Links To My Co-Producers' Blogs

Monday, 28 February 2011

WS - Changes made in reaction to Feedback

Whilst most of the feedback we recieved on our second rough cut was very positive, as expected there were little areas that people thought could be improved. We have listened to, and discussed all feedback. Some of the feedback has directly effected our final Production, whilst other bits of feedback have been discussed and we have decided to not act upon it.
The most obvious effect of feedback is that we have eliminated a short passage of the production. This is where Amelia goes to the window and sees the Killer's mask on the window. The reason we have eliminated this is because many people who have viewed our second film believe that this is the killer. This was not the intention. It was meant to simply be a mask hanging on the window to scare the Amelia, and wasn't meant to look like the person was actually there. It has also caused confusion amongst the audience. We are not too disappointed about this because this was a gamble we took when filming because an idea for a false scare with a cat didn't work. Eliminating this scene also means the time of our film, including Company Idents fits into two minutes and thirty seconds.

We have also deleted another shot on the advic of one of our teachers. The shot is just before Carl leaves the house and makes that short scene flow much better.

Our final scene, from when Amelia enters the bathroom until the end, took a lot of consideration and thought. During editing we sought a lot of advic on how our audience thought it worked best. The people we recieved advice from were in our Media Studies group and are, therefore, in our Core Target Audience. From them we recieved advice such as whether or not to use transitions (which in the end, we didn't), whether the scene flowed at a good pace for them, whether the camera shots worked effectively or not, and most importantly, did they feel that the scene overall was scary and an effective ending to our film opening. Views on this can also be seen on the below link.

Feedback that we considered, but decided against acting upon included views that we could show more of the killer. The main reason wedecided against that is because we wanted to keep the killers idetity as an enigma. Very little is seen of the killer, deliberately, because we believe that the more time the killer spends on screen, the less scary they become. This view was backed up when we asked people in our target audience. For these reasons, we didn't change our production to accomodate this feedback advice.

Sunday, 20 February 2011

TW - What I have Learned From My Research And Planning

I have learnt many things from my R+P, such as an ideal setting, common props and conventions, amongst other strategies.

To begin with, I have learnt through reading about Gothic Cinema in the book entitled; 'A New Heritage Of Horror' I have learnt that using establishing type shots that give the audience a real feel for the surroundings, as if they are in the setting themselves, helps to set the tone of the film and fully offer an eerie feeling as the film reaches it's climax, in order to fully engage the audience.

I have also learnt through deconstructing film openings, that props, in the form of a knife commonly, is key to a horror/slasher film. It is the most used prop to use as a murder weapon as it shows the killer having more power and sets them apart from their victims, for example; if they used a gun then all they would have to do is pull the trigger whereas with a knife, the killers have to plan their murders, showing they are skilled in that area. Although this prop and the mask (see below) are the most important props, further info on mise-en-scene we will be using can be found on the linked post.

Further evidence of this can be seen in the films; Scream and Halloween (both films hugely successful, with many sequels/ homages) where a knife is used by the killer, not another weapon.

Another key convention that can also be seen in the film Scream is the use of the 'Final Girl' concept, where said girl prevails over the killer at the end of the film. This has become increasingly common in modern slashers as it opens up a whole new audience of that of teen girls/young female adults who may not be familiarised with this genre until this new concept. Although in our film opening there is a definitive victim, known as the 'Scream Queen' we would have planned for a final girl to have prevailed at the end of our production. Further character info can be found in this link where we highlight each character we need and the characteristics they must have.

Another key convention is the use of a mask. This can again be seen in the films Scream and Halloween, as well as extremely modern slashers such as The Strangers. This hides the killer's identity, although it is usually revealed at the end of the film to provide a climax. We have used a mask in our film to hide our killer's identity, to incorporate yet another common convention to our film.

We have found that 'false scares' are also commonly used, and prove to be quite popular when further suspense is needed to keep the audience guessing. Many of these can be seen in the Paranormal Activity films . We have not used a false scare in our Rough Cut although this may change and there may yet be one in our finalised production.

Thanks to key horror films such as A Nightmare On Elm Street and Halloween, we have discovered that the ideal location would be a very isolated, rural scene. This was hard to achieve due to where our houses were situated, although as seen in the rough cut we have tried to use significant camera shots at the beginning of our film to give the best impression possible of a lonely location.

We have also chosen our target audience to be in the age range of 15-24 in order to have a wider group of possible viewers. We also hope that if this was a full production, the use of a final girl would help bring female viewers to our production. 
Another key part of a horror film is a very eerie soundtrack to provide suspense and act as tension in the eyes of the viewer. Iconic soundtracks have been known from Halloween and Saw (See Podcast for Details).

These points are regarded as the most important parts of a successful horror film in our opinion, and the majority are incorporated into our film opening, entitled 'Oblivious' - see below for second rough cut.

