Friday, 6 March 2009

Final Piece

After receiving feedback we were told to improve the lighting, the duration and the sound.

We swiftly noted these objects and made alterations.
- We adjusted the brightness to give a slightly glossier effect
- Made the sound track one long beat opposed to a break of several
- Finally noting that the sequence was repetitive removed a couple of scenes that were not necessary

Here it is....

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Thursday, 5 March 2009

How effects are applied

we added effects to make it look less homemade and more professional because we got feedback telling us it needed improving.
As you can see from our screen grabs we have added effects to our shots where we have a characters name to enhance that characters personality, and from the last screen grab we have added a slight yellow tinge which makes our piece look more professionally produced.
You can also see that we changed the colours when it freeze frames to show each characters colour to represent their personality, we felt that the new colours improved the quality of the footage and suited the characters better.
It can also be seen from the screen grabs of how the sound track was composed and created as the original was not long enough to last the duration of the title sequence. There is also a show of the effects added with final cut such as the fades and the RGB colour corrections.

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Monday, 2 March 2009

Rough Cut 2

Everyone else' version of the rough cut, its brighter than the other with different colours on the freeze frames. You can decide which one you like better, personally i prefer this version to the other (:Josh).

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Rough Cut 1

As we have had much discussion on what looks good and bad we have calibrated two clips this is the first one and benefits from a shorter title sequence and darker scenes in an attempt to looks more professional. Enjoy


Thursday, 26 February 2009

More Problems :S

well, so far we have got to the editing stage, and we are encountering more problems, we have lost our film footage meaning we have spent valuable time searching for it, we have also lost our soundtrack meaning we have to spend even more time finding things! but we are trying to solve them as we speak (or type) and we should have an amazing film sequence (hopefully- Josh), We'll give you more when the problem is solved. Also Josh says our Ident SUCKS!


Monday, 16 February 2009

Consent Forms

In order to use external actors it is necessary to have release forms to show their consent. These are used in real life media situations, as if they are not actors can sue producers for using or exposing their identity. Below is a form that we will need to get filled in.


Thursday, 12 February 2009

Problems with filming

Our original idea didn't happen because the extras didn't show so we couldn't film. Also when filming in some shots the camera and cameraman were in the picture. Another thing the extras did wrong is they were looking at the camera and taking and putting on clothes between shots.

Tuesday, 10 February 2009

Sound Track Inspiration

The conventional sound tracks to British crime capers are upbeat dance/trance tracks such as tiesto and prodigy. Here is a track from pendulum


Monday, 9 February 2009

Call Sheet Wednesday 11th February 2009 - 15:00 to 20:00

Contact numbers --- Ben, Josh, Stephen, Tom(Exchanged in class)

Local Emergency Contact Numbers - 999 / 112
Non Emergency
- 01223 358966 (Cambridge Police)
- 01223 245151 (Addenbrookes)
- 01223 376200 (Parkside Fire Station)

Time for filming 15:00 to 20:00 (hopefully recording will be finished within two hours but the worst could occur)

Location - Cambridge cycle and footpath subway - round-a-bout centre near grafton

Actors Required - Josh, Ben, Stephen, Tom and One Extra

group of extras required for crowd

Costumes - Casual clothing for extras smarter "gangster" clothing for main characters

Props -

* Three cups

* One Ball

* Table

* One wall (for jumping)

* Wallet (to be stolen)

* Car (to wheel spin)

Risk Assessment (to be completed)

(all work is being done by Steel Productions - thanks to google maps for supplying map to location and to Long Road for giving equiptment)


-Lighting: The lighting was a difficult to get right in the poker scenes and required the bulbs to be taken out of the lights and put a tin over one light to give the right lighting for the scene and make sure it wasnt too bright.


Target Audience

Traditionally with crime capers they are aimed at a mass audience, for example the 'Italian Job' and 'Oceans Eleven'. However we are doing a British Crime Caper which has a nation or regional audience due to the cockney attributes of most British films. Therefore the target audience we are aiming for the UK's population as it has a sarcastic and traditional feel to it.

