Thursday, 29 November 2012

Tricky Camera Shots

Dolly in/zoom out

as seen in Jaws

Head shake effect

as seen in Jacobs Ladder

Filmmaking techniques

a good reference video


Transition shot

an interesting transition we could use to start a montage

Thursday, 22 November 2012

In the video's below, there are 3 different types of editing, elliptical, jump cuts, and regular editing.
All can change the mood in a scene for example a well placed jump cut can come across as being abnormal and make the viewer see how a character is acting strangely, take the film "Limitless"

Friday, 16 November 2012

The Shining Opening Sequence

The sequence starts off with a helicopter flying over a little island before the helicopter is shown to be following a car through some woods. The helicopter then follows the car till it comes next to cliff face before sweeping in to a closer shot of the car. The helicopter then swoops back up over some trees. We want to try and do this sequence by taking shots of Ian from different angles around the park. However for obvious reasons we cannot use the helicopter to take our shots from. I think that our attempted recreation will hopefully look similar to this with all of the different shots being used.
 This shot of the hotel is an establishing shot of the location of the hotel for which the movie takes place. This establishing shot is similair to our establishing shot of the park. However we cannot use a helicopter for our establishing shot.
This shot of the car is taken from the helicopter swooping down to the car. The shot is sort of a helicopter dolly towards the car from a high angle shot. This shot is very good at establihing the importance of the car in the film. We are thinking about using a dolly in zoom out shot to show the impotrance of the dice in our film.  
      This high angle shot shows the car's importances in the film as it is followed through the woods by the helicopter. We plan on using a similair shot in our film because we will show Ian from different angles and shots in the park. 

Jacobs Ladder

The film Jacobs Ladder is about a soldier in Vietnam who get stabbed by a bayonet. Jacob then has terrible hallucinations with them gradually getting worse. This is similar to our film because we plan on using the famous head shaking effect. We are planing on using this effect in some parts of the film as the effect is quite complicated to do. The film then goes on to say how Jacobs son was killed before he went to Vietnam. After some more hallucinations Jacob sees his son at the bottom of the stairs. They then both go up the stairs together into a bright light. The film then shows Jacob in a medical tent in Vietnam being pronounced dead. It turns out that Jacob never made it out of Vietnam and that the hallucinations were just his dying hallucinations. The film is similair to ours because it is a psychological horror that plays on peoples emotions towards the main character.         

Newspaper Progress #2

The film logo

The first version of the 'Die' logo.

Die story

The film begins in Churchfield Park. The camera takes various shots of the park. Shots include leaves on the ground, the trees, the paths and benches.

A young man is sat on a bench in the park. The man is Ian Bates. He is wearing dark leather jacket, blue jeans and a black t-shirt. Ian is drinking alcohol from a flask. He is suffering from depression as he raises his head to look at the sky. The camera shows a low angle shot of the sky with the branches of the trees in it. Ian lowers his head and looks at the dice sat next to him.

There then is a close up of the dice on the bench next to him. The camera then zooms out to show a mid shot of Ian sat on the bench next to the dice. Ian then picks up the dice and holds it eye level to his face. Ian then speaks to the dice before rolling the dice on the floor, the flashbacks then start to happen.

It then shows Ian in his usual day job in the library stacking books before a man knocks the books out of his hand. The man then doesn't apologize because he walks off without noticing. Ian then takes the dice out of his pocket and rolls it across the floor.            

Thursday, 8 November 2012

A Throw of Dice Trailer Analysis

This is the film trailer for the film A Throw of Dice. This film is related to ours because it involves a persons life and future on a throw of some of dice. The films trailer is cut down to show the film as it happens but in a way that you can't understand it without watching it. The trailer also doesn't have anyone speaking over it because the film is a silent film with no speech involved in it. In the trailer the animals and sound represent an evil force coming towards the land. This makes the audience want to watch the film to understand what is coming and why are the animals afraid.     

Wednesday, 7 November 2012

The Dice Man

The Dice Man is a novel written by George Cockroft under the pen name Luke Rhinehart in 1971. This novel has a similar premise to our story. The Dice Man is about a psychiatrist who gets bored with life and decides to add excitement by basing all of his decisions on the roll of die. Things soon spiral out of control when his actions lead to things like rape and murder.

Our story revolves around a man who carries a demonic die with him. The die is controlling the man and making decisions for him. Things get worse when the die forces him to kill an innocent civilian.

Cover to Luke Rhinehart's The Dice Man

Tuesday, 6 November 2012


Story update

After several days of trying to figure how to make a good story without over complicating it, I finally came up with an idea. Me and Matthew Topham had been working out an ending. We both agreed from the beginning that we wanted the twist to be that the die is possessing the main character, but we had trouble trying to make it work. We even suggested revealing that the die was possessed at the beginning if the film, but we thought that this would spoil everything.

My solution was to make the audience believe the character was crazy by having him talk to the die. Then at the end of the film, after he has murdered an innocent, he throws the die away. A man sees the die on the ground and picks it up. Upon picking up the die, his head shakes violently (see the Jacob's Ladder effect video). The man walks up behind the main character, who is sat up a bench, and strangles him. After he has killed him, he holds the die in his hand and stares at it unemotionally. A demonic voice suddenly says "Your soul is mine." to the man. The film ends there.

Matthew came up with the idea of the main character dying at the end, but I didn't know how to make it work. After discussing it, we decided that the guy who gets possessed at the end should kill the main character. Matthew thought that it could be a cycle in which the person who carries the die must kill the previous possessor. This reveals that there have been a lot more people possessed in the past and a lot more to come.

Saturday, 3 November 2012

Jacob's Ladder head spinning scene: Trickshot #1

This is my attempt at recreating the famous head spinning shot used in the 1990 psychological horror film, Jacob's Ladder (shown here). Firstly, I recorded myself rotating my head left to right, up and down and at different angles, stopping every so often. Then, I sped the footage up 4x and added a delay effect.

In retrospect, it doesn't look perfect (I don't have the correct software with the correct effects to make it look perfect) but it will do as a test. We aim to use this shot in our film.

I tried different methods of recreating this scene. From 0:20 onwards, I started moving my head faster and more erratically. This created a better outcome. As I said, when editing the actual film, we'll be using Final Cut - which has more practical effects for this shot. Such as a velocity envelope, for example.