Tuesday, 29 September 2015

Film Production

The stages of film production:

 - This is simply the process of 'finding' a story. Ideas for films come from a variety of sources, they can range from novels, real life events to computer game adaptations. Once you've got an idea you'll need someone to write a pitch for you which you take to a film producer in an attempt to get some funding to make your film. Even at this very early stage you need a very clear idea of who you're aiming you film at so you can include elements that will appeal to them.
Pre-production - Once you've got funding you establish your budget and can begin to get a film crew together, you can storyboard the script. You also need break the script down into individual scenes and identify all the locations, props, cast members, costumes, special effects and visual effects needed.
Production - This is simply the process of 'making' the film. Provided you've done your job properly in the pre-production stage making the film should be straight forward. 'Film' is very expensive and difficult to store so an increasing number of film makers are using digital cameras to save money.
Post-production - During this stage you take all the 'film' you've shot and give it to a film editor. They will then begin putting it together. Special effects will be added, a soundtrack will be added, any missing dialogue will be re-recorded and added resulting in a 'rough cut'. This will be shown to the director and a test audience who will offer feedback. Often this causes scenes to be filmed and added or removed.

The following roles of film production entail:

Quentin Tarantino
  • Writer: Screen writers create screen plays for films. They provide the blueprint for the creative input of all other roles. They have to make sure it includes fascinating characters, an exciting plot, and a great idea so the film will sell. It should also have the basic principles of dramatic construction. They have to have highly creative writing and work with a script development team to create a finished product. Sometimes an additional screenwriter is added to improve certain aspects of the script. They are almost always freelancers. They either pitch original ideas to producers in hope of being sold or considered an option, or they are commissioned by a producer to create a screenplay from a concept, true story, existing screen work, or novels etc. Only a few top UK Screenwriters make enough money to sustain themselves entirely through writing screenplays.

Steven Steilburg

  • Producer: Producers have overall control on every aspect of the production of a film. They bring together and approve the whole production team. They are responsible to create an environment that the cast and crew can be comfortable in and enjoy. Producers are accountable for the success of the finished film. The Producer is often the first person to get involved in a project. The responsibilities of the Producer cover all four phases of production, they control almost everything.

Ellen Chenoweth
  • Casting Director: In pre-production, they work with the producer and director to assemble the perfect cast for the film. They must have an in-depth knowledge of new/existing acting talent. They have to allocate each role to the ideal actor based on factors such as experience, ability, availability and box office appeal. Casting directors also have to prepare the casting budget with Production Accountants. They organise and conduct auditions and interviews for each part. They also draw up and negotiate contracts with agents. Casting Directors need knowledge of a huge range of Actors and their abilities, and an appreciation of changing trends within the film industry. This requires a strong instinct for acting talent and great dedication and commitment.

Wes Anderson
  • Director: Directors creatively translate the film's written script into actual images and sounds on the screen, and are ultimately responsible for a film's artistic success or failure. They can either write the film's script or commission it to be written, or be hired after an early draft of the script is complete. Directors then have to create a vision for the finished film and how they are going to do it. They can select the cast, crew, and locations, and then direct rehearsals and performances of actors during production. Directors also manage camera, sound, lighting, design and special effects as well. In post-production, they work closely with editors for the editing of the film to reach the final cut. At all stages, Directors are responsible for motivating the team, always being aware of the constraints of the film's budget and schedule, and managing the expectations of the film's financiers.

  • Film finance: This role is done by a finance controller. They are responsible for controlling the accounting, taxation and financial analysis for all the work a film does, including development, production and distribution. Financial controllers can supervise one or more full-time assistants. They can also help Producers to prepare budgets and raise finance, taking into account relevant Government tax. Tasks such as controlling cash flow and setting up and managing the Accounts team are also done by Finance Controllers.

