Welcome to the blog of Rasam Productions and Full Throttle Distributions Sam Pollock (The Director) charting the evolution of the opening to the new feature film "Wrenched" jointly produced with Rob Shaw (The Producer) and Asa Newmarch (The Cinematographer). You'll be able to see the final cut on my YouTube channel as well as various short videos and vodcasts/podcasts right here on this blog! Enjoy and please feel free to comment/add suggestions!

Wednesday, 16 February 2011

SP - Codes + Conventions of Film Openings

Meet The Fockers (Jay Roach, 2004)
Budget : $80 000 000 
US Box Office : $280 000 000 
UK Box Office : £28 000 000

As part of the first evaluation question which includes detailing what our group has done in regards to using, as well as challenging conventions of film openings which are not specific to genre. I have looked at a film called Meet The Fockers which is a different genre from our coursework film which is a slasher.

The Company Idents are the first to appear on screen and are played before the film. In this particular film they are Universal Pictures followed by DreamWorks SKG

Non-Diagetic sound plays throughout the company idents on screen and keeps playing through the first two shots and then the music stops. 

There is an establishing shot which is common in most film openings but in this film the shot is of Chicago in America 

The opening scene is featured around one male character and we find out alot about his life through exposition. For example in the first couple of shots we see him working in a hospital as a nurse and furthee on in the scene we find out about his family through him talking on the phone 

The opening scene lasts for 3m 40s when the non-diegetic sound starts palyin again over the shots where we see the film titles start coming up. We see text that says "Universal Pictures and DreamWorks Presents", another secondary company saying "A Tribeca / Everyman Pictures Production", "A John Roach Film" and then all the main actors. This is a common convention of film openings

Saturday, 12 February 2011

ALL - Fifth Podcast: Conventions of Film Openings

Here is our fifth podcast in which we discuss the first evaluation question of our coursework. "In what ways does your media product use, develop or challenge forms and conventions of real media products?" 

Friday, 11 February 2011

ALL - Vodcast 6: Changes Due To Feedback

In this vodcast we discuss the recent changes to our rough cut "Wrenched" and the audience feedback we recieved to make these changes. We also talk about the re-shoot which will be happening next week.

Thursday, 10 February 2011

ALL - New Rough Cut

Here is the second rough cut of our opening 2 mins to our feature length slasher film.

Wednesday, 9 February 2011

ALL - Sample Footage Photos

This is a photo of the hooded figure wearing the mask

This is the mechanic wearing the boiler suit
This is a photo of Asa filming Rob (The mechanic) walking into the bathroom
This is a photo of Rob (The mechanic) walking into the bathroom in the scene where he washes his hands and eventually gets killed
This is a photo of Asa filmimg Sam as part of our coverage
This is Asa filming Sam in the final scene in our film where the boyfriend turns up and the killing is put on him

ALL - Vodcast 5: New Idea + Feedback

Here is a link to our company blog.

In this vodcast we discussed the new coursework idea, the feeback we recieved for our rough cut and changes according to the feedback.

RS - New Working Title + New Narrative

Firstly we have changed our working title to "Wrenched" the reason for this is because a wrench is used as the weapon in our film. The name has not been used before (we cannot see any with the same name on IMDB) and it fits in better to our narrative than our previous workting title.

After recieving feedback on our rough cut and sample footages we came to the decision to alter the narrative/synopsis of the film to make it a bit more understandable, the mise en scene work better and maybe tweak a few problems we had.

I have also got persmission to use Jem Whitehead's band The Feedback music, this music will be played on the radio/cd player that the man in the garage will be listening to.

The ideas we have come up with for the new narrative are:

