Monday, 28 February 2011

Inspiring title sequence

By far my favourite title sequence. An original designed by Saul Bass. The title sequence of the 2002 classic geniously uses colour to set the tone of the movie. The sequence's simplicity is what makes it great because it shows the viewer a bit of what to expect but doesnt seem to give too much info which I believe only the best title-sequences do which is why I chose this one.

Thursday, 24 February 2011

comments from Donna

Hi Karen. I have just read you blog - please don't worry. Your group were not able to book the camera's because there were only two of you in! They camera booking dates I suggested were only provisional I'm afraid.  I will speak to you about your queries on Tuesday. Faysal has suggested you film on Tuesday day and said he would call you to arrange? Can you contact him to discuss this. Thanks. Can you make sure you all are prepared to film on Tuesday, as apparently you are all free after my lesson? So you can shoot for the whole day.

Can you all please add your pitch to your blogs. Thanks.  

Wednesday, 23 February 2011

Problems With Filming

We are very behind on our filming schedule, simply because our teacher did not give us permission to take out the cameras. We are supposed to film on Monday 21st and Tuesday 22nd February 2011, but this meeting to film was canceled, this is due to our teachers not allowing us to take out the camera's on Friday 18th February 2011.  

On our 3hour lesson Tuesday 15th February 2011, our teacher Donna had given us the yellow sheets of paper to allow us to take out the cameras. Donna told us we could take the cameras out from Friday 18th - Wednesday 23rd February, so we could film, and return the cameras for the other groups to have an opportunity to also film. In her lesson we pitched, she explained to us that our group had the best idea's, and the best PowerPoint to date. We had to expand on our target audience, so she could have a clearer idea of who we was aiming out thriller towards.

Thursday 17th February 2011, we had a 1hour 40minute lesson with Mary, I could not make it for this lesson as I was ill, (I was ill Wednesday, Thursday and Friday, Donna knew I was not well on Tuesday, as I could barely speak and I was burning up and had a very bad cough). I asked some of the student that were in the class, and they had told me that Donna had mistaken Mary, as Mary said we could not take the camera's out to film during half term. After I discovered this I asked my group what happened, but as they are unreliable I had to ask a member of another group. I was told there were only 2 camera's for the whole of our class when we have 5 groups, so Mary decided to put names into a hat and pick 2 names out, and they were allowed the camera's. I believe this was very unfair as those groups may not have had the best pitch, and they may not have been as perpared as my group. I believe my group was very well prepared, as we knew exactly what we were doing, where we was filming, what angels we needed and everything was scheduled.

Now we are very behind on filming, deadlines are drawing closer and closer, and i am anxious for my own group. If Donna or Mary have any complaints with out work being posted late or questions on why our filming is taking so long this will be because we were not allowed a camera to record like the rest of the 45 groups in the whole of our college.

Also Mary and Donna has said we can film during class time, this would be very difficult as when we get back to college we have an estimated 3/4weeks to finish our Thriller opening, edit it, include sound and titles, film it and also evaluate everything. In our 3 hour lessons, we have arranged to film, but we have been told we have to come to college for 9am and collect the camera, and go back to my house, which is in Tottenham, this will be quite some traveling so by the time we reach it will be approximately 10am, we will most likely have an hour to film, and then we have to leave to reach back to college in time to return the cameras. I believe this is a very unorganized set up for our group, and I believe if we fall behind or have a lower quality Film opening, it is not to be blamed on us.

Introduction to cameras: SKILLS

In the world of media, the camera films what the eye see's, capturing footage that can be presented in many ways for example, angles, shot types and movement.


The Bird's-Eye view

This shows a scene from directly overhead, a very strange angle. This shot puts the audience in a godlike position, looking down on the action. People can be made to look insignificant,and important.

High Angle

The camera is elevated above the action to give a general overview. High angles make the object photographed seem smaller, and less significant. The object or character often gets swallowed up by their setting becoming a wider part of the picture.

