EVALUATION: How effective is the combination of your main product and ancillary texts?

It is evidential from the audience feedback given on both, main product (short film – IN BLOOM) and ancillary texts (poster and film review) alongside our own personal opinions of our products, suggests that they promote and are relatively effective (ancillary task) in carrying out their informative means for the promotional side of our short film.

One of the key things we wanted to combine within both ancillary and main products was colour. Darkness and negativity plays a key part in the film, and this had to be reflected on the poster so it gives a realistic inference as to what the short film is going to be like, so we don’t falsely lead on potential audience members. This proved to be effective on the review since it gives a brief synopsis of the film, however not too much to give away the plot, using words such as “anxious” and “conscious” to describe the protagonist gives off negative connotations, so to match this we paired the article with an edited image of Olive looking worried, with a dark, gloomy filter over the top.
In combination with the film and other ancillary product, the review is fitting to the target audience for our film. Creating a product that is classified as ‘new media’ was important to us, because with with an online review, and buttons at the side that can connect them to Facebook and Twitter etc, this is a direct way to address our target audience since teenagers spend 10 hours and 45 minutes on average, online every week. Therefore it is drawing in the people we want to aim and address the film at.
Similarly, we did the same with our other ancillary task, the poster. We concluded on using the photo where Olive is replicated 3 times on the poster as research suggested they preferred that one as it gave a stronger insight into the film “this poster suggests different personalities of a teenager” – quote given from audience feedback from the poster. Therefore suggesting it is more effective, combined with the actual short film and the review.

To an extent, they aren’t as effective as they could be overall. A way we could have improved our ancillary tasks so they linked together more closely, was if the review contained an image of the actual poster and trailer of the film, then in small print on the poster, an add on could be mentioned about the good review from ‘Film Inquiry’, and a link noted at the bottom of the page. Or even simply by including a quote from the online review on the poster, with 5 stars clearly labelled, we would have made the combination of film, review and poster more closely connected.

Overall I think that our short film combined with our ancillary tasks works well and is effective to a certain extent, looking back over the project, I can see how we could have improved the ancillary tasks so they were more interlinked with each other for publicity purposes, however I think that overall, they seem to work well, and that is what we received through audience feedback.

EVALUATION: in what way does your media product use, develop or challenge forms and conventions of real media products?

Media products, and their forms and conventions are key and important in this entire process, they help give creative ideas, show examples and contribute to developing research for creating our own. It showed us what worked and what didn’t. With this in mind, we used, challenged and developed previous works to benefit our short film IN BLOOM.

USE: For any short film it is important to research how professional short films are executed. Things we learned and included in our own short film is using a smaller cast, having a simplistic storyline so it will fit into a film around 10 minutes approximately and not to use many special effects, as that is traditionally seen in a full length feature film. We followed these guidelines from other examples of short films and research. However we did not stick to them entirely as we wanted to challenge these generic media conventions to make a short film that stood out and had an element of individuality (discussed under the challenged and developed headings)


My media product IN BLOOM, uses a variety of aspects of from different media products that have inspired and helped to create the end product. One of the most dominating films which we took a lot of inspiration from is a movie called ‘How I Live Now‘. We realised that after we created our script, and showed it to friends for audience research, one of the films that they said it held parallels with was said film, How I Live Now. Because of this I did research and watched the film, the protagonist is extremely similar to our protagonist.download

The film How I Live Now helped us creatively, in showing us what we want our bathroom scene to look like roughly, but we could also develop the idea further from one of the story lines in the American TV series, One Tree Hill, who have a character feeling insecure and she is bombarded with all these insecurities, and seeing how powerful that scene was, really inspired us, and originally we used this as a template for our bathroom scene, however later we developed that idea.

We discovered that short films tend to have a narrative that identifies an issue, causing equilibrium, and the main aim of the film is so the protagonist reverts back to the norm/equilibrium. This is what we have seen in most short films, as they don’t over complicate the narrative for the audience. We used this common narrative convention in our film along with other narrative theories to make it fit exactly to our genre and be interesting for our audience as we wanted to challenge the generic media conventions, of making short film, yet not overstep the line and dismiss all film making rules.

Another element we had in mind when creating the short film is the genre of, Dystopian film. Dystopia is the opposite of a Utopia, meaning the world is in a bleak state and this state interferes with ethics, examples of this are The Hunger Games and Never Let Me Go. The way these filmsimage depicted their worlds as dull and deathly was something we wanted to capture in our film. The use of colour and contrast really captured the isolated protagonist, as this was something we highly admired in these pictures, we were keen to mimic this in Edius, changing the colours to a more drab and bleak canvas. Shot from film colour edit after and before ^^^^^^^^^^
and a shot from The Hunger Games which we used as a basic idea.

Another way we used real media products in our film is with the shots. In the film Romeo and Juliet by Baz Luhrmann (1996) the opening sequence shows an incredibly chaotic scene of conflict between the Montagues and Capulets. This was done by excessive jump cutting. Not all the jump cut shots we used went into the film because of time constraints, but we used a lot in the opening sequence to show how chaotic and repetitive our protagonists life is, with repeating shots shown later on in the film, just like in Romeo and Juliet.

Like real short films, we had a low budget so refrained from using any CGI technologies, however these aren’t commonly used in short films anyway because including mass amounts of special effects can distract from the audience from the story when the film is short in duration, concluding why we didn’t want to use any special effects that Edius7 could not provide.

CHALLENGE:  From films as a whole, we noticed that there is a lack of female protagonists in films, and the films where they include strong female leads, they are instantly categorized as sexual beings from provocative wear. This is unrepresentative of reality, and it was important that we contrasted this to give a true representation of the young adult in a way that doesn’t diminish their true reflection with sexualising them. We did this by focusing on Olive our protagonist’s internal war with society’s shallow view on people, and how that causes insecurities, more specifically, insecurities between women and girls.
Because of this, we were challenging Propp’s narrative theory about his character template. We did not give ‘the princess’ role to our female protagonist, and instead we made her a strong female lead, who gains courage at the end, and the character of the princess actually has a gender swap, with Aaron playing that role, seen as the ‘prize’.

Another thing we wanted to challenge was the simplistic story lines within short film. We knew from research that a story can’t be too complex due to the limited screening time, but we wanted to give it some substance, therefore we included many different scenes and locations in the short film to challenge ourselves and make good use of the 10 minutes screen time we have. For example, church scene, house scene, street scene, school scene and road scene. This was because it became important to me that we did not have a weak narrative, which is something I noticed in a variety of short films, especially those made by students on YouTube, limiting themselves by filming within their normal surroundings, we challenged this mainly with our church scene, which took an incredible amount of planning, permission, actors etc. This scene added with the constant change of scenes throughout the short film would keep the audience engaged and enticed, and that is something that got noted from feedback after the premiere of our film.

