Monday, 26 April 2010

Blue Haven Project Evaluation

Blue Haven started as an idea stemming from George Orwell’s 1984. My initial idea was based around the Horror genre, not the Political Psychological Thiller. The genre of Horror did still appeal to me even going through to the latter stages of planning, but I persisted with the baseline idea of 1984.
Once I had sorted what genre I was going to do my project around I started throwing some ideas around for a storyline. I then drafted up these idea in an earlier blog post as bullet points and rough background information. Once I had completed the draft I then finalised the idea of a Film Trailer, this then sparked up immediate interest in looking into other Film Trailers. In most cased this was a very useful task to undertake as this gave me some knowledge on standards used in the majority of Trailers. Obviously I wouldn’t be able to make anything like the Trailers that Warner Bros., Sony and Disney bring out as on the whole they have enormous budgets to spend on their filming thus being able to take scenes from a multi-million dollar movie. My budget however was zero. With having no budget I was unable to employ anyone so I was highly reliant on volunteers as actors and extras. This works well until you want to shoot a big scene, and then because you are relying on the kindness of people hearts, can lead to a bad scene being shot, or a complete change of camera angles. A situation of this type happened within my filming, but I will go into that a bit later on.

Propaganda had to influence my film in some way with it being about a political take over. I spent a few of my Media sessions looking at communist propaganda through the years. Surprise surprise it hasn’t really changed. The only way it has changed is the way it looks, with increased access to better facilities to create more extravagent imaging/design being a big help to this. I had got some ideas from Chinese and Russian Posters both old and new. The general concensus I got from these is that the majority of the posters were very simple but yet 100% (in most cases) effective. I drafted 5 posters of varying design but still very simple, mostly because the resources available weren’t overly extravagent, Microsoft Publisher was as far as I could go. But this was all I needed, a quick simple method of designing effective propaganda to add effect and realism to some of my scenes. These didn’t necessarily have to go in, but in order to attempt to immerse the viewer within the world of the movie; attention to detail can always pay off.

Once all the intial ideas of the movie were written down and I had a rather solid framework to build on I then started to look into how to ‘build’ a trailer. Now, under normal circumstances this would be a straightforward task, as the filming has already been completed and all there is left to do is selected good clips and put together a trailer that is in a sequence that is logical and able to keep the end viewer captivated. In regards to length there was no ‘real’ standard practice. Trailer lengths seemed to changed completely whether they were Theatrical Trailers i.e. shown in a cinema, or whethere they were just Trailers i.e. shown on TV adverts. They could vary from anywhere in the region of 10-15 seconds all the way to 3-4 minutes. My aim from this research was to create a Theatrical Trailer lasting around 2 minutes but under if necessary.
As for sequence within these trailers it varied dramatically there was never really any particular sequence, it all seemed to depend very much on the film. But, one thing that was always the same was the information contained within the trailer. There appeared to be the title of the film, in most cases a tag line, key actors, who the film was directed by, who produced the film, which company produced the film and last but not least when to expect the film to be released. To keep in common practices of creating movie trailers, surely within my trailer these had to be found. So within my script I added in a narration with these key points in, and also created titles for each point within the trailer itself as to emphasise them.

The next task was to create create a radio advertisement. When I put together my final trailer I imported the video and audio into Pro Tools (by Digidesign), as my background is with audio I thought I would be able to get better results using a professional standard medium rather than edit audio in iMovie, which is where all the video editing was done. As I had a full audio track from the trailer I thought it would be easier to take sections out of that to compile an advert together. I decided to make it shorter as in my personal opinion it is easier to keep someones attention with sound and picture rather than just sound. So I edited the advert in Pro Tools as in my own experience of audio editing you can get better results using a programme like Pro Tools than using a cheaper or less complex programme like iMovie.

