Sounds in film are just as important as the footage. If the quality of the sound isn’t as good as the quality of footage
Sounds in film are just as important as the footage. If the quality of the sound isn’t as good as the quality of footage
This is my poster design. It is a very generic poster design with many connotations of sci-fi posters and superhero films. I took inspiration from the Thor: Ragnarok poster.
The poster shows of the plethora of characters in our film, with many key objects associated with characters or events in the film. The connotations of my poster follow the key points are the main characters being in bigger sizes, with minor characters being in lower layers and smaller. In addition having the characters centered and having key events in the background of the poster is a main staple of Marvel posters.
When placed in Photoshop I gave the poster a background and redrew the lines so that the are more prominent, adding a little colour to it as well. However i encountered a problem that more poster design called for 6 characters, when we only had 5 main characters, any other appearances were too small to introduce or build a character, thus meaning they couldn’t be used. This meant that i had to come up with some alternate poster designs to accommodate for not having that 6th character.
Alternate Poster Designs:
The poster will be created by taking head shots of the different characters in a studio using a controlled light. This lighting setup will be somewhat of a over head light to create drastic shadows and then a fill under the characters to fill the shadows a little so detail can be seen and the eyes of each person, the most important feature to convey emotions, can be seen. These head shots, along with a a nice night sky photo, will be put together in Photoshop and adjusted to make a lovely little poster that follows sci-fi and superhero conventions.
This is my first design, a simple idea of a VHS tape with reflections from the film within. It carries that 80s style well, and suits the ‘Indie’ short film style – nothing too bold.
THIS IS MY DESIGN. A setup of the TV and the VHS player – a key electrical component and motif in this film. ‘The Sound of the TV’ is also our credits song. Also, it gives us an opportunity to include everyone else’s poster designs. The film is very much one with intertextuality.
For the design, I took inspiration from the Lady Bird (sick filum) poster. As you can see, they have drawn influence from the 80s nature of the film. The cassettes are designed to show the title of the film and the credits involved. We’d love to incorporate this kind-of meta approach to the poster. Lady Bird is a feature, but independent film, so we find that it’s a fitting influence for our independent short film. We’ll have film posters for Flicker in the background.
This is Matthew’s design. It features conventions of a far more conventional Sci-Fi film. The character layering and the abstract PS design around them has ties to the Thor Ragnarok Poster.
This is great for the kind of poster we’d have on the wall in the meta design. Matthew’s design is difficult to execute, given the number of characters which we have, though the layout is far more recognisable and eye catching for ‘blockbuster’ Sci-Fi cinema-goers than our others.
Annabelle’s poster is a simple still from the film. It would go on the wall of the main poster in the background, as it plucks out a key moment in the film and so would create an instant iconic image, with the two main characters connecting.
On Saturday, March 3rd, we were given the privilege to record our film soundtrack with professional audio equipment in a studio. We had the fantastic opportunity given to us by James A. A. Reid of Dear Friends, a fellow teacher at our school, whose work I’ve been involved with in the past: http://titussaltmedia.co.uk/blogs/weedonjames4320/2017/09/17/shooting-a-music-video/
James Reid, whose virtuoso piano aided us in shaping our soundtrack, for both the synth ideas and “His Theme”.
Our first step was recording my ideas into the piece. Having practised to Grade 7 with Guitar Theory, you’d think I’d know how to hold one, but no. Hours of experimentation with this acoustic guitar led to an epiphany which resulted in musical ideas that became quickly suitable and iconic to the film. For reference, I had drafted ‘Kat’s Theme‘ before we had fully crafted the idea – so parts of the film are influenced by this. For example, Scene 8 on the Glen, where they meet for the second time was a perfect opportunity to use the idea in it – you’ll understand when watching the film.
How did I craft the idea?
Part One: Harmonics
Harmonics are overtones which accompany normal tones when fretting (placing fingers lightly over) at certain intervals, as seen above. This sound can only be created when a string is vibrated on only an exact fraction of it’s total length. For example, the 12th fret harmonic is the loudest as it splits the string in half directly. We use the 12th fret harmonic in our soundtrack frequently.
