Friday, 28 September 2012

Psychological Horror Film Research

Rosemary's Baby 
This film is a psychological horror because Rosemary thinks that everyone is going to get her baby. The psychological part of this film is similar to ours because in our film the dice control the man instead of the man controlling the dice. The mental part of our film certainly ties in with this films psychological horror.

The Ring 
This film is about a video cassette that shows a ring that if people see they die seven days later because a spirit come and gets them. The Ring is similar to our film because in our film the dice make people go crazy where as in the ring seeing the cassette makes people go crazy.     

The Sixth Sense 
This film is about a boy who is friends with a man who turns out to be a ghost. This film is not that similar to ours because of its themes and how it is done. However The Sixth Sense is a psychological horror film just like ours but with not similar themes.   

Die - Film Summary

The film begins with a psychologically disturbed man being interviewed by the police for murdering someone. The detective asks him why he murdered the man. The murderer says the die made him do it.

The scene cuts to some time in the past where the disturbed man comes into possession of the die, which he promptly uses to decide his actions. Whenever he rolls the die he gets these images in his head of what he should do. These images suggest that he has schizophrenia.

After rolling the die, he gets an image of him murdering a co-worker. He begins to lose his mind and talks to the die, pleading it to leave him alone. He finally gives into the die and murders his co-worker.

We return to the present where the man has just finished his story. The detective believes that he is crazy and takes the die away from him. the detective returns to his desk. Out of curiosity, the detective roles the die. He then receives flashing images in his head, revealing that the man wasn't crazy and the die were controlling him. Now that the detective have taken the die, the die has control over him. The detective says in a strange voice "The die is cast".

Logo Test #1

Die - Film idea

After toying with the Shakespeare murder mystery idea, our teacher, Simon, thought it was too complicated to do in 5 minutes. He did however like the idea of someone using dice to decide what they do. So he suggested that we do a film about a man who uses dice to decide their everyday actions.

Since we still wanted to do murder mystery-type of thing, we came up with an idea that a man had just murdered someone based on rolling a die.


I started thinking of a story that could with this and what we wanted. After a while of thinking, I finally came up with a story.

Please see next post for full details.

Friday, 21 September 2012

Shakespeare Idea

We have an idea to make a film with references to works by the playwright William Shakespeare.
Our main reference is the play Julius Caesar. In the play Julius Caesar is murdered by his best friend, Brutus. In our story, a man kills people who have committed some form of treason. Treason is a sin in the eyes of God. The killer is condemning traitors to Hell.

Brutal deaths are featured often in Shakespearean plays. We have this idea of someone who kills people in ways based on Shakespeare.

Possible Film Distributors


Studio Canal 
Studio canal is a small film distribution company that distributes small films such as Tinker Tailor Solider Spy, Tyrannosaur and Don't Be Afraid Of The Dark. Studio Canal should go well with our film because Tinker Tailor is a detective film, where they try and find the culprit.

Soda Pictures 
Soda Pictures is another small distribution company that distributes small films. They have made films such as Frostbite and Old Joy. I don't think that Soda Pictures will be our company because most of the films that they do are happy films. Unlike ours that has murder in it.

Lions Gate Entertainment 
Lions Gate Entertainment is a film distribution company that distributes films. Some of the films it has distributed are The Hunger Games, Kick Ass and Dredd. I think Lions Gate would possibly do our film. However they do tend to do films with more of a reputation than Studio Canal and Soda Pictures.

Momentum Pictures 
Momentum Pictures are a film distribution that have distributed films such as The Women In Black, The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo and The Crazies. Momentum pictures would be a perfect distribution company for us because it does some mystery films such as the Women In Black. It is a horror mystery film, which is similar to ours.  

Film idea

We haven't really considered the whole storyline yet, but this is the gist of it:

Our film starts with a detective's assistant answering a call about a murder. Then, the title sequence starts. The next scene depicts them walking to the murder scene. When he arrives, the title sequences comes to a close. He inspects the body/area and finds nothing. Two days later, he receives yet another call about another murder nearby.

There is a person with a dagger in his back.
This time, the killer purposely left a calling card, too... a quote from the Julius Caesar play. After examining the area again, there is nothing else of interest.