DEVELOPED: Something we developed with our short film is with the shots we used. We based our idea on the bathroom scene on a scene in How I Live Now – mentioned previously. Where words were surrounded on the mirror and her inner voice read them out in narration. We liked this idea but didn’t think it worked as well as it could have, therefore we manipulated this scene mimicked it in our own way. We thought the scene was better stripped down and depicted simplistically, therefore we removed the writing on the mirror and had it all in her head, this strengthened the value of the audio, giving a stronger inference that it is all in her head and isn’t a physical thing.

We also developed the music and changed a popular piece of music so it could legally work in our film so we weren’t going to be in trouble by copyright infringement laws. This was done with the help of a music editor who used the song as a basis of his work, creating sounds that are similar, with different instruments and keys. This also meant we could customise it to our film, and ask for a change of tempo at 00.28 for example, so the music fit into the motion picture and not the other way round.

Something else we were keen to develop was a short film I watched when doing my research for this project. I found a video of a boy who lived with Agoraphobia – The irrational fear of public or open spaces. The film contains narration, and the protagonist talks about how hard it is to live with this phobia, then suddenly he plucks up the courage to go outside and run down the street, only to wake up instantly and realise it was just a dream. Two things hold parallels with our story, and that is the narration and dream sequence. This is something that fueled and encouraged the idea of using narration within short film, however, how we developed the idea was by during our dream sequence, we cut off the narration to give inferences to the audience that there has been a change, instead of playing it through the dream like it is in this short film. We also used the dream sequence idea as the base for our own, to develop it we used more complex shots, and editing techniques, such as jump cuts, blurred effects and speed changes to really make it seem dream-like.

Another media film that held up a similarity with out film was the movie ‘The Lovely Bones’ and this film is about a girl who is murdered, but she is in ‘the inbetween’ of life and death, therefore she cannot get back to reality or make it to heaven and the story is of her quest to reach the light, and it also shows how her parents deal with her death. 2 crucial things go hand in hand with our film, the way we deal with grief of loved ones and being a ghost. The way we developed this idea, was by challenging the stereotypical nuclear family type, and just having a dad, seeing how he deals with it on his own, since the majority of films depict dealing with a death as a united family thing, however we wanted it to be more realistic, since 1 in 2 couples get divorced, therefore Olive’s dad is all she has.
The other idea we developed was with the distorted world Suzie (protagonist in The Lovely Bones) is in. We wanted to have some sort of distortion through camera angles and effects to show that she is in a different world, a world in her mind. With the use of the blur filter in The Lovely Bones, we decided to use this in our film, however increase the strength, so it wasn’t as subtle, which is something we found with this feature film, and because ours is a short film, things could not be hinted in a subtle way, we had to quickly make our point and move on.

Quantitative Data from Questionnaires given out at Premiere from 15 Students

Slide1 Slide2Looking at this data received from audiences at our premiere, I can see there were some things that everyone seemed to agree on 100%, then there are other parts of the film people had different opinions on.

The unanimous data seems to be for the questions:
WHAT GENRE IS THIS SHORT FILM? – everyone said DRAMA
This is exactly what genre we wanted our film to be. This unanimous result shows clearly that we executed a film that is clearly portrayed as a drama by the audience.
WOULD YOU WATCH IN BLOOM AGAIN? – everyone said YES
This proves we have made a film that our entire target audience enjoy watching, which is a brilliant success.
WHO IS THE TARGET AUDIENCE FOR THIS FILM? – everyone said TEENAGER
Which is our exact target audience.

This unanimous data shows that we were 100% effective in making a short film people would want to watch again, that it is for teenagers, and that is of the drama genre.

Other data that was more divided in opinion was the questions like:
DID YOU FIND THE PROTAGONIST RELATABLE? – Most of the people we asked said they found her QUITE relatable, then followed by NOT REALLY. Then a small percentage of people said EXTREMELY, and NOT AT ALL. When you look closely at the qualitative data is is apparent that the ones who said they found Olive NOT AT ALL relatable were male, one male said that they found Olive QUITE relatable though, and that was a shock. We mainly based this film at targeting teenage girls, yet it showed that not only girls tend to feel like this, but boys can too. I feel like we achieved this by not playing along with gender stereotypes, and we had a protagonist that could be related to both genders, with her black aesthetic and non-specific gender bands.

We also asked our audience:
DID YOU THINK THE ENDING WAS PREDICTABLE? – Most of them said NO. and a few said YES. I would say that this is a fair assessment, because we do drop hints and inferences throughout the film, as foreshadowing is an incredibly important element to include in any narrative, even if it isn’t visual, within stories as a whole. We did expect that more advanced audiences (for example those who do the media subject or are film fanatics, would pick up on this, and that was our aim, however this worked to our advantage because if they didn’t think it was predictable, after they watched it, the audience can look back and realise what certain things meant with our hints along the way)

Overall, this feedback process has helped us excessively because it has given us critical and positive feedback, that we can apply to our next projects, and it also tells us if we were successful in our aims. From looking at this research, I would say we have been very successful in making our short film. Watching movies is a way to relax and is classed as leisure, and if we have made a film that unanimously people want to see again, then that means we have achieved the goal of any filmmaker. To make a film that is appreciated and enjoyed by audiences.

 

Post Production: Audience Feedback

After we had the film premiere, we asked a variety of different sixth form students who are are the target age/audience for our film, to fill out one of out questionnaires for feedback, we did this because it ultimately proves if it was a successful film or not, and if our ideas worked well. We got a variety of different answers, crucial to our understanding. We did this to hopefully gain some constructive criticism, as well as discovering what worked, what didn’t work, and if they personally could relate to the film:

First Drafts of the Film Poster

Drawn out plan of poster/ initial ideas :
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After the research, I moved onto experimenting with different colours and tools in Adobe Photoshop. One of the things i was eager to try out on this film poster was enhancing the image with the adjustments tool making them pictures of our actress, Faye, look brighter and have different levels of contrast (similar to colour balancing on Edius7) To give that gloomy appearance.

POSTER tal2 POSTER aske2

 

 

 

 

 

 

I was introduced to Photoshop filters from the first year of media studies at sixth form, creating my music magazine for AS, and was quite interested in revisiting the lens flare tool which I had used previously, so I had a look to see what aesthetic it gave the poster.

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Once we were happy with the basic foundations and layout for the poster, I played around with different ideas with the images. The images show Olive looking serious and slightly morbid, giving a hint to the audience that the genre is drama, and that it is more of a serious production rather than comedic.

FIRST ATTEMPTS:

POSTER POSTER tal2

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It was made apparent through research and discussing my first attempts with people that a vary of text fonts is a good thing; if you used just one font for the whole poster it wouldn’t look as interesting and pleasing to the eye as a poster with more variance to the fonts. The fact we use our unique title on the poster makes the fonts even more complex and different.

