Hello and welcome to my blog, this is for my slasher film opening, Liar. The blog includes all research and notes. Enjoy!

Thursday, 19 December 2013

Practice Shoot

This is our practice shoot of our horror genre film opening. We have involved the main actress so that we could get some sense of positioning of character, character actions and timing. We had a go at some general continuaty editing, and how we can fill in certain elipses. Rather than having the CCTV footage of the murderer playing on the television we have edited the clip onto the television, just to get some idea of what it will look like when the character is watching it in the real shoot. We have not included any diegetic audio for the practice shoot, but only a non- diegetic phone sound.

PP Intertextuality Vodcast

This is our vodcast on the intertextuality used within our film opening.

Wednesday, 11 December 2013

Notes on past AS coursework-horror genre

In various pieces of coursework such as Red Christmas and Black Nightmare the students have used POV camera shots with trees/branches in the frame, signifying a character watching the victim, whilst hidden behind something. Looking at the openings i found this one of the most effective techniques used to portray the killer/stalker character and create narrative enigma. I feel our opening may benefit from using this effect. Another element i picked up on was the effective use of teenage slang, for example in Camp Ivy the blonde scream queen character says "I can't be arsed." this uses verisimilitude to the teenage world and helps fit in with the target audience of the horror genre of teenage\young adults.
             In Red Christmas in the opening titles and first opening sequence is dominated by a non-digetic audio dub of an eery whispered voice narrating a christmas carol. I thought this was very effective as it immediately puts the audience on edge, making them unconciously hold their breath. The way in which they have linked the idea of christmas in with the horror genre is also effective, using binary opposition and portraying a slightly more disturbed scenario. The audience instantly links christmas carollers with innocent, young children, which really enforces this new distorted image of christmas the opening gives.
         The negative points I picked up on were the mis-use of ellipses within action shots, missing out key scenes, for example in Red Christmas before the girl character gets stabbed, we see the killer following her, and then the next scene is of her on the floor being killed. The scene could have benefited from a scene of the killer literally coming up behind her close before killing her as it looks as though it has jumped a bit.

Thursday, 28 November 2013


The ending of our movie opening is at the moment going to be killing the scream queen who stars in the opening.

However, another idea would be:

The girl goes to the garage as would happen in the normal opening, but then instead of being killed, the girl jumps because someone grabs her shoulder. The girl turns and realises that the hand on her shoulder is her boyfriend's best friend. She sighs and hugs him saying 'omg i was so scared!' and the friend says 'what are you on about, aw, come here its ok' (because she is crying). The friend then gives a look signifying he is the killer or knows something (over her shoulder) or he sees the mask and smiles or something showing he is the killer.

Draft Of Plot

Opening title card: 'production company' presents
                               a ******** film
Girl is running through a forest, medium shot of her back as shes running, she looks back at camera.
Switches to els of her running through forest past camera side on.
alternating between shots, infront of her and behind, keeps looking back
girl trips, switches shot to floor see her hands hit the floor
pov shot she looks up and sees someone

phone rings in the real world
diegetic sound. girl on bed jumps, pink bedroom
shot of phone, pic of boyf and her, ringing
mcu of girl 'phew!', picks up phone (shot of her picking up phone then turns back to her answering it)
talks into phone 'hey alex, omg this movie is so scary!'
lights go off, tv goes off
phone creepy voice 'this isnt alex'
tv goes back on. cctv of alex in garage tied up. table of knives or something similar. person with scary mask pops up on cctv obviously holding phone
(cuts between cctv on tv and girl mcu)
girl 'what, is this a joke, stop messing around' etc getting more frantic, nervous laugh etc
phone voice: 'you have got one chance to save your boyfriend, so listen carefully'
girl: 'what? who is this? this isnt funny anymore'
phone voice: 'i'll give you one question and you must answer truthfully, if your answer is correct, he's free to go. if not, say byebye'
girl: 'please, stop, seriously, this is sick, not funny, ill call the police!'
phone voice: 'how many times have you cheated on alex?'

potential flashback of girl with other guys

girl: 'what? no, i... i haven't! i haven't...'
phone voice: 'liar'
hanging up noise on phone
girl saying no no no wait no screaming down the phone to stop
on cctv you see the person killing the boyfriend
girl gets close to the screen and realises *gasp* its her garage

she runs out of the room down the stairs etc to garage, over the shoulder/behind shot following her to the door of the garage
cuts back to cctv footage, see girl walk into room, looks around then looks at camera
you see the killer walk up behind her and grab her

title: LIAR with screams as diegetic sound

Playground Productions
and Sliding Dog Studios
in association with Green Apple Productions
a Sarah De Biasio film
Alex Osbourne
Poppy Potts
Kathy Allen
edited by Poppy + Sarah
produced by sarah and poppy

