Thursday, 12 March 2009


Monday, 9 March 2009


1. In what ways does your media product use, develop or challenge forms and conventions of real media products? Compare and contrast your own sequence and one which you think has generically influenced you.

Our main influence for our opening sequence was 'Mean Girls' as we thought that our chosen genre, teen romcom, investigate the stereotypes within teenagers.

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Mean Boys

Here is our finished product 'Mean Boys'

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Thursday, 5 March 2009

Rough Cut Feedback

Today our rough cut was evaluated by other members of our media group, they made notes on mise en scene, camera work, editing, sound and generic conventionss. From these notes we were able to see our strong points and areas where we needed to improve.

Good points:
For mise en scene other groups said that the costumes are appropriate for the location, and the location is appropriate for the genre. In camera work they said we used a good variety of shots and good close up of 'Hugo's' shoes. In editing we used a good use of slow motion, the shots were cut down well timewise. Our music was liked. And finally our comment on the generic conventions was 'the genre is chick flick this is communicated as it;s a college set and it's about one person and everyone is talking about him'

Areas of improvement:
In outr mise en scene it was noted that most of our shots were quite dull and plain and need to be made lighter, we are currently working on this. Our camera work could have had a wider shot range. In editing other groups said that it's needs to be longer overall as it is under 1 minute, the shots needs to be in better order and transitions between shots would work well. In sound we need to make the non diagetic sound quieter as it drowns the actors voices out.

What we're going to do in the next 2 lessons to improve our opening:
  • Make the lighting lighter
  • Add some transitions between shots
  • Re-order our shots
  • Turn down our non diagetic sound
  • Add titles


Monday, 2 March 2009

Rough cut

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Friday, 13 February 2009

Call sheet

Director/producer:role shared throughout group.

main location: Long road sixth form college
location contact number: 01223507400

Production contacts:
  • George Baglin:07535645082
  • Steven Dickens:07742295615
  • Shaun Kaba:07530923015
  • Emily Toffs:07891210996
shooting scheldule:
day 1-
scene: opinions
locations: library, refectory, sportshall
cast:frankie roughan, halle magret, laura stepney, becca ling, megan larkey,surri dawn graver, stuart dutton, conor murphy.

day 2-

Film Analysis

For my analysis of a teen 'Romantic Comedy' (romcom), I have chosen analyse the opening sequence to Mark Waters 2004 film 'Mean Girls'. i will be looking to see how different micro elements, e.g. mise en scene, editing, sound and camera work are used to establish the story line, characters and the genre. As well as watching the opening sequence to the film, I will be using other resources to find out information about the film, like Wikipedia, IMDb and Google, so that I will be able to find out the name of the songs used, and who they are by, etc.

Mean Girls is a controversial teen romcom, which covers all aspects of modern teenage life, like cliques, ethnical background, sexuality,etc, and the problems that can arise from these, like bullying, racism and homosexuality, but they are still covered in a comic fashion, so you may even say it was leaning over to black comedy. The film is centered around the protagonist 'Cady Heron' (Lindsay Lohan) and shows her lifestyle change when her family move from the desesrts of Africa, to the concrete jungles that is America, and how she realises that life in America isn't quite the walk in the park she thought it would be.

The music chosen for the opening sequence is


Film Opening Analysis

High School Musical is a musical which is aimed at young children, mainly girls up to teens. There are three of the movies and have become a worldwide success. It is based around two protagonists 'Gabriella' and 'Troy' and shows how they meet and develop a relationship. I will be analyzing the micro-elements which are present in the opening sequence e.g. mise en scene, sound, editing and camera work.

The scene starts with an establishing shot of the lodge where the main protagonists are staying. Then shows Gabrielle doing what her character typically does, reads, and then her mother comes and tell her to go to a children party, then switches to Troy doing hat his character typically does, basketball, and then his mother comes and tells him to go to the party. At this moment in time Gabriella and Troy are both totally unaware of each other. there is then a series of medium shits which show the two characters walking around the party by themselves, not wanting to be there, there are individual close ups which show that they are perhaps a bit disorientated and the viewer can tell this by their facial expressions and awkward body language. They are then brought together into one shot when they are made to get on stage, this introduces the protagonists first meeting.

Most of the sound is diegetic with the sound of spoken dialogue and then when they're at the party, the sound of the karaoke is in the background. There are is non-diegetic sound when Gabriella is introduced, the sound sounded quite magical and girly, and as the film is aimed at young girls, the sound fitted in well. Not much non-diegetic sound was probably used because as it is a musical, the tracks were most likely wanted to be distinct and for there still to be a sense of storyline in the film.