With a feedback sheet, we were able to see what potential audiences liked and didn’t like about both designs, and which design they would like to see publicise our film. This will help with our end product, as we will be able to customise our poster to our target audience.

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Audience Feedback: Transcript of interviews regarding ANCILLARY REVIEW

I interviewed 4 students and recorded our conversations then transferred them into a transcript regarding my review:Slide1 Slide2 Slide3 Slide4What I learned from these interviews, is that overall, people liked the online article. Key comments made were that they thought the social media handles worked well, because it combined other forms of networking to film.
Constructive criticism given: One of my interviewees thought it would be a good idea to include links to the production company site, or a link to the trailer. This would improve the informative side of the article, since it would let audiences know more about it. Unfortunately we do not have a trailer to embed a link onto the article, so this would not be possible, however the idea is very good and I have taken it on board.

Breaking the Fourth Wall

We had to make a decision when filming the final scene for IN BLOOM, and we were contemplating breaking the fourth wall, just before the protagonist turns around and acknowledges Aaron. We decided that this decision and cinematic risk is worth taking. We thought that Olive’s direct look into the lens, directed to the audience backs up Olive’s narration, that she isn’t alone. This also lets us know that Olive is aware that the audience have been with her through the epiphany, which wasn’t previously made clear due to the cut off narration whilst she was in the dream.
I am really happy that we broke the fourth wall, because it reaches out to the audience and really enforces the moral. That everyone is important and that we all matter in society. It is also an unexpected move from the protagonist, which is why we thought the risk was worth taking.
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Technology – Vistitle

We had access to a high amount of technology when making our film, along with a high quality editor. Once our films were completely edited, we were introduced to Vistitle, a titling software that meant we could create a title with 3D effects that looked highly professional when combined with a short jingle. If you look at other professional film companies, they always have an opening title that establishes what company they are. The most iconic one is the Universal Opening credit:

Film Review Draft (Text)

titleThe student film IN BLOOM has become a prominent film in the short film industry, its relatable and realistic portrayals of teenage angst has informed adolescent teens of one simple factor. You are not alone. The film directed by Rachael Sampson and Talia Smith takes a refreshing angle on the depiction of life in school/college. The unique side to this short film is that they have broken down cinematic boundaries which were put up by the media; the representation of women and their anxious and conscious feelings during their teenage years allows audiences to feel like they are being represented in a true fashion, unlike films where females are portrayed in unrealistic ways, creating a false image in the media.
The short film is about a young girl called Olive who feels like she does not fit into society, she dislikes her school life, feels insecure about her body and is isolated by her peers. Twists and turns occur which cause Olive to become invisible, and is living in a world where everyone thinks she is dead. The movie focuses on the way the world reacts to her demise, an unexpected reaction from her peers. Including a lot of metaphors and foreshadowing, this film cleverly discloses a mourning world, revealing how important individuals are in society, including a strong moral, reaching out to teenagers and telling them they are a significant piece in many people’s lives, even if they do not see it, one day they will.
The film includes narration from the protagonist, giving an interesting angle to a film which necessarily lacks this feature due to the length of screening time. Faye Clark (who plays the role of Olive) does an excellent job in portraying this troubled teen, making audiences instantly relate to her through everything from her expressions to aesthetics.
The film was nominated for Best Short Film at Cannes Film Festival but unfortunately the movie missed out on the award for the short film Hous, directed by Zara Bhatti. Other critics have said “utterly breath taking” – The Guardian and “finally a film that we can all relate to!” – The Sun and “9/10”- RottenTomatoes.com

Using the Jib

The jib proved to be very useful for filming some of the specific scenes within IN BLOOM. one of the scenes we used it for was to do an upward panning overhead shot of the protagonist looking at her classmates whilst they cease to see her due to it all being in her head. To give this illusion of abnormality, we wanted to do a birds-eye view shot to portray this as this angle is typically used within dream sequences to depict a dream or unusual circumstances (see previous post on camera angles for full description of shot.) To do this, we slowly moved the camera from a neutral position, to over-the-head at a steady pace, so the audience are looking down on the scene, adding that extra dimension of illusion and peculiarity to the scene where it becomes apparent that Olive Dermott is not in fact there. This shot paired with the actors expression of pure ignorance portrays a disturbing representation of insignificance, even with Olive’s face not facing the camera, it infers that she is irrelevant, even to the audience, making her feel even smaller. cropWe also used the jib at the very end of the film when Olive walks into school with Aaron, the shot pans up into the sky where the text ‘IN BLOOM’ is displayed in the sky, this shot contrasts the classroom scene where the jib is used as it pans upwards with the camera facing the sky to give a worms-eye-view of the shot. This infers that things are looking up for the protagonist and it works well with fading out the entire production into the credit reel in one fluent and slick shot.

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Research into Film Reviews

Before starting my film review for IN BLOOM, I did some research on film reviews, to find out what bases they cover and what kind of vocabulary is used for specific reviews, and if i wanted to write an online review or print review, and if it was for the specific target audience for the film or an older audience etc. All these ideas were answered within this slideshare. The main thing I learnt from it was that the main purpose is to inform but not give much away to ruin it for potential audience members, therefore I wrote out my first draft.

Music Manipulation within Legal Rights

For the funeral scene, we really wanted to have a juxtaposed piece, nothing soft and calming like what you would stereotypically find at a funeral, but a rock piece which reflects Olive’s personality. From all my music research, I found a song called Mind’s Eye by Wolfmother:

I went to a friend who said he would help us out and create the music for us since he uses music software and creates pieces as a hobby in his free time, and asked him if he could manipulate the song and maker a different but similar version of the song since we would not have legal rights to use the original piece, he then went away with the notes I had given him (which are on my blog further down) and he provided me with this:

This piece sounds similar yet different, which is a way we overcame a problem when working on the film, avoiding copyright infringements.

Changes Made

Storyboards The storyboards we created for IN BLOOM were just a visual idea, for ways we could shoot the scene, during the whole process, we did not always use the storyboards as they could have limited our creativity with shots and different angles, we used them as a guideline. Looking through all the shots, 80% of them match the storyboard, and the other 20% were experimental shots that became opportune when filming.

Music When we had all the pieces of music from our music producer, we realised that we were short a few pieces, to overcome this issue, we had to gather more music that we hadn’t necessarily prepared for. Because of license agreements we were worried we could not get permission to use a strong piece of music, however we came across MobyGratis.com, which provides music for indie filmmakers/students.
Another musical issue we had was that we planned to use a funeral piece for the actual funeral, when paired with the scene it didn’t seem to flow very well and we wanted this scene to be iconic and striking, this could only be done with unusual music you wouldn’t necessarily have in a funeral, therefore posing a juxtaposition, so we got Mark Edwards, who is working as the music producer for this film, to create this piece:

Editing and Colour Balancing the Car Crash Scene

The car crash is the most pivotal and important part of our short film, its the cause for the outcome, and because of it’s vital importance, we had to tackle it carefully and had to think about how we would do it justice. The process was long and complex and we came across errors, but we managed to overcome them to create a clean finished final shot.

