Thursday, 5 March 2009

Looking back at your preliminary task (the continuity editing task), what do you feel you have learnt in the progression from it to full product?

since i've done the continuity task i wouldn't really say i've learnt many specific thing, but more that i've gained the experience and general filming knowledge you can only get from doing projects like this. There are no specific scenes i can really realte to that i've done better in either of the film

How does your media product represent particular social groups?

I think one of the most similar movie characters to drake napalm is the human torch, they have very similar powers as each other and use their powers in the same way, to stop crime. although they are far from the same. the human torch is a fairly 'cool' athletic person whilst drake is some what of a geek. also the human torch was born with his powers where as drake got his in a chemical accident.

What kind of media institution might distribute your media product and why?

I made the production logo myself; I wanted it to show the comical edge in my work.

The long road logo is mine too; it represents a funding company’s logo.

I deliberately put only a few credits in to avoid the boring aspect of having so much to read, like the titles to the first Spiderman

I decided to put each actors name as they appear on screen so you have something to relate too.

The films a slightly comical action film which, if made would probably be done so by a large film company such as universal studios, who have a lot of experience with comic book style films

I decided to put ‘a film by’ instead of ‘directed by’ as I did more than just direct it.

Its fairly un-conventional to put the title of the film in twice how ever I decided to do this, the first title is to introduce you to the civilian Drake, and the final title to show you he’s more than just a civilian.

Audience Feedback

As there weren't enough people in the level 2 class the day they gave us feed back and only Jim got chance to see my film so he was the only person i got feedback from.

Jim's feed back was that it is unusual to have the title of the film in the opening credits and that i should possibly put the 'A film by Sam Chappell-Winnington' at the start instead of the end.

What have you learnt about technologies from the process of constructing this product?

I've not really learnt how to use anything new in this project, how ever i have learnt a lot about how to use things in-conjunction with each other.

for example to make the fire in the palm of drakes hand i filmed the hand on the HD camera , imported it into final cut, then exported the clip and imported it to After effects, tracked the fire to the hand, exported it and then imported it back into final cut.

Finished opening sequence

This is the final version of Drake Napalm

Rough cut

This is the rough cut of my film Drake Napalm.

In what ways does your media product use, develop or challenge forms and conventions of real media products? (i.e. of film openings)

1) Transition - I made every transition between scenes either fade in or out for a smooth flow to the sequence, this particular scene i made the next shot fade in behind the title so you saw what was happening in it but didn't feel it was going on for too long.

2) Framing - I chose to frame my shots fairly centrally so you're forced to focus on the character and pay close attention to facial expressions etc.

3) Lighting - My opening sequence was lit entirely by natural light, i felt this was best as it makes it slightly easier to relate to, opposed to if i had light rigs it would make reduce the natural shadowing and wouldn't look so good. also i had no access to lights even if i wanted them.

4) Camera Movement - This shot is a backwards tracking shot, i did it by sitting on a bike backwards while it was pushed forwards. this was the best technique i could use as the dolly i had access to was unstable and just vibrated. and walking i was unable to keep the camera stable. although this shot is still fairly wobbly it was the best result i got after filming it a good few times.

5) Setting - I wanted to set my film in a street to make it seem like it was just a random crime that drake witnessed, however because my scene had a gun, all be it a fake one. I wasn't aloud to go off college grounds, this was the closest i could get to a street.

6) Costume - Drake Napalm is a scientist thats been caught in an accident, therefore it makes sense for him to be in a lab coat.

7) Narrative - This shot shows the general theme of the opening sequence in one shot, Drake witnessing a gun crime.

8) Typography - For my credits i went onto a site called DaFonts and downloaded a comic book font called badaboom i thought it fit the style and theme of my film well. i then made it red with a yellow out line to give it a fire effect.

9) Visual Effects - To show drakes powers off i decided to animate a shot of his hand with fire into it.