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Call Sheet, Example

This is a professional example of a call sheet. It is a schedule of a days filming it includes:

- Who is acting
- What time filming is
- Who is recording
- Location
- Emergency contact numbers (local)
- Costumes
- Props
- Risk assessment
- Production Roles
- Contact numbers
- Map

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Ident and anamatic ... Finally

Finally the anamatic video is online it took four finished files but eventually it has worked

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Positive Feedback:

- lots of stage construction
- clear illustration of ideas
- lots of detail in their work
- good preparation for filming e.g. actors, location, costume
- good font research for title
- very well planned
- unique idea, shots explained well on synopsis and through the shot list
- nice mood board

Areas of Improvement:

- cant read the storyboard
- another film analysis
- animatic not posted yet
- not many blog posts
- project hasn't got potential

How the group is going to respond to the feedback:

we have decided to post more blogs, these will be based on ideas that can help make our film opening much better etc. We can't make the storyboard any clearer because it was shot on post-it notes, the animatic is being posted right now and the film analysis will be done shortly after, we aren't sure about how we can deal with the 'lack of potential' so we've decided to look at our work and see if there are any flaws which we can improve,

How does our blog compare to our thriller blog?

In general the film opening sequence blog is much better than our thriller opening blog, there is much more detail, more pictures and much more information.

Tuesday, 3 February 2009

Planning! Post-Shooting

It has got to the point where it is almost time to shoot, this is a bit scary and worrying as we need external actors and non tennage actors so we could be in for a tough ride, however if it is pulled off then there is no reason it cannot work effectively.


We need a good area to do this, in all hope we will be able to find some where like a back street or industrial area, a very quiet place or a run down place time will tell what we can find however here is what we are hoping for (something similar)

Ideas - Cambridge subway near the Grafton Centre


As we described in our synopsis we are going to have a crowd gathered around a man trying to hustle them. This idea came from adapting Snatch's title sequence and the program Hustle (BBC). Although still a very primitive idea the ball in the cup is likely to be the game used.


This is the toughest one I am still not convinced we will be able to find a group of adults to act for us or at very least appear as the extras. The only real way to do this is probably to buy them something and hope for the best. However time will tell on this matter, we might have to scrap it and just try to make people look older. Whatever happens we need all the extras and all the actors in one place at one time, we probably need them for an hour or so at very least.

Ben - Hustler

Josh - Pick Pocket

Tom - Brains

?? - Muscles

?? - Rubber


Still undecided on this, conventionally in British crime capers they would wear tacky suits that look dated however had this been the case now there is a possibility they would wear trackies, saying this it would be better to stick to the conventions we have seen and not the comedy conventions.


Story Board - Animatic Deadline Problem

As we all know the animatic deadline was on 30th January unfortuantly we did not meet this as our technology let us down however I have taken the time to take photos of the storyboard and will post them up and use until our mac works with final cut. In all fairness it was just as much our fault as we did not save it but never mind and hopefully soon the storyboard will be on the blog.


Friday, 30 January 2009

Shot List

This is a list of the shots we will use for each clip:

1.interactive shot
2.c.u.s of 1st character
3.m.s of Sonny approaching a gentlemen in a suit
4.c.u.s of Sonny pickpocketing the man of his wallet
5.interactive shot of crowd again, c.u.s of 2nd character
6.m.s of Tiny training on a punching bag
7.return to crowd shot
8.c.u.s of 3rd character
9.c.u.s of car wheel spinning - car speeding off
10.return to crowd shot
11.c.u.s of 4th character
12.o.t.s of Billy at a computer "Hacking"
13.Return to crowd shot, camera reaches the front of the crowd
14.c.u.s of a pair of hands moving placing a ball under a cup and then switching the cups positions
15.m.s of the cup hustler hustling a member of the crowd, the hustle goes wrong. freeze on a c.u.s of the hustlers face -> shocked expression
16.l.s of each character running from the crowd, the camera follows them as they run down a passage etc.
17.l.s of the characters running past the camera, possibly followed by the title
18.possible b.e.v.s if we can use a block of flats
19.l.a.s of feet running towards and past the camera
20.a.s of characters climbing a fence, one character struggles - another helps
21.screen fades and title appears

Key of Terms:
-c.u.s: Close up shot
-m.s: Medium shot
-l.s: Long shot
-l.a.s: Low Angle shot
-b.e.v.s: Birds Eye View shot
-a.s: Action shot


Film Title: Hustled

We thought of the Title 'Hustled' because its nice and simple and sums up the idea of the film straight away.


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Monday, 26 January 2009

Review of Pitch

The overall feedback we received was quite good we had a couple of comments from the auidence, such as:

- Follows convention well
- Good knowledge of crime capers
- Reasonable analysis

We also got some comments on how we were going to operate we had to describe our location and some of our boarder line ideas. By this we mean having a budget for our production as we do not just want teenagers around a table chanting and being hustle also the characters cannot all be teenagers, if they are it would be less realistic. Ideally we will be able to locate some 'skin heads' and our people who look 'rough' or 'hard'. This is simply to comply with the stereotypical image of British crime capers. Once again in order to have these people around there might have to be an incentive for example a four pack of beer in a hope that people are easily bought if not there might be a reliance on family friends and acquaintances. However time will tell but soon there will be a published story board which will give a better insight into our storyline.