We were then asked to create a homepage for our movie. I have had previous experience in web design using HTML and CSS to create websites, in this instance I didn't use this method. I decided to try using iWeb on a mac. Surprisingly I produced something effective and to the point in a very short space of time. I didn't make it too complex and cluttered as I thought doing this would be appealing on the eye at all. My page is very simple to navigate around, well contrasted, has the video trailer inbuilt in the website, a brief summary of the film and has links to facebook, twitter and youtube pages for the movie. (None of these links work as I only created the homepage). All these things can generally be found within other movies websites.

Overall I think my project went well, I had researched well looking at what other trailers/websites for films had in them, if I thought more about it I would of researched radio advertisement for film. I could of started it a bit quicker leaving more time for planning, filming etc, as previously explained there was a couple of occasions where camera angles had to be re-thought on shoot as not enough extras were present to make it as effective, but I managed to get something shot that gave the overall impression that I wanted. I probably could of spent more time on the website and given more time in utilising my prior knowledge of web design in order to make a more effective website, with possibly more pages rather than just a Homepage I also could of spent a little longer on the radio advertisement possibly adding in some more narration and editing slightly more carefully.
All parts to my project all appear to work well with continuity of titling and fonts used in both the trailer and the website, also there is all relevant information with all three that compliment each other.

Tuesday, 5 January 2010

Advanced Media Portfolio - Filming Plan (draft)

Filming Plan

Scene 1: Flags, crossfade between 2 JPG files in iMovie

Time: Any

Place: Any

Cast: N/A

Equipment: iMovie, Flag JPGs

Scene 2: Press Conference


Place: Dance Studio?

Cast: GW, MH, JB, CS, PG, room of people?

Equipment: Camcorder, Party Posters, desk, micorphones, Dictaphones?

Scene 3, 5 & 6: Inside the institute


Place: Cage outside music tech,

Cast: LM, PG, CS

Equipment: Camcorder, Desk, papers, Colin in army gear, chair,

Scene 4:


Place: College corridors

Cast: CS

Equipment: Camcorder

Scene 7:


Place: Cage? Dimly lit room?

Cast: LM

Equipment: Camcorder

PG – Paul Green

GW – Graham Wilde

CS – Colin Spurling

LM – Luke Mitchell

JB – Jack Blackmore

MH – Matthew Horspool

Advanced Media Portfolio - Script

Blue Haven: Script

A constant struggle for sanity

Cast List:

Harry: Luke

Stanislav: Graham Wilde

Party Officials:

Psychiatrist: Paul Green

Army Guard: Colin Spurling

Extras: Jack, Matthew

Scene 1, interior.

Party Demonstration:

Union Jack ripped down and replaced with Party Emblem. Fast cutting. A hand reaches towards the Union Flag poster and quickly rips it down and replaces it with ECP Flag poster.

Scene 2, interior, dance studio possibilty.

Press conference:

Journalists with paper and pens, microphones and Dictaphones sit waiting in expectation to what Stanislav has to say after his glorious (yet illigitamate) rise to power. Questions are asked about why such a small party have been elected. Cameras flash on the backdrop behind them with the Flag of the Party behind.

Journalist 1: How has the ECP won when it is obviously such a small party?

Journalist 2: There have been allogations of vote rigging what do you have to say about this?

Journalist 3: What are going to be your policies on Human Rights?

Stanislav: (very powerfully)­ No questions!

The Institute

Scene 3, interior, plain room with a desk, and papers.

Shots of a psychiatrist sitting behind a desk, with harry slumped sitting in a chair opposite. The psychitrist is looking very forward and intimidating.

Paul: You’re ill Harry. You think you’re a freedom fighter but you’re just a paranoid skitsophrenic. I think we need to up your dose of Largactil. We need to fix you Harry. Recovery is a long road to go down. Sanity may come. Here at Blue Haven, we can get you there. We’re here to help you Harry. (Dialogue to be dubbed over trailer.)

Scene 4, interior, corridors.

