Tuesday, 23 November 2010

Prop list for Scientist

Shirt, Lab coat and tie

Prop list for SWAT team

Pair of gloves x1
Weapons x3
Elbow and Knee Pads x2
Balaclava x2
Helmet x2
Goggles x2
Black trousers x2 and black shirt x2
Torches x3 (one attatched to each of the weapons 'x2' and one attatched to camera)

Prop list for Zombies

Fake 'Vampire' teeth Torn tee shirts Face paint and makeup

Prop List

Prop list Swat team: 2 guns 3 torches Black clothing; shirt and trousers, black helmets and goggles, shoes, gloves and balaclavas. Zombies: Ripped tee-shirts, ripped trousers, and fake blood, fake teeth Me: Black shirt and torch. No tripod needed; hand held effect Scientist: white shirt, syringe and glasses, plastic gloves. Cast, swat team: matt bush Charlie robberts Zombies: louis feiven Tristan harmer Scientist: Jane feiven

Tuesday, 26 October 2010

Call sheet for cast and crew 3

Call Sheet

Day 3 of 3
Location: White room

Crew call time:
Louis: 12pm

Expected time:
Louis: 12:30pm

Scene List.
First scene. 1 character Oscar (me)
Talk into camera: (trial and test. Human vaccine 1, commencing in 3,2,1..)
5 secs.

Second scene. 1 character Oscar (me)
Hold up and flick syringe, Look at patient.
3 secs.

Third scene. 1 character Oscar (me)

(heartbeat decreasing, body temperature lowering)
4 secs.

Fourth scene: 2 characters Oscar (me) and Louis
wait 1 sec Louis jump up at me

3 secs.

Additional information
needle and syringe could be a potential health and safety problem.

Monday, 25 October 2010

Call sheet for cast and crew 2

Call Sheet

Day 2 of 3
Location: House

Crew call time:
Matt: 3pm
Tristan: 5pm
Charlie: 3pm
Louis: 3pm

Expected time:
Matt: 3:30pm
Tristan: 7pm
Charlie: 3:30pm
Louis: 3:30pm

Scene List.
First scene. 1 character Tristan
Scream into camera
1 secs.

Second scene. 2 characters Matt and Charlie.
Swat team moving along corridor 2
4 secs.

Third scene. 3 characters Matt and Charlie and Louis
Swat team Moving along corridor, Louis grabs Matt and pulls him into bathroom
4 secs.

Fourth scene: 3 characters Charlie and Matt and Louis
Swat team open door to attic and move towards door, Louis jumps out

6 secs.

Additional information
Charlie Robbers: Diabetes, insulin pump required.

Sunday, 24 October 2010

Call Sheet for cast and crew 1

Call Sheet

Day 1 of 3
Location: House

Crew call time:
Matt: 6:30pm
Tristan: 6:30pm
Charlie: 6:30pm
Louis: 5pm

Expected time:
Matt: 7pm
Tristan: 7pm
Charlie: 7pm
Louis: 5:30pm

Scene List.
First scene. 2 characters Matt and Charlie.
Swat team in street moving into building
3 secs.

Second scene. 2 characters Matt and Charlie.
Swat team moving along corridor.
5 secs.

Third scene. 2 characters Matt and Charlie.
Swat team progressing up stairs.
4 secs.

Fourth scene: 4 characters Matt and Charlie, Louis and Tristan
Swat team moving along second corridor, Louis and Tristan jump out and run at camera.
6 secs.

Fifth scene: 2 characters Charlie and Tristan
Charlie drags Tristan from behind a door way. (Tristan disappearing from door way)
2 secs.

Additional information
Charlie Robbers: Diabetis, insulin pump required.

Friday, 15 October 2010

Test Footage

This is a range of the many clips I managed to take on the first day of shooting. The shooting when to plan with the help of call sheets and a shot log.

I'm very pleased with the way the film has come out, the torches made the shots perfectly lit, as I was hoping to get darker shots. I also like the blue (cold) effect which was on my camera, I really think it has given the clip a very nice effect. I has made the shots look slightly creepier and looking at a few existing films like Quarantine you can see there are uses of blue filters.

