Welcome to our AS media coursework blog

In our group there is Becky Wholley (featured left) and me, Hannah Ferreira. We are producing a 2 minute film opening of the horror genre. The Film title is Sleep Tight.
My YouTube account is:
Becky's YouTube account is: http://www.youtube.com/user/88Beckyjo

Monday, 27 December 2010

Bride of Chucky deconstruction- without sound.

Director: Ronny Yu
Release date: 1999
Budget: $25,000,000
Opening weekend: $11,830,855

  • Black and dark blue tones of lighting.
  • Raining and flashes of lightning.
  • Verisimilitude- uniform and props of scientific objects.
  • Establishing shot sets genre. Low angle. Shadows
  • High angle of security guard walking- makes him look vulnerable.
  • Extereme close up on eyes- show emotion.
  • Serif font titles- typically seen in horror films, as if dripping blood.
  • Slow motion looking into the bag, adds suspense.
  • In a dark place alone- following conventional story line as if something scary is about to suddenly happen.
  • There is a phone present- representing a life line.
  • Femme fatale- costume signifies danger. Black PVC dress- tight fitting. Blonde hair, very 'made-up' and very tall heels.
  • POV shots- feeling of being watched.
  • Religious imagery- good v evil. Set in a church.
We liked the range of shots used in this opening, felt we would relate the idea of variaition of shots into our coursework, such as Point of view, high and low angle to emphasize the idea of vulnerability and something, someone, being daunting.


Thursday, 23 December 2010

Deconstructing the opening of Bridget Jones' diary, The Edge of Reason.

Director: Beeban Kidron (directed films mainly for TV and film 'Hippie Hippie Shake'.)
Released: 2004
Genre: Romantic comedy
Rating: 15
Budget: $40,000,000
Opening weekend: USA: $8,684,055      UK: £10,435,193

First 10 scenes

1. Extreme close up. POV shot. High angle. Happy classical soundtrack music playing. The character is in pyjama's writing in her diary- connotes that she is relaxed. Camera fades out and pans around the subject. Change in writing in her diary- could reflect a new start. A heart is drawn around the name Mark, providing anchorage. She does not care about presentation as there are many scribbles and scratching outs. As she opens the diary, there is non- diegetic sound of tinkling, high pitched piano keys. This sounds as if its from a fairy tale and so suggests her current blissful state of being and also the genre.

2. Long shot- mid angle. Establishing shot of a quaint village. The mise-en-scene; snow on trees, grey sky and decorations anchor that it is christmas time. Voice over. Only one car with her in it- she's alone. Jump cut to scene 3.

3. Wide/long shot- mid angle panning to a high angle of the village, following the car. jump cut to 4.

4. High angle mid shot of car approaching a house. Jump cut to scene 5.

5. Establishing shot of house. Long shot and low angle- makes the house look big as if she's about to face a challenge. The christmas decoration implies that it is a family home. The owners of the home are attempting to be classy by having hedges shaped like a swan. Diegetic sound of the doorbell and a jump cut to scene 6.

6. Over the shoulder shot. Close up, two shot of mother and daughter. Mid angle. Mother trying to be classy- hair and make up done, holding a plate of food (perfect host), kisses Bridget on both cheeks, chirpy and well spoken voice. Jump cut to 7.

7. High angle of mother and daughter. Mid/long shot. Juxtaposition of mothers outfit to Bridget's plain and shapeless clothes. Attempt of classy decor- striped wallpaper with gold trimmings. Many cat ornaments- connotes that the mothers children have grown up and moved out and so has many cats to keep her company -'crazy cat lady'?.

8. Close up- mid angle of Bridget walking into family room. Voice over of Bridget's feelings- differs to her polite, smiling face. Feet in the background on stairs. Childlike christmas jumper and wearing no make-up. This could imply her maturity level.

9. Wide/mid/long shot. Mid angle panning to high angle to show the typical christmas party. Drunk man wearing novelty reindeer antlers. Attempted flirting between older family friends. Close up on a man approaching Bridget with open arms. Awkward family event. 

10. Two shot of Bridget and older man. Close up mid angle. Close up zooms out to mid shot. Forced smile- obliged to attend. Camera follows Bridget through maze of greeting 'friends'.

Monday, 6 December 2010

Prelim task

Preliminary exercise: Continuity task involving filming and editing a character opening a door, crossing a room and sitting down in a chair opposite another character, with whom she/he then exchanges a couple of lines of dialogue. This task should demonstrate match on action, shot/reverse shot and the 180-degree rule. 
Match on Action- connects two shots cut together by having a character finish an action in the second shot begun in the first shot. For instance, if a character lights a match in the first shot, the same character will draw it up to a cigarette in the second.

