Juno storyboardVERTIGO:

MAD MEN:

This is a MEDIA STUDIES TOP GRADE OPENING, with interesting titles/credits:

It is well worth looking again and again at a top quality, Hollywood title sequence: http://www.artofthetitle.com/title/napoleon-dynamite/

Homework: Go to http://www.artofthetitle.com/ and make a timeline document like above for your DREAM OPENING. Post a picture of your time line on your blog. Write 5oo word reflection on what you learned regarding titles and how they convey character, setting, mood, plot, theme and genre.

Your task is to work in groups and devise your own “dream sequence” opening to a movie. You must consider the following:

  • Convey character, atmosphere, genre, plot through the sequence.
  • Provide an interesting use of credits.
  • Provide an “animatic” sequence before you shoot the movie, use Post-it notes if necessary.
  • Consider these questions: what do you want to reveal through the dream sequence? What do you want to say about the characters? What kind of atmosphere do you want to create, and how does this tie with the genre of the film? For example, if you’re making a thriller, what kind of dream sequence would be appropriate? If you’re doing a comedy, what dream sequence  would work? Are you going to reveal that it’s a dream straightaway?

IMPORTANT QUESTIONS TO CONSIDER as well:

In what ways does your media product use, develop or challenge forms and conventions of real media products?

How does your media product represent particular social groups?

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

Who would be the audience for your media product?

How did you attract/address your audience?

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

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

There are many different types of “dream sequences” in movies, and many ways of categorising them. This article here contains some good ruminations. Here are my thoughts:

1. The “memory dream”. The most famous example of this is probably the opening of Hitchcock’s Rebecca where the opening representation of a dream represents a powerful and traumatic memory, taking us back into the past:

2. The nightmare. Once again, Hitchcock excels at these. The best “nightmare” sequence for me is in Vertigo, which represents brilliantly James Stewart’s mental breakdown after he’s watched the woman of his dreams fall to her death (or so he thinks!)

3. The surreal dream. Once again, Hitchcock comes up trumps with this classic sequence, made with the surreal artist Salvador Dali’s help.

4. The comic dream. Fellini’s 8 and a half is the best comic dream for me, although it comes very close to a nightmare.

The Big Lebowski’s dream sequence is magnificent as well:

5. The mystical dream. Andrei Tarkovksy is a master at these, his films are full of them. Mirror probably contains the best “mystical” dreams:

I’m looking for some more dream sequences, particularly ones from thrillers, or “happy” dreams. Please post your thoughts/ideas/links below if you can…

Please make sure that you have covered these areas in your blog: look up on the internet terms you are not aware of.

MEDIA TECHNIQUES

SHOW WHEN AND WHERE THESE THINGS HAPPEN IN YOUR MOVIE:

Camera Shots, Angle, Movement and Composition

  • Shots: establishing shot, master shot, close-up, mid-shot, long shot, wide shot, two-shot, aerial shot, point of view shot, over the shoulder shot, and variations of these.
  • Angle: high angle, low angle, canted angle.
  • Movement: pan, tilt, track, dolly, crane, steadicam, hand-held, zoom, reverse zoom.
  • Composition: framing, rule of thirds, depth of field – deep and shallow focus, focus pulls.

Editing

  • Includes transition of image and sound – continuity and non-continuity systems.
  • Cutting: shot/reverse shot, eyeline match, graphic match, action match, jump cut, crosscutting, parallel editing, cutaway; insert.
  • Other transitions, dissolve, fade-in, fade-out, wipe, superimposition, long take, short take, slow motion, ellipsis and expansion of time, post-production, visual effects.

Sound

  • Diegetic and non-diegetic sound; synchronous/asynchronous sound; sound effects; sound motif, sound bridge, dialogue, voiceover, mode of address/direct address, sound mixing, sound perspective.
  • Soundtrack: score, incidental music, themes and stings, ambient sound.

Mise-en-Scène

  • Production design: location, studio, set design, costume and make-up, properties.
  • Lighting; colour design.

REPRESENTATION

Discuss how and why you have represented these topics in your blog

Gender: What gender are the main characters and why? How are you conforming to or breaking gender stereotypes?

Age What age are the people in your film and why? How are you conforming to or breaking stereotypes?

Ethnicity What ethnicities are you representing and why? How are you conforming to or breaking stereotypes?

Sexuality What sexualities are you representing and why? How are you conforming to or breaking stereotypes?

Class and status What social classes are you representing and why?

Physical ability/disability How are you conforming to or breaking stereotypes?

Regional identity How are you conforming to or breaking stereotypes?

 

SELF-ASSESSING YOUR OWN FILM OPENING

Write a detailed assessment of your film opening and put on the blog, assessing rough draft versions as well as the final version, using this marking criteria:

Level 1 0–23 marks

The work for the main task is possibly incomplete. There is minimal (very little) evidence in the work of the creative use of any relevant technical skills such as:

  • Producing material appropriate for the target audience and task;
  • using titles appropriately according to institutional conventions;
  • using sound with images and editing appropriately for the task set;
  • shooting material appropriate to the task set; including controlled use of the camera, attention to framing, variety of shot distance and close attention to mise-en-scene;
  • using editing so that meaning is apparent to the viewer and making selective and appropriate use of shot transitions and other effects.

