MUSIC!

Posted in Uncategorized on January 11, 2011 by elvinhqegs

I’d just like to do a little “sub blog” in this space if I could, please. Thanks.

For Christmas I was lucky enough to receive a MacBook Pro 13″, in case your wandering, I did pay for it mostly myself. Any hooo, I got stuck right in there and had a fiddle with imovie and all the rest of it (I’ve also recently gone through a period of serious chess playing against my Mac in the hope that one day I will be triumphant over it) and whilst taking the pilot run with garage band I found myself gradually constructing parts, samples and sounds towards a soundtrack for Honey. My knowledge and fluidity around Garage band expanded ten-fold by the hour and from the beginning- Dec 27th, to the finished product (which in my own eyes at the time was nothing more than a mock of ideas pieced together)- 29th Dec I had discovered hundreds more sounds and samples in the process. Anyway I’ll talk you through it as best i can with some pretty little pictures to aid your learning 🙂

P.S. Go Mac! You’ll never go back! (honest)

————————————- * ————————————-

GARAGE BAND!

(to be continued…)

the editing proccess.

Posted in Uncategorized on January 11, 2011 by elvinhqegs


I created our ident through the use of Photoshop CS5 and Final Cut Express, the original image was in fact found through a google image search, however, I have gone on to manipulate it in such away to reinforce the originality of the group. The production company – Andrew Helmervin Productions – we decided, needed to be established as a production company that particularly position themselves within the very genre and style of this film, therefore it shows that this production company wouldnt produce jolly fairytales and love stories, we clearly set our selves out as a company that deal in these slightly disturbing and close to the bone films. I used the innocent appearance of a child to portray our way of turning things on its side and not being scared of presenting gritty themes and ideas in our films, the single image of the child is changed and developed from its original state to then its eyes glazed or sewn shut- I used the spot healing brush in photoshop to drag skin tones over the eyes, then to a darker, sinister, possessed image that flashes in sync with the non-diegetic scream, and final to the production company logo that jitters and blips enforcing the uneasy, unnerving feel in our audience leaving them not particularly knowing what to expect. I used the wire frame on the image in final cut to bring the still image closer and back again creating the blips throughout the clip.

Once the ident was complete and our very first clip was decided on we left the computer and sat down and had a discussion on the order of events, we had already spent a while sifting through all our footage and it was CRUCIAL that the two minutes played through in an order the optimised its effect on the audience, because a lot of our footage was similar, all in one confined space, one scene, the same props the same two actors- who’s faces we barely ever see, every shot needed to be choreographed into an order that worked and that kept the viewers mind away from the idea that everything was so similar to make sure you felt captivated by it and not bored! Part of this decision came down to the order of the credits and the title of the film. The order in which we wanted the credits were sketched and noted down on paper show here-

The order we wanted them in and why we wanted them in that order was a fine, important detail also keeping in mind the fact that the introduction of Henry in the two minutes would be a part of intensity in the sequence so his title would be specifically positioned two thirds of the way through, small aspects of the film such as this were regularly debated and mapped out intricately. We previously did various research into the order of credits in existing films one of which being Se7en just to see who were listed first and where abouts the actors names were positioned within the credit order.

In Final Cut I predominantly took the reigns following Chris’ self confessed incapability with computers and software in general. Andy tried his hand now and again but more than anything I was merely the groups hands, the ideas and insructions were being fed into me, in each ear and my hand on the mouse would make it happen. With no changing scenes, introduction of new characters, new settings, my description of the editing process will most probably sound dull. The group and I discovered a new best friend relatively early on in the process-

“Dip to colour” became a transitional favourite for Andrew Helmervin and saw us through a lot of hard times, i’d just like to take this moment to thank it for all it did towards the vast success that Honey has gone on to obtain.

On a serious note, for what ever reason, perhaps the colour and darkness in our shots, dip to colour provided us with great subtle and seamless transitions from clip to clip, and along with my other little friend-

Vignette, if you are not already aware does this to a shot or an image-

Although a very gawky example, vignette, I think, gives quite a professional look to low light images with the levels manipulated to up the contrast slightly, followed by a tweak with the RGB balance just to get everything looking as good as it can do with the grainy texture that comes with shooting dark shots.

