Friday, 29 November 2013

Independent Horror Films

Independent Horror Films

As mine and Alec Jetha's opening sequence is the horror genre. I have decided to research famous and successful independent horror films. This will allow me to see what makes these films so good in the horror genre.

Halloween (1978)

This Indie Horror, made for only $320,000 by John Carpenter is the most successful independent film worldwide. It grossed $237 million worldwide. 
On Halloween night in 1963, a six year old Michael Myres murders his 15 year old sister. Fifteen years later he escapes from a psychiatric hospital, returns home, and stalks teenager Laurie Strode. 
Although Halloween is an independent film, it is one of the most successful and iconic within the horror genre. 

Paranormal Activity 1 (2007)
Paranormal Activity 1 is an independent American film. The film centers on a young couple who are haunted by a supernatural presence in their home. It is presented in the style of 'found footage' from cameras set up around the house. Although the film was initially independent, it was picked up by Paramount pictures. The film was made for just $15,000, but made $193 million worldwide. It is the most profitable film ever made. 

Funny Games (1997)

Funny Games is an Austrian psychological horror film written and directed by Michael Haneke. The film is about two young men who hold a family hostage in their home and torture them mentally and physically.  It made $42,838 in Austria. The film has sparked controversy and admiration. 

Henry:Portrait Of a Serial Killer (1990)

This film is a 1990 horror/thriller about the random killing spree of a serial killer. The character of Henry was based on serial killer Henry Lee Lucas. The film was shot a 16mm in less than a month with a budget of $110,000. Its box office was over half a million dollars.  

Night Of The Living Dead (1968) 

Night Of The Living Dead is an independent American horror film directed by George.A Romero. It premiered on October 1st 1968, completed on a US budget of $114,000, it made $12 million domestically and $18 million internationally. The film was criticized for having explicit content.

Tuesday, 26 November 2013

The Horror Genre

The Horror Genre

As the horror genre is my favorite genre within film, I have decided to do a post on the research of horror films. I will be focusing on what the horror genre is, famous horror films, and characters within horror films. 

Horror is a genre of film seeking to create a negative effect on the audience by playing the audiences primal fears. They often try to startle the viewer.
They often deal with peoples fears and nightmares. Many horror films include supernatural origin and the use of the unknown to scare audiences.

The first horror films were mainly silent short films created by the film pioneer Georges Melies in the late 1890's, his best known film is Le Manoir du diable, which is sometimes credited as the first ever horror film. Another of his horror projects is the 1898 'The Cave Of The Only One'. Japan made early horror films also with Bake Jizo and Shinin no Sosei.

Famous Horror Films

The Shining
The Exorcist
A Nightmare On Elm Street
The Blair Witch Project
The Ring 
The Woman In Black

What makes a Horror Film

There are many conventions within horror films. These are what makes horror films so popular and famous. The main aspects of a horror film need to be traditional. 
Some of the best horror films all include the same features, these include isolation, visual fear, loud sound affects, creepy music and the aspect of tension. Furthermore, all horror films will need a scary character involved in the film. 

Wednesday, 20 November 2013

Spider Man 2 vs Se7en opening

Spider Man 2 vs Se7en opening

Spider man 2 is an American superhero film directed by Sam Raimi. It is the second film in the spiderman film trilogy based on the Marvel character. It grossed over $783 million worldwide and won the Academy award for best visual effects. The films success led to Spider Man 3, in 2007.

Se7en is an American 1995 thriller film directed by David Fincher and distributed by New Line Cinema. It stars Brad Pitt and Morgon Freeman. The film was released in the United States on 22nd September 1995. It grossed $327 million internationally.

Spider Man 2 Opening 

The opening of Spider Man 2 is very key and interesting within the film. This is because it represents the heroism and action within the film. Another key feature of this opening is the comic theme within the opening, this links to the traditional theme of spider man and let the audience know more about the film.
In addition to this, the opening of the film also shows scenes from the previous spider man film, this is important/useful for the audience as they can be reminded of the story line.
When looking at the colours of the spiderman theme i notice that the colours of black, blue and red. This connotes the colours of spider man's costume, this would be entertaining for the audience of spider man.  


The opening credits to the Blockbuster thriller 'Se7en' is an important feature of the film. The various different themes, images and animations create a special aspect for the audience and allows them to dive straight into the theme of the film. The soundtrack is important within this opening as it is tense, eerie  and strange- this links to the theme of the film as it is about a serial killer. This links to the spiderman 2 opening as both opening credits link to the theme and plot of the film.
Another key feature of this film opening is the creepy vibe of animations. The transitions are random and jumpy, this leaves the credits unpredictable, this links to the theme of solving a mystery. This again shows that the opening credits link to the film theme itself. 