Or, go to:

TW - Audience Feedback For Our Second Rough Cut Of 'Oblivious'

TW - Audience Feedback For Our Company Idents

TW - Finalised Company Identifications

Company Idents

These are two company idents for
  • Hawk Eye Distributions
  • Jagged Edge Productions
We are awaiting some audience feedback towards them.

TW - Second Rough Cut

This is our second rough cut, we are now awaiting audience feedback.

BBFC Rating - Our Decision - JW


Suitable only for 15 years and over

No one younger than 15 may see a ‘15’ film in a cinema. No one younger than 15 may rent or buy a ‘15’ rated video work.


The work as a whole must not endorse discriminatory language or behaviour.


Drug taking may be shown but the film as a whole must not promote or encourage drug misuse. The misuse of easily accessible and highly dangerous substances (for example, aerosols or solvents) is unlikely to be acceptable.


Strong threat and menace are permitted unless sadistic or sexualised.

Imitable behaviour

Dangerous behaviour (for example, hanging, suicide and self-harming) should not dwell on detail which could be copied. Easily accessible weapons should not be glamorised.


There may be frequent use of strong language (for example, ‘fuck’). The strongest  terms (for example, ‘cunt’) may be acceptable if justified by the context. Aggressive or repeated use of the strongest language is unlikely to be acceptable.


Nudity may be allowed in a sexual context but without strong detail. There are no constraints on nudity in a non-sexual or educational context.


Sexual activity may be portrayed without strong detail. There may be strong verbal references to sexual behaviour, but the strongest references are unlikely  to be acceptable unless justified by context. Works whose primary purpose is sexual arousal or stimulation are unlikely to be acceptable.


No theme is prohibited, provided the treatment is appropriate for 15 year olds.


Violence may be strong but should not dwell on the infliction of pain or injury. The strongest gory images are unlikely to be acceptable. Strong sadistic or sexualised violence is also unlikely to be acceptable. There may be detailed verbal references to sexual violence but any portrayal of sexual violence must be discreet and have a strong contextual justification.


Filming Review - Thursday 10 February - WS

Last Thursday we re-filmed our project. We are yet to edit it, but hopefully we have everything we need to make our film the best it can be. We shot more shots than we believed necessary, and re-shot most scenes. We also took into account feedback we recieved from our original rough cut, such as avoiding the use of panning shots. 

Obviously, throughout filming you are goinng to encounter problems that you have to overcome. The biggest problem, and the most frustrating was that the cat we were going to try and use for a false scare was not too happy about being used and kept running away before we could film the shots. After attempting to get this shot a number of times it became apparent that this was not going to work. We quickly decided on an alternate scare, where we stuck the killers mask behind some curtains. When 'Amelia' draws back the curtains the mask is on the window and provides a scare that way. This may be badly done as it was quite difficult to do but hopefully it will be good for us to use in our film. We do however think that coming up with this idea on the spot when under pressure shows that our group are confident and are willing to take on challenging shots/ideas.

The second problem for us was that we had to film the killing scenes ahead of some other scenes with 'Amelia' downstairs. 'Amelia' washes her face in the killing scenes, which could have been problematic as the Actresses make-up could have, but fortunately did not, run. This could have been quite bad for continuity but fortunately this was not the case. 

We didn't have any other problems of note fortunately, and the filming appears to be a success. If any further problems are discovered during filming, then I will update the blog again.

WS - Plot Overview - Oblivious

To fully understand how and why what happens in our opening happens, we needed to see and decide how the film as a whole would unfold and develop. Below is an overview of what we planned would happen if we were to make this into a whole film:

  • Carl, the boyfriend in the opening scene, is been set up for the killings of many males and females throughout the rest of the film. This is the reason why the killer is using Carl's phone to call Amelia. Although we don't see this, it is not Carl on the other end of the phone, although it is supposed to seem like it is him.
  • The reason Amelia, the Scream Queen in our opening, is killed is to implicate Carl in all the other killings. From watching Slasher films such as Scream, we realised that there is often at least one person who all the evidence points towards been the killer. In our film this person is Carl (in Scream for example, there is Cotton Weary, Sidney's father etc). Another reason for Amelia been killed is of course the fact that she is a Scream Queen and has been participating in sinful acts such as drinking alcohol and having sex.
  • We decided to make our killer like a psychopath who, after watching and enjoying Slasher films, has decided to make his very own film. The reason we decided that they would be a psychopath is that it gives you no limits to how far they are willing to go. They show no mercy or conscience, which is much scarier than having a killer who feels bad for what they are doing!
  • If the film was to develop further, a Final Girl would be introduced. The Final Girl would actually be Carl's sister. However, we thought that if this did happen, we would have used a typical Scream Queen type actress to portray her. The reasons for this would be to make the audience feel like she was going to be killed at any moment, but just managed to escape at the last minute, providing high levels of tension. This would also allow us to incorporate Counter-Types into our film. Carl's sister would believe that Carl is actually innocent.
  • We also decided that our film would end with Carl and his sister confronting the real killer, after they are trapped by the man. A fight between them would ensue before the killer would eventually be killed. Of course it would not be simple to kill the killer, as it always takes a huge number of stab wounds, falls, gunshots, bangs to the head and a lot more to kill a Slasher film killer!
We believe that the above storyline would have provided us with enough to make a full film, given the chance. We are also confident that we could have made this film exciting and quite a typical Slasher, with enough opportunities for conventions of the genre such as false scares, killings with strange and dangerous weapons, and of course, lots of punishment for those that commit sins!

