Wednesday, 8 December 2010

Aucillary task- narrative of the process

To underline the process of the production of our two chosen ancillary task, we decided that we would create a different type of distribution where all three members of the group each narrated the process. Achieving this was simple, as we firstly videoed ourselves talking, and then uploaded the video on Adobe Premier Pro where we separated the audio with the video, by deleted the video line. We then imported the relievent images to match the description and then placed them together to make the clip coheivive.

Wednesday, 1 December 2010

Ancillary task- film poster

Using Microsoft Publisher we created a teaser poster for our film - 'Face Down' embracing creative darkness inspired by the film 'Buried'. We narrowed our choices down to three a portrait poster with a poker-lamp at the top of the picture and a landscape or portrait  poster without the lamp. After discussing the options between us we decided that the lamp looked out of place and therefore ruled out that poster whilst the landscape poster is unpractical for use in magazines thus we chose the portrait poster without the lamp (poster 2). We also decided to ask for feedback from a focus group, another media student in our group Phoebe Ward commented "It's really good, it shows you what it is about in the poster as the poker table is the central focus however it doesn't give much away". We also found that most of the people we asked liked the film name - 'Face Down'. Sophie Sinclair said 'I think it's good, but it doesn't give much away and the gambling genre wouldn't appeal to us' however teenage girls aren't the demographic for our film. We asked another media student, Ollie Kent, to give us some feedback he said 'It's brilliant I definately want to  see it when it comes out, however maybe the poker table should be higher'.




Wednesday, 10 November 2010

Film name- 'Face Down'

Our film name 'Face down' took a lot of discussion, debates and ideas, as we felt that it was vitally important that we chose the correct title that would express our film, we finally believe the name that we have decided expresses our clip very well. Our film name shows a lot of connotations that are relevant to the type of clip that we are wanting to display, firstly in the popular poker game 'Texas hold em', the cards are dealt face down in order to hind the cards from the opposing player. 'Face Down' also suggests that you are trying to avoid conflict and trouble, this is evident in our film as Shaun uses the aid of cheating to help ensure that he will win, and this act would obviously infuriate the other players. finally due to the horrible and troubled time that Shaun and his wife are facing, the term 'Face Down' also expresses that someones luck is down and they are going through a difficult period where they are looking for a way out.

Monday, 8 November 2010


In order to create a visual movement of the shots that we want to include in our film, we produced an effective animatic, which shows the story of our clip in pictures. To make this, we drew by hand a rough sketch of each shot that we wanted cohesively. we when took pictures of each individual shot, and then uploaded it onto the computer through 'Adobe Premier'. We then cropped and positioned each shot, and put them all together to produce a short film animatic. We then downloaded a 'non copywrite' piece of music, in the genre of the blues and an electric guitar, we got this piece of melody from '', we chose this genre of music as we would consider using it in our film.

Wednesday, 3 November 2010


The Poker Film

Written By

Daniel Norris
Samuel Tyler
Ian Fry

Blank black screen, Man narrates

(Voice Over)
“I’ve never thought of myself as a particularly lucky guy”

Flash of light as the blank screen changes to that of a room, with a dingy overhead lamp shining onto a large poker table. The shot shows a man sat at the table, cards in hand and a stack of chips in the centre of the table. The man’s name is Sean.

(Voice Over)
“Poker’s a game where luck can come in pretty handy. Take a look (shows his hand of two Aces). But believe it or not this isn’t the type of place I tend to visit often or at all for that matter. First of all, take a look at my fine co-players”

Pan 360 degrees around the table revealing the five players at the table. The man running the game, called Eddie is sat at the end of the table nearest the corner of the room, and a ‘waiter’ is passing him an alcoholic drink from a tray. To his left is the woman dealing the cards, dressed informally. Next to her is sat a thuggish looking man with a shaven head, and in the seat along from him is a businessman in a suit.

“Call” (distractedly)

The dealer lays the flop, showing the Queen of Hearts, 7 of Clubs and the King of Spades

(Voice Over whilst play unfolds)
“In fact, I’ve never met any of these people in my life before, thankfully. They’re not your average upstanding citizen.