The hand held tips I looked at also helped and I used many of the tips they gave me to steady the camera, which also looked very good as I was worried about too much camera motion which may have blurred it, especially as it was very dark.

I was also very happy with the zombies and the swat team, and the props used, I think the dark light helped as the makeshift costumes look fairly real.

I will mute all sound as I was slightly disappointed with the cameras recording quality, It produced a buzz which would put off the viewer. So instead of the diagetic sounds I will add some stock sounds from Logic to lay over where needed.

Over all I am very happy with the way the clips have come out. I will now have to film the scientist scene and a few more of the house clips in later days. I will produce a Call sheet with a shot log for each day.

Wednesday, 13 October 2010

Call Sheets

How to Create Daily Call Sheets for Independent Film

Daily call sheets are imperative to organising a film shoot. They help your crew and cast to be organised, on time and prepared, and help keep your production on schedule. Essentially, it is your plan for what is going to be shot on any given day.


At the end of your shoot day, create the call sheet for the following day.

Start with basic information, the date, what day of the shoot it is (such as Day 2 of 9) and where the location is. List your crew call time (example 7 a.m.) and the time you expect to begin shooting (example 8:30 a.m.).

Start with the first scene of the day. List the scene number, the numbers of the cast needed for that scene (See How to Breakdown a Script for Film Production Scheduling), and the cast call time.

Complete the above step for each scene to be shot that day.

Include additional crew information toward the bottom of the page, for example extras needed, stand-ins, etc.

Distribute to all cast and crew before they leave the set at the end of the shoot day.

Saturday, 2 October 2010

Different types of a film poster

There may be several versions of a film poster for one film - as it can vary depending on country, size of poster and also the content of the film.

Which, could mean that the poster is one of the first things made (after a rough cut) which can be based on what the film includes, however, if they add in a new/different scene then that could effect the film poster due to the different meanings.

Different types of a film poster:
  • Teaser poster: gives off some idea about the film.
  • Character poster: using the poster to promote some of the actors who are in the film.
  • Motion poster: a new style of poster which is animated.

Friday, 1 October 2010

Poster Analysis

After carefully analyzing film posters from recent times, I have come to the conclusion that a film poster should include:
  1. The film title
  2. The actors/actresses names who are starring in the film - either at the top, bottom or next to their picture
  3. Should include a still picture from the film or the picture should be relevant to the subject of the film
  4. Should include any nominations or awards that the film has received at the top or bottom - near where the actor and actresses names are
  5. They should also give the audience some direction as to when the film is being released
  6. The use of a tag line, to suggest genre of film.
  7. Should be seldom suggestive of what the genre of the film is. Could use colours, font, mis en-scene (such as the clothing, make up and hair in the pictures) and also the look - simple or busy.
  8. Age certification should be displayed - usually in the bottom right corner of the poster.

Thursday, 30 September 2010

Test Footage

A piece of experimental footage, testing: lighting, camera movement and composition, colour schemes and tones.

Tuesday, 28 September 2010

Location scouting, work on mise-en-scene.

An old abandoned warehouse was my first idea, however I was not given permission to film here as the building was made from asbestos which is why it was shut down and presumably abandoned.

My second idea was the Brackley Industrial estate, however again I wasn't given permission and due to the distance it would have been difficult to have moved all the props and equipment.

So my final Idea was my own home, this was my last idea as it seemed too.. homely. However if Im shooting with just torches lighting the shot, the home wont be so cozy. I will also purchase some fake spiderweb and other haunted house props to make it feel like it has been abandoned.

Sunday, 26 September 2010

Handheld Video Camera Shooting Tips

Hand-held camera was a technique first used sporadically towards the last years of the silent era. Although many movie cameras produced before that period were lightweight enough to be carried by a single person, the camera shapes were too boxy and bulky to be adequately operated without some form of camera support. Further, they were often hand cranked, adding to the difficulty of hand-held shooting.
By the early 1920s, however, cameras were beginning to be created with hand-held ergonomics in mind; this was largely in order to satisfy demand from both the growing documentary field, as well as the emerging amateur market. These cameras were specifically designed to hold shorter lengths of film—usually 100 to 200 feet—and included hand-wound spring motors which could be pre-wound enough to last continuously through most or even all of a roll.
The emergence of the sound film had an immediate dampening effect on the use of hand-held shots due to the need for camera motors to maintain a constant film speed. The motors were far too loud to be able to record synchronized sound on set, and thus early sound films were forced to install the camera within a soundproof booth. By 1929, camera manufacturers and studios had devised shells, called blimps, to encase the camera and dampen the mechanical noise sufficiently to allow the cameras to be free of the booths.