Someone who knows the murderer confesses and tells the detective and assistant about the intentions of the killer. The killer is after a group of people of whom betrayed him; there are two people left - the confessor and another person... the duo put two and two together and realize that the killer will be going after one of them. They head over to the the person's office and he is found dying. Yet another Caesar note is found on the victim.

The detective sees someone fleeing and gives chase, eventually cornering the person.
Holding the murderer at gunpoint, he hears a gun being loaded behind him... the confessor was helping the killer all along - and he has a gun aimed at him.

A shot is heard. It is assumed that the detective is shot - but it turns out the assistant came to the rescue and shot the confessor.

Thursday, 20 September 2012


I have been looking at various masks the serial killer could wear in our film.
Here is the shortlist I have created.

Props/full costumes:

Monday, 17 September 2012

Matthew Topham; Film Review

Short Film Analysis - “Home” (2012)
Film website:
Link to video:
“Home” is a Rom Zom. It is about the tale of a young woman who is the sole survivor of a zombie apocalypse, living in the woods. As the story progresses, more light is shed on her past - her fiancĂ© was infected and they never managed to get married.

The protagonist is the woman. She is not named in the film because her name is irrelevant to the plot of the story. Her husband is revealed to be chained up in her house towards the end. They are the only two characters in the film (aside from the zombies, of course).

The following screenshots are from the film, in chronological order.

The opening establishing shot of the woods; where the short film takes place.

After several shots of the peaceful woods, this shot of a decaying skeleton is shown, along with a loud noise.

The opening title.

The protagonist looking at something.

Close-up of her face to show emotion.

Eye-line match. The picture is what she is looking at.

A shot of some items on a table. Noteworthy items, as they place a role towards the end of the film.

Another establishing shot. She is going fishing.

An interesting shot showing the protagonist behind some trees – making it seem like she is being watched (by zombies, perhaps?).

Looking through the binoculars.

Eye-line match, again. She was looking at the zombies.

Being watched, again?

The setting sun, to show a short time-lapse.

More information on the back-story. She was supposedly meant to get married.

The tin can shaking. Meaning (as established earlier) an impending zombie attack.

 Her chained up zombie husband.

Close-up of putting the ring on his finger.

After contemplating either killing him, or even committing suicide, she decides the shoot the chain keeping him from attacking her. A change of focus from her face to the gun is shown above.

She kisses him, ultimately turning her into a zombie. Close up of her eyes changing.

The credits. Very simplistic, in my opinion.

Regarding editing, the transition practically used throughout the film is a cut – a lot of the film is at a fast pace (like during the zombie attack scenes) – and the rest is very slow; there are longer scenes with few cuts when there is no little to no action.

As mentioned prior, I think that the credits are quite simplistic. The same can be said about the title – no visual effects, just the title of the film. I think that this is right - the film doesn't seem to need any over exaggerated titles and such.

I found the mise-en-scene very interesting in this film. For example, the items on the table all play a part towards the end of the film. This is very good, continuity wise. It also foreshadows the conclusion of the film, too – all in all, a very clever idea to include these items early on.

Sound is very sparse – there is no talking in the film. However, there are a few examples of sound used to shock the viewer - and, to point out the extraordinary – such as in the opening scenes. When the skull is shown, a heavy drum beat is played to draw the viewer’s attention to said scene – and in particular, the skull and death.

The film tends to use close ups to show the woman’s face, and in the zombie attack scenes, long shots/medium long shots. Two point of view shots/eye-line matches are used to show what the protagonist is looking at. It looks like there are no lens filters used. As far as cinematography is concerned, a lot of basic techniques are used in this film.

Thursday, 13 September 2012

Film Idea two James Swann

My film idea is a man waking up in the middle of no where and him searching from where he has come from. The man wakes up in the middle of a field lost and wondering how he got into that position. The man then walks on over the land until he finds a jacket that gives him a flash back to why he was in the field. The man then remembers that he was searching for something lost. He then is reminded of seeing a river. So he searches for a river nearby to where he woke up. The man then sees a young boy and remembers that he was searching for his son, who had run away. His son tells him of how he fell over and banged his head while chasing him through the field. The son then tells his father that he run away because of the amount of stress on him. The child then says to his father that he is sorry for running away and that he will return home with his dad.