Trevor Coop
  • Camera operator: Camera operators carry out instructions from the DoP and director for shot composition and development. They are the first to use the camera's eyepiece to assess the elements of performance, lighting, camera movement etc to come together and create the cinematic experience. They attend technical recess and are responsible for the First and Second Assistant Camera, and the Camera Trainee. Camera Operators and DoP's decide where to position the camera and what lenses and supporting equipment to use judging by the scene. During shooting, Operators are responsible for all camera operation, and make sure the camera and equipment are prepared for the required set-ups and ready for any last minute changes. They must be able to multi-task, watch, listen, and think on their feet in complex tasks. Operators must also suggest creative improvements or alternatives to the director, supervise the logistics of moving the camera, and guide performers on what can and cannot be seen by the camera. The work is physically demanding, and requires high levels of strength and stamina. Hours can be 12-14 hours a day and some foreign travel may be required.

Kevin Stitt
  • Editor:  The editor has to make sure that the film flows effortlessly from beginning to end, with each shot being carefully chosen and edited into a series of scenes, which assemble to create the finished film. Editors work long, unsociable hours, under pressure in an edit suite. They are employed on a freelance basis by the Producer based on their reputation and experience. The Editor checks the technical standards, as well as the emerging sense of story and the actors' performances. Editors may work on scenes from the end of the film before those at the beginning, and must therefore be able to maintain a good sense of how the story is unfolding. They select the best takes and edit them together to create scenes. During the post production period, the Editor and the Director work closely together to create the Director's Cut, which must be approved by the Producers, until they achieve picture lock or Fine Cut.

Stuart Craig
  • Production Designer: Production Designers are responsible for the entire art department, and help directors define and achieve the look and feel of a film. The look of a set or location is vital in drawing the audience into the story and making the film convincing. A lot of work and imagination goes into constructing and choosing the right set and/or locations. They begin work at the very early stages of pre-production, and by reading the script of a film they can access the visual qualities that will help bring the story to life. Production Designers also meet with the Director to discuss how best to shoot the film and work out whether to use sets and/or locations, what should be built and what should be adapted and whether there is a visual theme that recurs throughout the film. They also consider design elements to give more depth to the film and whether CGI should be used. Production Designers deliver their design sketches to Art Directors who oversee the production of technical drawings and models, which are used to build sets or adapt locations. During production, they check on the construction and dressing of other sets, and sign off on sets/locations for the next day's shoot. They work on a freelance basis and this job is one of the most highly-skilled, creative roles within the film industry.

  • Marketing: The main responsibility of this role is to convince the public that this is a 'must-see' movie. The marketing campaign must reach target audiences before and during film releases. Sometimes Marketers have to implement a campaign created by a studio and/or the film makers. These have to be re-tailored according to cultural differences. Marketing managers have to ensure the marketing campaign for every different film is unique. Big budget films involving top starts usually spend more money on marketing because they have more production costs to recoup. Marketing a film may begin over a year prior to its release, but usually is only several months in advance.

  • Exhibition: Exhibitioners (programmers) are responsible for choosing the right films for the right target audience. They have to build good relationships with film distributors to ensure that the required films are secured. They must view everything they select for exhibition and once they have selected a film, programmers may be responsible for ensuring that all necessary paperwork is completed. They must be aware of any contractual obligations and/or any specific technical issues concerning the film print, and ensure that this information is passed on to Projectionists.  Programmers may also be responsible for marketing and promoting the films depending on the size of the venue. This involves organising print advertising and promotional events, and ensuring that up to date databases are maintained to facilitate mail outs. Sometimes they are also responsible for doing audience research if required to develop new audiences for a particular venue.

Thursday, 24 September 2015

Self Representation

1. Use UK tribes to find the group or groups (there can be crossover) that you think you belong to. Why do you think this?

I would firstly categorise myself as a 'Sport's Junky' because of my love for dancing and horse riding. I have been doing these two hobbies from a very young age (around 5 years old) and although I have currently stopped dancing, I hope to pick it up again very soon. Not only have they built my confidence up immensely, but they are also a way to get out of my own head for a while if ever I am stressed, angry etc. They are my two most favourite things in the world and I hope to carry on with them for as long as possible.
Description: Sports Junkies are dedicated to sporting achievement and prepared to cut out friends and habits that stand in the way.