Filmmakers notable for their use of hand-held cameras

Peter Berg (born March 11, 1962) is an American actor, film director, producer and writer. He is known for directing films such as Friday Night lights, The kingdom, The Rundown and Hancock.

Steven Spielberg, (born December 18, 1946) is an American film director, screenwriter, film producer and video game designer. In a career spanning six decades, Spielberg's films have covered many themes and genres. He is also one of the founders of Dreamworks.

Saturday, 25 September 2010

Target Audience

The expected audience to watch Horror films are, male teenagers to adults ranging from 13 onwards, because of this there is avery wide range of people whom it may appeal to. Often youll find, the younger teenagers are interested in very grewsome films such as SAW however, the older viewers pefer a film with has a stronger story line or plot. You can find these in sci-fi horrors like the one I wish to make. Because my horror wont involve as much blood, gore and distruction and I hope it will have a slighly more mature plot, I will target my film at an older age, such as 17 to 30. I chose to end my TA at 30 as I asked my parents whom are both over 40 weather they would chose to watch this style of film, they both said no. However when I asked my friends who are all 17-18 they said they all would. I also asked my band mates who 24 and they also said they would.

I will like most horrors aim my film at males.

Basic Ideas

I wish to create a Sci-fi Horror, which will involve a swat team having to move into an infected house due to a breakout from an untested HIV vaccine. The house will be filled with zombie type enemies and the swat team will have to move throughout the house to fine the vaccine. I hope to make this slightly clearer in my teaser as I will be adding intertitles which will explain the basic plot.

I want to shoot the clips during the night and only use torch light as lighting. This will make the shoots very dark, which will follow many horror conventions.

I also with to use props such as guns and fake blood to symbosise voilence and death again conforming to the conventions of a horror.

Thursday, 23 September 2010

Mood Board

Here is my mood board, I want to show all the ideas I'm having here. Ive included pics like the gun and swat team as I wish to include violence and a team of police or swat team. Ive also included pics of zombies as I feel this would be the most appropriate enemy, I have considered aliens however I feel due to limited budget they may just look ridiculous! Ive included the moon to symbolise, night, dark which also related to the Fear of dark. Finally Ive included a picture of a haunted house as I want this to be my location for filming. Ill ask my friends however the house I live in now is extremely old and has lot of long corridors which may be perfect.

Wednesday, 22 September 2010

Codes and conventions of a horror trailer

A definition of the genre

Horror films often involve a complex set of codes and conventions that will give the audience the idea that they are watching a horror film. In most media texts, particularly advertisement posters concerned with films of the genre, many of the codes and conventions displayed within the narrative of the film are portrayed to an effect that will suggest important aspects of the film i.e. lead characters and their alignment (good/evil). This is important in informing the audience of what to expect of the film and give them an idea of the narrative structure or plot, which in itself is very inviting as we want to see why these particular elements and themes
tool of representation for characters, the monster is often enshrouded in darkness and we rarely see its face in most posters.
§A monster or representation of distorted humanity and evil:
The monster is mostly a singular entity and is often pictured in the background if at all as if to linger over his victim(s). The monster often has a trademark tool for killing i.e. a claw, hook or knives that is emphasised in the pictography.
§The victims:
The victims are often displayed in different colours than the text and monster to show innocence or neutrality. The lead character that is often the sole survivor (another regularly used convention of the horror genre)

