Sunday, 12 March 2017

Poster - Final Draft

Additions / Improvements:
  • Added digital effect to eyes
  • Fixed colouring error on names

Magazine Review - Final Draft

Additions / Improvements:
  • Corrected errors in main text
  • Added tag line
  • Corrected colours to match
  • Added isolated quotation
  • Added poster image
  • Changed "Stuff you should know section"

Sunday, 5 March 2017

Poster - Fourth Draft

Additions / Improvements
  • Replaced Google images photo with Arthur's face
  • Added names at top
  • Fixed certain credits
  • Used new glitch effect to reduce strain on eyes (result of feedback)

Thursday, 2 March 2017

Colour Grading - Pro Tutorial


The above video, a step by step tutorial of how the actual colourist of the film 'Just Let Go' graded in Final Cut, helped me a lot in terms of how to grade my film. The colourist Denver Riddle made the importance of consistency in the grade very clear and spoke about how to go about grading a scene; start with exposure and getting the shot balanced, then move into the more advanced colour grade to set the tone of the film. I picked up a useful technique for maintaining consistency in scenes in that you can copy specific attributes of a shot to another (Edit > Paste Attributes), this saved me a lot of time in my edit especially with the use of the glitch effect.

Wednesday, 1 March 2017

Flashbacks Inspiration


After watching back my second draft I decided that I needed to make each flashback scene clear. I decided to use an echo effect and overlap various shots as well as give them an effect that looks like a distorted memory. Without realising it I was actually taking inspiration from one of my initial ideas to include a mental breakdown of the protagonist inspired by a scene from the TV series Gotham. In the series the character in the scene has a split persona and hears voices in his head, my initial aim was to mirror this in my film so that the protagonist looked as if he was loosing his mind. However, after reworking the script there was no room for this scene in the new plot so instead I incorporated the effect into my flashback scenes, which gave them an eerie and equally mentally deranged feel.

Tuesday, 28 February 2017

'Exile' - Third Draft


Above is the third and penultimate version of 'Exile' this draft features the entire plot.

Improvements / Additions Made
  • Explored use of glitch effect in more depth
  • Audio Improvements on first/second draft
  • Colour correction
  • Fixed exposure on certain interview shots
  • Exported correctly (if still pixelated pre-load in 720p or 1080p)
  • Added scenes 3-5
Improvements To Be Made
  • Tone down glitch effect in certain areas
  • Increase glitch effect in opening woods sequence
  • All flashbacks to use echo voice
  • Colour grade interview and woods scenes
  • Tweak edit in various places
  • Replace protagonist monologue shot "He would chase me every day"

Thursday, 23 February 2017

Second Draft - Lesson Feedback

After showing my second draft to my other teacher (to get a second point of view) he has identified two main points of improvement, aside from uploading the full version.

Glitch Effect - One thing brought up was that I should make more use of the glitch effect in order to immerse the viewer in the protagonist's distressed state more, build the effect to a climax then cut once he takes the pill so that the purpose of the pill is made clearer. I will experiment with this because I have a feeling that if overused the effect could lose its impact, if this does happen I could use sound as the climactical point, which I have already started on with the subtle soundtrack that builds to the point of the protagonist taking the pill then drops.

Brighten Interview Shots - A point I was already aware of was that I need to brighten the shots in the interview room. This is another problem I've faced when transferring the video from my screen at home where the film looks fine to bigger or alternate screens where the film looks different to what I had seen before. I do however think the interview shots needed brightening anyway because it is very apparent that the environment I shot in is staged. I don't want to brighten the shots too much though because I want the location to remain ambiguous to the viewer - I never want to give them a full understanding of the location the interview is taking place in, which is why it was so dark in the first place.

Wednesday, 22 February 2017

Location Three

This location finalises the environments I have used in my film, the third location is probably tied with location two for my favourite - location two because of the set and eerie effect I could get. The third sequence takes place within a dream and because of this I had to find a location that reflected (not entirely but to an extent) a superficial element to what the character was seeing. I already had to cut the drink scene (asks for a drink and it appears on the table) so I needed something else to amplify the dream aspect to this scene. I found a clearing in the woods where we filmed the chases scene that was completely squared off and isolated, I liked this environment so decided to use it for the third sequence. The location reflects the attitude of the protagonist in a metaphorical sense as well that I had not initially intended for but now want to embrace. The first sequence takes place in a dark room, although I haven't brightened the shots enough yet the room is square and the protagonist is boxed in, just like he is in this location by the trees. Looking back on the filming session that took place here I feel like I could have taken more advantage of the unique nature of this location and could have explored it more in my filming. I may end up shooting some more footage of the location as I feel that this could be a strength within my film.