The editing is quite normal paced and naturalistic. There are two shots when the protagonists are both individually framed, there are two spotlights and they both seperatley higlight Troy and Gabriella, this cleverly shows that they have been brought together. There are no special effects and the lighting is natural, however there is quite a magical feel to it because there are various decorative lights which all create a young, girly image.

These elements create the mise en scene, which is a girly, magical atmosphere. The fact that it is at a childrens party which is all lit up with kareoke makes it very girly and child friendly. It creates a very positive tone as when the two protagonists meet lively music is present.


Thursday, 12 February 2009

Step brothers opening

Step brothers is about two 40 year old men that still live with their parents. The brothers meet first time when they move in together where there is some hostility. The first scene is with Brennan (will Ferrell) eating cheesy nachos for breakfast the close up on the nachos lets the viewer guess how old he is then shows that it is a grown man which shows the comedy. The lighting is naturalistic which shows the realistic side of the film. The way dale ( john.c.Reily) is introduced is funny because it shows his dad going to a confrence which is where he meets brennans mum, while dale is playing guitar hero and he asks his dad for money for pizza. The editing is well done because transitions switch between the two showing them in similar situations which works well. most of the sound is non-diagetic which works well because it keeps the film at a steady flow throughout.


Teen Romantic Comedy

Romantic comedy films, colloquially known as romcom, are movies with light hearted, humorous postlines, centered on romantic ideals such as a true love able to surmount most obstacles. Romantic comedy films are a sub-genre of comedy films as well as of romance films. Because of their appeal to women, romantic comedies are sometimes called 'chick flick'

There are usually 2 protagonists - man and women meet, part due to arguement or some form of conflict and eventually reunite. Sometimes throughout the film the 2 can be hesitant to become romantically involved but the screen writer leaves clues that suggest that they are attracted to eachother.

Our film opening might not necasserily show the two protagonists together and any issues they may be facing, however we do hope to introduce them to the viewer, showing their particular style or place in their society. Stereotypes are commonly used in teen romantic comedies and the characters are very distinct and obviously split into different social groups, we decided this would enhance our film opening so we are introducing many different people that are in a college from different social classes. We were heavily influecned by Mean Girls.


Test Footage

The following videos show our test footage taken around the college, this would benefit us when it comes to filming our real shots so that we don't waste time deciding the frames of the shots. We figured the best positions and distances between the actors and recording equipment and mapped them out so we could take them to the filming location. (The shots are finding positions not showing the quality of the acting so please ignore any laughter). We have slowed each shot down to 70% so we can find any problems with the filming.

Firstly, we have the eye-level full shot.
This shot is disadvantaged by the movement in the camera

Next, is the second attempt at the eye-level full shot.
This shot is disadvantaged by the character showing his feet at the beginning of the footage.
In order to match the research into full shots, the camera would need to hide the actors feet and let his head touch the top of the shot.

The following shots attempt to show characters reactions to the lead male.
In each shot the characters must be absorbed by the main character by following his movement with their eyes and face. However, we needed to use test footage to decide the distance between the camera and the lead male. We want to show him walking past without revealing too much of his looks.
This first shot has a slight distorted angle, as shown in the research, but we feel the lead male is too far away from the camera and reveals too much which doesn't match our specification; (walking past without revealing too much of his looks).

Other than the slight jolt in this footage, we feel comfortable with this layout in camera and actors.

This footage doesn't display enough movement in the characters face and eyes, we want to emphasize the importance of our lead male by showing that people stop what they're doing to watch him come into the location.

This final shot shows the reactions of characters without seeing the lead male walking past. We feel this isn't as effect as the other shots.

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Production Company Logo

Unfortunately, using photoshop for our production company logo wasn't possible because we were not able to make our logo either sparkle, or diamond covered, and as the inspiration for our logo is the Sex & The City film logo we knew that without these elements our logo could end up looking messy and unprofessional. Thankfully "'s" photo editing offered sparkly lettering, so I made our logo on there. We decided to call our production company 'SSGE PRODUCTIONS', because we all wanted to make our mark on the piece of work, and we felt the best way of doing this equally was to take the first letter from each of our first names (Shaun, Stephen, George & Emily) for a simple, and yet affective company name. Here is my first attempt a our logo;

After having made the pink logo, as our group is made up of three boys and one girl, we decided that the logo is a bit too feminine, I thought that perhaps checking what the logo would look like if the text were blue, and would make a difference on how girly the logo is;

After having made the blue sign I thought that as we are making a chick flick, the blue sign is not girly enough so i added a tiara, as they are very common in chick flicks aimed at girls age 12+, like in 'A Cinderella Story', 'Princess Diaries', 'Mean Girls', etc, and would be likely to make an appearance in our film in a prom or some sort of college ball, were it to be made in a feature length production;

But then I thought the crown looked a bit out of place on our logo and caused it loose some sense of professionalism as it didn't sparkle, unlike the rest of our logo so I asked the rest of the group for there opinions. I then chose to go with the original Sex & The City inspired logo, as it is the most professional looking logo out of the above and the most suited to the genre and storyline for our film opening.

