Sunday, 15 May 2011

Tuesday, 22 March 2011

Evaq Q7 Reflection on the Prelim



When I look back at my prelim I see that we have improved, however I feel we still made some of the same mistakes such as cross cutting and shot reverse shot. We learned how not to make these mistakes, but because we didn't get enough coverage and shots our film didn't flow from shot to shot and jumped badly.

We learned to vary up our shots more but we still did struggle with the shot variation and I don't think we included enough if we got the chance to reshoot the film this would be one of the things i would change. If i could also change it I would get more shots and extract the audio from the shots to make our sound seem more fluid, thi was another thing we also struggled to achieve.

Blue filter added on iMovie.
I learned how to edit, and add effects on iMovie since the prelim, such as how to slow down shots, and increase the speed. This was useful as we did speed up our shot of the zombies chasing after Alex to make it look more menacing, just like 28 Days Later, where they sped up the shots of zombies running to make it seem more intense.

Some things I deffinatly improved on from my prelim were ; Shot framing we had some intresting shots such as the shot of the zombie stumbling behind the rusted and bent fence. Our use of sound was better than before and we learned from mistakes that we had made in the prelim with sound e.g the gunshot. The location we used was very good and made the post apocalyptic setting more evident, I had used this before in one of our other filming tasks, this is deffinatly a strength of our film and helped create the atmosphere of the film all the more eerie.

In conclusion I have learned:

1. More shot variation is needed in order to bring variety to our film.
2.Get organised with the shots needed and film more than what we have storyboarded so we have some choice later on in the editing process.
3. record the sound seperatly and ten later add it in.

Eval Q6 Technologies

I have learned many things about the technologies required to create films,idents and evidence of our research. I learned about websites and software such as Scribd and Garage band. These programmes and websites helped make the film making process so much easier.

We learned how to edit using iMovie in the first few weeks of starting the course I had a brief knowledge of Windows Movie Maker before and how to edit. Howvere over the weeks I became used to the stages of editing a film such as cutting the scenes adding transitions and effects. The editing process now is second nature to me and I have used it to edit various films,prelim and a vodcast.

I had used Youtube a lot before and knew the basic skills and some of the more advanced skills such as adding annotations, audio swapping and adding captions over the top of a video. But i had never used Vimeo and learned how to upload videos from there and embbed them onto my own blog. This was usefull as Youtube is blocked in school and if we needed to upload and embbed a video we could easily do so at school seeing as it was not blocked.

The cameras I used were DV cameras they're old and aren't the pinnacle of technology but they did the job. The boom microphone was useful and was easy to use. We learned how to use it as we filmed our first rough cut, it provided great sound quality.



For my soundtrack I used a programme called Kristal this was a program I had previously used to record my bands songs, it's a proffesional recording programme that has a simple UI and is easy to pick up. We used this because we felt it was better than, garageband and would make our soundtrack stand out from others. The people performing in the track are Kyle Meeson (guitar) Conor O'loughlin (drums) and Sam Boyes (Bass). We recorded the real instruments previously, 2 years before the media course and removed the vocals, due to the lyrics not being relevant to the story.

Eval Q5 How Did you Attract/Address your Audience?

Ben -Matt Johnson

Colin - Sam Boyes
We attracted our audiance using intertextual refferances to other films in the genre. As well as making our film scary this is the one key feature horror films need in order to succeed as it could be a making or breaking point of any horror film.

Some ways we attracted our audiance wer the intertextual names we gave our characters like Ben (Matt Johnson) and Colin (Sam Boyes) These are bothrefferances from other films from the genre. (Ben being from Night of the Living Dead and Colin from Colin.) We also looked at Shaun of the Dead and the scene where David gets eaten alive we see our unnamed character being eaten alive by zombies, this also attracts general fans of the horror genre as this scene could be seen as scary because of the graphic behaviour shown in the film.

