0.

Look at similar films and research their audience - How was it marketed to appeal to the target audience? What are the viewing figures?

You must be able to answer these questions fully and with illustrations:
1. What is the core target audience? Is there a secondary target audience?
2. How would you describe the tastes of your target audience?

And later, after a little more research and teaching, you also need to answer this:
3. What functions does this kind of film genre serve to its audience? (uses and gratifications audience theory - why not start researching that?

Think of films which features similar plots / characters / settings / types of editing and screengrabs / comment / analyse.

Similarly, you should all aim to complete one better analysis of a film opening, acting on the target I gave you last time. Choose your film carefully so that it is one of the "similar products" mentioned in your criteria, You need to show progress.
Look at this student's analyses:

You should also be updating your pitch in the light of the feedback received and post the improved / revised version. Please see handout about The Treatment again.

No one has yet posted any group meeting minutes (including group time in class).
Some groups still haven't posted the feedback on pitch.

Group 4 haven't posted a pitch - a summary of the plot is NOT a pitch.
Target audience must be part of the pitch/treatment.


Planning - storyboard and shotlist - updated

Only group 4 have uploaded a shotlist.

One group have nothing on their blog.

No one has posted the feedback received on their pitch.

No one has written minutes of group meetings.

Group 2 must upload a rough storyboard and shot list + a schedule for any off-site time. You should not be off-site if this has not been completed.

Sort it out immediately. Not too pleased right now...


Group blogs / individual blogs

You must keep updating. Two group blogs are empty so the time given in lesson has not been used very effectively.

You must post the feedback received on your pitch.

Storyboard, even rough, should be appearing along with initial shot lists.


Shooting Schedule so far and equipment release

Group 1: Manan, David, Devki, Shreyaa
Group 2: Raju, Omar, Robert, Ashwin
Group 3: Harshiv, Matthew, Josh, Keval
Group 4: Khushel, Yasmin, Nimesh, Viraj

Monday 6.12.10 / pm:
Group 1 off-site - (camcorder 1 - Sony + tripod - dolly?) - CANCELLED
Group 2 off-site - test shoot (camcorder 2 available - Canon)

Wednesday 8.12.10 / am:
Group ? off-site - test shoot (camcorder 2 - Canon)

Thursday 9.12.10 / am:
Group 4 off-site - Shoot (camcorder 1 - Sony + ?)
Group 2 off-site - Shoot (camcorder 2 - Canon)

Weekend (11 and 12.12.10 .12.10) - no one booked yet

Monday 13.12.10 / pm:
no one booked yet

Thursday 16.12.10 / am:
Group 3 off-site - shoot (camcorder 2 - Canon + microphone + ?)

Nothing else booked so far. We can discuss borrowing of equipment over Christmas depending on how reliable and efficient your group has been so far. You would need to stay in touch with other groups to share equipment equitably and remember that you would be responsible for it at all times.

After Christmas, there will be further opportunities to shoot outside lessons but by then, it really should be a reshoot or additional footage if necessary.

Under no circumstance should you be off-site during Media lesson time unless previously agreed. A letter is being sent home this weekend to explain it all to parents / carers. There is a reply slip to bring back as well, bearing parental signature. YOU WILL NOT BE ALLOWED TO GO ON A SHOOT OR BORROW EQUIPMENT IF YOU FAIL TO BRING BACK THE REPLY SLIP.

Finally, when borrowing any equipment, you must fill in and sign a yellow EQUIPMENT RELEASE FORM, available in the Media pod. When filming is completed, you must bring back the equipment and make sure the cameras are charged or left charging in the pod.

Aim to upload footage ASAP. Use the Log and Transfer function in Final Cut, making sure that you save your project first in the way you have been shown (change scratchdisk to your folder - see instructions in the pod if you have forgotten)


Using your blog as a diary - planning / research

As you've been told on Monday, this is the stage where you should record everything on your blog about group meetings and what you are doing about planning and research. The posts need not be long but rather short entries, diary - style, about what is going on. You should aim for a post every 2 - 3 days.

REMINDER - group pitch tomorrow


READ CAREFULLY - On-Going work and Home learning due in Thursday 2.12.10

Firstly no one has completed the H/l due in yesterday (Todorov and Propp). Sort it out ASAP. You must keep to deadlines even when there is no lesson. Time is very short to complete all the coursework.

Where you should be now:

You should have sorted out your ideas by now, possibly organized a Facebook page which you could later screengrab and embed to show on-going group decisions.