Official 'SSGE Productions' production company logo;



week comencing:9th february
  • week1- begins 23rd feb- rough cut dead line: end of last lesson that week.
  • week2-begins 2nd march- final cut deadline: end of last lesson that week
  • week3-begins 9th march -draft of evaluation of film opening to moodle by 9am on monday
  • week4-begins 16th march-final deadline for film opening evaluation powerpoint. upload to moodle 9am monday 16th march


Thursday, 5 February 2009

Research for Storyboard

To find the the perfect shots for our storyboard we decided to study some scenes from famous films including Superbad and It's a Boy Girl Thing. Both of which have scenes introducing changed characters in a similar way we would like in our film opening. The following picture show the classic introductary shot of the important character(s) from the film. This influenced our idea to use an eye-level fullshot of our central character.

This camera shot has been illustrated onto our storyboard, shown below.
Throughout our film opening we warmed to the idea of swapping between footage of our ideal character and various views/opinions of this person. The footage of our character would begin as close-ups showing aspects of his body (such as his legs or feet as they walk into the college ground or whichever location we choose). The following image is a snapshot of the film It's a Boy Girl Thing as the newly changed character steps off the bus, this sparked our idea to film our character as he steps out of his car. However, after experimenting with different angles of this camera shot, we found that a low angle close-up of our character would emphasise his appears without revealing too much of his character.
This camera shot has been illustrated onto our storyboard, shown below.

The following images show our investigation of the different angles of the close-up camera shot.

Furthermore, we would like to display peoples reaction to his entrance not only through the opinions of other people but by filming other characters watching him as he walks past. In order to accomplish this we would need to film several people as their heads follow his movement to show the impact of his arrival. I think it would appropriate to use either a midshot of a specific character with heads moving in the background or use the rule of thirds technique and use a row of characters with their movement seperately. Another possibility would be to use focusing techniques and use distance to show the line of people and their reactions individually.

During the opinion footage in our opening sequence we decided to use mid shots of the characters when they're in their locations. It is very important to use the same shot in each location to match the footage in mean girls, as shown in the moodboard below.

In order to incorperate both our central character and peoples reactions, it would be perfect to use an overthehead shot. This would also show his status in that the corridor or pathway would be clear for him to walk down with no obstacles. The following images show this technique being used in It's a Boy Girl Thing. Our overthehead shot may use the unusual angles that are being used in that scene of the film in order to achieve a purposeful entrance.
This camera shot has been illustrated onto our storyboard, shown below.


Friday, 30 January 2009


Drawing and editing by Shaun Kaba
Music by Emily Tofts

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Thursday, 29 January 2009

Company Production Logo

As we have decided to make chick flick we decided that the Sex & The City Film logo style would be suitable to make ours in. This is because our film opening is going to very girly and very stereotypically feminine and coated in all thing female, from fine jewelery, diamonds to boys, to shopping. This is much like the opening sequence to Sex & The Cityand there film logo is pink and covered in diamonds, so we believe this to be a good inspiration for our opening.

I have photoshopped Sarah Jessica Parker out of this picture and left just the writing, as this is almost exactly like the way we want ours to look.


Monday, 26 January 2009

Teacher feedback

Your blog is looking very good, you have included a lot of detailed research about the five scenarios and the blog does communicate your initial ideas.
Shaun and Emily both need to do an analysis of an opening sequence and add it to the blog as soon as possible.
I would also like to see your mood board communicate more about your idea rather than just focus on the genre.
After the pitch you need to elaborate on your idea and start the storyboard and shot list.
Great work so far, keep it up.


Friday, 23 January 2009

full synopsis

Our groups film opening is using generic conventions from mean girls and high school musical. In both films the story revolves around the most popular person or group in the high school. Character are built buy popularity, social gr3oups and the opinions of the other pupils in the school. also in both films there are different groups of people that eventually come together in the end.

Thursday, 22 January 2009

Major Film Production Logo's

Fox Entertainment Group
This group consists of Twentieth Century Fox Animation, Fox Searchlight Pictures, Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment, Fox Atomic and Blue Sky Studios.
Many opening logos evolve around fictional monuments. Such as twentieth century fox which has the words written into stone in what is supposed to look like the hollywood area. This is then lit by various sky lights which illuminate the words!

