Wednesday, 11 March 2015

9087: Daniel Holden

Final Piece:

Preliminary Task:


Final Piece Preparation:

Practice Tasks:


9091: Tom Holmes

Final Task - Dude, There's Something In The Woods

Preliminary Task - The Meeting

Practice Task - The Paranormal Thing

Evaluation -

Foundation production evaluation

Group evaluation video; question 7

Production -

Production Log of Wilderness Wood

Wilderness Woods short film

Preliminary task

Preliminary task evaluation


Rough cut of final piece

Post production evaluation

Second post production evaluation

Final piece - short film horror opening

Logistics -

Location Recce Planning

Treatment for final piece

Final piece group concept development

Individual concept development

Audience questionnaire

Audience questionnaire results

Foundation pitch

Filming schedule


Location recce

Reflection on shoot 1

Reflection on shoot 2

Reflection on shoot 3

Soundtrack planning

Research -

Psychological Horror

Research into the horror film genre

Institutional context research

Analysis of opening sequence

Technical analysis of opening sequence

Technical analysis of opening sequence titles

Monday, 9 March 2015

GROUP Question 7 Evaluation Video

DH Evaluation

Question 1. In which ways does your media product use, develop or challenge forms and conventions of real media products?

Question 2. How Does Your Media Product Represent Particular Social Groups?


Friday, 27 February 2015

GROUP Dude, There's Something In The Woods...again

Here it is! Again? Yeah!

This edition has some simple sound changes on it, apart from that, it is all the same.

TH and DH

Monday, 2 February 2015

GROUP 'Dude, There's Something In The Woods'

This is it.
We will review compliments and criticisms in the lesson where our peers will comment on our work. This will then be incorporated into the footage if needed.

TH and DH

Thursday, 29 January 2015

DH Post Production II

This lesson I used Adobe After Effects, this is an effects program which we decided to use to add integrated titles to our film.
This worked by selecting a constant tracking area like a distinctive mark or spot, however due to the texture of the tree I had to use the curves tool to increase the contrast and make these single areas stand out. The tool then searches each frame for this area and creates a line of motion for entities. 

We then downloaded our chosen font `1942` adding in the text, and linked this to the motion. Subsequently moving the high contrast clip back behind the original, this gave the effect of the text being connected to the trees. 

There was however one final problem, because in some shots the camera movement was in multiple directions and I walking in front of the text, to combat this we decided to fade in the text after these obstacles were gone. Because we had some time left we used the warp stabilizer effect to reduce camera wobble in two shots we had not noticed before which worked to great effect.

TH Post Production II

After our previous editing lessons, our final tasks were to incorporate sounds, images of the newspaper articles and put in titles made on Adobe After Effects.

Dan created the images of the articles in Photoshop, and found the sounds on Freesound. I edited all these individual components into the sequence.

This is the sound editing tool in Premiere, where I managed the volume of the sound clip as well as the length of it.

When bringing the photos in, I had to adjust the size of them on screen as well as syncing the sfx Dan had found.

This is the preview of the photos, which enabled me to understand what needed to be done.

I finally decided to take on the task of the final titles at the end of the sequence, showing the name of the film. I explored using a number of transitions and effects, but concluded on a simple yet effective fade-in.

The titles at the end of our sequence did not require any transitions.

In After Effects, we soon found that the first clip we wished to put titles on did not have enough contrast in it to allow the programme to track a specific point, where we would put the credits. We overcame this problem by increasing the contrast levels of one layer of the footage.


Wednesday, 28 January 2015

DH Post Production

Whilst I have a lot of influence in the overall editing, helping create the storyline and adding my own opinions on the continuity and quality of shots, my contributions to the post-production work is more concerned with sound.
The sound is treated much the same as video in premiere elements and follows the same format except the volume and sound transition has to be taken into account. Almost all of the diegetic audio comes attached to the footage but I had to cut out annoying sound and speech and replace it with other audio, this involves un-linking it from the video.

On a separate track is placed the music, which is of great importance in horror as it sets the tone. Most of this music comes from, the difficulty is in introducing the audio without being too abrupt meaning there are a lot of fades and volume changes as well as sound bridges across shots.

 One of the most interesting pieces of audio we are using are radio reports, created in the program `audacity`, these reveal more of the story and build up tension, and as well as this the crackling of the radio adds another creepy element to the sound mix.