The best horror trailers ask a question. They set up a premise or a situation, and then leave the viewer wanting to know more. One of the best examples is the original 'Alien' (1979) trailer. The camera splices shots of the film with a long, slow pull back of a large, alien egg. The egg cracks, emitting an eerie glow and the trailer ends with the subscript "In Space, No One Can Hear You Scream." The trailer doesn't really tell us about the characters, doesn't establish much at all. All we know is something horrible is going to come out of that egg, something that makes people screams. We, the audience, want to know what's in that egg.
Another common convention is the "What happened to those kids?" question. Quarantine, Wolf Creek, and the Texas Chainsaw Massacre use this model, but the Blair Witch Project really did it best. The now-infamous trailer began with the subscript "In 1994 three student film makers disappeared in the woods near Burkitsville, Maryland while shooting a documentary. A year later their footage was found." That's it. That's the whole trailer. The audience knows something horrible happened to those kids, but you have to watch the movie to find out what.
Also, horror trailers usually appeal to the visceral on some level. Invariably, you'll see a few action shots of knives plunging, pick axes being thrown, or chainsaws being swung. The trailer promises blood. A tried and true method a Primal entertainment, as old as the Roman stadiums that housed gladiators, there will always be people who are lured in to see the axe split the teenager's head open. Showing the 24 frames prior to the head split is as effective as walking the viewer to the steps of the theatre. The most recent Friday the 13th trailer includes 13 such sizzler shots in a row. Cheap but effective.
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Monday, 20 September 2010

Quarantine Trailer Analysis

Directed by

John Erick Dowdle

Writing credits
John Erick Dowdle

Drew Dowdle

I have chosen the Trailer from the film Quarantine to analyse as this relates very strongly to my basic ideas and the genre and style of shooting. The film is a sci-fi horror and is shot using hand held techniques. The story and plot of the film also related to my ideas as a fire fighting team receive a call to a building to find that a strange form of rabies is spreading and slowly infects the members of the building. I really liked this film as there are lots of jumpy moments and the style of the shots and composition of the shots look very attractive. The lighting also is great, the shots slowly become darker and darker throughout which emphasises the virus spreading. Although there is no filter in the trailer, I have watched the whole film and there are many areas where a blue/green filter is used. I wanted to copy this effect as it makes the shot become colder and slightly creepier. The props are also very good, the Firefighters are the only ones with brightly light outfits which emphasises their importants and role. The location is again perfect, with lots of floors for different sequences. The building itself looks very old and worn down which conforms to the horror style of film.

Television reporter Angela Vidal (Jennifer Carpenter) and her cameraman (Steve Harris) are assigned to spend the night shift with a Los Angeles Fire Station. After a routine 911 call takes them to a small apartment building, they find police officers already on the scene in response to blood curdling screams coming from one of the apartment units. They soon learn that a woman living in the building has been infected by something unknown. After a few of the residents are viciously attacked, they try to escape with the news crew in tow, only to find that the CDC has quarantined the building. Phones, internet, televisions and cell phone access have been cut-off, and officials are not relaying information to those locked inside. When the quarantine is finally lifted, the only evidence of what took place is the news crew's videotape.


Genres:Horror / Thriller

REC 2 Trailer Analysis

Release Date: 9 July 2010
Genre: Horror
Cast: Jonathan Mellor, Manuela Velasco, Óscar Zafra, Ferran Terraza
Director: Jaume Balagueró, Paco Plaza
Writers: Jaume Balagueró, Manu Díez
Studio: Magnolia Pictures

The action continues from [Rec] (2007), with the medical officer and a SWAT team outfitted with video cameras are sent into the sealed off apartment to control the situation.

This trailer follows many patterns, such as a group of four in an isolated environment, hunted by 'zombies'. This is a classic story line, however this film reveals how the infection spread and how religion can solve the problem which is not normally the solution. The viewer can immediately establish the genre of the film due to iconography such as the, weapons and swat like characters in the first few shots of the trailer. The guns are especially recognizable as they symbolize danger, violence and protection because of this
there is a direct mode of address which again allows the viewer to establish the genre and depicts the target audience, male teenagers. There are also screens of text, which narrate the 'swat' teams purpose. sound is used effectively as there is emphasis on the reloading and checking of the weapons, and the screams of the infected. There is also a very deep buzz like sound which ads to the atmosphere and tone creating an eerie drone, similar to the sound I which to add to my own footage. Each shot lasts for no more that 5 seconds, the first few shots last for 1.5 seconds each and become more rapid through out the trailer as the suspense and action increases.

