Our Final Opening Sequence

My Preliminary Sequence

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Final Post

Can't believe this is the final post I will add to this blog!
Goodbyee blog. Despina X

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Question 7: Looking back on your preliminary task what do you think you have learnt from it in the progression to the full product?


Location was initially a problem – none of our parents wanted to give up so much space in their houses over such an extended period of time, with no guarantee that we wouldn’t have to do continuous re-shoots. Ella’s Dad finally agreed to let us use his flat, in Gordon Hill. This was ideal because of it’s location nearby to most of us and the stairs leading up to the flat door.

We went to her house before our actual shoot and did a walk-through, from the path into the hallway, up the stairs and to the flat door so that we could see exactly what it would look like, and took photographs.


I learnt that a location reccie was incredibly vital to our project – without going to test out the location first we would have spent hours on the day of the actual shoot sorting out problems we encountered, for example the timer switches on the lights, and the fact that there were lots of steps leading up to the flat, which we worried about as we had planned to use only one set of stairs. With the location reccie though, we sorted through these problems in advance.


Storyboarding was so much more useful then I at first thought it would be. In fact I was pretty sceptical at first, thinking that it was a waste of time, as we would probably deviate from the storyboard on the shoot anyway. However, when it came to do the shoot, it was so helpful in focusing us, keeping us on track and giving us something to work towards, even if we didn’t shoot everything exactly as we had planned.



Gaining permission

We gained permission from our media teachers almost straight away, but it took longer to persuade Ella’s dad into allowing us to use the location – we had to all agree to treat the flat with respect, and agree on certain days and times that were ok with him.


- I learnt that good acting is vital in an opening sequence such as this.
- It was important to to make sure actors sign a contract, so that they cannot back out if re-shoots are (and they were) necessary.
- Important to make sure actors were happy, well-fed, warm, content, etc. so that they were in a good mood for the shoot.
-Coming prepared with props and food meant that the shoots ran smoothly.
-Good time-keeping was necessary
-Keeping a shot-list made everything far easier when it came to editing.
-When we were unsure about a shot, the rule became ALWAYS SHOOT AGAIN. In our first shoot we spent far too much time critiscising shots we had failed to shoot twice, three, or more times to make sure they were just as we wanted them.
-Shooting every detail was necessary. For instance: her going up to the door, her opening the door, her hand on the door as it opened, her coming through the door on the other side, the door shutting behind her on the other side. Everything had to be taken into account to ensure continuity.


- We soon learnt to capture everything, even shots we werent sure we could use. We found ourselves saying 'oh, we should have captured that one..' too many times.
- Using multiple timelines was extremley helpful. It meant if we were happy with something but wanted to try playing around with it, we could still do this without ruining the order.
-Getting the music right was vital. It did so much to affect the mood of our piece.



-listening to each other was so important; when we talked over each other and refused to co-operate nothing got done.
-sharing tasks was similarly important, as it was unfair to leave more work to one person than another.
-talking about any problems we each had meant that they got sorted out a lot faster.
listening to each others suggestions was always helpful. If a particular suggestion didn't go according to plan, it was never too late to go back and change it.

Question 6: What have you learn about technologies from the process of constructing the product?


• Our group was appointed the following equipment to aid our assignment:
- A Sony HD mini DV camera
- PAG light C6 x2
- Tripod
- Mini DV tape
- Clapperboard

• I found that the Sony HD mini DV camera was incredibly easy to use, partly because of my experience with camcorders and recording from GCSE, and partly because it was so accessible:


It had a small screen that we could play our footage back on, on location. The buttons were all clearly labelled and easy to use, and there was nothing fiddly or awkard about it. It clipped with ease in and out of the tripod, and was very lightweight.

• Despite playing around with the PAG lights in different positions we actually didn’t use them as much as we thought we would. The scene where Georgia’s talking to the camera was brilliantly naturally lit, so we only ended up using them to light up the stair scene. They were however lightweight, easy to carry, and had a long battery life, which can be charged from a battery pack. Shutter gates and filters allowed us to create just the right lighting effects that we were after.

• Similarly, the tripod was lightweight and aided us immensely, as a large portion of our shots were steady and fixed, or steady pans, an effect which we just would not have achieved so effectively without the tripod. It had extendable legs, and was easy to clip in and clip out the camera.

Ideally, we could have used a shotgun microphone as well, to get up and close with the sound of Georgia’s voice in the video-diary shots. Sound in these shots however was not a problem so it was not a major worry.

We did three shoots, so we had the benefit of hindsight when shooting a lot. For this reason, there aren’t many shots I would, personally, would change, as we had the opportunity to do this three times over. I would perhaps have filmed the attack itself with more angles, maybe with a couple of hand-held shots, to really increase the dramatic effect, as I feel it was a bit of an anti-climax with just the one angle.

I was really impressed by the equipment provided – considered we did not have all of the massive camera equipment, special lighting and other high-tech equipment used in proper shoots, I think the quality of the footage we produced was fantastic.