The film is set in a suburban setting and a modern time period, it is set a few months after a post apocalyptic outbreak of a virus. The setting coul attract younger audiances who want to see a film with youths and familliar types of enviroments That teenagers may be used to. We can also relate our film to the youth culture surrounding the suburban setting such as "hoodies" and "chavs". Our characters also matched the age of the preffered audiance this makes the story seem more personal and targeted towards this group of people.

The zombie genre is primarily watched by a teen male audience, when I looked at sound and the back we worked out that teen males are most likely to like rock/metal music and decided to use it in the film. This decision was first thought of when I heard a song by the band The Devil Wears Prada who have recently made an album called 'Zombie.' which focused on a zombie apocalypse and was metal/metalcore. But we weren't allowed to use the actual song. We looked at other songs as well and found a song called L490 by 30 Seconds To Mars, I felt that this song sounded similar to the main track used in 28 Days Later, we recorded a cover of L490 and used it in a few of our cuts. Later on we felt like it didn't fit with the fight scene so we went away and recorded an original piece of music. These songs could attract an audience who enjoy rock/metal.

Eval Q1In What Ways Does your Media Product Use, Develop or Challenge Forms and Conventions of Real Media Products?

Tobe Hoopers Zombies.
The title of our film started as a 'working title' and then we decided to keep it simply because it works as a title, and instantly tells everyone that the film is a zombie film. The 'Suburban' part of the title also suggest a suburban modern setting. Other zombie films use simple titles like Tobe Hoopers "Zombies". These titles also could be seen as comical, comedy films that use this simple title are Epic Movie, Scary Movie and Disaster Movie.

'Hoodies'
'Hoodie Zombie'
Our characters costumes, suggest working class backgrounds and criminal activity. We made our characters wear hoodies to suggest that before the zombie outbreak they were involved in criminal activity and are teenagers, we based this off the stereotype that the rest of society thinks teenagers from urban and suburban areas are all criminals and that teenagers are lazy and violant. We adressed these key stereotypes, The zombies slouch in a lazy posture and walk with their feet dragging to show the stupidity and laziness of these zombies. And our zombies hunt, kill and eat the flesh of the living these are over the top violant acts of behaviour. When we looked and researched films like Dawn of the Dead we realised that the zombies represented something from our society, in Dawn of the Dead the zombies represented that when in a shopping centre or a mall we look like zombies walking in hordes around shops. We took this idea and changed it so our zombies are behaving like they would in the world before the outbreak happend. Before the outbreak our zombies would have been bullies and would have bullied smarter people, we took it and changed it so that the zombies are "bullying" the living (who are much more intelligent than the undead) into submission. Our protagonists also fit the stereotypical protagonist in a zombie film, strong male characters who are ready to dive straight into the action and can be very practical in a situation like a mass outbreak of a virus that turns people into flesh eating members of the undead. An example of a strong male character in a zombie film would be Ben from Night of the Living Dead, he was practical, ready to fight and a natural leader we hoped to match his character as much as we can. However Ben is black, we changed this because the majority of people in the UK are white british. We felt this best represented the majority of the country.

Our editing is fast paced in the action scenes and slower in the few opening scenes. We chose to do this mainly because it's what we felt looked and felt best for our film and made our film more active and gave it some energy. I used low angles, over the shoulder shots and P.O.V shots to signify versimillitude. These types of shots give our film an edge of realism and can help create a scarier and almost realistic feeling to the film.

Eval Q3 Distributor

Suburban Zombie is a specific sub genre of horror and only a few British films have made it into the mainstream, such as 28 Days Later and Shaun of the Dead. This is mainly due to them being backed by big production companies such as Working Title. However smaller indie films such as Colin have made it into the mainstream.

The distribution company that we would use would be something like Kaleidoscope due to it being a small indie company. Our film is an underground indie film and most likely wouldn't get mainstream fame. Because of this the film may be web released or released on DVD. If released on the web it would most likely free or only get a small amount of money, but the good thing about this would be that our film can be accessed by the whole world and would help advertise ourselves.If our film was released on DVD the film may not get seen by a wider audience but a positive would be that we would make more money from sales.

