Monday, 9 March 2009

Final Cut!

Thursday, 5 March 2009


Yesterday Rachel and I filmed the short piece of footage that introduces the "plastic" characters. We used a corridor in college and made the 3 characters strut down it towards the camera. We used a low angle shot to suggest the "plastics" dominance and power over the other girls in school.

Monday, 2 March 2009

rought cut

this is the image we are going to manipulate to creat our final tittle sequence. it is not complete at the moment it is missing a photo of the lead male and video footage of the 'plastics'

Friday, 13 February 2009

Preparation for final images

We then began working on the heart shapes that will also be seen in this section of the film.
We drew the hearts ourselves with a permanent marker (we used black so it would be easy to edit). We then photographed our drawings and edited them on photoshop.
The black heart is an unedited drawing, the pink heart has been edited on photoshop. We drew the hearts by hand because we wanted them to be a realistic shape, the colour however we made to look obviously computer enhanced as this complys to the typical conventions of the teenage romcom genre. We used the colour pink as it has girly and romantic connotations.


Needed items

This is a list of item / images we need to produce to create or opening sequence.
-Photograph of lead Female
-Film footage of 'plastics'
-Photograph of lead 'plastic'
-Photograph of lead male
-Photograph of lead and Best friend
-Guitar music
-Picture of max
-Badge (from BF)

Preparation for final images

We have started to prepare the individual layers for our final film.

The first image we created was the lips. This image is used when the film pans to the section of the diary about the "hot" boy at the lead characters high school. We got a friend to apply red lipstick and then kiss a piece of paper, we then took a photograph and edited on photoshop.
This was our original photo:And these were the lips finished after editing:


Thursday, 12 February 2009

This is our call sheet it is not in as much detail as a professional one but just like the risk assessment it is an example of how they are used in the media industry. we will use this to help organize our filming and make sure everyone knows what there doing and when there supposed to do it.


Photographs for final film

Today we took some photos in preparation for our final film.

We needed a polaroid of our lead female character so we took a photo in a polaroid style and then edited it with a polaroid frame.
This was our finished photograph:
We have made our character follow typical conventions through the use of costume and setting. The picture is taken in the library, not to suggest our character is a geek, but to indicate that she doesn't hang around in the "popular" places in college. She is also wearing non-revealing unique clothing. The audience can see that she is a pretty character and that there is potential in the film for her to develop into a more "fanciable" character.

We then took some pictures of our lead "plastic".
These are the photos before we edited them for the diary:These are the photos after editing:
We have made our character follow typical conventions through the use of costume and make-up. The character has long blonde hair, typical of the lead popular character in the teen romcom genre. She is also wearing red lipstick, this represents her confidence and shows how the character sees herself as more grown up than the others. She is also wearing high heels and a short skirt; both highlighting her confidence in the way she looks.


Risk assesement

Risk assessment for film opening project.

Hazard: Damage to equipment.
What could cause harm? Dropping equipment, scratching lens.
What is the likelihood of this happening? Minimal
Who or what would be harmed? The camera or tripod
How much harm? Minimal
Applying the following priorities, how will this risk be managed?
(1) Eliminate. (2) Reduce or substitute. (3) Isolate. (4) Control. (5) Personal protective equipment.
(4) appoint somebody to be responsible for the well being of the camera.

Hazard: Busy corridor
what could cause harm? Tripping, colliding with other people / objects.
What is the likelihood of this happening? Medium
Who or what would be harmed? Actors
How much harm? minimal
Applying the following priorities, how will this risk be managed?
(1) Eliminate. (2) Reduce or substitute. (3) Isolate. (4) Control. (5) Personal protective equipment.
(3) Isolate the corridor.

This is only a representation of a risk assessment. in the industry it would have been written in more detail ans depth. the person responsible for completing a risk assessment is the production coordinator.there job is basically to sort out mundane paper work and league issues to make sure the production flows smoothly and without any legal issues. They are also responsible for getting permission off local councils to film in different location. As well as this they sort out copy write issues.


Monday, 9 February 2009

Mark Waters

An American director born in Cleveland Ohio, 30 June 1964.
He directed his first film "the house of yes" in 1997. a Drama/comedy about a mentally unstable young woman [who thinks shes Jakie Kennedy] flipping into a murderous rage when her brother returns home to reveal he's engaged.

