Category: Digital Film Module

I had a think about what sort of movie I want to do and brain stormed types of movies and films, be it in TV or cinema, to see what ideas would come to mind. I looked at Documentaries and what things were being documented. I looked at Dramas on Tv and what types of dramas there are and also movie trailers. The most appealing idea was a trailer for a fake movie. Below are a few I looked for inspiration.

In my sketch book I have made notes on what goes in to a trailer for each different genre.

Inception trailer notes (thriller)

  • Fast paced dramatic music
  • Exciting music
  • Crucial defining script of the movie
  • The trailer gradually builds tempo and excitement
  • Explosive scene, impressive /intriguing Fx and visuals to pull the audience in.
  • There is a sense of urgency

Saw trailer notes (horror)

  • Dark
  • Strange sounds in the dark
  • Screams
  • Fast shot cuts (gives a scene of fear and confusion)
  • Frightened people, victims
  • Thunderous heavy music
  • killer/murderer/psycho
  • Sense of urgency/ race against time.

Matrix (action)

  • Crucial movie defining script
  • Slow motion
  • High action
  • Guns ” lots of guns”
  • Martial arts
  • Fighting
  • Steady build up in music with change in tempo towards the end of the trailer
  • Mix of music tracks

The Note Book (romance)

  • Classical music
  • Love/romance
  • Heart break
  • Dreamy

Shrek (children)

  • Animals/ talking animals
  • Silly/funny to relate to children
  • Fun
  • Exciting
  • Colorful
  • Voice over narrative like ready a story book

Bruce Almighty (comedy)

  • Humor/ jokes/ funny scenes
  • Script relevant to storyline
  • Voice over (god like)
  • Palatable to audience
  • Mix of music relevant to the scenes featured

Mamma Mia (musical)

  • Theatrical music from the movie
  • Dancing (lots of dancing)
  • Singing (lots of singing)
  • Storyline portrayed through script

So after looking at these different types of trailers I have thought about what I want to get from my own trailer. I want some suspense, good dramatic sound track, I feel the music is very important to get across the style of the movie. I’m going to try and only use script to show what the movie is about. I might use some text like ‘ COMING THIS SPRING’ etc if i need more footage to fill time but would rather use live action footage. Need to think of a name for my movie, a name of a fictitious production company for the beginning (liquid dreams?) and layout the credits in a trailer style like at the end of the inception trailer at 2.20-2.24.

Ideas for trailer soundtrack. I would like something that builds up. I have asked Billy Clay to shorten my chosen music to make it fit within the 1 minute and get the timing right with crutial shots.

Really like this one, its got a great build up and a dark murderous feel to it.

Like the Rock music in this track, its fast paced. Would have to remove the singing  as it would interfere with the script. Would need to add a slower build up to fit with my idea.

Redemption has a really strong intro, would have to remover the singing from this one too, like the tempo of the verses.

Like the haunting orchestra.


For my animatic I used windows movie maker on my home laptop.

Putting together my storyboard as an animatic gives me and my team a rough idea of how the film is going to look, what video transitions I want to use and how I want the soundtrack. Although the soundtrack editing is very rough I can show it to Billy Clay, who is editing my music, how and where I want the tempo to change giving him a clear idea of what I’m looking for. It also allowed me to see how it would flow and as a result added a one extra shot of James on the phone after the bike shed scene as I felt it was needed to keep the pace of the cuts, instead of using a voice over on the silhouette for James second line in the conversation.

Throughout the filming process I have been photographically documenting the process. They aren’t the best photos in the world but they do the job.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

We had to improvise for the corridor scene, to get a smooth enough shot for the effect I want. So as we didn’t have a dolly, or a chair with wheels or anything with wheels for that matter, Chris, my lighting director, dragged Ben backwards down the corridor on a chair as he was filming. As I wanted the shot moving forward not backwards I will need to reverse the shot in final cut pro.

For my special effects shot I originally was going to add rain to the bike shed scene, but as unpredictable as the English weather is I had to change it to snow. My After effects snow shot was done my Ross Johnston. I also used After effects to crop out the sound boom in a scene as i had no shot without it in that was usable.

Looking at film trailers they all have the film company logo at the beginning so I came up with a fictitious production company Lucid Dreams. I did Google it, just in case first but it didn’t come up with any hits.

My Final finished movie, hope you like it, been a long and frustrating process but loved it all the same.


As part of the 1 minute film we need to crew on at least 3 other class mates movies.

1) Lighting for Ross Johnston

Ross Johnston advertised on the DFGA Facebook group for help with his filming so I volunteered to do his lighting. After having a chat and looking over his storyboards, we discussed the effect he wanted to achieve. He was looking for quite a strong spotlight effect, focusing only on the two actors sat at the table, walking in from the dark areas of the set. I used used three point lighting with Tungsten hot heads, a fill light behind the camera, a spot light on actor Ben Mayfield and another spot light on actor Cameron Bland.

Diagram of studio set up;

2) Acting for Jeff Maddison

I also responded to Jeff Maddisons request for actors on the DFGA Facebook group. I volunteered for the role as it involved martial art moves and described as a ninja samurai fight with umbrellas (sounds fun). I have watched countles martial art movies and played plenty of Japanese RGP’s to replicate the style of choreography Jeff wants.

