Wednesday, 21 October 2009

Thriller moodboard

Just a quick model (I did this far too quickly, just to demonstrate). I really need you to spend time searching for exactly the type of thriller you'd most enjoy working on. Create a mood - the mood you would like to re-create in your own work, or simply films which will give you some inspiration... Try to illustrate the thriller conventions.
I think that a couple of themes are emerging from my own poster... Worrying, really...

Check out Hasina's moodboard!

Thriller opening

The opening of "The Silence of the Lambs" directed by Jonathan Demme.

Saturday, 17 October 2009

blog update + what to include in your blogs

Some of you are really showing progress and have successfully started your blogs. However, for others, it's not too late to wake up... Two students still haven't started and Akash, please sort it out - it's still not working.

Below is a list of what you should aim to include in your blog. A lot of personal research and consolidation now needs to take place as you need to develop ideas for your project and your groups need to start meeting out of lessons.

What to include in your blog (fairly standard list for schools delivering this unit):

1. moodboards - visual representations of thriller
2. Useful weblinks
3. Film sites
4. Explorations of theory discussed in class applied to films or scenes of your choice, and...
5. ... Short thriller sequences with analysis (such as film openings work done in class)
6. Film stills with analysis
7. DVD covers with analysis
8. How to. . . clips - for instance how to convey continuity, fx etc (see 'The Birds' task)
9. Definitions of the genre and its sub types, with your own examples
10. Research on a particular sub-genre you are interested in
11. Notes from your reading around the genre
12. A record of your thriller screenings - yes, you need to watch some thrillers on your own or in your groups - not much time in class!
13. Discussion of thrillers that have inspired you
14. Your own thriller related stills - for example trying to photograph / capture shots which could be used in your sequence
15. Research into a particular director who interests you
16. British film research, particularly UK independent thrillers and thrillers from the past
17. Audience research

18. And of course, you need to personalise your blogs at some point so they reflect the thriller genre.

In short, much to do... Ms Lyall and I will direct some of your 'home learning time' but you need to become more and more independent and focused.

Good luck!

Wednesday, 14 October 2009

The Foundation Portfolio Brief

This is the actual work to be produced:

Preliminary exercise: Continuity task involving filming and editing a character opening a door, crossing a room and sitting down in a chair opposite another character, with whom she/he then exchanges a couple of lines of dialogue.
This task should demonstrate match on action, shot/reverse shot and the 180-degree rule.

Main task:
the titles and opening of a new fiction film, to last a maximum of two minutes.

All video and audio material must be original, produced by the candidate(s), with the exception of music or audio effects from a copyright-free source.

Home Learning for next Tuesday

1. Complete the continuity exercise below based on an extract from The Birds.

2. Write up an analysis of one of the practical tasks undertaken at school, either the 'Audience Positioning' task done last week or the film opening using the school building.

There is a post below with guidance questions to help you develop your analysis (designed for the film opening / school building task but still useful for the other task). Ideally everyone would have worked on the film opening but many of you were away that week.

Finally, if you haven't done any practical work so far, watch someone's work and analyse that!

Tuesday, 13 October 2009

Sunday, 11 October 2009

'Vertigo' and 'North by Northwest' - videos

Videos to support this week's lessons:
Opening titles and roof top chase from Vertigo and opening titles for North by Northwest.

Opening titles North by Northwest

Opening titles Vertigo

First sequence from Vertigo - roof top chase

Evaluation Questions

As the groups are about to be put together, you have to start discussing, researching and planning.
Remember that you will have to answer the following questions as part of your assessment:

Evaluation questions

1. In what ways does your media product use, develop or challenge forms and conventions of real media products?
2. How does your media product represent particular social groups?
3. What kind of media institution might distribute your media product and why?
4. Who would be the audience for your media product?
5. How did you attract/address your audience?

6. What have you learnt about technologies from the process of constructing the product?
7. Looking back to your preliminary task, what do you feel that you have learnt in the progression from it to the full product?

Basics of Video Editing

Last lesson, we looked at some of the basics of video editing from the OCR book's resources. We talked about the 180 degree rule for example.

Here's the accompanying video (you were given a copy of the handout).

1. How many shots are there?

2. Where is the camera positioned for each shot?

3. Which principles of continuity editing have been followed?

Continuity in Film

Watch this sequence from Hitchcock's The Birds. It's an excellent example of continuity and uses the techniques we've seen in class last week.

After watching it, write an analysis of shots and techniques used in this sequence to demonstate your understanding of them.

In your groups, you also need to write about what you achieved last lesson and comment on what was successful and what you learnt in the process, for instance what mistakes you made or how you would improve your different sequences to facilitate audience's positioning.

Tuesday, 6 October 2009

Home Learning - PLEASE READ

The home learning tasks set help us to assess your progress and therefore need to be completed much more diligently than what has been produced so far.

REMINDER: Hand in your improved film poster tomorrow (or else), leaving them in reception if you cannot find me.

The Home learning for next week includes some research and you need to post your work on your blog by next Monday.
There is also an analysis of the first 10 minutes of a film of your choice to complete. Bring that to next Tuesday's lesson.

Saturday, 3 October 2009

Examples of preliminary task from other schools

Watch and write your comments after viewing.
What did you think was effective and why?
What wasn't so successful and why?

Enjoy! The last video is actually made by teachers and includes two versions of the preliminary task.

Thursday, 1 October 2009

Film Opening - Project 1 - Using the school building

Questions to address and answer as a group:

1. What genre did you decide on for your film and why?
2. What choices have you made to allow the audience to understand which genre your film belongs to? Include the different options you considered and how you eventually agreed.

3. What difficulties did you experience during the shoot? How did you overcome them?
4. What lessons have you learnt in the process? (lighting, shooting, camera angle and movement, sound etc...)
5. Are you happy with the footage you have and what would you like to shoot again and why? Do you feel that you need to add more sequences to improve the clarity of your narrative?

6. What have you learnt to do? What skills do you still need to develop?
7. During editing, did you end up making changes to the original idea / storyboard and why?