Eye Level
A neutral shot; the camera is positioned as though it is a human actually observing a scene, so the camera could be at the same level the characters are along with the focus. The camera would usually be placed around five to six feet from the ground. 

Low Angle

These increase height (which could be useful for short actors/actresses) giving a sense of speeded motion. Low angles help give a sense of confusion to a viewer, of powerlessness within the actor of a scene with a lot of action . Usually the background of a low angle shot will be just the sky or ceiling, the lack of detail in the setting adds to the disorientation of the viewer. The added height of the object may make it inspire fear and insecurity within the audience.

Oblique/Canted Angle

Sometimes the camera is tilted (not being placed horizontal to the floor), to suggest imbalance, transitio n and instability, a hand held camera is often used for this. 

Shot types

Extreme long shot

Generally these shots are used as a scene-setting, establishing shot. It normally shows an exterior, e.g. outside of a building, or a landscape, and is often used to show scenes of thrilling action. There is usually very little detail visible in the shot, this show is just for an general impression so the audience understand where the film is set.

Long Shot

This shot genrally shows the image as approximately "life" size corresponding to the real distance between the audience and the screen in a cinema. This category includes the full shot showing the entire human body, with the head near the top of the frame and the feet near the bottom. While the focus is on characters, plenty of background detail still emerges.

Medium Shot

Most oftern this shot contains a figure from the knees/waist up and is normally used for dialogue scenes, or to show some detail of action. Background detail is minimal, most likely because location has already been established earlier in the scene - allowing the audience to now focus on dialogue and character interation.


This shot shows very little background, and concentrates on either a face, or a specific detail of mise en scène. Everything else is just a blur in the background. This shot magnifies the object taking up most space of the camera/screen and shows the importance of things. The close-up takes us into the mind of a character. In reality, we only let people that we really trust get THAT close to our face - so a close up of a face is a very intimate shot. Film-makers use this to make us feel comfortable or extremely uncomfortable about a character.

Extreme Close-Up

This shot generally magnifies beyond what the human eye would experience in reality. An extreme close-up of a face, for instance, would show only the mouth or eyes, with no background detail. This shot, can be used for dramatic effect. The tight focus required means that extra care must be taken when setting up and lighting the shot - the slightest camera shake or error in focal length is very noticeable.

Over the shoulder shot

An over the shoulder shot is a shot of someone or something taken over the shoulder of another person. The back of the shoulder and head of this person is usually in the frame and the camera is pointing over the shoulder at the other character. This type of shot is very common when two characters are having a discussion.


A movement which scans a scene horizontally. The camera is placed on a tripod, which operates as a stationary axis point as the camera is turned, often to follow a moving object which is kept in the middle of the frame. 

A movement which scans a scene vertically, otherwise similar to a pan.When tilting thecamera base stays static, whilst the camera moves up or down vertically.

The camera is placed on a moving vehicle and moves alongside the action, generally following a moving figure or object. The camera base moves sideways following the action, the camera is move on a dolly or set of rails. Dolly shots will involve a track being laid on set for the camera to follow,  the camera might be mounted on a car, a plane, or even a shopping trolley

Handheld camera work can also be used to follow action or to show events from a charecters point of view. Hand held cameras denote a certain kind of gritty realism, and they can make the audience feel as though they are part of a scene, rather than viewing it from a detached, frozen position.


Friday, 18 February 2011

what inspired us.

 In our actuarial thriller that we will be producing, in a matter of 4 weeks their was a certain thriller that inspired us and that is “stepfather" the opening of this thriller was excellent. The man does the average routines, that any person will consist but on the other hand, the weary suspenseful music behind every “normal” action he does. This for me was very interesting for an opening as it surely kept me interested. This inspired us as we used some aspects from stepfather. Our thriller story line is a man waking up brushing his teeth flossing, but there is always a catch. When my group and I first watched “Stepfather”, the first minuets interested us the most as we where wondering why these casual actions had such tense music behind it.