On Monday, you'll be in full pre-production mode. Target audience research should be under way and your pitch should be taking shape. This time, it's the real thing! Look again at the ideas posted previously on how to pitch and to the hand out distributed in class.
You will also have started your storyboard and shotlist.

You should have at least one group meeting a week outside of lessons where decisions are recorded and minutes taken; these should appear weekly on your blog.

For Thursday, you need to have prepared your group pitch and will give a presentation to the class as a group. You might prefer a PowerPoint this time as you will need to bring in a hard copy (at least one per group). You will be assessed on your pitch and will receive peer and teacher feedback which you must record carefully and post on your blog (this will be needed for your Planning and Evaluation).

What next? The next steps will be:

- To do recce shots and shoot at the weekend, take pictures of actors, costumes, props, sets etc... and post to blog.
- To organize the shoot, planning ahead and writing schedules for your "shoot days" - more guidance to follow. All this is evidence of planning. No excuse for not getting a level 3 here at least.

Other on-going work must be to continue your research of real media products with film opening analyses, screengrabs of films / sets and locations / atmosphere / camerawork / mise-en-scene/ editing you are inspired by in your project.

All this demands a high level of independence, organization and determination. Time management and organization are criteria against which you are assessed. The weekly 5 hour independent study must be done or your group (and your grade) will suffer.

However this remains an enjoyable process and we hope you have fun with it.

PS: Matthew, rethink some of your questions in your questionnaire. Set yourself a clear objective first about what you are trying to achieve / demonstrate / find out. THiS is valid for all groups. Consider Web 2.0 to conduct market research.

Remember to plan with the evaluation questions firmly in mind:
Evaluation questions

1. In what ways does your media product use, develop or challenge forms and conventions of real media products?
2. How does your media product represent particular social groups?
3. What kind of media institution might distribute your media product and why?
4. Who would be the audience for your media product?
5. How did you attract/address your audience?

6. What have you learnt about technologies from the process of constructing the product?
7. Looking back to your preliminary task, what do you feel that you have learnt in the progression from it to the full product?

Refer to your booklets for further guidance.

Finally here are the criteria (Level 4) for Research and Planning, and for Evaluation:
Research and Planning: Level 4 16–20 marks
- There is excellent research into similar products and a potential target audience.
- There is excellent organisation of actors, locations, costumes or props.
- There is excellent work on shotlists, layouts, drafting, scripting or storyboarding.
- There is an excellent level of care in the presentation of the research and planning
- Time management is excellent.

Level 4 16–20 marks
- Excellent understanding of issues around audience, institution, technology, representation, forms and conventions in relation to production.
- Excellent ability to refer to the choices made and outcomes.
- Excellent understanding of their development from preliminary to full task.
- Excellent ability to communicate.
- Excellent skill in the use of digital technology or ICT in the evaluation


Home learning due in Monday 22.11.10 and Thursday 25.11.10

1. For Monday, your group should have a rough pitch to offer:
- theme and subgenre (or hybrid)
- rough idea of the narrative
- some idea of the style
- a couple of examples of real life products in mind

You will be presenting this in class and get feedback on initial ideas.

It's time to get organized so as to be able to communicate amongst yourself: email /tweet each other; some groups set up a Facebook page so as to be able to quickly reach everyone.

2. For Thursday: Apply Todorov’s 5 stage model and Propp’s theory about character roles (or spheres of action) to a Thriller of your choice, preferably a ‘similar product’ to your own planned production.


Home learning due in Thursday 18.11.10

1. You need to write a detailed analysis of two film openings. The first is the opening of "The Silence of the Lambs" directed by Jonathan Demme (focus on the first 6 min). The second should be a Thriller of your own choice, particularly in a sub-genre that you want to focus on in your project (see guidance below).

Watch carefully and write a detailed analysis of this opening sequence. Read the example on "The Shining" to see a model of an analysis posted earlier (or click here: Research - Analysing film openings, a model)
Remember that to achieve higher grades, you need to be ANALYTICAL rather than just descriptive. Don't simply tell me that there is a close up at this point or a tracking movement at that point. Explain how it helps the narrative and how it is supposed to affect the reader.

Discuss the ways in which the extract aims to construct an effective thriller opening using the following:
  • Camera shots, angles, movement and composition;
  • Editing;
  • Sound;
  • Mise-en-scene;
  • Narrative method;
  • Titles.
Finally, make sure that you use screengrabs to support your points. Avoid Scribd this time and write directly into a post, including pictures. You could also do a 9 frame contact sheet again (see Art of The Title) and link your points to the relevant frame/picture.