But wait, there’s more. The intervals that you see in the diagram are used in the soundtrack, but only in His Theme. I discovered intervals above the 12th fret, over the guitar’s sound hole. I marked them, tuned the guitar to Drop D tuning (DADGBE), and wrote this.
We agreed that the harmonics allow for notes to really ring out and reverberate through the guitar. The layering creates a texture, and with the D-major key, we have a positive feel to the theme of this young girl’s short adventure into a Sci-Fi world.
We were missing something.
If you see Blade Runner 2049, you’ll hear the gorgeous murmurs of Hanz Zimmer and Benjamin Wallfisch. If you binge Stranger Things season 2 you’ll be delighted by the light hum of Kyle Dixon & Michael Stein’s masterful score. The key to these soundtracks lies here:
S Y N T H .
Our film, being a sort-of Sci-Fi, needs to ramp up it’s Sci-Fi-ness to accommodate for the lovers of the genre. We decided to introduce some synth tracks into the film. It provides a gentle hum, or deep roar, which enhances the feel of a scene. We were delighted when we heard what James and Caleb could seperately achieve using special audio effects.
We’re still waiting on more synth, I’m sure it’ll be just as satisfying as the last.
On the day of recording, we also enjoyed the delightful experience of visiting Fox’s biscuit factory next door. 500g bags for £1 or less. Enough said.
Finally, before leaving the studio, we had one more issue. Kat had a theme, but the main character, the alien or ‘him’ didn’t.
I played a variation of harmonics, and James improvised for around 15 minutes after showing him a short scene, finally resulting in this, which we love.
In film image and sound have a beautiful relationship, and this relationship is solidified by the soundtrack of a film. Mood can be swayed or intensified by the soundtrack when applied to a scene if done well. With low pitched and slow soundtracks to slow down the pace and high pitched and fast tracks to speed up the pace. In addition to this minor keys in music can cause moods of uncertainty or uneasiness in a scene while major keys can prompt feelings of happiness and security.
“Call me by your Name” has 2 songs that convey emotions very well, both paired with the scene and on its own. The first being ‘Mystery of Love’ produced by Sufjan Stevens. The scene shows the two main love interests of Elio and Oliver being alone together for the first time since the met, letting their forbidden love flourish. This scene is a breath of fresh air compared to the intense secrecy of the rest of the film. This heartwarming and calming scene is extenuated by the song accompanying it. The song is also writen to trigger memeries. These memeries being ones of both good and bad, in this case good. The summer fling between Elio and Oliver is given personality through this song and thats why it fits so well and does such a good job of conveying the overall emotion of the scene.
The second song of the same artists called ‘Visions of Gidion’ being the polar opposite of ‘Mystery of Love’ conveying heartbreak and sadness. This can be through it’s slow and minor piano throughout or even the first lyric of “i have loved you for the last time, is it a video?” showing the ending of the relationship. The line “is it a video?” being a line of rememberance, with Elio playing back the memeries in his head, just like a video… The song plays throughout the credits as Elio looks into the fire and silently sobs, but nearing the end he smiles through the pain knowing that his summer romance is something special, giving him identity and something he will never forget. Without the soundtrack this scene wouldnt have the same power it does with it and thus wouldn’t allow for the audiance to connect and feel for the character as much.
The power that the soundtrack holds is immense and can make the most dull of scenes feel like masterpieces. Interstellar’s delicate, but weighty score does just that.
Strings being the wonderful Hans Zimmer’s instrument of choice for the score paired with beautiful piano gives allows for emotions to be attached to the song easily, but for a sci-fi this is unusual as synths and more futuristic sounds are paired with this genre as it is more ossiated with the future of technology and the way thing ARE going to be. However Zimmer’s way of layering these instruments gives that power that synths can sometimes lack. With massive wide shots of whole stars this style of music is needed to get the mood accross. The build up of low and how pitch instruments all at once overpowers your senses, just like if you were to travel at the speeds close to light, which is what happens in the film. These breathtaking shots of new worlds and incredibal feets by man are perfectly backed up by the soundtrack, transmitting the feelings of the characters into the audiance with this music.
