SOUNDTRACK – EDITING DAY

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The image above shows the application garageband.

This is the soundtrack which I made for our final thriller opening. The sound was probably the most annoying aspect of the editing stage as I searched the internet but we could just not find a soundtrack which suited our thriller. I looked at royalty free music websites to find music however a lot of the sites which we came across were not really free and had some hidden charges; all the free sites we came across were rubbish apart from one. The one site which we did find for music which actually quite good was -http://incompetech.com/music/royalty-free/- the site was really good and has a massive array of royalty free music tracks to choose from. However despite the mass amount of choice of music, we still could not find a track which suited our piece. So I decided that I was just going to make one. The application I made this on was garage band. I have used garage band before but I’m no pro, this meant that a lot of time was spent fiddling around and getting to grips with the app itself. I have used the app before as I said but when i used it it was a couple years ago and i was trying to make a dubstep track anyway the point is I was a little bit rusty.

When making the track I had to make sure it followed what we wanted as a group. As a group we agreed that the track had to be slow and subtle, however we still had to make sure it was identifiable as a song associated with a thriller film. The track that i made took quite a while and there were a lot of failed attempts and re drafts. The first draft I came up with was a song which was made up of violins and background noises. I shared this with some of the members in my group and they liked it however it was a bit too much for our thriller, so it was back to the drawing board. after a couple attempts I had finally cracked it ūüôā The track i made was slow eerie and oh so creepy.

FILMING DAY 2

With the filming of the murders done and dusted we could now focus on the main bulk of the plot. The second day revolved around us filming shots of the main character of Stigma, the main character was Alyesha who is a part of our group.

After grabbing all the equipment we needed we made our may to my house. Firstly we had to get establishing shots of the area of which our opening sequence would take place in. I instructed our camera man Omar to take shots of the house on its own. after reviewing these shots I didn’t like them, however they gave me an idea. as I live opposite a forrest I told Omar to get inside one of the bushes (not in the way you think) in order for us to take a POV shot from the unknown watchers perspective. The shot came out beautifully and exactly how we wanted it too, when editing we also added a filter which added a frame to make it look like it was recorded off of an old cam-corder, but I will talk about this in, more detail in another post.

The next set of shots I wanted to get was of Alyesha getting off of the bus and walking up to the house. This was a long and extremely annoying process. It sounds easy enough to get shots of someone getting off a bus and walking up to a house but when you throw in a main road full of cars, busses and people wondering what on earth you doing, it makes the task near impossible. One of the problems that occurred were people looking directly at the camera and smiling. This helped ruin some really good shots. It took us ages getting a shot of Alyesha getting off the bus and when it eventually happened the bus driver kept smiling at the camera and laughing; it really wasn’t that funny driver.

After taking all the shots we needed from outside our filming inside continued. We filmed Alyesha doing normal things you would do after coming home from a long day at work; taking off her coat, making herself a cup of tea, putting on the TV ect. The main purpose of these shots were to add that sense of normality. The shots were of fairly basic things such as a phone and a cup of tea, however we got some real nice technical shots. A few shots we got was a fridge shot, where we place a camera inside the fridge and filmed Alyesha opening it, another was a birds-eye view of Alyesha stirring the tea; there were a lot more but i could be going of for another 500 words so I’ll move on. Some of the shots we took were in order to enforce the theme of The Devil and also to tie in the plot for ‘Sigma’. An example of a shot which did this is one we had of the phone. We had a shot of a telephone and the answering machine had 6 unread messages. The 6 shown on the answering machine was a 6 and it kept flashing, we filmed this to show the theme of 666 the sign of the beast. Another one of the 666 shots we got was of a TV. In the shot Alyesha was shown trying to change the channel but the buttons were not working and the numbers 666 kept appearing on the screen.

