Tag Archives: Our Film Opening

7) Looking back at your preliminary task (the continuity editing task), what do you feel you have learnt in the progression from it – to full product?

17 Apr

Here is our Preliminary Task Video….


For this exercise, where were taught about continuity editing and different camera angles and techniques to achieve a continuous shot. We were taught different ways of how to edit the clips we filmed and make them flow better when being watched on-screen.

These are what we learnt;

  • Shot reverse shot
  • 180 degree rule
  • Match on action

I think we managed to do all of these shots well when we did our preliminary task and when it came to editing what we had done, I think we cut the shots at the right places to get a continuous feel throughout the whole exercise.


We found that shot reverse shot was mainly used when people are in conversation so we made sure that we had some dialogue in our clip. Shot reverse shot was a fairly easy shot to do once you knew what rules there are that go with using it. For example, when we first filmed our Preliminary Task we did shot reverse shot but we broke the 180 degree rule which didn’t make the clip flow at all and it appeared to be very clashy. So we went back and re-filmed our shot reverse shot so the camera was over the second characters other shoulder which made a huge difference to the overall task.



The 180 degree rule was very difficult to stick to because naturally we wanted to place the camera on the other side of the character for the next shot instead of sticking to showing the other side of her. The 180 degree rule applies to the whole task so the rule cannot be broken in any of the shots. So when Sarah is walking towards the camera, we filmed the left side of her and as she came through the door in the next shot, we had to place the camera in the hallway so it was also showing her left side. We found it easy to obey this rule when she came through the second door and sat down because this felt natural to place the camera on the opposite end of the room to where she came in from.

180 degree rule


Match on action is what I found to be a very interesting shot because I didn’t know anything about this before being taught about it. It was very interesting how it works and when you see how the shot is done it is quite a surprise. From filming and editing this task, you see things from a different point of view than you would if you were a member of the audience where you don’t realize how the two shots merge together to make it flow. For example, when we filmed Sarah going through the first door, we filmed her grabbing on to the handle and pulling the door open and then we re-positioned the camera in the hallway that she is about to walk through. After we re-positioned the camera, we filmed Sarah walking through the door showing her face on. When editing this clip, we showed her opening the door then cut it to her walking through it which was continuous.

Match on action


This task allowed us to remind ourselves about continuity editing when we started editing our film opening on Final Cut and we made sure that the scenes flowed well together. We also made sure the we stuck to the 180 degree rule which helps to make our opening flow a lot better. From this exercise, I learnt a lot about continuity editing and it also helped us build up to making our film opening by using Final Cut and the other equipment.


6) What have you learnt about technologies from the process of constructing this product?

13 Apr
  • Camera


I have used the cameras previously in school when doing Media in GCSE so I knew how to use the camera for the basics. However, I feel more confident using a camera now as I believe I am more creative in relation to the camera shots, angles and movements and where I actually place the camera. For example, in the woods we decided to move the camera to different places and film from different angles so when it came to editing it all together, we could choose which shot looked best for our opening.

  • Tripod


I have also used tripods before at GCSE but I think I have had better control this time as I have filmed fewer camera shakes. I have also got the hang of using  this piece of equipment as it needs to be adjusted specifically for the height of which you film and it needs to be altered if you are doing a tracking shot or a tilt shot. I learned to set up the tripod so that I didnt always adjust it to the same heiht which made the angles filmed a bit more creative. When filming a house shot where we showed a birds eye view of Shannon’s character we decided the best way to film was to hold the tripod over her which made the shot less shaky than when we used a handheld camera.

  • Final Cut Express


Whenever I have used Final Cut, I have always learnt something new. Again, I used it for GCSE Media and I found it to be quite challenging to use if you’re a beginner, however simple tasks are very easy to do such as cutting, moving the clip, dragging it on to the timeline and knowing just where to cut the clip. This year I have mainly learnt how to use Colour Correction which we have found extremely useful to us with our opening.

  • Apple Mac


Again, I have used the Apple Macs before at school but I felt more comfortable using them as I felt like I knew what I was doing as I had used them a fair bit at GCSE. However, if I didn’t use them prior to this project, I think I would have struggled as I am used to using Windows PC’s. However, I think that the software is still fairly simple to use if you know what you are doing and it is a very user friendly computer.

  • LiveType

Screen shot 2011-02-01 at 09.49.01[1]

I have also used this program before for designing our titles for our film opening. We spent some time on this application as we messed about with different fonts, colours and effects for our titles. In the end, we decided to keep it simple with our titles to make the opening flow better without having huge, clashy titles that didn’t fit in with the genre and the context of our film.