Level 2 24–35 marks

There is evidence of a basic level of ability in the creative use of some of the following technical skills:

  • Producing material appropriate for the target audience and task;
  • using titles appropriately according to institutional conventions;
  • using sound with images and editing appropriately for the task set;
  • shooting material appropriate to the task set;, including controlled use of the camera, attention to framing, variety of shot distance and close attention to mise-en-scene;
  • using editing so that meaning is apparent to the viewer and making selective and appropriate use of shot transitions and other effects.

Level 3 36–47 marks

There is evidence of proficiency in the creative use of many of the following technical skills:

  • Producing material appropriate for the target audience and task;
  • using titles appropriately according to institutional conventions;
  • using sound with images and editing appropriately for the task set;
  • shooting material appropriate to the task set;, including controlled use of the camera, attention to framing, variety of shot distance and close attention to mise-en-scene;
  • using editing so that meaning is apparent to the viewer and making selective and appropriate use of shot transitions and other effects.

Level 4 48–60 marks

There is evidence of excellence in the creative use of most of the following technical skills:

  • material appropriate for the target audience and task;
  • using titles appropriately according to institutional conventions;
  • using sound with images and editing appropriately for the task set;
  • shooting material appropriate to the task set;, including controlled use of the camera, attention to framing, variety of shot distance and close attention to mise-en-scene;
  • using editing so that meaning is apparent to the viewer and making selective and appropriate use of shot transitions and other effects.

 

Research and Planning

 

Level 1 0–7 marks

  • Planning and research evidence will be incomplete;
  • There is minimal research into similar products and a potential target audience;
  • There is minimal organisation of actors, locations, costumes or props;
  • There is minimal work on shotlists, layouts, drafting, scripting or storyboarding;
  • There is minimal care in the presentation of the research and planning;
  • Time management may be very poor.

Level 2 8–11 marks

  • Planning and research evidence may be partially incomplete;
  • There is basic research into similar products and a potential target audience;
  • There is basic organisation of actors, locations, costumes or props;
  • There is basic work on shotlists, layouts, drafting, scripting or storyboarding;
  • There is a basic level of care in the presentation of the research and planning;
  • Time management may not be good.

Level 3 12–15 marks

  • Planning and research evidence will be complete;
  • There is proficient research into similar products and a potential target audience;
  • There is proficient organisation of actors, locations, costumes or props;
  • There is proficient work on shotlists, layouts, drafting, scripting or storyboarding;
  • There is a good level of care in the presentation of the research and planning;
  • Time management is good.

Level 4 16–20 marks

  • Planning and research evidence will be complete and detailed;
  • There is excellent research into similar products and a potential target audience;
  • There is excellent organisation of actors, locations, costumes or props;
  • There is excellent work on shotlists, layouts, drafting, scripting or storyboarding;
  • There is an excellent level of care in the presentation of the research and planning;
  • Time management is excellent.

The Evaluation:

(This must be put on the blog with all questions answered in depth)

The questions that must be addressed in the evaluation are:

  • In what ways does your media product use, develop or challenge forms and conventions of real media products?
  • How does your media product represent particular social groups?
  • What kind of media institution might distribute your media product and why?
  • Who would be the audience for your media product?
  • How did you attract/address your audience?
  • What have you learnt about technologies from the process of constructing this product?
  • Looking back at your preliminary task, what do you feel you have learnt in the progression from it to the full product?

Marking criteria for evaluation

Level 1 0–7 marks

  • Minimal skill in the use of digital technology or ICT in the evaluation.
  • Minimal understanding of issues around audience, institution, technology, representation, forms and conventions in relation to production.
  • Minimal ability to refer to the choices made and outcomes.
  • Minimal understanding of their development from preliminary to full task.
  • Minimal ability to communicate.

Level 2 8–11 marks

  • Basic skill in the use of digital technology or ICT in the evaluation.
  • Basic understanding of issues around audience, institution, technology, representation, forms and conventions in relation to production.
  • Basic ability to refer to the choices made and outcomes.
  • Basic understanding of their development from preliminary to full task.
  • Basic ability to communicate.

Level 3 12–15 marks

  • Proficient skill in the use of digital technology or ICT in the evaluation.
  • Proficient understanding of issues around audience, institution, technology, representation, forms and conventions in relation to production.
  • Proficient ability to refer to the choices made and outcomes.
  • Proficient understanding of their development from preliminary to full task.
  • Proficient ability to communicate.

Level 4 16–20 marks

  • Excellent skill in the use of appropriate digital technology or ICT in the evaluation.
  • Excellent understanding of issues around audience, institution, technology, representation, forms and conventions in relation to production.
  • Excellent ability to refer to the choices made and outcomes.
  • Excellent understanding of their development from preliminary to full task.
  • Excellent ability to communicate.

Pete’s MediaMag Blog has a good section on how to achieve good marks for AS Media Studies movie openings. Please read it carefully here and devise a blog post entitled ‘What I have learnt from Pete’s MediaMag blog’ on openings.