FILMING DAY 1

Filming day was the day where we filmed the majority of our footage for out thriller opening. This was the day where our roles within the group were really put into play, so after a long day at school myself and the other members of our group (Alyesha, Omar and Harroldas) made our way to the location of where we would be filming, which in this case was my house; we also had a small group of girl class mates with us who we asked to star within our opening. We made our way to my house with all of our equipment and props we had a little break in which the girls decided they would make tea and toast for themselves, me and group however were not offered any. Anyway the first day of filming consisted of us filming a certain set of shots. The shots we had to film were flashbacks of multiple girls bodies being found ¬†in various different locations. The process was extremely annoying and tedious at times as some of the girls would burst out laughing in the middle of a shot where they were meant to be dead; This was extremely annoying however we got it done…..eventually

when filming the various deaths we incorporated the number six in every shot. This is because our opening was based on the devils numbers 666. In the first death we showed a girl laying dead in the forrest. in this shot we carved a 6 within the mud. in the second we set the time on one of the girls phones as- 18:00. in this shot we took a close up of the phone and filmed it as soon as the time went from 17:59 – 18:00; after this we then used a panning shot from the phone to the girl laying dead on the bed. The third girl we had laying dead in the bath. On her head was fake blood and within that fake blood a 6 was drawn in on her forehead. In the shots for the fourth girls death we actually showed the process of her dying. This involved her putting a tablet in a glass and drinking it, after she drinks it she drops the glass and falls on the floor. In this death the 6 is on the tablet itself and and we got a few really nice close shots of the tablet in the glass where you can clearly see the 6. in the last shot we showed the final girl laying down with a close up of her back. on her back were massive marks and bruises which were all done by Alyesha using make up. Within the fake bruises Alyesha some how created a 6.

We incorporated all of the sixes in a way which it was not obvious but you could see them still, we did it subtly as we did not want it to be obvious and overdone.

STIGMA

When choosing a name for out thriller opening we decided to call it Stigma. The reason for this is that out opening is related to the theme of 666 and signs of the Devil.

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What is Stigma?

People who have stigmata exhibit wounds that duplicate or represent those that Jesus is said to have endured during his crucifixion. The wounds typically appear on the stigmatic’s hands and feet (as from crucifixion spikes) and also sometimes on the side (as from a spear) and hairline (as from a crown of thorns).

Along with possession and exorcism, stigmata often appears in horror films, and it’s not difficult to see why: bloody wounds that mysteriously and spontaneously open up are terrifying. However, stigmatic’s, who are typically devout Roman Catholics, do not see their affliction as a terrifying menace but instead as a miraculous blessing ‚ÄĒ a sign that they have been specially¬† chosen by God to suffer the same wounds his son did.

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The chosen title fit our piece well as It fit the narrative and also adds to the mysterious factor of our opening sequence. One of the main ways it adds a sense of mystery to our piece is that people today are still unsure if the Stigma actually exits.

TOP BOY

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During the Half Term I have been keeping up with a show called Top Boy. Top Boy is a show which was aired first in 2013 and finished last year. I have heard a lot about the show but have only just come around to watching it, so far I am thoroughly enjoying it.

Top Boy is a programme about two boys who are involved in the drug trade in North London, as the show goes on we see them rise in position. Top Boy is a drama filled with action and suspense. Although Top Boy is not necessarily a thriller it contains many conventions of the triller genre. This is shown in the various camera shots used and some of the narrative.

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I have just this minute finished watching all of the episodes of Top Boy that have ever been aired. I have really enjoyed the programme so far and hope it returns for a third series. The last episode was full of thriller and suspense. One thing i like about the show is that you never realise what direction the story goes in. In some ways it reminds me of the film Se7en. I say this because they both have extremely unpredictable story lines; Top Boy however is a lot more gritty and in some ways darker. One of the main things that adds to the thriller genre is the fact that the show depicts the lives of people who live in some deprived areas in the UK. This I believe makes most Thriller and also Horror films; I have always found films/programmes which have a sense of realism more scary purely to do with the fact the unfortunate events shown on screen could happen to me.

T.V. THRILLERS

Luther is a BBC Television Series, the main character is John Luther (Idris Alba) who is a brilliant police detective who never fails catching his killers.

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In the first episode DCI John Luther returns to work after a spell of leave following the traumatic arrest of serial killer Henry Madsen. Luther’s first case is to investigate the murder of the parents of child genius Alice Morgan. He quickly deduces that Alice is responsible for the deaths, but the seemingly perfect crime leaves no evidence with which to convict Alice.

Outside of work Luther is trying to win back his wife, Zoe, now he’s got his life back on track. She has moved on, however, and has a new man in her life: Mark, who is the antithesis of Luther. Will Luther be able to save his fractured marriage to Zoe?

As the murder case proceeds, Luther realises he has become Alice’s next project and that Zoe is in danger ‚Äď because he dared to question Alice’s brilliance. Luther and Alice seem to have a strange connection ‚Äď both extraordinarily intelligent, they verbally spar with each other and seem to delight in the competition.