  • Audio Network


We used this website which contains non-copyrighted music and sound clips that are available to use by anyone. We found this stage of our project interesting as we would choose a few sound clips for our opening but when they were played over parts of our opening, we found them to clash so we needed to keep going back to the website and getting some more clips  to try and fit in with our opening.

  • Facebook


We used Facebook to communicate with each other about when to meet up for filming and to also post pictures from when we got together and filmed.

  • Card Reader


We used this to transfer our shots that we filmed from the camera from the memory card on to the computer.

  • Mpeg Streamclip

images (1)

This was used in order to convert our video clip files to a DV file so it would work on Final Cut and that they would play.

  • WordPress


Finally, we used WordPress in order to make an account for a blog to share all the information we have learnt during AS Media Studies this year and to share our pictures, videos and other interesting information on how our final opening was made and the processes that went into making he final opening!

5) How did you attract/address your audience?

13 Apr

The titles we used are affected in relation to our audience as we used basic colours and fonts just like in Jeepers Creepers (2001).  jeepers creepers

 We found the fonts and white colour to be very effective in our film as well as the red font for our main title, the white titles are over a woods background and the drawing that the little girl is doing which ties in with the rest of the opening to guide the audience into the film slowly which we found to be effective because it heightens the mysterious aspect that we wanted to achieve.

Drawing shot Woods shotThe Promise


Our choice of music that we used also plays a big part in attracting the audience as the music suggest how the audience are supposed to feel and it also builds up tension. We also used a light-hearted music clip at the beginning of our film opening which played over the titles in order to suggest that there is an innocent element to our film opening – being the little girl, Alice. This also gave a nice twist to using a creepy/scary sound to suggest the genre of the opening to the audience straight away, this effect can also be seen in Ghost Ship (2002).

Our white noise we used when the girl is about to get grabbed builds up the tension for the audience as they realise the girl has no escape, the sound we used could relate to the film The Poltergeist (1982) where the little girl speaks to ghosts through an old television set and the static sound was heard. This had a strong effect on the audience as it was shocking and a very disturbing noise that isn’t very pleasant to listen to and can make you feel uncomfortable which is the effect we were going for. We also used another melancholy music clip over the top of our whole opening to prevent complete silence which would have made the opening sound clashy when there was some diegetic sound, this clip also made our voiceover sound more subtle and made it sound a bit more like there was a story being told to the audience and them to understand what the film is about without giving too much away.


From having two lead females, this audience may attract dominantly female horror enthusiasts and teenage boys. This is because Alice is a young teenager and by having 15+ year olds watching our opening they may feel protective towards the character and they won’t want to watch her get hurt as she is young and vulnerable. It may be easier for our target audience to relate to the film by having a mother as a lead role as the other is protective of her child, like an other mother.


Our film was related to other films when it was screened by a few people as seen in our questionnaire result…

Other films

By filming in the woods and using the red coat, it gave the audience some idea what our film was about and related it to other films they have seen such as Twilight which uses a lot of woods shots within the films, Lovely Bones was also mentioned which is about the kidnapping of a young girl so the audience was able to identify what the storyline was about. Stardust was also another given example which has a fairy-tale element to the film which could be related to our film and Little Red Riding Hood was also another identified film which is what ours is based on!

imagesCAE84LQK imagesCALFDFXI imagesCAQD1ODR



Our film is aimed at a mainstream British audience which can be seen from the low key locations used and the scale of how dramatic our film is. We made sure that we used a lot of different elements to make our opening seem more interesting such as the little girl drawing little red riding hood which add a strange twist to our opening.

4) Who would be the audience for your media product?

13 Apr

From our questionnaire…

Age Range

This shows what our audience thought of the age range of our film opening should be. Admittedly, the age range the audience have decided on is quite surprising because as a group we thought our film opening would be classed as a 12/15 rating whereas the audience decided the age range would be more of a 15/18 age rating with some people suggesting it was an 18+. We found this question to be very useful and the results were very interesting, overall we think that a 15 rating would be most suitable for our opening as it will have a lot of horror scenes and some violence and strong language which is typical for a 15 rated film.

Below is the information about rating 15 and what films contain with a 15 rating. These are just some of the aspects relating to a 15 rating that may be relelvant to our film opening, this information is taken from http://www.bbfc.co.uk/what-classification/15

How much strong language is there in a 15?

There could potentially be a great deal. At 15 there is no upper limit on the number of uses of strong language (eg f***).

Occasionally there may be uses of the strongest terms (eg ‘c***’), although continued or aggressive use will not normally be passed 15.

Can there be strong violence?

Yes, at 15 violence may be strong. It should not dwell on the infliction of pain or injury, however, and the strongest gory images are unlikely to be acceptable.