(Voice Over whilst play unfolds)
“You see, I come from a pretty normal background, at school I wasn’t exactly a genius, but I wasn’t thick either. I wasn’t the coolest kid around but I wasn’t a loser either. I was normal. But there was one thing in life that I loved. The army, it was my life. I was a rifleman in Afghanistan, and served 2 tours of duty. And I was good… (Trails off)
But…I was wounded in the shoulder during operations in the Helmand province; perhaps you’d like to see it”

Flashback scene: (POV) Running facing the ground, heavy breathing, then explosion launching the character backwards.

(Voice Over)
But I guess all good things come to an end. After that the army gave me a leaving present of a disability payment and an inability to work,

(Puts chips in)
“Play your hand or get out”

(Glares angrily, signals to call)

The river is revealed, audience don't know Eddie's hand so suspense is built. Eddie confidently throws hand on table

"Read it and weep"
(Sean reveals his hand to be the winner)
(Glaring across at Sean furiosly)
“Just take your shit and go”

Sean picks up the briefcase containing the winnings and exits the room

“Hey boss…” (Shows Eddie the ace left in the deck, revealing Sean has cheated”

“What the? That son of a bitch was cheating!”


(speaking to the camera)
“You see, I make my own Luck”
(Reveals an ace hidden up his sleeve)

In the background of the shot, the bouncer from inside is seen approaching him, and grabs his shoulder.

Wednesday, 20 October 2010

How the hand is planning to unfold

Initial Hands -

Sean Carter - Ace of Spades, Ace of Diamonds
Main Rival - Jack of Spades, Jack of Clubs
Character 3 - 10 of Hearts, 2 of Spades (FOLD)
Character 4 - King of Diamonds, Queen of Diamonds
Character 5 - 6 of Hearts, 6 of Spades


Queen of Hearts, 7 of Clubs, King of Spades

Sean has - Pair of Aces,
Rival - Pair of Jacks
C.4 - Two pair - Queen and King
C.5 - Pair of 6's (FOLD)


Jack of Hearts

Sean has - Pair of Aces
Rival - 3 of a kind - Jacks
C.4 - Two pair - Queen and King (FOLD)


Ace of Hearts

Sean has - 3 of a kind - Aces (Wins)
Rival has 3 of a kind- Jacks

character background

Sean Carter- main character

Grace Carter- wife of Sean

The aim of our film is for the audience to sympathise with the main character, so they are continuously willing him to win. Sean was an ex-military soldier who fought in Afganistan, he unfortunatly was injuried during action and was forced to go home against his will, as a war vecteran. Sean always loved the army and felt lost without it, the shoulder injury that he obtained would mean that he could never be able to go back again, the only thing that comforted him when he got home, was the love and care of his wife, Grace. Soon after Sean got home, Grace was in need of a IVF, which would cost around £8000 which is more than a sick wife and a injuried soldier has in thier bank account, therefore as a last resort Sean decides that in order to save his wife, he needs to win this poker game.   

Shooting script

Camera in the middle of the table. Slight low angle, shows the poker chips and main character is holding cards, possible switch of focus.

We then see close up of cards – Aces
360 degrees panning shot of characters around the table starts and stops on main character
Betting starts, series of shots of players putting chips in (possible other the shoulder, mid shot), folding, looking at hands and showing extreme close ups of the eyes revealing emotion. Try to use this shot to make it clear that our Main character is inexperienced, other characters relaxed – smoking – close up.
Flop revealed – burn card face down with 3 cards face up. Close up of the flop.
Remind the audience of the initial hand and what combination he has now – close up of the eyes and reaction (possible smirk in some characters) Narrator (main character) reveals through audio the combination and new hand – This all establishes the setting neatly with the poker game and characters.
Flashback – using after effects (explosion and time-stop) Main character in army uniform running towards camera which then switches to a 1st person camera shot of the character running – facing the ground then sent flying back by explosion.  Dip to white/black.
Start of next round of betting following flop – and turn revealed (incorporate meta-language check, raise etc.) Betting raised some people fold – increases tension as only 3 of initial 5 remain.
Turn revealed after the burn card – again show reactions – narration over the top throughout – flipping the chips between hand.
Attempt a stop-time effect ‘let’s see what everyone has’ just as he starts to turn over the cards switches back to reality – ‘if only it was that easy’.
Next round of betting following the ‘turn’ – ALL IN – calls other guy only 2/5 left now increase tension. Use other the shoulder shot – become tighter on characters faces to indicate increased intensity.
Flashback – Extreme close up of negative pregnancy test, wife of the main character holding it in one hand shown in mid shot – crying. Main character hugs her picks up IVF treatment bill – close up of the documentation – two shot of husband and wife hugging – main character comforting her – use other the shoulder shot for any dialogue.
Changes between shots becomes quicker to show tension – of eyes -  and card as it is revealed shown to leave main character winner. Close up of smile. Piling money into rucksack/suitcase close up of the money – wide angle shot of packing money in. Reluctant loser – he leaves in wide angle shot though door – we then see other gamblers realising he has cheated seeing 5 aces for example.
 The following shot is outside with a fixed wide angle, the main character walks towards the camera, a close up of his sleeve as he takes out with narration over the top and then he is unexpectedly dragged back into the building and gang indicating he has been caught.
We are then back into the interior - we see a birds eye view, close up of the cards, pans out to reveal main character lying on the floor dead.