In what ways does your media product use, develop or challenge forms and conventions of real media products? (i.e. of film openings)

Tuesday, 3 March 2009


When it came to editing my footage into an actual film i realized i had a lot of work to do. The ideas i had come up with involved a large amount of animation in after effects.  Fortunately i have a reasonable knowledge in using after effects and areas i was unable to do ash was kind enough assist. About half way through editing i realized that the shot of ash' hand, onto which i was going to animate fire into was too unstable and i was unable to track it. This meant i had to re-shoot that particular shot. I was unfortunate enough to of booked the camera to film on days that there was snow everywhere, this meant when i re-shot ash' hand, there was a serious continuity error, however the only real way to fix this would be to re-shoot the whole film, which there was not time for! Despite the lack of snow in the background i feel i tracked the hand well, after Ricky showed me how and the final shot of the fire in the hand came out well. Although i was unable to get the look i wanted when making the title scenes. Which was the writing in the middle of a ball of fire. I still got a fairly good look which put across the feel i was after.

Summary of the shoot

Overall i think the shooting of my film went pretty well, after the 1st day going wrong which i feel i rectified efficiently. The rest of the filming was of a reasonable quality with no real mistakes that i can tell of at this stage.

Second day of shooting

After the disaster of my first attempt of shooting my film, i re-thought the main troubles i went through. I planned again, borrowed my friend JJ's bike for the day, arranged for alex to bring in his gun and borrowed a lab coat from the science room next to our class. With all these things sorted out i was able to successfully shoot my film. I sat on the bike backwards while james pushed it forwards (therefore i was traveling backwards). This technique gave me a fairly smooth tracking shot.

Tuesday, 24 February 2009

Defining moment

When it came to filiming the opening titles of my film Drake Napalm, there was one main problem making one of my shots look very bad. this problem was trying to do an eye level tracking shot. i fixed the problem by using a friends bike and siting on it while some one else pushed the bike. After looking at all the footage, this shot went from being ong of the worst to being the best and i am quite proud of it.

Thursday, 12 February 2009


Whilst i will be filming i shall be needing 3 actors.

I will need
  •  Drake Napalm, should be out standing and look intellectual and yet menacing at the same time.
  • Gun Man, should be able to look shady and kind of creepy.
  • Pedestrian, should look innocent and helpless.
I've chosen Ash to play Drake my lead role, i think he's my best option, his orange spiky hair resembles fire, this is a good direct link to Drakes powers.

For the gun man i decided to use Kirk, his beard and the way his hair shadows his eyes gives a some what menacing look.

And the pedestrian role i thought Alex would play the part well, he's just got the right look about him and fits my idea of the character.

First day of shooting

Although i did assess all the possible troubles that i could have come across, so troubles are unforeseeable. Today i set out to film and although i am fairly confident with with the Sony HD cameras we are using, i don't know every inch of them. The camera was set slightly differently and i wasn't aware of that particular setting, as a result the footage we took was not recorded. On top of this, i was unable to shoot the first scene to the standard i was after due to lack of equipment. The shot was an eye level tracking shot but i was unable to walk with the camera and keep it stable.

After Barney had a look at the camera settings and showed us how to rectify the problem i am fully confident i can film and successfully capture all the footage i need.

As for the tracking shot i think the best solution is to use a bike, i sit on it holding the camera while two others hold the bike on either side and push it slowly.

Continuity Task

Yesterday in the lesson we were given Sony HD cameras and were told to use the and film a new continuity test task. i was in a pair with Tim. Tim and i filmed Matt and Mike acting out a basic scene. We then swapped and Tim and i acted for Matt and Mike as they filmed. We couldn't use the same location in both clips because we got kicked out of the hall after the first clip.

This is the clip Tim and i shot.

And this is Mike and Matt's version with myself and tim acting. this version is filmed in HD where as mine and Tim's isn't, we did this to show the difference in quality.

