Thursday, 13 May 2010

Audience and bbfc rating

We thought that an 18 certificate would be a suitable classification to give to our film.
Due to strong language, violence, adult themes and possible drug use that would occur if we were to complete the film, the age recommendation would probably be 18-35.

The general themes of the film may only be appreciated by an older or a more mature audience.

Tuesday, 11 May 2010

This is the final poster we have produced for "A Bat in the Belfry". It features the cast, production and distribution companies, and the tag line. The tag line is another term for being insane, and was originally in the line up of ideas we had for our film name.
The general concept of the poster is the fact that the visions are all in his head. We chose this particular screen shot of the face because, like most psychological thrillers, they also have a comedy aspect to it, to ass that extra piece of insanity to the film.

Monday, 10 May 2010

Looking back at yout preliminary task, what do you feel you have learnt in the progression from it to the full product?

Compared to our prelim task, our final film that we have produced is a lot more sophisticated and had been taken a lot more seriously. In terms of editing we have come a long way as we had very little experience using i movie at that particular time. We have also been a lot more intricate and precise with our editing, instead of just throwing something together quickly.
Our prelim task did help us to understand the three main editing components mentioned in the brief, so we had practise and were ready to use them in our main production. These three components were, shot reverse shot, 180 degree rule and match on action.
In terms of camera work, we have not only come a long way through practice, but also researched different stylised techniques in both "Narrative ans Stylistic patterns in the films of Stanley Kubrick" and "Hitchcock: A Definitive study of Alfred Hitchcock".
Through these studies, we were encouraged to use more ambitious camera angles such as the dutch angle used in the final shot of our film, and we even attempted the Hitchcock zoom in the first scene.
Having looked at the result from our preliminary task, and some of the earlier footage that we recorded for out full product, we have also been encouraged to find ways of increasing the aesthetic quality of our film.
We really took advantage of the camera settings by altering the exposure and contrast, something that was not considered in the prelim task. We also enhanced the film on Sony Vegas to increase the definition of the film to it's full potential.
Having played about with editing a lot more and re shooting and rerecording until we were totally content with our final product, we have finally created the vision that we had first set out to do.

What have you learnt about technologies from the process of constructing this product?

Evaluation question answered using video made by Jonny Hughes

How did you attract/address your audience?

Who would be the audience for your media product and why?

Our film is generally aimed at a 18-35 audience. Our film opening however probably doesn't give that impression but if we were to go on to make the rest of the film it would contain alot more violence, strong language and adult and disturbing themes, along with some possible drug use. These factors would attract an older audience aswell as the mature and deep psychological themes that would feature throughout the film.
Although this is the target audience by the standards of the bbfc, it may still appeal to a slightly younger audience. For example, the channel 4 TV programme "Skins" has attracted an audience that is mainly made up of ages 14-16, despite the fact the show has a Ofcom rating of 18.
Therefore our film may still attract a younger audience, because, like skins, the characters are of a younger generation also.
The central characters in Darren Aronofsky's "Requiem for a Dream" are also of the younger generation, despite the films disturbing and psychological genre.
Like, "Requiem.." our film features a couple, young and struggling with money, and because of the harsh reality of their situations, it can only end in tragedy.

We hoped that our film would attract a more creative and intellectual audience, as it may just be boring to others. The inter textual references should be appreciated more by those who have a love film.

What media institution might distribute your media product and why?

Obviously our film would be distributed by a company that provides for independent film makers such as "Warp X" or "Warp films". The film would also be low budget due to it's genre. For example "A Clockwork Orange" only had a budget of 2.2 million, and is still considered to be a elaborate and artistic film.
Momentarily, like most younger film makers, we have been using the Internet to exhibit our film. Both YouTube and Blogger have been useful tools for this.
Due to the large cost of distribution, it may not be a wise investment. Instead a "straight to TV" approach should be considered. Most independent film makers screen their films on "Film 4" as they have a direct link to distributors such a Warp X.
Films such as "This is England" and "Donkey Punch", are both Film 4 productions as well as being associated with "Screen Yorkshire", which is another company to consider getting involved with if we were to make a full film.
It may be difficult to get companies to support our film as the genre narrows it down to a specific audience. Unlike family films, mature British socio-realist films are unlikely to attract a number of generations, and is also unlikely to attract Americans. Due to this the amount made at the box office will be small, so it is wise to spend as little on production and distribution as possible.
We have also entered our film at the cooperative film festival in October. We have edited the original film to make it suitable for a younger audience that may be attending the screening.