LIAR - blood trickles down screen then liar comes up with screaming

Wednesday, 20 November 2013

Pitching idea

-Girl sat watching tv/lying on bed
-all the lights go off and power
-tv comes back on (no lights)
-video played on screen of girl walking towards screen slowly
-girl on bed/sofa gets up slowly going towards screen
-girl on screen puts her hand out
-girl on bed slowly reaches out and touches screen (music rising up)
- nothing happens, girl sighs with relief
-girl goes to turn light back on, turns around and girl is in the room.
-main girl screams, cuts to titles

similar idea but blonde main character has a boyfriend with her, when lights get turned back on he is dead in the room.

For pitch-
pictures of room in background on powerpoint slideshow
video of girl in a forest walking towards camera-short video clip of the ring opening running in background

speech for pitch-
my own ident will be used at the beginning
Target audience- teenage to adult
Main plot idea
The setting- girl's bedroom/ living room
setting- video itself filmed in a forest
Props-tv, possible fake blood,
The killer- girl dressed up with hair down and long gown-
Inspiration-Ideas from the ring
how the film is going to develop

Monday, 18 November 2013

Wednesday, 13 November 2013

Genre Research Horror; 2

I Still Know What You Did Last Summer
, 1998


 $65m, UK Box office; £2,657,571

Rottentomatoes.com 7; IMDB 4.3 ; Roger Ebert

Just as with Trick or Treat, this film uses the idea 
of showing a real tiger, which then evolves into an
 animated tiger which is used in the ident.


Two idents are used in this film. Before the first ident, a tiger is shown running through a forest, before then turning into an animated tiger which is used to create part of the first ident. 

turns into animation

It then goes into showing the first titles of the director and producers, a white font on a black background. The next scene is an opening scene of the main character, no more titles are shown which is unusual for an opening of a film.
The opening scene is a close up of the main character's feet walking down an isle in a church. There is a grim mise-en-scene in the church with dark scenery, and loud echoing of the footsteps of the main character.
The main character is represented as a popular, good-looking typical scream queen for a horror film, however she has brown hair rather than blonde, possibly signifying she is infact the protagonist.
The opening scene begins with diegetic sound of the footsteps of the main character, there is no non-diegetic music as the church is silent, creating this eery effect and putting the main focus on the character's actions and dialogue.

Genre Research Horror; 1

Trick or Treat


rottentomatoes.com  ;IMDB;6.7;Roger Ebert

I liked the idea of using an innanimate object on screen before the ident, which then evolves into an animation and the ident itself. We could use representations of the main character through clothing, hairstyle, bedroom setting etc to signify this is vunerable character or victim.

A young boy who is bullied at school, idolises a dark, mysterious character which may lead to horrific events.
One ident was used for this film, however before the idents, there is an image of a scary wooden statue figure straight away appearing on screen, presenting the genre of the horror film. This image of the statue then emerges from an object into animation and evolves into the first and only ident. This is a unique way of presenting the ident which i may use in my film opening.

wooden statue figure
statue becomes animated

forms into ident (lion's tail)

The ident lasts 5 seconds before then going straight into titles. The titles first run with white font lettering on a black backround when introducing the film title and producers, however this then changes as the titles continue running over video background, a montage of shots and panning around someone's bedroom.

There are 19 titles altogether, set out in the normal layout of titles; director, producer, cast, crew, director.
The opening scene is a long shot of the main character on his bed. 

The character is writing in a journal and narrating what he is writing, this then turns into a montage of events with different scenes in various locations around the school, such as the lunchroom, the sports hall, the changing rooms and under the stairs. Throughout this montage the main character, the young boy, is seen being bullied and hurt in various ways, signifying this vunerable, weak character which usually links in perfectly with the horror genre. We get the idea that this character is going to either be the antagonist to save the day from the "evil" occurences later on in the film, or infact the victim in the situation. In the main character's bedroom we see a poster of some sort of dark character that he seems to idolise. This eery character he chooses to idolise creates enigma on what kind of lifestyle the boy leads.
From the representation of the character's bedroom during the running titles, also with the style of non-diegetic rock music that runs with it, we get the idea that this character leads a dark, mysterious lifestyle, perhaps suggesting that he is infact going to be the antagonist. The  representation of the main character's haircut in contrast to the other character's emphasises how different he is, and vunerable, making us almost certain that this will lead up to a dis-equillibrium involving this character.
From the very beginning before the idents there is a non-diegetic soundtrack playing. This plays throughout the idents, and first titles, (lasting 42 seconds in total) overlapping with a non-diegetic narrative from a mysterious character the audience is not familiar with, creating enigma before the titles have even finished.  The titles then continue and the soundtrack changes to different non-diegetic music which then goes onto play throughout the rest of the titles and over the first diegetic sound. This soundtrack is played for 3 minutes 32 over a montage of events happening. 
The first soundtrack (over ident and first titles);
Denotation; Long, drawn out synthesised music and violins- with slow tempoed, deep man voice-over reciting a dark poem.
Conotation; Eery, creates enigma, mysterious, keeps audience on edge, creates tension. Man's voice and words may create confusion the audience on what this poem means, signifies the genre of the film.