Tuesday, 10 February 2009

Project so far update

I've set forward in crossing things off my list of stuff still to do, some i have done fine however others i have had trouble with:

  1. Finnishing my mood board i tryed taking the files home to finnish it but i don't have the same version of final cut apparently so the folder wouldn't open.
  2. The same goes for my annimatic.
  3. I'm currently working out my shot list.
  4. i have a few suggestions from my teacher and i changed the set from a street to a toe path or somthing.
  5. Ash is going to be playing the lead role of drake.
  6. Ash also suggested to me that i buy a pair of reading glasses from boots for about £5, and i'll ask one of the chemistry labs if we can borrow a lab coat. I also realized i need a gun as a prop, this isn't a problem as i have a suitable plastic one.
  7. I still need to do font tests.

Sunday, 8 February 2009

voice over

Whilst lying in bed with tonsillitus thinking about how i could make my opeing sequence better, and what i needed to do with it i came up with this voice over that i'm pretty sure i'll use.

"I've never really had a stedy job, it's always been switching from one to the next. i'd never have one job for more than a couple of weeks, a month at max. even back when i was a kid. I was a paper boy, but it was awful pay. A shelf stacker, dead boring. check out attendant, every one was so RUDE. tryed telemarketing but i just got abuse shouted back. got into accounting, but i was awfull. got my degree and became a chemist, it was alright, but to controled, they didnt like it when i fooled about, said id get hurt. now i enjoy what i do, its far more interesting..."

at this point the shot of drakes hand with a ball of fire in it starts.

Saturday, 7 February 2009

Project so far, what i need to do

Although im not the furthest behind, im still lagging a fair bit from where i should be, this is a rough check list of what else i need to do at this point.

  1. Finnish mood board.
  2. Finnish animatic.
  3. Shot list.
  4. Find right location.
  5. Find the right person to play Drake, my leed role.
  6. Find props, (glasses that can be broken, a lab coat maybe)
  7. Do title font tests.

Wednesday, 4 February 2009

Major issue expansion

1) My first major issue is finding a good location.

With out a good location my entire opening sequence will look amature and poorly thought out.

The solution to this is to spend a good amount of time, a day or two, scouting for the right location.

2) The second of my three main issues is the adverse weather conditions

Recently college has been closed due to heavy snow and is likly to do so again later in the week. Every time college is shut, we loose time off the project and as the dead line is fixed, time is precious.

There is no real solution for this, as i can't change the weather! how ever i can help myself by doing as much work from home as possible, research, practice shots etc.

3) The 3rd and final major issue im goin to experiance is being on holiday in half term.

Once again, there is little i can do to rectify this problem, although i do plan on taking my macbook with me so i will make sure i've shot all my footage before i go so i am able to edit it on the plane etc.

Problematic assesments

Nuisances: For my filming the only real nuisance would be pedestrians getting in the shot.

Minor Concerns: Possible minor concerns could be making the special effects look belivable, an unorganised crew/cast, a weak story board/shot list and the lack of availability of the good cameras.

Major Issues: Major issues would be finding decent location, adverse weather causing college to close and to lose time and being away over half term.

Sunday, 1 February 2009

Blog feedback

Bellow is the feedback Phillipa gave me, i think she was very honest and helpfull with her comments, i plan to try and do more of my own research and not just the work im set, i also think i could do with putting more content into my work.

Over all, I think your blog is very detailed, interesting and you have, so far, done a lot of research towards your Film Project.One aspect which I really like, is that even though your blog posts are quite detailed, you have posted a lot of visual examples of research. This, in my opinion is much more interesting to read, also shows that you have researched in more than one place and shows exactly what you have researched. Of course, all of your visuals are relevant and they show the thought in which you put into looking for something which will help you with your project.Your logos, in particular, are quite good and show off your talents with effects and your creativity.The text which you post along with each visual is just as good as the research itself, very detailed and you seem to know what you are going to do or at least have a lot of inspiration.I don't have many bad points about your blog but I think that you could research some more visual or info on films and programs etc, relevant to your chosen opening - rather than relying on the blog homework.