Presentation: PITCH

Once we finished planning and storyboarding, we stared to prepare for our pitch. This is a presentation and it can be presented in any way you like. It is a chance to show your ideas and tell the class exactly how and what you are going to do.  Here is questions that be must cover.

My group have decided to keep it simple, we used power point and for me this was great as it wasn’t so complex. Even though many of my classmates choose to do “PREZY” we decided to keep it simple. I believe our PowerPoint came out successful.

Thursday, 17 February 2011


planning of thriller

This is a planning of our thriller opening, it is very important to plan it out so it is well organized and structured. 


This is our time table , of the days we are going to film and edit our thriller. however because of the shortage of cameras we are going to have to move our planning around.  

Tuesday, 15 February 2011

Prelim 1 evaluation

In our prelim 1, did a remake of the bag swap from "Collateral" the purpose was to create a suspenseful scene from doing something so simple, like a bag swap, we used the college as our location, and planted the shots to capture both sides of the staircases to see person 1 and person 2, this technique for us allowed us to edit, and build suspense, we used over shoulder shots, close ups and point of view, the point of view shot allowed the audience to almost be in the position as person 1 & 2.

Though our imaginations for a perfect suspense scene was being experimented with due to the lack of experience with the camera to produce good clips and steady shots, the lack of knowledge how to use final cut pro, didn't allow us to meet the expectation we had.

over all I think that the idea's of what we where trying to do was great, just executing them was a bit more difficult, though personally I shall take this prelim film as a stepping stone to further my skills in editing and camera work, to produce better work next time.


Wednesday, 9 February 2011

Prelim - Problems

During our filming we had the problem of people always walking by, and the difficulty of setting our bag swap on the stairs is that the tripod wouldn’t sit properly on the stairs, so we couldn’t get the shots we were hoping for. When we got back to the class and was ready to edit, we realised we didn’t get enough shots of everything. We could have re-filmed parts but there wasn’t enough time. This is unfortunate as on our story board we had planned exactly how we wanted our film to be. This was a good first attempt as we had learnt about the cameras in the first hour of the class, and the last half of the lesson we had to produce this short clip. 

This may have seemed like a disaster to our teachers but I believe that we did try our best, and we can learn from these mistakes for our final film opening.

Prelim - Setting

For the prelim, we as a group decided to set it in our college, as it was easy for us as a class as we had to film the clip in our 1:40 minute lesson. I think the setting was very good as we didn’t need to ask for permission, or book a place. Using the college corridor was easy for all of the members of the class as we all were familiar with the college.

During the filming there were some problems as college students kept passing by, and interrupting our filming, but I guess that is what happens when you decide to set your film in a college.

Everyone else in the class had set theirs also in the college but different locations, we were unique in our own ways as we decided to use the stairs, this gave us much more angles and different shot types.

Friday, 4 February 2011

Structure Of Openings In Detail

Thriller Openings

Narrative Openings - The Narrative Opening is when the titles are running through-out, when this titles sequence is used it gives a very warming opening its strong because we see ALOT of footage of New York city, which tells us where its set.

Discrete title sequences - seven is an interesting title sequence we get a sense of distortion, also with the use of close ups and extreme close ups we feel threatened by the images shown. the white distorted font gives us insight of what kind of triller we're in for too. 

Titles over blank screen - This opening sequences is peculiar because there is not one piece of action, instead there is a black creen with writing. the white font highlights mystery. the title sequence drags on but gives us anxiety for the film to get under way.

Stylised Editing - my example for this type is The Taking of Pelham 123 this is AMAZING it connotes everything to do with the film and introduces all the things to do with the film. the music also tops of the opening sequence its fast moving and has attitude (Jay-Z - 99 problems)

Thursday, 3 February 2011

Thriller Audiences


Intoduction to Editing, Live Type and Sound


Evaluation of Prelim Film 2

In our preliminary film, we used many styles of shots, close up, over shoulder shots, long shot, point of view shot.

