Archive for the ‘A2 Film Studies FM4’ Category

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:


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.


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Creative Project

Reflective Analysis

For our  creative project we had to make either a film extract or a complete short film with a duration of approximately 3-5 minutes. I worked in a group of three to make a short film.

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.

Overall I am pleased with my finished product of a short film, 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.

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In order to get a response from our target audience to see if we reached are aim we produced a focus group  questionnaire. We asked 5 females and 5 males between the ages of 15-25 . The majority of people that we asked said they would rate the film as 15. Everyone agree that the film made them feel very tense and had an unsettling.  The audience also said that the music did add to the tension of the film .

Females mostly indicated that they felt that they would not  watch the film , as it was a horror.

Focus Group



Male         Female


12 – 15  15- 20   20 -25   25-40   40 – 50  50+

What certificate would you give this film ?

U     PG      12        15       18

What emotion does the film give you?


What do you think of the music ?


What Target audience do you think would watch this film ?


Would you watch this film if it was released ?


If Yes Why

If No Why


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Our film  78 Hours is classed under the genre horror and  Psychological  thriller.

The narrative is about a young teenaged girl who gets kidnapped on her way to work and then is drugged. she is found to be awake in the woods but is semi conscious .she tries to find her way out  but is  hallucinating. The interior scenes are going to be filmed in the house with scenes taking place in the bedroom,bathroom,kitchen, living room and hallway.The exterior scenes are going to be shoot in either one of two local public woods. The exterior scenes will contain special effects mainly used for the hallucinating scenes.What makes are film different to other horror films is the addition of a psychological factor to it . The Film is not going to be hugely glory but the aspect of the psychological thriller who make the audience more scared in anticipation.

The audience will mainly be young adults who are mainly attracted to psychological thriller or horror.  Films which are similar to ours is Shrooms,Taken and  Thirteen. The beginning dream sequence  was inspired by the extract of Shutter Island were the character Teddy Daniels has a dream about his wife and wakes up in shock and the ending was inspired by the Michael Jackson thriller video were Micheal reveals his true zombie identity  behind his girlfriends back.

The film main target audience is young adults with a certificate of 15 or 18. This is due to the theme of abduction and drugs, with the occasional graphic bloody scene. The duration of the film is going to be around 15 minutes. The  budget would not too expensive  as we are going to film the interior scenes in one of the crew members house ,while the exterior scenes are going to be shot in the local woods. The budget should cover travel expenses to and from the house were we are going to shot and we can walk to the woods from the house.the actors had kindly agreed to star in the film for a favour.While props should come to around 20 pounds.

Clothing (such as the kidnappers costumes and the girls costume  is going to be the actors own clothing.)

Masks ( we are planning to buy the masks of e bay. one of the kidnappers will have bannda which is key to the narrative which the actor already knows.

the main expenses will be the travel costs and the mask.

The equipment we will need  is a camrea,camrea stand, and props. The  actors and production crew required we will have three actors as the kidnappers, A female  actress to play the victim, and an actor to play  the person who  rescues the victim from the kidnappers. The possible  ethical issues is that the exterior shots are  going to be filmed in a local area where members of the public will be present. The theme of kidnapping may be a concern for the public if they do not know what is going on. The only solution can be to tell the public that is present that we are making a student film. Otherwise members of the public may phone the police if they hear cries for help in the woods. The masks could be a issue as the actors playing the kidnappers will have to wear the masks in the public this may  cause a scare , so we will have to careful and be sensible about how we approach the  tortures scenes as they could cause distress.






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I have made to two different endings for my short film to decide between at the post production stage . The 1st storyline will  start with the victim waking up in the morning doing her daily routines ,gets kidnapped and drugged and left to die. Whereas as my second sequence will include  the same similar storyline but  will have a dream sequence at the beginning and a return from the  kidnappers. My second storyline was inspired by the Michael Jackson Thriller video ending . Where his girlfriend think that it was all a dream ,but when they walk out of his bedroom he  turns around to show his zombie face. This is a similar storyline twist to mine as the kidnappers will return without their masks but will be identified by the victim at her front door from their clothing.


The dream sequence was inspired by dream the character Teddy Daniel’s has in Martin Scorsese (Shutter Island 2010). I like the way he suddenly wakes up with his pulse racing with familiarity  of the dream he has just had.

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Being awake /Being Asleep

Reality /Dream

Does not conform to convention.

Surrealism – when something has lack of meaning relative to what it follows . Does not follow. ( Blending of what is real and what is not.)

Surreal Art

Surrealism is a cultural movement and artistic style that was founded in the 1924 by  Andre Breton.

Artists – Salvador Dali , Rene Magritte,yves Tanguy ,Joan Miro ,Max ernst and Giorgio De Chiro.

Salvador Dali

This painting is an example of surreal art as it is a mixture of objects that are not really made into anything.This is  against the complete convention of paintings  looking like something  with a clear clue to what it is attempting to look like . whereas this painting keeps the viewer guessing.

Rene Magritte

The same with this painting the fact that there is a skyscraper inside  small room makes it surreal and unconventional like you are dreaming.

Yves Tanguy

This painting is surreal as it does not really look like anything. It is similar to the  salvador Dali  painting as it is a set of objects rather than a painting of something.

Joan Miro

This is an example of  a famous painting that you are so familiar with that it becomes normal. as you are not shocked or have a unconventional  reaction to it. Although it is a surreal painting as it is not realistic painting.This painting comes more under the dream part of surrealism.

Max ernst

This is a surreal painting as it is shocking and again is has a dream like feel to it.

Giorgio De Chiro.

This panting is surreal as well as it has a dream like effect with aspects of reality in it.

Overall the main pattern that tends to be in surreal paintings is the switch between dreams and reality to therefore  make the viewer confused as it is dream like but reminds them of reality too.

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