Guard patroling corridors at night. (Ask Colin about using him and his army uniform).

Scene 5, interior, plain room, (same as scene 3)

Harry is sat in a chair tied up, the psychiatrist and the guard are standing over him, interrogating him, guard is shouting abuse, and psychiatrist is examining him, talking to him, telling him he is insane, kicking and flailing on the chair harry falls over and gets dragged up and taken to solitary.

Paul: What are we going to do with you harry?

Harry: There’s nothing wrong with me!

Paul: Take him to The Cage.

Guard: Ahh, The Cage, that’ll fuckin’ sort you out, state hatin’ piece of shit. (said dragging harry to his feet and forcing him forward)

Scene 6, interior follow exterior.

Harry is put in solitary confinement by the Guard forcefully as psychiartrist looks over. (Use the cage outside the side entrance of music tech, initial film taken in daylight, then night shots of him in the cage by himself).

(Cut between cage and chair room very fast cuts)

Scene 7, interior, in The Cage, dusk.

Harry is sat in a dim room on the floor with knees up to his chest crossed, and arms wrapped round the top of his knees, with his head down. Camera zoom in. Harry lifts his head looking very blank and sad.

Narration: RNC Productions Presents, a film by Dave Knowles, starring Luke Mitchell, Paul Green and Colin Spurling. Blue Haven. A constant struggle for sanity. In Cinemas, October 1st.

Advanced Media Portfolio - Project Ideas

Media Project Ideas

· Institution for Mentally Insane

· One Party political state (communist extremists)

· Based around present day, possible infulences from Soviet Russia/Nazi Germany

· Political rebellion in progress, main character involved

· Gets caught plotting against the state, and sent to the Institution

· All inmates are political prisoners, the state say that they have “gone mad” so they can justify them being in there without causing and uproar on the outside

· Main character knows he isnt insane, but the physchiartrist trys to convince him he is in an attempt to brainwash him into the ways of the state

· Begins to question his sanity realises he needs to get out before his brain is washed completely

Background Information

In 2009 the Prime Minister called a general election in Britain, realising this needed to be done as the country was on a downward spiral. All was well in the build up, partys were busy milling around gaining public support, live debates were present on the television, and party rallys were taking place up and down the country. This just looked like any other normal British General Election.

Beneath all this normality was something that wasn’t so normal. A party had been formed, a group of communist extremists led by Edward Stanislav, who was originally russian, were figuring out a way of getting in to power. They came to the conclusion of rigging the election. They had memebers on the inside to make this possible.

The election came, the British Public voted, all not thinking that their votes wouldn’t mean anything. The communists were in power. Immediately change was noticable, as soon as they set foot in the cabinet office they were changing the way the country was run. Democracy was abolished. The Army was bought back to Britain for controlling purposes. More importantly the Institutions were opened.

Hereford was the base for one of these Institutions. Immediately there were small groups of rebels forming in and around Communist Britain. One of which were the name, led by Harry Webber.

A few months after Harrys attempted uprising he was picked up off the street and taken to The Institute. His time in Blue Haven was a constant struggle in his mind, beliefs were questioned, sanity was corrupted and torture was eventually a daily routine in order to brainwash his mind into believing that communism is the only way.

Minutes turned into hours, hours turned into days, days into months, and months turned into years. Harry had no idea what was going on in the outside world, a head full of anger and hatred for the state, then became a head full of questions, pain and suffering.

After six years of being imprisoned in Blue Haven, after the psychaiatrists attempting to crush every amount of sanity left in his mind, he eventually remembered what was going on, and why he was sent to Blue Haven in the first place. Things weren’t going well on the outside. After nearly seven years of power the uprisings against the communist state were growing by the week, chaos lurked in the streets. His own followers were starting to question his methods. Plans to overthrow the regime was completely were starting to be devised.