Monday, 11 November 2013

Film Directors Research

Film Directors Research

In this post, I will be researching different directors, these directors are my favourite as I am a fan of their films and the techniques they use. By researching these directors, I can gain inspiration for my practical work when doing my film opening.

Steven Spielburg

Steven Spielburg is an American film director, screen writer and producer. His career spands more than four decades. He began his films with science-fiction and adventure films and he was seen as the creater of modern hollywood movies. 
In later years, he made films about humanistic issues like war and terrorism. 
Spielberg won the academy award for best director for Schindler's List (1993) and Saving Private Ryan (1998). Threeof his films Jaws, E.T and Jurrasic Park achieved box office records, each becoming higest grossing film made at the time. His films exceed $8.5 billion world wide. 
Steven Spielberg uses many helpful techniques within his work. Here is an example of a sideways tracking shot. These shots can be extremely long and usually focus on a group of characters within the film.
Another technique he uses is where he makes a character approach the camera to be framed in a close up. He is not the only director to use this technique however he does this very well. This technique is used to show a certain character in detail and it can also be used to show a certain emotion or detail within a character.   

Quentin Tarintino

Tarintino is an American film director, screen writer, producer and actor. He has been dubbed a 'director dj' as his films link with music. He began his career as an independent film maker, his first big film Reservoir Dogs is considered best independent film of all time by Empire magazine. His popularity increased with the making of his second film Pulp Fiction, widely  as one of the greatest films of all time. Other notable work from him are Kill Bill and Django Unchained.

Tarintino also uses many different techniques within his work, his use of juxtaposition and over the top characters (e.g Samuel L. Jackson from Pulp Fiction) make his filmography more unique and famous. 
The use of juxtaposition allows the film to progress and to show the film in contrasting ways. The use of strange music and sound effects whilst playing over a scene make his films creative and unique. 

Christopher Nolan

Christopher Nolan is a British film director, producer and screen writer. Since his debut in 1998, he has directed eight features ranging from low budget independent films to Hollywood block busters. He has received three academy award nominations. His most famous films are Batman Begins, The Dark Knight, The Dark Knight Rises and Inception.

Christopher Nolan also uses many inspiring techniques. Me and my work partner Alec Jetha are big fans of Nolan because of his independent film work. Some of my favourite films such as the Dark Knight and Inception have been successful because of the way Christopher Nolan directs them. 
He uses many different camera angles to show the story and to express what is going on within the shot. Examples of this could be Inception where the various camera angles help to show the different side of the dream world. Furthermore, Nolan sometimes also uses hand held cameras to show realism and to help the audience understand what the characters are going through and how they are feeling within the film. 


Sunday, 10 November 2013

Types Of Special Effects

Types Of Special Effects
Special effects have a very vital and important role within film. In this post I will be analysing how special effects have progressed over time and the different types and categories.
There are 2 main categories for special effects, optical effects and mechanical effects.
Optical effects are where images or film frames are created photographically. An optical effect might be used to put an actor in front of a different background.
 Mechanical effects (also known as physical effects. It includes the use of mechanical props and scenery. Mechanical effects can produce physical wind, rain, snow and fog. It is very useful in film.
Since the 1990's, computer generated imagery (CGI) has become huge in the film industry. It gives film makers great control and allows films to become more creative.   

Saturday, 9 November 2013

Skyfall (2012) Opening Credits

Skyfall (2012) Opening Credits
Skyfall is the 23rd Bond film produced by Eon Productions. It was distributed by MGM and Sony Pictures Entertainment. It features Daniel Craig, Javier Bardem, Naomie Harris, and Judi Dench. The film was directed by Sam Mendes.
The opening credits of the film contain animations which link to the film i.e. violence and weapons. Furthermore, when looking at the titles of the film I notice how they are very simple. This is common within James Bond films and very useful for the audience. This is because it the simplicity of the titles are very easy to read and fit in well with the complex animations going on behind the titles. Furthermore, the simple white colour allows the titles to stand out and be easily read in front of the dark animations.


Friday, 8 November 2013

Sound In Film Openings (Horror Genre)

Sound In Horror Openings
I am very interested in film, especially the horror genre. For my practical (opening title sequence) I have been thinking of doing the horror genre. This is why I have chosen to analyse opening title sequences within horror films. This is because it will help me when I make my own opening title sequence.
When analysing sound in horror openings, I notice that certain music will be put in to fit the genre of the film (in this case horror). When studying horror films, I notice that dark, uncomfortable and eerie music will always be used. 
A good example of a horror film with sound in the opening would be The Woman In Black. The opening scene in this film is very effective, the use of sound in the background emphasises the horror of the scene and helps to make the audience scared.  
Another example of sound in horror films could be The Exorcist (1973). When looking at the opening credits of this film I notice there is nothing particularly scary about the scene. However, the soundtrack used is very edgy and can help to make the audience scared, which is obviously needed within the horror genre.