After researching into how other movies have filmed car crashes, we went on to filming  and gained shots using a vary of methods. During the filming process, we captured many different angles, so we had a lot of material to work with for the editing porcess. We began with filming the car and actor Faye Clark separately, so then we could combine clips in editing therefore we could layer the shots together, making them look realistic, with still camera work and the tripod.
Then we filmed the shot using both of them in the same shot, but with the car going slow so then we could speed it up in editing.
Finally we filmed with both of them in the same shot but did it in reverse, with the car starting with Olive very close to it, then the car reversing away and Olive reacting, this way in editing we could reverse the clip so it’s actually the right way round and we could speed it up so it looks like she really gets hit as she begins so close to the car.
We looked through our clips and decided to combine the two separate clips because they looked more realistic, unlike the sped up and reversed shots which appeared to be jolting, and it was clear that we had edited the speed as it did not run smoothly. Edius lets you do this with the tool called the ‘layouter‘.

A1You can alter the dimensions of the clips you are using, cropping them so it combines the two clips together. We came across a big issue when doing this – between the shot of Olive and the shot of the car, the tripod that the camera was on had been moved slightly, so the clips didn’t align and you could tell they were separate shots for they could not match together fluently. This took a lot of delicate accuracy to move the clips so they were in line.

Once we had over come that issue, we found that the lighting differed between the two clips. As we were working with natural lighting there was nothing we could do about this during the filming process. The only way to overcome the issue was colour balance in sdfssfEdius. We used colour balance on one clip to match the other which proved to be extremely difficult as the original clips had different lighting so we could not use the same amount of contrast or grey scale on each clip, we had to visually match them until they looked correct. Once we got the two clips to colour match as accurately as possible, we finalized the clip and colour balanced the whole thing so it had the correct vibrancy for the scene.screenshot6

To make the car crash be as effective and shocking as possible, we paired the main shot with extreme close ups of Olive. The jump cuts back and forward from these shots made the event look chaotic. We decided to end the visuals with a blackout. This cliffhanger leaves the audience in suspense making them want to know what happens next and allows them to gather their thoughts from a frantic and unexpected scene.

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Once the visuals of the car crash were done, we then moved on to gathering audio clips and looking through the audio we filmed. Online we found some sound effects which could be used in this scene such as; crashes, horn beeping, tire screeches, a scream and engine noises. These all combined together create a high tension piece of film.

Once this scene was completed we were able to look at it and critically analyse the entire scene, judging the misc-en-scene. With everything paired together, the scene looked highly dramatic and was just how we drew up on the storyboards. Critically, something we did not like was the added scream we dubbed over the protagonist Olive, it was clear that the voice tone was different, therefore we took it out and replayed the clip, this appeared to look better overall.

Editing the Car Crash Scene

jib2This shot we story boarded is the most complex shot we have in the entire production. We thought of many possible ways we could film it, (shown in other car crash post) and in the end, the safest and best way cinematically to film it was to keep the tripod still, film Faye Clark, our actress, walking into the road and reacting to a car coming towards her, then instantly afterwards, we film the car slamming onto the breaks in the same exact frame. This meant we could layer the two shots over each other in Edius, add a blackout just before contact with the car and Faye is made (even though that is not what really happened when filming) then adjust the lighting accordingly.

When we revisited the shots in the editing process, we noticed the tripod had been jib2knocked slightly when filming, therefore the two shots could not be layered as they are not aligned. Edius lets you do this with the tool called the ‘layouter’. It also allows you to manipulate the dimensions of the clips you are using, and cropping them so they can be combined, therefore it took a lot of time to get the two shots to pair up through this method.

After we did this, it became apparent that we needed to change the colour balance on one of the clips so it matched up to the other. Therefore we used the 3 colour wheel I have discussed in my blog previously, to make alterations to this. sdfssf

 

Effects we used in Edius

Editing is a big part of the entire cinematic process of making a film, and within this short film, a lot of skills are required to make the footage string together fluently. Alongside the basic skills, we also have to add some effects to make interesting scene transitions etc. Only half of the job is the filming, the rest is in editing, and this is what can make or break a film, giving it the professional cinematic aesthetic, with the lighting, sound and colour dissolvecorrection.
In Edius there is a folder full of different effects, filters and shot transitions. For IN BLOOM we used the dissolve effect a lot to blend clips together so it was a smooth transition instead of a harsh jump cut.

We decided to use the blur effect in the church scene to connect the protagonist to coming out of her dream state, this gives a disorientated effect and we applied it on a shot of her eyes opening, coming back to reality.

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We also used the ‘time speed’ effect to alter the speed and it also allows you to reverse them which came in handy when putting together the car crash scene, and to show time winding backwards, and also worked in the montage scene where Olive wakes up and goes to sleep, so we could use the same clip but change the speed and time sequence.

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To adjust the speed of the clip, this menu opens up after selecting ‘time effect’ this allowed us to change the percentage rate, so we could have slow-mo clips or high-speed. We figured out what worked well with trial and error.timespeed2

Issues We Overcame Whilst Filming:

Locational:
For the classroom scene, we had planned and story boarded to use a maths classroom at Titus Salt School, because it is perceived as a stereotypically boring subject at school, and with the schools aesthetic in the classrooms of posters and wall decor regarding maths, it would have set the scene ideally. However, when we contacted the organizational office for the school, they told us the only rooms they had available were the hall and dance studio, which does not have a classroom aesthetic at all.
We had to devise a plan B, and we decided to use out media classroom instead, this added time to our schedule because we had to take an hour out of our time to create the maths room out of a media room, this meant moving tables, chairs and desks etc, and we also had to think about different shots as the media computers are very prominent in the room, therefore we drafted up a new scene plan for shooting.

Slide2Weather:
Due to our film being set in a lot of different locations, and quite a few are set outside, for example – church scene, the accident, walking to school and the finale. We planned and hoped for gloomy weather for the church scene, and that is luckily what we got, it was perfect conditions to portray a funeral and it didn’t rain which meant we could film (as it would be unsafe to use the equipment in the rain in case we damaged it)
However, when Olive walks to school, the day of shooting was incredibly sunny, therefore our actress couldn’t help but squint a lot, and when we colour correct the scene, it is something which we cannot alter on her expression. We overcame this by changing the scene slightly, therefore having less up-close shots and more distant shots.
Another issue we had to overcome was that we needed to revisit the scene, as we accidentally missed out one of the storyboard sheets when filming, therefore when we revisited the location a few weeks later, the weather was windy, and the previous shots we planned to connect with this scene, our actress’ hair is still, yet in the new shots, it was blowing quite strongly in the air. We overcame this on Edius, by including another shot to break up the two, so it isn’t an obvious change of weather, making it less noticeable and the continuity appear smoother.

