Monday, 31 January 2011

ALL - Update to Running Title

We have decided to edit the running title of our production to Torment: Dreamscape. This is because we found out that the title we had chosen prior to this one, Dreamfall, had actually been taken by a game development team who had made products within the cut-off point of 7 years, so it was void.
Both "torment" and "dreamscape" were chosen by us unanimously because we thought both choices fitted with our psychological theme very nicely. We couldn't pick just one as we liked both the same amount, so we decided to incorporate both words into our title.

We also thought of some possible layouts, and taking inspiration from the band TesseracT's logo, we started designing ideas. The band's logo is stylized to have two capital T's, and we thought of using this idea to design the word "torment" with.


This is only a quick draft to prove the point, but the finished title should look something similar to this:

CO - Scheduled Vodcast(s)

This week we will be doing at least one (possibly two) detailing points important to our production. These will include crucial points, such as influences, e.g from various directors and films, and why it is relevant to our production and vodcast. We will also talk about how watching and deconstructing these films has helped us to research and understand our chosen genre, and how we have incorporated the knowledge gained into our own production.

The conventional use of flashback/foreword

Flashbacks are often used to explore a characters origins and how they became who they are during the film, in fact films such as Memento (2000) , by Chris Nolan is a great example of how a film adapts, it uses black and white to portray the difference between the past and the present. It is chronologically told in black and white scenes, but the coloured scenes are out of order, making the viewer think.

Vantage Point (2008) is also a great example it recalls the main event of the film from several different angles, and this is a very original take on the plot of the film. The new take or approach is jumping right into the moment (everything is already planned out, people and weapons in place, etc.) of the action and then telling it from eight different points of view. This is where some people may be mildly irritated because after you see one point of view everything is suddenly rewound and shown from the next person's point of view (this is done six times) before they all converge into a thrilling finale filled with one massive adrenaline-fuelled car/chase sequence.

ALL - The Group

Ben Hudson

Nickname: Benji
Favourite Film: Lost Highway (1997)
Hobbies: Video Games (Planescape Torment, Alan Wake), trollin' like a badman (problem?)
TV Show: The Shield
Idol: Trent Reznor
Notable Quotes: " ...that's what SHE said."

Conor O'Loughlin

Nickname: Meme expert
Favourite Film: LOTR: Fellowship of The Ring (2001)
Hobbies: Gaming, Music, being awesome 
TV Show: Scuzz TV, South Park, Family Guy
Idol: Ben Hudson
Notable Quotes: "I worship the ground Ben walks upon". "...Check 'em"

Connor Coulthurst

Nickname: CJ
Favourite Film(s): Big Lebowski, Zoolander, Harold and Kumar films
Hobbies: "Tootin' on a twifta", gaming
Tv shows:  House, Seth macfarlanes schizzz, Breaking bad, True Blood, Simpsons, South park and ANTM 
Idol: Keith Richards
Notable Quotes: "Good God, my bag absolutely hummed of boona", "F*@k Yea"

Hey guyz

check my dubs

Saturday, 29 January 2011

ALL - Updates to filming plans

We've reviewed our footage and having seen it we've realised through audience feedback, that it's not clear enough that it's a dream i.e everything is far too normal and the lighting is a tad too dark, so with this in mind on 06/02/11, we will be reshooting/shooting our FINAL shots.

CO - Props and themes used in our production - Knives

It just wouldn't be a thriller/horror without a massive knife. This prop is used to anchor the film as such a genre, and it is also incorporated to make it obvious where the blood in the film is from and how it has been shed. Although, the knife is introduced after quite a while, so the audience wonders where the blood has come from. In addition, it also shot in black in white when portrayed, reminiscent of the classic Alfred Hitchcock moments. The black and white also represents the dream and flashback in which the knife is shown.

BH - Bright Falls

Bright falls (2010) - the short series released via Xbox Marketplace and YouTube to promote the game Alan Wake, served as a huge inspiration for our media film- originally released to promote a video game, I thought that the episodes where well produced and really played to the audiences emotions, obviously made on a fairly modest budget it still manages to unnerve the audience- making them wonder what's really going on; is the protagonist going crazy or not?
Only several minutes long it provides a great plot with some great cinematography and it's short format means that it's easy to watch whenever the viewer would feel like it, especially given the fact it's on YouTube, but what's amazing to me about the show is the fact that it was produced as advertising for the video game Alan Wake.

