Welcome to my blog where you will find a record of background research and planning behind the slasher opening production - Our working title is 'Doctor' Our opening is influenced by Mad House Also you will find my colleagues blog pages where there will be additional information. Please feel free to leave any helpful comments.

Friday, 3 May 2013

Evaluation Question 7

Evaluation Question 7: Learnt since the prelim:

Looking back at your preliminary task what do you feel you have learnt in the progression from it to the full product?

Our Prelim:

When i first started media and we were given the task to create our prelim i had no experience whats so ever in film making so this task helped me get a feel for using a hand held camera for the first time.

The task itself was as followed, to create a short film which consisted of 3 camera shots which were, match on action, the 180 degree rule and the shot reverse shot. The video itself was shot in school, which Ben filmed. The clip is only around 30 seconds long due to the very short dialogue and lack of events. After the film was shot we used Final Cut Pro X to edit the video so it ran continuously.

180 degree rule:
180 degree rule

The rule is that the camera stays in line with the imaginary line, which can be seen in the image of the right. The rule enforces continuity of the film.

Match on action:
Match on action
Technique used for continuity like the 180 degree rule. One shot cuts to a close up of the action of the subject in the first shot as shown in the picture on the right.

Shot reverse shot

Shot reverse shot:

This is a technique used in conversations, this is also a continuity editing technique

Image sources:


The thing with our prelim was that there was no research and planning involved at all, which is a large comparison to the research and planning we did for our final cut. The comparison between the two was that our prelim task took us a few hours to complete where as our final cut took months of construction.

Because of our chosen genre (slasher) i carried out extensive research to require the correct research i needed which therefore could be put into our final film. We used this to include key slasher conventions and narratives which we could therefore put into our own film. The research and planning itself took up a lot more time than you would expect, more time would go into this than the actual shooting of our final cut and our trailer put together. Because i had to make sure we had everything planned before hand, as this isn't just a thing that you can go straight in to. We tried to anchor as many things as we could to our audience so that it would match our preferred reading.

Planning Documents:

As i stated previously our research and planning helped us out prior our shoot here is an example of our original storyboards for our trailer.

Our Trailer Storyboard

Sheet 1
Sheet 2

These are the original copies of our storyboard for the trailer of our film. We used these as a guideline to what we had to film. However, we didn't stick to what we had down on our storyboard, we changed things that we thought didn't seem right. Such as the desk shot, we thought our trailer would be much more effective if we didn't include it

Time Management:

Time management is a very important factor when constructing any form of media product. We had to occasions where time management was important, for our Microdrama and our Final cut. you have to organise a number of different things our bigger project needing planning for gathering cast, managing multiple shoots, dealing with weather changes, starting soon enough to give us time to re shoot if we needed to. 
These are examples of our planning:


Before we came up with a final idea for our final film. We each had to individually pitch our idea to our class mates. This was useful as we could compare a number of different ideas with each other. I already had an idea of who i was going to work in a group with. However, it was nice to see other peoples pitches to see their ideas.


Casting is also a key factor to consider, when looking back at our prelim there was not much acting involved at all. Though in comparison to our final film the casting was much more important as our actors had to play important roles. All our characters fitted their stereotypes we chose to use no countertypes because we felt that our film was effective enough with out them. We did include key slasher conventions we had found from our research and planning. we included a Scream Queen who fitted the role of the stereotype well due to her costume and the way she was portrayed in our film. This wasn't the case for the prelim because there wasn't as much involved

Mise En Scene:

Mise en scene wasn't used in our prelim because it wasn't needed. However, in our final film we used mise en scene to signify key elements.

Establishing shot

Here is our opening shot, here we give the audience a view of the mental asylum, this was to give an 
insight into how big of an escape this is as the size of the building lets you know that it is a large scale asylum. The reason we chose this building is because since a few years ago it has been a fully functional mental asylum. this we thought was absolutely ideal for our opening as we feel it still has the eery buzz about it with its dark, mysterious look about it.
POV shot

Here we used a Mercedes car. We used this to signify how old the character is as he is a Dr in his early thirty's, using a Mercedes would signify his age and that he is an adult character. so we took a shot of him getting out of the car and locking it to give the audience an idea that he has just driven it home, this we thought was an effective feature to signify his age and his social class.