Noise Pollution:
During some of the outdoor scenes, such as The Accident, we had noise from passing cars, and members of the public talking. Unfortunately, whilst we were filming, an ice cream van went by and that delayed filming for a few minutes as the music from the van cannot be in the scene, immediately after that, there was a helicopter directly above us, and that took a good 10 minutes to pass by. We overcame this before we started filming, as we knew that there would be some natural delays with filming, therefore when we scheduled it, we added an extra half an hour to the plan, therefore we weren’t rushed and stretched for time, meaning we could work to the best of our ability without the pressure of time constraints.

Roads:
Roads play a big part in this short, and when filming The Accident, we needed a road to use that wasn’t busy, for us to do take after take after take of the most pivotal shot (where she nearly gets hit by the car) we overcame this by finding an incredibly quiet road/cul-de-sac, so that very few cars, if any, would be interfering with our shots, or that we would be in the way of their journey.

Equipment:
Since the equipment we are using to shoot the short film is shared between the rest of the media students, we have to book out certain pieces. When filming the scene at Talia’s House, there is a shot which requires the jib, and it was used by a different group at that time. We overcame this by devising our own jib, I had to film two shots in a slow, rising movement to give the aesthetic of a smooth transition. One of the shots was drawn out to go above our protagonists head, to do this i stood on a chair and slowly panned the camera over her. It is not as smooth as it would have been if we had the jib but we had to make a compromise and it works quite well considering.

Continuity:
One of our actors, Ross Clark who plays Aaron, had an accident during the filming process, due to this, his hand was in a cast for a period of 1 month, during this time we were filming the church scene. To overcome this we had to change some of the camera angles to hide his cast when he walks into the church. We did this by getting him to walk with his hand behind his back, and filming from the front, then when he overtook the camera, we got him to put his hand in front, so we could get a clear shot of him walking through the church door. This change in plan kept the continuity in this scene as his hand was not noticeable from the angles we filmed from.

Text Font

titleWe took our short film name to Photoshop and created a title which we can use on our posters and review, alongside the cover of our actual work. The use of dead flowers over the text creates a juxtaposition as the flowers are wilting and not blooming. Showing the main body of the narrative: a girl who feels dead inside and suffers with depression. The way the leaves and flowers wind round the text create an interesting and bold header which strikes as intriguing for audiences. We then developed this idea and added more flowers and weeds to strongly infer this connotation.

title

Editing Process So Far (Walking Scene)

efsfgsThe software we are using to create our short film is Edius. Currently we are working on the scene where our protagonist is on her way to school. A shot that we didn’t plan on the storyboards but came to out attention when filming is having her walk the same route twice, keep the tripod still, yet zoom in on one of the shots to create a wider shot effect when the shots are paired together. Luckily when filming, a car drove past which is a good place for us to end the shot to link it to the next.
We attached the two shots together and then kept a running audio from the second clip of the car to run over the two scenes, linking them visually and audibly.

Experimenting with Colour on Edius

image image imageWe want the entire film to have a dark undertone over it, and that includes the colour. The first picture shows an after and before shot of the same image, however with the colour balance adjusted. To create this dark colour you alter the white and grey balance, you can also use the contrast and saturation buttons to get a similar effect.

 

 

How To Alter Colour on Edius Tutorial

Before we start to alter any of the shots natural colour state, I want to learn how to use the software to the best of its ability. For my media film IN BLOOM, we want to dull down a lot of the shots to portray a dark and troubled vibe, reflected off our protagonist – Olive. I want to learn how to create a professional finish on my work, so it looks like a true cinematic movie.

colFrom this YouTube tutorial, I have learned all about the different ways you can colour balance your clips, in the colour correction folder contained in the drop down file menu. I now know how to use the three way colour corrector, the colour correction wheel and the YUV curve tool.

MobyGratis.com license agreement

imageThis is the agreement with MobyGratis.com to use The Day (Yeasayer Remix) in our production of IN BLOOM.

MobyGratis.com is a resource for independent and non-profit filmmakers, film students, and anyone in need of free music for their independent, non-profit film, video, or short. Moby has made a selection of over 150 tracks from his huge catalog of music available to licence for free, via a simple online application system.

This piece of music fits perfectly for one of our scenes where Olive is walking to school after the accident and her epiphany, where she finally appreciates the life she has. The music has a variety of components that when incorporated together create a solid piece. For example the use of the video game sounding riff with the deep vocals cause a confused mash-up conveying happiness.

Sped-up Technique on Edius

dddddTo give the feeling of isolation and invisibility, I took Faye, our actress into the school corridor when the bell went, so other students would walk past her, obviously the camera and Faye stood still drew attention to us, and younger students were keen to distract and interfere with the filming process, however to create the aesthetic of Olive being invisible, and starstruck from what she has just learned about herself, I went onto Edius and increased the speed of the clip, since Faye remained still throughout the scene, she appeared the same, whereas the other students are vastly moving around her, and because the speed is so fast, you don’t notice students being silly or breaking the fourth wall by looking directly into the camera lens. This can be done by right clicking on the clip and selecting speed, then altering the motion from’x100′, this creates this aesthetic:

http://green-eyed-hexe.tumblr.com/post/117951746288

Rule of Thirds

The rule of thirds is a concept in video and film production in which the frame is divided into into nine imaginary sections, as illustrated on the right. This creates reference points which act as guides for framing the image.

Points (or lines) of interest should occur at 1/3 or 2/3 of the way up (or across) the frame, rather than in the centre. Like many rules of framing, this is not always necessary (or desirable) but it is one of those rules you should understand well before you break it.

In most “people shots”, the main line of interest is the line going through the eyes. In this shot, the eyes are placed approximately 1/3 of the way down the frame.

When applied to my media film, you can see how we have followed this rule in some of the shots, keeping the protagonists eye-line 1/3rd down the screen.http://titussaltmedia.co.uk/blogs/smithtalia1268/files/2014/04/olive.png

Discuss the need for Media Regulation [50] (practice essay question)

Media Regulation and the need for it is a very prevalent subject, one which cannot be agreed on by a vast majority as it is an incredibly complex and sensitive issue, for it deals with the limitations of the freedom of speech. Freedom of speech is something the British public are blessed to have within this democratic society. However, it has become more and more apparent that some parts of the media are manipulating this right, passing off information as informative, when it could in fact be slanderous/libel and overall harmful to such an extent in which members of the public, and those in the constant light of the media, fear their human rights are being violated.

