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Film Studies

CopyCat Theory

when fight club was realised the critical reception was mixed with the negative critics claiming that it was the biggest conservial american mainstream film since clockwork orange that could cause a copycat violence act from the pubic. fight club has now become a cult classic.

Popular film and emotional response

Natural Born Killers

As the quote from the trailer says

“In the media circus of life they were the main attraction” 

The Trailer gives refence to the director Olivier Stone and how he has made dramatic adaptations of of past events in history and that this movie is about what the world is leading to. the main theme is about how the media fuel  violence acts in the media and in some way glamourise the criminals that commit the acts. 

This movie had a big emotional response and the film has been liked to a number of copycat acts of violence the most famous connected to this film is he shootings by Sarah Edmondson and her boyfriend ben in 1995.

this film raises the question if the media should report theses acts of violence and if the criminals commit theses acts in order to gain media attendance this film takes this context and takes it to the extreme.

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Genre 

I would class my film as the genre of psychological thriller with elements of horror in it. I think it has elements of horror in it due to the way the kidnappers are represented for example the way the kidnappers wear masks to hid their identity, the masks themselves are references to other current films such as scream . The reason why I would class my film as a psychological thriller is because it contains elements that are typical of the psychological thriller convention like the theme of kidnapping that are shown in existing psychological films such as Flightplan and Taken.

Music/sound – the score used in the opening sequence of the film already indicates the genre that it is as  the music is a serious classicial piece.

Lighting –  The footage is shot and taken place at night , which is part of the convention of  thriller as it gives a sinister  feel telling the audience that something is going to happen.

Mise-en- scene

Costume – masks, the kidnappers wear masks  which has the horror element which is featured in existing horror films like scream and halloween.

Setting – my film is set in a forrest area which is typical of the genre of psychological  thriller current films like shrooms are also set in the same setting. The hallucinating scene was typical of the genre as well as existing movies under this genre like thirteen and shrooms have this element in it.

editing – the pace of our film is typical of the psychological thriller genre , our film starts with a slow beginning with our protagonist  going about her  daily routine in the mourning , then we jump cut to a faster pace when she is kidnapped by the antagonist. Their is a similar pace in flightplan as the protagonist is getting ready to go on a flight with her daughter , the pace does not increase until her daughter is kidnapped.

Representation 

The representation of young adults is strong within my film. The age group of all the character in my film is early 20s. This therefore  gives a negative representation of of young adults within my film . As the kidnappers are young and the victim is seen to be waking up with an hangover. Perhaps is a false representation of  a binge drinking and the dangers of over drinking taken to the extreme. My Film has the strong representation of young adults showing them in both positive and negative light similar to films of its convention such as halloween. the victim shows the positive side of teenagers , whereas the kidnappers show the negative of teenagers.

Audience 

I believe the audience that would be attracted to your film would be young adults. we had this target audience in mind but it could attract a younger audience as your film would probably be classes as a 12a , enabling a broader audience to view our film. The reason why are film would be classed as 12a is because the narrative is a adult subject there is no blood or horror.

Narrative 

The our film follows a typical narrative of its genre and convention which is  psychological thriller. psychological  thriller normally contain a narrative that has elements of horror together with drama and mystery. This why i would class our film as a psychological thriller as the  narrative follows a girl as she is drugged and abducted. she wakes up the following day to find herself drugged in the middle of a forrest area. the outcome of this in not revealed. This contains elements of horror and mystery as the kidnappers faces are not revealed  and  if the victim is able to escape from the kidnappers is unknown to the audience.

Media Language 

In making are media product of a film we have took advantage of the developing internet from web.1 to web .2.0 using  social networking sites such as Facebook in the post production stage to use contribute to our focus group , we thought as target audience will be using facebook we asked members on the site what they think of the website.

We then used another web 2.0 site Youtube to upload our film to view to our audience and  in the researching and planning stage of our coursework in researching the films that resembled my initial ideas for films. Through Youtube i was able  to see other films that have the same genre or narrative to my film.

Then the last web 2.0 website i used was WordPress continuous throughout my coursework as i upload a post on my blog after every session in order to see my researching and planning pre and post production.

