Reflection on The Shoot

Take a moment to reflect on the shoot and evaluate the footage.

What did you learn about:

  • The pace of the shoot.
  • Setting up the camera & lighting.
  • The good quality footage you have filmed.
  • The unusable footage.
  • The shots you should have filmed, but didn’t.
  • Working with actors and, as an actor, being directed.

Remember this is where you really learn about the different production roles and most importantly learn from your mistakes!


Write a short commentary and evaluation (200-300 words (max) or bullet points) of your role in the shoot on Friday 4th.

Include evidence of stills from your footage and photos taken on shoot to illustrate.

Even if you weren’t there you should still evaluate the footage filmed by your partner.

Your Creative Intention!

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.

The Brief

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:

Pre-production (planning):
  • Screenwriter &/or storyboard artist
  • Production designer
  • Producer (both)
Production (filming):
  • Cinematographer.
  • Director.
  • Sound recording.
  • Producer (both)
Post production (editing):
  • Visual editing.
  • Foley sound designer
  • Sound editing
  • Music composer
  • Producer (both)

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:

  • Editor
  • Director
  • Cinematographer
  • Sound Designer
  • Screenwriter

Here is our brainstorm of the tasks each production role entails.

A study of the horror genre

A study of most films will include consideration of genre.

Here is a slideshow to remind you about how to study genre:

So genre is a comparative study:

  1. In what ways does a given film follow the generic conventions of horror
  2. how is it different and…
  3. …can we account for those differences.
Task for snow days

Watch this short horror film from Bloody Cuts: (In the dark if you can…)

Make a copy of this document.

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!

Montage Filming and Editing

 Uses of a montage in film & TV

  1. To create a sense of place and/or events without giving any narrative information away. This is often done in title sequences to capture the mood of the film without giving away spoilers.

Here is short film, which is an extended montage of a place.

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 Rules
  • 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).
Creative Partnership

This week you are going to be working in pairs and will have specific roles in production and post production:

  • cutting-room-editing-film_medStoryboard Artist
  • Director
  • Cinematographer
  • Editor
  • 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…

The Storyboard

Here is a storyboard template that is similar layout to the professional one above.

Here is a document which explains how to design a storyboard.

You storyboard should be scanned / photographed and uploaded to your Reflective Journal under the screenwriting section.

You should also reflect on it’s usefulness as a pre-production planning / visualisation tool.

Production & Responsibilities

You will be acting for another pair of students and so will spend one lesson acting and the other filming and directing.

When you are the cinematographer you should ensure that each shot is well composed. Also you should ensure the following:

  • All shots are well lit
  • All shots are in focus
  • You get a variety of shot types.

If you are the director, you should be:

  • Working with the cinematographer to block the scenes.
  • Be clear with the emotion that you want you actors to be expressing.
  • Make sure that you work through the storyboard efficiently and in time.
  • Be an encouraging and positive presence on the shoot.

Post Production

If you are editor, you will be responsible for:

  • Compiling the basic montage.
  • Applying filters and transitions to the edit which contribute to the overall tone
  • Coordinating with the sound designer to apply their sound to the sequence

If you are the sound designer you are responsible for:

  • Completing a spotting session with the editor and making a list of sound effects that you want.
  • Sourcing effects that adds meaning / impact to the scene
  • Inserting your sounds into the edit

Reflective Journal

  • What have you learnt about filming and editing for montage
  • What went well
  • Even better if

Pan’s Essay – Self Assessment


In today’s lesson we are going to do a simple piece of self assessment on your Pan’s Labyrinth essay.

You should record the results of your assessment and set your self targets. Please use this document that uses CTRL ‘F’ to help you see your use of terminology and analytical verbs.

You will be given your own copy of this document via Google Classroom.

Summarise your findings and set one target on T & A each


Once you’ve done this assessment, please read through your essay and highlight specific examples from the Pale Man sequence. Do you explore all 6 areas of mise-en-scene?

It’s OK if they’re not evenly treated, but you should have covered them all at some point.


Secondly how clearly are those examples identified and then described?

Please comment on your use of examples and clarity of description.

Summarise your finding and set a targets on E


Your teacher will be reading through your essay for how well you develop links between micro and macro features.

They will summarise their findings and leave a target on S


Link in or embed your essay in your journal ‘Exploring Film’ and reflect on the essay, list the targets for your next textual analysis essay.

Reflecting on your Cinematography

Reflective Journal Post
  1. Go back to our creative intention which was:
    • ‘To discover how you, as a novice cinematographer, can use framing and movement to communicate meaning.’
  2. Review your footage, with this in mind
  3. 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?
  4. 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!

Narrative in Pan’s Labyrinth

Narrative Analysis of Pan’s Labyrinth.

Create a presentation (on Google slides) which analyses the narrative features in the Pan’s. Please work in pairs and use no more than four slides, one for each section listed below.

1) Structure

The film starts at the end and takes us back to the beginning – why?

Also, think about the film as a narrative of two halves. Consider the structure of the two parts to the film. Where are the parallels and over laps?

2) Characters’ Function

What roles do the characters have in the narrative and is this always clear?

3) Conflicts

Where are the conflicts located in the film? Who is struggling, against whom? What is the outcome of the struggle? How does this lead us towards the themes….

4) Themes

What is the journey of the film and how does the conflict and epiphany reveal the themes?

Reflective Journal

Embed your slideshow into your reflective journal.

Remember to:

  1. Introduce the slideshow, what is it and what does it explore?
  2. Reflect on what you have learnt about narrative and how this will help you develop your own screenplays.

The Reflective Journal

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)
  1. Identifying your creative intentions
  2. Uploading planning documents, drafts and completed exercises and films
  3. Reflecting on what you have learnt and the impact it has
Exploring Film (Analysis Tasks)
  1. Uploading your analysis of the micro and macro aspects of films
  2. 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.

Task 1:

Create a Google Site with the following main pages:

  • Cinematographer
  • Director
  • Editor
  • Sound Designer
  • Screenwriter
  • Exploring Film

For each task you will create a sub-page under one of these headings.

Task 2:

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.

Task 3:

Embed your slide show on your favourite film and using Film Studies terms describe why you love it so much.