The sound is really important to give a feel to the film and really judge the impact of shots meaning it is becoming very important now all the footage is in place.

Tuesday, 27 January 2015

GROUP Soundtrack

The Soundtrack is very important in film, especially horror as it builds tension far better than video.
All of the sound effects and almost all the music will either be created by ourselves or downloaded from

Our own sound effects:

-Radio reports 1,2, and 3; these are crackly radio reports that I created using the program `Audacity` layering speech over this youtube clip, then editing the volume of sections and other aspects, we will fade these in over the course of the film to add mystery and intrigue.


-Atmos-10; this is a very deep but subtle tension, we will probably use this at the beginning of our film.

-Ambience07; this is a far more intense ambiance, we may decide to use  it instead of the first or use it later in the film as it gets creepier. (

-Dramatic Sting; this is for a sudden build up and release of tension and we will most likely use this for the reveal of the antagonist. (

-Boom Bang; we will use this over the top of other music to highlight important events of the film.

-Rounded Squares; this dramatic orchestral music will be used when the protagonist is running away.

-Peavey Croquette; we decided to add church bells at the beginning of the film to help anchor the action.(


-One of the most important parts of the film is the juxtapositional music, for this we are using the song `16 candles a little more touch me` by FallOutBoy.

-We re-recorded part of the song with the camera microphone in order to create a tinny speaker effect which we will use when the headphones are removed.

Sunday, 25 January 2015

TH Post Production

In post production, I have been importing the clips, cutting them down to the right sizes for inclusion, editing sound and finally editing the storyboard altogether on the timeline.

This post includes information on processes within editing programme Adobe Premiere Elements up until the lesson after our penultimate shoot.

The Adobe Premiere Elements window, showing the footage window in the top left third, the list of clips of the project on the top right third and the timeline at the bottom.

In our first few lessons after shooting footage, I imported the clips, selected the ones we wished to make use of and cut them down to size for editing on the timeline. This involved me opening up each clip and deciding whether or not we needed them, whilst I also trimmed the shots we did like down to an appropriate length. 

A screenshot of one clip example I trimmed, of Dan;s shoe. The trimming bar allowed me to create a concise clip from a long sequence.

Editing the sound mix of clips was less of a priority in these lessons, as getting all of the footage together and sequenced correctly was important in developing our understanding of where we were at in terms of progress.

In future lessons we need to fine-cut some clips to make our sequence appear seamless and professional. Once all footage has been captured (all of which will be by the end of tomorrow's filming session), we can complete editing within the time schedule we have.
Downloading and applying sfx is the only significant addition we are yet to make to the editing process.


Thursday, 22 January 2015

GROUP Rough Cut

This is our rough cut film. It features our footage captured up until today, however much of the latest footage we did not have time to put in due to time constraints. So, much of the second half is missing, however we think it shows off the feel of the film reasonably well.

The black screens towards the end of the film represent gaps in the storyboard where we are yet to film footage.

-People liked the low angle shot of the ball.
-People liked the music syncing a lot.
-Where the titles were positioned went down well.

-No indication of horror genre?
-The clip was too long.

Wednesday, 21 January 2015

GROUP Reflection on Shoot 3

This shoot took place on the 18th of January. This was the shoot in which we had possession of the track and dolly. While this device has given some of our shots a professional-look, it cost us a great deal of time setting it up and moving it. Whether this cost was worth it, we will have to evaluate in editing.

We tackled all the tracking shots. In terms of the storyboard, these shots are dotted throughout the sequence. Unfortunately, due to the time we spent on setting the track up in places, we had to adapt one or two of these shots to become pans rather than tracks.

What went well
We got a lot of shots done in the last hour, after we had finished using the track. The framing of shots (in tracking shots too) appeared professional to us.

The track. The track was very costly in retrospective, as it encompassed a great deal of our time available to shoot. The terrain on which we were filming was a challenge to manage too, with the track failing to run smoothly throughout the shot. Another issue was continuity as part way through the shot we realized Dan was not wearing a hat like he was in the previous shoots, therefore we had to re-shoot much of what we had just done. Luckily, we had had some practice with the track by this point and knew the limitations of the specific locations making this relatively easy, if stressful to accomplish.

GROUP Reflection on Shoot 2

In our second shoot, we set out to film a number of shots in the space of two hours during our double media lesson. This was on the 15th of January.