Mountains really stands out with its blarring organ that brings out raw emotions in the audiance and can build strong conections to the scene, especially if it is key to telling the story.
“Stay” being another of Zimmer’s songs that really hammers home the feeling of the scene near the end, being ridiculasly loud to make the hightening of emotion in the scene as Cooper leaves his family to explore space.
Our film is stereotypical classicism. A realistic world with the one aspect that is added to take the real and give it a childish sense of fantasy: the alien.
The gritty northern drama aspect of the film – the lack of dialogue, the bleakness of the cinematography, the slow, wavering pacing – are all complimented by the childish charm of our protagonists, who are essentially both the same… an old alien man, unaware of the ways of our world, and Kat, a young girl who prefers to live in a fantasy Sci-Fi. Classicism in our film is used to put a realistic perspective in place; a realistic situation which audiences, both young and old can relate to. The young for the opportunity of meeting an extraterrestrial, innocent being made to teach and nurture, and the old for the sense of betterment, and forgiveness with the deliciously creative minds of young children.
The realism in our film comes from the harsh reality of Northern England in the 80’s era. The drab and serious tones that come from aspects of the film bring it down to reality, giving the realism side of our classicism piece. The character of Uncle is taking on the embodiment of this realism by being a stern, grumbly man. This constant mood of flat and depressed personifies the time period and the resonance of this character on the scenes that he is in.
Another factor is the dysfunctional family that Uncle and Kat live in. This projects the reality of the world, that everyone wasn’t a perfect happy family and that many had broken families. by incorporating this it is like recording the history of the time period instead of what the media presents a family to be like.
Our film, being more on the realistic side of the spectrum, doesn’t have must formalism in it. However, there is one particular scene that is more formalism than classicism. The scene is that of when the alien comes to his demise at the hands of the Uncle. The last shots of this event bring the formalism side to the film. The shots consist of the characters of Kat, Uncle and Him being plucked out of the real world and into this dark and isolated specter. With surrounding black backgrounds and only a singular light to show the character. These scenes are done to show the full extent of emotions from each character as the life-changing event occurs. It brings them out of the normal world and into their own. This can be seen as formalism as this can not occur in real life or even an exaggerated world. It brings the audience into their minds and shows how each character is feeling at this point in time.
A good example of this is in “LA LA Land” when Mia is singing ‘Somewhere in the Crowd”.
The spectrum of film reality stretches from the form of realism to formalism, with classicism in the middle. The film world currently sits mainly in the classicism area with films having serious tones and realistic world representation, but having a premise that extenuates a real world factor, or creates a new one altogether. For example Marvel’s Captain America: Civil War has real world problems with tackling governmental involvement in global issues, but with having the whole new factor of superheroes being the one controlled by the government.
Realism has the premise that the camera is acting as a person and is just observing the world as it is. Films by the Lumiere Brothers are just static shots of everyday life which is as realistic as you can get… because it is real life. In my opinion this is boring as it relies solely on artistic interpretation and imagination of the audience without any ideas being given or hinted towards them.
While on the other end of the spectrum is formalism which takes every aspect of real life and takes it too extreme. The much stylised presentation and way of storytelling gives a very different approach to how realistic movies are made. Imaginative costume and set design combined with special effects are used to create things that don’t exist in the realms of the real world. Georges Melies is the pioneer of sci-fi with his highly recognized “journey to the moon”
Classicism aims to combine both aspects of realism and formalism. This means that it uses the designed costumes and sets, while also using special effects and such, but it’s more focused on the story and making it seem real. A good example of this is the Lord of the Rings trilogy of the TV series Game of Thrones. These forms of film sometimes let shots play out into long scenes, however using pronounced lighting and exaggerate angles. In the 21st century movies have tilted towards more of a realism side, embracing serous and realistic stories. Directors like Christopher Nolan have risen in popularity for his magical ways of creating tension in films like The Dark Knight and Dunkirk.