 My distribution company is Lore, the type of films we would plan to release under this name would be low budget, british, indie horror films, like our film Suburban Zombie.

Eval Q4 Audience

Suburban Zombie contains scenes of gore and violance such as some of the characters getting killed and eaten. It also contains scenes of horror an example would be one of the unnamed characters gets eaten alive by two zombies. Because of this we think that the BBFC would rate our film a 15. However later on in the film we've planned to have more violance and gore. Our primary audience will be 15 -24 year olds but seeing as there has been a strong following of zombie films since the 60's so the film may be viewed by older aged people.

The zombie genre has an already massive cult following, there are the older followers who have watched the genre grow, since the 60's when it broke the mainstream, the genre was mainly backed by american studios, but in the 90's low budget british zombie films came about and wern't created by companies but by the fans of the genre who had grown up with it and now make the films . There are also the younger followers who have grown up with films such as Shaun of the Dead, 28 Days Later and so on. Because of this we tried to be intertextual to address both older and younger audiances that follow the genre.

Christopher Lee as Dracula
My film may also attract fans of Hammer Horror. Hammer Horror were a large company around the 50's -70's who produced films such as "Dracula" and the "The Curse of Frankenstein" These films introduced actors such as Peter Cushing, Michael Gough, Christoper Lee and Oliver Reed. They didn't focus on zombie films as such but did pave the way for British Horror which focused on a far more gothic and creepy atmosphere compared to the big american companies producing horro films such as Universal. They invented british horror conventions that made British Horror a sub genre of Horror, these included, extreme gore which at the time was almost unheard of in cinema and none of the mainstream companies would use. Content that was of a sexual nature, these films were very sexually explicit and didn't just focus on hetrosexuals, but homosexuality as well. They also were renound for being having a gothic atmosphere and many of their films were shot in a castle. We didn't actually have any sexual content in the film but we did use some gore and had a 'modern gothic' location a burned down house on the outskirts of a housing estate. These features may attract fans of Hammer Horror.

Monday, 21 March 2011

Eval Q2 Representation

Our film Suburban Zombie focuses on the representation of social groups and status in our society. We focused on the background of our characters, before the zombie apocalypse and tried to recreate the class differences in our film.

Hunter from Left 4 Dead based on hoodie
In SZ we made our zombies look like working class teenagers the reason why we did this is to signify what adults stereotypically think of youths. Youths in the UK are stereotyped to be violant, moronic and menacing characters, we decided to play upon these stereotypes and found that they resembled the behaviour and mind set of a "Zombie". The way in which we created this image was by making all our zombies where their hoods up, wearing jeans or tracksuit bottoms and trainers. The behaviour of the zombies most noticably their slow and comical hobblin was a physical manifestation of stupidity and the stereotypes of "chavs" and "hoodies". The violant behaviour was also another stereotype of youths in the UK today, and how the working class is thought of by the middle class.

Another representation we focused on was social class. We decided to look at how the middle class see themselves as higher ranking and overall better people than the working class and how we could use this stereotype in our production. We came to the conclusion that the protagonists should be seen as the ruling class (the bourgeosie) and the zombies as the working class (proleteriats). We looked into how the ruling class dominates the working class and took influences from Marxists and how they propose the theory that the ruling class dominates the working class using "The Repressive State Apparatus" This is a means of enforcing the working class using forces such as violance. Our protagonists are seen during the open 2 minutes "enforcing" their dominance against a horde of the ravenous working class.

Some other examples of films that use hoodies as a primary antagonist are Harry Brown, Kidulthood and Adulthood. They also focus on the violant nature of hoodies and stereotypes the typical inner city youth to be wild hoodlums who take drugs and carry weapons at all times.

