Final piece evaluation

We have four cuts of our final task. There is not much difference between them, just mild tweaks with some shots and audio. Here are the four cuts.

I will be talking mainly about the fourth edit as it is the final cut. We have come a long way since our first cut. Our first version was not good at all, and you can really see the improvements. Overall it is a more competently made sequence. We have improved almost everything since our first draft. We have improved the camera, sound and editing. All of it was quite sloppy to begin with. The camera would shake sometimes and it just looked very unprofessional. In this version, it all looks a lot nicer and smooth and well made. We have also improved our sound. In the first draft we had very basic sound, just music and sometimes sound effects would be there and sometimes a shot would be silent. It was quite bad. However, we have now added more layers of sound, including music, diegetic sound and a kind of voice over. This is a vast improvement from the very basic and very poorly done sound in our first attempt. The editing is also a lot more smooth. The shots flow better and we have improved the pace. In our original version there would be quick cuts and then a 10 second zoom shot and it did not flow very well. We improved upon this by making the pace more consistent and making it flow better. We also improved the mise-en-scene. In the first draft we received praise for our mise-en-scene, but we still wanted to improve upon it. Some of the props carried over from the first version to this version, but we removed the ‘murder board’ to simplify it a bit and make it less cheesy. We think it took away from our original version as it was cliché, so we decided to focus more on the aesthetic of the girls bedroom. We think this is a big improvement from the original.

There are a couple of flaws which are hard to notice. One shot goes out of focus a bit at the end which was intentional but in my opinion doesn’t go well. But other than that I am very happy with the way that our task came out.

Update on sound in our opening title sequence

There have been a few changes made to the sound that we will use in our title sequence. To start with, the music that is being used in our most recent edit is not by Goodbye Gravity, but instead some royalty free music off a website. This music has been used as it fit the tone and complimented the video very well. The use of this music for the final product is not set in stone, however, we may end up using it in our official cut. Also, we did not use the handheld audio recorder when filming. We have decided that any sound effects that need to be added will be recorded and added at a later date. There will be a larger focus on non-diegetic sound as well, so the sound will not be created by things within the scene. Instead they will be used to create a certain effect on the audience.

Final task rough cut

Around a month ago we completed our rough cut of our final task. Since then we have re-filmed, and re-filmed again. None of us were extremely happy with our rough cut of the final piece which is why we chose to film it again, and in the most recent filming we changed the idea. Here is our first cut:

There are a lot of issues with this cut. First of all, it is not long enough. It is 20 seconds too short. We aimed to make our title sequence around 2 minutes long, and this is barely 1 minute 40. There are also a lot of issues with the audio, with the music starting weirdly and some sound effects sometimes being there and sometimes not. The dialogue was also missing from the end. In a different cut of this there was no audio at all. We needed to improve this in later cuts, however in our latest cut I was told to add different sound effects and some sort of voice over to the footage.

There is also some editing issues. We did not have enough footage to make it 2 minutes, so a lot of the shots linger for longer than they should. We aimed to make it faster paced than this version is, however due to our lack of footage this was not possible. However, having just changed the idea around a bit we do not require the faster paced editing. Our idea has allowed some shots to breathe a bit more.

Our lighting was also not what it needed to be. There were a few inconsistencies in the lighting, as well as it being too bright for a lot of it. This, however, has changed in the newest filming session as it was decided that we will be using high key lighting as there have been some theme changes.


To conclude, I think this cut was a decent starting point, however there was a lot of room to improve and I believe in our latest cut we have done this. There are some fine ideas in this version, some of which have been carried to our latest cut.

Logan review – Independent

I saw Logan the day it came out (the 1st of March). 2 days later I saw again. But did I like it?

Yes I saw it twice in 3 days. Of course I liked it. What, did you think I didn’t like it? Why would I pay to see it twice if I didn’t like it. Jeez, think before you jump to conclusions.

Logan is the 10th film in the X-men franchise, 9 of which have featured Wolverine, 7 of which he was the main character. Logan is the best of them. The first two are pretty great, so are First Class and Days of Future Past. I liked The Wolverine a lot too. The rest, meh. But Logan is amazing. Just. Oh my god.

Logan was directed by James Mangold and stars Hugh Jackman, Patrick Stewart and Dafne Keen. I will start by saying all the negatives before I talk about the positives. I think the first half an hour was shot weirdly. Maybe just 20 minutes. It looks like a TV show until Charles first seizure. I also would have liked them to flesh out Logan and Laura’s relationship a bit more. More bonding time between the pair. Other than that, this movie is perfect (in my humble opinion). I think not knowing about the plot will add to the experience, so skip to the next paragraph if you don’t want to know. The film is set in 2029 and involves Logan and Charles Xavier having to take a little girl across the country. I will say no more for now. Go watch it.

The action is the best action in any X-men film, and it is not even the focus of the film. Films like X-men apocalypse are more about the action (and that is why it is bad maybe?) however this film focuses on the story and characters. The story is nothing amazingly new, but it works. Especially because of the world building that the film does. It is established that all other mutants are almost all gone. It is set in a semi dystopian future, and you really feel it. This is definitely not a ‘fun time’. It is incredibly stressful and dark. By the end of the film you feel exhausted. These characters are put through so much in this film. Every time they get 5 minutes to breathe, they are in danger again. This film is also incredibly emotional. There are great character moments throughout the film as well. Logan and Charles’ relationship is incredible within this film. Charles was always the one looking out for Logan through a lot of the X-men films, however this turns that on its head. Wolverine has to care for Charles as he has become incredibly unwell. This leads me on to my next point. The sequence in the Casino. Oh my god. I could not breathe. It was amazing. I shall say no more.