Jeff, Andy and myself got together on the Saturday, before the Monday we where sheduled to shoot, to go though Jeffs storyboard and rehearse the choreography.

Jeff Maddisons Storyboard Anamatic

To get a few reference moves I looked at a few fight scenes from SquareEnix Final Fantasy Advent Children and Crisis Core.


I really enjoyed working on this movie. It was fun, challenging and original.

3) Co-producer/manager for Coarl Baker

I was aproached by coral who asked me if I would help her with her movie, Co-producing and managing as she feels these are not her strongest areas, but has recognised those attributes in myself from working on projects together in the past. Due to mitigating cerumstances Corals movie will be produced after the christmas holiday as agreed by Mike Smith. I had a discussion with Coral asking that all preporation for her filming is done and ready for shooting when we get back after christmas, not only so she is organised but also so the extra work load doesn’t interfeare with my other on going modules.

To get ideas flowing for our team video project, First Cut, Ben, Coral and myself got together and brain stormed the words love, fight and chase, what they mean to us and things we associate with them.


Example of a typical love scene.There are long exchanges of glaces, no script in the first few minutes. The love at first sight image.

Example of a typical car and on foot chase scene. High speed, destruction, fast camera shots, commandeering of vehicles.

Example of a typical fight scene. Fast choreography, fast paced music, little dialogue.

After discussing a few ideas that we each had and the feasibility of each we decided to choose a fight scene, but not a typical fight. After choosing a theme and concept we went away and developed our own ideas. Below are a few of my ideas and notes that I came up with on the concept of double booked tooth fairies.

As a team we got together and discussed shots and scenes and came up with a rough storyboard.

Below is an example of the shot for the close up of the eyes and the sort of impact we want to have with the stare. At 4.43 there is a close up of O-Ren Ishii.

Consider using the slow motion camera for the strike with the wand. Might be quite funny. something like the bullet dodge in the matrix at 0.36 seconds.

I looked at fairies in cartoons, TV, pantomime, drag and fancy dress to get some ideas for costumes.

For the set we chose to use Bens bedroom.  But it needed a lot of dressing to look like a young girls bedroom.

Before shot

After shot

Below is our script, we asked Billy and Dan from our course to be our actors Stan and Dave. They both kindly agreed and looked rather dashing in their tutus’.


We experimented by running thought some shots and the script to get an idea for what we wanted and how long the script would last. We had a bit of fun with it too. XD

We knew that we were not going to stick to the script exactly because we wanted to use some improvisation in the fighting scene and the conversation between the mother and daughter to make it feel more natural and to come up with different lines that we could use.

I don’t think I can identify one particular role for myself , just the fact that we all did a bit of everything.  Ben manned the video camera and sat in the driver’s seat in editing, Coral had a large input on the performance of the actors and I produced, arranging dates, actors and equipment etc. But we ALL had input in each field be it a large or small input. This worked okay seeing as its our first short film and I personally wanted to try my hand at everything as I have never studied film. But next time clear roles and dates need to be identified, I feel it would have made the whole process run smoother and possibly we would have a better video in the end.

Would like to say a big thank you to Billy, Dan and Sin for their help and co operation.

Group Evaluation For Digital Film Production – First Cut

For this project we were asked to produce a short video, no longer than two minutes, which was based around one of three themes. We were allowed to create either a chase scene, a fight scene or a love scene. From this list we chose to do a fight scene. We wanted to have a main story with the fight as a smaller part of it rather than the main focus. This, we thought, would make for better viewing.

After brainstorming ideas we decided on our subject of a fight between two male tooth fairies who were after the same tooth. We believed that this would give a comedic effect along with fulfilling the brief.

After devising a plot and writing the script, we started the actual, physical production of our film. We started off filming in a linear fashion and captured the first part of the video; that of the girl jumping into bed and placing the tooth under her pillow; and later the second part, with the tooth fairies.

There were some minor issues we had to overcome for this part. One of them was the problem of getting hold of a tooth; the other was getting a suitable actress. Instead of using a tooth we fabricated a small pouch which, using your imagination, contains the tooth. We ended up using a girl who was slightly too old for the role but, seeing as there was such short notice, we couldn’t get hold of anyone else.

We also had to work without a real spotlight as the one we hired from college had a broken bulb, and there were no replacements. However, we managed to get together enough bedside lamps and various other light sources to get the desired effect.

The set we used was not particularly practical in the sense that it was a little bit too small so we couldn’t get very many separate shots; although after editing it we felt like it still worked out.

In the future, if we were to do it again, we would now be able to organise ourselves much better than we have this time. For example, we would give ourselves definite roles such as director, cameraman or soundman. We would also set out dates and times in which to do certain, planned things like filming and editing. Another thing we might do is to get proper actors, who we would give the script to at an earlier date, who would then know what to do with much less prompting.

We feel as though we have created a decent, entertaining piece of work, which, although there are some minor errors, is a good attempt for our first video project and has given us new experiences and something to build upon in later projects.