He has also directed other successful Romantic comedy such as
# Just Like Heaven (2005)
# Mean Girls (2004)
# Freaky Friday (2003)
# Warning: Parental Advisory (2002) (TV)
# Head Over Heels (2001)



The mean girls soundtrack also includes the same mix of music and keeps to the conventions of a sound track for a teenage romantic comedy.



Track listing
1. Drama Queen (That Girl) - Lindsay Lohan
2. I'm Ready - Cherie
3. Ladies Night - Atomic Kitten, Kool & the Gang, Kool & the Gang
4. Perfect [Acoustic Version] - Simple Plan
5. Tomorrow - Lillix
6. What Are You Waiting For - Lindsay Lohan
7. Na Na - Superchic[k] Alumni
8. 1, 2, 3
9. Medley: Don't Move On/Living for the City/Changes - Lindsay Lohan
10. Boom - Fan_3,
11. Day in the Life - Lindsay Lohan
12. Real Me
13. Un-Sweet Sixteen - Wakefield
14. Only in the Movies - Diffuser
This soundtrack includes a mixture of mainstream music produced separately to the film and songs created just for the movie. The majority of the films created for the film are song by the main actress Lindsay Lohan.
The genre of the track in the sound track are all 'pop' or sub-genres such as rock pop
This seems to be a convention for the style of music induced in teenage Romantic comedy's.



Lead Female Character - Olivia Olsen

Although this image doesn't mirror the exact style of clothing we want our lead character to wear, it portrays her attitudes towards fashion and lack of interest when deciding what to wear.
Whilst our lead character is seen not to follow trends, her clothes still present her as stylishly unique.
Below we have created an outfit that replicates the type of outfit our lead character will wear:

Above we have chosen some bleached skinny jeans, a baggy high school jumper and a leather jacket. We have also chosen a long chain with a vintage pendant and some casual "lived-in" pumps. The oufit is seen as quite "cool" but also represents the characters careless attitude towards fashion and how she just "throws" her outfits together.

Lead "Plastic"/Cheerleader Character

We have chosen a costume example from the popular teenage chick-flick Clueless.
The girls are shown to reveal a lot of skin, an example being their short skirts and strappy dresses. This represents their confidence in themselves and indicates why they might be popular with the guys in their high school. They are all wearing high heels, and expensive/designer looking outfits.
Below we have created an outfit that replicates the type of outfit this character will wear:

We have chosen a denim mini-skirt (probably Abercrombie&Fitch) as this item shows the characters legs and also shows how she likes designer fashion labels. We have then chosen a pink knitted "designer" jumper and bright pink heels. Pink is a colour that is typically related to this type of popular girl character. The character also has a tiffany's bracelet in her outfit as this is quite an expensive piece of jewellery.

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-Good Ident.
-Looked at characters,titles,font etc. in a lot of detail.
-Like the test footage, looks professional.
-Very neat and impressive. Easy to read and understand.
-Lots of images.
-Lots of detailed notes.
-Very detailed.
-Amazing detail.

Areas for improvement
-2 Analysis posts of Mean Girls, should be made into one post.
-Could have put more detail into some of the lists of conventions.
-Lack of information for call sheet.
-Not enough pictures.

How will we respond to this feedback?
-Our Mean Girls analysis blogs will stay seperate as they are analysing different aspects of the film.
-We will expand the detail on our chosen genre, and provide evidence of costume, location and soundtrack conventions.
-If we do decide to include filming we will expand on the call sheet blog.
-Within the costume and location blogs we will include lots of images/evidence.

How does this blog compare to our thriller blog?
Jonny - "this blog is presented in a lot more detail than my previos one. also it is presented clearer and a is genuinely a better blog"
Alex and Rachel - "Although our thriller blog got blog of the week so was therefore very detailed, our current blog is showing clearer evidence of film preparation and includes more in-depth analysis using the micr0-elements"

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Thursday, 5 February 2009

test footage

Using our mood bored I have created the effect of panning and zooming on this image by manipulation it in final cut.

This is the same method we hope to use to produce our final production and with a bit more effort could look very professional. However this image had to be much larger than the actual frame to give the best possible effect. this will mean that for our final the images will have to be first created in Photshop in a much larger scale than is needed, then imported into final cut.


Call sheet

This is an example of a call sheet. They are used to help organize filming and making sure everything goes according to plan.