Friday, 17 February 2017

Exporting & Quality

After having watched the second draft on various screens I have noticed that the quality of the film isn't as it looked on my computer at home. The first thing I noticed was that the black screen at the beginning wasn't actually true black, on certain screens feint red streaks could be seen that took away from the effect of the opening where the light is turned on. This happened because I downloaded an image of a black screen from google images rather than using FCP's software to create one, in the past I have been able to create black screens but I needed a reliable method of doing so.

I then researched how to create a black screen within the program and found it to be easier than expected: "Edit > Insert Gap" or "Edit > Insert Placeholder" can be used to insert a standard black screen. (With Insert Placeholder, you have to adjust the image to the lowest possible exposure in video settings to get a black screen. However this is probably the more efficient black screen tool because you can move it vertically on the timeline rather than the gap tool being limited to the main timeline.)

Aside from noticing that some of the audio I had was faulty leading me to organise a re-shoot, I also noticed that the quality of certain shots was off and looked pixilated. I went back to the original footage and it looked fine, which meant it must have been a problem with my export settings for final cut. This year I haven't been able to get perfect export settings often resulting in poor quality products, this could be a side-effect of having larger file sizes that YouTube finds harder to process. Because of this issue I decided to look into export optimisation for YouTube so that I could have the best quality possible.

The recommended 'container' to be used was MP4, which I had been using. I need to look into what audio codec I was using because that may be a factor in the faulty audio. The video codec is where I think I made the mistake as I remember experimenting with other settings than just H.264 when I should probably stick to what it recommends. My film is in 25FPS so there is no problem there, I didn't notice any problems with frame rate in the film so there is no improvement needed. I'm also fairly certain my edit file is encoded at 1080p for maximum quality (although this could be a factor in the larger file size). I will apply these settings to see if it improves the quality of my film.

Monday, 13 February 2017

Location & Lighting

Although day two didn't go too well in terms of filming, one thing I was happy with was my location and lighting. I knew I wanted low-key lighting in the interview scenes and that there was to be no sense of time of day, I also wanted the location to be quite ambiguous so that the audience never fully understood where the character was. This narrowed my search down to dark room with no windows (pretty broad) but despite how easy this sounded to find I struggled to find anything that would suit my idea. On the day of filming I had planned to film behind the school stage where it can be made pitch black and I knew it would work because I had filmed there for the film noir project, however the space was taken so Sophie (actor) pointed out that we should use the drama studio as it would be free and would work just as well. The drama studio ended up working better than I had hoped the stage would work; the room already had a table and two chairs and a multiple plug sockets for the lights so it was a good thing that Sophie suggested it.

I had a three light setup for the interview scene. 

Main/Prop Light - I had planned to use this light in the scene since the early developments of the new script, the light wasn't very strong however so I had to find some additional lighting sources. This light wasn't intended to be an efficient, it was more of a prop.

Back Light - I borrowed some builders lights from my dad who had been using them for a photography project, he told me that they were good because of how mobile yet strong they were. I am very glad that I took these lights because they lit the majority of the scene. This particular light went behind whichever actor was on camera to distinguish them from the background (something I learnt from my research into lighting).

Front/Filler Light - Although I was going for a dark room look I knew I wouldn't be able to film in the dark because the shots would look extremely grainy, because of this I had to make sure that the shot (especially the actor's face) was well lit and I could then darken the shot in post. The filler light acted as the roaming light that lit anything that was too dark to be seen, for the majority of the scene it was placed on the table in front of the actor and would light their face in addition to the prop light.