Being a sports junkie is probably the only tribe I would categorise myself into, and even that is not full on. There are other tribes that I suppose show elements of my personality and traits, but I would not fully categorise myself into them. For example a 'Towny' could be another tribe I show elements of as I'm a sucker for Saturday night TV; X factor, Saturday Night Takeaway, Britain's Got Talent, you get the gist.
Description: Townies are all about the high street fashion, pop music charts, Saturday night TV and a night on the town  

2. Do you consciously model (copy modes of dress, style yourself, act like) yourself on any media figures (actors, musicians etc)? Why is that?

I wouldn't say I model myself around any media figures specifically. However, the main shops that I buy my clothes from are Topshop, Newlook and Miss Selfridge. I try to keep 'in with the style' but ultimately I just throw on whatever matches that's in my wardrobe.

Wednesday, 23 September 2015

The Male Gaze - Music Video

My analysis on the Male Gaze is based on the music video 'Can't remember to forget you' by Shakira and Rihanna.

 From the moment the music video gets into full swing (7 seconds in) there is an obvious sexual element in the way Shakira is presented. It opens with her sitting on a double bed, wearing only underwear and a partly see-through top. She is making sexual movements such as putting her hands between her thighs, and crawling towards the camera, creating an 'invitational' vibe to the male audience. Her facial expressions (the commonly used heavy lidded and non-smiling look) also create a similar sensual and sexual effect. Putting all of these things together creates the association of inviting or luring a man into the bed with her.

We also see close ups of her body, her bare legs and half covered chest mainly. This is very intimate and encourages the idea of enticing a man into her bed. This whole section of Shakira could be seen as degrading in some cases as she is being sexual so that she is more appealing to men. However, it could also be interpreted as her teasing the men, and therefore she is in control and is empowered.

During the first chorus of the song, there are various shots of Shakira in revealing clothing. One of which features her in a red, dress-like outfit, first seen properly about 53 seconds in. This outfit, accompanied with Shakira's sexual positioning, allows it to emphasise her figure and show a lot of skin without revealing too much. This again reinforces the idea that she is teasing the men and is in control. 

The colour of the outfit is also devious and sexual as the colour red is often associated with the devil and/or erotic love, resembling her 'naughty' side and giving off a bad girl affect. 

She is again making sensual facial expressions, with heavy-lidded eyes and parted lips, which resemble a sense of pleasure in relevance to sex. The way she is sticking her bum out added to these facial expressions could possible resemble pleasure from behind.

When Rihanna first appears in the music video, at 1 minute and 2 seconds in, she is immediately acting sexual as well. We see her walking away from the camera in her jet black outfit, showing off her curves for men to gaze at. What adds even more sexiness to this clip is the fact that it is done in slow motion, meaning her figure and way she walks and moves is enhanced so that the male audience can get a better look at all her features.

However, the rear view of Rihanna being the first proper occasion on which she appears in the video does not give the first impression of a confident woman, but an object to men's eyes and something they can lust after.

During this aspect of the video we also see her leaning up against a wall at some points, and at roughly 1 minute and 21 seconds we witness her tilting her head back and closing her eyes slowly, keeping them closed. This creates the resemblance of sex and even an orgasm.

After Rihanna's entry into the video, chorus number 2 begins and both women start to dance against the wall, this is done 1 minute and 44 seconds in. However this dancing is done in a sexual and almost aggressive way. It then continues with them both falling to the floor with sexual looking faces, borderline orgasmic, and then whipping their heads up at the end of the chorus. This whole scene almost mirrors the process of sex. The sexual dancing resembling the sex, with the slight aggressiveness suggesting that it is passionate and/or erotic, until the point of orgasm which is resembled when falling to the floor. This will arouse the male audience and keep them enticed.