Luther’s brilliant mind soon works out how Alice managed to kill her parents without leaving a trace, but without the evidence of the gun there is nothing he can do. On this occasion it seems Alice has won ‚Äď but Luther refuses to give up. In the meantime, unbeknown to Luther, Alice has tracked down Henry Madsen to his hospital bedside where he lies in a coma. But what does she intend to do now that she has found him?

MY ROLE WITHIN THE GROUP

When filming we were all assigned different roles within the group. The role I undertook was the director. as well directing i was in charge of gathering all the props, some of which i actually made (the newspaper in my previous post) i also provided the location in which we filmed in. The location which we filmed in was my house. I thought it was an ideal location as it is situated opposite a forrest which would add to the conventional effect of a thriller setting. Another attribute my house was able to offer is that it has a lot of space making it easier to position and manoeuvre the camera.

As the director i had to assist the camera man (Omar Hudson) with the shots he took, also i had to review the shots taken to see if they needed re-doing. When filming i found that we had to film the same shot a number of times just to make sure it was perfect for the editing stage. There were many occasions I made Omar take shots again just for flow and continuity, an example of this is a shot where all we had to do was put a newspaper on a table, however I was not happy with the way it looked on the camera. There were many shots which we had to re-do as i wanted to make sure that they were perfect; soon I will upload a video of bloopers and re-done shots.

Another part of my role was making sure that we got all the shots from our story board and shot list on the camera. This was fairly challenging as we kept having to re-take shots and adjust our position to replicate the shots on the story board. It was important for me to make sure we stayed as close to our planning as possible so our end result comes out exactly how we expected it to. As well as trying to incorporate the shots I came up with a lot more shots which we filmed. There were times where i even had to take over as camera man for a short period of time just to show my group exactly what I was talking about, I had to do this as at times I was finding hard telling them what exactly i wanted to do so in the end i just had to show them; an example of this is when i had to climb up on a table to film a birds-eye shot of our female protagonist (Alyesha) stirring a cup of tea.

PROPS…….

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This image is one of the props which i have created for our sequence. The newspaper which i have created shows pictures of 5 girls which have been murdered. In our sequence we will show all of these girls after they have died, this will done with a flashback effect. The newspaper itself will feature within our sequence as a part of the story. The girls within the paper will be acting in our sequence.

INSPIRATION

When coming up with our initial idea as a group there were many horror/thriller films we looked at for inspiration. One of the main films that had so many good ideas that we could adapt was the 2008 film The Strangers. The Strangers is my favourite horror films. The film is about a couple who are staying at small little holiday house, as the film progresses 3 masked people plot to torture the couple both mentally and physically. The film is extremely scary and full of surprises throughout. One of the main things that i really loved about it was the fact at no point do you see the peoples faces. This was one of the reasons why the film was so scary, the other thing that makes it scary is that the reason they are torturing the couple is because “they were at home”.

The main reason why i thought that The Strangers was good to use for inspiration was because every aspect of the film was very smart and well thought of. By this I mean it is full of really effective camera shots and angles. An example of one of my favourite camera shots used within the clip is the one where the woman is in the kitchen. I really like this shot as it puts the audience on edge as you don’t expect the masked character to emerge in the background.

Whilst filming I will try and ensure that we take some ideas from this film and adapt them, this hopefully will help us to make the audience feel scared and on edge just as The Strangers does.

LOCATION, COSTUME AND EQUIPMENT

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We decided to use my house for our location as I live opposite a forrest so it fits perfectly with typical locations of the thriller genre, this is also good as we can use the forrest for scenic shots. We will be using the kitchen, bathroom, living room, narrow hallway and also the exterior of the house. One of the main reasons that filming within a house appealed to us as a group is due to¬†Hitchcock’s philosophy. Hitchcock¬†brought the horror to the home to make his films¬†involve the audience, the more involved the audience is the easier it is to¬†shock/scare them. taking the horror to the home makes the audience more afraid as it makes them feel as if the events shown on screen can¬†turn into a reality.

Our thriller is set in the 21st century therefor the characters costumes will be modern and trendy. The woman in our sequence is a business woman who has just come home from a busy day at work so she will be wearing formal clothing (shirt, blazer, skirt)

For filming we will be using our own camera and not one provided from our school however we will use a tripod for this provided by school.