'Exile' - Day Two


Above is the unfinished second draft for 'Exile' (working title). The added footage was recorded on the second day of filming and the rest filming will be completed on the third day (this weekend - 2nd woods scene) and fourth day (next week - reshooting sections from day two). I'm not completely happy with the way day two's filming turned out, I think the quality could be a bit better on a few shots both visually and audibly. I had to rush a lot of the footage that is shown in this draft because I had already shot it once but had forgotten to turn the mic on in one of my worst mess ups of all time. Because of this I didn't cover a few lines of the dialogue from as many angles as I would have like to and certain shots had interference that made it hard to hear what the actors were saying, I edited round this as much as I could but I will have to re-shoot a few shots to make it an acceptable standard.

Monday, 30 January 2017

Evaluation Questions

I have taken a look at the four evaluation questions in order to further my understanding of the aspects asked about within my film, which will hopefully make my answers better when I have to write the actual evaluation. The answers I give are from this stage of development so I am not answering in the same way, as I will in the final version.

1. In what ways does your media product use, develop or challenge forms and conventions of real media products?
This question is the same as last year and shouldn't be too much of a challenge; the only part that worries me is 'challenging' conventions, as it is quite a vague term. I feel as though my film (2nd script) conforms with general conventions of a psychological thriller and that I have looked at a wide enough range of directors and past examples to say this with confidence. A recent example of how I have used conventions of known directors within my own film is in my research into David Fincher's so-called "drama through dialogue" as well as an early example being my research into short films being a brief overview of an issue and/or narrative that is compressed into the space of around 5-10mins. Challenging conventions is what trips me up as I don't usually intend to do it, in some cases having a female antagonist could be considered 'challenging' convention but at the same time it could not. This is why I think I need to look into this question in more depth as I find the concept of 'challenging' conventions to be very opinion based.

2. How effective is the combination of your main and ancillary texts?
So far my ancillary tasks are coming out the way I want them to, I have used the title typography for the poster as it is intended to promote the actual film. I have used a different typography for the magazine review as it is not meant to promote the film but instead review it, although I have still made it clear what film is being reviewed and will capture the tone of the film with the images and main text. My poster was nearing its final draft but then I decided to change the plot of my film so I will have to re-make it to suit the new plot, but I don't want to stray to far from the style I have at the moment. I feel that the poster has to align with the tone of the actual film and this is why I need to make sure I adapt it to the new script, otherwise the poster won't make people think of the film. What I may end up doing to give the magazine review a bit more reference to the film is include the poster somewhere in the review. 

3. What have you learnt from your audience feedback?
My audience feedback so far has been very helpful and has helped me to determine the direction I want to take the film in. My audience-feedback survey that asked about the conventions of the thriller genre my audience would like to see helped me to understand what people expected of a psychological and traditional thriller. Although I had a clear idea in mind at that point in time, the audience survey still helped me to decide some important aspects of my film. The feedback I received on the opening scene to the original version of the film inspired me to keep the scene in the re-written script as it was largely praised. Even though a significant amount of my feedback has been peer-based I still think I am getting the necessary depth of feedback I need in this stage of the development, when I have a full first draft I will ask an actual audience to give me their thoughts on what they liked and what needs to be improved.

4. How did you use new media technologies in the construction and research, planning and evaluation stages?
This question wasn't in last year's evaluation and is slightly confusing because of the wording, once again 'new media technologies' is quite a vague term and can mean a number of things. In terms of using new media technologies to develop my film I can safely say that at least 90% of my work was done through the Internet or other means of digital work. In terms of research, a large amount of my knowledge of the thriller genre came from actually watching the films, after having watched a film I would then look up the director and if I found them interesting enough I would blog about them (like I have with David Fincher). In some cases I would look at multiple short films from the same YouTube channel, FilmRiot, as they had the highest quality of film to take inspiration from. Whenever I did research into short films I did it through YouTube or other video-sharing websites as it was convenient for my study. Looking back at constructing my idea, I notice that I have used the same method for creating my storyboard as I did last year by drawing out my initial ideas in an Adobe Illustrator file and then copying it on to paper. I also recorded any ideas I had for my film in the notes of my phone, which could be considered using new media technology (but it also couldn't which is why this question is difficult).

Sunday, 29 January 2017

Script - 2nd Draft

Below is the second draft of my script. The first and probably most important change is that I have significantly shortened the length of the film, I have also reworked the entire plot to something that is not only easier to film but easier to follow from a viewer's perspective. After having re-written the script I don't know if I like the title 'Exile' anymore and may have to change it as it no longer applies to the plot as much as it did before. Although the script may look short it enables me to focus more on the quality of my scenes, quality over quantity.

