My Introduction

My Introduction:

My name is Amy Bauco, my candidate number is 9013. I am part of group 1 and the other members of my group are Shayam Utting (9164) and Monica Aghadiuno (9365). To see my work please see the labels on the right hand side named AS Research and Planning, AS Construction and AS Evaluation. Our final opening sequence is shown below, along with a group photo next to it, on the right.

Our Film Opening Sequence

Our Film Opening Sequence:

Sunday, 19 July 2015

1: Did you enjoy the main workshop shoot day? What roles did you take and what did you learn? What were your best bits and why?

Why did I enjoy the workshop day?
  • I had never had an experience on set like this with professional equipment which was exciting.
  • It was nice to work with professionals.
  • It was a lot of fun for us, pretending to be rock stars!
  • We got to have a fun day working with friends and others we had got to know better.
  • Trying out new things such as cable bashing was good to experience.

Here is a time-lapse which our cameraman Jack created for us, of the shoot day:



What roles did I take on?
On the day I tried to help out as much as possible and get involved with the professionals to get a true view into what life is like working on a film set. Some of the things I did are shown below:


You can see an example of my role as the bass guitarist in my band's music video:


Thakshana and Angela - Misery Business SD from Latymermedia on Vimeo.




What else did I learn?
While I tried to get involved as much as possible, I did miss out on some opportunities like using the dolly, however I still managed to learn a lot about it.


One of the things I enjoyed most about the workshop day was getting into character and having fun shooting different takes with the rest of the band and with all my friends. It also enabled me to develop my skills working on set and working with professionals and also helped me to get to know people better.

I really enjoyed the workshop day and thought it was a very fun experience. Here is our behind the scenes video, showing how much fun we had!


2: What have you learnt from participating in each prelim tasks 1, 2, 3 and 5?

Task One: The audition video


I learnt a lot from this task as it was unlike anything I had made or filmed before. 
Some of the things I learnt were:
- How to lipsync when filming,
- How to edit shots so that they match the music, when it came to editing.
- I had to focus on being relaxed and not shy, to ensure that the video looked natural, rather than staged.
- We needed many takes in order to ensure we had several choices of moves to add in for certain lines in the song as we were improvising. 

Task Two: Learn and practice your performance:
Main things that I learnt:
- It is very important to warm up before performing to prevent injuries and stiffness afterwards.

- How to try and communicate your enthusiasm for the performance through your body language rather than through singing out loud.
- How different the bass guitarist (Jeremy) performs from the lead guitarist (Josh). The main difference which I came to realise through practice with Dom and Jasmine was that Josh is very energetic and tries to steal the show from Hayley in some ways. Jeremy on the other hand is more laid back and relaxed but is still a very serious musician, this was the role I had to take on.
As you can see from this, Josh is the one in front trying to steal the attention away from Haley, while Jeremy is in the background 'rocking out' by the drummer.
Task Three: Help to plan and organize your costume:
It was a difficult task to try and recreate the costumes exactly, but with everyone doing their bit and bringing in anything bright or black they could, we managed to come up with some good costumes.

I learnt that it is very important what accessories and make up people use because it can change the costume from just someone dressing up to being a rock star.
The Hayley of my group getting her make up done.
Task Five: Editing
I was away on a biology field trip so was not able to actually do the edit, however after I was able to learn some things from others:
- Editing a music video is much more time consuming than I thought, especially grading, as each shot needed to be individually edited to make it look right.
- I learnt how to experiment with different flashes and special effects which I hadn't used before.
One of the flashes created
- I learnt that you have to sync set ups to the music first. It is then easier to cut and choose which shots you think are best.
- A major factor which changed for me was getting used to the fact that we do not need to have continuity in our sequence and that shots can cut from one thing to something completely different.


Friday, 17 July 2015

3: Are you pleased with the footage and your finished edit? Is it how you expected it to look? What works really well and what would you change?

I was unable to complete the edit as I was on a biology field trip, however I got to learn a lot about editing from other groups and this helped me to evaluate my group's finished edit.