ID for mise en scene

This was key piece of mise en scene in our film, it signified the doctor himself as it was his ID badge.

Costume was a very important factor in  our final cut also, the costumes were used to signify a number of different things in our film. For example through the costume we signified that the male character was the doctor as he wore smart clothes and we gave him the doctors badge for mise en scene. 

Our location was ambitious but we felt it would anchor the correct setting for our film as it was an actual mental asylum. But we chose this because it signified our genre giving that it was a rather daunting place. 

Rough Cuts: 

Rough cuts were vital in our production, the factor was because we were able to get a lot of feed back which we would take into consideration. This is very important because we can find out whether our target audience had a distaste or didn't like anything in our film. we also used Facebook frequently as most of our primary audience used this resource we could put up our rough cuts to this and gather valuable feedback. In our prelim we only had one shoot we didn't create any rough cuts to gather any audience feedback from. 


Creating an original soundtrack for the film was a difficult process. It was difficult in the sense that we were trying to include a soundtrack that would build up the suspense throughout our film, we had to try a number of different sounds and effects to create a sense of suspense which is achieved in a lot of slasher films i have looked at previously such as Halloween and Scream. 

For our prelim there was no soundtrack involved at all. this was simply because of time. Therefore if we had of done any planning for our prelim we probably would have scheduled time to create a soundtrack to make our prelim better. 


We also created company idents as part of the criteria for our film opening so we each created one individually using Live Type. We didn't include an ident in our prelim because we hadn't been introduced to the software at the stage we were creating our prelim. 

A company ident is a way of showing the audience who is behind the film as it is a form of advertising. You tend to see a couple of idents at the start of the film before every movie starts you will never see a film without company idents unless it is extremely indie. Most idents come with their own jingle, theme song or sound. The notorious MGM ident is a good example to show a sound effect used.

It depends on how the company chooses how they design their ident for how much it will cost as they don't have to be extremely costly as they are easy to make on an unambitious scale. But most popular idents are very appealing and don't look like they have been made within an hour. I don't particularly associate an ident to a film being good but i do have my preferable idents for some reason, my favorite company ident would be Paramount Pictures for no reason i just like watching the ident as i think it looks allot better than others like Hammer Studios for example.

Here is my ident:

With my ident i would have created it differently if i had the chance to do it again. Because i would prefer it if it would signify the slasher genre. To do this i would use different colours, such a red and black, i would also change the music to a heavy metal soundtrack to also signify the slasher genre.

Shot Variety:

With our prelim our shot variety was minimal in comparison to our final cut. 

This is the shot variation from one scene in our final cut (the bathroom scene)
MS doctor, CU tap, CU doctor, MS doctor, CU towel, MS doctor.

In comparison to our prelim the shot variety is very little. This is a thing i had learnt since the prelim. Shot variety offers many different ways to show a character and can also focus on a number of different aspects to signify certain things to the audience. 

Individual Roles:

We all had important roles in our production. i feel i contributed to every single aspect of the film including everything on my blogs to the final film itself. I played the role of The killer in our film a role which i play effectively. I prefer to play the role of an actor rather than a director or a producer because i feel that i can offer more when i play an acting role. In the prelim is was also one of the key actors also but i would say my role in the final cut was a lot more important as i had to act the role of a killer.

Our Final Film:

Finally working in a group was very stressful. I would say that at time some of us contributed more than others however on a whole we all contributed to our film equally, as we split up a number of tasks between us. There were a few issues with deadlines but these were easily overcome. It was challenging at times as our ideas would clash copious amounts but as we all knew each other very well it wasn't a continuous problem.

In our prelim task there was not much of feel of working in a group because we all knew the task that we had to complete. However i would say it helped me as it gave me an idea of working in a group with people i didn't know.

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