Examples of where I’ve taken shots and separated them and altered each of their colour balances for effect is the flashing sequence following Henry’s credit.

When integrating credits into our two minutes I made another little friend that allowed me to make text imported from photoshop transparent completely, to expose the scene behind it through a black screen. “Chroma keyer” was in fact introduced to me by a dear, close friend Mr. Bevan John Morris – an experienced, superior media student who had enjoyed its benefits many a time in the past (Y).

In Photoshop I opened a new canvas and selected “Film & Video” (because thats what its for, i’m making a film :))

making sure that the dimmensions were correct to be compatible with Final Cut I opened the new canvas.

The guidelines shown in the PS canvas help me to make sure I keep everything within the shot and that nothing gets chopped off the edges.

I used the bucket tool to fill the canvas in black and then the text tool to type my text over the black backgound.

I selected a bright, vivid green to type in so that Final Cut would have the best possible chance of highlighting the colours I wanted rid of (green) and the contrast between the two colours will allow this 🙂

Here is the chroma keyer tool in final cut

I widen the measure focussed on the green area in the top bar to allow the tool to extract as wider tone of green as possible so that no bright green pixels or anything show up in the credits of our final film… ha. That wouldn’t be great. Then I would bring the saturation level right down the far end leaving the lighter measure where it is and finally open up the luma levels completely allowing the tool to extract all light and dark shades of the colour selected, again to make everything is clean and crisp and therefore effective as it can be .    

Characters.

Posted in Uncategorized on November 21, 2010 by elvinhqegs

In terms of our full length feature film the two main characters will be “Dobson” and “Honey” (Harry).

DOBSON

HONEY –

Treatment.

Posted in Uncategorized on November 21, 2010 by elvinhqegs



 

Honey, or Harry as his real name is, is an orphan and resides with his vicious, wanton older brother – simply named Dobson. Honey is sixteen, Dobson is twenty-three. Honey’s usual attire consists of a worn and faded polo shirt with the cheapest and most shapeless of jeans. His hair is cropped close to his head, and his face is a state of perpetual solemnity. Dobson has no hair, although not in a smart or glabrous-like wearing; instead his hair is one of short tousled tufts dotting his scalp. Dobson’s attire, although more expensive, consists of a ripped stripy jumper, and bland and vapidly coloured jeans. Other accoutrements of Dobson’s consist of various piercing, a cornucopia of tattoos, and an inexpensive chain.
They live in an abandoned careers office next to a grimy Baltic off-licence. Other locales on the street in which they live are “The Proud Pauper’s” pub, the dilapidated school bus shelter (of which Honey does not attend) and the non-official residences of various furtive quasi-vagrants. Their ‘house’ comprises of the most primitive of kitchens; a room with a flea-bitten sofa and stolen TV; a room upstairs with flimsy mattresses strewn about the place; a toilet – negligible, a diminution; and the back room – the prisoner holding room. Dobson is a human trafficker.
Brash conversations in the opening few minutes between Dobson and his friends, with a silent Honey present, denotes to the viewer that Dobson is the pack leader of a rancorous ring of traffickers; that their trafficking has become quite common for them; and that it is a means to survival/feeding a hard drug habit. They are sat around in the mattress room. Present is Dobson – aggressive, authoritative; Big – a laconic, bearded giant, the elder of the group, an ursine physiognomy, always brandishing a switchblade; Weasel – a scratching addict, babbling and loquacious cockney, very slight, dark bagged eyes, a blemished complexity; and Markie – lives across the road, derisive to the others bar Dobson, he is slightly better dressed and vaguely intelligent.
 

 

Honey remains even more silent than Big throughout who grunts occasionally. They take heroine; Weasel greedily so. Honey does not. The lewd conversation is a protracted one and connotes that Honey prefers the despicable yet affable Weasel, who keeps talking at him, over the fear of Big and the utter hatred of Markie’s bullying. The relationship between Honey and his brother Dobson remains unclear.

