Tuesday, 17 April 2012

Fixation Final Version (With Edited Typography)

The typography used for the titles in our previous version of the opening did not seem to blend well with the piece of film itself.
   Although we tried to choose colours that mixed well with others in the shot, the writing itself I feel did not stand out too well and there was a lack of consistency throughout.
   We chose a font that seemed to express the sharp, harmful ways of the stalker and the use of his computer by making it solid and plain, trying to resemble the print of a keyboard or typewriter. The solidarity of it was also used to hint at the logical mind of the stalker and the ways in which he performs his tasks.
   However, the titles still seemed out of place as they stood still against the more shaky, unnerving footage, and seemed to lack personality.
   I decided to create new titles for the piece using LiveType. My aim was to improve the faults that I have already mentioned and make the titles work much better with the piece as a whole.
   To keep a consistency with colours, I used a range of golds so that they would match well with the golds on the clock in the initial shot and with the walls in the others. Because I did not use one solid colour, it made the titles more interesting and less stark against the footage. This factor also helped the titles to stand out against their background where they hadn’t before (such as ‘and Karl Fricker as’ being a dark font blended into the dark background).

   Rather than choosing a very plain font, I decided to use the same one that I had when adding the title to the stalker's book: My Underwood (http://www.fontspace.com/tension-type/my-underwood). This typewriter font I feel portrays the use of the computer more clearly and in a more interesting fashion. A simple font like the one previously used can be drawn on in many situations, our thoughts of such a font are not just confined to a computer but possibly a book, poster or many other forms of publication.
   Also, instead of suggesting the stalkers logical thinking, it takes a different approach and depicts the jumpy eeriness of the situation along with the font’s movement, which I feel relates clearer to the thriller genre. It could also illustrate the disturbing thoughts and ways of the stalker.
   The shaky, unstable movement of the font works much better with the footage compared to the previously very still titles. I feel that it adds more character to the piece and makes it more visually interesting as before it was rather dull.
   I also feel that the movement of the font, and the fact that the whole phrase is not shown right away, keeps the audience focused and adds to the sense of mystery which a thriller should portray.
   By ending the titles with the last one fading away as I am about to walk into it, I feel that the titles ending is much more precise and clear compared to the previous version where you were unsure as whether there were more to come.

Wednesday, 28 March 2012

Marketing and Distribution

1. What is vertical distribution?
Vertical distribution/integration is the process in which several steps in the production and/or distribution of a product or service are controlled by a single company or entity, in order to increase that company’s or entity’s power in the marketplace.

Simply said, every single product that you can think of has a big life cycle. While you might recognize the product with the Brand name printed on it, many companies are involved in developing that product. These companies are necessarily not part of the brand you see.

2. How does this affect control of the film industry?
It means that the film industry is highly controlled by a very limited number of people who control what films are distributed. This makes it difficult for smaller film producers to create and distribute films and our choice of film becomes very narrow and specific as it is only coming from these few producers.

3.How does a recent disney film benefit from this?
As disney is one of the main big media companies, they can use all of their owned forms of media such as various TV and radio shows to promote their upcoming film.

4. Which media companies do general electric own?A minority share in television networks NBC and Telemundo, Universal Pictures, Focus Features, 26 television stations in the United States and cable networks MSNBC, Bravo and the Sci Fi Channel. GE also owns 80 percent of NBC Universal.

5. What manufacturing facility do they own which supports the vertical distribution system?
Universal Studios home entertainment

6. Look back at the previous two answers. How then do companies owned by General Electric benfit from their vertical distribution system?
As they are all linked, they can work together to share various ways of distributing their media and help to promote each other.

7.Compared to the production cost of a film, how much does marketing and distribution cost?
25-30% of the entire film budget is spent on marketing

8.Who do Working Title primarily market their films towards?
Working Title have developed a wide range of films with varying genres ranging from comedies such as hot fuzz to more deeply thoughtful, romantic, meaningful films like atonement. Obviously each genre will be aimed at audiences interested in that style of film, but Working Title have said that they aim their films at audiences that are interested in the story behind the film apposed to those who are interested in action packed films with special effects for example.

9. Vertical distribution systems should guarentee a film's success. Find a Working Title film that did not perform as well as expected. What factors, other than distribution and marketing, caused this film to be a commercial failure?
The Boat That Rocked -The film opened 1 April 2009 and was a commercial failure at the British box office, making only GB£6.1 million in its first twelve weeks, less than a quarter of its over £30 million production cost. It received mixed reviews, with most criticism directed at its muddled storyline and 2¼-hour length. For its North American release it was re-edited to trim its running time by twenty minutes, and retitled Pirate Radio. Opening 13 November 2009, Pirate Radio was still commercially unsuccessful, earning only about US$8 million (approximately £5 million).

10. Smaller companies cannot benefit from a vertical distribution system. What marketing methods do independant or small film studios use instead?
Using the internet to spread news of their niche films that will appeal to specific audiences that will be searching for them.

Sunday, 25 March 2012


High-key lighting
A lighting approach that avoids contrast between light and dark areas of a shot usually with a prominent fill light.