Strong sadistic or sexualised violence is also unlikely to be acceptable.

Easily accessible weapons may not be glamorised.

What about horror works?

Many horror films are rated 15. At 15 there can be strong threat and menace (as long as it is not sadistic or sexualised), although the strongest gory images are unlikely to be acceptable.



From this information, we can quite easily say that our film would be a 15 as it would contain strong horror works but not any strong gory images with some strong violence and quite strong language. So this rating would be suitable for our film as the audience would be of the right age to go and watch our film.

3) What kind of media institution might distribute your media product and why?

13 Apr

Our product may be distributed by mainstream companies such as Film4 which is a British film distribution company. The Film4 company supports upcoming film writers, on the Film4 website anyone is able to submit film ideas which are read by a team who decided whether or not the idea is good and if it will attract audiences.

On their website, Film4 state;

“Film4’s reputation for nurturing new talent and building on its family of returning talent in the UK is well-established, and it is now extending its vision to advance thinking and practice and develop more direct relationships with audiences in a fast-changing environment.”

Red Riding Hood


Production Companies;

  • Warner Bros (presents)
  •  Appian Films
  • Random Films

From the first few second of this trailer you can see the camera weaves in and around the forest suggesting to the audience that something is going to attack. This is the sort of effect we wanted in our opening but on a smaller scale where the camera follows the girl in our opening so she backs up into a tree and has no escape.

Changeling (2008)


Production Companies;

  • Imagine Entertainment
  • Malpaso Productions
  • Relativity Media

As you can see from this trailer, it isn’t set in the modern-day and age like ours but it has a very similar storyline. The woman’s’ child goes missing and the story is told from the woman’s’ point of view just like our film opening. Voice over are often used in this film like you hear at the beginning of the trailer when Angelina Jolie says ‘MY 9 year old son disappeared’ which can relate to our opening at the end in the mothers’ voice where she says ‘This is my story’ relating to the previous scenes of the daughter being hunt down in the woods by an unknown person/creature.

The Woman in Black (2012)


Production Companies;

  • Cross Creek Pictures (presents)
  • Hammer Film Productions
  • UK Film Council
  • Talisman Productions
  • Exclusive Media Group
  • Filmgate

This film is a British film which is supported by a lot of production companies and so it had quite a big budget for a British film, however the movie starred Daniel Radcliffe who is one of the most famous British actors of all time so it was bound to be successful just from Radcliffe being in the film.

Our film opening would have a very low-budget and in terms of production, UK Film Council, BBC and Film4 would be ideal for our film as it would be watched by a British audience and our film is over exaggerated or a huge film with big effects like other British films, it is understated with a simple yet effective storyline. As our filming was done in the UK, it makes sense that it is distributed by a British company.

Our film may appeal more to niche audiences rather than a mainstream audience like Red Riding Hood even though it has similar themes. First we would use British production companies to distribute our product in the UK then depending on the success of the product, we may use other companies such as Cross Creek Pictures as was used by The Woman In Black to distribute our product on a global scale. We may expect a small amount of many made from ticket sales on our opening weekend as an estimate it could be £100,543 but if we distributed our product to America we may get $1,100,000 for our product. If we had a bigger budget to make our film like the American companies, we may refilm some scenes to make them more dramatic and we would spend half of our budget on advertising like posters.

2) How does your media product represent particular social groups?

13 Apr

Our product conforms but also challenges to the stereotype of the little girl as she is seen as being helpless in her situation and dependent on her mother which shows that she has always been protected by her mother and has been kept out of harms way this suggests that perhaps the mother has safeguarded the girl too much if she is that dependent on her mother. We chose Amy to play the little girl due to her childlike appearance which made her look vulnerable in our film. In our film opening, Alice is very dependent on her mother which may appear to be strange in modern-day society as 3-year-old girls are quite independent. Alice should be out with her friends instead of taking a walk with her mother which suggests to the audience that she may not be comfortable with social interactions with someone her own age. Alice doesn’t appear to be violent in any way which suggests that her anti-social behaviour may be due to her own vulnerability. This point is backed up by the shot in our film opening of where Alice is being threatened; she isn’t seen to retaliate or to fight back. This contrasts to her social group where people similar to her may attempt to defend themselves especially in the modern-day UK as a lot of new stories are published every week on the problems caused by youths today.


However, the mother challenges the social groups as in most films mothers are seen as being very young or either very old. Examples of this may include, Meryl Streep in Mamma Mia and Rose Byrne in Insidious. Insidious-2011-Official-Site-rose-byrne-19863624-677-398THE DEVIL WEARS PRADA

Meryl Streep is a well-known actress and is part of an older generation of mothers where their children may be grown up but may still rely on their mother. Rose Byrne is part of the younger group as in Insidious she has 3 children, all of which are under the age of 8 and one of the children is just a baby. It is very hard to find films that are in between these two social groups for women where the children are teenagers and the women are middle aged. It is very unusual to see middle age women in films now so our film opening is perhaps helping to create a market for middle-aged women.