Friday, 23 January 2009


Synopsis: The Opening Scene will be an introduction of all the cast, in total there will five or six characters each one will be shown in their own trade, for example a pick pocket, hustler and getaway drivers. Simple characteristics, it will be a conventional sequence of animation, pictures, acting, etc. it will involve everything we can included to show our knowledge. The camera will move in the direction of the backs of the crowd obviously and then moves towards the characters one by one, it will have cut scenes. By cut scenes, this will show a freeze shot of the character, then change into black and white, finally it will replace the black and white image with a new video that comes across the screen showing the character doing their talent and then finally returning to the actual scene. This will occur with every character showing them at the best. Hopefully there will be a strong cockney accent for the narrator which would follow realism. The cut scenes will continue until the final character who is the lead, this will be a male and will be our main star who is doing the dodgy game. He will be appearing to impress the crowd with his tricks however after taking a wager with a customer he then ruins his hustle and fails revealing he is a cheat at which point he will show a shocked faced, he then grabs the money and runs with the other members of the cast. whilst running it will have a range of shots with titles included. as it is the title sequence.

Analysis of two Comparable Sequence:

Snatch (2000)

This is the sequence which we have used a few ideas from, such as the introduction of the characters, obviously we are not copying this but we like a few of the conventions used.
- Snatch opens with a group of Jewish Rabbi's who are in a diamond bank and it turns into a robbery
- It opens with long shots in the claustrophobic room of the group of Rabbi's (low angle to show dominance) and the bank manager who is isolated from any employees (high angle to show vulnerability)
- It then zooms into the middle Rabbi who has a variety of pistols on him, his colleagues them strip the weapons for themselves at this point the music which non-diagetic begins
- The scenes start moving quickly to show tension and chaos
- This has a good mixture of shot editing, including spinning and frame pushing to follow into the next shot
- The robbers then begin shouting and getting violent, this is a stereotype of criminals at which point we are not meant to identify with the criminals
- It then show them stealing and chaos continues until it stops the music at which point it shows they were stealing diamonds and they are in their get away vehicle
- It then begins to introduce the characters of the film using the freeze frame pictures and gives them their name
- Snatch employs a flowing technique to change the frames from character to character this is effective and makes the introduction flow well
- The title is then shown spinning inside a diamond which gives a huge hint into the films subject

Example 2: Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels

This is another English example of a Crime Caper with an ensemble cast.

Mood Board:
This mood board is designed to show the gritty, tough areas of the developed world. The idea is to demonstrate the type of area these criminals will be operating in, some of this is unconventional of Hollywood films as the characters are portrayed (in Hollywood) to be wealthy, smart, hansom (or pretty). However in British crime capers they are often shown to be in a struggle to get out of their poverty. This is why there is a lump of cash, a ball and cup game (hustling) and a new car, these are the types of things the characters are going to be involved in or aiming towards. Also there is a stereotypical view of two four men gangs, once again men is the key word it is rare for females to be portrayed in crime capers as lead characters.


Wednesday, 21 January 2009

First Things First

Before we beginning planning or creating anything related to our genre we have create an indent of our production company. Possibly the most renowned example of this is the 20th Century Fox which is below:

However our is less likely to be as spectacular instead it is merely a basic example of what can be achieved on 'final cut'. We began brain storming ideas and we decided to make a symbolism production company the first was 'Brick House Productions' this would have been either a wall exploding and leaving a print of the name or several bricks flying into place... However this idea began obsolete when the proposal of Steel Productions came, the initial idea was to have pieces of steel forming into position from multiple directions however the idea changed and it is just a loud configuration of steel girders fading into place and then fading out. This is below:

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Monday, 19 January 2009

Whilst creating our ident, it seemed sensible to take some screen grabs so that we can demonstrate our designs such as the amount of layers on the indent.

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Film Genre Comparisons

We were shown a couple of different film openings each of which were a different genre to the five options we were given. We were shown these because they showed very different opening sequences that are unique to their genre. The films were 'Ratcatcher' and 'Killer of Sheep'.

Ratcatcher:- Lynne Ramsay (1999)
-Genre: Social Realism combined with Surrealism (Poetic Realism)
-Typical Conventions involve:-There's no music, just a sound effect (drone) to emphasis the idea of surrealism in the sequence.

-Use of a lower social class for the characters, this is unusual for films and makes the characters seem more valid to real life.

-The opening shot isn't really an establishing shot although you can argue that it is...i say it isn't because it isn't a proper establishment as it doesn't give a proper introduction and appears to simply be a kid in a curtain.