Walt Disney Motion Pictures Group
Similarly, the Walt Disney Motion Pictures Group uses the concept of a fictional statue to display their logo. The Walt Disney Motion Pictures Group consists of Walt Disney Pictures Animation, DisneyToon Studios, Pixar Animation Studios, Touchstone Pictures, Miramax Films, Hollywood Pictures and Jim Henson Pictures.

Other logos are more simle, with basic movement and simly incorperating their name into a sylish font and displaying it on an scenic background. Lionsgate Entertainment consists of Lionsgate and Artisan Entertainment. This production company is a prime example of an independant-major production company along with StudioCanal and Spyglass Entertainment.

DreamWorks SKG
Finally, a popular production company that follows Lionsgate is DreamWorks (including DreamWorks Animation SKG) follows the aspect of simply having the title in basic font on an stylistic background.


opening sequence ideas

So that our chick flick is successful we have to include generic conventions such as some sort of romance between two people with some comedy thrown in. we have a few ideas for our film opening and one of our ideas for our chick flick is similar to the opening to 50 first dates. We will have a few girls talking about how good this guy is and then we might slip in a comical character such as man saying how good looking he is to lighten things up a bit. The scene will be based in a school and the cast will be some of Shaun's Friends from out side the course which will enable us to focus on other things to do with this project.


Monday, 19 January 2009

Discussion of all the 5 scenarios

1. A supernatural thriller with a strong female lead.

The Skeleton Key is an example of a supernatural thriller with a strong female lead.
Supernatural thriller - In which the conflict is between main characters, usually one of which has supernatural powers. Carrie by Stephen King and Unbreakable by M. Night Shyamalan and Torchwood are notable examples of this genre. This type of thriller combines tension of the regular thriller with such basic horror oriented ingredients as ghosts, the occult, and psychic phenomenon; the supernatural thriller combines these with a frightening but often restrained film. They also generally eschew the more graphic elements of the horror film in favor of sustaining a mood of menace and unpredictability; supernatural thrillers often find the protagonists either battling a malevolent paranormal force or trapped in a situation seemingly influenced or controlled by an other-worldly entity beyond their comprehension.

2. A British social realist drama.

Kitchen sink realism was an English cultural movement which developed in the late 1950s and early 1960s in theatre, art, novels, film and television plays. It used a style of social realism which often depicted the domestic situations of working class Britons living in council flats and spending their off-hours in grimy pubs to explore social issues and political controversies

This Is England is a very good example of a british social realist drama, you can see this from the opening sequence as it shows a series of footage from that time in Britain, it mainly shows the negative events but also has a few positive celebrations of the time showing a non biased angle on Britain.

3. An adventure story for younger audiences.

Usually have a hero that saves the day, has a comical slant on the situation making it an enjoyable experience for children. The Incredible's is a really good example of this.

4. A teenage romantic comedy.
Romantic comedy is a hybrid genre in which a story about romance is presented in a comedic style. Works in this genre are generally considered light-hearted, and are sometimes associated with the vaguely derogatory terms "chick lit" or "chick flick", meaning "primarily aimed at a female audience".

5. A crime caper with an ensemble cast.

A crime film, in the most general sense, is a film that involves various aspects crime and the criminal justice system. Stylistically, it can fall under many different genres, most commonly drama, thriller, mystery and film noir.


Film Opening Analysis

Vantage Point (2008) falls into the category of 'A Crime Caper with an Ensemble Cast' and follows many of the typical opening sequence elements.
Between 1minute 15seconds and 6minutes 20seconds we see the introduction to this cleverly constructed film.
Firstly and most importantly, we're introduced to the location of the story - Salamanca, Spain. This is the setting of the entire film and shows the story from different parts in Salamanca. This shows the first characters of the ensemble cast; the news team. We are also given indications of the historical period. This film is very much contemporary due to the technology and security of the event. There is a very tense mood due to the presidential visit, everybody is excited by the treaty he is about to sign so everyone is very positive. The tone is sudden altered as the President is shot! This also arises questions that the viewers find intriguing, such as "Why has the President been assassinated?" or "Who was the shooter?" or "Did the man with the camera catch the shooter on tape?"
Next we are introduced to the signature theme tune. The long repetitive melody adds uncertain sustain to the situation, thus creating more atmosphere and accomplishing the mood. The voice over of the news presenter will later be echoed throughout the film to indicate the different views of each character.


Friday, 28 November 2008