Nearing the end of the video, at 2 minutes 44 seconds, we start to see glimpses of Rihanna and Shakira together with no visible clothing in sight. At 3 minutes 11 seconds the audience views Rihanna kissing Shakira on the cheek, both are making sexual faces and Shakira is making eye contact with the camera. All of these factors make the scene more intense. Referring back to my earlier observations, this physical contact between the two females teases the male audience as they realise they 'wan't what they can't have' as it were, yet still keeps their attention and in some cases again arouses them.

The British Film Industry and America's Influence

  1. What % of global box office was the British film industry responsible for?  15%
  2. What was this % in 2009? 6.8%
  3. What might this change indicate about British film? That the demographic is changing
  4. What films have been responsible for this change? Skyfall, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows part 2, and The King's Speech
  5. What % of the British film industry makes a profit?  7%
  6. What % of Hollywood films make a profit?  17%
  7. How does that % differ between £2m and £10m budget British films? 4% of £2 million budget films make a profit whilst 17% of £10 million budget films make a profit
  8. What might we infer from this difference? The percentage improves as budgets rise
  9. Which age group makes up the largest % of UK cinema goers? Aged 45 and over
  10. Why do you think this might be? It is said that more films that have been released into the cinemas are being aimed towards this age group
  11. Which 'type' of film has seen an 18% drop in attendance? 3D
  12. Within that 'type' which genre has seen the biggest fall? Big family films e.g. Madagascar 3
  13. What did Charles Grant put this decline down to? families needing to economise, and that prices mounted when the 3D premium is taken into account alongside the need for several tickets and parking
  14. Who is Paul Greengrass? A British film director
  15. How did he describe the British film industry? He described it as a "success story" and predicted that it would continue to see international growth
  16. What did a BFI spokesperson say was the point of less profitable low budget British films? That they are successful and beneficial to the industry for other reasons like skills and training development and for artistic and cultural importance
  17. What was the budget for Filth and how much money did it take? The budget was £2 million and made £4 million
  18. What advantage did James McAvoy feel £100m films have over low budget films? They have a massive budget to sell the film if it's not very good
  19. What is VOD? Video On Demand
  20. What % increase did VOD see last year? 50%
  21. What impact might VOD have on distributers and Studios? They might become less important
  22. What impact has it had on Blockbuster rental stores? It has caused them to lose a lot of money and even close a lot of stores down
  23. What was unique about Ben Wheatleys 'A Field In England'? it was the first UK film to be released simultaneously in cinemas, on DVD, on TV and through video-on-demand
  24. What does director of The Machine Caradog James think is the toughest part of film making? Making a good film reach an audience
  25. Why have rules been relaxed on what makes a film 'British'? To help encourage investment in the UK film industry
  26. How has the use of visual effects in films been encouraged? The points for visual effects has been increased
  27. Name five of these rules and link them to The Kings Speech, Kill List and The World's End  
  • film set in the uk       
  • lead characters British citizens or residents           
  • British director, scriptwriter, producer, composer, key staff, crew 
  • Original dialogue recorded mainly in English language             
  • Film based on British subject matter or underlying material                                                              
  • The three films above fit most if not all of the above criteria, and are therefore qualified as British films
    28.  What rules has chancellor George Osbourne announced for tax on British films? That tax relief         would be increased from 20% to 25% on the first £20 million of qualifying production expenditure
    29.  What is the highest grossing film in UK box office history? James Bond: Skyfall
    30.  How much has it taken and how many screens was it available on? Globally it has taken               $870m (£540m) and was available on 587 cinema screens across the UK and Ireland alone

Friday, 18 September 2015

Representation Analysis

Image one: Doug Bihlmairer

My representation: I said that this man wouldn't have a professional job judging by the way he dressed. I also described him as the type of person that isn't stressed over things by looking at his relaxed facial expression. Other things I noted down were: scruffy, cheap clothes, smoker, and poor income.

Actual background: Doug Bihlmairer is a man that works for Ralph Lauren. He has a well paid job and his scruffy look is actually a fashion choice, and are not cheap at all.