Magazine Review - 4th Draft

Below is the fourth draft for my magazine review. I haven't focussed too heavily on the feedback on the third draft, my main goal for this draft was to use my own images. All the images used are from the first day filming but I intend to replace the bottom image with one from the interview scene in the new script.

Friday, 27 January 2017

Location Scouting - Woods Chase

With the addition of some new scenes after re-writing my script I have had to re-think some locations that I will film in, I have had to find three new locations the first of which is the woods pictured to the side, that happens to be even closer and even more convenient. The first day filming was in Hodgemoor woods as it was convenient, accessible and suited the tone of what I was going for. Although I am still keeping the scenes from Hodgemoor woods in the new version of the film, I decided to look for a different environment for the chase scene. The trees had to be more 'creepy' was my main goal while looking for a location and they had to provide a decent amount of cover that would darken the scene (although this does mean I may have to bring some form of LED lighting setup so that the shots aren't under exposed) The scene itself won't be too long and will probably only exist through brief crosscutting (1-2 secs a shot) as the main character remembers the events. I won't be showing too much of the surroundings, mainly just handheld closeups of the main character running from something that remains unseen until they reach the clearing, which is another one of the new locations I have been looking at.

Shotlist Day 2

Friday, 20 January 2017

Self Evaluation / Progress Update

Filming & Editing

I put filming on hold for a while whilst I re-wrote my script. The script I originally had was way too long and would not fit into the time limit without looking rushed, which is not ideal for any film let alone a thriller. I have now re-written the script and am looking to film on Wednesdays and Fridays from now on with optional follow up days on weekends. Judging by the first filming session I shouldn't need any more than 2 days to film, as the first session I had 2 hours with my actor and managed to get around 2min30secs of footage (Around 1 minute of which I will still use). I'm not really worried about editing because I like to edit in bulk anyway, usually dedicating around 3-4 hours each session. This means I can edit up any footage pretty quickly, I tend to edit the footage on the day of filming so everything is still fresh in my mind and then come back to it the next day for a proof-watch.

Influences & Development
As I was re-writing my script I had in mind that I wanted to have more dialogue that drives the narrative of the film. As a result of this I have been researching various directors and watching films that apply to the 'thriller-drama' genre. The main director I have looked at is David Fincher as his dialogue scenes are the most entertaining for me, the film that influenced me the most was 'The Zodiac' as the drama within the film is driven by characters learning new information, an aspect of the thriller genre I want to employ in my own film. I also tried to refine my cinematography skills by looking into the work of Roger Deakins as he has done a lot of work with the Coen brothers, whose work I looked into in a previous post.

Tuesday, 17 January 2017

David Fincher


The video essay above evaluates the work of director David Fincher; known for 'Se7en', 'House of Cards', 'Fight Club' etc. The essay looks at how Fincher limits himself yet still manages to convey meaningful messages in his work. Below are some of the most notable points of Fincher's style of directing depicted in the essay. I have looked at David Fincher specifically because I am trying to shift the focus of my film to the dialogue scenes, making them more impactful and more entertaining, which Fincher excels at.

The Close Up - David Fincher rarely uses the close up shot, or rather he rarely over uses it. Across Fincher's work he withholds the close up shot so that it is emphasised when he does use it, the close up is a tool to be used when you want to show the audience that something is significant and by limiting the amount of these used then the use of the close up becomes more effective. As Fincher has developed as a director he has used the close up less and less, adding more emphasis to the shot type and in turn making the significant moments in his work stand out more.
Drama Through Dialogue - "In Fincher's world drama happens when a character learns a new piece of information. How does it fit with everything they already know? And how do they react to learning a little bit more of the truth?" This element of Fincher's work ties in with the importance of the dialogue scene within film, Fincher doesn't need special effects to create an impactful and dramatic scene, all he needs is two people talking. Fincher can also portray character relationships through his shot types and dialogue without physically having to say to the audience "this character doesn't like this character." He instead opts to demonstrate the relationship and who has the power in a relationship through the use of angles and distance as well as eyelines within the dialogue.
Limited Camera Movement - Fincher doesn't like unmotivated camera moves (moving the camera for the sake of it) in some cases this can be hard to implement but Fincher uses it to portray as basic an environment as possible that the viewer can engage in. By keeping the camera still, the superficiality of the text is temporarily forgotten, and the viewer feels as though they are genuinely looking into the lives of the characters.