Films can be good all along the spectrum of realism, as long as it has verisimilitude. Verisimilitude is the purpose of the film or “inner truth”. The films verisimilitude its creating its own set reality and sticking to it. By creating a reality this lets a film stick to the parameters by this reality. In the first few minutes of a film this reality needs to be created and presented to the audience and then stuck to. If this reality is broken in anyway it will confuse and audience.
In film re shoots are sometimes needed when shots are not up to standard. We want our film to be perfect so when we looked back on footage from the woods shoot we noticed that the shots of Libby and Evan were appalling. This called for a re shoot.
The re shoot allowed us to re think the scene and get better looking shots. This also allowed us to follow the script more closely.
£52 billion dollars. Is that what it’s worth to bottleneck our sources of media, strangling yet another source of news and politics. Disney have made a deal with 20th Century Fox‘s Rupert Murdoch, in which they inherit “its 20th Century Fox movie and TV studios, cable networks and other international operations.” When this deal commences, Disney will take Fox FX, National Geographic, Sky, and Hulu.
As you can see in this disgraceful diahegram, we can see that Disney will eradicate 1/6 of the major media companies. Disney will inherit $78.4bn of market capital.
This deal strikes us as being peculiar as Murdoch has been focused on expanding his conglomerate as opposed to selling it. However this deal may prove a step in the right direction for Murdoch as he wished to focus on the news side of the business. This also makes sense as Fox executives believe that their film and TV assists wont be able to keep up in the world of merging media companies.
This deal also effects the sky news bid for the 61% that fox doesn’t own yet. This will directly effect the bid as Disney owning fox then takes over the offer and can end up buying into the rest of the Sky stocks. This outcome is highly supported by the UK government due to the mixed history of the company, such as the Phone hacking scandal.
The LogBook is what is drawn up a few days before the shoot to order the shots into priority order or shot types order. This helps in maximising time as shots are set up in groups that use similar equipment or similar locations. This means that we don’t have waste time in moving location and changing lens’s and equipment every shot and then back again. This means that we shoot the scenes in none chronological order. These LogBooks also allow for more prep in getting costumes and equipment ready for the shoot day. As the pictures show it has what type of shot is being used, what lens will be used for it, and the actor directions in the scene.
On this shoot we were shooting the scene where Kat and Toby meet HIM and finally become friends.
This shoot was a battle of time as we were shooting a twilight scene.we had around 20 minutes of perfect light were it wasn’t to light and wasn’t too dark. This meant that we had to be very efficient in shooting to the time scheduled. we did this quite well, with only a few shots needing multiple takes.
By using a multi-cam set we utilised 2 cameras in use in one scene.This allowed us to get different angles of the same shot to be able to choose thew better angle in post.
This scene will need loads of post processing with colour correction and exposure boosting due to some scenes being to dark, however some scenes are perfect and I think that the shoot went very well and all to plan.
We had a cast and crew meeting on the 10th of December at 10am sharp with cake and tea. We had the meeting to present the cast with the narrative of the story and to have them all in the same room while doing this. This helped to bring everyone up to speed and allowed them all to bounce off each other, like how we would on set.
We also used to time give the actors all there call sheets and to clarify when they are shooting and how long were shooting. Along with clarifying any queries with the story or certain scenes.
I think this meeting was very successful and boosted confidence in everyone’s roles and with each other. It also gave time for everyone to get to know each other and see how we’ll get along on set.
Production has finally started on our short film! we thought best that the first shoot be the easiest and so getting stock footage was the best.
We got in contact with Keighley’s AGM Colour to organise a short filming session in their printing warehouse to get some footage for the printing press cut away. This would add hieghts of production value to the film and save lots of money on having to buy stock footage off the internet.
We were there for around 40 minutes and filmed as much as we could, getting many shots of different machinery in a variety of different ways.
Alfie also colected sound from the machienes so that we had authentic sound from the location and saved time having to search for stock sound.