This trailer is intended primarily for a male teenage audience, as there are many features that would interest this target age and gender group. There are many professional techniques within this trailer, such as the composition and style of shot. The lighting is also very interesting, as the building the team are in is dark however there is a strong source of light from each of the windows, possible symbolizing, a heaven like theme in contrast with the hell like building. The light also adds a strong contrast, and many shadows are built adding to the drama and impact of the footage.

Genres:Horror / Thriller

Sunday, 19 September 2010

Diary of the Dead Trailer Analysis

A group of young film students run into real-life zombies while filming a horror movie of their own.
George A. Romero
Writer: George A. Romero
Release Date:7 March 2008 (UK)
Diary of the Dead is an entirely “mediated film. Like The Blair Witch Project, Cloverfield, and Redacted, it is composed entirely of shots that are taken from multiple sources, and edited together.
The mood of Diary of the Dead is somber and continually tense. The cast consist of white college students (together with one older white man, their film professor). As in many of Romero’s films, there is a reversal of conventional gender stereotypes. The women are generally more competent, and more able to hold themselves together emotionally and psychologically, than the white men.
Genre Horror
Primary TA - Teenage and adult males.

I chose to analyse this trailer as it relates to my own ideas of story, which involves zombies, and hand held camera techniques. I enjoyed this trailer as it the shots are really well composed, and I noticed some followed techniques like the rule of thirds and the golden ratio which are both designed so the viewer is made to focus on a certain object. The sound also in this trailer was great, the sound effects of the zombies and the base sound layer really dramatises the trailer. I think the lighting is also very good. Almost all of the trailer is shot in average light, which is slightly odd as the conventions of a horror film seem to follow darker lighting. Knowing this I will stick to shooting in complete darkness but only using torch light to light the set.

Thursday, 16 September 2010

Some existing horror films.

I have chosen these films as I will look and research some of the reasons why they have become all time classics. I will look indetail at the ways Horror films have changed over the years and the conventions which have changed or remained the same.
Greatest Horror Films:
Psycho (1960)
The Haunting (1963, UK)
The Exorcist (1973)
The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (1974)
Jaws (1975)
The Hills Have Eyes (1977)
Dawn of the Dead (1978)
Halloween (1978)
Alien (1979)
Dracula (1979)
The Shining (1980, UK)
Gremlins (1984)
The Fly (1986)
The Silence of the Lambs (1991)
The Blair Witch Project (1999)
The Sixth Sense (1999)
Final Destination (2000)
The Others (2001)
The Ring (2002)
Dawn of the Dead (2004)

Tuesday, 14 September 2010

Sub Genres and conventions

Cross Genre:
Of course is you can establish genre lines, then horror crosses them. When genres -- horror, fantasy, science, and speculative fiction -- start slipping into one another "slipstream."

Cutting Edge:
This term's meaning shifts -- often from person to person -- so I can really only offer what I think it means. For ME, cutting edge means that the fiction usually refuses archetypal, supernatural aspects -- unless those elements are used so originally they become antithetical to traditional horror. Cutting edge can be hard, soft, quiet, psychological, surreal, eerie, avant pop, post-modern, literary, alternative, have erotic, and sexual aspects, etc. The idea is that it is not exactly the same old thing -- even if the departure is only stylistic rather than purely thematic.

It's, well, extreme. It goes straight to the blood-and-guts and aims for the gross-out without hesitation. (Most GLs tell you to AVOID these things.)

Psychological Horror:
Based on the disturbed human psyche. Obviously psychos on rampages fall into this category, but it is just as often more subtle. Since the reader's perception is sometimes altered by exposure to an insane viewpoint, psychological horror can also deal with ambiguous reality and seem to be supernatural.

Quiet (or Soft) Horror:
Subtle, never visceral or too shocking, with atmosphere and mood providing the miasma of fear rather than graphic description. The opposite of "Extreme."

The rules of the normal world don't apply; ghosts, demons, vampires, werewolves, the occult etc. Within this sub genre is an ever-growing list of sub-sub-genres -- most of which deal with vampires.