Personally when we where going to record, I thought the point of view allowed us to give the audience feel like they where following the character to his final destination. The long shots allowed us to give a sense of our surrounding which is vital, it helps the audience visualise where we are, and what our final destination could be without mentioning it. The 180 degrees shot allowed us to follow the door opening, it felt like we where the eyes behind the scene, which builds tension.

Whilst editing, Me and Josh, where editing the clips, and I suggested we used the fade to create almost blink like effect, which made it more convincing that we where the person walking in the point of view mode. We had to shorten the transaction of the fade to be very fast, to give a sense of a blink, then we switched to a long shot, we had to carefully edit this to match both clips to be in the right order and to have me at the same position, when switching camera angles.

Personally if I could re-do this, I would make sure that we had better lighting and the point of view shots where much more clear and re-defined to look much more realistic. I think in my final film piece I can take in consideration the lighting and the effectiveness of camera shots, as close ups build tension, for example the close up on the door handle made me feel like something going to happen when the door was opened, this technique grabs the audiences attention straight away, and I plan to do this in my final piece to keep my audience interested.

Thriller audiences: research

To be honest in my opinion I am not a great fan of thrillers, but from my own knowledge I can tell that thrillers require a certain kind of audience. Thrillers are not every ones cup of tea as they are not aimed at a mass market they consist a very niche market. In order to gain the audiences interest they must come up with something suspenseful as well as new. Also noticing that thrillers have become less popular due to more comedy or romantic films, this has given thrillers a negative role. Also in addition noticing that thrillers are quite limited they are usually interested by men, and are aimed at them also. 
In addition to my point, as you can see from the diagram, there are more women interested in the romantic films.  And majority of the men interested in action. But however I can see that thrillers interest men rather then majority of the women, I cans see this because crime, action Sci fi are more ales similar to suspense.
From the thrillers that we have studied and watched in class, have different ratings from all of them being 15 and “Seven” being the only one that is 18
SEVEN (18)

This tells me that, from the ratings above as well as the picture, thriller audiences are aimed at the older generation. The reason being is these films are quite complex and will consist some knowledge and understanding to be able to understand it.  For example a film like “Seven” is in a way very disturbing as the story line for the opening is very weird but clever, the man uses the blade to cut himself, he also sows the book, this story line is very hard to understand which is a favour to my point as it proves that thrillers are aimed at the older generation, but also the film seems quite manly as women would find something like this disgusting and hard to watch, however men would find it suspenseful and interesting. This information helps me decide on what kind of thriller I would like to make. And what type of target audience I would like to appeal to. However it has also helped me notice that having a comedy thriller or a romantic thriller will attract a wider audience. Because it consists  on appealing to genders , also the fact that comedy is in between female and male , tells me that a comedy thriller will be the best one in order to attract a mass audience. So this is something I will keep in mind when making my thriller.

Evaluation of prelim film

For our prelim video it was essential to try and do this very successfully, as it was 15 marks towards our overall grade.  In our prelim , we had used many different types of shots such as close ups over the shoulder, long shots EST. Also he had criteria that we had to follow such as we had to include a match cut as well as the 180 degree rule.
I believe that the point of view was a very good idea because it kind of allowed the audience to see the position the person was at. It also allowed the audience to have that sense of suspense; furthermore the shaky filming gave a sense of realism as the character goes to his destination. In addition the 180 degree shot allows as to see the suspense created when opening the door, this in a way was like something is going to happen. The long shot helped the audience see the surroundings.
Whilst doing our planning, we included every shot in our story board so that we know exactly what to do when we produce our prelim, also to help produce our prelim we done a jelly baby animatic this was basically taking pictures of jelly babies and taking different shots of them. This helped us to make our actuarial prelim. This was very clever as it kind of gave us a sense of how our prelim is going to be. This was a disaster at points as we had lost our work due to UN plugging our hard drive. This was good in a way as if this would have been our actuarial prelim, it would have been a disaster.
While we where editing, we used some fades to move to one clip to another this was a great transaction as it creating a very tense movement. We also had to shorten some of the clips as we made some errors whilst recording. What i learnt from this is that from all the recordings that I and my group have done, we have always made the same mistake, which is less clips. So now I know for our actuarial thriller that we must take a lot of video clips in case.
If I could re- do this , I would defiantly take more shots and much more clips so encase we make mistakes we have a backup clip so it isn’t a total failer. I would also make sure that the editing is done more effectively, also when including the texts in the prelim we used final cut pro , so for our actuarial thriller make sure we go beyond it and make it more interesting and less simple. Also the lighting in some shots was causing the shots to be very UN clear , so that could be one thing that i would take into consideration.