Tuesday, 10 January 2017

Shot | Reverse Shot


As I was storyboarding my film and putting it into a shortlist, I noticed that a lot of the time my description of a dialogue scene (shot | reverse shot) is often very basic and usually just says "180 rule" or "Dialogue" after watching this video and various thriller films based on emphasising drama through dialogue I have noticed that I have been neglecting the importance of shot | reverse shot. The video essay above evaluates the work of the Coen brothers and their effective use of the dialogue scene. Although the Coen brothers can often be associated with comedy, their style is still relevant to the my course and can be applied to any genre of film. The main things I took away from this video are -

Shooting in or out of the space - In some cases the camera is placed behind the actors with a long lens so that there is an 'over the shoulder' look to the scene, which in turn can create a feeling within the audience that they are spying on what is happening. The Coen brothers opt to place the camera within the physical space of the conversation so that each character has their own shot (single shot) this allows the audience to feel closer to this character and by using a wider lens the environmental aspects of the scene can be emphasised. A main problem with my film at the moment is that I don't have enough time to establish a character's motives and personality but by using the Coen brothers' shot | reverse shot format I can establish a basic idea in the viewers mind about how they should feel about a specific character in a specific situation from a limited amount of time.
Pace of Editing - I had already been trying to include non-verbal expression within my film but by looking at the Coen brothers' pace of editing, I can now see the significance a non-verbal moment can have. Edits shouldn't be to dialogue only as that misses out an entire half of the conversation - the reaction - which in some cases could be considered more valuable than the dialogue shot itself. The pace of editing can also determine the tone of the scene, in some cases you might want to linger on the reaction of an actor for longer than usual to show how much what was said has effected them.
"Tragedy is a close up" - I have looked at this aspect framing before but the distance between the camera and the actor is incredibly important when trying to convey emotion. The phrase "Tragedy is a close up. Comedy is a long shot." relates to this as it summarises the view that in more sincere moments the camera being closer to the character can emphasise the emotion. Whereas when the camera is further away, the viewer feels detached or in terms of comedy the viewer can see more of the environment that will support the humour in a scene.

Thursday, 5 January 2017

Length of Film

Before my first day filming I was aware that my script was long but still thought that I would be able to manage it into the allowed time. However, my first scene ended up being 1min40sec (including credits), which shows that I will have to cut down or completely remove certain scenes in order to fit the time limit. I began by making a brief breakdown of each of my scenes and how long I expected them to be, the overall time was 9min30sec (not good). I then went back through and re-assessed each scene and how long I would need for it, in some cases I removed scenes that I felt the plot could work without. The time I am left with is 6min10, however I may still do some plot changes that will make the film less frantic as the amount of scenes I have at the moment isn't typical of your average short film (5-6min)

Thursday, 15 December 2016

'Exile' - Opening Scene & First Day Filming


(Video might be in a low resolution because I didn't export the file correctly, it can be played in high resolution but it takes longer to load because of file size)

Above is the product of my first day filming, I only filmed the opening scene as am in the process of re-writing some sections of the script and the opening was one of the few sections that wouldn't be affected. Personally I feel that the first day of filming went very well considering that last year's first day filming resulted in thirty seconds worth of usable footage. The main reason behind why the filming session was so successful was because of the shotlist I used, which I have already done a blog on. I edited the first scene, mainly so that I could see if I was headed in the right direction but the scene also acted as an initial trailer for the full short film. This was helpful as I was able to use it as a point of reference as to whether or not audiences found it intriguing or knew what was happening.

The feedback I received was helpful and the majority of people in the class that I screened the scene to seemed to understand what was happening. Lauren seemed to be confused by what was happening but this is exactly the type of response I want from my audience in the opening scene, there is meant to be a sense of disorientation throughout the scene. If they all knew exactly what was going on and how the plot would unfold then that would make for a pretty boring film. Arthur and Sophie's opinions are also key because they will actually be in the film, therefore it is important that they know what is going on. At the moment Arthur is more up to date with the plot because he is who I'll be filming the majority of scenes with, whereas I won't be filming with Sophie until the beginning of January and her sections of the script are being altered but she still knows the basic plot/direction of the film.

