Tuesday, 21 April 2009

The Storyboard

These pictures are of the Storyboard, these were used as guidance for the filming of the whole sequence.

Friday, 3 April 2009

The Preliminary Task

We had to do a Preliminary task which involved filming a short scene which included: Match on Action, Over The Shoulder Shot and had to obey the 180 Degree rule.

Wednesday, 1 April 2009

Idea of the Thriller opening

Drug trafficking in London has increased by 200%, and is being controlled by a large group of Drug barons. The police are so concerned that they have created a special police unit which has been tasked to infiltrate the trafficking by going under cover to get incriminating evidence which will help them prosecute the barons.

The scene is between the leader of the drug barons and one of the special police undercover. The set is in an abandoned factory in Kent which is completely derelict and it shows groups of drug traffickers walking around and the barons up in a room located at the top of abandoned factory.

The main character had already been invited by one of the barons to talk about the drug source, the main character supposedly owns overall, he is escorted with two other under cover policemen with weapons to prove his importance, through the factory, everyone in the factory watches them walk through and up the stairs into the barons area of the derelict building.

The camera follows the undercover policemen around the corner to a hallway, then cuts to show them walking towards the camera but further down the corridor.

The characters get to a door guarded by two armed men who stop the men who try to walk in, and ask the main character to state his business.

Camera cuts and shows an over the shoulder shot of the guards asking the men, and then cuts again to the shoulder of the main character who asks to see ‘Costello’, obeying the 180 degree rule between both over the shoulder shots.

There is a loud shout from the room telling the armed men to let the men in.

The camera remains behind the main characters shoulder; the guards open the door and the camera cuts again to inside the room, showing ‘Match on Action’.

The camera follows the movement of the main character as he goes to sit down at a broken table with guns and a package which is encased in foil.

The Baron looks eagerly at the main character and moves the package towards him, the camera moves to behind the shoulder of the Baron.

Media Screenplay

Establishing shot, shows natural lighting, non-diegetic soundtrack. There is a factory in the distance and the p.o.v is from the street showing the whole west side of the derelict factory. Including trees and bushes, adding peace and serenity to the calm atmosphere, soundtrack added to create a eery atmosphere.
-Additive Dissolve- (Title: Starring Paul)- Spinning Effect
Shot continues to Pan.
-Additive Dissolve- (Title: Starring Jordan)- Spinning Effect
Further panning.
-Additive Dissolve- (Title: Also Starring Connor)- Spinning Effect
Zoom in on window, giving a sense of importance on that window.
Black Background and the Title 'A Declan Film' spins onto the screen.
Agent Steve shown walking towards the camera, slow motion with the briefcase in his hands. Slow Motion 50%.
-Additive Dissolve-
Agent Steve appears futher forward.
-Additive Dissolve-
Appears even closer to the camera.
-Additive Dissolve-
Appears at the bottom of the steps.
Character enters the factory into a low key lighting area, with the briefcase, he walks towards the camera. Normal speed reintroduced.
180 Degree Rule, to the right of Agent Steve as he continues to walk towards the desk.
The camera fades to show the undercover policeman (Connor) pull out a gun, adding more tension, the soundtrack changes to a quicker paced non-diegetic sound. Slow motion 50%.
Two shot of both protagonist and antagonist from the west, of the room, steady cam shows the protagonist moving towards the table and chair. Identity of antagonist revealed. Gun and money is on the table suggesting danger and business deal. Continua-tion of low key lighting and soundtrack.
Low angle view of the protagonists legs as he places the briefcase on the table, low key lighting and soundtrack continued.
Medium shot as protagonist places the suitcase on the table. Low key, pace of music increases further as the main character opens the suitcase showing the contents.
The suitcase is opened and the camera zooms in on the suitcase showing all the contents and both the protagonist and antagonists hands. Low key light-ing.
Close up of the antagonist, showing his emotions for the impending transaction for the package, happy it’s going smoothly. Sound-track continue to play and then suddenly stops at the end of the shot. Low – Key Lighting.
There is a sudden cut to the door and the soundtrack is playing and another character bursts through the door, brandish-ing a gun at the protagonist. The soundtrack restarts with in-creased pace which adds to the tension. Low key lighting, but bright light from the open doorway.
The protagonist turns around and obtains a gun from his jacket. The camera then zooms in for a close up on the new character, the soundtrack increases in pace further, suggesting imminent action. Low key lighting continues and the doorway closes.
Camera cuts to the antagonist who tries to pull out a knife.
There is a close up from the side of the gun suggesting bullets are about to be discharged, the music pace increases once again and then the music carries on playing and the diegetic sound of the gun is heard as it is shot. Low key lighting.
The protagonist falls to the floor from a P.O.V shot from the new antagonist. The protagonist fires a shot at the new antago-nist clipping him in the shoulder, only the diegetic sound of the gun can be heard.
Both characters lay on the floor injured by the gunshots, two shot shows both bodies, both laying unconscious. The music changes. Low Key Lighting.
Mid Shot of the antagonist at the table, looking shocked, the camera then zooms out as he grabs both the money and the brief-case and runs out the door, the camera tracks him as he moves quickly out the door. Music increases in pace once again to show the adrenalin in the scene.
The drug baron is running down the street and enters a car and drives off. The camera follows the characters movements as he runs to the car with the drugs and money. Normal Lighting. Soundtrack continues to play.
Both characters in the room are focused on in the room and both open their eyes and get up from the floor in a two shot from the camera.
Title appears saying 30 Minutes Earlier, and the two policemen are in a car placing a tracking device in the briefcase.
21. Animated Scene (TITLE)
A Black screen appears and the title of the film is shown in the screen and then dissolves out and this is the end of the se-quence.