Monday, 14 February 2011

TW - Podcast Number 4

This podcast includes information on; casting changes, updated filming schedules, ident updates and changes we made and how they will be useful to our production.

Wednesday, 9 February 2011

TW - Filming & Acting Update

Firstly, we have now had to change our cast.
The role of Amelia will now be played by 'Megan Claydon' instead of 'Mary Newton'.
This has been done due to Mary living a very busy life and struggling to find time to fit in filming, and with the deadline coming up, we need to film soon.
Secondly, final filming will now be taking place on Wednesday the 9th and Thursday the 10th of February. We intend to get all shots done then, including both of our company idents.

TW - Soundtrack Update

Due to our recent change in idea, we now have no need to use my band (The Feedback).
However, we still need a creepy and chilling soundtrack to go along with the story, I have now finished writing one and now intend to record and hopefully receive some audience feedback (time allowing).
It could be posted on here within the next week.

TW - Updates To Our Production - Based On Feedback

After receiving some vital points from our fellow classmates and media teacher, we have decided to alter our production slightly and re-shoot - a date for this has not yet been decided.
Although our basic storyline remains the same, we have decided to add in several key elements:

  • Carl will be leaving Amelia after they've just 'been' with each other, instead of just sitting on the couch
  • Amelia will receive a phone call from our soon to be killer
  • the killer will have also have already killed Carl after he leaves, adding to the slasher aspect
  • we will include a much larger variety of shots, as well as less panning shots

Feedback Received Regarding Our Rough Cut - WS

Audience Feedback

After completing filming about a week and a half ago, we have edited the footage into a rough cut. Having done this, and recieved feedback, a number of problems have been spotted. In reaction to feedback, we have decided to change our idea and re-write a new story, although some aspects may be carried through. This may seem like an over-reaction, but we see it as necessary to incorporate the feedback, which the whole group agrees with.

The main points we have picked up on through Audience Feedback are:
  • Not to use shots with jerky movements (such as our panning shots). This loses us marks. We were advised that, if we want to attempt panning shots, to also shoot a still shot in case the shot goes wrong.
  • Try and get Close Ups and Extreme Close Ups on key things (such as holding hands, unlocked doors etc.)
  • Use shorter takes as they are more common in Slasher films, as well as helping the actors (long takes can be hard for amateur actors)
  • Get the Boyfriend character out the way quicker. This would be beneficial as it gives us longer to build up the tension with the girl alone, whilst still having the signs of sexual activity.
  • More variety in camera shots/angles/distances. Vary our shot types more to make the production more interesting on screen and to also give subtle signs to the audience (for example; close up on key objects and long shots to set the scene - establishing shots).
  • Maybe make use of a phonecall to build suspension. We also knows this works in Slasher films from watching films such as "When A Stranger Calls" and "Scream".
We will now look at ways to improve our idea based mainly, but not entirely on Audience Feedback. We will post again when we have improved ideas and when we have a new date for filming.

TW - Our Final Treatment

A Treatment For Our Coursework

Shooting/Editing Update - JW

We have now completed our first rough cut of our production: 'Oblivious'.
After finishing our continuity editing, we have are soon going to ask for some audience feedback on it. We are yet to add any music (as I am still finalising the piece) or transitions or effects to the shots. This will be done after we have received audience feedback and finalised our continuity editing.
All updates and audience feedback will be posted on here.

First Audience Feedback - JW

We received some initial feedback on the first 45 seconds of our clip from Asa Newmarch who is currently working on his production; 'Test Drive'.
Since little has been done to our project, (sound, editing etc.) there was little to report back on. However, he did inform us that on a few occasions - you here the director calling 'action'. We now intend to edit this out.

Tuesday, 1 February 2011

Update on Filming - 'Oblivious' - WS

Although last week I blogged that we had finished filming, I did state that this was assuming we had every shot and all the shots were done correctly and to a decent standard. Unfortunately, we feel this is not the case. While we are happy with the majority of shots that we filmed, we aren't happy with three or four shots, so we will be setting a new date for filming again. The main shots in question are the opening shot, when we are outside the house and getting the establishing shot, and the stabbing of the girl at the end. We feel both shots could be much better than they are, and we want them to reach our high standards. We may also decide to re-shoot others before we go back out to film, although we are undecided on these as of now. 

As well as re-shooting some shots, we also need to film our Company Idents which we have now decided to record on camera before editing. We need to take a shot of an eye blinking and of a sharp knife. In some ways we are quite happy for having to re-shoot as it means we can hopefully improve our footage, show drafting and gives us the oppurtunity to shoot for our Idents.

A date will be posted when we decide to shoot again.