Nothing went wrong and eveyone who worked there was lovely and accommodating.
Hopfully we can say the same for the next shoot on the 18th.
Creating a Character in a Short Film
The most important aspect of character creation in film is making the audience care about them, something that is exponentially harder in a short film simply due to the fact that you have substantially less time to develop the character to its fullest extent as one can in a full length production.
Making the Audience Care
To start with, making the audience care follows a handful of general rules. One aspect is the viewer’s imagination, many films have had romantic scenes for example in which there is no dialogue, only music and we, the audience, fill in the blanks ourselves. This freedom of interpretation with characters, the ability to impose one’s own ideas on a character or scene, helps with relating to a character.
Another integral point is the characters ‘itch’, their drive to perform certain actions. A mother characters ‘itch’ in a drama for example may be to work two jobs in order to provide for her two children. This is naturally a very stereotypical example but it holds weight nonetheless as a prime example of a character with a goal, a motivation. To see a character working towards something humanises them and allows the audience to relate to them, another important factor in making a character likeable.
The aforementioned importance of relating to a character is perhaps the most important of them all as some degree of emotional resonance is required to understand a character, any character be it hero or villain. If the audience has no avenue through which to invest themselves in a character then they won’t be able to bring themselves to care what happens to them.
In Relation to a Short Film
In the context of a short film as compared to a full length feature film or TV series everything has to be condensed; characters still have motivations, back stories and blanks which the audience fill in themselves but for one you can only develop a small handful of characters at most due to time constraints and secondly you have to exercise efficiency with your shots in order to both develop a character and not spend so long making us care for the character that there’s no time for them to actually do anything.
Our Target Audience
There are four different main sections that an audience can be broken down into when looking at who is best to aim your film at. The four main categories are age, gender, class and ethnicity.
Age is a major factor that supposedly affects a person’s choice as to what they prefer when it comes to a genre of film, for example it is thought that people of older ages will prefer slower paced films and television shows such as detective or period dramas. Whereas younger audiences are expected more to like the faster paced films such as action and horrors/thrillers. The assumptions aren’t very accurate anymore they may once have been, but going based on those stereotypes we are going to be aiming to create our short film for a younger audience as it is science fiction.
Gender is another key element, as again there are general stereotypes for gender film preference. Stereotypically females typically prefer romantic comedies and romance films, whereas males typically prefer more dramatic and action filled films such as hero or science fiction films. Based on these stereotypes we are more likely to aim at the male audience as there will be a bigger audience percentage that will be attracted to our science fiction film.
Class is definitely one of the biggest features that affect film choice as class typically outlines a person’s lifestyles. Because of this it can influence what appeals to different individuals sometimes class has such a big effect that this is the only thing that can guide an individual to choose what film they are watching. By having different classes, it makes it easier for film makers and producers to aim their films as a specific audience because they can research into the different classes and their preferences to make sure that their film is best suited to the target audience.
Finally ethnicity is probably the least effective of all of these factors because nowadays due to all of the ethnic and culture crossovers. There is a much smaller stereotype about races because within most films now there is someone for everyone to relate with due to diversity within films.
Our audience – Caucasian, middle class, male within thirties. We have chosen Caucasian because it is known that Caucasians tend to watch more films and television than others. We selected middle class as our primary audience as they are a large section of consumers of television and films. We chose males as our target gender because even though science fiction is mainly gender neutral it does apply to males more, which is something that we won’t be focusing on when creating our production. We chose the age of thirties because it is most common that at this age people don’t really have a film genre preference. So they aren’t attracted to a film just because of one thing such as special effects. Finally we have come to the conclusion that our secondary audience will be aimed at teens aged between thirteen to eighteen, and that our tertiary audience will be people of the age sixty-five plus. We think that it will appeal to these audiences because within our film we have both audiences included within the cast so it should appeal to both of the audiences.
These are some rough mood boards to demonstrate what the different characters costumes will look like. Each costume could change due to fitting issues, budgeting and last minute changes to make the costumes look better and fit with the character more.