Monday, 18 October 2010

Ancillary task- initial draft of our film poster

As part of our auxillary task, we decided that we would create a poster where its primary purpose would be to create a sense of mystery and suspense, and due to the fact that our film is based around a poker hand game, we will want to create an effect, where the audience will be guessing until the end to find out the conclusion of the clip. Our poster was inspired by the film 'Buried', where they use the dark background to great effect, and our aim is to reconstruct thier poster, to make it relivant to our film 'Facedown'. In our final product, we want to continue the idea of suspicioun, by using the dark background, and we want a dangling lamp with a weak, dusty light hanging over a poker table which is scattered with cards and chips, the whole image constructs the concept of the film, which is a dark, gangster type poker game with high stakes.  


When it came to creating our moodboard, the aim was to highlight the main aspects of the film, to give the audience a good understanding of what the film is based around. The areas which we wanted to get across was gangsters, money, poker and healthcare. I feel that are moodboard expresses this well. We got hold of these images via a selection of empire magazines that a member of the group brought in, and these issues contained a great amount of advertisments which included pictures that we believed were relivent to our moodboard. With the collection of images, we created a collage were we placed the more important aspects of  the moodboard above the rest to highlight and express them better.

Wednesday, 29 September 2010

film research

13 Tzameti

Black and white effect creates tense atmosphere, film noir

European, subtitled and cultural differences in film

Sounds are heavily emphasised, there is little dialogue so footsteps, bike bells etc. are given increased volume.

Smoke more visible in the black and white

Blurred focus at times leaves viewer disoriented.

Evocative music - reinforces enigma, off beat.

Meaningless, awkward conversation as the meaning is in the  visual, in this case a slow start

Panning shot of loading guns and spinning cylinders

Series of close-ups - showing nervous men, 360 degree pan showing men with guns

Uses lightbulb as a reference to build tension (when it goes out they shoot) - shots between men and lightbulb increasingly shorter.

Ignores conventions of time - even though all shoot at the same time it shows reaction one after the other.

Close ups of eyes to show intensity and fear

Contrast between men gambling - professional, rich in suits and pawns putting lives on the line.

Tension builds as fewer people remain in competition, feature we will us in poker film. As competition goes on rivalries build and so does intensity builds. Stakes raise and chance of success raises.

In poker stakes will raise and chance of main characters success will be made to look unlikely but will prevail in the end.

Harsh, brash and impatient organisers shout - reinforces illegality.

Main characters left in are often recognisable - 13 has an obese character thus making the audience able to follow it more easily.

Duel like the last leg of poker - shows two shot initially then - other the shoulder shot of both - moves in closer with OTS - pans audience reaction. (Close up/extreme close up could be used to show intensity.

Second duel, mid shot of each then into close ups.

Attention paid to eyes and reaction - like our poker idea, main character in 13 is novice.  Scared, shivering compared to the composed experienced gambler (shooter) yet he still wins., despite disliking activity.

When packing money the character feels guilt but the packer is clinical, little emotion.