Recently, the need for Media Regulation has been contemplated, with the Leverson enquiry looking into cases where people have been debased by the British press, via phone hacking scandals and extreme accusations, for example the McCann family, who have been accused of storing their own daughter in the freezer, allegations which were published by the Daily Express newspaper, claiming they had read Kate McCann’s diary. Due to the recent issues in 2012, Leverson made the following point that the then current Press Complaints Commission (PCC) failed to deliver a service which protected the rights of British citizens against the whiplash of British Press publications. Therefore it was decided to put in place a new body: Independent Press Standards Organisation (IPSO), which means that if the body disapproves of the published works, and that a company has perverted the cause of justice, then a fine must be paid. However this is not backed by law as a lot of people strongly believe in the freedom of the press, and from this perspective being a victim of the medias untouchable power, it is clear why some would wish for statutory media regulation.

Analysing the aftermath and the effect of publishing a subjective article or even posting a singular Tweet or Facebook post only enforces the need for Media Regulation, because there is no limitation to what someone can publish online. Now in the 21st century, online publications are becoming more and more popular, as we are in the digital age, meaning that a thought can be processed, typed up, and sent online for the world to see in a matter of seconds, and it is this technological leap which suggests more regulation is needed within the media to protect society. Words of hate, racism, homophobia, sexism and much more are posted daily on websites such as Facebook, Twitter and YouTube, and whilst people are expressing their opinions, which is a right we have in this country, some opinions can be extremely harmful, and with cyber bullying increasing every year, causing suicide rates in teenagers to increase, it brings attention to an issue which is protected by freedom of speech.

Freedom of speech is something which many abuse in the press, taking extreme levels of action to uncover details which the press attempt to pass off as essential news, however headlines such as “Kate Middleton sunbathes topless” are not in the public interest, and are just a violation of privacy, with photographers using high-tech equipment to capture such images from 2 miles away. Distorting the public’s view of an important British figure, and demoralising her for doing a perfectly normal thing in her own holiday home. During the Leverson enquiry, the actress Sienna Miller gave evidence supporting Media Regulation saying: “I have had 5 men chase me at night with cameras, if you take the cameras away, what do you have? 5 men chasing a woman home, which is terrifying and violating.”

It can alternatively be argued that there isn’t a need for Media Regulation, because regulating human rights is in fact inhumane. And the argument can be made of: if you don’t like what is being said on social media, don’t go on social media. However, it is the media which strongly shapes society, this idea is backed up by the Hypodermic Needle Theory, which suggests we are ‘injected’ with ideologies posed in the media, making us want to invest or become the product or subject represented.  If these expressions in the media are libel, then what stops a trend of followers making the same move, and manipulating the view of others, which is not mentioned in the 1998 Human Rights Act. Media Regulation could nonetheless, damage press freedom, and newspapers such as The Guardian and Daily Telegraph have both said they would prefer a self-regulatory system, as no form of statutory regulation of the press would be possible without the imposition of state licensing – abolished in Britain in 1695, therefore if they were to do so, press freedom would be radically altered. Another factor suggesting why media regulation is not needed is that controlling what writers publish oppresses creative freedom, and there is a danger that censorship would shortly follow.

Grounded Media Regulation is already in place in some instances, for example the British Board of Film Classification (BBFC) where movies are put into categories to indicate if they are suitable for certain age groups. This method of regulation proves to be successful as creative freedom is not limited, because before a film is out it is essential the BBFC watch the film before the initial release, giving it a rating of PG/12A/18 for example. This has upset a small percentage of filmmakers for it can damage their profit, nevertheless this is only a small issue in comparison to exposing audiences to imagery considered too explicit for some. This infers that regulating the media can be effective, however the cinematic industry works differently to print publications such as newspapers, magazines and leaflet advertising, with thousands of print publications reaching shop shelves daily, it becomes a considerably harder task to monitor the media as they have 24 hours do so, unlike films, which leave months of time to assess the correct classification for the motion picture.

While it is important to have press freedom, the press need to know their limitations, like in any other occupation. 20 years ago I would have thought that there is not a strong need for Media Regulation, however with the digital platform society is currently on, I would say it is essential. In recent months, terrorist videos have been published online of ‘Islamic State’ beheading innocent British people. These videos can be easily accessed, and with children getting to grips with technology from early ages, it becomes a scary prospect, the thought that your own child could be watching what should only be seen in a physical act of conflict; war. And these videos are essentially advertised by news reports such as BBC news, informing the public that these videos are online and are available to be seen. With this being stated in newspapers and in the 6 o’clock news (before watershed), what is to stop a child from Googling these videos and exposing themselves to devastating and scarring horrors.

War has been reborn, from fighting on frontlines to fighting behind keyboards, and it is the press and internet’s endless liberty that emphasises the need for Media Regulation, as the future generation must be protected from merciless and unnecessary acts of violence and words of deception, because it can never be erased. Possibly erased online, but never erased from the mind.

Time Management

organisationalsheetWe devised a schedule to keep on track with our filming and research so we could fit it all in before the deadline. This enabled us to also have a checklist and we could then cross off what we had done.
We didn’t always stick to the schedule as sometimes an actor was ill, or something got in the way ie. weather, however it was a really good guideline and it kept us on track.

After we had assigned out job roles this came in handy because it gave us individual tasks to do as well as the group work. For example whilst Talia was working on finessing the storyboards, I was able to alter the script, or make props for some of the scenes and get the outfits together for the cast.

Designing Olive’s Bedroom

For the very first scene in the short, we wanted to make Olive’s bedroom reflect her personality that is seen in the narration, she is a very artistic, creative and music loving person. It would be a shame to portray her as that then have her bedroom like a blank canvas, making the realism flawed. So, I decided to make a mural for her bedroom wall and a shrine on the other, filled with musical and artistic influences and interests, to really set the scene and create a true depiction of character.

imageFor the mural, I went online and looked up all the bands that fit into the genre of rock/punk/alternative and I printed out their most famous album covers in different sizes. I then cut out the pictures and stuck them to the wall with blue-tack, which gives a strong powerful effect on camera when shown together. I also managed to find some old concert tickets that I could also put on the wall to portray her as a true fan of music.

imageAfter I did this, I made a shrine for the other wall. I printed out pictures of popular rock artist such as Hole and Nirvana, also Pixies (as they are featured in the soundtrack) and stuck them to take wall with a collection of rock CDs in front of it. For the CDs I visited charity shops in my local area to build up a strong collection alongside my own CDs. I was then able to make the shot look more homely with a few candles and I also included my Chinese lucky cat and Polaroid camera, insinuating her artistic flare. Another feature on the shrine is an art print from Lucas David and his painting of France’s Bean Cobain, a grungy representation of Olive herself.