Harry now was giving the wrong questions for the state, but the right questions for himself, in the sense that his will power to survive and get out of Blue Haven was becoming stronger than that of the pshychiartrists mental torture. He had started to gather a few of the ‘Patients’ together that were like him before they entered the institute and began to plot a way out of Blue Haven. This was easier than expected. Due to inexpensive building materials and lack of money corners were cut in the construction on certain parts of the building. Escape eventually came after a long struggle for health. He was now back in the outside world, no longer imprisoned in Blue Haven, but still imprisoned in the state. In a matter of days of his release the secret police were after him, in hiding in Hereford he was reunited with his former rebel group who were once again plotting rebellion. On November 23rd 2017, 8 years after the communists came to power, Jones was assassinated on live television whilst doing a press conference on education reforms. The country now was in uproar, the fight for power had begun. The ring leaders in all of the were obviosly Harry and his rebel group. His hatred for the state had built up whilst imprisoned in Blue Haven, he realised that he needed to do something to try and help preserve Old Britain.

Tuesday, 28 April 2009

Stories at 6 Evaluation

Final Task Evaluation

Radio Dave: Stories at 6

• In what ways does your media product use, develop or challenge forms and conventions of real media products?

I wanted to make the News Program that we created as good as it could be and as close to a real news bulletin broadcast as I could get it. I listen to the news on a regular basis over the radio, mainly BBC News on Radio 4, so I got a few ideas from the news programs they broadcast to put into my own production. Going along with the idea of keeping it as real as possible, we decided that we were going to construct the show as if it was being broadcast live. So I went in the studio and presented the radio program, having CDs with all of the links, jingles and additional parts to stories. The one main difference between our broadcast production and that of a real radio station was that all items on the program were fictitious, but they all were believable items incorporating news values like disaster, politics and public interest. Whilst planning the production it also made me think quite a lot about story priority, what stories are more relevant and what people would want to here more about. One of the situations I considered carefully was with the Birmingham New Street incident and the incident at a conference in Brussels. Now this took a lot of thinking about because, the Brussels incident is an International incident that could have had an effect on the UK, where as the Birmingham incident was a major train disaster that also had a impact on certain people in the UK. As Radio Dave is a Hereford based radio station it is fairly close to New Street and this then could have a direct effect on certain commuters. We decided that this story then should take priority over the Brussels incident because it had more of a direct effect on the audience. To make it as if it was a real radio station we had to have a jingle. This was created using a program called Reason by Propellerhead incorporating the use of MIDI to create a jingle that could be used and recognized.

• How does your media product represent particular social groups?

There are many ways in which different groups of people have been represented. With the use of Vox-Pops, you have a range of social class and also age, with the younger generation depicted by a female voice that is saying that people that are older might think it is a bad idea, and the professional at the end using more complicated language “fundamentally I don’t agree with it”. These can be very useful things to have within a piece, they give the views of different people within a community, which are the people that with be directly affected, in this instance it was a 24 hour bar opening in Hereford city centre. Another way different groups are shown becomes apparent with Ludmilla Ivanova commenting on the events that took place in Brussels, her cold tone of voice indicates that Russia is not happy with Sarkozi’s behavior when speaking at a press conference. The voice over translation then had to be shown to be a neutral party, not giving much emotion at all so as not to cloud the way that Ivanova was putting her point across.

Another instance of social groups is our Foreign Correspondent, Reginald Blogger, with his middle class accent and attitude he perfectly depicts the way in which some middle class think they are very important and possibly slightly above everyone else.

The presenter, Dave, is clearly the average news reader, speaking legibly and clearly as to make his audience able to understand every word that is said, even though he is talking slightly quickly. He also bring in the typical news reader style, with the authoritative style of talking asking valid questions to the two Correspondents to get more information on the story at hand.

• What kind of media institution might distribute your media product and why?