2. The second task is to evaluate your classwork (animatic / director's commentary), focusing on the areas of the question you addressed well and those you left out or underdeveloped. You should also comment on the quality of your animatic. Don't forget to embed it.


REMINDER - don't leave home learning task till Wednesday night...

... as there is an element of audience research to be conducted before then.
The task is here:
Home learning set Monday 1.11.10 due in Thursday 11.11.10

This is a group's pitch to get you inspired (it doesn't cover everything but gives you an idea of what needs doing)

You can also look at their blog here; this work achieved level 4 in the 3 areas.



Can I refer you all to this post:Half-term work - must be completed by Sunday 31 October, 5pm
Secondly, only one student has completed and closed their Induction blog properly.
Thirdly, many of you still haven't sorted out your links. Please do so.

Well done to those who are up to date!

Analysis of film poster / DVD cover

Some of the work so far is a little KS3/KS4.
Refer to the following points to analyze more closely.

ANALYZING MEDIA: Movie Posters (From The Language Network)

Remember that movie posters are advertisements. The goal of a poster essentially is to "sell" the movie—to make you want to see it. How does it do that? The poster may have the movie title in a big and bold font. Images of the movie's attractive actors are usually featured. In addition, the actors' names are probably included somewhere on the poster to remind you that the movie has big-name stars. Designs, colors, and fonts are used to appropriately reflect the mood and tone of the film. And the poster probably includes a catchy sentence or slogan that piques your interest and makes the plot seem intriguing.

The visual elements on a movie poster can convey powerful messages. The best posters may make you anxiously anticipate an upcoming release. The worst ones may not have a persuasive effect at all. By analyzing movie posters, you can gain a better understanding of the elements that effectively grab the attention of movie-goers and sell the movie's story—even before viewers see it for themselves.

Questions to Consider:

Is the movie title prominently featured? Is the text easy to read?
Are the main actors shown? If so, which ones? What do their appearances and expressions convey about the movie?
What is the design of the movie poster? Does it accurately reflect the mood and tone of the film?
What other images are included? What do you notice about the framing of the images?
What text is shown on the poster? Is there a catchy slogan? If so, what does it tell you about the movie's story?
Is there any other important information included on the poster?
Why do/don't you think this movie poster is persuasive?

The positioning of objects, actors, and text within the frame of a poster to achieve a particular effect. For example, a movie poster for an action film might feature the main actor framed in such a way as to make him seem attractive, strong, and invincible. It might help position the audience.
What about the composition? Does it reveal some narrative expectations and character types?

The feeling created for a viewer by the director's use of details and cinematography.

The filmmaker's attitude as reflected in the movie—ironic, serious, and so forth. Big budget genre movie or Auteur film? Is there any relationship between film title and micro elements? What clues do we get from the title and the style in which it appears on the page?

A catchy and memorable phrase or sentence on a movie poster. An effective slogan should convey the mood, tone, and main idea of the film without giving too much away. It should capture viewers' attention and make them interested in the story.

Actors/director/producer: Do they help entice the audience?
Audience: Who is the target audience? What is the Certificate?


Home learning set Monday 1.11.10 due in Thursday 11.11.10

My Treatment for a Thriller Opening Sequence + Moodboard

(Each student to pitch their treatment in next week’s triple (11/11) to your group – you must post this work on your individual blog BUT BRING A HARD COPY TO THURSDAY’S LESSON)
Describe / Explain the following:
1. The action: identify the event your idea is based around; what actually happens (discovery of a body, an illicit meeting, a witness seeing a crime, someone waiting for someone else, a criminal act taking place, a telephone call, a chase, a short journey…) KEEP IT SIMPLE BUT NOT CLICHÉ; remember what was said at the conference – Avoid the ‘hooded boy following girl in woods’.
2. The theme(s): what should it make the audience think or feel, what “issues” will it raise (revenge, sexuality, voyeurism, obsession, fear, escape…)
3. The narrative: how is it structured: real time? Different time zones? Flashback/forward etc… Crisis? Mid-way through action? Result of an action? Will there be dialogue (as a rule, try an d avoid it or keep it to a minimum)? What about diegetic / non-diegetic sound?
4. The character(s): Who are they? Identify their roles; what are their characteristics, including gender, type, etc… Do they represent a type of person in particular? Can you think of similar characters in films / TV drama? (add pictures / screengrabs)
5. The setting and choice of location: where is it set? Add screengrabs or your own pictures of possible locations
6. The mise-en-scene: identify colours, type of lighting, dress codes, overall visual look. A screengrab from a similar product could help.
7. The camerawork: the style you are aiming for; again, citing some film / documentary / TV Drama examples would be a plus.
8. The editing: edited as a continuous sequence, use of cross-cutting, use of montage or combination or several?
9. Audience research: who would be your target audience? Your secondary audience? How do you know? You need to show you have tested your ideas on audience members. DO NOT WAIT TILL THE DAY BEFORE THE LESSON!!! Use Web 2.0 and your blog to get feedback / audience research.
10.Design a moodboard to illustrate your treatment