We will need to complete on for the small bit of film we are going to do, this should help us stay focused, have all our actors in the right place at the right time and let everyone know what is going on and what they are going to be doing.


Final Animatic

Our actual opening sequence will be a lot longer than this anamatic [around two minutes] and flow more freely creating the effect that the sequence is at a slow pace.

We hope to use a similar sound track in our actual opening sequence as it has a strong beat and a funky Latino feel. however the curant music do have an upbeat sound which makes the sequence feel shorter than it is so for the final we may have to use a slower more subdued beat.


Thursday, 29 January 2009


Although we have already looked at mean girls in our blog, as it is probably the most inspirational teenage romantic comedy for us I thought i should do an analysis of the micro elements. This will help us with ideas for our own opening sequence. I will break the elements down into sections and alanyse them all seperatly:


At first I found it strange and against the conventions that African tribal style music would be used in the opening of a teenage rom com, however once you continue to watch you find out that she has in fact, just moved from Africa. I also think this music could be a reference to the similarities between the safari area she has just come from and the social groups in the high school she is about to enter. Suggesting that these teenagers may act, and fight, like animals. As soon as she enters the high school, the music changes to a more up beat and modern sound. The dramatic change in these sounds shows how her life is about to equally dramatically change.

The sound aspect which is probably most relevant to us is the voice over. Its quite typical in a teenage rom com for the main character to talk directly to the audience and introduce us to their situation. We would like to use a voice over in our own opening sequence.


The first image we see is that of the parents handing the main character a brown paper bag with her lunch in it. At 16 it could possibly be seen as embarassing or un-cool to carry and the audience immediatly feels that she could possibly be teased for this. Kady, the main character, is wearing very plain colours, her hair is very natural and she doesn't appear to be wearing any makeup, this gives us the impression that she is likely to blend in amoungst other teenagers in her school. The lighting in this scene has an gold/orange tint to it, representing her old home in Africa. The use of still images surprisingly don't show a huge difference between Africa and America, the only difference being that she looks much happier in the pictures from Africa.

When she enters the high school the groups of people are immediatly evident. Quite often the people with in the groups are all wearing similar colours, for example the 'jocks' all wearing blue and yellow, this shows us as she walks past each group that she doesn't fit in with them.


In the first shot we see the camera is looking up at Kady's parents, this indicates her respect for them, but also how they are treating her as a lot younger than her actual age of 16. This protectiveness of her is again shown when she stands up and we see her in between the back of her parents heads. When she enters the high school the camera follows her pace as she walks and also jumps from a front on shot, to her prespective. This makes us identify with her character as she pushes her way through the crowds.



Character Profile: Female Lead

Name: Cany Olsen

Age: 16

Hobbies: Playing the guitar, Writing songs, singing, Hockey, Parties, Drawing.
(we chose these particular hobbies as they present the creative side of our lead character but also contradict the typical 'nerd' image which we want to avoid)

School Subjects: Art, classics, English literature and psychology

Pets: 1 cat (millie)

Friends: Best friend- Max (childhood friend)
(this is often typical of this genre eg. Juno where the lead has a male best friend. We chose for this character to be male because it represents how she doesn't aspire to impress guys, but is comfortable being their friend)

Music: Jason Mraz, Regina Spektor, Kate Nash

Aspirations: To become a journalist

We created a character profile for this character as it will help us to determine the types of images to include in her diary and will add more depth to her character.


Pitch Feedback

We received the following feedback for each of the following areas in our pitch:

-The Synopsis gave a good insight into the details of the film and how they relate to the genre.
-The characters were carefully described and linked to characters in previous teen romantic comedys.
-It is a unique idea and concept, that is simple but interesting.

-The moodboard was a good representative of what the final sequence could possibly look like.
-Images were carefully selected to represent characters, hobbies and emotions.
-Nicely edited, good composition.
-Images used from well-known films to represent the similiarity between our own characters and ones within well known films.

2x Film Analysis
-We selected films that were closely linked to our genre/film idea and were therefore easy to analyse.
-We looked at elements within each film that related to the genre and would also be useful in our own film.


Font Ideas

I begun to consider different fonts that we could use for the text in our film opening.

I chose this font as an example because the joined up style makes it look fairly girly and the italic element reflects an informal type of writing that would possibly be used in a diary.