Shot/Reverse Shot- After an establishing shot, the shot-reverse shot refers to the close-ups used when two characters are in conversation. (Because we have already used an establishing shot, we now know where the characters are in relation to one another.) First both of the actors engaged in a conversation are shown in a two-shot then the camera cuts in to mid shots and close-ups of one actor and then the other, usually from a position 'over the shoulder' of the other actor.

180-degree rule-The 180° rule is a basic guideline in film making that states that two characters (or other elements) in the same scene should always have the same left/right relationship to each other. If the camera passes over the imaginary axis connecting the two subjects, it is called crossing the line.

Friday, 26 November 2010

Deconstructing the opening of The Matchmaker

Open with an establishing shot and high angle of Boston and anchorage connoting the location.
Busy work environment. Lots of people talking over each other. Costumes- formal attire.
Flags connote political work environment. Anchored by the way they address each other- Senate.
Steady cam following the woman into the office. Long shot takes. Continuity editing.
Shot to shot whilst talking in the office. Power/authority over the woman is shown through her response to the men.
 Sound of telephone in the background and talking. Verisimilitude is shown through lighting and costume. The lighting is realistic for an office.
Representation: Woman shown as having no social life... pretending to talk on the phone. Binary opposite to the polititains who are winning people over. She is bored/fed up with her work life, controlled by those in authority.
She is the main character as se is the focus in most of the shots.
The bosses seem quite pompous as the way the like seeing themselves on tv.

Wednesday, 3 November 2010

Lessons from Micro-drama.

1. How to use a camera.
2. Skilled actors are needed.
3. Surrounding sound of the environment affects the shoot, e.g gusts of wind.
4. A call sheet is vital, it is important to plan all of the shot types and angles before filming begins. 
5. How to use iMovie.
6. Choose the film location wisely so everything that's in the scene/surroundings is intended.
7. Speak loudly and clearly.
8. Stay in character (don't laugh and look at the camera).

Wednesday, 13 October 2010

Top 5 fave films

1. Atonement:
Director: Joe Wright
Budget: $30,000,000
Gross: $50,921,738

Atonement has such a gripping story line. I love the cinematography, the way it shows the tension and time period really well. The set is very impressive and cleverly made up as the scene for Dunkirk was filmed in Middlesborough.

2. Napolean Dynamite: 
Director: Jared Hess
Budget: $400,000
Gross: $44,540,956

Napolean Dynamite has to be one of my all time favorite films because of the humor. The versimiltude/non hollywood glamour in the film is what makes it funny. 

3. An Education:
Director: Lone Scherfig
Budget: £4,500,000

I find this film very clever because the audience look at the story, subconsciously, through the eyes of 16-17 year old Jenny. There are very talented actors and actresses in the film which make you feel the emotion of the characters.

4. Inception:
Director: Christopher Nolan
Budget: $160,000,000
Gross: $288,405,376

The ingenious idea and concept of the film, in my opinion is what makes it so good. The believable special effects and pace of the film is also what gives it quality.

5. Glorious 39:
Director: Stephen Poliakoff
Budget: £3,700,000
Gross: £301,813

One of the most gripping films I've ever seen because of the twists of the plot and the amazing acting. The use of music and lighting are very effective in producing a dark/nervous  atmosphere. 

Friday, 8 October 2010

My coursework task

Your mission is to carry out the following brief:

Preliminary exercise: Continuity task involving filming and editing a character opening a door, crossing a room and sitting down in a chair opposite another character, with whom she/he then exchanges a couple of lines of dialogue. This task should demonstrate match on action, shot/reverse shot and the 180-degree rule.
Main task: the titles and opening of a new fiction film, to last a maximum of two minutes.
All video and audio material must be original, produced by the candidate(s), with the exception of music or audio effects from a copyright-free source.

The coursework is worth 50% of the AS (same at A2) and the marking (detailed later) is divided into 3 sections:



Even before you start shooting (let alone planning) your production, you need to keep this final stage in mind. If you start (b)logging notes on this now it will save you a lot of stress as the final deadline (in May!) approaches. You are tasked with answering these questions (see below for details on how this is marked):

  • In what ways does your media product use, develop or challenge forms and conventions of real media products? 
  • How does your media product represent particular social groups?
  • What kind of media institution might distribute your media product and why? 
  • Who would be the audience for your media product? 
  • How did you attract/address your audience? 
  • What have you learnt about technologies from the process of constructing this product? 
  • Looking back at your preliminary task, what do you feel you have learnt in the progression from it to the full product?

Your work is marked partially on my observations of your approach and level of organisation, but fundamentally its a DVD and your blog that are marked.

My Summary
The marking scheme that the teacher has to follow/abide by have guidelines to where you fit in. These are: 

G321 - Simplified Marking Criteria as 1 Sheet