Low-key lighting
Lighting that puts most of the set in shadow and uses just a few highlights to define the subject.

This is the process of illuminating the subject from the back. In other words, the lighting instrument and the viewer are facing towards each other, with the subject in between. This causes the edges of the subject to glow, while the other areas remain darker.

Fill light
Illumination added to reduce shadows or contrast range.

Chiaroscuro lighting
Lighting which creates strong contrasts between light and dark.

Rim lighting
Occurs when the main light is placed behind the subject so that the subject’s face is completely in shadow, but there is a rim of light around the subject’s head, like the corona in a full eclipse.

Monday, 12 March 2012

Skins representation of disability - Series 2, Episode 1, Church Scene

   We are initially shown the inside of a church, with the only light coming from the stain glassed windows. The mass of dark in the shot and the solemn religious music that is playing suggests a funeral. Knowing that at the end of the last series the main character Tony was hit by a bus, we fear that he has died and we are about to witness his funeral.
   The religious music then brakes to a very heavy bass dance style song, and we see one of the main characters - Maxxie appear. We then soon realize that it is a dance recital and not a funeral.
   Although I feel that the main purpose of this beginning

Tuesday, 6 March 2012

Working Title Films

   Working Title Films was co-founded by producers Tim Bevan and Sarah Radclyffe in 1983. In 1992, PolyGram became the company's corporate backer. Radclyffe left Working Title, and Eric Fellner, a fellow independent film producer, joined the company. The company produced a variety of films for PolyGram's London-based production company PolyGram Filmed Entertainment. An Anglo-Dutch film studio, PolyGram Films became a major Hollywood competitor. In 1999, PolyGram was sold to Seagram and merged with MCA Music Entertainment, to form Universal Music Group. PolyGram Films was merged and sold to Universal Studios in 1999.
Although contractually allowed to produce any film with a budget of up to $35 million, on a practical basis, Bevan and Fellner consult with studio executive at Working Title's parent company NBCUniversal. Working Title is located in London, and is known for having a limited number of employees. The company also has other offices located in Los Angeles, and Ireland.
   Working Title Television is a joint venture with NBCUniversal and will be based in London and Los Angeles. NBCUniversal is Working Title's parent company.

Atonement Digital Fact-File

When Briony Tallis, 13 years old and an aspiring writer, sees her older sister Cecilia and Robbie Turner at the fountain in front of the family estate she misinterprets what is happening thus setting into motion a series of misunderstandings and a childish pique that will have lasting repercussions for all of them. Robbie is the son of a family servant toward whom the family has always been kind. They paid for his time at Cambridge and now he plans on going to medical school. After the fountain incident, Briony reads a letter intended for Cecilia and concludes that Robbie is a deviant. When her cousin Lola is raped, she tells the police that it was Robbie she saw committing the deed.

Keira Knightly as Cecilia Tallis
James McAvoy as Robbie Turner
Saoirse Ronan as Briony Tallis age 13
Director: Joe Wright
Writers: Ian McEwan (novel), Christopher Hampton (screenplay)
Box Office
Release Date:7 September 2007 (UK)
Budget:$30,000,000 (estimated)
Opening Weekend:£1,634,065 (UK) (9 September 2007) (411 Screens)
Gross:$129,266,061 (Worldwide) (1 February 2009)

Atonement has been named among the Top 10 Films of 2007 by the Austin Film Critics Association, the Dallas-Fort Worth Film Critics Association, the National Board of Review, New York Film Critics Online, the Oklahoma Film Critics Circle, and the Southeastern Film Critics Association.

Reviewsby chelseachelsea 20 August 2007
Great interpretation of a wonderful novel
I saw a preview of this film yesterday and felt privileged to be one of the first people to see the film. It was also a pleasure to see a film before reading any other critical review or opinion. I am a great fan of Ian Mcewan and was concerned that it would not be possible to capture the subtleties and nuances of Mcewan's writing but I needn't have had any worries. The director, Joe Wright and screenplay writer Christopher Hampton have done a superb job and the complexities of the novel are superbly captured with real imagination. The story is set in three main areas, an English country house in 1935, war torn France 1940 and London 1940. The atmosphere in of all three are wonderfully captured by the director, cinematographer, costume design and score and I am sure that there are going to be some Oscar nominations for these. James McAvoy as lead man gives a tremendous performance of a restrained but passionate man. I was not as convinced by Keira Knightley's performance and am not sure that her acting has the mature edge to capture the social nuances of the times that McAvoy did so successfully. Do not see this film if you like fast paced films and rapid plot development! This is not a film for the pop video generation. If however you like character development and a plot that unravels at a pace that allows you to be immersed in the atmosphere of the film then I can highly recommend Atonement as one of the best films that I have seen this year.