I chose this font as an example because the quite childish rounded style is a reflection of the style many teenage girls write in.

I chose this font as an example because the messy style makes it look very handwritten and mirrors a font that would perhaps be used in a diary. However, the scruffy and uneven letters could sway the audience into believing the writing has been done by a male character.

I chose this font as an example because similar to the second font it has a rounded informal element. The heart above the letter "I" also indicates that the person writing in the diary is young and female.
I chose this font as an example because it is an easy to read hand-written font that looks similar to the style of writing often seen in a diary.


Story board

As our sequence includes a lot of panning and zooms, it was difficult to replicate the exact sequence in our story board, there fore we just took stills of sections of our diary, and tried to indicate which way the camera would be panning.



Whilst we were drawing our storyboard, we began to think about the credits we would need to include in our titles. We listed a group of the most commonly used ones which we found by watching other teenage romantic comedy opeining sequences. We will include:
  • Company name: eg. ____ Presents
  • A film by _____
  • Actors (Main characters)
  • The film name
  • Rest of actors
  • Casting by _____
  • Music by _____
  • Costumes designed by _____
  • Edited by _____
  • Production designed by _____
  • Director of photography _____
  • Co Producers _____
  • Co executive producers _____
  • Executive producers _____
  • Written by _____
  • Produced by _____
  • Directed by _____
This will help us to time our title sequence effectively and will help us to prioritise the order which the names will appear. This will make our editing overall easier.


analysis of the use of music in Greace

The music used in this introduction is diagetic as is introduced by a radio DJ, who introduces the song by saying "get out of bed its the first day of school, dont be a slobb, dont get a job, you can pass" this helps introduce the time of year and day to the viewer, as the characters could be listening to the radio as they get ready of school. Also it has a fairly slow tempo, which matches the speed of the introduction.

The actual song used is "Grease" written by Barry Gibb [part of the Bee Gees] especially for the film and preformed by Frankie Valli and became a number on single in the USA in 1978. This shows that the type of music used in conventional for the times and popular both in the movie and real life. This mean our sound track will have to conform to modern / popular music but probably be quite slow moving to help the pans flow and give a seance of calm and tranquility. However there are lyrics in the song 'Grease' which later relate to the film, however is we used vocals in our music we would have to find a recording studio and someone willing to sing, as well as this we would have to thin up lyrics. Therefore it will probably be easier and sound better if our music dose not include lyrics but is made to sound like an instrumental to give the seance that the rest of the song has lyrics.


Monday, 26 January 2009


Our whole opening sequence will be set around the diary of a teenage girl. Characters will be introduced throughout the opening sequence through polaroids and possibly short video clips (with in the shape of the polaroid). Credits will be written on the diary in the girl's hand writing as if they are diary entries and scribbles and drawings will show her feeling towards certian characters, for example little hearts around a picture of the boy she likes. Throughout the sequence there will be a voice over from the main character who is showing us through the diary and introducing us to the other main characters.

Although we want our main character to be represented as 'un-popular' in the film, her diary will include a lot of pink, a typical girly colour and therefore a colour for the popular girls. This shows that while she maybe envies them, she also unconciously aspires to be like them.

The camera will pan over the diary. She will firstly introduce herself, then possibly her best friend. She will then go on to introduce the boy she likes. This boy will be a typical american 'Jock' who is popular at his school, and probably the boy who all the girls like. The audience assumes that this boy is someone our main character admires from a far rather than actually has a relationsip with from the doodled hears and kiss shapes around him.

We will then go on to introduce the popular girls. This is where we want to possibly use a video clip, as we want to have some sort of dramatic introduction for them, to show they are the center of attention. We will use the typical 3 girls maybe walking through a crowd of people and everyone looking at them. The voice over will go on to describe how these are the girls she doesn't like.

We will then pan down the diary to show a picture of her best friend. Its typical in this genre for the lead female role to have a male best friend. She will speak in the voice over of how he keeps her sain.


Friday, 23 January 2009


In our mood board we have included images that highlight the typical conventions of a teenage romantic comedy.

The first image is a Polaroid of a girl who represents our main character. She is shown to be wearing quite plain colours, which indicates how she possibly goes unnoticed in her high school, typical of the main role in a teenage romantic comedy. Her image contrasts to the bright colours in the rest of the diary, showing she is perhaps different to the other people her age. We have used an image of an acoustic guitar and some guitar music to reveal further deatails about the kind of person our main character will be.