You can watch the first episode below with the full 6 episodes on YouTube.

Thursday, 27 January 2011

Updates to our project- CO

CO - Updates to our Project

This afternoon, we resumed filming for our production, Dreamfall. After producing a rough cut of our collection of shots taken at Ben's house, we started filming the rest of the shots at school, primarily in the E - D floors, and parts of the 6th form centre. This certain location was chosen by everyone in the group because it would be an ideal destination for recording the rest, as it is used when the main character wakes up, in a dream. The school setting provides massive open spaces and long corridors ideal for use within a psychological thriller genre, and will add to the element of the character slowly slipping into insanity.

We utilised the use of fake blood, as we did in the scenes shot in the house. However, we did run into a slight problem with how we made it this time, and we used too much corn syrup, which resulted in the blood looking too opaque and thick, and too purple (thanks to too much blue food colouring being added). However, we are editing it to be in black and white rather than colour to signify a detachment from reality. This means the colour of the blood won't be as clear.

Saturday, 22 January 2011

CO - American Psycho Intro Deconstruction

The opening credits are set in simple and black text, on a clean white background

There is stylised blood dripping on-screen, to denote the violence that impacts the film later

There is a somewhat eerie and suspenseful music, whenever blood drips down from the top of the screen, a staccato of music pronounced

The writing of the credits fates subtly in and out

Classical music starts playing louder and less subtly. This adds a more elegant theme to the opening credits

The blood becomes even more apparent, striking and bold, and begins splattering on the base of the screen as the title of the film begins to fade in

The blood fades away from the screen and a plate of meat appears, and is promptly chopped by a knife. This hints at the idea of murder and killing which is the main theme of American Psycho

There is food being served, and it becomes obvious that the setting is that of a restaurant

Waiters are presented, and talk to unidentifiable people about what the restaurant has to offer

The camera cuts to three characters talking, one of which is Patrick Bateman, the main antagonist and main character of the film

We intend to use the blood dripping effect in the intro to our film as part of a flashback, only in b&w.

Behind the scenes photo's - CO

CO - Photos from shooting

These are pictures taken while we were shooting, and show examples of prop and lighting techniques.

Fake blood, used at the end of the film.

Artificial lighting used in the waking scene, to shade some parts of the room, whilst maintaining focus on the main character.

The main character applying the fake blood to himself.

The main character holding the blood in his hands, ready to wake up and see it.

Soundtrack Ideas CO, BH

CO, BH - Soundtrack ideas for our Production

The ideas that we have proposed for background music during our production was picked because it would strengthen the theme of the supernatural and the theme of horror but also one of dementia. For this, we brainstormed musical ideas mainly from the rock and metal end of the spectrum, since these are the two best genres suited to the idea of death and murder. The songs chosen would be re-recorded, to avoid copyright issues.

Ripe (With Decay) - Nine Inch Nails

We considered this lengthy instrumental track because it creates a brooding, dark atmosphere, which would perfectly suit the production. We would use the parts from roughly 4:45 onwards, as the long, bass notes help create the scary atmosphere.

2. Samsara - Parkway Drive

As this song is the introduction to an album, it fades in gradually, making an eerie, mysterious and somewhat nautical noise. It features heavy breathing, which would add to the tension if it was used in the opening of our film

Orphanage deconstruction- CO

Release Date: 2007

Director: Juan Antonio Bayera

Budget: €3,000,000

Opening Weekend: $338,024 (USA)

After a long sequence of silent credits, the film begins with a panoramic shot of a picturesque sky that fades in from the blackness. It uses diagetic sound of a natural environment, and we hear birds chirping and the wind rustling through the trees, to help capture an ideal world.

The camera pans down from the sky, and we see the titular orphanage in the background of a serene, picturesque view. There are innocent children playing in the foreground, and bold colours, mainly consisting of green and gold, creating a beautiful backdrop.

The camera then zooms in to the main girl playing a game against a tree, and the shadows of the tree darken the mood slightly, hinting at the theme of mystery and fear. Then, as the children play, hands start to approach one of the girls, in a fairly creepy and intimidating way, signifying that it's a horror/thriller film.

Throughout the introductory scenes, calm, soothing and tranquil piano plays throughout, adding a sense of peacefulness to the scene, which may or may not add to a false sense of happiness before the horror starts to kick in. However, it does add to the serene beauty of the location in the introduction.