Sweat is a clear signal of nerves and fear, accompanied by a slouched walk, fixed eye and facial expression

Ancillary task

For the ancillary task, we have chosen to create a film poster and a review in a magazine as the two types of advertisement for our clip. The reason for this is because we feel that creating thee would be easier than producing a radio advert, and because of this, we feel we can construct a better final product. In order to complete the tasks effectively and efficiently, we will have to familiarise ourselves with different programs, and study how other films publish their advertisement, this would be important to enable us to select the appropriate shots from are film that would be suitable. Also we would have to be building the poster during filming so we have the shots from the actual film, or we could think about using a shot not in the film but shows the characters personality. For example our character could be holding a pack of cards as it is a gambling film.

Monday, 20 September 2010

Inital short film idea

As a group we have discussed and concluded a new concept for our film, which we believe will be a stronger idea than our initial music video. The new concept will embrace the old-school film noir, our main character will be involved in a private and dangerous cards game Texas Hold.  However, in our film we will aim to create reasoning to why our character is in the game to evoke symphony from the audience, and therefore will take the viewers on the side of the main character, willing him to win. We believe this would be effective as we would then be able to create tension and suspense, as there could be times when he could be on the back foot of a vital hand. Our concept is different to other films of this kind, as we aren't heading in the general direction of gangsters, and greed for money, as we feel that our idea will get more of a response from the audience.

Although the stakes for our character is high, he will be shown as an inexperienced gambler, who occasionally plays the game in his flat at home with his friends, but is then shown holding Ace of spades and an eight of clubs, as the hand begins to unfold, he will state the words 'i wasn't always this lucky' as it becomes evident that he will hit a pair of aces on the flop. As this occurs we will be interested in experimenting an effect to signal a flashback to a time of bad luck in his life, possibly depicting him being beaten. In doing this, we will try to parallel narrative the plot to combine the flashbacks with the card game when he is shot at the end.

We believe that it would be a really great idea if we could successfully attempt to use 'after effects', which would effectively stop time. if we could use this effect, it would allow the main character to move around the table as the other players of stationary, in order to cheat and look at their cards, in doing this the character would wish say 'if only it was this easy'.

As we see the rest of the hand unfold it reaches a dramatic climax with the river (last card) revealing a an eight of spades, creating the infamous “dead man’s hand” aces over eights (two-pair). His opponent most likely is winning until the last card to increase tension.

The  character stuffs a briefcase full of money and we see him exit with his winnings, as he moves towards the camera he reveals “you see I make my own luck” revealing two aces in his sleeve. Then an abrupt ending, the main character is shot from behind, cutting straight to black to conclude the short film. We still have to consider the aggressors motives but by the fact of having him reveal he was cheating the audience will believe that is the ending twist and his death will come as a surprise.

To create the best possible film, it will be vital and necessary to research blockbuster films with a similar plot to ours in order to find out how to make a card game exciting, the films that we will research would be the ones that have successfully use tense and gripping card games such as “Rounders”, “21″, “Dr.No” and “Casino Royale.”

Wednesday, 15 September 2010

short film analysis

An Ode to Modern Democracy and The Hairdresser;

This short clip shows a skilled hairdresser, cutting the prime ministers hair. The clip is narrated by the hairdresser throughout, and she is deliberating whether she should give the prime minister a bad haircut. She talks a lot about  democracy and history, and she wants to make history by not giving the prime minister the specific style, and instead giving him a ridiculous cut. This is shown at the end of the clip, as  the hairdresser begins to fully shave his hair, making it a lot shorter than he would have wanted. This is surprising as a viewer as the hairdresser is actually ruining the prime ministers hair, this is surprising because although she was debating to herself whether to do it, and she even visually imaging the prime minister with a outradious hairstyle, to really put it into action seemed a drastic approach to something that would get her seriously in trouble.    