For our second image we have used a picture of Zac Efron, who is a typical teenage 'heartthrob', to represent the popular boy in our film. This follows conventions as the lead male character in most teenage romantic comedys is seen as typically 'fit'. The hearts and kisses around the image show the main character's desire for him. We have also used an image of an american football jacket, as the popular boy is very often captain of the football team in teenage romantic comedy.

We have next used an image from the well known film Mean Girls. It is typical of teenage romantic comedys to have three popular girls who while being the girlyest girls in the school, are also the most feared. Around them we have used a picture of pompoms, as the popular girls are almost always cheerleaders.

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Mean Girls opening credits

The sequences starts with the universal ident with its usual soundtrack. Then fades to a blank black screen with the same music that continues into the main part of the opening sequence, the production company, directer and main actress names are written onto the blank screen, which is very typical of all main stream films. In our opening sequence we hope to use the same music in our ident as sequence, but we will probably not present any directors e.c.t on an individual screen.

In the main sequence there is a voice over introducing the main character and her situation. This creates meaning and demonstrates how the rest of the film is going to be about the her struggle to be socially accepted and popular. as well as this the sequence helps us to relate to the character feeling alone in a strange new world. This is a very typical introduction for a teenage romantic comedy and also in a similar style to the way in which we hope to represent our main character and there situation.

The rest of the opening is a montage of the character's first day with the credits coming in from the right stopping in the middle and leaving to the left or coming in from the left and leaving to the right. this is typical of the introductions for this genre of film.


Thursday, 22 January 2009

Stop motion letter animation

Although this sequence is not an opening title sequence it has been created in the same style as we hope to do our opening sequence.

It uses a combination of I-stop motion and expanding and enlarging of the background image to give the effects of pans and zooms. This is a much simpler method of presenting text and images from a variation of distance and angles without using many different cameras and sequences combined together. This saves time and adds to the effect of the titles.

The sequences is free flowing and combines the effective use of image manipulation to give the of panning and zooms to present both text and images in a unique and interesting way. Also the animation of the text and images helps create a surreal context ans adds to the originality of the sequence.

The lighting used is natural and quite diffused making the colours look natural and easy to watch [not too bright or dazzling].

In our opening sequence we hope to use many of these production method. As our opening sequence will just be one diary presenting all the necessary information we will have to expand and manipulate the image to give the effect of moment and and zooms. This will make the opening unique and free flowing but mean the original image will have to be much larger than the video frame.


Monday, 19 January 2009


This is our final ident for our production company 'Black Star productions'

we chose the name black star for several reasons. firstly as the coulor black has connotations of power and strength. Also as stars are also very big and powerful, but also look good in the nights sky, this could show than black star is a powerful company with good ideas and productions.

At the moment there is no sound in the ident but when we create the rest of the opening the ident will share the same soundtrack as the sequence, although the sound may not flow as well as a custom made track in garage band it will help the opening to flow and create suspense if needed.

The text in the ident increases and decreases in opacity to give a similar effect too a twinkling star.


Opening Sequence Analysis

Ratcatcher (1999)
Social realism combined with surreal element (poetic realism)

-Initial sounds are haunting and surreal.
-Echoing sounds of children laughing outside are used within the initial shots of the sequence to provoke tension within the audience.
-The spinning motion of the boy suggests a possible mental illness and also creates a repetitive and disturbing image.
-Lack of non-diagetic sound emphasizes the reality of the situation and film.
-Natural lighting is used to support the use of diagetic sounds and create a realistic and natural image.

Killer of Sheep (1977)
Social Realism. Student Film (UCLA)

-The use of everyday people and no professional actors highlights the realistic elements within the genre.
-Borrows techniques from documentary films (e.g hand held camera angles and use of natural sound)

American Splender (2004)
Drama with elements of comedy.

-Titles were animated in a comic strip style.
-Comic style music and text
-Animated pictures used within comic strip to add film elements.
-Draws attention to the making of the the film by discussing it within the film itself.

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Friday, 28 November 2008

Hello :)

The members of our group our:
Rachel Monaghan
Alexandra Efford
Michael Flynn
Jonny Womack

and we have decided to make the opening sequence for a teenage romantic comedy :)

Our production company is: Black Star Productions

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