Wednesday, 5 October 2011

Thursday, 29 September 2011

Wednesday, 7 September 2011

Thursday, 14 July 2011


For our sound work, we used:

Ambient Noises
Nostalgic Piano

These are all soundfiles available in Soundtrack , which we looped and edited in and out of our footage.


Marisa used Livefont to create out titles. She used Gust for our main title:

For all other the titles she used Lucida Handwriting:

Editing screenshots

The first shot shows the timeline in progress. The second shot shows the amount of footage that we shot.


Marisa created titles and sound as me and Phil edited. One thing that strikes me is that about group work is the difference of creative vision between people working together - I and Phil had very different ideas about the editing, for instance. Negoiating these problems rapidly while under the pressure of completion is extremely difficult. Though it can be done!

editing frenzy

We began editing at around 10am. Laying down an initial edit was fairly easy, though there was some disagreement in the group about how exactly the sequence would flow. We could have perhaps resolved this by being as clear as possible about the initial plot and shot sequence. There were still lots of opportunities for creativity here and we tried to create two distinct sections - an interior fantasy which was non linear framed by  with two linear sequences
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Friday, 8 July 2011

experimenting with angles and shot types

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Phil blogs as Marisa films

While Dan was doing his star turn and Marisa was calling the shots, Phil got on with recording our progress on blogger. By dividing up the tasks we are finding that it helps all of the team to have input and responsibility for different areas of the project and it is also more time efficient and will cut down on our homework!
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location 2 - Dan's Office

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We filmed Marisa's walk from a low-angle in contrast to Dan's which was a high angle. We hope that this will strengthen the shot reverse shot editing of this sequence, which is designed to position Dan as solely focused on Marisa in his fantasy - his world dominated by thoughts of his idealised vision of her.
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the team check our first shot

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filming - fantasy sequence Owens Fields

When we arrived on location the first thing that we did was review our shot list. Phil was filming this sequence so Marisa talked him through the shots that they had planned. We had to make a couple of amendments due to the position of the sun and a couple of girls that were hanging around in the background but hopefully managed to stay faithful to the plan of 'mirroring' the shots of the two protagonists in our fantasy sequence.

We also made good use of some of the elements we hadn't anticipated, for example at the end of a spiralling shot of the couple's embrace we shot directly into the sun so that flares on the lens would add a glowing ethereal quality that would match the dream feel of this scene.
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Shot List

Location: 315 + 340 + Park      Victim: Dan     Con Artist: Phil    Woman: Marisa                              

Shot List:

  1. ECU Dan at work in 315, emailing “woman” who is in fact Phil. Shot will start in close and as the con is revealed, the shot types will get wider

  1. ECU Phil at Mac in 340, returning Dan’s emails. At this stage audience are not aware that Phil is not who he says he is

  1. Cut back to Dan CUs to establish character, surroundings and character indicators i.e lonely hearts section of paper open on the desk, pictures of the “woman” he met on the internet. Moving camera shots around the desk

  1. Same as above for Phil, but Phil has pictures of Marisa open on his computer (woman he is pretending to be), long list of email addresses printed out on desk with photos of other victims and cheques he has received

  1. Dan medium shot high angle, leans back in chair at desk. Transition shot into Dan’s thoughts

  1. Fantasy scene establishing long shot in the park

  1. Fantasy scene CUs and mid shots. Shot reverse shots of Dan and Marisa walking towards each other in the park. Fantasy/dream sequence style

  1. Back to Dan CU on eyes opening as he comes out of fantasy

  1. Medium track around behind Dan

  1. Medium track around behind Phil

  1. CU Phil smirking

  1. CU on email exchange detailing couple meeting up

  1. Medium shot low angle, Phil leaning back in chair at desk (mirroring the shot of Dan leaning back before fantasy scene but Phil is shot from low angle to show dominant character)

  1. OSS Phil leans forward again and brings up next victim’s details

  1. CU on next victim’s details. END

preparation of props

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Dear Marisa - story breakdown and script for email

Below is the script for our email. This will be added in as flowing text in post-production and sets up our basic story. A hapless mug has been ensnared by an internet con and is trasnfering money to a women he's fallen in love with. Shame she doesn't really exist!

Both Dan and Phil deny the above is in any way autobiographical.

Dearest Marisa

Thank you so much for your latest email. So glad to hear that you are safe and well. I so glad to know that the money I sent will help get your mother the care that she needs. I can’t believe the problems you’re having with the Passport Authority – that sound like utter swine, I can’t believe that they would be so rude and horrible to someone as lovely as you.  I am going to transfer the money the official for the Authority has asked for now, it’s a big expense but if it helps grease the wheels and bring us together, it’ll be worth it.  I can’t wait to meet you.