Genre Research Horror; 3

, 1960


$806,947 ;US Box Office; $32m








Film Festival


On friday the 8th november, the media students went to a film festival in York. The AS students got a chance to go listen to one of Warp production's team, Barry Ryan. He gave us an insight of what life is like working for a big film company, how he got into it, their short films etc.
We learnt a few facts on Warp Film, such as;
They have made 18 films, 7 ITV series, won 7 BAFTAS, and hold 1 world record. 
Barry also informed us about Warp X digital, which is what was used to create the film Tryannosaur. It cost £1m and under to make, using digital technology. Warp Films are also in relations with people such as Jessie Armstrong (creator of Tracy Beaker) who also wrote one of Warp Film's biggest films, Four Lions.
Barry Ryan showed us many clips on some short films, and tv series that Warp Films have done, such as Channel 4's Southcliffe. Barry also gave us useful information on the neccessary steps needed, and roles involved when creating short films. 
He said there are a few things we need to think about, for example;

  • The reason behind why we are making a short film
  • Is it a showreel?
  • Are we making it just for practice on film-making?
  • Is it perhaps a story that has to be told?
  • Whether it is just for fun or an experiment
  • Are we making a short film just to hang out with friends, for a social aspect?
He also informed us of the many different roles and factors that need to be allocated/ sorted out when making a film, such as; 

  • Budget
  • Time schedule
  • Negotiating deals/contracts
  • Allocating a project manager
  • Technical manager
  • Human resources
  • Health and safety
  • Legals for closing film and TV/tax credits
  • Cashflow money (if you can only get £200 out a day from your bank)
He emphasised how short films are difficult to generate money from, which I never knew. The same amount of hard work and filming goes into short films as they do into big studio films, however the purpose is not to make a profit like long films would.
In order to make a short film you need at least;
30 days preperatino, 30 days to shoot footage, 10 hours of filming per day.
Barry said if a film was to make £1m at the box office, that exhibitors take 50% of what is made, distributors take their P&A back, and the producers get 50% back.

Tuesday, 22 October 2013

FilmOpeningEG4; Four Lions

Four Lions

4 young men from Bradford filming plan of terrorism.

2 idents used 

1 of 2 idents used

grim, dark , bad camera quality in opening shot, gives a video diary entry effect. Dirty room, characters sat on the floor, poor surroundings. 
Clothing; big coats, hat, army style clothing, main character introduced holding a gun. Possible army/ theme. Middle-aged men also related to army theme. Social class; possible quite low-working
Dialogue and narrative in opening scene, cockney accent, swearing- comical. Switching from bad quality camera to film camera.

FilmOpeningEG3; The Matrix

the official poster

The Matrix

RottenTomatoes.com; 87% ; IMDB 8.7 ; Roger Ebert 3*

Edited idents to go with the genre of my film opening. E.g colour effect change on original idents, change of font and overall style of text. A reocurring theme to enhance the genre/style of the film, e.g certain colours used throughout, font style or soundtrack.

Sci-fi film with modern technology computer hacking.
Trinity is conducting a transaction in opening scene, there is a police raid which search the building and find her.

Edited Idents, Green and black theme
Two idents are used, both of which have been edited with a green colour over them/a green and black theme which goes with the sci-fi genre of the film. This then coinsides with the following titles/opening scene of green codes being typed out on a computer as someone hacking the system. This is effective and a simple way of getting across to the audience of the genre of the film before the titles have even begun. Also this theme can easily be put into the film throughout in a number of ways, eg. writing, colour of clothing.