It becomes clear when Honey refuses to accept the paraphernalia Weasel is offering him. Markie shouts comments at Honey militating his virility and provoking cowardly feelings within him. Dobson suddenly surpasses Markie in terms of his bullying and launches a lager bottle at Honey. Honey scrambles off, instantly alacritous. Dobson shouts after him calling him a disgrace to his parents.
One can later surmise that he is called Honey derisively by the group for his quietude and avuncular sensitivity towards the captives.
Infrequent, horrific shots of the holding room are shown throughout the feature. The room is wanting everything. It is practically bare except for an ever flickering naked bulb. The walls are stained and dingy. The slaves are all semi nude, male, and severely malnourished. Whilst feeding them and taking them to the toilet Dobson and Big are aggressive towards them, Weasel and Markie are indifferent to them, and Honey secretly aids them with extra food and water when he can. A night scene shows how the deportation of the slaves occur, via Big’s white transit van.

 

(Human trafficking is not an imaginary threat we are exploring in our exercise. It is real and present in England today. Here is a link to SOCA’s (Serious Organised Crime Agency) information page on human trafficking. http://www.soca.gov.uk/threats/human-trafficking . If we are to tackle such a deep and ethically controversial subject, and make an effective two minute opening to Honey, then we must not allow for the footage to be visually reticent. We must not “pull our punch”.

 

One scene, in which Honey and Dobson are at the shop next door, a group of school girls walk past Honey, one of which has the pulchritude to disconcert him and make him drop a bottle of milk. The Baltic shop owner is fuming and starts shouting at a distant Honey who follows the girl watching her walk away. The owner continues to shout at him outside the shop before Dobson begins to beat him until he is quiet.
Tension begins to rise as Dobson plans with Markie a single trafficking operation which would make them. It would be lucrative beyond their comprehension – they could all escape their stagnating lives. Also, Dobson severely beats Honey for talking to a boy-captive who begs him for food. Nevertheless, Honey aids him.
The day of deporting their last operation draws nearer. Honey begins to have oddly lucid dreams about the boy trying to save him whilst he is drowning in dark, stagnant water. Weasel is beaten and cast out the group by Dobson for showing Markie’s pretty girlfriend across to the flat one day although he was just babbling to her. Although Honey is not heartfelt by Weasel‘s banishing, he was sickened by Weasel’s obsequiousness sometimes, he begins to feel alone. His connection with this boy develops; it is not one of talking – just of melancholy moments of sitting with him in the holding room.
In later scenes he talks to the girl from the shop – Elizabeth. She is evidently richer than the other girls from the area, she is more dignant and more affectionate although scared of Honey at first – she calls him Harry. She is mesmorisingly pretty and radiant to Honey. He watches her at the bus stop whilst standing across the road at “The Proud Pauper’s”. His dreams become intimate and involve her.
Meanwhile, Dobson, Big, and Markie finalise plans to deport the rest of the traffic. A celebratory event at the “Pauper” is arranged for when Big sets off with the captives under the disguise of Honey’s birthday. Honey is obviously disillusioned with Dobson now, one learns through a single conversation between him and Elizabeth that Dobson hates him and beats him regularly. Honey asks her whether he should take a leap of faith and do something for himself for once and she tells him he should. She touches his hand and he obviously feels this emotionally too. He does not get another chance of seeing her for a few days.
After stewing over her, he summons the courage to speak to her again when she is at the bus stop and she informs him that she will be attending his party. He is truly astonished by this, a girl like her to spend an evening in a place like the “Pauper” with people like him, and on his birthday too. He dreams that night of a world without Dobson, or Big, or Markie, a world with Elizabeth, and where there was no-one like the boy captive.

 