The shots we filmed in this session were from various parts of the storyboard, but all were inclusive of only Dan in shot. Most of these were in the first half of the storyboard. We re-shot some of the ones we had previously just to see if there was any improvement we could produce.
We also recorded some sounds.

What went well
The shots that were best were the ones where we strengthened the story, through developing Dan's character. There was not one specific shot that was best.

We were very lucky with the weather, it was almost identical to the weather present on the first shoot. This meant that the natural lighting of the location was pretty much spot-on. Despite this, there is a slight indication in the difference in conditions on the camera unfortunately.
Locating places to shoot was difficult. We knew the forest looks similar throughout but we needed to make sure we didn't film some shots in exactly the same place as others. This certainly drained time for us.

Tuesday, 20 January 2015

GROUP Reflection on Shoot 1

The first shoot was on the 4th at Southborough woods
In this shoot we focused on the first few shots and those with more than one person due to the large number of helpers. Dan was acting and helped choose the best locations while Tom took care of the more technical aspects.

Our storyboard was very useful in terms of figuring out which shots needed movement or not, as well as the general direction and framing, generally we found the best area to correspond with the storyboard such as when Dan picks up the tennis ball. However we also filmed many shots that were not planned when we saw an opportunity such as the graveyard shot.

What went well
The perspective shots worked well due to the openness of the woods and these shots took a long time to set up so we are glad we got them done. Also the location turned out well when shot due to much of it looking the same maintaining continuity easier.

These were probably our best shots of the day:

The major challenge was time management, we did not get nearly as many shots done as we wanted, and our desire to save battery power meant that not all are how we want them.

Next time we will try to get the shots with sfx done for future use, as well as this we know to pay more attention to the character as audience

Thursday, 15 January 2015

TH Analysis of Opening Sequence - Durham County

'Durham County' is a Canadian television drama that features some very attractive opening titles. From a paranormal/horror genre, it is also very useful in relation to our film. I particularly like the colours and text used. It very easily creates an unnerving and depressing tone.

0:01   a Muse Entertainment/
        Back Alley Films

0:08   created by Laurie Finstad Knizhnik
                            Janis Lundman
0:14   Hugh Dillon

0:16   Héléne Joy
            Sonya Salomaa

0:25   Laurence Leboeuf
         Greyston Holt

0:28   and Justin Louis

0:35   Durham County

The connotations in the opening typography are very depressing and tense. The font is basic, but smart. Colours only black and white, contrasting the background colour which is only black or white too. The positioning of the texts is presented on the background of the opposite colour; black or white. The static positioning of text maintains the unnerving nature of the sequence.

From this clip's title sequence I have learnt of the importance of the way in which typography is presented. The font in this sequence is very basic but the way in which it is shown is very effective.
I have learnt about the importance of the background in title sequences as well, as the colours in them are in fact more significant than what is actually happening in them. They tell the story without context and dialogue which is very important. They connote a meaningful and saddened tone to the production; certainly not an upbeat comedy or reality show, this is a drama.

We can clearly use this research in our film. The simple font is very significant for us. The positioning of titles is also very important for our film, as the text will not be presented on a black background but instead integrated into the background setting.


Tuesday, 13 January 2015

DH Analysis of Title Sequence: Dexter

Note: This clip is from a different series of Dexter hence the slightly different credits and timings.

0.09-0.13: DEXTER
0.13-0.17: Michael C. Hall
0.17-0.20: Julie Benz
0.20-0.24: Jennifer Carpenter
0.24-0.28: C.S. Lee
0.28-0.30: Lauren Velez
0.30-0.34: David Zayas
0.34-0.37: And James Remar
0.38-0.41: Special Guest Star Jimmy Smits
0.42-0.45: Developed for Television by James Manos, Jr.
0.45-0.48: Based on the Novel `Darkly Dreaming Dexter` By Jeff Lindsay
0.49-0.53: Main Title Theme By Rolfe Kent
0.53-0.56: Produced By Robert Lloyd Lewis
0.57-1.00: Consulting Producer Adam E. Fierro
1.00-1.03: Co-Producer Lauren Gussis
1.03-1.06: Producer Tim Schlattmann
1.07-1.10: Co-Executive Producer Michael C. Hall
1.12-1.15: Co-Executive Producer Scott Buck
1.16-1.19: Co-Executive Producer Melissa Rosenberg
1.19-1.23: Executive Producer Charles H. Eglee
1.23-1.26: Executive Producer Clyde Phillips
1.27-1.30: Executive Producer Sarah Colleton
1.30-1.33: Executive Producer John Goldwyn

The font is blood red, with the obvious horror connotations. Firstly the title has blood animation, steadily growing darker as if flowing, it is on an off white background representing something wrong and impure (1). The credit text is all in capitals for ease of reading and any words other than a name are smaller and above the name formatted left, the extra text is never longer than the name (5).