Wednesday, 14 December 2016

Shotlist Day One

The first day filming for 'Exile' went very well, the main reason for that being the detail behind my shortlist. I made sure that my shot list was as detailed and instructive as it could be so that I knew exactly what to do when I was filming; this meant including shot description, duration and shot types. The green numbers down the sides indicate what setup each shot belongs to, this is a technique I learned from a video on YouTube demonstrating how to shoot efficiently. The video I watched made it very clear that in order to have a successful filming session you should look to minimise turnovers between setups and try to group similar shots into one setup. This technique means that you won't have to move all of your equipment every time you start a new shot therefore reducing the amount of time you spend on set. Below is the video I watched.


Tuesday, 13 December 2016

Magazine Review - Feedback

I have recieved feedback on the third draft of my magazine review, this has made me aware of what I should be looking at changing next. The main point of concern was with the text 'stuff you should know' and the amount of space for the main review. I had intended the review to be quite coloquial, hence 'stuff' instead of 'facts', 'things' etc. I might change this but I like it how it is at the moment. Another concern was that the main body of text wasn't enough, at the moment I am using size 30 font, so if I really need to I'll reduce the size of the font to fit in more text. I probably wont adjust the room the text has in the layout because it is conventional of magazine reviews (especially colloquial ones) to have a basic layout that intrigues the viewer primarily visually with images and headings.

Monday, 12 December 2016

My Typography

The main font I've been using is 'DIN Condensed' this is the font I use for the title and for certain pieces of text that are meant to relate to film itself. The title is a white version of this font with one letter highlighted in red. I have another variation of the font that is distorted, which is used on the poster and in the main title sequence. It is important that I maintain this as my main font in anything related to the film so that viewers relate the text with the film, this is a form of synergy.

 In my magazine review ancillary task I went with 'Arista 2.0' as the main font for the review headers, sub-titles etc. I used this font because I noticed that hardly any magazine reviews feature the typography of the film and instead use their own font because they are not promoting the product, they are merely reviewing it. This typography was similar to what I had seen in magazine reviews I had liked and therefore made me want to use it.

The 'Steeltongs' font is the traditional film credit font, it generates film credits instead of letters when you type in lower case, which is how I got the little writing such as 'a film by'. When you type in capitals the main body for the text types whatever you want it to say, I ended up liking this variation of the font so I started using it as a secondary text to the title. I used it in anything either promoting or supporting text related to the film; for example the 'coming soon' text in the poster and the final credits of the film.

Sunday, 11 December 2016

Magazine Review - 1st, 2nd & 3rd Draft

First Draft

My first draft took me about twenty minutes in class (half of that was spent looking at what font to use) It was meant to be a starting point that I would develop into my final draft but as you can see, it's pretty awful.

Second Draft

I started playing with the position of the images and tried to fill out the page a bit more, I ended up with a bit more room for text but I still didn't like the draft because of how boringly simple it was.


I went home and started looking through my research on magazine reviews, I then decided which was my favourite and went from there. This review was my favourite because it is the most visually appealing to me, there's a lot going on but you're eye is still drawn to the important features such as the title, main text and images. There are also additional sections that make the review more engaging like the 'Avatar Facts' section.

Third Draft

I then started developing a draft based on the layout of the 'Avatar' review, this made the process a lot easier and allowed me to fill out the page to make it as interesting as possible.I spent a lot more time on this draft, which made a big difference. This draft is recognisably a magazine review (it would be even more noticeable if I put the page crease in the middle but that looked a bit over the top) I also used some actual images so I could get a better feel for what the final draft would look like, the images I've used are from 'The Revenant' and I will be taking my own images over the course of the filming days. Overall I am a lot happier with this draft than the first two which didn't look professional at all, I will continue developing my magazine review based on this draft.