How does you media product represent particular social groups?

The second evaluation question answered in video form.

In what ways does your media product use, develop or challenge forms and conventions of real media products?

This is the first evaluation question completed in video format.

Final Cut


Youtube was a useful tool for uploading all of our videos onto one channel and embedding videos onto the blog. It was also useful for receiving audience feedback through comments.

Blogger was the main site we used for posting all of our coursework on.
It is simple to use and a great way to display and embed things from various sites, and have all of our notes and evaluations in one place.

Divshare enabled us to upload the podcasts we made in the earlier stages of production. We could upload them onto the site and distribute them among us from any computer at home or at school.

Scribd enabled us to upload various documents such as PowerPoint's and scanned in pictures of storyboards, production schedules etc.
We could access it from home or at school and was it simple to upload the documents onto the blog.


We used i movie for the majority of our editing. It is a simple programme to use but wasn't suitable to offer high quality or any complected editing or graphics. This is also the programme we used at school when we were editing the film as a team.

Sony Vegas was used for the production and distribution company logos. The graphics and general quality of the programme made it very suitable for our animations. Any advanced editing we wanted doing would be done by Jonny as he was the only one who has the software and as an ex graphics student, had the skills and capability of creating the animations. The programme was also used to upgrade the quality of the final cut and remove the shadow from the text in the titles at the beginning because i movie was incapable of doing so.

Production Scedule and Notes

Audience feedback - Parts 1 & 2

Some audience feedback and ideas that we took on board, such as:
- Cutting shortening the titles
- Having titles on footage
- Repeating the voice over because of the accent dilemma

Rough Cut

Things that need changing:
- Titles on black screen cut, have the titles on the opening footage alternatively.
- Soundtrack fading into "SIMPLAZ" animation.
- Different version of soundtrack to match the footage on screen, and a shorter version
- Voice over redoing to match Australian accent used in the second scene.
- Voice over shortening
- Kettle filming to show the boiling along with the anger building up in the scene
- A close up of the cup being knocked over
- Paul included in the awkward silence

Fake Blood

We need fake blood for the white room scene when i am on the blood dying having just been attacked. We got the recipe off of the interent and it was a simple mixture of red food colouring, glucose syrup and corn flour.

Casting Part 2

The part of Grace also had to be played by someone who could pass off the older look, as she needed to 18-19 years old because she was still in school/college. This wasn't difficult to achieve because the actress was 16.
A different girl was originally chosen to play the part as she looked older, but she wasn't blond. We needed the character to be blond because the victim is usually blond. A few examples of the blond girlfriend being used are "Secret Window", "Rear Window" and "American Psycho".
Hitchcock initially introduced this idea in his films. The name "Grace" was taken from "Grace Kelly" who starred in a number of Hitchcock films. The name "Grace" also has religious connotations.


Paul Bateson
For this genre and for a our plot we needed an older or older looking actor to play this role (around 20-22). We used someone who was 17 and could pass off as older and fit the role well.
They also needed to be tall so the character looks older.The name Paul Batson comes from, Norman Bates from Psycho, Paul from American Psycho, and Patrick Bateman also from American Psycho. We put these names from films used in our research together to create Paul Bateson.

The character is lazy, appears to be laid back in his appearance but is very on edge, like the following characters in "The Shining" and "Secret Window".