Monday, 14 March 2011

KM - BBFC Ratings

KM - BBFC Rating

BBFC 15 Rating Criteria - 
Discrimination
The work as a whole must not endorse discriminatory
language or behaviour.
Drugs
Drug taking may be shown but the film as a whole must not
promote or encourage drug misuse. The misuse of easily
accessible and highly dangerous substances (for example,
aerosols or solvents) is unlikely to be acceptable.
Horror
Strong threat and menace are permitted unless sadistic
or sexualised.
Imitable behaviour
Dangerous behaviour (for example, hanging, suicide and
self-harming) should not dwell on detail which could be
copied. Easily accessible weapons should not be glamorised.
Language
There may be frequent use of strong language (for example,
‘fuck’). The strongest terms (for example, ‘cunt’) may be
acceptable if justified by the context. Aggressive or repeated
use of the strongest language is unlikely to be acceptable.
Nudity
Nudity may be allowed in a sexual context but without
strong detail. There are no constraints on nudity in a
non-sexual or educational context.
Sex
Sexual activity may be portrayed without strong detail.
There may be strong verbal references to sexual behaviour,
but the strongest references are unlikely to be acceptable
unless justified by context. Works whose primary purpose is
sexual arousal or stimulation are unlikely to be acceptable.
Theme
No theme is prohibited, provided the treatment is
appropriate for 15 year olds.
Violence
Violence may be strong but should not dwell on the infliction
of pain or injury. The strongest gory images are unlikely to
be acceptable. Strong sadistic or sexualised violence is also
unlikely to be acceptable.
There may be detailed verbal references to sexual violence
but any portrayal of sexual violence must be discreet and
have a strong contextual justification.

BBFC 18 Rating Criteria - 


In line with the consistent findings of the BBFC’s public
consultations and The Human Rights Act 1998, at ‘18’ the
BBFC’s guideline concerns will not normally override
the principle that adults should be free to choose their
own entertainment. Exceptions are most likely in the
following areas:
• where the material is in breach of the criminal law,
or has been created through the commission of a
criminal offence
• where material or treatment appears to the BBFC to
risk harm to individuals or, through their behaviour,
to society – for example, any detailed portrayal of
violent or dangerous acts, or of illegal drug use,
which may cause harm to public health or morals.
This may include portrayals of sexual or sexualised
violence which might, for example, eroticise or
endorse sexual assault
• where there are more explicit images of sexual
activity which cannot be justified by context. Such
images may be appropriate in ‘R18’ works, and in
‘sex works’ (see below) would normally be confined
to that category.
In the case of video works (including video games),
which may be more accessible to younger viewers,
intervention may be more frequent than for cinema films.
Sex education at ‘18’
Where sex material genuinely seeks to inform and
educate in matters such as human sexuality, safer
sex and health, explicit images of sexual activity may
be permitted.
Sex works at ‘18’
Sex works are works whose primary purpose is sexual
arousal or stimulation. Sex works containing only material
which may be simulated are generally passed ‘18’. Sex
works containing clear images of real sex, strong fetish
material, sexually explicit animated images, or other
very strong sexual images will be confined to the ‘R18’
category. Material which is unacceptable in a sex work
at ‘R18’ is also unacceptable in a sex work at ‘18’.

How these criteria effect our film rating:


Our film "Suburban Zombie" will contain strong gore and horror, which suggests that the BBFC Rating will be at least at 15, if not 18.

KM - BBFC Rating

BBFC 15 Rating Criteria - 
Discrimination
The work as a whole must not endorse discriminatory
language or behaviour.
Drugs
Drug taking may be shown but the film as a whole must not
promote or encourage drug misuse. The misuse of easily
accessible and highly dangerous substances (for example,
aerosols or solvents) is unlikely to be acceptable.
Horror
Strong threat and menace are permitted unless sadistic
or sexualised.
Imitable behaviour
Dangerous behaviour (for example, hanging, suicide and
self-harming) should not dwell on detail which could be
copied. Easily accessible weapons should not be glamorised.
Language
There may be frequent use of strong language (for example,
‘fuck’). The strongest terms (for example, ‘cunt’) may be
acceptable if justified by the context. Aggressive or repeated
use of the strongest language is unlikely to be acceptable.
Nudity
Nudity may be allowed in a sexual context but without
strong detail. There are no constraints on nudity in a
non-sexual or educational context.
Sex
Sexual activity may be portrayed without strong detail.
There may be strong verbal references to sexual behaviour,
but the strongest references are unlikely to be acceptable
unless justified by context. Works whose primary purpose is
sexual arousal or stimulation are unlikely to be acceptable.
Theme
No theme is prohibited, provided the treatment is
appropriate for 15 year olds.
Violence
Violence may be strong but should not dwell on the infliction
of pain or injury. The strongest gory images are unlikely to
be acceptable. Strong sadistic or sexualised violence is also
unlikely to be acceptable.
There may be detailed verbal references to sexual violence
but any portrayal of sexual violence must be discreet and
have a strong contextual justification.