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

My thriller opening sequence is structured around the typical conventions of a thriller. My sequence has a mixture of camera shots and angles bound by the use of music, and soundtracks. I chose an idea in which I used the idea of drug trafficking as used in film 'The Departed' with the same idea of undercover police made famous by Leonardo De Caprio in 'The Departed' however I have manipulated the idea to show the undercover policeman as a important drug trafficker, trying to expose the real drug dealers, however they need to build a case. The use of pace with the soundtrack with selected parts of the sequence suggests tension, including the use of camera editing show typical conventions of a Thriller sequence, such as the jump cuts and the cross cutting.

How does your media product represent particular social groups?
My idea would appeal to the teenage generation upwards, due to the nature of violence and drugs the certificate would be classed as a 18. The thriller is about a undercover police trying to create a case on London's biggest drug baron, with the help of two of the most secret police officers in the Metropolitan Police. It's very similar to modern crime, in todays society, since drugs has become a major problem for the police due to the popularity of them.

What was the audience feedback for my opening for my thriller?
After I had completed my Thriller opening I showed the opening to a target audience and the feedback I received and the majority of the audience said that they enjoyed the opening sequence and saw how I challenged typical thriller conventions and enjoyed the unexpected twist at the end of the opening. This positive feedback showed that I had used typical thriller conventions and used a strong enigma towards the end of the sequence.

What kind of media institution might distribute your media product and why?
Universal Pictures would want to distribute this film, because of the diversity of the films they distribute, this type of film would do well with the synergies that Universal Pictures provide. My thriller is not a independent film, but meant for mainstream, this would mean a release for mainstream cinemas such as the Showcase and the Odeon cinema's. This would be a good idea as previous films with similar story-line's have succeeded in a big audience in such cinema's where the locations of them are normally busy places.

Who would be the audience for your media product?
The audience would be 18-40's as it relates to the younger generation as drugs are more common and the use of violence also attracts the younger generation. The older generation would be interested in the detective aspect of film, as it pulls the audience in wondering how the criminal is going to be caught. The enigma element of the starting sequence would grip the viewers who were interested in criminal/thriller genre, with the mix of both it would appeal to all ages above the age of 18. Evaluated based on research on the Pearl and Dean website.

How did you attract/address your audience?
I attracted my audience with the use of the conventions of a thriller in the starting sequence as it shows a enigma and the use of secrecy adds to the sequence and interests a audience which would consist of mainly young males interested in the drugs and violence aspect as it may relate to the crime in society today, and the older generation consisting of people who can relate to the police and who have maybe researched or studied detective drama films.
Including the use of fades and dissolves adds to the conventions of a thriller, the mystery, how the audience want to know what's going to happen and in the end are surprised when they find out that the victims of the shooting are working together adding to the mystery and the use of music adds a sense of action and grips the audience when the music matches the atmosphere.