· Fade into a shot of a rural location, possibly on a high hill (To anchor the location)
· Fade into a long shot of a house, with a garage to the side of it. Rock music playing quietly in the background, signifying it is coming from the garage and someone is in there.
· POV shot tracking up to the house, music getting slightly louder
· The POV shot gets close up to the house; you then hear a car engine “failing” noise coming from the garage. The camera pans around to look at the garage door.
· Close up of a wrench being slammed onto a work surface
· Man working on the car shouting “god dammit” signifying he is frustrated with the car not working. The music is now full volume linking to the man’s emotions.
· CU and LA of someone’s feet walking around in the garage (the shot will be under the car)
· CU of a dirty oily hand opening the car bonnet
· The man picks up a half empty, dirty mug of coffee, he spits the coffee out because it is too cold, and slams it onto the work surface.
· Possibly a couple of shots with the man in the boiler suits hands over the bonnet, or his head under the bonnet at work.
· We will experiment with a few more shots for coverage and then decide on what else to add the day after.
· The music then cuts (the girl has turned off the music)
· The man hits his head against the bonnet of the car, because he is surprised to hear the music stop, so he looks up from the engine, but hits his head in the process.
· The man says something such as “Bloody hell, you made me jump there lass” We want the man to have a Yorkshire accent, because the stereotypical Yorkshire man is a dirty, smelly farmer.
· There will be a shot reverse sequence; however we will conceal the identity of the man for narrative enigma signifying he is the killer.
· The Girl replies with “Sorry for making you jump like that, are you okay? I just wanted to know if you wanted another cup of tea. My step-dad called and he wanted to say he will be another 15 or so mins”
· The man replies with “Ahhh smashing lass, yeah that would be grand. Do you mind if I nip to the loo to wash my hands?” This then cuts to a CU of the man’s dirty/oily hands.
· She replies with “Yeah, that’s fine, its right at the top of the stairs, I’ll just be in the kitchen”
· We see someone pick up the wrench when they exit the room, however we don’t see who has taken it for narrative enigma.
· It fades into a high angle shot of the girl filling the kettle with water and then her putting it onto the stand, then an ECU of the kettle light turning on.
· CU of the man’s hands being washed and steam from the tap (links to the kettle boiling)
· Cut shot back to the kitchen, and the girl is laying out a mug and dropping the spoon into the mug with coffee on it, foreshadowing something.
· Cut back to the man in the bathroom which is empty, we hear a quiet sound of a draw opening in the background
· Cut shot to into the hallway, a POV shot of someone opening the door slowly and we see the man’s arms.
· Cut shot again to inside the room and a drawer opening, we see the item in the drawers, women’s underwear.
· CU of clean hands rummaging through the drawer.
· Cut back to the girl in the kitchen, camera close to the kettle so we can see that it has nearly boiled. The girl is in the background putting the coffee away.
· Cut back to the bedroom, a hand picks up a pair of knickers, the shot stays with the knickers out of shot (as if being brought up to the man’s face) we hear a loud sniffing noise.
· Cut back into the hall with the door being slowly and carefully closed
· The man goes back into the bathroom to wash his hands, he reaches for a towel, and we see a masked figure in the mirror stood behind him.
· CU of hand holding the wrench, and it being flung towards the head.
· ECU of the kettles light going out and the kettle finishing.
· We hear a loud crash on the floor.
· The shot stays in the kitchen and we hear someone running down the stairs
· And finally a loud scream

ALL - Fourth Podcast: Feedback on Rough Cut

Here is the fourth podcast in which we discuss the feedback we got on our rough cut.

ALL - Class Feedback on Rough Cut

In this video we showed our rough cut to the class. We then asked for feedback on the whole rough cut and they gave us ideas of how to improve it. The camera seems to have cut random bits of the footage resulting in little bits being cut out, therefore not running smoothly throughout. The footage is also filmed without a tripod so can be very shakey at times. After recieving the feedback we have taken the film opening apart and thought of new ways to convey our narrative a bit better.

RS - Rasam Productions

Rob has recently made a blog for our company Rasam Productions. This blog will be useful for posting behind the scenes, vodcasts, podcasts, company idents etc and finally our production once we have finished it.

Saturday, 5 February 2011

RS - Coursework Update

Due to a long discussion with each other and our media teacher we have come to the decision to change most of our synopsis. From our feedback we needed to give a better reason as to why the man would go to the house in the first place, also why the girl would kill the man and to hide her identity using narrative enigma in the process. We will keep the same characters and the same twist but just tweak the narrative a bit to make it portray to the audience a bit easier.

  • The man will be working on the girls car in her garage 
  • He will come into the house and ask if he can wash his hands because he has just fixed the car
  • There will be a sequence of shots when the man is in the bathroom washing his hands
  • A masked figure will come behind him (the girl in disguise) and stab him with a knife
  • The girls boyfriend will arrive and see a mask on the floor, picking it up and asking what it was so the blame is pointed at him.
  • This will be similar to the Scream (Wes Craven, 1996) twist in which it gets blamed on different people and we don't find out the truth until later on in the film after the opening 2 mins.

We thought that we would have to make the man look more menacing and therefore make the audience  believe he is the killer. We will change his costume so he will be wearing a boiler suit. The reason for this is to make him seem like a hideous creature, crazy and wanting to kill this defenceless girl. He will also have oily rags and be a bit animalistic. Boiler suits have been used in films such as Halloween (John Carpenter, 1978) the killer Michael Myers wears the boiler suit to mask his identity but also to make him seem a bit more creepy. We will also add fake blood (after he has been stabbed) and oil to the boiler suit to signify he has been working on the car

RS - Coursework Feedback

After screening our opening to the class we recieved some feedback which consisted of making it more obvious as to why the man goes upstairs in the first place. Maybe changing the costume of the man a bit to make him look a bit more menacing. They also told us to think a bit more about the ending because it is not "quite there" yet. We will brainstorm a few ideas as what to do and then produce another rough cut to screen and get further feedback on. Therefore we will need to secure another date/weekend for further re-shooting and on this day we will also create a "behind the scenes", a vodcast and a podcast. These can all be viewed on our YouTube channels and bloggers. They will be added to the relevent playlists when they have been uploaded to Youtube.