Friday, 18 February 2011

CC - The Plot

We have decided to do a blog about the plot of our film as people after seeing our rough cut seem to be confused about what is happening.

To start with this is done on purpose as the main character is supposed to be disorientated and in a dream world as he sees visions of what has happened to him or what he has done to someone else.

The plot is that the character has apparently killed someone or maybe more than one person and he doesn't know why, where, when etc he has killed this person and who this person is. This leads to the character going on a search for truth to find out what he has done or if he has even done it. 

We wanted our film to be confusing to add mystery to the circumstances that has led to the character seeing these horrific images of what has happened.

People seemed most confused about the end of the opening when the character wakes up in bed, this is supposed to be confusing and for the audience to determine what reason it holds themselves but the reason he does wake up is to show that he was dreaming. This further shows whether or not what the character has seen is even real.

Thursday, 17 February 2011

BH - Intertextuality in re-shoot

Another aspect concerning intertextuality in our re-shoot is that of the incorporation of the books American Psycho by Brett Easton-Ellis and Fight Club by Chuck Palahnuik. We chose to subtly include these books in the background of typical teenager because they have both had a strong influence on how we chose to film and what we chose to film about. The books, and indeed the film variants of them both include strong psychological aspects, but they also include elements of violence that we have tried to capture in our film.

CO - Photos from filming II

Here are some photos from the shoot we did yesterday, which took place mainly indoors.

Filming the wakeup scene

The filming position for the majority of the scene

Filming a close up
Filming in the dark and editing the viewfinder position for practically

CC - Use of Audio

In editing we have added sounds of a babies laughter in a very haunting way, the audio is supposed to further show the characters deteriorating mental state. 

This is cut with sounds of indoor drops which are supposed to echo around the characters vacant mind, the drops are the sound that the character hears as blood drips off his hand into the sink and adds to his dream sequence and furthers the idea of reality vs imagination.

All of the audio is there to add to the seemingly psychotic dementia of the character as he stumbles around his house wondering what is real and what isn't.

We are currently still deciding how to use the soundtrack that CO has made in the film, we want the music to add versimilitude to the character as he is a teenager, the music is heavy so that it adds gravity to the situation, currently we are most likely to use Laments of an Icarus which CO did a cover of.

Wednesday, 16 February 2011

CC - Notes and Details aboot Final Shots

We finished shooting our final shots for our production. We have included more shots to tie our film together and make it more understandable to the audience. We have used more blood including a particularly gruesome scene where our main character bites into his arm and blood pours out, we are hoping that these more gory scenes will add effect to the film and not included just for shock value.

In addition to the bloody theme recurring throughout the cut, we have also used more supernatural and psychologically haunting aspects as well. This is mainly portrayed by the recurrence of eyes throughout the film. These are meant to be hidden in the background and are included for subtlety, they are used to make the viewer think and decipher the concealed meaning. To portray the eye theme, we used both homemade drawings that are posted up around the location, and we also set an image as the main character's wallpaper on his computer, which crops up at certain points. For the computer image, we used the cover for the Johnny Truant album, No Tears For the Creatures. The album cover is a painting of an eye, widened in panic and paranoia, and this is similar to the protagonist's mood throughout the film.

We also chose to add intertextuality in the form of a typical teenage boy and his setting which we failed to do as well as we could have done in the first rough cut. We have worked hard to ensure that the main character has the normal setting of a standard teenager, such as aspects like a guitar, a pc, books, cans, junk food, games and more. This adds versimilitude to the gravity of the situation.

Tuesday, 15 February 2011

CC - Our film's BBFC rating

According to the BBFC we must follow these guidelines to create a 15 rated film

Suitable only for 15 years and over

No one younger than 15 may see a ‘15’ film in a cinema. No one younger than 15 may rent or buy a ‘15’ rated video work.


Drug taking may be shown but the film as a whole must not promote or encourage drug misuse. 


Strong threat and menace are permitted unless sadistic or sexualised.

Imitable behaviour

Dangerous behaviour (for example suicide and self-harming) should not dwell on detail which could be copied. Easily accessible weapons should not be glamorised.


There may be frequent use of strong language.


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. 


No theme is prohibited, provided the treatment is appropriate for 15 year olds.


Violence may be strong but should not dwell on the infliction of pain or injury. 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.

Our film follows the guidelines of the BBFC rating system for a 15. Use of blood in our film is strong but we never show any acts of violence as the film is more about the psychological health of our main character rather than showing violence. There is no imitable behaviour in our film due to its surreal nature and there is no language barriers as we don't ever swear in the film.

Monday, 14 February 2011

CO - Compositions

I have finished recording and editing two separate songs for use in our production. I have covered Laments of an Icarus by Dutch metal band Textures, mainly because it is extremely fast paced, atmospheric and will fit in well with pivotal points in our film, and I also remixed Icarus Lives! by Periphery, for the sheer brutality of it, which will have a similar effect when applied to certain scenes. In addition, it also includes simpler, gentler and more ambient parts, which is important in our use of dream patterns. We will probably break up the second song into a light side and a heavy side.