This is how we graded all of our shots
I expected our finished edit to look as it does. This group cut the clips together well and also did the grading very well. The cuts are all in time with the music, as is the lip sync. In terms of grading, I think this benefited the video because it makes the music video look much more defined and professional. 

Here is the link to Group 5's edit. I have included this one because this group helped me to learn about editing a music video.


Shay Gift and Monica's Misery Business music video remake SD from Latymermedia on Vimeo.



An example of our costumes, a
combination of bright and black.
Things that went well:
- Good, accurate costumes make it look very similar to the real video.
- All the grading makes it look more professional.
- The horizontal flips and flashes worked really well and helped to make our remake even more similar to the real one. 

Things I would change:
- Some of the shots are not exactly like the real video, lacking in certain moves which the band members perform. As a result I would re-film some of these shots. 
- If I'd had the chance, I would also try and cut some of the drummer and guitarists clips so that they match the music completely.

This is an example of a shot I would change if we had more time.


4: How do you think your prelim experiences will impact on your approach to next terms music video coursework?

We need to do careful planning when it comes to pre production:
  • A well-planned idea of what is in the music video, i.e. how many characters, what genre and what background/location to include.
  • Creating audition videos to see who is best for each role.
  • Costume and make up lists for each character.
  • Shoot schedule including shot numbers and timings for the main shoot day.
  • Creating choreography and rehearsing before the final shoot.


For the main shoot, I have learnt that it would be useful to have a complete schedule for the day including strict timings for the shoot. It would also be helpful to have a proper crew for the shoot, made out of other students who are willing to help, or the rest of my group members. I have used photos from our shoot to demonstrate the crew members I would like:




This is not the complete crew I would like but it would be hard to get such a big group of people to help.

We need to allow a lot of time for editing our sequence to make sure it is accurately lip synced with special effects. This means taking a lot of time to plan what effects we want, such as any flashes or flips. This depends on what genre of music video we create. It is important to allow a lot of time for editing either way because it takes a lot of time to look through all the clips and decide which ones to use, and then match them.

Sunday, 29 March 2015

This blog is now closed!

I will no longer be posting anything on this blog. I hope you enjoy looking through the various stages our opening sequence went through and that you enjoy our final sequence, thank you!

Wednesday, 25 March 2015

Evaluation Post 1: In what ways does your media product use, develop or challenge forms and conventions of real media products?

Our film is called 'Unlawful'. It is a neo-noir film about a young female detective who seduces a rich businessman and marries him. Little does he know that she has plans to manipulate him and kill him, in order to steal all his money.  Our opening both uses and challenges the conventions of real media products. 




Form: (USED)

Before creating our opening, we had to do research into the form of a typical film opening.

In reference to the conventions shown above, we came across a few films who used the above form in their opening:

1. 'Drive' - 2011 Crime Drama



Here we can see the main character has been introduced as well as the setting, and we begin to see the narrative of the story, as he appears to be a normal guy driving around town. We do not learn much of the character from this opening, but we learn enough to figure out that he is a young man who lives alone and enjoys driving. The little we learn is what we were trying to achieve with Stacey, as we don't want to give too much away too soon.

2. L.A. Confidential - 1997 Neo-Noir



In this opening we again establish the setting, of L.A and we also learn a bit about the narrative and the main characters, Micky and Johnny who we automatically know are up to something suspicious, due to the voiceover.

Genre: (USED)

The prezi below shows some of the conventions of the neo-noir genre, and how we have/have not followed the conventions.

 


Note on the prezi:
We did mainly conform to the conventions of the genre, however with the use of a female protagonist, we challenged the convention of having a strong, "action man" male figure in the film.

Narrative Structure: (DEVELOPED)


As inspiration for our film, we looked at Torodov's theory, which helped to structure our opening as well as our film. We followed the theory completely, however ours is more of a cycle, as we end with disruption, as the film is left on a cliff hanger.





An example of this theory is used in 'Shutter Island'

This is a crime thriller film, where in the beginning Teddy goes to visit an island where there is a mental institute and begins to solve a case (equilibrium), the disruption appears when the hospital refuse to help him, and say the missing person is likely dead, this is resolved when Teddy begins to find his own ways of solving the case. Lastly, disruption occurs again when he begins to doubt everything that is going on, including his own mind and he eventually breaks down.