Both characters conform to their stereotypes in terms of mise-en-scene, if we look at the costumes of these characters, they automatically build a picture in your head of who would wear them which could indicate their particular social groups.

black-cardigan-with-metallic-ribbed-vest-top-194622-300x450[1] This outfit may be seen as something a typical mother may wear.

IMG_2453[1] This outfit may be typical of what a teenager may wear and it is similar to what our actress wore in our film opening.

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

13 Apr


For our film opening, we decided to set most of it in the woods as many thrillers are mainly filmed in the woods or have scenes that are such as for example, Halloween (2007). We found the woods scene to be very effective to create the feeling of a thriller as it has an effect on the audience because they don’t know what could be lurking in the woods. For our costume and props we had to keep in mind that the little girl, Alice is very important in the opening and we wanted her to be memorable so we decided to put her in a bright red coat which also made her stand out whilst in the woods. We got the mother to wear simple, plain clothes that were similar to what a mother may wear. We used a lot of wide shots and close-ups in our opening to establish the setting and the characters surroundings and also to show their reactions to the audience.

The Titles

We wanted our titles to have a simple font and colour so the audience weren’t too distracted by them on the screen and we wanted them to look simple. We decided to have our film title on a black screen and in red to make it stand out from the rest of the titles. Our titles could relate to Halloween (1978)  starring Jamie Lee Curtis as they are all on a black screen and in a simple, easy to read font. We went for a simple font in a white colour for all of the titles except our ‘THE PROMISE’  title which we chose a deep red for. We used a few effects on our title for them to come on to the screen so it  looked mysterious, then the writing would become clear enough to read and the they would fade out. We found this to be very effective and to fit in well with the opening as we wanted to achieve a simple yet effective opening that seemed mysterious. We chose to make the title for ‘THE PROMISE’ in fullscreen instead of putting it over a shot so the audience only concentrated on the title of the film.



We based our story on the children’s’ tale, Little Red Riding Hood as the red coat Alice wore could be associated with it greatly considering that the tale is also set in the woods so we wanted the feel of the fairy tale coming to life in a disturbing way. So the opening sets up the rest of the film to find the little girl and reunite the mother and daughter together. The close relationship of the mother and the daughter in our film opening relates to the relationship in the movie Red Riding Hood which our film opening was based on. We wanted the storyline to have a mysterious feel to it just like the film which we think was achieved!red-riding-hood-scene-300x200[1]


Our genre is thriller and the opening suggests that through the storyline of the child going missing in the woods, the setting and the lighting used can also suggest this as our opening is fairly dark but not too dark just like in Red Riding Hood. We introduced the characters by showing them run into the frame when they are playing in the woods which we found to be quite effective as it introduces them together in time with the voiceover and it also made the opening flow a lot better and it also made our opening relate more to Red Riding Hood as all the woods shots in the movie were filmed with the character entering the frame. moviesmar11_11[1]


We decided for our characters to wear regular clothes compared to the movie to make it seem more realistic and to merge both fantasy and reality together. By using regular clothes, the opening created an effect on our audience that made the capturing of the girl in our opening possible whereas if we used exaggerated fairy-tale costumes, it would have made the opening less effective when the girl was captured. However, we kept the well known red coat idea to relate our film opening to the movie. This stood out throughout the whole film opening and when our opening was screened, we got a few positive comments about the use of the red coat as it was very distinct and eye catching.



We decided to introduce the mother into the opening first as it is her story rather than the little girls’ story and it would make the opening flow better. The daughter is seen running into the first woods shot, which introduces her to the audience in a mysterious way.

Special Effects

We used special effects such as colour correction to make the woods scenes a bit brighter than the house scenes to create the effect that it is a dream.We found a lot of our woods shots to be very dull and hard to see the detail of the characters and their surroundings so we used Colour Correction to heighten the colour of the surroundings as well as using Brightness and Contrast which made such a huge difference to all of our shots. From this, it made the red coat more distinct which attracted the audience as the coat is such a bright colour. We also lightened slightly the house shots to make them have a ‘dreamy’ effect, by making these shots lighter, it was easier for the audience to establish hat the house shots were reality and the woods shots were a dream because the woods shots were lighter. We also used reverb on our voice over to make it more subtle and more like background noise for the audience to focus on. We thought a voice over would be an effective way to ease the audience into the story such as in Taxi Driver (1976).

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