Matthew Topham: film idea #2

The film would be about a man being kidnapped/took by a group of people looking to overthrow a notorious cult nearby. The man has valuable information about how to access said cult's building. They enter the building and are immediately captured and imprisoned - bound to a chair with a sack/mask on them.

The fact that the cult wears masks and hoods is important.
One of the group gets a cult member to enter the cell and attacks them (and takes their clothes/mask). The man who helped the group is brought towards the cult leader, who holds him at gunpoint - the dead body of one of the group is on the floor (the dead body is, in fact, a cult member - unbeknownst to the cult leader).

A shot is heard and it is assumed that the man is shot.
Then, a shot is shown of the leader falling on the floor. The person who shot him was one of his followers - or so it seems. It was actually the person who escaped before - in a cult mask.

This is: (from the left to right) Tom, Matt B, James and Matt T.

James Swann film reveiw 

 5 Minute Film Review Sound The sound in my film The Job changed as the scene changed from outside an office block to inside it. This was use of diegetic sound that added to the atmosphere of the short film. However when he goes into his new place of work the sound changes to non diegetic sound as a musical tune is played. Cinematography The camera firstly tilts upwards so that you can see the tower block, before heading into the office for a mid shot of the man working behind his desk. The camera then shows the computer screen with the man applying for the job offer that has come up. The camera then returns to the mid shot position of the man talking on the phone to his potential employers. The camera then shows the man leave his office and come round a street corner before moving to an over the shoulder shot of the man walking. The camera then keeps changing perspective from the employee and the employers. The film ends then with the new boss been shown get dressed up by his employees. Mise En Scene Firstly the man working in his office is shown wearing office based suits which match his typical stereotype. He is also shown as working in a typical office with a computer. This again shows stereotype. Secondly the men in the kitchen are dressed as stereotypical mafia members. This shows that the office man is out of his own environment and in someone else domain. However at the end of the five minute film the office man is shown as the future boss of the mafia men. Editing The Boss uses several jump cuts in the five minutes especially when the man is working in the office. The camera is then also shown to switch positions with the men in the corridor. This is used to show each of the men’s perspective on the situation.

RUN! - 2012 Short film Analysis Tom Swift

The film I looked at was called “Run”. I think the initial idea is very good, and keeps the viewer(s) immersed in the scene very well, with the sounds, the lighting, the setting and also the shots used. The film starts off with facts about women being assaulted and how long the average police response time is. This then initiates a timer of 36 seconds (average assault on a women) this instantly gets you into the short film without any characters even being introduced to us as viewers.

The woman (main character) appears to just be out for a jog, goes to a part to warm up, and gets assaulted.

The scene then switches to in a woods, the camera is in first person view and has a distorted effect, as if she has just woken up. We then see a mid-shot of both the woman and the assaulter, were he says “Run” which significantly is the only word said throughout the entire film, which I think adds a good effect as it shows the danger she is in. Next is a series of shots which show her trying to escape from the assaulter, but failing. She then manages to hide behind a tree, and jump out and kills the attacker with his own weapon. She then makes her way to the road were a car stops for her, a man gets out and says “are you ok?” however the sound is faded out, which signifies the fear and shock that the woman is in after turning from a victim to the attacker. The man then re-appears and the screen fades to black, only hearing the sound effect of the woman being hit by an axe.

The next little scene is very effective, it shows another woman running through the same park as at the beginning, linking the two together, she then stops at the same park and warms up, and the music and video all fade to black.

There are a few long shots at the beginning to let us know the scene, to help us vision more outside the view of the camera, and as the music escalates, the shots get more and more interesting, closing in on the woman and not letting us as the audience see exactly what is going on around the woman, this is a very good trick with editing, because it lets us wonder when the assault will take place, without revealing it to us. If on the other hand it happened on a long shot, we would see the attacker and the shock would be minimal in comparison to a close up shot of the woman.

There is also another interesting shot when the woman wakes up from being knocked out, she is laid down and the man is knelt above her, showing the power of the character and who is more dominant. However there is also another shot later on were this is switched, when the woman knocks the man down, she stands above him and hits him with the axe, in this shot, she is looking down on him and she is the more dominant character. Then again later on, after the man has got out of the car, the assaulter is filmed with a low angle, high tilt shot, were it makes him look the most dominant.

