Saturday, 19 February 2011

Poster research

Our poster is an important part for the marketing and distribution of our film, as it will help to persuade people to come and watch it. We want our poster to not only being interesting so it attracts our demograph, but also relate to the storyline of our film. Our poster will not only include our main protagonist, but also the title and tagline of our film, our production company and our actors. The proxemics of the protagonists on the poster is something we must consider as will help to convey messages about our film.

We have already looked at the posters of “Sliding Doors” and “Memento” as they are similar to our short film. We particularly liked the layout of the “Sliding Doors” poster as it reflects the 2 parallel narratives within the film.

How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days - Poster
This poster for “How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days”, consists of the 2 main protagonists, leaning on each other back to back, with them being the focus of the poster. The concept of them leaning on each and being back to back is quite a common convention of rom-com posters and is quite a simple yet effective idea. They are both relatively famous actors, so their names are included in quite a big font, as the fact they are very well known is also helping to promote that film. However, with our film, our actors are of course not big Hollywood names, so we do not have that advantage. The positioning of the actors and the title of this film connote the genre of romance, signalling that it is intended for a female demograph. The poster has a colour scheme of red and green which goes very well with background and the title is positioned effectively in between both the actors with the tagline positioned at the bottom of the poster. We could maybe incorporate this style of poster to ours, with Lucas stood back to back with the successful version of him and the family version of him.

Ghost Town - Poster
The poster for “Ghost Town” is an interesting poster and reveals quite a bit about the film, something which we want our poster to do. From the background scenery we can tell it is set in NYC and the use of the bench is an interesting way to position the 2 protagonists of the film. The tagline and the main photo relates to the plot of the film and the very light gradient used also corresponds with this ‘ghost’ theme. We could incorporate a bench within our poster, as it is quite a simple yet effective idea.
Mission: Impossible - Poster
This poster for “Mission: Impossible” is an effective idea and uses the distinctive face of their very famous actor to their advantage. Nevertheless, we are not able to create our poster in a similar style to this one, due to the fact the actors of our film are not well known, unlike Tom Cruise.
Titanic - Poster
The poster for “Titanic” includes a close up embrace between the two famous actors within that film, relating to the romance issues of this film, yet their facial expressions convey a sense of sadness, relating to the tragedy within the plotline as well. The other prominent image of the poster is the ship, which of course is what the film is about and named after. As in our short film the train station is the place where Lucas experiences his visions, a train on the front of our poster would be relevant and is a possibility.
The Happening - Poster
The poster for the film “The Happening”, is very clever and interesting, although it is a different genre to our film. This poster connotes the genre of horror/thriller and gives the impression that it’s going to be quite a fast paced action style film, with some element of tragedy implied. The protagonist’s name is featured on the poster as well as the tagline and the film name in quite a simple font style. Additionally, the choice of the cold blue/ dark tone reflects the genre of the film and mood of the plotline.

Thursday, 17 February 2011

Ancillary Task: Film Review research

As I am creating one of our ancillary tasks; the film review, I have researched film reviews from other publications, in order to help me adopt the correct style of writing for the review of our short film.

I chose to look in detail at two different publications: Empire Magazine and The Guardian’s film reviews, to give me ideas on the best way to approach our film review. When reading reviews by these publications, I noticed how they both apply a different format and style of writing to their reviews and there were certain features of both which I want to incorporate within our film review.

Empire is the world’s leading movie magazine and it sets out its reviews in three sections: Plot, Review and Verdict, something which I felt was an interesting arrangement and easy for the audience to follow and read. The Guardian, on the other hand, does not have a set structure and its layout is much more like a newspaper article, although it does incorporate a fact file box, stating interesting facts about the film it is reviewing. It should be taken into consideration how Empire and The Guardian are created for two very different audiences, hence why there are differences within their writing styles and layouts. The Guardian is more likely to appeal to the middle class and only to a British audience, as is a British newspaper, whereas Empire is a much more global magazine, for a younger audience than The Guardian’s. 