Dobson kicks him awake – it is the last day. He sets things up at the “Pauper” and sees Elizabeth briefly reminding him to do the right thing and that she will see him tonight, she smiles at him.
Night falls. There is noise down the road at the pub but Dobson sits anxiously in the mattress room waiting for Big and his van.
Honey has a long climatic conversation with Dobson attempting to dissuade him from the transaction. He says he loves him (referring to him as James) and Dobson rises and cries never to call him that. Big enters puts the money down and takes his coat off, he leaves again to prepare the van. Honey continues to talk of his family love for Dobson who keeps dismissing him, Dobson finally tells him he is not taking Honey with him when the captives have gone. Honey throws a bottle at his head screaming “James!” at him to which Dobson looks shocked and paces towards him telling him once again never to call him James. Harry replies never to call him Honey, and takes Big’s knife from on top of his coat and kills Dobson in a haze of tears and screams.
There is silence for a while except for Honey’s breathing. He calls the police quickly, seeing Big waiting in the van beginning to lose patience. He sneaks out the back and runs to the pub to look for Elizabeth to tell her he is handing himself to the police but wanted to see her after whatever punishment he has to endure.
He chooses society. He chooses conformation. He is shaking with his own personal climax. He wants Elizabeth, he has overthrown Dobson as he has been meaning to his whole life, he wants to give himself in to the police and explain his helplessness, and then start afresh. He can see the lights of the pub down the road and he stumbles. He is deeply perturbed by the killing of his brother and this self-revelation of inner fortitude and morality. He does not think he can reach the lights of the pub and the awaiting Elizabeth. He vomits. He rises again and makes it up to the pub doors.
He is about to enter with a smile on his face when he is attracted to the side alley. In silence, he sees Markie having sex with Elizabeth; this was obviously the only reason Elizabeth was in the area. He spins around yet not knowing where to turn. He walks back towards the house to take the money but the police rip around the corner and with prodigious celerity proceed on him. They baton the back of his legs and unnecessarily mace him. He is a willing captive. He is violently cuffed and the closing shot is of Honey’s bleeding face being grazed against the London pavement – looking to the bus stop.
Society fails him. Elizabeth is gone, the police are unrelentingly aggressive. He does not have her, the money, a reconciliation with Dobson, or freedom. The film is, subversely, a stab at the implacable cruelties of society, and an insight into the suffering induced by various forms of captivity: the traffic, Weasel’s addiction, Honey’s final arrest, and an imprisonment of lifestyle.

planning

Posted in Uncategorized on November 15, 2010 by elvinhqegs

ANCHOR

Posted in Uncategorized on October 18, 2010 by elvinhqegs

Here we used the same 30 second clip of a man walking his dog and experimented with different type faces filters and music to portray the same clip firstly as a comedy and then as a horror. In the comedy myself and Andy agreed on the old, slapstick style of comedy; not so much in the content- obviously because we didn’t shoot that- but in the visual and audio style of the clip. We used an old string duet piece of music which hinted well at the genre through its humorous and optimistic rhythm and pace. it gives a “trotting” or “plodding” kind of feel to the clip which relates closely to the way that the dog (Max) is walking.

To be continued…

Ident Ideas.

Posted in Uncategorized on October 15, 2010 by elvinhqegs

Right, so im still pottering about on photoshop, and the bottom corner of my computer screen reads: 00:09

So my mind has been filled with ideas, problems and excitement over this two minute title sequence task. The idea we are going mith as a group (Andy Reid, Chris Elmer and myself) is based around a chilling set of images gradually introducing titles and ofcorse our IDENT. Wich is what I’ve just been messing with for the past hour or so.

It would actually really help if you could just leave a comment on what you beleive is most effective, clearly baring in mind the mysterious, nail-biting horror reputation we would want to obtain as film makers…

theres only a few but what works best?

   

Any white in the image would be transparent on the actualy film clip.

Too chilling? Not chilling enough?

thankyou for any feedback.

OK, one hour on… so one last thing before I call it a night…

 

I couldn’t resist.

 

The big one!

Posted in Uncategorized on October 14, 2010 by elvinhqegs

This is a really really rough set of ideas that I initially had a few weeks back now and decided to put them together one night…

since then my group and I have decided against this idea and genre of film for our 2minute opening sequence. Come monday, with the treatment for the new ground breaking idea I will revisit my blog and eleborate on all of this ofcorse and explain why we decided against it, etc, etc.   🙂

Dun Dum Duuhhh.

Posted in Uncategorized on October 5, 2010 by elvinhqegs

 

The language of signs, but it’s never just that easy…           <<What does this sign tell you?

  I see semiotics as signs that decode to specific representions  within our society.

In the late 50′s, people started to think differently about media and felt the need to compensate for the general allegations towards the subject being to easy and not academic enough; so a fairly vast spectrum of specialist terms, jargon, eventually enabled media to be taken as more seriously.