My film also follows torodov  theory  of equilibrium , With the equilibrium at the beginning with the victim waking up , then a disruption of equilibrium with the mask appearing in the mirror, then a recognition of a disruption with the victim getting kidnapped , a attempt to solve the disruption with the victim trying to escape and then equilibrium with the ending where  the victim’s fate is unknown and it goes to blackout.

tordrov

Editing

fading transitions

Jump Cut – we jump cut because it is

Continuity

Cinematography

Sound – Ludivco Einaudi score in the opening sequence

Editing –

fading transitions

Jump Cut

Continuity

mise en -scene

Set Design –


We decided to do some research into unsigned bands so that I could a soundtrack for our film. At first I typed in unsigned bands into google and stumbled across a website called unsignedbandweb.com, this website was very useful to me because it provided me with an unlimited source of music that I could legally use as long as I credited it at the end of my film.

I looked at four different songs

1. Stained glass eyes by A farewell fire, a fast paced rock song with a nice meoldic breakdown that would be very apropriate for our film

2. Suicide by Next stop earth, a heavy metal tune with a fast paced ryhthm and angry vocals, good but not soft enough for our film

3. halo by USH, another heavy metal track similar to the last, also to heavy for our film

4. Can’t Breathe by kallen, a soft acoustic song with hauting lyrics and nice reverb on the vocals, maybe usefull for a slow outro song during the closing credits.

I also looked at some other websites in order to help me gather some effects and sound loops for my film.

the first website I looked at was:

http://www.partnersinrhyme.com/pir/free_music_loops.shtml

I did not find this website very useful because the loops and effects didn’t have the right feel for my film.

the second website i looked at was: http://derekaudette.ottawaarts.com/music.php

After a long search to no avail I decided to do some research on horror movie openings in order to find some inspiration for my film and get an idea of the type of music that usually plays in the background.

this is the opening for “when a stranger calls” after watching the opening credits , I thought that the classical instrumental music is the type of music i needed for my film. So, I have already found a fast paced rock track for the soundtrack at the end of the film so now I needed some ambient music to help create the appropriate mood for my piece. I then thought of composers that are currently in the industry and thought of Ludovico einudi and came up this his song  primeva.

 

78 Hours Missing Podcast

Evaluation Media

My creative project I decided to worked in a group of three to make a short film together with a radio trailer and film poster. Our three initial ideas was an animation film which would be an spoof of another film, a psychological  thriller about a girl living with her possessive father or another film under the same genre but with different narrative about a girl that gets abducted. We researched films that had the same narrative or genre. We then decided that we where going to make a film under the genre of physiological thriller. We  researched films under this genre such as the films as Extraordinary Rendition (2007) and Taken (2008) which also had a similar theme than initial idea 3 of abduction. We than decided to go on initial idea 3 an psychological thriller  about a girl that gets drugged and  kidnapped in her neighborhood and finds herself awake in a forrest without any reconciliation on how she got there. The main audience I would except to see our film would be young adults that attracted to the genre thriller and horror. We took inspiration from films like Shrooms (2007),Taken (2008) and Thirteen (2003) which has a similar narrative or target audience as us. Due to our target audience if  this was released commercially I would certificate it at 15 or 18. This is due to the theme of abduction and drugs. My role in the project was Producer, Co-Directer and writer. I found writing the script enjoyable as I have never written a script before, this creative project gave me the opportunity to write a script for a genre I am not familiar with. Writing the script helped me in directing as I had an vision of what the film was going to be like. The only trouble we had while filming  was that on the first shooting day the footage was to shaky causing us to scrap the day of filming that we did.

 

I am proud of the finished product but there is are a lot of changes from our original draft. When filming we considered the ethical issues such as the theme of abduction due to this we decided to film majority of the exterior scenes in late afternoon and the interior scenes in the day  to film. This did have an impact on the quality of the exterior scenes as a percentage of them were filmed in the dark making the abduction scene  look  weaker quality as the rest. If we had the opportunity to do the project again,I think were would make some changes in the areas of both camera work and editing. If we had an opportunity to film again I think we would had not filmed as much in long shot. Especially in the abduction scene we had to zoom in the post-production stage as the long shot did not have the effect that we were aiming for. I would have also added a sound effect when she is abducted  in order to get a  shock from audience, without the the sound effect it makes the key scene seem more realistic  but does not shock the audience which was my original aim.