The general plot is about a struggling  young writer who is dealing with the symptoms of positive schizophrenia, only he is completely unaware of it. He has visions in which he sees himself murdering his girlfriend in a strange white room, but his dreams soon become reality. The film deals with the writer's life changing as his disturbing dreams begin to take control.

TAGLINE: Out to lunch. 


The white room in the opening scene signifies heaven linking in with the religious connotations of the film. The themes also contrast because at the end of the scene he violently kills her.
The house we used was a standard lower middle class house, to signify that the couple are young and struggle with money.
In the bedroom scene, Paul wakes up in bed on top of the duvet, with the duvet drawn back on the other side to signify that someone sleeps in the bed next to him.
The rooms aren't immaculately tidy either to signify youth.
The books on the table in the kitchen are books related to psychology and the novel of Silence of the Lambs which was included in our research.
The dressing gown, t-shirt and boxer shorts also signify his laziness, and Graces neat smart clothes signify she is more organised and motivated.

Wednesday, 31 March 2010

Developing Film Names

We decided to take influence from film names such as A Clockwork Orange, Pulp Fiction and One flew over the Cuckoos Nest, and come up with a film name that is relevant to the film but is more poetic and composed.
We researched themes related to schyzophrenia, psychology, mental illness etc. We also researched synonyms to words like "insane" "mental" and "crazy" and finally came up with 2 phrases linked to these words that we felt suitable for our film name, "Out to Lunch" and "Bats in the Belfry".
We chose "Bats in the Belfry" because it was a more classic proverb when refering to the insane. We then changed the name to "A Bat in the Belfry" to suggest the isolation of the central protagonist. "Out to Lunch" is being considered for a tagline instead.

Story Boarding

Distribution and Production Company Name Ideas

These are some of the ideas we came up with for production company names:
Aspect Media
Muse Productions
Panorama Films
Element Films
Scope Pictures
Blackout Pictures
Vertigo Films
Scape Media
Mask Films 

We chose Vertigo Cinemas in the end because Vertigo Films was already a large production company for the Adult film industry.

The first and only idea we came up with for a distribution company name was "SIMPLAZ" which derides from the term "Simple As" which links in with the fact that it is a small independent company. The use of the "Z" at the end expresses the modern take on the name. 

Thursday, 25 March 2010

Location Scouting

The locations needed for our film opening are; a white room for the opening vision scene, and a small basic house for the bedroom and kitchen scenes. For the white room we are using a dance studio in Guisley which has been booked for the shoot. For the bedroom and kitchen scenes we are using Joels house.

Genres and Openings: Codes and Conventions

Psychological thrillers generally open with a scene forseeing something that happens later on in the film, whether it's a metaphore or an actual scene that is repeated in the film. The themes are generally eiry or disturbing with comedy aspects added in to present the pyschotic nature and personality of the central protagonist.
An example of using a scene at the beginning of the film that is repeated later on in the film is Memento but the scene is shown in reverse to confuse the audience, Identity also uses this method.
Secret Window uses the approach of using metaphores to forsee the ending of the film in where a book written by the central protagonist becomes reality in the ending.
These methods are used in order to make the audience think along with the characters in the film instead of adding dramatic irony like in most films.

Movie Soundtrack

Vertigo Cinema Production Company - Animation

Simplaz Distribution Company - Animation

Wednesday, 10 March 2010

My 10 Films

Psycho - Alfred Hitchcock
- City scape of Pheonix, Arizona, extreme long shot, Black and White
- Music Signifies Horror/Thriller
- Zooms into window, signifies that this is the central protagonist

The Shining - Stanley Kubrick
- Country Scape of Colorado Extreme long shot, following the car to show the isolation.
- Music signifies the genre, Horror/Thriller
- Following car, signifies this is the central protagonist

Reservoir Dogs - Quentin Tarentino
- Men in car, one bleeding to death medium close up
- Hand held camera, to create sense of panic

American Beauty - Sam Mandes
- Girl talking to camera, long shot, diagetic hand held camera, scene repeating further on in the film
- Scape of the suburbs, closing in on the house of central protagonist

Fight Club
- Credits show images of brains which signifies a psychlogical genre.
- Clip from end of film, next scene him sat in and office, scene looks dark and depressing, central protagonist explains he has insomnia through narration.