Wednesday, 28 January 2009

3 key frames

This is a photo of my 3 key frames of my opening sequence

Saturday, 24 January 2009

Napalm research

Considering my main charecter is called Drake Napalm, and his special power is that of being able to fire incendiary fluids much like Spiderman can fire webs. i thought it a good idea to learn a bit about Napalm and incendiary fluids/gels. To do this i looked it up on Wikipedia, this is what i found:
Napalm is the name given to any of a number of flammable liquids used in warfare, often jellied gasoline. Napalm is actually the thickener in such liquids, which when mixed with gasoline makes a sticky incendiary gel. Developed by the U.S. in World War II by a team of Harvard chemists led by Louis Fieser, its name is a portmanteau of the names of its original ingredients, coprecipitated aluminium salts of naphthenic and palmitic acids. These were added to the flammable substance to cause it to gel.

Although Napalm is technically the name of the thickener of the incendiary fluid, it is much more convinient and catchy to use it as the name of the product.

Friday, 23 January 2009

Essential elements for a good opening sequence

A good film opening should include: 

Build up
A number of different shots
A taste of the rest of the film
Appropriate logo and style
Don't let it drag out
A good relative soundtrack 

Brief 1 research blade 2

This is a link to the opening titles of Blade 2. Blade 2 is not only an excellent film but has really good effective opening titles. The titles explain the movie and the story so far but also don't give too much away, it leaves you desperate to carry on watching and find out exactly what happens. there are a lot of quick cuts with clips showing you who Whistler is and how blade got to where he is and what he must do now, hunt and find whistler. The actual credits in the opening are very appropriate, they are clear and obvious, in red over a predominantly dark background. But aren't too in your face or intrusive. With only 3 shots of credits it's fairly minimalist with text, the 3 shots reading...




Thursday, 22 January 2009

film pitch + tagline

25 word re-written film pitch.
Drake's a boring 25 year old accountant, but when duty calls his suit burns to reveal Drake Napalm. with the power to torch his enemys.


an acountant X a very volatile substance

Film breif idea switch

Although i originally chose my idea for breif 3, after further consideration and feedback from from others, i've decided my idea for breif 1 is better, my idea being Drake Napalm, acountant by day, criminal napalming super geek by night.

Wednesday, 21 January 2009

Gregg Araki

After spending alot of time searching for Independant films with young protagonists i found that alot of films i had looked at had been directed by Gregg Araki, i found Mysterious Skin, Doom Generation, The Living End and Nowhere. Although Gregg seems to have a some what adult mind set when it comes to his films, the majority of the ones ive looked at seem to fit the outline of breif 3.

Film breif 3 research

Here i have posted the opening credits to the 2004 critically acclaimed indie film 'Mysterious Skin'. Mysterious skin is a film about two boys in Kansas that were both sexually abused by their baseball coach aged 8. How the delt with the dilemma differently, one blanked it out, the other embraced it. Later they meet aged 18 and realise they weren't being singled out in ones case or loved in the others, just abused.

Breif 3 research

When searching for films that fit the regulations of breif 3 i found many different possibilitys, however, i could find very few clips with opening title credits. These are some of the films i found that fit breif 3.

Millions-A film about 7 year old damein that finds a bag of money and goes about trying to give it to charitys and the needy etc.

Daywatch- russian film about the battle between night and day, Yegor has the power to save either one of the two, depending on which he chooses.

Somers Town- Somers Town is about a young boy who runs away from home and goes to London, quickly befriending a young immigrant, and they both fall in love with a French waitress

Brick- Brendan finds his girlfriend dead due to mysterious circumstances and devotes his time to finding out what happend to her.

Film breif 3 research

Although not an independant film, Spiderman fits the breif of being a young protagonist fairly well, Toby Maguire playing the part of Peter Parker aka Spiderman uses the powers he has obtained to stop evil and therefore become a hero.

these are the opening credits to the film

Columbia pictures presents
a Marvel enterprises / laura ziskin production

Toby Maguire
Willem Dafoe
Kirsten Dunst
James Franco
Cliff Robertson
Rosemary Harris
J.K. Simmons
Gerry Becker
Bill Nunn
Jack Betts
Stanley Anderson
Ron Perkins

Casting By
Francine Maisler and Lynn Kressel

Grant Curtis

Music by
Danny Elfman

Costumes Designed by
James Acheson

Visual Effects Designed by
John Dykstra. Asc

Edited by
Bob Murawski
Arthur Coburn. A.C.E.