Thriller Audiences

From analysing the diagram above, the female audience is shown to be more interested and watch more romance films and that action appeals to the male audience more. Some of the trailers I have watched consist of these age ratings:
                                                                                THE TAKING OF PELHAM 123 15
These trailers I have watched so far are aimed for the older audience, the teenagers and the young adults, I personally think that as being at the age of 17 with many experiences, horrors films is a massive jump of film styles you would see, for example till we are 15 we watch more Disney films, which are aimed for young people, horror films are the next stage of genre  that anyone can experience. 

I think from the thriller audiences, in my own film i would do something mixed with a thriller genre, like a thriller romance to attract a wider audience. 

Practice Film 1 Screen Shots

Preliminary - story board

Editing: Bag Swap


This is the first video that i edited by myself. I find the editing to be more interesting that the written or camera work because honestly that seems to be my strong point.
I was suprised with the finished product of the "bag swap" because when i first saw the shots and angles that we used and the small variety of clips which we had I saw the task of making a clip as good this quite difficult but using final cut pro i manages to salvage the good clips and make them flow nicely with no continuity errors.
When i first opened final cut pro i was confused by the layout but the actual program was not to difficult to use. I was impressed with the way you could easily add effects and dissolves to a cut to make it flow easier. 

For my first edit, I am pretty proud of myself and also my team for my acting partner who managed to make it easier for me by pointing out parts in which he believed i could edit better.

Overall I was very impressed with the finished product for "The Swap" :D

Jelly Babies FINAL

This is our Final Jelly Babies Production, Directed, Produced and Edited by Karen Luong. 

Wednesday, 2 February 2011

Jelly Babies- Animatic

In one of our lessons, we used jelly babies to make an animation; this was a storyboard to help us plan our preliminary.  Firstly we draw up a story board then made little settings for our jelly babies. In this animation we used various different shots which include close ups, mid shots, long shots, high angel shots, over the shoulder shots and low angle shots. This was great as it was a practice before we make are pre –lim. Also in addition in doing this practise animatic it helped me see how I am going to set my actuarial pre- lim . It helped me visualise on how it is going to be. This all went well , as we finished in one lesson we starting editing on final cut pro. But if i could improve on anything , i would make sure i spend much more time on it.

Tuesday, 1 February 2011

Camera Skills

JVC Final Cut Pro Camera: How To Use The Camera

We should be very careful with the camera lenses as it can get fingerprints on it which would make shots look dirty and blurry. Keep the camera away from water or fire. If there is a scene in the rain make sure a big umbrella is used. Make sure when not using the camera the lense is closed, to stop dust from getting on the lense.
The camera is very expencive and fragile, like a baby it needs to be treated with good care.

The battery is inserted in the battery slot which is located at the back of the camera. If you want to take out the battery, push the eject button which can be found on top of the battery slot. Do not try and force or pull the battery out, or this will damage the battery slot which may cause the batteries not to work when placed in the camera.

Memory Card:
  The memory card is used to save your clip when filming, its like a USB, you can save your work on it. Using the memory card, you can simply slide it into the memory slot on your PC and transfer the files onto your hard drive. The memory card slot can be found at the left hand side of the camera, bottom of the mini screen.