Until October


Test of Blogger app

The app works successfully! This will enable live blogging of our work - we can shoot photos as we go.
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Use of technolgy - uploading photos

To catch some location shots of the team at work on our project, I used the camera on my HTC Desire phone. I tried to get a range of shots showing brainstorming mind maps as well as the team and work, and one of "our enemy". To upload these phots I was required to go into blogger on my phone's broswer and open and upload from the interfact there. This was quite inconvenient in lots of ways as it required a lot of fiddling around hitting the right buttons on the touchscreen - it also took quite a long time, about 5 minutes per photo. I figured there must be a quicker way to do this, and a quick Google showed my the blogger app for HTC Desire which I downloaded. This allows me to "share" photos automatically, immediately after taking them. Results to be added to posts above!

Grooming style

Not like short back and sides, but like how do we make the scammer and the situation feel as creepy as possible? We went back to the internet, YouTube this time to have a look at how some other filmmakers have done this and get some inspiration for our own film. We found this brilliant student film which used some simple filming and amazing post production to create a genuinely unsettling film.

We haven't got the editing software or time to do some of the groovy effects they have here. But we do feel that we can use the camera to push the visual style to another level. It has made us also think about how all the elements of the film need to combine to create the meanings, we are stuck a bit with the mise en scene we have got to work with but we will need to consider the soundtrack really carefully as this will set the tone for the piece as much as the camera and editing. The girl's dialogue in this film is what really shows how trusting and therefore vulnerable she is and that is what makes the audience grimace as they can see trouble heading in her direction...

However the most important thing that we  took from watching this film was that a simple scenario gives you a great chance to execute in a visually interesting way. The key for us now is to make sure that our scenario stays simple!

Currency is money

Before we could start scripting our film we searched the internet using Google News to find some recent stories of grooming scams. Our logic was that some of the audience would know of these stories and that would help them to buy into the film's plot, suspend their disbelief and brick themselves (if we could pull off the shoot and edit!). The three big stories that we found from the last few weeks all had appeal they were

1 A middle aged woman who was lured into giving all her savings and re-mortgaging her house to help send supplies to a beefcake US marine. Except he wasn't of course he was just a scammer who suckered her in and squeezed her dry.

2. Some parents who were 30 minutes away from wiring £1000s to a guy who had met their son whilst travelling in South America. Knowing their son would be out of contact for a couple of days and having hacked his email account he convinced them into believing that he was trying to save their sone from a hell hole prison and that he needed cash to secure release.

3. A genius internet dating scam. The great feature about this story is that the scammer isn't even a person but a computer that generates responses based on some far out programme. It basically reflects back to the victims hopes and fears as contained in their emails.
My far and away favourite was the last of these as I love the idea of filming a dialogue between man and machine.  The unusual encounter would really open the doors to filming and editing it in an original way. Soundtrack as well, beeps, whirrs, clicks and a creepy electro industrial track to show this is one bad robot!! It was also give us a great chance to make some interetextual references to some sci-fi classics from yesteryear such as The Terminator and 2001 A Space Odyssey.

Unfortunately as pointed out by the rest of the team we aren't allowed to strip a computer's casing away so it would be difficult to get all of the brain centre's flashing lights and circuitry and stuff so it's a non  starter today. If we had more time then a quick search of freecycle would give us an obsolete computer to disembowel. 

Ho hum we've decided to go for a good old fashioned honey trap instead - internet dating is big business and hopefully we'll be able to exploit some of the audience's concerns about anonymity/deception/safety...

What genre??

is the question we asked next. We started out thinking a comedy as this is the biggest hitter in UK cinemas, according this recent survey responsible for over 20% of all trips to the flicks. However when we started to work out how we could actually film this and what it might look like we ran into some problems. For starters comedy is heavily reliant on acting and timing of which we possess neither! Also as we have no props or costumes with us that would really limit us in terms of the scenarios we could play out and this would definitely impact on the gags.

So with 'we don't look the part and haven't got any props' in mind we turned our thoughts to the thriller genre. This appealed as it relies on suspense, an audience in the dark and on the edge of their seats. One way of achieving that is by withholding information from the audience and keeping them guessing. We decided a darkish, threatening atmosphere combined with shot types that do not reveal the whole setting would enable us to cover up for some of our makeshift mise en scene and also a creepy vibe that would help build suspense.

So we decided some type of victim in the making scenario could be a winner, an innocent being groomed by a sinister figure...

The team planning and brainstorming

Audience Research

The first decision that if our film was going to be a hit, the story and characters needed to appeal to and resonate with a mass audience. A bit of quick research via google and the Office for National Statistics revealed that in the UK this is dominated by kids, teenagers and young (ish) adults:

We haven't got the time or budget to produce a 3D animation so we are going to try and hit the teenagers and young adults. An internet-based scenario is great for this as these groups spend a lot of their time online, so if we can tap into their own online experiences it should help them identify with the characters and situations and get hooked by the story.

Brainstorming scenarios

Our teacher has given us a deliberately mundane list of scenarios to film. She said that it was deliberate anyway.

We have decided to pick the most mundane of all, as we feel that this will give us the challenge and opportunity to be visually creative, given that there won't be any major choreography to accommodate.

We have decided together to take on the 'sending an email' brief. As mentioned the simplicity of the scenario will hopefully enable us to film it with a bit of flair and crucially, given our tiny production period it will also give us several convenient locations to use.