Killer Of Sheep:- Charles Burnett (1977)
-Genre: Social Realism
- Typical Conventions: -The convention followed is very close to documentaries, the camera is held in the same way as someone recording a documentary (no particular style of camera movements, gives the impression the camera is there with the character)This is also brought to attention as you can see the people in the film clearly looking at the camera.
-The natural soundtrack helps enforce the realism of the sequence as there isn't any sounds that the people in the sequence can't hear.

Comparison to our Project:
There is a lot of differences between ratcatcher's genre and the genre of our project. For example the film is very slow at first whereas ours is faster paced,Ratcatcher is also very surreal ( the child spinning in the curtain gives the impression of pulling the viewer in) whereas our project is trying to be very realistic if quite comical.

Killer of Sheep:-
One main similarity between this film and our sequence is the interaction between the actors and the camera (bumping into characters, actors looking at the camera). One difference is the way the camera follows the character, in KoS the camera is very obvious in the way it follows the people in the film whereas in a crime caper the camera tends to keep a constant distance from the character when it follows them.

What to choose??

With open sequence projects we are given some choice of genre these are:

1. A super natural thriller with a strong female lead
2. A British social realist drama
3. Adventure story for a younger audience
4. A teenage romantic comedy
5. Crime Caper with an ensemble cast

As we mentioned in the introduction we have elected to design a crime caper, an example of this would be ocean elevens and their sequels as they are crime capers with an ensemble cast.

Crime capers often have certain conventions, these are usually followed by Hollywood films. These are:
- Characters Commit a crime
- Refers to often being light hearted and comedy
e.g Oceans 11 and the Italian job
- Usually if not always has a male lead
- The crime they commit is often portrayed as glamorous
- The characters are often represented as good at what they do in respects to stealing
- The most famous star of the film is often the leader of the group as well as playing key roles consequently the less famous are less important
- The criminals often get away with the crime they are committing
- The job they do is often quite easily shown for experts

However we had considered the other options:

1. A super natural thriller with a strong female lead
This is a genre in which there is a conflict between the main characters in which one of them will have super natural powers. There is often the stereotypical view of a thriller however it has an extra ingredient such as ghosts, the occult or a psychic phenomenon.
* Suspense
* Claustrophobic
* Isolation
* Dark Lighting

An example is 'The Others' (2001) Directed by Alejandro AmenĂ¡bar. With Nicole Kidman, Fionnula Flanagan, Christopher Eccleston. It is a tale of the afterlife and strange happenings.

2. British social realist drama
(The Kitchen Sink Drama)
These are a representation of 'real life' and all the difficulties included. It tends to focus on the working class.

Conventions tend to follow,
* Natural Lighting
* Hand held cameras, this is a known documentary technique as it gives a hint of realism to the film
* There is always a conflict involved such as a political war or small scale conflict between individuals - this conflict will create drama

An example of this film is 'Kidulthood' (2006) and 'Adulthood'(2008)

3. Adventure story for a younger audience
Family Film which tends to have comical elements, the characters are often trying to find something or someone to restore something. There is also elements of fantasy or the super natural. There is also a heavy reliance on special effects such CGI (Computer Generated Images). Usually orchestral music used on a large scale the shots are usually showing more than one character the setting is often unfamiliar to the characters and audience. It is a fantasy world which places the characters in more danger. There is usually an establishing shot that is very dramatic... For example Harry Potter (2001) or Narnia (2005).

4. Teenage Romantic Comedy
The final example which is possibly the most hysterical genre which tends to follow conventions:
- A humorous style movie about a love story which ends happily
- It reflects characters to be identifiable with the audience
- There is popular and unpopular characters in which the unpopular characters are often looking at the popular characters
- The audience are often encouraged to identify with the unpopular characters
- The popular characters are usually bitchy and overconfident, popular characters are male usually 'cool' and are often attractive
- Popular male characters are usually sporty and have the 'jock' characterist
- They often play on a stereotypical view of a geek, untrendy clothes and thick glasses
- Cheerleaders are often portrayed as being materialist and artificial
- Teachers are often represented as strict and not to be identified with
- There is usually a coming together of the two main characters which often has a problem they need to over come
- The audience expects an emotional payoff from a happy ending
- Secondary characters resolve with the uniting emotion or friendship

A Bold Example of this would be American Pie (1999)

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Friday, 28 November 2008

Group Introductions :)

hello there! we're S1-24, also known as Josh, Tom and Ben, this is, quite obviously, our blog, our project is to create a film opening for a crime caper film. Join us as we show step by step just how much work has to go into a film opening sequence. Enjoy

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