The hairdresser in this clip is shown to be living an average life, thus why she wants to make a name for herself. the mise en scene shows a clear separation and contradiction in the social class of the two individuals. The clip shows typical stereotypes of a working class hairdresser, she has her hair tied back in a ponytail, she is chewing gum while she is working, and when talking her attitude seems blunt and to the point with him. In terms of verisimilitude, there is clear visual indiction that we are in a hairdressers, there are scissors, hair brushes, chair and various equipment which gives the audience an instant understanding of the setting. Clothing is also another interesting contradiction, the hairdresser is seen wearing very casual clothing, she is shown wearing leggings, saddles with plasters on her blistered feet, large looped earing and a clear use of make up, this backs up the suggestion that the clip is showing a working class woman, who is shown in an seemingly unlikely and surprising situation cutting the prime ministers hair, who looks sharp and well-groomed wearing a clean, expensive and spotless suit.

The narration is an interesting aspect of the film which I believe works well. Throughout the clip, it uses a voiceover to describe her feelings inside her head as she is cutting his hair, this gives the audience a better understanding of her background and feelings towards things, and it also has a effective usage as it keeps the audience guessing throughout as to what she is going to do. Although, the pace of the film is seemingly slow, the effect evidently helps to continuously grip the audience until the end.

There is a clever use of animation used it some parts of the film. This type of effect showed a range of media technical aspects, which would be interesting to experiment with when creating our film. In this clip, they use the animation to enhance the amount of protection given to the prime minister with animated police men with 'ten inch thick walls'. This type of animation suggests that the prime minister is seen to be untouchable, therefore this adds to the temptation of the hairdresser to ruin his hair when his guard is down.

Establishing shots to make the audience aware of the location being inside the prime ministers house and the hairdresser has come to him to set up her equipment. In the film many mid shots are used of the hairdresser as we focus more on the narration. It also cleverly changes focus on some panning shots to change the attention of the audience from the hairdresser to the prime minister. At the end a birds-eye-view panning shot is used to take us away from the action as the hairdresser finally snaps.

Friday, 9 July 2010

New Focus

Originally we decided that our project would be a music video with close relation to football, after the World Cup. However, after collective thought and feedback, we came to the conclusion that this was a weak idea, and therefore we reconsidered and decided to change the concept completely.

Now, we are focused on producing a short film, as we feel that this would enable us to broaden our media technical skills, and we would hence be able to show the examiners our true range of ability. After completing our film last year, we feel that the experience gained from the project, and also a clear understanding of the negative aspects of the clip would allow us to create a final film, which would be more defined and professional. We believe that following this route would be sensible as we are not going into an extremely difficult task, which we are not experienced in.

Currently, we are in deliberation on the concept and final idea of our clip.

initial idea and research

When thinking of an idea we were thinking of doing a football anthem, this idea came to us as it was during the World Cup in South Africa, therefore we were in the football mood. We are all interested in football and felt that this topic would encourage us to do well aswell as motivating us. There are many songs which have been produced in this field, so we have reseached some of them and then commented on how we feel this would fit into our ideas. original 1996 video 3 Lions

We like the idea of recreating the three lions music video as its a classic and a really good video with lots of potental for us to create our own version. We particulaly liked when they recreated famous moments from england games in the park and then copyed thier every action, we felt that this was good as we could attempt to do the same thing in the field by our home or at the beach, this gave us the idea of doing a theme of ameteurs copying there heros.  However, we feel that in order for our video to be succsessful, we would need to copy old footage from games, which isnt allowed as the clip needs to be original. Also because the song is so well known, to attempt to recreate it would be incrediblly difficult as people will always compare our video to the original. Hence for these reasons we probably wont use this music for our final piece. World in motion 1990

World in motion is another clip where we see potential ideas to copy, for example we like John Barnes rapping as this is an iconic moment in the film, i also like at the beginning when John Barnes and the main singer is merged with real game play in the background as we feel this is effective editing. However, as in the three lions 96, there is far too much old footage of games in the video, which we would be unable to recreate effectivly. 3 Lions 1998

At the beginning of the song we really like the commenter as we think that it is effective as it makes you feel that you are watching the game live, and therefore you feel the emotions from the missed penalty. We also enjoyed the final game at the end of the song against Germany, but in order fo this to happen we would need to hire or find an adequate space which would be very difficult and also we wouldnt be able to get the needed amount of people make the scene succsessful Shout 2010 Wavin flag-2010

media studies A2

This is the start of my A2 course and this year the group and myself will be hoping to create a succsessful music video. During the process, I will be updating our progress on my blog.