NOTE: How you present your work is up to you, however, can I urge you to look again at the criteria in your Assessment booklet?

Avoid another Scribd-embedded document. Opt instead for a PowerPoint embedded through Slideshare (register first then same process; copy and paste the Embed code in the HTML tab of a new post). Even better write directly on your blog or design a Prezi (it’s easy after you get the hang of it). See
Insert tools into your blog to conduct audience feedback on your ideas or to find out who your audience is. Even better, design a questionnaire first to get a rough idea of what subject matter would appeal to which audience. You could film yourself presenting your ideas then upload to YouTube and direct friends to it. Get the feedback. Use Twitter to lead them there etc.

Whatever you do, make sure it’s creative and well-illustrated. YOU CANNOT LEAVE THIS TASK TILL THE NIGHT BEFORE.


Re-creating Juno

This was all I could put together from one group's footage. Other groups had even less footage.
Learn some lessons from all this!
- Need to storyboard more faithfully
- Need to improve timing of shots and be more faithful to the original angle and movement
- Pay attention to detail: the character actually walks in the opposite direction in the film!
I haven't added titles but you should have started (or even finished) with that. Upload your work ASAP!


Research - Analysing film openings, a model

Here is an interesting analysis of the opening sequence for The Shining which appears on the Long Road Media Blog (thank you, Long Road). Read it carefully and start doing your own for your chosen sequences. Remember to focus on a sub genre you want to work on for your project.

The film opens with a series of shots of panoramic landscape vistas showcasing the bleak desolation of the snowy mountainous surroundings, which will provide the backdrop for the film’s subsequent narrative developments. Various bird's eye view shots intermittently cross dissolve into one another, and depict an expansive clear blue lake, a snow-capped mountain range, and a densely populated forest of evergreen trees. The camera moves swiftly through its surroundings in each shot, sweeping past the breadth of the natural environs below it, and thus conveys to the audience a sense of the massive scale and large land span of the location depicted.
During the camera’s continual movement, it occasionally captures its views from distorted angles, which undermines the idea otherwise created by this series of shots of the benevolent purity of natural beauty and the wintry American landscape. It thus uses spatial manipulation to contradict the principal connotations of the images of nature captured in these shots, and hence foreshadows the heavy deployment of themes and imagery centred upon the supernatural that will follow.

Also indicative of this theme is the use of slow, sombre, unnerving and deliberate electronic music, which in conjunction with the seemingly oppositional images suggest a malevolence to the surroundings shown and imply an unknown danger amongst them.

Eventually the camera finds a road snaking through an aerial shot of a thickly forested area then picks out and follows a lone car in extreme high angle long shot, making its way along the road. The camera gradually moves increasingly closer maintaining its birds’ eye view position, but also gradually rotates to distort the angle and create a sense of unsettling foreboding in the manner described above. A series of shot changes track the car’s journey and depict a range of different natural backdrops indicating the traversal of time and space. As the camera finally tracks speedily in to a mid shot of the car from behind, revealing it to be a yellow Volkswagen Beetle, credits rise up through the frame from below in blue typeface, and each gives way to the next, departing the frame by rising out of it.

The moving camera overtakes the car and veers away to the left, aerially crossing country before again finding the car and tracking its journey, once again with another series of extreme high angle long shots, while the eeriness of the electronic score continues to aurally unsettle the viewer.

The camera’s point of view eventually shifts to depict an extreme long shot of a remotely located building amongst the mountains, trees and lakes. It slowly circles the building, getting gradually closer. This building is the Overlook Hotel, and will be the yellow car’s final destination, and the principal location for almost all of the film’s subsequent action.

Overall, the opening sequence has been gradually building up to this elaborate establishing shot of the hotel, and has served to highlight its isolation and remoteness and communicate an implication of danger, that the audience should by now have associated with this idyllic yet spectral location and its backdrop.