What have you learnt about technologies from the process of constructing the product?
The equipment used was the camcorder, tripod and the use of the computer to edit, the filming technology of the camcorder was used for the recording of all the shots that was included in the film, this was difficult to begin with as I have never owned or used a camcorder before, but I was quick to learn the use of the zoom and the use of the camcorder light, which i have used for the film as it adds to the effects of the sequence. However I learnt that the camcorder had dropped some frames which meant i had to re-film specific shots, this was difficult due to the absence of some actors at the time, but I was able to get the actors in the end despite the camera dropping frames and losing footage that I needed.
In addition the use of the tripod helped tremendously as with the smoothness of the movement of the tripod helped try out different angles and helped with the camera shots, the different tools on the tripod added to the effectiveness of the camera shots, with the use of a tilt and the smoothness of the panning, without having to manually move the camera with a handheld technique which would
It was very interactive and fun to try out different shots to add effects to the sequence such as the pan, over the shoulder shot, P.O.V and close ups.
After the filming had been done I used the program Final Cut Pro in which helped me edit and change parts of the sequence to emphasize the conventions of a thriller, and ended up with the final product of the media piece. Also used songs and mixed them to use as a soundtrack as no dialogue was used. The soundtrack adds to the atmosphere and the pace of the media piece.
Finally the use of Adobe Photoshop CS2 and Live Type helped me for the creation of the titles used with in the sequence, the interaction enabled me to use different techniques of entry of a title, what effect it does such as 'Quick Twist' which all of my titles are using.

Look back to your preliminary task, what do you feel that you have learn in the progression from it to the full product?
I started on with the planning stage which included the storyboard and the screenplay, compared to the Preliminary task, there was a lot more shots, angles and editing involved.
With the use of the camcorder and tripod I have learned a lot of techniques that I never knew before, this will help in future use of camcorders. If I was to film again, I would be able to create a better sequence with the knowledge I have know.
Including the use of software programs such as Photoshop and Final Cut, I have had experience with Photoshop before therefore I knew how to use most of the tools. With Final Cut Pro, I had never used before, I learnt how to edit camera footage and add effects which will help with future projects. The use of both software and camera technology cohesively helped change the final product into a sequence more recognizable.
With the soundtrack I mixed different songs together which adds to the effects of the sequence, this was done with Final Cut Pro. I did this to create a originality with the soundtrack compared to other groups whom used normal music, also with the soundtrack I wanted the audience to feel a change compared to other soundtracks in other detective films.
With the preliminary task, I only filmed a simple scene, with the final product it became more complex as I used different camera angles and shots, a larger range from the Preliminary task.

Thriller Opening

Organisation of Actors, Props, Locations and Costumes

During the research of the thriller conventions I had to come up with a few actors to act in my thriller sequence they included:

He acted as the undercover agent carrying the briefcase, he was a important actor and he brought some of the props, including the replica gun, ford fiesta 'Getaway' car and his suit which helped a lot. In addition is a Drama student so he is experienced in acting and this meant his appearance in the sequence helped consequently. 

He was the antagonist, he was the character wearing the sunglasses and receiving the briefcase. Paul had a very important role as he was the villain and the role was vital to the development of the Thriller.

He played the role of the undercover
 policeman who was shot, he also played a vital role in the development, with his involvement enabled me to create a sense of an enigma. Also he took Drama so his experience was vital to the creation of my Thriller.


The Replica Guns: This was used for the typical Thriller conventions as most thriller include the use of weapons as a main feature, I used these to add a sense of tension and intensify the thriller sequence. 

The Suit: Jordan used this to show another typical prop for a Thriller conventions, such as the 'James Bond' films, the use of suits adds a element of sophistication to the thriller, as most thrillers are showing the upper class solving crimes, and undercover crime organisation's.

The 'Getaway' Car: Another major feature in Thriller films, 
used in the film 'The Italian Job', I used this at the end of the sequence to show that the police were unsuccessful, Paul as the villain jumped in to get away to add to the sense of an enigma.


I had to chose the locations carefully, to replicate the conventions of a Thriller. The areas included the college drama room as in there was very low lighting and this helped in adjacent to the storyboard. This was used as the meeting place of the protagonist (Jordan) and the antagonist (Paul) where they exchange money for the package. In addition I used the abandoned factories located in the industrial estate of Erith. Furthermore, I used the college grounds as it enabled all the actors to be at the same place at the same time, this helped with time management as I was able to gather the actors fast and film really quickly.

<- Erith, Derelict Factory - Used to represent the area in which the drug baron and undercover police meet.

<- College grounds - Steps near the factory, used to show the protagonist walking towards the factory.

<- Drama room at college - Used to represent the room inside the derelict factory, the meeting place.

<- College grounds, used to represent the area at the side of the Factory as the antagonist escapes the undercover police.

<- College car park, used to show how the antagonist gets away from the police.