Image two: Ralph Lauren

My representation: When I saw this photo I automatically thought this man was posh, well-groomed, and very wealthy. This was based on his clothing and the place he was in. I also said that he has a good reputation, and was never the sort to be a trouble maker. This was also based on his clothes. Other notes I had made were: upper class, and sophisticated. This was taken from the horses in the background as they are often associated with upper class people.

Actual background: Ralph Lauren is a well known fashion designer. He loves the British style and bases he designs on this. He is very successful and is portrayed as smart and powerful.

Image three: Lynn Yeagar

My representation: I said this woman was comfortable with her own style and doesn't try to fit in, as both her clothes and make up are unique. I also stated that she was into old fashioned clothing as this is what her clothing in the photo is suggesting. And I also noted that she was wealthy. I thought this because of her large fur coat.

Actual Background: Lynn Yeagar works for vogue. She is known to have a quirky and unusual style. If you look closer, her jewelry is also a give away to her wealth.

Image four: Ted Bundy 

My representation: From this image I thought this man was smart and upper-class, based on the way he was groomed and dressed. I also noted that he had an important and serious job, maybe something along the lines of a Lawyer. I assumed this because of his serious facial expression and that he looks like he is arguing something.

Actual background: Ted Bundy is a serial killer, kidnapper, rapist and necrophile. He managed to escape from prison twice before finally being sentenced to death by the electric chair.

Image five: King Edward VIII

My representation: From this photo I made the assumption that this man could have been some sort of Professor because of the many books in the background and the suit he is wearing. I also thought he was smart looking but likes to look different as well as the white suit and orange checked tie combination is unusual.

Actual background: Edward was King of the United Kingdom, and Emperor of India, from 20 January 1936 until his abdication on 11 December the same year when he abdicated.

Image six: River Phoenix

My Representation: I thought that by the way he dressed he probably wouldn't have a professional job as his fashion sense would not appeal to the employers. I also noted that he looked middle-class and was the sort of person to not care about others' opinions. This was also taken from his fashion style.

Actual Background: River Phoenix was an American actor and musician that died of an overdose at the age of just 23. He was in films such as 'Stand By Me' and 'My Own Private Idaho'.

Tuesday, 15 September 2015


 5 favourite TV programmes: 

1. I'm a Celebrity Get me Out of Here
  • a reality TV game show in which 12 celebrities undergo a series of challenges whilst living together in a jungle for a few weeks.
  • series 15 is due to air at the end of 2015.
  • it has won many awards including British Comedy for best comedy entertainment, and numerous BAFTA awards.

 2. Made in Chelsea (MiC)
  • a reality TV show about the every day lives of men and women living in Chelsea, London.
  • The cast includes: Jamie Laing, Louise Thompson, Alexander Mytton, 'Binky' Felstead, and many more.
  • The reality TV show has millions of viewers and is currently showing their recent journey to LA on channel E4.

3. Friends
  • an American sitcom about the day to day lives of 6 friends.
  • it is still aired even 20 years after the final series finished.
  • It stars: Matthew LeBlanc as Joey, Jennifer Aniston as Rachel, Lisa Kudrow as Phoebe, Matthew Perry as Chandler, David Schwimmer as Ross, and Courtney Cox as Monica.

4. Sherlock Holmes
  • a TV crime drama starring Benedict Cumberbatch
  • the third series has become the most watched drama series since 2001.
  • it has won numerous awards in multiple areas such as the Emmy's, BAFTA, and Golden Globe.

                                                        5. The X Factor
  • a reality TV singing competition. It delivers on the odd comic features but also brings out the emotional side of viewers.
  • It started in 2004, with this years series being number 12.
  • Now famous singers started off by performing on the X factor including: Leona Lewis, JLS, One Direction, Olly Murs, and Little Mix.