Green and black codes on title screen

  After the idents in the titles/first opening scene it shows green and black computer coding being typed on a screen and this is repeated for about 25 seconds with computer and machine noises in the background. Straight away this gives away the sci-fi theme of the film and may possibly be used again throughout the film for added reinforcement of this re-ocurring theme of computer hacking.  The next scene is a grim, dark mise-en-scene with a few characters and police authority being introduced. It is a very Dark setting, using the police flashlights to show key events and actions going on around a deralict building. The lights are then shone onto a mysterious, female character alone in room, which gives us the impression she is the main character and is clearly the reason behind this police raid.
Deralict building, grim mise-en-scene

police light on female character being introduced

Clothing; Suits and ties, All black clothing, Tight leather, long coats, dark sunglasses, police uniform;- all these types of clothing may represent authority,mystery and give a sinister look.  
Age; Middle-aged men and women, this could represent some sort of action involved throughout with young, fit characters. 
Gender; The few main characters seem to be male-(the two main men in black suits and sunglasses), however the action seems to revolve around a main female character who is hacking some sort of computer system. The main attention of the opening scene is around introducing her and what it is she has done to cause this disturbance.
Female character introduced,
leather clothing

male character's clothing, black, dark
clothing, characters of authority

Audio bridge: Non-diegetic computer sounds, typing, into diegetic dialogue of police, with non-diegetic music over the top. Slow, drawn out sounds followed by sharp dramatic percussions. Dramatic, on edge, creates tension and theme of action.


Mine and Poppy's edit for the Mise-en-scene Hacker film.

Friday, 18 October 2013

FilmOpeningEG2: Love Actually

Love Actually 
, 2003
Universal Pictures ;StudioCanal ; Working Title Film; DNA Films  (prod.)

Budget: $9m; US box office: $40.5m

Opening duration: 2:30/4:41*
RottenTomatoes.com 81%; IMDB 6.6 ; Roger Ebert 4*.

A british rom-com starring Colin Firth, Hugh Grant etc. This ensemble film features a series of vignettes centred around Hugh Grant as prime minister.

3 Idents are used in this film.The titles are shown on the opening scene of people embracing at Heathrow airport. The titles are shown as one letter highlighted in red, followed by white lettering on the actors' names fading in after.This repeats as each of the actor's names are individually shown on screen -which normally portrays that these are the well known actors. This repeats throughout this scene with 8 actor's names which are then followed by a group of four actors' names on screen together at once, possibly showing the less well-known actors. Hugh Grant narrates as this then breaks down the film title which comes onto screen at the same pace as Hugh Grant's voiceover.

1 of 3 Idents used

Breaking down of film title with Hugh Grant's VO

representation of christmas in montange during titles

revealing  of London eye behind christmas tree, setting, comical

Alan Rickman
..followed by four Actors at once
Bill Nighy
Colin Firth
Emma Thompson
Hugh Grant
Laura Linney
Liam Neeson
Martine McCutcheon

A bright, white, stereo-typical british mise-en-scene is introduced, starting with the opening scene at Heathrow airport, with mainly British, white, middle-aged characters embracing in a happy atmosphere. This mise-en-scene is then carried on in the following montage of christmas. There is a "5 days to christmas" countdown and then scenes of snow, christmas trees, winter clothing,decorations etc. The theme of christmas and love is straight away representated through the titles, opening scene and montage. To start the montage there is a comic reveal of the london eye from behind a man carrying a christmas tree, revealing the setting of London before then going onto the christmas scenes.

Clothing; Male main characters wear shirts, suits and ties, christmas jumpers giving a stereo-typical white, middle-class, British actor. The majority of the main female characters wear jumpers, long skirts are generally covered- up giving a conservative look, also going with this stereo-typical London, British look. There are also a few binary opposite female characters later on for comic effect.
Gender; The opening scene and film consists of mainly white male and female  hetrosexual relationships, children, families etc.
There is an audio bridge from the 3rd ident to the first scene at Heathrow airport of non-diegetic music.
Denotation; the piece has long, drawn out notes, from some sort of synthesiser.
Conotation; this music is emotional and sad  in contrast with the visual in this scene of people embracing and happy reunions with loved ones. Ontop of the music there is a non-diegetic voice over from Hugh Grant, speaking slowly, giving a moving and perhaps slightly emotional speech about love. This may get the audience thinking and feeling happy about love themselves. 
Hugh Grant finishes speaking and it then jumps to the next scene and into the  diegetic sound of Bill Nighy singing his christmas song. There is some slight dialogue inbetween the singing of Bill swearing (comical character) and his manager talking talking to him, also shouting and swearing at him. This is then followed by a montage in which the non-diegetic music starts again and is played throughought the montage until it has finished with the titles.

Opening introuduced to main character Bill Nighy- swearing, bad christmas song, producer "solid gold shit" -comedy introduced. Themes of love, christmas and comedy recurring throughout within opening titles, scene, music, film title, representations etc.