The lighting used in the film is simple outdoor lighting, however I think that it did have an impact, letting us know that this would still happen during the day, were it would be the least expected time for someone to be assaulted.

I think that the use of sound is very effective in the short film, throughout the entirety; there is an upbeat soundtrack, which makes us as the audience fear for this character that we don’t even know. There are also some good sound effects like when she sits up and there is a shot of the man sat in front of her, there is a high pitched screeching sound, which I think is effective as it makes us jump and again, fear for the girl in the film.

Wednesday, 12 September 2012

Short Film Analysis - Family Ties

This is a short American film called Family Ties. It is just over three minutes long. It was written and directed by a man called Craig Oullette. One of the things I liked about this film that its story is simple and basic.

The story focuses on a woman who wakes up bound and gagged in a trunk. It is her ex-husband's trunk.
One thing that makes the story simple is that it has a straight forward beginning, middle and end.

The beginning: A woman wakes up bound and gagged in the trunk of her ex-husband's car. The husband opens the trunk and removes her gag. They a brief conversation afterwhich, the husband gags her again and drives away with her squirming in the trunk.

Middle: The Woman continues struggling in the trunk. The car stops at a red light. She hears a woman speaking on her phone. Her hands are tied behind her back. She manages to open the trunk. The husband realises. The light turns green and he drives off causing the lid to slam shut knocking her unconcious.

End: The Woman regains concioussness. She finds herself tied to a chair in a house. She sees her teenage daughter bound and gagged. They both scream as the husband walks in wielding a knife.

Here are some regarding the technical aspects of the film:

Cinematography: The film begins with a close-up of the woman's eyes as she wakes up. This allows us to see the fear in eyes. When the husband opens the trunk to speak with her the camera looks up at him and down at her. This shows that he has dominance over her - literally dominance because she is tied up. When the husband puts the bag inside the trunk the camera pans to reveal a knife has slipt out. This tells us that the knife is important. She later uses the knife to try and cut her binds.

Editing: The Woman appears more than any other character. This shows us that she is the most important character in the film.

Lighting: There is some very good use of lighting in this film. The Woman is locked inside the trunk of car. It is dark inside the trunk. The darkness can be used to symbolise her fear, sadness and lack of hope as a result of being kidnapped. There a few moments where a red light appears inside the trunk. In my opinion the red light represents her imminent danger.

Music: Most of the music in the film is suspenseful and is used to represent the situation this poor woman is in. When she tries to open the trunk to warn the pedestrian fast-paced music plays to represent her struggle and desperation to warn the pedestrian. It also gets the audience's attention and makes them wander whether this will escape or not.

Friday, 7 September 2012

James Film Idea

My idea is a man searching to discover his past after waking up in a deserted area knowing nothing about his life before. As the film continues the plot thickens until the man discovers what has happened to him before he woke up.

Matthew Topham - Initial Idea

Genre: Horror/drama/action

A lone man tries to locate survivors after a zombie apocalypse, by using radio and searching the local area. Eventually he finds someone, and he considers them to be turning infected.
The twist at the end is that the protagonist was bitten earlier and he is delirious. He is killed by the other survivior. The end.

Beety - Initial Idea - Gangster

Beety - Initial Idea - Gangster

A gangster is sent by his boss to meet with a rival gang boss to give him an envelope filled with money.
The rivals try to kill him but he manages to escape. He goes to meet with one of his mates. He finds out that he has been set up by his own employers. He sets out on a dangerous mission to exact revenge whilst thinking about the decisions he has made.

A flashback reveals that he accidentally killed an innocent person.

Tom Swift - Initial Idea - 1

A boys Grandad dies and he when he receives news of his death, runs away. The story is based on the family finding the boy but will he ever be found?
The boy would be in secondary school, and has family history of violence, seeing his mum and dad argue day in, day out. He is quiet and has little friends, would be a lonely boy with anger clinging on to his inside, unable to escape. When he receives news of his Grandads death he freaks out and runs away will he be found alive? or even at all?

Welcome to our blog

This the blog we will be using for our upcoming film assignment.
The genre and such of the film is still to be decided.