Production Designer
Neil Spisak

Director of Photography
Don Burgess. ASC

Exectutive Producers
Avi Arad
Stan Lee

Produced by
Laura Ziskin
Ian Bryce

Based on the Marvel Comic Book By
Stan Lee abd Steve Ditko

Screenplay by
David Koepp

Directed by
Sam Raimi

Tuesday, 20 January 2009

Long Road logo animation

We were given an image of the long road logo, i then had to cut out each section of the logo into separate layers in photoshop. Once that was done i exported the layers from photoshop, imported them into After effects. When i had the separate layers in After Effects i was able to animate then into a clip as you can see above.

Monday, 19 January 2009

Comments on my 1st brief


really funny idea could be a good film lots of big explosion and some kind of guy trying to stop him sound like a good film to see if u want to see loads of explosion in many different ways (must make each explosion creative and different because people will get bored)

I found the idea very entertaining, it was quite funny and would do very well as a comic. Great comic idea.

Sweet idea, could be very funny.

I found sam's ideas very creative, using comedy to pull people in. I enjoyed all of his ideas but thought perhaps number 1 was the best.

Saturday, 17 January 2009

Film Breif ideas

Breif 1) Drake Napalm, Accountant by day, criminal napalming super geek by night.

Breif 2) Woman geting married, maid of honour dies on the way to the wedding in car crash, comes back to haunt her with the fact she'd been sleeping with the Groom.

Breif 3) 16 year old guys quest to get to a party with mental things getting in his way. (skins X harold and kumar)

Breif 4) i couldnt really think of anything, maybe some kind of a ROMCOM?

Friday, 16 January 2009

K+D logo analysis

K+D aka Kuntzel + Deygas are the animation masterminds behind such things as the opening credits to Catch me if you can, The pink panther and Agathe Cléry. I find their work incredible as it must take so much time. Having spent around an hour creating a 5 second long logo myself, creating 2, 3 minutes of animated footage like that, even as pros must take alot of time and dedication. The logo (above) is very baisic but effective and some what magestic.

Production logo rough cut

This is my rough production logo. i was originally going to use the name 'Brake Through productions' and have the name burst through a wall. But after spending almost 2 hours trying to construct a brick with the right dimensions i was close to throwing my mac out of the window. I then decided to make something a little more achievable, baring in mind this is the first real project i have done in After Effects.

I plan to put sound over the clip also. i would have done tonight but couldn't find and suitable clips.

Thursday, 15 January 2009

Hurtwood house thriller analysis

This clip is called unsound mind, its an As level thriller opening by students from Hurtwood house sixth form college. The clip is very abstract and trippy, i like this about it, the flickering of the picture and the Dub steppy music compliment each other well and the titles integrate effectivly, they don't intrude on anything but are clear enough to read. The effect of the clips of people swirling out is implemented wel.

T2-61 Evaluation/marking

Blog - I thought the blog entries for this project were all pretty good, an apropriate mix of analysis, screen shots, practice shoots and visuals. I did however think that they would of benifited from more posts, theres three people in their group and only 20 odd posts.

Video - The more i watchthis video, the more i like it and understand why they've done things and the more i think things work. I'm still not keen on the 1st 10 seconds, the shot of the computer screen is confusing, looks like a floating screen not a stalker in a dark room. I like the CCTV effect they use for a few seconds but the fade out of it ruins it a bit. the video was well cut and switches between stalker and stalkie revlevantly. I dont likethe fairly non-descript sound track.

Tuesday, 13 January 2009

DreamWorks logo

The film Catch me if you can is presented by DreamWorks Pictures (logo seen above) DreamWorks are the company behind films such as Saving Private Ryan, Gladiator, The Ring and loads more. they have been putting films on our screens since 1996.
I Find the DreamWorks logo particularly interesting becuase its fairly complex compared to Warner Brothers simple big WB in the medal type shape. But also easy on the eye and simple to understand. Occasionally DreamWorks adapt the logo to suit movie, for example the opening to small soldiers they had sillohettes of the soldiers climb the boy on the moons fishing line and attack him.