Burn After Reading - The Coen Brothers
- Zoom from globe into America, CIA, drumming music to creates suspense
- Camera following feet along corridor, creates narrative enigma because the audience doesn't know who they are following

Memento - Christopher Nolan
- Scene from end of film show in reverse, a man on the floor getting shot in the head, this signifies either one could be the central protagonist.
- Close up polaroid with picture of a dead person, the use of polariods is a main theme of the film.

Silence of the Lambs - Jonathan Demme
- Scaping of woodland, overcast day, creates mystery and signifies a thriller along with the tense music.
- Central Protagonist climbing rope up a hill on FBI obsticle training course, she is running through the woods alone with the camera following her from a point of view angle, this creates suspense being it looks like she is being chased.

A Clockwork Orange
- Narration of central protagonist who is on screen, non diagetic
- Close up of his face and then zooming out to reveal entire scene, all is still

Pulp Fiction - Quentin Tarentino
- Couple sat in diner, shot reverse shot of their conversation.
- Couple then begin a heist of the diner, pulling out guns and shouting threats, woman stoof on table with gun with a low angle shot to show her power and intimidation over the diner, the shot freezes and the soundtrack begins to play along with the rolling titles.

Wednesday, 24 February 2010

Our Groups

For the main task i am working with Jonny Hughes and Joel Colborne. We have formulated ideas for our film relating to pyschological thrillers and dramas by looking at influential directors and watching iconic films. Within my group, we all have similar tastes in films and genres as well as favourite directors and actors, which is useful because it avoids conflict and debate within the group.

Research - Useful Resources

The main directors my group are looking at for research are:

Alfred HitchcockPsycho, Vertigo, Rear Window, North by Northwest, Frenzy

Quentin Tarrentino - Pulp Fiction, Reservoir Dogs, Jackie Brown, Kill Bill, Inglorious Bastards

Stanley Kubrick - A Clockwork Orange, The Shining, 2001: A Space Odyssey, Full Metal Jacket

David FincherFight Club, Seven, Panic Room, The Curious Case of Benjiman Button

Darren Aronofsky - Requiem for a Dream, Pi, The Wrestler

We are looking at these directors for a number of different reasons. Genre, cinematography, concept, editing, soundtrack, script, mise en scene and compostion.

Initial Notes on FIlm Openings

In the opening titles of most films you will see at least production company animation featured. These usually include the large distribution company, and sometimes the small independant production company.
Generally film openings always include a series of texts on screen regarding the cast, crew and the film title itself.
Usually a film opening provides anchorage for the location and the date the film is set in. This can be done with either denotations within the scene, or text on screen providing blunt anchorage.

For example, in the opening of the film Bride of Chuckie (1998) the Universal animation is play because it is the main distributor, and the text that follows also tells us this. The following text tells us the director, Ronny Vu, and the writer, Don Mancini. In the first shot we establish that the film is set in America because we see the US flag. However this could be polysemic because it could also be an embassy. The blue filter on the lense gives the shot a cold, creepy feel and the heavy rain and lightening signify that the is a horror.

In the next few shots inside the evidence depository, intertexual references are made to both Halloween and Friday the 13th because we see Michael Myers' mask and Jason Vorhees' hockey mask in the evidence lockers.
A scene on, a blonde woman dressed in a revealing black dress comes into the scene. This is for the male gaze beacause we don't see her face immidiately because the camera pans up her body revealing her figure first to introduce her character.

Initial Pitch

My initial idea that i pitched to my group was a pyschological thriller/drama in which the central protagonist suffers from insomnia, and schizophrenia as a result. The film would be heavily based on the film Fight Club, and the film would be included in our research.

The film wouldn't be too hard to produce in terms of mise en scene, and actors. However, editing and camerawork would have to be manipulated in a creative and orginal way.