Levi Strauss' Binary Opposites Theory: (USED)
We used this theory to create some of our characters and themes.
  • Good (Rich business man, Ryan) vs. Evil (Our protagonist, Stacey)
  • Strong (Stacey) vs. Weak (Ryan)
  • Man vs. Woman
This theory of binary opposites is also used in the opening of 'Pulp Fiction' as we see the opposition of man vs woman between the two characters talking, but also good vs evil as they seem like normal, good people but then pull out a gun and take over the cafe, showing their evil side. The opening is shown below:


Enigma Code: (USED)
We incorporated this into our film opening to keep our audience in suspense, wanting to find out more. Some questions raised for the viewers are:
  • Why does Stacey have photos of Ryan?
  • Why does she have a gun? Lots of passports? Lots of phones?
  • Why does she seem so suspicious, if she is a detective?
This is shown in the clip below, as the two codes link together.

Action Code (Barthes' Proairetic code): (DEVELOPED)
We conformed to this code, because the audience is anticipating whether Stacey will pick up the gun when she opens the drawer to put on her gloves. We developed this theory because we thought in addition to enigma code, this adds further suspense to the story, making the audience question what is going to happen next.

An example of these codes was in 'Inglorious Basterds', as shown below:


We thought that many questions were raised such as:
- Who is the person in the car?
- What are the family discussing?
- Why does he splash himself with water?

Although this film is more of a war drama, it still connotes that something bad is going to happen and this is what we wanted to try and get across in our opening. 

Style: (USED)
A film must connote its genre, through the way it looks and feels.

Grading: 

In terms of grading, we wanted our lighting to look warm and ambient, so we challenged the conventions of film noir, in order to get this style.


Some of the shots in our opening. We used gradient to make the dress and lipstick look brighter, which accents her femininity.
Here are some stills from the opening of 'The Last Seduction' showing the contrast between the convention of dark scenes with low key lighting, in comparison to our warmer lighting.

Titles:
Our titles are quite plain. They have a black background and a simple font, but we added a flickering effect to connote the genre of  neo-noir. We decided not to have the titles over the shots as it makes it harder to see them, but having the titles cut in between our different shots, helps to build up the pace, as was done in the Se7en opening.


An example of our titles
An example of the titles in Se7en
The Postman Always Rings Twice
Symbolic Code: (USED)
We used this theory to show time was passing by using a montage of shots of her getting ready, so we know by the end when she leaves the room that she is ready to go out.

This is a common technique in films, for example:

The Last Seduction: In the first two minutes, the shot cuts from a pan up to looking over the city, to a shot of someone putting down the phone, showing time moving on in the scene.

Conclusion:
Overall, we followed most codes and conventions of both the genre and of an opening sequence. This helped us to produce an opening sequence which is similar to real media, but with our original idea. It also enables the audience to recognise what genre 'Unlawful' is part of.

Tuesday, 24 March 2015

Evaluation Post 2: How does your media product represent particular social groups?

We decided that our protagonist would be a female character, and we decided to make the film focus on representations of age and gender.

The powerpoint presentation below contains a summary of some of the ways in which we have represented Stacey.



We wanted our character to come across as mysterious and dangerous. We thought that in order to do so, she would need to have a cold personality because this way she can seem like she has a lot to hide, as she is not too friendly. In our opening, her phone call with Ryan seems quite friendly as she fake laughs and sounds happy, however at the end of the call we decided she should roll her eyes because this connotes her thinking of him as annoying and that she doesn't really look forward to meeting him.



We tried to make her an unconventional young female character in film, because of her danger, however her character is very stereotypical of a femme fatale, out to get what they want.


Conclusion:
We chose to represent young females as a social group because this was the most relatable for us. I think we represented our social group well through Stacey's character, by conforming to the stereotypes of the group, but also making her more unconventional, as both the protagonist and the antagonist to the film.