As our film has the target audience of 18-35 year olds, we need to keep that in mind when creating our film review. We believe that Empire Magazine would be a good place for our film review to be published, as it would help to promote our film worldwide and we suppose our demograph are more likely to read that type of magazine. Additionally, as we consider that our film will appeal to women more than men due to the fact it is a drama and relates to emotions and making choices, traits more associated with females; then a women’s magazine would also be a good place for us to publish our review as this would directly reach our intended demograph.

Hopefully we will create a film review that will interest and persuade our demograph into choosing to watch our short film.

Wednesday, 16 February 2011

Filming plans

We are filming the time lapse shot for our short film on Friday morning from 8:30-9:30. When filming the other scenes situated at the train station, we discovered that it is very difficult to film on the bridge separating the train station platforms, especially when we are filming at rush hour times. Therefore, we are fortunate that from the dual carriageway we are able to view the train station, so we are hoping to capture our time lapse shot on the footpath where the red arrow is.

Changes to our film poster idea

Originally we had decided that our poster would contain the image of our main protagonist standing on the crossroads of a train track, to signify how the message of our film is about making decisions. However, it has been very hard to find a location where we can capture this photo, as obviously we cannot have our actor stand on an actual train crossing. Therefore, we have come up with another poster concept. Our main protagonist will still be feature on the poster, yet on the left half of his body he will be wearing a suit to reflect the business life within our film, and on the right side of his body he will be dressed in casual clothes, representing the family orientated life of our film.
We feel that this poster idea will still represent our film, as it will reflect the two different lives incorporated within it and how he must choose one. Furthermore, hopefully it will interest our demograph into watching our film. Nevertheless, we understand that our poster could be difficult to create, as we will need to take the 2 photos of our actor in exactly the same position when wearing the different clothes, otherwise when we edit it on Adobe Photoshop it will not correspond correctly.

Wednesday, 9 February 2011

How did your research into institutions responsible for the production and regulation of the media influence your production work?

As “Sliding Doors” and “Memento” are two main films which have been very inspirational to us when producing our short film, we researched the production companies of these films. “Sliding Doors” had the production companies: Miramax Films and Paramount Pictures, and “Memento” was produced by: Newmarket Capital Group and Summit Entertainment. Both of these films have been produced by low budget production companies, probably due to their plot lines as they make a twist on an original idea. This is risky in the film industry, as it is unknown whether the film will live up to its expectation, hence why it has been produced by a smaller company rather than a bigger one. The types of small low budget production companies involved with “Sliding Doors” and “Memento”, reflect the type of production company we would use to distribute our short film. Also, a low budget production company would be best for us as they tend to give opportunities to films with new directors, hence giving them the chance to be recognised. We would say that our film is most similar to “Sliding Doors”, as they are both British based films. However, within “Sliding Doors”, the use of the American production companies and the employment of the American protagonist helps the film to be viewed by a wider American audience; an example of cultural imperialism. In some respects, we believe our film could also be viewed by an American audience because the name of our film (Intersection) is an American word, so would appeal to their culture. It will also attract them as normally Americans are interested in quintessentially English films.

How did your research into audience contribute to your production work?

Regarding audience research, we conducted a survey on 10 people to help us to decide who the demograph for our film should be. We wanted to create a film for a young yet mature audience and from the results of our survey, we discovered the type of films young people are interested in watching, helping us to adapt our film to suit our target audience interests. We have set the target audience of our film at females aged 18-35 years old. Once we had decided this, we chose to set our characters at aged 20, so this way our demograph have someone to relate to. This is because we know that a reason why people choose to watch films is because they involve characters which are similar to themselves. Furthermore, although the main protagonist for our film is male, the fact it is of a drama genre and relates to emotions and decision making, we felt that it will appeal to a more female audience rather than male.

How did your research into genre contribute to your production work?