I was originally going to use a dynamic microphone to record the audio with, but whenever I tried to do so, the audio levels kept fluctuating wildly, and it didn't sound good at all, so in the end I just used a LifeCam VX-3000, which recorded audio well to an extent.

I used:

  • Drums
  • Bass
  • Guitar (3)
  • Audacity Audio Engine
  • Kristal Audio Engine
  • LifeCam VX-3000

Here are the original songs for reference:

Textures - Laments Of An Icarus

From the album "Silhouettes"

Periphery - Icarus Lives!

From the album "Periphery"

Here are the finished covers:


Pictures from recording

Editing recordings


Recording drums for Textures

Friday, 11 February 2011

CC - Updates to filming

We plan on filming on sunday in the late afternoon/evening.
The reasons for filming is we want to add more shots to make the opening make more sense, to give it more context , we also thought we could touch up what we have filmed already to be sure that we don't have any unstable shots.
We want to make the shots more abstract as at the moment the shots they are quite mundane. We also will film a larger variety of shots such as including more dutch angles to signify the dream world that the character is in.

Thursday, 10 February 2011

CC, CO - Vodcast 2

We are going to be recording our second vodcast, which is primarily about audience feedback from our rough cut.

CC, CO - Podcast 3

Our third podcast, detailing detailing progress so far within our production.

Wednesday, 9 February 2011

CC - Third Podcast Complete

We have just finished recording our third podcast and we are in the process of uploading it now.
We talk about showing our rough cut to the class and their feedback, we also mention updates to the filming schedule and music additions to our film. Keep up with our progress and listen to the podcast.

Monday, 7 February 2011

CC - Updates to filming

We have decided to film some more shots for our opening so that we can hopefully give our film more content, add surrealism and to make some shots look cleaner. We are also filming any shots we see as unsteady. The reason for this reshooting is in our audience feedback of our rough cut we were told that the flashback/dream sequence didn't make sense so we are going to try to make sense of it to the audience.

BH - Poster/Titles first attempt

Thinking ahead to target audience and marketing, I've spent afew hours desiging and creating posters of diffrent design, exploring the use of fonts to create a relevant poster, I wanted something simplistic that really gave a clear message to the audience, something that would attract viewers, so to start with I played around with some fonts in Microsoft Paint, downloading them from

So heres what I came up with at first:

  • However I thought that the 'Torment' font looked too horror esq and maybe too gothic for a psychological thriller. So I worked again on the fonts, searching and in the end I chose to use the font I used for the 'Dreamscape' for the 'Torment' aswell, a serif font gives the implication of horror quite strongly as a title font.
  • So with my fonts sorted and decided upon I scoured google with something I could use as a place-holder image, something I could use just to check how it looked in reality on diffrent backgrounds.
here's my first attempt:

  • It's simple and the knife gives a slight hint at the plot, the text is easy to read with a nice clear white background, however my initial thoughts where it seemed horror esq, however initial feedback given via Facebook seemed to be posative, aside from the fact it appears the knife is lodged in bread. Here is some initial feedback...from the poster the genre was correctly guessed.

  • So for my next attempt I decided to try something more complex and psychological in focus rather than physical.

So using some art from the band TOOL I  produced this:

  • However I was unhappy with the level of detail in this image so I got hold of a higher resolution version, once again to test how it might look, checking diffrent image types to see how we might compare and emulate them in the final finished poster.

My next attempt:

  • I did like the image, but I felt that it was too dark and it lacked the appear and 'look at me' nature of the initial blood splatter and knife poster so I managed to make one final attempt on the poster design.

 Here it is:

I personally liked this poster design however initial feedback from the target audience on it was slightly less warm:

CO - Vodcast Feedback

Our first vodcast was tried and tested on different people to gather a few different reactions. Here were some of them

  • The spot could have been better, as there isn't much space, influencing the shot. Also, we filmed it in a fairly public place, meaning a few people entered the vicinity during our shooting, causing a disruption
  • The audio could have been louder, because at some points, the speaker is too quiet as we were quite far away from the camera
  • We could have focussed more, and we get distracted a few times
  • However, there were some very interesting points made concerning our influences and inspirations
  • This informative dialogue was relevant to our production

Thursday, 3 February 2011

All - Podcast 2

CC CO - Music addition

As a group we have decided that we want to add in music to our rough cut and our first vodcast.

For our vodcast we have added the song Djent Satisfaction by Monarchist, we used this music because there are no vocals so it provides some adequate background music while we talk about our influences.