It became obvious that we were having difficulties expressing and explaining what we had to say in class. How can Miss Hughes say that Titanic is awful and justify her opinion to a diehard fan!? People then tend to question the idea of how things should be criticised and this idea has now become known as structuralism, this brought in the concept of semiotics.

The largest and most significant means of communication is most probably our verbal language but there are quite a few systems of meaning; clothing, gesture, body language and  architecture.

After reading through secondary texts I came to terms with the idea of having the signifier, the signified and the referent when studying an object or being.

The Signifier of myself would be the black shapes, that are letters, on paper – “H A R R Y

The Signified of myself would be “HARRY”- the son, the brother, the nephew, the cousin the boyfriend, etc, etc…  these are concepts and not a real things, the real thing being me.

The Referent of myself would be ME!  My actual presence.

In addition to these there are further sub-categories of the signifier to look into:

Arbitrary signifiers- (much harder to link to myself), again, the words on the page or spoken voice, saying my name.

Iconic signifiers- very similar to how I have related “the signified” to myself. My mum’s son, my auntie’s nephew, my girlfriend’s boyfriend…

Indexical signifiers- an indexical signifier of myself would be the sound of a particular type of music being heard from another room.

Symbolic signifiers- in the style of flags and signs, a symbolic signifier of myself would be if someone were to hold up a picture of a guitar, or a picture of some skis or a picture of Alys.

A bit more jargon...

I was introduced to the terms denotation and connotation last year in film studies as ways to separate analytical responses to the film Tsotsi (great film)….

Basically we were taught that denoted things were what we could see and connoted things where the meanings behind the shot/scene/still.  Within semiotics they almost have the same meaning, just in slightly more specific detail.

Connotation-Connote- Links and defines things.

E.g red is a color but can connote fierceness, passion and danger.

Denotation-Denote- Signs that signify or name aspects of an experience.

E.g red denotes a certain part of the color spectrum.

 

The painful first 2minutes of a film trailer, oh, sorry the opening to an actual film. Huff.

Posted in Uncategorized on September 30, 2010 by elvinhqegs

by ME and goodeajqegs 

  When we were set the task of doing a micro analysis on the opening two minutes of a film Anabelle and I actualy somehow ended up watching a two minute trailer for No Counrty for Old Men as you can imagine we seemed to be working at double the pace of everyone else and not getting anywhere, each second or half a second was a cut or fade to a new clip, poor Anabelle was nearly creating sparks on the paper!

Just so you can have a look and a good laugh at us here is what we produced over a lesson and a half (just before realising our mistake).

However after completing the task, I did realise and become aware of a great contrast between a trailer and an opening sequence and when I come to create my own 2 minute opening sequence I will remember the close analysis we did on the trailer and ensure that i do not go crazy and try to tell the whole story, like a trailer does, and just concerntrate on the opening credits and producing the very begining of a film!0:00black screen

0:06panning of sea fades in. camera tilts up to city scape at night. Dazzling lights from the city.

0:15‘Miramax films’ appears on screen through dissolve transition. White writing against black background.

0:18Fades out to black.

0:20‘Paramount vantage’ appears in and out of focus. Ident on wall dirty white wall. white on black, high contrast. The word vantage creeps on afterwards.

0:29black screen.

0:33‘There will be blood’ old English white writing on a black background.

0:36black screen.

0:46fades into landscape, establishing shot as background noise intensifies.

0:55Straight cut to dark shot, contrasting the previous light shot, of man below ground with pick axe, mid shot.

1:10sharpening blade between his legs. Lighting- blue highlights.

1:15Camera starts to rise into mid close up of the mans face as the character starts to work again.

1:30Camera pans from face to wall, still mid close up, dim lighting.

1:35back to close up of his face. The camera follows his face towards the light as he looks up.

1:51Low angle shot looking up at the man as he puts his gun on his back, his hat on his head and starts to climb up the ladder out of the whole in the ground, into the light.

1:56Still low W.E.V angle, blue glare of light coming into the tunnel. Character gets closer and eventualy exits the tunnel into the light.