The media product will be distributed by a Hereford commercial radio station. The stories that we had on the program were mainly to do with local news to Hereford so that wouldn’t be of much interest to anyone outside of Hereford. The station would be distributed over FM radio, DAB and internet radio as to reach the widest possible audience over a variety of platforms. If they were to broadcast online then the station would need a website with pictures of Presenters and Correspondents, possibly a webcam in the Studio and links to the radio stream and possibly a message board or forum to give the audience a place to write feedback. This would be essential to establish the brand of Radio Dave to prospective audiences of young males between the ages of 18 and 35.

• Who would be the audience for your media product?

When planning the project we had to initially think about our prospective audience. We aimed the program at people that will be traveling home from work listening to their local radio station between the ages of 18 and 35. We had to be informative but we still had to be fairly easy going, we got the idea of the whole station from the TV channel ‘Dave’ which primarily shows comedy shows, we had the idea that generally speaking the station would have a comedy/entertainment side to it and an informal vibe.

• How did you attract/address your audience?

Initially we had the jingle, which was a small piece of music written and sequenced in Propellerhead’s Reason. This was the initial thing to get the audiences attention. Then in typical news style we dipped the jingle and the main headlines were spoken over the top of the jingle. The way the headlines were put across was in a forceful manor, giving a sense of importance and authority across to the audience

• What have you learnt about technologies from the process of constructing this product?

I had already had experience with recording, mixing desks, audio editing and sequencers from my Music Technology course that I am studying alongside AS Media. So a lot of the editing I found fairly easy as I had already done it in depth. I then took the skills I already had and implemented them in this project. We set up and recorded the program live then took the recordings we had then edited them in Sony Soundforge, an audio editing software that I have had extensive use of within other projects for Music Technology. So I had the ability to edit the audio recordings to a good and professional standard, keeping a good balance of level throughout the piece.

• Looking back at your preliminary task, what do you feel you have learnt in the progression from it to the full product?

I have learnt a lot from this project about radio news production, from scripting, priority, presenting and audio editing for radio. The skills I already had helped a lot within the project to make it as good as I could and also as realistic as possible. I had never really done any presenting before starting the course, and before the preliminary task I hadn’t done any either. It was only until that point that I decided that I would get involved with RNC Radio having a weekly slot on a music program. This then helped with confidence. This was a bonus for this task as it gave me the opportunity to have experience behind a microphone, broadcasting to a live audience. So when it wasn’t live I felt even more comfortable than I had done, this was definitely apparent in the was I was talking throughout the program.

Audience Response:

I broadcast the piece over RNC Radio , so all students and staff had access to the piece by listening to my show 'Brunch with Dave' as a news bulletin half way through the show. I had a few students come up to me through the day and said how good the bulletin was and how real they thought it was, and thought the broadcast was real news.

Stories at 6 Script

Stories at 6


(Play Jingle)

Good evening and welcome to Stories at 6 on Radio Dave

(Dip jingle over headlines)

Top Headlines this evening:

A Train has crashed just outside Birmingham New Street it is estimated that over 40 people are either injured or dead.  Nicolas Sarkozi challenges Vladimir Putin to a duel at Geneva banquet in dispute over Russian Gas supplies.  Gordon Brown announces his intention visit to Lords for the first ashes test next Thursday with a competition winner.  At a BBC Listeners Forum in Hereford yesterday BBC Director General Mark Thompson, announced that the BBC was considering cutting Local Services to save money which could lead to closure of BBC Hereford and Worcester.  Local colleges announce plans to join together to create a rival for Worcester university.  And Herefords first 24 hour bar opens.

Good evening, a train has crashed about 2 miles outside of Birmingham New Street Station, causing heavy delays and cancellations for services to Sheffield and Manchester.  This is causing disruption to commuters travelling out of Birmingham.  Our Traffic and Travel Correspondent Steve Markham is live at the scene of the incident.

Hello Steve, what is the current situation do we know what the current death toll is?

(Cut to Birmingham New Street, sirens and heavy machinery in the background)

Well, i'm standing at the site of the train crash, which has happened about 5 miles outside Birmingham.