As the children play in the picturesque setting, the camera flies upwards diagonally to reveal a scarecrow at the end of the field. This scarecrow is particularly crucial to be included as soon as this because not only is it an omen of horror and the supernatural, but it's face is mirrored later on by the main antagonist of the film, who wears a sack over his head due to horrific deformities.

After this brief introduction, the title scene appears. This is done phenomenally well, and is portrayed by a child (namely the antagonist)'s hand ripping wallpaper away to reveal the stylised, serif-font title.

Feedback on the rough cut 1- BH

Untitled from Benji Hudson on Vimeo.

From the target audience:

-Good use of lighting.

-Too dark in some places i.e the shot before the stairs.

-Good use of symbolism with the screensaver.

-Great use of sound so far

-The screaming at the end could more use work- sound is somewhat off.

-More atmospheric soundtrack.

-Confusing at points.


Treatment DRFT- ADD PICS

AS Media coursework:


To create the opening two mins of a feature film, including soundtrack and company identities.

A cross between Donnie Darko, Vanilla Sky and Inception with a strong focus on the nature of dreams and ideas, questioning the cross between reality and the sub-conscious.

Target Audience:
The general audience for the genre tend to be skewed towards the older age group, mostly twenties to middle ages, this means that there are very few films under the rating of BBFC 15, because most of them do tend to be aimed at the older audience, who wait for the film to reveal its plot with less focus on action than that of a traditional horror film or action film which often feature big showcase sets and lots of different locations, whereas Psychological Thrillers tend to focus less of external physical violence and more on the internal mental struggle, as such the audience is almost always older than average. However with Donnie Darko, it tried to reach out towards a slightly younger audience, however it didn’t do all too well in the box office, however I think that this film opening would focus on mainly on the late teenage audience.

The Psychological Thriller genre has been pioneered by directors such as David Lynch (Lost Highway, Mulholland drive) but has been strongly used by directors such as Alfred Hitchcock (Vertigo). David Lynch films often make the viewer question the aspects of the main character such as credibility, more often than not they are proved to be showing a distorted version of events- different from what really happens, this creates the element of the unreliable narrator, This is often part of the twist elements in the genre, like Shutter island, it’s revealed in the end to be all the main characters delusions and really he is in a role play designed to show him just how crazy he is. Also in Mulholland Drive we’re shown a very different sequence of events from the characters perspective, which is key- to understand the plight of the main character we are very rarely taken away for the perspective of the main character- we, as the audience experience everything that the main character experiences throughout the film for the unreliable narrator aspect to work properly. Cinematography wise the films feature strong elements of light and dark mixing together, close-ups of the main character to capture the emotion and use dutch angle to imply the unreal aspects of the film and to create tension- which is what every aspect of the film should strive to create, a consistent and sustained atmosphere- often achieved through sound, jarring notes on piano, a distant scream, the sound of dripping, lighting that creates a strong sense of contrast and dread.

Films such as Vanilla Sky rely strongly upon the dreams of the character as they begin to hinder his reality, Shutter Island is about a man trapped within his delusions and unable to even accept reality. In American Psycho we’re given the twist at the end suggesting that the entire film is a construct of the main characters imagination despite the vivid killings that take place the films begins to get more and more surreal as the film progresses.

Location & Props:
We want to film in a suburban area, a fairly middle class area, in a typical street, we want everything to appear normal and mundane which is why we chose this initial location, because it conveys and shows this aspect of normality. We want to show a fairly average teenage boy so in the initial shots we show him on a computer play some game or listening to music fairly loud- we try to show this so that as the opening continues we are able to contrast this with the mundane and normal shots, showing how fast everything deteriorates. To dress the character we would simply use jeans and a jacket or hoodie- casual wear, nothing to indicate that the character is anywhere else than home, we want to show this home and then turn it into a nightmarish place unlike what it is initially shown to be. Like Donnie Darko we want a teenager who might be troubled in some way but we don’t want the audience to immediately guess as to what is going on. But Like Vanilla Sky’s introduction dream we want a distinct feeling of isolation, which we want to achieve with an entire empty city.

Cast & Crew:

Main Character: Ben H
Camera crew: Conor O & Connor C
Editing: Conor O, Connor C & Ben H
Add-ins: Conor O & Connor C

Tuesday, 18 January 2011

Updates to planning and production:

Filming was unable to take place on the 16th of January. Because of this we have now decided on the date of  19th January. We are planning to shoot the whole thing in one day- probably after dark because the film takes place at night. We can do any extra shoots in the following months.