Hugh Jackman and Patrick Stewart have these characters nailed at this point so I don’t need to tell you how good they are. They have been doing it for 17 years. However, I will mention Boyd Holbrook and Dafne Keen. I thought they were fantastic. I hated Boyd’s character even though he had that sweet southern charm. Boyd Holbrook knocked it out of the metaphorical park. As did Dafne Keen. I really hope she goes on to do more things because she was amazing. Richard E. Grant was not so good. He was boring and annoying. However, he is barely in the film so it does not matter that much.

This film is great. I saw it a 3rd time and it is still one of the best cinematic experiences I have ever had. An amazing X-men film. An amazing superhero film. An amazing film. Rule of threes.


Update on planning documents 

Our group has decided that we want to change our idea a bit. We have decided that instead of this more generic plain title sequence we would add a more unique spin to it. We chose to change our idea so that the girl is suffering from a mental health disorder. This will allow for some new interesting ideas in our final piece. We got a lot of feedback from our original draft which was not very positive so instead of reshooting all of it again we decided to make it different. The idea about the mental illness was the first idea we had however we decided to change it to what we had in our first draft but are now going back to it. Here are our planning documents:

This is our script. This shows everything that will happen on screen with some direction. It will help the actor know what they are doing. 

This is our shot list. It is a list of all the shots for me and the other dop to follow when filming the sequence. It goes into more detail about exactly what shots to use and describes what will be happening in the shots and the effect it will have. 

Finally, this is our story board. This is a visual representation of what will occur on screen in the final product. It outlines some of the main ideas of the shots with a description of them above the image. We used images from other things that inspired us e.g. Se7en to give a better idea of what we want to create. 

How have the movie reviews helped me with my task?

Reviewing thriller movies has helped me obtain a wider understanding of the genre. It has also helped me identify flaws in the genre and specific movies, as well as the genre clichés. Having reviewed a lot of films in the thriller genre I feel like I am good at noticing what is good about the movie and what is bad. Hopefully this will help me with my task as I will be able to avoid the issues that I had with thriller movies. Another thing that I think will be useful when completing my task is that I reviewed the movie as a whole as well as title sequences. This has given me the opportunity to think about the overarching story of the title sequence that I create instead of just the titles. I believe that it is important to have an idea of the story as a whole. If we just looked at title sequences then I think my groups idea would not have been as good as instead of story we would focus on visuals. I made sure that up until this point I had seen all of the films that I was analysing so that context was added to the title sequences for me. So now as a group we have all have an idea of what the story as a whole is about to give us a better idea of what we want to do in our title sequence as well as why.

To conclude, I think that reviewing thriller movies has definitely helped me with my final task of the opening title sequence to a thriller film. I hope that doing the reviews was worthwhile and my final piece reflects all the work that I have put into the reviews.

How have the textual analysis’ helped with my task?

Over the last few months I have been looking at and analysing many title sequences of thriller films (as well as a couple of other genres). I did this to get a better understanding of what goes into creating these title sequences and the effect that they create. It has allowed me to get a wider understanding of the genre and the tropes of title sequences. For example, it has come to my attention that a lot of these title sequences use close-ups. This helps them build tension as it removes everything else from the frame and leaves the audience wondering. It is also a way of obscuring objects and pushing the idea that the character may have a distorted view on life. This technique was used on sequences like ‘Dexter’ and ‘Se7en’.

I believe that having this knowledge will help me when creating our opening title sequence. It has been extremely beneficial to me and I hope that this will be reflected in our title sequence.

Sound in our opening title sequence

Sound is an important part of any film. Sound is used to help the audience understand what is going on. It can also help convey emotion. The audience need to be able to hear what is happening on screen such as the dialogue, but just as important is the non-diegetic sound. I have been put in charge of sorting out the sound. In our continuity task I helped out with the sound a lot. We used a handheld audio recorder to capture the diegetic sound in the footage. I think that this sound was very clear however it was too quiet. I think that we will be using the same device again however I will ensure that the audio is loud enough. We recorded the audio at the same time as the footage which means that we could sync it easier, so we will be doing this. For the sound effects that we added in post, we used a gunshot sound from a sound effect folder in our school computers. I feel that this sounded extremely cheesy so if we need to use sound effects again I will look to get them from elsewhere. Finally we need to get music for our sequence. We are not allowed to use existing music that is copyrighted so we would have to look for royalty free music or get it custom made. We have chosen to get it custom made. We have been in contact with a musician called ‘Goodbye Gravity’ who can make many different genres of music and has agreed to make all of the music for us. We will be filming the video then showing him the footage so he can create the score specifically for our footage so that it conveys the emotions necessary. We are going to leave it up to him to chose how he will make this music however we have given him a list of criteria that we would like this music to meet.

I have included a link below of his soundcloud.