Here is the sequence:

Planning - storyboard and shotlist

You need to upload the storyboard and shotlist you put together for the Preliminary task.

(By the way, not everyone has uploaded their prelim... and those uploaded do not all feature a conversation!!! The brief was VERY CLEAR! Will need sorting out after half term)

Below is an example of a shotlist, though yours will obviously not be so long!

Here are some extracts of storyboarding from "The Big Lebrowsky" :

Example of Level 4 group blog

Please note that the Research part does not feature here as it would have been done on the students' individual blogs. The group blog covers the planning section of the Portfolio.
Their final product is not a top level but they have achieved a level 4 for planning.

Have a look!


Pete Fraser's advice - AS Film Opening

Here is the post from Pete Fraser's blog mentioned today at the conference. It's all there... We will obviously start the Research and Planning 'proper' after half-term though we hope that you've already started your Reseach... (see home learning posts) and have already got a feel for film opening conventions.

Pete Fraser's post on AS Film Opening


Half-term work - must be completed by Sunday 31 October, 5pm

Dear all,

- First the bad news; some of you have not caught up enough and managed to stay up to date and will therefore need to have a chat with us after half-term about the negative referrals we've had to write. We might judge that a meeting with parents is in order.

- Secondly, there are a number of things that you need to do by next Sunday (31th October) - 5.00pm.
All tasks set so far need to be completed on your blogs; in some cases, it also includes taking pictures to demonstrate techniques and illustratE a genre.

- All Thriller research must be completed to a good (A'Level) standard.

- All of you must complete an analysis of at least one DVD cover, analysing mise-en-scene and other choices (fonts, colours, style) carefully. Embed a picture of the DVD cover (could be annotated or comments made separartely). Choose a Thriller film that could be a source of inspiration for your own project.

- The final task is to do some research on a successful film director who has directed some Thrillers. You need to explain why the films are successful, what the director's "trademark" is, and embed trailers and screengrabs of interesting or memorable shots with some comment on technique and mise-en-scene.
Try your best to re-create one of these shots yourself or in a small group, making sure that you get the atmoshere of Thriller right. Aim to chose a shot with at least one or two characters in the frame.


Preparing for the Media Conference

Please click on this link to take you to the post on the Gateway. There are a few things to look at ahead of the day. A little preparation will enhance your understanding of the topics covered.

Preparing for the Media Conference
Maps and details from there. SEE YOU AT EUSTON STATION AT 9.15AM ON THURSDAY.


Thriller Sub-genres Research and Preliminary Task - Improving your work

Very few of you have produced A' Level standard research so far for this task... You need to address this and improve your posts.
Make sure you:
- Look again at conventions of Thrillers (some of you have done a Spidergram of Conventions of Film Openings rather than Thrillers)
- Provide a list of Thriller Sub genres including some of their codes and conventions and examples of films that could be put in each category. OF COURSE THERE ARE MANY HYBRID FILMS.
- Focus particularly on the "man-on-the-run" or "innocent-on-the-run" subgenre. Embed trailers or film openings. Use screengrabs to illustrate the kind of camerawork to be expected, the narrative expectations, the character types, mise-en-scene choices etc.
- Do the same for another sub genre of your choice, maybe the kind of film you would like to create for your coursework. Below is an example of work produced by another student on Conventions of Psychological Thriller (might not be totally accurate; this is just for illustration purposes):

- Write the synopsis for the first 10 minutes of your Thriller spoof - it should be obvious that you understand the conventions of the genre and are adding humour and twists to them.


Example of Moodboard in planning stages of script:
Example of Genre Moodboard illustrating the Psychological thriller using film posters:

Finally, start evaluating your Preliminary task. Use the questions below as guidance:

1. Discuss how your group came up with the idea for the script. How efficient was the discussion? What key decisions were made? Embed your script.

2. Reflect on the planning / storyboarding stage and upload the storyboard.
3. How efficient was the shoot? additionally, embed screengrabs demonstrating the required techniques from the brief.

Once the editing is finished, you will be evaluating that too.

Finally, make sure you add the relevant tasks to your assessment booklet with a brief comment self-assessing your posts and get a parental signature. I'll add a comment and countersign them next week.


The Preliminary Task - Thursday 14.10.10

On Thursday you will be doing the first part of your Coursework Production.

This is the actual work to be produced:

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.

Look at this example to prepare yourself!


