Remember it is essential that you test your success so far against your creative intentions. See this previous post if you have ‘forgotten’ what your creative intentions are.
So far we have done the following tasks within three production roles:
You developed an understanding of German Expressionism and it’s impact on the horror genre. Especially in relation to the monster.
We developed an idea from a given circumstance, ‘What if.’ As well as using other stimulus materials, like moodboards and music / sound.
We used the screenplay format to write the opening sequence of a horror film.
You’ve worked with a fellow screenwriter to collaborate on one script and have redrafted it (you can only make this claim if you actuality did redraft the script as a partnership and made significant amendments)
Worked with the cinematographer on story-boarding the sequence this should have taken into consideration framing and narrative importance.
You have worked with your actors to explain, explore and develop the characters.
You have worked with the cinematographer on blocking.
You (will) have overseen the cinematography and worked with your actors to film the sequence.
You have worked with the director to develop ideas on lighting, framing and composition in the storyboard.
You created a shot list of 30-50 shots, which prioritise the shoot and ensured you are filming to edit.
You have setup lighting and camera for each take in collaboration with actors & the director.
The Reflective Journal
All of this work is excellent evidence for your reflective journal.
Please unsure that you keep your journal up to date with all your pre-production documents and reflections.
Also ensure that you do REFLECT! Which means:
‘What have I learnt?’
‘How did I learn it?’
‘What did I learn from my successes and failures?’
Also please remember to reflect on the shoot and if possible take photo evidence of you in action during the shoot (you could give this role to a (minor) role).
Please see updated blog league for specific posts and evidence to be uploaded.
This is the brief for your first full film sequence.
‘The opening sequence (approx 2-3 minutes) of a new horror movie.’
Your creative intentions should be clearly identified at the outset and your reflections throughout and once complete will be based on them. You must also reflect on your developing understanding of your production roles.
You must always keep a record of the production process and upload evidence of your work throughout (at least once a week) to your reflective journal
The creative intentions may be drawn from this list and you should identify 3-5. You may choose others or modify these as you wish.
Create a sense of…mystery, suspense, horror, intrigue…around a given place.
Introduce a monstrous character or presence.
Introduce a…tense, frightened, oblivious… victim.
Build the sequence to a shocking/scary crescendo.
Use specific cinematography techniques from German Expressionist film making.
Use montage editing to develop a sense of place and/or compress time.
Use continuity editing to make sense of a characters (inter)actions.
Design costume and props and dress the set to create a sense of….abandonment, corruption, decay, threat…
Your creative intentions may depend upon you production roles. You will be working in pairs and will be required to adopt at least one production role from each of the three main stages of production:
Screenwriter &/or storyboard artist
Post production (editing):
Foley sound designer
Define each of these role in terms of the tasks they will be required to undertake during that particular stage of production.
Update the definitions in your reflective journal under the main headings:
On page two of the document identify features of this film which you think are conventional of the horror genre. Create a new page in your reflective journal called Horror. Post the film and your analysis.
This will serve as a useful blueprint and structure (Altman) against which to test our two films, Nosferatu and Let The Right One In. We will ask ourselves the questions:
In what ways do our films follow the generic conventions of horror
how are they different and…
…can we account for those differences.
Remember you should also have watched the two films on the previous blog post!
2. To compress time to show a rapid development of a character or event, which is important in the narrative development
Here are examples from the Rocky franchise:
Create a montage which compresses time and communicates a sense of atmosphere. For example:
The tedious lesson
A frantic school day
Writing an difficult essay
Another long event (+1 hour) that can be filmed in school
The montage should last 30-40 seconds.
It should contain at least 12 different (beautifully composed shots) some of which may be repeated in the edit.
The montage should communicate a clear meaning (what’s going on) and clear atmosphere (tone or feel).
There should be a clear sense of time passing and have a clear beginning and end, which fades out to black (to make it seem like more time has passed).
This week you are going to be working in pairs and will have specific roles in production and post production:
Sound Designer / Mixer
To complete this tasks effectively you’re going to have to think carefully about how the edit is going to look in the end and ensure that you film all the shots you need. This means planning your sequence. Do do this we are going to use a screenwriting tool called…
‘To discover how you, as a novice cinematographer, can use framing and movement to communicate meaning.’
Review your footage, with this in mind
Create a slideshow which includes two examples of framing and a short commentary on…
One clip (or photo), which you are pleased with and think that the framing communicates meaning.
One which you are unhappy with and feel doesn’t really work, why not?
Then two more examples, with commentary on…
One for camera movement which you are happy with and what message does it communicate.
One which you are less pleased with, why doesn’t it work?
Place this in your reflective journal, under the cinematography page under the sub page heading ‘Exploring Basic Cinematography’
Still got time? Then watch this video on…
Telling stories through images (a masterclass)
Remember the reflective journal is yours – not just a dictate from your teacher. If you have found these (or other videos) on cinematography inspiring then embed them into your journal and reflect on what they have taught you, and how you want to explore cinematography later in the course!
Whilst our blog is a way of sharing ideas and resources with you. You also need to record your exploration of film, your experiences of being a creative film maker and reflections on your learning.
This individual and personal record is called: The Reflective Journal
This journal will be your course folder and you must spend approximately 2 hours every week maintaining it. Miss Hales and Mr Gregson will be regularly checking your Reflective Journal to make sure that it is being maintained and that you are completing posts on the following:
Production Roles (Practical Tasks)
Identifying your creative intentions
Uploading planning documents, drafts and completed exercises and films
Reflecting on what you have learnt and the impact it has
Exploring Film (Analysis Tasks)
Uploading your analysis of the micro and macro aspects of films
The explorations of the contexts which surround the films you watch
The platform you are going to use to record and publish your Reflective Journal is going to be Google Sites. Here is an example. Initially we would like you to follow this template, but as you progress through the course you may wish to personalise and restructure it.
Create a Google Site with the following main pages:
For each task you will create a sub-page under one of these headings.
On the page of the five film roles please define what you think this role entails. You may do some basic (wiki) research, but the words must be your own. Do not copy and paste. At this stage I am more interested in what you think the role entails, this definition changes as your understanding and skills develop.
Embed your slide show on your favourite film and using Film Studies terms describe why you love it so much.