Monday, 12 January 2009

title sequence

For my film opening sequence i chose the credits of Catch Me If You Can, a film depicting the life of Frank Abagnale Jr.

The Lowreyesque credits were created by Florence Deygas and Olivier Kuntzel or K+D. K+D are a duet of visual artists. Kuntzel comes from a design and communication background and Deygas from classical animation movie and fashion illustration.

I love this movie and the opening credits pay a real credit to the film. The sequence flows seemlessly from one clip to the next, each relating to keypoints in the film linking through the elongation of letters in the titles from top to bottom of the screen.

K+D also did alternative title sequences for the pink panther movie and bbc 4s the desk

Continuity task

This is my continuity task video, the purpose of this clip is to show that i under stand the rules of continuity when filming. Rules such as the 180 degree rule and shot reverse shot.

Thursday, 8 January 2009

This clip is my edit of the stock footage & sound we were given. The task was to learn more about using final cut by editing the stock footage & sound together.

I decided to do my best to cut the video footage in time with the beat in the music. The music starts calm and quiet so i put a fairly mundane video clip of a reflective building with the start of the credits slowly fading in. the background then fades out to leave the white text on the black background. Then the music fades out and brakes into a breif guitar solo. the titles then continue to fly from different dirrections at double the time of the snare drum in the music. i only maneged to put titles this far as alot of the time i spent getting the right video clips to match the timing of the music. had i had more time i would of continued this pattern.

Monday, 15 December 2008

Chuck Sequence Analysis

In this 30 second clip it is very difficult to distinguish the separate shots as they all seem to phase into the next. After watching the clip in detail I’ve noticed certain themes and styles that reflect the programme. The music sets a fast paced but relatively light hearted mood to the whole scene. The shot changes to an extent in time with the music, every time the music differentiates from the main basic beat something changes slightly. This happens about 5 or 6 times. The music then develops further into a higher pitch solo if you like. Once the solo begins the whole clip becomes more chaotic and faster paced.

The music builds up to its first change which happens in the first three seconds when the camera, very quickly zooms into the name on the badge ‘Chuck’. The camera pans up as the beat heads in a brief anti climax when the silhouette of the man with the brief case jumps from the bulls eye.

sorry i didnt get any further, i fell asleep on my laptop and woke up at 00:26

Sunday, 14 December 2008

YouTube hits

having looked across youtube for a while. At other Lego videos and just videos with a high amount of hits, i've come to the conclusion that the way to get alot of veiws is to tag exactly what the video is and contains. Tagging things like 'Paris Hilton' would make your video come up in searches, but if some ones searched paris hilton they're not going to care about our loge videos!

lego drama recreation

we decided that starsky and hutch was too difficult to remake in lego as the car would have taken days to make. with this in mind we switched to what we thought was a more achiveable clip to re-create, Chuck.

Sunday, 7 December 2008

Starsky and Hutch Lego

were only using the first 25 seconds of this clip because the rest of the clip changed each series, the main thing were going to need to make this cilp look good is the red and white car, starsky and hutch is mainly recognised by the car.

Tuesday, 2 December 2008

Importance of Cutaways and Coverage

A cutaway is when a person is listening to someone speak and the camera cuts to the listener to see their reaction, this is important because with out the listener making noise, not seeing their actions would leave us totaly lost as to what was going on.

Coverage is how much footage has been captured when filming a scene, the more coverage, the more material the editor has to use to get a better final peice.

Monday, 24 November 2008

TV Drama Homework.

Forensic TV Dramas:

  1. New Tricks
  2. Dexter
  3. CSI
  4. Quincy
  5. Dianosis murder
  6. Forensic files
  7. Without a trace
  8. Body of evidence
  9. Bones
  10. Silent witness
  11. Monk
  12. NCIS

TV Drama Homework

Saturday, 22 November 2008