 

 

The finished product is much shorter than originally planned , a lot of amendments were made to the script. The first amendment is in the beginning, we decided to cut the beginning were she is dreaming and wakes up in a shock straight to her waking up, we decided to cut this as we felt that the introduction would be more effective if see woke up as it was an ordinary day as a result the audience become relax ready for the shock that is coming. The next amendment is the way she is drugged and abducted, in the original script she was going to be walking on the pavement while the car containing the kidnappers were going to drive up to her and pull her in the car, but due to unavailability    of an actor who could drive we decided to remove the car direct have the kidnappers approach her from behind. In the end I am pleased with this amendment as I think it is more effective than approach her from the car as the audience would know what was going to happen to her, rather than shocking the audience as the kidnappers appear from out of shot. We then filmed the rest of the script as original, but when it came to the editing stage we noticed that the film was too long making the pace of the film to slower than what we were expecting. We tried to speed it up but it was not effective , so we made a group decision to cut the ending. The film ends with her being chased by her kidnappers and then cuts to black with the score playing in the background, In the end I think it  proved effective as the pace of the film increased  although I think it left the audience with an different emotion than what I originally planned in the script and storyboard.  The film leaves you feeling sad rather than the original ending were  the audience is suppose to be  shocked when the kidnappers reappear at the door, although I think the sacrifice was worth it as the original  pace of the film would have made the audience disinterested, which would have made the film unsuccessful with the target audience.

 

 

When we completed the film we made a focus group questionnaire to give to the target audience we were aiming at . We gave it to  5 females and 5 males between the ages of 15-25 . The criticism that the audience noticed was that they could not  hear the radio broadcast that was on while the victim is in the kitchen drinking a glass of milk. This scene appeared to them as being random but it the radio broadcast worked it would have been  an attempt to create dramatic irony that the victim was going to get kidnapped as the radio broadcast was about a series of abductions that was occurring in the local area. This is something that I would have changed it we had the opportunity to film again as it was a key clue to the narrative that would have had a bigger impact on the audience. The majority of people that we asked said they would rate the film as 15. This was the film classification that we were aiming at and everyone agree that the film made them feel very tense and had an unsettling feel to it. The audience also said that the music did add to the tension of the film which makes me happy with the decision that we made on the music. Overall the feedback from the focus group was very constructive and positive majority of our target audience said that they would go and see it although the females said it would not be there first choice of movie due to the genre it was. This was helpful in looking at ways in which we could have borden the target audience to make it more appealing to females. I think our film gives the audience realism with a twist of horror which in effect creates an unsettling feeling in the audience.

 

I would describe our film as a psychological thriller, the reason why I think this is because our film contains elements that are meant to effect the audience’s mind an example would be the hallucination scene when she wakes up from being drugged to find herself in the middle of the forrest, we were aiming for the effect of making the audience feel disorientated , something that showed in our focus group questionnaire as being successful at.  When I made the first draft of the script i was thinking of making the script fit the genre of horror but i felt like the narrative would led itself better to a psychological thriller so i therefore did not add any gruesome scenes. When looking at our film if our film was released with existing films I think it would come  be similar to current products  such as Extraordinary Rendition (2007) and Taken (2008).If it was released I think it would be would come under a different convention than what we originally planned due to  the theme of abduction and drugs . I think the message that our audience would get away from it would be a warning to keep themselves safe rather than solely for entertainment.

 

 

 

 

The self criticism I would have is that due to the reason that my finished product is aimed a  young adults we had only young adults starring in the film.This therefore makes our film represent young adults in a negative light, as two young boys are seen to drug a innocent young girl and afterwards abduct her . Some media institutions may distribute the fact that it is heavily stereotypical and therefore claimed that the target audience may not be attracted to go and see the film. Although looking at current films in the public such as Cabin Fever (2002) and The last House of the Left (2009) having a strong stereotype of young adults representation may not be a negative factor.

 

I am pleased with the Radio trailer we decided to make a podcast that will play before the trailer discussing our roles and our experiences making the film, then the fictional radio extract that is in the movie will play with the Ludovico Einaudi score behind it, together with the radio trailer we make a film poster.

 

Overall I am pleased with my finished product of a short film, radio trailer and film poster , although there is some changes I would have made in the editing stage, I am pleased with how the script turned out and the overall quality of the film including the music used and quality of the acting. Since This was my first student film , I am pleased with the finished product. i enjoyed making my project as the task enabled me to improve on current skills i already have such as my organization and writing skills and producer and writer , but i also learnt some new skills on photoshop and finial cut pro during assisting the two other members of my group in producing Radio Trailer and poster.

 

 

Production Log 06/04/2011

Today we finished the radio trailer and podcast ready  to submit with the film. we gather the necessary paperwork ready for submission.