Thursday, 7 November 2013

Why Are Opening Sequences Within Film Important?

Why Are Opening Sequences Within Film Important?
Within film, some of the most iconic and important moments have occurred within the openings of films. This is for many reasons, directors like to draw in the audience straight away to keep them interested in the film and to keep them on the edge of their seat. From this post, I will be talking about why opening sequences are so vital and important.
They allow the audience to understand the genre of the film.
This is important as it allows the audience to know what to expect from the film they are watching.
Film openings set the scene and show the audience who contributed towards the making the film e.g. actors/actresses.
This is vital within films as it tells the audience many things and allows companies who worked on the film to advertise themselves. It also shows what actors and actresses are in the film. This would attract large amounts of people if they liked who worked on the film. Openings can also set the first scene of the film and create the first part of the story, which is very important and helpful.
Allows the audience to see what the film is about.
The opening of a film will allow the audience to see what the film is about as it can set the scene. For example, if it a film was about war the opening could have scenes of a battle. This is why many films start off with a main feature of the film.
The opening can be used to draw the audience in and the film interesting.
This is commonly used within films, mainly horror genre. Within horror genre the opening will often be tense to keep the audience on the edge of their seat and to keep them interested- this has a positive effect with the audience and allows them to enjoy the film more.

Monday, 4 November 2013

Mise-En-Scene in Action Films

Mise-En-Scene in Action Films

Mise-En-Scene- Everything you see in the film

Hair and Make up

Mise-en-scene is the 'visual environment within the frame.' This is everything you see/hear within a shot. I will be analysing the Mise-en-scene within action films. Different genres of films have different functions, examples could be realism, super natural terror or any other numbers of functions. It all depends on the genre of the film.

The mise-en-scene within an action film will always fit the genre of action. This means that violence will often be involved. A prime example could be behavior/actions of characters within the film. Using the film 'Hanna' as an example, we can see that this scene uses the behavior and actions of the characters involved to fit the genre of action. From this fight scene we can see each character using weapons and throwing punches, therefore fitting the genre of action.
Furthermore, the use of props within Mise-En-Scene fits the representation of action. These props include weapons such as a gun and a knife. This again fits the genre of action and allows the audience to see the violence involved.
From this scene, I also notice how a subway is used as the setting. This is quite a common feature in the action genre as it can be quite an isolated and dark location, this is perfect for an action film as it creates tension within the film.

From mise-en-scene, I am enabled to understand and identify key aspects within action films. They all fit certain rules to make the movie involved within the action genre. In my opinion, the use of behaviour and actions and props are the most important feature within the action genre.

The Use Of Camera Shots

The Use Of Camera Shots
Within filming, camera angles are hugely important. This is because they help the audience to see what is happening within the shot and to understand the story. Furthermore, camera angles also suggests different meanings and help to express different emotions and connotations within the shots. Without these different camera angles films would not be able to fully express what they are trying to show; therefore they have huge importance.
From this post, I will be analysing the different camera angles, I will show why they are used and what they can help to express.
Extreme Long Shot
This shot is generally used to set the scene, it is also known as an establishing shot. There will be very little detail within the shot as it is taken from a long distance, however the shot allows the audience to understand the location of where the shot is taking place and what it could mean for the characters involved.
Long Shot
This shot shows the image approximately 'life size' corresponding to the real distance between the audience and the cinema screen. For example, a long shot of a man would appear 6 feet tall. In addition to this, the entire body would be shown, with the head at the top of the frame and the feet at the bottom.
Medium Shot
This shot usually contains a character from waist up view. It is mainly used for scenes involving dialogue. Background detail is usually minimal to focus on the character involved in the shot. Another variation of this shot is the Over the shoulder shot, this positions the camera behind one figure, revealing the other figure, and part of the other figures back head and shoulder.
Close Up
A close up shot always shows very little detail in the background, but focuses on the characters face or a detail of mise- en-scene.  Everything else is just a blur in the background. The shot magnifies the object and is used to show the importance of things or focus on the object. The close up can allow us to understand a character more or focus on emotions.   
Extreme Close Up
This shot magnifies what the human eye would be able to see. This is useful in film as it allows the audience to focus more on something. Extreme close ups could be used to focus on parts of the body like eyes or your mouth. No background can be seen- this shot is extremely useful when the film maker wants to show dramatic effect.