 5 favourite Marvel Films

1. The Avengers
  • Marvel characters from various films come together to fight off 'Loki' and his army from invading Manhattan.
  • Such marvel characters as Iron Man, Thor, Hulk, and Captain America make an appearance in the film.
2. Thor
  • The first Thor film premiered in 2011, with the sequel 'Thor: The Dark World' following in 2013.
  • The two main characters, Thor and Loki, are played by Chris Hemsworth and Tom Hiddleston.
3. Iron Man
  • Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr) appeals to many viewers for his cocky humour towards every other person and lack of feeling the need to please the media.
  • The film has 2 sequels, each having a very different story line but are both just as intriguing.
4. X-men: Days of Future Past
  • The seventh film of the movie series, starring: Hugh Jackman, James McAvoy, Micheal Fassbender, and Jennifer Lawrence.
  • It has had multiple nominations for numerous awards and has also won some.
5. The Amazing Spiderman
  • The recreation of the original Spiderman films, currently waiting for the second sequel to be released into the cinemas.
  • The two main characters are Peter Parker (Andrew Garfield) and Gwen Stacey (Emma Stone).
 5 favourite artists

1. Bruno Mars - 'Locked out of Heaven' 'When I was your man' 'Uptown Funk'

  • At only age 29, the singer songwriter has had 17 number 1 singles, 7 of which he was a featured artist, has sold millions of albums across the world, and has won two Grammy awards.

2. The Wombats - 'Let's Dance to Joy Division' '1966' 'Emoticons'
  • An English Indie rock band that consists of three members, and released their third album earlier this year (2015).

3. Fall Out Boy
  • An American rock band of four males that was formed in 2001. They have won multiple awards and have released 8 albums

4. Kodaline
  • An irish rock band originally known as 21 Demands, with four male members who started out merely playing at Battle of the Bands.

5. Taylor Swift - 'Shake it off' 'Wildest Dreams' 'Blank Space'
  • A 25 year old singer songwriter that has released 5 albums, had 4 number ones, and has recieved a Grammy Award for album of the year.

 5 favourite YouTube Channels

1. Your Grammar Sucks (YGS)

  • https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YOz-X10bP10
  • This YouTube channel was made by Jack Douglass, aged 27. It is a series of comedy videos in which he makes fun of people's grammar, the first episode being posted in 2011. 
2. Honest Trailers

3. Nash Grier
4. The Janoskians
  • https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xqyJwTu7Dp0
  • A group of 5 Australian teenagers that started off with just 100 subscribers, a few years later they have over 2 million subscribers, have appeared numerous times on Teen Choice Awards, and have just released a movie of their journey. 
5. Cameron Dallas
  • https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zyQR3prWjaU
  • Cameron is the typical YouTuber posting pointless videos of challenges, everyday topics etc. He also started off by becoming 'Vine famous' and although he won't be everyone's idea of a good YouTuber, I would happily watch his videos as they are relaxed and also have a comedic edge to them as well.
 5 favourite actors/actresses

1. Angelina Jolie - Angelina is a favourite because she always plays a strong role, and goes against the stereotypes of women. She always plays the part flawlessly and is a massive role model to females around the world. But she isn't just a favourite to me because of her acting. The fact that she has taken on the role of being a mother to 6 children, 3 of which are adopted, has a stable relationship with Brad Pitt, and has kept hold of her career in the process makes me admire her more than any other actor/actress.

2. Leonardo Dicaprio - Leonardo has been my favourite actor since the first time I watched Titanic. There's always been something in the way he acts that grabs my attention and keeps me completely enticed for the whole of the movie. He has pure talent and his roles are never forced or unsuited to him. He embeds himself into the character and always gives an amazing performance.

3. Johnny Depp - I first discovered this actor whilst watching Pirates of the Carribean. I immediately loved the character of 'Jack Sparrow' and thought Depp played the part perfectly as he brought he modelled his own personality into the character as he does in the majority of his movies. This is why he is one of my favourite actors.

4. Jennifer Aniston - Jennifer is one of my favourites because she always shows her passion for acting in all her movies. She manages to keep the audience's attention in any role given to her. Her performances in the film Marley and Me, and TV programme Friends are my favourites.

5. Zac Efron - What I admire about Zac Efron is the fact that he doesn't just pick a certain type of character in all his movies. He doesn't stay in his comfort zone like some actors do, he picks different roles to play yet never seems to differ in performance levels.