In the actual shots used within the short film, I placed my guitars over the shrine table, as a finishing creative touch for our protagonist. When all these components were put together, it truly reflected the protagonist we wanted to put on screen, not only as a narrative person mentally, but now visually.

Camera Angles

Angles can be identified like numbers on a clock:

Birds Eye View (1) – This shot in the film American Beauty is a good example of this; peering over the subject in shot. It gives the illusion of peering down, often used in a dream sequence like this as it is an unnatural shot, giving the audience the feeling of flying. It is also often used as an establishing shot of a big city, to contrast with the subject.

Neutral View (3) –  This shot gives suggests equality, giving the camera equal positioning and status to the actors or subject. It is used in the scene in Inglorious Basterds when they are all sat having a drink, creating a friendly environment, only so that illusion can be shattered in the next few moments. This shot can also be known as the eye level shot. It gives the feeling that the audience is actually in the scene and is part of the action.

Worm’s Eye View (5) – This shot is often used by Mr Quentin Tarantino in his movies where it gives the impression that the subject is dominant and better than the other subject in the film. For example, when someone is in the boot of a car and the hit-men are looking over them it gives the impression of dominance, the two shots Bird’s Eye and Worm’s Eye give the opposite effect, a juxtaposition in the camera angle world.

 

Character Conventions – Propp’s Princess: Harmful or Helpful?

The Debate: Harmful or Helpful?

Because I also write for the website FilmInquiry.com, I was able to work with one of my fellow writers and set out a debate, discussing whether Vladimir Propp’s princess role, and the entire role of women in film in general, is harmful or helpful. Here is the debate: 

Sons of Anarchy () Source-
Sons of Anarchy (2008) Source – FX

SAM: Movie audiences have always loved the familiar. While we crave and appreciate stories that challenge, surprise and subvert our expectations, we also get a weird thrill out of things happening exactly the way we think they are supposed to. It’s why a Bond film is a disappointment if there’s no “the name’s Bond”; or why a sports movie without an inspiring montage doesn’t feel right. Some movie genres, like the Western or costume drama, are almost built on such tropes to the extent that we feel cheated if they don’t appear. Maybe this says something bad about cinema audiences; but it’s clearly a trend that exists, and it explains why Propp’s theory is so prevalent and important to film. We need a strong hero character to engage with and a villain to provide conflict and tension. Populating a film with Propp’s character roles means that the audience will immediately recognise the character’s purpose in the story, allowing the plot and characters to develop with more freedom. Of course, not all films have to do this – in fact some of my favourites, like There Will Be Blood, have no definable character roles at all. And it could be argued that adhering to character roles stifles narrative freedom, forcing the writer into a pre-existing rigid structure. But filmmakers can be as creative and subversive with the character roles as they like, taking them in new directions with powerful effect on the audience. For example, David Fincher’s The Social Network: is Mark Zuckerberg the hero, or is Eduardo Saverin? Is Sean Parker a helper, donor, false hero or villain? A case could be made for all of them. And the fluid shifting and blending between character roles can make for fascinating cinema while still grounding the audience in a structure they can easily understand.

RACH: Propp’s theory of character roles is evidently something which a lot of directors/producers/writers include in their movies, and it is undeniably a successful template to follow, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t a harmful element in film. Since movies, television series, shows etc. strongly influence and shape the world around us, they can send harmful messages to the people watching. For example, one of Propp’s character roles is the prize/princess role, a concept that infers the woman in the film is a reward for the heroes successful battle in conflict. Presenting women as prizes and inferring that they generally are not the ones to permit in conflict through demeaning stereotypes such as the ‘damsel in distress’, sends a dangerous message, especially to the younger generation. Due to this idea being evident in film long before Propp’s theory, we are stuck with a very predictable narrative. We have come a long way with films such as Frozen and television series such as Homeland, placing women into the limelight and allowing them to play more dominant and strong-willed characters – trying to break down those demeaning stereotypes previous films have displayed. However this small change is still opposed with successful shows and movies that still abuse and portray women in a sexual manner; for example Game of Thrones and Sons of Anarchy. In 2011, only 11% of protagonists in films were female. Emphasising how glued filmmakers are to Propp’s ideology, and how harmful it can be to the viewers, transmitting an idea which tells women that they are to be prizes, highly sexualised and extremely attractive, and then on the other scale, these movies and series are suggesting to men that they have to be fighters and dominant figures.

The Hunger Games (201) Source -
The Hunger Games (2012) Source – Lionsgate

SAM: The misrepresentation of women in film is certainly an important issue, but are Propp’s character roles to blame? His theory was taken from his research on Russian fairy tale. The Princess character is based on the fact that the role within the narrative – the prize, the thing that the hero aspires to and is blocked from due to the villain – is generally filled by female characters (often literally princesses) within fairy tales. This is a problem with fairy tales, but it doesn’t have to be a problem with cinema. Laura Mulvey’s male gaze theory states that all media is viewed through the eyes of men and thus women are objectified by the gaze of the male director. I would argue that the objectification of women in cinema comes from the projection of this attitude onto character roles, rather than an inherent sexism in Propp’s theory. Although it is problematic that the Princess is the only explicitly gendered of the character types, this is a reflection of the stories of his time – I think if Propp wrote his theory today he would change the name to Prize, a more accurate description of the role which doesn’t rely on gender. And modern filmmakers should update his roles to reflect changing attitudes in society. In fact, gender reversal of the Princess character has begun. The Hunger Games series, one of the only hit franchises with a female lead, sees a woman in the hero role and a man in the Princess role – in fact, Peeta Mellark’s character is so vulnerable and dependent on the hero that if he was a female character he would be rightly criticised as a damsel in distress. Moving away from blockbuster cinema, 2013’s Philomena featured an elderly lady as the hero, with the Princess character being her long-lost son. It’s also possible to have a female Princess character that is unsexualised, developed and essential to the plot; think of Murph in Interstellar, a complex and important character who serves as the daughter rather than the lover of the hero, but is still clearly the Princess. These are positive signs in cinema, and a sign that character roles can be followed without objectifying women. It’s now up to filmmakers to use Propp’s character roles in progressive and intelligent ways.