BBFC 18 Rating Criteria - 


In line with the consistent findings of the BBFC’s public
consultations and The Human Rights Act 1998, at ‘18’ the
BBFC’s guideline concerns will not normally override
the principle that adults should be free to choose their
own entertainment. Exceptions are most likely in the
following areas:
• where the material is in breach of the criminal law,
or has been created through the commission of a
criminal offence
• where material or treatment appears to the BBFC to
risk harm to individuals or, through their behaviour,
to society – for example, any detailed portrayal of
violent or dangerous acts, or of illegal drug use,
which may cause harm to public health or morals.
This may include portrayals of sexual or sexualised
violence which might, for example, eroticise or
endorse sexual assault
• where there are more explicit images of sexual
activity which cannot be justified by context. Such
images may be appropriate in ‘R18’ works, and in
‘sex works’ (see below) would normally be confined
to that category.
In the case of video works (including video games),
which may be more accessible to younger viewers,
intervention may be more frequent than for cinema films.
Sex education at ‘18’
Where sex material genuinely seeks to inform and
educate in matters such as human sexuality, safer
sex and health, explicit images of sexual activity may
be permitted.
Sex works at ‘18’
Sex works are works whose primary purpose is sexual
arousal or stimulation. Sex works containing only material
which may be simulated are generally passed ‘18’. Sex
works containing clear images of real sex, strong fetish
material, sexually explicit animated images, or other
very strong sexual images will be confined to the ‘R18’
category. Material which is unacceptable in a sex work
at ‘R18’ is also unacceptable in a sex work at ‘18’.

How these criteria effect our film rating:


Our film "Suburban Zombie" will contain strong gore and horror, which suggests that the BBFC Rating will be at least at 15, if not 18.


Times and Locations

For our opening we are filming in a Cul-de-sac in Silsden the estate is middle class, and the houses are detached. We are using this setting because suburban and urban settings are used frequently seen in the zombie horror genre.

We will also be shooting at night and in the day, we are shooting the flashbacks in the day and the attack at night.

Tom Savini

Tom Savini, AKA The Sultan of Splatter, The Godfather of Gore.

Tom Savini is the most influential special effects artist of all time, he has worked on all of George A Romero's 'Dead Trilogy' aswell as Friday the 13th and Creepshow.

Savini is primarily known for his groundbreaking work in the field of special makeup effects. He got his breakthrough working with  George A. Romero, providing a convincing wrist slashing effect in the opening scenes of Martin (1977). The following year, working with an expanded budget on Dawn of the Dead, Savini created his signature palette of severed limbs and bite-marks.

Wednesday, 2 March 2011

All- Podcast 4

Here we talk about recent changes to filming plans and cast.

All - Podcast 3

In this podcast we talk about filming and cast


Zombies in video games

A Recent sequel for Resident Evil.
Zombies have always been a part of  the contemporary western culture, so understandably they would be introduced into games.  Resident Evil was the first stand alone zombie game that made a deep impact on society. The game was regarded as a huge success all over the world and is still the biggest franchise in the sub genre of horror survival games.


Frank West trapped under the tunnels of the mall.




Another game that has made a huge impact was the game Dead Rising, this game set the standards for zombie games after it. It required the character to play as the protagonist Frank West, a freelance journalist trying to get a good story who breaks into a quarantined town on a helicopter, he heads to the mall and finds the remaining inhabitants of the town barricaded in with the baying undead bashing the malls doors in. The game has references to famous zombie films as well as slasher films. The whole idea fir the game is based of 'Dawn of the Dead'.