Home learning due in 14.10.10

Please refer to the task set in class. You have a big task ahead of you so don't leave it to the last minute.
You have to research two Thriller subgenres, one has to be the "man-on-the-run" subgenre, the other one a subgenre of your choice (pick one you enjoy watching). You could also draw a list of different subgenres, identifying their conventions and some film examples. For the main task, consider the kind of plot devices, character types, settings, mise-en-scene and types of shot/ camerawork and lighting you'd expect to see. Illustrate with examples from films and screenshots, making sure you analyse them. The better you do this task, the more marks you can start building up for the research part of your coursework.

Additionally, you can start gathering ideas and inspiration for your own film opening. Log everything on your blog and remember to list your own viewings.


The Media Conference - AS and A2

Please see post on main Gateway blog and copy of letter. Bring payment and EV7 as soon as possible.


Missing Thriller Blogs

Keval, Josh, Matthew... Get on to it!

Monday - recreating Juno opening sequence

On Monday you will be deconstructing the opening sequence of Juno and recreating it. The editing will be done the following week.
To this end, you'll be working in groups of three, preferably with one girl per group though we may end up with a male Lead in one group. Come to the lesson having thought about and maybe already arranged groups. Girls, bring a costume! You need to look like a teenager instead of 'corporate' for once! We'll give you the space to get changed.
You could watch the sequence ahead of the lesson but it is not necessary.

Have fun!


Home Learning due in week beginning 4.10.10

Please go to the Induction Blog or click on this link:

Home Learning set 30.09.10

The Birds - Continuity

Watch this sequence from Hitchcock's The Birds. It's an excellent example of continuity and uses the techniques we've seen in class this week.

After watching it, try and work out:
- How many shots are there?
- Where was the camera positioned for each shot?
- Which principles of continuity editing have been followed?

Then you're ready to write an analysis of shots and techniques used in this sequence to demonstate your understanding of them. You can use the following questions for guidance:
1. What principles of continuity are used here? How successfully? Refer to specific shots / screengrabs.
2. What is the effect of the editing on the viewer? What are we meant to feel at different stages? (ie before she enters the house, in the kitchen, in the corridor, in the bedroom, running away)?
3. What is the 'best bit' for you in this sequence in terms of learning new techniques and why?

Continuity editing is all about making your film work in a logical way (ordering the shots logically) so the audience can follow it easily and enjoy the story y without being confused; they are properly 'positioned'.
Can you remember all the techniques/ principles discussed in class? Can you find some examples of these techniques in other films (embed)?


Thriller Opening Credits/Scene Video Links

Here are a few thriller movie opening sequences for you to examine. They range in subtlety and differ hugely, but they all have the desired effect that the director set out to achieve.



List of recommended thrillers

Wecome to the Thriller Project blog!

To get you started, here is a list of recommended films you really ought to see in order to get a firmer grasp of the Thriller genre.
Of course you cannot see them all but you'll be expected to have seen at least 8 by the end of the first half-term, then keep watching throughout the coursework unit.
Arrange viewings between yourselves and keep a record of you what you've seen. Discuss what makes these films good thrillers or at least iconic ones. You should develop a better understanding of thriller conventions and sub-genres, and of course get much inspiration for your own project.
Some of these films can be borrowed from the Department. Some of the films from the list are 18-certificates so you will need to have that discussion with your parents / guardians; you also need to consider your own feelings.
1. Heat
2. Se7en
3. The Silence of the Lambs
4. LA Confidential
5. The Departed
6. Reservoir Dogs
7. Chinatown
8. North by Northwest
9. The Conversation
10. The 39 steps
11. Psycho
12. One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest
13. Charade
14. Strangers on a Train
15. The Third Man
16. Memento
17. Enemy of the State
18. The Servant
19. The Night of the Hunter
20. Rear Window
21. Rosemary’s Baby
22. The Others
23. Blue Velvet
24. The Ipcress File / Get Carter
25. The Fugitive
26. The Shining
27. The Killing
28. Blood Simple
29. The Usual Suspects
30. Cape Fear
31. No Country for Old Men
32. Double Indemnity
33. The Manchurian Candidate
34. Les Diaboliques (Clouzot)
35. The French Connection
36. Rebecca
37. Le Samourai (Melville)
38. City Of God
39. Delicatessen
40. Three Days of the Condor
41. After hours
42. Rebecca
43. Minority Report
44. What Lies Beneath
45. Copycat
46. The Bourne Identity
47. The Machinist
48. Fatal Attraction
49. Fargo
50. Schindler’s List
(not a thriller but a masterclass in directing)