RACH: There has evidently been a change to cinema for women to be considered as the hero/protagonist in modern movies like The Hunger Games, and the role reversal idea through characters like Peeta Mellark, playing Propp’s prize/princess. However, there are only a small amount of films like this in comparison to huge blockbuster movie franchises that do follow these old fashioned character roles, such as; Harry Potter, Lord of the Rings, Batman, the majority of Marvel movies, etc. But that is not the only way character roles can cause issues. Referring back to the male gaze theory, as characters are viewed through the eyes of a heterosexual male, it sends very repetitive messages to the audience. It is the effect of these cinematic decisions from males in the industry (according to Laura Mulvey) which cause harm. Since media is the biggest transmitter of information, and on average a teenager is exposed to a staggering 10 hours and 45 minutes of media consumption a day, it really enforces the idea that we, as a society, should match the characters we see in fictional movies. Men occupy 80 to 95+% of the top decision-making positions in American politics, business, the military, religion, media, culture, and entertainment. So if they have the majority of the control in these jobs, including the world of cinema, no wonder the younger generation are becoming more and more adapted to the subconscious messages they receive through tv and movie screens. Men aspire to be Clark Kent, and women wish to be Lois Lane. It is bizarre how fiction, a limitless world where you can create a story with any possible outcome, for example; Superman flying around the world anti-clockwise to turn back time, is so restricted subconsciously, that we cannot break through stereotypes which ultimately harm people. The worst part of it being that we have aspirations to be like these characters due to the constant fuel from the media, a cycle which will be incredibly hard to break. And because we invest so much money into these movies, filmmakers will only repay audiences with similar messages since their profits infer we want to see more femme fatale and patriarchy.

It is clear that most narratives are told in a very predictable manner and they will be told like this for years to come, and since media such as films, adverts and propaganda are one of the biggest influences in enforcing ideologies, if not the biggest, Propp’s theory will continue to be an incredibly relevant feature in the world of film. It can be completely open to interpretation whether you think this theory is harmful or not, but society is however reshaping this theory by swapping stereotypical gender roles in film. It would be a huge breakthrough in the world of cinema if a filmmaker out there decided to fully challenge this theory and create a film that can only be described as purely unique.

Permission to Use Where Is My Mind? and Blue Eyed Hexe in IN BLOOM

black francisBlack Francis, the lead singer of the band Pixies, and the one who wrote the song Where Is My Mind? and Blue Eyed Hexe has given me permission to use these songs in my A2 Media Project after I cleared it with Mr. Hermitage. Therefore with the permission to use the music we will be adhering to copyright rules, and this is photographic evidence of the permission.

The reason why I really want to use these two pieces in the short film is because when you put yourself into the shoes of that character, and want to block out the entire world, Blue Eyed Hexe fits perfectly, and lyrically it fits with this character. Also I am adamant to use Where Is My Mind? which is notoriously known for the soundtrack for Fight Club in the final scene where the buildings crumble around the protagonist and it leaves you questioning where your mind actually is. Since this film goes in and out of sub-consciousness, it has a similar effect in this short film. Not only that, but it foreshadows the events after her accident. Because luckily I have a connection with Black Francis as he follows me on Twitter, I was able to ask him if we could use the songs and he got back to me unexpectedly.

Women in The Media – Miss Representation

The main aim I have with this short film is to address the issue of self-consciousness and the depression women can suffer from through things such as media representations.  This film is an insight into many young girls lives, and I want to challenge traditional media conventions such as Vladimir Propp’s theory and have the protagonist be her own hero, villain, helper etc. In 2011, only 11% of protagonists in films were female. This shocking statistic only enforces this idea of the necessity to have more women in film to shut down sexism and not have women in the limelight who only encourage girls to look like unrealistic versions of themselves, and to be seen as the weaker sex/femme fatal. Miss Representation is a documentary that address’ the issues with women in the media and how truly ignorant companies such as CBS are to ignore and ridicule women in positions of power for their appearance and play on female stereotypes. This trailer for the movie shows this and interviews actors/political leaders/comedians etc. showing how they feel in their areas of work and how they have been rejected simply for being a woman, and the putdowns they have suffered for not having the perfect aesthetic.

The Protagonist’s Look (Hair and Make-up) – Scene 1

BEFORE:                                                                                               AFTER:faye4

faye2

faye3

The first scene we shot with our lead actor, Faye, is the montage scene and the bathroom scene. For this we styled her hair into a messy bun, giving an edgy/grunge appearance, with two strands of hair down on her face. This style is messy yet it adds another layer to the character. Showing she can be considered attractive with minimal effort, however the character doesn’t see this. Also from the perspective of Talia and myself, this style is very common and worn for bed.

Regarding her make-up, we decided to strip her face bare of all make-up. This creates a more realistic and true portrayal of a girl who has just woken up. The actress had slightly blotchy/red skin when we shot this scene and this worked to our advantage. Also because this is an indie short film, the independency allows us to add more gritty and down to earth elements. We did however add a dark brown eye shadow to the inner corners of her eyes, this depicts her as slightly tired and a little down, giving her eyes a sunken in effect.

Special effects and make-up can diminish what can be considered as ‘flaws’, creating a misrepresentation of a girl, and the ‘male gaze’ theory by film theorist Laura Mulvey is a theory we agree with and plays an important part in the short film IN BLOOM, and we want to show the effects and dangers of ‘the male gaze’. One of the ways we have done this is through the hair and make-up of OLIVE, presenting a realistic teenage girl.

IN BLOOM : Playlist for musical inspiration

Screenshot 2015-01-22 17.13.52This playlist I have devised contains pieces from a variety of artists which contain key elements which I would like to incorporate into the music for IN BLOOM. With the help of Spotify. I have been able to collect these pieces to form a stronger picture for our musician working with us on this project. Thus, he will be able to see what kind of mood, tempo,instrumental etc. we want with the 3 pieces we have asked him to create.
Studying the playlist further, one of the crucial points regarding the choices is the ominous and slightly supernatural sound the pieces demonstrate. The songs Special Death – Mirah and Red Right Hand – Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds provide a slightly spooky accompaniment to the vocals. I like this idea because it hints at a slight foreshadowing within the narrative of IN BLOOM. Since the main character Olive is thought to be dead or in a subconscious state, having music which suggests she is a ghostly presence makes a stronger narrative and allows the audience to think of reasons/conspiracies within the story.
The main vibe given off from this playlist is depression. This is denoted from the loud and brash pieces, suggesting the listener is trying to block out the world, then other sombre pieces to reflect that isolated and upset protagonist.
Music is very important regarding the short film IN BLOOM, not only because music is generally an important element within film, but because so much of the main character is expressed through the musical pieces, it is key that we get it right, and this playlist will help achieve a sound adaptable to the short film IN BLOOM.

Edius 7 Tutorial

I watched a variety of Edius 7 tutorials to learn and prepare for my future use with the software. I have watched this so I can gain a stronger understanding of the programme and use it to the best of my ability.

The Art of Close-ups by Edgar Wright (cont.)

From watching The Art Of Close-ups by Edgar Wright, I have learned the true way to master this specific style of shot from the best in the business. It has taught me that the boring aspects of the film – when Olive is doing things from her daily routine, e.g. going to the fridge to get milk, closing the door etc. it livens them up and turns them into shots which the audience will find excitable and a memorable part of the motion picture. Also it adds an element of comedy to the shot sequence and this is vital for IN BLOOM as the quantitative research shows our target audience prefers the comedic genre.