Author: Simon Parker from United Kingdom
If this doesn't win Best Picture next year it will have been robbed!, 10 September 2007
   Its very rare that a movie like Atonement comes along and leaves me completely speechless and in complete and utter awe for hours after I have seen it. You see Atonement isn't just the best movie I have seen all year, its one of the best movies I have seen in a very, very long time. And by that I include Pan's Labyrinth, yes this movie is better than my favourite movie of 2006, and I never imagined Atonement would ever come close to that level of greatness until fifteen minutes into the movie last night. Atonement is an unusual movie, in fact its fair to say that I have never seen anything quite like it. Its a rare movie that actually I adored so much that I am going to hunt down a copy of the book tomorrow just to see the comparisons. Its not an easy movie I'll be honest, if you go in expecting something light hearted and easy to digest then you will leave the cinema feeling very cheated. This is a movie that deals with very dark things at times. No matter how much I desire to write in depth about every aspect of the movie I just can't, the movies greatest triumph is the fact that its plot is so intricately woven that if you ruin one part of the storyline to anyone then the movies impact is slightly lessened. The storyline is just brilliant, but its the climax that leaves you in store for the biggest shocker, and its this shocker that leaves you reeling long after you have left the cinema. The performances here are all spectacular, I think its fair to say that the two leads, James McAvoy and Keira Knightly shall be receiving at the very least nominations for Best Actor/Best Actress. The score is beautiful, whoever came up with the idea of using a typewriter as a musical instrument deserves to be praised heavily. Its rare a score leaves me feeling moved, the score in this movie did that for me. That's yet another Oscar that this movie deserves to win. All in all Atonement is just perfection, I doubt you'll find a better movie this year or even for the next three years. In a time when Blockbusters get all the attention it is nice to see a small, but intelligent movie leave me in awe.
   As I previously mentioned the performances in this movie is simply amazing. Keira Knightly is an odd actress, while she proved herself in Pride and Prejudice, yes I have unfortunately seen that movie, she comes across as a wooden actress in films like Pirates of the Caribbean. Atonement really sees her at her best yet. Her character is different from what we've seen Knightly play before. Usually she goes for the spunky females, this time she seems more like a proper lady, albeit one that smokes constantly and is a bit stuck up for her own good. Keira Knightly excels in the earlier, more laid back sequences, but its in the later stuff, the more powerful stuff that we see just how talented an actress she truly is. Despite all my praise for Knightly she still plays second fiddle to James McAvoy. The former actor of Shameless and Narnia is on a roll lately. His excellent, although sadly overlooked performance in The Last King of Scotland still sticks firmly in memory. But his performance here is simple breathtaking. One sequence in particular where we see his acting talent come to light has to be the sequence in Dunkirk (more on that later), no words but the performance says everything. Knightly might not be certain to win an Oscar, but McAvoy surely is! Its also refreshing to see a young actress, Saoirse Ronan, not be eye gougingly irritating, but rather a superb actress. Her character, Briony, is a vital character in the movie, and for such a young actress she delivers her performance so chillingly brilliant. Unfortunately next to this brilliant performance, Romola Garai who plays an older Briony pales in comparison. Her performance is still brilliant, but not as effective nor as memorable as the younger actress.
   The storyline of Atonement is where the film holds most of its impact. Essentialy the film is about a lie that Briony tells, and how it affects the lives of her, Cecilia, and most importantly of all, Robbie. That's pretty much all I can and will say of the storyline. A lot more happens over the course of the movie, and a lot of stuff that you think will happen doesn't, and things you think won't happen will. The ending is a prime example of this and to be honest I didn't see it coming. The way the movie is directed is also something note. The beautiful colours of the summer house are amazing, but the way the camera moves around the house makes it even better. But the direction will be remembered for one scene in this movie, and its in Dunkirk. I mentioned this previously for the performance in that scene, what I failed to mention is that the shot is a continuous shot that lasts five minutes as we see the chaos of Dunkirk. From horses being shot to a man hanging from a ferris wheel, the sequence is shown in all its glory. It really is a powerful moment, and probably the one scene that got me closest to tears, purely because of the singing in the background, it is shocking just how amazing this sequence truly is.
   Overall Atonement is a perfect movie, in actual fact its a movie with pretty much no flaws whatsoever. Superb performances, beautiful direction, a script and storyline to die for. It is unlikely any film will top this for a very long time, this is something that will go down in cinema history as being a classic, and it highly deserves it inevitable status.

Monday, 5 March 2012

Improvements to make after first practice exam question

   After doing my first practice exam question based on an extract from Doctor Who and looking at other answer examples along with the mark scheme, these are some things which I feel I could improve upon with my next answer:

   Reference to the points that I am talking about - Although I talked about props and mise-en-scene etc, I did not reference the fact that I was talking about these things which I will need to do in the future.

   More reference to sound and editing - I feel that my points on gender based on mise-en-scene and camera shots were fairly good, but I could have written more about sound and editing used. However, we did not have the full exam time to complete this question and I was starting to explain these things but ran out of time.

   Precise comments - I managed to get a fair amount of information down, but I am not sure that everything was relevant and was needed in as much detail. Also, I did not get round to properly answering the question but instead wrote many detailed notes. Next time I should probably focus on the major ways in which each aspect is used to represent the chosen topic (in this case gender), write brief notes about these and then write precise answers out in full, rather than rambling about absolutely everything that I could possibly analyze.