For our roughcut we have been brainstorming the following songs as we think they are suitable for a psychological thriller

  • Ripe with Decay by Nine Inch Nails
  • Rammstein by Rammstein
  • Driver Down by Trent Reznor
  • Samsara by Parkway Drive
  • Djent Satisfaction by Monarchist
  • Jetpacks was Yes! by Periphery

Wednesday, 2 February 2011

CC - First vodcast shot

We have just finished shooting our first vodcast in which we discuss our influences in filming such as American Psycho, Donnie Darko and The Shining. We talked about the themes in the films and why we have taken influence from the films. We plan to upload the footage tomorrow. I also wore a hat as well that made me look like a christmas theif.

CC - Idents complete

The two idents for our  group have now been completed, Experimental Studios and Weathered productions.

For the Weathered productions ident we chose to have a fog background and a serif font. For the audio we chose a heavy rain soundtrack and for the last second or so a loud thunder clap, we chose to do this because it related the name of the production company.

For Experimental studios we used a very metal audio like clanging and bashing, we chose this to simulate a frequent audio in psychological thrillers when the main character is descending into madness. In the background we also had sharp sci fi themed background.

CO - Filming updates

We plan to film additional material at Ben's house on Sunday 6th February. These scenes will include valuable connections between the scenes in the rough cut, making them more clearer as to what they mean. The filming will take place at dusk, so we have a bit of natural light to use, but we can also wait for the darkness to arrive so we can film outside.

Tuesday, 1 February 2011

BH - Bright Falls

Bright falls (2010) - the short series released via Xbox Marketplace and YouTube to promote the game Alan Wake, served as a huge inspiration for our media film- originally released to promote a video game, I thought that the episodes where well produced and really played to the audiences emotions, obviously made on a fairly modest budget it still manages to unnerve the audience- making them wonder what's really going on; is the protagonist going crazy or not?
Only several minutes long it provides a great plot with some great cinematography and it's short format means that it's easy to watch whenever the viewer would feel like it, especially given the fact it's on YouTube, but what's amazing to me about the show is the fact that it was produced as advertising for the video game
 Alan Wake.

All - Updates to filming plans

We've reviewed our footage and having seen it we've realised through audience feedback, that it's not clear enough that it's a dream i.e everything is far too normal and the lighting is a tad too dark, so with this in mind on 06/02/11, we will be reshooting/shooting our FINAL shots.

Psychological Thrillers Audience and Budget

The audience for a thriller generally seems much more skewed towards an older audience with many of the characters being in their twenties onwards, the characters themselves often going through some very adult trauma, for example shutter island, the main characters wife drowned their three children and he killed her but felt to blame so he retreated into psychological delusions, where he is the hero.
They often let the audience put together what they think happened throughout the film, or to interpret the ending how they see fit.
Most often they feature twist endings, built to shock the viewer allow repeat viewings of the film to better understand its meaning or what it is trying to put across to the audience. Quite often these 'twists' feature extensive foreshadowing throughout the film, requiring the audience to pay attention to not just the character but the things happening around them to ensure maximum understanding of the events that take place throughout the film, with these twists that

Often films in the genre are limited on budget for example Donnie Darko.

Yet other films such as Shutter island and Vanilla sky have much larger budgets and yet Vanilla sky as a film didn't preform as well as Shutter Island in the box office, despite having several big name stars involved. Most films in the genre tend to show patterns of being received better by the public than by critics. This could be because of fans of the genre being more interested in the genre as a whole than the critics, however some films are positively received by critics and yet preform poorly in the box office and don't really become all too popular until the have finished their initial box office run, for example Fight club, but I would be hoping to capitalize on the teenage audience that Donnie Darko would have been aiming at rather than the more mature audience of Fight Club, Lost Highway, Clockwork Orange, Dressed to Kill and Blue velvet.

The BBFC rating for psychological thriller tend to follow the trend that the viewers are more mature, with very few being under the 15 certificate, and several such as Lost Highway and Fight Club being 18's, with Fight Club even recieving cuts.

Guidelines for 15's

All - Meet the group

Ben Hudson

Nickname: Benji
Favourite Film: Lost Highway (1997)
Hobbies: Video Games (Planescape Torment, Alan Wake), trollin' like a badman (problem?)
TV Show: The Shield
Idol: Trent Reznor
Notable Quotes: " ...that's what SHE said."

Conor O'Loughlin

Nickname: Meme expert
Favourite Film: LOTR: Fellowship of The Ring (2001)
Hobbies: Gaming, Music, being awesome 
TV Show: Scuzz TV, South Park, Family Guy
Idol: Ben Hudson
Notable Quotes: "I worship the ground Ben walks upon". "...Check 'em"

Connor Coulthurst

Nickname: CJ
Favourite Film(s): Big LebowskiZoolander,Harold and Kumar films
Hobbies: Basketball, guitar, henching about 
Tv shows:  House, Seth macfarlanes schizzz, Breaking bad, True Blood, Simpsons, South park and ANTM 
Idol: Keith Richards
Notable Quotes:  "F*@k Yea"

Hey guyz

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