Not really sub-generic, it can be used just to mean unreal; strange or bizarre. Or it can be used to tie a style to the surrealist movement in art and literature that attempted to express the subconscious and move beyond accepted conventions of reality by representing the irrational imagery of dreams and bizarre juxtapositions.

Suspense (or Dark Suspense) and Thriller:
No supernatural elements, but a constant sense of threat coming from an outside menace. Add a strong investigative angle and becomes mystery more than horror. Add action and adventure to suspense and you come up with "thriller" -- except you can have "supernatural thrillers."

A term, not a sub-genre, that refers to earthier, more reality-based or supernatural fiction with a tendency to be "in-your-face" with descriptions of the bad stuff -- but not as extreme as Extreme.

Can be used in several ways. "Weird fiction" is sometimes used as a synonym for horror.

Monday, 13 September 2010

Genres research

Although there are many different genres of film I have chosen to focus on Horror as a wide genre, as this is a personal favorite and I think it is the most realistic due to a small budget. I will narrow the genre of 'horror' down and chose a sub genre for more accuracy.


Horror films are designed to frighten and to invoke our hidden worst fears, often in a terrifying, shocking finale, while captivating and entertaining us at the same time in a cathartic experience. Horror films feature a wide range of styles, from the earliest silent Nosferatu classic, to today's CGI monsters and deranged humans. They are often combined with
science fiction when the menace or monster is related to a corruption of technology, or when Earth is threatened by aliens. The fantasy and supernatural film genres are not usually synonymous with the horror genre.

Horror films go back as far as the onset of films themselves, over a 100 years ago. From our earliest days, we use our vivid imaginations to see ghosts in shadowy shapes, to be emotionally connected to the unknown and to fear things that are improbable. Watching a horror film gives an opening into that scary world, into an outlet for the essence of fear itself, without actually being in danger. Weird as it sounds, there's a very real thrill and fun factor in being scared or watching disturbing, horrific images.

Horror films, when done well and with less reliance on horrifying special effects, can be extremely potent film forms, tapping into our dream states and the horror of the irrational and unknown, and the horror within man himself. (The best horror films only imply or suggest the horror in subtle ways, rather than blatantly displaying it, i.e., Val Lewton's horror films.) In horror films, the irrational forces of chaos or horror invariably need to be defeated, and often these films end with a return to normalcy and victory over the monstrous.

Of necessity, the earliest horror films were Gothic in style - meaning that they were usually set in spooky old mansions, castles, or fog-shrouded, dark and shadowy locales. Their main characters have included "unknown," human, supernatural or grotesque creatures, ranging from vampires, demented madmen, devils, unfriendly ghosts, monsters, mad scientists, "Frankensteins," dualities (good against evil), demons, zombies, evil spirits, arch fiends, Satanic villains, the "possessed," werewolves and freaks to even the unseen, diabolical presence of evil.

All of this text was copied from http://www.filmsite.org/horrorfilms.html

Friday, 10 September 2010

My own definition of what a teaser trailer is.

After watching 4 or 5 different types of teaser trailers, I have come to the conclusion that it should be 1 minute - 1.30 minutes, however the minimum amount of time given should be 40 seconds. The teaser trailer should reveal parts of the film which could be a shared frame of reference if there is a previous film or t.v episode. The audience should find or see something which they will want to know more about as the film release date comes ever nearer.

By the end, we should have an idea on something which could happen, as writing with subtitles should ask questions, however, they should not be answered.

Teaser Trailers

A teaser trailer, or just teaser, is a short trailer used to advertise an upcoming film, television program, video game, or product.

Teasers, unlike typical theatrical trailers, are usually very short in length (between 30–60 seconds) and usually contain little, if any, actual footage from the film. Sometimes, it is merely a truncated version of a theoretical trailer. They are usually released long in advance of the film they advertise. One of the reasons for the name "teaser" is because they are shown usually a long time (one or one and a half years) before the movie comes out, so as to "tease" the audience.

Teasers are also commonly used in advertising.

Hi I'm a Yr 13 A2 Media Student. This year I've been set the task of making a 2 minute teaser trailer for my desired choice of genre. I will document all my research on this blog and describe how and why I chose to do what I did. I will explain how I used the programs and describe what I have learnt. At the end of the year I will exhibit my trailer with a full evaluation.