The Text is always in a corner or in the upper or lower middle of the shot, (rule of thirds) and is always superimposed on top, the text is also usually on a plainer area of the shot (3).

Shot Content
Almost all the shots in this sequence have some kind of horror connotation such as the blood, or cutting the meat, however are simply a morning routine conveying suppressed violence (4). The first few shots are of Dexter killing a mosquito, setting up the scenario before the credits begin (2). Most credits are shown over several shots of one scene, for example the slow-motion coffee grinding has a jump cut to slightly later, conveying time without changing the slow-motion and keeping the cutting rate high (6+7).
The final few shots also have no credits to show the programme is about to start, and gives the first full view of the character (8).

This sequence shows the power of suggestion as there are no scary or violent parts, the violence and death is only hinted at. Also the format of the text is very important as it is easy to read and looks professional without being to formal. These are all aspects I would like to see in our final film.


Monday, 12 January 2015

GROUP Logistics

Our risk assessment and cast sheet for our film

Because we are only using one location our risk assessment was relatively easy. However these documents are important in the industry for various reasons. Firstly, industrial productions will need risk assessments for insurance reasons. Another use of the risk assessment is simply to warn the cast and crew of potential dangers, helping to stop any accidents and make sure people are prepared, say in the event of a large pond being on site, people must have the necessary safety equipment.

The call sheet was less useful to us since there were so few of us, generally arriving together, meaning contact numbers and such were not needed. Despite this it was useful to distribute equipment and prop responsibilities so each of us knew what we needed to accomplish before the shoot.

GROUP Location Recce

Our location recce post has been a little delayed by our sudden change in plans. Originally we were going to shoot in Ant woods, however we eventually decided that the area was not secluded enough, meaning it would have been difficult to keep buildings out of shot, it was also next to a busy road making sound recording difficult. Instead we have decided on Southborough woods, although it is less flat, and the paths are not tarmacked it does have many positives. For example it is very large meaning we are unlikely to run out of room, and because it is in a valley no civilization is in sight. There are many other interesting features such as fallen trees, a stream and a nearby church with graveyard, making it all but perfect for our film.


The purpose of this task for us was to record for ourselves the process we would take in filming our opening sequence. Creating this animatic provided us with a clear understanding of what needed to be shot, when and how.

Firstly, Dan drew up the storyboards (because he still does art...) from the treatment we already had. Once completed, we worked together on timings and cutting rates. This was arguably the hardest job as getting it all exactly right required a lot of planning, plus coinciding editing with the soundtrack. However we learnt that to stick to the time allocation given, most of our shots would have to be less than three seconds in length.
Then, we illustrated arrows and notes in the corner of shots to show camera shot, angle and movement. We learnt that a number of shots we are using, we are repeating. This led us to adapting shots from the treatment in ways that will still maintain continuity and versisimilitude through use of the 180 degrees rule but with more variety.
Finally, we decided on edits, cuts and titles as to how or when these would happen.

GROUP Stoyboard for D, TSITW

What is the purpose of storyboarding as an institutional practice?

-Storyboarding is used as a reference tool for film makers to utilise when shooting a sequence.
-It shows what will be seen on camera (the mise-en-scene of the camera shot) and allows directors and filmers to visualise their film.
-Arrows and illustrations can show the movement and angle of shots too.
-The time of each shot can also be listed, providing even more utility.

What challenges did we encounter in the process?
-The main challenge was deciding what to draw in sequence. This was mainly down to the fact that prior to storyboarding, we had a clear idea of our film but could not decide on a sequence exactly. After storyboarding, this was much easier.
-Timings. The length of each clip had to be precise as not only were we conscious of avoiding exceeding our time limit of just over two minutes, but also timings with the soundtrack was of high importance. This was because cutting and editing corresponds with the soundtrack.

What did you learn about your concept when carrying out this task?
-We learnt that our concept exhibits a number of areas of technical excellence required for success in the project.
-We discovered that unfortunately we could not include every single shot we had hoped we could. Despite this, we still believe that we have included the vast majority of shots we were aiming for.