'Left 4 Dead' is a new first person shooter based in a post apocalyptic world, The game was a huge success due to the fact it had 4 different campaigns that involved trying to get to a boat and escape, fight off hordes of the undead in a house while waiting for a military evacuation, getting away in a helicopter
An example of the atmospheric lighting.
on top of a hospital in the centre of a city, and getting to an airplane at an airport. The game used one of the most advanced AI systems "The Director" his made it s every time you played the game, the game would be different the infected would never spawn or suddenly burst out in a huge horde out of no where twice. The use of a program called"cinema effects" gave the game it's eerie atmosphere.

The survivors attempting to pass some of the undead.
The game was well received and was so successful that it spawned a sequel 'Left 4 Dead 2' This game ironed out the flaws from the first game and added more, Left 4 Dead 2 used a more advanced version of The Director that drives gameplay by procedurally spawning enemies, weapons and items based on the players' performance. In Left 4 Dead 2, the Director has been improved to encourage more participation by players, forcing players through difficult gauntlets to reach the extraction point. It also has the ability to alter elements of the level such as placement of walls, level layout, lighting, and weather conditions, making each play session unique.


Another unique feature of the game was the Zombie classes, The Boomer, The Hunter, The Tank, The Witch and The Smoker. They all have unique characteristics that make the game harder and force players to be tactical and follow certain strategies when wandering through buildings and streets.













Thursday, 17 February 2011

Conventions of the Zombie Sub-Genre

These are some of the key conventions in the zombie genre:


  • Post-apocalyptic setting.
  • Word zombie never used, however it is used satirically in the film Shaun of the Dead where Shaun tells Ed not to use the "z-word".
  • Normally revolves around a group of different characters e.g a white racist paired with a strong black character.
  • Very gory.

Wednesday, 16 February 2011

Reshoot

We have changed our plot and are now planning a re shoot on thursday this week and have almost finished are old rough cut for friday but by the friday after half term our film will be completely finished and ready for the examiner. Our soundtrack is finished as well, Kyle has re-recorded L490 by 30 Seconds To Mars

Wednesday, 9 February 2011

KM Film Titles

For the opening titles of "Suburban Zombie" we are going to use large, white, serif font. The reason for this is because this style of font and colour is used frequently for the opening titles, as the serif font signifies the serious nature of the film, and the white colouring signifies decay and it reinforces the seriousness.

Here are a couple of examples of zombie films that have used this style and colour of font:



Day of the Dead (George A Romero, 1985)


Night of the Living Dead (remake- Tom Savini, 1990)

Wednesday, 2 February 2011

ALL Podcast 2

Our 2nd podcast , we talked about make up, locations and inspiration from a deconstruction:

Podcast 2 from Alex McCluskey on Vimeo.

KM+AM Podcast 1

a podcast about filming times and locations, cast and scenes:

KM Second Day of Filming


Conor O'loughlin (Zombie)
Yesterday (1st February) was our media group's second day of filming for our feature film opening "Suburban Zombie". We were filming the zombie scenes, as we had already shot the solo scenes of the protagonist (previous blogged). One of the things we found when filming was that sinse it was at night, the camera was skipping frames when trying to get a light focus. We have decided to try shooting again in the day time, and compare the footage. Here are some pictures of the shooting:

Sam testing out different angles with the boom mic

KM First Days of Filming

Wednesday (26th January) was the first day of filming for the opening two minutes of our feature film "Suburban Zombie". We filmed the scenes with Jack Hanson (our protagonist) yesterday, and will be filming the scenes with the zombies later in the week. The filming went well, and we used a lot of coverage so we could see what lighting etc. would fit the best in certain scenes when editing. Here are some images and a clip of the filming:


Alex and Sam discussing different camera angles


Jack Hanson (our protagonist)










Using different levels of lighting for coverage, which will help when editing