Friday, 14 January 2011

Updates to planning and the project idea.

The initial idea involved the use of LSD in the intro to stimulate the idea of the characters imagination taking over, however instead of this we have decided to use idea of a dream, only revealed at the end of the introduction. Along with this the idea of a party taking place in the introduction has also been scrapped mainly because the use of extras, would be far too time consuming to operate and wasn't key to the essential ideas of the plot- as such we have decided not to use this idea.

Thursday, 13 January 2011

Donnie Darko -CO

  • There is a strong theme of paranoia and schizophrenia throughput the film, especially characterized by a central character called Frank, a figment of Donnie's imagination (although this point is debatable, as there are often scenes were Frank materialises in the real world. It conveys the point that the main character is troubled. Another point about Frank is that he only appears in the darkness, adding to the elements of fear and the supernatural and increasing the enigmatic storyline.
  • The main character has a very jovial and casual way of speaking, especially as he describes what he's done, eg in therapy; "I flooded the school, and I burned down that pervert's house" and then smiles and laughs. This means that Donnie has serious mental issues, yet he isn't particularly shaken or worried, even by Frank. However, there are scenes where Donnie's mood changes and he becomes extremely upset and distraught with the situation he's in.
  • There is a strong chronological theme that ties the plot together. It is set into motion at the beginning when Donnie is told by Frank that the world will end in 28 days, 6 hours, 42 minutes and 12 seconds. At frequent points there is a countdown on the screen, giving the viewer a sense that time has passed in the film, and that the end is coming.  
  • A strong supernatural theme runs throughout the film, such as the theory of time travel being constantly talked about and related to on many occasions, mainly when Donnie is introduced to it by his teacher at school. Another instance on the supernatural and science-fiction is the way of locating vectors along which people will travel, in essence seeing the future, which is utilised by Donnie near the end of the film. 
  • The final point to make is that important themes and points that occur throughout the film are often left extremely unresolved, open and ambiguous. This means that important points such as the aspect of time travel, paranoia, schizophrenia and reality are intentionally left unanswered for the viewer to try and work out for themselves. It is also a clever move by the director as it leaves the viewer wondering, and therefore watching the film again and again to try and unravel the mystery left in the story. 

American Psycho Overview -CC

American Psycho Poster

American Psycho
Dir. Mary Hannon
Based on the novel by Bret Easton Ellis
Rating on Imdb 7.5/10


 $8,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

 $4,961,015 (USA) (16 April 2000) (1236 Screens)


 $15,070,285 (USA) (30 July 2000)

Patrick Bateman, a young, well to do man working on wall street at his father's company kills for no reason at all. As his life progresses his hatred for the world becomes more and more intense.

The pace of the film follows the main character Patrick Bateman's decent into madness. The was the film starts involves him narrating his own life in disturbing and illuminating detail. The pace of the film increases as we see his murders ranging from the simple stabbing of a homeless man to chasing a woman through his hotel with a chainsaw. A shootout at a later point in the film highlights his bloodlust and the surreal elements in the film, is it real or imaginary? The film can also be considered a dark comedy because however gruesome and brutal the visuals are they still aren't real and is just the characters way of coping with life which the narration in the first few minutes of the film explains and further shows elements of this imaginary world he lives in "And though I can hide my cold gaze, and you can shake my hand and feel flesh gripping yours and maybe you can even sense our lifestyles are probably comparable..I simply am not there."

This film is relevant because it highlights the narrative aspects of a psychological thriller, Patrick Bateman is clearly an unreliable narrator but throughout we only see from his viewpoint- never from any of the other characters so the fact that Patrick is mentally unstable, isn't revealed until the end.

Wednesday, 12 January 2011

Location and Setting -BH

The setting for Psychological thrillers tend to be wide ranging and encompass a large range of settings, such as suburbia, like Donnie Darko, the rich upper class penthouses of the city, like American Psycho. To cheap and decaying house city of Fight Club. The environments often reflect the characters, for example Teddy Daniels isolation in his fantasies are shown in the location of the island itself.