When we decided upon the plot of our short film, we researched films which had a split narrative, for inspiration and ideas of shots and editing features which we could maybe incorporate into our film. First of all we looked at “Sliding Doors”, due to it having a similar plot to our film where the protagonist has two different paths to choose from. We also studied the film “Memento”, as this too involves two separate alternating narratives, yet in this film, one narrative is conveyed by black and white in chronological order, whilst the other is in colour and goes in reverse order. The use of different lighting helps to make the storyline easier for our demograph to follow, so is something which we are considering incorporating within our short film. “Traffic”, is another film which employs different lighting for each storyline, hence helping to make it clearer for the audience to follow.  Furthermore, we looked at “The Family Man”, as this film contrasts family life with achieving success and wealth at work, so in this respect it can be deemed similar to the plot of our short film. We also researched “Inception”, paying particular attention to the ending, as it is left for the audience to make their own decision, hence creates audience discussion, something which we want our film ending to produce. Moreover, we researched other editing features which we plan to include, making it interesting for our demograph. For example, “Conversations with other Women” is a film which uses extensive split-screen, helping to juxtapose flash backs from the past with the present. Split-screen is a feature which we are definitely hoping to include within our short film, when Lucas is opening the card in both lives, helping to reinforce the differences between work and family and we got the idea from that film. Music videos have also given us some inspiration for editing features, especially the time lapse shot and the rewind shot. Both of those shots are most commonly seen in music videos and this is where we got our ideas from: The Script’s “Man Who Can’t Be Moved” video and Coldplay’s “The Scientist”. Additionally, the posters for “Sliding Doors” and “Memento” have given us initiative for the construction of our poster. Both of the posters for those films vastly convey the storyline of the films and they have used graphological features wisely to help connote this effectively. Nevertheless, the “Sliding Doors” poster uses the well known actress within the film, as a promotion tool, but this is something we would not be able to do, due to our actors being unknown to the public.

Tuesday, 8 February 2011

Changes to our train station scene

As we have filmed our train station scene twice already and we have had a lot of difficulties filming this scene, we have made some changes to the storyline of our short film. When reviewing our train station footage which we have captured already for our short film, we all agreed that it does not look very realistic when Grace falls over on the train platform and drops her papers. Therefore, to overcome this, we have decided to include another character who will walk by, bump into Grace thus provoking her to drop her papers and then he will walk off and leave her there, prompting Lucas to come in and help her. We believe this will be more effective, more believable and hopefully should be easier to film. Furthermore, when we first filmed this section the train station was very quiet, so when we re-shot we decided to film it during peak time, yet that proved to be just as difficult. So, we are currently discussing when re-shooting, that we film at an off peak time again, or further down the platform where it is quieter, so there will be less people getting in the way.

Monday, 7 February 2011

Analysis of Friday's filming

On Friday we filmed the proposal scene and one of the opening the card scenes. After reviewing our footage of Friday, all what we captured was successful. Therefore, now we have finished filming all the scenes reflecting the family orientated life of our short film involving Grace and Lucas and we just have to capture the footage of Lucas in the successful business life. Also, we are planning to re-shoot certain parts of our train station scene.

Tuesday, 1 February 2011

Planning for producing our poster

We have already planned a draft of our poster ancillary task, whereby our main protagonist Lucas is positioned in the centre with 2 railway tracks behind him, reflecting how he has 2 life changing decisions to make in our film. We had the idea of Lucas standing on a train track with 2 different paths splitting off, however, we understand for safety reasons we of course cannot allow him to stand on a train track. Nevertheless, Moors Valley Country Park has a children’s mini railway station, and it would be suitable there for Lucas to stand on the track without getting injured. The picture above shows the two tracks splitting off and we hope we will be able to position Lucas there, in order to capture the photo for our poster.

The railway track at Moors Valley Country Park

Props for the next stage of filming

We have planned to film the proposal scene and one of the opening the letter scenes on Friday morning. Both of these scenes involve props, which are pictured below.

For the proposal scene we have made the “Will You Marry Me T-Shirt”. Lucas will wear this t-shirt when he proposes to Grace whilst they are having a picnic. We wanted him to propose in an unusual way, making it interesting for our demograph and will also have a slight comedy aspect too.

Our "Will you marry me?" t-shirt for the proposal scene
The opening the letter scenes are where Lucas opens two cards simultaneously in both lives; one congratulates him on the good news of Grace being pregnant, and in the other he is congratulated for receiving a job promotion. On Friday we are filming the one with Grace and Lucas. Once we have filmed the other one, we plan to edit them with a split screen, reinforcing the differences between the 2 different lives: one is all about success, whereas the other life revolves about family.

The inside of card which Lucas and Grace will open in the family orientated life.

The inside of the card which Lucas will open in the successful career life.