Monday, 5 December 2016

Film Review Analysis - Main Text Structure

I have chosen to look at another Empire review as they are the most established website and because of this are more likely to have professional reviews, even though their style is quite colloquial. The film they are reviewing is 'The Arrival' which has been given mainly positive reviews. What I am interested in is how they structure their review as I have noticed that Empire and many other film reviews follow a specific structure when it comes to breaking down a film and their opinion of it. Empire start off with a brief summary of what the film is about, who is involved and establishes whether or not this is a positive review. The star rating is then placed below this to further emphasise whether or not the reviewer thought the film was good, in this case it was 5 stars so they did. Then the review sets out in brief detail what the film done well, this usually involves a praise of the director or whoever the reviewer thought made the film what it was. The driector's history is brought up and how this benifits the film in the review. The paragraph that follows this is accompanied by a quote that further emphasises the tone of the review. The paragraph itself consistly mainly of an outline of the story elements that worked well and why it was effective to watch. 
This is a similar style of review to what I will create, I wont analyse my own film in unnecessary detail because that is what the evaluation is for. The review will serve as an intital 'what went well' and 'what could have been better'. To make it easier for myself I might base the main text of the review on audience feedback, that way I can also include a quotation that isn't made up by me.

Tuesday, 22 November 2016

Script First Draft - Feedback

I gave my script to my teacher so that she could give me feedback on what I had done well and how to improve. Overall she said that she liked it and it was intriguing but there are still some parts that need to be tuned. Some comments just required clarification of what I intended to happen but most of the feedback was helpful and has made me start developing my ideas further.
Below are some main concerns and how I plan to resolve them.

  • Create a character persona - The general impression was that there wasn't enough information about the protagonist to understand key aspects of his behaviour. Because this is a short film I don't have much time to develop my characters but I can establish some basic motives and behaviours, at least enough to enable the audience to understand why he made certain choices by the end of the film. I wanted it to appear as though the protagonist had been in the woods for a long time and had now become independent and resourceful enough to sustain himself in the woods. The only indications I gave to him being in the woods for a long period of time were the marks on the rock and the line where he talks about where to find water. It was pointed out that I should probably include some sort of living area or a make-shift home that he has made himself in the woods, which I intend to do.
  • Voice-over or narration - Although I don't like the idea of having the protagonist narrate his actions in the film, I am open to the idea that my teacher suggested in that the main character has an object he speaks to throughout, which then serves as the voice-over. This would be good as it allows me to explain more about what is happening without having to use a non-diegetic narration that I don't think would suit my short film. The examples my teacher gave were: 'I Am Legend' where Will Smith's character speaks to his dog as if he is a human. 'Castaway' where Tom Hanks's character speaks and becomes attached to a volleyball called Wilson. These examples allow for a lone-survivor style film with speech that intrigues the viewer as the protagonist has an emotional connection. The items or beings the protagonist becomes attached to often end up being the climactical scene in the film when they get lost or die e.g. Wilson getting lost at sea or Sam the dog dying. This allows for an emotional side to the film to be explored that the viewer can sympathise with.


This is not the final storyboard. So far this storyboard only covers the length of about two or three scenes that I was fairly certain would be staying in. I am waiting for feedback on my script, which looked to be too long before I draw any more of the storyboard/edit any more of the animatic.

Tuesday, 8 November 2016

Film Review Analysis - Main Text

The film review I have chosen to look at is Empire's review of 'The Girl On The Train'. The review itself is mainly negative and takes up a much more critical tone than I what I want to have in my own film review. As I will be reviewing my own short film, I don't intend on ripping it apart. However, this example is still beneficial towards my understanding of how to write a film review.
Within the review the writer breaks down the various aspects of the film and evaluates them individually, then at the end they summarise their view of the film with a single statement. It is important to note that the writer doesn't write as if it is their opinion e.g. 'I', 'my' etc. they write as if what they are saying is fact and should be taken as the truth. There is a star rating at the top of the text so the reader understands whether or not the review will be positive or negative, in this case it is definitely negative as the film has been given two stars. A feature I like about this review is the isolated quotation on the left of the screen as it stands out and therefore helps in determining whether this is a positive or negative review. As well as this the film review also includes a trailer and various pictures that maintain the reader's attention whilst they read.

This example has been helpful to my understanding of how to write a film review, even though it is mainly negative it still highlights the key aspects of a critical yet informative review.