The locations in psychological thrillers generally reflect the characters themselves, to reveal another side of them a reflection of how the character sees the world in general. For example the stairs in Vertigo (1958) by Alfred Hitchcock, which the main character has to overcome his fear and climb a set for stairs to overcome his vertigo and as such its vital to the character. [add video of the said scene]

For our film we have decided to use a house to film- a fairly normal house, unremarkable from the outside and yet by the end of the introduction it's established that its completely empty and hollow. It was chosen because it is central to the main character his home, his sanity is reflected in the house and it's outside normality and inside isolation. Also it's easy to access and easy to film in.

Tuesday, 11 January 2011


A Video of my prelim to the coursework:

All very basic stuff I'm syre you'll agree, but made in under one hour.

Monday, 10 January 2011

Psychological Thrillers: Audience & budget -BH

The audience for a thriller generally seems much more skewed towards an older audience with many of the characters being in their twenties onwards, the characters themselves often going through some very adult trauma, for example shutter island, the main characters wife drowned their three children and he killed her but felt to blame so he retreated into psychological delusions, where he is the hero.
They often let the audience put together what they think happened throughout the film, or to interpret the ending how they see fit.
Most often they feature twist endings, built to shock the viewer allow repeat viewings of the film to better understand its meaning or what it is trying to put across to the audience. Quite often these 'twists' feature extensive foreshadowing throughout the film, requiring the audience to pay attention to not just the character but the things happening around them to ensure maximum understanding of the events that take place throughout the film, with these twists that

Often films in the genre are limited on budget for example Donnie Darko.

Yet other films such as Shutter island and Vanilla sky have much larger budgets and yet Vanilla sky as a film didn't preform as well as Shutter Island in the box office, despite having several big name stars involved. Most films in the genre tend to show patterns of being received better by the public than by critics. This could be because of fans of the genre being more interested in the genre as a whole than the critics, however some films are positively received by critics and yet preform poorly in the box office and don't really become all too popular until the have finished their initial box office run, for example Fight club, but I would be hoping to capitalize on the teenage audience that Donnie Darko would have been aiming at rather than the more mature audience of Fight Club, Lost Highway, Clockwork Orange, Dressed to Kill and Blue velvet.

The BBFC rating for psychological thriller tend to follow the trend that the viewers are more mature, with very few being under the 15 certificate, and several such as Lost Highway and Fight Club being 18's, with Fight Club even recieving cuts.

Guidelines for 15's

Thursday, 6 January 2011

Shutter Island (2010) - BH

Shutter Island (2010)
Dir.: Matrin Scorsese
IMDB rating: 8.0/10
Budget: $80 million
Gross Revenue: $294,803,014
Set in the 1950's, it features a federal Marshal ( Teddy Daniels) who's been called in to search for a missing patient at the mental facilities on the island. Throughout the film it's shown that he is still mourning the loss of his wife two years ago in a fire, caused by someone who may or may not be on the island. Teddy sees visions and hallucinations of his dead wife as the film goes on and she urges him on through the film, but Teddy soon decides that there is something else afoot on the island and decides to search for what he believes are  disturbing experiments taking place on the island.

The film is a typical psychological Thriller; it features a strong contrast between the light and the dark, often teddy finds himself walking in the darkness of the islands facilities, and his dreams are often done with slight continuity errors in the edits done to intentionally make the viewers think that there is something wrong with the scene and its contents. For example when one character is smoking in the dreams, the smoke flows backwards and in another scene his wife is holding a bottle of whisky which disappears in the next shot. Edits and errors like this take place throughout the film and often to make the viewer feel that there is something wrong. Also the sounds in the film are often pronounced like the dripping of water in the darkness and the screams of the patients in the hospital. The music in the film often takes the form of piano notes, often long and drawn out-  quite jarring and isolated at points for example:

Also the lighting plays a key role in the film for example:

 Teddy is in a dark corridor  that is scarcely lit- he is using matches to navigate his way through the darkness.

Here we have the use of a blue filter, to make the world seem colder that it is to our character, the entire film is from the view of Teddy, so the audience only know what he knows through the film. That is typical of the genre, we only see what the main character sees and this plays into the aspeact of the unreliable narrator.

Also note the use of editing, the jump cuts made during the following dream sequence- to make it appear jarring to the viewer, also watch the qhisky bottle that Teddys wife is holding.

Wednesday, 5 January 2011


The film date 15th January, this is to ensure that we have enough time to edit the project to a high standard.

Edit: As of Monday 10th January, we have moved the date to 16th January, because of other members of the group having other commitments.