• Adobe Premiere Pro was the main piece of software we used in our project 

I found it easy to use, as a lot of what I leart from GCSE came back to me quickly and easily. You could use it to capture shots straight from the camera, dragging and dropping them onto the timeline, where you could play around with the order, chop them up, fade or cross-dissolve them into or out of each other, add effects, and create titles, creating a seamless, continuous piece.


Question 5: How did you attract/address your audience?

-         Our audience falls within a small, niche bracket. We know that they spend a lot of time on Facebook, twitter, and other social-networking websites, which was the reason for which we used a Facebook group to attract the audience of our first screening.

Photos of our screening, which attracted around 50 guests:

-         We attracted our audience by playing on both their pleasures and their fears in one, to hopefully create the perfect equilibrium of a film that would both interest and terrify them. Their pleasures might include the build up to the action, the protagonist walking home after a night out – a familiar situation to them, they are familiar with drinking, smoking, coming home late, tottering home in heels, not really remembering how they got in etc. Then there is the obvious twist of the awaiting rapist, in a scene so recognizable to them. Playing on both their comfort zone and their fears hopefully creates a winning mix. 

   Also, the target audience is female, so a whole new perspective to crime thriller is added, as crime is usually seen as quite a masculine interest. Furthermore, a female protagonist in a crime thriller quite rarely seen, as usually we see things through eyes of a male hero. In this sense, we broke away from some of the common expectations, by having the female victim as the first character the audience meets. 

Editing techniques were also used to entice the audience. The video-diary is chopped up with action, so we can see the victim talking about it as it's happening, almost seeing it through her very eyes. The pace speeds up, then slows down, speeds up, then slows down, holding things back and revealing things almost painfully slowly, building up suspension, terror, but also interest.

Evaluation Question 4: Who would be the audience for your media product?

The main audience for our media product would be young women, mainly students, between the ages of 18-32. 

Example of a ‘typical’ member of our target audience:

• Hannah is a 21-year-old University student
• Like social-networking, uses Facebook or Twitter regularly
• Social life important to her, spends time drinking with friends at bars/clubs
• Likes niche, thought-provoking, indie films shown at small cinemas such as the Phoenix, East Finchley.
• Watches crime programmes such as Crime watch/CSI.
She belongs to a similar social group as myself, but slightly older.

A secondary audience could also be males of the same age group, but it would be a very small target group who don’t mind watching a film centred around a female protagonist that they cannot relate to. However, males interested in programmes like Crime watch and CSI, and/or police detective films etc. might find it appealing, and may in fact view the female protagonist as an interesting slant on what they normally find in such crime films. 

Example of a typical member of secondary target audience:

  •  Rob is a 24-year-old University student
  • Likes social networking
  • Enjoys programmes such as CSI and Crimwatch
  • Likes niche, thought-provoking indie films
  • Isn't opposed to watching films which aren't necessarily targetted straight at guys. Enjoys seeing an interesting new slant put on things.

Question 3: What kind of media institution might distribute your media product and why?

Our production company is called GPH productions, and we focus on producing low-budget, realistic, gritty films.

  • Films containing lots of emotion, and the deeper psychological side effects involved.
  • Intense, heartfelt films, featuring teenagers/young adults with vibrant lives
  • Gritty, deep, emotional films.

Our film and production company could be compared therefore to Paranormal Activity and it’s distributor. We would expect it to be be shown at first at small independent cinemas like the Phoenix in East Finchley which shows niche, indie films. Hopefully however, it would go on to be demanded at more mainstream cinemas such as Cineworld, in the same way that Paranormal Activity’s demand increased.

Examples of film distributors who may be interested in a film like ours may include:

We would start out marketting our film by exhibiting it at film festivals, specifically festivals such as the London Independant Film Festivals, as it is a British made film featuring a female young adult from London, so the audience would be likely to relate. We would do lots of adveritising and promoting through social websites such as Facebook and Twitter as the target market is very into social-networking and would be likely to use social platforms such as these. Paranormal Activity, similarly, used promotion through Facebook and Twitter, to great success:

Evaluation Question 2: How does your media product represent particular social groups?

The actress in our production looks to between the age of 18 and 21, which is within the age bracket of our target audience, so at once they will be able to relate with the protagonist, and also the situation she is in, walking drunkenly home from a late night out.


For once, in our opening sequence, the female is the protagonist, and the story is protrayed through the eyes of the victim not the hero . Merely switching these two roles around challenges what could be seen as quite a common done-before storyline. We did follow a lot of stereotypes of young women of that age group. Our film is about creating a REALISTIC, scary situation, so women watching it need to be able to relate.

She is:
- Girly-girl
- Heels and a dress
- Giggling as she stumbles drunkenly
- Smoking a cigarette
- Outgoing
- Fashionable

Our character is a lot like Effy from skins:


  •  Dark clothing, hood covering most of his face

  •  Intimidating

  •  Silent – doesn’t say anything that gives his character away

  •  Mysterious

  •  Intimidating