I managed to get a quick word with the police officer in charge here, who told me that there were already 44 confirmed dead and 65 injured 24 of which are serious,  making this the worst train incident in the last 20 years I'm hoping to get another update on the casualties later for you here on Dave. 

Do we know what the cause of this incident is?

The cause of this incident is currently unknown, weather conditions were fine, and tracks had just been re-laid.  Emergency services are looking into the causes of the crash and initially expect that trains won’t be running for at least the next 24hrs.

(Cut back to Studio)

Thanks Steve.  We will bring you more updates on that as they come in.

Tension between Russia and the West has increased after an incident at a UN conference in Brussels yesterday, where French President Nicolas Sarkozi is alleged to have challenged Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin to a fist fight during a debate about Russian Gas Supplies to the West.  

At a Kremlin Press Conference the Russian Foreign Minister Ludmilla Ivanova made a strong statement:  (English translation under Russian)

“My Government is outraged at the behaviour of President Sarkoz. We believe that his behaviour was unnecessarily aggressive and quite unacceptable for a Head of State.  We cannot reach a trade agreement about energy supplies if we are forced to break off diplomatic relations.”

In the Studio with us is our Foreign Correspondent, Reginald Blogger.  Reginald, what impact do you think this will have on the UK?

“Potentially this is very serious.  Any disruption to French Gas Supplies will automatically affect the UK.  Downing Street are also dismayed at Mr Sarkozi’s behaviour and possibly Gordon Brown will put pressure on him to apologise.”

Ludmilla Ivanova is a new face in Russian politics, what do we know of her?

“Well, it is believed that she rose up through the Russian Secret Service and commands the ear of Putin himself.  Kremlin insiders think that she might even bid for the leadership in the next Russian election.”

Thanks Reggie.

Downing Street has announced the winner of the PM’s sporting day out this morning.

Brian Green, aged 14 from Little Snoring in Norfolk, has won the opportunity to take a trip out with Gordon Brown to the cricket.

“Well I think it’s a great idea, it gives me a chance to meet with the younger generation”.

Brian, who developed a sever brain tumour, has had groundbreaking surgery and is now on his way to gaining 5 GCSE’s at his local school.

He said he was really glad to get the chance to meet the prime minister and that he loves cricket.

BBC Hereford and Worcester might be in a bit of trouble after Director General Mark Thompson made it public that the BBC were considering the closure of Local Radio Stations all over the UK.  They have been struggling over the past few months with falling ratings and bad listener reviews, Mark Thompson said that he feels ‘it is a waste of money to keep failing Local Services running if people aren’t listening to them’.  There was some support for keeping the station broadcasting, but the majority of listeners at the forum felt the same way, as it is the public that pay for these services through the license and felt that it was a waste of their money.

Herefords first 24 hour bar opens in town.

(Parts in italics are spoken by the appropriate correspondents/guests)


Radio Dave and Stories at 6 initial plan

Radio name: Radio Dave.

Covering: Herefordshire.

Audience: 18-35.

Genre: informative news, local and national. Plus music and sports updates.

Time spot: 6 PM.

Program Name: stories at six.

Run time: 1 hr 30 mins.


Top headlines.

Train crash in Birmingham newstreet.

Gorden Brown announces intended visit to Lords for the first ashes test next Thursday.

Relations between France and Germany reach further because of Germany’s recent troop movements towards the French border.


Local news.

Local colleges anounce plans to join together to create another rival for Worcester univercity.

The BBC is having an open debate about the future of BBC H n W due to cut backs and falling ratings.

Herefords first 24 hour bar opens in town.


Funny items.

An elephant escaped from london zoo last night, but has been found, due to lack of clothing. I heard he told a reporter, he’d forgotten to pack his trunk.

Man asked to leave local bar after it was decided that his gnome was not old enough to be there, and couldn’t give proof of age.