You need also do some blog posts on other OCR Media students’ openings which you have liked. Analyse them in terms of all the areas we have discussed: camera shots, framing, mis-en-scene, sound, use of credits, narrative structure. What can you learn from them?

 

You need to include in your shooting script:

 

The overall purpose and audience of the film

The genre of your film

The audience

The controlling ideas; the mood and atmosphere.

The practicalities

The locations and why you have chosen them

A list of your actors and why you have chosen them

An outline of your storyline; the major events and motivations of the characters in the whole film and the 2 minutes opening.

The timings of WHEN you will shoot the scenes:

The props: the mis en-scene, the costumes, the make-up; who will do this and HOW it will be done.

Consider the lighting: how you will do this and make it interesting?

Consider the sound: how you will do this and make it interesting?

The camera angles and position of the camera: how will you achieve interesting shots? E.g. think about placing the camera high up, low down, using different cameras simultaneously to create interesting cuts etc.

Consider the instructions you will give the actors; how will you get them to act well?

Consider the representation of the characters and places: how will you avoid turning the characters into stereotypes? How will you do something different with the genre of the film?

Before you film you must provide DETAILED outlines of the following things and put them on your group blog.

A detailed explanation of the GENRE or GENRES of your film. Why have you chosen this genre? What appeals to you? What audience are you aiming at?

A detailed explanation of the WHOLE story of your film, with a clear explanation of the beginning, middle and end.

A detailed STORYBOARD of the first TWO minutes. Roughly 60 storyboards. Include:

Camera shots

Imaginative close-ups: e.g. feet walking, nails being bitten, eyes

Imaginative mid-shots

Imaginative long shots: establishing shots that suggest the WORLD of the story.

Imaginative pans: scanning a particular scene.

Imaginative tracking shots

An overhead shot

A shot looking upwards

Other shots: The Dolly Shot, the Dutch Tilt, Cowboy Shot, Deep focus: http://www.empireonline.com/features/film-studies-101-camera-shots-styles

http://www.mediacollege.com/video/shots/

Imaginative use of titles: please look at Napoleon Dynamite for this: http://mariemahriaamelia.wordpress.com/

Editing: include the type of editing you will include, including timings for scenes.

Include jump-cuts

Montage

Parallel editing

Write a SHOOTING SCRIPT: write down all the props you need, the timings, the actors, costumes, make-up, equipment needed, deadlines/

Expectations:

http://petesmediablog.blogspot.co.uk/2010/10/film-openings-for-level.html

BLOG EVERYTHING YOU SAY: Record meetings, take photos of sketches, do PowerPoints, Prezis etc.

  1. Set up a group blog; give it a name, make yourself sound like a production company; have someone be a producer, director, editor, camera person, make-up, scenery, SFX, lighting, sound.

E.g: Vertigo Production Company or River Film

  1. Decide upon the genre of your film; thriller, horror, school, romance, hybrid; sketch out an overall narrative for the WHOLE movie.
  2. Draw up a detailed storyboard for the whole 2 minutes; this must be detailed; every shot covered.
  3. Write a detailed shooting script; props needed, locations, who will do what. Draw up a time-line. Rough cut December 3rd.
  4. Shoot film.
  5. Edit it and produce it. Put on blog.
  6. Final version December 15th. On group blog, and your own blog.

GOALS: to learn how to storyboard the opening of a movie; to learn how to learn from other movie techniques; to learn some tricks from old movies.

TASK: Watch the beginning of the Naked Kiss:


What makes this an effective opening? What could be improved?

Now storyboard the opening sequence of a movie in which the main character, who seems stereotypically weak and vulnerable, hits another character, robs them, reveals something about their identity; in order to do this sketch out a scenario for the whole movie, using the “hamburger” model and considering the film’s genre, then work on the beginning. Use ‘The Naked Kiss’ as a model but improve it by using more interesting camera angles (e.g. overhead shots), changing the mis-en-scene, the characters (e.g. a small person and a big person).

So on your blog do a post which includes these things:

  • My outline of the whole film:
    Genre:
  • Location:
  • Casting:
  • Equipment needed for shoot:
  • Lighting:
  • Shooting script:
    Main characters:
  • What I hope to achieve with the opening:
  • Mis-en-scene:
  • Camera angles:
    Sound: diegetic and non-diegetic.
    Storyboard: take a picture of your storyboard. It should be detailed, including length of shots, sound, camera angles etc.

Narrative structure in Media Studies

GOALS: To write an excellent blog on narrative structure where you outline what narrative structure is, and you highlight the narrative structure of your favourite films, and you plan out some rough stories
TASK
On your blog highlight the different ways about looking at narrative structure from a simple child’s view to a Hollywood script writers. Fill in these graphical organisers for your favourite stories or invent a story of your own in your favourite genre, e.g. thriller, Rom-Com etc.

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original-315817-1Story_Structure1

Many films follow a clear narrative structure; analyse your favourite films and their narrative structure, using these graphical organisers.

Devise a graphical organiser for the narrative structure of possible films you could make.