Camera Tripod:
Slowly slide the camera on the top of your tripod until you hear a click, when you hear the click, that's when the camera is locked in, there is a further security botton on the side which you turn which completely locks the camera in so it cannot even slide the slightest bit. If you want to release the camera from the tripod, push the eject button then slide it out. Tripod would be useful for panning and still filming. Tripod can release its legs to become higher or lower for different tilt shots also.

Title Sequence Analyse

Title of a thriller opening commenly runs like this: 

Production Icon - 0.01 seconds
Film  Begins - 0.12 seconds
Production  Title - 0.17 seconds
Producers Film - 0.21 seconds
Directors Film - 0.23 seconds
Actors - 0.28 seconds
Film Title - 0.38 seconds
Co-Starring - 0.44 seconds
Casting  By - 1.23 seconds
Music By - 1.28 seconds
Costumes Designed by - 1.34 seconds
Edited By - 1.36 seconds
Production Designed By - 1.37 seconds
Director of Photography - 1.47 seconds
Co-Producers - 1.50 seconds
Co-Executive Producers 1.54 seconds
Executive Producers 2.00 seconds
Written By - 2.03 seconds
Produced By - 2.08 seconds
Directed By - 2.14 seconds
Typography - 2.18 seconds
Opening Ends - 2.37 seconds



This is our PRELIM that we have produced. I took part in the acting, directing and filming. I enjoyed this very much as I knew as a directer exactly what I was doing, as we had planned the sequence all out on a story board, listing what shot types we would use, and what would help make the production more suspenseful. I enjoyed filming as I always received the self satisfaction when I know I have recorded a good shot,also filming have given me the opportunity to spend more time with the camera and understand what effects, and settings to make the shots look better.

The editing I had missed the start of the class, but into class on time to help finish off the editing so I would understand how to produce this sequence using Final Cut Pro, learning new skills e.g. how to dissolve clips, include soundtracks, audio and text.

This short-film allowed us to incorporate a title sequence, sound and even opening-credits. 
Unfortunately there were quite a few errors when uploading the film which we did not realize until after we uploaded the film. But I have used my time during lunch, and after school, or even attending school early to try and fix these errors.

I believe all this editing has helped me and my group a great amount, and this will help towards our final production.

Response to "watching" Documentry: RESEARCH

In class we watched a documentary, Thomas Sutcliffe included and elaborated that openings much be engaging as it much keep the audience interested for them to be able to continue watching the film. Tomas Sutcliffe main point here was that you must ensure that you create a good opening in order to gain your audiences attention.

In addition, Danny Boyle also tells us that the opening has to show as much potential in order for it to keep the audience watching the film. However, not every one agrees with these points, Jean Jacques tells us that the opening scene should not be so “dramatic” she believes that the audience should experience an organic building with excitement also , apparently this reaches to the climax.  Jean also says when trying to get the audience attention through out the whole film, it can sometimes be hard, but includes putting effect throughout the film. In my opinion, the opening of any film must be very engaging but very suspenseful, as it should not reveal the whole story line; it should get the audience to feel curious.

The beginning shot is very hard, because you have to ensure that the audience do not no everything for them to be able to continue watching the film successfully. In addition, the introduction of characters and setting, allows the audience to react in a certain way. The director will have to try to make the audience want to know more about the film.

Stanley Kauffmann, a film critic described the classic film opening to be a shot of the city of new York, and then carries on to zoom into a particular place for example end up showing where the characters live or work.      

An effective title sequence is something that grabs the audience’s attention. A great example is “Sev7n”. This title rather tells the audience that there is a psychotic feeling and tone towards it. The way it is presented kind of tells us there is going to be a mysterious storyline.

Orson wells, the director of citizen Cane, wanted to bring the film straight away , this for him was going to be winning as it allows the audience to forget their even watching the film this was a “touch of evil”. However, Universal studios did not agree with him and put the scene titles in, this caused the opening to be less successful.

The shinning , I believe is a great being of opening , the use of high angle shot , or even say “ a bird eye view” flowing the car along with the weary music concludes the audience to wonder with suspense and curiosity.